Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page >

A First Journey to Southern Africa: Cape, Falls, and Animal Safaris

A First Journey to Southern Africa: Cape, Falls, and Animal Safaris

Apr 10th, 2016, 11:06 PM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,321
Ann, thanks for the tip. There's already been a couple of wood piece that have caught my eye here in Cape Town.

Lolazahra, I'm happy to bring back pleasant memories for you. Given your multiple visit, any hikes in and around the city you may suggest given what we've done so far? We probably have room for something tomorrow.

Nina88, will do.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2016, 03:15 PM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,321
A Perfect Day, Cape Peninsula Style

What a glorious day our Sunday was! It was sunny and warm the entire day, and perfect for an outing to Cape Peninsula. Of course, we had no idea what the weather would be when we made reservations for our day trip about two months ago. All we could do is hope for the best, and indeed the day unfold just as we would have wanted; we could not have asked for anything more.

Along with Table Mountain and Robben Island, a day down the coast exploring Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope was an obligatory part of our trip to Cape Town. And we also had our hearts set on visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach. Unfortunately none of us are drivers and we wanted to experience Cape Peninsula on our own terms. The next best option for us was to go on a private tour in which we could instruct our driver to follow an itinerary that suited our interests. We proceeded with a search of available private guides and contacted three of them. The only response I received was from Clive de Bruyne, who I found online, but he was not available on Sunday. Instead he recommended that I contact PG Tops Travel & Tours, and helped connect us. Madelaine from PG Tops responded almost immediately. She understood what we wanted and worked with us to book a day out to the Cape Peninsula. She and her colleagues responded to my questions and gave us what we wanted.

On Sunday we were met by our driver, Johan Wolmarans, at our hotel promptly at 8:30am and off we went. We drove along the Atlantic coast from Green Point near the stadium that was built to host the 2010 World Cup down to Camps Bay, where we had our first stop. It was here that we had our first (and possibly only on this trip) glimpse of the Twelve Apostles with the beautiful sandy beach and ocean down below. It was here that we began to fall in love with Cape Town and thought about it in comparison with two of our favorite cities in the world – Sydney, Australia; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We only stopped at Camps Bay for a quick photo stop before heading to Hout Bay for our 9:30 cruise to Seal Island.

Hout Bay is very picturesque with a harbor filled with pleasure boats and other vessels. Although I’ve not been to Northern Europe, the misty hills, jagged mountains, and smooth waters remind me of what I imagine parts of Scandinavia, particularly Norway, to appear. Our boat, the Calypso, was filled with guests from two medium-sized tour groups and a handful of stragglers including us. Fortunately the tour groups were not overbearing or overwhelming as they frequently can be. The cruise lasted approximately 45 minutes and we sailed to an island off the coast that is home to what seemed to be hundreds of seals. It was fun to see them move around on the island and playing amongst themselves in the water.

From Hout Bay we continued down the coast along Chapman’s Peak Drive. While I understand its popularity, I was not wowed by this stretch of the coast. We were all far more impressed with the scenery around Camps Bay and will truly fall in love with the region when visiting Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. For all the expectations, Chapman’s Peak Drive, for me, does not compare favorably with similar destinations such as the California Coast and Australia’s Great Ocean Road. Nevertheless, the drive was scenic and I enjoyed admiring the engineering accomplishes along the way.

We continued down the coast passing the villages of Kommetjie and Misty Cliffs before entering Table Mountain National Park. Along the way we spotted a bontebok and a couple of ostriches at a nearby farm. We continued south and eventually reached the starting point of the trails that led down to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. We started with Cape Point, walking up the path that leads from the visitors’ center to the lighthouse atop the cape. The walk up was fairly easy (those who prefer can also take a funicular up most of the cliff). We particularly admired the gorgeous views of Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope from the lookout points carved into the side of the cliff.

From Cape Point, we headed back to the visitors’ center and onward to Two Oceans Restaurant, where our drivers had made reservations for us for lunch. The restaurant is located on the coast with wonderful views of the sea. The food was to match. We each ordered seafood, along with Johan, who we asked to sit with us. The calamari was delicious, as were the crayfish, langoustines, and prawns.

