For those lucky enough to have stayed at Sabi Sabi’s luxurious Earth Lodge, I won’t have to try and explain what a special sliver of Earth this place is, but to everyone else, I can only but try. Our beautiful lodge has been standing, literally nestled in the banks of the African bushveld since 2000.
I transferred to Earth Lodge a few months ago and immediately found myself constantly amazed by the variety of wildlife that share our home, from the tiniest of creatures to big bull elephants. It’s incredible that the structure itself, created with concrete, mud and grass, is so unobtrusive that it really has almost become one with the bush and it seems the wildlife have adapted perfectly to our presence.
Whilst relaxing on the front lawn, possibly reconnecting with oneself, you may be visited by a family of warthogs seeking out some nice green grass – or a pair of bushbucks seeking refuge in the shade. Walking to your room, it’s always advisable to look up and observe your natural surroundings for you may have a majestic kudu bull waiting to great you at your entrance path!
Whilst some people may not be entirely enthralled by the variety of skinks and geckos around the lodge, you can’t help but admire their beautiful colours and let’s not forget, they are our natural pest control! Alongside our smaller reptilian inhabitants, we also often see impressive Water Monitor lizards basking or catching fish in our beautiful water feature.
Seasonally, we are also home to a fair few frog and toad species, normally they are more frequently heard singing their summer chorus than they are physically seen. One of my favourites has to be the little ornate Southern Foam Nest Frog! These small frogs blend in perfectly to their surroundings and vary from completely white to dark, mottled grey and can be found perching on lamp posts, wall décor or chasing small termite alates (winged termites) after the rains.
Although you may need to tune your eyes in to find some of our little residents, we are also visited by gentle giants – the African Elephant. What can be more amazing than having the casual excuse, “Sorry I’m late, there was an elephant outside my suite.” I’ll tell you what could be more amazing… standing around at afternoon tea only to spot a large object casting a shadow through the skylight. What is it? Is it a UFO? A random storm brewing on an otherwise beautiful sunny day? No, it’s an actual elephant moseying across the roof to get to the lush and tasty nearby Marula tree! Although this is a special occurrence at the lodge, we have witnessed it a few times as the lodge is built into the embankment, so these large mammals do not need to get in touch with their inner spider monkey.
Other recent visitors to Earth Lodge include lions sauntering on the pathways, recently between Suites 3 and 5, as well as Suites 10 to the Amber Presidential Suite, a male leopard sauntering past the bar and feasting on a Warthog near Suite 6. A pack of African Wild dogs/Painted Wolves galivanting past the front of the lodge, loitering Giraffes, passing Hippos and roaming Waterbucks to name a few.
From having dinner under moonlit skies, to watching the sun rise in the East, Earth Lodge is a unique and tranquil place which holds a special spot in the hearts of many.