A bit of a bumpy ride from the gate to Ximongwe Safari Camp (approx 30 mins when going slowly in our VW polo) but we made it there in one piece. On arrival, we were greeted by our lovely host Ronell, and her right hand man, Stephen.
The lodge itself was very luxurious and we were lucky enough to be the only guests staying. We spent two nights in their raised tents, which were surprisingly comfortable and quite luxurious. The whole camp is done to a very high standard and has everything you need, including a lovely pool area, a spacious bathroom and a well stocked bar.
The watering hole, which is overlooked by the kitchen area and private terrace was teaming with life. Despite being there for just 48 hours, we managed to see all sorts of animals.
Ronnel was an excellent host and cooked us some delicious meals (the best food we had during our time in South Africa). She was also very entertaining company and went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable, even making the trip to town to get our lunch one day as well as printing off documents which we needed for our onward trip. Stephen was also very kind and helpful, letting us know when animals were at the watering hole and making us feel very safe at night!
During our stay, we did one morning bush walk and one evening game drive. The morning bush walk was led by Ronnels husband, Johan, who was looking after their River lodge. Johan is clearly passionate about all the wildlife which made for a very stimulating walk, even if we did not see any big game. The evening drive was also good fun - it’s pot luck as to what you see, but definitely worthwhile, even if just to take in the scenery and enjoy some biltong and G&Ts while the sun sets.
Overall, a really special two days - would highly recommend, especially as a romantic getaway! Hopefully we will return one day :)
Ps. R + J we made it through the Komatiport border with no problems and had an amazing time in Moz. We’re now safely back in the UK and battling through this strange time.
Hope you are both keeping well.
Lots of love,
George and Anya xxx
It being low season, we were the only guests for the first night, then we were joined by another couple on the second night. The attention to detail was outstanding, from the reception by our host Ronelle, to the food they freshly prepared and the tastfully decorated accommodation and outdoor areas. We felt at home and relaxed the minute we walked in. We organised a game drive with Johan who is passionate about his job and has exceptional knowledge of the area and the animals.
Do not think that because this is one of the more affordable places, that any expence has been spared. A truly amazing place to stay.
With only three double rooms this is a very special camp, with great attention paid to every detail.
The accommodation is in larger rooftop tents on top of an ensuite shower unit and changing room, with common area for ablutions.
The lookout areas near the pool and the communal area as well as at the restaurant.
You feel very special in this hideaway lodge.
The game driving is not focussed on tracking down the big 5 but more a bush immersion and we were very impressed with the guide's depth of knowledge and learned many interesting facts despite having done numerous safaris.
Exceptional in many respects, we thoroughly enjoyed our five day stay at the Safari Camp.
Ronel and Johan are outstanding hosts: attentive, professional and were warmly welcoming to us. Ronel's cooking is a treat...evening meals were a delight. The breakfasts were delicious and ample for the day! Johan shared some great photographic knowledge with us as well as offering outstanding guiding in Kruger.
As regards the accommodation and set up, this eco camp offers a lovely lapa and dipping pool overlooking two waterholes where we chilled out after our long trip watching plenty of game pass thru. The dining room/reception area is lovely. There is a separate large lounge overlooking the bush. The individual rooms comprise of a simple (very comfy) tent on a platform reached by steps...a real bush experience as you listened to lions or heard the elephants eating during the night. Below was a shower and washing facilities, plus storage room. There's a luxurious bathroom overlooking the bush. And, of course, each evening was illuminated by the fire in the bomb at the centre of the camp.
Stephen was always on hand to help with queries and small jobs when Ronel and Johan were at the other camp or with other guests.
We saw the following game from the viewing deck: no fewer than 13 different lions, elephants, lots of impala, giraffe, kudu, warthogs, plenty common duiker, slender mongoose ( a leopard did visit the waterhole a couple of times but eluded us) and a whole variety of birdlife.
The programme which Ronel and Johan organised for us worked a treat: a chill-out day, a trip on the Oliphant'sRiver with its rich profusion of wildlife, a half day game drive within Parson's and then a full day in Kruger. The vehicle was new, great refreshments provided by Ronel, lots of pit stops and an opportunity to see plenty of stuff and have Johan's knowledge to guide us.
All-in-all it was a great start to our South Africa trip. Above all we'll cherish the friendship we developed with Ronel and Johan themselves.
Beautiful! Quiet! Serene! Luxurious! Amazing!
Just a few words to describe one of my best experiences ever. Nestled in the South African Bushveld, this Gem Awaits! No picture or review can ever really describe this place, nor prepare you for what you will experience. As a South African, living on a farm with an abundance of wild Animals, I prepared myself for another “South African Experience” specifically designed for the tourist market. How wrong I was…
This was the first time I ever experienced true South African Hospitality! (I should know as I am employed in the South African Hospitality Industry for the past 24 years) This is not a Tourist Show. It is the real deal! Amazing competent hosts and skilled staff just completes the ultimate bush experience!
Everything was perfect! The staff are so attentive and you never need to ask for everything, because it was already taken care of. The service at Ximongwe are outstanding. Ronel and Johan are amazing hosts. Ronel’s dedication and effort with regards to her guests transpired into the best weekend I ever had on a game farm. The tented rooms and private showers were immaculately cleaned. The linen quality are superior and luxurious and the food outstanding. There are no pretentious food here: Just superior South African cuisine fit for the best five star hotels. Fresh, quality ingredients and the outstanding culinary skills from Ronel and Mario, ensured that we had absolutely no meal that was not superb.
The rustic, but elegant ambiance in the dining room complemented the food extremely well. Behind the scenes, Steven ran the camp like a well-oiled machine. The lamps turned on and dusk like magic and faded again with the morning light.
Johan are one of the best field guides in South Africa. His attention to detail with regards to the need of every guest on his vehicle are outstanding. Morning and afternoon drives are done in a freshly cleaned, adapted vehicle. It was the first time I’ve seen that a field guide had a tailor made ramp to ease getting on and off the vehicle.
His knowledge about the South African Kruger National Park, the Game, Plant and Bird Species are legendary. His photography tours are an absolute must for any wildlife enthusiast. His interaction with animals are unbelievable. His professionalism as well as extreme passion for his work and nature are commendable. Not one game drive was the same and all our questions was answered extremely professional.
The bush camp are swallowed by a quietness that can almost make your ears hurt. The serenity and natural beauty is outstanding, and the experience unheard of. I Will Be Back…