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A Safari Under the Stars in a Luxury Treehouse

A Safari Under the Stars in a Luxury Treehouse

“A distant whooshing sound distracted me from taking in the uninterrupted views of the African bush around me. From above the treetops, I looked down to see the flapping ears of an old bull elephant as he cooled himself alongside a younger male. In awe I watched as he used his huge tusks to snap trees in half as though they were twigs.”

As the sun set after a scorching day in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, the landscape slowly started to come alive with the sounds of night-time’s creatures.

And so, began the ultimate girls’ night – Our safari under the stars!

When I heard that my travel partner and I would be spending the night in Kingston Treehouse at Lion Sands Game Reserve, I was nervous but excited. What if an animal decides he would like us for dinner? What if it rains? What if we’re cold? What then…

Our guide had obviously heard these questions many times before. He reassured us that the Lion Sands River Lodge team were just a radio call away. Should the heavens open, they would simply whisk us back to the Lodge where our rooms were still waiting for us. As for the animals, the treehouse is built above the ground with incredibly special consideration given to the safety of guests.

After a full safety briefing on the features of the treehouse, our guide was off, leaving us with a picnic basket full of goodies, an iPad for stargazing, a two-way radio, and enough G&T to see us through the night (and a few days had we needed it)!

Kingston’s Treehouse is covered, so a rainstorm was a welcome sight after a hot day spent on safari. As the warm water rinsed away the remnants of the day’s adventures, we were once again struck by the beauty of the treehouse’s remote location. Standing in the bathroom, you feel like you are in the most private and secluded spot in Africa.

About halfway through our first G&T, we heard one of our favourite sounds in the bush – the distinctive whoops of hyenas that are synonymous with night-time.

Later in the evening more elephants visited us. We could hear them crunching their way happily through the bush as we enjoyed dinner ‘together’– theirs, a mixture of branches and leaves, and ours, a full 3 course dinner packed into the picnic basket that was fast beginning to seem like Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpet bag.

By the fading light of day, we paid homage to a sunset that literally left us silenced, before the darkness transformed the world into a planetarium! Lying beneath the stars – we counted 7 shooting from heaven – in the dark, with the amplified sounds of the wildlife, this was hands-down one of the rawest and most profound experiences of our lives.

Amazingly the coffee packed for us stayed hot until morning, and as we enjoyed it while watching the sun rise, a cheeky monkey hopped on our table and made off with a sachet of sugar.

We started to tuck into our breakfast snacks, and all too soon our ranger arrived to fetch us. Then it was back to the comfort of our Suite back at Lion Sands River Lodge, with what felt like an award for my night out in Africa tucked into my experience archives forever.

Words by: Michelle Loewenstein
Source: MORE Family Collection

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