From the inside looking out…
The long corridor leads to the front of the building
where guests would be greeted
and game drives depart.
This is the main reception area at Imbali Safari Lodge.
Arriving guests are welcomed with home made lemonade
(or said goodbye to with a handshake and a hug).
And it is here that the relevant paperwork is completed.
If you have driven to the lodge, your car will be parked for you
and your luggage whisked off to your accommodation.
For those who rely on connectivity with the outside world,
this Lodge offers both cellphone reception
as well as internet connectivity in the main building.
This was the beginning of a spectacular four day trip that my wife and I
spent at three camps in the Mluwati Concession in Kruger Park.
We arrived at lunch time and the meal was set up buffet style.
Seeing that the drive to the Lodge had taken us longer than expected
this spread was most welcome.
A choice of hot and cold dishes as well as salads, a cheese platter
AND desserts were on offer.
You can enjoy all your meals on the deck overlooking the waterhole.
For the duration of our stay the weather was conducive to eating outdoors.
That being said, there is a more formal dining area inside
should the weather decide to take a turn for the worst.
I ended up using one of these tables as an office during my stay.
It is difficult to concentrate on your food
when there is a “distraction” like this only a few meters away.
The lodge waterhole was busy during the entire duration of our stay.
If you do not feel like heading out on a game drive,
you are almost guaranteed interesting and diverse sightings
from the comfort of a chair on the deck.
It turns out that this elephant has a broken right ear…
hence it hanging like a drape rather than in its correct position.
It did seem to hinder him at all,
but there must be a cooling issue in hot weather.
We arrived together with the wind.
Hence the leaves scattered on the deck.
The staff were fighting a losing battle trying to sweep them up.
But to give them credit, they persevered.
An eye level view over the public swimming pool
and out towards the waterhole.
From the inside looking out…
I did not get to try the splash pool,
but my wife made good use of it.
The deck looks out towards the open veld and often animals can be seen walking past.
After a successful three hour game drive
AND a delicious dinner…
this was what we were looking forward to climbing into!
A huge bed with the best linen was so conducive to sleep
that I did not even open the novel that I had brought to read.
A bath AND an indoor shower.
The quiet and serene space of the bathroom.
The door on the left leads to the toilet.
In the foreground is a portion of the double sink.
There is no outdoor shower, but a large window
allows guests in the shower to have the impression that they are outdoors.
A portion of the main lounge area …
With the doors open the line between inside and out blurs.
From here guests can look across the pool to the waterhole.
(There were so many comings and goings there that it
almost looked as if guests were watching a nature documentary!)
Another portion of the public area of the main lodge building.
The lounge is ‘divided’ into three separate areas
that allow guests to enjoy some privacy should they wish to.
It was hot during our visit,
so there was a constant supply of water “on-tap” for guests.
The glasses attracted the attention of my lens.
My breakfast of champions!
Home-made muesli with yoghurt.
Both hot and cold breakfasts are on offer
and there is also a daily special.
Almost every game lodge that I have visited
seems to have a resident Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill.
Imbali was no different.
This fellow’s appearance coincided with the arrival of the food.
The devil is in the detail.
When last did YOU find a proper butter knife on a table?
Another part of the lounge, gently lit for pre and post dinner relaxation.
The muted colours and the lack of piped Musak make conversations
between guests and staff a pleasure.
There is NO TV in either the main building or the accommodation.
Comparing experiences rather than staring at an electronic screen
were moments to savour.
In the rear there is a small curio shop where mementos can be purchased.
The end of a perfect day.
As the sun sinks below the horizon it is time to head back to camp…
and dinner…of course!
Sitting under the stars, enjoying a good meal,
great company and a glass of wine.
Could there be a better way to complete a visit to this wonderful camp?