Ngwenya Lodge June 2023

On Friday, 16 June at 05:35 Robin and I began the 604 kilometer journey to join friends, Charles and Marcelle, for a week at Ngwenya Lodge. Ngwenya is the Zulu word for crocodile, hence the featured image of a crocodile, and the Lodge is on the southern bank of the Crocodile River overlooking the Kruger National Park. It is also conveniently situated about 11 kilometers from the Crocodile Gate entrance to Kruger and 16 kilometers from the town of Komatipoort where you will find the magnificent Kambaku Golf Club.

After unpacking the four of us headed to the deck overlooking the Crocodile River and into the Kruger Park where we were greeted by beautiful views of the river and Park. Two elephant were drinking at the river and two water monitor lizards were lying in the sun below the deck

Saturday, 17 June, at 06:00, the four of us headed for Crocodile Gate only to sit in a queue for two and a half hours to get into the Park – it was a long weekend so a lot of people had come down from Johannesburg and Pretoria to enjoy the magnificent wild life Kruger has to offer. Once we were inside the Park it was all there for us to see and enjoy, impala, wildebeest – gnu – and zebra were our first sightings before we saw elephant and of course crocodile. The treat of the day however was seeing wild dog, these magnificent creatures are not easy to find so it was a real thrill when we stumbled across them

After chilling out on Sunday we went back into Kruger on Monday. This time it was a breeze, no queues so we were in the Park by 06:30. We were again treated to some fantastic sightings which included fish eagles, giraffe, zebra, warthog, hippo, elephant and the king of the jungle

My partner in the golf academy, Neil, who visits Ngwenya Lodge every year, said we’ve got to play golf at Kambaku, in fact every time he and his family came back from Ngwenya he’d tell me we have to play at Kambaku. Well, he was right, what an absolute treat to play this magnificent golf course situated in Komatipoort at the confluence of the Crocodile and Komati Rivers. We were giving a really warm welcome by the team in the pro shop, our caddy, Sam, was brilliant and the course is absolutely world class with stunning views of the two rivers. Beautiful tight fairways with beautiful quick greens and a few strategically placed trees, you need to plot your way carefully around this great layout. After a most enjoyable round with lots of good conversation with our caddy Sam, we sat on the balcony overlooking the Crocodile River and enjoyed a few refreshments and here again the hospitality was top drawer. Thank you for a great day Kambaku Golf Club, we will be back

Wednesday we were back in the Park and what an entrance. As we crossed the Crocodile River and were driving up the hill toward the main gate the car in front of us suddenly stopped and away to our left was a magnificent male lion with a huge black mane. Unfortunately it was quite a brief sighting and we weren’t able to get any photos. At the gate the Park staff told us there were actually five lion where we had seen the big male. This was another day where we were treated to some spectacular sightings including lions mating in a dry river bed

Thursday was unfortunately our last day in the Park so we got off to an early start only to miss two cheetah by a few minutes although we did see lion pretty much straight away but the best was still to come – a young leopard. Toward the end of our time in the Park we decided to take a more round about route, two cars were in front of us when suddenly a young leopard crossed the road in front of the first car. The three cars stopped immediately and the leopard, seemingly unfazed, turned left and walked just off the road next to the cars. We were also extremely fortunate to see two Southern ground hornbill, which are are the endangered species list

After we bade “Farewell” to the Park we sat in the hide at the Lodge for a few hours watching the sun set with two elephant eating contentedly about fifty meters from while a pod of hippo frolicked in the river. Suddenly we heard lions calling across the river and in the failing light Robin and Charles with help of binoculars saw a lioness walking in the sand on the other side of the river. A perfect end to an awesome week

Here are a few random pics












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