Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Sikumi Where Guests Sleep On Tree-Tops in Africa

Game viewing starts the moment you turn from the highway. A giraffe races besides the dusty road, all legs and neck, yet oddly elegant in its awkwardness. A line of zebra parades across the road in the giraffe's wake, head aligned and stripes merging in flowing motion. From the entrance the road winds through an expanse of lush acacia savannah forest where nimble-footed impala tread warily, through the shadows and outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the tree canopy. Suddenly contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is grassy floodplain and its expansive view westwards stretching across the normally sun-burnt savannah to a shimmering golden horizon at the end of the earth. At the centre of it is a waterhole where large buffalo, zebra and impala herds congregate during the dry season, when it is dry elsewhere, as does the elephant and giraffe.

Overlooking this waterhole are the stunningly built Sikumi Tree Lodge, built of plank, pole and grass thatched with no conventional doors and conventional windows, no window panes, either!
Here people still literally live and sleep on trees. A fine network of game viewing roads follow the Sikumi domain, its seasonal and artificial drinking holes where the spindly-footed impala, shaggy water buck and other antelopes risk their life for a sip of the life-sustaining water.
Elephant have to be continuously driven away from the lodges and this is probably the place where one can get too close to a wild elephant without risking being harmed.

Forming part of the verdant Hwange National Park, Sikumi Tree Lodge is run by Rainbow Tourism Group and is strictly for the bush-loving and outdoor tourist, whose love for nature can easily be quenched!
Here one is treated to nature's exhaustless generosity in the ambience of a truly African environment.
The Sikumi Tree Lodge offers luxurious, affordable accommodation atop Mangwe trees overlooking a waterhole that is very popular among the kaleidoscope of wildlife in the area.
Guests at Sikumi Tree Lodge are housed in thatched wooden tree houses, all en-suite, with comfortable beds, glass-free windows and electric blankets in winter.

 Definitely not your average "Swiss Family Robinson" type of accommodation! Sikumi Tree Lodge offers the choice of bed and breakfast or full board options. The Sikumi Tree Lodge also offers delicious meals in the thatch and stone central bar/lounge, or you can enjoy your meal beneath the shady trees. Meal times at Sikumi Tree Lodge are usually at set times, but if your way back to camp is blocked by an elephant, don't worry too much. Meal times can be arranged according to season or game drives.
A big home-made African drum, (tree trunk and cattle hide type) is beaten to announce meal times.
The outdoor restaurant and bar overlook the waterhole, where you are bound to see animals sauntering closer for a drink. The perimeter of the Sikumi Tree Lodge is discreetly fenced, so the black-maned Kalahari lion visiting the waterhole will not be surprising you on your way to the swimming pool!
The lodge is located in a private game reserve bordering the Hwange National Park with no fence in between. You therefore have the opportunity of viewing game in two reserves, both famous for the large numbers of elephant, leopard, wild dog, lion, giraffe, to name but a few species.Guests can self-drive or take part in a guided drive in an open four-wheel-drive safari vehicle from Sikumi Tree Lodge. Early morning, late afternoon and night game drives are offered at Sikumi Tree Lodge. You can also experience the African bush on guided safari walks. The guides at the Sikumi Tree Lodge are all knowledgeable and very friendly.

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