Oscar’s Restaurant and Lodge, Witrivier, South Africa

Out of the Kruger Park for the first time in four nights last night, overnighting in Witrivier (White River in Afrikaans). Not that there is any need to be outside the Kruger as accommodation and comforts are all well provided for be it in private camps or the park’s camps.

Oscar’s is a four star lodge located on a golf estate outside of the park. It is a little hard to put into words the attractiveness of the South African experience as it pertains to the contrast between one morning sitting amidst a pride of lion or a herd of elephant in their natural surrounds and the same night sitting in a real estate development you might find in any developed part of the world This juxtaposition is one of the many qualities which make South Africa unique. You just cannot get the comforts of a place like Oscar’s in such close proximity to a game experience like the Kruger Park, all while self-driving between the two locations.

The remainder of southern Africa and East Africa will offer either the wildlife experience of the Kruger whether it be the Masai Mara in Kenya or the Okavango Delta in Botswana but neither will add to it the chance to drive yourself through the reserves by day and then depart to play eighteen holes of golf on a championship course like Leopard Creek Golf Club outside the Melelane Gate on the Crocodile River. The rest of African does not have the infrastructure to support such an endeavor nor are their first world amenities in the way of accommodation and extracurriculars just outside the park as there is here. Just is not to be found anywhere else.

Oscar’s is owned by a couple of Austrian descent, the husband, Oscar, and his wife Tanya. Spent the morning overlooking the golf course and working on my computer while a group of doctors gathered for a meeting outside. This spot was just what I needed to find so as to spend some time getting caught up on my computer work. There were a couple of Europeans working in the hotel, one from Germany and the other from Austria.

Since Monday I have driven about 300 miles through roads and infrastructure up to western standards, seen wildlife in a natural setting almost the size of Massachusetts and spent the night on a golf course community any links aficionado would enjoy.

Most people are left to choose between a first world and a third world vacation. They either think about enjoying the history and amenities of somewhere such as western Europe or they are ready to take in the back to the basics of nature, sun, sand and surf in the Caribbean or the like in Asia. South Africa is one of the few destinations in the world where both goals can be accomplished.