“Elegant tented safari camp, combining colonial nostalgia and modern sophistication in the barren beauty of Addo's 'Big 5' park”
Though they may be tents at heart, the 11 Luxury Tented Suites - all built on raised wooden porches and set under thick thatched roofs - feel more like mini cottages. All are identical, with stylish and spacious interiors (50 sq.m.), shiny teak floors, and shades of cream offset by dark wooden furniture and cow-skin footrests. Each offers breathtaking panoramic vistas across the Addo plains from large (25 sq.m.) decks.
The kingsize four-poster bed is crowned by a ceiling fan and a mosquito net, and comes with soft cotton sheets. A large selection of crystal and silver lanterns and decanters adds colonial glamour. We loved the comfy armchairs and the (seemingly self-replenishing) tea tray with sweet homemade treats. Room features also include a writing desk and chair, a small safe, intercom, solar-powered lights and a gas heater.
The ensuite bathrooms are large enough to swing a leopard and feature double showers, freestanding terracotta sinks and ample storage space. White cotton towels, fluffy bathrobes and heavenly-scented toiletries by Charlotte Rhys (“Methaphysika: Scents of Gorah”) complete the indulgent yet earthy feel.
After dinner, a preheated tent, a fluffy hot-water bottle, poetic notes and little chocolate elephants on your pillow welcome you back to your canopied abode. As there is no electricity, your Blackberry goes home with the managers to recharge its batteries, thus allowing you to do the same, with the calming sound of jackal cries in the far distance acting as the perfect lullaby.
Dining is an important part of the Gorah experience and the camp quite rightly prides itself on its gourmet cuisine.
Hot chocolate, tea and coffee are served on the porch of your tent at 7am with your wake-up call, followed by a beautifully presented breakfast buffet on the veranda of the main house from 7:30am to 9am. Yoghurt with fresh berries is offered alongside a large selection of pastries, jams, cheeses, fruit platters and fresh juices. With a long game drive ahead, we opted for a hearty full English breakfast to keep us going until lunchtime.
We needn't have worried - luncheons, served daily between 12 noon and 2pm - are sumptuous and we soon realised that we were never going to go hungry during our stay. At 4pm, everybody gathers in the library for afternoon tea with sweet and savoury treats. Then the evening game drive ends with a sundowner stop and drinks and biltong aplenty.
After freshening up and slipping into slightly sleeker attire, guests meet back at the library at 7:30pm for pre-dinner drinks before being led into the elegant, soft-lit dining room for an Eurasian-African, locally sourced, 3-course menu. We loved the duo of duck breast and leg confit on butternut fondant with rooibos-tea infused jus, and the basil and lime granita palate cleanser. One guest commented that it was worthy of 2 Michelin stars.
No safari experience would be complete without swapping stories of the day’s adventures over a nightcap, so we moved into the candlelit lounge with its roaring fireplace and ambiance of romantic nostalgia, enhanced by subtle jazz and Edith Piaf tunes in the background. Very civilised indeed.
Children over 10 years are welcome and are accommodated on luxury stretcher beds. Up to 2 children (aged 10-14) per tent are permitted. Children aged 15+ must be in their own tent.
Teens (over 12)
Extra Beds Available
There is a selection of board games at the lodge; children go on the same game drives as their parents and the rangers will tailor the drive to suit.
This is an open camp so animals can and do wander freely throughout the grounds. It's malaria-free.