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.
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