When I was offered the chance to experience a Safari in South Africa of course I jumped at the chance however as this would be my first Safari I wasn’t sure what to expect but was certainly ready for the adventure!
After a comfortable flight with South African Airways to Port Elizabeth via Jo’Burg we were taken by road to Kariega Game Reserve 4* to stay for 2 nights then on to Shamwari Game Reserve 5* for a further 2 night stay.
A Safari is a unique experience and generally the itinerary would start with a wake up call at 5am off for the first Game Drive of the day followed by breakfast at 10am then leisure time until 4pm and the next game drive until the sun sets when it is time for a Sundowner before heading back for dinner.
Accommodation on a Safari is usually in a lodge with all the home comforts and a ranger allocated to you for your entire stay their knowledge and expertise is amazing and you really get to know and understand the wildlife in depth, if you have a particular interest they are keen to focus on that for you and want you have the best experience possible.
On our first game drive, I immediately saw Giraffes wandering across the plains what a sight for tired eyes, my goal was to see Giraffes and Elephants and on that one afternoon I was lucky enough to come across both. At Kariega the reserve is split in to two with the predators on one side and the non – predators on the other, the landscape is quite unique with the flat plains for the Impala, Giraffes and Antelope to graze on then the dense bush perfect hiding place for the Rhino and Lions.
Shamwari is home to the Big 5 – Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino and I was able to see all except the Leopard who tends to be spotted during the night so quite rare to find, the reserve was much larger and all Animals together so a very natural environment with the opportunity to watch the Lioness hunting the Warthog.
Once we arrived at Shamwari Game Reserve it was clear to see that conservation is key, this is the home of the charity Born Free, they have their own rehabilitation centre for orphaned and injured Animals the staff are very passionate to their cause and it was extremely sad to hear the plight of the Rhinos and the awful poaching situation that if continues at this rate the Rhino will be extinct in the wild by 2021.
I had an amazing time and this really is a once in a lifetime trip that I would highly recommend. If you are considering a Safari please do get in touch with Abi at Deben Travel tel: 01394 615620.