There are lodges. There are luxury lodges. And then there are OMG-I-want-to-live-here-forever lodges. And the Morukuru Family Owner’s House sits firmly and soundly in the latter group. This ultra luxurious, exclusive-use private house sits on the banks of the Marico River in the Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West Province. It’s the ultimate destination for a couple or family who want to experience the very best this brilliant game reserve has to offer, without any of the restrictions or timetables other lodges impose.
Don’t want to get up at 5am? No problem. Want to have breakfast in a hide overlooking the waterhole? Absolutely. Fancy experiencing a spa treatment on your private deck instead of in the spa? Only a pleasure. The Morukuru Freedom Concept offers you the gift of doing whatever you want, whenever you want.
What we wanted was … oh … to have a mid-morning breakfast in a hide and a late dinner by starlight and find an elephant or two and relax in a bubble bath out in the open at the end of the deck. Tick. Tick. Tick. And (oh swoon) tick! With private staff including an on-the-ball butler, a seriously talented chef and a relaxed guide (makes game viewing so much more pleasurable) catering to your every whim this is, trust us, the life! A life in which you enjoy hot mulled wine after chilly game drives and a glass of bubbly by the infinity pool and two armchairs placed just so in front of the big screen TV in time for the SA vs England test … with the biltong and beers in easy reach. A life that includes the most scrumptious meals imaginable (think full English breakfast in a potjie, springbok carpaccio with roasted plums, pomegranate pips and parmesan shavings, and wine-poached pears with frozen lemon curd) served by the pool, in the boma, on the deck. Where there are big comfy sofas for families to sit together and play board games, and private decks and balconies if you’d rather have some me-time alone with a good book or a pair of binocs. And a glass of wine. Obvs! We could get used to this!
The Owner’s House – with two huge en suite bedrooms, a lounge, library and dining room, and several decks and balconies – has everything you could possibly need for a few days, or longer, in the bush. From a WiFi, stereo system and home office facilities for those who can’t live without them to romantic fireplaces, a wine cellar and outdoor showers for those who know what really matters.
It goes without saying that game viewing is exceptional – this is big five country, after all, covering 75 000 hectares of open woodlands and grasslands and rocky hills. While the elusive leopards often remain just that, you’d be unlucky not to see at least one, if not all of the others … as well as so much more, including a black springbok (such a treat – they’re bred on the reserve and are amazingly rare and beautiful). There are bat-eared foxes (which we saw) and pangolins and wild dog (which we didn’t) and more than 400 species of birds. But what you see and what you don’t really is immaterial … it’s just such a pleasure and so exciting to be in the bush with possibility around every dusty corner.
A pleasure, too, to stay at The Owner’s House. It’s not inexpensive … but is so worth it for a significant occasion … a honeymoon, a special weekend for the family, a landmark birthday.
And if you’ve more guests and need more space, River House, which sleeps six, is just a short stroll away across a wooden walkway.
Huge bonus for those with young bush lovers … since this is a private-use destination, children of all ages are welcome, and the team has exciting activities to keep youngsters entertained during the day, and babysitters for when you want some quiet adult time.
Rates are fully inclusive and range from (low season) R25 000 for two guests per night, with additional adults paying
R8 800 per night, or R4 400 per child for those under 16.
Details: 011-615-4303, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.morukuru.com