MIRROR WORD SAFARIS
Your soul-enriching adventure awaits !
Mirror Word Safari's is a family run South African based safari tour that started in 2013. Touching on all the finest parts of South Africa, you will experience a wide range of culture, food, flora, and wildlife. Tour the vibrant city of Cape Town, the coastal bliss of Cape Point and Hermanus, the untouched beauty of the Swartberg Mountains, and the wildest wildlife in the South African bush - no fences in between! These safaris trips are designed to be so much more than just sightseeing tours, but a time of soul-enriching fellowship, joy, and relaxation. Join us in exploring the natural beauty that is South Africa, all while diving deeper into the understanding that God believes in YOU!
Our passion for nature and love for animals have been part of our lives for as long as we can remember. Just after we got married in January 1979 we started doing missionary work in the rural areas in and around the Kruger National Park. During our children’s early years, we often camped in the Kruger Park. At times, we even left our tent pitched in one of the camps so we could come back whenever we had a day or two open. Francois also had a special pass to come in after hours to preach in the staff villages at some of the camps. We rented the, then very rustic, Ndzaka camp for a year in advance and would take people there for weekends. We also knew several people who owned farms in the Timbavati Game Reserve and were privileged to go there as a family as well as doing ministry camps with our church members. We just could not get enough!
Passion opens doors, so we were not surprised when an opportunity came for us to build and run our own lodge in the Sabi-Sands Game Reserve! It was an unforgettable time, experiencing the Big 5 on a daily basis, on foot! Francois did walking safaris and game drives while Lydia managed the admin, bookings, rooms, linens, and cooked most amazing bush-meals, baked bread and made deserts on the open fire. After 5 wonderful years that door closed for us and we relocated to Hermanus, where Francois started the first boat based whale watching cruises in Walker Bay.
After almost 10 years in business, in December 2000 Francois began writing again and the book, 'God Believes in You' was released 4 years later. This led to him being invited to speak at various Christian camps and churches and soon we were back into full time ministry. Francois started with the Mirror Bible translating project in 2006 and for the next eight years we would hire one of the remote Manyeleti tented camps for 5 weeks at a time and with a solar panel charging our car battery he would use an inverter to charge his laptop and do the translation work with only animals interrupting our privacy!
During our ministry travels in Europe and America many of our friends showed a keen interest to see Africa through our eyes and encounter the passion of our Mirror conversation. This led to the birth of the Mirror Safaris in 2013. To date we have hosted 9 which included two back to back events as well as a second safari in 2014. Since we only take 10 people at a time, we are considering to again open an opportunity for a second Safari per annum in the future.
Christo is currently living in Cape Town, where he works as a private chef and accomplished artist. A creator at heart, you can find him pouring his time into his beautiful artwork and coming up with new ways to entertain your palate. His paintings are stunning creations that each tell a unique story, and have been featured in prominent studio locations around Cape Town. Growing up in the bush has given him a trained eye for spotting elusive game and being keenly alert to their presence and movements. He will be your trip leader, tour bus driver, drink maker, and hands-on assistant. If you will not come back on another Safari for the magnificent Fauna and Flora and amazing animals, you will certainly return just to be spoilt by him! To view a sample of his artwork, visit his Instagram page here.
Andrew Nisly is currently working with Mirror Word Safari's in an administration role. He first met Francois and Lydia at a lunch with friends while traveling in South Africa in 2014. After hearing Francois speak at a later event, he fell in love with the Mirror message and eventually returned to South Africa to experience a Mirror Word Safari first hand. He and his lovely wife Abigail live in a beautiful little town called Sioux Narrows in Ontario, Canada. They own a small gift and clothing shop and import goods to sell from around the world. Andrew has traveled extensively and has the first hand experience to help with booking travel and accomodations, packing, general travel tips, safety, and payment options. He manages the Mirror Word Safari website and email, and is happy to answer any questions you may have about your trip of a lifetime!
Pre-Safari Adventure 2019
Start: Wednesday, November 6th - Cape Town International Airport
End: Saturday, November 9th - Cape Town
This years Pre-Safari Adventure is available as a stand alone trip. However most guests prefer to combine it with the regular Safari. For guests registered for both the Safari and the Pre-Safari Adventure, your accommodations will be covered from November 6th through November 24th.
Day 1: Arrival & West Coast National Park
We will all meet in Cape Town on the morning of November 6th. We will pick you up from your hotel if you arrived the previous day, or can fetch you from the airport. We'll stop for brunch in Table View, taking in the incredible views of Table Mountain, on our way to West Coast National Park. The park offers beautiful landscapes to walk/hike through, bird-watch, and relax. Once we settle in our chalets nestled among the dunes of the park, you'll be treated to a lovely evening meal by your guide and professional chef Christo.
Day 2: West Coast National Park
We'll spend the day slowly driving through the park taking time to stop to admire the incredible scenery, quaint fisherman's villages, and of course some mouth-watering seafood in Jacobsbaai. We'll spend the night at a beautiful lodge on the coast, where you can relax and take a walk along the beach, take a dip in the pool, or watch for some of the many species of game.
