A delightful tented camp, Ngala Tented Camp sits on the banks of the seasonal River Timbavati, just 3km from the Kruger National Park’s Orpen Gate.
There are 6 luxury tented suites at Ngala. Built on raised platforms, some of which incorporate the native trees, they feature rich fabrics and smart décor (including retro pieces from the 60s and 70s), and come with outdoor shower, an indoor stand-alone bathtub, spacious beds with crisp linens, and large gauze screen windows. The suites in turn lead out onto extensive covered, wooden viewing decks with cane chairs and 180 degree vistas of the bushveld.
A central, tented lodge houses the camp office, kitchen (award-winning chef Oscar, who authored a safari cookbook, turns out superb meals morning, noon and night) and a seating area with fireplace, where guests gather each night for a drink before dinner on the deck – or al fresco in the riverbed during the dry season. There’s a small infinity pool next to the river, with deck chairs alongside – perfect for lounging between game drives. Staff at Ngala are particularly friendly and well-trained, with a great eye for the small detail – be it warm towels, iced coffees or candlelit dinners.
Meaning lion in the local Shangaan language, Ngala was the first private game reserve to be included within the Kruger National Park (the largest wildlife sanctuary in South Africa) and is home to all the big 5. It is particularly well-known for its elephant, buffalo, rhino and packs of wild dog, and twice daily game drives (or bush walks) allow guests of Ngala Tented Camp the chance to witness the wealth of flora and fauna first hand.