The day is finally here and breaking down everything you need to know about our South African Safari. We took a one-hour puddle jumper flight from Johannesburg to Madikwe, where we stayed at the Impodimo Game Lodge. When we landed at the “airport” in Madikwe (which was more like a long stretch of dirt road), there were elephants and giraffes which was so surreal and really kicked off our safari adventure.
We started each day with a sunrise wakeup call and hot coffee. Then it was on to the bush. Being my first safari (and a total bucket list item), I was so excited, even for a 5am wakeup call. The morning rides consist of hopping into the Land Rover with an intimate group of six people, chasing the sunrise and looking for game. Our Land Rover had a Ranger and a Tracker. It’s important to have a Tracker in the front because they’re able to spot animals, track footprints, animal dung, etc. Some of the other lodges didn't have trackers and we quickly realized how beneficial it was.
Before we left for the safari, we brushed up on our animal skills - like knowing what the “Big 5” animals are. While on a safari, the goal is to spot the “Big 5” game animals: elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, white and black rhinos. If you’re lucky you will spot all of the Big 5 in one game drive. We saw 4 out of the 5 on our first morning drive, then all of the Big 5 the following day.
Game drives are typically about 3 hours long with a small break in the bush for coffee/tea and a light snack (i.e. muffins and biscuits). Then they swap the coffee for wine, beer or a G&T and another snack during the evening drives.
After the morning drive, you come back to eat breakfast then have the afternoon free. Usually you’re pretty exhausted so will nap or lay by the pool. However, we tried laying by the pool but it was so hot in South Africa we couldn’t make it longer than 5 minutes, so opted for nap time.
You meet again at 3:30 for high tea before going out for the evening drive. The night drive is amazing because much of the drive is in total darkness, which makes viewing the stars pretty spectacular, but you also get to see the nocturnal animals and animals coming out to feed. Let me also just point our that the sunrises and sunsets are pretty amazing as well.
We asked Tyrone, our ranger, if we could walk the bush. Clearly I'm in the front with the two men with guns. Walking the bush was so neat because you get to track animal tracks, dung, etc. The photo on the right is lion track (we made the circle around it).
Taking selfies with sleeping lions.
This White Rhoni took a mud bath right in front of us. It was pretty cool to see this huge animal roll around in the mud like a dog would.
If it hasn't been apparent yet, I became pretty obsessed with zebras!
Our lodge at Impodimo Game Lodge. Since the lodge isn't fenced in (aka animals can walk through at any time) our ranger picked us up every morning and took us home at night. There's actually a pretty funny story...we were eating dinner outside on our last night and heard this noise and when we looked there were 3 buffalo behind us (which happen to be the most dangerous besides a hippo) and 5 lions drinking water
We got massages outside on our balcony and there were animals walking around near us.
Our Ranger, Tyrone & Tracker, Sam
If you're looking for the ultimate dream safari experience with your family or with your significant other, I can honestly say you will NOT be disappointed with . Their team is so friendly and hospitable.