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Ninja Giraffe, wild hot-tub and Ox-cart camping!

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14th-15th February 2013

Of course, we had been busy making plans for our next wedding during all of our adventuring...I hope you all realise that we don’t just swan around and rock up places and expect a wedding to be waiting for us…right? We do have a lot of planning and logistics to do as we travel and we honestly NEVER. STOP. BUT, it is all very worth it! So, we had been planning with local photographer Andrew Elliott to hold a wedding ceremony on the Eastern Cape, his beautiful home.

Andrew had been amazing and planned so much with so many people that we really couldn’t believe it as we arrived. He sent us an itinerary and we just sat with our mouths agape wondering how on earth he had managed to do all of this!

Anyway, all will become apparent what we mean! We arrived at Fort D’Acre who had happily agreed to have us stay for the evening before we met Andrew.

We entered the gates and drove through the game reserve to the most beautiful lodge and were excitedly greeted by Lammy who welcomed us into our home for the night! We had full run of the place, the kitchen, our stunning room over looking the reserve and the gorgeous pool and gardens too.
We sat chatting with Lammy for hours exchanging stories and when we had bored her to death we made ourselves a chilli and relaxed in the cosy lounge. We were so tired after our days adventures that we were tucked up in bed by 9.30 catching up on a solid 12 hours sleep!

We were sad to have to go after our amazing breakfast but we were due to meet Andrew at our next stop. We said farewells to Lammy, who packed us up with home-made muffins and biscuits and set off to the Mansfield reserve. Where we to spend the night in an Ox cart!

We had no idea what to expect as we bumped down the dirt track to the reserve. We checked in and were handed a picnic basket and directed to our ‘accommodation’ to get comfortable. On route to our cart we ran into 4 giraffes happily chewing away by the road side. They really took us by surprise, especially after the warning on the gate as we entered.

“Gambit is a wild giraffe and he is dangerous”.

We gave them a wide berth and got excited when we saw our Ox cart! Such a great idea! They are original carts from 1800’s and are equipped with a bed…and…well that’s it! We had a look around and then set off out to our next location on our itinerary. We were due at The Halyards to go on a river cruise for the afternoon….sadly looking at the weather it was not going to be going ahead. The sky was grey, the wind was howling and the rain was on and off. We went along anyway and met with the manager. We can’t honestly say we were disappointed when we were told the cruise was cancelled and then invited into the cosy warm spa instead for a couples massage!

30 minutes of back, neck and shoulder massage and then a hot tub filled with rose petals, adorned with chocolate and champagne and we were in seventh heaven! We enjoyed our soak in the warm tub and eventually talked ourselves into getting out. Alex went to get out first and as he stood up the water level drooped and exposed the jets which sprayed water and bubbles everywhere! All over our clothes on the floor and more worryingly the camera.

Alex sat back down and we were held captive in the bath trying to turn off the jets or redirect them to no avail. We had to turn on the taps and wait until the bath was full enough so that the jets weren’t exposed when we got out! We dressed in our soaking wet clothes and laughed at the whole thing with the team. The off switch was in a different room!

We were pretty worn out by the time we had bumped our way back down the dirt road to our Ox cart and were surprised to find Gambit the dangerous Giraffe guarding the entrance to the park. We waited 20 minutes watching his every move carefully (and deciding he wasn’t at all dangerous and just wanted to play) before a ranger came and moved him on so we could get into our Ox cart.

We collapsed into our camping chairs and poured a well earned glass of wine and looked forward to meeting Andrew. He came to see us at the cart and we laughed hysterically at our day so far. We of course got on instantly and thanked him a million times over for everything he had done for us! We had so much to look forward to over the next few days and couldn’t wait to hang out with him and his wife. A gorgeous picnic arrived as we chatted and made wedding plans for the next day.

After Andrew left we laid and watched the stars before retiring to our rather cosy Ox Cart and dreamed of friendly giraffes, weddings and rogue hot-tubs!


  1. Jacquie says:

    Crumbs…I wouldn’t argue with that HUGE giraffe either! Enjoyed the commentary too 🙂 Glad the warden showed up to get you safely through the entrance.

    You almost slept under the stars with your Ox Cart and it would seem you loved it. That must have been some dilemma in the hot tub….you seem to have survived despite the wet clothes. Sweet touch for you both with the massage treatment….you land on your feet every time….

    Happy trails…

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