June 13

Answering Africa’s Call: Our Guest Lindy’s Soul-Stirring Story

June 13, 2023

Are you dreaming about answering Africa's call? At Rhino Africa, we're all about exceptional experiences and making a positive impact in the world, and boy, oh boy, do we have a deep-seated passion for Africa! Therefore, everything we do is infused with that love, and we hope to pass the same adoration for this stunning continent that we call home to our guests. And this brings us to Lindy's soul-stirring story...


Our wish for you is to experience and fall in love with Africa just as we have

Meet Lindy...

Allow us to introduce you to a lovely lady named Lindy. Lindy is a valued guest of ours who's been bitten by the Africa bug – and hard! Her love for Africa runs deep and is a shining example of why we do what we do.

Lindy seated in the Tracker's eat in front of a game drive vehicle

Lindy in the Tracker's seat while on safari, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

Once Bitten, Forever Smitten

Lindy and her hubby Ed first stepped on African soil waaay back in 2000. And let's tell you, the spell of Africa really took an enchanting hold. That pivotal year marked the beginning of a lifelong affair with the continent's wonderful landscapes, wildlife and people that captured their hearts.

Leopard in a tree at Silvan Safari

It's hard to resist answering Africa's call

After that very first trip back in 2000, the loving couple returned home to the United States. However, as years passed, the magnetic pull of Africa never waned, and they longed to return. Finally, over ten years later, they succumbed to their desires and embarked on a long-awaited reunion in 2013.

Since then, Lindy and Ed planned annual pilgrimages to Africa, traversing the likes of Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, and beyond up until 2019.

Then, in 2020, Ed sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer.

Lindy and her beloved Ed

Lindy and her beloved Ed, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

A Shared Love

Despite the devastating loss of her beloved husband, Lindy's adoration for Africa remained undiminished. And in 2021, she bravely embarked on her first solo expedition. Remarkably, even in the absence of Ed, their fond memories remained with Lindy, and Africa still possessed that special magic.

Her experiences on this trip were profoundly moving, prompting her to return not once but twice in the following year, 2022. Furthermore, she has even more African escapades planned for 2023.

“Our shared love of Africa is a main part of what continues to draw me back.” – Lindy
Photo collage of Lindy and Ed in Africa over the years

Answering Africa's call enabled them to collect precious memories together, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

A Tapestry of African Tales

To give you a genuine appreciation for the transformative power of Africa, we wanted to share one of Lindy's captivating journeys. However, it's difficult to single out a specific African adventure that stands above the rest. Each experience is unique and remarkable in its own way, and we could write countless stories about them (stay tuned!). 

But let's begin by offering you a glimpse into her most recent excursion last October. She ventured into the vibrant city of Cape Town, immersing themselves in its rich culture and breathtaking scenery. Afterwards, they embarked on a thrilling adventure, indulging in a Big 5 safari in the Great Kruger National Park.

Lindy and her cousin enjoying bubbly at one of her favorite Cape Town spots, the V&A Waterfront

"One of my traditions...A glass of bubbly at one of the many balcony bars at The Waterfront", Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

Cape Town

Accompanied by her cousin, Roselle, Lindy embarked on an epic trip to South Africa – jam-packed with exhilarating exploits and opulent indulgences. Their odyssey kicked off at the Victoria & Alfred Hotel, a place where antiquity and extravagance intertwine, located right in the pulse of Cape Town's iconic V&A Waterfront.

"Cape Town is so vibrant and beautiful with Table Mountain in the background along the promenades near the Waterfront. It's one of my favourite cities in the world, and I love relaxing here before heading out into the bush.  For part of this trip, I was joined by my cousin, Roselle, on her first trip to Africa." – Lindy
Exterior view of Victoria & Alfred Hotel and waterfront

Enjoy a stay of bespoke luxury in one of Cape Town's most beloved hotels, Image Credit: Victoria & Alfred Hotel

At this landmark destination, they were swept away by the irresistible charm of the city, soaking in magnificent panoramas of the harbour and Table Mountain. From hanging out with the adorable penguins of Boulders Beach to visiting the whimsical and windy Cape of Good Hope, they were enthralled by the vibrant energy our Mother City is famed for.

Lindy and her cousin posing behind the iconic Cape of Good Hope sign

"Another must see for the first-time visitor to South Africa. is the windy Cape of Good Hope", Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

"Who can resist visiting Boulders Beach and watching the penguins? Always a treat!" – Lindy 
Penguins on Boulders Beach in Cape Town

Boulders Beach is the only place in the world where one can get up close to African penguins, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

Timbavati Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger

&Beyond Ngala Tented Camp

Following their memorable time in Cape Town, Lindy and Roselle embarked on a journey to the exquisite Ngala Tented Camp, nestled within the exclusive Timbavati Game Reserve. This remarkable reserve boasts a seamless connection with the renowned Kruger National Park, with no physical barriers between them.

