Spring is sprung, the grass is riz. I wonder where the birdie is.
They say the bird is on the wing. But that’s absurd. The wing is on the bird….
Happy Spring Day to one and all. Despite COVID-19, September 1 heralded both the arrival of Spring, with all the beauty of the flowering plants around the lodge as well as the re-opening of Mabula Game Lodge after 5 months of enforced pandemic lockdown. With all the relevant safety protocols in place, the staff is ecstatic to welcome guests back to the lodge.
To keep interactions at the main reception area to a minimum, the usual check-in forms can be filled in online before arrival and the new Mabula Game Lodge app can be downloaded for both Android and Apple, making this procedure painless for those who do not wish to endure extended face-to-face encounters. All the staff has branded masks that are worn with as much pride as they wear their uniforms. But even with the masks, the passion in their eyes cannot be disguised and the enjoyment of welcoming new arrivals is palpable.
First-time visitors might not realize just how much work has been done to the accommodation, but those who had visited before lockdown expressed their joy at discovering just how radical the changes have been once they opened the room doors.
“It has been a while since I last visited and the renovated rooms are spectacular”. Brian, Johannesburg
For them, the exteriors and pathways are familiar, but the magic occurs once they step into their rooms and if they liked the new living areas of the accommodation, it was most certainly the bathrooms with their ‘space-age’ showers that were the major WOW factor of the refurbishment.
“WOW! The new bathrooms are spectacular. I had to force myself to get out of the shower as I wanted to try all the settings”. Susan, Pretoria
Mabula is making certain that our guests are informed as to what is taking place regarding COVID-19 precautions. Signage both outside and inside the rooms are designed to put minds at rest and keys as well as remote controls are now displayed in linen bags that can be washed and cleaned after every visit.
“With all the proper safety protocols in place, we felt safe in the knowledge that both the staff and the guests were being looked after”. Pieter and Suzette, Cullinan
Although there were field guides that stayed on the property and went out daily inspections, it has been a while since the game viewing vehicles have had guests on board. Having visitors being excited about the incredible sightings as well as being grateful to being outdoors in a safe environment is what currently motivates the guides.
“From the staff at reception to those that we interacted within the dining room to the field guides out on game drives, we were treated like we were visiting royalty”. A family from Randburg
Although September can bring overcast and cold weather, it did not stop the guests from eating in the outdoor area alongside the dining room or from ensconcing themselves near the fire in the reception area.
“The children’s play area is great to help entertain youngsters while parents can relax close by without being stressed”. Michelle, a mom from Krugersdorp.
And it is not just the front-of-house staff and field guides that are glad to be interacting with new arrivals, the behind-the-scenes staff in the kitchen are happy to be showing off their culinary skills once more.
Under the supervision of the Head Chef, those working behind the swinging doors are happy to have guests back in the upgraded dining room. Breakfast. Lunch and dinners are once again finding their way to hungry diners.
“The food and accommodation was well worth the wait for lockdown to be lifted”. Xolani, Soweto
Even with social distancing, they reiterated to guests that after 5 months of only serving the on-site staff, it was wonderful to have ‘new’ faces to serve.
The Spa has also re-opened to the public and judging from the bookings, guests are certainly making use of that facility. Nothing says relaxation like a good treatment session.
“With my husband relaxing at the pool and the children being entertained in the play area, I was able to enjoy a couple of treatments in the Spa.” Ronelle, Magaliesberg.
Watching the faces of arriving guests light up as they exit their vehicles, ecstatic to be back in the bush after months of being in lockdown is priceless