We recently went up to the Pilanesburg to Ivory tree Lodge for a little four day getaway and a family trip. I flew in from Istanbul straight to Johannesburg where I joined my parents and sister (who is living in Johannesburg and working as a lawyer) we stayed the night in Johannesburg and then drove up to Pilanesburg National Park where Ivory tree is located.
The drive was beautiful, open spaces as far as the eye could see, nothing but bush and a straight road. We arrived at the gates of Ivory Tree Lodge filled with excitement, as kids we did a safari but I don't really remember much of it. We were welcomed by friendly faces and a entrance hall filled of all of our favourite things, stretching out to the garden breakfast spot and pool. We had a afternoon drink before being showed to our rooms. My sister and I shared a lodge which was simplistic but making you feel right at home. The bathroom was beautiful with huge open windows expanding into the wild. Our outdoor shower made you feel like you were one with Nature. Once we got back to our little abode, the attention to detail is everything and a chocolate was laid out for each of us on our pillow with the mosquito net pulled closed.
That afternoon we did a game drive where we saw the most beautiful gentle giants, elephants and headed to the waterhole. After our 4 hour safari drive by the most lovely Ranger Margerie, before heading back to the camp we stopped for a african gin and tonic. We then went back to basecamp where we had dinner outside under a million stars. The following morning we were woken by a knock at the door at 5.05am as we were off for a early morning sunrise game drive. You climb into these massive off road vehicles that we were lucky to only have 7 people onboard, you drive into the National Park with a frozen face but with so much pride to be African and to be alive at a time where animals are right on our doorstep. Over the next couple of days, we did 8 game drives and saw pretty much everything. We were extremely blessed to have taken some time off and to have travelled not too far. It is definetely something you should save up for and do atleast once in your life. The tranquility of a place so peaceful and out in the open with animals you only dream of seeing and a sky full of stars, its once in a lifetime experience.
Things to pack for Safari
1. Stone towel to wrap around you on the drive ; for the chill morning drives and evening crisp air
2. Binoculars - sometimes the animals do not come so close
3. Sunglasses - it will protect your eyes while driving against the wind and dust
4. Backpack to keep all of your treats, a warm top, water, wrap + extra battery for your camera
5. Summah white robe to wear basically anywhere, especially around the open plan bathroom and balcony
6. Sunscreen - the african sun is super strong and you should always protect your skin
7. A comfortable bralette - we had our best Nette Rose Ophelia (you'll be bouncing around alot)
8. Camera - for all the memories you'll be creating + big SD card
9. Family or a best friend - this is something special you want to share with someone you love
10. LIve in the moment and stay in the vehicle