Destination Legacy: Unwind at these 3 luxury bush lodges in the Pilanesberg

This year has been particularly stressful for the inhabitants of planet Earth. The pandemic has largely restricted our movement, and the lockdown has put many lives on hold.

With the easing of travel restriction and many international destinations closed to us, this is the perfect opportunity to explore the beauty South Africa has to offer.

If you’re planning a trip, you simply cannot go wrong with the Pilanesberg; the area is truly the jewel of the North West province, giving visitors access to the best the province has to offer.

I had the pleasure of spending a few nights in Pilanesberg: Overnight stays at the Bakubung Bush Lodge and Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, with a day-visit to the Tshukudu Bush Lodge as well.

Bakubung Spa. Photo: Cheryl Kahla

It was breathtakingly beautiful and just the thing I needed ten months into the year that shall not be named. Game Drives were included and we saw four of the Big Five before breakfast.

Bakubung Bush Lodge

Legacy Hotels promises that Bakubung Bush Lodge “will bring you closer to the splendour and beauty of the African bush” in a Malaria-free area. They’re not lying and you won’t be disappointed.

Bakubung, or “People of the Hippo”, has everything you might need: from cosy nooks to a number of bars, accessible pools and a restaurant. The rooms are spacious and Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.

The lodge has state-of-the-art conference facilities with everything you could possibly require for a business trip, including a mobile charging station. There are different conference packages to suit all needs.

Bakubung Bush Lodge Bar. Photo: Cheryl Kahla

Visitors can unwind at the Legacy Balance Spa and enjoy its many treatments. I was treated to a BABOR Skin Balancing facial and quite frankly, my life prior to the treatment just doesn’t make sense anymore.

We departed just after 5:00 for a game drive and were treated with amazing wildlife sights: Rhino, hippos, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, a variety of buck. We even caught a glimpse of lions lazing under the trees.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see the leopard, but the sly cat, as expected, made an appearance one day after we left and was spotted by rangers. They sent photos, so I’ll forgive the leopard.

Tshukudu Bush Lodge

Privacy, luxurious spoils and dassies right on your doorstop are just some of the reasons you should consider booking in at the Tsukudu Bush Lodge in the Pilanesberg.

Tshukudu Bush Lodge is one of Pilanesberg’s most renowned — and romantic — hideouts. Each chalet offers a sunken bath, outdoor shower and private plunge pool.

Tshukudu Bush Lodge, lounge and deck. Photo: Cheryl Kahla

You will be treated to incredible views of a waterhole and expansive plain; we saw Amarula, South Africa’s most famous elephant. Amarula is known for pushing over vehicles back in the eighties.

Now almost fifty years old, Amarula spends his days grazing in the plains below. It’s easy to spot him; Amarula has no tail. He is a magnificent beast with beautiful tusks, currently the oldest elephant in the park.

Tshukudu Lodge, view from the deck. Photo: Cheryl Kahla

Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge

Just a two-hour drive from Johannesburg, Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge is an excellent choice for a quick weekend getaway or even a longer family holiday.

Tshukudu Suite, private deck. Photo: Cheryl Kahla

Nestled on the slopes of an ancient volcano, Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge is a four-star, 90-room resort ideal for holidaymakers looking for an easy, comfortable stay with a host of on-site amenities. It’s suitable for everyone, from honeymooners to families.

The Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge showcases the natural beauty and rich wildlife that South Africa is known for worldwide.

It has all the amenities you expect from the Legacy experience while still offering an opportunity to enjoy a break from the fast-paced city life.

Rooms at Kwa Maritane. Photo: Cheryl Kahla

The Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge offers visitors game drives and bush walks. It is child-friendly and visitors will have access to free Wi-Fi during their stay if they suffer social media withdrawal symptoms.

Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, one of the many pool areas. Photo: Cheryl Kahla

Visitors can dine at the Kwa Lefikeng Restaurant, which hosts a Fisherman’s Catch seafood evening on Fridays and a spit Braai for Sunday lunch.

On Wednesdays, the Kwa Maritane Bomas offer the opportunity to “dine to the sound of traditional entertainment, and feast on a wide selection of local flame-grilled cuisine.”

Kwa Maritane spa. Photo: Cheryl Kahla