Stepping into a safari vehicle can be very intimidating. The vehicle itself is massive, heavy and it rocks when you put your foot on one of the sidebars to get in. And then you have the impressive ranger, looking at you all serious as if you are about to drive in to a scary place. Which in fact is the case, but just slightly different; one of the most magic worlds you can find on this planet!
I love love love going on safari (did I say love already?). For me it is the ultimate way of connecting with nature. You hear the sound of birds, the wind touches your hair (and might grab your cap in the process too) and you smell the vegetation, the different plants and trees. It will also be a very serious, calming and even a learning experience. But boy, mostly the whole content of the vehicle, which includes me, the ranger and all other passengers, have a hell of a lot of fun too.
Amakhosi Safari Lodge – from USD 290 per person per night (all-inclusive)
Just before lockdown I was lucky enough to visit Amakhosi Safari Lodge, just south of Swaziland in the stunning province of KwaZulu Natal. This beautiful lodge with huge rooms, a private spa and the ultimate lookout deck take you on Big 5 game drives through the surrounding reserve.
But never ever in my life did I have so much fun on a safari vehicle then here. Mostly thanks to ranger Pierre who with his dry humour could even make the story of boring dung beetles and indigenous tree branches hilarious. I can also remember sitting on that vehicle with two lads from Britain and they really kept the drive going. Joking about their wives back in England that they wouldn’t mind feeding to the lions and singing English pub songs that would even scare deaf rhino’s away.
It was on this drive that I also came so close to a huge herd of elephants, that I could touch their eye lashes. All in total, a great experience I will not soon forget.
Impodimo Game Lodge – from USD 600 per person per night (all-inclusive)
Of course, being a game ranger is a bit of a men’s thing! That’s why the female rangers I find behind the wheel are even more heroic! Heavy safari uniforms with uncomfortable boots and only neutral colours to choose from aren’t necessarily a girl’s best friend. But Méri definitely made it work.
With her long black hair tugged under her safari cap she knew how to make a safari drive rock! Where Pierre and the Britain lads hurt my stomach from all the laughing, Méri hurt my hands from holding on to the vehicle so tight. Because once we saw just the tail, or maybe even the tip of the ears of a Wild Dog, the hunt was on. Cheered on by fellow rangers over the radio to drive even faster we definitely did find them and it was so worth it….my broken nails 😊
For sure one of my favourite animals to see in the wild, the Wild Dog, especially because they are always travelling fast and therefor super difficult to spot! Well done Méri!
Africa on Foot – from USD 300 per person per night (all-inclusive)
When sitting in a safari vehicle for hours you become extremely chill, you are starting to enjoy it! And then all or for sudden you are being pushed out of your comfort zone again, because the vehicle stops and you are invited to disembark and enjoy a coffee (with alcohol) or a sundowner drink.
At Africa on Foot in the Greater Kruger Park I was surprised, when getting off the vehicle, that I got myself right in to a proper bush pub, with bottles and all! At first, I was at first thinking that this ranger must have been out of his f*cking mind. Are you guys sure that lion doesn’t pop up at the bar as well? But then I saw my fellow passengers race towards the gin & tonic bottles, let alone the complimentary snacks, so it felt all normal.
And then Iater I found out that Lions are not really in to having drinks, so Thank God I was save 😊
Really a stunning experience I can recommend to everyone!