Ngala Private Reserve

Panoramic - Lion 1

What sets Ngala Reserve apart from other private reserves abutting the Kruger National Park is that it is actually a concession of the Kruger itself, falling within the park boundary, and lies next to an 80,000Ha wilderness area with no public access.  Of all the private reserves, this is perhaps the wildest, with few roads and more uninterrupted bushveld lying across the Timbavati floodplain, a region known for its herds of elephant and prides of lion.  Only two, co-owned, up-market camps - Ngala Safari Lodge and the more intimate Ngala Tented Camp  - are situated on this 15,000Ha concession (extremely large for a Kruger private reserve), and have sole traversing rights.  There are no perennial rivers in this part of the Kruger, but the seasonal Timbavati River cuts through Ngala, and water is generally found below the surface, making this a long-term resource for animals.  Mopane woodland in the northern part of the reserve is separated from Acacia thicket in the extreme south by a wide belt of more open savannah grasslands; the range of habitat means that birdlife is particularly varied, and keen birders are looked after well by the camps’ excellent rangers.  Unlike the main part of the Kruger, game vehicles at Ngala are allowed to go off-road for Big 5 sightings, and rangers are careful to minimise impact.

Walking Safaris at Ngala

Ngala Reserve is also a prime territory for walking safaris, as the territory is divided in to large blocks with very few roads (unlike many other private reserves which are criss-crossed by man-made tracks) – this means walkers can traverse swathes of un-impacted territory, and track along the seasonal Timbavati River, rarely having to cross vehicle tracks. Walking safaris at Ngala either involve sleeping in specially-erected Meru tents, or in fly camps where comfort levels are trimmed back in favour of being able to go deeper into the reserve and build flexibility into the walking programme. Walking safaris at Ngala are run under their “Specialist Safari” banner, where pretty much anything can be arranged.