Elephant, Elephants Crossing, South Africa, Welgevonden Game Reserve

Elephants Crossing Lodge

Deutsche Fassung German translated articles

Petra and I always place elephants at the top of our wish list when visiting a game lodge. And to say we’re elephant lovers is an understatement. You can probably guess our level of excitement when we were invited to visit Elephants Crossing Lodge.

In this article, we share with you not only our many close encounters with elephants but also the features of this one-of-a-kind lodge managed by an exceptional team.

Elephants Crossing Lodge is located in the renowned Welgevonden Game Reserve, only three and a half hours from Johannesburg.

What makes Elephants Crossing Lodge unique?

Elephants Crossing is a luxury tented camp located near West Gate in the Welgevonden Game Reserve and adajent to Sediba Lodge. As the name suggests, this extraordinary camp is frequently visited by large herds of elephants who enjoy taking showers in the guests’ splash pools. So, if you’re wondering what your chances are of spotting elephants, that is a definite, “for sure you will”!

Besides the lodge being located on the rim of a waterhole,  it is also the most intimate lodge that we’ve visited thus far. If you’re a romantic at heart, this is the ideal place to impress your better half with either a marriage proposal or to show someone you appreciate them. We took the opportunity to celebrate our recent successes and achievements with our travel website and our friendship.

Elephants Crossing, Welgevonden Game Reserve, pool, bush
A magnificent splash pool view from our patio

What is the accommodation like at Elephants Crossing?

Elephants Crossing consists of three luxury safari canvas tents, each with private splash pools and one Tented suite with a fire pit.

Each tent has an en suite bathroom with a free standing bath and outdoor shower. 

The Bush Villa  is the ultimate hideout for the perfect family or friends reunion. Here, you can enjoy warm summer evenings beside your exclusive and private boma while experiencing unobscured views of the bushveld.

The Bush Villa includes a fully equiped kitchen and open plan living room that opens up onto a large deck. 

What did we most enjoy about Elephants Crossing Lodge?

We enjoyed the fine dining meals prepared by Chef Austin on the expansive wooden deck of the main lodge while keeping a watchful eye on the waterhole beneath us. Chef Austin uses seasonal ingredients to prepare signature dishes with a South African twist.

During our first night, a lonely elephant bull came wandering along next to the main lodge en route to the Bush Villa. This experience was a first for us and totally took our breaths away to admire this majestic animal from only a few feet away.

Zebras, waterhole
Zebras in front of the main lodge

What is the one thing that will make us want to return time and again?

The wildlife is exceptional at this lodge. 

In addition, our ranger’s incredible knowledge of the fauna and flora of this reserve was so interesting. Herbert, has been with the lodge longer than most elephants have been around. Just kidding…this remarkable guide has been working in Welgevonden Game Reserve for about 25 years, which makes him one of the most experienced and respected game rangers in the reserve. 

Herbert explained to us the benefits of using various plants found in the reserve for medicinal purposes. For example, we learned that the Weeping Wattle could be used as toilet paper (when nature is calling), the Blue Guarry can be used as a toothbrush, the Resurrection bush for asthma, and the Fever tree can be combined with Vicks to steam a congested chest.

Game Ranger, Game Reserve
Herbert, the most knowledgable game ranger in Welgevonden Reserve
Jackal, game, sights ,
A jackal, one of the more than 65 different kinds of mammals found in the game reserve

When is the best time to visit Elephants Crossing?

The lodge can be enjoyed all year round, particularly because it is a malaria free area. 

Each season offers it’s own unique experience. For example, during the summer months birding is particularly good because of the many migratory birds visiting the reserve between October and March. Moreover, several of the game give birth to their young during the summer months. 

Ask any South Africans and they will tell you that the winter months are the best time to visit a safari lodge because the grasses are lower and there is less foliage enabling you to spot the wildlife better.

Considering the accommodation is in a luxury canvas tent, we cannot give our honest opinion if one would be able to escape the heat of summer or the chill of winter during the coldest or warmest summer months. We visited in mid-May and enjoyed perfect temperatures in our luxury tent. Nevertheless, the tents are equipped with floor fans and heaters to deal with extreme weather conditions. The advantages of visiting in either of these seasons far outweights the negative aspects.

bush view, safari, south africa
Game viewing from our patio

What is included in the rates of Elephants Crossing Lodge?

Elephants Crossing offers twice daily game drives, one early morning at sunrise and an other in the late afternoon (around 4pm depending on the season). Safari game drives last between three and four hours. The night drives allows gets to admire nocturnal species on the way back to camp.  

The price includes accommodation and is based on full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Park fees are also included as well as the listed alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. 

PRO TIP: Wear warm clothing if you’re visiting during the winter months (June to August). The winter months can get rather chilly on the early morning game drives and late afternoon sunset cruises.  During mid-day, the temperatures can reach around 24 degrees.

safari vehicle, game drive, safari
Afternoon game drive in Welgevonden Game Reserve

How to reach Elephants Crossing

Elephants Crossing is a mere three hours drive from Johannesburg. The last 13 kilometres are on a good gravel road. When you reach the West Gate of Welgevonden Game Reserve, you need to sign in at the Welgevonden gate and leave your car (if you’re doing a self-drive) in a secure, under-roof parking area. From here, you will be met and transported by a game ranger and taken to the lodge, where you can already experience your first game drive en route to the lodge. 

GOOD TO KNOW: The standard pick-up time at the entrace gate of the reserve is noon daily. Keep this time in mind when planning your trip to Elephants Crossing.

PRO TIP: We recommend staying a minimum of three nights at Elephants Crossing Lodge. This will enable you to have two full days to enjoy everything the lodge has to offer. We also recommend visiting the sister lodge, Zebras Crossing, for other types of nature activities. 


Whether you’re a wildlife lover, foodie, avid photographer or an adventure seeker, Elephants Crossing Lodge is guaranteed to give you memories to last a lifetime. The owners and management team did an amazing job of transforming the previous Wild Ivory Lodge into one of the most sought-after gems in Welgevonden Game Reserve.

Crossing Lodges are owned and managed by a lovely couple from the Netherlands. Noortje is excellent with guest services and promises to make your stay at any of their lodges unforgettable.

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