magical notten’s bush camp

About two weeks after we landed in Cape Town, we loaded down our tiny VW Citi Golf (which must the most ubiquitous design in South Africa, with a body design that hasn’t changed from the eighties) and hit the road with my brother, Rob. Reaching the first stop on trip took longer than planned when our newly-acquired car puttered in Johannesburg.


Eventually back on the road with a new fuel pump installed, we made our way east towards Sabi Sands, a private game reserve bordering Kruger National Park. Steve’s great-aunt and uncle (and their families) run a game lodge there, and we were lucky enough to stay as their guests at this magical place. If you’re looking for a first-rate safari experience, we can highly recommend Notten’s Bush Camp.

The view from our private veranda:

The lodge, overlooking a watering hole…

…where this giraffe chowed down.

Mornings begin early, with a game drive that heads out before sunrise. It’s worth the early wake-up call however, when you get to see a sight like this ellie, who got a little fresh with us.

The second game drive of the day sets out in the afternoon, which is when we saw lady leopard basking in the sun.

These lions were on the hunt in the early evening, slinking by our vehicle.


We ended our evenings with a candlelit dinner for all the guests in the main lodge.

And we fell asleep to the sound of hyenas, one which found Steve’s down jacket that he had left outside and took it into a field thinking it was an animal. The aftermath:
(Miraculously, Steve was actually able to rescue this jacket. It lives on, refilled and fluffier than ever.)

Many thanks to the Nottens for their warm hospitality. (This is a photo of us with our hostess, Gilly.)

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