Witness thousands of wildebeest crossing the Mara River on their great migration. Marvel at the screeching chimpanzees in the canopy. Catch a rare glimpse of a Pel’s fishing owl flying overhead. Delight in Africa’s unmatched sensory and cerebral experience – the heady fragrance of the bush revitalized after a passing rain shower, the vast savannah panoramas where early man first emerged, mingling with the gracious villagers whose simple lifestyle belies their noble dignity and intriguing culture. While each hour of your safari is certain to be unique, take a look at our journal for a sampling of just one extraordinary day.
Dawn’s rosy light is filtering through your curtains, the lush foliage is a-chatter with birdsong and it’s the perfect time to embark on a morning game drive. Your expert guide and tracker greets you with a steaming cup of coffee or tea and briefs you on the myriad of wildlife you can expect to view. Grab your camera and binoculars, board your open-top all-wheel-drive safari vehicle, and begin your search for the notorious Big Five – that is, the elephant, lion, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard once so-prized by the early big game hunters – and a menagerie of other fascinating game and birds. Soon, you are capturing photos of a lifetime: lumbering hippos as they waddle into their favorite watering holes for the day, graceful gazelle and impalas grazing in the golden grasses, or, if you’re lucky, a lioness and her cubs sated after the night’s hunt.
With all the excitement of spotting wildlife and the wondrous anticipation of never knowing what you’ll experience next, you’re sure to have an appetite. Return to the cool canopy of your lodge for a hearty breakfast of fresh-squeezed orange juice, eggs prepared just as you like, and perhaps some piping hot berry scones or melt-in-your-mouth pastries. Your guide just may surprise you with an alfresco breakfast overlooking a popular waterhole where you can quietly observe the pecking order of animals waiting their chance to drink.
Relax and do as you please. Your personal butler and safari lodge staff are always at your service, anticipating and taking care of your every possible need. Explore the lush landscaped grounds of your luxurious lodge, take a refreshing dip in the mesmerizing infinity pool, or, simply lounge with a book, absorbing the myriad of sounds and scents of the bush. Perhaps join a local expert for a special talk about the local culture or take a guided bush walk to get an upclose look at the smaller wildlife and plants. You may learn all about the ancient secrets of tracking, how to tell the difference between a leopard and a cheetah, or the uncanny ways that a family of elephants’ behavior closely mirrors that of humans.
Join your safari companions under a cool palm-thatched canopy for a sumptuous lunch of local specialties and international favorites. Your imaginative world-class chef pairs organic local produce with gourmet recipes, drawing upon European, Asian and African cuisine.
As the animals retreat to the shade, spend a leisurely afternoon pampering yourself with a rejuvenating spa treatment, or opt for a variety of explorations. Experience the real Africa with a visit to a children’s school and the local village. Encounter the proud Maasai warrior, dressed in his traditional red robe with spear and shield, striding confidently among the wildlife. Spend the afternoon at the wildlife conservation center learning about the wildlife breeding and rescue programs that not only protect endangered species but support the community’s tourism jobs.
As the strong sun diminishes, the wildlife awaken from their lazy naps – it’s time to join your ranger for a late afternoon game drive to catch the animals in action. Seek out the stately eland, Africa’s largest antelope, as it forages among the grasses, video the young elephant calves tucked among their aunties’ legs; and search the shadows with your tracker as he determines the most likely hiding spot for the leopard to awaken from its afternoon siesta.
Listen to the elephants’ trumpeting echoes across the savannah as you linger at a panoramic viewpoint sipping Sundowners – the safari tradition of serving wine or cocktails as the sun sets. Upon your drive back to camp, observe in wonder as your ranger spotlights the nocturnal civets and pre-historic looking anteaters just beginning to stir.
In the lantern-lit dining room of your lodge, savor a delicious dinner of Pan-African cuisine and culinary creations to tempt every palate. Raise your glass of South Africa’s finest wine and toast your day’s adventures.
Gather around the campfire and wrap up your evening stargazing. Behold the Southern Cross and Milky Way illuminating the velvety sky. Sink into your luxurious pillows and cool sheets for a good night’s rest. With the day’s unforgettable memories, your dreams are sure to be sweet.