Laluka Safari Lodge is an exclusive gem in Welgevonden Game ...

For Moments of Joy. Follow our social channels
for useful news, daily local champions
072 350 2062
Ideas Cartel, The Old Foundry, 1 Sand Hill Road, Green Point

Laluka Safari Lodge is an exclusive gem in Welgevonden Game Reserve

See the Big 5 and unspoilt bush (plus it’s a birders’ paradise)


Belgian Simon Eeman and Italian Giula Avanzi fell in love with South Africa and wanted the world to see why, so they created Laluka Lodge, a 6-suite lodge that makes the most of the magnificent landscape it's set in.

The lodge is elegantly positioned on top of a ridge that plunges down into a valley in the Big 5 malaria free Welgevonden Game Reserve in Limpopo.


You can discover Welgevonden’s 40 000 hectares of African wilderness through game drives and nature walks. It unfolds its many layers in a dramatic range of mountainous peaks, rocky ridges and expansive savannah plains, and because Welgevonden is in the Waterberg District, it’s characterised by lots of streams.

You’ll wade through flowing streams, come across river banks where camouflaged crocodiles bide their time, and see watering holes dug out by a crash of rhinos or warthogs to enjoy as mud wallows. The guides will point out fascinating details, such as the bullfrog spawn submerged in the water, with the male frog on guard.


As wild as Welgevonden is, it takes just 2.5 hours to drive from Johannesburg (or 45 minutes flight) to luxurious Laluka Lodge (opened November 2020). The generous suites with separate bathrooms and dressing areas are exquisitely furnished. 

There’s clear thought to how the parts synchronise with the whole, right down to the hanging bedside lights that look like weaver beds’ nests: delicate but structural and sturdy. Under the hanging lamps are hefty cuts of tree trunks for bedside tables. 


The glass-walled suites all flow out to private terraces, each with plunge pools, two loungers on one end and a daybed that takes up the nook on the other. It's the kind of room that's perfectly set up to allow lovers time together and alone, should they want it, while ensuring absolute privacy from other guests.


The owners are proud of the lodge, and there’s good reason. The rooms, the secluded “treehouse” spa on the edge of the lodge, and the wide-open dining and sundowners deck where, every day, from breakfast to dinner, sociable weavers chatter away. 

“There’s a lot more chirping in the evening. The males build from sunrise to sunset. They also build all year round, and the nests are incredibly neat,” explains Simon. 



What’s closest to Simon’s heart is the watering-hole hide, which gets you a close encounter with the animals. “I knew I wanted it from the start,” says Simon, who had seen a similar concept at another lodge. He’s just made it grander, by getting you closer.

Often the animals that saunter in are elephants. You’ll never fully appreciate the dexterity of an elephant’s trunk until you’re watching from a mere few centimetres away as it breaks apart a 50 kilogram salt block, also using its foot, and eats it like it’s snacking on peanuts, while guzzling gallons of water.



Simon has a few passions. He also moonlights as a beekeeper and tends to the organic farm that feeds the lodge, but then every member of the close-knit staff at Laluka is a geek of sorts. Giulia’s the engine who ensures the smooth running of the lodge and takes care of the details.  

She and Simon’s father, Didier, the soft-spoken business partner, travelled to the Western Cape to seek out family-run wine estates when curating the lodge’s wine list. 



For each person at Laluka it's about the little touches. The head chef won't serve guests a big pot of potjie and have them leave the lodge with a “generalised taste of Africa”.

Instead she elevates every recipe, breakfast, lunch and dinner, by lacing her dishes with hints of flavours that are distinct to her Tswana heritage and South Africa’s diverse food culture. Then it’s lovingly served by a waiter so charming and graceful, that, while we were there, everyone, including the guests, gathered to sing him happy birthday.


In the same way our ranger is the epitome of the modern-day safari ranger. He gets you as enthusiastic at the sighting of a rhino (they have healthy numbers of both black and white) as when he spots a flap-necked chameleon – quite common here – at the end of a 4-hour morning game drive. “There used to be lots in cities, but with the growth of urban areas there aren’t many more,” he explains.  



He is as patient and passionate about tracking a lion pride as he is with teaching you about how an impala male will defend his harem to death. “He loses 60% of his body weight from fighting; it’s nature's way of making sure there are strong genes and making sure there is no in-breeding.” 

Or stopping to point out swifts hawking in low plains in the afternoon as the sun sets during an afternoon game drive. Limpopo is literally bird paradise, because of the abundance of insects. It and Laluka Lodge truly are an eden for all creatures, great and small, and that includes guests. 


Address: Laluka Safari Lodge
Welgevonden Game Reserve
Site 8 Vaalwater, Limpopo (5030)
Contact: Call +27 (0)14 161 0897
or email
Discover all:
Follow Laluka Lodge on Instagram
Follow Laluka Lodge on Facebook


Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, ‘burbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and get quick access on the go by adding us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.

Follow and like us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterest for updates.


Cape Town Events Calendar
December 2023
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Christmas Wreath Making Here’s how to spend Christmas in Cape ...

From lunches and carols to markets and meeting Santa

VOOMA! December Zip Zap CircusElectrifying circus show for the whole ...

New acts and performances by ordinary kids with extraordinary feats

Bamboo Plant Power plant based healthy takeaways Netflix and chill & office lunch are ...

From mushroom burgers and loaded fries to “sticky wings”

Amina Boutique Hotel You can now book out this entire hotel ...

Infrared sauna, pool, special art, stunning rooms

Cederkloof Botanical outdoor jacuzziWe just found our next place for a ...

Cederkloof: Cottages with jacuzzi + house with pizza oven

Bombay BrasserieSumptuous Indian set menu for two

10 unique dishes (and MCC) at Bombay Brasserie

mischu breakfast specialWeekends are for mischu

Where else do you get brunch for under R100 in Sea Point?

Rose's Table pop up dining experienceIntimate fine dining in an art gallery

A long-table experience with food, music, wine and art

Cheverells FarmGo for a drive to this apple farm in ...

From fresh food to farm cottages and fine dining evenings

Woodstock Brewery burgersA brewery with food specials for every ...

Burgers, schnitzels + curry specials at Woodstock Brewery

Excentric Hair camera diagnosisHow healthy is your hair, really?

How to get a free diagnosis + R100 off your first visit

Cannibisters weed barCape Town’s very own cannabis club, ...

It's like your friend’s living room, just with 85 strains of weed

Taj Whiskey LoungeIntroducing the Whiskey Lounge

Tastings from around the world, guided by an ambassador

Char'd Grill meat appreciation platterMeat appreciation platter at a ...

3 cuts of meat, sizzling side dishes + epic mad-scientist experience

randy-warthog-barPlay beer pong every Friday

The only game that’s more fun if you’re losing (but if you win, there are prizes)

Food Jams cooking partyLaid-back, lekker, and loud team ...

Food Jams is a party where cooking is only half the fun

Cheverells FarmAll the seasons of Cheverells Farm

Apple picking in summer and winter stay special

Klein Roosboom tasting caveTaste wine in a cave

Boutique winery with 6 six cosy tasting nooks. Plus platters, picnics + trails

GiveawaysTravel Tips