Like many safari experiences in South Africa, Garonga offers first class bush accommodation alongside superior wildlife viewing.
Located within the Greater Makalali Game Reserve, home to four of the big 5, and just one hour from the Phalaborwa Gate to the Kruger National Park, Garonga is an open camp with six en-suite tents, which are in fact more akin to large, walled rooms with arched canvas roofs. Each tent is set amongst ebony trees on the banks of a nearby watercourse, and features a private deck with hammock, indoor or outdoor showers, pleasing décor and the sort of double bed you have to roll over three times to reach from side to side.
There’s also the Hambleden suite, which brings Balinese style to the wilds of Africa, and comes with an ebony four poster bed, a hand-beaten stand alone copper bathtub, an outdoor shower surrounded by orchids and a private pool on the suite’s wooden deck.
The main building features a small library, curio shop, an indoor and outdoor dining area, while Garonga’s kitchen produces all kinds of great food, including picnics, barbeques, afternoon treats and candlelit dinners and perhaps most notably huge and very delicious breakfasts. Other personal favourites include the al fresco treats: an open outdoor sala or spa area for aromatherapy massages, reflexology and reiki sessions, and a ridiculously romantic bush bath – a big ceramic tub under the stars, lit by lamps and candles – with your favourite tipple on ice waiting for you by the side.
Also on offer is a sleep-out deck – built in a large tree and overlooking the waterhole – where after a picnic at sunset guests can spend the night in comfortable beds under mosquito nets.
Other activities at Garonga include game drives, guided walks and bush picnics.