• Kilima team

If you consider yourself a travel-savvy individual, you’ll know that free WIFI, complimentary water and laundry is among others, a given and that you can look forward to the bite size confection on your pillow every evening. The real question here is “what is a 5 star experience in South Africa?”

Keep in mind that accommodation classification (stars) is not mandatory in all countries and that there isn’t a unified international regulation system... yet. The realities of tourism are very different for different countries in terms of consumer expectations, infrastructure etc. That being said, I’ve compiled what I perceive (according to research) is the most realistic list of what you can expect of a 5 star establishment in South Africa.

Bare basics

Safety – Guests should feel safe when they are on the property. 24 Hour security is mandatory. If they travelled by road, their vehicle must be parked in a safe parking area.

Electricity – Load shedding is inevitable at some point and there should be generators to supply electricity in all the rooms and in the main buildings, such as reception and restaurant.

Telecommunications – In secluded areas, where there is no cell reception, guests should have a phone in their room. Same rule applies to WIFI. If there is no WIFI available in the rooms, guests should have access to internet at a centralised point.

Inspiring architecture – Main buildings should be welcoming and beautiful and appropriately designed for the surroundings. The suites will be spacious and luxurious with aircons and a picturesque view.

Intuitive staff engagement

Not only will you find knowledgeable staff, but they will also be finely tuned into their guests’ needs. They will know when to be helpful and when to provide privacy, they know more than is expected of them.

Travel fanatic, Sareta Schütte, who is also the director of Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa, a 5 star Lodge which offers beautiful accommodation in Limpopo province, defines her view on the subject: “When I visit a 5 star establishment, I already have a certain expectation that should at least be met. The wow factors for me will be the way I’m greeted by professional staff and housekeeping and restaurateur going the extra mile, doing things that you don’t normally expect. Furthermore it is the little things like a superb wine list, beautifully presented food and a fresh fruit basket in my room along with a personal welcome letter from the hotelier that make my stay so much more memorable.”

"Welcome to Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa"

The revel is in the detail

Owner of Postcard Moments Travel and concierge travel expert, Mirinda Bosman has been in the tourism industry for 20 years. We asked for her opinion and she said the key to a successful 5 star experience is detail: “You have to feel as if you’re getting way more than you paid for. This includes service above and beyond with extensive menu options, amazing food and wine, included activities for adults and children like game drives and bush walks. Opulent rooms with beautiful views and luxurious amenities and of course an upper class coffee station. Staff should be knowledgeable and pay extra personal attention to guest. Detail, detail, detail. It is especially nice if they are considerate of preferences and make an effort to prepare accordingly for each return guest.”

Small detail like branded flip flops as a gift is a perfect example of 'attention to detail'.

Tangibles and consumables

Everything you touch and taste will be of exceptionally high standard. Outstanding wine, gourmet food that is artfully prepared and perfectly brewed bottomless coffee. You can expect luxurious and comfortable furniture, Egyptian cotton bedding and large fluffy towels with therapeutic oil infused bath crystals or similar pampering amenities to use as you wish. There will be an inviting subtle scent whenever you walk into a room and you’ll find everything clean, neat and appealing, no matter where you are.

Attractive activities

Depending on where you are, you can expect at least one activity to be included in your daily rate. For example, Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa offers their guests a selection of Spa treatments at Kukura Wellness Spa and a choice of 2 types of game drives ending with sundowners on a picturesque star gazing deck.

Snacks and sundowners at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa after a game drive.

"A spa is a particularly wonderful asset for any establishment, extending guests a deeper level of luxury and relaxation"

Kukura Wellness Spa - reduce toxic footprint

One last tip: South Africa is a magical country and sure to feature on the bucket list of any person with wanderlust. Whether you dream about a scenic taste-sensation in the Cape Winelands, or a close encounter African safari in Limpopo province, be sure to do your research and read reviews before choosing your accommodation. There are thousands of beautiful properties where you can kick off your shoes after a day of sightseeing and enjoy the finer luxuries on offer. Not everyone’s hospitality is equal but you’ll find the rare gems if you search for them!

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  • Kilima team

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

22 July is annual Crème Brûlée day! We celebrate by sharing our easy, yet amazing recipe and a seductively satisfying video on how Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa prepares 'crema catalana'!

Our Crème Brûlée Recipe

Yields 5-6 servings


6 Egg Yolks

4 Tablespoons white sugar

1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups pouring cream

2 Tablespoons white sugar

2 Tablespoons brown sugar


  • Step 1

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

  • Step 2

Beat egg yolks, 4 tablespoons white sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.

  • Step 3

Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.

  • Step 4

Pour cream mixture into the top pan of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove mixture from heat immediately and pour into a shallow heat-proof dish.

