The Ngoma Safari Lodge Experience in Chobe, Botswana
Prepare for understated luxury and amazing service at Chobe.
The whole experience at Ngoma in Chobe is wonderful. Chobe truly is the place where giants roam. We visited during the perfect time of year, High Season, which is the dry season between September and November. These are the best months for game viewing, although Chobe is a popular destination year-round.
We drove ourselves to the lodge, which itself felt like being on a treasure hunt.
There were no signs on the main road to affirm we were on the right track. As we later found out elephants love to take the signs down! Somehow we did turn down the right road and arrived safely at the entrance. The exterior entrance of the lodge is plain and unassuming, but as you walk in you are greeted with the gorgeous view. We soon discovered that most guests fly in and are collected from the airport. If you are self-driving, like us, make sure to receive directions that clearly state all landmarks.
We arrived at Ngoma a bit later than scheduled. Blame it on the elephants!
While this meant we missed our evening game drive, which heads out at 3 pm sharp, it turned out to be a blessing. Judy the manager, smoothly checked us in and explained to us in detail all the facilities and activities offered at Ngoma. Judy explained that we would be heading out early the next morning for a full day in Chobe. So in the end, we were relieved to have missed the evening game drive and have time to settle in.
She then kindly arranged for us to have the lunch and snacks meant for the game drive. After this Judy showed us to our gorgeous suite and gave us a bottle of champagne! This meant we could now enjoy relaxing in our suites private plunge pool. What a lovely way to begin our experience.
The lodge décor is subtle and loved the photo of the elephant in the dining room.
Expect the view to be the main attraction at the main lodge and dining area. Relax and enjoy watching the plains game in the valley below and admire the beautiful baobabs. We simply loved to lie on the luxurious kingsized bed looking out into the valley below. So incredibly peaceful and good for the soul. Lovely soft linen and great pillows ensure a great night’s sleep. The outside patio boasts a private plunge pool and outside shower, with a spectacular view down into the valley.
We felt spoilt with both an espresso machine and a fully stocked minibar. There is Wi-Fi in the rooms and in the main areas. The bathroom is cleverly designed and decorated. Expect soft white towels, wonderful bath products, a laundry basket and hairdryer. There are 2 showers, one inside and the other outside on the patio.
We really enjoyed the food and would rate it the best food we’ve eaten at any Safari lodge in Southern Africa.
Delicious, beautifully presented and generous portions. We particularly loved the colourful bowls in which breakfast was presented. The bar offers local beers, world-class wines and MCC. That evening over sundowners we chatted to a pair of the chefs. The Ngoma chefs are friendly and passionate about their work and surprisingly knowledgeable of what game we could see in the valley.
The full day game drive experience.
Ngoma isn’t actually situated in the Chobe National Park, but is only a mere 15-20 min outside, allowing us to experience the magic of a Full Day Game Drive. Something we had never experienced before. Expect to leave for the drive around 8 am, right after your breakfast and then spend the entire day in Chobe National Park. While we were a bit apprehensive about spending the whole day in the heat in the park, there was no need. The Ngoma Safari Land Cruisers have shade cloth over the roof, which kept it cool in the 30-degree heat and surprisingly comfortable seats. Our guide Bevan was really knowledgeable having grown up in the area. His passion for wildlife really made our safari experience that much better.
Before we knew it, it was lunchtime. Bevan stopped under a lovely cool tree to set up. the There’s something special about eating such a delicious spread of food seated at a lovely table in the bush! As lunch settled we headed off towards the Chobe river for an afternoon boat cruise. This was by far the biggest highlight of our trip. A wonderful close-up encounter with elephants, buffalo, hippos and crocodiles, all going about their daily lives. The Chobe River is majestic, peaceful and very wild.,
Up early for the following day at Chobe.
On our 2nd morning, we opted to do the morning Game Drive that left at 6 am. The perfect way to start the day! Watching the sunrise through the bush and finding ourselves in the midst of a heard of buffalo. What an experience, nerve-racking but so exciting! A big thanks to Bevan for soothing our nerves, while always being polite and informative.
There are so many things on offer at Ngoma.
Stay at least three nights, the two we stayed was just long enough to wish we had one more! We do highly recommend the village tour and the Chobe River game viewing boat experience, also the game walks and birding.
Ngoma is absolutely perfect for friends, couples and honeymooners. It is an expensive lodge, but it is money well spent. What we realised is all income contributes towards the community in the area by providing employment for people and their families.
We can’t wait to go back! A huge thank you to Africa Albida Tourism for hosting us.