Day 3: Cederberg Wilderness Area and Park
After breakfast we'll make our way east to the Cederberg Wilderness area. We'll spend the day exploring the rugged natural beauty of the landscape, where you'll have the opportunity for some hiking and exploring. You'll have the opportunity to visit some amazing prehistoric areas, complete with ancient bushman rock paintings, caves, waterfalls, and pools. We'll spend the night at a beautiful farm along the river, where Christo will prepare our evening meal.
Day 4: Stellenbosch
After an early breakfast we'll load into our bus and drive to Stellenbosch. The second oldest town in South Africa, and steeped in rich culture, Stellenbosch is the ideal spot to spend a day exploring. We'll have lunch at the world famous Spice Route Winery, and then spend the day leisurely visiting wine farms, shopping, chocolate tasting, beer tasting, and exploring. After a full day of touring the city and surrounding region, we'll make our way to our luxury guest house in Cape Town for the night. If you are continuing on with us on the safari, you'll meet the rest of the group the next morning. If you are instead heading home we'll be happy to deliver you to the airport.
Mirror Word Safari 2019
Start: Sunday, November 10th - Cape Town International Airport
End: Sunday, November 24th - Cape Town International Airport OR Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport
Our returning flights from the bush fly into Johannesburg, and you have the option to return home from there without returning to Cape Town. While this is usually the more comfortable option, some guests find their tickets to be more expensive returning home out of a different airport than they arrived at, so we will work with you to find the best solution. Please reach out to our team with any questions!
Some guests prefer to arrive a day or so earlier to catch their breath and adjust their clocks! We will make arrangements to collect you from your hotel or meet you at the airport if you choose to do so.
Days 1 & 2: Cape Town
We will all meet in Cape Town on the morning of November 10th. We will pick you up from your hotel if you arrived the previous day, or can fetch you from the airport. In Cape Town we will all stay together as a group in a luxury home. We find this much nicer to keep the fellowship contained and having our own space is really special. We will take time to all settle in before showing you some of the beauty that Cape Town has to offer.
Cape Town is the fairest of all Capes and is aptly called our Mother City. It is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with a rich history and has so much to offer - it was rated as the number one tourist destination in 2017! Cape Town, nestled in the arms of Table Mountain (one of the seven natural wonders of the world) is famous for its harbour and its natural setting in the Cape Floral Kingdom. Table Mountain National Park packs more floral species into its almost 29,000 hectares than New Zealand or the British Isles!
We will be visiting beautiful scenic places, which might include the famous Simon van der Stell’s old homestead and other wine farms for wine tasting as well as the spectacular Kirstenbosch Gardens. This is decided on the day, weather, and also according to group consensus. We will make sure you will have time to do some shopping at the famous V&A Waterfront boasting many local and international stores, and will also likely visit Cape Point and go up Table Mountain.
Day 3: Travel to Hermanus
We'll take the first part of the day to leisurely make our way around Cape Point, taking time to stop for the breathtaking views, excellent food, coffee, penguins in Simonstown, etc. We will continue on to Hermanus along the beautiful coastline via Kogelbay and Pringle Bay. After arriving and getting settled into our luxury coastal home in Hermanus, you may have time to do some shopping and exploring of the historic city before evening.
Day 4: Hermanus
Hermanus is a most picturesque town, nestled in between magnificent mountains and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. The Southern Right whales visit our shores every year from July to December and Hermanus is world renowned as the ‘best land-based whale-watching in the world’! Weather permitting, you will have the opportunity to do some boat-based whale watching, or just watch for them and the dolphins from the beautiful cliff path - they come really close! For the adventure-seeker we can also arrange for shark cage diving in Gansbaai, a fishing village not far from Hermanus, world-famous for great white shark viewing. Some of South Africa’s best wines are produced in the Hermanus region - you can come and taste and see for yourself! There are lovely little shops and super restaurants as well.
Day 5: Hermanus to Swartberg Mountains
Hermanus also offers magnificent nature - it is a spectacular Fynbos paradise. Fernkloof Nature Reserve, where we will go for a guided walk, has more indigenous plants per square meter than any other place on the planet! Proteas, pincushions, and ericas are scattered all along the mountainside - this one of our most favourite places!
After our morning walk, we will make the beautiful drive to Francois and Lydia's farm located in the Swartberg Mountains, stopping occasionally for food and stretching along the way. Once you've visited the farm you'll never be the same. Magnificent skies full of stars, wildlife all around you, and sprawling mountains and hills without another home in sight all wait for you to soak up and breathe in.
Days 6 & 7: Farm - Swartberg Mountains
We'll spend the day at the farm in ultimate relaxation mode. You'll have the ability to hike to beautiful waterfalls, swim in the crisp refreshing water at the dam, or just sit and rest in all the incredible mountain scenery surrounding you. There will also be the opportunity to take a few short game drives through the area.
Day 8: Travel to Timbavati Game Reserve
After breakfast we will make our way to the nearby city of George to board our flights north. Two quick domestic flights with a short layover in Johannesburg will find us in Hoedspruit, where we will load into a bus and head for the the magnificent Timbavati Game Reserve.
