Thursday, December 20, 2012

This time of the year is about Birth

We are going to keep this Post simple, and just remind ourselves that this time of the year is about birth.

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone all of the best to you and yours over this Festive Season..........Happy Christmas and wishing you a prosperous year in 2013!!

Thank you to everyone who has supported us....and to those of you still on your way for your first visit or returning for another, we look forward to welcoming you!

(These Images are the Property of River Bend Lodge and may not be used without permission.
Click on an Image to view them in a larger format.)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Festive Season Greetings from River Bend Lodge

We have had to put the “No Room at the Inn” sign up at River Bend Lodge over the Festive Season…..and we look forward to welcoming everyone who has booked to spend some time with us over this special period and, indeed, the rest of the Season.

Jayne and her team have gone to great lengths to create a Festive atmosphere and we hope everyone has a wonderful time. Bookings for the Summer and into Autumn have exceeded our expectations…and one of the most gratifying aspects is the number of returning Guests, which is surely a sign of satisfied customers….and this shows in some of the reviews we have received lately!!

“River Bend was the crown of my trip at South Africa. The staff was very kindly, we spent some times just talking about Africa with Mrs Stephanie and a lot of times in games drives with Mr Steve. He had a special way to play with kids, looking for the animals and talking about it and it's food, sleeping time, babies, etc. And the lodge had little courses of taking pictures and wines to spend some time. The space in the middle of the rooms was very beautiful, with little trees, a swimming pool, library.” (Guilherme C – Sao Paulo)

The River Bend Lodge is one of the most perfect destinations in the South African Bush. this is really where one needs to arrive at to really appreciate the wildlife in this country. We were keen to stay away from the crowds and commercial aspects of the more popular parks like Kruger and chose the Addo Park instead for which River Bend was the ultimate gateway. This lodge has the advantage to allow its guests to exclusive access to areas of the National Park which are not available to others...the advantage being that the game drives one partakes allows the wildlife experience to be unparalleled in every way possible, The rangers at the lodge along with the private and practical vehicles allow the guests a thorough insight into the flora and fauna in the local areas of the Eastern Cape in South Africa.
Besides the wildlife experience supervised by a trained and very friendly group of rangers we also were spoiled by a very talented and friendly staff at the lodge itself. The Rooms were very comfortable and provided all the modern conveniences one would expect at this kind of property. Service levels in all areas especially in the Food and Beverage area was exemplary as was the quality of the food and its presentation.
In conclusion it may be worthy to note that if traveling as a family, this is a truly friendly loge viz. children who are made to feel very special (our kids just did'nt want to leave and really enjoyed animal sightings and wildlife experiences thanks to our ranger Darlington) ...

We visited River Bend after a 2 day stay at the nearby ********** game Reserve and all I can say is that had our experience at River Bend been prior to********,we really wouldnt have enjoyed the ********* experience at all...this (River Bend) is a place we would return to time and again..truly special and surreal.” (farzanasarup – Bombay)

“ I have just returned home from a third visit to River Bend Lodge and I have to admit I feel homesick. I want to go back. I will go back.
River Bend lodge has it all. It is situated in a beautiful part of Addo Elephant Park with the most amazing vistas you can possibly imagine. It has great wildlife to admire for those who enjoy a game drive and the excitement of truly trying to track animals that are hiding in the thicket. It has the Addo Elephants, gentle giants that peacefully walk by, leaving their visitors in awe as they go their way.
But on top of all that, It is a marvellous place, a gem amongst the game lodges, with a staff that is absolutely GREAT!
Cuisine is super! It was a pleasure to eat at River Bend lodge on our previous trips there, but the new chef has raised the bar considerably. Great place for Vegetarians too - River Bend Lodge offered a superb, varied vegetarian choice. (Rudi S; Mol; Belgium)

We spent 3 nights at the River Bend Lodge in Addo and had a most wonderful time. Everything about the lodge is 1st class. We had a lovely, spacious room with spectacular views. The food was excellent and served with great style. The staff was attentive and friendly. The game drives were awesome with our terrific guide, Mike. We had a coffee break during the morning drive, wine & snacks during the afternoon/evening drive, and hot chocolate handed to us as we stepped out of our vehicle after the evening drive. Trust me, At River Bend, you will be spoiled!

River Bend is located within Addo Elephant National Park and the scenery is stunning. We saw elephants, lions, antelopes, monkeys, Cape Buffalo, giraffes, wart hogs, zebras and so much more. We had truly amazing, up close experiences with the elephants! Mike, our guide, was very knowledgeable and used his tracking skills to the max in order to ensure we saw all the animals at the park. The drives were so much fun and each afternoon drive extended into night drives because we spent time simply sitting and watching the animals in their beautiful environment. I tell you, watching two young elephants playing in the water is something you just don't tire of doing - we were mesmerized and didn't want to leave!

My husband and I really appreciated the fact that we could take the time to sit quietly, each with our own sense of awe and wonder, and simply "be" with the animals. Being so close to wild, free animals, watching them do their thing in their natural home as it was meant to be, all while enjoying a glass of wine? Well, it just doesn't get much better than that!

The accommodations at the lodge are top-notch. Free wi-fi is available at the lodge. The outdoor shower was a fun amenity and showering in the great outdoors watching a herd of antelopes in the distance is a memory I will enjoy for a long time.

We did the "walk with Giraffes" that is offered by the lodge. You don't actually walk "with" them. Once they are spotted, you do get out of your vehicle and walk towards them and then if they move, which they do when they spot you, you follow them. We had an earlier experience at our first photo safari at Zulu Nyala in KwaZulu Natal where we had a more intense and close encounter with giraffes, so this wasn't as "thrilling" but it was still fun to watch these beautiful animals - and to watch them watch us!!

