From the majestic Arabian horses to mountain vistas that stretch forever, Pakamisa Lodge and Game Reserve offers a tranquil escape to the top of the world
The exclusive Pakamisa Lodge and Game Reserve rests on the towering slopes of the Pakamisa Mountain on 2 500 hectares of wilderness. Pakamisa is a Zulu word that means ‘to lift up’ and it captures the essence of how you feel on arrival at the lodge. It is blanketed by the lush rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal and situated 15km south-west of the modest town, Pongola.
An air shuttle from Johannesburg’s Rand Airport directly to Pongola Airport is about a one-hour flight.
WHY GO THERE? Pakamisa offers horseback safaris on Arabian or Arabian-crossed horses. The lodge’s owner Isabella von Stepski is inspiringly passionate about horses, as well as a wise and gentle teacher. Beginners have individual lessons at the equestrian facilities while more experienced riders can head off on outrides. The walking trail over the mountain offers a panoramic view from the top. Pakamisa’s five-star service is evident from the moment you arrive. You are guaranteed your needs will be met, whether it’s organising a tiger-fishing trip to the nearby Jozini Dam or conjuring up a poolside cocktail.
There are eight spacious rooms fit for a king, each with a balcony, living area, bedroom, bathroom and high ceilings. Due to its exclusivity, the lodge is limited to a maximum of 16 guests. Special arrangements are made for guests who wish to share a room with their children. The interiors are influenced by Isabella’s travels in Spain, as well as African art and design. The main house offers an area where you can relax and chat to fellow guests while enjoying the endless mountain views from the balcony. It also includes a lounge, a well-stocked library, a hunter’s bar and a rock pool on the terrace.
Head chef Sonto Buthelezi’s talent of creating bursting flavours is evident in every dish that is served. Well thought-out portions are designed to be both filling and tasty. For breakfast, expect a hearty fruit platter, cheese and biscuit board, as
well as the option to order a cooked meal. I thoroughly enjoyed the beef strips, green beans and cherry tomato salad for lunch, which ended with a fresh mango sorbet. Complete each night with a fine-dining experience at the El Prado restaurant where you are served a four-course meal with a select choice of wines.
Test your targeting skills with archery or clay target shooting, or enjoy a game drive to take in giraffe, various antelope, zebra and the prolific birdlife. The scenic mountains are pure soul food and enrich your Pakamisa experience. Whatever your choice of adventure or relaxation, you’re constantly reminded of the remoteness and exclusivity of your environment. If you can bear to leave the lodge, excursions outside the game reserve can also be arranged.
For more information call 034-413-3559 or 083 229 2116, or visit www.pakamisa.co.za.