If you dream of going on safari then South African is probably the first destination that comes to mind. A place where you can enjoy city life one day and the untamed bush the next, South Africa is a wonderful place to begin your safari adventure and get up close and personal with the Big 5, while surrounding yourself with the creature comforts that most of us have become accustomed to.
Our first safari took us to the malaria free area of the Eastern Cape, where we stayed in a luxury game reserve surrounded by 18,500 acres of untouched bush – the home of free-roaming lions, elephants, rhino, buffalo, leopard and a whole collection of other exotic creatures.
Upon arrival at the reserve, you get that excited nervous feeling that comes along with any new experience, and after enjoying a welcome drink, you are transferred to your luxury lodge in one of the reserve vehicles. With no real roads (this is the bush!) the ride to the lodge is a bumpy one, but as soon as you spot your first zebra or Springbok, you forget everything and lose yourself in the beauty that surrounds you.
Once you have checked in to your lodge and explored the surrounding areas a light lunch or afternoon tea is served, and as you enjoy these delicious South African dishes while overlooking the game reserve, you will begin to hear those unfamiliar sounds that let you know you are surrounded by wild animals!
Late afternoon sees the first of many game drives where you head off in an open top jeep in search of the Big 5. As you drive through the ever-changing bush, you will be presented with hundreds of photo opportunities, and after hours chasing elephants and the elusive Leopard, your ranger will park up in time to layout a selection of sundowners to enjoy as the sun sets over the magnificent reserve.
Upon your return to the lodge dinner is served in a relaxed, informal seating environment where one can compare safari experiences with other travellers before enjoying the peace and tranquillity of sitting around a Booma (open fire) with nothing but new friends and South African wine for company!
A truly magical and unforgettable experience, a South African safari allows you to catch a glimpse of wild animals living in a natural environment – and that for me is priceless!