Blue skies and open grassland, running antelope and the “Big Five”: this is the staple of the South Africa bush adventure—and the best way to taste it is to get close to the action in an unfenced camp. For this, &Beyond’s Ngala offers the ultimate in luxury safari: a sophisticated tented accommodation in the heart of the Bushveld.
Ngala—which means ‘lion’ in the local Shangaan language—was the first private game reserve to be included within the Kruger National Park, the largest wildlife sanctuary in South Africa.
Situated on the banks of the great seasonal Timbavati River, the camp comprises nine luxurious tented suites, set on raised platforms that provide great views over the African bush and the river.
Chic and contemporary
Smartly decorated with rich fabrics and retro pieces from the 60s and 70s, the “tents” utilize meshed fabrics and canvas that sway in the warm African wind—but they are more like luxurious villas.
They come with outdoor showers and private wooden viewing decks, offering a 180-degree vistas of the bush. Inside, stand-alone bathtubs mounted on rough-hewn wooden bases, spacious beds with crisp linens, swirling overhead fans… and electric blankets for the coldest nights are all provided.
With warm, earthy tones, each tented suite is cleverly designed to incorporate the old native trees, minimizing impact on the environment.
Elegant guest areas overlook the seasonal Timbavati River. The camp’s lap infinity pool, which follows the contours of the riverbank, with deck chairs alongside, is a perfect spot for lounging between game drives.
Dining and activities
The dining at Ngala is as personal and inventive. Private lunches are served on the viewing decks, at the poolside or on the lush lawn—and the theatrical al fresco dinners in the dry riverbed are magical.
The camp’s excellent location offers guests the opportunity to see animals close up, and activities include exhilarating twice-daily game drives in an open Land Rover. Guests can go on nature walks too, and learn how to track animals in the park. There are specialist and photographic safaris on offer. Located nearby is a hide for bird-watching and photography.