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Safari memories (part 1): a South African game drive around Makutsi safari springs

Guest Post by Scott Hughes.

Looking for Part 2? Click HERE! 😉

About 6 months ago my partner and I were thinking about where we should go on holiday, and having travelled quite a bit we made the decision to try somewhere completely new for both of us.

So after much deliberation we decided on somewhere in Africa – More importantly wilderness Africa. We couldn’t decide between a Game Drive or the Desert so we thought let’s just do both. Here’s my story…

First we headed to South Africa where we spent the most exciting holiday in Makutsi Safari Springs, a privately owned Lodge located one hour west of the famous Kruger National Park.

When we arrived in Johannesburg Airport, a driver from the Lodge was already there waiting for us and shortly after we all sat in a small, old VW bus, driving deep into the South African Bush. The air was incredibly hot, the seats uncomfortable and the reams of bumps in the gravel roads didn’t make that seven hour trip very enjoyable.

But as we arrived in Makutsi Safari Springs, we just knew it was all worth it! The owners welcomed us personally with a cocktail and gave us all the necessary information about the programme of our stay and about the Lodge itself.

Makutsi enjoys over 12 000 ha of African Nature where most of the African Wildlife can be found. Guests, owners and staff live in rondavels (African Bungalows) that are spread around the main camp, where you can also find a restaurant, a lapa (open seating area), a safari shop with internet access, a library, a tennis court, a small gym and two swimming pools with natural soft thermal-mineral water that comes from springs within the property.

Makutsi’s fascinating speciality is that there is no fence or barrier separating the main camp from the surrounding area. That means that all wild animals roam free and it’s not unusual to see a cheetah chasing its prey through the camp or a few elephants feeding from trees besides the pool.

But in general most animals, especially the predators, stay away from the camp during the daytime and as long as guests follow the rules of not walking outside the camp area and staying inside their rondavels at night, it’s a very safe and peaceful place.

The owner’s philosophy of living together with nature is also reflected in the food served at Makutsi: All food is fresh and organic.

Salads, fruits and vegetables are grown in the Lodge’s gardens and the meat comes from the owner’s herd of Brahman cattle or from the game roaming in the property.

Usually I’m not a big veggie fan, but I have to admit that all meals were delicious, healthy and various in taste.

Besides enjoying good food, relaxing besides the pool or being active in the gym, we also participated in various safaris in open Land Rovers and excursions into the surrounding areas. The guides had a wide knowledge and their love for the African nature and animals was contagious!

All the impressions and sights we got were simply breathtaking: Getting goose bumps from hearing a lion roar right next to our vehicle, seeing Impalas fighting and Wild Dog puppies playing are some of the many beautiful memories we took home with us and will certainly keep forever.

Scott Hughes has travelled around 5 of the world’s continents and has passionate about travel. Scott Hughes currently works in the travel industry for Beatthebrochure.

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