One of the many things I love about Africa is that if you are prepared to immerse yourself in the freedom of “the bush” your soul will soar, your spirit will revive and your heart will open itself to new experiences.Most of us live in a materialistic society where rules and constraints govern our day to day existence. I am as guilty as anyone of spending money on my appearance and surrounding myself with coveted possessions , so imagine staying at a place where your welcome is written in the sand and you are encouraged to dine in a simple kikoy (sarong) and relax whilst taking in amazing views over the dry riverbed on which Garonga’s 12 luxury tents are perched.
Nurturing your inner soul is a simple thing to achieve at Garonga Safari Camp as the emphasis is on doing as much or as little as you desire and reconnecting with nature. You can enjoy a relaxing spa treatment in their sala with a view, embark on a guided walk through the bush, take as much pleasure in sighting the little 5 (rhino beetle, leopard tortoise, buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, ant lion)as the big 5 , sleep out for the evening on your own private deck or for me the piece de resistance bathe in an old fashioned tub under the stars.
Bathing under the stars was one of the most liberating experiences I have undertaken. When invited to partake in this activity I jumped at the chance, but as I set out along a well worn game trail with my guide/guard into the pitch darkness of the bush where shadows menace I have to admit to some trepidation. Stepping into a small clearing I was transported to another world – the vista of my bath surrounded by lanterns under the trees, full to the brim with bubbles and better yet accompanied by a bottle of Moet I had to shake myself when my guide said how long should I leave you for Madam? “Leave me! Oh yes of course – say 45 minutes”. Immersion took just a few seconds but the experience has stayed with me for ever. Was I frightened? When the hyenas started laughing in the background I did wonder how far away my guide actually was but I knew God was looking over me from his window above.
Garonga Safari Camp is a 12 bedded Camp located west of the Kruger National Park within the 22 000 hectare Makalali Conservancy which hosts the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo) and is easily reached by either car or flying into Hoedspruit or Phalaborwa airports. Check out their website for more details and rates.