To be able to take time off and escape from everyday life is a luxury. Escapism of course, means something different to everyone, but essentially it's about going somewhere where you can hear yourself think, where time stands still and the surrounds draw you into a sensory experience.
HL asked Helen Untiedt, owner of Perfect Hideaways, which elements are essential for the perfect escape and she said:
"The Wow Factor. When everything exceeds your expectations – that’s when you can really sscape."
In light of this, we selected 5 local bush camps that definitely tick all the Wow Factor boxes.
The Bush Lodge at Sabi Sabi. Photograph sourced from: sabisabi.com
The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is an award-winning destination that offers world-class luxury accommodation, wildlife encounters, renowned cuisine and a level of service that will have you feeling like royalty. With over 100 years of experience in this industry, Sabi Sabi has come to embody African hospitality at its finest. Four unique safari lodges are available: Selati Camp, Bush Lodge, Little Bush Camp and Earth Lodge - each with its own offering and individual appeal. The reserve is home to the 'Big Five' (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo) as well as other indigenous wildlife.
SINGITA BOULDERS LODGE
Singita Boulders Lodge set on the banks of the Sand River. Photograph sourced from singita.com
Environmentally conscious hospitality is what makes Singita one of the top five lodges to visit. Within this conservationist philosophy is a focus on sustainability and the empowerment of local communities - these are the fundamental values that underpin this group of bush lodges. Since its inception in 1993, it has become the trusted guardian of a million acres of pristine African land as well as the facilitator of a number of community development projects, making it not only a luxury destination but one that empowers the people that live and work in and around its lodges.
Situated in one of South Africa's most noteworthy attractions - the Kruger National Park, Royal Malewane provides a classic safari experience that includes unique adventures into the bushveld amongst the most spectacular African wildlife. Its luxury offering includes a spa and unrivalled cuisine served under the stars. Every modern comfort and convenience is catered to by the most qualified guiding team in the country. Its awards include Andrew Harper Reader's Choice Award as one of 2016's top 30 Favourite Safari Lodges and Camps, and the award for Best Safari Spa in Africa by the Safari Awards 2015.
MADIKWE SAFARI LODGE
Photo sourced from Madikwe safari lodge
The Madikwe Game Reserve is a 75 000 hectare malaria-free reserve located northwest of Johannesburg (an easy four hour drive) along the Botswana border. As one of the largest reserves in the country, it provides luxury accommodation and a safari experience for a range of getaways from family excursions to honeymoons and adventure tours. The team of guides is dedicated to conserving the natural environment and providing tours that are as educational as they are entertaining. From leopards and rhinos to chameleons and dung beetles, each species is treated with respect and reverence.
SABI SAND RESERVE
: KINGSTON TREEHOUSE
Kingston Treehouse in the Sabi Sand Reserve. Photo: Sourced from lionsands.com
Located on the Sabi Sand Reserve, the Kingston Treehouse is constructed entirely out of glass and wood - providing a spectacular perch that overlooks the majestic African bushveld and its wildlife. Designed to be completely open to the elements yet protected enough to provide a secure stay, the treehouse is equipped with a luxurious bathroom and shower that comes with a range of Africology products to complete your sensory experience. Meals are served on a private deck, allowing you to dine while you take in the magnificence of the untouched wild environment around you.
See our curated list of safari-esque design products in our November 2016 issue.