By : Michael Goldhawk

11 June 2012

My family and I went to Vic falls for the New Year party in 2011. Whenever we go to the Falls we always take a day trip to Botswana, to take a drive through the Chobe National Park and then have lunch at one of the lodges in the area.

This year we organized to have lunch at the exclusive Ngoma Game lodge. The Lodge doesn’t usually allow day visitors, but we pulled in a favour and were given a taste of the epitome of luxury.

After a lengthy drive through the game park, due to hundreds of elephants and their babies, we arrived at Ngoma Safari lodge tired and ready to put our feet up. We were greeted with huge smiles by the Lodge managers, husband and wife, Gert and Doreen Prinsloo.  We were served a round of drinks at the bar, which overlooks the Caprivi Strip; the river wasn’t in full flow, but still an amazing view! With drinks in hand, Gert and Doreen took us around the lodge, showing, us the facilitates and the rooms. Each room is very private, with its own deck and a view of the river and the plains in front of the lodge. Since the lodge had just opened, they weren’t busy, (we were the only guests) so they were busy putting in small splash pools for each Room. After being shown the lodge, we went back to the bar, to relax, have drinks and watch the abundance of wildlife on the plains which the bar overlooks the Chobe River. Gert and Doreen have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the wildlife in the area. We were told by Gert about a small pride of lion in the area the night before, which was a bit nerve wrecking, considering the lodge is completely in the wild, no fences, which gives you a true African experience. He then told us, they had taken down a juvenile elephant just in front of the lodge, which put us to ease, knowing they would not be hungry. Given that information, my brother and I set off on an exploratory walk before lunch to look for the elephant carcass, which to our delight we found.

Not only is the wildlife in abundance, but the bird life, is truly unbelievable. We spotted a Tawny eagle, two fish eagles and hundreds of yellow billed kites. We were lucky enough to see the Tawny eagle hunting, trying hard to catch his lunch.

At about half one, we were called to lunch. Chef Paddy, who did his training at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and was also the executive chef at Bumi Hills, was now the executive chef for Ngoma Game Lodge. Lunch was a Three course set menu, our starter, was smoked salmon with a balsamic and olive oil reduction topped with crème freche, I’m not a huge fan of salmon, but this was just delicious, which got me excited for our main course, which we were told was the Ngoma Burger… On a single slice of the most delicious looking sesame seed slice of bread, was a fat, juicy, perfectly cooked Beef patty, topped with onion rings and probably the best Cheese and mushroom sauce I have tasted, sided with a generous helping of potato wedges. After that I was set for days… Now I’m not one for pudding, and sweet snacks after such an awesome meal, I like to savour the tastes and not spoil it with something sickly sweet, but when they placed that apple crumble in front of me and it looked so inviting, I ate my share, and was not disappointed. The cost of this incredible afternoon, was a little over 100USD, which was not bad for a three course 6-star meal for five people and a few rounds of drinks. We had an amazing experience, were very blessed and lucky to be given this exclusive opportunity to be a day visitor to Ngoma Safari Lodge.

We got our taste of luxury, which we wouldn’t usually be able to afford at a bargain. So at $495 per night person sharing, that’s including;  Accommodation, full board, all house beverages, up to 4 activities per day, road transfers from Kasane border or Kasane Airport, park fees and community fees, and after our day experience, staying at the Safari Lodge does not break the bank. I would like to thank Gert and Doreen Prinsloo, the managing team for Ngoma Safari Lodge for an unforgettable experience. You can have a look at all the packages for Ngoma safari Lodge and other details about booking at their website: www.ngomasafarilodge.com