Monday, August 10, 2009

VISIT TO ENTABENI in the WATERBERG

Entabeni Safari Conservancy was our first experience of the Legend Lodges group. It is magnificently located deep in the Waterberg, but still within helicopter range. ( approximately 115 nautical miles from Grand Central) We have been there twice but unfortunately both times before Grant had his PPL so perhaps someone else can provide feedback on the helicopter experience.

There is an airstrip at Entabeni, which is on the upper level of the reserve, between Ravineside and Lakeside Lodges. There is a lot of game in this area with the open plains suiting a variety of antelope, wildebeest and giraffe. The rangers will be standing by for your arrival and try to clear the game !

This resort also has a third party, which operates helicopter flips in the area. One of these is a scenic trip to the top of the Hangklip Mountain for a picnic breakfast or lunch, weather permitting. This is a dramatic setting and would be well worth doing oneself – if permitted on quieter days. The helicopter operation is run from a separate building very near Ravineside Lodge. It is situated right on the edge of a cliff and would make for an interesting confined (see abbreviations). Definitely sounds like fun but make sure that you have a bit of spare power available. They may also have fuel available, but this has not been checked out, so would appreciate any feedback.

We have stayed at both Ravineside and Lakeside Lodges and both have different benefits, but basically access to the same game drives. We preferred Ravineside as the units are very private and built into the cliff. However you need to drive to dinner for your own safety due to predators after dark ! There are phones in the rooms so you could call one of the Rangers to pick you up if necessary. Rooms at Lakeside and Kingfisher Lodges are on the banks of the dam. One is supposed to be able to have a trip on the dam, but the boat was out of service during our visit.

The rates at these various lodges include all meals and game drives. The game drives are very interesting and the Rangers help communicate where to find the big five, but also control a limited number of vehicles per sighting which is rather nice. The trip down the escarpment on a narrow road is really quite an experience. Watch out for lovely Klipspringers on the rocky surrounds. They can also offer a picnic lunch in this gorge, which is very private and beautiful on a fine summer’s day, but can be cold during winter. (ask about this, maybe for an extra charge, as we found they did not make these options that clear on arrival.)

There is also horseriding for all experience levels. We had fun hunting down zebra and giraffe on horseback. Makes a change from leaning out of the landrover!

Overall this is a great African experience within magnificent bushveld terrain. We have heard there are development plans for this reserve, so try to visit soon before it becomes too built up or too exclusive and out of reach for the average person !

Information Summary:

  • Website reference: www.legendlodges.co.za
  • Email: reservations@legendlodges.co.za
  • Reservation & Landing permission: Call (012) 470-5300
  • Coordinates: S24 10.8 E28 36.9
  • 115nm one way
  • We haven't flown this one so feedback on the charter time would be appreciated.
  • Need to route north to Gerotek and then follow the Waterkloof and Wonderboom CTR boundaries until clear.
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1 comment:

Doug said...

Cant understand this one: It is situated right on the edge of a cliff and would make for an interesting confined.
PS Wonderboom met 'n R