Heaven on Earth,
Our expectations were very high, but everything was beyond our imagination. Exceptional hospitality, breath-taking game drives.
Christie and Haydn spoilt us with great hospitality. Surprising each time completely.
The Pitse Lodge and the surrounding landscapes are by far the best we have visited. The pristine setting gives you so much joy that we will never forget our visit here.
Thank you to the wonderful Pitse Team, great cooking by Francis and top service by Pieter. The housekeeping was the best we have ever seen!
Our 40th anniversary was highlighted with many small surprises and celebrations.
Thank you all, you’re simply the BEST
Dear Haydn, Christie, Francis, Pieter and the Pitse Staff,
Thank you for making our stay here so amazing.
Haydn, thank you for the safari drives and all your explanations about everything. We learned so much of animal’s behaviour. You never get tired of answering all our questions with such great knowledge.
Christie, thank you for all your email exchanges and organising our stay.
Francis, thank you for your delicious meals. All of them have been prepared with such commitment and love. We tasted it.
Pieter, thank you for your drinks supply and towels after the drives.
Pitse Staff, thank you for the cleaning and all the laundry.
It is so hard to leave but we will come back to have more of this experience. Such beautiful memories to take home with us. In stressful times we will be remembering this wonderful place with its stunning nature.
Bye-bye until next time
Dear Haydn, Christie, Francis, Pieter and The Pitse Staff,
I want to thank you for this memorable second stay at Pitse Lodge.
At the game drives we had even more luck to see the animals that we hadn’t seen at our first stay (giraffes, buffalo, blue cranes and lots more). The drives were always very interesting. Listening to Haydn and his passion for the animals is remarkable.
When we come “HOME” we are always welcomed by Christie and Pieter. Pieter gave us refreshing hand towels. At the returns of the afternoon drives we always had a different little welcome drink, which was very pleasant as well.
You were always looking after us, such as a Family member.
Thanks to Francis for his great and finger-licking meals. The lasagne and bobotie were so delicious, so we had to ask for the recipes!
It breaks my heart to leave this place, call it for now my second home. Here we can hangout, relax and recharge our batteries.
You are great people, stay well. Wishing you all the best and hoping to see you soon again.
Thank you for your hospitality and this pleasant and memorable stay…
Reliving the memories at HOME
What an amazing, wonderful place… And, even better the spirit behind the Pitse Lodge. And the Staff! Thank you for an unforgettable week. You will be forever in our hearts – your love for this place and the reason for it is obvious. Thank you for sharing part of yourselves, your heritage and your heaven on earth with us.
Dear Christie, Haydn and the Pitse Lodge Staff,
Thank you so, so much for this AMAZING experience. Every single one of you were truly wonderful and so hospitable. You made us feel like Kings and Queens! We can honestly say that our wedding day was the most wonderful day of our lives. The pictures and stories we’ve heard and seen about Pitse Lodge don’t even come close of the reality here. The game drives and the knowledge and experience of Haydn are overwhelming. We will never be able to tell other people what it’s like to be here, you must experience it!
We couldn’t thank you guys enough for these 3 AWESOME days. I feel like a child that must leave Disneyland.
Much love from Belgium
Thanks Christie, Haydn and the Team!!
I had a lovely stay again and feel so blessed to be back soon again
Dear Haydn, Christie and Team,
Thank you for everything and the greatest hospitality. We hope we will see you next year to make more memorable memories.
Dear Haydn, Christie and Staff,
It was our first time coming to South Africa and we think we are now spoilt for ever. It was an experience we will never forget. We loved the game drives and especially all the little facts that made it much more then just looking at the animals. The food and rooms were also great and made us feel very special.
We hope to come back to this wonderful piece of Africa.
Thank you for the amazing time we’ve had in this beautiful place! We enjoyed every moment of it and loved the animals. The way Haydn talks and knows everything about the wild is amazing! I think we need to go on diet after this week because of all the beautiful food. Especially the carrot cake – it was our favourite…
Thank you for the time of our lives!
Wat een fantastische plek, als een droom. Meer dieren gezien dan verwacht en zo dichtbij. En het eten was abnormal lekker. De bruiloft was zeer romantisch en een geweldige plek. We hadden de tijd van ons leven.
