On our recent trip to Kruger we were held up in Skukuza so by the time we exited at Malelane gate, we had no time to drive anywhere or look for suitable accommodation during daylight.
Luck was on our side however, and after a couple of "sorry, we are fully booked" we stumbled upon a guest house in Malelane which had only just opened. It was so new that the owners were a bit apologetic that the gardens were still being worked on, despite the fact that we could not see them in the dark!
We were shown to our rooms and they were fabulous! Not only that, but they welcomed children - most places close to Kruger don't seem to cater for families.
Within an hour of arrival, we were unpacked, showered and ready to eat. The food was fabulous - traditional home cooked South African fare (RP will be interested to know that we had chicken & potatoes!).
After a really comfortable night's sleep, I woke early and sat outside on my own little stoep with a cup of coffee and watched various species of birds going about their early morning activities.
Scarlet-chested Sunbirds were displaying and I later found their nest in the front garden. Black-headed Orioles sang from the tree next to my stoep and a Sombre Greenbul called from the perimiter shrubs. Southern Black Flycatchers hawked for insects and a Brown-hooded Kingfisher was also on the lookout for food.
Within an hour, I had noted 24 species just in the garden alone!
The breakfast was excellent, with more than enough to keep us full for the remainder of the day and ensured that our drive down to Swaziland was a relaxed affair following a good nights sleep and good food.
If anyone is looking for somewhere to stay just outside the park, I can thoroughly reccomend Barnstormers Rest. You will be guaranteed a very warm welcome, comfortable accommodation and wonderful food.
Link to their Facebook page.....https://www.facebook.com/barnstormersrest
Link to their website....http://barnstormersrest.co.za/