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2017 – A year in review

Posted by Justine


Every year I write a little overview of what happened at the Lodge. I must say that 2017 was a very busy year for us at the Lodge, it absolutely flew by! I am still struggling to grasp the fact that it is almost 2018! We had some amazing wildlife sightings this year (even had Elephants visiting the Lodge) , hosted a magnificent wedding, gave our old Land Cruizer a facelift and overall it was a great 2017.

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I will most definitely be posting more on this blog in 2018 as our Staff compliment

has also grown. It has also been a rather hot summer so far with temperatures reaching the high 30 degrees Celsius on more than couple of occasions. We are looking forward to ending 2017 in a magnificent bush setting for our guests!

Vuyani Safari Lodge has BIG plans for 2018 and we are ever growing and ever striving to deliver our best.


Cruzer 1

jock 2

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Checking In?

Posted by Justine


Some excitement the past three weeks, the Ellies seem to have taken a liking to Vuyani Safari Lodge and in particular the swimming pool IMG_8404


Bernard usually writes his blog about Safari's and wildlife, but I could not pass this opportunity to share our super cool photos!



We have now observed them drinking from the pool, waiting for our new guests to check in, making sure the rooms and pathways are up to standard, and even posing in front of the Vuyani Safari Lodge sign.



But pictures speak louder than words! enjoy the collection here taken by: Myself, Craig Carnaby, Tayla Godrich, Yzani Bakkes and Kalmay Hart. How lucky are we?


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Chef Amu’s Fast Forward Chicken Pie

Posted by Justine



Each Chef has their own special way of preparing a dish. A while back I posted a Blog on Chef Vusi's Chicken Pie as he specifically likes to make small individual pies for the guests.

Yesterday, Chef Amu made a stunning Chicken Pie and I decided to share the recipe, as it is a little different from Chef Vusi's and is prepared in one large dish, which can be decorated in so many ways!

I have tried to adapt this recipe to about 6 people as Amu's is for 24 people


Amu has a quick & foolproof recipe for busy days!

1 Kg Chicken Breast or Thighs cubed

A punnet of White button or Portobello Mushrooms (Portobello has a much earthier tone)

Béchamel Sauce (Depending on how moist you prefer your filling)

About 4 tablespoons of Chicken Stock

You can add any veggies you like I.e. carrots, peas, patty pan squashes or even zucchini.

A handful of fresh basil leaves (or any herb you fancy)

A decent sized sheet of Puff Pastry


Brown the Chicken cubes in some olive oil and set aside. Fry the mushroom and your veggies of choice in the same saucepan and add the chicken. Do not overcook this, as it will still bake and soften in the oven.

Chop the basil and to the mixture with your Chicken stock, lastly add the Béchamel sauce and seasoning to taste.

Put your filling in a baking /oven dish and cover with Puff Pastry, egg wash the pastryimage1, to give it that delicious golden colour.

Bake in a 180 Degree pre- heated oven for about 30 to 40 minutes depending on how crunchy your pastry preference is.

This is a very simple, easy and fast dish to prepare (perfect for the cold in winter and those long days when you don't have time to cook a multiple dish supper)

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From the Vuyani Kitchen…

Posted by Justine

I recently posted a photo of Chef Vusi with a Corn Salad that he had made for lunch on our Facebook page I wanted to share this easy, quick and delicious recipe with you. Perfect for a lunch on the go or a side dish at a barbeque. You can decide on the amounts, depending on your guests. FullSizeRender
What you will need:
Red Kidney Beans
Butter Beans
Corn on the Cob (alternatively you can use frozen corn)
Some Cherry Tomatoes
Red & Green Bell Peppers
Feta Cheese
Some Parsley for Garnish, alternatively (if you love Basil as much as I do) some chopped Basil.