What perfected our stay in a nutshell? This nature fan and guiding jewel:
Haydn Hopewell is his name and wildlife is his game and he certainly fulfilled our hopes very well!
This girl was raised in the city but prefers “wild life” these days over “pretty”. A formidable host but what we love most, is the uplifting spirits of Christie!
Dear Haydn, Christie, Pieter, Francis and all the other Staff Members,
We do not have enough words and adjectives to describe our experience… We got married at this wonderful place, with all the preparations and main things being settled in Holland, the final parts were settled here. We left a whole bunch of stuff in the capable hands of you and your team: that was the best choice we ever made! You have made our wedding unforgettable and our wildest dreams come true!! We love you all!! We will be back for sure!! We will see you next week on our Mhondoro game drives… We cannot thank you enough!! The happiest couple of 2019!! Forever in our hearts…
Dear Haydn, Christie and all of the Pitse Staff,
Thank you for once again an amazing week. We enjoyed every moment of it. The staff were very helpful and kind to us. If there was a problem they would solve it directly.
The safari’s with Haydn were amazing – we saw lots of different animals including brown hyena which was to see with a ‘good sight’ – it was a good spot. Our brains are now filled with lots of information about all the animals that Haydn has spoken about. Although it rained a lot over a few days, it didn’t stop us from enjoying our week.
Every morning we woke up to a beautiful breakfast which tasted amazing. The scrambled eggs were the most popular as they were delicious.
After breakfast, came a delicious lunch, prepared by Francis, the amazing cook.
The best meal out of the lunches was the chicken curry – everybody loved it!
Luckily for us, we enjoyed it twice!
Our rooms got cleaned every day by the staff so we could sleep in a clean fresh bed.
When we were in the lodge, Pieter made sure we didn’t dehydrate by serving us drinks at any time and of course, a nice hot hand towel after each safari.
Along his side was Christie, who gave us a warm welcome back to the lodge. Christie filled us with amazing stories about the lodge and made us feel at home here. Thank you both for that.
Although everything was amazing, the “park town prawns” made us run to our rooms faster than usual (sorry for the screams) and the frog made a terrible sound 24/7!
Pitse Lodge, the last and best stop for us in Africa this year. After nice Franshoek, beautiful Hermanus (with several whales in the ocean), Swellendam, Oudtshoorn and Addo Elephant Park (with 750 elephants), we arrived in Welgevonden for the second time. Although we have done safaris for more than 30 years, we found in Welgevonden many experiences, we have never had before. From playing baby jackals, a herd of 70 zebra, a lioness chasing a rhino, two servals, 2 lionesses playing and irritating 2 rhino’s and a lot more!
The view in front of our room, where no vehicle can pass by (thanks to Paul FVV) the excellent food of Francis (“my job is to spoil my guests”) the marvellous hospitality of Christie, Haydn, Pieter and the other staff members. Last but not least…. Steven, he did an excellent job as ranger, replacing Haydn due to his nose operation. At one point we followed foot prints for more than one hour and finally found four cheetah and on another occasion a very big male lion. Thanks for everything and as many have said before: “We would love to come back!
What a week… The hospitality, the sightings (leopard!), the kha kulu munandie food (aka: the great food) (Bobotie x 2!), the kindness, the weather and the laughter.
Big ngia bonga! (aka: big thanks)
PS: Big yay for the 40 (!!) more or less mammals!
Dear Christie, Haydn and Team,
Thank you so much for giving us such a great feeling of hospitality and a feeling for what nature can have! Life doesn’t get better than this. It’s like heaven or beyond… For sure it’s next level for a holiday! Forever yours,
Dear Christie, Haydn, Pieter, Francis and Staff,
Thank you all for the incredible stay! All the game drives were fantastic, we can listen to Haydn for hours! The animals we have seen are unforgettable. Everyday it feels like you are eating in the best restaurant, all that because of the best cook Francis!
Thanks again for everything we have experienced. We hope to come back again one day.
