Faraway with Friends
By Arnold Ras
Yearning for a winter getaway with a bunch of good friends? Then try these Wild Card destinations. We’re talking Karoo braais, rustic romance and Swazi seduction, all perfect for a group of eight.
The Free Spirit recommends
Where: Narina Bush Camp at Addo Elephant National Park
At the foot of the Zuurberg, with views of the banks of the Wit River, lies the spectacular Narina Bush Camp, which is ideal for eight friends. The rustic forest camp, also accessible on horseback, consists of four tents, each with two single beds. With braai facilities, kitchen, toilet and shower, this is just the spot for a no-frills getaway. There’s no electricity, so night time promises star-filled skies. Come prepared: plan your menu in advance and make sure you pack all camping necessities, including firewood, warm clothes and lights, for a weekend to go down in history. Since the dirt road leading to Narina stretches some 25km, a vehicle with high clearance is advisable.
CONTACT Addo Elephant National Park 042-233-8600, SANParks Central Reservations 012-428-9111, [email protected]
The Night Owl recommends
Where: Motswere Guest Cottage at Marakele National Park
If seclusion and tranquillity are a priority, Motswere Guest Cottage, once an old farmhouse in the pretty Waterberg, will be perfect. The cottage offers four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and even selected DStv channels. While there, book a sunset drive for possible sightings of elephant, leopard, brown hyena and lion. Don’t arrive too late as the cottage is about 27km from the park’s main gate and the sandy road is tricky to traverse. Come bedtime you may be up for a challenge as the sounds of the night are known to be addictive.
CONTACT Marakele National Park 014-777-6928/29/30/31, SANParks Central Reservations 012-428-9111, [email protected]org
The Laid-back Lazybone recommends
Where: Ndlovu Camp at Hlane Royal National Park, Swaziland
Amongst the many accommodation options available at Big Game Parks of Swaziland, try Ndlovu Camp’s family self-catering cottage, or Big Hut, which is heaven for any laid-back traveller. Think spending hours at waterholes to check out hippos and crocs, dinners at the camp’s large restaurant, siestas under ancient acacia trees, and endless birding opportunities. The hut, a transformed rondavel, has a double room, twin room, a loft with four single beds and shared bathroom with gas geyser. No electricity is available, so cue hours of chit-chat with lanterns as your only source of light.
CONTACT Ndlovu Camp +268-2383-8868, Central Reservations +268-2528-3943, [email protected]
The Chef recommends
Where: Tanqua Guest House at Tankwa Karoo National Park
This is no ordinary guest house as next to the main building is a 900m airstrip for adventurous visitors to fly in. We’re sold! The complex comprises four units, with the main building boasting a larger-than-life kitchen. There are three bedrooms, each with two single beds, an en-suite bedroom with double bed, country yard and braai area, dining area with fireplace, and a dreamy stoep for breathtaking views of the Karoo. Here you can cook up a storm and entertain for days on end. Cold winter nights beg for Karoo lamb on the braai, in the slow cooker or roasted to perfection. Food, drink and good company are the order of the day.
CONTACT Tankwa Karoo National Park 027-341-1927, SANParks Central Reservations 012-428-9111, [email protected]
Source: Wild Magazine