How to Assemble:
Dice the Onion and Peppers quite fine and fry in a bit of Olive Oil, add the Corn. Let this cool a little so the tomatoes don’t become too soft
Halve the Cherry Tomatoes (or keep whole) if you are using Butterbeans/Kidney beans in a tin, drain the water
Mix all the ingredients together, add the Feta and season to taste. You can also add a nice Vinaigrette and serve this salad cold or warm.
This Salad is quick, easy and absolutely delicious.
Happy Cooking
The Vuyani Safari Lodge Chefs

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Vintage Vuyani…

Posted by Justine

Vuyani Safari Lodge recently obtained two magnificent Vintage vehicles that have been restored to their former glory. Our General Manager, Craig Carnaby has done a little write up on each of these classics, our Guests will now have the option to spend some time with these magnificent automobiles.



Go back in time and take a trip in our Classic Chevrolet Fleetmaster, the vehicle is a 1947 model making it 70 years old and was the Mayor of Cape town’s first car which he owned for a period of 10 years. We Purchased the vehicle in 2015 and it has been restored over a period of 1 year.18033838_1710376695655886_3611793234079022142_n
Join our driver and depart the lodge on a leisurely tour to a small shopping village at the base of the Drakensburg mountains. Here you will have time to do some shopping and the option of looking around a classic car museum at the facility. There is also a silk farm where you can learn about how these products are manufactured.
After this, enjoy lunch under the trees and then return to the lodge for the Afternoon safari.




Hello……my name is “Jock “and I am named after Sir Percy Fitzpatrick’s fearless terrier who used to roam these very areas in the 1880s.
I am 51 years old and therefore a classic. I was produced in 1963 - 1967 as a Landrover series 2 SWB, who has been lovingly restored to my original condition and I now look as good as my brother did in his heyday, when he starred in the very famous the movie “Born free”.jock 2
Let me take you back to a time preceding the modern safari lodge era, as I transport you to a picturesque location on the reserve. Once there we will relax and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch under the trees while lounging on rugs and pillows I have brought along.
If you like you can also have your picture taken with me, I prefer black and white, then print it and display it on your wall as a memory of our time we spent together in wild Africa. Thereafter we will then take a slow drive to get you back in time for the evening safari.


**Written by Craig Carnaby


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Vuyani travels to Cali…

Posted by Justine

Jennifer McCready

In February 2016 we had the privilege to meet Jennifer MacCready. She was visiting with friends of hers who had been to Vuyani Safari Lodge before, Lisa and Cameron Walsmith.
Jennifer immediately got on with the staff like a house on fire  and we absolutely LOVED having her as a guest at the lodge. We laughed until our tummy’s ached! DSCN6345
We were absolutely thrilled when Jennifer booked to stay with us once again in August 2016 with her friend Elaine 
Jennifer was set for a return visit to the lodge in 2017 but unfortunately had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. So hopefully it will all be resolved soon and we will once again host you at the lodge.
Jennifer loved Vuyani Safari Lodge so much that she told us she was going to make it her license plate once she had returned to the United States  And true to her word – She did! How amazing is that? She sent us a photo and I thought I would share.
We would love to host you at the lodge again very soon Jennifer!

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Paradise on our doorstep….

Posted by Justine


As a staff member we often take for granted how lucky we are to live here.
Paul recently took guests on the Panorama route and he took the lodge camera with him, when he returned and I looked at the photos, I was in complete awe! We truly are very lucky to live in such a beautiful country.
We have also had some amazing rains and everything is so lush and green! The waterfalls are filled to the brim. Paul took some photos at Lisbon & Berlin Waterfalls. These are only two of the many stops on this amazing sightseeing day. DSCN2309


He also snapped some pics at Bourke’s Luck potholes, this is one of the stops where you can actually walk right up to the potholes  they have made little walkways, so the photographic opportunities are fantastic.
Unfortunately the day was a little bit hazy so there were no decent photos of the Three Rondawels or God’s Window. But I can vouch that these are both absolutely breathtaking! If you are interested in seeing a bit of the countryside whilst visiting Vuyani Safari Lodge – then the Panorama Route is a must.


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Make a Memory ….