Lots of love,
Dear Christie, Haydn and the Wonderful Team,
There are no words to explain how the experience was. Thank you again for unforgettable days, the good food, wine and of course the game drives. See you soon, big hug and stay healthy.
Dear Haydn, Christie and all the staff, as well as Pieter and Chef,
If a holiday can be a dream, we have experienced a dream over the past three days. Your hospitality, care, knowledge of animals and the country, made our game drives unforgettable. The delicious meals Chef prepared for us and the care of Christie and Pieter was fantastic. Thank you for making our stay unforgettable.
To Haydn, Christie, Pieter, Francis, Paulina and Isaac,
Another wonderful visit with some super lion sightings. We really enjoyed the star gazing!
To Haydn, Christie, Francis, Pieter, Isaac and Paulina,
We want to say a huge thank you to you all for the wonderful time we had here. You have all been so friendly and helpful, and we have loved the food, the environment and atmosphere at Pitse. The food in particular, has been outstanding – thanks Francis. The game drives with Haydn have been fantastic, with his vast knowledge and experience helping us learn so much about the animals, as well as getting some wonderful sightings of the lions, elephants and many other animals. The lodge room we had was just fantastic, with most fabulous views and a very comfortable bed. The turn down service was also great. I enjoyed swimming in the pool which wasn’t too cold. Thanks to everyone for our time at Pitse, we are planning to return in the future.
Dear Christie, Haydn & Pitse Lodge Team,
What wonderful days we spent in your beautiful lodge. The game drives we did with Haydn were amazing. We saw so many animals – the baby rhino, the baby elephants in the herd – we enjoyed it all so much. The warm welcome after we came back at the lodge, and the delicious meals – we loved it. It was the best place to celebrate my 70th birthday!
Many, many thanks & best wishes to you all
Dear Friends of Pitse,
We have been here for 3 days and we have enjoyed it to the fullest. Amazing location, amazing environment, but also amazing hospitality.We have met a unprecedented ranger in Haydn. You know when to look and spot the animals we were looking for. Thank you for your knowledge and experience, you were very willing to share with us. We enjoyed the hospitality of the entire team who were there to give us a royal experience. You succeeded in doing this. Thank you! We wish you lots of success and (who knows) see you in the future!
Dear Christie, Haydn and the rest of the Pitse Team!
This was our first time in South Africa and we could have never prepared for this wonderful experience! The surroundings, the fantastic lodge… it’s all a dream! The game drives with Haydn were the highlight of the day! All the animals we wanted to see… just ask Haydn and he will find them for you! The meals 3 times a day were magnificent and always exceptional! Many thanks for this wedding week!! You’ve made a dream come true!
Love and greetings
A huge thanks to Haydn-ator and the wonderful team here at Pitse Lodge.
We have been so spoilt by all the amazing meals, game drives and scenery! Haydn-ator the legend of Welgevonden made sure that we had the best views of every animal sighting. It’s going to be hard to leave this beautiful place and animals. Hope to come back here in the future to spot the leopard! Cheers to the awesome stay.
Thank you for this amazing week. This week felt like a dream. Everything was perfectly organised. The Pitse Team is so passionate, they fill their hearts with love and very exciting views. We can recommend “Pitse Lodge” to everybody. We will never forget this wonderful week. Thank you all so much.
Much love and greetings
Dear Pitse Dream Team,
I never would have dared to dream about the wedding like we had! It was beyond perfect and you are the ones we will always be thankful for. Our stay with you has been more then amazing and it has filled our hearts with love and joy when we think about Welgevonden and Pitse! Haydn-ator you are the best!! Thank you all for a wonderful time! Much love, the happiest bride in the world.
Dear Christie, Haydn, Pieter, Francis, Isaac, Simon, Paulina and Mittah,
Thank you all so much for an amazing time at the lodge again. We had such a wonderful and relaxing time. This is certainly one of the most relaxing, yet inspiring vacations we could imagine. Not only the scenery, but mostly the people who made it – thanks to everyone! We hope to be back one day soon. Love and greetings.
“Dear Christie, Haydn & Pitse Team,
Thank you so, so much for this incredible and fantastic time that we have spent at the lodge. We had the time of our lives. We couldn’t have hoped for a better place to get married – WE LIVED OUR DREAM.
