Travel Spotlight: My Dream Vacation Africa
By: Shannon Baun, Client, September 2014
Christmas Day 2013 my family decided to take a trip, not just a vacation but a memory making adventure! Africa was my first choice destination and amazingly we all agreed. When you think about a trip to Africa so many things overload your thoughts. My ideas of a trip to Africa with my family ranging in age from 59-10 were completely unrealistic! I turned to Stephanie Mansell to help me out and I was all over the place when I phoned her for her expertise help in this trip of a lifetime. Shortly after, when we met, she came to me with a binder with multiple options to choose from – we wanted it ALL and she was able to organize our ideas into a perfect adventure that fit my family’s needs. We wanted first class family friendly luxury with unforgettable experiences. This even included a 3 day stopover in London to break up the trip and minimize our jet lag.
We left the states in mid-July and we made the most of our 3 night pit stop in London. We had unbelievable meals, rode the double decker bus, shopped, visited pubs, Winston Churchill war cabinets, and traveled in the tube!
Finally, the day we had been waiting for arrived and we flew overnight to Johannesburg. I was so excited to experience what I felt like I had waited a lifetime for! We arrived in Sabi Sands from Johannesburg via a small plane and landed at Sir Richard Branson’s airport! We were immediately greeted by a lovely man named Life waiting for us in a Land Rover and he transported us to the Savanna Lodge. The pictures didn’t do it justice, it exceeded all expectations! They carried our bags back to our incredible house we were staying in, and rushed us right off for our first game drive. David, our game driver, and Life, our game tracker, quickly became adjusted to my family of 6. On our drive that night we experienced something amazing – a leopard in the tree with a fresh kill and the hyenas circling the bottom waiting for anything to drop. I knew right away that I was in heaven! The dinners were gourmet, the people were kind and accommodating, and every night they surprised you with something more fabulous than the last! The 5 AM game drives came really early, but it was worth every minute. We saw all of the big 5 plus more animals than you could ever imagine. The sunrise, sunset, the stars, and the Southern Cross will forever be in my memory. Savanna Lodge will not disappoint!
I was sad to leave but it was time to move on to Cape Town. We stayed at the One and Only, another fabulous accommodation choice. We experienced lots of history, tours and even went paragliding!
From Cape Town we headed to Zambia to cross into Zimbabwe. The Zambian River was full of elephants, hippos, and crocodiles! A sunset boat safari was incredible. Here, we stayed in luxury tented suites. There were tons of wart hogs running around and again great dinners. Zimbabwe was full of more adventures. We had the opportunity to Bungee jump, zip line, visit Victoria Falls, and go on a great helicopter ride!
Stephanie and Africa Adventures made this the vacation we had dreamed of. Every part of the trip was taken care of so all we had to worry about was packing our bags. Africa will forever hold a special place in our hearts and we created memories to last a lifetime, we can’t wait to return one day. It really makes it hard to decide on our next memory making destination!!