Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Safari, Shamwari, South Africa (part 2) - "don't pretend you are an animal in the dark"

As you  know, I have recently  returned from a trip of a lifetime to South Africa which included three amazing nights at safari. It was such an blockbuster of a trip, for just those three nights, 
I  have had to split the blog into two parts. 
Here is part two, but read part one -  "Don't base your expectations on the Lion King" here

….To really get into the thick of it (as if being in a jeep 2 meters away weren’t close enough )we went on a ‘bush walk’… in a nutshell, we stalked some lionesses and cubs on foot. Seeing them without the safety of a huge vehicle is amazing (although he did have two guides and two shotguns).

look closely and you'll see giraffe in the back ground

When on a walk, you really wake up to what’s around you, becoming more alert to sounds and movements in the bushes. You’re pretty safe to be honest as the lions warn you with their gruff roar that you’re getting uncomfortably close into their territory!!! The worse thing that happened to me, was picking up a giant earth worm and it pooing on me (it is ok, I was wearing the Boy's coat, so just wiped my hands on that). 

the greenery of the scenery 
We had three nights on the Shamwari reserve, about an hour or so drive from Port Elizabeth, but to be honest, I don' really know as I was doing my best at being a navigator and was asleep for most of the journey. Anyway, Shamwari is a 25,000 hector area of land which helps protect, preserve, and rehabilitate the endangered safari animals, so as  well as seeing these beasts at their finest, you are also doing your bit to help conserve them!!!

on the road into the game reserve from Port Elizabeth...
and we already spot this giraffe!!! 

There are several resorts in the area and we chose Bayathe, an absolutely stunning resort in the heart of it, where service was impeccable and the food top notch!

I wanted these antelope pillows! 

Our room was a huge luxury tent, equipped with everything to pad our stay with comfort, from treats on the bed, cute anecdotes of the animals, electric blankets and a shower in the tree! They even served us hot towels, sherry and hot chocolate when we got back from our game drives. I blame the food for adding to my half a stone gain on this trip - varied buffet breakfast, and lunches and dinners that offer three amazing courses! 

ostrich kebabs topped with caramelised onions 
part of the main building of the hotel,
to relax and to chill - shame we didn't use the pool 

Not wanting to ruin it for anyone going to Shamwari,  but one of the cutest parts of the safari drives was ‘sundowners’…a stop off at sunset for wine, G&Ts and a selection of nibbles (cheese twists and the pesto olive/feta combo being my fav). You also have this treat, sans alcohol, on the morning drive and believe me, it’ll be the best coffee, or hot chocolate, in my case, you’ll ever have. On our last day, we were dunking our  biccies in to our drinks, slurping our tea, surrounded by zebras.
wrapped up and enjoying my morning hot chocolate! 

As a city girl, I sometimes find the total quiet and the dark at night a little daunting. Especially when you know that somewhere out there are wild animals! The Boy played up to this, and one of the nights as I was getting ready for bed, as I came round the corner in the room, he jumped out at me, hissing like a big cat. I totally freaked out, was paralysed with fear then proceeded to cry. Uncontrollably. For about 30 minutes. I think this was the most scared I have ever been in my life!

cheers to the best pop up bar in the world!!! 

Regardless of whether you are a #1 fan of nature, the outdoor and animals, or not, you’ll still love a safari and relaxing at the resort at lunch time. This trumps a zoo any time, as this is your real life David Attenborough show!!!
If you ever get a chance, you have to go!!! 

X x X

ps, I will be adding more photos on my newly created Facebook page!!! 

read part one of Cape Town here
read part two of Cape Town here

read about our  amazing hotel in Camps Bay here
read about the winelands here
read about the  fun with ostriches here
read about Plettenberg Bay here

read about my horrendous bungee jump here

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