When we arrived at Chitwa Chitwa, the staff welcomed us to the lodge and showed us to the patio overlooking a watering hole. There where hippos, elephants, and impala right before our eyes. It was like the movie Lion King was unfolding right in front of us! It was overwhelming, to be honest. For as long as I can remember, my bucket list trip has been a safari in South Africa, and I couldn't believe it was actually happening! My incredible husband made it happen for our honeymoon, and it was a dream.
We stayed in Sabi Sands, a private game reserve in South Africa for four nights and had time for eight drives. Our guide, Sheldon, at Chitwa Chitwa was incredibly knowledgable and helped us see the Big Five: elephants, lions, buffalo, rhinos, and leopards. Here are some of the photos and videos from our incredible South African honeymoon.
Who Goes to Chitwa Chitwa?
Most of the people on safari at Chitwa Chitwa were honeymooners and retirees, and it was fun to meet people from around the world. Chitwa Chitwa tries to keep you with the same group, so we were with five people from the Netherlands on most of our drives. (Although, after our new Dutch friends left, my husband and I had a couple of private drives.) We had an incredible time with the group including our knowledge-dropping guide Sheldon, and tracker, Bethuel (be sure to request those two, if you go).
Dining Experiences at Chitwa Chitwa
Meals at Chitwa Chitwa are magical! During the drives, we'd stop for coffee or a glass of wine in the middle of the South African Bush. Between the morning and evening drives, we'd indulge in the most elaborate breakfasts and lunches while watching the wildlife nearby. Some animals relaxed right next to us during our meals. The staff goes above and beyond. They even put on an extravagant Easter Brunch to help us mark the holiday while on vacation.
Every dinner was a dream! The staff surprised us with spectacular dinners in a new setting each night. One night, we had a traditional South African braai (barbecue) in the middle of the bush. Pulling up to the scene in the Land Rover, I got the chills. It was pure magic.
Our guide, Sheldon, offers photography classes at Chitwa Chitwa, and he helped me take this photo!
Night Safaris in Sabi Sands
The evening drives are extra special. You experience golden hour, incredible sunsets, then total darkness -- with the exception of the starry sky, and lights from the Land Rovers and guide. We saw our first leopard at night and it was a thrill to see him emerge from the darkness. Our tracker, Bethuel is excellent at his job. He even found a Chameleon in the middle of the night, which we got to hold.
Chitwa Chitwa Suites
Chitwa Chitwa offers six individually decorated villas. They are incredibly spacious, complete with a living and dining area, private plunge pool, and furnished deck that overlooks the watering hole. You can watch the hippos and elephants right from your suite! There is even an outdoor shower, and one night, we arrived back to our suite to find a trail of flowers and candles leading to a warm bath. Check out the video below for a tour of the suite and outdoor space.
The Safari Big Five with Chitwa Chitwa