  • Step 5

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  • Step 6

Preheat oven to broil.

  • Step 7

In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar. Sift this mixture evenly over custard. Place dish under broiler until sugar melts (about 2 minutes) or use a butane torch if you have one. Watch carefully so as not to burn.

  • Step 8

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until custard is set again.

Rose infused Crème Brûlée with raspberry and mango coulis and citrus almond biscotti - One of our favorite desserts at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa

We love to serve this special dessert with fresh fruit and a nutty biscotti But, even without garnish, it is still beautiful and an all time favorite!

When you are in Limpopo Province, on Route 71, spoil yourself by visiting our Restaurant at Kilima Private Game Reserve and Spa and order a gourmet meal, followed by a decadent Crème Brûlée.

Happy Crème Brûlée day!

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  • Kilima team

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

Over the centuries ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians have used massage techniques to ease pain and treat a variety of ailments. The therapeutic properties of herbs and oils, combined with massaging a person’s muscles are called massage therapy. Massage therapy is one of the most effective and widely used alternative therapies with hundreds of benefits documented, but for today we will only highlight 5 of them:

1. Reduces Stress

Why do we let go of stress and find ourselves in a state of harmony and relaxation when we’re being massaged? Tiffany Field (PhD), from the Touch Research Institute of the University of Miami Medical School, wrote an in-depth review on the effects of massage therapy on a number of issues. It is very effective in treating anxiety and depression because it lowers cortisol (main stress hormone) levels and increases dopamine (an activating neurotransmitter) and serotonin (the body’s natural antidepressant). This lowers your heart rate, enabling a person to better relax, release tension and even improves sleep. In effect changing your emotional state as well to being more positive, receptive and creative

Kukura Wellness Spa offers a complete De-Stress 120min package that includes a full body massage and a relaxing milk & honey bath to soak away stress.

2. Improves circulation

Applying moderate pressure through massage leads to increased blood flow which results in better performance recovery. Physio.co.uk states that there are two main types of circulation within the body, the circulation of lymph flow and the circulation of blood flow. When circulation is poor conditions such as swelling, tightness, tension and pain can increase. During a massage, the stimulation of improved circulation occurs when friction is created between the skin and fingers. The African Awakening Massage at Kukura Wellness Spa utilises the combination of massage and enhanced breathing techniques for maximum circulation effect.

3. Reduces pain

Therapeutic massage activates the release of endorphins (the feel-good hormone) which is a natural pain fighter. Endorphins also act similarly to morphine, without the addiction. Regular massages have been used to treat people who suffer from chronic pain for centuries. A professional massage therapist will aim to disturb the chronic pain cycle in order to reduce and relieve any pain and prevent it from reoccurring. The best massage techniques for pain relief are deep tissue and therapeutic massage. Kukura Wellness Spa combines these techniques to offer you the best possible pain relief massage therapy. View our treatment menu.

4. Eliminates toxins

Toxin release isn’t just about a massage, it is about the whole journey to a healthier version of you. At Kukura Wellness Spa we offer a complete Detox package, brimming with sublime sensory satisfaction. It all begins with a piping hot pot of herb and fruit infused tea followed by a full-body exfoliation, detox mud wrap, full body massage focusing on lymph draining and then finishing the treatment with a Rasul session to induce sweating for maximum toxin release. The ginger and lavender poultice massage also helps to eliminate toxins. We are so passionate about this line of therapy and it’s fantastic results that we’ve made it our tagline!

Kukura Wellness Spa - reduce toxic footprint

5. Improve flexibility

Massageenvy.com states that “Massage therapy is a beneficial treatment for maintaining and improving flexibility and motion. By working on muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and joints, regular massage can improve your flexibility and range of motion, keeping your joints more fluid and making them less injury-prone.” Massage therapy addresses the build-up of lactic acid (responsible for stiff and sore muscles) thus loosening muscles and helping to alleviate pain and increase flexibility. Kukura Wellness Spa offers a Muscle Release Mud Wrap to aid in the treatment of sore and tight muscles.

Pure pleasure and heavenly bliss notwithstanding, there are countless more benefits of a professional massage which you can use as a decent reason to spoil yourself or any loved one. Our new exciting treatment menu will have you spoilt for choices. We look forward to welcoming you to Kukura Wellness Spa!

Contact us for any queries or book your appointment here

*These are the opinions and beliefs of the professional spa therapist based on years of experience

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​A friendly reminder that a daily Conservation Fee of R150 will  be charged per person. Only by contributing can funds be raised to help conserve the natural heritage of the reservation's fauna and flora.

We support the fight against COVID 19

For more information visit: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/

Farm Rubbervale, Sec 15


Limpopo Province

South Africa

T: +27 15 590 0975

C: +27 83 808 1046


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