The entire lodge has been designed to optimize your game viewing, with a very large wooden viewing deck and an open plan lodge interior with views of the lake. Even the swimming pool is on the lake’s edge, so guests can enjoy a swim, cocktail, and game viewing all from one place.
Chitwa Chitwa makes use of only the most experienced game rangers and Shangaan trackers. It is very exciting to watch the trackers employ all their senses to find the animals as the game ranger educates you about the bush and its inhabitants.
About the lodge
The suites at Chitwa Chitwa all have their own wooden viewing decks and private plunge pools that overlook the lake and the bush. The suites are very spacious and opulently decorated with all the modern amenities of a 5 Star lodge. Even the bathrooms have glass walls, so you can do some game viewing in the shower or bath.
Chitwa Chitwa is very romantic but also serves family needs well with optional inter-leading rooms. The food at Chitwa Chitwa is a delicious fusion between African and Mediterranean cuisine, and the service is 5 Star.
Chitwa Chitwa offers a 3-hour game drive in the early morning and another 3-hour game drive late afternoon. 3 Hours is just an estimate as the game drives can be extended or shortened depending on the game being viewed and how the guests feel. Please take note that it can get quite cold on the game drives (especially in the early mornings) so make sure to pack something warm.
Bush walks are complimentary at Chitwa Chitwa and make for a wonderful experience. Not only do you get up close and personal with the animals and nature, but you also get to see the smaller things you may miss on a game drive. Bush walks are leisurely paced, with very regular stops, so that the game ranger can teach you something interesting about your surroundings.
Cultural Tours and local village tours can also be arranged by the Chitwa Chitwa staff.[/tab]
The Safari Guide Africa team visited Chitwa Chitwa and caught up with veteran Game Ranger Hali Mnisi to ask him a few questions, and to get an insider’s look into his world.
Hali Mnisi is an experienced and enthusiastic Game Ranger at the luxury Chitwa Chitwa lodge. Hali started out as a Shangaan tracker in 1997. In 1999 he became a Game Ranger and has been sharing his knowledge with guests ever since. Having been a tracker himself, Hali begins by telling us about the important role that trackers play on safari: Trackers are there to find the animals. Rangers need to drive, focus on the road, talk on the radio and talk to the guests. This means that the Ranger has little or no time to track the animals: That is where the Trackers come in. Trackers sit on the front of the vehicle and use all their sense and experience to locate the animals; especially the predators.
The Safari Guide Africa team noticed how our tracker at Chitwa Chitwa used his sight, smell and hearing to track a leopard. Spotting the leopard was extremely exciting, but watching the how the tracker went about finding it was equally thrilling.
Hali also tells us that Shangaan trackers are specialists in their own way: Nature is part of their lives and culture, and years of knowledge and experience gets passed down from one generation to the next. Hali has four sons and is currently teaching his oldest son (who is 16 years old) about the animals and plants. Hali says he would be proud of his son were to become a ranger, as it is a fulfilling career. Hali carried his passion and knowledge over to his younger brother Simon, who also became a Game Ranger.
The Safari Guide Africa Team continued to ask Hali a few more questions:
Safari Guide Africa: What is your favorite thing about living in the bush?
Hali: I like waking up in the mornings and to look outside to see what type of animal activity went on outside of my house. I can read the signs and understand what happened while I was sleeping.
Safari Guide Africa: What is the best part about your job as a Ranger?
Hali: Sharing information with people. I like teaching people about wildlife. I can see it makes them happy to learn, and that makes me happy.
Safari Guide Africa: Which do you prefer: Game drive or bushwalks?
Hali: Definitely bush walks. You miss out on the smaller things when you drive. When you go on a walk you still get to see animals, but you also learn about other things such as birds, insects, and plants. You also learn a bit about tracking and bush survival. Walks in the winter are best because it is not too hot, and the bush isn’t too thick.
Safari Guide Africa: Is there anything in particular that you really like about the bush?
Hali: I love finding Bush Babies in their nest during the day. You don’t get to see them often even at night, so seeing them in the day is quite special.
Safari Guide Africa: What is your favorite thing about the Sabi Sand Game Reserve?
Hali: The great variety of game and the dense leopard population.
Safari Guide Africa: What is your favorite thing about working at Chitwa Chitwa?
Hali: The area surrounding Chitwa Chitwa has some of the best Cheetah and Wild dog sightings, which is very rare in other parts. Chitwa Chitwa also has about 15 permanent hippos in the lake in front of the lodge, and I enjoy watching them and listening to the noises they make.
Safari Guide Africa: Lastly, just for fun, tell us which animal is your favorite?
Hali: The Kudu Bull. I think it is the most beautiful and graceful animal in the bush.