We are gathered around a dancing fire on the sunken deck, slowly sipping sundowners and gazing lazily over the river before us. Londolozi’s Private Granite Suites are set low on the Sand River in the iconic Sabie Sand Game Reserve, amidst rosegold granite boulders. The dusty pink light of sunset is ethereal and mesmerising, and so is the silence.
Without a sound, a huge herd of elephant comes into view, stops right in front of us and starts drinking the cool river water. When all thirsts are slaked, some in the herd start splashing for fun. Then, as one, the herd moves on as quietly as it arrived – almost like a silent movie. This villa camp is arguably one of the best locations in the Sabie Sands, not just for its special sunsets and prolific wildlife but for these massive elephant herds that pass by in winter. Seeing so many elephant amongst rosegold boulders is a spectacular experience.
Private Granite Suites are precisely that: sublimely private and an ode to the granite strewn Sand River and the elephants that frequent it. Suites are beautifully spacious with granite-clad walls, designed to blur lines between the inside and outside. The huge, frameless windows have views of the giant boulders outside, and when elephant pass by it becomes living art that will simply take your breath away. Original black and white photographs of elephants adorn suite walls too.
The camp, of three stand-alone suites around a central living area, is an idyllic bushveld home for honeymoon couples or up to six adults a private group wanting to travel together . Elegant and contemporary, the suites reflect the surrounding environment and further honour elephants in their colour palette of silver, charcoal and grey. There’s a feeling of calm authenticity.
Being gently earthed, the camp brings you back to nature and reconnects you with the solid energy of Africa. Even the outside showers have stands of granite, and the egg baths are of stone. But wherever you are outside, views are of the river. Here it’s a true river affair that’s evocative and magical – and surrounded by 6 million acres of transfrontier Peace Park.
This land has been loved by the Varty family for one hundred years, and Londolozi is now a forth generation family business. So visiting here is like staying with an extension of an African family who understands and conserves the land and all that lives on it. Experiences are personally crafted too and many guests return annually to this magnificent space with its authentic energy and advocacy for wildlife, land restoration and the renewal of the human spirit. It is the real deal, and you will feel that when you’re there.
Reviewed by Keri Harvey
What we love:
- the intense sunrises and sunsets
- morning yoga and mediation sessions on the deck amidst the trees
- special wellness experiences in the Healing House
- fireflies in the evenings
- that suites are plastic free
- processing images from the day in the photographic studio
- experiencing African village life in the Futuristic African Village excursion
- that fresh produce comes from 39 vegetable gardens in the surrounding wilderness
Need to know:
- Federal Air flies direct from Johannesburg to Londolozi airstrip. SA Airlink flies scheduled flights from Johannesburg to Skukuza, an hour’s drive from Londolozi by private transfer. Private charters can also be arranged on request.
- Londolozi is in a malaria area.
- Private Granite Suites caters to adult guests. Children over 16 are also welcome.