Posted by Justine

IMG_569820150318_204718_LLS_resizedLove Boma

I thought it fitting to write about making memories in the month of February, also known as the month of LOVE.
At Vuyani Safari Lodge we can custom organize any occasion for you and that special someone. It could be pretty much any occasion for example a wedding, Anniversary, Honeymoon and Birthdays  the staff at the lodge absolutely love to make our guests feel EXTRA special, and they adore singing “Happy Birthday” :)


We have created magical and intimate private dinners under the stars, or a romantic private breakfast with a magnificent view of the Drakensberg, Birthdays to remember and stunning wedding ceremonies. Each and every occasion is completely bespoke to the guest’s needs and requests, and we ensure that your special occasion is one to remember. You can either choose to do a private affair with your partner or celebrate with other in house guests in our “Boma” area. IMG_5700
If you are visiting the lodge and would like that “WOW Factor” please feel free to email us directly here at the lodge and we can make it an unforgettable memory.


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Vuyani Safari Lodge 2.0

Posted by Justine



In 2016 we had some major changes around the lodge. We added a new dining room, spa and kitchen! I wrote a blog on this a while back. image1
After almost 6 years and thousands of feet, dinners, breakfasts and lunches – the deck by the pool had become a hazard. The foundation was completely rusted through and it was a major primage2oblem for us and a safety risk for our guests.

It was time to take action. We closed the Luxury Suites and everyone jumped in. It was 8 days of intense hard labour and even some tears!


The results are amazing! It looks absolutely stunning – and safe! Well done to Craig and the team.
Craig also erected two water features on the newly built deck! It add a certain flair image4and the deck area looks completely different.


I remember when I started here 6 years ago and the metamorphosis that Vuyani Safari Lodge has undergone during this period, truly is remarkable.
Tayla has taken over the gardens here at the lodge and transformed the dreary looking corners at the pool into works of art!






Beautiful succulents and pebbles, the great thing is we don’t have to keep them moist, which saves radical amounts of water.
I can in all honesty say that this year was a very busy one for all the staff here at Vuyani Safari Lodge, and we hope our guests have a Merry Christmas and a very prosperous 2017


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Vusi’s Chicken Pie…

Posted by Justine

Herewith another mouthwatering recipe from Vuyani's Kitchen:

Ingredients for the filling: img_4564
Chicken Breast (Cubed)
2 Onions (Diced)
2 Large Cloves of Garlic
Button Mushrooms (Sliced)
Carrots (Diced)
Whole Black Pepper Corns
Fresh Thyme
Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper
For the Crust:
Puff Pastry (You can buy this at any Supermarket) or if you are feeling adventurous you can make your own :)
1 Beaten Egg


To prepare the filling:
Pour the milk into a saucepan over medium heat. Add a whole Garlic clove, one diced Onion, Whole black peppercorns and sprig of Thyme to the milk. Let it just come to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
Pour your infused milk through a sieve and set aside.




In a separate saucepan add a bit of cooking oil and Sautee the following:
1 Diced Onion, Sliced Mushrooms and Diced Carrots and a clove of minced garlic. Once this has sautéed put it aside. Now add your Chicken (with an extra bit of oil, if needed) and fry until brown. Add some Chicken stock and let it simmer to reduce the liquid. Once the liquid is simmered down considerably add your sautéed onion, mushroom, carrot and garlic.
In a separate saucepan, over a low heat, put a stick of butter (100g) and let it melt, now add 100g of flour and make a roux, add your infused milk slowly to prevent lumps to create a Béchamel sauce.
Once you have your desired Béchamel add it to your Chicken, onion, garlic, mush room and carrot. Let it cool down in the fridge for about 30 – 45 mins. img_4580
On a clean surface, sprinkle some flour and unroll you pastry sheets. You can decide on the size of the pie. Place a spoonful in the middle and “pinch” the sides to form a closed unit. Make a small incision on the top for the steam to escape.
Use the beaten egg with a brush and brush your pies.
Place them in a 180 degree oven for 30 minutes until golden brown 




Happy Cooking
Chef Vusi

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