Monday, September 9, 2013

A Weekend Away: Savuti Game Reserve

One of the perks of being a pilot is getting to travel and see some beautiful sites. One of the perks of dating a pilot is occasionally getting to tag along. This weekend I got to do just that as we traveled to Savuti Game Reserve, a part of Chobe National Park. (And, yes, before you say anything, this is work for my main squeeze. I'm just happy the very kind clients let me come along this time!)

My skillful boyfriend brought the little Beechcraft airplane down on a dried dirt landing strip in the middle of the bush - fulfilling a classic "TIA moment". From there, we hopped into a safari vehicle for the forty minute ride to the exquisite Ghoha Hills Savuti Lodge, where we would stay for the evening. Along the bumpy sand road, we saw herds of elephants, kudu, and an assortment of other animals. I couldn't wipe the big goofy grin off my face. I was in heaven.

The lodge is nestled up on the hillside amongst the trees, making it one of the most picturesque places I have been. Add to that the fact that it's an eco-friendly lodge and it has my vote for best bush lodge! The rooms are spectacular, with indoor/outdoor rain showers, plush beds, and the most spectacular view to wake up to in the morning. Honestly, I could hardly believe the view as I looked out from the bed of our tent-bungalow window. Amazing! Everywhere I looked was something even more beautiful or exciting (lion tracks by the camp?!). It was one part adventure and another part scenic reverie.

My boyfriend and I spent the hours watching animals come to and from a nearby watering hole, listening to animal calls (leopards, hyenas, and a pel's owl!!), playing board games, sitting by a fire, and reading our books snuggled up together. Without television and internet, it gave us some much-needed quiet time away from the city and an opportunity to relax and reconnect. Getting to see some game and eat delicious food (for free) was a nice added touch. After all, a night like this would normally set you back upwards of $900! Peaceful and serene, totally worth it, but outside of our normal price range. So this was a treat beyond compare. And, at least for him, it's all in a day's work!

After twenty-eight hours of pure bliss, we boarded the plane, avoiding about a dozen elephants hanging out at the end of the runway, and began our journey home to Gaborone. But first we had to make a pitstop in Maun to fill up the plane with fuel. This gave me an opportunity to see elephants wading through water and ducking for shade-cover under a nearby tree from above as we ascended and then to gawk at the glory of the Okavango Delta from thousands of feet up. It was a sight unlike any other. I have to say, the delta is truly impressive and magnificent and I am proud to be living in a place that has maintained such a natural wonder.

In all, this was a remarkable weekend getaway. I got to see my boyfriend in action, take a couple of really fun flights with him from the front seat (a view that is really amazing), see African wildlife, and relax in the beauty of the bush. All with a smile and my favorite guy. How did I get so lucky?

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