African Hotels and Adventures, the tourism property management business of Tourvest’s Accommodation and Activities division, has reopened Camp 1 of its Makalali Private Game Lodge following flood damage to the property in March this year. Camp 2 and Camp 3 are scheduled to reopen in September.
Neil Bald, managing director, said in repairing the damage the company also took the opportunity to effect a number of refurbishments including the room interiors, wooden decks, pool furniture, the curio shop and a brand new boma.
“The floors and the walls have been repainted and the beds replaced with two new three-quarter length extra length beds with beautiful hand-crafted headboards and side tables. Mosquito nets have also been replaced and brand new laptop safes and tea and coffee stations installed,” he said. “We’ve also added new scatter cushions in the bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as the sala area.”
Bald said that all the sala blinds were made by the local community, who also did a great deal of work in re-establishing the gardens where fresh produce is now picked on a daily basis. “This is in line with Tourvest’s policy of involving affected communities as much as possible and giving them the opportunity to benefit from our operations,” he said. “Game drive vehicles have been equipped with new blankets, ponchos, hot water bottles and cooler boxes to give guests a more comfortable bush experience, regardless of the weather.”
The lodge comprises three camps accommodating 36 people and is located in the 26 000 hectare, Big Five Greater Makalali Game Reserve, a private conservancy about 60 kilometres from Hoedspruit.