Two breaks in one… that’s wild! Lorraine Kelly finds the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation in South Africa
- The TV presenter flew from Johannesburg to the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
- She saw elephants, giraffes and her favourites – a cute family of warthogs
- Lorraine also visited The Lodge at Feline Fields in Botswana for some down time
One visit to Africa is never enough. This beautiful, flawed continent creeps into your soul and, as soon as you return from one stupendous trip, you want to start planning the next.
This time, I enjoyed a two-centre adventure in South Africa and Botswana. We flew into Johannesburg, then it was a quick hop in a tiny plane to the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve at the edge of the mighty Kruger National Park.
Sabi Sabi is made up of four separate lodges and we stayed at the Earth Lodge, an environmentally friendly, beautifully designed, comfortable home from home.
New friends: Lorraine poses for a snap with the San bush people (above)
Usually, the quality of cuisine in lodges is pretty basic, but this was proper five-star hospitality.
Our accommodation was spacious and elegant, with indoor and outdoor showers and a plunge pool. And thanks to our guide, Louise, we saw some incredible wildlife. Highlights included a female leopard who had hunted down a baby antelope and dragged it up a tree to keep her meal safe from hyenas, and a pack of wild dogs enjoying a mud bath in the scant shade.
Heading back to the lodge for dinner, we saw elephants, giraffes and, my favourites, a cute family of warthogs.
After three nights in Sabi Sabi, we flew back to Johannesburg, caught the two-hour flight to Maun in Botswana and then took a helicopter hop to The Lodge at Feline Fields. Now if you really want to get away from it all, this is where you want to be. The attention to detail is admirable, from the huge pool that attracts all sorts of wildlife, including thirsty elephants, to the comfy swing seats at the well-stocked bar. And there’s a constant supply of home-cooked food.
Feline Fields is all about relaxation and listening to Africa’s heartbeat. I had a massage outside with local products that made the stress simply ooze from my body.
I really enjoyed our morning out walking with the local San bush people, because it wasn’t the usual patronising tourist tour but a real insight into a culture that has so much to teach us all.
Favourites: Lorraine loved seeing a cute family of warthogs
Lorraine spent three nights in Sabi Sabi, pictured, and said that she can’t wait to return
There was a lot of giggling at our pathetic attempts to dig up roots for water and to make fire from a couple of sticks and some moss.
This really was the perfect two-centre holiday, with lots of game drives and astonishing wildlife at Sabi Sabi and then complete relaxation, as well as being steeped in local culture, at Feline Fields.
I can’t wait to return.
Natural World Safaris (naturalworldsafaris.com, 01273 691642) offers a ten-day safari from £9,310pp with four nights at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, four nights at Feline Fields, a night at a Johannesburg airport hotel, flights from Heathrow, local flights to Maun and Skukuza, all meals, house drinks, twice-daily activities at both lodges and a helicopter flight into Feline Fields.
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