When it comes to choosing an African holiday resort, be it for locals or international visitors, there is only one picture that comes to mind and that is resting away from hustles and bustles of the city life in a secluded laidback environment full of scenic views.
Squeaky clean accommodation and low lush green forests punctuated at small intervals by umbrella-shaped trees and occasional wildlife sightings.
With this picture in mind, three friends (Joseph Zinyana, Susan Zinyana, and Jack Madzivandila) managed to build South Africa’s newest holiday Resort at the border of Gauteng and Limpopo provinces.
They named their new child, ‘Ritsako Lodge’. Speaking at the official opening of Ritsako Lodge, one of the three friends who is also Ritsako’s Director, Joseph Zinyana said that the idea for opening the Lodge came about when they had visited a lodge in Gauteng province. The three were charmed by the tranquillity of the lodge that they decided to have their own.
While looking for ideas on how to stand apart from the competition, the three intensively researched the background and operations of most holiday resorts in South Africa and were struck by one resort i.e. the Dinokeng Game Reserve. What really struck them about the Dinokeng Game Reserve was that it was (at the time) the only free-roaming Big Five residential game reserve next to an urbanised area in Gauteng. As such, they decided to adopt a similar model but rather than opting to establish it in Gauteng, they strategically located Ritsako Lodge at the border of Gauteng and Limpopo province.
Sacrificing some of their investments, the three friends raised 35 million Rand (US$2.47 million) for the successful completion of Ritsako Lodge.
Located strategically at the Gauteng-Limpopo border, Ritsako Lodge is easily accessible by road. It’s a 45km journey (approximately an hour and a half) from Johannesburg on the N1 highway.
The biggest attraction to the Ritsako Lodge is the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, rhinos, leopard, and lion). The roaming Big Five are just a few metres away from the Lodge thus you get a good view of the most sought-after wildlife in the comfy of your room, outdoor garden or even as you cool yourself in a warm Jacuzzi at the back of the Lodge.
Ritsako Lodge has a capacity of 80 people. There are fully furnished units to accommodate individuals, couples and families.
The cheapest unit is the Standard Room (5 in total). Standard rooms accommodate a maximum of two people. The rooms come with one Queen Size bed, fully serviced bathroom, full bouquet DSTV, and air conditioning.
King size rooms (14 in total) accommodate a maximum of two people. You can opt either for one with a one King Size bed or for one with two single beds. King size rooms come with air conditioning, hairdryer fan, and TV satellite.
The Sleeper Unit (10 in total) accommodate a maximum of five people. The Sleeper Unit facilities include one double bed, ensuite bathroom, and one fully serviced bathroom, communal kitchen with a four plate stove, fan hairdryer, and TV satellite.
For families, a Family Unit (2) accommodates a maximum of six people. The Family Unit comes three King size beds (different rooms), three ensuite bathrooms, TV Satellite, fan hairdryer, air conditioning, a kitchen and a lounge.
There are also two Private Suits that have two double bedrooms each. They also come with a fully serviced bathroom, kitchen, DSTV, and a lounge.
In addition to the above, Ritsako Lodge also has a conference centre that carries up to 250 people and a Chapel with a capacity of 125 people.
Ritsako Lodge’s three founders said that the resort is not only there to cater for international visitors. They said they had locals in mind when constructing the resort and as such invite locals to visit and enjoy what their continent has to offer in terms of hospitality.
Ritsako Lodge has 16 permanent employees.