Okay...so I am the first to admit that South Africa was never even on my bucket list, just the amount of crime and horrific stories that I had heard about this country made me never even contemplate visiting this country....... but the opportunity arose and naturally we went for it. I mean its another holiday right?? The chance to discover another culture, experience exciting new adventures and create everlasting memories, who could pass that opportunity up?? Certainly not I.
Our accommodation at The magnificent Palace of the Lost City at Sun City is a fairytale African palace that towers over the scenic valley. This was the first 6 star Hotel built in the world and is Visible from almost anywhere on the resort, The Palace of the Lost City’s unique towers with elephant tusk embellishments are a symbol of the true luxury and splendour that the hotel offers. We also were lucky enough to check out the King suite where Michael Jackson and The 'Beckham' family were guests! WOW!!!!
Inspired by a fantasy lost African tribe, the Palace has been lavishly created with rich architecture, mosaics and frescos and marble that add to the mystical ambience and magical aura of this grand hotel, screams opulence!
The hotel is surrounded by lush botanical gardens, trickling streams and hidden walking trails that ensure that the Palace does indeed feel like a lost city, not to mention an amazing watermark that will keep the children entertained for hours on end.
After our initial 5 nights at the stunning Sun City Resort, which is set in the stark ruggedness of the North West region of South Africa, and is surrounded by mountains and the untamed majesty of the African bushland .
Adjoining the Resort, is the beautiful Pilanesberg National Park, which will delight game viewers as it is a malaria free zone and home to the "Big 5" (Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino). We were fortunate to view each of these stunning animals on our safari and also experience an elephant encounter which was out of this world.
After a luxurious stay at The Palace of The Lost city, we headed back to Johannesberg and boarded our flight to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport in Nelspruit and were transferred to "Sabi Sands' for our 5 night safari adventure.
On approach to our resort we entered the park gates and then drove through the stunning park to reach our resort....suddenly I was feeling totally out of my comfort zone. Seriously??? I questioned....Where are the fences around the resort??? Was this too much to ask, to keep me safe from those wild beasts lurking around our lodge??
After signing a waiver that the park would not be responsible for my death....(this certainly wasn't helping the situation) We were given clear instructions that we would be woken and escorted each morning at 5am (are you serious??) by the ranger where we would then undertake a 4 hour safari, return at 9.30 for breakfast which would be followed by a Ranger led bushwalk followed by another safari on dusk from 4-8pm......mmmm...not happening!!!!
I felt so incredibly out of my comfort zone and after an encounter with a monkey that wouldn't leave me alone at breakfast and kept chasing me, followed by the encounter with 'PUMBA' from the Lion King otherwise known as a warthog,( almost a head on collision with this beast, as I turned a corner) I screamed.....It squealed and ran away....I'm not sure who was the scaredest!!!! This was finished off with a massive golden orb spider landing on my shoulder, me screaming my head off and trying to get the damn thing off me!!!!
Well lets just say that I skipped the morning safari's and opted for the evening cruise,which was totally amazing, but once a day was quite enough for my liking.
Dinners were amazing out beneath the stars with a fire in the front of our dining tables, (but I still was constantly jumpy and watching my back for that 'HYENA' that ate a tourist last month after he fell asleep after a few drinks and failed to lock himself back in his room), needless to say each night turned into a bit of a ritual of being escorted back to our rooms with the ranger and only a torch ( no gun in sight) and then locking and double checking windows and doors.
I didn't even feel safe to relax and laze by the pool...but hey, thats just me!!!
On our last day at Kruger National Park, my husband and friends left for their early morning safari, which was to be followed with a waking tour through the park with the ranger ( sorry, not for me)......but what I did was the most wonderful part of our Safari experience which I will treasure always.
The staff organised a tour to the local village for me and a private driver, who was the proud husband to 8 different wives and 20 odd children escorted me through the village stopping at the local school where the stunning children sang for me in English and African such an amazing experience to see these beautiful little children living in poverty, but so happy and such a delight. I had purchased pencils , textas, books etc to leave with these divine children.
Feeling quite safe, perched on top of my 4WD and not a wild animal in sight....happy girl...xxx