andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp nestles on the banks of the iconic Timbavati River in the world famous Kruger National Park. The tents offer the ultimate in luxury and wilderness entanglement – while you live in sumptuous, air-conditioned comfort, the sounds and smells of the bush filtering through the canvas and immerse you in the ancient African wilderness. Ngala is one of the last sanctuaries in the Kruger – 15 000ha of liberated and exclusive Africa waiting to be explored.
Double level main tent
The double-level decking and canvas main tent evokes modern luxury in a setting of astonishing natural beauty. The views of the Timbavati River, especially in the soft ginger light of the dawn or dusk, will leave you speechless. You can dine while elephants dig waterholes in the sand below, or simply enjoy sounds of the Kruger while reclining in the comfortable lounge – a place of tranquility to take in the midday breeze or warm in front of the fire after a winter’s evening game drive.
The rim-flow pool set into the banks of the river is another place to while away the midday heat while the lowveld’s creatures rest – but please be kind enough to share with the elephant bulls who might make their thirsty way past.
Ngala’s luxury canvas accommodation
Ngala’s tented camp evokes the romance and spirit of the African wild. It is arranged around a rolling lawn shaded by two young (just over 50 years old!) baobabs and fringed with towering knobthorn, jackalberry and mahogany trees. Ngala Tented Camp combines the extravagant appointments of a five-star lodge with the wilderness immersion that a canvas tent allows. Each of the nine tents are raised on decks allowing for unfettered views over the lawns and onto the dry Timbavati River where elephant, bush buck and buffalo bulls are frequent visitors.
In the summer, the sumptuous tents are an idyllic escape from the midday heat – cooled by air conditioners, the shade of the great trees and the uniquely scented lowveld air. On cold winter nights, the tents are cosy hideaways and while you lie snug under a thick down duvet, the sounds of the African night echoing down the river surround you – lions roaring, scops owlets chirrupping and elephants rumbling as they feed in the deep riverine green.
Each spacious tent is equipped with a beautiful bathroom consisting of a bath and a secluded outdoor shower.
The Ngala wilderness
Ngala Tented Camp is perfectly placed to take advantage of Ngala’s spectacular game viewing. Driving or walking out of camp immediately places you in the prime game viewing areas of the reserve. To the south lie the gabbro plains that support enormous herds of buffalo and zebra – especially in the spring.
The bush willow woodlands stretch out to the north, sheltering white rhino, various general game species and herds of elephant making their way to one of Ngala’s picturesque waterholes. Pockets of fragrant mopane woodland shelter tree squirrels, wood peckers and, in summer, a plethora of woodland kingfishers.
The Timbavati River is fringed with deep verdant bush and African tree giants like mahogany, ebony, boer bean, fig and false thorn. It is here that you might get lucky enough to see one of Ngala’s confiding leopards either hunting or stretched out in the boughs of gnarled old nyala berry tree. On the floodplains stretching away from the ribbon of green, prides of up to 20 lions resting in the golden morning light are common.
Immersion and reconnection
Tracking a white rhino in the misty Kruger dawn is the paramount wilderness immersion experience – one that will touch the very core of your being. Your skilled tracker and ranger team will masterfully lead you on the fresh trail of one of these ancient creatures – using the imperceptible and ancient skills of tracking. Eventually you will find the old bull grazing in a long, green grass clearing or wallowing in the mud created by a natural spring. You will undoubtedly relive the primal excitement and satisfaction of this experience for the rest of your days.
Food at Ngala Tented Camp is sophisticated but simple pan-African cuisine. The flavours and ingredients of Morocco, Mozambique and South Africa might mingle in a delicious oxtail stew on a winter’s night or a freshly grilled yellow-tail from the South African coast might sizzle over an open fire in the summer.