From Hollywood to Hoedspruit! What it Was Like Living With Tom Cruise!
Photo Cred: The Blast

Tom Cruise set the ladies’ hearts to flutter in the normally sleepy Limpopo town of Hoedspruit when he moved in for two months to film the flying sequences for the forthcoming Mission Impossible 8 movie.


Hoedspruit, South Africa (07 May 2022) – Safari Moon Luxury Bush Lodge in Hoedspruit has rapidly earned the reputation as the lodge that perfectly realises that tricky fusion of creating a unique and luxury living experience yet one that is still above all else homely.

It was this homeliness that led the key figures of the new Mission Impossible 8 blockbuster movie to choose the lodge as their home from home for the three months they were shooting in and around Hoedspruit. The luxury bush lodge was thrilled to have the Tom Cruise party select the lodge from the many upmarket game lodges available and ken to have the movie business.

Safari Moon owner Nicola Leitch said that Tom Cruise, and indeed the whole team, were the most wonderful guests. 

“At first, we were quite taken aback at the massive security they brought in and the additional privacy screens they erected, but in retrospect, seeing the excitement the movie star created, we can see why,” Nicola said.

“They were the very best of guests. They treated the lodge with its art and Ardmore ceramic collection as if it was their own home. Our staff loved working for them and competed with each other to come to work!” Nicola said.

Tom Cruise set the ladies’ hearts to flutter in the normally sleepy Limpopo town of Hoedspruit when he moved in for two months to film the flying sequences for the forthcoming Mission Impossible 8 movie.

The megastar and his top team took over the boutique five-star lodge. Security was tight, with a ‘Covid bubble’ having been created to limit the risk of Covid spreading onto the huge movie crew. Over 300 movie production people, plus pilots and engineers, took over the town to film in and around the spectacular Blyde River Canyon – the largest ‘green canyon’ in the world. 

The sky around the Blyde canyon was often filled with the sounds of the lumbering Boeing Stearman biplanes from which Cruise was performing death-defying stunts, swinging from the wheels, while the helicopters filmed him.

In the evening, crowds would gather at a helicopter landing zone outside the gates to the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate to await Cruise. The movie star is an accomplished pilot, and each evening would fly his own Airbus Squirrel helicopter back to the Wildlife Estate. To the delight of the waiting crowds, Cruise was happy to spend an increasing amount of time engaging the fans waiting for him. He was particularly touched when a young fan Savanna Owtram drew a large heart in the sand for him to stand in. The message was simply; “Hoedspruit loves Tom.”

To maintain the strict ‘Covid bubble’, the lodge’s staff were tested for Covid twice a week. Access to the lodge was strictly controlled by the on-site security – who were unfailingly polite. Tom Cruise was, however, still always willing to stop and chat to residents – especially those walking their dogs.


Sources: Nicola Leitch
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