12 Sep, 2021
The boutique quality of RockFig Safari Lodge bestows the extraordinary on the ordinary. Regular humans escaping lockdown and the sameness of a pandemic come away feeling a lot more spoilt than usual. Just like a rockstar.
With only 6 rooms sleeping 12 in total, there is an individuality to the experience that goes beyond expectations. The Rockfig team have thought of all the luxury touches. Even a sunbird bathing in the birdbath alongside me while I lazed in the mega bathtub. Only a sliding glass wall separated me from pristine African bush and my bathing buddy. The twin outdoor showers deliver an even greater one-ness with nature and make for an exhilarating spa especially on an icy morning. Crank up the temperature, lather up with the indulgent cosmetics, rinse and leap back into your cosy suite and oversized towels.
One can slip very easily into the rhythm of life at RockFig Safari Lodge. Only once you get over the shock of the 5.45am wake-up call. That said… just one morning safari with just one jaw dropping sunrise and one steaming mug of Al and Eddie’s world famous Moc-a-Rula will convert you into an enthusiastic pre-dawn riser. The sense of adventure and anticipation combined with the possibility of what may be out there has a magnetising attraction.
The morning safari is galvanised with an invigorating coffee and the surprise of discovering a hot water bottle warming your spot on the vehicle. Our first sighting, the pearl-spotted owl was facing east in anticipation of warming rays of sunshine. Very quickly the sky turned into a fiery panorama making for some dramatic photo opportunities accessorised by sculpturally twisted tree shapes. All the guides at RockFig possess the skill set to take National Geographic-worthy images with the simplest cell phone or point ’n shoot camera and they are happy to educate and share their knowledge. Willing guests are left with new skills and posts to wow their friends.
That there are no guarantees around what you might see only adds to the magic of the bushveld experience. The guides ensure that you get the best possible encounters but also a new found appreciation of the small things from cocoons, to creepers or cuckoos.
Our last morning drive of the trip delivered some very rare and dramatic action. So momentous that we skipped the Moc-a-Rula. We had headed out to a spot where we had seen a young leopard at sunset the evening before. It was the iconic scene … a leopard with a kill up a tree in golden light. We were hoping to see him again in brighter sunlight and feeding on his impala carcass. And there he was gnawing on bone, ripping through sinew and swallowing chunks of meat while demonstrating the dexterity of an incredibly adapted cat. Using tail and limbs for balance, he made the tree look like the most homely of natural habitat. Binoculars and lenses focused on this spectacular sight until a feeling of something behind us made us all turn around. In remarkable silence, a herd of maybe twenty elephant were approaching at a pace. Upon seeing us they fanned out in a semi circle to pass closely on both sides trumpeting loudly once they became aware of the leopard who immediately leapt from the tree to hide under a nearby fallen log.
A privilege and a fitting finale to a safari that had rocked our world.
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