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It started in the vineyards and the harbours of the Cape, with the leopards of Londolozi and the puku of the Chobe… It started there but was far from ending.
Since their first journey to Africa with us, Marg and Dick Guit from Darwin, Australia, have returned twice in one year and are already planning next year’s adventure. The soul of Africa has captured them, Marg says. Most recently their affair with Africa saw them return to where it all started: Cape Town. From there they went on to explore the east coast of South Africa at Phinda, as well as new wildernesses in Madikwe and Botswana and then back to an old favourite – Londolozi. The Guits’ dinner parties are ones we’d love to be a fly on the wall at. What with all the wild and wonderful stories of their travels…
Here’s a snippet of their latest adventure:
Geraldine at Rhino Africa has once again excelled in putting together a holiday that has created many special memories for us.
We travelled for almost a month and were absolutely thrilled by each of the different locations visited.
MannaBay in Cape Town provided the perfect location for our first two days. After 21 hours of travel, to find ourselves welcomed at 10:30 in the evening with bubbly wine and beautiful savoury and sweet treats was awesome. The Versailles Suite elevated our mood as we revelled in such super luxury during our stay.
Phinda Rock Lodge for 3 nights and then Phinda Forest Lodge gave us two different experiences. Game drives provided the ultimate in leopard and cheetah viewing.
To arrive at our next destination, Jamala Royal Safari Lodge in Madikwe , we undertook a road transfer from Johannesburg airport after a flight from Richard’s Bay. The drive was interesting and certainly demonstrated that the road system in South Africa is excellent.
Jamala has left an indelible memory in our hearts and we know we will return. Rodney and Nico, and all staff take personal attention and service to another level. The name Jamala in Swahili means “natural elegance” and that speaks truly of everything about this lodge. Watching the rather awkward way giraffe bend to drink was something new for us.
Watch Rhino Africa’s video of Jamala Madikwe
The next segment of our trip saw us spending nine glorious days in Botswana. Three nights in the Wilderness Camp at Duma Tau in the Linyanti concession was a true adventure. Game drives were exciting with truly exceptional guiding, and the spectacular scenery of the channels and waterways, combined with the beauty of the landscape and the bird life, provided many picturesque photo opportunities but also time to just “be in the moment.”
Xaranna in the Moremi concession was our next destination. A combination of land and water based safaris provided exceptional game viewing. A “mokoro” ride allowed us to be up close and personal with painted reed frogs, dragon flies and the numerous community spider webs. Arriving at the camp by speed boat and being welcomed on the jetty by beautiful singing from the staff was quite overwhelming emotionally. We were also farewelled in song which provided a touching closure to our time there.
Our final location in the Okavango Delta was Eagle Island Lodge. It is surrounded by water and is unfenced, which had special appeal for the wandering elephants during our stay. We think maybe the tantalising smells of evening dinner drew them to the camp area, so the guides were kept busy ensuring safe passage of guests to and from their rooms. One afternoon the sundowner cruise provided very close observation of elephants. Really, elephants are truly very clever creatures! It was noted that in the group of just ten guests, there were five continents represented. An interesting statistic!
One highlight of our time here was taking a flight over the Delta in a helicopter. That provided a magnificent bird’s eye view and gives one a sense of awe, just taking in the beauty and expansiveness of the whole area. Highly recommended extra activity!
Londolozi was our final destination. We stayed at Tree Camp, our favourite for many reasons, for five nights. Game drives were always successful, sometimes encountering the unexpected. We were also driven to parts of the concession we had not experienced on our previous visits, so that added another dimension to our experience. Following tracks to seek out the leopard or the lion or whatever animal, just seems to be more exciting at Londolozi. Perhaps that is due to the skills of the trackers and the enthusiasm of the rangers who are all highly committed to their jobs.
We were spoilt with a “surprise lunch” (just for us two) in the tree tops deck above the river. On our final night another surprise awaited us, as just the two of us were treated to a wine cellar dinner hosted by our camp manager, Jess, and ranger, Mark. We were honoured by this invitation and it is an indicator of the “extra mile” to which Londolozi goes to provide guests with a memorable visit.
Image by David Dampier
Sadly our month’s travelling came to end. After being home in Australia for just 8 days, plans for our next adventure which will focus on different experiences are almost complete.
The “soul of Africa” has captured us!
Marg and Dick Guit Darwin, Australia
Images by Marg and Dick
All other images were provided by the lodges themselves, unless otherwise specified
Has the soul of Africa captured you too? We’d love to hear about it. Write to us in the comments below.
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Tamlin has been exploring, writing about and photographing Africa ever since her first job as a photojournalist for Getaway Magazine. She's lived on an island, eaten with lions, sailed catamarans in the Indian Ocean, tracked wild dogs with Kinglsey Holgate, and white water rafted down the Zambezi and has kept just about every airplane ticket that has crossed her hands.
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