Friday, January 30, 2015

safari at legend lodges

i'm pretty sure that most people's bucket lists
 include going on a they should! 

before coming to africa, i was so excited to
 finally cross this experience off my list -- 
but i wondered what a safari would really
be like! if you're wondering the same thing,
this will give you a taste of what to expect.
this safari experience was done through 
legend lodges at entabeni game reserve.
this is a great option for those interested
in a safari near johannesburg since it is
roughly 3-4 hours driving from the city.
the great thing about this area of entabeni
is how scenic it is. of all the different areas
we visited during the trip, i felt the most like
i was truly in africa here. the trees, hanglip
mountain, and landscapes were stunning.
as we drove into entabeni and to legend's 
hanglip lodge, we suddenly spotted this
pretty cheetah. unbelievable! these cheetas
are really rare to spot, especially up so close
on the road. our guide later told us that if you
do see them, they will be in the grass and
 tough to truly see. we couldn't believe it!
this already bodes well for our safari lodge..
so -- like a typical safari, we arrived 
to the lodge during the day, got the 
warmest of welcomes from the fabulous 
staff at legendthen explored the property. 
how about this gorgeous hanglip lodge? ^^
and, how about these rooms? ^^
we relaxed before our afternoon game 
drive which went from roughly 4:00 pm 
until 7:30 pm just before dark. the entire
safari experience is really exciting, but 
it also allows time to relax and enjoy
between the drives and animal sightings.
the game drives are typically big 5 drives,
looking for the elephant, rhino, cape buffalo,
lion, and leopard. you will likely see many
other animals along the way, but these are
the "big 5" you are hoping to check off the list.
on this particular drive we did not see all of
the big 5, but between our time in kruger
and other drives we did end up seeing them
 all! of course we loved seeing other animals
as well such as giraffes like pictured above ^^
^^ see:: here are the cheetah hiding in the
 grass on our game drive ... they were fun
to see this way, but we were glad we had
been up close to one on the way in too!
we got some fun shots from the gopro
mounted to the front of the safari jeep! ^^
^^ i spy a hippo! it's hard to ever see more of
them than this view, since they love to be
submerged in the water. one surprising fact
is that hippos are actually one of the most
dangerous animals...even though they don't
look like it! so beware of them if you ever
happen to see one out of the water :)
the breeze + cold waters kept us cool on
the drive. on a safari it's important to dress
in layers, because you can be roasting hot
one minute and chilled the next! the weather
can also change since the game drives last 
for hours, so it's always good to be prepared.
.. panorama picture break ..
we saw so many wildebeest on every drive.
they are really common on all safaris, but they
 started to grow on us...especially their little
 babies! we watched a pack interact before
 heading to our waterside lodge for the night.
hello, lakeside lodge! it was so cool to ride 
in our safari jeep all the way up the canyon 
to stay nestled up in the hills at this lodge on
the prettiest property overlooking the ravine.
after hours of the game drive, dinner in the
boma sounded lovely. the traditional braai
was served up, along with some dancing!
of course they convinced my mom to join in.
she is the best and always entertaining :)
dinner on safari is a very memorable dinner!
especially when you get escorted back to your
room at the end of the night due to animals.
and let's not forget that my dad topped any
safari guide's stories at dinner that night
with his bear attack...a different wild animal,
but just as crazy! they were amazed when
he showed them what a grizzly bear looks like.

after a night's sleep in our little cottages,
we woke up early {around 5:30 AM} to
leave on our morning game drive at 6 AM.
you can expect this early wake up call on
safaris, as animals are most active early
in the morning and it's the best time to
go out. you can always rest later in the day!
^^ a quick walk around the 
property before the morning drive
and, all equipped for the drive with my safari vest
and favorite cotopaxi backpack {gear for good} ^^
we left our very scenic 
camp at lakeside lodge --
our morning drive started off well by
getting up close & personal with a rhino
and it's baby! luckily these were white
rhinos so they were not agressive 
and we were able to get very close.
then down the canyon we went toward more
animals, and toward breakfast! along with
layers and a coat, it's also smart to bring a few
snacks on safari since you drive for hours & 
you want to enjoy it without distractions.
^^ after spending the early morning on
our game drive it was back to hanglip,
and back to a delicious breakfast!
i was so hungry by the time we had this.
the property landscape was so picturesque
and hard to leave after our stay! ^^

last but not least ::
after the complete safari experience, we got 
to have one more fun outing before leaving
 since legend is a safari AND golf resort.
you can see it's a very scenic golf course...
and - fun fact, you can pay to fly by
helicopter up to hanglip mountain in
the background to tee off the famed
19th hole. if you get a hole in one off
that, you win one million dollars! :)
^^ this putt looks like it made it, but it
veered off course at the last second :(
this guy is the best golfer. it's ridiculous.
it's a fun experience to golf right off
the reserve in the wild after exploring
and appreciating the animals around!
legend gives a balance between the wild
scenery and safaris // and luxury 
accommodations and attractions.
if you're planning to stay on safari for
a few days to a week, it's nice to have
options for other activities between
the game drives! it's a great property.
legend properties include a few different
lodges around entabeni. you can
see the different properties here.
we recommend legend due to the
level of quality combined with the
price and location options offered.

here's to crossing adventures off the
 bucket list! i am looking forward to bringing
chase on his first safari later this year!



  1. Loving all these amazing posts from South Africa!! What an incredible trip! You have visited two of the biggest items on my bucket list recently between India and Africa! Love it!

  2. Ahhh what an amazing trip! And a cheetah! I would be beside myself!



  3. These photos were so fun to look at. That cliff in the mountains behind you in the golf cart pic totally reminds me of Lion King haha!

  4. The pictures of the animals are obviously amazing (especially the cheetah!), but I can't get over how gorgeous the lodge is! My goodness.

  5. I just got to relive our Saturday of 2 weeks ago. It is captured so well. I just loved being with you and thanks for making our second trip to Entabeni so memorable. We loved being there with you. Great post!


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