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Our Journal

Family Safari for 6

A young, fit, active family on a 9-night Southern African journey, memories made forever, together. Shared moments at dinner, watching the choir sing around a roaring fire at Mala Mala, fishing on the Zibidianja lagoon, tiger fish running, the Okavango Sunset, and rolling down sand dunes in Namibia. Highlights of an incredible trip, never to be forgotten.


Both Delta and United flights generally arrive early evening in Johannesburg, which works well, as it is vital to take a night or two to acclimatize, try to set the body clock to a new time zone, and recharge after travel, this sets you up for Safari. Fresh and strong.

Staying at the lovely Saxon Hotel, lush gardens, fantastic spa, great gym, allows a later morning wake up, a fantastic breakfast and a session in the gym, or just wander around the gardens, and stroll through the vegetable gardens.

The beauty of South Africa is that we hop over to the Kruger National Park direct from there, 50 minutes in a beautiful Pilatus, and we are flying in over the Sand River, spotting our first Giraffes from the aircraft, the excitement is palpable.

There is nothing like a first afternoon game drive, something never to be forgotten! Mala Mala never disappoints, ever. Always good to be back with Nick Nel our guide, on his home turf! And sometimes Mala Mala exceeds its own self!



This time we were on fire, so much so, that on our last full day, we set a month high record for points and last time we checked in, no one had beaten it, so simply, we had the best day of game viewing, out of anybody in a long time. (But who’s competitive!)


One of the most incredible sightings I have had in a very long time, was a fight between a mother and Daughter Leopard, a powerful, intense, and exhilarating experience, wow! The buildup, anticipation, growling, vocalizing, and then suddenly, a dramatic rush, grab and tumble, over in a couple of seconds, never ever to be forgotten. This situation built up over a few days and was just incredible to watch play out.



That’s not all, lion cubs in the morning mist, silhouetted rhinoceros – what a privilege and a treasure. Male Lions in the dark, wild dogs with tiny pups at a den site, buffaloes wallowing in the mud, elephants crossing the sand river. Hyaenas! And so much more. Thank you, nature, for showing off for us, sometimes it just goes right.


From the broad-leafed woodland of Kruger to the water paradise that is Selinda concession! My favourite. Zarafa camp, and here we are in the Dhow suite, private chef and service team, private dining which included barbeque evenings, elegant snacks on the water, amazing bush breakfast out in the wilds under the palm trees, and an epic soccer match! Being on the water is always special, the sunsets are truly magic, the fish were on, and in between all of this, we had some talented photographers, 4 and sometimes 5 cameras snapping away! Creating masterpieces!

Hippos, in the way, can’t cross the channel, had to take a loooooong detour back home in the dark!


Elephants everywhere, including sleeping outside the spa! Obi taught us a local Botswana board game, and we had MANY lion sightings! Males, females, cubs, our final morning treated us with a truly incredible sighting, spending time with the pride, in close proximity for over an hour, all active in their own different ways, they were finishing off a carcass. Very special. From the waters of the Okavango to the desert!



Back in the Pilatus and onto our third country – Namibia – the most beautiful scenery, and landscapes, a feast for the eyes from the air! Constantly changing, colour, shape texture!


Final stop, and no time to waste! Always fun flying in, we settle in and relax at Sossusvlei Desert lodge, the stark beauty, the stars, and even an on-site astronomer, the freezing cold nights by the fire. We head off next day for an adventure in Sossusvlei, climbing the massive sand dunes – well done team! And then rolling, jumping, running, all the way down! So much fun! Only took thousands of pictures! As well as videos, slow Mo’s, scenic, portraits and panos! Then into Deadvlei, a stark, dry, caked, shallow clay pan, a photographer’s dream, after a few photo shoots, we head back for a picnic lunch and the journey back to the beautiful lodge, final nights reminiscing.



Last morning, we head out on a walk to the bushmen paintings, a great opportunity to stretch the legs and get some blood flowing, history, and one last look at the other worldly landscape. From here, an incredible flight out of Namibia, more photo opportunities – and some winners were snapped! Back to Cape Town, for the direct flight home.


Family time on Safari cannot be beaten, quality time together, chilling, sharing meals, and exciting adventures, unique activities and so much fun!


Until next time. Creating memories, and really, we are Living the Dream.