Bukela Game Lodge is a 5-star lodge in the Amakhala Game Reserve, Addo Eastern Cape, South Africa. Accommodation at this tranquil luxury game lodge is provided in four suites and ten luxury safari tents, each individually styled in African simplicity while never compromising on luxury.
This secluded safari destination is tucked away into indigenous trees and bushes at the top of a hidden valley and has the perfect setting for the intimate and romantic guest experiences for which we are renowned.
Connected by a wooden walkway, our thatched suites and luxury safari tents offer a remarkable private wildlife -viewing experience. Indulge in sumptuous lunches and private candlelit dinners and as you fall asleep, hear the silence broken by the unmistakable sounds of elephant and buffalo making their stately progress through the unfenced camp.
We offer morning, afternoon and evening Game Drives under the guidance of qualified rangers. It’s our privilege to create moments like these, and to share them with you. Our lodge may also be booked exclusively as a restful and beautiful venue for small team-building, conferences and weddings.
LUXURY SAFARI TENT
Our large luxury safari tents are one bedroom and have all the modern conveniences, including full en-suite bathrooms, air conditioners, electric blankets and a minibar. It also offers an open-plan lounge and viewing decks over-looking the African bush.
Bukela’s Luxury Safari Tents offer a memorable tented safari experience without compromising on luxury or comfort. Our large tents have all the modern conveniences including full en-suite bathrooms, air conditioners, electric blankets and minibar.
At the same time, our guests can experience the wonder of being in a tent in the African bush, and feel the immediacy of the surrounding landscape. The safari tent has an expansive open-plan lounge with couch and armchairs, with a minibar and tea-coffee facilities, and opens on two sides onto the viewing deck.
The tents are set on a raised wooden platform, and have wraparound viewing decks, providing panoramic views over the top of the valley. From the comfort of these viewing decks, guests can spot the elephant, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, buck, warthog, zebra and other wildlife that frequent the camp. The main deck is perfect for sunbathing and a memorable private sundowner experience.
LUXURY KING SUITE
This suite has a large king size bed and all the amenities required to ensure comfort throughout your stay. Our large 4-poster bed can turn your stay into something truly luxurious and romantic – perfect for honeymooners or any special occasion.
The four thatched suites are each individually styled in African simplicity while never compromising on luxury. Each suite sleeps 2 guests and is a world of its own, separated from the main lodge by wooden walkways and indigenous bush.
Each suite is well appointed for guests’ optimal comfort with every amenity, including large, en-suite bathrooms overlooking the African bush, an indoor and outdoor shower for the more adventurous, air conditioning, private wooden deck, bar fridge and hot drink amenities.
As part of your stay enjoy a tranquil cruise down the winding Bushman’s river that can be organized on request as part of your game drive.
Enjoy a sundowner with snacks where you may catch a glimpse of a timid bush buck and birdlife along the riverine forest. The river cruise affords the best opportunity of viewing the rare African Finfoot as well as the less rare but more majestic Fish Eagle.
Take your safari experience to a whole new level. Indulge in 5-star luxury living by booking an invigorating massage while staying with us. Our spa therapist is eagerly waiting to transport you to the land of relaxation.
THE SAFARI EXPERIENCE
Guests are greeted on arrival at Bukela with refreshing hand towels and served drinks on the pool deck overlooking a waterhole frequented regularly by a herd of elephants.
- Afternoon/Evening Game Drives: Bottled water, beverages and light snacks such as biltong are provided en route and the vehicle will stop in order for guests to alight and enjoy a sundowner at sunset. The duration of a game drive is usually 3 hours depending on the amount of time spent stationary while viewing game.
- Dinner: A selection of salads and/or hot vegetables, meat (chicken, beef, ostrich, venison or even fish) or a selection of dishes may be offered to suit your palate. Please feel free to chat to our hosts about any dietary requirements. After enjoying dinner guests are invited to socialise until the small hours of the morning or to retire to the comfort and luxury of their suite. Whatever the preference, they will awaken to the chorus of an African dawn and ready for another day of adventure!
- Morning Game Drive: Guests are served coffee, tea and cereals, fruits, yoghurt, rusks in the main lodge half an hour before the game drive commences. Game rangers will halt whenever requested and share their expertise with guests. Game rangers will also stop and allow guests to alight from the vehicle for a steaming cup of coffee which is traditionally enjoyed with rusks.
- Brunch: On returning from the morning game drive, guests have 30 minutes at their disposal to freshen up before brunch is served. Breakfast/brunch is served with a choice of fresh fruit as well as sweet pastries, toast and jams. Bukela’s talented chef will cook up a delicious breakfast.After brunch guests are welcome to relax at the refreshing pool or enjoy a nap after the excitement of the game drive, depending on their preference. We ensure that guests have enough time to relax and we strive to accommodate every need. Massage treatments can be organised in the comfort of their own room.
- Archery: One of our qualified rangers will show you how to use a bow and arrow and then test your skills and accuracy in a wild archery contest. Snacks and drinks will be supplied.
- Night Drives: A ranger will take you on a drive at approximately 21h00 in order for you to view nocturnal animals, you will never see in daylight. Take home precious memories of one of the most amazing experiences of Game viewing under the beautiful African stars.
- Wilderness Walk: (16 years and older): A qualified ranger will take you for a walk in the game reserve where the possibility of seeing the big 5 is high, this is a 2-3-hour educational walk. Booking is required a day in advance, and need a minimum of 2 guests.
