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18 Texans on Safari for a wedding anniversary and birthday safari celebration

Multiple repeat friends and clients, some on their 12th safaris, many on their 5th and 6th safaris, are back for the ultimate Safari in South Africa. Literally the ultimate. 9 nights of Safari, 1 night on arrival in Johannesburg, private chartered aircraft, in between 3 magnificent locations. This is something to get excited about.

And 18 Texans! Friends, family, sisters, brothers in laws, mothers and fathers, uncles. What a fun family, so well-travelled and versed in the art of safari, good times, looking for the unusual, laughs, incredible sun downers and bush dinners!


Cocktails, coffees, cats!



What a fun safari, and the experiences were beyond, due to the diversity of the lodges, all of which are magnificent, but the habitats and landscapes, all complementing one another.


Tengile in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a newly built contemporary lodge, rooms are exemplary, on the river, modern, warm colours, loads of glass, elephants in the river in front during the heat of the day, leopards calling in the river at night. Main area – bar, boma, all beautiful!



The game viewing at Tengile in July was just off the charts, exceeded my expectations! Leopards – Male and female mating, Male vocalizing and on a night patrol, young male in the river, golden sunlight, female marking territory, it just goes on.


Cheetah, Lions, 5 sightings including finishing off the remains of a carcass, wild dogs, chasing an impala, catching it, fighting with hyenas, and then feeding with hyenas! Hyenas visiting us at sundowners – more than once! Rhinos – incredible sightings of these extremely endangered animals, mating – something we will never forget. The world needs more Rhinos!




Thank you Tengile and the Sand River – the game viewing over those 3 days, was something special!



Waterside – Royal Malewane. The name Royal Malewane and the Royal Portfolio is synonymous with class, service, staff, lodgings, and hospitality. Many of our group had travelled with us to the Royal Portfolio lodges, but Waterside is brand new, so a new lodge and experience for all. 


It did not disappoint, the locations stunning, the décor eclectic, the colours, greens of all descriptions, bight oranges and reds inside, but the greens of the lawns and trees, and the outdoor feel at this lodge is indescribable and leads to a very warm, relaxed, very relaxed atmosphere, but oh man, the service is incredible!


The food, the wine, the drinks, the cocktails, the way it’s done, the ways it tastes and the way it is served!


Waterside Lodge is absolute top class, and. Maybe the top in its class. Exemplary.


Fantastic rooms, all with heated plunge pools, a wonderful spa and therapists, baristas, and mixologists.


This with game viewing in between, Lions on patrol – the Monwana Pride, all in single file, 16+ lions on the move in the early morning mist. Elephants everywhere, in front of camp, on all game drives, so special to spend time with these creatures, watch them eat, play suckle, tussle ad wrestle in the mud, it was lovely to have so many elephants in the area at the time. A highlight was mother and leopard cub, on the move on our final morning game drive.


Gin stops watching the sunset, and then the moon in the telescope, canapes ad birthday celebrations out in the field! 


A bush dinner never to be forgotten, under the special tree! Marimba band and live acoustic performances by famous country singers under the stars. Truly, never to be forgotten.


Waterside – beside the water, under the lime green fever trees, a place to return to.



From the lushness of Waterside to the Kalahari Desert, a change of world, of landscape, and of habitat, and of species, and feel.


Tswalu Kalahari is a huge expanse of protected area in the Kalahari Desert. It harbours some very special and very rare mammal species, and it harbours 3 magnificent lodges in these harsh and extremely beautiful landscapes.



The place is a feast for the eyes! Truly, mind blowing, and bottling up the emotions out there, on that first afternoon, would be quite something! 


A special place. Sand dunes, Mother Cheetah and 3 cubs, wow, what a sighting on the first afternoon! Black Rhinos, Lions hunting, Meerkats, and some other very special creatures, have you heard of Pangolin and Aardvark?



A truly unique experience, in the red sands of the Kalahari, sipping on delicious red wines, the best out of the Cape Winelands. A glowing red ball of fire, setting on the western horizon, a sky with more stars than can be imagined, sitting around the fire, enjoying a malva pudding, dreaming about what tomorrow may bring, and what today has brought. The safari life.


A highlight of our trip was our final night – eating at Michelin Star’ Chef – Jan’s restaurant, Klein Jan in the Kalahari. A culinary experience, one of the best in the world! I can’t tell more, it’s a secret, one I will keep, as the experience we had there, must be experienced to be believed. Oh man.


This incredible gastronomic journey on our final night, was a fitting end to a Safari which was incredible, one which none of us will ever forget, we laughed so much, we shared joy, music, experiences in the most incredible places. The ultimate South Africa Safari – like only Safari Architects can do. Private Guided, Private Chartered. Class.