There must be very few places where one can one sit in bed with that first cup of early morning coffee, and watch the bushveld come alive, while gazing in awe at a panoramic view of the Kruger National Park. I’m sold!
Ngwenya Lodge, originally a hunting farm, borders the Kruger National Park on its southern boundary.
Having cocktails on the elevated viewing deck, which overlooks the Crocodile River, while watching the African sun make a dramatic exit, has to be one of life’s “Top Ten stress-releasers”. As was an hour’s session with Kim at the on-site Body and Skin Care Salon – an aromatherapy massage is an absolute must if you are taking your de-stress in the bush seriously!
Ngwenya Lodge enjoys two kilometers of prime river frontage where one has every opportunity to see the Big Five without even setting foot outside of the gate. The Lodge overlooks a scenic floodplain which allows for uninterrupted views of wildlife as it arrives at the river to drink. Willie Britz, Resort Manager, enthusiastically told the story of the giraffe kill, where a lion and a crocodile fought over the carcass – rated as one of his best ever sightings – and all this viewed from the deck! It can’t get any better.
On the other side of 50, I enjoy my little luxuries while revelling in the peace and tranquility that a bush break gives me. And little luxuries are part of everyday life at Ngwenya. From the complimentary champagne and orange juice on arrival at Reception to the comfortable air-conditioned units. Everything that one could need is on tap at Ngwenya – the Parkview Restaurant, a pub, guest lounge and curio shop. One can take leisurely strolls in the mature tranquil gardens and enjoy the several outdoor amenities.
Ngwenya is a 10-15 minute drive from the Crocodile Bridge gate at the Kruger Park. If you’ve had enough of game-viewing, you could be in Mozambique for breakfast, Swaziland for lunch and Ngwenya for dinner! It’s a pretty unique situation when one can “do” three countries in one day.
The units are situated on the riverfront and on the three dams. Irrespective of where you stay, the riverfront is accessible to all. We spent hours in the game viewing hides which provide excellent views of the river, the birdlife and the animals who come to the river to drink. We had several interesting sightings from the hide, the most exciting being the lioness that was stalking a warthog and the enormous herd of buffalo which made its way down to the river to drink. The breeding herd of elephants that frolicked in the water in front of us was also a special sight.
An interesting phenomenon at Ngwenya are the 11 ‘bat hotels’ which house over 2000 fruit bats in each wooden box. The bat hotels were erected by the University of Pretoria as part of an eco-educational project. It’s fascinating to watch the bats come swooping out of their hotels at sunset every evening. It is said that these bats can consume approximately 1000 mosquito-sized insects per hour, so they too are doing their bit for tourism at Ngwenya!
The only downside to Ngwenya is the access road. Ngwenya and The Sugar Board are doing their best to get this national road tarred, and hope to have the road completed in the near future. In the meantime, take care while travelling down this road!
Once you’ve had a taste of Ngwenya, it is very tempting to want to make this stunning setting your very own springboard into the Kruger National Park. Winchester Marketing has ownership options on offer through timeshare, syndication, whole ownership or fractional ownership – meaning you can own your very own piece of bliss.
If you are looking for beauty, tranquility and hospitality, then look no further. And to leave you with the Ngwenya motto – Leave only footprints, so that the wonder of nature may be preserved for all of our children.