Spectacular Komati Gorge Lodge meets the ‘godfather’ of pure digital luxury – the BMW 730d

by Gugu Lourie

How do you drive to a well-kept secretive gem in Mpumalanga for a getaway? Do you rock up in an unknown vehicle brand? Then suffer the possibility of not being noticed by locals and foreign travellers. But, there is no way you should be worried about such questions as one of the German car manufacturers is producing luxurious vehicles to take you in style to your chosen holiday destination.

Luckily, I didn’t have to contemplate such questions; when my elegant wife decided that we needed a lovely holiday in the spectacular Komati Gorge Lodge and Wildlife Reserve, one of Mpumalanga’s best lodges.

She loves going on a perfect holiday, while am an opposite as I prefer to chill at home. I obliged to visit the Komati Gorge Lodge and Wildlife Reserve.

Mind you, she had already booked as part of my continued weekend birthday celebration (my birthday is on 21 September).

We took the new stylish BMW 730d on a drive to this well-kept reticent lodge.

Driving to Komati Gorge and Wildlife Reserve is less than three hours from Johannesburg to the Drakensberg Escarpment in Mpumalanga Province, between the small town of Carolina and Machadadorp.

Komati Gorge Lodge & Wildlife Reserve

As you drive past those small towns, you will quickly realise that the concrete jungle is far away from you. You now have entered a land of tranquillity.

As swashbucklers, once we exited the N4 to Nelspruit on our way to Carolina, we climbed out of the new BMW 7-Series and instantly shocked our nostrils with truly fresh air: a scarce resource in our bustling metropolitan cities.

Back in the magnificent car, slowly approaching the Komati Gorge Lodge and Wildlife Reserve – the new 2016 BMW 7-Series navigated the gravel road to the lodge with ease as we changed the driving mode to Adaptive Drive, a technology feature that enables the adjustments of the suspension to suit the character of the road surface.

I watched in awe as the BMW 730d effortlessly hugs the 10km gravel road to Komati Gorge Lodge and Wildlife Reserve.

The Adaptive Drive technology enabled the BMW 7-Series to deliver neutral self-steering behaviour, outstanding agility and shorter braking distances.

Driving on a gravel road, we experienced the true benefits of Adaptive Drive as the BMW 7-Series surges enthusiastically towards the lodge and eliminating any perceptible unevenness in the gravel road.

My charming wife was chilling at the rear seat being ‘chauffeured’ by her Distinguished Gentleman.

The Rear-seat passengers of the BMW 730d can choose between eight different massage functions in the backrest and seat surface in order to stimulate or relax muscles in a targeted manner, leading to less pressure on the spinal discs.

My wife was relaxing in elegance in the Executive Lounge of the BMW 730d – like a queen of the Lourie’s. She was enjoying the massage of the rear seats and comfortably watching her favourite series (intentionally don’t remember the name, LoL).

It took us a mere 2 hours to arrive at the Komati Gorge Lodge and Wildlife Reserve, one of the most fascinating and unspoilt havens in Mpumalanga Province.

It is in the Highlands Meander and boasts a winding river, majestic cliffs and rolling hills.

Situated on the banks of the Komati River at the base of the miniature Grand Canyon, this small village of thatched dwellings offers an unmatched experience to lovers of the outdoors. It provides mysterious gorges, dense forests, cascading water, indigenous trees and flora, and creatures of all kinds.

Well-toned Athleticism or Pure Elegance 

On this particular day, the new BMW 730d adds its contribution to the imposing cliffs and breath-taking scenes of natural beauty.

With its seductive styling and luxury, the BMW 7-Series fitted perfectly with the environment of the Komati Gorge Lodge and Wildlife Reserve. It played its part to preserve the beauty of the area as it didn’t emit harmful gasses to nature. I was proud of driving a luxury car that contributes to the sustainable environment of the lodge.

The Magnificent BMW 7-Series 730d meets Mpumalanga’s best kept secret, Komati Gorge Lodge & Wildlife Reserve

Directed to our parking bay at the lodge, I decided to delegate the parking to reliable technology provided by the German manufacturer, BMW.

The Surround View Technology uses camera-based functions rear view camera, panorama view, top view and 3D view to provide a 360° all-around view.

What’s more exciting is that the Top View offers the driver a look over the door and the lane area to the car sides for more convenient manoeuvring. In 3D View, a computer generated 3D view is shown simultaneously, for an even better overview when parking. Panorama View makes navigating in areas with low visibility, such as driveways or confusing intersections, safer. A digital camera at the front centre of the car captures the traffic situation in front of the vehicle. This enables early detection of oncoming traffic so that the driver can react appropriately. The Side View function is automatically deactivated when the car reaches 15 km/h.

The driver can switch between the three functions Top View, Panorama View and 3D View. The last selected function will be automatically reactivated when the system is next used. The camera systems are activated when the car is put into reverse or the PDC button or Panorama View button is pressed. The images captured by the cameras are shown on the Control Display.

