Nestled in the hills of the Eastern Cape, is the five-star Kuzuko Lodge – a blend of local hospitality, Karoo landscapes and accessible luxury.
- Kuzuko Lodge offers an escape for all stages of life from young couples, to families and seniors.
- Home to the Big Five, the reserve covers 15’000 hectare of greater Addo veld.
- The lodge celebrated it’s 12th year of operation in 2020, with a notable Cheetah programme as part of their conservation efforts.
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Officially opened by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, on behalf of Legacy Hotels & Resorts International, Kuzuko Lodge is built high up on a hill, nestled in a malaria free Private Game Reserve situated in the greater Addo area. Kuzuko Lodge is known as the “Place of Glory”, combining safari and relaxation with conservation and social impact.
It’s a welcoming sight after a two-day drive (roughly 10-hours) down to the Eastern Cape, passing through the Free State with a one-night stopover at the aha Bloemfontein, before heading past the Gariep Dam, through Cradock and a few dirt-roads. Take a look at WE DROVE IT: PEUGEOT 2008 GT LINE A COUP DE FOUDRE. For those wanting a quicker route, opt for a flight to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and take a 2-hour drive to the lodge from there.
The Eastern Cape provides that Karoo bush scenery – unmatched by any other landscape in the country. Part bush, part desert but both wild and peaceful at the same time. It’s a warm welcome at the lodge, that although having been in lockdown, is looking pristine and has had some additions and developments, even during these times.
Nestled on a hill side, overlooking a dam and the rolling Zuurberg Mountains and Karoo landscape, our room is tastefully decorated, with a contemporary African feel and all the luxuries one could ask for, from a mini-bar fridge, to satellite television, laptop sized safe, slippers, gowns, bathroom amenities and a choice of shower or bath, just to name a few. The comfortable beds and soft pillows make for the perfect rest after an adventure filled day.
Game viewing is slim, as it seems the animals like the colder temperatures just as little as we do, but our Italian speaking guide Chiara ventures on, to find us some notable sightings, including Sylvester the lion, Cheetah, Elephant and some wildlife endemic to the Cape region. Luckily we had packed the latest winter gear from Cape Union Mart for the trip: the K-Way Men’s Rio Re:Down Jacket for him and the MMXXI Women’s Trenchcoat Pink Jacket for her. Much has to also be said for the warm refresher towels and hot chocolate waiting back at the lodge after a crisp game drive.
A feast for the senses, we narrowed down our visit to Kuzuko Lodge to five unforgettable experiences:
EXQUISITE SPA TREATMENTS
Few spa treatments have left us wanting more than this one, by Head Spa Therapist
Caylon. A seasoned professional in her field, she left us relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to return the next day for more of her incredible technique and care. Set in a beautiful Wellness Centre inspired by the Aloe, treatments by Caylon and her team are extensive, set in either single or couple rooms. The Wellness Centre also boasts a small salon, gym, sauna, steam room and pedicure station – almost everything you could ask for in a safari pamper.
There is rarely a travel memory without food involved, and Kuzuko Lodge’s dishes, rank among the most memorable. Inviting and flavourful dishes, served up in the most magnificent way, the lodges culinary team have mastered dishes that are a joy to both eyes and palate. From dishes served in rustic fashion, on wooden boards and miniature poitjies to beautifully plated DIY breakfast spreads, it’s hard to find a meal that disappoints.
SYLVESTER THE LION
Probably the star attraction of the reserve, which has brought many a fan to this corner of the Eastern Cape, is the legendary Sylvester the lion – a Houdini of predators in South African wildlife history. He finally found a home in May 2016 having escaped twice from the Karoo National Park, close to Beaufort West, in 2015. Many might remember the manhunt for Sylvester at the time, followed by the threat of being put down and eventually receiving a second chance at life, following a global public outcry. Sylvester is a sight to see with his bold dark and light mane, usually with Fielies by his side, the other male lion in the reserve that he has formed a coalition with.
THE BIRD HIDE
One of the latest attractions at the lodge, the newly constructed Bird Hide overlooks it’s very own pond, bringing together all sorts of bird-life and offering enthusiasts hours of pleasure, taking in some of the unique and active birds in the area.
THAT ROMANTIC SPOT
A hot favourite for couples, romantics at heart and those looking for the perfect spot to pop ‘the question’. Situated just outside of the perimeters of the lodge itself, this sheltered deck is really in the wild, but provides the most gorgeous spot to catch a sunrise breakfast or late afternoon sunset drink. With a little help from the team at Kuzuko Lodge, this space can be transformed into pretty much anything your heart desires, be it a romantic brunch with bubbles, a private occasion lunch or a picturesque sundowner with canapes. If you are planning to get engaged or are looking to celebrate a milestone, this is the spot not to miss out on!
With all there is to do and see at Kuzuko Lodge, it is the setting and serenity of the space that makes you want to do less – possibly put up your feet on your private veranda and watch the bushveld unfold or take a plunge in the lodge pool.
Having visited Kuzuko Lodge, it is no surprise that it picked up the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice for 2020. With some incredible specials running for the foreseeable future, it’s worth venturing out into the far reaching corners of South Africa, to enjoy a slice of the great outdoors.
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