South Africa: Amazing wildlife experiences and so much more
Adelman’s Cam Thieme recently returned from an Adelman Discoveries African adventure. While many consider the amazing wildlife experiences the highlight of any trip to Africa, Cam and her fellow travelers experienced so much more during their 16-day expedition.
Cape Town was the first stop on their incredible journey, where they had a few days to explore the many famous and historic landmarks in this colorful city. Cam said she especially loved the Victoria and Alfred waterfront, which was teaming with interesting sights, great restaurants, diverse curios and other shopping experiences. From Cape Town, Cam and her group ventured out on several day excursions including a trip to Table Top Mountain where they took a cable car that rotated 360 degrees to provide a full view while traveling up the mountain and to the renowned Cape Winelands. According to Cam, the wineries, which had a Dutch Colonial feel, were very beautiful. She also enjoyed learning about the area’s signature Pinotage wines, which are made from grapes developed locally. “The tours and tastings were such fun and the wines were amazing,” Cam notes.
The outing to the coastal area around the Cape of Good Hope was another trip highlight. Cam and her fellow adventurers took a funicular to the steps of the old lighthouse, which presented stunning panoramic views of the area. They also visited Colony Beach where they were treated to an up-close view of African penguins.
After saying goodbye to Cape Town, Cam and her group traveled to Makalali Private Game Reserve near Krueger National Park. This area is a great place to witness the “Big 5” – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalos. With the help of a professional Ranger and skilled trackers, Cam and her group were able to find all of these spectacular animals along with many others including giraffes, hippos, kudus, impalas and zebras on their various game drives.
Cam said the accommodations at the game reserve really added to the overall experience. The newly built lodge offered all the luxuries you come to expect with a hotel stay, but also featured rustic touches that bring outside elements indoors. In addition, the outside area is designed around the natural surroundings with a spacious deck area built around indigenous trees that overlook a watering hole.
Johannesburg proved to be a fascinating stop, especially for history buffs. Cam said it was truly fascinating to visit the Apartheid Museum and see the neighborhood that was home to Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, both of whom are Nobel Peace Prize recipients.
The group then ventured to Zimbabwe to see the breathtaking Victoria Falls, which is almost double the size of Niagara Falls. They also visited the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta for additional game outings and took a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, which provided yet another scenic opportunity for wildlife viewing. Cam also enjoyed visiting the open-air markets in Zimbabwe, noting how much fun it was to barter with the locals.
Before returning home, Cam and her fellow travelers did a trip extension to Botswana where they stayed at a safari camp.
“We slept in luxury tents that were set up on wooden platforms and were completely outfitted with furniture, running water and solar powered chandeliers,” said Cam.
Despite all the comfortable amenities Cam said, “The experience was a little intense at first since we were advised not to leave our rooms at night because there could be wild animals roaming through camp. During the day we had to watch for warthogs in camp and, because there were no phones, guests were given a loud horn to blow if assistance was needed. It was definitely a wild, yet worthwhile, experience.”
If you would like more information on travel to Africa or on any of our Adelman Discoveries trips, please contact Cam or one of our professional vacations advisors at 800-749-7116, or visit our website at www.adelmanvacations.com.