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  • Writer's pictureMana Brightman

Exploring the Save : Dadiso Tented Camp | Tented Expeditions | Ingwe Lodge

It came at exactly the right time when I received the invitation to come and view these three camps, each set in prime locations in the 60 000 hectare Sango Concession of the Save Valley Conservancy. Having lived in this Conservancy for a few years growing up as a teenager, I couldn’t wait to return and see my old haunts but with fresher and more appreciative eyes.

Dadiso Tented Camp

Previously just called Tented Camp this small & private camp has recently renovated its look with two new pavilion tents and two standard tents (all en-suite), one of which is also due be converted into a pavilion tent. Fitting up to 6-8 pax you can book this camp exclusively as a group of friends or family. Set right alongside the Msaize riverbed you're surrounded by riverine bush and the wildlife wanders in and around camp freely. There is a single strand electric wire around the camp but this is more-so to stop the elephants coming in to destroy the huge trees surrounding the camp. Wifi is limited to whatsapps and emails only and we always urge our guests to just take the time to simply sit and take in your surroundings, away from the rush of the world and seemingly sped up by technology. There is also a delightful, small pool which will be welcomed in the hotter months to relax and cool down in. Between the pool area and the main dining area is a beautiful sandy space for perhaps a friendly game of volleyball which once over, friends and family can gather around the pizza oven for some cold ones and to watch the kids revel in their pizza-making skills. All in all, a wonderful place to escape to and enjoy, being in the heart of this Conservancy.

Tented Expeditions Camp

If one wants to completely go 'back to basics' of what being on safari is all about and totally immerse oneself in the heart of pristine bushland, this is the camp for you! Tented Expeditions is a new, small and owner-run camp with only 3 en-suite tents, right on the edge of the Msaize riverbed (about 6km away from Dadiso Camp). With an open-air bathroom & perfectly adequate bucket showers (I promise they're just fine, ladies! ), you can gaze at the plethora of stars above you at night.

There is no WiFi here and who needs it when this is the perfect opportunity for you to 'switch off' fully. There is a newly constructed airstrip nearby for those who prefer the comfort and quick access of flying in, maximising your time spent at the camp.

Lying in bed at night, in what felt like the comfiest and cosiest of beds, one can be lullabied to sleep by listening to the magnificent grunting call of a big male leopard calling to his mate right by camp with the lions not to be outdone, always following with their mighty roars. Tracks of rhino were fresh in the riverbed the next morning on our walking safari and we even had the adrenaline pumping when a surprised herd of buffalo came barrelling out the bushes but upon seeing us swerved away. I can promise you this, that spending a week here would be just the tonic needed to refresh one’s soul!

Ingwe Lodge

For those not so keen on getting too up close and personal with nature, there is a beautiful lodge set in amongst some amazing granite kopjes where the black Verreaux Eagles soar and the rock dassies explore. With four luxurious villas and two tents, this lodge exudes comfort, warmth and luxurious tradition. Each Villa/room is purposely spaced apart so that one almost feels they have the place to themselves. There is a spacious dining area and gathering Lapa overlooking the infinity pool and even a gym which has Technogym equipment in it (the same used to train astronauts to go to the moon!), a Yoga platform and also a library and conference room. The staff are extremely welcoming and attentive to your every need and I can promise that you will want for nothing when you stay here!

There is a surplus of activities to do here from Walking safaris and tracking the endangered black AND white rhino on foot, Game Drives, Sundowners in a carefully picked out spot, meeting the Sango Anti-poaching team with their highly trained Belgian Shepherd dogs, Birding safaris, Elephant & Rhino counting/darting (subject to dates and if the teams are going in at the time of your stay), abseiling down rocks and probably what fascinated me the most was visiting a Hyena den with Kim Wolhuter (Instagram profile - @kimwolhuter) complete with a young cub! Kim has formed an incredible bond with these wild animals and they’ve accepted him as ‘one of the gang’. Watching his stories on Instagram always leaves me in awe at the intelligence of these animals and how misconstrued the world has made them out to be. This would be a great activity for the children to learn more about these animals and hopefully change the perception of the future generations of children to come.

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