More than 15 years of safari planning and booking
Marianne Birrell was born in Namibia and grew up in South Africa. “My exploration of the Kruger region began some thirty years ago. Before that, during university holidays in Zimbabwe, I had been bowled over by the raw yet infinitely subtle beauty of its wilderness and warmth of its people. It was there that my love of Africa’s wild places took hold. A few years on, an opportunity arose to work in a SabI Sand game lodge, and I took it.
"Since then, Kruger's sub-regions have proved equally exciting to me, a journey of surprises and discoveries. Kruger has many faces, and it is vast. The size of Holland, in fact. It is home to a stunning array of wildlife: the Big 5, all the animal icons you can think of, and much more besides. It has busy areas and quiet spots; private reserves within the Park, as well as National Park camps, good roads and picnic areas - in all, modern infrastructure and facilities.
"Best of all, it offers extraordinary wildlife viewing, very close up. Ideally, you need to stay in the Park to get this benefit. It is so worth it. South Africans love their Kruger, and during school holidays it is filled with families on their regular Kruger visit. In general, foreign visitors book the more exclusive private camps: they have less time available, and the strong currencies required for enjoying the added luxuries of a modern safari camp or lodge, with its expert local guides.
"And finally, please meet a handsome golden-maned lion called Simba. He has a forever home at Drakenstein lion sanctuary in the Cape winelands near my home. MBS has adopted 3 lions and lionesses: gracious old Madam, Joy, and Little Leo, all rescued from cages, circuses, or atrocious zoos in Europe or the Middle East. We also applaud wildlife non-profits Kevin Richardson and anti-canned hunting warrior, CACH. Their passion lights a sombre world of vanishing wildlife."