Our kitchen @ White Elephant

Our kitchen @ White Elephant Private Bush Camp

After the super chill days at Dawsons Lodge, it was now time to get back to basics and cook our own meals at White Elephant Private Bush Camp, situated in Pongola Private Game Reserve. En route we stopped in a town called ‘Piet Retief’, had lunch at the local Spur and did our shopping at Pick ‘n Pay. I guess the people in this town had never ever seen a white woman with a black baby…. we just provided the Sunday entertainment… I wouldn’t rush back here… Anyway, shopping done and all set to do some self-catering for the next 2 days.

At the camp we were welcomed by our guide who showed us our rooms and the facilities and then…..left again. Oops!! We were a little bit nervous but I guess it was partly because we just came from Dawsons where we literally didn’t need to lift 1 finger. Everybody was a little bit exciting…

But we quickly got into the swing of things. My brother likes to cook and I love to make salads so between the 2 of us we could russle up a meal. We did realize that we shopped quite economically so we had to really portion and ration the meals to be able to last for 2 days. (you really can’t buy ANYTHING once you’re checked-in!)

When we opened the fridge, there was a wonderful surprise. It was my Dad’s 72nd birthday and I remembered I had ordered a Chocolate Cake for him. It was quite funny to have this MASSIVE cake in the middle of the bush.

Birthday cake for Dad, about 8 kg of cake...

Birthday cake for Dad, about 8 kg of cake…

Simon turned out to be a wonderful fire master so he was in charge of keeping the fire going. I love fires! I love the African bush! I love traveling!

Pongola - fire

There are 8 chalets in the camp so ideally you can take a group of 16 friends /family to White Elephant Private Bush camp. We were just 8, which was fine too but I think it will be more fun if you occupy a few more chalets. The camp is only rented out exclusively so you won’t have another group stay at the same time.


We enjoyed this time by ourselves in the bush. It was really quite special and a privilege to stay so close in nature. We went on a wonderful boat safari on Lake Jozini. We were the only ones on the entire lake. Something no one in Europe can imagine. We saw elephants, hippos and rhinos. And the skipper let the boys steer the boat which of course was super exciting!

My Dad and Rosie on the boat

My Dad and Rosie on the boat

White Elephant Lodge and Private Safari camp are both situated in the Pongola Private Game Reserve, a fairly unknown game reserve in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, about 4 hours north of Durban. The lodge is a 5 star establishment and the Camp is 4 star self-catering. The rate for the whole camp is ZAR 4.000 per night.

You need to do your own shopping or send a shopping list 3 weeks before check-in and they will do it for you. The nearest shops are about 60 km away of which 20 km is in the park so it will take you a loooong time if you forgot to buy something essential. BUT, the guide is also very helpful and the staff too. We forgot to buy coffee so I asked the housekeeping lady in the morning if she perhaps could get us some coffee from the lodge…. .She came back with a HUGE container of Nescafe from guests who had stayed before us… We bartered for Chocolate Cake, haha! Great deal!!