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South Africa Safari

Ngala Safari Lodge

Timbavati Nature Reserve, South Africa

Return to Map of Lowveld Game Reserves

View images of Ngala Safari Lodge: Ngala Lodge Images

NGALA SAFARI LODGE RATES: Ngala Safari Lodge Rates

Ngala, meaning "Lion" in the local Shangaan language, is the only private safari reserve in the world-famous Kruger National Park. Ngala Private Game Reserve is host to two exclusive properties - classic Ngala Game Lodge in the north and contemporary Ngala Tented Safari Camp in the south. Ngala has exclusive traversing rights over 14,780 hectares (36,506 acres) of Kruger's two million hectares (4,940,000 acres), one of the richest and most strategically important wildlife areas on the continent.

When you enter Ngala Game Lodge, you encounter a world capturing the romance and elegant traditions of a bygone time, the era of classic safari. The lodge is set on the banks of the Mapone riverbed and features antique-filled interiors and a timeless, unhurried atmosphere. CC Africa has also opened its first tented safari camp in South Africa, Ngala Tented Safari Camp, set on the banks of the great Timbavati river. This absolutely luxurious and lavish new camp acts as a satellite camp to Ngala Game Lodge, about a 45 minute drive away.

At Ngala, you can experience remarkably close encounters with breeding herds of Elephant and Buffalo. See Black and White Rhino, Giraffe and a host of antelope, along with the great cats and occasionally, Wild Dog. At sunset, sip sundowners at the waterhole and experience life in Africa as described by legendary author and philosopher, Sir Laurens van der Post: "All Africa was in that moment for me. Yes, the whole cast of the first natural, primordial, legitimate theatre of Africa seemed gathered there to make its final curtsy in the limelight of the sunset hour and receive twilight applause before the night dropped its final curtain."

Ngala has even more to offer. It is the scene of one of Africa's most innovative conservation partnership agreements. CC Africa has joined forces with the natinonal park authorities (Kruger National Park) and the non-governmental South African Nature Trust Foundation. Under this partnership, a percentage of all profits from Ngala flow into the National Parks Trust to promote conservation projects.

Both the lodge and the tented camp are members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Accommodation            For images of Ngala Safari Lodge, click Ngala Lodge Images
Ngala Game Lodge has 20 luxury thatched cottages with verandahs and elegant cream décor. The Safari Suite is the height of luxury with a butler service, large deck and private swimming pool. The impressive guest areas overlook a busy waterhole.

Cottages: The 20 thatched cottages are shaded by Mopane Trees, providing a gracious retreat. All feature air conditioning, intimate verandah and green slate en suite bath and shower. The focal point of each room is the inviting bed. During winter nights, the air conditioner becomes a heater, turning the cottages into cosy retreats. Bed heaters add a warm feeling of luxury. A decanter of sherry in the room is also a welcome touch.

The Safari Suite
is truly luxurious. This superb suite boasts a spacious mahogany lounge, en-suite bathroom, outdoor shower, large deck and private swimming pool. You also have sole use of a Land Rover as well as a butler service. The expansive sundeck of this superior suite overlooks the Mapone riverbed, where private meals are served at the guest's request. This suite is ideal for honeymooners.

Care has been taken to ensure that the lodge design is in harmony with nature. As a result, there is a multitude of birds and small animals in and around the camp.

Interiors: Memories of safaris of bygone eras echo through Ngala. Antique-filled interiors, priceless rugs and cut-glass crystal furnish this opulent retreat. The antique furniture in the rooms is of a light wood, while the soft décor is cream and beige. The living spaces are tastefully decorated with large African artwork.

Living Spaces: The main spacious, thatched lounge, bar and dining area offer guests an unashamedly old-world, elegant and luxurious haven in the midst of the African bush. A portion of the thatched lounge forms an open deck area, where afternoon tea and breakfast are served. Ngala even inspired a guest to write a tribute. There are impressive open fireplaces. Ngala's main guest areas are secluded in leafy woodlands. The shaded swimming pool and sundeck overlook a busy waterhole near the Mopane woodlands. The pool is a good size and is surrounded by sunloungers. Large herds of Elephants are frequently sighted at the waterhole.

The curio shop and gallery are filled with African treasures. The shop has a good range of African artefacts, basketware, jewellery, paintings, pottery and safari clothing, as well as some necessities like toiletries, film, postcards, stamps, sunblock and hats. If you would like any of your treasures to be shipped, feel free to ask and this can easily be arranged.

Conferences: Ngala is the ideal choice for an important conference. The lodge's air-conditioned, well-equipped facilities hold up to 42 people. The room is situated in a quiet corner away from the main guest areas.

Lavish meals with Pan-African influences are served in a romantic, lantern lit courtyard or around the traditional African boma (reeded enclosed area) fire. Old-world interiors, an unhurried atmosphere and sumptuous cuisine are the order of the day. Romantic candle-lit dinners around outdoor fires recreate the timeless feeling of life on safari.

