Heidi & Chuck

Posted on June 3, 2017, featured in

Absolutely awesome experience – better than we imagined! We spent time in Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta and Cape Town. The service, guides, lodgings and experiences we had in each location were exceptional. Sikeleli and Ms. Danni Ponter made everything easy – we were greeted each step of the way, enabling us to enjoy our African adventure without the normal stress of traveling in another country. In Zimbabwe, we experienced the majestic Victoria Falls both from the air and a guided tour through the park. We enjoyed a sunset dinner cruise on the Zambezi River. Our room at the Ilala Lodge was picture perfect and comfortable, plus we could see the mist rising from the falls. In Chobe National Park, we went on numerous game drives and a boat tour with a dedicated guide. The Ngoma Safari Lodge was the most visually extravagant place we have ever stayed. The view walking into the lodge literally takes your breath away as you look down at the Chobe River with herds of zebras, giraffes and antelopes moving between a small watering hole close to Ngoma Lodge and the river. Combine that with great location to Chobe National Park, exceptional guides, thoughtful and well-trained staff, delicious dinners and wonderful rooms with incredible views and you have the perfect safari location. In the Okavango Delta we saw so much wildlife (inlcuding a numerous lions and African wild dogs and their pups) and were again blessed with wonderful guides, great staff, and lovely rooms in an amazing location at Sable Alley in the Khwai Reserve. Cape Town gave us an opportunity to relax at the Clarendon Fresnaye boutique hotel and enjoy winery tours and a peninsula tour, as well as amazing restaurants.

Originally, I tried to work out an itinerary myself using online review and travel books, but became concerned about arranging transportation and guides. Then I contacted several different travel agencies. Danni with Sikeleli quickly responded. She made everything easy for us. She worked with us on locations, desired experiences, dates and cost. We really wanted to see Botswana’s Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta. Two other companies were trying to steer us away those areas due to cost and availability, but Danni was able to make it happen for us. She took care of absolutely everything from lodging, car and in-Africa air travel, tours, guides, and even restaurant reservations for us in Cape Town. Amazing personalized service.

How was the service from your agent?

Sikeleli makes you feel very pampered and special. Danni made time to meet us in Victoria Falls (her home base). In honor of our 30th wedding anniversary, Sikeleli surprised us with a complimentary dinner and bottle of wine at our Victoria Falls hotel, which had one of the best restaurants in Victoria Falls.

Best part of the trip?

Our absolute best day started leaving the Ngoma Lodge on an early morning boat ride on the Chobe River, We saw so many hippos, water buffalo, birds, crocodiles and even elephants. Then we headed out on a game drive and saw an amazing number of giraffes, antelopes, elephants and zebras. Our guide, MK, anticipated the movements of a pride of lions and we were able to spend two hours observing 4 lionesses and their 10 cubs by the river. As we watched, the lions caught sight of two giraffes walking along the riverbank and immediately went from relaxed to alert. The lionesses split up, some stalking the giraffes, another staying with the cubs. As we watched the drama unfold, the sky began to glow with incredible colors and we were treated to an amazing sunset reflected in the river waters. We got amazing photos of the sunset, river with a lioness in the foreground. When we arrived back at Ngoma and went to our room, we found the staff had lit our room with dozens of candles, provided a bottle of champagne, filled our tub with fragrant bubbles and placed a card and some gifts on our bed. It was Ngoma’s way of helping us celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. It was truly one of the best days ever of our 30-year marriage.

If you we could change anything:

We would definitely spend some additional days at Ngoma Safari Lodge and Cape Town. Ngoma was such a special place; it would have been lovely to spend more time relaxing on their patios watching the wildlife. We would love to take our children and our (future) grandchildren there. Cape Town has such beautiful scenery around it, we would have liked to spend more time exploring it. Additionally Cape Town restaurant prices were low; you could get a great meal with wine for very little cash.

One thing we would NOT change – we would definitely use Sikeleli and Danni again!

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