Marataba

Marataba

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One of the advantages of living in Africa is going on safaris. The kids simply love it and now that they are older it’s easier to manage the early morning wake up calls! We discovered Marataba Safari Lodge when Brian bidded on a school auction and won. It’s only a 4 hour drive from Joburg so the road trip is manageable. It’s located near Waterberg at the Marakele Park, Thabazimbi. For those concerned, it is malaria free. So a quick weekend getaway is definitely possible. We were surprised that many of our SA friends have never heard of it but I guess it’s mainly a lodge that caters to tourists.

We can’t say enough great things about them. The service, accommodations, food, and drives were all exceptional. Our guide, Andre, was amazing and the kids absolutely loved him. He was so knowledgeable and the kids asked him a million questions. They love animals and it probably helps that Wild Kratts is their favorite show. They are walking animal dictionaries. You can ask Becket almost anything and he knows and when you ask him how he knows…he says the Wild Kratts! LOL They even had afternoon activities for the kids so the adults can relax. The landscape is one of the most beautiful that we have seen as they have water and mountains. It’s rare to find this combination. There’s something about getting back to nature. It’s magical. It also helps that you sleep like a baby….we think it’s the air!

Marataba was so magnificent that we went back again in April when my parents came to visit. So this one is a keeper. If you’re adventurous and don’t plan on taking the kids, they have a brand new eco lodge, Marataba Trails Lodge, that caters solely to walking safaris. Definitely something Brian and I plan to do….one day!

Pit stop in London

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on our way to Joburg, we made a pit stop in London for a night and of course, we had to do the usual stops…Buckingham Palace for the change of guards, Big Ben, etc. it was nice to have my parents and sis with me this time around…they had a blast in Virgin’s upper class seats! this was just the beginning of their trip, they had a night in Joburg and are now in Dodoma, Tanzania visiting the orphanage, Village of Hope- back to Dar – back to Joburg for a few days and then off to safari next week!

A classic NEW YORKER

Jammin' on the streets of NYC

only in NYC would you find a fella sitting on the corner of Broadway & Houston, jammin’ with household pots, pans, and spoons. the beats coming out of this guy could put some people to shame and the red bucket in front of him was filled with dollar bills to prove it! this wasn’t kid’s play you could seriously start dancing on the corner with him!

King Kong

King Kong Chillin'
"Charlie Chillin"

One of my most memorable adventures was going to see the gorillas in Rwanda. It was absolutely indescribable…and almost surreal.  You get so close to them that you could almost reach out and touch them. They are so human like that it’s amazing..their mannerisms and their features. They even play games with you as you’re not suppose to make full eye contact with them as they think that you are challenging them but on purpose, they will try to catch you looking at them..at that point, you just have to quickly look down.

Big Ben
Charles

His real name is Charles and he is a silverback gorilla. There is always a dominant male in each pack and Charles was it. We had to trek one hour to see him and his family. Other groups didn’t have such an easy time finding their packs. Once one gorilla is sighted in a pack the clock starts ticking and we only have one hour to watch them (as they do not want to disrupt their routines and natural habitats). The gorillas know this too as when our hour was up they  just started moving!

**note: in case you read my blog earlier, I made a mistake his son was named Big Ben**

Have you seen enough yet???
Have you seen enough yet???
This is my good side!
This is my good side!

I just found a great video of the family we saw in Rwanda, check it out: