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Ugg Styles Worn:

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South Africa - Shamwari Game Reserve

Days 7-10

What's a trip to South Africa without a Safari?! Shamwari Game Reserve is a private conservation in Eastern Cape, South Africa. They have 6 Luxury Lodges located on the reserve with 3 educational centers; Ian Player Rhino Centre, Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary and a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

As we drove into the reserve, we didn't realize that the road we were on was pretty much a Zebra and Giraffe crossing! There were giraffes literally feet away from our tiny car rental, what an awesome first encounter at Shamwari! Our lodge, Long Lee Manor, sat in the middle of the reserve, we stood there on the front lawn looking out to Zebras, Giraffes, Elephants, Warthogs, and Rhinos! 

Pool View with Giraffes, Zebras, and Warthogs

Pool View with Giraffes, Zebras, and Warthogs

Long Lee Manor

Long Lee Manor

Long Lee Manor Pool

Long Lee Manor Pool

With 5 Star Luxury Accommodations, you also get to endure in the ultimate game drive experience! The Lodge provides us with 3 meals a day, and was beyond expectation. When it was time for our game drive, we were greeted by Aymar, our Safari guide. Aymar from the start was a fun, courteous and a knowledgeable host! He could answer every question we had about the Reserve, animals and their habitat. 

The game drives started in the early morning with a 5am wakeup call (something I had to get used to). We meet at 5:30 for coffee/tea and then head out to explore. This also reoccurs at 3:30pm for the afternoon game drive.  

Shamwari and their wonderful staff provided an unforgettable experience. It was amazing how close we got to these animals! The Lodge was beautiful and warming I felt right at home. 

 

Accomodations - Shamwari Game Reserve; Long Lee Manor

Tip: Be sure to check the weather temps! In the morning/evening it gets a bit chilly and you may get the occasional rain. They provide you with warm blankets and ponchos but its nice to have layers. Use a telephoto lens on your DSLR camera for great up close and personal pictures.  

 

In collaboration with THE WILD COLLECTIVE

South Africa - Plettenberg Bay

South Africa - Plettenberg Bay

Days 5

Here comes the road trip! 5hrs and 45min to Plettenberg Bay from Cape Town... As we started our drive, I looked at the map and saw the Cheetah Outreach. This is a preservation center for cheetahs & other predators, with education programs & animal encounters. Of course we had to do it! 

He loves us

He loves us

Cheetah

We continued on and pushed through to Plettenberg Bay. Arriving late, we stayed at Beacon Island Resort. After arriving so late we had no idea where exactly we were but waking up in the morning and looking outside it was gorgeous! Nestled right on a cove with ocean views all around, it was refreshing. Our next adventure was only a quarter mile down the road. 

 

Days 6-7

 The Old Rectory is part of the Rare Earth Collection. Located in the heart of Plettenberg Bay, one of South Africa’s most loved coastal towns, The Old Rectory is an immaculately restored national monument built in 1777 and reimagined into an intimate boutique hotel. With only 18 luxury suites and only a short stroll from the beach, you can expect a personal, world-class experience with plenty to see and do including a spa, in-house restaurant and sparkling pool. 

We were greeted by Claudene, the reservations manager. She gave us a tour around the property, explaining the history behind the boutique hotel. The staff was impeccably trained, each paid notice to detail and ensured our stay a wonderful one. The chefs catered our meals to our dietary restrictions, which I couldn't have been more grateful! The chef even prepared a beach picnic for us as well, we couldn't have been more catered to. 

Picnic on the beach

The spa was like a private sanctuary. We scheduled a couples spa treatment. You enter the steam shower and apply an exfoliation and a body mask. After 20 minutes, we moved into a massage room and received a couples massage. It was so tranquil and one of the best massages I've ever had! After the massage, they greeted us in the Spa lobby with champagne and followed with breakfast by the pool!

The Old Rectory Spa
French toast with honey & cranberry

After our wonderful relaxation day, Claudene had presented us with some activities to do in the area. She had mentioned an Elephant Sanctuary where you can interact with elephants. Our guide was very knowledgable and even took a moment to tell us about how these elephants have been saved from labor workers, circuses etc. 

IMG_7413.jpg
Elephant Sanctuary

Accommodations: Beacon Island Resort, The Old Rectory

Activities: Cheetah Outreach, The Wedge Beach, The Elephant Sanctuary 

In Collaboration with The Wild Collective

South Africa - Downtown Cape/Camps Bay

South Africa - Downtown Cape/Camps Bay

Days 3-4:

After exploring southern Cape Town, we made our way to downtown Cape. We stayed at Cape Milner, a boutique modern hotel conveniently located close to the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay and Table Mountain. From the pool you can see Table Mountain!

Cape Milner Dining Room

Cape Milner Dining Room

Cape Milner Lobby

Cape Milner Lobby

Cape Milner Retro Decor

Cape Milner Retro Decor

After check in, we decided to venture to out to Table Mountain. We took a cable car up, it rotates to give you a 360º view of Cape Town. Once off the cable car, the views were just breath taking. No matter where you stand there's a gorgeous view. TIP: Go at sundown!

Table Mountain
View of Downtown Cape Town

View of Downtown Cape Town

View of Camps Bay

View of Camps Bay

For dinner we ate at Bocca, an upscale Italian Pizzeria. I got a little thirsty and wanted to try out a bar, and went to Orphanage Cocktail Emporium. This is a hip bar with flaming (literally on fire) drinks and a DJ spinning euro electro tracks. 

The next day we explored downtown Cape Town. Check out the V&A Waterfront where there is a very large shopping center. The marina was beautiful with all the sailboats. I got a little hungry and was recommended to take in the views at Silo Hotel's rooftop restaurant. They have a yummy charcuterie and I even saw dolphins swimming around!

We overheard the couple next to us talk about how amazing Camps Bay was, so we scooted our way over there. The salt air smelled magnificent and the waves were insane! It was almost sundown, we stopped in at Zenzero for a fabulous glass of wine. For dinner we headed to Paranga for sushi and an Ostrich steak. Topped the night off at Umi for a chocolate dessert. (All 3 places are in the same building and owned by the same company. AMAZING)

Camps Bay

Camps Bay

Sundown view Camps Bay

Sundown view Camps Bay

Restaurants: Bocca, Orphanage Cocktail EmporiumSilo RooftopZenzero, Paranga

Accommodations: The Cape Milner

Activities: Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay 

Suggestions: Take an Uber. Even if it's a half mile, it's better to Uber than to walk! 

In collaboration with The Wild Collective