Somizi Mhlongo and Mohale Motaung celebrate their One-Year Anniversary in style in a one-of-a-kind romantic treehouse that overlooks the &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve, allowing the couple to become one with nature at this luxurious safari getaway – and the duo shared the experience with fans on this week’s episode of The Insider SA.
A little over a year ago, Somizi and Mohale tied the knot in a four-part television special to showcase their love to the world – a deliberate choice by the couple to promote the acceptance of love in all forms.
“Telling our love story was not just about us as a couple, but it was also about making this a norm since people frown upon same-sex relationships, especially in a lot of African countries. So, igniting what we have really ignites what other people could have”. – Mohale
This decision allowed all of SA to celebrate with the two on their special day. But since their wedding, the couple have been non-stop hustling.
“People think once you’ve ‘made it’ you can just relax. It doesn’t work like that. The higher you get, the harder you have to work”, – Somizi.
With Somizi as a TV & Radio Personality and entrepreneur, and Mohale as an entrepreneur, model and actor, it’s hard for the newlyweds to catch a break. This is why their remote overnight retreat in the &Beyond Ngala Treehouse was even more special – and capturing it on The Insider SA meant they could hold on to the memories for a lifetime while sharing this occasion with their fans.
The Ngala Treehouse is situated in the middle of the reserve, perfectly isolated for a romantic getaway. The design was inspired by the authentic nature and enormous Marula trees that surround it. Most importantly, the treehouse is totally self-sustainable and was built with a light carbon footprint. Being so high up in the trees allows guests to feel as though they are truly connected with the wildlife. “You’ll get to hear the sounds of the birds and all the other animals”, explains the Treehouse’s Assistant Manager, Fabiano Matias. Since the &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve sits on the unfenced border of the Kruger National Park, its wildlife, including the Big 5, are able to roam freely on the Ngala Reserve.
The Treehouse is four stories high, kitted with a dark-wood kitchen, a copper-accented bathroom, a spacious bedroom among the trees, and a rooftop to gaze at the starlit sky after sunset.
This retreat took Somizi and Mohale’s breath away. “How are we ever going to top this?”, Somizi asks. “This is a proper, luxurious treehouse”, Mohale comments. While laughing he adds, “I’m wondering how much they’d sell it to us for?”. Somizi and Mohale describe their hidden getaway as modern, yet warm. “It’s the perfect spot for an anniversary; the perfect spot for a honeymoon”, Somizi shares.
Since living and working within Joburg’s busy city doesn’t allow for many outdoor activities, the couple sink into their outdoor, rooftop bed to stargaze. In the meantime, dinner is being prepared at Ngala.
Ngala’s talented chef prepares a meal fit for kings – a meal that invokes pride. As a symbol of pride, the lion’s favourite meal is served for dinner: kudu. The meat is a South African favourite, but is prepared in the simple, French style. Somizi and Mohale enjoy their dinner under the starlit African sky – the perfect way to celebrate their love and reflect on the year that’s been. “This is an amazing experience. This is our first outdoor, romantic dinner so we’re excited about it – mainly because it’s in the bush in the middle of nowhere!”, Somizi shares.
Next on their to-do list at Ngala is the unforgettable game drive through the reserve’s 14,700 hectares of private wilderness land. On their drive, the couple spotted wildlife galore. For Somizi, the highlight was catching a glimpse of his spirit animal: the elephant. “Their presence is amazing. They’re big and strong, yet at the same time, they’re gentle and humble”.
For Mohale, his highlight was witnessing a rare sighting of a buffalo kill by lions. This is made even more significant as Mohale’s surname, ‘Motaung’ means ‘Lion’. “I’ve never seen lions feast like this but I’m very excited, they’re my favourite animal. They’re majestic! They’re so powerful”. As for Somizi, he’d prefer merely observing them from the TV. White lions with blood-stain coats are certainly an intimidating sight to see, especially considering how rare white lions really are. They have a rare colour mutation and indigenous to the Timbavati region. However, in some African cultures, they’re regarded as divine.
With the year beginning to wind down, The Insider had to know more about what the future had in store for two men who continue to push the envelope and break boundaries.
While Mohale plans to continue growing his current company, Glam Troupe, he also plans to enhance his acting skills as he breaks into acting industry more. As for Somizi, he’ll continue working on his cookbook that will be released at the end of November for the festive season. This year has also introduced his very own cooking show, Dinner at Somizi’s, and soon we’ll be able to enjoy his crockery range, Somizi Crockery Range Kitchenware. As for the rest, Somizi promises, “There’s a lot more for 2021”.
For now, the couple are simply enjoying living life together as husbands, unified in love and commitment. Catch The Insider SA every Tuesday at 19h30 and the repeat every Saturday at 20h00 on SABC 3.