New, romantic safari treehouse in South Africa’s Greater Kruger
Mar09

New, romantic safari treehouse in South Africa’s Greater Kruger

Opening just last month, Ngala’s romantic safari treehouse has already set pulses racing. It is not only a honeymooner’s dream destination, it is also eco-friendly and luxurious. This treehouse is an architectural masterpiece offering the perfect combination of adventure and comfort. No rickety ladders or precarious platforms. Rather style and elegance are achieved through careful design and execution. It’s available for guests who are checked in at either Ngala Safari Lodge or Tented Camp and would like to enhance their stay with a night out under the stars. Side note: we love the romance that this treehouse offers, but it can also be the perfect place for an adventurous sleep out with kids in tow. There is a special rate for children and there is enough bed space for four. Get in touch to find out about rates now, or read on to find out more. Location, location, location Located just a few kilometres from the main lodge, Ngala Treehouse is near enough for occupants to receive quick and dedicated service and delivery of whatever they might need. Yet, it is far enough to feel remote and exciting. A little clearing between the trees just a stone’s throw from a wide, sandy riverbed, this safari treehouse rises up on stilts. The Ngala Private Game Reserve is part of the Greater Kruger Park. It borders Timbavati Nature Reserve and the Kruger National Park so enjoys some of the best wildlife viewing and species diversity in South Africa. What’s in the box? There are four floors to the structure and the clever use of glass and timber throughout ensures that whichever level you’re on, you’re getting all the views. The ground floor is a small kitchenette complete with mini-fridge (important for keeping champagne cold), a kettle (important for sunrise coffee), cupboards housing thoughtful snacks and breakfast items, and a little kitchen table. The next level up is a full bathroom, complete with outdoor shower. A floor off the ground, this is of course a bathroom with a view. The third level is the bedroom under cover, perfect for when the weather might not be quite right for open-air sleeping. The bedroom is encased in glass, so even if you can’t sleep under the stars, you’re getting the full experience of what’s going on outdoors. Right on top is the sleep-out platform, which of course has a place to sleep soundly under a velvet night sky. It also has a little room for chairs and a viewing deck, because let’s face it, this is the most romantic seat in the house! Is it safe? Surrounding the four-storied safari treehouse is a protective...

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Hire Out the Ultra-luxurious Kubili House in Thornybush
Feb26

Hire Out the Ultra-luxurious Kubili House in Thornybush

The exclusive use, immaculately designed Kubili House in Thornybush Nature Reserve is safari sophistication at its best. This relatively undiscovered safari treasure is a uniquely designed villa enveloped by rugged bushveld teeming with general wildlife and marauding predators. Resting comfortably on 26900 ft, this private residence sets a new standard of safari experience. Architecturally, Kubili fascinates on all levels. A complete mix of Arabian decor, Moroccan finishes mixed together with a classic bushveld feel. Throw in a New York trained chef, and you have yourself quite the global safari experience that’s overwhelming at times. A boma area designed to look like a slice of Marrakesh with its bold colours and ambient lanterns, offers a contrast in design to the main building which is a flat-roofed stone masterpiece complete with grass spears protruding from the rooftop. The natural wood used throughout the interior offers a sense of clean lines, mimicking the order that’s apparent in the natural world. The house sleeps 10 people in 5 rooms, and the shared spaces are plenty. 3 swimming pools, a spa, steam-room and private game viewer is a clear indication that the team have really covered all facets of luxury. Wooden viewing decks are scattered around, ensuring there’s always an opportunity to break-away from your group and enjoy some alone time. Conveniently located on the banks of a large dam within the reserve that sees scores of wildlife visiting its clear waters, Kubili House is perfectly positioned. The selling point? That’s the camping experience ! Not only are you cocooned in absolute luxury, but you also have the option of an adventurous outdoor camping experience. In keeping in with the traditions of explorers, old Land Rovers with rooftop tents are set-up in a clearing. The Land Rovers circle a boma area with campfire, creating the perfect outdoor advert kind of scene. There are 3 fully-equipped camping vehicles available for the rugged at heart. Activity wise, there’s simply no end to what’s on offer Kubili House in Thornybush. Game drives are a given while on safari in the Thornybush Reserve, and there are also guided bush walks, Segway safaris, archery, and Yoga. You also have your own qualified field guide and tracker who will use their skills to seek out big game and predators. An exceptionally luxury experience in a world-renown big five nature...

