Every year, without fail, players flock to the beach for their off-season vacations. And a recent trend has seen a few brave souls venture out to experience safaris in Africa.
Enter Maria Sharapova and her boyfriend Alexander Gilkes.
Botswana, Africa ???????????? !! Love at first sight! The closest I’ve ever come to a safari was locking eyes with a squirrel ????. But not anymoooore! The ????’s roaring in the video? That was within 30mins of our first game drive overlooking the sunset at @wearewilderness Vumbura Plains. Which animal should we look for next?? ????????????????????????
The duo explored Botswana, getting up close to a pride of lions.
The Russian took her many viewers on a tour of her lodge.
Thanks to all the great feedback I’ve had on some of the hotel videos I’ve done so far on insta, I’ve created a Favorite Hotels IGTV Series. No edits ( sorry in advance ????). Just me showing you some of my favorite rooms around the world. This one is inside our Okavango Delta oasis in Vumbura Plains. @wearewilderness
But most of her time was spent wandering the range observing the incredible wildlife.
We made our way to #LittleMombo at Okavango Delta. Tracked a leopard ???? within an hour of our first evening drive and followed him until it became too dark. ( incredible!!) Buffalos ????’s ✔️. An elephant ????that was clearly a little excited and ready to mate ????. Notice I turned off the video once he looked directly to us. ????. The zebras ???? in the water, I couldn’t take my eyes off! The Rhino was a b.e.a.s.t!! Why didn’t someone tell me I had to do a safari sooner?! ????????
The former world No. 1 has really expanded her passport stamp collection over these past few years, taking trips to new places regularly.
She then headed to Rwanda, and came across some stunning gorillas.
Rwanda????????!! Silverback ????’s!! We have fallen in love with your country. Truly! ☺️ Early morning treks to locate the gorillas, getting caught in a rainforest downpour, witnessing a silverback big daddy of all big daddies walk right past us without a care in the world ( thankfully!!) ????..so special!!
She also got to meet Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame.
Thank you President @paulkagame and @akagame for sharing your beautiful country with us. For those not familiar with this great leader, President Kagame led the resistance to end the atrocious Rwandan genocide after 100 days of unprecedented brutality 25 years ago. Today he presides over a country that is setting the new pace for Africa. His cabinet is 50/50 male/female, he has banned plastic bags, every last Saturday of the month every Rwandan engages in a National Cleanup day, two days a month cars and motorbikes are banned and everyone has to walk to work, he has protected the national parks and animals, lifted tourism, lured multinationals and international universities to Kigali, but most of all he has united a formerly divided country and removed labels to create a new Rwandan identity. It is clear to see why he is considered the future of Africa #????????#africasfuture
Sharapova's 2019 season may not have gone as she'd hoped, but she's certainly living her very best life during the off-season. She's currently ranked No. 132.