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Our Very Own Phoenix

Mar 30, 2022 | 0 comments

We love a good story and the reincarnation of our Big5 log units into our Luxury Villas is no exception. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, our Luxury Villas were born out of, quite literally, fire.

The Big 5 Log House

iKhaya LamaDube used to be renowned for its Big 5 Log House. At the time these units were iKhaya’s flagship units and main attraction. The accommodation had 4 rooms and was great for groups of friends or families wanting to stay together in self-catering accommodation while exploring the beauty of the African bush.

8 years ago on 27 March 2014 a fire started during a heavy electric lightning storm. Hosts – Tienie and Gerd, had media representatives staying with them at the time in these units. They were (thankfully) all on an exploration tour in the Dinokeng Game Reserve when disaster hit and lightning struck at approximately 16h00.

Warthog in the grass

The group were at their last stop watching tribal dancers giving a spectacular group dance when they received a call from Xavier Glaudas – a French Herpetologist staying with them at the time doing Puffadder research at iKhaya. He informed them that the entire building with four suites, kitchen/dining room and outlook deck had tragically caught fire during the storm.

Another couple (Thinus and Leatitia) were enjoying the theatrics of the electric African storm from their own unit when they were startled by a deafening loud bang as the lightning struck. Thinus was so startled by the noise that he ran for cover under the comfort of a pillow.

Upon swiftly returning to the lodge shortly after the panicked call received from Xavier, Tienie and Gerd were met with the devastation of the last part of the building in blazing flames.

The disaster was dealt with swiftly, there were no casualties and after mourning the loss of the spectacular unit it was time to move on and rebuild.

Our New Luxury Bush Villas

The increased demand for private accommodation within the reserve grew and Tienie and Gerd decided that instead of rebuilding the co-living self-catering lodge they wanted to cater to the modern African safari-goer and came up with the idea of the Luxury Units.

These units are incredibly popular and even guests who had the privilege of staying in the Big 5 Log House are impressed with the replacement. 

Luxury Bush Villa bedroom view from kitchen

Here’s what some guests have to say about the Luxury Villas:


An amazing lodge place within Dinokeng. We booked a poolside cottage and luxury villa but got an upgrade to 2 luxury villas and they are really luxurious. Huge villa, very clean with great view, splash pool and an amazing braai area. All in all amazing.
Review from 01 Mar 2022

Great start to our holiday

We stayed in the luxury lodge with its private pool and outside area. Loved the welcome and the accommodation had everything we needed. We stayed in the treehouse last time but this was another level of comfort. The park is easy to navigate and we saw lots of rhinos and giraffes. Our hire car couldn’t get to the dam area as it had rained so I’m sure there were plenty of other animals to see.
Easy to get to from Johannesburg Airport too.
We will be back, Andrew and Charleen.
Review from 15 Jan 2022

Amazing stay

We stayed in the luxury bush villa looking over the water whole, it was really beautiful, very modern and loved our view. Also very quiet, everything was there we needed. very relaxing and friendly staff.
Review from 11 Oct 2021

Heaven is a place on Earth – iKhaya LamaDube

Since the early 2000s, my family and I have been visiting Tienie and Gerd at their piece of paradise nestled within the Dinokeng Game Reserve.

In 2014 I started sharing these special trips with my boyfriend – now husband and iKhaya LamaDube has become our retreat of choice – an hour and a bit away from home.

Although my life cycles and the way I have experienced iKhaya LamaDube have changed, iKhaya LamaDube has always remained consistent.
• Consistent in their amendities
• Consistent in their service
• Consistent in their attention to detail
• Consistent in wowing us with their ongoing upgrades
• Consistent in their passion to give their guests the most unique experiences under the African sun

Written word would never do iKhaya LamaDube justice – it’s a getaway you have to experience yourself.

I’ll never be able to explain in the right words how wonderful it is to arrive and be greeted by Cynthia with a refreshment and hand towel to cool off, or how you’ll find comfort in seeing Philip’s friendly, ever-welcoming smile at your door if you need any assistance with anything, or how there are always delicate touches and new surprises to find that Tienie has conceptualized with love to ensure that every bit of your stay is memorable.

Although iKhaya LamaDube is situated in a Big-5 game reserve, the plethora of wildlife you see from your unit seems like a bonus as you become totally overwhelmed during your stay with a sense of peace, privacy and tranquility.

We can’t wait to go back – the next time, and the time after that, and the time after that and the time after that.

Review from 20 Oct 2021

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