Design Pure Excellence

As the magnificent BMW 730d hugs its parking spot and wearing its BMW 7-Series badge on its sleeve, overseas and local travellers were enticed by this luxurious beauty to touch it and appreciate its style. They didn’t mind that the vehicle was dirty after being on a gravel road for 10km and they just snapped selfies and images to boasts to their friends back home that they have been inside an expensive and luxurious Beemer in the bundu.

In the morning, we took off for an abrupt paddle boat ride up the Komati River and my wife thought we were downgrading from the luxurious BMW 730d designed with the idea of “Technological Poetry” defined by Karim Habib, head of Design at BMW Automotive as “the feeling of a perfect interaction between progressive technology and its translation into design”.

While we were paddling on the Komati River, it dawns on my gorgeous wife that the BMW 730d was similar to the plush beauty around the river that offers you more than what you need.

My lovely wife captured the similarities between the beauty of the Komati Gorge Lodge and Wildlife Reserve, and that of the BMW 730d, crisply by stating: “Paddling this boat in this Komati River is stuff of creating lasting memories. We should do more of this breath-taking scenery and what a better way to go to a beautiful place with such a vehicle – the BMW 730d that gives you amazing memories.”

A statement that personifies a long tradition of making the automotive future.

The BMW 730d is a luxury car that was innovated with charisma.

Goo Goo Lourie standing by the New BMW 730d

It provides a connected user with a Samsung-enabled tablet that is integrated into the central armrest in the rear and conveniently controls numerous vehicle functions. What’s more it has a remote control to change channels on the tablets in the rear console and increase or decrease volume, etc.

The BMW 7-Series is a vehicle that reminds us in a lovely way that digital technology and connectivity are indispensable.

The car is an entertainers delight as you can sit inside it watching movies or listening to music while being provided a free massage by the beautifully designed chairs.

This is a mobile spa, movie theatre, sound bar on the move, Tom Tom Navigation System on steroids, my wife delightedly confessed. She was no longer interested in booking a spa session at Komati Gorge Lodge and Wildlife Reserve, she uttered “the technology of the BMW 7-Series is doing a great job”.

I quietly responded to myself that “I hope my dear wife you haven’t been captured by the luxury of BMW 730d.”

I quickly added silently to myself, “It’s better to be captured by a poetic technology of BMW 7-Series. She is working hard and maybe I can meet her half way with some funds to buy the car one day – one day is one day.”

While, I was in my daydreams my wife, interrupted my train of thoughts: “Goo Goo are you listening; don’t worry the 730d is like a wearable technology. It’s no longer a normal car that is suitable for taking you from point A to B. It’s a luxury ‘mobile’ device still trapped in a vehicle at its best responding to consumer needs.”

I realised that the German manufacturers have conquered and when a wife speaks kindly about a car as if debating which shoe to buy or wear, you don’t argue with her, unless you want to lose the debate.

She hurriedly added: “This car redefines being driven in luxury. It makes one to relax and zone out from the world issues. It’s refreshing.”

I informed my wife that the BMW 7-Series is built for one to experience the future-orientated atmosphere of luxurious wellbeing. It is powered by innovative technology to take a connected user to a digital world of connected vehicle.

My wife also marvelled at the BMW 730d outstanding studio-quality sound in the car. The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system provides a further relaxation in this luxury car.

Furthermore, what do you expect from a car that integrates the entire smartphone into its infrastructure, I asked.

The BMW 730d enables the driver of the vehicle to utilise wireless charging of the smartphone.

The moment we were preparing to leave the amazing Komati Gorge Lodge & Wildlife Reserve, our beautiful host Chantelle told us to come back to the lodge and had kind words to say about the superb BMW 730d: “I love your car. Its stunning”.

My wife responded: “We love the lodge.” She quickly inquired about us coming back before the festive season.

We climbed into the BMW 7-Series and started approaching the gravel road, but couldn’t resist taking beautiful images of the car on the dirt road.

It cut a broad-shouldered figure amid the wilderness of the Komati Wildlife Reserve.

After all the enjoyment of the drive and spending time at Komati Gorge Lodge & Wildlife Reserve, I was ready to be integrated to the bustling Jo’burg life and drive in overcrowded M1.

What made the drives pleasurable and bearable is that my son enjoyed the drive in the BMW 730d as he enjoys playing with all the gadgets in the car. It suites his style – the love of technology. He fell in love with the BMW 7-Series Gesture Control to operate the volume of his music and was enjoying the new album of Nasty-C titled “Bad Hair”. He kept on circulating his index finger to adjust the music volume and swiping the screen.

Final verdict

The innovation in BMW 730d is ahead of its time.

It is a “godfather” of pure digital luxury.

It is uncompromisingly luxurious vehicle that is taking us to a digital future if not already there.

The BMW 730d offers a serenely enjoyable digital experience. Its a car to have as a successful entrepreneur or a corporate executive.



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