Although no two safaris are the same, they share the fact that it’s an early start in the bush with a typical day beginning at around 5:30 am (depending on the time of year) with a wake-up call from your ranger. After this, there is an opportunity to grab a tea / coffee before you set off on your game adventure for the day….
Climbing onto the game vehicle, you’re filled with the excitement and anticipation of tracking down the “Big 5” (Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino). Enjoying the African sun rising for the day, the drive is broken by a stop over in the bush for tea or coffee with a light snack (and stretch). The adventure continues and you return back to camp at around 9:30 am to freshen up and have brunch. For the more adventorous, there’s the possibility of a bush walk that offers unexpected insight and knowledge of the eco-system and an opportunity to learn more about the local fauna and flora.
There’s then plenty of time to rest or relax at the pool, browse the curio shop, visit the library or sit on your deck enjoying the sounds and smells of the African bushveld. There’s every chance you’ll encounter wild animals browsing around the camp grounds or a herd of elephants at the water hole directly in front of the lodge.
Afternoon high tea is a time to interact with other guests and is served at around 3:30pm with a selection delicious sweet and savoury snacks. Then it’s time for the afternoon and evening game drive adventure with a stop-over in the bush for sundowners and nibbles – an opportunity to watch the splendour of the African sun setting over the mountains.
Returning after dark, you are welcomed back to the lodge with a sherry (or something similar) – then you have time to freshen up for the evening’s events. Fetched from your room by your ranger (Shumbalala is not fenced so it is forbidden for guests to walk around after dark) for a drink at the bar or to select your wine from the wide selection in the underground cellar.
Dinner is a five course affair prepared by the in-house chef with the freshest ingredients. Dinner is served at various settings – around the fire, by candle light in the dining room, on the lodge deck, in the underground cellar or even in your suite.
After dinner, it’s time to retire to your turned down room that includes a roaring fire if it’s cold! Now all that’s left of the day is to reflect on the sights and sounds that have been experienced and to dream of what lies ahead for tomorrow.