D42: And after the safari, you headed to the beach?
Preeya: After Phinda they drove us to the Mozambique border and someone from the resort we were staying at picked us up there. We were staying at the White Pearl in Mozambique and that was an interesting drive. South Africa is all paved roads and then once you cross the border into Mozambique it’s just sand that you’re driving through. But once we got to the resort after the hour-long drive, it was absolutely gorgeous. The website looks gorgeous but it doesn’t do it justice.
Jawanza: And it couldn’t. You’re right on the Indian Ocean. White Pearl is 22 villas and they’re built into the side of a hill and six of them are right on the beach. We were in one of the beach villas furthest from the club house and we were so secluded our shower was outside and there was no way that anyone could see us but we could see out into the ocean. We took an hour and half walk along the beach, we walked maybe two miles and the only people we saw on the beach that entire time were two people going spear fishing. And like in Phinda, we had our own butler and a cell phone that only dialed him. So we did breakfast in our room every day and lunch in the pool house and at night we’d go to the restaurant and you could eat outside. They basically made custom menus for us — the menu literally said “Preeya’s Menu.”
D42: Is there anything you’d do differently if you were to take this trip again?
Preeya: It was perfect.
Jawanza: It exceeded even our biggest expectations. The level of service, it was just really cool. And we met some great people. One night in Stellenbosch we met these four guys at the bar and talked to them about apartheid and America. They wanted to know about Barack Obama. One night we were up until midnight with Matt, our ranger, who’s like 22 years old, and he was telling us about his experience being a white man with apartheid ending and his family owning sugar plantations and it was just so interesting to get to know the people there. And everywhere we went, Karin had (arranged for) a bottle of champagne (to be) waiting for us and a note telling us to have a great time. It was so cool and way beyond what we thought it was going to be.
D42: What advice do you have for couples planning a similar trip?
Preeya: Definitely go through a [professional].
Jawanza: There’s so much stuff that you couldn’t think of that they will. We didn’t have to think about anything.
Preeya: Because Karin and her team had taken care of every transfer, every driver that we were going to be with, everything we were going to be doing, everything was taken care of. So that is the No. 1 thing: make sure you have a good [company].
Jawanza: Also, you have to have one that knows Africa and has someone on the ground.
Preeya: Karin’s team [from Anastasia’s Africa] had someone local in South Africa if we needed a contact at that moment. It was comforting knowing that.
Jawanza: If you do a safari you have to go to the beach afterwards.
Preeya: You may not need five days at the beach, but at least a couple of days, just to not have to get up early and relax for a little bit before you fly home.
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