Morukuru River House
Blissful peace, a bubbling river and, nearby, the Big Five
Morukuru River House
Morukuru River House, one of three exclusive-use lodges in the Morukuru collection, lies apart from its counterparts in a private area within the large Madikwe Game Reserve. It has its own distinctive style (read glamorous, chic and super-comfortable), own safari vehicles, staff and attractions. River House lies on the banks of the Marico River, and the sounds of the water bubbling past are soporific – you'll sleep like a baby. This is Big Five country, and your private ranger knows the bushveld and its occupants like the back of his hand.
At the lodge
Modern European styling meets hand-picked African chic and strong natural colours in the main area. The sitting room is cosy, with a fireplace and squashy-cushioned couches that beckon you to sit and chat or read. Creative meals are served in the intimate dining area, the garden or the candlelit boma. Outside is a heated rim-flow pool for post-safari dips. Want to invite some guests around? Nearby Owner's House can host a function for a larger group. Wi-fi throughout.
Three double en-suite bedrooms sleep six adults and four children, who are accommodated in a family room/study area with comfortable bunk beds, satellite TV, Playstation, computer with internet and DVDs. Each suite has rich wooden floors and, for mum and dad, a huge king-sized bed. There's a fireplace for cooler evenings, aircon and a tree-shaded private deck. The bathrooms are spacious, with twin basins, a shower, a freestanding bath, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a private outdoor shower.
Madiwe's Shangaan trackers are legendary for their knowledge of the landscape and their animal-tracking skills. They'll make sure you see your wishlist creatures, including the Big Five, brown and spotted hyaena, African wild dog, aardwolf, reptiles (including two-metre python) and Madikwe's 350-plus species of birds. Watch elephants play at a waterhole, wild dogs cavorting and leopard moving silently through the bush. Take a bush walk, visit the bird hide, go fishing, have a massage or try your hand at drumming.