Bukela Game Lodge is a romantic and secluded safari destination tucked away into indigenous trees and bushes at the top of a hidden valley. The tranquil Lodge and suites are the perfect setting for the intimate guest experiences for which we’re renowned.
Connected by a wooden walkway, the thatched suites offer a remarkable private wildlife-viewing experience. Savour a crisp glass of wine in your sun-soaked spa bath, opening onto trees alive with birdsong. Indulge in sumptuous high teas, private candlelit dinners or exciting fireside boma dinners under African stars. And as you fall asleep, hear the silence broken by the unmistakeable sounds of elephant and buffalo making their stately progress through the unfenced camp.
The lodge may also be booked exclusively as a restful and beautiful venue for small team-building, conferences and weddings.
The four thatched suites (3 suites and 1 honeymoon suite) are each individually styled in African simplicity while never compromising on luxury.
Each suite sleeps 2 guests and is a world of its own, separated from the main lodge by wooden walkways and indigenous bush.
Each suite is well appointed for guests’ optimal comfort with every amenity, including large, en-suite bathrooms each with a spa bath overlooking the African bush, an indoor and outdoor shower for the more adventurous, a central fireplace for romantic evenings, air conditioning, underfloor heating, private wooden deck, bar fridge and hot drink amenities.
Beds are King size or 2 singles depending on guest requirements.
All suites are luxurious but the “honeymoon suite” with a huge four poster mahogany bed is a particularly intimate space and can be reserved for any special occasion.
Guests are greeted on arrival at Bukela with refreshing hand towels and served drinks on the pool deck overlooking a dam frequented regularly by a group of buffalo. While baggage is delivered to their room and their vehicles valeted. Guests are advised of their itinerary as follows:
Morning Game Drive
Guests are served coffee, tea and cereals, fruits, yoghurt, rusks in the main lodge half an hour before a game drive commences. The duration of a game drive is usually 3-4 hours depending on the amount of time spent stationary while viewing game. Game rangers will halt whenever requested and share their expertise with guests. Game rangers will also stop and allow guests to alight from the vehicle for a steaming cup of coffee which is traditionally enjoyed with rusks.
On returning from the morning game drive, guests have 30 minutes at their disposal to freshen up before brunch is served. Breakfast/brunch is usually buffet style with a choice of fresh fruit as well as sweet pastries, toast and jams. Bukela’s talented chef will cook eggs to preference which are served with bacon or sausage from the buffet.
After brunch guests relax at the refreshing pool or enjoy a nap after the excitement of the game drive, depending on their preference. Bukela ensures that guests have enough time to relax and we strive to accommodating every need. Books of an African theme, cards, boardgames such as chess as well as massage treatments can be organised in the comfort of their own room
A tranquil cruise down the winding Bushman’s river can be organized on request. Enjoy a sundowner with snacks where you may catch a glimpse of a timid bush buck in the riverine forest. The river cruise affords the best opportunity of viewing the rare African Finfoot as well as the less rare but more majestic Fish Eagle.
Afternoon/Evening Game Drives
Light snacks in the form of delectable sweet and savoury pastries are provided half an hour before the game drive is to commence at the main lodge. Bottled water, beverages and light snacks such as biltong are provided en route and the vehicle will stop in order for guests to alight and enjoy a sundowner at sunset. This is the highlight of an evening game drive, as an African sunset is something one feels privileged to witness.
Dinner may consist of either an informal bush braai/barbeque in the “boma” consisting of a selection of salads and/or hot vegetables, barbequed meat (chicken, beef, ostrich, venison or even fish) or a selection of dishes may be offered to suit your palate. Bush breakfasts, picnics or dinners are enjoyed to the sound of rhythmic African drums or guests may prefer the tranquility of enjoying an excellent meal under the stars in the “boma” or “lapa”.
After enjoying dinner guests are invited to socialize until the small hours of the morning or to retire to the comfort and luxury of their suite. Whatever the preference, they will awaken to the chorus of an African dawn and ready for another day of adventure!
DIRECTIONS TO BUKELA GAME LODGE
Situated in the Greater Addo and Frontier Country area of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa is the malaria-free Amakhala Game Reserve – a mere 50 minute drive north-east of Port Elizabeth’s national airport.
ADDRESS: Kirkwood, South Africa
Travelling east on the N2 towards Grahamstown approximately an hour out of Port Elizabeth you will turn off to the right at the Karel Landman/Alexandria turn off and enter the Amakhala Game Reserve. Bukela is 10km down this road on the right hand side and clearly marked.
GPS CO-ORDINATES: Latitude: 33° 24′ 20.35″ Longitude: 26° 07′ 25.04
This 7000 ha reserve is renowned for its truly awesome topography, created by the slowly meandering Bushman’s River running through it.
The Amakhala Game Reserve located in the malaria free Eastern Cape of South Africa began in 1999 as a joint conservation venture between the owners of six lodges who are direct descendants of the orignal Frontier settlers some five generations ago and arrived here with the British settlers of 1820. The families originally settled to farm sheep and cattle on the wild and often hostile Zuurveld.
During 2011 the original members of the Amakhala and the Lion Roars Group created a joint Marketing agreement and brand rejuvenation for the malaria free Amakhala Game Reserve.
Amakhala Game Reserve is a unique conservation initiative that allows animals to be re-introduced to the area where they once roamed freely and so making a contribution to the conservation of our natural heritage. The land was used to ranch sheep and cattle up to the turn of the century. The challenge has been to re-establish the original flora and fauna species to the area and to return the land to nature.
Not only does Amakhala Game Reserve offer the much sought after Big 5, but there are over 16 antelope species, zebra, giraffe and many other small interesting species. The elephant sightings are likely to be the highlight of your stay. In addition to game drives, Amakhala Game Reserve also offer boat cruises and guided walks. The Amakhala Heritage Collection of Lodges are each managed and unique, offering a wide variety of accommodation and personalized style. Amakhala Game Reserve are proud to offer you the superb Amakhala service and famous hospitality.
Guided by experienced rangers, you can return to nature and explore the diverse wildlife and the rugged landscapes of the Eastern Cape valley and bushveld on Amakhala Game Reserve. This bush experience will create memories, which will linger as long as the African sun sets.
Morning and evening game drives in open Land Rovers through Amakhala Game Reserve will leave you in awe of the diverse vegetation and spectacular scenery which abounds here. For a change of pace, enjoy bird watching and game spotting whilst gently cruising down the Bushman’s River. Refreshment breaks have been included to make your safari experience that much more enjoyable.
Amakhala Game Reserve has been awarded the voluntary label by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA). Based on adherence to specific criteria such as fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practice, and respect for human rights, culture and the environment, the FTTSA label is an independent endorsement of fair and responsible tourism practice in South Africa.