Overview, trip report, images, and reviews from our visit to Bushtime at Mabula.
“Situated at the foothills of the Waterberg Mountains in a private game reserve, is one of Africa’s hidden secrets. Whether taking a short break or a well-deserved holiday, BushTime at Mabula has it all. Situated at the foothills of the Waterberg mountains, within the 10 000 hectare Mabula Private Game Reserve, this bush resort offers prolific game which includes the “Big 5” and more than 300 recorded bird species.
The accommodation units are located in four separate camps each with its’ own unique setting. “Modjadji” has the bush and wide open plains, “Sunset Hill” has views forever and sunsets that only Africa can offer, while “Bush and Game Lodge” has magnificent views over the plains and distant hills. The chalets have been spaced to maximize privacy and enhance the feeling of being in the wild.
All the units are fully self-catering and range from one-bedroom chalets to six-bedroom bush camps. A mere two hours drive from Johannesburg this malaria-free Reserve will ensure that you leave feeling rejuvenated, with memories of quality time spent with family and friends, having experienced the wonders of the African bushveld.”
Travels with Tshukudu: Bushtime at Mabula Trip Report
Summary of our 7th annual family vacation at Mabula Private Game Reserve (Bushtime at Mabula).
Friday: D-Day! After purchasing the perishable supplies for our trip and running some last-minute errands, we loaded all our gear into our newly acquired vehicle. We, unfortunately, had to sell our trusty Jeep Wrangler, for personal reasons and our transportation of choice is now a Subaru Forester. We were keen and excited to see how it would handle everything we threw at it.
We departed on schedule and experienced light traffic en-route to our destination. Traffic law enforcement was prevalent along the route. We made good time and arrived at the timeshare office reception desk just after 15:00. Check-in went smoothly, as always, and we were soon headed to our family favorite bush house located at Bush Lodge.
By now, unloading and unpacking is a breeze, as this is the 7th time we visited! With everything stowed in its proper place, we relaxed with a cold beverage in hand, awaiting the arrival of the rest of our party. Two of our sons were due to arrive on Friday evening and another would be joining us on Saturday afternoon.
We had set out a cheese board for a light supper and proceeded to tuck in after the arrival of our kids. We spent the evening talking and catching up, before settling in for the night.
Saturday morning found everybody sleeping in, slowly surfacing to a light breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the plain below. Our daily safari drive was scheduled for late afternoon and everybody lazed around until then, after having a superb braai (BBQ) for lunch.
A short hike on foot took us up to the safari drive departing point. The safari vehicles were are already parked and ready for departure. We had a very knowledgeable young guide who enthusiastically shared her passion for nature with us. We were very fortunate and encountered several wildlife species, presenting excellent photo opportunities.
Arriving back at our lodgings, we found that the last of our party had arrived and settled in. Everybody present and accounted for! We spent the evening chatting whilst having a light supper.
Our Sunday safari drive was scheduled in the morning to allow for an early lunch, as our youngest had to return home for work commitments on Monday. We had the same young guide as the day before and were again spoilt for choice with all the animals we encountered.
For lunch, we had customary lemon-butter chicken cooked over the coals after which our youngest departed and everyone else relaxed (read siesta!) until evening.
From Monday onwards, the remainder of the week basically followed this pattern: lazy, relaxed days highlighted by good food, excellent company, and ever-informative safari drives – either early in the morning or late afternoon and even a stargazing/night drive in between! All the safari guides we had were extremely knowledgable in their field and eager to impart their knowledge.
Too soon, Friday morning arrived and we packed and loaded our vehicle for the trip back. It is always a sad affair: packing up and leaving this place… Fortunately, new and lasting memories were made to tide us over until our next visit.
It is such a blessing to spend quality time with our loved ones and create lasting memories. We were extremely privileged to see many animals in their natural habitat, as our numerous photographs will reveal. As always, we discovered new and fascinating facts about our passion: nature!
Never a dull moment when spending time at magical Mabula!