I had a great yearning to return to Africa after travelling to Kenya many years ago! By chance I had spoken with friends who had recently returned from an incredible trip to Africa and highly recommended Sikeleli Safaris. Having traveled extensively, I was a little discerning with my expectations, however after discussing with Danni, I knew we need go no further! Danni exudes an excitement, boundless energy and passion for Africa, a land she truly loves with an abundance of knowledge that captivates and inspires you. Danni possesses a quality rare these days, she ask questions, ‘listens’ and identifies and with this, created a remarkable itinerary containing all our desires and more! My husband and I are still on Cloud 9 having recently returned from a phenomenal trip to Zambia, (South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi River) to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Botswana (Okavango Delta and The Salt Pans of the Kalahari Desert) and to our final destination in Capetown.
Tena, Tena Campsite (Sth Luangwa), Sausage Tree Camp (Lower Zambezi River), Old Drift Lodge (Victoria Falls, Zim), Mapula Lodge (Okavango Delta, Bots), San Camp (Kalahari Desert, Bots) and finally a boutique guest house, 4Rosmead in Capetown. Each and every camp offering a unique experience beginning with a warm and gracious welcome the minute one arrives to the personal touches and efforts the staff made to ensure a memorable experience. There was an incredible diversity between camps from landscape to wildlife, each campsite offering a very different perspective from swamp to desert…the game drives were amazing with excellent guides who love what they do and appear to have the same instinct for tracking as those of the animals they were seeking (a particularly enormous shout out to our fantastic guide Henry at Sausage Tree Camp, who appreciating the keen photographers and passionate lovers of wildlife we are, would go above and beyond ensuring a great angle for that optimal photo, not to mention what fun we had tracking) and to Chris our room attendant at STC who catered to our every whim! We thoroughly enjoyed each and every camp from the rustic on stilts at Mapula Lodge in the Delta, to the luxury of Sausage Tree Camp, to our grand tent on the Salt Pans, we loved it all. The accommodation was clean, the beds very comfortable (I have neck issues…not one problem in any of the camps) and with soft linen.
It is difficult to express in words the feeling that rises within when immersed in the habitat and at such close quarters with the African wildlife…Africa has a magic! Whether a game drive, a walking safari (THAT pumps the adrenaline), a delightful seated lunch on a sandbank, ankles immersed in the shallow waters (on the sandbank at least) of the Zambezi River, a mokoro ride through the beautiful swamp of the Delta with a stunning sunset slowing drawing in (Africa has its own kind) shear bliss, to the humbling and intriguing experience of the Sans bushman walk, a helicopter ride over the spectacular and roaring Vic Falls, waking up to the view of a majestic elephant bathing itself in the swamp of the Delta within yards of our ‘bed’, we were in awe!! Hippos communicating at night …yes, one can drift off to a blissful sleep to this. Not to mention waking up to the sound of the entertaining warthogs chomping away at breakfast at the foot of your porch (a much preferred morning wake up), the amazing sight of leopards in the act of protecting their Impala kill from the indomitable Hyena, to an affectionate interaction with each other with bellies satisfied. Prides of lions, wild dogs, giraffes, elephants and their young, meerkats, crocs, posturing and fighting hippos, where do I stop! The wildlife was a photographer’s dream.
Which was our highlight?..There were numerous, our itinerary was exceptional! Goodness knows what went on behind the scenes to pull this together, but if pushed, Sausage Tree Camp, Zambia. We thought we had been dropped in the ‘Garden of Eden’! The diversity of our itinerary; Danni gave us a taste of everything along with a wonderful surprise at the San Camp – (no spoilers here), and to top it all a surprise visit from her in Zimbabwe, sharing a lovely evening of dinner and drinks around a camp fire.
The exceptional planning; being escorted, driven to airports/airstrips, flown (CapeExec) and met by friendly and helpful attendants at each and every point, luggage taken care of, to collection the other end with drinks awaiting, stress free and flawless. In all honesty, no need for our itinerary, everything was catered to (they knew from where we were arriving and where we were going) the trip seamless from start to finish!
Oh, did I not mention the food…expect to return a few pounds heavier.
We wish to thank the Sikeleli team; Linda and Sue, the professionalism, efficiency and efforts shown to ensure a truly indelible experience.
Danni, a dream holiday you promised…and deliver you certainly did! It was simply superb…and I left my heart in Africa!