When booking our safari in South Africa, we chose the option of staying in Marc’s Treehouse Lodge. Unlike most times we did less research on the accommodation before booking and chose more by the information on the safari itself. It was Thury that had found the trip called Kruger Park Exhilarating Treehouse Safari with Viva Safaris.
When I arrived in South Africa I was telling Thury how I loved the idea of staying in a treehouse. During the talk, I found out that our imagination had painted up two very different experiences. I imagined an authentic treehouse adventure, where we climb up in a tree in the middle of nowhere. I wondered if the bathroom would be nearby in case we would need to go in the middle of the night and that perhaps we would then run into some animals. Thury, on the other hand, imagined a bit more modern type, an ensuite treehouse.
As I am the one that usually books the accommodation when traveling and I am so curious about what to expect, I had to do some more research on how the treehouses are equipped before starting that part of the journey. Both of us were right. I found out that some are indeed similar to the ones I had imagined. So I was extremely excited to find out which one would become ours.
Welcome to our Treehouse
We arrived at Marc´s Treehouse Lodge after the morning bush walk our second day. There was a short welcome, we were told that three of the big five animals live in the area and that it might as well happen that we pass a herd of buffalos or some white rhinos at some point. Then we came to the part I had been looking forward to, a nice blind man guided us the way to our treehouse.
When I saw our treehouse I became extremely happy. It looked like cut out of a fairytale. Tinker Bell could just as well come flying to us and say hello. It was one of the treehouses that looked like what I had imagined, with three branches of a Jackalberry tree growing right inside. I welcome you inside our treehouse:
Animals around our treehouse
Even though the treehouse was extremely cozy I slept quite light due to all the new sounds. I could hear different animals, mostly different types of birds singing one after another, there were some sounds I did not even recognize and I could hear the monkeys jumping around in the canopy. I woke up with one of the monkeys looking at me from our balcony. I tried to take a photo of the adorable monkey, but it was too dark outside for the camera to catch it on film.
We did not spend much time at the treehouse as our days were filled with excursions. However, we did have a couple of hours one afternoon in between tours to enjoy our treehouse, the balcony, and its view. Our very own pet frog was there chilling when we came back:
We had a such a lovely stay in the treehouse and lodge. We would often see Nyala antelopes around. I recall one of the enjoyable mornings eating breakfast while watching the antelopes walking around and the turtles swimming in the pond. It is interesting that the antelopes have realized that it is very safe to stay near to the lodge. One of the guys at the lodge explained to us that when they give birth, they keep the newly born antelopes in a corner by the main building for about three days. Or until it is strong enough to follow its mother.
One of our evenings in our treehouse Thury came running in, catching her camera. I got very curious and followed her:
Some days we were more aware of insects
We had dinners in a nice atmosphere at the lodge with other travelers. It was one evening during a dinner that we spotted a huge, camel colored spider running fast. We were not the only Icelanders there, and one of our fellow travelers jumped up on the bench screaming. (Icelanders are the ones I have noticed to be the most frightened of insects, myself included) Furthermore, there were actually people from other countries screaming and jumping up on the benches, so it was not only big for people from Iceland!
One of the locals noticed the scene and explained to us that we do not have to be frightened by this Egyptian spider, it is absolutely harmless. Most of the people did not really get calmer with the explanation. With the huge spider crawling near our feet. So the local girl, very calmly, takes this huge spider and throws it into the nature surrounding us.
On the last day, Thury told me that she was glad it is our last night sleeping in the treehouse. I, however, did not agree! I told her how I would love to stay many more days in our beautiful treehouse. What Thury was not telling me at that moment, is that she had seen a huge Egyptian spider in our bathroom. The same as we had seen during one of our dinners. When she told me that the day we were leaving, I all of the sudden was ready to leave as well.
Have you ever seen a Leopard at the lodge?
At the end of our safari, I was chatting with our driver on our way back to Johannesburg and asked him if he had ever seen a leopard at our lodge. He told me that a few days ago, he had seen a leopardess. She had been staying with her newly born cubs below one of the treehouses. And by asking more questions I found out it was our treehouse nr. 2, just by the river.
Perhaps I heard them one of the nights but did not recognize the sound. I recall that I considered taking a tour around the treehouse, but we had to hurry up, to catch an evening tour where we happened to meet a friendly cheetah. It might be that an encounter with a leopardess and her cubs has just slipped out of my hands. Which is the case on safaris, someone notices or does not notice a glimpse of a tail of a leopard that leads you to a breathtaking experience. I will never know if I almost came into a close encounter with a leopard family just below my treehouse. But I might just as well choose to remember my treehouse of three days with that family as my neighbor.