Sometimes you just need to wave the city goodbye and rediscover yourself in nature. You’ll be able to do exactly that with a well-deserved break to the tranquil and inviting bush of the Kruger National Park, where encounters with the Big 5 are almost guaranteed.
Where to stay
Nestled in the 10 000-hectare private Mluwati concession in Kruger’s western region stand three gorgeous luxury lodges operated by property gurus Extraordinary Lodges & Hotels; Hamiltons Tented Camp, Hoyo-Hoyo Safari Lodge and gorgeous Imbali Safari Lodge, which is the top pick of the trio for those with families.
Set on the banks of the Nwatswitswonto River, when you stand on the main deck of Imbali Safari Lodge and overlook the riverbed and the plains beyond, you’ll know you’ve arrived in paradise.
As impressive as the main lodge is, the real magic lies in the 12 exclusive suites. A neutral colour palette complements the traditional African décor and your room comes complete with a mini-bar, a king-sized bed, Victorian-style bath tub and a walk-in shower. Kids aged 8 and older are welcome to room in with their parents (limited to 2 children under the age of 12 per room) and private game viewing vehicles are available if you want to enjoy family-only safaris. Large French doors run the length of the room for seamless indoor/outdoor living and, of course, the view is nothing short of spectacular.
The lodge operates on an all-inclusive basis with all guest meals, local beverages, two daily safaris with experienced guides (bush walks are also available) included in the rate. Breakfast is an impressive spread of a hot and cold buffet while lunch is a casual affair and high tea – served just before your late-afternoon safari – gives you an opportunity to sample the chef’s freshly-baked sweet treats. The Imbali Safari Lodge team takes things up a notch with a fancy three-course plated dinner, but guests can also request for meals to be served in their suites.
Rates from R8 292 per person sharing.
What to do
You can spend the time between morning and evening bush excursions sunning yourself on the deck or having a dip in your private plunge pool as you watch out for game. You can also arrange to have spa treatments in the privacy of your suite. At night, you’ll be able to kick back under the ‘ceiling’ of stars – you might even be lucky enough to hear lions stopping at the water hole for a drink.
Spend a night or two at Imbali Safari Lodge and it’s a memory you and the family are guaranteed to treasure for years to come.