Adama chalets offer a welcoming wildlife experience

Adama chalets have been designed to offer visitors a comfortable and welcoming “home” that makes the most of the Dinokeng Game Reserve’s 18 500ha wildlife experience.

Each chalet is set 50m from the next in the heart of the bushveld where the reserve’s game species roam free. Two family chalets are suited to small groups of friends looking for a collective wildlife experience, while two newer, more cosy chalets, have been created with an intimate couple’s escape in mind. The total number of guests that can be accommodated is 20.

"As both my wife and I are master potters, we originally built our first two large chalets with the unique straw bale-building method, about 15 years ago, as accommodation for patrons who were attending our pottery classes at that time. Since the opening of the reserve we now offer these, as well as two additional couple chalets we built, as self-catering accommodation options for guests visiting the reserve," says Adama's owner, Armand du Plessis.

"We’ve decorated the chalets with detailed personal touches and artwork to afford our guests a warm, comfortable and welcoming atmosphere."

Ellies
Elephants stop by to cool off and drink from the dam-style pool at Adama. (Image: Adama chalets)

Kingfisher chalet, for example, features a private bedroom with a king-sized bed, two beds in the lounge and three beds in an upstairs loft, which has a balcony. Ablutions include a sit-down shower and an outdoor shower, while the kitchen is fully equipped and there’s also a convenient outside braai area.

With no fence separating Adama's chalets and the reserve, animals are free to meander up to your front door. This is Gauteng game viewing at its best and the most common sightings are the elephants. Other favourite wildlife species that wander around the chalets include giraffe, kudu and warthog.

"The most exciting sightings we’ve had would have to be when the cheetah came past our chalets, and since then several sightings of the elephants, who enjoy passing by our dam-style pool to cool off every so often," says Du Plessis.

Enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the African bush during the day is an experience in itself, but doing so at night under the stars when the predators come out to hunt is a rare and unforgettable thrill.

As self-catering units, each chalet is fully equipped, and has its own braai area, adding an element of outdoor living to your stay.

Cheetahs At Kingfisher
A coalition of cheetah resting next to Kingfisher chalet. (Image: Adama chalets)

Adama owners Rienie and Armand du Plessis are creative souls whose beautiful artworks, pottery pieces and custom-built wooden furniture add a distinctly bohemian flair to the decor.

Taking game drives into other parts of the massive Dinokeng Game Reserve is a must-do activity as the vehicles are purpose-built for viewing the animals and accessing the dense terrain. Although there are a number of game-drive operators in the reserve, it is essential to make a reservation via the main reserve office on +27 (0)12 711 4391.

A second option is a self-drive option, best enjoyed if you have a 4x4 or SUV that offers slightly elevated viewing capability. Ask about the popular DGR self-drive route launched in 2014 by emailing reception@dinokengreserve.co.za. This is a 120km, generally flat, designated route that crosses several properties and rivers, to ensure the best possible variety of sightings.

Other activities to be enjoyed while staying at Adama include fishing, birdwatching, hot-air ballooning and horse riding.

If you’re planning to stay for a couple of nights and need a change from the traditional braai, there are a number of good restaurants within a 5km radius that cater for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Adama chalets are located in the Big Five Dinokeng Game Reserve, a 40-minute drive from Pretoria and 100km from Johannesburg.