We said goodbye to Cape Town with breakfast to go from The Cellars and flew from Cape Town to Hoedspruit via Joburg. From there we were transported to Ngala Tented Camp, where we were welcomed with the words, “Welcome Home.”
Thing is, Ngala is way more fun than home!
To set the scene, here’s a rough schedule for our days at Ngala:
0515: Wake-up to a delivery of tea/coffee and granola bars
0530-900: Morning game drive, includes a stop for tea/coffee
0900: Breakfast back at camp
10:00-16:00: Free time. Lunch is served at what ever time you like.
16:00: Cake and Tea/Coffee, if you like
16:30-20:00: Evening Game Drive, includes a stop for a drink
As we arrived in the early afternoon we had enough time to learn the rules, sign all the paperwork, have a nice lunch, and settle into our tent before the day’s Evening Game Drive. Our tent was nicer than some of the flats I’ve lived in, so this is serious glamping.
You’re assigned to a Guide and Tracker team/ vehicle for your game drives during your stay, and you stick with them throughout your trip, which is nice. We were assigned to Derrick and Thomas, who are a fantastic duo, and they really made our trip the amazing experience it was. Their skill and expertise was truly impressive. We saw so many amazing animals and learned so much about them. The safari vehicles are souped up Land Cruisers with riser- like seating, so there’s no bad spot to sit, and we split ours with 1 or 2 other couples.
At the end of the Evening Drive, we pulled up to a surprise dinner away from camp that was too formal to be a picnic, while still being outside. We ate a delicious dinner under the stars before hopping back into the vehicles to return to camp. (Yes, I should have taken pictures.)
Our first full day at Camp started with our wakeup with breakfast treats, and off we went to see some animals…
After that, we had breakfast, some downtime in the tent, lunch, and a visit to the (unchlorinated) pool, which doubles as a water bowl for some of the locals.
Then it was time for the second game drive, during which we saw incredible animals including elephants, hyenas, and a lion.
After our beverage break, we revisited the lion before calling it a day.
Dinner back at camp was lovely. We had been given the option to eat in the dining area or have dinner set up for us in our tent, and we opted for the dining area.
As per the schedule, we were off bright and early! We saw a rhinoceros and wild dogs.
And after the tea/coffee break, we were off again. I can’t stress enough how fantastic Derrick and Thomas were. They absolutely made a great trip into an incredible one, and that’s not just because Derrick added Amarula to my coffee.
The bird in the lower picture is called a Lilac Breasted Roller, and sadly this picture isn’t lit enough to show you how gorgeous it is. You can see a better picture here. We saw so many incredible birds on this trip, including most of those on that link, and really, I might just become a twitcher in 2-20 years.
We returned to camp, where Adrian had the most beautiful omelette that I have ever seen. Then we went on a walk around the paths connecting the tent. It’s a short path, so we did did a few laps around .
Before we knew it, it was time for the afternoon drive! We saw so many animals including lionesses, giraffes, an ostrich, and some vultures.
Derrick took us on a walk to see the rhinoceros. There aren’t any pictures because I left my camera in the landy. We returned to a gorgeous sunset.
Our last morning at Camp. We went on our last drive and had our final breakfast before heading to the airport.