ATHOLPLACE HOTEL & VILLA founder Ed and Anka Zeeman fell in love with the African continent on their first trip to Kenya in 1991. Since then they returned on a regular basis as an African safari was their prime way to escape from their busy business activities. During the years they developed the idea of owning an own lodge, and after a trip with the whole family they discovered in 2003 the beauty Madikwe Game Reserve. Wild enough but still well positioned with Johannesburg (airport, medical facilities etc) on a easy distance.
After their first visit they came back in 2004 and bought the land – at that moment – adjacent to the Madikwe Game Reserve with advance plans to incorporate the land in the Park. That happened. During 2004 they consulted architect Nick Plewman, to build their lodge and they worked out the Morukuru concept. Rather than a conventional main building with separate bedrooms, they decided to build 2 safari villa’s with the bedrooms connected to the house. The Riverhouse (3 bedroom house) and Owners House (2 bedroom house) were built during 2005 and the opening was in October 2005. After the sale of his company Ed decided to focus more on their African lodge and plan for a 3rd 5 bedroom villa were made. This Farmhouse was built during 2009. During their activities in Madikwe Ed and Anka got involved in the development of hospitality facilities in De Hoop Nature Reserve. In 2012 they decided to build the 4 bedroom Morukuru Ocean House on the ocean front in the park. Soon they will start with the building of the Morukuru Beach Lodge, with 5 beachfront hotelrooms, on the location of the ruins of the burnt down Koppie Alleen During the years they developed the idea of owning an own lodge, and after a trip with the whole family they discovered in 2003 the beauty Madikwe Game Reserve.
During 2013 they also had the opportunity to acquire AtholPlace Hotel & Villa in Sandton/Johannesburg. After a revamp of the hotel and redevelopment of the next door villa, the hotel was reopened early 2014. MORUKURU MADIKWE It offers the privacy of home with the comfort of a hotel. ‘We find that guests with children relax alot more if their children can play freely without them worrying that they may disturb other guests, comments Andrew John Linton, the General Manager. In that way its setup is ideal for family groups–and different to most other lodges in that it’s designed as a self-contained villa with rooms inside, which gives it a home away from home feeling. Having the space all to yourself is much more conducive to relaxation and with the added luxury of having your own private guide, tracker, host, chef and butler. ATHOLPLACE HOTEL & VILLA Being named the best boutique hotel in Johannesburg is no easy feat, but if you’ve ever set foot inside AtholPlace Hotel, you’ll know exactly why it received this accolade. OCEAN HOUSE Within the 36 000 hectare reserve is Morukuru Ocean House, aptly named for its close proximity to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. This luxury 4bedroomed home offers guests uninterrupted views of the continent’s greatest whale nursery, where Southern Right whales migrate for the calving and nursing season, which starts in mid-July and continues until October Website : www.morukuru.com