- Birding Safari: A 2-hour game drive, for the die heard birders, where the birds are more likely to be seen. This will afford you the best opportunity for viewing the rare Finfoot as well as the less rare but more majestic Fish Eagle, Knysna Woodpecker, Narina Trogon, and the Pale Chanting Gosshawk as well as various other species of birds may also be viewed. Snacks and drinks will be supplied.
- Spa Therapist: For total relaxation enjoy a rejuvenating spa treatment in the comfort of your own room or balcony – room service is also available for drinks/ smoothies.
- Star Gazing: A qualified ranger with expert knowledge of star constellations takes you out to a safe and dark area on the reserve, not too far from the lodge and shows you what the constellations look like in our beautiful Southern Hemisphere.
The Amakhala Game Reserve is surrounded by areas of historical and cultural interest. We would be pleased to assist or to recommend tour operators for day excursions in the area should guests require this.
This 1820 Settler city is only 20 minutes drive from Bukela Game Lodge. The city is situated at the center of “Frontier Country” and it takes pride in its cultural and educational heritage.
Beautifully restored and preserved historical buildings line the streets and it is here that you will find the 1820 Settlers Monument erected to commemorate contributions made by the British settlers who settled in the area.
The Albany Museum is 150 years old and well worth a visit should you enjoy History and Natural Science. The world renowned Grahamstown Rhodes University with its picturesque campus hosts the National Arts Festival in July of every year which attracts visitors from far and wide. Guests will find cinemas, restaurants, craft shops and shopping centres in this picturesque city.
Alexandria is 36 km’s away and as such is the closest town to Bukela Game Lodge and convenient should guests need to purchase anything the lodge cannot provide during their stay. Guests will find a pharmacy, fuel station and small convenience store located here.
BATHURST, PORT ALFRED & KENTON ON SEA
The route from Bukela Game Lodge to Port Alfred via Grahamstown is a 120 kilometer scenic meander which will take the visitor through the quaint settler village of Bathurst. The historic village houses the area’s oldest pub as well as a variety of craft shops.
The route will take visitors through the pineapple farming district to the scenic coastal town of Port Alfred. Beautiful beaches make Port Alfred a popular holiday destination both nationally and internationally.
Situated on the Kowie river mouth and with a navigable waterway, Port Alfred is popular amongst boating enthusiasts and canoes and boats may be hired here.
Alternatively, a game of golf may be enjoyed at the Royal Port Alfred Club and there are also two world-renowned health hydros should visitors require some pampering. Spend the day fishing or antique hunting, or feast on fresh oysters at one of the restaurants on the bay.
25 km’s from Port Alfred you will find the seaside village of Kenton-on-Sea which is situated between 2 tidal rivers namely the Kariega and Bushman rivers. Whales are spotted regularly here from April to December. Tours to adjacent Xhosa townships which include a traditional meal in a township home can be organized in advance.
Port Elizabeth overlooks Algoa Bay and is known as the “Friendly City”. The city dates back to the arrival by sea of 4000 British settlers in 1820 and the province is also famous for having been the birth place of Nelson Mandela, humanitarian and former president of South Africa.
There are many activities on offer in Port Elizabeth including whale watching excursions, historical attractions, craft markets, boutiques and shopping malls, gambling, theatre and live cabaret, pubs, restaurants and late night music spots.
Port Elizabeth’s Oceanarium, Bayworld, is situated on the beach front and offers live dolphin and seal displays, a snake park and a natural and cultural museum.
The rugged coastlines of St Francis, Algoa Bay and Port Alfred hide reefs of incomparable beauty for the diving enthusiast. Shipwrecks, fish and coral may be enjoyed and shark diving excursions may be arranged for the more adventurous.
The internationally renowned Humewood, Royal Port Alfred and Fish River Sun golf courses are all within an hours drive from Bukela Game Lodge. Please enquire as to availability of a game at a club well in advance.
The Eastern Cape is also rich in Archaeology and Palaeontology. During the last century the first Stegosaur Skeleton was documented in South Africa, less than a kilometre from the Amakhala Game Reserve.
The Krantz formations along the Bushmans River in the reserve represent a cross section of time extending back 800 million years and there are various interesting fossils, which lie exposed on and around the reserve.
Since 2013, over 5000 rhinos have been lost to criminal poaching in South Africa. Although many rhinos are lost in Kruger National Park, smaller game reserves like Amakhala are also at serious risk to poaching unless rhino monitoring programs and other security measures are implemented and maintained.
A Conservation Levy is now deemed essential to assist in the significant costs associated with our multi-layered anti-poaching measures on Amakhala Game Reserve. The Conservation Levy will primarily fund the anti-poaching units and a dedicated rhino monitoring program to preserve and protect the rhinos of Amakhala Game Reserve.
In addition, a percentage of the levy will be administered by the Amakhala Foundation to continue with and expand our award winning Conservation Education Programs. In 2017, over 2000 school children from local communities visited the Amakhala Conservation Centre to learn about wildlife conservation and sustainability for future generations.
Amakhala Game Reserve continues to provide an excellent example of how communities can convert agricultural land for conservation purposes while promoting a viable tourism economy. Protecting the rhinos is a key factor in the ongoing success and sustainability of this initiative.