You will be picked up at either Hoedspruit or Phalaborwa airport by our transfer service. On arrival at Wait A Little a light lunch or afternoon tea and coffee awaits you. The Wait A Little team, including Philip, Gerti, Debbie and Trevor are there to welcome you. Philip, your guide, will introduce you to the safety procedures before going on your first riding safari. This orientation ride takes you through the area surrounding the camp as you unwind from your journey and forget yourself in the peace of the African bush. This is your chance to become accustomed to our horses and riding style. We might even see the first giraffe or zebra. Sundowners, looking out towards the Drakensberg Mountains, are a perfect prelude to the generous 3 course dinner, accompanied by hand picked South African wines, which awaits you in our dining area, furnished with antique African art.
The first night, with all its fantastic sounds and noises, is probably the most exciting one. Accommodation for these first three nights is in old style safari tents with ensuite bathrooms, mounted on platforms above the Makhutswe River at the Wait A Little main camp.
We wake you with tea or coffee in the morning. After a light, continental breakfast we are ready to mount our horses and go on safari. The weather will create our day. If it is cooler, we ride out all day to visit Croc Dam. Crocodiles, fish eagles, hippos and lots of water birds can be seen in the biggest dam on the reserve. Under a big tree in the shade we unpack our picnic from the saddle bags. After a quiet snooze, in the grass we remount our horses to begin the meander home. Later that afternoon we take our ride back. All of a sudden Philip stops, fresh tracks... cheetah. He immediately follows the route to go and look for this beautiful cat, the fastest animal in the world. If we are lucky we can follow them hunting or join their peaceful repose as they relax on a termite mound.
When we hear a leopard roaring in the night, Philip looks for tracks in the riverbed to show you this impressive cat. You find him; he stands up, stretches, and stalks to a shadier spot. Philip guides you closer, and everyone is silent as the excitement of entering his world grabs you. Simply by observing him, you share a moment in harmony with an animal that is just as curious about you as you are about him.
The thrills of the morning's sightings are relived over lunch, served on Wait a Little's terrace. Fresh salads, homemade breads, pizzas and quiches served together with light meats and cheeses amply satisfy the hunger brought on by a long ride. The afternoon is dedicated to unwinding. Mandi, our aromatherapist can ease away any aches or strains and a long siesta by the pool perfectly complements her handiwork.
The lovely smell of Ana's homemade cake ensures you awake in time for an evening drive to the buffalo project, where, drink in hand, you will encounter close at hand these magnificent animals.
Whatever tracks Philip finds he will try to follow. On our morning ride an elephant track leads us towards the Kufunyame River, where huge palm trees and tall river reeds provide a good meal for an elephant and plenty more besides.
In the afternoon we pack our bags, leaving for another camp. The luggage will be brought by vehicle, whilst you set off on horseback. Riding south, passing with baited breath between the twin rock formations of Lion and Leopard Hill. The gently undulating roads in this area lend themselves to long easy canters. Giraffe, zebras or wildebeest may pick up the pace and run by your side, elegantly manoeuvring through the veldt. Suddenly Philip dismounts and considers the ground around him, before turning to you to say, come! I think the rhinos are close.
Beacon Rock, our fly camp, is situated at a giant rock formation from where you can overlook the whole Lowveld escarpment. A quick scramble up to the top rewards you with a spectacular panorama over the whole reserve and the perfect vantage point to witness a blood red sun fall behind the looming Drakensberg Escarpment.
Under the stars, around a campfire, surrounded by our horses, we spend the night. Listening to the call of the hyenas or jackals which might visit us in the night. Steaks or chops, cooked over the open fire, with snake bites, baked potatoes and salads are the perfect fayre to help us into a deep sleep tonight.
Waking to the rich colours of the sunrise we revive the fire for coffee and breakfast before embarking on our longest ride. Entering the Makalali Game Reserve, dominated by huge open planes, where you might find yourself cantering next to giraffes, zebras or wildebeest. Spectacular views, over big distances show you the way to Phiva our camp for the night.
This camp is truly spectacular. Built and designed by Silvio Rech, one of Africa's most famous architects, this camp seems to have grown out of the African Bush. Silvio's inspiration came from the colours of Africa; red like the soil, white like the bones, brown like the branches, orange and grey like the rocks. Clay, reed, wood, skulls and lots of other natural resources provided the materials to build this unique camp. Accommodation is in private chalets, each equipped with en-suite bathrooms, outdoor showers and private salas for your relaxation.
The afternoon siesta is followed by a game drive, orientated towards searching for lions. An open top Landrover will follow the directions of your native tracker as he reads the signs left by the big cats during the day. After a long, slow Gin, watching the sunset, the drive continues into the night, where, with luck, some of the nocturnal wildlife will show its face. Bushbabies, owls, maybe even a leopard, may complete your day's excitement.
Dinners are served either at the edge of a big dam, in the dining area or outside under the stars in a torch lit booma. Makalali's chefs are famous for their cuisine with a mixture of European and East African flavours.
Today we go exploring, cutting through the veldt at a canter, twisting and turning around the trees (what Philip calls bushwhacking) and your surefooted horse carries you nimbly through the undergrowth, changing direction as you guide his course, having just as much fun as you. Here and there a tree, felled by an elephant, provides an irresistible jump. Or perhaps the eland, or kudu, seeing us pass, fall in front of us to show us the best path. At the top of the hill you pause for thought, as mile after mile of unspoiled Africa stretches away before you.
Served on banana leaves, have fresh salads, meats and cheeses for lunch on Makalali's veranda, whilst you watch nyala, waterbuck, kudu or other little animals roaming the river systems. Refreshed after a well deserved siesta, we ride to a nearby dam, where hippos live during the heat of the day. Let them entertain you, playing in the water, rolling and laughing. With luck, a crocodile will be relaxing on a sandbank, enjoying the warm evening sun.
A long ride lies ahead of us, leaving the Makalali camp Phiva behind us, riding back to Wait A Little. What will we see on our way? This is always open to the wildlife, tracks of elephant, lion, rhino, and giraffe determine Philip's path. Home at Wait A Little the team eagerly awaits your exciting tales whilst we enjoy another one of Ana's fantastic lunches.
The last sundowner on Wait A Little's open plain will be sad, but beautiful, impressive and absolutely unique. The African fever might have caught you as well and the good bye can be hard. For your farewell dinner Gerti chooses something special - perhaps game fillets like kudu or eland served on pasta with sherry sauce.
An early wake up will get us on the horses quickly, so we can enjoy a short, sporty ride before the transfer service takes you to the airport.