Effortless Safari

Clients can enjoy Africa without breaking a sweat

By: R. Scott Macintosh

“Roughing it” is a distant concept when your tent in the South African bush comes with a flushing toilet, electricity and terry-cloth robes.

The tents at the Falaza Game Park are more like luxury suites, plopped in the middle of an 80,000-acre private game reserve teeming with wildlife. Magnificent white rhinos roam freely around the reserve, often grazing just yards away from guests.

Falaza offers just one of the experiences in the southeastern KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa that takes the work out of safari.

At another, the Milimani Game Sanctuary, wild bush pigs are known to mingle freely with guests in the lodge’s terrace, that is before Lois Kuhle, a co-owner and operator of the lodge, shoos the animals back outside. In addition to a luxury lodge, Milimani is also a rehabilitation center for orphaned and injured animals, and is located, ironically, in the Rooirante Range near at least a half-dozen private hunting farms. The Durban-based Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife and the Riverglen Wildcare Centre in Ballito work with Milimani to release wildlife on the property.

Rehabilitated animals make periodic visits after they are returned to the 10,000-acre sanctuary.

Serval cats, owls, warthogs and caracals are among the creatures that make surprise reappearances at the lodge until they have fully adapted to the wild and stop coming back.

Falaza and Milimani provide an experience that is strongly African yet very luxurious.

For the more adventurous, customized tours can be designed by Heading South Safaris, a small tour operator with close ties to luxury resorts and the bigger game reserves.

Falaza Game Park: www.falaza.co.za

Milimani Game Sanctuary: www.milimani.com

Heading South Safaris: www.headingsouthsafaris.com