South Africa is a place I have been returning to every year – for the last 20 years! Time in the bush has a way of making the rest of the world  seem a little less important just for a while. We have entered their world and it is truly a humbling experience.

When I am not in the African bush I am reading about it and wishing I were there.

In the bush, stopping for a morning coffee means a mochachocarula – equal parts coffee, hot chocolate and of course Amarula! I easily recreate this at home as well. 

I took this picture of our favorite leopard Dewane (Dayone) whom we have seen each year for the past 12 years in the Sabi Sand. He has been a force to reckon with, but as happens in the wild, a younger leopard, Ravenscourt, is taking over his territory. We sat with him for quite a while this day and I took this picture of him partially hidden behind a tree.  

Our travels to Southern Africa have given us an appreciation of the complex red blends to be found in the vineyards north of Cape Town. We are fortunate that some fine labels are finding their way to the US. When on safari we enjoy a variety of local wines pared with truly exceptional cuisine: kudu filets, oxtail stew, impala carpaccio, and locally grown vegetables. The chef is always happy to share recipes to sustain us until our next visit.

The best ending to a full day of game drives – sundowners! I am missing those magnificent South African skies but am looking forward to enjoying them once again.

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We traveled to New Zealand this year for a great adventure exploring the country. This trip was 4 years in the making due to the Covid pandemic. We booked in 2019 with Esplanade and they planned a fantastic trip. The Esplanade team worked with us seamlessly over the years as we booked and Covid cancelled our trip at least 3 times. When we finally were able to travel in 2023, they had everything perfect. We were really expecting a lot of confusion due to the multiple bookings and cancellations, but Esplanade had everything perfect at every turn. The accommodations, excursions, transfers, etc. were all planned even better than we could have imagined. We highly recommend Esplanade Travel and will be using them again on our next adventure.

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