Fueled, we continued our exploration of this section of coastline. We followed the Cape of Good Hope Scenic Trail which runs between Cape Point and the cape with its namesake. Rambling down some stairs, we headed left towards the Cape Point lookout. From here we turned back and headed due east towards the Cape of Good Hope. The views kept on improving with our every move. This was where we truly fell in love with the region. How could the scenery, already perfect, get any better! And get better it did. From the interesting geologic formations that looked different from one section of the coast to the next to the wider and wider panoramas to secluded Diaz Beach, we were at a loss for words. I wish I had so much more time here, but it was getting late and time to move on.

We made our way back up the coast, this time on the eastern side hugging False Bay (we were on the western side all day, along the Atlantic seaboard) until we reached our final destination of the trip, Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. We spent approximately a good half hour, if not a little more, watching the penguins do their thing. We saw everything from penguins coming up the water following their fishing expeditions to penguins nursing their young to some of them moulting and others sunbathing. Oh, they are so cute. Oh, I so want to hug them. We haven’t seen as many penguins in our lives, in captivity or in the wild.

We returned to Cape Town via a scenic route that allowed us to see more of the city and its surrounds, and were back at our hotel by about 5:30pm.

While the itinerary with its stops, activities, and duration could not have been better for a day trip, Johan helped made our day. He is very knowledgeable about everything there is to know about Cape Town and its surrounding region. Throughout the day we chatted about everything from modern South African politics to economic conditions within the country to sports and other topics. Johan is very kind, professional, and did everything he could to make our day as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible, and he passed with flying colors. I highly recommend Johan and PG Tops, and hope to go out with him someday.

Today, Monday, we spent our day doing a self-guided tour of the central portion of the city. Tomorrow, Tuesday, we’re off to Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens in the morning and possibly a seafront walk and / or Lions Head later in the day. More hopefully in the next day or two…
tripplanner001 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2016, 06:03 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
Great time, I can just hear it In your voice! Didn't you love the braying of the Penguins? It is so amazing. We went on a couple of free (donation only) walking tours downtown and found them to be informative and very enjoyable, we had a great guide.
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 11th, 2016, 08:51 PM
  #24  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,321
DebitNM, a resounding yes on the penguins. They are absolutely adorable.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2016, 11:39 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,027
I am loving this report. Brings back wonderful memories and lifts me up as I am very sad that I had to postpone my spring trip until next year.

Agree that CapeTown is magical and certainly one of the world's most gorgeous cities. So good that you liked your guide. The bar seems very high for hotels (so happy that you are enjoying the Mt Nelson; there was some special/unusual item on their breakfast buffet tables that I remember asking about but for the life of me cannot remember what it was right now..) and guides, and all tourist-related things in general, in SA.

Take a peek at the Mt Nelson tea even if you do not actually partake.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 13th, 2016, 07:35 AM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,321
Ekscrunchy, I'm glad I am able to give you the opportunity to experience South Africa through me until you come here again. And, yes, I did have my peek at tea and very much wanted to partake after our hike of Table Mountain, but returned too late. Gives me a good reason to return.


The Urban Side of Cape Town

Monday was our fourth day in the city and we have yet to explore its downtown core, which is quite unusual for us. Even though we have a fondness for the outdoors, especially topography that involves elevation, we have a special attachment to cities and very much enjoy digging into major metropolises. We typically begin our visit to a new city with one or more self-guided walking tours to get to know a new place. We set a record in Cape Town by being here for three days and not having really explored its inner-city streets. At the same time, we did not want to miss the city's key highlights - Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Cape Peninsula - when the weather was perfect. Monday, though, was no exception in the weather; it was another sunny and warm day albeit about 10 degrees cooler (we prefer it in the 70s). We used a self-guided walk suggested by Cape Town Magazine (http://www.capetownmagazine.com/thin...wn/15_52_55452) to help us organize our day.

Our self-guided walking tour commenced at the Castle of Good Hope, the place where the city's European colonial history started. The Castle of Good Hope is a large building that was the residence of the city's Dutch rulers and is now the home of several museums. Unfortunately, the Castle was largely under restoration during our visit. As a result, a large part of the complex was closed to the public. However, we did manage to get a good idea of the complex, witnessed a reproduction of the key ceremony, saw a demonstration of a cannon firing, and drunk in the views of the nearby downtown area from the top of the defensive walls.

