Meet a Member – Marius from South Africa
Ever wonder what it would be like to spend each day among zebras, giraffes, and wildebeests? Meet Marius, a HomeExchange.com member from a wildlife estate in South Africa!
Marius and his family have been members since 2009 and have completed four exchanges so far. Their favorite has been to a beautiful home in Mauritius in a decidedly un-touristy part of town. They purchased their food in local shops and really felt a part of the surrounding community. “This is just one of the reasons why we love exchanging homes,” Marius says. “You get to experience the real culture and people of that country.”
Marius and his wife, Liezl, were both born and raised in South Africa, but moved to the UK in 2000. They traveled to over 30 countries while living in England, and every trip made them realize how wonderfully unique South Africa is. Marius says that the “mix of cultures and people, variety of natural scenery from beaches to mountains to deserts, and the history of the country makes it a truly fantastic place to live and visit.” So in 2006, they returned to home country and decided to settle down where nature would play a major part in the way they lived and raised their children.
Unable to find their dream home, Marius and Leizl decided to build it for themselves! Situated on a secure wildlife estate, the house has 24 hour security guards patrolling on horseback to make sure that the 200 hectare estate is always a safe place for their children to play and ride their bikes. They also regularly take horseback rides around the estate; Marius says it’s the best way to observe the animals. “The animals become part of your life; you walk a journey with them. From the little giraffes that are born and grow up in front of you to the swallows that raise their offspring under the roof of the house and the sick zebra or injured wildebeest that relies on you to get the vet out to treat them.”
When we asked Marius if he had any funny stories about living with the animals, he told us that from time to time, the local rock pythons cause a traffic jam. How many people can claim they were late to work because a five meter snake was blocking the road?
Marius and his family are off on another exchange to Thailand in just a few weeks. Want to swap with them? Check out their listing.
Happy exchanging, Marius!