We stayed at Buffalo Thorn in October, arriving after a very long and frustrating drive from Phalaborwa!
Google Maps firstly took us to a random back gate that was all locked up, and then through the nearby mine, before we finally arrived! It decided to take us the scenic route I suppose! We were over two hours late but were greeted with such warmth and friendliness that the frustration we had felt was quickly replaced with excitement for finally being there! This was our last stop on a month long family holiday and we had been looking forward to it from day one! And it did not disappoint! We were in awe at the beauty of the Lodge area, and the pool and spa overlooking the waterhole were simply amazing! We decided to skip the first afternoon drive as we were exhausted, and our 6 and 9 year old girls had had enough of cars for one day! Jacques helped us to unpack and promised to let us know if he heard of any good animal sightings over the radio. We were left to enjoy relaxing beers, wine and ‘mocktails’ by the pool, which was a great way to unwind after such a long day. Later, whilst we were cooking dinner by the pool, we were visited by a large male rhino coming to have a drink at the waterhole and to say hi! It was an incredible first night and we hadn’t even left the Lodge!
The next morning drive was a bit quiet so Jacques suggested that the following morning we do an extended drive into the Pilanesberg and have breakfast and lunch in the park. Instead, on the first day, we had a lovely relaxing time by the pool, reading and swimming and just soaking up the wonderful quiet of the African bush. Our rhino came to visit again, which was lovely, and the wonderful staff took our weeks’ worth of washing, performed magic, and returned it lovely and fresh and ironed! I almost didn’t want to pack it away and wrinkle it again! I indulged in an afternoon outside shower under a beautiful warm sun, with a glass of wine! Absolute decadence! We had a wonderful afternoon drive watching lots of different elephant herds. We ended up at our waterhole with a herd and a gorgeous young calf! We sat for ages watching them drink and trying to get salt from the salt block, then it was back for another braai by the pool and spa before bed! The next day our extended game drive was the last long drive of our trip… and the Pilanesberg delivered! Two lions walked by on the road, nice and close, and rather than trying to get a good position nearer to them, Jacques used his vast knowledge and positioned us a bit further away. We were able to sit and just watch them walk towards us for ages, with no one else near, and the light on them was just perfect. Later we found a leopard in a tree, right by the road, and we were lucky enough to be there when it decided to come down. Another incredible sighting! By the end of the day, we had seen all of Big 5. To end our last drive, we told Jacques we just wanted to go somewhere and have a celebratory champagne, watch the sunset and say goodbye to our wonderful trip, which we did at the top of a hill. It was an amazing end to our amazing family travels… and Buffalo Thorn Lodge was the perfect way to end our month long holiday!
The calm and peace we felt after weeks of game driving was good for the soul and helped to recharge our batteries. Sitting by the pool watching animals drinking, and then gazing at the stars at night was just amazing! We cannot thank everyone enough for making our stay so wonderful. We are already planning a trip back to SA that will again end at Buffalo Thorn Lodge in 2019! Sandy Browne From a little town 230km east of Perth called Corrigin, Western Australia