From the Castle of Good Hope we made our way to City Hall and the District Six Museum. District Six was a mixed race, working class community near the Castle of Good Hope that was destroyed during the apartheid era when the government designated the area for whites only and evicted the others from their homes. The museum does an excellent job telling the stories of community, separation, oppression, and survival in apartheid South Africa through the perspectives of ordinary people. It stands as a reminder to what policies rooted in hate could do to a society. In some ways, the legacy of apartheid, the struggles, the recent triumph against apartheid, and the lingering scars from it were felt throughout our journey across the city today. For a first-time visitor to South Africa, it gave me a greater appreciation of what took place here and was as much a part of the experience of my visit here as blockbuster attractions such as Table Mountain.

Moving along we made our way down to Company's Gardens, passing by the South African Parliament building and the office of the President. Created by the Dutch East India Company during the 17th century to grow produce to supply its ships sailing between the Netherlands and the East Indies, Company's Gardens is today an expansive green respite in the heart of the city. We enjoyed a pleasant walk amongst the gardens and appreciated our short break from urban life. We also ate lunch at the restaurant located inside the garden; the food was perfect and the atmosphere very relaxed.

From Company's Gardens we continued on to St. George's Cathedral, the Anglican church that claims Archbishop Desmond Tutu as its leader during the end of the apartheid era. From the cathedral we made our way to the Slave Lodge, a museum that told the story of the struggles of peoples across the African continent and as far away as South India and Indonesia being brought to Cape Town as part of the slave trade in the age of European colonialism. We were again very moved by our experience at the museum, not only parting with a better understanding of the struggles that people went through but of the triumph and endurance of the human spirit. This is a theme that seems to carry us through our visit to Cape Town and very much a part of the fabric of this city.

Our walking tour continued along Long and Bree Streets, two of Cape Town's very important commercial arteries, and into the Bo Kaap neighborhood. Bo Kaap is the home of Cape Malays who came to South Africa from Southeast Asia and is famous for the pastel color homes that line its streets below Signal Hill. We toured the neighborhood museum for a better understanding of what life was like for this group and how they too suffered under the yoke of apartheid.

From Bo Kaap we made our way to Greenmarket Square, the second largest public square in Cape Town after Grand Parade right by City Hall. The square is surrounded by several architecturally significant buildings dating back to the Dutch colonial area. On the square itself are a large collection of stalls selling cheap souvenirs.

After making a few purchases we headed up to Strand Street and followed what is dubbed the Fan Mile to Green Point Stadium, one of the sites of the 2010 World Cup. From Green Point Stadium, it was a short walk to V&A Waterfront. I bought a wood piece that I had my eyes on from an earlier visit and the lady in our group made a jewelry purchase here.

For dinner we went to Panama Jack's, a seafood restaurant located at the commercial shipping and warehousing section of the waterfront. The restaurant has a hole-in-the-wall, fisherman feel to it, and looks a bit rough around the edges, but boy oh boy the grilled lobsters and abalones are so delicious.

A Lazy Last Day in Cape Town

We began our last day in the Mother City with a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens. It was another perfect morning in terms of weather so the mountains behind the gardens were in full visibility. We spent about two hours at the gardens, mostly focused on the flora native to South Africa. The gardens are very extensive and manicured for easy strolling. To be honest, we initially did not have high expectations of Kirstenbosch (I don't know why), but Craig, a frequent poster here, piqued my curiosity, and he was absolutely right that this ranks among the best gardens in the world.

From Kirstenbosch we decided to head down to the False Bay seafront for the better part of the day. We traveled by taxi to Muizenberg, a surfer community outside of Cape Town. We ate lunch at Empire Cafe, a block away from Surfers Corner. It's a casual backpacker / surfer cafe with good, simple food and great milkshakes. We took a long stroll along the beach after lunch, making our way from Muizenberg to St. James and onwards to Kalk Bay, an antique mecca. Along the way are the iconic changing rooms painted in primary colors lining the beach. It was a nice, lazy way to end our visit to Cape Town.

From Kalk Bay, it was an approximate 30 minute journey back to Cape Town via train and back to Panama Jack's for dinner for a second night in a row.

Next stop: Franschhoek
tripplanner001 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2016, 04:19 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 155
Thank you, tripplanner001... your postings are giving me a taste of what's to come. Loved it, looking forward to more.
nina88 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2016, 06:58 PM
  #28  
hax
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 262
Thanks, tripplanner001! We are leaving for Cape Town, the Winelands and 7 days on safari near Kruger in just 2 1/2 weeks. Your wonderful, detailed report is getting me very excited. Can't wait to read the next installment.
hax is offline  
Apr 15th, 2016, 03:31 AM
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,321
Nina88 and Hax, you're both welcome. I'm glad I can share my experiences in a way that may be useful to you or at least get your thoughts flowing. I hope to get you another installment today.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2016, 02:08 PM
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,321
Afternoon in Franschhoek

Our journey across Southern Africa continued from Cape Town to Franschhoek. We traveled by private van transfer arranged by our travel agent.

