The first PCO Alliance Network site inspection for 2020 was hosted this week by AHA Hotels and Resorts. On Sunday 26 January we began our journey at Makalali Private Game Reserve in Limpopo. The camps are split into Main camp for larger groups and the River Camps for smaller more intimate groups and meetings. All camps are beautifully appointed with rim flow pools which have spectacular bush views. The public areas are calm and relaxing, which coupled with the friendly staff and food offerings make for a fabulous stay. We loved our game drive with the knowledgeable rangers and close encounters with elephants! Thank you to all at Makalali who were most welcoming and ensured we had a wonderful time!

The second day of our AHA Hotels and Resorts site inspections took us to Nkambeni camp and Mdluli Safari Lodge, which are both situated near the Numbi gate, Kruger National Park. Nkambeni is a large scale tented camp which offers big groups a true African Safari ‘glamping” experience at very reasonable rates. A full service restaurant provides the most delicious meals and the head Chef offers cooking demonstrations to groups in the Boma. Her recipe book is a sought after possession.

Mdluli Safari lodge is a 5 star luxury tented camp which exudes understated elegance. The glamourous tents all have private views into the bush and the service and cuisine are superb.

It is the story of one man’s vision, namely Chief Mdluli and is the first area to be reclaimed in the KNP . It has been built with the purpose of sustainability and improving the lives of the Mdluli Community, who received direct financial, social and economic benefit from each guest’s stay.

The tribes were relocated in the 1960’s to 4 villages adjacent to the KNP.

Nkambeni and Mdluli are partly owned by these surrounding communities and all employees are directly sourced from them. Bothe camps welcome guests with traditional singing and dances and guests are made to feel so special. The feeling of pride and inclusion is palpable. The game viewing experience was wonderful with excellent sightings of elephants showering themselves with red earth, a family herd of buffalo and a lone Leopard. A huge thanks you to all the staff at Nkambeni camp and Mdluli Safari lodge.

The final site inspection was Casa Do Sol on day three. Aha Casa Do Sol Hazyview is 50+ years old and is set in a haven of tranquillity. It has remained an evergreen favourite for corporates and leisure groups and visitors alike. It has undergone a refurbishment but retains its “village like” atmosphere. It is also situated next door to Elephant Whispers, which is a unique property with close up elephant interaction.

A very big thank you to aha Hotels and Resorts for a wonderful 4 days of experiencing these unique and beautiful properties.