Letters from Lions #2
“ L E T T E R S F R O M L I O N S ”
Tom tells us about his 50th birthday safari in South Africa.
“As my 50th birthday got closer, my family kept telling me that I was never going to believe the gift they got me, they said it was a birthday I would never forget! A few months before my birthday, I was told to make sure I cleared all my plans for the whole of my birthday week and the week thereafter… so I knew a trip was in the works!
A few days after this initial clue it was finally time for them to tell me the news, all of them knowing without question that I would figure it out anyway when we got to the airport. So, my family sat me down and my children had put together a PowerPoint presentation with clues leading up to my birthday destination. The final slide was the one I was waiting for, the one with my answer: we were headed to South Africa for a 12-day safari!
The morning we left was the most excited I had been since I was a child, I could feel my heart racing and my smile was never-ending, to visit Africa had been a dream of mine for years. The flight was long, but our anticipation was always there and when we finally touched down in Johannesburg, we were all more ready than ever for our safari adventure. We spent the night at the beautiful Athol Place before heading out to the airport the next morning at the crack of dawn.
Out private jet awaited us on the tarmac, and we were greeted by many friendly faces! After a few hours we finally landed at our first camp – MalaMala. We spent our days here out on adventurous game drives where we spotted all sorts of amazing game, dining under the stars and relaxing in our beautiful rooms – Africa was everything I had ever dreamed of and more!
After our stay at MalaMala it was time to head over to Singita Ebony Lodge, the camp where we would spend the remainder of our safari and where we would celebrate my actual birthday! Our time at this camp was as incredible as we imagined: the décor was pristine, the rooms were luxurious, the food was impeccable and the wildlife was what dreams are made of. On the evening of my birthday, a private dinner was set up for us in the lodge’s boma, an enclosed setting in the middle of the wilderness where a huge fire burned and where we ate, danced and celebrated under the stars…
A 50th birthday is always a memorable occasion, but it my case, that would be a huge understatement!”