We’ve recently started planning a South African holiday which will be our first trip back to South Africa since 2010. We had planned to visit in 2017 but after a few personal hiccups last year, we decided to postpone it until 2018 when things had settled down a bit.
As with any holiday, I think the planning is half the fun! Of course we want to visit a game reserve while we are there, and when I started looking at where to go, I was so excited (and overwhelmed!) to see just how many choices there are today! I’m sure there weren’t as many game reserves when we lived there (or maybe we just never looked for them!).
During my holiday planning, I connected with Jenni Moss from Southey Travel, who are specialists in luxury travel holidays in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. She mentioned yet another option I hadn’t discovered, Gorah Elephant Camp. It sounded gorgeous so I asked her to share a bit more about it with you all.
Over to Jenni!
Gorah Elephant Camp is located in the Addo Elephant National Park. The quickest and easiest route to the camp is via road from Port Elizabeth, this drive takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Gorah is the only camp in a private concession within the national park, is malaria free and is home to the Big Five.
Each safari lodge has a unique ‘look and feel’, which means that each lodge has a certain type of traveller that feels comfortable saying there. Some lodges, for example, are very family friendly so honeymooners wouldn’t feel comfortable staying there. In our experience, what also determines where travellers like to stay is the décor of a lodge. And none is more specific than Gorah as it has a very colonial feel to it. With tented accommodation, giant old-leather couches, safari hats on the walls, large wrap-around verandas and a building that dates back to 1900’s this lodge is not for the traveller who loves the ultra modern experience.
The suites are traditional tented accommodations that are raised above the ground on wooden platforms. Each suite provides guests with a private deck offering uninterrupted views over the savannah and any passing elephant herds or animals. The suites are beautifully appointed with a large king size bed facing outwards so you might enjoy the view whilst sipping on an early morning coffee or a nightcap just before laying your head down on the fine cotton sheets for a restful night sleep.
The en-suite bathrooms are fitted out with all the amenities you’ve come to expect from a 5 star property. The only thing ‘missing’ would be your outdoor shower. As the camp is not fenced and the accommodation is fully tented this is not possible.
The main lodge building is the perfect spot to sit back with a book and your G&T (aka gin and tonic) and relax. The view across the savannah and waterhole before you is breath taking, especially in the early evening. This main building is also home to the indoor dining area. On warm evenings the patio doors are flung wide open and the sounds of the African bush keep you company as you feast on a dining extravaganza! On cooler evenings the doors are kept firmly shut, the indoor fires are lit and the paraffin lamps provide a warm and gentle light complimenting the bygone era décor.
Outdoor dining is a standard on any African safari and Gorah is no different. The boma offers guests the chance to dine under the twinkling African sky. Boma dining always seems to encourage guests and staff alike to share stories of their safari experiences, maybe it’s the gentle hum of the African bush or the twinkling stars in the sky. Whether you choose to partake in the story sharing or rather sit and enjoy your surroundings you won’t be left out in the cold as there are always large braziers burning.
Addo is traditionally not a Big Five reserve, however, as Gorah is a private concession they have populate the area with all of the animals. For those of you who’ve forgotten, the Big Five are elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion. Game drives take place every morning and evening and the rangers are always on the lookout for the Big Five as they know many guests have them on their ‘bucket list’, however, they are also great at spotting all the other, smaller animals. Our ranger spotted a chameleon in a bush when we were stopped having sundowners.
Children over the age of 10 are welcome at Gorah. Up until 14 years of age an extra bed is placed in the tent that they share with their parents. From 15 years of age children need to have their own tent and are charged accordingly. Gorah does have a kids programme to keep little minds and hands busy.
Where are your favourite camps or game reserves to visit when you are back in South Africa? Let me know in the comments and help me plan the perfect holiday!