It’s the little things that serve to round off a well-lived life. This is what the beautiful Kings Camp in the greater Kruger National Park will deliver.
On arrival, guests receive cool lemongrass scented towels to remove travel stickiness and delicious iced tea was welcome as the temperature was well into the balmy thirties. Vervet Monkeys darted in the trees above us as we walked to our room, scouting for what they could purloin from the fruit bowls. The sylvan setting has a wide verdant lawn running down to an infinity swimming pool – from which regal kudu and nyala stoop to drink.
Kings Camp is small – with just eleven beautifully appointed rooms, each of which is an air-conditioned refuge from the heat and dust of the Lowveld. Once we had unpacked and freshened up, it was time for lunch, a sumptuous affair on the wide deck overlooking the waterhole. An elephant sploshed happily in the waterhole for our lunchtime entertainment and impala, bushbuck and nyala graced the lawns. Managers Warren and Lisha Moore cautioned us not to leave the room unescorted at night as a resident leopard hangs about the camp.
I’m an unashamed foodie, and so was thrilled by Chef Gareth Jarvis, who produced one of the best boboties I have ever experienced, served with saffron rice, coriander and my favourite, a genuinely crispy poppadum. Fresh fruit smoothies and a mouth-watering raspberry sorbet melted away the heat of the day. Cheese platters followed, washed down with a crisp wooded Chenin Blanc.
Our game drive was enhanced by commentary from the extensive knowledge of our ranger, Grant Murphy and the tracker, called Remember (hard to forget). Spotting a female leopard spoor, Remember hopped off the vehicle while Grant drove us around a ravine to try catch a glimpse of the elusive cat. We were rewarded by the sight of the bronze-eyed feline passing a mere metre from our vehicle. She nimbly sprang onto a fallen tree and gazed at us with oh-so-knowing eyes.
Around the next corner we met a young rhino bull. A gentle giant; I felt privileged to watch a lone soul moving gently through the bush and then vanish as though he’d never existed.
We stopped at a beautiful view site for sundowners, snacks and swopping stories, in the true African tradition. Watching the sun set whilst knocking back a good few glasses of chilled wine was sublime. After a wobbly climb back onto the Land Rover, we headed back to camp and were thrilled to encounter a spotted hyena, the ugliest of nature’s beauties.
Each day’s game drive seemed better than the first; over the following two days we saw elephants, more rhino, two fantastic sightings of lions hunting and then, to our delight, lions on a kill.
Back at the camp we were escorted to our suite where the turndown service had run a hot bubble bath in the large Victorian tub. Candles refracted by crystals in the cossetting room imbue the bush with irresistible romance. The décor is in the colonial style of the great hunters and explorers. A huge four-poster bed dominates the room and the enticingly comfortable bed was sheeted in the finest cotton. A sneak peek revealed three under mattresses to ensure that the bed is a transport of delight to dreamland.
Dinner was served in the comfort of the new boma which felt like a glowing womb with delicious smells emanating from the fires. After a sumptuous supper, enlivened by African folklore stories, we were ready to head off with Remember to our room.
Kings is aptly named; you are made to feel like royalty. The staff bend over backwards to provide royal treatment from massages to game drives. This is an unforgettable experience of luxury and worth every cent. You feel transported to another era and are completely indulged, even if it adds a few unwanted kilos!
This game experience is a must on your bucket list.
For those wanting exclusive use of a small camp, the Waterbuck Private Camp is a four-bedroom villa with its own Land Rover and game ranger, as well as a personal butler and chef to take care of your every need. The camp can accommodate up to eight guests in sublime comfort.
The main camp features a bar, restaurant, library, boma, beauty spa, well-equipped gym, daily walks with a ranger, swimming bath and 11 airconditioned rooms.
The room rate includes two game drives daily, full board which consists of: a wake-up snack, game drive snacks, huge breakfast, three course lunch, pre-gamedrive tea, snacks on the evening drive followed by a three-course supper. Most alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and wines are included. Speciality wines and spirits are extra. There is also a full kosher kitchen.
Kings Camp uses the tarred Ngala runway (FANG) at S24,23,28. E031,19,31. The runway is 1100m long, 1467 ft AMSL and oriented 15/33. When flying from Gauteng, contact Lowveld on 129.4 and then Hoedspruit on 126.4. You will have to fly through the Hoedspruit CTR and the Ngala runway is immediately to the east of the main tar road north to Ntsiri. There is a grass helipad at Kings Camp, which is just 1.75 nm north east of the Ngala airstrip. Prior permission required. If you wish to fly commercially, you can fly Airlink or CemAir to Hoedspruit’s Gateway Airport and hire a car.
Contact Kings Camp for further details, rate special offers and bookings at www.seasonsinafrica.com
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +27137502358