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Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway

An unexpected surprise awaits the traveller who stumbles upon the distinctive experience that is the Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway. Beautifully appointed, Clifftop rises above the Sterkstroom River Gorge, where its beautifully organic style with subtle white, silver, and grey tones creates a singularly unique backdrop from where one can appreciate splendid views of the surrounding Waterberg Biosphere.

If elegance is a prerequisite and personalised service is non-negotiable, the Clifftop experience stands above its peers. Friendly, well-trained staff and attentive management at the lodge set it apart, leaving one to enjoy the beauty of the untouched natural environment at Welgevonden, just a three hour drive from Johannesburg or a short hop from one of the reserve’s landing strips.

Clifftop is undoubtedly a jewel in Welgevonden Game Reserve’s crown, offering insightful safari sojourns into the heart of this 38,200 hectare, malariafree reserve. The many game-viewing opportunities within a relatively short driving distance from the lodge mean that more time is spent enjoying the abundant wildlife instead of driving for hours to find a single sighting – often the Achilles’ heel of lodges on lesser reserves.

The Waterberg region’s beauty is amplified by the abundance of water on the reserve. In a milieu where water dearth is a harsh reality, the lavishness of this rare commodity amplifies the diversity of habitat and a wide range of wildlife. As much as the grassy plains abound with antelope – from the largest eland to the diminutive duiker – even cheetah is regularly seen close by. Although Welgevonden also claims numerous rare and unusual species such as brown hyena, aardwolf, pangolin, and aardvark, these bashful creatures are best seen at night, and I did not have the honour of an encounter with any of them.

For budding ornithologists, over 300 bird species can be seen on the reserve, including rare blue cranes which breed in the southern section early in the year.

The Clifftop experience echoes Welgevonden Reserve’s exclusivity, limiting a certain number of guests to the region at any given time. Accommodation at Clifftop is confined to eight exclusively appointed freestanding suites that each sleep two. Decorated in the distinctive Clifftop monochrome style, each suite is an elaborately spacious escape from the mundane and relaxation is inevitable. A private plunge pool, fully stocked minibar, stone bath, and daybed enhance each suite’s romantic nature. Or one could while away the hours overlooking the gorge below from one’s private, newly refurbished deck. Signature spa treatments by a well-trained therapist are on offer, also in the privacy and comfort of one’s own suite. Although cellphone signal is intermittent at best, limited Wi-Fi is available in the main lodge.

Besides the luxurious lodging, Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway’s most intriguing characteristic is how the main lodge has been designed to create a feeling of individuality and enhance the romantic mood. Enjoy indoor dining on chilly evenings in front of one of the many fireplaces, and indulge in the natural goodness of Clifftop’s delectable breakfast options – a delicious starter of fruit, homemade granola, cheese, and pastries, followed by the tastiest hot English breakfast or omelette – on the viewing deck that overlooks the Sterkstroom Gorge. Lunches are served from 13h00 and offer many mouth-watering options, freshly prepared by the Clifftop culinary team.

Catered game drives and sundowners evolve into a private dining experience in a secluded spot, where the carefully selected meal combinations are well-considered to do more than just sustain the body. The lodge boasts a fantastic collection of exquisite local wines to accompany your meal, and there is the option to have a private dinner for six in the wine cellar – a truly inspiring dining experience. Finally, one can indulge in a nightcap before retiring to the suite for the night.

Understated elegance and world-class luxury makes staying at this Limpopo safari lodge a memorable experience. In its breathtaking setting, Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway provides a beautiful African backdrop for the ultimate safari experience. Experience, indulgence, delight – these seem to be the unwritten rules by which life is lived at this Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway. The new perspectives that watching wild animals at Welgevonden can give may serve to heighten the appreciation of everything that Clifftop has to offer: from fine food and prize-winning cellar wines, to log fires in almost every room and baths-with-a-view in which to soak away the stresses of city life.

Download a copy of the SLOW magazine article here

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