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.
The ideal location for lovers of the big five wildlife, Ngala Tented Camp combines modern amenities with the classical allure of canvas; the intimacy of the wild crossed with the comfort of the contemporary.
Food & service
A central, tented lodge houses the kitchen, which boasts award-winning chef Oscar, who has authored a safari cookbook and turns out superb meals morning, noon and night. Next to it lies a seating area with fireplace, where guests gather each night for a drink before dinner on the deck – or dine 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.
There are 9 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 an outdoor shower, 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, complete with cane chairs and 180 degree vistas of the bushveld.
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 wildlife drives (or bush walks) allow guests of Ngala Tented Camp the chance to witness the wealth of flora and fauna first hand.
The positive consequences of a three-way partnership between &Beyond, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) SA and the South African National Parks Trust (SANParks Trust) have enabled SANParks to establish the West Coast National Park, a high biodiversity region of international importance.
In the areas surrounding &Beyond Ngala, the Community Development Forums identified access to water as a vital priority. Together with Africa Foundation they aimed to alleviate the burden of carrying water from boreholes by providing Hippo Water Rollers to the most vulnerable in the community.
Through the fantastic generosity of Africa Foundation donors, over 1,200 Hippo Water Rollers have been distributed in the communities of Welverdiend and Thlabekisa.
In 2004, Africa Foundation began to support Welverdiend Primary School – the largest of three primary schools in the region – with the construction of a double set of classrooms. Through continued work, the school facilities have further improved to include a kitchen, bathrooms, a rainwater harvesting system and a media centre, which hosts adult-based education classes in the evening.
Furthermore, over 200 children from Welverdiend Primary have participated in conservation lessons and experienced a wildlife drive as a result of Ngala Safari Lodge’s partnership with the school.