The Wonder of the Bush, A Magical Honeymoon
Wow, where to start? We knew we’d picked somewhere truly special for our honeymoon the moment we arrived at Motswari.
We arrived just in time to join the evening game drive. Buzzing like kids at Christmas, we jumped into the back-row seats of the Jeep (by far the most fun seats, by the way!) hoping to get a glimpse of a majestic African animal. After frantically pointing at impala every 5 minutes, we soon discovered we were in for more of a treat than we imagined, driving right next to buffalo, elephants, zebra and even a leopard all on our first drive!
Having returned to camp totally awestruck, we were ready for a sundowner to unwind from the excitement. We were greeted with such a romantic setting – open fire pits surrounded with tables under the star-lit sky. And to top it off, the food was delicious. If you think you might get away with a few days of cutting back on consumption, think again!
The following morning, we awoke before dawn (we’ve never been so keen to get up in the early hours!) eagerly discussing what we might see that day. Our guide, Victoria, and tracker, Lott, were fantastic. They were incredibly knowledgeable, teaching us all about tracks and scats. We followed rhino tracks but on this morning the rhino eluded us but the elephants were out in full force. On the way back to camp, we were surprised with an extra special breakfast out in the bush complete with mimosas. Perfect!
When returning to our beautiful lodge, we thought we’d have a nap on the veranda that was so peaceful with only bushland as far as we could see. However, we were quickly awoken by the local baboons peeping around the bushes at us, followed by elephants wondering down to the swimming pool. It was incredible to see the animals so close.
That night we visited a hyena den; The Lion King really gives hyenas a bad reputation! The babies were so cute and the juveniles were fascinated by the jeep, sniffing all around us and staring up at us. We continued to look for the rhinos but they were doing a great job of hiding.
As the sun set, we thought the evening was drawing to a close but then we came across a beautiful leopard resting under a tree having just eaten its kill. You never know what’s around the corner!
On day three, we put our new tracking skills to use and were fortunate to finally find the rhinos. Such beautiful, peaceful animals – it’s impossible to understand how poachers can be so cruel to them. On our return to camp, we decided there was no point trying to rest as we couldn’t stop scanning the horizon with our binoculars looking for signs of life, so Victoria kindly took us on a walking safari. It was lovely to stretch our legs and learn more about some of the smaller flora and fauna.
Having been told by our driver on the way from the airport that the animal we’d find most difficult to see would be leopard, we were incredibly lucky to see a leopard for the third night running. This time, up in a tree with its kill. Amazing!
On day four, we topped off our stay with a night in Giraffe’s Nest Hide. What a night: Just the two of us in a tree house under the stars! Everything had been thought of with a three-course meal waiting for us and a fridge full of drinks. All you could hear was the call of hyenas and the occasional rustle of an elephant strolling by. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we were so fortunate to be able to experience.
By our last day, the only animal we hadn’t seen was the lion. Victoria and Lott had tried so hard to find them and actually it was nice to see how difficult it can be at times to find animals as it gives you a real sense of how you’re the ones on their territory. Having searched far and wide, we finally found them just a stone’s throw away from camp! They’d brought down a buffalo just minutes before we arrived. We sat and watched as they devoured it, covered in blood but looking so satisfied. Once again, the hyenas made an appearance sitting patiently on the other side of the Jeep, waiting for the leftovers.
We couldn’t believe it, we’d actually seen the big five and so much more! We can’t thank everyone at Motswari enough for an incredible stay. It was a dream come true! Every game drive was exhilarating and made even more enjoyable by Victoria and Lott’s infectious enthusiasm and sense of humour. We’ll never forget it.