Thank you for everything.
See you in a couple of years hopefully. We will keep in touch.”
“Dear Pitse Team,
This week was a wonderful experience. Your hospitality, enthusiasm, great cooking and the beautiful environment made us feel like being in paradise. We were very lucky to see so many animals and learned a lot about them from Haydn. Thank you very much for everything.”
Thanks again for another great stay at Pitse! It was so nice to be back again…
Home away from home, in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. At least in our view 😊
Thanks for the great hospitality, cooking and enthusiasm.
We will not forget the cheetahs with their kill, the beautiful sighting of the elephant on the road, which was scary at the same time. But one of the most impressive things was the roaring of the lions at night and to see them so close to the lodge!
Unforgettable…. Besides all the other animals of course.
We hope to be back soon!”
Dear Pitse Team,
We stayed for 14 days for the fourth time at Pitse and it was wonderful again! We did a lot of activities like:
- Full day trips (to the north)
- Braai at the dam with fishing (Sterkfontein)
- Boma dinners
- Morning and afternoon trips
- Also, relaxing times
- And a lot more…
We saw a lot of game and special sightings with the help by super ranger Haydn!
Lions, cheetah, buffalo, bush pigs, giraffe, elephants, spitting cobra, civet, vultures, baby hippo, rhinos and lots of normal animals and birds.
Thanks for the pleasant stay, IT WAS GREAT…
The meals are delicious, back home we must go on diet! 😊
Greetings from Tilburg, Netherlands
Dear Haydn, Christie, Pieter, Francis and All,
Thank you for the wonderful vacation. Everything was fantastic – the game, the walk, the food, the scenery…. But what makes this so special was your incredible hospitality. Thank you!
Dear Haydn, Christie, Pieter, Francis and the entire Pitse Staff,
Africa was always #1 on my bucket list. Little did I know that it would turn out to be a champagne bucket! The staff, accommodation, cuisine, cake and hospitality were 10 stars…. At least. I learned more from Haydn than from any biology, geology or astronomy class I ever had at university. We all felt completely at home here – from ages 6 to 76! You managed to intrigue and inspire us all. Thank you so much for the memories that will last all our lifetimes. We will miss you all and hope to return someday soon”.
Love and best wishes to you.
Dear Christie, Haydn, Pieter, Francis and all the other staff,
This was my third time at Pitse Lodge, which was built with so much love as I can see in every corner. But it is not just the lodge, it is the wonderful team and above all our hosts, Christie and Haydn, who make us feel as if we are coming home! The drives are wonderful, and I have learnt so much. I really hope to come back!!! With great appreciation and thanks for the wonderful time”
Dear Pitse Team,
Great experience it was! Beautiful people, beautiful beasts, beautiful nature, beautiful place. Thank you for the hospitality and I learnt so much more about the wild life”. Warm regards. Jet
I fully agree with Jet’s words. I have been to SA numerous times, this however is an experience that stands out high above everything else I have seen in this beautiful country. Thanks so much – it was fantastic.
Dear Haydn, Christie & All the Pitse Team,
Thank you so much for the wonderful week at Pitse Lodge. What a beautiful place this is! So happy that we saw 4 of the Big 5 animals.
What a beautiful first stay in South Africa and first safari – a truly unforgettable experience!
Haydn’s passion for nature, the landscape and animals is remarkable and is really contagious.
Christie is such a lovely person who is permanently busy to please her guests!
You and your staff made us so happy. Thanks again for this ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.
We’ll come back with our children!
