This week we continue to follow Paul and his family through Africa, while daydreaming about the wonderful excursions they’ve experienced, along the beaten path that are a signature to Africa’s back roads. With the perfect blend of business and family friendly fun, the gang of four had us sitting at the edge of our seats “oooh-ing and aah-ing” about their safari fairy tale.
Where are they off to next you ask? Garonga Safari Camp , which is located in the greater Makalai Conservancy, west of the Kruger National Park. And we can’t think of a better way to introduce their exclusive camp than with a video made by Paul:
And now to his other half, Sarah, who filled us in with a few words of their stay:
Garonga Safari Camp is a place of superlatives. We arrived there after a six – seven hour drive from Swaziland, through some truly spectacular scenery. The camp is run and owned by Bernie Smith, a British ex-serviceman and the emphasis is on relaxation and rejuvenation. There is a variety of different activities: walks, drives, a sala, open air bath, micro lighting… all with the aim of reawakening your spirit and appreciation of our world. Throughout the camp, little zen gardens displayed such messages, as well as hand written notes left in our rooms throughout our stay.
We stayed in the Hambleden Suite in Little Garonga, which was pure luxury and included: a huge copper bath, indoor and outdoor showers and a private infinity pool overlooking the dry river bed and the watering hole below.
We spent many happy hours exploring the reserve under the expert guidance of Ceejay, who had a palpable love and instinct for the bush. Every day we had ‘up close’ encounters with animals one could only dream of: two male cheetahs with an impala kill; a disdainful hyena and her cub strolling nonchalantly past us;and a new born white rhino grazing with its mother, so close that you could hear them munching the grass. We also watched two male lions lazing in the sun, but fully aware of our presence and a herd of elephants who surrounded our vehicle and happily browsed the trees and bushes around us, even stopping to inspect me and Polly as we sat in the back of the vehicle, twisting and swirling their trunks back and forth towards us. The latter experience will stay with me forever.
Hefrik, who runs Little Garonga with Ceejay, looked after all our needs back at the camp. He served all the delicious meals throughout the day: a hearty breakfast after the game drive, a light lunch served in camp and the main meal around the boma in the evening. We were escorted back and forth to our suite at dinner time and spent every evening under the stars, when the camp was aglow with a crackling boma as we swapped stories of the day with the other guests with whom we had become friends, as we had shared such amazing experiences.
On our last day, Hefrik surprised us with a breakfast feast served in the bed of a dry river after a long morning in the hot African sun. It topped off an unforgettable five days, which will stay with us forever.
What did the Girls have to say about their stay?
“I loved Garonga because Ceejay is the best guide ever and he told us a scary story about lions that we loved so much.” Polly, 7.
“I loved Garonga because Ceejay let me sit in the front of the vehicle when I went on my first game drive on my own and I saw a pride of twelve lions and a leopard.” Amelia, 8.