Narina Lodge Review, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Dining with wildlife.
Picture Gallery


Review by Carrie Hampton

The exclusive 6 star Narina Lodge is located next to the Sabi River in Kruger National Park, South Africa. From its high wooden decks the air is punctuated by the unmistakable grunt of hippos.

Narina Lodge opened in April 2004 and is one of several private safari lodges to be given the rights to operate within South Africa's internationally renowned Kruger National Park. Formerly, Kruger National Park catered for the self drive visitor and tour groups, but with so much space and so many animals roaming around Kruger National Park, they decided to award exclusive concessions to a select number of private safari lodge operators.

The Tinga Concession is one of these and has two of the most up market safari lodges to be found in Kruger National Park; Narina Lodge and Legends Lodge. Both have nine luxury suites, with every kind of facility you may or may not need on an African Safari. The heated towel rails and underfloor heating are a pleasure on cold winter mornings and your heated private plunge pool and sundeck are perfect for lazy afternoons before your evening game drive.

The satellite TV and ISDN internet line are for guests who just cannot do without the real world for a few days, but I preferred to sit on my wooden terrace and stare at the river, watch birds and listen to the noises of the African bush. The world's news could wait, I had no need or want of it in the Kruger National Park.

Exclusive African Style

Similar yet different to its sister lodge (Legends Lodge), Narina Lodge has a more overall African feel with overriding colours and textures of browns and beige, wood, Persian carpets and simple chandeliers. There were huge fireplaces, many sofas and high beamed ceilings open to the thatch. Expensive artefacts from all over Africs found attractive positions to be displayed or put to more functional uses, such as masterly carved coffee tables. Even the fruit in the bowl looked like a work of art.

The suites of Narina Lodge look like wooden cabins from the outside, but are painted a gentle cream on the inside. They contain the comforts of leather sofas, wooden floors, white linen and walk-in muslin mosquito netting.

The indoor shower has dual-angled shower heads and large attractive fossil-embedded tiles, while the outdoor shower has a view of the river and any animals or birds that might happen by. Narina Lodge is the kind of place where you want to spend time in your suite, because it has everything you might need.

Personalised Safari

The focus of a visit to Narina Lodge is on personal privacy, safari game drives and indulging in delicious food at every opportunity. The Tinga Concession within Kruger National Park has a good mix of terrain and a variety of African wildlife and Narina Lodge's knowledgeable guides personalise the safari to suit your interests.

They drive inside the Tinga Private Concession, but may use the public roads of Kruger National Park to access particular areas or see a special sight such as a pride of lions, that has been revealed via radio contact with other rangers.

Narina Safari Lodge and Legends Lodge (see separate review), are exclusive in price and selectivity, with the all-inclusive tariff only available to a maximum of 18 guests at any one time. This ensures attention to detail and quality of a high calibre. The proximity of Narina and Legend Lodges to Kruger National Park's main camp at Skukuza, means that road or air transport in and out of Kruger National Park is quick and easy.

? Carrie Hampton 2004. This article is written by travel writer and safari specialist Carrie Hampton, who is under no obligation to state anything other than her personal opinion. This article may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Feel free to contact Carrie on: carrieh@iafrica.com

Sunset dinner down by the river



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