It was a very crisp and chilly morning when we met Nompumelelo Maduna at Kloofzicht Lodge and Spa, a quick 40 drive from Sandton and Pretoria. The lodge is located on the foothills of the Zwartkops Mountains in the Cradle of Humankind, on the lower reaches of the Blaauwbank Spruit, so mist is par for the course on a cooler morning, creating a rather moody and dramatic backdrop before sunrise.
On arrival, the mist was lifting and the other model of the day, the new Lexus RX Hybrid, was having the dew lovingly dried off her opulent blue body before the video crew arrived. Nompumelelo didn’t stay chilly for long because the Lexus RX does, after all, have a heated steering wheel and seats, which she took full advantage of when she slipped behind the wheel to check out the vehicle’s interior.
The small but beautiful nature reserve upon which Kloofzicht is built is a dream to explore. It’s a popular venue for hikers and trail runners, as well as leisurely drives, and is home to kudu, impala, blue wildebeest, eland, red hartebeest, springbok, gemsbok and zebra, as well as a fascinating array of bird life. In addition to the river that meanders through the Zwartkops Gorge, there are six fly-fishing dams.
The dressy RX Hybrid was quite at home on the terrain as Nompumelelo put it through its paces, while enjoying the luxe elements, such as the Mark Levinson sound system and the super-helpful “Hey Lexus” functionality. “The car is really sexy. I love that it doesn’t just say ‘rough rider’, it’s got an elegance about it,” she said, admitting that she fell in love with the RX at first drive. “I also love that it’s a hybrid. It’s really important to start converting our lifestyles.”