Our Latest Pride and Jabulani Joy, Villa Somopane

by jabulanisafari

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It wasn’t easy to find a name for this new addition to our lodge, but once the name came to us, we knew it was just right. Elephant bull, Somopane gives the Jabulani herd a sense of peace and stability throughout the day and night, mentoring young ones, protecting his family, calming the riled up bulls, echoing stoic certainty that you know you can always rely on. He is the oracle in the herd. And like the bull it is named after, Villa Somopane is just that, in atmosphere and sentiment. It’s a feeling you get as you walk along the bridge over the water and arrive at its sturdy welcoming front door. As you enter the airiness of this nature hideaway, and settle into the earthy textures all around you. As Somopane watches the wildlife at the dam, and keeps an eye on them and his herd, so can you look out over the buffalo that visit the muddy wallow outside your window, and rest by the pool, with visits from wandering antelope and monkeys.

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An earthy welcome

Lodge manager, Ruan was integral to the building of the new villa and shares his insight below:

“We needed a place where Mom, Dad and their two kids could comfortably stay, which Villa Somopane provides with two separate bedrooms. It’s bigger than a suite, but smaller than the three-bedroom Zindoga Villa. It was quite an undertaking. Construction started on 5 May 2023, when we began laying the foundation, and the villa opened on 1 November 2023. Seeing to the design were lodge owner, Adine and Gert Gertzen of GC Gertzen Interiors, a family friend, who helped with the main lodge design years back. The setting we chose for Villa Somopane is away from the main lodge but still accessible. We wanted to have as little impact on the ecosystem as possible, so we did not remove any trees. The setting has a natural waterhole on one side, which we kept as quite a lot of animals like rhino and buffalo move through there. There is a  beautiful view of the river on the other side. The setting was a nice open area already so we had no impact on any existing trees and bush.

“We designed it out of brick, while the ceiling is made from reeds, with tiles on top, which is different to rest of the lodge design. We wanted something more individual, like elephant bull Somopane who we named the villa after. The bridge that leads to the villa runs over a natural wetland. We will direct recycled water into it in the winter months. We utilised trees that had fallen over in the reserve in the building of the villa, such as leadwood for the centre feature and for the fireplace design. It’s a good strong and enduring wood. The electric fence around the edges is very low, so that it doesn’t obstruct the view but still deters wild animals from approaching. The wilderness breathes life all around you, with the swimming pool beautifully placed for watching visiting wildlife at the waterhole or monkeys and nyala moving through the trees.”

Villa Somopane offers personalised attention and service, with a private ranger and vehicle, private plunge pool (with heating functionality) and a large wooden deck for enjoying those morning coffees and evening drinks on, as well as a separate shared lounge area, traditional fireplace. Bathe in either the freestanding bath or semi-outdoor shower, and enjoy the privilege of double vanity basins and locally-made luxury amenities. Find your next treat and drink in the fully stocked mini-bar, or make something warm with the provided tea and coffee facilities or Nespresso machine. A fan and air-conditioning help keep you cool on hot bush days. Complimentary room-service and Wi-Fi are there to keep you connected and content.

Gather for joyful moments with your loved ones in the shared living space.
You can dine in the cosiness and privacy of the villa or join us in the Main Lodge for meals. 
Villa Somopane welcomes up to four guests, with two spacious suites to accompany two guests sharing. Choose between a king-size bed or twin bedding.
Soak off the day in your suite’s inviting freestanding bath, or semi-outdoor shower with views through the vegetation outside. 
Your stay at Villa Somopane is made ever more special with personalised service in the form of a private ranger and vehicle

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