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{Video} South African Safari

Sawubona!

After all my years of traveling, I finally went to Africa — a continent I’ve been eager to visit since I was a child. And, as expected, it blew me away.

WPT Alpha8 held its fourth stop at Emperor’s Palace Hotel and Casino in Johannesburg. Episodes are due to air on FS1 mid-year, but if you can’t wait until then, click here for event results.

My trip was filled with highlights, such as visiting Soweto and walking through Nelson Mandela’s home, a place where priceless memorabilia of the great man is on display, just there for you to freely touch. Personal letters and gifts, paintings, furniture… You name it. I nearly pounced out of the moving bus when I saw the below quote painted across a wall. It’s been one of my favourites for a long, long time. What an incredible man.

"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” - Nelson Mandela

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela

Once Alpha8 wrapped up, a bunch of WPT A8 players and crew ventured out into the thick of South Africa for a three-day safari in Pilanesburg National Park, staying at the stunning Ivory Tree Game Lodge.

This was the experience of a lifetime. I feel like I learned more about myself as a human than any other experience, by reconnecting with nature. It offered a refreshing “bigger picture”, helping us all realize we are very much a part of the wildlife animal kingdom, we just live so far removed from it now. It felt like I had reconnected with my roots.

Jungleman Dan Cates, Max Altergott, Lynn Gilmartin, Philipp Gruissem, Eric Seidel and Angel Guillen on safari in Pilanesburg, South Africa for WPT Alpha8.

Jungleman Dan Cates, Max Altergott, Lynn Gilmartin, Philipp Gruissem, Eric Seidel and Angel Guillen on safari in Pilanesburg, South Africa for WPT Alpha8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If I could share only one thing with you if you’re planning a trip, please remember this:

If you want to see lions, do not visit the petting zoo types of venues – I made this mistake. While it’s nice to get up close and personal, many of these places do not have humane intentions. Once the cubs grow up they are sent off for the pathetic “sport” known as canned hunting. Instead, you can get in amongst the animals in their natural habitat by going on a safari. You simply cannot beat seeing them in their real environment rather than laying in a cage sedated.

On a brighter note, I learned that Zulu dancers are incredible, South Africans are amazingly friendly, and females are almost always the most dominant species across the animal kingdom. Love it.

Many of the above snaps are thanks to World Poker Tour.

LG x

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    WPT Alpha8: Eating Termites on Safari | Lynn Gilmartin
    July 7, 2014 at 3:44 am

    […] we were casually driving around on safari in Pilanesberg, South Africa, Antonio Esfandiari asked our guide, Niko, what he would eat if he […]

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    WPT Alpha8: Bungee Jumping in Soweto | Lynn Gilmartin
    June 28, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    […] our week in South Africa for WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg, some of the players and I went on a day trip to the nearby town of Soweto. While there, German […]

  • Reply
    Linda
    February 25, 2014 at 3:18 am

    Wow! Something I have always wanted to do. Thx L for sharing!

  • Leave a Reply