I left the Midlands at the bleak end of winter, searching for some warmth further North. Even the landscape becomes warmer, with a unique grapefruit hue, from the grass, to the succulents, to the sunset. It is good to unfurl my pasty toes at the infinity pool deck at Isibindi Zulu Lodge. The views are forever, and I had forgotten how beautiful is this natural landscape, and how uniquely African. A pair of giraffe glide past in the valley below.
I collect a drink from the honesty bar, where the open lounge receives the full setting sun, highlighting the trendy new local fabrics of the cushions and Nguni cow hide chair covers.
It is soon dusk and the bushveld comes alive. I spot a pair of dark blue Loeries settling in to roost. A large something, a baboon perhaps, is unhappy and growls its malcontent. A Francolin wife yells her shrill “I told you! I told you! I told you!” at her long suffering mate. Their squabbling makes me strangely content and I feel a homecoming like no other when I am here at this uniquely African lodge.
There is a satisfying circularity to the idea of leaving home to come home to oneself. This is the mysterious nature of travel to a characterful stay which connects us with our environment and true self in fresh and inspiring ways.
Review by Characterstays (www.characterstay.blogspot.com)