An Unforgettable Trip With Our Friends of Everseen South Africa
Photo by BuildtoblossomTravel
Never underestimate the power and magic of social media! When our friends, influencer couple positravelty offered us the opportunity to join them on a trip to South Africa, we did not hesitate to say yes! And, oh boy, are we glad we did – not only was it an unforgettable trip, but we also made friends of a lifetime! But let us start at the beginning...
Our first stop in South Africa was The Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary, the largest orphan rhino sanctuary in the world, which rescues, rehabilitates, rewilds, releases, and protects rhinos. With South Africa fast becoming the center of the rhino poaching crisis, the organization stepped in to save rhinos from becoming extinct. Rhinos were being brutally murdered in National Parks, Provincial Parks, and on private property to meet the demand for bogus medicines made from rhino horns. This illegal rhino horn trade left behind young, defenseless, orphaned calves and created a need for a highly specialized care facility that could support the conservation efforts to save this iconic, keystone species from extinction. The Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary was founded by Petronel Nieuwoudt and holds an official MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with South African National Parks in a joint effort to safeguard the future of the species & South Africa’s heritage. In addition to saving rhinos from becoming extinct, the organization also created employment opportunities for local South Africans as part of their vision of inclusive community involvement and to combat the country’s growing unemployment rate. This is me giving my best Ranger at Care For Wild.
(Cue in the adorable baby rhino)
It was incredible to be at the rhino sanctuary, to witness rhino dehorning and, a major highlight, baby animal feedings in the middle of the wild. Blake, one of the rangers, would call the babies: “Come, come, Anchor, come, come, Ranger, come, come…,” and the babies would carefully approach, eager to fill their tummies with food. It’s hard to put into words how heartwarming and life-changing this experience was and we can only encourage you, our readers, to see it for yourselves. There are many ways to support the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary: you can donate, adopt a rhino by paying monthly contributions and even volunteer in person. We stayed at a beautiful villa while visiting the sanctuary and can only recommend an extended stay.If you are interested to learn more, show your support, or plan a trip to the sanctuary, simply visit their website for more information.
After spending a few days at the rhino sanctuary, we were ready for our next adventure with our dear friends Charlie and Serena, the married couple behind travel company Everseen South Africa! With our amazing Safari designers, the Amore was real! Their experience with wildlife is impressive, and their positive energy was contagious. Not only are they incredible wildlife experts, but they are also exceptional photographers and videographers – their eye for capturing just the perfect moment was truly unmatched. See below a photo snippet from a video taken by WILD Charlie on our trip.
Charlie is a former pro rugby player who was born in South Africa. He and his wife Serena have made it their mission to show South Africa to as many people as possible and increase awareness related to the poaching of rhinos in South Africa. Upon visiting some recovery centers for endangered animals around the country and meeting many different people on their way, they became passionate about the protection of rhinos and became ambassadors of the largest orphanage for rhinos in South Africa, Care for Wild, for which they donated 1 million rands with their Super Project 2019. Today, they offer unique travel experiences in South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe and share their ethical travel vision in a way that makes you fall in love with Africa, its beautiful landscapes, and exceptional wildlife. If you plan a visit to South Africa, we highly recommend you get in touch with them. Follow their Instagram here.
Photograph by EverseenSA
During our trip to South Africa, we headed to the Mhondoro Villa Safari Lodge & Villa, a luxurious, five-star private safari lodge and villa situated within the malaria-free Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg District of the Limpopo Province in South Africa. Welgevonden Game Reserve is home to over fifty animal species, including Africa’s world-famous Big 5: African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and rhinoceros. The rangers at the Mhondoro Villa Safari Lodge are experts in tracking these magnificent animals during their early morning or late afternoon game drives. The 35,000-hectare reserve contains the world’s largest concentration, on private land, of the highly endangered white rhino, ensuring that no rhino is ever lost to poaching.
The resort is less than a three-hour drive from Johannesburg and is a first-class safari destination where you can experience all the magic of the African bush. Some of the experiences they offer include bush walks, rhino tracking, rock art excursion, and stargazing. They even have a kids program and a romantic honeymoon safari package.
Everything at the resort was truly outstanding: as soon as you arrive, the staff greets you with a traditional welcome song. The chef cooked astounding 5-star meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The villa came with its own bath and outdoor shower, a fireplace for chilly evenings, and a private plunge pool right in the middle of the African bush so you are near wildlife at all times – you get a glimpse of zebras, elephants, rhinos, pumas, and even lions from the comfort of your own room. All throughout the resort, filtered water reserves are put up so that the animals have a safe drinking source nearby. One of the most memorable moments during our stay was returning to the villa and finding the elephants drinking by our pool.
PHOTO BY BUILDTOBLOSSOMTRAVEL
We also took advantage of the 5-star amenities and got an amazing one-hour couples massage at the resort’s own spa. The treatment included an outdoor bubble Epsom salt bath with champagne and came complete with an outdoor shower in the middle of the wild – you are truly taking a bath in the African wild.
While staying at the lodge, we did daily safaris organized by Everseen Africa. I called our safari car the Party Safari because the drinks were flowing throughout. The best part, of course, was seeing so many different animals, up-close and personal. Never in a million years did I think we would have the honor of being graced by the presence of so many beautiful animals! While on our safari tours, bathrooms were readily available, which was incredibly convenient. Having to use the toilet while out in the African bush truly brings you closer to your travel partners. After all, a lion could be right next to you watching you pee, and you wouldn’t even know about it – Safaris truly offer unique experiences!
At sunrise, we would have coffee with Amarula, a cream liqueur from South Africa. It is made with sugar, cream, and the fruit of the African marula tree, which is also locally called the Elephant tree or the Marriage Tree. Amarula has an alcohol content of 17% by volume (30° proof). African sunsets are truly mind-blowing. We would have snacks and sip champagne while soaking in the colorful skies while the sun was setting - it doesn’t get more instagrammable than that!
On our final night, we enjoyed a traditional dinner complete with African singers and dancers who encouraged everyone to get up and dance! All in all, our safari lodge stay could not have been better, and we truly enjoyed this luxurious but still very authentic experience in the middle of the African bush. South Africa is an incredible country, the people are friendly, the wildlife is breathtaking, and the experience will leave you with experiences of a lifetime and a renewed appreciation for the beauty of our planet. But go see for yourself, visit South Africa and we guarantee that you won’t regret it!
If you are interested in The Dream Trip Experience to Africa, follow our friends of Everseen Africa on Instagram @EverseenSa to find out how to join! If you have any questions about our trip, don’t be shy to follow and send me a dm @Kittyj08, and I’d be happy to help! Stay tuned for our next blog on safari fashion: advice on which clothing to pack for going on a safari!
Author Jules Rodriguez BuildtoblossomTravel