As a huge wildlife enthusiast, the bush in South Africa has always been one of my favourite places. One of the best places to really enjoy it is in the private game reserves that form the Sabi Sands Wildtuin. The lodges here primarily have exclusive access to the area, which means that you can often enjoy fantastic wildlife sightings with either very few, or often no other vehicles. This makes for a great and unforgettable safari experience.
Chris first visited Africa in 2008, spending two weeks travelling within Zambia on a family holiday. This kindled his passion for the continent, in particular the African bush. That same year he returned this, time to South Africa in order to study for and gain a South African field guide qualification. This led to a three month stint working on a private concession in the Kruger National Park, contributing to the anti-poaching efforts and concession management. He then went back to Zambia, spending time working in lodges in the South Luangwa National Park before returning to the UK to study at Edinburgh University. During his studies he continued to travel when possible, returning to South Africa to visit Cape Town and the surrounding area. He has since spent more time travelling throughout South Africa, a country that just keeps drawing him back.
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Sitting on a cliff overlooking the Great Fish River that runs through Kwandwe Private Game reserve, this lodge is one of my favourite places to stay. The large, individual suites also dotted along the cliff edge are spacious and share the same African theme as the lodge, as well as the fantastic views over the river valley. With excellent rangers and a good concentration of game in the area, the drives are always exciting and I have been fortunate enough to have some of my best rhino sightings here. There is also the option to do a bush walk, visit a local community project or simply just relax and watch the bush from the comfort of your own private plunge pool. All of these things combine to make Great Fish River Lodge a place not to be missed.
I'll never forget when…
As a keen 'birder' Southern Africa has always been a special place to visit. One particular memory that will always stand out was when I was working on a private concession in Kruger National Park. It was the time of year when impala tend to give birth and everyday more impala calves appeared. While watching a breeding herd we noticed a Martial Eagle sitting high up on a nearby rocky outcrop watching the baby impala below. Minutes later the eagle swooped down, killing one of the baby impala in front of us. A truly memorable sighting and one I will never forget.