The lions roar, the elephants trumpet and you are watching all of this with a glass of sparkling wine in your hand. Well it might sound impossible, but all of this is a part of the daily schedules the savannas of Africa.
In my recent visit to Kruger national park in South Africa, I stayed in a private game reserve called Shiduli in Karongwe and it was completely opposite of what I expected . When in the savanna one can only imagine the accommodation n to be in tents with portable bathrooms, and a luxury resort printed online would look more like a dormitory i real life. But mark my words my friends this lodge was out of the world.
Shiduli resort was like a little 4 star resorts amidst the Africa jungle. As we entered the resort, it gave us a feel of a private resort. The resort was cozy comfortable and wild in every aspect. Divided into multiple spaces, each nook and corner of the resort bore exquisite wild aura.
The entrance is that with hay thatched and leads you directly into the reception. That is the only area with WIFI so you always see it full. The desk is made up of timber and adorned with a beautiful small chest which had the list of spa services offered. The room is a direct reflection of the jungle. With painting of the wild on the walls, animal skin like rugs and the centre table with beautiful glass ware composed with ostrich eggs or impala horns the reception is jungle trotter’s corner.
Adjacent to the reception is the dining area, which is also divided into 2 parts , an open deck area and the closed one , a plush sofa arrangement is done which is ivory in colour, has zebra printed comforters, wild artifacts and is topped with fresh flowers. The open deck is a wooden raised deck. With dining tables in with red cloths, a candle light and a basket of warm breads, each meal is served on special African mats and is bagged up with the born fire and sometimes a local celebration with music.
Then comes the entertainment rooms, there are 4 different spaces for the entertainment. It’s in the same area as the reception and the dining room.First is just a comfortable corner with plush sofas, runners and a game of wooden chess. The corner is ornamented with animal artifacts, pebbles and lamps. The second space is the library cum lounge which is attached to the first space. A similar feel like an extended version. The part is done in grays and has timber bookshelves on the wall clad with books and coffee table magazines. The best part about this room is the makeshift curtain. These curtains or dividers and made up of white stones and give a perfect wild edge to the room. A large recliner, spotlights, throw cushions is all what it takes to make this lo8unge a cozy cocoon.
The third space is the bar. A huge time table is the main focus of the room. With bar stools and sofas, the room is done in olives and cream going in sync with the ranger’s uniform making it a perfect spot to celebrate after the evening game drives.
The last but the best is the swimming pool and its personal sofa area, which I like to call the orange otla. The main swimming pool has a baby pool attached and done in the form of a water fall. There is a pool bar in the form of the hut and beach chairs for those who wish to tan in the African sun. The orange otla was my favorite corner, set a little aside for the main building, one walks thru the pool and reaches the orange otla. Under a small canopy like hut made up of timer and hay, this space is clad with orange sofas, timber tables, black comforters and candles and animal ornamentations which give it a junglee aura. This is a private space to just curl up with your loved one and enjoy the safari stay at Shiduli.
Well the walk to the room is thru gardens and bonfires giving the resort a homely feeling.
The rooms are an African animal paradise. A four poster bed with white net curtains make that you cocoon. The theme of the lodge is seen in the rooms also, the sofas with animal printed cushion covers, the skin mimicked rugs, the big lion painting on the main wall or the animal hand painted lamps give you the safari feel . Once you enter the bathroom you indeed feel like the king of the jungle. With double basins and towels below them the bathroom is one of the wow factors. An old kerosene lamp with a match box is placed next to your towels which gives the bathroom a rustic charm. done in muddy colours like browns and dark reds , it’s up to your luck whether you get a plunge in tub or a pebbled shower , both of them give a warm African bath touch .
I don’t now whether my words did justice to the interior of those spaces, but once you visit shiduli you will know that any amount of words aren’t enough to describe the raw and perfect beauty of this place the hospitality by Viv, Greg, their team and the beauty of Karongwe.
picture source: http://www.karongweportfolio.com