EXCITING REASONS WHY SAFARI IS THE ULTIMATE LGBT FAMILY VACATION

Protravel agent Michael Shane Stephens offers insights from his travels to Singita, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Ever wondered what it would feel like to wake up to the sound of the river flowing below, and the sounds of truly wild animals coming from every direction? Waking up to watch the sunrise while drinking coffee and eating fresh pastries, all while being 200 miles to the closest metropolis? You can have all this, plus the incredible opportunity to see amazing wildlife and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones in a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Singita’s stunning Lebombo Lodge within the pristine and protected Kruger National Park.

From the moment you touch down on their private airstrip, you are taken into a world of exclusivity that seems so distant which the kids have always dream of seeing while they learn about it in zoology class. A vehicle with your personal game ranger will come collect you and take you to the lodge. Along the way you get your first sightings into the vast fauna and flora that is home to the wildlife, you are about to see for the next few days. Perhaps you catch a glimpse of one of your first big 5 game animals.

Upon arrival, a cold towel and refreshing drink are served while you are introduced to the staff that will most likely become like family by the time you leave. Check in formalities take place in the lounge area that overlooks the river and the beautiful bouldering hills. After which you are taken to your treehouse suite, and shown the breathtaking view in which you and your family will be spending the next few nights, high above the rumbling river below.

A sitting area to play games with the kids, or just snuggle on the couch with your partner while overlooking your private deck that has an outdoor bed (which can be made for you to sleep under the stars), and a free-standing soaking tub with huge windows surrounding it so that you can enjoy and experience the wildlife that surrounds you while in the bath bubbles. These are just some of the amenities you get to enjoy while staying here.

Soon after you have settled in, your personal butler will stop by to invite you up for lunch. You walk up to the main area where your table is waiting, overlooking the infinity pool and the river. Tranquility sets in while you get to stare off into the distance and realize for the first time how secluded and encompassed in nature you truly are. A scratch kitchen makes every meal to perfection, where you can choose to be healthy or… maybe not so much. After all, the motto in the bush is “Eat. Sleep. Safari.”

After lunch, it’s time to head out on your first game drive where your ranger and tracker take you into the heart of the bush in an open-air vehicle. You will get the opportunity to see the National Geographic channel come to life right before your eyes: a lion hunting in the distance; a herd of Elephants brushing past your vehicle; a beautiful rare bird feeding off an ant hill. After an hour and a half or so, you stop off in a clearing and have a traditional sundowner (cocktail), and some local snacks before heading back to spot some more game along the way.

After the adrenaline of your first game drive sinks in, and you have checked off some bucket list sightings, it’s time to head back to the lodge where you follow the candlelit pathway to your dinner table down by the river. Your butler awaits your return to pour you some amazing South African wine, and present you with the tantalizing menu for dinner.

After dinner, it’s time to tuck in and get some rest before your 5 am wake-up call to do it all again: Eat. Sleep. Safari!

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