Kwa Maritane Honeymoon Part 1

On Monday the 14th of March, Sox and I uber’d off to the Cape Town International Airport. En routeWe flew to Lanseria Airport, hired a car and drove 2 hours to Pilanesburg Game Reserve where we would experience a Safari Honeymoon! What absolute perfect bliss!

We are calling this a “mini moon” because we are hoping to take a longer honeymoon/holiday overseas later this year.

Clouds from the planeUs BW 2Us BWWe arrived at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge and it was even more special to me because in 1992, when I was a little girl, my Dad went on a conference to Kwa Maritane and my mom, sister and I got to go with. I remember sitting in the hide by the watering hole in absolute awe and it just deepened my love for nature.

Who would have thought that years later I would be returning on my honeymoon!

Kwa Maritane is also a part of Legacy Lifestyle, so it’s wonderful to know that you can earn Legacy Rands and also spend Legacy Rands. It’s one of the best Rewards Programs I’ve ever been on and it’s completely free!

After a welcome drink and check in, we were shown to our spacious hotel room. There was a welcome bottle of MCC and delicious platter of chocolate covered fruit with a personal note from the GM, Patrick waiting for us. My heart skipped a beat seeing Mr and Mrs. Georgiades … Yay!Kwa MaritaneWelcome DrinksChocolate strawbsWelcome noteHotel Room 2Our Hotel RoomWhat was the first thing my husband (I really am like a little girl – I just squealed typing this!) did for me when we got into our room?

Made me tea. What a guy!Husband making me teaWe enjoyed a cup outside on our patio looking out for any animals.Tea with a viewIt was then off to explore before we went to the restaurant for sundowners and dinner.PoolChess.jpgThe restaurant has the most delicious buffet section for breakfast and dinner, and a la cart for lunch. I’m still dreaming of the roast lamb and pork with crackling. I gobbled it all up before I even thought to photograph it.CarveryRestaurantWhen we returned to our room, the bed had been turned down and little Kwa Maritane chocolates were placed. It’s this kind of attention to detail that makes the experience even more special.Turned down bed Chocolate on pillowWe had an early night and set a wake up call for 04h30. At 5am, we helped ourselves to tea and coffee before heading off on a Game Drive. We climbed into the open vehicle and went on our way. Sox has never seen Elephants in the wild and I was hoping that we would, but the rangers said that they hadn’t seen the herd of elephants in 5 days…Coffee for my husbandCoffee Time 2Coffee Time 3Coffee Time 4Coffee timesunrise 2We got to see the endangered, Brown Hyena by a Giraffe carcass. Brown Hyena 2Brown Hyena 3Fish EagleHABHABalloonHammerhead bird

Hippo Water


HippoHot air balloon 2Hot air balloonIMG_3184



Baby Zebra, still so fluffy.

IMG_3191IMG_3210IMG_3393On a game drive
WarthogAfter the drive, we headed off for a breakfast of champions… Each meal is the ultimate feast of fresh ingredients!Breakfast 2Breakfast AreaBreakfast buffetBreakfast cheeseBreakfast with husbandCheese and meatsChelsea BunsFruit 2FruitOmelette modelOmeletteWhile we were eating and looking into the distance of the reserve, I said this to Sox: “Now all we need is the herd of elephants to come down the mountain and into view for you!”

Not even 2 minutes later as I was staring at the mountain, I suddenly saw a large “rock” move. I sat right up. “You’ve got to be kidding me!! Is that Elephant?”

