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A Week at Ngwenya Lodge – Crocodile River

Situated right next to the Crocodile River just outside Komatiepoort, Ngwenya Lodge is one of my favourite places in South Africa to visit. Getting a riverside chalet is a must. You get to see elephants, lions, baboons and giraffes drinking from the river all from your chalet patio. Add a braai and a glass of wine, and what more could you ask for? Seven days hardly felt long enough. I could easily stay here for a month-long vacation without getting bored. But maybe that’s just the nomad inside me.

Ngwenya Lodge - Kruger National Park

a glass of wine and a gorgeous view

 

The views and the sunsets are magnificent. And I still remember the noise of the hippos playing in the river during the night. Just thinking back to it gives me goosebumps.

We were juggling 2 lenses for my canon and had to try to quickly change lenses when we saw something beautiful that we wanted a nice photo of. Not an easy task. But this was the result… Some nice photos that I really love, and some blurry photos that I also loved. Just because they all formed part of one of my best holidays to date.

The onsite restaurant also has a view of the river and the best Amarula pancakes you can imagine. Think pancake filled with a decadent ice cream and all of that soaked in Amarula. While enjoying this delicacy, we saw a herd of elephants come down to the river for a splash and drink of water.

They have so much to keep you busy on the days that you don’t feel like driving through The Kruger. On one evening before we went to dinner, we stopped by the games room. And we were the only two in there.

We started playing this crazy Dance Off game. And I can honestly say that although my husband won, I have never had so much fun. We were still crying with laughter when we showed up to our dinner. I have video footage of this but will never be forgiven if I shared it here. Hahaha

Entering the Kruger National Park from here is the Crocodile Bridge Gate, only 5km’s away.

If you want to see our Kruger Park visits, CLICK HERE.

Let me leave you with these awesome breathtaking photos to do rest of the talking.

Early Morning breakfast while watching all the animals make their way down the side of the river.

This is by far my favourite destination in South Africa at the moment. I love wild animals and the bushveld. And it awakes something inside my heart that no beach could ever come close to doing.

Check out Ngwenya Lodge here.

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Ngwenya Lodge- Kruger National Park - South Africa - Wildlife - Hippos

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MSC Cruise – What to pack & Embarkation Tips

If you are anything like me, you start packing your suitcase a week or more before any holiday. You’ll have lists of what to remember and lists of things you still need to buy. Or you may be more like my husband, who can pack everything he needs, into a small suitcase, the night before.

                                                             Inside our Balcony Cabin

To say I over packed for our MSC cruise, would be an understatement. I had a massive suitcase and had to pay for the extra weight at the airport when we checked in… Something that my husband didn’t find funny at all. He always tells me that I overpack and he likes to prove to me he was right when we get home after a holiday and most of the clothes in my suitcase are still unworn. But a girl’s got to have choices, right?

 

Either way, we all have probably learned that what you pack or what you forget to pack, can impact your holiday immensely.We flew down from OR Tambo in Johannesburg to Durban, where we boarded the MSC Opera at the port in Durban.

Embarkation day is usually just waiting around on the Cruise ship for your room to be ready. and depending on the weather in the city you’re in, in Durban it’s usually extremely hot, sitting on the deck in the sun. I wore a lightweight jean, flowy top and sandals. Which worked out perfectly. But make sure to check out the weather while you pack so that you know what to wear on the embarkation day.

My list of things to remember:

  1. Pain Medication – For that unexpected headache.
  2. Seasickness Meds – Although I didn’t get seasick at all, it hit my husband hard on the first day of the cruise. and we paid a mini fortune to buy nausea tablets on the cruise.
  3. Reading Material – Your favourite book for relaxing on the deck next to the pool.
  4. A Cardigan that goes with everything – After shivering through a dinner in an icy cold cruise dining room, I was extremely happy that I always pack a trusty cardigan that goes with evening wear and jean when dressing down.
  5. Don’t forget your passport!
  6. Sunblock – For the obvious reason.
  7. Your Camera and camera charger.
  8. Chronic Medication – If like me, you need them.
  9. Binoculars – For the endless views.
  10. Card Holder – Your massive day to day wallet will be a hassle to carry around on the cruise. Instead, invest in a small card holder to store your cruise cards.

Bath towels and pool/beach towels available on board.

What to Wear on a Cruise

 

My choice of reading material will be Coco related 85% of the time. ♥

Now that you have the packing out of the way, here’s a list of my personal tips to make embarkation day easy peasy.

Unpack when you first arrive at your cabin. I find that this makes it easier to look for outfits for the rest of the cruise. Or maybe it’s a hint of OCD. Either way, it beats rummaging through your suitcase every morning and night.

Pack away dirty clothes. If you are not going to send that outfit to the onboard dry cleaners and wear it again, pack it away. We usually put them away in one of the suitcases. This will make it so much easier to pack up on the last night of the cruise. 

Schedule your flight at a reasonable time. Disembarkation day can take time. So make sure you have a flight booked at a reasonable time so that you don’t panic or even worse, miss your flight. 

And lastly, just a random tip… Take public transportation where possible on excursions. Instead of taking the bus when we got to Madagascar, we got a taxi. We paid the driver a bit extra and he took us to all the private, secluded beaches and local hot spots. It was one of the best decisions we made.

I hope you find this helpful! Have you ever been on a cruise? Or is a cruise on your bucket list? Please tell me in the comments below.