Nature’s Perfect Playground in South Africa

Gondwana Game Reserve, South Africa.

Today, I feel overly privileged to share with you one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. But before I unveil my musings, I’d like to give credit where it’s very much due- a magnanimous Thank You to my dear husband for planning this holiday for our 1 year wedding anniversary.

Being the spirit junkie I claim to be, I’d like to give a shoutout to the Universe for orchestrating a holiday like so into my reality. In the past year, I must have easily said out loud (+ constantly thought to myself) how much I love Nature & Wildlife. Every evening while chilling in my garden, I must have thanked the Creator a hundred times for giving us the gift of such a nurturing Mother Nature. I believe it’s this attitude of gratitude coupled with the Universe’s mysterious synchronicity that made me experience the one & only, Gondwana Game Reserve.

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Where do you think I am?!


Gondwana Private Game Reserve

Located on the (popularly) scenic Garden Route (close to Cape Town), this 11,000 hectare {26,000 acre} forest property offers a unique, luxurious & soul-enriching holiday experience. They happen to have a plethora of lodging options but the one we (the husband & I) chose to pick was an open-plan suite, Kwena Lodge nestled into the breathtaking natural surroundings.

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What stole my heart was the way the whole Game Reserve was set-up. With super tight security and oodles of love, respect & open space for animals, Gondwana Game Reserve has restored my faith in humanity. Their hotel staff, rangers, guides are so dedicated towards nature preservation & animal conservation that you would probably want to shift careers to do what these folks do for a living. It looks like one of the most satisfying jobs to me.

The experience of being put up in a lodge like Kwena is unique because…

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Elephants right outside our cottage/lodge/suite! This was quite a surreal experience to be honest.
Captured by my R, my divine soulmate.

one day you will have freely-roaming, happy elephants drinking water from the pool outside your room and on the other day, a family of zebras would be very rightfully grazing outside your suite room.

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Thirsty babies!
Captured by my R, my divine soulmate.
Now who wouldn’t want to sleep & wake up to this experience?

Whether you’re an animal lover or not, experiencing this place will ground you to your roots & consequently, the core of your being.

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“Every afternoon before the evening game drive, guests are treated to a sumptuous tea with delicious snacks both savoury and sweet to fill up before embarking on a safari adventure.”
Taken from Gondwana’s Facebook Page.


Safari in South Africa | Private Game Drives

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“Warm December Game Drives | There is nothing like feeling hot pockets of air hitting your face on safari as you explore Gondwana’s landscape on the Game Viewer. Stopping at a lion sighting on a warm African evening and hearing the absolutely invigorating roar of the male lion where every vibration can be felt on your skin.”
Taken from Gondwana’s Facebook Page.

Every lodge/room/suite/villa is appointed a RANGER (superhuman dedicated to giving guests a real taste of exploring the wild) who takes them around the forests and educates them about the importance of having animals roam around freely & happily.  R & I were our on game drives more than 6 hours a day and I can’t even tell you how lovely it was. We fell in love with Mother Nature & Wildlife all over again. Our love & respect for what these people do has skyrocketed.

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Our SUPER-RANGER. When in Gondwana Game Drive, ask for her as your guide! She’s an angel…Gosh, I actually mis her sometimes!
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Hopping on for the 6 AM Game Drive!
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Captured by my R, my divine soulmate.
The Maven Lifestyle by Aakansha
What do think these babies are up to?
Well, they’re both males & cousins and they are grooming each other!
Captured by my R, my divine soulmate.
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Sundowner in the WILD. All evening Safaris/ Game Drives at Gondwana stop for some drinks in between 😉
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Captured by my R, my divine soulmate.
The Maven Lifestyle by Aakansha
Captured by my R, my divine soulmate.
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Who’s a happy bunny, eh?


Our biggest inspiration- Gondwana Conservation Foundation (GCF)

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Captured by my R, my divine soulmate.

GCF is a non-profit organization that is contributing to the conservation of threatened & endangered wildlife & vegetation relevant to the Southern Cape of South Africa.

R & I went on a Cheetah experience where one of Gondwana’s dedicated Ranger is leaving no stone unturned to focus on relocation & long term sustainability of (soon to become extinct) Cheetah population. She showed us around the 500 hectare land where one of their cheetah is housed. This cheetah, Zee has been consciously separated from other wildlife (especially lions) to avoid his attack. He is not just very well taken care of, but is monitored as well beacuse the food chain just can’t afford to this baby go extinct 🙁

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GCF is also associated with community upliftment programs that are focussed towards creating both environmental awareness & job creation.

They are also (every year) bringing in children from not-so-privileged communities and helping them connect deeply with Nature so that these children do not fall prey to alcohol & drugs in their teens. GCF also sponsors some of these babies to go to University and offers them job opportunity.

What if all the countries followed Gondwana’s footsteps?

Where do you thing the world would be?

How about us? What do you think, we as privileged people can do?

