Being a fan of solitude, I usually embark on my road trips alone. This time however, I invited three friends to join me – the thought of driving all alone through a previously troubled African country at the back of my mind.
We arrived at Ngwenya Lodge, our stop-over point to Mozambique in the early evening, after a leisurely 5-hour drive from Johannesburg. The Lodge which is separated from the Kruger National Park (KNP) by the Crocodile River, is a sort of home-away-from-home with all the mod-cons and more. There are many features and attractions within the complex to keep the average person happily engaged for a week, even a beauty salon for the women.
My first sighting of wildlife that night was right on the porch of my chalet. I discovered the reason this bird was clinging defensively to the wall, the next morning when I spotted its nest in the porch rafters up near the thatched roof of the chalet.
The next morning, we were visited by this rather noisy raft of wild geese who were intent on getting in on some of our breakfast action on the porch.
Later that morning we noticed this Common Iguana surveying its surroundings after emerging from the dam about 20 meters from the chalet. Incidently, a few years ago during one of my previous visits to the lodge, I woke one morning to find a hippo in the dam which had strayed onto the resort property from the KNP.
After spending some time on the viewing deck of the resort that overlooks the KNP, and spotting no animals across the river, we spent the rest of the day driving around aimlessly around the little town of Komatipoort, and did some shopping in preparation for our departure across the border into Mozambique, the following day.
This was an amazing quite little lodge set in a nature reserve just 40 km outside of the orpen gate of Kruger. It was great staying here because we managed to have our own getaway instead of fighting the noises and crowds of those others sharing the many “tourist run lodges” inside the Kruger gate. We had a beautiful king size bed, outside shower and jacuzzi bath overlooking the bushveldt, and our hosts Anne and Stan were fantastic and having lived in SA for 25 years knew every in and out the country had to offer. One needs someone who is in touch with Africa in order to gain the most from the experience. The giraffe on the reserve come down and drink from the pool every morning, you have antelope walking past your rooms and the lodge only caters for 6 people, so if no one else is staying there at the time, like when we were there, you have the place to yourselves. Anne and Stan will cook for you, (great local SA meats, fillet steaks, superb food all round) and the breakfasts of fresh fruit with freshly ground coffee are to die for!Anne is also an artist, so art safaris at the local hippo dam, or inside Kruger with their many connections is a must do!! this couple also have a daughter that manages the 6 star Tintswalo reserve, where celebrities like Liz Hurley and Elron John like to go…so we managed to wangle a game drive inside this magnificant reserve through them. we saw not only the big 5, but also the magnificant 7. this lodge is truly a gem, and i highly recommend it to anyoneUnique Quality: ensuite bathroom with jacuzzi bath and outside showers. Very private and beautiful pool.Fantastic food!