Thursday, November 5, 2015

Imbali Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park – Jeremy Williamson

Lana and I were in the Kruger National Park and were booked in for a night at the luxurious Imbali Safari Lodge, one of the Private Concession Lodges within the park. Kruger was looking fairly dry but sightings were pretty good on our drive up from the south of Kruger.

The primates really are quite endearing.

We arrived under the porte-cochere of the Imbali Safari Lodge at 13h00 and were welcomed by the camp manager who introduced us to the Lodge facilities and our delightful roomy suite.

Brick under thatch with a Tsonga styled twist to the design.

Imbali Safari Lodge is built on the bank of the seasonal Nwaswitsontso River amongst the riparian forest of Jackalberry and Tambooti trees.

Interestingly the site chosen for Imbali Safari Lodge was an African settlement some 400-years ago. Evidence of this early habitation manifested in remnants of clay pots, bone tools and their grinding stones.
Settled in our large suite, private deck, plunge pool and luxurious bathroom, there was time for us to sort the necessary camera equipment and ready ourselves for the afternoon guided game drive.


Tea on the main lodge deck with its view of the waterhole on the opposite bank of the dry river, antelope, elephant, buffalo and zebra were a constant parade, quenching their thirst.

It was pretty dry out there.
Tea and tasty eats on the main deck,

we met our ranger and off we go in the open game viewing vehicle. A pack of wild dog had been sighted, so we headed directly to where they were, all 22 of them.

The entire pack were relaxing and sleeping. Occasionally one would raise its head, have a quick look around and then back to nod-land.

Now and again one would rise, check the environment and choose a more comfortable bed.

Not much action, they were surely waiting for evening. What a special sighting all the same, such vulnerable animals, what with habitat and range loss.

We had a number of good sightings, an elephant,

Kudu cow

Immature Kudu bull

some kudu, a few giraffe, some zebra

Burchell's or Plains Zebra

and a variety of antelope.

Steenbuck ram

Impala herd

Back to the Lodge for dinner,

Imbali Safari Lodge reception

Imbali Safari Lodge main lounging area

after which we retired to our rather comfortable suite.

Wake-up call, we were eager to see what more game we could find.

Out into that lovely early morning light. We were fortunate to have a number of good sightings

Chacma baboon enjoying the morning sun

A small herd of Buffalo


It was warming up with the impala seeking respite in the shade

Some good birdlife too.

Lilac-breasted Roller

Yellow-billed Kite

Red-crested Korhaan

With only the one night in the area, we really needed to find some of the more elusive animals, it was not to be, although we did encounter a special on our departure, a short distance from Imbali Safari Lodge, a bull and cow Sable antelope with a calf, now that was a rather rare sighting. Apparently there are only about 200 to 300 of these magnificent antelope left in the greater Kruger National Park.

Another good one as we drove to our next destination was a sighting of four Southern Ground-Hornbills striding through the veld seeking out snakes, lizards and any other delicacy.

Immature Southern Ground-Hornbill

Imbali is a super venue within the Kruger National Park  with all the added luxury of a Private Lodge, excellent staff, meals and accommodation.

All pfotographs taken at Imbali Safari Lodge and in the Kruger National Park
by Jeremy and Lana Williamson

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