Photo credit: Ralph van Vuuren
Softly lit by the glow of flickering hurricane lamps, with private Jacuzzis, king-size beds and romantic antique-styled baths, not to mention spa treatments in the privacy of your own room, and private dinners on your deck beneath the stars - it’s difficult to imagine that you’d even want to leave your suite at Imbali Safari Lodge.Reminiscent of the colonial hunting lodges of the 1900’s, Imbali has managed to capture the old world charm of a bygone era and combine it with classical, understated luxury of modern architecture that draws on the environment of the Kruger National Park itself for inspiration, with its incorporation of glass, wood and thatched roofs. The lodge has been constructed according to eco-sensitive policies, ensuring that there is as little impact on the natural surroundings as possible.
Timber walkways submerged in the greenery of lush forests lead guests out of their exquisite lodging and into the veritable Utopia of the lodge, along the Nwatsitswonto riverbed. Beyond the threshold of your private nest, Imbali serves the African bush on a platter: safari drives coordinated by highly experienced rangers offer guests an opportunity to see what every African adventurer dreams of – the Big 5. A far cry from the colonial hunters of yesteryear, today’s safari hunters shoot with their Nikons, and the early morning and sunset drives frame Africa’s spectacular bush life and changing landscapes in the tranquil light of dawn and dusk that makes for excellent photographs.
Guided group walks are another opportunity for excellent pictures. With the help of a Shangaan tracker, guests are treated to a bush experience that envelops the senses – they learn to identify the sounds and colors of both birds and trees, they track animals, sample edible fruit, and learn the local bush lore. The lodge is surrounded by local communities where African culture runs deep and the old traditions such as dances and healing by Sangomas are still practiced.
At night, the lodge is filled with the chorus of nocturnal bush animals – the Nightjar, bush babies and the elusive genet among them. Guests enjoy a final dip in the pool before retiring to their suites for one last glimpse of over the plains and a restful sleep under sumptuous linens. So, whether you choose to stay in your suite or venture out into the lodge’s private wilderness, one fact remains - the exclusivity and romance of the Imbali experience is incomparable.Have you visited Imbali? Leave a comment and share your experience with others.