If you have ever wondered what destination could one travel to that would give the utter sense that you had just experienced the adventure of a lifetime, then you are heading in the right direction by reading this website!
My husband and I booked a 16 night Southern African Tour & Safari, April 20 - May 6/18, through our Agent Phyllis Fanning at the Parksville office of Expedia Cruiseshipcenters, with our hosts being Ronnie and Dee Pitcher who are owners of the Franchise. The Pitchers are not just hosts - they become dear friends who have zany senses of humour, lead us through various airports, ensure our travels are smooth and most of all they make their job look easy by always being one step, if not many more, ahead of each day’s anticipated plans. Don’t hesitate to book a tour with the Pitchers as you will determine who is the real boss for the adventure! It is all good as we travelled with senses of wonder, awe, plenteous food, much laughter and great comradeship.
Every day from April 19, when we met the other 16 members of our tour in Johannesburg, until we departed for home on May 6 we were immersed in the beauty, animals, food, culture, and magical moments of Africa; from cruising the Chobe River in Botswana to watch elephant families mud bathing on the shoreline, the crocodiles lazily sunning themselves, hippos swimming nearby, and an African sunset over the river, to return to the always smiling, singing and welcoming staff of the camp. Zimbabwe gave us spectacular Victoria Falls. South Africa’s Cape Town presented us with a very welcomed day of rain which they needed but undaunted we toured the fort, witnessed the cannon fire at Signal Hill, walked the Bo Kaap with its brightly painted houses, and walked the City Market, craft market and water front. Stellenbosch’s winelands and wine tasting were a perfect day along with a day of strolling in the lovely university town, a tour of a balsamic vinegar farm tour, and a kitchen demonstration in the lovely Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel.
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch
Then off to our game viewing safaris at Timbavati Game Reserve - a not to be missed experienced of deluxe accommodations, amazing game sighting days and nights not only on the game reserve but also from the decks of the huts and main eating facility. Have you ever seen herds of elephants come to a swimming pool to drink? You can here! It is mesmerizing to watch the babies being protected and helped to drink from the pool. Guess they like the taste of the pool chemicals! Don’t miss a bush walk - amazing lessons of tracking and foliage uses. Then a day of driving the majestic Panorama route of scenic beauty to Hazy View and Hippo Hollow for the night - no hippos on our visit. Onward to a Shanga Village for a tour before entering the Sabi Sand Reserve to Nottens Bush Camp.
Blyde River Canyon Panorama Route
It is a magical place! Game drives, scenery, staff, food, accommodations, animals abound and if I tell you too much it will spoil the surprises of this special place.
We experienced an African night rain, thunder and lightening storm while we ate our dinner by candlelight. Johannesburg gave us a cultural view of South Africa with the Apartheid Museum, Nelson Mandela home, Soweto township and museum and city views. Our days and nights in amazing accommodations from Bush Camps to Boutique Hotels were beautiful one of a kind experiences. The staff, guides and trackers in every location couldn’t do enough for us. They were genuinely interested in who we were and where we lived. They worked tirelessly to make our adventures one of a kind as well as making sure we were safe at all times. The food was extraordinary and we were never hungry or without a place to eat.
Don’t ever hesitate to visit Africa as it captures your heart and imagination. It is indeed the trip of a life time with many thanks to Ronnie and Dee Pitcher!
Valerie & John McMillan