Aaaafricaaaa. Image courtesy of Hemera/Thinkstock.

Africa.  Five minutes after leaving the Mala Mala airstrip, we are stopping the truck so a mother and baby giraffe can cross the road.  I am in awe of the raw landscape, the wildlife, and my accomodations.

I am staying at the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve which borders Kruger National Park in South Africa.  Each day begins at 6 am when tea and pastries are delivered to my sitting room via a double door cabinet so that I won’t be disturbed.  There are 3 other guests in the open Land Rover along with a local tracker and  a ranger for our morning wildlife drive.  After zig-zagging through a maze of dirt roads, we slow to a stop and the ranger shuts off the engine.  In the middle of the road there is a little yellow furball making a sound that resembles a bark more than a roar.  A seemingly solo lion cub, less than 6 months old is playing predator to some imaginary prey.  As I turn my head to survey the horizon, I see a female lion approach the rear of the truck.  The only recognition that we receive from the lioness is a bored sideways glance as she passes within 10 feet of us on her way to the cub.  This is all within the first few hours of touchdown.

This, is what safari is all about.

I’ve had some incredible experiences while traveling, but they pale in comparison to my African safari.  If it’s not on your ‘to do’ list, it should be.


Richard has been in the Essential Style for Men mix since its inception in 2009. When he isn’t busy serving as the ESM’s Director of Fashion & Style, you may find him on the beach playing volleyball, or working hard in Thailand shooting with a beautiful Brazilian supermodel.