The World’s First Luxury Wheelchair-accessible Safari Ensures Privilege can Belong to Everyone

When Patrick Suverein became dependent on a wheelchair due to back complications in 2017, I doubt he had any awareness of the quandaries surrounding these ever-evolving ways of thinking. Regardless, when he temporarily became disabled, his world – namely, a 2000-hectare private game reserve in Klaserie National Park, South Africa – became inaccessible. This left him and his indomitable partner Elly to ask the very question so many wheelchair users before them had grappled with, too: “how do you do a safari in a wheelchair?” A pragmatic problem solver, Patrick began unknowingly applying the principles of the social model to the game reserve, setting about adapting the world around him to meet his needs. It was initially for his own benefit, but soon it occurred to him and Elly that others with similar mobility impairments could benefit too. Ximuwu Lodge (pronounced Shi-mu-wu) was born, a five-star accessible lodge open to the ambulatory and non-ambulatory public. Like all things forged out of urgency, pressure and necessity, it is a precious gem just waiting to be unearthed.

CN TRAVELLER

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