At 5 a.m., the phone rang. I knew it was 5 a.m. because I managed to get one eyelid open to see the clock. I rolled over and grabbed the phone and mumbled out a quick and sort of annoyed, “hello?” It was Cameron, our ranger. “Hi Margie! This is your wake up call. Get dressed and meet me at the main lodge by 5:30 a.m. Let’s go find the big 5!” He was so full of energy for 5 a.m. I rolled out of bed and made sure my best friend Lenita was awake. The wake-up call was the official start to our South Africa safari at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge.
Earth Lodge is located in Sabi Sabi Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park. It is one of the four all suite, award winning lodges offered by Sabi Sabi. Each lodge has its own distinct character simply described as Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Selati Camp is the epitome of romance of a bygone era, yesterday. Bush Lodge and Little Bush Camp showcase the contemporary lodges of today. Earth Lodge, my personal favorite, is the ground-breaking, award winning lodge of tomorrow.
It is completely sculpted into the earth and uses light and space unlike any other luxury safari lodge. It features 13 suites including a Presidential Suite, outdoor boma, library, art gallery, spa, meditation garden and a 6,000 bottle underground wine collection. This is South African luxury at its best. Safaris at Earth Lodge are in open air jeeps. There’s absolutely nothing obstructing your view. Your day starts with a morning safari and/or a morning guided bush walk. Take the afternoon to relax or have a spa treatment. You’ll then head out for an evening safari.
The cuisine at Earth Lodge is more than a meal, it’s an experience. A fusion of African and Asian, the focus is on fresh South African ingredients with a delicate Asian twist. Once the evening meal is served, your chef will explain each course and the flavors you’ll experience. While having dinner in the boma one night, Executive Chef Shaniel Dinna, announced that dessert would be Olive Oil ice cream. Oil and ice cream just didn’t work in my mind. Nevertheless, with a frown on my face, I reluctantly took a bite. It was delicious! Evenings at Earth Lodge end with a hand selected wine or cocktail and great conversation about the sightings of the day. Once you go, you’ll soon understand why this is more than a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Stargazing at Earth Lodge is magnificent. During one of our evening safaris, the night sky appeared as I’d never seen it before. I was breathless at the sight above me. For the first time in my 40-something years, I saw the Milky Way. Remembering that moment still gives me chills. It was awe-inspiring and gave me a very small peek at how large the galaxy truly is. From that moment on, I rode back to the lodge in the open air jeep with my head looking up towards the sky. The safari was in the sky that night. Simply amazing.
The African bush is my escape. It’s the place where the phone doesn’t ring and elephants and lions roam free often walking right past my jeep. If you’re looking for a luxury safari experience, look no further. Earth Lodge is the perfect luxury escape. It’s the ultimate destination for a honeymoon and makes a wonderful intimate destination for a family reunion.