Let me just say it now… I am entirely addicted to safari.
The whole experience, from waking up at the crack of dawn, the freshness of the breeze in an open Jeep, open savannahs, thicket bushes, red earth and majestic vistas, drinks in the bush, scanning the surroundings and, the best bit, the thrill of a sighting. The most incredible part of safari is, of course, seeing animals that one wouldn’t normally gain access to, except perhaps in a zoo environment. The Big 5 is undoubtedly the grand prize but there are so many fascinating and quirky characters on safari (and that’s just inside the Jeep) that it’s easy to become quite attached quite quickly. I’ve been fortunate to have had the safari experience in many diverse countries of the world. Recently, I went on safari searching for ‘The Little 5’! Look them up – let’s just say it requires an entirely different skill set!
No safari is the same. Ever.
But on my recent jaunt to South Africa, I ended my journey through Cape Town, the Cape Winelands and the Garden Route with a spectacular 5 nights in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. And the privilege was astounding. Beyond the incredibly inspiring work that goes into the conservation and protection of wildlife here, the passion for the environment and respect for nature and the tireless efforts of the entire communities, the positive results are evidenced by game numbers and their level of comfort in such close proximity to humans. I have never been so close to the Big 5 and all the wildlife.
Thanks to the highly-skilled game rangers at the beautifully plush and conscious Savanna Private Game Reserve and Kirkman’s Camp, I had these heart-stopping moments with leopards, lions, rhino, buffalo and elephant and their cubs. The level of expertise and the passion and knowledge of these guides under pressure was phenomenal. It certainly didn’t hurt to return to the most lavish plush surroundings I’ve ever known on safari, at Savanna Private Game Reserve and &Beyond’s Kirkman’s Camp!
I’m so proud and excited to share these images with you and I hope you fall in love with them in the same way that I am!
All images © 2015 Anisha Shah