Have you ever had the opportunity to spend a night in the African bush? One of those nights where the only thing between you and the outside wild is a sheet of canvas, and when you turn out all the lights, you can’t even see your hand in front of your face? And then the amazing night orchestra starts to play… And it’s not an app you may have downloaded to send you to sleep. This is the real deal. Lions roaring, hyenas cackling, hippos grunting: every sound has a story to tell and the vibrations when the animals are close will change you. It may seem scary, but you also know you are completely safe in your canvas hideaway…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the amazing privilege of staying at the brand-new Galpin Tented Camp on Kwandwe Private Game Reserve in South Africa, and what an incredible experience it was. As I mentioned above, we had lions calling in the distance almost all night! But, before I get into too much of that, let me set the scene. The tents at Galpin are all raised on wooden platforms with lovely decks outside the front tent flaps. Inside, super-comfortable beds are piled high with extra blankets if needed during the chilly months and there’s a full, en-suite bathroom so no need to leave your tent during the night. At the back, there’s even an outdoor shower – need we say more…

When you book Galpin, the bush adventure starts before you have even arrived at camp. For the journey there, you will hop onto a safari vehicle and embark on your first game drive through the reserve. No need to wait for later to go out into the bush! As you drive, you’ll pass water holes and open grasslands, and drive over and around hills, offering the opportunity to spot just about anything and everything. Then, tucked away at the foot of a hill, with a waterhole in front and an amazing view through a valley of open plains all the way to the dam, is Galpin Tented Camp. After a refreshing welcome drink at check-in, it’s then that you realize the guide and tracker you came with and the camp assistant are the only other people you will lay eyes on for the next couple days…

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an al-fresco lunch and an afternoon to settle in, it’s back to the adventure. Galpin Tented Camp is geared around walking and exploring the reserve on foot. Walking safaris are one of the best ways to feel that connection to the landscape and offer an opportunity to learn about the smaller animals of the bush. But perhaps for your first afternoon, you may want to embark on a drive to explore as much of the area as possible? Whichever you choose, remember to stop just before sundown and enjoy a drink as the sun dips below the horizon. A memorable part of any safari activity!

Returning to camp, you’ll find the fire blazing and a good old South African braai for dinner. The only lights are those of the fire and the twinkling of the lanterns around camp. Now, it’s time to enjoy a drink, tuck into good food and talk about the day and what’s to come tomorrow. At Galpin, memorable stories are created and unforgettable connections are formed – especially when there’s no Wifi to distract you…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in your tent, as you lay your head down on the soft pillows and “plug in” to nature’s call, some self-reflection may kick in; you realize that this is only check in day, and there is so much to look forward to including three new leopard cubs!!!

 

 

 



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