South Africa is synonymous with safaris. Our beautiful country has so many game reserves offering the very best safari experiences. I have been very fortunate to have visited a lot of these game reserves so I thought I would share my top three in a blog post. Hopefully this will inspire you to visit at least one of them and experience it all for yourself.
1. THANDA SAFARI
Thanda Safari is situated in the north of Hluhluwe in Kwa-Zulu Natal, which is about a three hour drive from Durban Airport. Set within a 14 000 hectare private game reserve, Thanda is home to the Big 5.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THANDA:
We stayed at Thanda Tented Camp which is 14 luxury safari tents each with a private sun deck, en-suite canvas bathroom and an outdoor shower. The phrase “glamping” is the perfect description because it was definitely glamorous and ultra luxurious.
The food at Thanda was exceptional. We indulged in huge breakfast spreads, afternoon high tea and a gourmet braai under the stars.
We were taken on two game drives a day and on each game drive we saw the most amazing sightings! One of my highlights though was being taken up close to two cheetahs. This was incredible because I had never seen cheetah’s so up close before! I also loved how knowledgeable our ranger and tracker was. This took the whole experience to another level because we were taught so many new and interesting things.
I also loved our sundowner sessions on the afternoon game drives. We would stop in the middle of the bush and set up a little bar with some snacks. It was a little scary not knowing what animal was lurking just around the corner but at the same time, we felt so safe in our guides hands!
2. SHAMWARI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Shamwari is located in Eastern Cape and is about an hours drive from Port Elizabeth. What I love most about the location is that it’s very near to the Garden Route. So if you’re looking for a safari holiday with some beach side bliss afterwards, Shamwari is just the place.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT SHAMWARI:
Shamwari has a special place in my heart. We made such special memories here that I will treasure forever. We stayed in Long Lee Manor which is an Edwardian Manor House. I loved the contrast of driving out the gates of the colonial style lodge and into the game reserve where wild animals are roaming.
The whole experience at Shamwari is amazing! Our room was ultra luxurious, the service was much more than five star and the game drives were so exciting! We were treated like royalty because nothing was too much.
My favourite sighting at Shamwari was watching a herd of elephants put on a trumpet show. The sounds and atmosphere was just exhilarating!
3. JOCK SAFARI LODGE
Jock Safari Lodge is situated in the Kruger National Park which is one of Africa’s biggest game reserves. Kruger Park is a haven for nature lovers as it is home to the Big 5, a diverse bird life and flora and fauna. Jock Safari Lodge is near both Malelane Gate and Skukuza Gate, so getting here isn’t a mission at all.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT JOCK SAFARI LODGE:
We visit the Kruger Park every year for our annual family trip which clearly means we love the Kruger Park. A lot! So to stay in an ultra luxurious lodge in the heart of the Kruger Park was truly something special.
We stayed at the Main Jock Lodge which has 12 individually thatched rooms with plunge pools, outdoor showers and a deck overlooking the riverbed. What I loved about staying at Jock is going on game drives and going off road through the concession to spot animals. We drove over trees and through dry river beds and it was just so exciting!
We also went on a wilderness walk which was a first for us in the Kruger Park. We spotted giraffe and buffalo while on foot and it was such a great experience.
Everything about our stay at Jock was just brilliant! The food, the service, the accommodation and the game drives! I cant wait to return to this magical place in the heart of Kruger soon.