We were honoured to host talented lifestyle and travel blogger Natalie Roos, of Tails of a Mermaid, earlier this year at three of our luxury lodges – The Outpost, Pel’s Post and Ekuthuleni Lodge – and are in awe of what beautiful scenes she captured in our special corners of this world. We chatted to her about her love for travel, her standout safari moments from her stay and her golden safari tips.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your love for travel.
I’m one of those people who hasn’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. I’m a travel fanatic and the fact that I love to write and take pictures means that my blog is where I get to share my tips and stories with readers. What I love most about travel is the opportunity to absorb – new energies, new cultures, new foods. I always return feeling inspired.
You joined us at three of our lodges – The Outpost, Pel’s Post and Ekuthuleni Lodge. Tell us a little bit about your experience at each.
The three lodges are so different, and each really special in their unique way. At The Outpost I really loved the unique architecture and the stunning views. Pel’s Post felt like a luxurious treehouse, and of course the service is beyond amazing. The fact that Ekuthuleni is so close to Joburg makes it unique in the sense that city-dwellers have this amazing Big 5 experience that they could easily slip away to for the weekend. The thread that pulls them all together and that gives them all that unique Rare Earth touch is the casual luxury and the friendly staff. To hear more of my thoughts, take a look at my write-up of each property here:
What were your impressions of Northern Kruger and Welgevonden? How did they differ?
The Northern Kruger has such a unique landscape. It really feels like an escape into the bush. I definitely think it’s the perfect place for people seeking the opportunity to get back to nature and take things slow. The Southern Kruger is bustling with visitors and cars, while the North feels like it’s all yours. Welgevonden is so close – that’s what I love about it. And with a smaller reserve, you have more chance of lots of sightings, which is exciting.
You squeezed in a lot of amazing experiences during your time with us, tell us about the moments that stood out for you.
Lunch in the fever tree forest at The Outpost was really special. Being surrounded by all that green, sipping on a glass of Kay and Monty Champu MCC – a really special afternoon. Then being woken up by elephants having a midnight snack right below my room at Pel’s was magic. Watching the sunrise at Lanner Gorge was another really amazing experience. And being in the bush with my whole family at Welgevonden was something I won’t forget.
Your next bucket-list destination?
I have so many! I’d love to go to Vic Falls. And I’m really keen on Mexico.
Top tip for someone going on their first safari?
Never skip a drive. Don’t lie in and don’t miss the evening drive no matter what. You never know what you might miss.
Your three must-have items to pack when going on safari?
Lip balm for those wintry mornings. Sunglasses for an afternoon drive. Your camera – cellphone pics don’t do it any justice.