Reykjavik in 24 Hours

As a Christmas gift, Doug surprised me not only with a free trip to Iceland for us, but also invited our dear friends Kait and Jake to join us! The deal was, he already took care of the tickets and dates, now it was on me to plan out our trip. As always, it’s a…

Franschhoek: the World’s Most Charming Town

Today I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.  Our South Africa trip has been everything we hoped it would be, having experienced 6 phenomenal days on safari, visiting one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and feasting like kings throughout.  Today was supposed to be a nice drive through South Africa’s winelands…

Sliding Down Table Mountain

Up until this point, we’ve experienced the many facades of South Africa that make it such a fascinating country to visit…the incredible wildlife, the hospitable people, the amazing food, and the spectacular landscapes. But one aspect we hadn’t yet experienced was its complicated history. So we chose to spend the morning with Laura, a private…

Wheeling Around Cape Peninsula

Our first full day in Cape Town. The reason we rented a car was so we could go at our own pace to explore the Cape Peninsula. Even though we hadn’t seen much of Cape Town proper yet, we wanted to explore the expansive peninsula outstretching the southwest of Cape Town. Here, we could visit…

The Test Kitchen Review: 17 Courses, 2 Stomachs

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically-sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico, and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s?  Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish…

Farewell to the Bush…

Last game drive. So sad. We made sure to cherish every little part of it as it really was the little moments that made the trip. The crisp morning air.  The stars still shining brightly in the sky.  The complete tranquility of being in the bush.  Drinking tea on the viewing deck at dawn, I…

South African Idol

Doug doesn’t really have an idol, per se, but if he did, I’m fairly certain that it would be Neil. He gets to spend his day driving around a beautiful reserve, talking with guests and showing them his world. Every day is different as the animals move about, and he gets to use his sight,…

Reading the Morning News

In lieu of having a separate tracker, Neil not only took on this responsibility but also passed it onto us to participate. It was here at Welgevonden where we learned to read tracks, and even poop, to tell the story of what these animals have been up to. We learned how to differentiate tracks by…

Saving the Rhinos

Because our morning drives started at 5:30am and got us back by 8:30am, we actually lucked out by squeezing in one last game drive before our road transfer picked us up at 9am. Explore early, nap later… We are probably getting spoiled and are getting used to life in the bush, because it felt like…

Lions and Buffalo and Elephants, oh my…

A guide’s work is seemingly never-ending as after a long day of driving us around, explaining things, keeping us safe, and also entertaining us with conversation during dinner, they then have to think about how to plan out the next day’s game drives. Even though each drive is different and unpredictable, Margiet still factors in…

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

A wise man once told us, “there are only two reasons to get up at 5am. To go on a game drive, and to play golf.” Actually, this wise man was our guide at our second lodge that we would later befriend, but we quickly learned he was right. Between the heat of the day…

From the Burj to the Bush

They say that the meaning of safari is “a long journey.” It’s fitting that it took a 13 hour flight followed by a 10 hour layover in Dubai, another 8 hour flight to Johannesburg, and a 4 hour drive to our final destination in the African bush before we could say we’d arrived. The next…