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How I got engaged on safari in South Africa

How I got engaged on safari in South Africa

I have known Jeff Stivers since high school. We booked our custom South Africa safari with Wildland because of him but he and other staff took a lot of time to craft a unique and personalized experience full of authentic and unforgettable moments.

I wanted to safari in Africa with my girlfriend and propose to her, and share a lasting memory on an amazing trip to start our time together. Jeff's intimate knowledge of our travel sites, as well as his personal friendship with our lodge's owners, led to a perfect proposal. He crafted the perfect engagement, from sunrise to sunset. We were treated to a private bush walk to view my fiance's favorite animal, a sunset, candle-lit dinner with champagne at the lodge's secluded bird hide, and most importantly, the perfect moment to propose. I can honestly say that Wildland's staff gave us the perfect engagement!

We loved our experience at Tanda Tula Safari Lodge. Tanda Tula is a true four or five star experience. The tents are extremely comfortable, though you don't spend much time in them. The food and drink are abundant and delicious. The whole lodge is incredibly authentic and comfortable. If you love a real cozy lodge feel, this is the place. The views from the tent and lodge are great, and the animals on the grounds make it worth every penny.


Everything about Tanda Tula created a once in a lifetime atmosphere. We knew it would be great from the start, as we saw giraffe, zebra, and kudu on the fifteen minute drive from the airstrip to the lodge. Our guide and driver, Scotch, was a friendly and fun guide with twenty years of experience. Our tracker Patrick, helped us find all the animals on our "must see" list. Each game drive was a special experience. Some of the highlights of our drives were waking up a crush of rhinos, being in the middle of a herd of 500 buffalo coming to a watering hole to drink, watching two giraffe twist their necks around each other in challenge, or seeing a male lion roaring into the night. Add to this a female lioness eating a buffalo, and seeing a leopard in a tree right above you at sunset, and you have an experience that is impossible to beat.

The morning drive included a coffee stop, followed by a gourmet breakfast by a river wash. The evening drive ended with a perfect sundowner followed by a gourmet, three-course meal. Even the lodge was amazing. Warthog, monkeys, and inyala frequent the pool and fill the grounds with life. The staff was extremely pleasant. Our guides made each sighting fun and seemed to share in our enjoyment and wonder during sightings. Dan, the lodge staff manager, and trained guide himself, gave us our private bush walk to see elephants at a watering hole, and also served our engagement dinner. He was extremely friendly and attentive, and we considered him a friend that had shared in our experience. We honestly thank him and the entire Tanda Tula team, along with Wildland Adventures for giving us the perfect engagement!

All of our guides were extremely knowledgeable and professional. All made safety a priority while providing the best game-viewing experience possible. Scotch and Patrick at Tanda Tula were our favorite guides, because they made the experience fresh and important. Even though they do it every day, they seemed excited to see the animals with us. Of particular note is Dan at Tanda Tula. He took us on a bush walk that I later found out was his first with guests. He was a true professional, but very knowledgeable, approachable, friendly, and fun. His attention to the engagement plans Jeff had created for me were impeccable. He really made our stay at Tanda Tula one where we felt like we were part of the family there during our stay. I can't thank him enough! 

The engagement dinner Jeff and Katharine set up was the highlight of our trip. Our engagement was really a unique, perfect experience and we owe it all to Wildland Adventures! Every detail was exactly what you'd want, even without asking for it. The bird hide at the watering hole at sunset was pathed with lanterns and baskets of fire, all leading to an African dressed table with champagne and a gourmet dinner.

Thank you Jeff, Katharine, and Wildland Adventures for the trip of a lifetime!


Casey Geloneck, HI

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