We reluctantly left Cape Town and the Mount Nelson hotel at 10am following another outstanding breakfast at the veranda overlooking the main pool. The trip from Cape Town to Franschhoek was easy, taking about one hour.

Franschhoek is a small and very picturesque village located in the Cape Winelands. It was founded by French Huguenots who fled persecution in Europe hundreds of years ago, and contributed greatly to the development of the economy and culture of this area. There is a joie-de-vie feeling here. The village feels very much like a laid-back holiday village.

We spend our first afternoon in Franschhoek with a stroll along the village's main street, Huguenot Road, browsing the Cape Dutch-style town hall and village church. We also browsed the beautiful shops located all along the street, picking up some delicious chocolates at Huguenot Chocolates, a nice polo shirt at Franschhoek Feeling, and a light brown ostrich leather handbag from Karoo Classics. We enjoyed a nice lunch at The French Connection, which was one of the most delightful meals we had during our entire stay in the village. The atmosphere and décor of The French Connection is that of a Paris bistro, and the food - everything from the crispy duck to the veal schnitzel to the vegetables and the desserts - was fantastic. If we had another afternoon to enjoy lunch, we would come back here.

Following lunch, we connected to browse shops along the main road. We eventually reached the Huguenot Monument and Museum, just off the main road at the edge of the village. The museum is a good place for us to learn about the origins of the French Huguenots, their journey to the Cape, and their ways of life here.

With still about 90 minutes of daylight, we made our way further north to Le Lude, a winery that specializes in sparkling wine. We enjoyed the wines at the beautiful restaurant located here.

We chose Foliage for our first dinner in Franschhoek and boy did it not disappoint. The items on the menu were unique and inventive. I enjoyed a delicious crayfish starter followed by a pulled suckling pig pasta and an even more satisfying dark chocolate flowerpot dessert.

A Day in the Vineyards

We devoted the first of two full days in Franschhoek to a tour of the wineries. Given that we do not drive and taxis do not exist in the village, we decided on the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which takes visitors to up to six wineries via bus and tram. We began our day with a visit to the smallest winery of the day, La Petite Dauphine, and enjoyed the wines in the outdoor space. From La Petite Dauphine, we continued to La Bourgogne, another small winery where we enjoyed wines and very good olive oils. La Couronne is the next stop on our itinerary, and it was one of our favorites. We enjoyed a quick lunch of pizzas there, following by some very delicious chocolates. We continued on to Mont Rochelle before trading our bus for a tram that took us to Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence. There is a nice art gallery at Grande Provence that is worth a peek. La Bourgogne has a very cozy feel to it and at Grande Provence we felt like we were at a rural wine farm in France. My favorites were La Couronne and Rickety Bridge. I did not enjoy Mont Rochelle very much; it is large and feels very commercial and the staff was the least friendly of all.

We capped a very full day with dinner at Reuben's. It was here that one of my travel companions and I had our first taste of game - springbok steaks. Springbok is definitely not my thing but everything was very well prepared and delicious nonetheless.

Day Three in Franschhoek: Striking Out

Our last day in Franschhoek was devoted to hiking. We planned on hiking the Du Toitskop Trail at the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, which supposedly offered gorgeous views of the valley and the surrounding region. The only issue is that the entrance to the reserve is about 8 kilometers outside of town and there is a dearth of taxis and public transportation available. Starting out from our hotel, Akademie Street, we began making our way towards the entrance to the reserve. Starting out on foot, we were soon met with obstacle after obstacle. Signage to the reserve was nonexistent, the staff at the nearby wineries that we asked for directions along the way gave conflicting information, and there were no sidewalks or pedestrian paths. We attempted to make our way to the entrance for about 90 minutes before giving up as we understood that we were far from the entrance.

It was time for a change of plans. A couple of hours horseback riding in the vineyards would be nice. Again, it was not meant to be. We spent another 90 minutes not being able to locate the horse stables just outside of the village.

