Over the last couple of weeks Will and I have been looking at more big five lodges to add to our safari itineraries for 2012. Of-course conservation and an environmentally sympathetic ethos are essential for each venue, but moreover its the feel of the accommodation has to be right for our guests. We look for high quality game viewing obviously (that goes without saying), on well established reserves, but also the lodge needs have the intimate, relaxed and friendly atmosphere that one expects from an On Track Safari.
Last week during a visit to the famous ThornyBush game reserve we found just that at Tangala Safari Camp. Spectacular game viewing on 12,000 hectares (with another 4,000 being added next month) and a lodge that ticked all the boxes. A lovely sedate bush atmosphere, with personal and friendly service, we were in heaven. No power lines to polute the skyline, Tangala maintains sustainable sources for power and lighting, which is not only eco friendly but as importantly enhances the bush experience. Solar power is available to charge camera batteries etc and the rooms and walkways are lit using paraffin lamps, bringing a magical sparkle to the lodge each night. As you disembark from your afternoon game drive the lodge is bedecked with twinkling lanterns, leading to the main lounge where a lovely glass is waiting for you as a pre dinner aperitif.
Wood that has fallen or been removed on the reserve for land management purposes is burned in old fashioned geezers to heat water for your bathroom. A renewable source of fuel that augments the sustainable ethos that prevails. Below I've added a photo of the wood burning water geezer that heated water for our room. Old fashioned it may be, but efficiency isn't necessarily a new invention.
Written by Carol Fox