I dream of Africa ..(my experience)



  • Alan, Helloooooooooooo
    Yes! weather was excellent- no pushing on the cable car and the place was almost all empty.
    Nooren, Hi.
    I love doing it. - glad you have enjoyed.

  • Mil, thank you for all your time and effort in putting this travelogue together for us to enjoy. While I am aware the internet exists :wink: I'm interested in how you did your research for the extra excursions you took - travel agent, extensive reading, friends' recommendations or just googling until you found activities you were excited about.

  • milmil
    edited October 2022

    As the Tauck tour continue...
    We depart the hotel early on our way to Cape Hope with a stop at Simmon's Bay for an eco-tour and saw the seals. - The cruise was great, beautiful weather and the captain- Stephen S. owner of False Bay White Shark Adventures (I have his info. if anyone is interested PM me), he is now a friend. He's hilarious.... they do swim with the shark's tours. but I'm not there yet! :)
    We saw the seals and far away Whales.

    From there we went to eat lunch and proceeded to Cape Point Nature Reserve. saw a couple of Ostrich and baboons.
    Once there we took the iconic picture of Cape Hope.

    And stopped by the lighthouse to see the incredible views.
    then back to the hotel. I had hired a private guide and went with him to see more of the city. We drove around, he took me to the South African National Gallery, The Truth Coffee, a diamond store and to the green market. I also stopped at an Art Gallery and bought 2 beautiful Masai paintings.

    busy day! I'm beat... Bubble bath for me and another room service. :)

  • milmil
    edited October 2022

    Karenna Hi.
    It's a long but fun process. I do have all the names-websites and phone #'s of everyone I've hired for xtra activities if you want them.
    I guess once you checkout Tauck's or any itinerary & know when you'll have xtra time available, you can then plan accordingly.
    I do book a lot of stuff on my Pre and Post days. Normally I do stay 1-2 days after any tour.
    Find out the top 10 attractions, check TripAdvisor, Fodor's, google, local guides tours, Viator, your own hotel -concierge recommended tours etc.. read previous reviews here on the forum... once you start, you'll get better and will get familiar with the sources. for me is super easy, (I do have a great resource network, I have created) have done it for the last 35 years. I do it on my own, no travel agents
    feel free to ask me via pm.

  • Great stories mil, some of pictures brought back memories, you have a kind heart. o:)

  • gladysorlando984 Hi.
    Thanks! I'm not an angel... I have my flaws, but I try to be my best, every day!!!!!!!!!!!

  • So, Farewell dinner night.
    Pleasant evening, everyone had dress up, so everyone was looking great, cheerful and not ready to go home... .
    The setup for the dinner was at the open Bar/lobby on main floor, we had drinks and some hors d'oeuvres, selection was great.

    adorable, friendly and very kind couple- I rcvd. a lot of love from both... you made my trip, I'm forever grateful. :)

    My final thoughts about this tour... it is AMAZING!
    I love the itinerary, love the camps, love the food, it was well programed, the staff in each hotel/camp were extremely professionals and caring. The animals were abundant and at its best, weather pamper us during the 12 days.
    Would I do it again... YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now... I'll like to invite you all to continue my report. As 2 more days of activities are coming up. -
    Private Cape Town companies.

  • mil....so glad you had a WONDERFUL time. Let the adventure continue as you venture out on your on. Be Safe & Stay Well...Looking forward to your future post B)

  • Thanks for sharing your journey. Looks like you had an amazing time.

  • Thank you mil, so glad you had such a great time. The pictures and reports were amazing.

  • Mil, thanks so much for your wonderful report, videos and pictures. Looks like you had a fantastic tour.

  • Wow Mil, you sure are a bundle of fun!

  • Mil - such a wonderful report. Thanks for all the time you put into it and the photos.

  • edited October 2022

    I am enjoying your trip through your eyes.

  • Very enjoyable journey. Thanks Mil.

  • mil...Beautiful...I'm sure you have the perfect wall to display and enjoy them. I'm always leery of having an item shipped from far far away. I'm glad you're not as risk averse as I am...Happy Sunday!

  • Love it Mil, great paintings

  • Mil- Great report and pictures! It looks amazing! Safe travels! And thanks for all your tips for the J and E tour!

  • I see this was a Tauck trip. We are on the May 16 Wildlife Odyssey. Not much information on it. We start at Old Drift Lodge
    then to Chobe Nat Park. Game Lodge. Fly to Kruger ate Ngala Safari Lodge Then off to Capetown. Just wondering if you did anything similar. How was the weather, hot, cool? Any problems with illness. What about baggage. We received our duffles . Carry on issues?
    Tips on what to do and not to do would greatly be appreciate

  • milmil
    edited April 2023

    bella c
    I did mention all the above in my review, but if it is too long to read, I can tell you again.
    Weather Great! No one suffer any illness, food was excellent. I did Botswana, Zambia and Cape town -2.5 days in Cape with Tauck and 3 xtra on my own. -
    Victoria Falls not at full force but still very nice.I do prefer my lodges... they are great, staff it's very nice and you do get the real Safari feeling, Chobe boat cruise amazing, tons of elephants.
    Cape Town was incredible, great weather so we went up to the Table Mountain- I saw penguins and went whale watching on my own, private tours and also to the wineries.
    Hope this help.

    your tour map
    my tour map.

  • You can look up the weather on Weatherspark for when you are going. But with global warming, AFRICA has been having unusual weather and failed rainy seasons.
    Same with the lodges, get the names from the Tauck website and look them up in more detail from their own websites.
    Duffels…we always put them in our checked luggage and take our regular backpacks to and from the vacation and just use the duffel for the safari part along with our small backpack. Tauck stores yourregularly suitcases. Some people just use the duffels as checked luggage but we don’t like that as they have no wheels for going through large airports.

