Surprise breakaway

A family holiday to Hoedspruit surprised Heinrich Grimsehl with exquisite accommodation and an unexpected owner

For July, my family, along with several other couples and their children, had planned a breakaway over the school holiday. Unfortunately, the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and the resulting travel restrictions stopped us dead in our tracks.

Luckily, we were able to retain and extend the booking that we had made at a lodge near Hoedspruit, Limpopo, called Little Africa Safari Lodge, which is situated within the greater Kruger conservation. Once the provincial borders opened again, we headed straight to Little Africa.

What a surprise! What an amazing experience. The facilities were far beyond my expectations. The imagery that comes to mind is that of being in the lap of luxury in the bush. The game drives offered by the lodge are exclusive and beyond comparison!

They say that behind every successful man, there is an exhausted women. For Hugo, that is his wife Leandra.

One morning, as I exited my tent, I saw a man in a very 4×4-looking wheelchair doing maintenance on a solar geyser. Of course, this tickled my curiosity, and we started a conversation.

His name is Hugo Bekker. In 2007, he fractured his neck in a motor vehicle accident. He spent six months in rehabilitation as a quadriplegic. In 2017, he sold his farm and bought this property in the in Moditlo Estate Blue Canyon.

In 2018, Hugo broke ground to start building the lodge, which opened its doors in 2020. Hugo always experienced a lack of wheelchair accessibility when out and about. Thus, his entire lodge has been adapted for wheelchair users. After all, he has to operate there on a daily basis.

Hugo even converted his own game drive vehicle to allow the wheelchair user to sit next to their loved one when going for a game drive. To him this was important.

What a testament of what can be achieved even after severe trauma and disability!

Do yourself a favour and see just how smart a bush lodge can be by visiting their website (and booking a breakaway) at The only problem I had was that my stay wasn’t long enough!

ContributorHeinrich Grimsehl is a prosthetist in private practice and a member of the South African Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (SAOPA). email:



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