The Bollywood star loves Mabula, a game lodge in the middle of the South African wilderness
An outdoor setting at Mabula2/2photos
OT: Which is your favourite hotel in the world and why? Deepika Padukone: I would love to mention the last brilliant place I went to. This was last year when I went to South Africa and stayed at a resort called Mabula (from ZAR 4,500 including all meals and safaris; www.mabula.com). It is a game lodge about three hours from Johannesburg in the middle of the wilderness and is surrounded by such vast open landscapes that it seems like a world away from civilisation. The fact that it is surrounded by safari tracks—from grasslands to rocky outcrops means there are animals all around you. And that for me was not just thrilling, but als overy calming in an unusual way. It is rather upmarket, but rustic enough to let you relax and enjoy life.
OT: What experiences did you enjoy the most at Mabula? Deepika Padukone: Everything, right from the safaris to evenpaint ball and archery within the premises and the outdoor dining—where they serve you under trees and can even set up a bush barbecue. I had a lobster that was cooked brilliantly and served under a canopy of stars. We could hear the lions roaring in the distance. Another meal was under a century-old fig tree decorated with lanterns. I felt like a pampered Robinson Crusoe.
There is a miniature menagerie on site—where they have snakes—which wasn’t my cup of tea, but was still an experience. The handler got a friendly iguana for me, but I was very rude and did not return its advances. Birdwatching was an experience—even within the lodge, such a variety!
I also tried a Calabash Massage at their spa and drifted into sleep almost instantly with the rhythm of the seeds.
OT: Would you like to go back? Deepika Padukone: Oh yes, I am gathering the will to go back, especially for their night safari where they take you to the lion zone of the jungle. I was told it is possible to witness a lion hunting too. I would love to go back for that.
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