Thursday, September 29, 2016

South Africa Wildlife Wonderland

Going on a Safari trip in South Africa is probably on everyone's travel bucket list. Just imagine how awesome it would be to ride on an open-top Safari Cruiser under African skies and watch a broad range of wild animals eat, sleep,  walk and run freely -- much more than what most zoo animals can do.  It would be an incredible true-life experience like the shows you see on TV. But experiencing it firsthand is  a lot more different than what National Geographic or Discovery Channel could offer.

A couple of years ago, I decided to have an unusual yet remarkable break, so I went to South Africa to witness and take part in a one-of-a-kind wildlife wonderland adventure I could ever imagine. 

Where I stayed:

Before I reveal my wildlife encounters, let me introduce you to the two amazing places where I decided to stay. 

First is the Pondoro Lodge, a simple yet luxurious haven that offers a true African setting. It is nestled on the banks of the Olifants River within the 40,000 hectares Balule Private Nature Reserve. 

At Pondoro Lodge, you get to experience wilderness without fear but rather with full serenity. All suite rooms are spacious and are equipped with modern comforts. 

Each suite offers complete privacy and a sophisticated accommodation. Room composition and design harmoniously complement the beauty of the African vibe.

Guests who are staying at Pondoro Lodge can participate in different activities such as game drives that let guests ride on an open-top safari cruiser, accompanied by experienced guides, to witness wildlife animals in their natural habitat. For the more adventurous, nature walks offer closer and more thrilling animal encounters. These activities provide you the opportunity to meet South Africa's Big Five, which includes the mighty lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo.

From Pondoro Lodge, I transferred to Sun City Resort -- another fantastic place to stay at if you want to experience a different kind of sophistication and glamor. Apart from upscale accommodations, the resort offers countless things to do for guests of all ages. From top-notch dining experiences to casino nights and fun water activities, this provides layers of fun to safari wildlife encounters. This resort is truly an all-in-one provider of vacation relaxation, fun, and thrills. 

Wildlife Encounters

It was an early morning game drive where I rode the open-top, 4x4 Safari Cruiser. Accompanied by my professional guides, I felt the excitement growing when the engine started running. 

We were off to our wildlife viewing adventure! Our destination? Somewhere in between the Balule Private Nature Reserve and the Kruger National Park where a great diversity of wildlife is found.

As we rode along the trails with views of African bushes and trees, we came across several female impalas. After that, our friendly guides parked our vehicle by this serene swamp to have a quick coffee break. 

We continued our adventure and successfully witnessed some of Africa's famed animals:

The enormous, kind-natured elephant walking out of the bushes 

Vultures, the notorious scavengers

The wary, striped-animals that are native to Africa

The tall, long-necked giraffe

The bearded wildebeest that is the most preferred prey of lions, cheetahs, and hyenas

Beautifully-horned male impalas

The mighty rhinos

Young African turtle taking a quick glimpse from underwater

Two lovely parrots


Before we left South Africa, we made sure to visit two of its most popular destinations: Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and the coastal city of Cape Town.

In Cape Town, we visited the Cape of Good Hope -- the continent's most South-Western point, where many adorable African penguins are found unwinding on its white and breezy shores.

A beautiful view of Cape Town from the Table Mountain

Situated on the southern bank of the Zambezi River is the infamous Victoria Falls -- the world's greatest curtain of falling water that runs down over one hundred meters below.

Until next time, I’m your friendly global traveler, Johnny, inspiring you to unravel the thrills of nature-filled adventures on your next travel.

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