Magical! What else can I say about my amazing experience travelling to South Africa with Dee and Ronnie Pitcher of Expedia Cruiseship Centers. Africa was not particularly on my radar as far as my travel hopes and wishes, but I decided to take the chance and accompany Dee and Ronnie on a trip to their beautiful homeland. Who could better show me the highlights of such a spectacular land than those who had lived there themselves, and indeed, what incredible hosts they were!
Although our first game experience happened during an uncharacteristic deluge, Hluhluwe was nonetheless a wonderful experience. We stayed in the lovely Malala Lodge, and thoroughly enjoyed their hospitality as we huddled near the fireplace keeping warm and drying out our sodden shoes and socks.
Both the Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre and Cheetah project, and the Hluhluwe Game Reserve afforded us the opportunity to enjoy the animals in their natural habitat. Can you imagine petting one of those beautiful wild cats?
Two five star game reserves, Hilltop Lodge in Simbavati, and Arathusa Safari Lodge in Sabi Sands were quite different but both gave us memorable experiences. The comfortable accommodation was deluxe, food was great, and the staff of both game reserves were informative, friendly, and willing to cater to our every whim.
But of course, the reason why we visited these lodges was, without a doubt, the game drives. Driving through the unique bush landscape, with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, along with sightings of exotic birds and animals was truly an experience of a lifetime. Leopards, lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes….each time one appeared nearby I could not help but sit amazed in wonder, while hauling out my camera for one more shot. The trackers and rangers who accompanied us were enthusiastic and knowledgeable,
regaling us with incredible stories of their beloved land, animals, and birds.
Road trips between locations were also spectacular. The Blyde River Canyon, Bourkes Potholes, Cape Peninsula National Park, and Boulders Visitor Centre were only a few of the sites we enjoyed along the way.
Visiting Cape Town, and Stellenbosch in wine country, gave us the opportunity to enjoy two beautiful ‘Boutique Hotels’ where again the staff, service, accommodations and food were excellent.
As I said in the beginning, this trip was magical. I so much enjoyed the way each adventure was unique, and flowed smoothly into the next… this was a well planned and well executed trip so kudos to our hosts Ronnie and Dee. Thank you for this wonderful experience which I enjoyed so much that I have already signed up to go on their trip to Africa next year!
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