In this idyllic setting, they embarked on an unparalleled safari experience, melting away in the opulence of their luxury tented camp amidst the African bush.

View deck of Ngala Tented Camp

The camp prides itself in offering sophisticated tented accommodation, Image Credit: &Beyond Ngala Tented Camp

On their last night in Timbavati, the adventurous duo made their way to the secluded Ngala Treehouse. Notably, this fascinating open-air platform offered a unique opportunity to spend a night under the stars, fully immersed in the symphony of wilderness sounds and tantalising scents.

Bedroom on one level of the enchanting Ngala Treehouse

Experience the magic of Africa under a blanket of stars in the luxurious Ngala Treehouse, Image Credit: &Beyond Ngala Tented Camp

"Highlights of this most recent visit to Ngala were seeing the white lions – one female and one male. They are white due to their recessive genes and so, so rare. What a thrill!!" – Lindy
Young male white lion

The Timbavati is famously known for it's white lions, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

"I also love the wild dogs and one large pack was in the reserve multiple days. We sat watching their social interactions – both while they were on the move and then while relaxing at a waterhole." – Lindy

Pack of wild dogs

The African wild dog is one of the world's most endangered mammals, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

Sabi Sand Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger

Silvan Safari

Their next destination beckoned them to Silvan Safari, located in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Enveloped in the African bush, they revealed personalised service, exquisite cuisine, and spectacular sightings. Moreover, they were privileged witnesses to nature's grandeur, beholding close-up wildlife encounters, including a leopard relishing a steinbok feast as well as a lion pride triumphing over a robust buffalo.

Lap pool and pool deck surrounded by lanterns in the evening

Silvan Safari invites guests on a journey of rediscovery where they can connect with the African wilderness

"There's so much magic in simple sightings – zebra, wildebeest, impala, warthogs, etc... not to mention the amazing birds." – Lindy
Three southern ground hornbills in the wild

The endangered southern ground hornbill is the largest hornbill species in the world, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

"At Silvan Safari, our vehicle was so lucky to watch a pride of lions take down a buffalo – from the first attack until the buffalo succumbed." – Lindy
Buffalo being attacked by a pride of lions

A vary rare sighting of a lion pride taking down a lone buffalo, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

Londolozi Varty Camp

With a bittersweet farewell to Roselle, Lindy embarked solo on the final chapter of her journey. Eagerly, she stepped into the prestigious embrace of Londolozi Varty Camp, an esteemed lodge in Kruger's Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Renowned for the Big 5, particularly lots and lots of leopards, Londolozi promised an unforgettable experience.

She witnessed majestic elephants gracefully roaming the savannah and observed leopards skillfully navigating through dense foliage. A familiar favourite of Lindy's, Londolozi Varty Camp served as the perfect conclusion to yet another amazing adventure in Africa.

Main viewing deck overlooking the Sabi Sand wilderness

The Londolozi Varty Camp, enriched by a down-to-earth nature and a generous spirit, Image Credit: Londolozi Varty Camp

"Londolozi is a magical place that I return to as often as possible. The people are amazing and the gaming is some of the best in the Sabi Sand. Londolozi is known for its leopards and my latest trip lived up to the lodge's reputation." – Lindy
Sleeping leopard in a tree

You'll get to see many leopards at Londolozi, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

"I enjoyed another great experience – seeing a hyena den with cubs playing outside. What a treat! You can't help but smile at these adorable creatures! They aren't as adorable as adults, but hyenas do fulfil a vital role in the ecosystem." – Lindy 
Baby spotted hyenas frolicking around their den

The spotted hyena den in Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a must-see on safari, Image Credit: Lindy Ruggiero

The Time for Answering Africa's Call is Now

Lindy's story exemplifies the deep connection one can form with Africa's landscapes, wildlife, and people, a connection that remains unbreakable even in the face of personal tragedy. Furthermore, we would like to thank Bianca Johnstone, one of our star Travel Experts, for curating Lindy's African adventures for all these years.

We invite you to immerse yourself in the beauty of Africa at let it capture your heart just as it did Lindy's. Join us in forging unforgettable memories, and let us help you create a journey that will leave you forever smitten with Africa. 

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About the author 

Michelle Welvering

Growing up, Michelle always wanted to become a world-renowned artist, a kickboxing-champion and an eccentric explorer – aka a Kickboxing Exploring Artist! After pursuing an education in Fine Arts and opening her own Kickboxing gym in Pretoria, an unexpected twist led her to a six-year stint as a travel consultant in South African tourism. She believes that all things happen for a reason and, driven by adventure, she was eager to find a more “wild” and cultural space to call home. This led her to wander the Western Cape coastline, fall in love with the city of Cape Town and, of course, her workplace, Rhino Africa.

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