The first weekend of Februari I had to go to south-Africa for a short business trip (Thursday- Monday). Due to some unexpected reasons my business meetings that weekend fell through last minute (bummer… so what to do?!).
I flew to Johannesburg with Iberia. When I was young my grand-parents always made the joke “Iberia-miseria” but I must admit that it was a very enjoyable flight!
In Johannesburg we stayed in the Four seasons hotel, the Westcliff. The hotel has a beautiful view and great staff.
When we found out the business trip fell through we decided to try and quickly put together a safari-trip instead of staying in Johannesburg. As I hadn’t done any research what so ever into safari-parks, I looked into the posibilities close to Johannesburg.
There are a few park close to Johannesburg:
- Pilanesberg: this one is next to sun city, apparently it is not so spectacular and very touristic.
- Kruger: the biggest park, but a very long drive from Johannesburg (especially since we were only going for 2 days)
- Madikwe: Park in the North, bordering with Botswana. We choose this one, it was a 4-5 hour drive from Johannesburg.
We choose to go to Madikwe where we stayed in Motswiri lodge, a very small lodge (5 rooms) completely closed off with fences (thank god). I liked Motswiri, the food was spectacular and staff was nice. The only thing that I didn’t like too much was that the common room/ terrace is completely covered with trees. It is beautiful but I like to look into the wilderness (who know what you will see).
The rooms were very spacious and we had a nice terrace overlooking the wilderness. Since the lodge is very small you eat often with other guests (which is nice if you have nice other guests).
The wilderness and the game drives were amazing. It was my second safari in my life and I feel so humbled to be able to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat, it is just unreal and absolutely amazing ! We saw: roaring lion, lion with baby’s, elephants with baby’s, rhino’s, zebra’s, giraffe, baboon,…
The ranger of Madikwe was knowledgeable but he didn’t explain so much, which I think was a pity. I definitively like to go back to Madikwe. They have a rule in the park that there are only 2 cars allowed per big-5 sight. I like that very much, I was never too cramped.
A safari has been very high on my buckets list over the last years and it was very worth it. It is expensive but to see these animals in real life and in their natural habitat is totally worth it.