Dear Christie, Haydn and The Pitse Team,
Another week at the lodge coming to an end and it has again been an amazing adventure. We love the feeling of coming back and will savour this until the next time. Your hospitality is one of a kind! Francis has fed us well with delicious food, beer and wine. Except for a little bit of rain, the weather has been sunny and pleasant (and we are all sunburnt!) a nice contrast to the -4 degrees and snow back home. The game drives are truly an experience and we want to thank Haydn for being so patient with all our questions and for being genuinely enthusiastic. We had a lot of wonderful sightings, including encounters with the lions, elephant herds, hippo with a baby and a rock python and a lot of others:
Animal list : hippo, rhino, red hartebeest, wildebeest, waterbuck, jackal, eland, warthog, zebra, common reedbuck, kudu, blesbok, rock rabbit, door mouse, elephant shrew, lion, baboon, impala, bat, oryx, elephant, vervet monkey, red lipped herald snake, tsessebe, steenbok, small spotted genet, puffadder, bubbling casino frog, skink, brown hyena, cheetah, buffalo, rock dassie, giraffe, crocodile, klipspringer, scrub hare, tree squirrel, bushbuck and lots of birds!
We are so grateful that we found Pitse and thank you all for a wonderful week. Until next time…
Thank you for all these beautiful moments – an experience we will never forget.”
“Thank for taking such good care of us – we had amazing days.”
“Thank you for a beautiful stay – we have enjoyed it very much – it was amazing.
Dear Christie, Haydn and Pitse Staff,
This place was even better than we expected! We felt like we have lived in paradise for the last few days. This was due to the beautiful lodge and mostly due to the warm and helpful staff.
What we liked most:
The beautiful, quiet surrounding
The viewing from the lodge in the early morning
Taking a bath and enjoying the view
Cycling in the middle of the Wildebeest
Watching the animals so close
Photographing the wildlife
The chocolates on the pillows
Standing under the outside shower
The “personal touch” of Christie & Haydn
The marshmallow on at the boma dinner
I liked everything!
Thank you for the service
We visited Pitse for the 3rd time, and it was great again! We enjoyed your fantastic hospitality, the delicious meals and the wonderful game drives. Thank you very much and we will see you in December 2020!!
Dear Christie, Haydn & Pitse Staff,
Thank you for a beautiful stay – we loved it all.
Thank you for the peaceful game drives.
Thank you for all the food and special thanks for paying such close attention to our diet.
Thank you for the cleanliness in the rooms and the complete lodge.
Thank you for all the attention to detail.
Hope to come back sometime – best wishes to you all
Dear Christie, Haydn & The Pitse Staff,
Thank you for a beautiful stay in Pitse Lodge! What a wonderful place! Not only the magnificent view and ambiance of the lodge but it is the atmosphere created by all of you.
Haydn and Christie compliments for managing this lodge so well.
Pieter, thanks for all the warm welcomes after the game drives with the warm towels, serving all the meals and all the cups of tea!
Francis, thanks for the gorgeous meals. I tasted the most delicious carrot cake and had never seen a turtle bread before!
Mittah, thanks for everything – it was so clean and what a surprise finding a chocolate or candy on our pillow each night.
Isaac & Simon, all the facilities in the lodge where TOP!
Haydn, thanks for all the hospitality, organizations and especially the nice game drives, you informed us about the wildlife with so much love and passion! It was great to see your respect for the animals. And all the conversations about life – it was so nice.
You said you have already had lots of Dutch guests at Pitse Lodge – there will probably be more, because you have created two more ambassadors!
We hope we can come back once. Best wishes for all and again, thanks so much
Dear Haydn, Christie and the Pitse Staff,
What a magical place you have at Pitse Lodge. We loved everything about it. It’s beauty, its silence, the animals, the personal touch you give to it. Thank you very much for making our holiday so perfect. Francis, thank you for all the lovely meals. Pieter, thanks for all the cups of tea, coffee, soda water, beers etc. Haydn, thank for the great game drives and everything you taught us. Everybody, thanks for the care, your hospitality and the beautiful time you gave us here. We hope to come and see you again.
What a welcome it was, a very friendly meeting with Haydn at the gate and with Christie and the entire staff when we arrived at the lodge BUT there was also an elephant welcoming us, he was thirsty and drank a little from the water features of the lodge. After that it was like the Garden of Eden. The drives were wonderful, the food and the lodge unforgettable. Haydn managed to organise the ‘requested’ bathing elephants and the large male lion. Christie told us everything about the lodge and about living out here. Pieter and the staff were giving us a wonderful and enjoyable stay. Thank you all so much and hopefully we will be able to come back in the near future.