Days 9-14: Brent's Place
We will spend the last six days of our trip in the magnificent Mpumalanga Lowveld. This is certainly our most favorite place to encounter wildlife. It is home to the famous Kruger National Park as well as many private game lodges. To experience the African Bush on Safari is really a ‘top of the bucket-list’ event. At Brent's Place you will be spoiled with the most memorable early morning and late afternoon game drives on 4x4 vehicles for amazing up-close encounters with the best of the bush. Here you will find an animal kingdom second to none, from the Big Five (buffalo, rhinoceros, lion, leopard, and elephant) and other animals, to fantastic birds, insects and unforgettable sunsets!
Between the early morning and late afternoon game drives there is plenty of time to relax in the camp, take a dip in the pool, or just to sit in the Lapa (just a few meters from the drinking hole). You will be waited on hand and foot by the Mirror Safari and Brent's staff, making sure you have the most relaxing time to enjoy nature and unwind.
Day 14: Blyde River Canyon
After a morning drive on Saturday, we will drive to the gorgeous Blyde River Canyon. The 20-km long canyon is one of South Africa’s most prized scenic riches. It also boasts of being the world’s largest green canyon. The views are absolutely breathtaking. It is here that Francois & Lydia had their honeymoon and where they first heard the Eagle Story. You will be staying at a beautiful resort nestled along the canyon, enjoying walks along paths to various lookouts. The Mirror conversation will continue here with times of rich fellowship and sharing, in between resting and exploring.
Day 15: Travel Home
We will pack up and drive to Hoedspruit airport, where we will say our goodbyes and return home via Johannesburg or Cape Town.
Our accommodations in Cape Town and Hermanus were over the top incredible! The rooms were 5 star all the way with views to die for! The restaurants we went to were unique and so amazingly delicious!! We saw just about everything!! Tons of Lions, Leopards in trees, Baboons, Hippos, Rhinos, Elephants...and that was just the first night!!! The Best part to me is always spending 2 weeks with Francois and Lydia and Cristo! Scripture comes alive, new friendships are birthed and South Africa is the most incredible place you will ever Visit!! Don't miss the opportunity to go on a Mirror Word Safari! Plan now to attend!!!
Full of wonderful, lovely, exciting, memorable moments. The entire Du Toit family go above & beyond with their love and care!!!
-Barbara Jean Howerton
An absolute blast. I could not have asked for a more perfect trip. It was exceedingly above all that I ever imagined and I would absolutely do it again!! I am forever changed!!
-Kellie Jones McPherson
This trip was above and beyond. Not only is South Africa a beautiful place, filled with wonderful people, animals and majestic scenery, it comes with amazing food and drink! We laughed, feasted and enjoyed every single minute of our Mirror Word Safari 2016. The things we experienced and the people we met will forever be in our hearts and minds. The Du Toit family are so gifted in hospitality and mad cooking skills, each day was a new experience in life and love! As my husband said, "a five star experience at bargain prices". Can't wait to do it again!
- Lee Maynard
The Lord had prepared a feast for me in Mirror Safari and all I did was show up! Everyday day was filled with beauty, amazement and wonderful fellowship that words could only understate. I loved that it was an authentic safari (not touristy) and yet I was pampered. Not only would I recommend the Mirror Safari, I can't wait to do it again!
There are really no words to accurately describe the immense beauty or the richness of friendship that you will experience on a MirrorWord safari. Every single moment was full of wonder, beauty, awe, and fun! The du Toit family are the most excellent hosts, the country is absolutely stunning, and the conversations are life-giving. It was an unforgettable experience!
-Sabrina Ludwig Finn
THE most incredible trip of my life! First, my heart was deeply impacted with the message and truths of God's overwhelming love for us that was shared at the Word School Second, the Safari was a trip of a lifetime! All the wonderful animals and amazing scenery were really too much for words! And last but not least, the best part of the trip was the love and kindness that we all experienced from our hosts, Francois and Lydia, and all their amazing staff! This trip/adventure was so amazing that I plan to attend every year!
A few of our favourite photos. To see the entire gallery and guest photos click here.
2020 Mirror Word Safari
Prices will be posted soon!
Prices include three domestic flights, all accommodations, transportation, safari game drives with snacks, all meals at the Farm and Brent's Place, drinks, and all breakfasts during the trip.
Some additional notes on cost:
Meals aside from breakfast in Cape Town, Hermanus, Blyde, and during transit days will be had in excellent restaurants where guests will be responsible for their own meals. A light meal at a restaurant costs on average between R70-R120, dinners, R150 to R250, depending on venue and appetite. Most restaurants and shops will accept all major credit cards, and there are ample banks and ATMs accessible should you want to carry South African Rand in cash.
WHAT GUESTS ARE SAYING
So much more than seeing exotic animals in their natural habitat, our MirrorWord Safari was a life changing adventure! Hearing and feeling Father's love throughout the adventure is a memory that will last a lifetime; we would do it again in a heartbeat!