Ngala tented camp, an AndBeyond Safari lodge located just 40 minutes from the Hoedspruit Airstrip in the southern region of Kruger National Park. With just nine tents (garden or river front), accommodating 18 guests Ngala is the perfect escape for honeymooners or anyone just wanting to getaway.
We arrived in the late afternoon and were greeted with a cold wet towel and a signature beverage. We were then given a quick tour of the guest areas (restaurant, lounge, deck, and Ngala shop) before being escorted to our room.
The guest areas at Ngala has a very open home like feel. Similar to a bed and breakfast yet your tent is off in the gardens or on the river.
It was high tea when we arrived, which happens daily at 3:00pm, so guests were gathered in the restaurant and river front deck, sipping tea and having cake. After taking in the scape, we arrived at our room which was a garden view tent.
On the way to our room, the meadow just in front of our tent, was full of wildlife including warthogs, baboons, monkeys, and impala. After entering our tent, the monkeys bounced and scrambled across the rooftop creating a bit of entertainment for our arrival.
The tents at Ngala are very nicely done. Simplistic yet very cozy and a bit more home-like than your typical glamping resorts. The bathroom while under the same roof, is set outdoor so you get more of that “camping feel”.
The second evening we stayed in a riverfront tent (we had the opportunity to experience both room types of tents to really get the full scope of Ngala), which had the same décor and layout as our previous tent, but the views were quite different. The river actually only runs a few months out of the year so the river becomes a place for animals to roam the rest of the year. We had the pleasure of watching a herd of elephants cross the river in front of us.
Game drives include one in the morning departing at 6:00am and returning around 9:30am and the sunset safari departing at 4:00pm and arriving back around 7:30-8:30pm. Our game driver was very knowledgeable and had been with Ngala for over 15+ years.
Ngala is located in an open area, meaning they are not blocked in by fencing or gates so animals can come and go. Over the 4 game drives we had at Ngala we did see a lion, leopards, giraffe, elephant, zebras, and all the smaller animals...so we were not deprived by any means. We experienced many different camps and safaris while in South Africa and at Ngala you are guaranteed to see most of the big 5, if not all. With some of the others that are more open, you may not see anything, but you have the opportunity to see a lot more.
The Culinary Experience
Overall the food at Ngala was very good. Before game drives, you get a wake up “call” or knock at your door delivering coffee to start the day off. Following the game drive, we would have breakfast back at camp which included a spread of fresh fruits, muesli, yogurt, and juices. In addition you can order eggs any way.
Lunch includes a starter and an entrée with a choice of 2 entrée selections to choose from. Dinner also included a starter, choice of an entrée and dessert. If you expect a variety of menu options to choose from, than Ngala may not be the best choice for you. They certainly cater toward any dietary restrictions, which is a huge bonus especially considering we are pescetarians.
On our final evening after our game drive, we were pleasantly surprised when we returned to our room to find a candlelit dinner for 2 set up on our patio. Our dinner was served in the privacy of our own room with a lovely bottle of champagne and wine to go with it. It was a wonderful surprise and a great way to end our stay at Ngala Tented Camp.
Ngala tented camp is ideal for honeymooners, families, and groups traveling together. andBeyond offers a variety of safari camps throughout Africa and Beyond so there is something for everyone. We are looking forward to our next visit back to experience more of AndBeyond!