Safari Relaxation and Wildlife Wonderment at Garonga

Little Garonga, South Africa

‘We arrived at Little Garonga and checked into the magnificent Buckingham Suite. There are only 3 suites at Little Garonga so this really is the height of exclusivity!’ This is how a recent Garonga guest, Claire Roadley was introduced to her very own safari sanctuary, Little Garonga, nestled in the Makalali conservancy in South Africa.

Claire describes her safari escapades in her recent blog:

Bernie, the owner, was probably the first person to coin the phrase “a safari for the soul” 20 years ago – focusing on the holistic side of spending time in the bush, relaxing in a hammock – or being pampered with treatments and therapies at the rustic bush spa/sala rather than ticking off the Big 5 in quick succession.

Little Garonga, South Africa

Some of the reasoning behind Bernie’s laid back safari two decades ago might have been because the reserve was still relatively new and the game was not as prolific as other reserves in the Greater Kruger. But this is certainly not the case now!

The reserve is now home to all the Big 5 and I was truly impressed with the quality of
our sightings over the 2 days we were there. We stopped a little later for sundowners and this is something Garonga does with style! What a spread of nuts, crackers, crudités, dips and biltong to complement our drinks as the sun set slowly behind the horizon.

We then had some free time to try out a treatment or massage in the bush sala, relax in our hammocks or just chill around the pool. I took a walk down to the safari camp, just a short walk down the hill, and was most delighted to find a small herd of elephants enjoying a cool drink at the waterhole opposite the lodge.

Elephants in Makalali, South Africa

The afternoon drive produced fantastic sightings of elephant, lion, leopard, rhino (both black and white) and the highlight – a cheetah with a cub enjoying a kill. We also saw lions right next to the track and some more ellies eating trees (sharing is not always caring apparently). A highlight was definitely some rhino crossing the road in front of us. Honestly I was rather gobsmacked at the quality and quantity of game we saw in just 2 days!

Lion in Makalali, South Africa

There’s really no such thing as a “typical day at Garonga” because each guest’s experience is very much tailored to how they want to spend their day. I was sad we didn’t get a chance to try out the sleep out in the bush (I couldn’t bear to leave our gorgeous Little Garonga room unoccupied and truth be told I’m a bit of a wimp) – or the gorgeous bush bath under the stars – but that would be perfect for a romantic stay!

Garonga – you were worth the wait! I cannot wait to go back!’

Read Claire’s full blog here.

Visit Claire’s YouTube channel for more Garonga videos.