The Hallmark Channel’s newest movie, “A Safari Romance,” premiered on Saturday, August 12, at 8 p.m. Eastern time/7 p.m. Central time. The movie stars Brittany Bristow and Andrew Walker. Read on to learn all about where the movie was filmed and see behind-the-scenes cast stories. The stunning locations filmed in the movie include venues that viewers can visit themselves if they want.
‘A Safari Romance’ Was Filmed in South Africa at Safari Parks & Preserves That Viewers Can Visit
The new “Summer Nights” feature “A Safari Romance” was filmed in South Africa, including at locations viewers can visit themselves.
Walker and his wife, Cassandra Troy, flew to South Africa to celebrate their 40th birthdays together, he shared on Instagram. After their vacation, he began filming “A Safari Romance” with Bristow.
The cast filmed part of the movie at KwaZulu-Natal’s Phinda Private Game Reserve, Walker told Heavy. According to the Phinda Private Game Reserve’s website, the location includes luxury lodges, safari game drives, bush walking adventures, and impact and community experiences. The reserve is more than 73,000 acres in size and is home to lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, rhinoceros and 436 species of birds. Visitors can get up-close looks at a rare black rhino and cheetahs, along with visiting seven distinct habitats, the website indicates.
Walker told Heavy that the Bristows wanted the cast and crew to be totally immersed in the community, including helping renovate a local school with 66 students and one teacher.
In an Instagram post, Walker also tagged Lion & Safari Park while they were filming in May.
Lion & Safari Park, located in the village of Broederstroom, shared on Instagram that they served as one of the backdrops in the film.
Lion & Safari Park is a 1,000-hectare property, according to their website, that hosts conferences and parties. You can also visit for a self-driving tour or a one- to three-hour guided safari. Private tours and other tours with specific behaviorists are also available. You can even get a package that includes the elephant sanctuary or a giraffe feed.
Walker tagged Adventures with Elephants in another post.
“I’ve always appreciated elephants but this experience really took it to a whole new level. Love that I got to have my dad and sis with me,” he wrote.
Another filming location was the Mabula Game Reserve, which Bristow tagged in a photo while filming.
Bristow shared on May 27 that their final week included traveling from Johannesburg, South Africa, to KwaZulu-Natal for the rest of their filming.
According to IMDb, the movie was filmed from May 10-May 31.
Director Leif Bristow also directed a similar movie called “Love on Safari” for the Hallmark channel, which also starred Brittany Bristow. The two movies are not related.
“Love on Safari” starred Bristow, Lacey Chabert, Jon Cor and more. That movie was also filmed in South Africa, including in Johannesburg at Brookers Reserve and in Belabela at an elephant sanctuary. Many scenes were filmed in Hartbeespoort, a resort town just north of Johannesburg, and two of the main locations were Glen Afric Country Lodge and the Leopard of Hartbeespoort.
The Cast & Crew Shared Photos & Videos While Filming
Leif Bristow also shared a group picture for the new movie last month.
Bristow shared a photo on Instagram that she took with her costar, Walker.
“So excited that the air date for #ASafariRomance has officially been announced,” she wrote. “Andrew and I had so much fun making this film with the incredible cast and crew and I am over the moon to share this project with everyone on August 12th on @hallmarkchannel.”
She shared two hilarious photos about some unusual selfie problems too. “It’s not everyday you get photobombed by a giraffe… twice…” she wrote.
She made a video reel about a part of her trip over there with some of the crew.
Walker posted this touching reel about filming in the location with wonderful people, writing: “With all that’s going on right now in our industry and a lot of our peers out of work, this has been a trip and a job that we truly feel so fortunate to be a part of.”
He also was very lucky to have been able to spend a day with an elephant and fell in love with this beautiful giant.
“Choba allowed us to do whatever we wanted to him,” Walker wrote. “Looking into his eyes you could see his kindness. I’ve always appreciated elephants but this experience really took it to a whole new level. Love that I got to have my dad and sis with me.”
Meet the Cast
Hallmark’s synopsis reads:
Megan (Bristow) is a research scientist living her dream in South Africa pursuing a Ph.D. in Ethology, while working as a ranger on a nature reserve. When Tim (Walker), an American theme park designer, arrives to capture footage for an immersive, safari-themed attraction, Megan serves as his guide. As they explore the savanna and observe giraffes, elephants and lions in their natural habitats, they open up to each other about their dreams and begin to grow close. Things are going well until Amy (Simoné Pretorius, “Hotel”), a woman from Tim’s past, arrives to take over the project. Amy’s reckless disregard for rules puts Megan’s job at risk and threatens Megan and Tim’s budding romance. Megan, knowing that Tim will soon return home, is also wary of giving her heart to someone who lives half a world away – but she may find that love is an adventure worth taking.
Megan is played by Brittany Bristow. According to her bio, Bristow has established herself in the romantic comedy genre with more than 50 credits so far. In the upcoming year, she is set to make her debut as a screenwriter in collaboration with her spouse. Additionally, Bristow has garnered recognition in the realm of indie cinema through works like “Shadowtown.”
According to his bio, Andrew Walker, who plays Tim, has been captivating Hallmark enthusiasts for over a decade, beginning with “A Bride for Christmas.” He’s had leading roles in more than 20 films for the company. Walker’s earned the Borsos Award at the Whistler Film Festival, a distinction he achieved from his role “Steel Toes,” where he shared the screen with Academy Award nominee David Strathairn. Walker also took on a producing role in the film “Oxalis.” His appearances in non-Hallmark productions include “God Bless the Broken Road,” “Loaded,” and “Blindsided,” alongside Michelle Monaghan and Michael Keaton. On TV, his credits outside of Hallmark include works like “Against the Wall,” “ER,” and “Without a Trace.”
According to Hallmark’s press release, also starring in the movie are:
- Simoné Pretorius (Amy)
- Samke Makhoba (Kamara)
- Maxx Monticoe (Darius)
- Nthati Moshesh (Nozizwe)
- Rika Sennett (Anne)
- James Borthwick (Peter)
- Craig Gardner (Amy’s Dad)
- Obakeng Makube (Concierge)
- Gina Shmukler (Ellen)