Okay friends… it’s been a long haul so far… To recap we went from Tampa, FL to Germany to Cape Town to Kruger National Park where we have now been to Skukuza, Satara and now on to Olifants! If you have missed any of the first 7 posts – you can catch up with our full 14 day itinerary and continue to look forward to the last 3 posts coming each Sunday!
The drive from Satara Rest Camp directly north to Olifants Rest Camp was only about a 1.5 hour drive but of course it took us 5+ hours of exploring dirt roads along the way. Two very notable sightings for this portion of the trip was a spunky baby elephant and some very lazy road block lions!
As we left Satara the “cat camp” on our way to Olifants which means “an elephant”, we had two very appropriate and amazing encounters. First up was a very young and frisky elephant that stopped traffic to dance in the street. I am so sad that I only took some still photos instead of filming a video because this silly kiddo whipped around that truck and stepped on it and frolicked around in front of our car and it might be the cutest thing I have ever witnessed in my life!
Next, we started to approach a large grouping of cars stopped on the sides of the road, which always means there is a unique sighting and the bigger the crowd, the more you can bet it’s a cat! As we approached, just merely trying to skirt by the cars to continue towards our next destination, we had a very nice patron tell us that there were lions ahead. Of course my heart skipped a beat and we started looking around intensely as we slowly squeezed through the parked traffic. The first lion sighting were some male and female lions resting down an embankment in tall grass under the bridge – many were just sleeping and hard to see (amazing camouflage) so we snapped some photos and kept driving to get out of the crowd… as we crept by we suddenly realized that two of the alpha males were LITERALLY laying on the side of the road!! Absolutely surreal and more like an out of body experience – I mean just look at those faces and those scars – WOW! We made eye contact and now I feel it in my soul that we are truly connected.
Olifants Rest Camp is described as an unforgettable window to Africa, and oh boy is it. The Olifants Camp is situated on top of a hill towering several hundred feet over the river of the same name. We were only here for one night, and we all know the saying – “Go BIG or Go Home” so we went BIG and the 6 of us split the Lebombo Guest House.
Olifants’ luxury guest houses are fitted with lounges, en-suite bathrooms and several exclusive sightseeing lookout decks. Lebombo sleeps 8 guests with 1 room fitted with a queen-size bed and 3 rooms each fitted with 2 single beds, along with a huge kitchen, dining room, living room and fire pit. The views of the Olifants river were spectacular and it was the perfect place to drink a glass of wine and watch for animals below (mostly hippos). One of the most striking elements to the compound were all of the beautiful pink and white desert rose plants and space to spread out.
This camp had a really nice grocery and park shop along with a restaurant so we enjoyed a carry out dinner, bonfire and morning breakfast before packing up again to head to our last new camp the next day. As amazing as this camp was – it was minimal on animal sightings for us and a lot of effort to relocate there for only one night. I highly recommend this place to those with large families or groups, but for more than one night only if you can afford it. I mean, look at those views and those stars – a magical place!
We checked out of Olifants Rest Camp and began the 4 plus hour trek (way longer when you take every dirt road you can find looking for animals lol) to our last new camp of the trip – Lower Sabie. We reached our destination just before nightfall and had another incredible lion sighting. We witnessed a male and female lion mating and then the male calling to protect his territory right after!!!! Plus we saw one of my all time favorite birds – the Pied Kingfisher!!! Also some major crocodile and hippo sightings too!
Lower Sabie was one of my absolute favorite camps and we stayed in two different style rooms – I will feature them both along with the rest of our trip in the next few posts!!
Did you miss any of the previous posts?Read our full trip Itinerary here!
Read Post One – Germany here!
Read Post Two – Cape Town here!
Read Post Three – Wine Tour here!
Read Post Four – Penguins & Whales here!
Read Post Five – Skukuza Camp here!
Read Post Six – Satara Camp here!
*** All photos taken on iPhone 12 Pro Max, Canon 80D, 60D or Insta360***