In February, we headed off to one of the few continents I had yet to visit, Africa. I am an ardent animal lover who has passed that love on to my 5 yr old son, thus a safari excursion was the perfect birthday present for me and the entire family. If you read our planning a trip to South Africa post, you will know that it was not easy to find a hotel that would allow our young son to fully participate in the safari experience. Luckily, our diligent research paid off and we found MalaMala Game Reserve in Sabi Sands, on the outskirts of Kruger National Park.
Sabi Sands is known as one of the finest Big 5 areas in all of Africa. There are no fenced borders between the reserves and Kruger National Park, so the animals move freely, making their way to the two year round rivers in the area. Due to the near constant water supply, it is almost guaranteed that you will see the Big 5 during a visit, and often even during a single day.
Our trip was all that we had imagined and even more. Exactly what I had wanted for my monumental birthday. Being in the bushveld as a visitor to the animal kingdom was awe-inspiring. It’s taken me months to digest it and try to put it into words. It put in perspective how insignificant we are in the scheme of life on earth but also how detrimental our short existence has been to those who were here before us.
After flying on 3 flights and for more than 30 hours, we finally landed at the small MalaMala airstrip. I loved flying low over the bush spotting animals far down below. But that excitement was nothing compared to seeing our first animals up close and personal. Get ready to fall in love with one of the most majestic places on earth. I really hope it wasn’t a once in a lifetime experience because I am dying to return!