01 November 2012

{Wild & Free Private Game Lodge}

Today I thought I would share the last of the photos from our engagement weekend!  I realized that I had given you guys all of the mushy proposal details, without ever telling about how we spent the rest of our incredible weekend at {Wild and Free Private Game Lodge} in Bela Bela.  It was our first time treating ourselves to a 5-star experience, and I must say that if we ever treat ourselves again, our stay at Wild and Free will be difficult to top.  From the welcome drinks to the game drives to the food to the jacuzzi - everything far exceeded our expectations.  Just when we thought things couldn't any better, somehow they would!

Our stay included three {delicious} meals a day prepared by the resident chef, Jabu.  Before each meal he would casually stroll out of the kitchen and stop by each table to let us know what he had prepared for us on that specific occasion.  His descriptions alone would already have us drooling, but nothing could ever prepare us for the edible art work that he put in front of us each meal.  Pure, delicious, creative genius people!  And I am not receiving any form of compensation for saying this... his food is really some of the best we have ever tasted!  I'm beginning to salivate just thinking about it.  When we left that Sunday, Jabu jokingly told us that he would be happy to cater our wedding food.  Jurgen and I took one look at each other and agreed that was probably the best idea ever!

And it wasn't just what we ate, it was where we ate.  Each morning breakfast was served out on the deck overlooking the open bushveld and we were able to spot giraffe and elephant grazing in the distance as we enjoyed our meal.  Dinner was then served at small single tables surrounding a large fire pit with a bonfire.  The whole setting was very magical and in the evenings the view of the stars was phenomenal!

Our stay also included a sunrise and sunset game drive each day.  We took advantage of both options and saw a ton of wildlife.  Our guide John was extremely knowledgeable about the area and frequently communicated with other guides so that he was sure we were heading in the direction of the elephants, water buffalo, etc.  All in all we saw everything from giraffe to elephant to warthog to zebra to antelope to rhinos {+ a baby rhino!} to crocodiles.  We really had the best experience and also enjoyed mid-drive wine and snacks at sunset one evening.  It was such a memorable experience... something that we will never forget.

Up early for a sunrise drive!
This type of antelope is called a Kudu - this one is a young female :)
The first course of breakfast.... oh my heart be still.
Our viewing deck... and where Jurgen proposed :)
Mama + Baby
Cape Water Buffalo
Wine and snacks at sunset
Breakfast on our last morning - so so yummy
We're engaged!

Overall, our engagement weekend couldn't have been more perfect.  And it wasn't just the proposal {although that was a huge part of it!}, it was also the atmosphere and all of the teeny tiny touches that the staff of Wild and Free put into our stay.  We left feeling as though we were leaving behind new friends and as we drove off we were already discussing how we were sure that we would be returning in the future for anniversaries and other special occasions. 

Just thinking about it now gives me goosebumps!

{To visit their site, see here!}


  1. This place looks amazing, think Cedric and I will start saving to go and visit them early next year!

  2. I love it!!! Which room did you guys stay in?

  3. Swoon. What a beautiful way {& place} to celebrate your engagement. Congratulations to both of you!

  4. WOW! words escape me!! this is so so beautiful. what an amazing place for an engagement. well done that boy ;) xx

  5. That seems like the most amazing place on earth! I need to book that trip to Africa ASAP! I couldn't imagine what it would be like to see all that amazing wildlife!

  6. Beyond amazing!!!!!!!! What a story to tell your kids!

  7. Wait, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to have your honeymoon before the wedding... ;) kidding aside, I'm so happy for you Jenna! So lovely to see where you got engaged, and that shot of Pumba is brilliant!

    Enjoy all the happiness and excitement, you deserve it!

    xo L

  8. That sky is AMAZING. looks like you had such an amazing time!

  9. Sounds and looks like an incredible weekend...especially with geting engaged!! xo

  10. Your pictures definitely captured the magic of such a beautiful place! Well done to Jurgen on picking it as the place for your engagement...too beautiful for words!

  11. an absolute perfect and very unique proposal weekend/setting! hoe many people get to say they got engaged with elephants around them!

  12. Oh my gosh, my husband would absolutely LOVE to go to this place!! Looks absolutely amazing!

  13. He couldn't have picked a better place to propose, it looks so incredible there!

  14. So amazing Jen!! Such a beautiful lodge and great sightings! We went to the bush this weekend, will put a post up soon! x

  15. Wow! What an amazing looking place. I found this blog by accident, but it is really pretty!! Hopefully you don't care if I follow you :) Keep up the cool work!

    Morg @ morgan-alexandra.blogspot.com

  16. what AMAZING photos! I would love to see things like this. Congrats on your engagement also! Sounds like perfection. I just found your blog from Nicole's...excited to follow along!

  17. Hi there.I am a new reader from South Africa. Congratulations on your engagement! The Game Lodge looks so beautiful :) Looks like you were pampered to the max. I look forward to catching up on your previous posts :)


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