In Colour: Karkloof Safari Spa

I had spent the previous night in the very adequate but totally basic campsite that hosted most of the runners at the Wildlands Three Cranes Challenge. That’s part of the experience – a ‘million star hotel’, if you like. But a race village has never been described as luxurious. The nearby Karkloof Safari Spa is a paragon of it.

After some 38km running trails in a rainy Karkloof, I was thoroughly excited about some rest and pampering. That said, the winding country road heading north of Maritzburg didn’t seem to add up with the tales I had heard about the hospitality at my destination. Tired tarmac gave way to dirt roads, but still not hint of the magnificence I had been promised. Then a left turn, and another, a welcoming guard house and the sight of the reception building. And I knew the stories were true.

The rich timber finishes, tastefully African decor and hearty welcome set a tone. If it hadn’t, my own personal guide in a Land Rover certainly would have. Kenny had my bags loaded in no time and we were rolling through the reserve that leads up the hill to the lodge. Where else does check-in include a game drive?

Rhino, zebra, nyala, warthog, buffalo and several bird species were all part of this delight, as you may have spotted in an earlier post. Arrival at the hilltop was suitably exceptional. I’ll tell you more about it later on, but for now, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Karkloof view
Each private and secluded villa has a deck overlooking a magical stretch of Karkloof.
The details are all covered. For the coffee lover, this was an important one.
The details are all covered. For the coffee lover, this was an important one.
The spa is a major drawcard for this seven-star lodge. Their massage was just what the doctor ordered.
The spa is a major drawcard for this seven-star lodge. Their massage was just what the doctor ordered.
Resisting a bed this welcoming was only made possible by the allure of dinner.
Resisting a bed this welcoming was only made possible by the allure of dinner.
And what a dinner! Choosing from the menu was the hardest part of my stay.
And what a dinner! Choosing from the menu was the hardest part of my stay.
Usually a conservative eater, I went for the wildebeest starter. Delish!
Usually a conservative eater, I went for the wildebeest starter. Delish!
For mains, the grilled duck breast was an ideal balance of sweetness and the sort of strong nutrition one needs on a three-day endurance event.
For mains, the grilled duck breast was an ideal balance of sweetness and the sort of strong nutrition one needs on a three-day endurance event.
Off the sweets while running, a steaming bath was a more than adequate pudding.
Off the sweets while running, a steaming bath was a more than adequate pudding.
I mentioned attention to detail. A wee tipple before bed was another goodie.
I mentioned attention to detail. A wee tipple before bed was another goodie.

 

Read more about the Karkloof Safari Spa for your ‘once in a lifetime’ escape.

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