We were booked to go on a family safari in March 2020. My son was just 5 years old at the time, and one year too young to go on a “real adult” game drive in our andBeyond lodges. I was thrilled when invited to explore one of our partner properties and most especially that he would be able to join us adults!
Byrne has a stuffed toy called Steve the Safari Monkey reserved for special safari trips only. We had to have him washed and ready for the trip, as well as house sitters lined up and binoculars on the ready. So you can imagine our massive disappointment when our president announced full scale the lockdown the day before our scheduled adventure was due to start.
It was well worth the wait though, as we got re-invited by the team at Misava safari camp to come and explore their wonderland over the valentine’s weekend almost a year later. The three of us packed up all the necessary warm jackets, weather proof shoes and hot temperature options needed as well as Steve and off we went.
The lodge was just what our pandemic weary, worn out souls needed. The staff welcomed us with huge smiles and warm hearts and we quickly melted into completely relaxed, safari mode.
Our first game drive did not disappoint, with a large breeding herd of elephant just 2 minutes from the lodge. Seeing my son in the open air vehicle with wide eyes, quiet and alert was simply magical.
The next morning drive was the honestly one of the most incredible experiences in all my years in the bush. We meandered through the rainy magic, seeing Impala and lush greenery when were alerted to a wild dog sighting. Off we went, adventuring through the drizzle and lo and behold found a pack of 35 of these endangered creatures. They had a double rainbow framing them! You couldn’t have designed it in a more cheesy way if you’d tried and it was just perfect.
We never missed a drive – rain or shine! Our guide Nick was just fabulous, getting ready with enthusiasm and care – and became a great friend to little Byrne with all his bush Knowledge and huge heartedness.
We stumbled upon an exquisite Female leopard in our next outing. The pic at the top of the post is one of Nick’s superb shots – he kindly agreed to share with us. Thank you Nick. She was loping casually through the verdant grass and wild flowers; with butterflies dancing around her, dropping onto the exquisite spotted coat now and again. If I painted the image you’d think I was making up some ridiculous greeting card. The untouched wilderness held us softly in this gentle embrace. Coaxing away all the feelings of being trapped in our homes, the ache of missing loved ones and family in lands far from here, were forgotten for some hours as we immersed ourselves in the beauty.
I had no idea it would have this potent impact, and left feeling renewed and invigorated from the soul outwards. In these Mad Max times on our fine planet, I can honestly say that a safari ticks all the boxes for the perfect break. You’re safe and comfortable, social distanced, whilst being washed anew by beauty and kindness. If you are thinking and dreaming of a trip – I would recommend making all the effort to bring it to light. It will restore you. I promise.
Thank you so much to the team at Misava and especially Nick – for your love and sharing your exquisite back yard with us!