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Luxury Travel in South Africa: My Adventures at Tswalu Kalahari (Day 2)

Our last couple of days at Tswalu were top-notch. Between the excellent food – we should just work as Relais and Chateaux taste testers at this point, we pretty much took an R&C fam trip – and the best guides we could’ve asked for, it was truly the cherry on top of a fantastic trip.

Tswalu is such a unique addition to our itinerary with its Kalahari Desert setting. While it’s drastically different from Singita Pamushana, they compliment one another so well. Most of our group has been to Africa before and they’ve all informed me that this itinerary (Southern Zimbabwe & Kalahari) is really best for a second or third time to South Africa. This just means I need to come back and have a real first timer’s experience (Kruger or Sabi Sands & Vic Falls).

We’ve really had some amazing game viewing here, especially of lions and rhinos – check out some of the highlights:

Everything here, from the architecture to the natural landscape, is unbelievably gorgeous. We’ve been treated to lunch at an incredible lookout spot with views across the entire desert and to sundowners at Malori, the lodge’s private outdoor bedroom. Eating dinner at a normal dining room table will never be the same.

We also went back to the meerkat home, where we met the members of a film crew who have been working on a documentary about the extremely interesting lives of meerkats (sarcasm). The cameraman informed us that he’d been filming meerkats for 6 straight weeks and that they don’t change a lot in their day to day routine. “I got so bored earlier this week,” he said, “that I tried one of the beetles they eat.” Not a job I’m envious of. However, it was really funny to watch the meerkats seek higher ground on his camera lens, this particular group is extremely comfortable around people (and cameras) :

The true highlight of this trip, however, has been my fellow travelers. I was genuinely heartbroken to say goodbye to half of the group earlier in the week – and I rarely get attached that quickly. In the continuation of the trip, I’ve only grown closer to those I came to Tswalu with.

Another highlight: our guides. Cameron and Sarah have become such good friends that the Kalahari has probably never heard so much laughter.

Cassie, Cameron, Me, Will, and Sarah

Also, I’m not nearly as funny as Will, but I can tell you that he gives some great suggestions on how to improve the safari lodges we’ve visited, such as:

1) Clean up the animal poop in the bush

2) Put pink bows on the females so we know the difference

3) Label their pawprints with what species it is, so when we see it in the dirt we don’t have to guess

4) Place bright orange flags on their tails so they’ll be easier to find while in the tall grass

5) Install people movers from dining rooms to villas – exercising on safari is overrated

Will really knows his stuff with luxuriating (his new job title), plus, he’s a fabulous tracker:

Guiding in Gingham

As an only child, I usually get pretty antsy when I’m with the same people for 2 straight weeks. However, this group has clicked so well that it has been the best fam trip I could ever imagine. Friends that Fam was a huge success and we’re already looking forward to the next one, wherever it might be (I’m hoping for South America, Australia, or Southern Asia – maybe all of the above?).

For now, I guess I’ll just recover from the jetlag left by a trip that spanned twelve days, two countries, six hotels, eight planes, and six new best friends.

 

Lindsey Epperly

My name is Lindsey Epperly and I’m a travel consultant and owner of Epperly Travel, a national affiliate of Century Travel. I’m most passionate about building lifelong relationships with my clients and suppliers, discovering the globe in a way that makes me a better agent, and celebrating with my team when we reach a new milestone. One of our core values at Epperly Travel is to create fun and celebrate constantly – and I’m fortunate to be in a career that allows me to do just that. I’m proud to announce my recent achievements: landing a spot on Wendy Perrin’s WOW List as their Caribbean expert, being nominated for Virtuoso’s Rising Star Award and receiving a place on Jezebel Magazine’s Trailblazing Ten list.

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