If your trip includes a drive along the Garden Route, which it probably will, and you want to spend some time in luxury and give yourself a treat, while at the same time experiencing some wonderful game drives, I highly recommend spending 2 to 3 nights at the River Bend Lodge at Addo - you won't regret it!

Room Tip: I think all rooms are equally good - you can't go wrong.” (angelika 711; Reno; Nevada Nov 18 2012)

(To view a larger version of the Images just Click on an Image. All photographs the property of River Bend Lodge and may not be used without consent)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Zebras...Elephants and Colours

As a result of a conversation over a bottle of Wine this challenge was born.....try and show the colours. That was the challenge to our Photographer...but all photographs must be taken on the same day!!

This is the result...all taken within about 5 hours....and all at River Bend Lodge in the Nyathi Concession of the Addo Elephant National Park.

To view a larger version of these Photographs please Click on an Image and scroll through.
All Images the property of River Bend Lodge and may not be used without permission.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

World Luxury Hotel Awards.....Luxury Boutique Hotel

River Bend Lodge is named Luxury Boutique Hotel in the 2012 World Luxury Hotel Awards

River Bend Lodge has been named the winner in the category of Luxury Boutique Hotel in South Africa in the 2012 World Luxury Hotel Awards. This is the Lodge’s second award from the World Luxury Hotel Awards; in 2011 River Bend Lodge won in the category of Luxury Family Hotel in South Africa. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us over the past few months.This is an incredible achievement for River Bend Lodge as we has always endeavoured to be the best luxury boutique hotel in Southern Africa

Press release from the World Luxury Awards:
“It is an honour for us to present to you a World Luxury Hotel Award further to your hotel’s outstanding achievement in service delivery over the past year voted for by your guests and industry consultants in the recent voting poll.

We officially announced that you have won the following category in the 2012 World Luxury Hotel Awards: Luxury Boutique Hotel

The 2012 Gala Ceremony presentation on Saturday the 13th of October was a successful event and we would like to congratulate your entire team who have worked so hard to reach the top spot amongst all other industry competitors. The property has now set a benchmark as an industry leader with this remarkable outcome and we trust that this Award will be an inspiration to your entire staff compliment for years to come.

Success is all about being committed to the highest standards and therefore we are proud to present you with the well-deserved recognition.”

Follow the Link below to view the winners

Click on an Image to view the larger version
All Images the property of River Bend Lodge and may not be used without permission


Friday, November 9, 2012

Elephants in Dominance Skirmish...Fine Art Photography

Our resident Photographer captured these Images and had this to say:

"If one observes the parade of Elephants there are nearly always these minor skirmishes for dominance taking place away from the cows and calves. Sometimes the two bulls get fairly aggressive and the battle can get fairly intense.

This Series is called Dominance."

Click on an Image to view a larger version
Images the property of River Bend Lodge and may not be used without permission.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Heavy Rains in the Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape has experienced some heavy rain in the last week which caused serious damage and flooding in some parts.

A section of the N2 between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth has been washed away and the towns pf Port Alfred and Bushmen's River have been seriously impacted by damage.

At River Bend we were unable to get out for a few a day or two but all is back to normal now.

The rain will ensure plenty of grazing going into well as plenty of wallowing areas for the Elephants!!!

These are some photographs taken from the west of the River Bend Lodge looking back. This is just one of the 'lakes' we look forward to see the Elephants enjoying on a hot day. You can be assured that when they do we will be doing our best to get some great images....and Guests who are fortunate enough to be here at the time will have an unforgettable experience!!!

(Click on an Image to view in larger format
Images are the property of River Bend Lodge and may not be used without 
prior permission.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cape Wagtails enthrall Guests at River Bend Lodge

Wagtails at the Bar!

There are 6 different species of Wagtails in South Africa. The most common of these is the Cape Wagtail Motacilla capensis.....and on the 24th of September 2012 we had 3 chickens born to one of the resident pairs of Wagtails at River Bend Lodge in a shrub right outside the Bar.

Guests passing the Bar Area were enthralled at being privileged to get such a close encounter with the Wagtail Family as they raised their 3 chickens....all of which survived and are now part of the River Bend Lodge Team!!!

I apologize for the poor quality of these images, but I used natural light as I did not want to cause unnecessary disturbance. I will research how to get better photographs in case they do this all over again next Spring.

At the nest with newly born offspring

Photo taken 25th September 2012 1 day old

1 Week later

Feeding time

Each chicken got a turn

This was something we all a bird keeps the nest clean.
In this case the chicken sidled up to the side of the nest....lifted
it's posterior and as it did so the chickens waste appeared neatly packaged
in a little white sack which the mother / father removed away from
the nest. 
This image shows clearly the mother removing the deposit!!

15 days of really hard work!!


The chickens took 15 days from being hatched to leaving the nest!

Click on an Image to view a larger version.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spring 2012

                                                 Some Images to celebrate Spring 2012

Lion in Spring Flowers

Three Banded Plover with chicken

Elephants .....doing damage to the flowers!!!

In the Garden at River Bend Lodge

In the Wild at River Bend Lodge

Inquisitive Buffalo Calf

Glossy Starling

These Cape Wagtail chickens were born on the 24th September ......we have taken photographs to document their growth. They are almost due to leave the nest and when they do the series of their growth will be published. The nest was built right outside the Bar at River Bend Lodge.

All of these Images are the property of River Bend Lodge and may not be used without permission. 
To view a larger version please Click on the image.