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Trip Report SOUTHERN AFRICA TRIP REPORT

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Just completed a wonderful trip to Southern Africa. We traveled from the US via Europe. After a two night lay over in Zurich, we headed south. As we were experiencing an 8 hour time change, we found spending the two days to acclimate was a good idea. This trip included 2 middle aged women. We booked our Africa portion through Go2Africa.Com. I cannot say enough good things about those folks.
Day 1 – Fly overnight from Europe to Jo’berg.
Day 2 - Pick up BA flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Met by a driver who took us to Illala Lodge in Vic Falls. A couple of hours later picked up to go on a Sundowner cruise on the Zambezi. We cruised the river for a couple of hour and were provided with drinks and snacks. This was a great way to start our Africa trip. It was quite relaxing, we saw some animals and met some nice folks.
Day 3 – Picked up in am for a 25 minute helicopter ride over Vic Falls and the river. After our return we were picked up again to go the Livingstone Island for lunch. Took a cab to BOMA for dinner. The heli ride was great. Opting for the longer flight was a good idea. You can do high tea or lunch on Livingstone. The lunch was quite good. Prior to the lunch we got a tour by a guide. The views were excellent. We were under the impression Devils Pool was closed. In fact it was open, but we had not brought our suits so we did not do that. BOMA was recommended to us. My friend liked it – I thought it was a bit hokey – reminded me of the luaus in Hawaii.
Day 4 – Picked up to be shuttled to Chobe Game lodge in Botswana. Upon arrival, we were provided with lunch. Then we took our first game ride. Chobe is great! The lodge accommodations are outstanding. It is all inclusive including your laundry! Staff is great and we loved our guide – Obie (all guides are female). Note that this is a national park. There is NO off roading permitted. However, there are large groups of animals and the scenery is wide and expansive. We really were pleased with this.
Day 5 – We had an am and pm game ride. Also, during the day we took a boat game ride.
Day 6 – Final am game ride. Then we were shuttled to the Vic Falls airport. Took flight to Cape Town via Jo’berg. Arrived Cape Town in the evening. Met by driver to take us to our Four Rosemead. Long day so we went right to bed.
Day 7 – Rental car delivered in the am. Took the Ferry to Robben Island and lunched at the V&A Waterfront. Took a cab to Table Mountain and then the cable car to the top. We enjoyed all of these activities. Allow yourself sufficient time to enjoy Table Mountain – there is an extensive trail system.
Day 8 – Drove to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. Stopped in Simons Town on the way to do a little shopping. Again – all of this was great. That night we dined at Arnolds – a small restaurant by our hotel.
I should point out that we learned some things about Cape Town. We were repeatedly told by people that safety is an issue and that you must be very careful. We noticed that pretty much all residences had signs posted that they had armed security service and quite a few had electric fences. If you are driving you need to be aware that there are homeless people who wear vests. They “watch” your car and expect to be paid when you return. We were not aware of this so it kind of freaked us out when a guy showed up at our car as soon as we got in to leave.
Day 9 – Drove to Hermanus. Lovely drive! We stayed at Ocean 11. We were provided with a free upgrade as well as complimentary Sherry and Port! The views from our room were fantastic. The hotel is a short walk on a lovely path to the town. We ate at Lemon Butta – had great food and view. Wanted to take a whale watching boat but the water was too rough. We were able to see quite a few whales from the land however. In the am we took in the local markets.
Day 10 – Drove to Froneschock. This is a spectacular wine region. We happened to hit it during wine festival. Two vineyards that we particularly enjoyed were - Dieu Donne for the view and Solms-Delta. They are quite interesting. They have a trust to help the locals – if you are going to this region, I suggest you read about them on the internet and make it a point to visit.
Day 11 – Drove to Cape Town airport. Took flight to Kruger airport. Picked up and shuttled to Sabi Sands. We stayed at Simbambili. Had lunch and then took our first game drive. We found this lodge to be quite different than Chobe. This is a private reserve. Off roading is permitted. The volume of animals is not as large as at Chobe. You have both a guide and tracker as they are looking for the animals. Ours were excellent. Accomodations are very nice and at any given time I think there may be 16 people staying there.
Day 12 – 2 game drives.
Day 13 – 2 game drives
Day 14 – am game drive then shuttled to airport for our long journey home.
This probably sounds like we did a lot of jumping around – which we did. We were on 11 flights in total. However, we really felt we got to see a lot. Also – the order worked well for us. There is not one thing I would have changed about this trip.

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