It’s a bush escape with all the beauty of nature, exhilarating wildlife encounters, and special luxuries that will make your summer staycation in South Africa a romantic retreat you won’t soon forget.

The year is drawing to an end, and what a year it’s been! If ever there was a time when a festive season getaway was needed, this is it. We all need (and deserve) a real break and what better way to enjoy it than in the wilderness. As South Africans we are extremely fortunate to have incredible outdoor spaces on our doorstep and with the warm summer days, a relaxing safari in the bushveld with your loved one is a good way to recharge the batteries.

Special sighting of a white rhino pair while on a game drive in the Greater Makalali © Garonga Safari Co.

For couples that want to get out of town for the holidays and spend quality time together, a luxury Big 5 safari is the ultimate romantic staycation. Due to it being a private game reserve, the Greater Makalali offers a more exclusive safari experience than its neighbouring national park that becomes crowded over the holidays. The luxury safari camps and lodges – including our newest private tented camp, MCH – of Garonga Safari Co. are immersed within their scenic natural surrounds and provide a special type of safari for the soul that rejuvenates mind, body and soul.

Share breath-taking moments in the wilderness

Going on safari reveals the magic of the bush and sharing this creates memories to remember together for years to come. From open-air game drives at dawn and dusk to immersive explorations on foot and even getting a bird’s eye view of the landscape from a micro-lite, each time you head out into the bush is an opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the wilderness.


A guided bush walk in the Greater Makalali © Garonga Safari Co.

It is your time to connect deeply with nature, while being led by experienced and personable guides. They carry rich knowledge about the particularities of the surrounding bush, the importance of each animal, bird, plant – and all other creatures in between – keeping the local ecosystem healthy and thriving.


A majestic big cat and member of South Africa’s Big 5 © Garonga Safari Co.

The Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve has all members of the Big 5, endangered species like African wild dog and cheetahs, along with hippos, crocodiles, diverse plains animals and birdlife.

Steal away for private dining in secluded locations

What would a luxury safari in South Africa be without outstanding meals that are enjoyed at camp or even in the middle of the bush? During breakfast back at camp recall each of your highlights of the morning’s game drive, followed by a lazy morning and midday by the pool sipping on chilled cocktails and digging into a delicious lunch.


An elephant pays the camp pool a visit © Matthew Humphreys

One of the highlights – and a certifiable tradition of a safari – are sundowners either around the campfire or a spot chosen in the by your game drive guide for its particularly outstanding view. This is when you get to enjoy chilled gin and tonics (or another beverage of your choosing) as the setting sun bathes the landscape in golden light.


Sunset over the Greater Makalali © Flying Fluskey

Then, for the ultimate in romantic al fresco dining and a special treat for the senses, retreat to a secluded location and enjoy a scrumptious meal by lantern-light.

Indulge in unique and romantic moments in the bush

The sleep out deck experience is like something out of a fairytale. It is a four-poster bed on a raised wooden platform that is enveloped only in netting and beneath a canopy of stars, overlooking a waterhole regularly visited by elephants. This is ideal for the lovebirds that want the exhilaration of a night sleeping in the heart of the bush.


The Sleep Out Deck is a dreamy part of the ultimate romantic retreat at Garonga © Garonga Safari Co.

An open-air bubble bath complemented by glasses of bubbles and soft candlelight is another indulgence for an unforgettable romantic retreat over the festive season. The vast sky above and nocturnal sounds of the bush around you make sure that even bathing while on safari takes your breath away.


Bubbles and candlelight at the romantic Star Bath © Garonga Safari Co.

To make sure you leave feeling completely refreshed and radiating a post-holiday glow, a long pamper session of spa treatments and massages, will do the trick.

If you and your loved one wish to end 2020 in an unforgettable way, a romantic safari staycation might just be it.