Frustrated and tired, we turned around and headed back to the village. By now, it was time for lunch and we decided on Dutch East, a place that serves primarily meat, but with an Asian twist. We enjoyed our meal here and had our first experience with deep-fried milk tart, which I understand to be very popular here in South Africa. It tasted somewhat like apple pie, although I enjoyed it.

Following lunch, we burned a few extra holes in our wallet due to the retail therapy we put ourselves on. We spent a good part of the afternoon just relaxing in our hotel, which actually turned out to be good for us after nearly a week of nonstop sightseeing.

We took our last meal in Franschhoek at La Petite Ferme, a winery not too far from the village. I enjoyed a delicious fillet of beef paired with an amazing dark chocolate tart. We were skeptical about La Petite Ferme, especially after Foliage and Reuben's, but it turned out to be a perfect choice.

Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guesthouses

Thanks to the recommendation of ekscrunchy, we decided to make Akademie Street, a small boutique property of six rooms, our home for our three nights in Franschhoek. The hotel is small but very cozy and full of character. The hospitality by the owner managers Declan and Stacy, night time staff member Flip, and the rest of the staff, especially Margie, stood out and will be something I would remember for a long time. The rooms are comfortable and spacious. The breakfasts served daily are healthy and delicious. Declan, Stacy, and their staff went out of their way to make our stay comfortable and there were nothing that was too major or too small for them. It's a place we hope to return to should we come back to Franschhoek.

Our Thoughts on Franschhoek

While we give Akademie Street extremely high marks, our impressions of Franschhoek is mixed. Perhaps we are colored by the frustrations experienced today, but unless you plan on visiting wineries day after day, you really need your own set of wheels to get around. Because none of us are drivers, we had a hard time getting around. Perhaps the nearly city of Stellenbosch, which I understand has a better infrastructure, would have been a better choice for us, we nonetheless enjoyed the atmosphere and charm of Franschhoek not to mention the Gallic joie-de-vie and holiday-like atmosphere that is found here. If I get to redo my visit, I may have scheduled only two nights here or at least prearrange transportation if we wanted to partake in activities such as hiking and horseback riding.

Tomorrow we are off to Sabi Sands, where we are eagering anticipating our first African safari. Until then...
tripplanner001 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2016, 06:03 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
Have a spectacular time in Sabi Sands - I KNOW you will; it is beyond magical.
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 16th, 2016, 10:13 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,027
Interesting about Franschhoek; I agree that two nights would be best. So glad you liked Akademie Street; those names do not sound familiar so I think there are new owners since I stayed there. It is a beautiful place. In a beautiful town, in a beautiful country!!

SO so excited for your upcomming stay in Sabi Sands! Do tell all, when you get time!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 16th, 2016, 01:22 PM
  #33  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,321
DebitNM and Ekscrunchy, thank you so much for continuing to follow along and commenting. And now to the installment you've been waiting for:

Our First Rendez-Vous with the African Bush

We awoke early this morning for the start of the next leg of our trip, to Sabi Sand, located just outside of Kruger National Park in eastern South Africa. What excitement knowing that we will be on our very first African safari within hours!!

We traveled by private transfer from Franschhoek to Cape Town International Airport, where we caught our flight from Cape Town to Skukuza. The South African Airways flight was on a small plane but comfortable and the service was decent. We landed at Skukuza airport on schedule and were met by our ranger, Barney, who took us to our home for the next four nights - Kirkman's Kamp.

Kirkman's Kamp is an &Beyond property located in Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The lodge is situated in the southeastern part of the reserve just north of Kruger National Park. The Sand River flows right by the guest rooms on the property and the Sabi River is not very far away. The rooms are very tastefully decorated. We chose Kirkman's Kamp for its location as well as the excellent value it offers (we were able to receive a lower rate as we combined a visit to Kirkman's with a visit to one of &Beyond's properties in Botswana) and it is one of the few places that prices in South African rands.

We received our first taste of a game drive on the way from the airport to the lodge. We spotted our first impala as we left the airport and soon came upon two more. At this point, we were bursting with eager anticipation.

We were warmly greeted by the lodge staff upon arrival with fresh towels and a refreshing drink and were given a tour of the property. Following the tour we were served a nice, light lunch. After lunch, we were shown to our rooms to freshen up before meeting with our ranger to go on our first game drive.

Barney is a ranger at Ngala Game Reserve, another &Beyond property nearby. With Ngala undergoing renovation, Barney was assigned to Kirkman's Kamp, a place he's familiar with. Accompanying Barney is our tracker, David.

