Rio Vista Lodge is situated in the town Malelane – right on the banks of the Crocodile River looking into the Southern Kruger National Park.
The lodge is only 9km from the Kruger’s Malelane Gate, which makes it a great place to stay outside the park and will also make a convenient stop over to and from Swaziland and Mozambique.
We don't think you can get a better view than this; the Crocodile River runs in front of the lodge giving you stunning views into the Kruger and its wildlife that come to the river to drink and bath, by day and night.
The main lodge has a large reception area, cocktail deck overlooking the Crocodile River, swimming pool and play area for the kids and a beautiful big dam that is great for bird watching and photography.
These are some of the birds we saw, both at the lodge and in the park...
Rio Vista is owner run and we met with Anita (the owner) on arrival - what a friendly lady and so helpful. She came and chatted to us at dinner and told us about the history of the lodge and gave us some info on the area around the lodge.
There is a Wi-Fi hotspot in the lodge’s communal area for those who need to connect with the outside world.
The newly renovated restaurant has open sides allowing you a good view of the river and Kruger Park. There are canvas flaps that are lowered when the weather gets too cold and they also have heaters to ward off the cold.
The Rio Vista Lodge food is 5-star! We had 3 wonderful dinners: oxtail stew; kingklip, prawns, lamb curry and a desert on one of the nights.
Jenny had the lamb curry twice so I guess it was really good!
Each morning we took breakfast packs with us, which we asked for at dinner and before we left the restaurant our packs were ready for us.
These have to be the best breakfast packs ever!
Every day we were given two packs each and each time we had something different. The one pack contained a variety of fresh fruit with a juice, while the other had the exciting stuff...
Scotch eggs, ham & cheese plus salad and nuts
Smoked sausages with boiled eggs, salad and ham & cheese
Crumbed chicken breast with salad, boiled egg and ham & cheese
Fresh fruit and fruit juice
We don’t eat wheat so
this can make it difficult for lodges, as breakfast packs are normally a
sandwich with muffin and rusks and a boiled egg but Rio Vista Lodge’s kitchen staff
The old restaurant (viewing deck) will now become the cocktail deck which has an unobstructed view over the river.
The main lodge houses 17 rooms, each room has been elegantly decorated; the upstairs rooms have a view from their balcony and ground level rooms have a patio.
All have an en suite bathroom, tea and coffee station, aircons and bottled water with a small bar fridge. Some have views of the pool and river while others look onto the lovely gardens.
Linos, which is just next door to the main lodge, has two double chalets, meaning each has an inter-leading door making them great for families or for four couples.
The chalets have en-suite bathrooms, tea and coffee station, air-cons, DSTV and a large patio overlooking the Crocodile River.
If you are a golfer then there is a golf course just down the drag; if you love the wildlife then the Kruger Park is a hop, skip and a jump away.
We did three day's of self-drive safaris and had some amazing sightings:
Leopard x 2
"It's 764 pages of the most amazing information. It consists of, well, everything really. Photography info...area info...hidden roads..special places....what they have seen almost road by road. Where to stay just outside the Park...camp information. It takes quite a lot to impress me but I really feel that this book, which was 7 years in the making, is exceptional." - Janey Coetzee, South Africa
"Having a passion for the region itself and having to know about all dynamics, water holes and ideal roads for a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa
"Mario and Jenny take you to places that are not always visited, and their descriptions of the more remote camps will allow you to make an informed decision without wasting time and money" - Bob & Sherry Shepardson, DeBary, Florida, USA
"Your time and money are valuable and the information in this book will help you save both." - Don Stilton, Florida, USA
"I highly recommend the book to anyone visiting Etosha National Park to photograph the animals - or anyone considering an African photography safari in the future." - Anne Darling, Cognac, France
"As a photographer and someone who has visited and taken photographs in the Pilanesberg National Park, I can safely say that with the knowledge gained from this eBook, your experiences and photographs will be much more memorable." - Alastair Stewart, BC, Canada
"This work is so much more than an eBook, because it is also a guide, a tutorial, an inspiration and a must-have for anyone interested in wildlife photography" - Findtripinfo.com, USA