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As many of you know, I just recently returned from a trip to South Africa. The South African Board of Tourism invited me and 3 other influencers—across various topical interests—to experience the beauty of South Africa first hand and it was easily one of the best experiences of my life!

We started the trip by going on safari at the Shambala Private Game Reserve. While we were on the reserve, not only did we get to see some of the most beautiful animals I’ve ever seen, but we also got to stay at Nelson Mandela’s private home. You’ll be shocked to know that I guessed the right number and, therefore, won the privilege of sleeping in the Presidential Suite. It was just as amazing as might imagine! (stay tuned for the detailed post with all the gorgeous photos). In the meantime, check out a few of the animals we were able to get up close and personal with!

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Throughout the trip, we spent a lot of time following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela—or “Tata” as the people of South Africa lovingly refer to him—and I have to admit it was beautiful to see how much the entire country has embraced Mandela and how dedicated they are to preserving his legacy. It’s an amazing thing to see.

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After safari, we headed back into the city of Johannesburg. The street culture and shopping in Jo’burg was amazing!

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The rest of the trip we spent bouncing around Durban and East London before landing in Cape Town. Can I just talk about how absolutely AMAZING Cape Town is?! If you hear about me abandoning my American citizenship, don’t be surprised if it’s in favor an apartment with a view of Table Mountain. Maybe I could convince someone in Bo-Kaap to let me stay with them??

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I’ll be doing detailed posts on each of the cities we visited, so make sure you check back. Also, if you missed any of the fun, head over to my Instagram page and take a scroll through my photos and the #MeetSouthAfrica hashtag.

A special thanks to the South African Board of Tourism, Spark Loft Media and the wonderful people of South Africa for gracing me with this beautiful, once in a lifetime experience.