Since I retired as a doctor 6 yrs ago, I have done part-time work as a travel agent involving local bookings, which gives me feedback from clients to be able to assess our recent experiences and give you meaningful critique.
Overall our trip was very enjoyable and satisfactory with one or two exceptions. Everywhere people were friendly and helpful. The Cape Grace hotel exceeded our expectations, and equals or exceeds famous hotels such as the Oriental, Peninsula, Savoy, etc. as far as amenities, service, and food.
The Intercontinental Airport Sun was a pleasant surprise for an airport hotel--efficient, convenient, and clean with adequate sized rooms and good food. Mackair was an efficient and reliable bush airline. We actually prefer small aircraft since I am a licensed private pilot in the U.S. and flew my own aircraft for 23 years.
Zarafa was a beautiful facility and we would highly recommend it. The vehicles are diesel using biofuel, and preferable (in our opinion) to the gasoline powered ones at other camps. Tessa and Stuart are very capable managers.
The Ichobezi Moli houseboat was a nice change of pace where the game comes to you sitting in a deck chair!! and we would recommend it, but for three nights instead of two. The tiger fishing was great!
The last camp, Tongabezi was superb, but tell your clients to stay a minimum of three nights.
Best regards, Bruce G.
Day 01 – Day 05
4 nights at The Cape Grace in Cape Town, South Africa.
The newly refashioned luxury hotel delivers all the creature comforts you'd expect from world class luxury accommodation and lots of little extras too. Proudly situated in the iconic centre of Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, on their very own private quay - Cape Town's most popular shopping and tourist attractions are all easily within reach. Providing a tantalizing experience that melds modern luxury with traditional Cape culture, each of the 120 individually custom-decorated guest rooms and suites brings the charm of Cape Town to life. Allow our comfortable elegance and sparkling service excellence to cocoon you with genuine warmth, making your arrival at Cape Grace, an occasion in itself.
Explore the spectacular Cape Peninsular on a private full day tour. Highlights include Seapoint, Bantry Bay, Clifton, Camps Bay, Hout Bay (optional boat trip to Seal Colony), Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point, Boulders Beach penguin colony, Simon's Town historical naval base and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Private full day guided tour of the scenic Cape Winelands, including tastings at some of South Africa’s finest estates. Highlights are: Stellenbosch with its tree lined streets, historical architecture and alfresco cafes, the tiny town of Franschhoek, famous for its endless mountain vistas and Paarl, the “pearl of the Cape” and home to the Afrikaans language.
Day 05 to Day 06
Overnight at InterContinental Airport Sun at O R Tambo International Airport Johannesburg, South Africa.
InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport is perfectly located only a 68.7-metre (225-foot) walk from the international arrivals hall at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport. The hotel offers free unlimited Wi-Fi, quiet soundproofed rooms, quick check-in and a host of services designed to meet the needs of the modern traveller. Refurbished in 2008, it offers the most sophisticated airport accommodations on the African Continent. The well-appointed rooms are tastefully decorated with subtle influences of Africa. Spacious showers, comfortable king beds, blackout curtains and soundproofing ensure a night of relaxation. The 24-hour gym, situated on the top floor of the hotel overlooking the main airport runway, is equipped with the latest Techno Gym equipment. The Camelot Spa features relaxing and energizing treatments lasting from a few minutes to a whole day. Massages, beauty cures and therapies take place overlooking the Johannesburg skyline.
Day 06 Day 09
Three nights at Little Kwara in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Little Kwara Camp is situated on an island on the edge of the permanent waters of the world renowned Okavango Delta. Situated within a private concession and with just five tents Little Kwara offers intimacy, privacy and personalized service (groups of 8 are guaranteed exclusive use of camp) The spacious tents are elevated into the tree canopy on wooden decks each with its own private veranda. Bathrooms are en suite and consist of bath and an inside/outside shower. Lighting is by solar power. The main guest area is constructed out of thatch, reed and canvas and looks out onto a lagoon which is home to a variety of buck, hippo, crocodiles and water birds. There is a lounge, bar, dining area, small shop, fire pit and plunge pool. The presence of permanent water at Little Kwara ensures excellent year-round game viewing. Activities are varied and include game drives both off road and at night, mokoro trips year round, double deck boat cruises and island walks. Fishing is also offered on request, using normal reel and rod equipment - flying fishing enthusiasts need to bring their own rods. Little Kwara is one of only a handful of camps able to offer water and land activities year round. This is an ideal camp for exclusive use by small groups and families.
Day 09 to Day 12
Three nights at Zarafa Camp in Selinda, Botswana
With only four luxuriously appointed “marquis style” tented rooms, Zarafa Camp is the perfect camp for guests who are looking for privacy combined with luxury and great wildlife viewing (often directly from ones bed!). Zarafa has to be one of the only (or maybe it is the only) luxury camp in Africa that is powered entirely from the sun.
There is no set routine at Zarafa as the camp is small enough to offer guests flexibility when it comes to activities, which include morning, afternoon and night game drives with experienced professional guides in custom-built 4x4 Toyota Land Cruisers. Elephant are common around Zarafa Camp – at the peak of the dry winter months around 9000 elephant have been counted in the Selinda Reserve. The lions that hunt hippos (the "surfing lions") are part of what has made this region famous. Their skill at hunting these huge animals is legendary. The open plains are ideal habitat for cheetah and, when spotted, leopard viewing is often rewarding. Other common species include: buffalo (that sometimes
congregate in huge herds numbering many thousand), giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, hyena and a variety of antelope including red lechwe. Birdlife is also varied and excellent. Short guided nature walks from camp introduce guests to some of Africa's less prominent wildlife. Guests can also experience some awesome game viewing whilst relaxing in an elevated hide overlooking a water hole or whilst cooling down in their private plunge pool. Zarafa Camp is also the perfect destination for both the amateur and professional wildlife photographer
Day 12 to Day 15
Two nights on board Ichobezi Moli house boat in the Caprivi, Namibia
The Ichobezi house boats are moored at Impalila Island which is situated at the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi rivers. These specially designed houseboats each have four twin cabins with sliding windows opening onto the water. On the top deck there is a lounge, bar, sun loungers and plunge pool. It’s the perfect platform to enjoy the constantly changing panorama as you slowly cruise along the waterways of this diverse and special corner of Africa. You will be enthralled by sightings of a variety of game including hippo, crocodile, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck and the shy Chobe bushbuck. Tender boats are available to ensure that each guest has the freedom to partake in activities that are best suited to their personal needs – these may include birding, fishing, walking and a visit to a local fishing village. Apart from being a birders paradise the area is also famous for great tiger and bream fishing that will challenge the most enthusiastic angler.
Day 15 to Day 17
Two nights at Tongabezi Lodge in Livingstone, Zambia
Tongabezi is a wonderful lodge with a beautiful setting on a wide bend of the Zambezi River. Choose to simply relax at the lodge or make the most of the wealth of activities that will keep you busy for several days. Inclusive activities are sunrise and sunset boating, a guided walking tour of the Zambian side of the Falls, fishing, a game drive in Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park, guided museum tours, a visit to the colourful markets and Simonga village. Romantics may enjoy a private candlelit dinner whilst floating under the stars on the Zambezi - this should be requested in advance.