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New Kruger Walking Trails Camp for Simbavati
Jan08

New Kruger Walking Trails Camp for Simbavati

Simbavati is known for its brand of stylish safari lodges, all of which offer an authentic and refreshing sense of luxury within prestigious private game reserves in South Africa. The Simbavati Lodges are wedged in the heart of the rugged big five reserves in the Greater Kruger, but they are best know for their lodges in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. The brand is due to launch a back-to-basics, ground level walking safari trails camp. And we could not be more excited, given the excellent reputation of this safari brand that certainly doesn’t compromise on the feel-good elements of a luxury safari getaway. The Africa on Foot Wilderness Trails walking safaris carved the path and paved the way for many other lodges’ to follow suit when it comes to trail based safaris in Kruger. Simbavati’s unique selling point is that it brings a touch of simple and classic luxury to your “camping” experience. The camp is set-up in a pocket of secluded wilderness in the Timbavati and borders a wilderness area of 11, 000 hectares in the Kruger National Park. There’s nothing better than experiencing the wonders of a safari at ground level. Not only do you track wildlife while on foot, but you also learn how to identify tracks, and the uses of various flora. When you see a species of wildlife while on foot, it is a humbling experience. Giraffe are that much taller, elephants are amazingly graceful and kudu are powerful. Signing up for walking trails is an inimitable and immersive experience – one that is unforgettable. Of course, walks are guided by a professional trails guides who will safely lead you through the bushveld while teaching you about the wild. Walks are roughly +/-4-hours and you’ll stop for snacks and drinks en route. You will return back to base camp for lunch and then head out for another 2 hour afternoon walk after a sugary “high tea” session. Your afternoon walk flows gently into an inspiring sundowner session where you are encouraged to soak up the splendour of golden hour. A game drive bumble will escort you back to base camp, a time during which you can search for nocturnal predators. This trails camp isn’t mobile – your base is your base, which means you can settle into your surrounds and return to the same spot each day. There are 4 Meru style safari tents, which means the camp hosts a maximum of 8 guests. Bathrooms comprise bucket showers, and are all en suite. There is no electricity at camp, nor cell reception. It’s a wild experience, tainted with elements of luxury synonymous with the...

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4 Exclusive Luxury Kruger Safari Villas for Hire
Dec01

4 Exclusive Luxury Kruger Safari Villas for Hire

There’s certainly a place in this world for private and exclusive safari experiences. Discerning guests and small groups of travellers who have little desire to mix with others; and who want a safari experience tailored to their needs, should think about booking out one of these luxury Kruger safari villas. Hiring out a villa is a wise choice for celebrities who want to fly under the radar, families that want quality time together, celebrations and private parties; groups wanting control of their experience. Most of the luxury Kruger safari villas come with bush walks, game drives during peak predator hours, private chefs, boma dinners and sundowners. Depending on the villa, you will no doubt have various options and add-ons for your unique elite safari sojourn. Walkers Bush Villa Walkers Bush Villa is located in the game-rich Timbavati Private Nature Reserve on land belonging to Howard and Ingrid Walker. Sharing unfenced borders with the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and the Kruger National Park, means that wildlife roams freely throughout. The villa has a luxury country house feel and the interiors are plush and artistic. A huge wrap-around patio overlooks a swimming pool and expansive garden that extends all the way down to the waterhole and river. Huge herds of elephant and buffalo often congregate at the waterhole. There are 4 bedrooms in the villa and the entire experience is fully-catered. A highly-qualified chef is at your disposal, and surprise bush dinners, sundowners and other tailor-made bush experiences are the order of the day at Walkers Bush Villa. Just recently the team at Walkers hosted a 60th birthday bash. The group enjoyed their exclusive safari experience, proving that this villa is ideal for celebrations of all kinds. Singita Private Villa Collection Singita is the brand synonymous with exceptional luxury spaces in wild locations. Singita has a range of perfectly designed villas, each striking the delicate balance between exquisite luxury and functional design. All villas have a full staff complement which includes a host, chef, and private guide with vehicle. Although schedules and itineraries are completely up to your time schedule, it is worth heading out on game drives at the recommended time of day. Trained field guides have experience in knowing when the predators are most active. The These are Singita’s private Kruger villas : Singita Castleton : This is an exclusive use lodge that oozes a country charm, but boast impressive facilities. Located in the world-renown Sabi Sand, Castleton is certainly perfectly placed for game viewing. Let’s chat about those facilities ! There are perfectly manicured lawns at Castleton, a swimming pool, wine cellar, tennis court, fitness centre, spa and...