I had goosebumps! There they were… They came all the way down to the hide and then right up to the restaurant fence. The babies were the cutest.IMG_3620IMG_3624IMG_3635IMG_3638IMG_3642IMG_3643IMG_3647IMG_3654IMG_3670IMG_3676IMG_3677IMG_3678IMG_3683IMG_3685IMG_3694IMG_3698IMG_3716We spent some more time in the hide – there’s a long tunnel to get there and it felt like we were in a Jurassic Park movie.Silence TunnelOnce the Elephants had headed off, we went off to spend time at the pool Husband by the oolHusband in pool
IMG_7402After being ridiculously lazy around the pool, we decided to indulge in the special they were running at the Kwa Maritane Spa. 2 hours of pure bliss = a full body exfoliation, a customised body wrap, scalp massage and full body mind melting massage. It was HEAVENLY. The bonus was that we used some of our Legacy points (Legacy Rands) and also earned Legacy Lifestyle points.Spa7Spa6spa 5Spa pedimanuSpa 3Spa love birdsSox SpaSpa treatment 2Spa 4Spa poolKissesThe weather took a turn and we bundled up in warm, dry clothes ready for another game drive. We were sent out with Ranger Sheldon, on our own private game drive. It was probably one of the very best we went on. It’s not that we got to see a lot; it was that Sheldon was so informative and passionate about what he does! We learned so much!Jackal 2KuduImpalaWe found this beautiful, young Lioness wandering alone. They think she got lost from the rest of her pride or possibly got kicked out, but the latter seemed a bit unlikely. You can see she is young by the spots still on her legs. I had no idea that Lions were born with spots and they disappear as they grow older. If you look really close, you can see she has one blue eye and one brown eye. Really amazing. We actually got to see her on 2 different game drives and I do wonder if she has reunited with her pride again. Nature can be beautiful and cruel at the same time.Lion 1Lion 2Lion 3Lion 6IMG_7445Lion 5Lion 4IMG_3825IMG_3813On our way back to the lodge, Sheldon pointed out a chameleon. On closer inspection we realised she was completely blind – her eyes were shut closed and swollen. Poor thing is a proper survivor though… if you look at her belly, you can see she is full of eggs. Fascinating.

We found another smaller chameleon and you could see how it’s eyes worked perfectly. They’re so cute. I immediately thought of the character, Pascal from the Disney film Tangled.chameleon momchameleonchameleon 2It started pouring with rain and we snuggled up with red wine, dinner and our books!

We were really sad when we had to check out; even though our Safari Honeymoon was continuing at a new luxury Lodge. Every single staff member made you feel like a welcomed family member. The service was incredible, the food outstanding and Kwa Maritane remains a very special place for me, and now us.

I must confess, I was pretty ill the whole week too – it started off as a cold after the wedding and turned into a chest infection, so I am on antibiotics and wasn’t feeling my absolute best, and even though we spent 3 nights at Kwa Maritane, it felt as relaxing as if it had been for over a week!

We left the Lodge and headed straight for Bakubung, which shares the reception with Tshukudu Lodge – our next destination. I’m excited to share that unbelievably magical experience with you tomorrow.

I can’t recommend Kwa Maritane enough and I’d suggest you book your trip. Click here.

If you haven’t signed up for Legacy Lifestyle Rewards yet, you’re crazy not to. It’s free and 1 Legacy Point = 1 Rand, so you really do get to save and spend.


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  • Reply Ian Maitland-Stuart

    Nice one Bails. Congrats again to you and Sox

    March 21, 2016 at 11:22 am
  • Reply Caley

    AMAZING!!! Nothing like a bush holiday – we went to Phinda for the first few days of our honeymoon nd it was my best! x

    March 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm
  • Reply Megan Hartwig

    Wow….looks like you had an AMAZING Honeymoon!!! Congrats to the both of you again. xx

    March 22, 2016 at 8:05 am
  • Reply Vanilla Blonde - Tshukudu Lodge Honeymoon - Vanilla Blonde

    […] If you missed the first part of our Honeymoon, you can read it here. […]

    March 22, 2016 at 10:17 am
  • Reply A Daft Scots Lass

    Brilliant and soooo romantic.

    March 22, 2016 at 10:56 am
  • Reply Leeanne

    Absolutely gorgeous! LOVE the pics of the ellies and cannot believe the beautiful lioness with two different coloured eyes! Amazing. Looks like you had a very special time there. xx

    March 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm
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