  1. Well for starters, STOP GOING TO THE ZOO, CIRCUS & ANIMAL PARKS! If someone were to sit us down and tell us the kind of abuse animals have to go through at these places, our heart would break into a million pieces. We have no right to trap these angels, we gotta let them live freely because that’s what love is- free & unconditional.

Some of us are probably not aware of the harm caused to animals for our selfish needs by the Pharma industries so awareness is imperative!

  1. Use products that mention “fair trade”, “organic”, “cruelty free”, “biodegradable”, etc. These words hold a lot of value and importance but to explain it to you in short, I’d say, each time you use a product with these labels you are making sure you’re supporting brands that actually care for Mother Nature.
  2. If your heart agrees to it, turn vegetarian (if not vegan). We astronomically reduce our carbon blueprint by turning vegetarian (or best, vegan). If you are living in a bubble, let me tell you that the non-vegetarian food you eat is not just being unfair to the poor adorable animals but also taking a huge toll on mother Nature. Animals are fed with antibiotics to meet the growing demand & curb your hunger for chicken, lamb, pork & beef! These babies are caged in awful conditions and treated like crap before being slaughtered just so that they can be poised on your food plate. Imagine what kind of feelings you consume while eating something as atrocious as this! Comment below if you want me to write about this more.
  3. If you’re born with a green thumb, then plant trees and prefer having a bigger garden at your home. Hire a gardener and make him/her grow fruits & veggies … this will put you in sync with Mother Earth.


Foodie’s Paradise

Living at Gondwana Game Reserve is a treat for foodies as well. Their team of chefs are more than equipped to serve you with a Michelin-star level food. The husband & I went for a full board package which means all our meals, game drives, etc. were included in the amount we paid.

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This is how we were welcomed for dinner!
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Fancy some Gin Cocktails?
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Beetroot & Goat Cheese Salad.
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Food=Art.

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Architecture, Design & Decor Lovers

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Whatcha thinkin’?

 

I am still swooning over the way this property was designed and decorated. Creative people would be recharged to experience Gondwana’s rusty chic vibe,

which was such a treat to my eyes!

I urge you all to 101% plan a holiday in South Africa and experience the beautiful world of Gondwana Game Reserve.



Educate your kids

The Maven Lifestyle by Aakansha Shewakramani
“Children love visiting Gondwana especially for the Junior Ranger Experience. During game drives and other safari activities with their ranger, kids are taught how to identify mammals, birds, Fynbos species, and even stars. They will gain a greater understanding of conservation and our precious eco systems, while having the best time in nature.”
Taken from Gondwana’s Facebook Page.

If you’re a parent then you would be delighted to know that Gondwana Game Reserve will ensure that your dearly beloved too learns from this experience. Their Junior Ranger Program takes children on Game Drives and other safari activities with professionals to teach ‘em how to identify mammals, birds, fauna & flora, even stars! These Rangers will educate your babies to love & understand the importance behind Conservation.

Not sure about you but R & I are getting our kids here AGAIN fo sho!

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Anniversary Picnic in the WILDDD!!!
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Captured by my R, my divine soulmate.
The Maven Lifestyle by Aakansha
Captured by my R, my divine soulmate.


If you want to delve deep and feel more connected to what Gondwana Game Drive has to offer you must follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

You can also check out their website, here.

P.S…Please know that none of the content I post is sponsored. I am NOT PAID to share my experience with you. My only vision with The Maven Lifestyle is to inspire you to try new things & get in touch with your authentic self. Plus, blogging keeps my writing bug alive!

Love & Light,
Aakansha
The Maven Lifestyle by Aakansha Shewakramani
“Lion cubs play as dad keeps a watchful eye from a distance.”

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Rajeev says:

    Wooooowwwww Aakansha. Your writing and pictures reflect the heart and soul of this place so perfectly. I must say, the piece about the GCF is inspiring. Can’t wait for snippets from the rest of our trip.
    Keep blogging and inspiring us❤️❤️

    1. Aakansha says:

      Oh my love… so lovely connecting with you anywhere & everywhere; physical reality or digital reality! Next one is up soon and as usual, you will be the first one to know!

  2. Saloni says:

    This article makes me wanna visit this place ASAP! And yes! Please write more about going vegetarian.

    1. Aakansha says:

      Yessss, will do. Thank you for your feedback Saloni. Lots of love & light to you!

  3. Sony says:

    Amazed to go through it…beautifully expressed its natural beauty!!

    1. Aakansha says:

      Thank you my love.

  4. Neha says:

    Thank you for sharing this 🙂

    1. Aakansha says:

      Pleasure my love.

  5. Shivani Shahu says:

    #UNREAL
    I wish I could hug all of them including you 🤗 😋
    Thankyou for sharing and inspiring us 💫

    1. Aakansha says:

      Thanks Shivani!
      Muah!
      Lots of hugs right back to you!

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