Published on May 26th, 2011 | by Emma Hackwood0
Touring through South Africa
Taking an African Safari has always been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I was invited to participate on a tour in South Africa with Lion World, an established company that specializes in South Africa. Their motto: Affordable luxury. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first. There was a little hesitation. South Africa is far. Would the distance be a problem? Is it safe? On arrival, I soon found out. Yes, it is a fair distance but absolutely worth every minute of the journey. South African Airways flying direct from New York made the journey very comfortable. Having a 34” seat pitch and an extensive movie/audio selection, made flying a breeze!
We landed in Cape Town where we were transferred to our hotel in the V&A Waterfront, The Commodore. This hotel is in a great location, a short walk to the hustle and bustle of the waterfront where restaurants, shopping, a beautiful harbour and in the distance, the famous Robben Island. I spent four nights in Cape Town where we spent time on the awe inspiring Table Mountain, Cape Point located at the south-western tip of the continent, visiting the penguin colony at Boulders Beach and a day in Stellenbosch. Definitely the best way to start any visit to South Africa. The food, the wine, the people; all amazing! I soon realized safety wasn’t an issue at all. One of the highlights of the trip was being able to meet some of the children living in South Africa’s townships. We brought stationary, musical instruments, books and toys to the Amy Biehl Foundation, who orchestrates after school programs for the children in the communities.
From Cape Town, we headed towards Sabi Sands on the outskirts of Kruger National park. We arrived by short flight to Nelspruit. Our group arrived at Sabi Sands where we were greeted by our ranger and tracker. We dropped our bags off and headed out on a night safari. I had literally been there for 45 minutes when we came across a herd of impala, zebra, and two male lions feasting on a kill. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was to see the animals so close up, exhilarating!
The lodge we were staying called the Sabi Bush Lodge had so much to offer. Each suite had a four poster king bed, living room, terrace where you could sit and watch the sunset with a glass of wine, a bath complete with standing shower and outdoor shower. Luxury at it’s finest! Our stay at Sabi ended with a traditional braai, hosted by nearby resort Lion Sands. Dinner served around a fire with entertainment from local dancers.
After three days at Sabi Sands, we took a Bateleur flight to Johannesburg. Arriving in Johannesburg, we were greeted and transported to the Michelangelo Hotel, situated in Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton City. The hotel was beautiful, the room I had looked over the Square. Nelson Mandela Square is surrounded by restaurants, shops and a beautiful library. For such a busy city, I was impressed with the number of trees every where. The Michelangelo Hotel was connected to the largest shopping mall in the Southern Hemisphere. Our last night was topped off by a wonderful dinner at Lekgotla, offering traditional African cuisine.
This was by far, one of the best holidays I have even been on. Feel free to contact me for any information on South Africa and let me send you on THE trip of a lifetime!
Debbie Brown is a Travel Consultant at our Pickering location in Ontario and can be reached by e-mail or calling 1-866-704-5373.