Sitting at the top of many people’s travel bucket lists is a luxury safari adventure. However, this type of dream vacation is shared by so many that it’s sometimes difficult to escape the crowds. The Last Word Kitara Safari Lodge could be the answer, and in this feature, we look at what this outstanding property offers its guests.
With pride of place on the banks of the Klaserie River, the intimate Last Word Kitara safari lodge is the most recent addition to the family-owned Last Word, a collection of five-star hotels in and around Cape Town and the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa.
The Last Word properties combine seamlessly to offer guests the best of South Africa, encompassing safari, wine and fine dining, beaches and vibrant culture.
The serene six-suite Kitara lodge, located in the 60,000-hectare Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, has fenceless access to the world-famous Kruger National Park and free-roaming wildlife.
Formerly a private home, the lodge’s unique location and minimal footprint on a Big Five causeway make it one of the most sought-after addresses in the Greater Kruger for couples, families and private groups to have an authentic slow safari experience. Its presence in the reserve also supports essential community and conservation causes.
Usually reserved for the very private families that have retreated to the pristine wilderness of Klaserie for decades, only a handful of commercial lodges are allowed to operate in Klaserie, meaning you may go a whole day without seeing another vehicle.
A curated selection of game viewing activities allows guests to experience the reserve in ways that mean the most to them. The experiences range from twice-daily drives on private vehicles, walking safaris along a game track or savannah plain, or even the opportunity to actively contribute to South Africa’s wildlife by participating in a K9 anti-poaching interaction or rhino dehorning helicopter flight.
The classic decor style of the lodge, inspired by nature, is imbued with dreamy accents of Africa. Guests can while away an afternoon spotting game from their private patios or from the infinity pool viewing deck overlooking the Klaserie River, a critical water source for antelope, elephants, buffalo, hippo and big cats. And, with a resident pride of no less than 27 lions and frequent leopard sightings, the big cat viewing does not disappoint.
All six suites are extensive at 70m² or 750 square feet, with standalone bathtubs and indoor and outdoor showers. Extra beds are available for children.
The number of vehicles allowed on the reserve is restricted, allowing for a more private experience. Guests at Last Word Kitara will experience an authentic, unrushed safari where they will see the wildlife and learn more about it.
They will see an untouched part of Africa, not surrounded by other tourists, where you can truly feel the gravity of where you are.
Last Word Kitara is also a haven for birdwatchers. The Pied Kingfisher, Southern Carmine Bee-Eater and the Brown-hooded Kingfisher are just a few of the regular bird sightings.
Meanwhile, mealtimes are always a celebration, whether at the main lodge beneath an 800-year-old Jackalberry tree, picnicking out in the African bushveld, over a surprise pancake stop or in the adjacent characterful boma beneath a star-spangled night sky. Kitara’s local chefs are proud to introduce guests to a taste of the vibrant Shangaan culture through special recipes complemented by select paired wines and local dance performances.
Last Word Kitara opened in January 2020, just before the global lockdown and as such, it is still a very new property. A women-led family business, it is Last Word’s simple purpose to make guests happy with impeccable service, kindness, care and generosity.
The lodge is perfect for:
- Multigenerational families
- Exclusive use
- Year-round travel
- Families with children over six years old (Kitara is a year-round destination, with the UK summer holiday being the peak time for safari experiences. February half term is the breeding season with lush scenery and plenty of baby animals, while April and October are also perfect times to visit)
Rates start from £675 per person per night, including all meals, drinks and game viewing activities. For more information, visit www.thelastword.co.za/hotel/kitara.
Luxury accommodation – Three meals daily – Tea/coffee – All beverages such as soft drinks, waters, beers, house wines and local spirits – In-room minibars – Gin stations – Two game drives per day including refreshments and homemade savoury treats – Optional walking safaris (weather dependant)
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