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Kruger Birding Safari : The Elegant Eagles
Apr04

Kruger Birding Safari : The Elegant Eagles

There are over 500 species of feathered friends fluttering about the Greater Kruger, just waiting to be observed and photographed. Seasonal migrants, endangered species, waders, raptors and passerines all form part of the plethora of birdlife found in the iconic Kruger region. Birders flock (pun intended) to the Kruger to find those lifers and rare birds; ticking off species when they return to camp from game drive. Spotting big game is, undoubtedly, an exciting and enthralling experience, but there really is nothing better than birdwatching. If you’re going on a Kruger birding safari, you probably have a few birds on your personal list that you’d identify and a few calls you’re dying to hear live and not from your tinny sounding app. Birder, twitcher or budding ornithologist, there’s plenty to keep your bird brain (joke) occupied! One of our favourite family of bird is the eagle, of which there are many species. Here are 3 of our favourite eagles worth seeking out in the wild :  Martial Eagles The Martial eagle is Africa’s largest eagle and boasts a wingspan of a whopping 2.6 m from tip-to-tip. This majestic raptor is the shy silent type, but its power should not be underestimated. The Martial exudes strength and agility, and feeds mainly on medium sized prey such as reptiles, other birds and small mammals. This raptor spends most of its day sourcing prey – it sits silently in trees earmarking its next target, or takes to the skies to identify terrestrial prey. Once targeted, the eagle uses the element of surprise to attack. The Martial eagle swoops down at such speed, and ambushes its prey. It uses its massive wingspan to angle its body in the direction it needs to go. The bare leadwood trees appear to be a favourite place for these birds to roost, and they build nests some 60 feet off the ground. The next time you see a hefty nest straddling a leadwood, or on the steep cliff faces, look out for a Martial eagle. You’ll identify the bird of prey by its markings of a white underbelly and brownish upper parts. You may even hear its call, which sounds like an excited whistle. The Martial eagle is a large, looming and rather regal raptor – a definite awe-inspiring birding sighting in the Kruger. Tawny Eagle The tawny eagle is another large, solitary eagle commonly spotted in the Kruger. Interestingly enough, this eagle is more of a scavenger than predator and is often spotted feasting on succulent meaty scraps and carrion. The tawny eagle has a lot in common with our vultures, but wins hands down in...

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Charming New Big 5 Safari Camp in Greater Kruger
Apr03

