The Ngala Safari Lodge offers a charming safari experience and exceptional game viewing in the heart of the African wilderness.
After a wonderful few days at andBeyond Kirkman’s Kamp we were transferred by road to the Ngala Safari Camp three hours north by road in the Timbavati area.
On arrival we were as always greeted by the warm and friendly staff and in this case the lodge manager Matt.
We were also greeted by a cute bush baby that resides in the thatch opening over the reception area.
Ngala Safari Lodge is a thatched lodge built amidst Riverine woodland, and overlooking a private waterhole. It emanates a classic safari charm, and offers guests an exclusive safari experience on the fringe of Kruger National Park.
Ngala Safari Lodge stands under large mopani and tamboti trees, and alongside a waterhole that’s frequented by elephants who showed up to drink water at the pool on day one as well as a variety of other species.
The lodge is one of two ‘camps’ on the game-rich, 36,000-acre Ngala Private Game Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with Kruger National Park. There are daily flights from Johannesburg and Nelspruit to the reserve’s private airstrip, and it takes about one hour to reach Ngala Safari Lodge by road from Hoedspruit. We drove from Kirkman’s Kamp in Sabi Sands and it took just over three hours.
Anyone wanting a classic safari experience will be delighted by the lodge’s timeless safari charm and nostalgic colonial ambience.
The 20 large thatched cottages and expansive thatched dining area are dwarfed by the surrounding trees, and decorated with a gorgeous collection of botanical and wildlife prints, plush sofas and an abundance of cushions, African baskets, sculptures, horns, plants, collection jars–and, in the evenings, twinkling hurricane lamps make the setting even more magical.
The passionate hospitality team naturally creates a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere at the lodge, and provides excellent service. There is a large swimming pool almost adjacent to the waterhole, and a highlight for many guests is watching the elephants heading in to drink.
We really enjoyed the enchanting courtyard where dinners are served. The lodge has a small spa and gym that have views out into the bush, and a very well-stocked shop selling local crafts and all things safari-related.
The communal areas at Ngala Safari Lodge offer many places to comfortably while away hours in the African bush. The spacious and luxuriously appointed suites are exceptionally comfortable. All have baths and indoor as well as outdoor showers, and a generous veranda area with couches outside.
Meals form a major part of a stay at Ngala Safari Lodge, and the food here is wholesome and delicious. Breakfast is both a buffet offering and an option to order hot meals; lunch is à la carte and dinner – the real treat – is plated in the magical courtyard setting, or a buffet-style barbecue in the open-air boma area. In between these meals are morning and afternoon teas and coffees (with treats) and sundowners and snacks served while out on the game drive.
We really like Ngala, but be aware that the lodge is situated quite far from the wildlife and the drives will sometimes be longer than normal.
For Andrew, travel is so much more than just learning history or taking photos. Rather, the value of travel is witnessing a lifestyle, bonding with locals, and gaining rich cultural experiences. That’s why he founded the Luxury Wanderer; a place to share itineraries, offer advice, swap stories, and foster a like-minded community of curious travellers.