If you would have asked me two years ago if I would like to go on a safari holiday, I would definitely have said no. I loved my sun holidays, lying on a lounger or the beach and topping up my tan. That was before I met Maxine and Ian Smith, then everything changed.
I started helping Maxine out with some admin duties in my spare time (which I don’t have a lot of being a mum to 4 boys). Maxine and Ian were in the early stages of starting up a safari holiday business, to run a small but luxurious bush lodge called Nyumbani Estate Bush Lodge. So, luckily for me, I was practically there from the start and they welcomed my input on many things.
I then started doing their Facebook/Twitter posts and was blown away by how beautiful the images and videos of the animals, sunsets and surroundings were from their South African home and the new up and coming bush lodge. It felt like a get away from my world and often imaged myself sitting have some elephant milk, ‘Amarula’, in the bush, surrounded by nature. I didn’t know a thing about Safari when I first started helping out; except that animals like lions, tigers, elephants and rhino’s all lived in the jungle (as I would have called it). But I now know that it’s called the ‘Bush’ and that there are no tigers in South Africa. South African elephants have bigger ears that Asian elephants. Rhino horns are worth a lot of money, which is why they are so cruelly hunted. These are only a tip of what I have learned from Maxine and Ian and not from Google. Ian’s knowledge of the bush and his passion for it is very heart warming. They are one of the nicest couples I have ever met and can’t thank them enough for including me in their adventure.
I’ve still not actually been on safari yet, and can only imagine how it would feel to be sitting in a game viewer jeep with elephants, lions and any other animals that I will be lucky enough to see, being right next to me. I think a whole lot of emotions would pass through your body, fear – definitely being one of them, but, excitement rapidly taking over. It is my ‘big’ birthday next year, and Safari in South Africa at the beautiful Nyumbani Estate Bush Lodge is definitely on my things to do when I turn 40.
Sandra Stuart – Marketing Co-ordinator – Nyumbani Estate