Out of Africa

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Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge in Swaziland

Rod de Vletter, I presume?” 

Now here’s something truly extraordinary. Run by Aiglon alum Rod de Vletter and his wife, Lungille, the Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge is situated in a spectacular nature preserve in the mountains of northwest Swaziland, surrounded by dramatic waterfalls and lush natural forests. It’s a favorite destination for discerning travelers and nature lovers seeking a romantic or reinvigorating hideaway in a strikingly beautiful natural setting. The Ecolodge was designed to enhance every guest’s experience exploring the area’s remarkable ecosystem and also to achieve the aims articulated in their motto: “Peace, Privacy, Paradise.”

“The views were immensely wide. Everything that you saw made for greatness and freedom, and unequalled nobility.”
― Karen Blixen, Out of Africa

Accommodations are set in spacious gardens with running streams, ponds, and waterways. Guests have the choice of luxury beehive huts with epic valley views, well-equipped self-catering cottages with large private gardens facing rugged Gobolondo Mountain, or safari tents on decks tucked in the natural forest above the river.

The spacious Driftwood Restaurant offers a diverse menu and extensive list of quality wines. You’ll enjoy fresh, home-cooked meals prepared by an attentive, friendly staff who personify Swazi hospitality and charm.

The Phophonyane Falls Nature Reserve is located within the Barberton Centre of Plant Endemism and protects the rich biodiversity of the increasingly threatened middleveld habitat. In addition to a large number of indigenous plant species, the 600-hectare/1,500-acre reserve is also home to some 240 species of birds and some of the world’s most interesting geological formations.

Walk along magical forested trails and hear the distinctive hoot of a scarlet and emerald feathered narina trogon, the curious whistle of the red duiker, and the bark of an elusive bushbuck. Then rest and breathe the revitalizing air rising from the dramatic Phophonyane waterfalls and cascades that send whitewater tumbling over several kilometers of exposed ancient gneiss, the world’s oldest rock (formed over 3.6 billion years ago).

If an African wildlife safari is on your bucket list, Phophonyane is just 70 km south of Kruger National Park’s Malelane Gate. The Ecolodge is also ideally located for independent travelers (i.e., Aiglonians) wanting to go to eastern Mpumalanga or visit the many attractions of northern KwaZulu-Natal, including iSimangaliso Wetland Park, St. Lucia, Hluhluwe-Mfolozi, Kosi Bay, and Sodwana Bay. 

Bid on two nights plus dinner; beverages and taxes are extra. A trip to Kruger National Wildlife Park (across the border, in South Africa) can be arranged for a supplementary fee. (Advance reservations required)

A minimum bid will be posted on the Bidding for Good auction site when bidding begins.

“This exquisite retreat located in a private nature reserve is one of the very best places to stay in Swaziland, with imaginative accommodation and a beguiling natural ambience.”   
—Bradt Travel Guides