“Elegant mountain-top lodge on the edge of Addo National Park, with affordable malaria-free game viewing for families and romantics alike”
The 7 stand-alone suites, built from corrugated tin and local timber to match the original house, are scattered around the grounds. Inside, they’re refined and elegant, with polished wooden floors, Persian rugs, the odd colonial antique and earthy colours that reflect the African landscape outside. All have kingsize or twin four-poster beds swathed in mosquito nets, private verandas with a couple of chairs to lounge on, and large black-and-white tiled bathrooms with freestanding tubs and walk-in showers. But the star attractions are the views, which soar over the reserve to the undulating Zuuberg Mountains beyond.
Standard Superior Suites have spacious bedrooms with a couple of armchairs; one has an additional bedroom with a single bed - ideal for a family of 3. The Superior Boardwalk Suites also have dressing areas and wider verandas. They sit at the end of a raised walkway a little further away from the main lodge, providing perfect retreats for couples seeking privacy. The pricier Luxury Suites are perched on stilts above a wooded slope that drops away dramatically to the valley beneath, and come with separate lounges and wraparound verandas.
There’s also a spacious Family Suite sleeping 6-8 (+ 2 babies) in a double bedroom and 2 bunk rooms. It occupies a large cottage, with a lounge, 2 bathrooms (one with a tub, the other with a shower) and its own garden complete with a private pool.
All suites have bathrobes, hairdryers, and safe boxes, but no TVs (though with these views, you won't miss them). There's also tea and coffee, and flasks of hot water are delivered each morning on request. Bear in mind that electricity is turned off at 10pm, though there are solar-powered lamps for reading and night-time loo trips. There’s no air-conditioning, but you’ll only really notice in the hottest months (December and January) and the lofty location brings plenty of cooling breezes.
Evenings at Camp Figtree kick off with aperitifs in the lounge or out on the veranda, as the sky turns from blue to orange to lilac. If you’re out on a guided walk you’ll be treated to sundowners and snacks in the bush.
Dinner is a 3-course affair served in the privacy of your suite or in the cosy colonial-style dining room, where individual tables are laid with crisp white linen and a fire crackles in the cooler months. Dishes are hearty, unpretentious and, by all accounts, very tasty - perhaps succulent Karoo lamb shank with sweet potatoes, ostrich steak with root vegetables, or chicken stuffed with herby risotto. Accompanying salads are organic, and the bread is home-baked. Vegetarian menus are available on request, and there’s a choice of South African wines to wash it all down.
Once a week, a traditional South African meal is served in the boma - an open-air space centred around a campfire, where you can listen to the calls of nocturnal creatures drifting up from the reserve. It includes a range of local specialities such as umgqusho (samp and beans), isonka esibhakwe emalahleni (roasted bread), ibobotie (a dish of minced beef) and imalva (a dessert similar to sticky toffee pudding).
Breakfast sounds equally appealing - a mix of continental fare (pastries, juice, cold cuts) and the Full English, complete with freshly made muffins. Lunch is available at the lodge or as a picnic if you’re out on an excursion. And come afternoon, high tea is served up in old-world silver pots.
Malaria-free Addo is perfect for families seeking safe safari adventures, and Camp Figtree welcomes children of all ages. There are no specific facilities for kids, but the friendly staff will tailor game drives and guided walks to suit different ages and interests, and there’s plenty to thrill little ones, including the opportunity to ride, feed and water elephants. What’s more, the suites are spread out around the grounds, so there’s no need to worry about noisy youngsters disturbing other guests.
Children under 3 stay free of charge; those aged 4-12 pay 50% of the nightly adult rate. The full rate is charged for teenagers aged 13+.
The Family Suite can accommodate 6-8 adults and 2 babies, with a double bedroom, 2 bunk rooms, 2 bathrooms, a lounge, space for extra beds and baby cots, and its own pool and garden. Smaller families can book Superior Suite 3, which has a double/twin bedroom and a single room. Rollaway beds and baby cots can be added to any of the suites, and all have bathtubs.
Babysitting is available on request. Alternatively, staff can set up a dinner table on your suite’s veranda if you want to keep an eye on the kids while you eat.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking