Lalibela Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape has used the national lockdown as an opportunity to completely rebuild its five-star Kichaka Lodge.
“No effort or expense was spared during the recreation of the new Kichaka. The owners wanted a five-star lodge that competes with the very best in the country in terms of facilities, décor and finishes. The only positive thing about the COVID lockdown is that we had more time to do a complete and thorough rebuild at Kichaka instead of just a quick refurb,” said Lalibela GM, Rob Gradwell.
The main lodge building has been completely transformed and now features a cocktail bar and sitting area that open up on to a viewing deck overlooking a watering hole. A large dining room and outdoor deck area offer ample dining space, and the upstairs library has been enlarged.
The 10 suites have kept the same footprint as before but the interiors have been completely rebuilt and decorated to match the style of the main lodge. The private plunge pools are now all heated and outdoor showers remain a feature of the private decks.
New additions to the lodge include a gym and spa. The spa, built with natural stone and thatch, boasts floor-to-ceiling windows allowing guests to view the nearby hippo hollow. It includes a general treatment room, a sauna, a steam room and a couples’ treatment room.
Bruce Deneys, who markets Lalibela to the travel trade, said: “This new Kichaka really makes my job easy. It has to be one of the premier lodges in the Eastern Cape right now. With rates that are 40%-50% lower than other Eastern Cape five-star properties, the value proposition that Kichaka offers will ensure significant uptake from the trade.”