Guests per Safari Vehicle
One of Africa’s few entirely non-profit, high-end, safari lodges, has opened its very first lodge in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Lepogo Noka Camp. Just a short air transfer or a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, Lepogo Noka Camp is set within the 50,000-hectare, malaria-free Lapalala Wilderness Reserve, home of the ‘big five’.
Lepogo Noka Camp is the very first luxury camp in Africa to offset the carbon footprint of every visiting guest, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Family-owned and operated, the project has been developed as part of a life-long dream to create a sustainable conservation legacy in Africa, with 100% of any financial gains made reinvested back into the reserve for the benefit of wildlife, conservation and the local community.
Noka Camp consists of five stilted villas, including one villa specially designed for families. The villas are joined by a main lodge comprised of a dining room, bar, lounge area, tree-top gym, yoga deck and sprawling outdoor terrace, all perched atop a 100ft cliff overlooking the winding Palala River below and the endless bush ahead. At night the sky bed experience provides for one of the most romantic settings you can imagine as you have a choice to either sleep outside under the stars or inside your stunning villa in unparalleled luxury. The camp is entirely off-grid, with all energy self-generated by a bespoke, 250m solar walkway. There is no daily schedule at Noka Camp, it is designed to suit you. Your ranger and butler will discuss it with you as you settle in.
Lepogo Lodges offers the highest level of luxury while bearing the lightest footprint on the surrounding environment. A glass-fronted design for the main lodge and villas maximises the incredible panoramic views seen at every turn, while the entire property has been built on small concrete pads, which ensure that no scars are left on the land. Each villa is complete with heated plunge pool, unique ‘sky bed’ with glass floor over the ravine, indoor and outdoor showers, air-conditioning, a Nespresso machine, a minibar, a sunken bathtub and underfloor heating.
Noka’s light-filled interiors were inspired by the vast horizon of turning leaves on the terracotta-coloured cliffs, where the sky meets Africa. Walls disappear through the use of expansive glass panes, with each vista becoming a framed work of art on a grand scale. Noka has made use of sustainable and South African products, crafts and textiles wherever possible.
Lepogo Lodges offers a truly extraordinary South African wilderness experience for families, couples and groups of friends alike. Lapalala Wilderness has ensured that there will never be more than three commercial lodges in the 50,000-hectare reserve, ensuring the rare combination of accessibility yet extraordinary privacy. Guests can try activities ranging from game-drives and water safaris to yoga and spa experiences and tours of iron-age settlements and bushman paintings in the cliffs below the lodge. Lepogo also offers ‘luxury bush sleep outs’ which allow one to follow in the footsteps of the forefathers of Lapalala. The lodge also offers a range of specialist services at camp to enhance your stay. These include an in-house artist, ecologist, photographic expert with camera hire and photo printing, a boutique shop and a reference library.
An unparalleled dining experience will provide ample opportunity to relax and recharge, with a team of world-class chefs headed by the Heston Blumenthal-trained Thapelo Letsogo. Chef Thapelo’s creative African-Asian fusion cuisine takes inspiration from the Asian cooking styles found along the Spice Route of the African coast and is made with locally sourced and grown ingredients, alongside homemade honey, beer and gin, made onsite at Lepogo.
On the banks of the Palala River in the Waterberg region of Limpopo province in South Africa lies Lapalala Game Reserve. Comprising 50,000 hectares of breath-taking natural beauty, this is a place unlike any other in the world. Lapalala‘s vision is to continue to protect and conserve the biodiversity, uplift its neighbouring communities and create a responsible and sustainable model to secure its conservation status into the future.
The Lapalala Wilderness was founded in 1981 by two conservationists, Dale Parker and Clive Walker. Their shared dream was to purchase farms and create a reserve by returning the land to its natural state and conserve the indigenous fauna and flora. Over time further adjoining land was purchased and embedded into the conservation vision. The result is the spectacular Lapalala Wilderness, 50,000 hectares rich in biodiversity and ecology and now a key component of the Waterberg biosphere reserve.
Lapalala benefits from a wonderful diversity of habitat but also its many years of preservation as a wilderness. Many species have been naturally drawn to the area with a year-round supply of freshwater and spectacular variety of vegetation. Mammal species number over 60 and include elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, cheetah and leopard as well as an abundance of plains game. For the same reasons, there is a huge variety of birdlife. You can see the African fish eagle at Kubu Dam, its call being the iconic sound of Africa or search for another of our 300 plus different species.
Conservation is synonymous with Lapalala which is not only one of the leading private rhino sanctuaries in South Africa but is also recognised as one of the foremost eco-projects as well. Research is a key component of the conservation effort with a number of projects ongoing at any one time. A species breeding project aimed at the reintroduction of once indigenous species is already underway with roan antelope, white and black rhinoceros, and Cape buffalo. Projects have also focused on the architectural richness of the reserve such as studies of the Bushman's Paintings and the mystical Melora Iron Age site.
5 Stilted Villas
Polokwane International Airport
2 hours from Polokwane International Airport
2 hours from Bela-Bela
3 hours from Johannesburg
Lepogo Lodges, Noka Camp, South Africa