Imbali Safari Lodge is an exclusive safari lodge set on 10 000 hectares of private concession within the Central Kruger National Park.
This lovely open lodge is situated on the banks of the N’waswitsontso River. A waterhole is perched on the opposite bank of the river, it is very bushy during the summer months, but winter will thin out the bush for better viewing.
We had never stayed here before and had no idea what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised at what this lovely lodge had to offer. We were warmly welcomed by Moses, Arno and then introduced to the rest of the Imbali team.
We walked down a long passage-way that leads from the drop off point to the main area where you are greeted by a beautiful view over the river.
The main entrance area on your right hand side has a large and inviting lounge with a huge fireplace to warm you during those cold winter nights.
A small curio shop with display cabinet is in the far corner of the lounge.
The dining room on the left is where we had a delicious dinner and lunches. Lunch was buffet style with salads, roast pork and a variety of tarts and fruit kebabs.
For dinner we started with soup, Kudu steak with vegetables then finished off with a lovely desert, while enjoying the sounds of the bush.
Both the lounge and dining room have large folding doors that open onto the wooden deck with an unobstructed view of the riverbed and bush.
The lounge area overlooks the swimming pool while the dining area gives way to more seating on the wooden deck for more fine dining under the shade of large trees and this is where we had our breakfast and high tea.
The lodge is not fenced so animals move freely through the lodge grounds, but it is safe to walk round during the day. The lodge grounds are very woody with large trees shading a high wooden bridge that leads along gravel pathways to the suites from the main area.
Suites 1 to 8 have a nice river views while suites 9 to 12 have bush views.
The suites are spacious and all have large king size beds and en-suite bath, large shower, telephone, mosquito nets and air conditioner.
The suites may not have an outdoor shower, but they all have a plunge pool on their own private deck!
It was too cold for a swim in the pool but it looked inviting never the less so we just enjoyed the beautiful view of the river that still had some water in it after the January 2013 floods.
On arrival to our suite, we found a lovely bottle of red wine and fruit bowl waiting for us, courtesy of the Lodge - what a nice touch!
The morning and afternoon Game Drives are done in open 4 x 4 game viewing vehicles. Being wildlife photographers our field guide was not very good for us - we told management and they put us with another much better guide. If you are not happy with your guide tell management!
We had some interesting game drives with our rangers, but sadly did not see much in the way of plains game or predators.
"Having a passion for the region myself and having had to learn about all the dynamics, waterholes and ideal routes to drive over a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa
"Mario and Jenny take you to spots that are not always visited, and their descriptions of the more remote camps will allow you to make an informed decision without wasting time and money" - Bob & Sherry Shepardson, DeBary, Florida, USA
"Your time and money are valuable and the information in this book will help you save both." - Don Stilton, Florida, USA
"I highly recommend the book to anyone visiting Etosha National Park to photograph the animals - or anyone considering an African photography safari in the future." - Anne Darling, Cognac, France
"As a photographer and someone who has visited and taken photographs in the Pilanesberg National Park, I can safely say that with the knowledge gained from this eBook, your experiences and photographs will be much more memorable." - Alastair Stewart, B C, Canada
"This work is so much more than an eBook, because it is also a guide, a tutorial, an inspiration and a must-have for anyone interested in wildlife photography" - Findtripinfo.com, USA