Bob and Judy Sell have returned from a whirling trip around Southern Africa – from Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp to Victoria Falls and Londolozi – and have captured their trip in detail for us. With great planning came a delightful vacation that satisfied all their requests and so much more. Already planning another visit to Africa again, this experience was truly a trip of a lifetime for this wonderful couple.
Beginning their journey in Windhoek, Namibia, Bob and Judy changed up the traditional Johannesburg-layover most travellers choose. Flying on a small plane, it was a great way to move on and not lose time on the things they wanted to see.
“It was a good change to add getting to Windhoek on our first night in Africa rather than staying in Johannesburg for 24 hours to catch an early morning flight. It was a great idea to spend a night here to reduce the next day’s journey, allowing us to adjust to the time difference and prepare for all the safaris in front of us.”
Scroll down to read snippets from their travel diary…
A big thank you to Bob and Judy for sharing this with us – we look forward to having you back on African soil soon.
HOANIB SKELETON COAST CAMP
This was our request, and this camp didn’t disappoint. It truly was worth spending three nights here. The all-day trip to the coast was the highlight – seeing so many different environments in a matter of hours. This was a great start to our visit and a nice introduction to camps in Africa and game drives.
ONGAVA TENTED CAMP
A great location overlooking a watering hole that attracts various game all day. Solomon, our guide took us out to Etosha National Park which was one of the highlights! We viewed the watering hole there for over an hour, seeing all sorts of game come and go. It seemed like each species had a reservation – as the zebra would go, the springbok would follow, and then the wildebeest, etc.
OLD DRIFT LODGE
The camp is recently opened and very relaxing. The staff was great, the food fantastic, and the rooms beyond expectation. Being on the river it was great that we could just walk down to the dock, get on their private pontoon boats, and enjoy evening water safaris and sunset cruise with no crowd.
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT
Victoria Falls Airport is a new and lovely airport. We took a Wilderness Air flight to Botswana.
DUMA TAU CAMP
We had a great visit in Botswana. Our guide, Mocks, was one of the best we had on our trip. A highlight was our afternoon boat cruise, where we watched a huge herd of elephants cross the river. The food was excellent, the staff was friendly, and the animal viewing was great. Above all, Mocks was a terrific guy who took us to see unique sightings in the area, including watching wild dogs on a hunt, sunset over the water while we watched water buffalo roam.
This unique camp is situated on an island. The water around the area in the delta made the difference. We did three activities, all unique. The first was a boat safari thought the delta, appreciating the birds and foliage of the area. In the morning we went on a game drive – driving through water covered roads was unique, and the sightings were great. The Mokoro trip was unique and enjoyable – it was so peaceful in the water. Food was good, and trip was overall enjoyable.
QUEEN VICTORIA HOTEL
We were pleasantly upgraded to the Manor House adjacent to the hotel. We were given a suite with butler service – an unexpected pleasure. The location is great, just a short walk to the Waterfront area, yet away from the noise of the busy streets. The hotel was superb, the room great, and the restaurant excellent.
The boat trip to see the seals; the drive to the Cape of Good Hope; the trip to the penguin colony; the visit to the Natural History Museum, and the golf cart tour of the gardens – all made the trip to Cape Town a wonderful experience. We really enjoyed the Mother City.
Talk about a first class experience, this was it. It was great having two comfortable chairs where we could watch the scenery without having to go to the lounge or observation cars. The meals were all elegant and tasteful. The stops were popular; one of them being at the Big Hole which was worthwhile seeing – especially learning about the area’s diamond trade history. This was a wonderful luxury experience.
They say you should save the best for last, and that truly was our case. Our stay at Varty Camp was a true highlight (though we enjoyed every camp and game drive, this was just the best). Nick and Ray, the ranger and tracker, made a great team and insured that we saw everything we wanted, and more. From finding a leopard three times, to tracking a male lion for well over an hour, to all the other game sightings (and there were many), it was fantastic. The staff was extremely pleasant and helpful; it felt like you were welcomed into their home. The “tent” was fantastic, with a comfortable bed, air conditioning, and a great porch to sit on in our spare time with a private pool. The meals were great too! If (when) we travel back, this location will definitely be on our “do-it-again” list.