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Smoothly sculpted into the nape of the very earth itself, the Earth Lodge is a testament to texture and light—and beautiful living within it. In the heart of Sabi Sand Game Reserve, and stretching unfettered into the glorious Greater Kruger National Park, Sabi Sabi is synonymous with big game—lions, leopards, all things great and small (plus a brisk business in the tall department thanks to a splendidly prolific giraffe community). The Big Five and their friends move freely about this magnificently diverse tranche of Africa. Factor in the wild dogs, cheetahs, and over 300 bird species, it’s a privilege to safari with our friends on such hallowed lands. And so too, further privileges are conveyed chez Sabi Sabi, home to a particularly sophisticated, positively pleasureful style of luxury hospitality. From plunging to sipping, to simply laying back and being (whether in the artful mediation garden or deep in one’s own bubble bath) the Earth Lodge is, in short, a keeper.
From the hidden corridor that leads onto glorious bushveld vista, to the exclusivity of 13 calm, ultra-luxurious suites, Earth Lodge represents a break with the traditional. Favouring artistic innovation, each opulent suite features a private plunge pool, en-suite glass fronted bathroom, indoor and outdoor shower, and magical luxury touches such as beautiful wooden sculptures by renowned South African artist Geoffrey Armstrong. The outdoor boma features walls seductively sculpted from tree roots and the indoor-outdoor dining area overlooks a popular waterhole where, thanks to the thirsty daily trade, you’ll almost never drink alone. Solitude is always available and joyfully curated—in the secluded library, the art gallery, the serenity of the meditation garden, and even in the wine cellar where you may like to select something lovely from the 6000-strong collection then stay for dinner, should the spirit move.
The sensual wilds of the Sabi Sand wilderness beckon and beguile at every turn. In the cool of the dawn when the animals are at large–drinking, strolling, snacking, snoozing and, as is their wont, attacking. In the low light of the afternoon as they stir from their shantytownbers to do it all over again. We observe all their mesmerising hijinks from the breezy spaciousness of our open-roof safari vehicle, and perhaps even on foot with up-close-and-personal walking safari. Afterwards, there’s time for escape to Amani Spa for a soothing treatment, a bit of cardio in the air-conditioned gym or, as the spirit moves us, making a bee-line for the indulgent privacy of our airy luxury suite, where birdsong fills the air and the ancient African bush world lopes on by apace.