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I know it may sound like a cliché, but honestly, I love my job with Rhino Africa. The travel experiences we get to enjoy, so we become experts in our field, and passing this knowledge onto our guests gives me immense satisfaction. But the real joy comes in working for a company dedicated to giving back to society and invested in protecting our wild animals and spaces. It makes me so proud knowing that what I am passionate about directly supports wildlife conservation projects, local rural communities and children’s education. And thats why, even after a decade of working for Rhino Africa, I could never imagine myself working anywhere else.
An incredibly humbling experience being this close to a wild elephant
As Covid-19 has swept across the world, we have all been confined to small spaces during lockdown. I’m sure this has given you time to start working on that bucket list! Now is the ultimate opportunity to visit Africa, its vast open landscapes and wildlife in abundance. You will reconnect with nature and all it has to offer. I recommend an itinerary, which includes a vibrant beautiful city, world class culinary options, unique wildlife habitat in the largest private reserve along with the Big 5.
Enjoy a travel experience that avoids commercial airports, and only exposes yourself to wide open spaces. Think elephants, rhino, leopard, lions, buffalo, pangolin, meerkats, aardvark – these are bucket lists of their own! There simply is no better time to book, as the favourable exchange rates mean Africa has never been more affordable – and what’s more most of our partners are holding their 2020 rates into 2021! This is a trip to clear the mind and enjoy the open space of Africa.
Cape Town is a perfect place to start and acclimate after your long-haul flight. Staying at MannaBay, a boutique hotel boasting the best city and Table Mountain views, you will have time to adjust from your jet lag and an opportunity to experience a scenic city surrounded by mountains and oceans. You might want to immigrate!
I always recommend at least four nights, which will give you three full days to explore the surrounding areas with your private guide. Not to be missed is Cape Point, the penguins at Boulders Beach, Kirstenbosch Gardens and the V&A Waterfront. You can reach the top of Table Mountain by cable car, but if you’re fit enough I highly recommend hiking up with a personal guide. Visit local art galleries, markets, boutique stores, beaches and our Cape Winelands to top up on world class culinary experiences. There is more than enough in our Mother City to inspire you.
After your stay in Cape Town, we will fly to Tswalu Private Game Reserve, Africa’s largest private reserve. Departing from a private lounge alongside Cape Town International Airport, you will avoid the crowds, long queues and paparazzi!
Treated like royalty on safari with my husband Terence. Photo Credit: Belmond Safaris
Tswalu Private Game Reserve is located in the Kalahari, offering a unique safari experience. Imagine 110 000 hectares of wilderness and forever landscapes crawling with unique wildlife. Tswalu is listed as one National Geographic most unique Lodges in the World.
Travelling to Tswalu, you will most likely see pangolin, aardvark, wild dog, lion, meerkats, black-main lions as well as other wildlife and predators. I love to pair Tswalu with the Sabi Sand as they are two vastly different eco-experiences to tick off on one bucket list trip. Tswalu has an arid terrain in contrast to Kruger’s bushveld, which has a rich river system, allowing an opportunity to experience vastly different fauna and flora.
With a quick connection in Johannesburg, the transfer between Tswalu and the Sabi Sand in Kruger is effortless. Don’t tell anyone I said so, but there are only two places to stay in Sabi Sand – Silvan Safari, or Londolozi – both luxury boutique lodges in the heart of the Sabi Sand!
A phenomenal family holiday at Silvan Safari, with my husband Terence and my 2 nephews
The Sabi Sand is well known for incredible leopard sightings, wild dogs, the Big 5 and much more. Wherever you stay, your time in Sabi Sand will expose you to the true magic of the African bush as never before! The only thing you’ll be thinking at the end of this holiday is – When can I return!
With us all excited to start travelling again and uncertain as to the airport procedures, this city and bush itinerary is the ultimate “social distancing” holiday. The combination of destinations, hotel and lodges ensures you can relax and enjoy the freedom of Africa’s open spaces and incredible wildlife sightings.
The wide open spaces make Africa the perfect social distancing destination. Photo Credit: Belmond Safaris
Here are a few reasons why I love these properties so much:
Silvan Safari & Londolozi
I’m always honoured to be able to work so closely with my clients; in the end I often feel like I become part of their family, creating the most exciting Africa travels together with them. To be the curator of what is sometimes a “once in a lifetime” experience, or even a 5th African Safari, gives me so much joy and satisfaction.
All aboard! Justine, the ranger in action
This is often just the start, more often than not, I get to meet my clients during their time in Cape Town and share highlights of their trip or reconnect once they have returned home safely and share in their exciting safari tales.
I can’t explain the goosebumps and smiles I get from this. The most common response is “we will be back, it was the best holiday experience ever and everything exceeded our expectations”.
Featured Image Credit: Belmond Safaris
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Based on 2,486 reviews
Born and bred in Cape Town, Justine started working in the tourism industry 13 years ago. She recently managed a tours and transfer division at a Cape Town boutique hotel but felt "it was time to now include my experiences and work closely with people to make their dream African holiday come true". Justine loves the outdoors and thrives on activity challenges. Along with mountain biking and participating in a few Challenge4ACause cycles in Namibia she's also taken on a few triathlons. Friends and family are very important, and let's not forget South African wine... that's another hobby of hers.
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Justine arranged the best safari for my family (8 adults and 5 grandchildren ranging in ages from 9 to 1) in January 2020 and we visited Jamala Madikwe for 3 nights and then onto Tswalu Lodge for another 3 nights before heading to Cape Town for 6 nights. We were in total awe of being so close to all the animals, it was definitely a journey of a lifetime. The safari lodges all treated my family as royalty we could not ask for anything more. As you can imagine the logistics in transferring 13 people to all these spectacular destinations was not an easy task but Justine and Rhino tours were available 24/7 in case we needed them, nothing was too much trouble for Justine with the planning of this massive trip which started 3 years out as we were all there to celebrate my 65th birthday We could not recommend Justine and Rhino tours enough – definitely a 6 star tour operator, thank you for ensuring that this trip of a lifetime went so smoothly for all my family
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