South Africa — Lions and Leopards and Black Mambas, Oh Yes!
“A week-long exploration into the luxe queer side of the Rainbow Nation.”
Day 2, MalaMala
This morning a monkey tried to eat my muffin. Well, not quite, but the Shangaan waitress decked out in traditional garb says that’s what the family of Vervets is eyeing. Maybe they were plotting revenge after the peep show I gave while using the outdoor shower of my khaya this morning (all but one side of the suite is blocked off my high walls, the other is just you and the animals of the reserve). But it’s also 6am, and that’s liable to bring out the naughty side in anyone.
Early mornings and cool evenings are prime game viewing times — midday is just too damn hot! — and for someone who used to puddling back to my apartment around 5am after a Manhattan party crawl, it’s actually quite refreshing to be up and about, the cool dewy breeze whipping your face on the open-top 4x4. In fact, here at Rattray’s on MalaMala, it’s a veritable twice-daily adventure as you bounce up hills, creep through sand, ford streams and literally bowl down trees to get to the animals.
This is no watch-from-the-sidelines game park, a complaint many have of the neighboring Kruger. In fact, Tom and Laure from NYC, my co-riders (there’s only 4 guests max per car), ended their two-week birthday extravaganza of safari-lodge hopping in Botswana and Zimbabwe here and agreed: MalaMala was the crème de la crème.