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Handpicked for you...

If you love old Africa and the traditional safari era of luxury living under canvas, you will find your bliss at MCH Private Tented Camp. Named to honour the owner’s mother – Maria Carmel Hambleden – MCH stands discretely on a hill overlooking the wild Makalali Game Reserve, with the Drakensberg in the distance. It’s the newest edition to the renowned Garonga collection, and is uniquely enchanting. 

Remember the bygone era of the East African safari of pith helmets and cream canvas tents, decadent silver and crystal dinners by candlelight? Sprinkle this with splashes of colour – especially red ochre reminiscent of the Kenyan Masaai, scattered Persian rugs and pots of bright Bougainvillia – and MCH Private Tented Camp is the magical result.

Created for exclusive use, MCH has four tents and was built with minimum impact to the surrounding natural environment. From the outside the tents appear romantic and whimsical; inside they are beautifully insulated, magnificently appointed, spacious and air-conditioned – all from solar power and standby generator. Décor is an eclectic mix that’s hard to put your finger on, but works beautifully to showcase a pan African personality. Animal print and florals, zebra hide and Persian rugs, chairs in both leather and canvas, contemporary furniture and fittings alongside replica antiques. It’s unusual, relaxing and refreshing.

So too are dinners in the open boma, which feel like you are dining deep in the bush yet all conveniences are close at hand. Cold buffet, bush breakfasts are also on the menu, as well as breakfasts and lunches out on the open deck. While enjoying your meal, wildlife may slowly stroll by – as if you weren’t even there. 

Between private game drives with your ranger – as the Big Five do live here too – you may enjoy a relaxing treatment in the massage sala, or be enticed to see an aerial perspective of magnificent Makalali. It’s something completely different to experience a microlight flip, flying at just 300 metres while photographing wildlife from above. Or, take a dip in the pool, a nap on a sun lounger or curl up with a good book in the library as low adrenaline alternatives. While the whole camp has wifi, the library also has a business space to stay connected to the office, should you wish to. 

Relaxed old world, silver-and-crystal Africa lives harmoniously with wifi, vibrant colours and luxurious textures that echo north and east Africa. It’s an enchanting blend with an air of decadence and a dash of white mischief. Just as enchanting and dusted with romance, is a luxury bush sleep-out experience. It’s deep in the bush, surrounded by wide, wild space and lit just by solar lamps and stars. If ever you dreamed of a million-star experience, this is it. 

Reviewed by Keri Harvey

What we love:

  • The outdoor bath and shower option
  • A colourful Mediterranean look and feel around the pool
  • Special tent construction that keeps the tent cool in summer
  • The eclectic décor blend of vintage photos, spears, orchids, wingbacks and candelabras
  • That the camp runs entirely off solar power
  • Such privacy and freedom with exclusive use 

Need to know:

  • While solar powered, rooms have both air-conditioning and fans
  • Children from 8 years old are welcomed
  • The camp is not wheelchair friendly
  • Federal Air flies to Garonga air strip; or fly to Hoedspruit from Cape Town or Johannesburg and the lodge will facilitate the 80-minute transfer
  • Driving distance from Johannesburg is 6 hours
  • MCH is ideal for exclusive use or for couples
  • Special SA resident rates apply until the end of 2021

Guests

Suites
Four tents fully ensuite that can accommodate up to two guests each
• Approximately 70sqm
• Indoor and outdoor showers
• Separate bath - half inside and half outside
• En-suite bathroom with His and Her basins
• Airconditioning and fans
• Lounge/seating area
• Mini bar and bar/tea station
• Tack room for boots, jackets etc
• Writing desk
• Outside deck under shade
• Wifi
• International plug sockets and USB ports
• Hairdryer, safe, umbrellas
• Charging dock station
• Children aged 8 and up are allowed and are charged at adult rates

Facilities
• Lounge and bar
• Library for those who want a “quiet space”.
• There is a laptop and photocopier/printer should you wish to carry out business
• Dining area
• Firepit for pre-dinner drinks
• Boma for outside dining
• Massage Sala
• Reception area
• Swimming pool
• Sleepout Deck (maximum two guests)
• Curio Shop is at Safari Camp accessible by vehicle

Activities
• Game drives
• The sleep out deck
• Bush bath & star bath
• Massage sala
• Walking Safari
• Yoga Deck

Pets

No Pets Allowed

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Makalali Conservancy

If you love old Africa and the traditional safari era of luxury living under canvas, you will find your bliss at MCH Private Tented Camp. Named to honour the owner’s mother – Maria Carmel Hambleden – MCH stands discretely on a hill overlooking the wild Makalali Game Reserve, with the Drakensberg in the distance. It’s

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