The courtyard at Ngala is an unusual, perhaps even unique, feature for a safari lodge. You walk through large wooden doors to an open-air courtyard, warmly lit by large freestanding candelabras and crackling fires. The atmosphere is one of casual elegance, with tables beautifully set up under the trees. A three-course dinner is carried to your table, mingling the early evening air with the food's mouth-watering aromas. Towards the end of the evening, staff entertain you with traditional song and dance or a stirring guitar solo.

Bush dinners or boma dinners are slightly more traditional than the more formal courtyard dinners. Delectable dinners include squash soup, smoked salmon crostini/steak with mushrooms and turkey with herb crust/baked pears.

Bush Banquets: Ngala offers moonlit bush dinners and bush sundowners. Bush banquets are served in a clearing in the bush under a star-studded sky. The incredible effort, the spectacular settings, the visual impact and the fairytale atmosphere of a dinner under the stars make for an unforgettable feast.

Game Drives: You can enjoy excellent game viewing encounters on the twice daily game drives in open Land Rovers. Ngala offer both off-road and night game drives. Ngala offers prime sightings of big five game as well as numerous other species. On exciting night drives you will see nocturnal animals, adding a dramatic dimension to your safari.

Interpretive Walks: Ngala's knowledgeable guides and trackers will lead you on guided nature walks through the heart of the bush, revealing some of nature's most closely guarded secrets. You will have a chance to experience the African bushveld close-up as you tread past intriguing plants and spy more elusive, smaller creatures such as birds, reptiles, insects and tiny mammals.

Adventures: It is possible to fill every minute of your safari with a range of exciting activities including stargazing, stunning bird-watching opportunities, swimming in Ngala's sparkling pools, fairytale-like moonlit bush dinners and spectacular bush sundowners. Ngala Game Lodge offers unique activities for children.

At Ngala Lodge, mouth-watering al fresco dinners are served on the impressive Timbavati riverbed, which is dry for most of the year. Enchanting islands of reeds are a bird-watcher's paradise. All activities are at no extra charge to guests.

Library: To further your interest in the African wilderness, Ngala has an extensive collection of wildlife books, magazines and videos.

Landscape: Ngala is the only private game reserve in the legendary Kruger National Park, one of the richest and most strategically important wildlife areas in Africa. There are no fences around Ngala, allowing game to move freely. Ngala has exclusive traversing rights over 14 780 hectares (36 506 acres) of Kruger's two million hectares (4 940 000 acres).

Ngala Game Lodge is on the banks of the Mapone River in the north of the reserve, while Ngala Tented Safari Camp is situated on the banks of the seasonal Timbavati river, which runs through the southern section of Ngala Private Game Reserve. The Timbavati comes down in flood once or twice a year, but is dry for the remainder of the year.

Game: Ngala's habitats support an astonishing variety of wildlife including the "big five". Grazers such as buffalo, blue wildebeest, Burchell's zebra and warthog favor open areas, while impala are most common at the edge of bush clumps. Other ungulates to watch out for are giraffe, hippo, bushbuck, grey duiker and kudu.

Breeding herds of elephant make for exceptional viewing. White rhino sightings increase during the dry season. These endangered animals have fascinating territoriality. Ngala offers sightings of both black and white rhino. Large breeding herds of buffalo - numbering up to 400 - have been moving through Ngala and using the waterholes.

Ngala continues to enjoy outstanding leopard and lion pride viewing. The area's vast terrain enables the wide-ranging and rare Wild Dog to roam free. This gives you the privilege of frequent sightings. Also, elusive nocturnal animals including the endangered African Wild Cat and the Pangolin (Scaly Anteater) are often sighted.

Birds: Around 260 species of birds may be seen. Birds around Ngala Private Game Reserve include the Woodland Kingfisher, Scops Owl, Crested Barbet, Marico Sunbird, Spotted-backed Weaver and White-throated Robin.

Colorful birds to look out for are the Southern Yellowbilled Hornbill and the Redbilled Hornbill. With their large, colourful bills and confiding nature, hornbills are among the most conspicuous birds in African savannahs.

Vultures and eagles soaring through the Ngala sky include the Lappet-faced Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Martial Eagle, African Hawk Eagle and Bateleur. Nesting sites for many of these raptors have been found and mapped throughout the reserve. This gives a picture of density, preferred habitats, territorial spacing and favored trees.

The impressive dry riverbed of the Timbavati features islands of reeds, a bird-watcher's paradise.

Top          Return to Map of Lowveld Game Reserves          Return to Map of Limpopo Province

For tourist information and activities in the Limpopo Province, click More Limpopo
For further information about Kruger National Park, click More Kruger

For further information about South Africa, click More South Africa

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