Mention the Kruger Park to anyone and their first thought is more than likely to be one or more of Africa’s fabulous Big Five. Above all else, this vast area within South Africa that spans parts of its Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces is a wildlife sanctuary. It is an area of conservation within which a multitude of species, many of which are endangered or even close to extinction, are able to thrive free from any threat posed elsewhere, both at home and in parts of continental Africa, by urbanisation, deforestation, mineral exploitation, pollution and the unwelcome attention of game hunters.
One only needs to glance at a newspaper or TV broadcast to be aware that poachers now present a new and extremely serious problem. This growing threat has served to add to both the urgency and the cost of maintaining the safe havens that are vital to protecting these creatures that are an integral part our nation’s precious heritage. Government funding and charitable donations provide a much-needed contribution with which to finance these efforts, but without the levies raised from the many thousands who visit our reserves, their survival and the opportunity of future generations to experience the wonder, the beauty and the incredible diversity of these creatures, could not be assured.
Safari lodges in the Kruger Park have thus needed to explore additional ways in which to boost their visitor numbers. One such option that is proving to be very successful has been to extend their traditional role by adding the facilities of a luxury function venue. It is an option that has been particularly appealing to locals, and one that offers them a chance to combine a visit to this iconic wildlife destination with a variety of personal or business events.
Already a popular destination for honeymoon couples, some of the lodges in the reserve have chosen to go a step further, offering couples the option to conduct their marriage service in a picturesque chapel located on the premises. Often, there will also be spa and beauty facilities, at which the bride and others of her entourage are able to enjoy a spot of welcome pampering and put the final touches to hair and make-up for the big event,. Seating for the ceremony and comfortable overnight accommodation for those guests who may require it, as well as catering and hosting the wedding breakfast, all serve to make a Kruger Park wedding a convenient and desirable one-stop option.
It is an option that will not only appeal to newlyweds, however. Where else, in fact, could offer one a better location than one of these luxury function venues, in their magnificent wilderness setting, in which to celebrate any of the major milestones in one’s life? For a silver or golden wedding anniversary, a special birthday or perhaps to celebrate a well-earned retirement, this could be the perfect way to enjoy all the fun, yet with none of the hassles. Just booking it will always beat the job of organising it, whatever the event.
Anyone who may be familiar with the corporate environment will be well aware that conferences and similar business gatherings provide a vital channel through which to communicate and evaluate new ideas, to plan future business strategies, and perhaps to reward the outstanding achievements of employees. Whatever their purpose, it is widely accepted that such events are better able to realise their goals when they are conducted in a location remote from the office and its associated distractions. Increasingly rural settings and, in particular, the many of the country’s wildlife reserves, such as the Kruger National Park, have become a popular choice made possible by a growing number of luxury function venues within these parks that now provide conferencing facilities.
Where business is the order of the day and live entertainment, casinos and golf courses can present even more of a distraction than the working environment; those centres that include the promise of peace and tranquillity in their conferencing facilities are rapidly gaining favour, both with their organisers and their delegates.
Among the more versatile and well-appointed of this growing new breed of wilderness hostelries is Lukimbi Safari Lodge. 5-Star accommodation, fine dining facilities, a gym and a spa offer a means with which to balance business with a chance to relax at the end of day and, of course, once the business is done, to experience the magic of the Kruger Park and its exotic residents.