I hope y’all are excited because today kicks off my South Africa Travel Diary series. Rather than sharing one post with one super long guide, I thought it would be more fun to dive into some of the experiences that were really special to us. I’ll still do a comprehensive guide to Cape Town next week but this week, we’re starting slow with one of the best highlights of our trip: our stay at the Marataba Safari Lodge.
For our first two nights, we opted to do a romantic adventure with just Brandon and I before we met our friends in Cape Town. I can’t say it enough – best. decision. ever.
As soon as we booked our flights, I immediately started researching luxury safari lodges in South Africa. I remember a few years back coming across this gorgeous lodge on a travel blog and had it bookmarked in my mind for a future trip to South Africa. Naturally, I went to make a reservation and it was completely booked. I mean, do you see this place?? But not to worry because after a few Google searches, I came across MORE properties and the Marataba Safari Lodge (side note: Lion Sands is also a part of the MORE group so I knew we’d be in good hands). This place had everything we could have asked for…and more.
It was dreamy. It was luxurious. It was charming. It was deep in nature. It was romantic. It had adventure. Literally, everything we wanted. But what I loved most was how far I was pushed out of my comfort zone and still loved every minute of it. Let me explain.
Yes – we stayed in tented suites, had private bush dinners and game drives, were drawn bubble baths and treated to complimentary full course meals and wine. BUT, we were also in the middle of the bush. There were bugs and animals and creatures that I couldn’t even name. And they were everywhere. I was greeted by a lizard and a spider all within five minutes of walking into our room for the first time. There was a baboon on the walkway to breakfast one morning – and he wasn’t happy to see us. We woke up at 5:00am every morning. But you guys, it was the best experience of my life. To have that combination of adventure and romance and wilderness and nature. It was incredible. We made so many great memories that are going to last us a life time – things we can’t do anywhere else and things that we got to experience with eachother and no one else. It was truly special.
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I can’t say enough how important it is to create these types of memories. Whether traveling alone, with your girls or with your boo – making memories and going on adventures is the way to do it. This trip was not cheap. I’ll be totally candid. I spent more that I would probably ever spend on a trip that wasn’t my honeymoon but man was it worth it. We treated ourselves to this once in a lifetime experience and have so many memories to share for the rest of our lives because of it.
If you can’t jet off on a Safari tomorrow (don’t we all wish!!), I challenge each of you to do one thing over the next month that gets you out of your comfort zone and making new memories. I’ll be joining you – so sound off below with your plans. Can’t wait to see where these new adventures take us!
Side note: we stayed at the Safari Lodge but also got a chance to visit the Trails Lodge. This additional property was so serene and peaceful – I think if./when we come back, we’ll be staying there at least a few nights!
Other side note: this post was not sponsored by Marataba. I just loved it THAT much.