Imagine a destination where home and adventure meet. A graceful harmony, piquing one's adventurous heart while embracing the indulgence of home with luxury and exceptional style. This is Silvan Safari, a place where home meets adventure. It's my first time visiting the Kruger National Park and Silvan – a dream come true...
Warm Welcome to Silvan Safari
Warm smiles, scented towels and a refreshing drink greet us as we arrive. My eyes hardly know where to look as I take in the natural beauty of my surroundings. Admiring the sturdy magnificence of the grey stoned walls, I amble down the wooden walkway toward the expansive view of the Manyeleti river bed. Half of me expects to hear the opening notes of the Lion King song. This is a view my eyes could drink in for hours.
Elegant Stay in a Suite Named After Trees
Our party of four is staying in the private sanctuary of the Leadwood Family Suite. The inviting splendour of the stone archway entrance leads to an expansive deck with unabashed views of trees merging with the sky.
Our exclusive area boasts a sparkling plunge pool – a welcome addition for cooling down in the African heat – sun loungers, an intimate seating area and a magnificent leadwood tree growing through the wooden deck. It's a scene as peaceful and captivating as an elephant in the wild.
Our suite's grandeur is worthy of its name. Hand-embroidered calligraphy on bespoke furniture and cushions complement the elegant grey and soft green accents.
Our room is light and airy, with the workspace area as relaxing as the rest of the suite; stylish, exclusive, and peaceful. I'm so caught up in the whirlwind of our impressive bathtub, double showers, fluffy fresh towels, cosy bath robes, and inviting beds that I almost miss our handwritten welcome note and bubbly.
"Dear Unathi, welcome home to Silvan Safari," it says. And the sentiment couldn't be more accurate. Silvan feels like my homecoming.
An Array of Culinary Delights
We're about to go on a game drive, but first, we'll have a very high high tea! I live in Cape Town, a culinary mecca known for its decadent fine dining experiences. Therefore, the bush is the last place I expected to find gourmet delights to rival the Mother City. I savour my sweets, pastries, and drinks with childlike delight.
A few hours later, back from our game drive, yet another divine spread awaits us. While we've been oohing and aahing over leopards and lions, the Silvan team were hard at work preparing a Moroccan-inspired evening for us. We arrive at the intimate setting of lamps among trees and small hearths dotted around the alfresco-esque table settings.
On our table is a rotating board of choice dishes. All our meals at Silvan are delicious, decadent and thoughtfully prepared. As I recount highlights from our game drive at dinner, my pescatarian heart is aglow with gratification.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go...
What a feast for the adventurous soul! Ilias and Eli, our guide and tracker, take us on a wild adventure.
At one point, while chasing a leopard sighting, we veer off-road, where Ilias and Eli joke that we're on a Ferrari safari. The wildlife sightings are phenomenal and abundant.
We see mating leopards, elephant herd crossings and impala fleeing from nothing in particular. The bread and butter of the bush, where would the mighty lion be without the steady staple of impala in their midst, I wonder to myself.
We spot and track wild dogs on a hunting mission in one of our sightings until they venture too far for us to follow. In yet another, we watch a majestic elephant. He's so close that, when it shakes its body, dust particles sprinkle like gentle snow onto our jackets.
But then, with the evening drawing in, we need a break from all the wildlife adventuring.
Sunsets at Silvan Safari
We wind down for a gin stop on an open field with a body of water in the background. I gaze in awe at the sun's last light, which appears as an orange illusion of melting lava in the thick bush's soft bristling leaves. The trees give off a simmering light and an unwillingness to let go of the day's warmth.
As the evening turns crisp, Ilias points to the stars. While the sun folds in, the stars unfurl like a tartan blanket across the sky. Ilias tells us about Orion's belt, The Southern Cross and The Milky Way. And for a few moments, we're privy to an African sky safari.
Endings and Epiphanies
The four of us are full of anecdotes from our two-day stay at Silvan Safari. I recall my massage treatment earlier, my therapist paying specific attention to my wrist, something I had no idea I needed. The moment helps me put my time at Silvan into words.
A superior experience that fits my needs then extends itself to create an environment of active generosity toward indulging my desires. With her name embossed in my heart, I bid a teary farewell to my Silvan family, already planning my return.
Ready to Start Planning Your Silvan Stay?
A quote from the Doctor Who series says, "The universe is big, it's vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen, and we call them miracles."
I would say one of those impossible things is a girl finding herself on safari in the Greater Kruger National Park. If you're looking for one such occurrence, our experienced team is here to handle every detail.
Come home to Silvan and let one of our Travel Experts help you with the journey.
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