In yesterday’s post, I shared a little about the first leg of our adventure in South Africa. We made the decision to stay at a safari lodge for several reasons. Not only did we want a more romantic and “luxurious” start to our trip, but we also wanted to experience more than one game drive. It was our mission to see The Big 5 and also experience as much of the bush as we could. And we got pretty darn close.
Part of your accommodations & experience at Marataba Safari Lodge includes twice daily game drives. I think this is what sold me. I mean, can you beat heading out to see zebra and giraffes and lions TWO times a day? Nope.
During our stay, there were only 8 guests (3 parties total) so we actually got to experience a private game drive which was pretty amazing. It was just me, Brandon and our new best friend Adam aka the best Safari guide ever.
So what did we see exactly???? We saw FOUR of the Big 5 which means we obviously have to go back soon. I still can’t believe we saw rhinos, elephants, lions and a buffalo (he was huge). We saw so many zebra, giraffes, impalas, birds, hippos and so much more.
We woke up every morning at 5:00am to meet Adam, the other guides and guests in the lobby for morning tea & coffee and light breakfast pastries. Then, we hopped in our jeeps and ventured off on whatever path looked the most promising. Adam was a pro tracker. He literally would see footprints and tracks and lead us to these magical animals. We learned about the bush, the various species in the private reserve and just about some of the amazing history of the area. It was incredible.
After about 3-4 hours of exploring and sighting some of the most beautiful animals I’ve ever seen, we came back for breakfast, spa treatments, a dip in the pool, lunch and a nap…and then did it all over again for a later afternoon game drive. I think these later drives were my favorite. To see the sun setting in the background of a pack of lions taking a break after a feeding, well that was pretty cool.
Check out all of the amazing highlights below – and if you aren’t ready to book your trip to go on a safari, I don’t think we can be friends (jk but not really – everyone needs to do it!)