My first (and probably only) stay in a luxury hotel on safari. Oh Em Gee.
Marketed as ‘secluded architectural beauty,’ this isn’t the kind of hotel I am use to but booking it 2 days before we flew to South Africa meant we found the BEST discounted price and ended up paying a mere fraction of what the lodge is worth.
What should have been £5500 for a week turned into £1000. So yes still an expensive trip but split between two is marginally affordable (but nowhere near as cheap as camping in Kruger National Park obvs).
The Outpost Lodge can be found in the far north of Kruger National Park, South Africa. Just on the boarder of Zimbabwe.
The room itself allows your wildlife experience to start from the get go. With blinds that open up revealing the bush, you can quite literally wake up with sunrise. (Have a look at my Insta Stories for the full bedroom tour @sarahs.trek )
On our first morning we woke up to an impala (deer) munching on his breakfast just outside. But don’t worry, all rooms are raised on stilts so it would be a challenge for any animal to make its way into your bed.
The best part had to be the bathroom. It’s oh so fancy that, on return from our evening safari, the bathtub was pre filled with petals ready to wash off all my safari grime.
Showering whilst watching the birds fly by is a no-brainer, lathering up and spotting elephants = winner.
With 12 rooms each on stilts and separated by a boardwalk, at no point are you on top of or overhearing any other guests.
The hotel itself acts as both restaurant, bar, pre-safari meeting point, chill zone and hosts a pool with stunning backdrop.
A typical day at The Outpost Lodge runs as follows:
5am – Wake-up call from guide
5.30am- Coffee, tea & fruit at the lodge
6am- Depart for morning safari
6am – 10am Explore Kruger National Park with your guide
10am -Brunch at the lodge
11am – 3pm chill time
4pm – Pre-safari snacks at the lodge
4.30pm – Depart for evening safari
4.30pm – 8pm explore Kruger National Park with your guide
8pm -Dinner at the lodge
Naturally timings vary dependent on the day, we spent one morning on a 6hour hike in search of elephants whilst other mornings we were back at the lodge by 10am.
You will be assigned a Guide for the duration of your stay and they will take you out for each of your safaris. Our Guide was absolutely incredible – he recognised that we were keen for an adventure so took us on plenty of walking safaris and we even spent 4 hours hiking barefoot through a river!
Over the week that we stayed at The Outpost Lodge we ticked off zebras, impalas, hippos, hyenas, elephants, monkeys, giraffes, a rare owl, crocodiles and even spotted two leopards relaxing in a tree.
The wildlife was abundant as we learnt that Kruger National Park is the size of Wales, while The Outpost Lodge location is a mere 5% of the park size it boasts 90% biodiversity.
Fly to Johannesburg, South Africa then save money and rent an airport car to tackle the 7hour drive to The Outpost Lodge. The drive is so straight forward – pretty much one motorway the entire journey with plenty of petrol stations to stop off at.
Is it safe to drive?
We didn’t encounter any trouble whilst on the drive up and felt very comfortable driving in South Africa. That being said be sensible, only drive in daylight and don’t stop anywhere that looks slightly questionable.
If you don’t have 7 hours to spend driving and you do have plenty of cash, you can fly directly from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park but this has to be arranged through The Outpost Lodge (pretty sure it’s a private plane which would be EPIC!)
HOW DO I BOOK?
Bookings can be made directly through their website here at The Outpost Lodge.
If you can afford it, book it ASSAP! If not, keep it in mind for the next time you are planning a last minute trip.
Making the effort to reach The Outpost Lodge certainly pays off and you won’t find any tourist traffic jams in this section of Kruger National Park. While it was truly epic and I’m itching to go back on safari, next time I plan to rough it with a tent so I can wake up to a leopard licking my face.