At 3:30, we met at the outdoor patio for some iced tea, coffee, and milk tart, a popular South African dessert. During this time we were provided with a brief orientation before joining with an American couple who would be joining us on the game drive.

At about 4, the six of us, together with Barney and David, set out. The American couple just came from a few nights at another nearby lodge and knew what to expect. We, on the other hand, were new to all of this. It was not long before we spotted our first animal: a beautiful male giraffe. What a sight! We saw more animals as the afternoon wore on, everything from impalas to kudus to warthogs. We were on the search for wild dogs when our ranger received report of a lion sighting nearby and off we went. Along the way we encountered a small herd of elephants, including a couple of very young ones. And we were thisclose to them! As we left the elephants in pursuit of the reported lion, one of my travel companions and I muttered softly to each other at the same time: "This is the reason we came to Africa". Indeed it was, and at the moment, all we could think about was how lucky we were to be in the middle of the African bush in such close proximity to some of the most beautiful animals in the world. I could stay here forever.

We eventually reached the lions. There were actually two of them, both resting on a rock far away and barely within eye sight. Unfortunately we could not get close to them as they were within the boundaries of Kruger National Park and we could not enter park property. By now it was nightfall, but we continued in our pursuit of animals. It was not too long before we heard reports about a leopard sighting and off we went. We found the leopard soon after and was tracking it for a good bit of time before we left to make room for others. Three of the Big Five (leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, and rhino) in one afternoon! Pure magic!

Before this trip, other than what we've seen at zoos, we've only been on one animal safari - at Yala National Park in Sri Lanka. What really bothered me at Yala was the number of jeeps surrounding one animal at any given time, to the point that the animal, I thought, felt threatened or trapped. We experienced none of this today. Throughout the afternoon, we only saw a handful of vehicles in passing and only had one other vehicle join us at any given time. We were to ourselves mostly. And we had a large area of land to traverse; in addition to the property that Kirkman's sits on, there's an agreement in place with Lion Sands that permitted us on their property too.

Following what we thought was a very successful first experience with our African bush safari, we returned to our rooms for a quick freshening up before joining with our guide for drinks and an outdoor boma dinner. What a perfect way to end a most memorable day!

And with that, I bid you all a very good night from the African bush. More soon...
tripplanner001 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2016, 01:30 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 597
Yeah! Awesome! So happy for the sightings you saw on your first game drive. This is why Sabi Sands is so wonderful!
Lolazahra is offline  
Apr 16th, 2016, 03:28 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,432
Sounds fantastic TP. I'm so glad you got to see those animals !
sartoric is offline  
Apr 16th, 2016, 03:44 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
I find myself nodding my head up and down as I read this! And smiling.

tp - check out my profile picture. You have to make it bigger to really see it...
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 16th, 2016, 08:08 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 612
Warm Sunday greetings from our home of Singapore to you, tripplanner - and thank you kindly for more brilliant writing. (Had ventured onto the Fodor's Africa / Middle East board in partial preparation for a work-related flight to Dubai later today.)

As always, should your travels ever take you to our city-state of SIN, honoured to assist with recommendations.

Thanks again, tripplanner; best wishes to you and all from Singapore and soon, Dubai,

robert


... Singapore Airlines, You're a Great Way to Fly ...
AskOksena is offline  
Apr 16th, 2016, 11:39 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,809
tp - I'm so glad that your SA safari experience was so much better than the one at Yala - like you we were very worried there not only for the animals' safety but also for the humans too, particularly when the jeep drivers converged on any animal brave enough to stick its nose out of doors. We insisted that we did NOT want to do that which was greeted with incomprehension, but we got our way in the end. It was so different from what we too had experienced in SA, thank goodness.
annhig is offline  
Apr 17th, 2016, 02:52 AM
  #39  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,321
Lolazahra, Sartoric, DebitNM, Robert, and Ann, thank you all so much for your responses and well wishes. I'm glad I am able to bring some smiles your way.

DebitNM, your profile pic looks gorgeous. I haven't seen a leopard up a tree yet, but the sighting we had early on our game drive this morning was quite awesome in itself. Lunch is calling now; will try to share more tonight.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2016, 04:18 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 155
Thanks, tripplanner001... I am trying to imagine I am with you for now; keep posting this wonderful experiences!
nina88 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:54 PM.