Friend of AAC Luke G and Paula headed out on a long-anticipated mother and son adventure in South Africa this autumn. They planned to safari in two different areas followed by time in the Western Cape – home to Cape Town, South Africa’s ‘Mother City;’ as well as the world-renowned Winelands, a destination not just for wine enthusiasts, but for food and nature lovers as well!
Luke and Paula kicked off their trip with a safari in the Waterberg Biosphere, a ruggedly beautiful area of South Africa far less frequented by international travelers than the country’s more famous Kruger National Park. The Waterberg is home to gorgeous mountainous landscapes along with many nature and game reserves hosting a wide variety of wildlife.
They particularly loved their stay at Ant’s Hill, an intimate lodge with wonderful character, incredible service and amazing views. Luke and Paula had options for traditional day and night game drives, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and stargazing safaris. One highlight for them was experiencing the wilderness on horseback.
‘It was awesome to be on horseback just fifteen feet from a giraffe and to have a rare daytime aardvark sighting! The game is obviously used to the horses and just think of them – and us - as other animals.” - Luke
They were also happy with how exclusive their experience was. With just two lodges on the reserve, game drives were very private. The owner of the lodge, Ant, also hosted special sundowners at his house for guests. The reserve has a special feeding and monitoring program for the rhinos on the reserve. The rhinos come to Ant’s house to eat while lucky guests stand on the deck about 10 feet off the ground above the rhinos.
“Being so close to the rhinos as they ate was one of the most special experiences I had on safari. Having the chance to spend intimate time with an endangered species was incredible.” – Luke
From the Waterberg, Luke and Paula moved on to Rhino Post Safari Lodge in Kruger National Park. They had the chance to experience game drives in one of the world’s most famous national parks. Kruger is known for sightings of the Big 5, and it did not disappoint! They also had the chance to game drive along a dry riverbed that is only accessible by guests of the lodge. This made for a more private game drive experience, which they both enjoyed.
“We were the only people at the lodge our first night … so we had Greg the guide all to ourselves which was great so we could ask many, many questions!! We’ve had such fantastic guides throughout this trip.” - Paula
Luke and Paula couldn’t have enjoyed their mother-son safari more, but they were excited for the second half of their vacation – big adventures in South Africa’s Western Cape! Check back soon for part 2 of their South African adventures.