My fascination with Shamwari began in the mid 1990’s when I watched the TV programme on the Conservation work they were doing. My deepest longing was to visit the Reserve for myself and that came to be when we were on holiday in the Eastern Cape and radio Algoa advertised that there was a special on. We booked a night’s stay on our way back home and my heart was captured. Fast forward to 2020 which was a significant year as my 70 th birthday was in the October.

We were always going to remember the year because of the hard lock- down as a result of the Covid-19 virus, but how could we celebrate in an unforgettable way when there were still so many restrictions? Then I heard that Shamwari was opening up Long Lee Manor for the first time since lock-down, so I booked for my immediate family – 11 in all.

I knew I had done the right thing by the reaction of my teenage Granddaughters who squealed with delight as we walked through reception to the view of a sparkling rim pool expanding onto a plain teaming with animals. A truly ʺout of Africa” scene. For the first evening Game drive I chose to go on the vehicle with my 5 Grandchildren. Frans was our Ranger and he was incredibly knowledgeable and patient with all our questions. A huge Leopard tortoise resting in the road in front of us was gently repositioned by my grandson under strict instructions from Frans.