35 years ago at the inception of Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, a magnificent elephant bull roamed the reserve. With massive tusks and always surrounded by Askari (soldiers) – a group of up to 12 protective, strong and sometimes very aggressive young males – the elephant was called Mandleve, a Tsonga nickname for the tear in his ear. Mandleve was truly unmistakeable, with two massive tusks, one very long and fairly straight, and the other about the same length, but distinctly curved. Mandleve spent his years crossing the river between Sabi Sabi and the Kruger National Park, but as he grew older he spent most of his days at Sabi Sabi, eating the soft vegetation alongside the river. When he slept he rested his enormous curved tusk in the crook of a tree trunk, relieving the huge weight he constantly carried. A beautiful, gentle and patient elephant, Mandleve died in 1992 close to his beloved Sabie River. He was deeply mourned by the staff at Sabi Sabi who had watched and followed him over the years, as well as by the many guests who had the honour of viewing him on safari. His tusks which are on display at the Letaba Elephant Museum, were measured at 69 and 73.5 kgs apiece, the heaviest ivory on record at Kruger.
As a tribute to this magnificent elephant, the spectacular newly refurbished Presidential Suite at Sabi Sabi’s Bush Lodge is named the Mandleve Suite. A fitting name for a truly exceptional and memorable accommodation experience. With huge rooms looking out onto the bushveld, the suite is, quite simply, stunning. Raw tree trunks support the interior walls and add a fascinating touch of the bushveld to the décor.
Chandeliers alongside the draped bed illuminate the expansive bedroom with its beautiful carved wooden furniture. The vast, surprisingly furnished and stylish bathroom has a temptingly deep bathtub, and includes both indoor and outdoor showers.
A glorious lounge with plush chaise longues, handcrafted fixtures and furnishings and interesting artifacts, extends out to a relaxing covered patio and private pool. This is a definitely a suite to remember. And, of course, a private safari vehicle with personal guide and tracker complete the Mandleve Suite experience.
For those who desire only the very best, The Mandleve Presidential Suite and recently opened Villas are sensational additions to Bush Lodge’s 5 star luxury accommodation.