Our safari began with a full day to relax and recover at the ever elegant Saxon hotel in Johannesburg. W e approached the entrance to the hotel - concealed behind a huge wooden -door gated entrance. The door opened to reveal a beautifully landscaped space. We were greeted warmly and our bags were taken to our room quickly. The Saxon is beyond words. We enjoyed an hour at their magnificent spa. Go for the hot stone therapy back and shoulder massage - just like heaven! Lunch was great on the courtyard; the best club sandwich ever and a seafood salad with prawns, lobster and langoustines on a bed of arugala.
Fortunately, the elephants are out in the bush all day being elephants, and sleep in the corral only at night. You will likely not see wild elephants near this camp as they are wea ry of the 'trained' team and tend to stay away.
Jules was our guide and the game viewing here is spectacular - leopard and lion on every game drive, elephant, wildebeest, buffalo, hyena, eagles, giraffe, hippo, plains game (you name it, we saw it !). On the first night game drive we were lucky enough to have a male lion chasing a female, darting in front of our vehicle. They were mating and what a sight to see and hear from 5 feet away.
We spent 2 days with our guide Thomas exploring the peninsula and visiting the wine lands (Waterfront and Solms Delta estates). We enjoyed dinner at The Showroom Restaurant and Baia on the waterfront. Cape Town never disappoints even with dreary weather it is the most beautiful city.
South Africa is also attractive due to the current Rand to dollar exchange rate. You can eat in some of the best restaurants in Cape Town and spend $1.00 on a glass of wine and racks of lamb for $15.00 - try that in the US. Given today's economy we all trying to save a few dollars, and remember an investment in travel does not loose any value.
Traveling to Africa is naturally a passion for me. I am always impressed with the camps that accommodate so few people can change the lives of so many people in the surrounding communities; the staff village at Londolozi for instance where they have installed a computer lab to teach life skills. Our butler Cry worked his way up and is now being promoted to management at Private Granite Suites. We must continue traveling to these reserves and parks in order to conserve the natural habitats and most importantly to ensure that we brighten the future of other people.
- by: Kyle Witten