Dear Christie, Haydn and Staff,
It was so great to be here, so overwhelming. Even in our dreams it wasn’t so beautiful as it is here!! Thank you so much for sharing all the nice places, the hospitality and the services you all have given us. We will be back, because our children have to see this place too (and grandchildren) Again a fantastic place!!!”
Dear Haydn, Christie and Staff.
Nothing impresses more than authentic simplicity and real, warm hospitality. We have been around for only three days, too short a stay, but we hope to come back more often. We are quite speechless how we feel. Therefore, nice and simple: You have made our days here so good!
“What an amazing place this is! We had such an unforgettable time here, every second exceeded expectations. A huge thank you to everyone who made this trip so special and amazing. A special thank you to Christie and Haydn – the two of you have made this place a truly one of a kind and can’t thank you enough for all you do. We can’t wait to come back!”
“Dear Christie, Haydn and the Pitse Staff – These past few days in South Africa in Pitse Lodge were definitely the most memorable of our stay in this beautiful country. It was you and your staff who created the ambiance and atmosphere of a perfect wedding day on the 27th of August! Nicole as well as myself will never forget this!! We will leave this place with a big smile on our face and a little tear. Every minute of the game drives, the excellent dinners, snacks and good informative conversations made this an experience we will never forget. Luck was by our side these days with great cheetah sightings, baby rhinos and all other animals. Hopefully we can come back to you in the near future!! You have created new ambassadors for Pitse Lodge and South Africa!! All the best from Holland “Super bedankt”! on behalf of our families Vallen and Mutsers”
“To the Pitse Team – Thank you so much for making our African adventure the most magnificent experience of our lives. We struggle to find the best part of our trip as each amazing event was surpassed by the next. From the cheetah chase, to the elephants play fighting, to the lion’s roar, to the rhinos wanting to join us for dinner in the boma. Everything was spectacular and was complemented by Haydn’s great demeanour, and the staffs friendly attitude and hospitality. Thanks again for everything. This will forever be remembered as one of the best family bonding we have ever had and if we don’t… we have over 1000 pictures to help us!”
“As South Africans, we are blessed to get the chance and immense privilege to visit a number of game reserves and lodges. We found Welgevonden be a place of serenity and beauty. The open plains were a new experience and we could observe game clearly from the vehicle. Pitse Lodge has the best choice we could ever have made to stay at. A flawless experience where we were treated with great love and care from a dedicated group of professionals. It would be amiss of us not to mention them by name:
Christie, Haydn, Isaac, Pieter, Simon, Paulina, Mittah, Francis. The best endorsement is that we will be back to reconnect with the wildlife and great Pitse hosts in the future”
Dear Christie, Haydn & the whole Pitse Team, Thank you for a wonderful stay at Pitse Lodge. What an experience, the endless hospitality, endless scenery, endless wildlife. We all really enjoyed our stay at Pitse Lodge. Far too short, this hopefully gives us the opportunity to come back one day. Wildlife was superb, we were so lucky to greet a lion and a bunch of elephants! The rhino’s – enjoy the fantastic preservation in this place – supported by lodges such as Pitse Lodge! Superb!! Thank you and greetings from all of us.
We had a really lovely stay and experience at Pitse Lodge. All the staff are so welcoming – thank you Christie and all. The game drives were great and we were lucky to have seen the cheetah up close. Thank you Haydn, for all the finds! The food was delicious, the warm smiles welcoming and Welgevonden is such a beautiful reserve. We are lucky to have been guests at this special place.
We came back for the third time to Pitse, now with teenagers. They are still so enthusiastic and so are we. We saw so many animals. The lion came back! It was so nice to meet Haydn and Christie again. What a paradise!! Thanks to all the staff. The wonderful food and the plus plus experience of Haydn and Christie!
We stayed for the third time at Pitse and it felt like coming home. Sterkfontein is a great plus, we enjoyed the fishing, hiking and biking. The game drives are GREAT, we loved it!! Also the meals are very good as well is the service. Thank you very much Haydn, Christie, Pieter, Francis, Isaac, Simon, Paulina and Mittah.