Waking up to the golden glow of the sunrise over the African bush, while listening to the incessant chatter of the birds and insects must be one of life’s simplest pleasures. Add to that an array of taste bud tantalising food dishes and you have a holiday of dreams. A food safari is a concept I’d never heard of until we had the pleasure of visiting Mpeti Lodge.
Located near Mkuze, just off the N2, Mpeti Lodge is nestled in the midst of the Zululand bushveld. It’s home to a vast variety of wildlife, flora and fauna. Mpeti Lodge is a 3500ha private game reserve owned by sugar cane farmer Charl Senekal and has been newly renovated in modern, yet homely tones. As you take the short dirt road to the lodge, you are already immersed in the relaxed feel of the days ahead of you as you meander through trees with the occasional animal sightings.
Upon arrival at the lodge, you are greeted by the team with welcome drinks and hot cloths to freshen up before being whisked away to your accommodation. As the porters take your luggage, you feel the city stress leave you and the relaxation of the wild greet you.
Heading up the team and managing the lodge are husband and wife Paul and Sam Eaton. Paul is a renowned chef, previously holding down the kitchens at Phinda and most recently Ile Maurice in Umhlanga. He will tantalise your taste buds during your visit with many unique and different dishes. A food safari is a great way to sample fine culinary food while still enjoying the bush experience. The portion sizes are generous and always pleasing to the eye – for some it may even be considered a sin to eat such artwork.
Your days start in your beautiful suite, with the sight of an amazing sunrise over the bush as you sip your coffee on the suite’s private deck. The rooms are tastefully decorated with king size beds, a mini bar fridge and a coffee station. TV is available, but there’s really no need for it with so much else to do. Each room has an en-suite bathroom complete with large bath and shower. There are seven of these suites at the main lodge, and all are strategically placed to ensure absolute privacy from each other.
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