Afar Magazine published an article early this year, “Where to Travel the Year According to Your Astrological Sign.” Whilst I don’t believe that our date of birth predicts the future much less correlates with our travel preferences, it is always oddly unsettling when you find a bit of truth in your horoscope. According the the astrologer, Pisces (like me) are drawn to vast open space like the ocean, forest, or desert where they feel connected to the world. Perhaps this is why my weekend walking a largely deserted beach at Prana Lodge at the start of the Wild Coast was a welcomed respite.
Expats often feel as if they belong to two worlds and after time aren’t completely at home in either their home or adopted countries. I experience this feeling of not quite belonging in South Africa every time friends and family visit me here for an extended period of time. This place I call home suddenly feels difficult to understand and I need a few weeks to recalibrate.
Cheetahs are my favorite animal to see on safari and one of the best places to see them is at Phinda Private Game Reserve where a thriving cheetah population increases the likelihood of spotting this graceful cat. With under 1,000 wild cheetahs remaining in South Africa and just 10,000 left worldwide, these cats are increasingly under pressure and seeing them in their natural habitat is phenomenal.
Having eaten my way through many of South Africa’s top restaurants, Five Hundred at the Saxon Hotel is my favorite; rivaling other fine dining experiences I have had in Europe, New York, and San Francisco. There is an element of theater at fine dining restaurants with the choreographed, efficient movements spilling out from the kitchen to the service, and no where in Johannesburg is this more on display than at Five Hundred.
I spotted a leopard! A year and a half after my first safari my eyes and ears have become better trained and I am only just now starting to pick up on bush clues that help in locating an animal. I am certain that my pride will be rewarded with an expertly spotted rock or tree stump next time, but for now I am enjoying my small moment. The only reason I spotted a leopard is because our experienced ranger and tracker at Phinda Game Reserve had already located the Menzi Male leopard in the area. Experienced rangers and trackers are an integral part to an amazing safari.
For most Americans, Mozambique is not the first place considered when planning an idyllic beach holiday, but with 1,550 miles of pristine coastline this is an ideal getaway for dive enthusiasts or anyone looking to relax on white sand beaches after safari. Azura was built with honeymooners in mind, (secluded open plan villas, plunge pools, private beach dinners, and sundowners in the beachside gazebo) but this is also an ideal location for families, friends, solo travelers, and mother-daughter getaways, provided you follow Ernest Hemingway’s advice to “never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”