A perfect day on the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate
The best thing about having built Ubuntu Luxury Villa on the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate is that nature’s there, ready for you, the minute you step out the door! This means you don’t even have to leave the estate to enjoy all its restorative benefits! Like in a beautiful musical score, there are many variations on a theme, and any combination of the activities below will make a melody of your time on the estate.
When we are not in South Africa, we dream of our days spent at our bush villa. For us, a perfect day goes something like this…
Enjoying the first rays of the sun from the outdoor shower is a simple pleasure that never gets old. Our mornings at Ubuntu Luxury Villa always start with birdsong and as we step outside, the sun already hints at the warmth to come. As the shower water sparkles and flows over you, energising you for the day ahead, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that you’ll never be able to shower indoors again. It’s that combination of fresh, cool air, warm water and the delicious scent of the organic, ethically sourced amenities from Africology that we use throughout the villa that’s so addictive. ‘Normal’ showers will seem boring and dull in comparison and that’s before you’ve tried a nighttime version of the same, with just the moon and the stars gazing down.
Breakfast with a view
After your shower, it’s more than worth it to prepare a delicious cup of coffee from our Dolce Gusto machine or even take your breakfast up to our viewing deck. We’ve built is as a tranquil vantage point, a place to retreat to and enjoy the views over the lowveld as a kind of elevated island, that helps you appreciate the landscape and your position in it. The combination of the view, with a fragrant, leisurely cup coffee (or tea if you prefer), is truly something special. While you eat and drink, you can look out for wildlife down below as the bush warms up around you. Don’t forget to take your binos with you, as you never know what you’ll see.
A dip on the pool
Even in the middle of winter, Hoedspruit’s climate rarely drops below 22 degrees Celsius. And if you visit Ubuntu Luxury Villa in Summer, Autumn and Spring, you’re going to know why we’ve built such a beautiful, big, sparkling pool at the heart of our outdoor area. It’s tempting to dip in and out all day and with large, fluffy swim towels, comfortable sun loungers and relaxed wildlife wondering by, you could end up spending as much time in the pool, as out. Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen and make good use of a hat.
This is great before or after lunch, depending how the morning goes. Often, a siesta starts as reading time, but as you relax, your eyes may close and this quiet time turns into a satisfying snooze, either outside on one of the sun loungers, or in the cool comfort of your room. The estate is quiet, with just gentle birdsong for a lullabye and on warmer days, you’ll appreciate just how restorative a siesta can be. There are black-out curtains, so if catching up on some sleep during the day (because you can!) is part of your holiday plans, we’ve got you covered.
Take a wild walk
In the afternoon, we love to walk on the estate, enjoying how the light softens, the shadows lengthen and the air begins to cool. The wildlife on the estate have freedom of movement across the entire property, so you never know what you’ll find. The wilderness area has a network of well-defined trails to use, two beautiful dams (Hammerkop and Fish Eagle) and a bird hide you can sit in. We’ve seen a great variety of wildlife here; just remember to respect their space. While we walk, we like to observe the tracks and signs the animals leave, the wildflowers and grasses that grow, and the amazing web of life that includes everything from the smallest ant to the tallest giraffe. You may encounter other friendly residents too, out cycling, running or even horse riding, which you can also do on the estate.
These are a safari tradition; wine, beer, soft drinks or the South African drink Amarula as the sun goes down. We like to have these back at Ubuntu Luxury Villa, up the viewing tower or on the deck, where we’ll sip a chilled Sauvignon Blanc or mix up a cocktail or two as the sky turns gold and the light begins to fade. Often, the birds give one last concert as they come to roost and your ears tune into the evening sounds. Twilight doesn’t last long in the lowveld, with the inky sky fading quickly to black. You’ll see the evening star appear, and depending on the time of the month, watch the moon rise. It’s a time to appreciate where you are, and how lucky you are to be immersed in nature.
A braai is the Afrikaans word for a barbeque and we’re big fans of cooking over an open flame. We’ve created a cosy boma around the fire pit that is the perfect gathering place for you and your friends or family to sit around while the wood burns down, forming the coals you will cook on. There is a braai grid and utensils and some recipe ideas in the house; you can do anything from vegetarian grills to whole fillet steaks. The food always smells divine while it is cooking. Prepared over an open fire, your meal will be lightly flavoured with the smoke. For us, it’s the taste of Africa. You can eat around the fire, a warm focal point, or return to it later, after dining at the inside or outside tables. After dinner is a time to sit and stare at the flames, chat and watch out for shooting stars and nocturnal creatures like porcupines, genets and even aardvarks, which may come wandering by.
Take yourself on a star safari from our viewing deck! The night sky over Hoedspruit is remarkably free of light pollution. Sometimes, the Milky Way feels close enough to touch. There are some great apps you can download on your phone to help orient yourself and pick out the different southern hemisphere constellations and planets that are occasionally visible. Look out too for shooting stars and, depending where it is in its cycle, the rising and the setting of the moon! If you have a tripod and a DSLR, you can even try your hand at some star photography. Please share your pics with us if you do. Tip: the binoculars from the house will help bring the heavens that much closer.