Our Story of the Most Amazing Buffalo Thorn Lodge
Annette Kauppinen and Janne Marniemi, Finland
I love Africa and therefore have been there several times. What amazes me the most is the African light and the safaris. I have been in Kruger many times, in Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique, but the Pilanesberg National Park is where I have seen the most game.
In the summer, June 2016, we had an opportunity to visit Buffalo Thorn Lodge in the Black Rhino Private Reserve area of Pilanesberg, and it was the most stunning holiday ever. Having a private Lodge for our own little group of 8 adults and 3 children is a luxury. The Lodge is beautiful and spacious. Everything is so pretty and functional and there has been great attention to detail. The staff were professional and everything was very clean and nice.
Our favourite spot was the jacuzzi next to the waterhole. Can you imagine the crisp, sunny winter day (do note that for a Finnish person the African winter is like a normal summer day – around 20 degrees celcius), and you are in the warm jacuzzi, drinking a glass of sparkling wine, watching the rhino just a few meters away! The waterhole was active all day long. Besides rhino, there were zebra, giraffe, springbok, impala to name just a few. There is also a hide where you can lay down and watch the waterhole and animals. We also used the swimming pool, but no doubt it is warmer at other times of the year, rather than June!
What gave us that real exclusive feeling was our experienced ranger and private safaris. Perhaps we were just extremely lucky, but every morning we went for a game drive around 7am and in just a few hours we saw a vast array of animals. We watched a family of lions feeding peacefully, we followed hyena closely for 20 minutes, saw rhino with their young, enjoyed cheetahs relaxing, admired a huge herd of elephants, and spotted all kind of birds. In the morning safari we always had a coffee and in the afternoon / evening safari we had gin and tonic in the real African way. In our 6 day stay we didn’t miss any safari, and loved each of one of them! Our ranger had great stories to share with us and a ton of facts and details about the animals and their habits.
I strongly recommend Buffalo Thorn Lodge to anybody who would like to visit Africa. It is easily accessible from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, and Sun City is only 25km away. Next year I will bring my kids along and they would love to spend a day there too.
6 days was enough, but I could have stayed much longer. I love the place! And I will be back!
These photographs are by Annette and Janne…