What do Star Wars and safari have in common? Not a whole lot, or so we thought. You can imagine our surprise when one afternoon’s light-hearted prank inspired the most memorable, impromptu costume-party-slash-talent-show for a group of friends on an &Beyond safari.
We are most grateful for our guests that travel from all corners of the world to experience &Beyond. Today, we give thanks to each and every guest, some of whom often end up entertaining us as much as (if not more than) we entertain them.
So, back to Star Wars. Looking back, the costumes didn’t come about for any one particular reason. Rather, it was a sequence of curious events that eventually led to this evening of comradery.
Even before the group arrived at the lodge, one of the guests, Emmett, casually welcomed the rest of the group to their Cape Town accommodation sporting a leopard print scarf and matching speedo. This would set the (hilarious) tone for the rest of their South African adventure.
On their third day on safari, Emmett decided to play a prank on ranger Blaine Moolman, showing up for afternoon tea in his leopard print speedo. Somewhat taken aback, Blaine handed him his coffee at arm’s length. Emmett explained that he thought everyone would be in costume. They all had a good laugh and Emmett quickly pulled out the appropriate safari gear that was concealed in his bag.
This somehow planted a seed and the next morning Emmett pitched his idea of an impromptu evening talent show. Much to his surprise, everyone was keen on the outlandish proposal. When they gathered for high tea that afternoon, there was a palpable air of excitement, with faint whisperings of what each performer was secretly planning.
Then it happened … Blaine nonchalantly sauntered in wearing a lion onesie. Innocently, he explained that he thought everyone would be in costume for their game drive. In a flash of frenzy, the guests raced back to their rooms and re-emerged as Princess Leia clones, kitted out in bathrobes and sunglasses, with signature Princess Leia “buns” cleverly fashioned out of beach towels.
Later that night, the most entertaining and unforgettable talent show took place. Tracker Colbert joined the festivities donning a giraffe onesie and the performances included two singers, an &Beyond fashion show with three costume changes, a poetry reading about their safari experience, a (rather tragic) juggling act and a personalised awards ceremony with official certificates and a gift for each competitor. It was a night that both the guests and lodge staff will never forget.
Final goodbyes were exchanged with watery eyes and friendships were formed that will last a lifetime. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?