Charming New Big 5 Safari Camp in Greater Kruger

Nsala Safari Camp rests on the banks of a dry riverbed in its own private reserve in the Umbambat/Timbavati Reserves. This new big 5 safari camp in the Greater Kruger sleeps only 6 people, which means guests are afforded an intimate and personalised safari experience in the heart of big game territory. Nsala is a comfortable, authentic camp with enough luxury to keep guests happy. Positive reviews for this classic camp are flooding in thick and fast, and guests are loving the excellent game viewing and guiding at Nsala. Nsala’s location is ideal. Riverbeds provide the perfect hide-out for a variety of predators, in particular leopards. The S-bend in the river snakes its way past camp and huge herds of elephant, packs of wild dog and prides of lion enjoy sauntering through the soft sand, which is always an easier path to travel than the twisty shrubbery of heavily thicketed areas. The clear area also makes it easier to spot game while out on game drive, and there are a few potentially great sundowner spots on the outskirts of camp. The views from the camp extend all the way across the riverbed and into the wilderness beyond. The camp is open, which means it’s not uncommon to see elephants filtering down to the swimming pool for a quick drink. Game drives take place in the 5000 hectare traverse of mopane bushveld, bushwillow and low-lying riverine vegetation typical of the location. The focus at Nsala is on the game viewing, and the experience of being cocooned by the Kruger wilderness. The construction of the camp is simple and effective; and its presence certainly doesn’t intrude on the environment. The camp is open-plan and has 3 thatched chalets (rondawels) set around a main section that houses a swimming pool, lounge/dining area, and boma. Each of the chalets is fully-enclosed and has a wooden glass sliding door leading out onto a small patio area. The cosy lounge and deck area overlooks the splash pool, and there’s ample room for relaxation. Slump back into one of the rustic chairs on the wooden deck and indulge a spot of reading. After a day cruising around the bushveld in search of predators and other wildlife, we encourage you to relax around the campfire in the boma area before you sit down to dinner at the safari dining table. For a relaxed safari with unrivalled game viewing opportunities, choose the traditional Nsala Safari Camp.  ...

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Why you MUST Visit the Balule Nature Reserve for a Big 5 Safari
Mar13

Why you MUST Visit the Balule Nature Reserve for a Big 5 Safari

You’ve heard about the much talked about Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger, and have read copious quantities of literature regarding the abundant leopard sightings within the reserve. You’ve no doubt heard about Timbavati Private Nature reserve – a reserve famed for its once prevalent white lion population. These two private game reserves are – arguably – the most well-marketed reserves within the Lowveld, and their name is popular among international visitors. In truth, there are many other reserves within the Greater Kruger that rival both these popular reserves. They are the lesser-known big 5 reserves that also offer unparalleled game viewing opportunities, and whose sightings and natural scenery is right up there with the more well-marketed reserves. One of these reserves is the Balule Nature Reserve, a reserve that shares unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park on their western boundary. The Balule has the Olifants River cutting through the landscape, which means reed-lined banks proved the perfect habitat for waterbuck, crocs, hippos and aquatic-loving wading birds. Mixed with this riverine style landscape is savannah vegetation and huddles of mopane. The eco-system is diverse and offers a unique topography that gives rise to earth-shattering views.  So…Why have we decided to focus on the Balule Nature Reserve? We’ve decided to focus on this lesser-known reserve, purely because we’re hearing about record numbers of lion cub, leopard, and big game sightings. We’ve selected our 3 favourite safari lodges within the Balule Nature Reserve, and their most recent predator sightings.  Ezulwini River Lodge The spectacular Olifants River, the largest in the Lowveld, cuts through the Ezulwini traverse. River Lodge overlooks the river and has a sublime wooden walkway and viewing deck under the canopy of trees. Accommodation at River Lodge is stylish and inspired by the natural elements of the Balule bushveld. There are 4 luxury chalets, 4 superior suites and 1 honeymoon superior suite. River Lodge has a swimming pool in the main lodge area and serves delectable homemade meals under the stars in the glowing presence of lanterns and a dancing fireplace. River Lodge has atmosphere, and is the perfect place for the ultimate safari experience. Recent sightings: Ezulwini currently enjoys sightings of 10 lion cubs. Last week they spotted the Machaton male lions, a pride of lionesses, cubs and 3 leopard sightings.     Pondoro Game Lodge Pondoro Game Lodge is also located on the banks of the Olifants River, and each suite has its own balcony, jacuzzi and outdoor shower. The main area houses an extensive bar with a fine selection of whiskies, cognacs and even cigars. Food is a lavish affair, and guests are afforded the...

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