The Big5 experience as a whole, was better than awesome. Wildside accommodation was like double 5 star glamping, the tents were way better than I was expecting, shower/toilet area was better than I’ve seen in some 4/5 star hotels!!, (beds were super comfy too!!). Nights/mornings were cold, but nothing my very unsexy fleecy socks and pj’s didn’t conquer.

Our tour leader Lena, camp staff and rangers were beyond brilliant; nothing was too much trouble. The other Wildsiders were all super nice and I’m hoping to keep in touch with the little group I spent  most of my time with.

I was blown away by the food, (no worries about being vegetarian!!) and everything was so delicious!

Game drives were unbelievable! One evening, we had the great privilege of sighting the big male lion, passing merely a few meters from our truck, his eyes were glued to something in the distance and it was like we were just part of the landscape. Considering that we weren’t really protected in those trucks except for our trusty armed ranger, it was quite surreal.  If that wasn’t already amazing enough, we also saw baby cheetahs with their Mum, munching on some freshly caught Impala, and the cheetah brothers, again quite happy to amble along beside us, merely meters from the truck.

The run itself……I don’t think it has sunk in that I’ve actually done it…..they certainly aren’t lying to call it challenging!!  I was pretty intimidated from the get go, especially when you find out 5 minutes after arriving into camp that Lakeside is… ‘up there’, and it registers that you are looking at ‘the hill’. Are you SURE this is the hill?? Looks more like a mountain to me!!  Then people talk about the multiple marathons they’ve done, triathlon, iron man, how their dog can pace them at a perfect 4.5 minute km….I felt so WAY out of my depth. Driving the course the next day, I thought, this isn’t as bad as I imagined, and felt I could give 3 hours (for the half mara) a red hot crack – which I was soon re-thinking after having to walk barely 50m from the toilet up to the start line and could barely catch my breath, lol!!

I finished in 3h17m,  all considered, I was happy with that. Please don’t send the ambulance with the sedatives and straight jackets, but I want to do the run again, with more training behind me, and aim for top 10 females. Too scared to tell any of my newfound Wildside friends this, nobody seemed keen to came back to tackle that course again!!

I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Big5 challenge, or Travelling Fit. I’m looking forward to booking my next challenge with you guys just as soon as I figure out exactly what that next challenge will be. A special thank you to my Travelling Fit consultant Tina – you were an amazing help, and did more than you know to keep me in a positive head space. Bring on the next challenge!!