Garonga Safari Camp has had an incredibly interesting year so far. The camp reopened its doors on the 1st of June 2016 after a three-month long revamp. The Garonga team is delighted with the camp’s fresh new look and the colour scheme which they proudly refer to as ‘wet elephant’.
The refurbished camp has only been open for just over a month but the recent Garonga guests have not been shy to compliment the camp on TripAdvisor.
Here are a few of our top picks from the review portal:
We had an absolutely fantastic time during our stay in the stunning Hambleden Suite at Little Garonga. We had our own pool on our deck which overlooked a watering hole, and every detail had been considered in our rooms – even down to our favourite drinks! – Nikkicsmith, the UK
‘Garonga is overwhelmingly beautiful. The accommodation is spa-like elegance with every attention to detail. The resort is small so the service is personalized. The staff and guides/trackers ensure all your needs are met.’
– DueNorthDragonflies, Canada
‘This camp has just been revamped and looks great! Super friendly staff and hosts who made our safari and stay as memorable as possible. Honestly – whoever wants to brunch together with elephants in the morning – just book your stay here. Super spacious tents with STUNNING views over the dry riverbed.’
– Weltenbummlerin06, Germany
‘Totally “in awe” with the newly revamped Garonga! Luxurious tented rooms, spacious both inside and outside – what beautiful decks. Amazing bathrooms and oh the outdoor shower. The staff are so friendly and attentative to one’s needs, and the food outstanding.’
– shezpb, South Africa
Whilst the Garonga team excitedly awaits the grand reopening of the camp and to share new safari experiences with guests, the Makalali wildlife is in full action.
Since we still need to wait for a tiny bit longer before venturing into the African bush to witness these wildlife shenanigans with our own eyes with Garonga, we decided to take a trip back in time and share a few video clips from recent Garonga guests to alleviate our safari craving:
The Garonga crew is pleased to announce that the much-anticipated camp revamp has kicked off. The construction team is tirelessly erecting new structures and assembling pillars to refresh the camp’s appearance.
After a couple of weeks of enthused labor the main lounge roof is nearly finished. Here’s is a peek into the refurb:
The Makalali concession is once again teeming with wildlife activity. From sharp-toothed predators to gracious antelope there has recently been a lot to see in this animal kingdom.
Elephant sightings are a firm favourite amongst many Garonga guests. From an unhurried afternoon stroll in the bush to a battle of the strongest observing these gorgeous animals is a captivating occasion.
This video shows a sneak peek into the lives of the Garonga elephants.
Summer is well under way in Makalali and romance is in the air. Bush weddings are one of Garonga Safari Camp’s specialties. Picture standing on a raised deck in the middle of the wild African bushveld and saying ‘I Do’ to the love of your life. Magical!
Ruth and Adam Gooding, who recently tied the knot at Garonga, did just that. They wrote about their special day in a blog article:
Our wedding took place at the small sleep out deck that the camp maintains, about a 20-minute drive from the camp it is built into a tree overlooking a watering hole. During a stunningly warm clear day, we exchanged our vows above this magnificent countryside, and were joined by some of the locals!
There is something excitingly unique about combining your wedding with an African safari.
Ruth and Adam described a particularly memorable bush moment by writing: The moment when we were sat in the Land Rover as a herd of approx. 40 elephants (from young calves to majestic old bulls) emerged from the bush to walk around the vehicle as we sat speechless, will forever linger in my memory.
Wildlife encounters at Garonga certainly didn’t end for the happy couple when they retired into the intimate newlyweds’ love den during their stay. Ruth and Adam wrote:
The Hambledon Suite is beautifully appointed and blessed with a deck and plunge pool overlooking the river bed running in front of the camp, often a meeting place for a couple of elephants during our stay, and the throaty sounds of a pair of young male lions were a welcome soundtrack in the evenings. With nothing to separate the camps from the bush you are often greeted at all times by the local wildlife wandering through the camp, which just adds to the allure!
Bush romance and wildlife wonderment! That is Garonga at its finest.
Makalali’s pride and joy is the concession’s beautiful predators. Garonga guests have recently been lucky enough to witness wildlife sightings of all types, but the highlight for many has been seeing the Makalali pride of lions.
This video was filmed during a game drive in the concession when the Garonga visitors had a close-up encounter with these fabulous felines. The lions don’t seem to mind the nearby spectators during their bushveld siesta and are contentedly stretching and relaxing right next to the game viewer.
Picture yourself waking up to the wild sounds of Africa and the distinctive scents of pure nature. Open your eyes to see the bright blue sky spotted with white, fluffy clouds. Get up and start your day by admiring the stunning views of the Makalali bushveld spreading out before you. The Garonga sleep out is a firm favourite activity amongst guests, and it is not hard to grasp why.
After a 20-minute drive away from the main camp, guests who are adventurous enough to experience life in the African bush for a night are dropped off at Garonga’s very own star bed. There, on a sleep out platform amidst the trees, guests can experience the real magic of the African bush.
Sit back on the sleep out viewing deck and indulge in a 3-course bush dinner, surrounded by wilderness. Pop a bottle of bubbly open as the day starts turning into night and look up to see the Milky Way in all its sparkly splendour. This is what safari dreams are made of.
The fate of the environment is very close to many safari enthusiasts’ hearts. Garonga shares their passion to conserve this beautiful planet, and has gone a long way to create a green safari experience.
The label eco-friendly safari doesn’t come without its fair share of contribution and involvement in keeping things green. The Garonga team stands behind their efforts to constantly look for new ways to be environmentally friendly. From solar power and heater pumps to a biogas system, Garonga is making a change in the way a modern day safari is experienced.
Even the Garonga wildlife is benefiting from the camp’s conservation efforts. The animals can enjoy drinking fresh, water that’s been filtered from camp and pumped back to the waterhole. The Garonga vegetable garden is also thriving, providing clean, organic produce to the camp’s guests.
Pairing a leisurely, unhurried ‘soul safari’ experience with genuine care for the environment, Garonga stands out from the crowd of safari camps in Africa. ‘On the edge of the Kruger National Park, Garonga has, through Bernie’s determination and personal investment, become one of the most eco-friendly safari camps in South Africa – if not the entire continent.’ a travel article by Turquoise Holidays states. Indeed, persistence and commitment can make a green-tinged difference.
Garonga had some very special visitors recently. The Kulesza family enjoyed their 11th stay at the camp in August. The Garonga team was, once again, very pleased to host the safari enthusiastic family at the camp.
Sören Kulesza and his parents, Wolfgang and Ute, who keep returning to Garonga, time after time, got to experience yet another selection of wonderful sightings during their recent safari stay. Sören snapped these beautiful close-up wildlife shots during one of the family’s game drives in the vast Makalali bushveld.
If there is one thing that keeps drawing visitors to the remarkable Kruger National Park, it is the amount and variety of wildlife that wander through the vast reserve. The Makalali Conservancy, just west of the Kruger Park, is no different.
Here, in the dense African bushveld, recent Garonga visitors have been blessed with memorable moments in the bush. The guests have seen sightings of all kinds, from our favourite elephant families having leisurely lunches under the African sun to a hyena clan enjoying an afternoon siesta or two lions engaging in an outburst of passion.
The best safari moments have to be experienced, not explained. However, since it is not always possible to go on a safari – no matter how much we may want to – we decided to bring safari to you in the form of real guest videos: