Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 03:27 pm

If you’re looking to escape the ordinary and experience the extraordinary, I’d definitely recommend a weekend getaway to Mabula Game Lodge…

Idyllically nestled in one of South Africa’s finest game reserves, with an extraordinary view of the Waterberg Mountains, lies Mabula Game Lodge, an iconic gem situated just two hours from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg.

This well-known and much-loved destination is one of South Africa’s longest running game lodges, and is a favourite with both local and international guests.

Mabula has recently transformed itself to offer guests, both old and new, an out-of-this-world four-star bush experience, so I was thrilled to be invited to spend the weekend with my family at the revamped lodge.

An unforgettable bush escape

Having just returned from a holiday in the Cape (and still recovering from 12 plus hours in the car with two small children), I was even more thrilled that it was merely a stone’s throw away from our house in Johannesburg. The road trip was pleasant, and before either of my kids could start their usual backseat shenanigans, we arrived at Mabula, ready for what would become an unforgettable bush escape.

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Stepping into the lodge reception, it immediately felt like we had been transported to the heart of the African bush. Friendly staff greeted us with welcome drinks and cool face cloths (possibly one of my favourite touches!) after which we were shown to our family room.

Simple, yet elegant rooms

The lodge boasts 50 rooms which have all recently been refurbished. Our air-conditioned, en-suite room was simple, yet elegant, with touches of luxury like folded elephant hand towels (so cute!) and a complimentary biltong and nut snack platter.

There was plenty of floor space for our two very busy kids to play and they couldn’t get enough of the king sized bed!

Adventure, fun and a little bit of me-time

We didn’t spend much time in our room though, as there are so many activities for the children to enjoy, giving us parents a well-deserved break.

Kids can try their hand at tennis or enjoy a little fun in the sun at the pool. Plus, there’s  a jungle gym and a kiddies playroom that will keep smaller children occupied for hours on end!

For older children (and adventurous parents), there are trail walks, horse riding and quad biking on offer. And of course, poolside deck chairs to laze about on and a mini-bar at which to enjoy cocktails.

Moms, there’s also a spa if you’re looking for a little me-time! I had an hour to spare during my kids’ nap time and quickly nipped to the spa for a relaxing, full-body massage. The therapists are friendly and experienced – and use only the best products from the world-renowned skincare brand, Africology.

Magnificent sunrise and sunset drives

There’s so much to do and enjoy in and around the game lodge, that you almost forget that there’s the Big Five waiting for you beyond the lodge gates. Guests are spoiled with magnificent sunrise (read: extremely early, but worth every minute of lost sleep!) and sunset game drives. These drives offer you the opportunity to look out for the Big Five and an abundance of animal and bird life.

Sunset drives include sundowners and yummy snacks while sunrise drives are complemented by much-needed coffee and biscuits!

Game drives are approximately two-and-a-half hours long, and if you don’t think your kids will last that long, there’s a family drive option around mid-morning that is only an hour or so.


A VIP-like experience

What Mabula gets right, is their personal touch and VIP-like experience.

We had the same game ranger for all our open-vehicle game drives. He entertained us with his extensive knowledge of the bush and wildlife and made sure we saw everything on our ‘wish list’. By the end of the weekend, it felt like getting into the car with family – as he got to know us and our children by name.

We also had the same waiter throughout the weekend, who, without fail, brought us a baby high chair each time we sat down to a meal. Mealtime at Mabula is an experience in itself, offering traditional South African favourites – from scrumptious carveries to a diverse array of cheeses, crackers and of course, desserts!

Guests have the option of dining on the terrace surrounded by towering Baobab trees, chirping birds and a tranquil waterfall or in the Ndlovu Boma which creates a festive ambiance complete with a crackling bonfire and traditional dancing.

It’s the small things that count

It really is the small things that count – and luxury at Mabula extends further than it’s facilities.

If you live in Jo’burg or surrounding areas and are looking to escape the ordinary and experience the extraordinary, I’d definitely recommend a weekend getaway to Mabula Game Lodge. You and your kids are sure to love every minute of it!

For more information, visit the Mabula website.