Luxury game lodges are a bit like impalas – ubiquitous, but often out of reach. And while many have great views, these are sometimes contracted as a result of being positioned down in the bush, and so don’t offer a sense of the expanse of the surrounding wilderness.
Tshukudu Bush Lodge – Pilanesberg, North West
The main deck probably has the best views – the reward for tackling the 132 steps that take you up to the top of the property. It’s worth splashing out on one of the four luxury suites, if only for the heated plunge pool on the deck, from which you might spot an elephant or rhino.
Late-afternoon game drives scythe through the national park and usually include a sundowner stop to take in the acacia-studded plains.
No children under 12 are allowed at Tshukudu, which prides itself on being a secluded, romantic destination. If the views from the suites aren’t glorious enough, you should probably have your head read – but you can book a trip in a hot-air balloon. A one-hour flight, including some sparkling wine after landing, breakfast and lodge transfers, costs R4,800 per person.
Tshukudu’s luxury suites are from R9,530 per person sharing, the luxury chalets are from R7,330 per person sharing; rates include two daily game drives, breakfast, high tea, a five-course dinner and drinks.