When the time came to decide on our honeymoon destination, André and I knew we wanted one thing: we wanted something unforgettable. Of course, time for relaxing and unwinding had to fit somewhere on our itinerary (and, so, nothing beat the week we spent in the Seychelles) but we wanted more. We wanted a once-in- a-lifetime experience that would allow us to get to know a new destination, totally different from what we had seen so far. So, there was no better option than to do a safari in South Africa.
Not convinced? Well, here are our 12 reasons to start planning your safari to South Africa today:
RELAX IN A LUXURY LODGE
The truth is, there are countless beautiful lodges near Kruger Park. But we can’t recommend Geiger’s Camp enough. Located on the private Timbavati Reserve, Geiger’s Camp is a luxury camp that combines good taste and elegance with a rustic and historic charm. Its 4 rooms are decorated with typical African details and elements that remind you of the savanna and the wild animals that inhabit it. The lodge only accepts up to 8 guests which ends up creating an intimate and serene atmosphere. It was the ideal choice to be able to relax on our honeymoon.
OBSERVE THE BIG FIVE IN THE WILD
Kruger Park is very popular because it’s one of the few spots in the entire African continent where you can observe all of the animals that make up the famous Big Five (the group of mammals that are hardest to hunt by man): lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and rhinoceros. We were lucky enough to catch all of these animals in their natural habitat during the various game drives we did daily at Kruger – an unforgettable experience!
WATCH THE SUN SET ON THE AFRICAN SAVANA
The colors that light up the sky at the end of the day in Africa are different from anything we have ever seen to date. The first sunset we saw was actually on our way to Kruger Park and its colors was striking enough to leave us in awe. But nothing compares to the first sunset we saw on our first afternoon in the savanna. The sounds of the animals accompanying the colors changing to orange and red while the mushroom-shaped trees stood in the distance made us feel especially privileged.
FOLLOW THE TRACKS OF WILD ANIMALS
The rangers and trackers that accompanied us on the jeep really knew and loved what they were doing which just made the game drive experience even more intense! We don’t know if this is a common thing in all the lodges, but our tracker was so professional that he would leave the keep and stand in the savanna by himself for long periods of time looking for lion or leopard footprints!
ENJOY A PICNIC IN THE WILD
On our first afternoon in the savanna, we had the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in the African wild. In the evening, at the end of our first game drive, we stopped to have a snack and the rangers set up a small table with drinks and some local treats. And so we watched the sunset in that African winter! During the week, we had many moments where we were able to step outside of the jeep and step on wild savanna land with our own two feet – but, of course, always with the permission of our rangers first!
Safaris aren’t just great to observing the great mammals that rule the Africana savanna! We also had many opportunities to observe the birds that fly through the skies of this wild landscape. The Lilac-breasted roller we saw during one of our game drives is still one of our favorite memories from this trip!
FILM A FAMISHED ELEPHANT
And because observing wild animals in their natural habitat is always a bit unpredictable, this moment where we were able to film an elephant ripping off a tree to eat its roots was something we were definitely not expecting! It’s already absolutely incredible to observe these giant animals passing us by calmly – but this moment was unprecedented for us and we felt so lucky to be able to capture it on camera!
MEET THE SOUTH AFRICAN RANGERS
One of the things that most surprised us on this safari was the rangers. Intensely concerned with the animals and their well-being, the rangers that accompanied us were extremely in love with the African wild. They explained everything to us in perfect detail, combining scientific facts with good humor in the perfect balance. Even today, we smile when we remember our ranger Richard who once stopped our jeep in front of an impala while we were looking for lions and said: “Hello Mr. Impala, how are you? You haven’t seen an African Lion nearby, have you? Oh, to the right? Thank you so much, Mr. Impala”.
SPOT IMPERCETIBLE ANIMALS
Not all animals are easy to spot – the truth is many take advantage of the plants, trees and shrubs in the savanna to hide from their predators. But with our perceptive rangers, it wasn’t difficult to learn the tricks of the trade to spot these animals camouflaged in the Africana wild.
OBSERVE THE TRACKS OF AN ELEPHANT TIGHT AFTER IT WAKES UP
And until you find the animals themselves, you’ll be following their tracks for most of the time! We can never forget the morning we found some elephant tracks – a giant animal could only leave behind an impressive track!
ENJOY THE SOUTH AFRICAN CUISINE
After all of your adventures in the African wild, nothing beats coming back to your lodge to taste the best of South African food. At Geiger’s Camp, all of our meals were prepared with so much care and fully explained to us before being served – always local dishes that we absolutely loved. Everything was served in an impeccable way that just made us want to taste it all!
MEET AMAZING PEOPLE
Our lodge was small, but there were still three other rooms with guests that went along with us on our daily game drives and sat down to eat with us at most meals. It was a unique experience to be able to meet such different people from all corners of the world and share this experience with them!