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01494 678 400
9.00am - 5.00pm
This intimate, owner managed safari camp, situated in the private Makalali Conservancy, west of the world acclaimed Kruger National Park, is one of our favourites in South Africa. Here, there is no urgency to jump into a game vehicle and madly ‘tick off’ the animal sightings – instead, you are encouraged to slow down and savour an unhurried wildlife experience. Charismatic owner, Bernie Smith, calls it 'Safari for the Soul' and there's no doubt that Garonga is a relaxed, informal luxury wilderness camp where you will leave feeling like you have glimpsed a little piece of Africa in her natural beauty. What's more, in June 2016, following a three month makeover, Garonga re-opened with a brand new, re-invigorated look! In its 20th year of operation, Garonga decided it was time for a complete transformation! The sandstone red of the walls was changed to a new olive green colour - appropriately dubbed 'wet elephant' green by the Garonga team! If you've ever seen an elephant taking a swim or indulging in a mud bath, you'll know just how happy they look so it seemed only fitting that this colour was affectionately so-named!
Garonga's six stunning safari tents boast real wow factor! Each has an expansive outside deck, an outdoor shower, stocked minibar and even yoga mats. The new look is safari chic at its best. Little Garonga, Garonga's separate camp just a short drive away, is ideal for families and friends travelling together or couples seeking a quieter ambience. Little Garonga has three suites including the Hambledon Suite, which has its own pool and second bedroom for children. For the more adventurous, Garonga's tree-house sleep-out deck offers the chance for a night under the African sky (at no extra cost).
Traditional early morning and late afternoon game drives introduce you to Africa's Big Four - elephant, leopard, rhino and lion (Garonga does not have buffalo). Black rhino have more recently been re-introduced into the reserve so both black and white rhino are now frequently seen on game drives. Bush walks, microlight flights over the bushveld, aromatherapy and reflexology sessions, along with relaxing massages at the Massage Tsala, are all available. Garonga's other little secret is its unique bush bath - a candlelit affair, set under starlit skies in the wild!
The expansive deck in front of the main lounge is a favourite 'hang-out' spot for guests - the view overlooks the riverbed which is often frequented by elephants, giraffe and wildebeest. A beautiful handcrafted wooden bar is a new addition to the open-air boma area which is set on a slightly raised platform, almost at treetop level. The boma boasts a roaring fireplace where guests can enjoy a drink and share safari stories before sitting down to a fabulous fire-cooked dinner around a communal table. Garonga prides itself on its healthy sumptuous cuisine.
On the 'green' front, Garonga has upgraded its solar power system ensuring that a far greater percentage of the lodge's power now comes directly from the sun. As a guest, you will receive a complimentary Garonga water bottle on arrival which is filled throughout your stay from Garonga's very own reverse osmosis water system (thus vastly reducing the use of plastic).
Garonga is best accessed either via a scheduled flight from Johannesburg to the nearest airports at Hoedspruit or Phalaborwa followed by a 75 minute drive, or via scheduled flight to Kruger Mpumalanga airport followed by a 30 minute light aircraft charter hop to Garonga's airstrip. Daily direct flights from Johannesburg to Garonga's airstrip are also available with Federal Airlines whose fleet of small planes will take you on a memorable flight into the African bush!
El Nido Pangulasian – Philippines
Tucked away in a secluded bay of emerald waters and dramatic limestone karsts, El Nido Pangulasian in the Philippines is simply sublime. Endless stretches of pristine beaches and a marine sanctuary beneath the waves, you will see why it has been voted as the Most Beautiful Island in the World by Condé Nast Traveller. This really is an untouched, picture perfect haven just waiting to be discovered…
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