By Connie Frenzel
South Africa is a land of soaring mountains, stunning beaches, sweeping savannahs, nurtured vineyards, vast deserts and lush forest. Considered one of the most beautiful and diverse countries on earth, a South Africa safari can be life changing experience.
South Africa’s Kruger National Park is the perfect locale to immerse you into this land of colorful contrasts, and come face to face with nature at its most magnificent. Located in the northeast corner of South Africa, the park is a short flight from the capital, Johannesburg. Spanning 7,500 square miles with an abundance of wildlife, the park is home to Africa’s Big Five — lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and cape buffalo. Within the park, accommodations range from basic campsites to safari lodges, and safari travel can be made by elephant-back, walking or driving.
Most travelers prefer to stay at the private bush reserves, located along the borders of Kruger National Park. These conservation-focused reserves offer exceptional levels of luxury, and unparalleled guided bush treks. Reserve owners are committed to conservation and supporting their communities. Sabi Sands, Singita, Ulusaba, Mala Mala and Londolozi are such reserves. Although private, animals travel freely between the National Park and these reserves. At a private reserve, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for authenticity.
Staying at a private reserve has its advantages. These include maximum freedom of activity, fewer other tourists, off-road driving in the bush, night drives, and five star accommodations. Spend the morning tracking animals through landscapes far removed from civilization, and in the afternoon, enjoy tea or a spa session. At sunset, enjoy a South African wine on the verandah, watching game converge on the waterhole. You can dine under a panorama of Southern Hemisphere stars, and later, gather around a fireplace to trade tales with other guests.
Due to the popularity of private reserves, it is a good rule to plan your adventure at least 10 to 12 months in advance. A safari is an experience that requires special expertise to design, so consultation with a travel professional is recommended.
Connie Frenzel is a Travel Advisor with Island Travel in Beaufort. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-525-0777.