  • Thank you to Mil for all of this amazing information and beautiful pictures--and to the rest of you Tauck experts for your additions. I'm on this trip this fall, and nearly all of my questions were answered from your posts. Wonderful!! I can't wait! A few questions I do still have at this point:

    --I'm expecting early to mid-September to be pretty darn hot during the day, but I see everyone in long pants and lots of long sleeves. Is that due to the morning and evening timing of the game drives? I don't want to overheat!

    --The Belmond Khwai River Lodge has closed, so our trip will be slightly different--heading to the Savute Elephant Lodge in Chobe NP, rather than staying in the Moremi Game Reserve for nights 3&4. I hope we see as many animals as you did mil!

    --I know that Camp Kalahari is quite rustic--still good? Cool enough to sleep well at night? I can't imagine Tauck doing something poorly, but that camp doesn't look like a place I would expect them to pick.

    --And lastly (for now), were you happy with your lens choice mil? I've seen other posts saying such a long lens isn't needed because you are able to get so close to the animals. I'll lug the bazooka if I need it, but if I don't need it...

    Thanks for the additional guidance!

  • edited January 31

    We were there during September time. It is winter going into spring and can be very cold in the mornings and when the sun goes down
    I just noted we were wearing puffer jackets in out photos at the Cape.
    However, although the Kalahari is very cold in the night, it is extra hot during the day. The Kalahari camp is indeed basic, but we loved it. I hope you get the manager there who is Belgian and very knowledgeable. We were advised to rest in the tents with a wet large ‘scarf’ they provide soaked in water and put over our bodies. Between game drives, we soaked up to our necks in the very small hot tub size pool, where the water is very cloudy, but that is how it is, it is not dirty.
    The night sleeping out in the desert on the pans is one of the most magical things we have ever experienced.
    We’ve been to Africa several times since then and last in Botswana for a couple of days in late November.

  • HooHeel HI!

    • I did this Safari on Sept. 10th- 21st. as I live in Seattle- the high 60's was not cold for me.. it was pleasant so I was always in T-shirts, early on the morning I did wear a lite down jacket- Eddie Bauer and at night I would wear a sweater plus the jacket and a scarf. Temp. does drop a lot at nighttime.
    • I used to sleep with warmer thermal set under and my PJ.- at nighttime you feel the cold in your bones...
      so, they normally warm up your bed with hot water bags.

    -The Belmond Khwai River Lodge- sad to hear it has closed- but honestly the only time you would be at the lodge was for Breakfast and for a couple of hours between game drives... not really much to do and the pool was not heated. The rooms were nice but nothing to die for... it was a nice place to relax, re-fresh and maybe take a nap.
    We had great game drives viewing here in the Khwai River area! we saw lots of zebras, some lions and elephants- also Buffalos.

    -Camp Kalahari is quite rustic- Yes! but very charming and staff it's Amazing!
    Game drives were the best! the food in the Camp it's out of this world!! the 2 ladies' chef are 5 Michelin stars. and the concept of every guess and camp staff eating together super sweet and humbling- these kids only interact while on season with the guest, they work really hard, away from family and with no tv.- it's really hard on them. The charging station it's hilarious but it works. you can leave your phone overnight. since you will only be able to take pictures with it. no internet, no phone connection and you will feel relax and FREE!!!
    it's Amazing. The camp is super safe, nothing to worry about. and the staff will take you to your tent, so animal encounters are not common.
    You can count on Tauck- they do offer quality places... even if it wasn't what you would have picked. You'll be surprised.
    and this place offers a lot more than just the animal viewing. A Great surprise it's waiting for you. DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!! do not miss it.

    • my lens choice, was I happy YES!!!!!!!!!!
      sure, it is heavy, yes animals sometimes are pretty close, but there is a lot at a distance that as a photographer, I would have hated to miss the shot. Maybe at other places (countries) a telephoto lens it's not essential but for African Safaris it is, if you like photography
      Other than my lens I also used my iPhone 14 Pro Max.

    I'm going to share a couple of pics from my camera- Telephoto lens. Chobe.-Elephant- 3 shots- ( I have the entire sequence of the elephant getting his dirt bath.

    Last note: the camps are super safe, nothing to worry about- they have personal protecting the camp in some cases wire fences and they are so far from civilization... no chance of robbery of anything. Beside people in Africa are super friendly and caring.

    If you have any question IM me.
    Good night.

  • when I transfer the pics from my PC to the forum the quality it's not sharp UFFFFFF!

  • WanWan
    edited January 31

    Hi Mil, thank you for your travelogue! I very much enjoyed your comments, your photos, your sense of adventure and your positive attitude! Sorry if I missed this, but was this your first trip to Africa?
    Edit: oops, apologies, it looks like you've been several times.

  • I have one note to add about safety at camp Kalahari. When we were there, a large lone male elephant parked itself right in front of a single ladies tent and she was marooned in it for several hours. The tents are elevated, so while she stayed in her tent, she was ok. So it was a different experience for us, we watched from our tent which was nearer the main communal tent.
    We also had an elephant near our tent when it could have been the Khwai camp, I can’t remember, it was blocking the path near several tents. The camp staff banished us to a safe distance and had to draw it away from the area.
    We were at a camp in East Africa when a group of elephants had apparently rampaged through the main reception area in the night.

  • Yes, there was one bull elephant that took a fancy to Kwai River camp He hung around the tents so you had to look before you leaped and give him wide berth. They named him ("George"?? or was that the name of a very old Galapagos Turtle?? :D:D ) There were horses grazing in the Kamp Kalahari compound.

    Ears out means he is annoyed!!!

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