There is no way to know exactly what a luxury safari experience will bring as each day is an amazing and new adventure.
A typical day on your wonderful South African safari might go something just like this:
Your mornings will begin early. If the chatter of birds has not yet woken you, a friendly wake-up call will ensure you are ready for the morning game drive (you’ll be glad of the early start, we promise!). Your guide and tracker will meet you with freshly brewed coffee and tea with rusks (South African version of biscotti), fruit, and muffins to prepare you for this morning’s game drive. This is the magnificent beginning to a new day as you watch Africa awaken.
Your ranger will introduce you to some of South Africa’s most beautiful landscapes and its wonderful wildlife. Remember to take your camera and binoculars and a light sweater or warm jacket depending on the season. In the early morning the game is awakening from the night and predators are returning from the hunt. Photo opportunities abound as you go in search of lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo. A myriad of other game also awaits – graceful giraffe feeding from the tall branches, hippos slumbering in the rivers, impala and zebra grazing in the grass and fascinating birds as well. A stop at a scenic spot for a coffee, tea, juice, and home baked biscuits will give you the opportunity to stretch your legs and chat with your tracker and guide to learn more about the surrounding bush and wildlife.
On return to your lodge, you’ll be presented with a fantastic breakfast – juices, cereals, fruit, eggs, breads, and more to sustain you. Then it’s time to settle back and review photographs taken on the drive, share stories with other guests, or freshen up in your room. Lounge on your deck or in your tent with a good book, take a refreshing dip in the pool, relish the tranquility of the bush, or enjoy a siesta under an umbrella or tree, to make up for the early morning.
Around noon a delicious lunch awaits. Savor each bite of freshly prepared cuisine from local recipes and enjoy the surrounding landscape as you relax. If you would like to walk off your lunch, talk to your ranger about a bush walk – usually for about an hour in close proximity to the lodge – a time to take a closer look at trees, insects, flowers and birds.
At roughly 3:30 pm you’ll be invited to join the rangers for afternoon tea – a Colonial tradition with a South African twist. Iced and regular coffee, homemade lemonade, and tea is accompanied by cakes, cookies, and other savory snacks. Get your camera ready, ask questions and put in your requests – no guarantees of course, but no harm in asking the ranger to find you an infamously shy leopard! Remember to take along your sunglasses, cap, and a couple of layers of t-shirts and sweaters to protect against mosquitoes and keep you warm once the sun goes down.
As the day cools and the afternoon turns into evening, the wildlife rouses from their lazy afternoon naps and the predators begin to go in search of their next meal. Your afternoon game drive provides the opportunity to witness the bush in action. You may be lucky to follow a lion on the hunt or watch as a herd of elephants comes down to the river to drink and play. Perhaps keep an eye out for hyenas as they steal a kill from earlier in the day. Gaze at a vivid African sunset as you enjoy sundowners at a scenic spot. Then move on looking out for wildlife by way of a carefully shone spotlight, making sure not to disturb the nocturnal animals in the darkening bush.
Return to the lodge where a welcome shower awaits. Then look forward to a multi-course meal served at an elegantly set table or in an open “boma” under the stars. After dinner, gather around the campfire to exchange stories of the day’s sightings, stargaze, or retire in preparation for another breathtaking day on safari in Africa.
Back from the bush:
Jackalberry exceeded every expectation. I didn’t want to leave (I may have cried on the last day). The staff was so friendly and accommodating, and the safari drives were unreal. Barely needed the binoculars because the animals were so close!
Our ranger and tracker were SO good! It was very exciting to find tracks or other signs of wildlife, and be able to track it through the bush. And when we weren’t on the drives we were being treated to the best meals made from all fresh and local ingredients, and periodically treated to a giraffe or elephant siting right at the lodge! I can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed the entire experience!
Halle & Scott Cupp from Cincinnati, OH
Our Tented Safari in Style experience, with add-on to Victoria Falls, was everything we dreamed of, hoped for, and more than we expected! The accommodations throughout the trip were outstanding and the service at each was unparalleled.
The wildlife viewing at Shamwari far exceeded our expectations. Our ranger, Allister, took us close for great pictures but always reminded us to enjoy the moment. He paced the game rides so we could enjoy each encounter and watch the animals engage in their environment. Our favorite memories include: giraffes fighting, a lioness eating a recent kill, an elephant herd on the move, and a baby rhino playfully approaching the bull.
Ivan and Leigh Ann Burdine from Pittsburgh, PA