We went on a 30 day safari in September 2014. We traveled to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda. Unfortunately, due to many circumstances, we were unable to post anything until now. We planned the trip for about two years by looking on TripAdvisor forums, talking to travel agents, and surfing the internet. All of the planning paid off. Everything was perfect, except for a minor hiccup, but it all worked out in the end. One thing to keep in mind is that all travel agents are not created equally. We had very specific things in mind for our trip that we communicated to each agent. Some gave us an itinerary that made us wonder whether they had actually read the information we provided, others wanted an up-front fee. We didn’t go with either of those. We figured, if they won’t listen to our needs prior to the trip, what would happen if there is a glitch along the way once we are in Africa? We didn’t want to pay anyone up front, because we didn’t know whether we would be happy with their services. We found the perfect travel agent who listened to us and worked with us for many months, revising the itinerary at least 8 times, before they asked for a penny. Another note: beware of some of the travel agents on TripAdvisor. Most of the ones who post are not trying to get your business, nor trying to take it away from others – they are genuinely answering questions that people had; however, there is at least one US based travel agent that negligently posted some negative things about the travel agent we chose and he is always advising people against booking with someone outside of the USA. Having said that, we would like to thank the regulars that had some great advice. It helped us decide what to pack, how to pack, and general good to know stuff.
We will be posting a day by day accounting of our adventure with a link to a ShutterFly website that has all of the pictures that go along with it.
Day 1, 8/31/2014. The day that begins the journey that we have been planning for almost two years has finally arrived. We hired a limo to take us from Milwaukee to O’Hare for the flight to Atlanta, from there it was a straight shot (around 17 hours) to Johannesburg, South Africa – around 24 hours after leaving Milwaukee we are finally there. Thank God we paid a little extra for the Economy Plus seats. After clearing immigration we had a brief scare. We were almost beginning to wonder whether the travel agent in England to whom we paid copious amounts of money had taken us for a ride when our ride wasn’t there. After a few inquiries we found them – they were waiting for us by where the hunters had to go thru customs, but we are beginning a photographic safari – only shooting animals with cameras. Soon we were on our way to Africa Sky guest house were we would stay for 2 nights. Our excitement is palpable: We are finally in Africa! Since we were looking forward to this for so long, we took lots of pictures of everything – even if it wasn’t really that interesting. The bed had elephant towels, we had our first African beer with dinner and an after dinner drink of sherry. To see pictures and the journals go here: https:/…pictures
Day 2, 9/1/2014 Today was a trip to the Rhino & Lion Park. This is a very large fenced in wildlife area in the Cradle of Humankind. We chose this to give ourselves a day to recover from traveling before we started the mobile camping safari. Unfortunately, it would be our only chance to see Rhinos and maybe the only chance to see cheetahs while in Africa. On the way there we saw a baboon, our first wild animal in Africa. There were hippo pools, crocodiles, many different birds and water fowl, a variety of antelope species, lions, rhinos, and cheetah! We even got to pet some lion cubs and an adult cheetah. The cheetah was very mellow and purred the whole time. Other highlights of the park included seeing ostrich up close, a nursing zebra, and the Wonder cave. To see pictures and the journals go here: https:/…pictures
We will post the rest of the days as time allows. We hope you enjoy.