I had booked to drive the Garden Route Friday/Saturday/Sunday as a short break in the middle of a business trip. Tuesday's forecast was 15/16° and raining. Needed a Plan B. Couldn't find anything easy to get to from Joburg that wasn't booked out. Called Christine Ross at andBeyond at lunchtime Tuesday. Had a booking at Ngala confirmed that evening. Phew!
My fourth and best safari experience but best because of the game drive group, really just luck. Thank you Bob, Kim, Reinhart, Robert, Luc and Julie,and guide Pieter and tracker Elvis (yes, Elvis.)
Same time last year at andBeyond's Vlei Lodge, Phinda. Accommodation is much better at Vlei and the small size meant communal dining on one big table which is great when you're solo. At Ngala ate with guide Pieter on the first night and the group on the second. Very different to my previous experience at a larger lodge where I ate alone and had a game drive group who knew one another and weren't interested in talking to me.
Game sightings were excellent, as they were at Phinda. Food was very good though not the excellence of Phinda. Also, at Phinda, because it is much smaller and has fewer staff, you get to know the staff better. However, Noel at Ngala looked after me well.
Having now had two out of two good experiences with andBeyond they will be my first choice for next year. I will definitely recommend Ngala to my friends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The romance and mystery of Africa come alive in 20 thatched cottages tucked under a dense canopy of tamboti trees at Ngala Safari Lodge. Exuding classical safari charm, the spacious veranda, with its wonderfully comfortable armchairs, looks out onto a popular waterhole. For pure indulgence, the Safari Suite offers an elegant sitting room, private swimming pool and exclusive use of a safari vehicle. Mouth-watering meals are served in the shade of an enormous weeping boerbean tree, while a large swimming pool lies on the edge of thick riverine woodland. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ngala Safari Hotel Ngala Private Game Reserve
- AndBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge Ngala Private Game Reserve, South Africa