Have you ever considered going on safari? What really is a safari? I had an idea of what to expect prior to my trip to Kruger National Park, but experiencing it first hand is unlike any other, and sometimes hard to put into words! Here is what your typical day on safari will look like when you visit the park.
This morning we arrived at the Cape Town airport for our flight to Hoedspruit, a very small, local airport outside of Kruger National Park. Once we arrived at our gate we hopped on a bus to the plane with the rest of the travelers. We walked on the tarmac like they do in old movies, took the stairs into the plane and found our seats. We boarded our 2×2 plane and off we went. The previous fifteen-hour flight to Johannesburg made this three-hour flight breeze!
On arrival, we walked back down the steps and onto yet another tarmac. The building, which they call an airport, looked like a small restaurant as people were sitting on the patio waiting to board their flights. We made our way through the tiny building with the rest of the passengers and arrived at the front of the airport. Where is the luggage carousel you ask? It does not exist! Our luggage was brought to the front of the airport where we all stood waiting anxiously. Once you saw your bag you were free to grab it and head off with your driver to the safari lodge.
From here we were driven to our lodge. We noticed that some drivers took their guests through the park as the lodge was closer than by driving on the road. The entrance to the lodge was gated with staff ready to check your name off the guest list.
We arrived at the lodge and were immediately met with staff for a one on one introduction of the property, the policies, and the schedule of events for the typical safari day. We were welcomed with delicious drinks and smiling faces! We were then taken to the patio for our first of many meals and a lunch platter was promptly brought to our table.
After lunch, we were escorted to our rooms, briefed on the property once more, and had a little time to relax before the next events. At three thirty, high tea was served. This consisted of cookies, teas, and pastries.
Shortly after high tea, we took off for our first game drive! The first of many game drives was incredible and something you cannot really describe until you have seen it before. When people tell you about driving in the bush, you do not realize that you are actually driving in the bush and off the beaten path! Our ranger and tracker were consistently cutting off bushes that were in the way or running over trees to find animals of the Big 5. We like to say that the roads are just a suggestion!
After a couple hours driving with my mouth wide open from the beauty, joy, and awe, we stop for sundowner drinks. The time with our guide and tracker were very simple and enjoyable. Drinks and snacks were served while spending quiet time in the bush. From here we drove back to our lodge for this evening’s dinner and some shut eye.
No matter where you chose to safari, you are sure to be in awe regularly on your game drives. You are sure to be stuffed to the max with delicious food. You are sure to be pampered and taken care of every day. A typical day on safari is one that everyone should experience and a day in the wild is something to never be taken for granted.