Just back from Wildlife Odyssey
Just got back from the Wildlife Odyssey, SA. Have to say it was a great trip. So many animals so close but lets go into some details so that you can make some decisions before you go.
First, May is winter in all of SA. Botswana, and Zimbabwe were very cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. Never Hot!. So pack according to the time of year it is there. **Malaria, .. **did not see one mosquito anywhere. The nights are very cold and there is very little standing water so not many bugs only gnats. I did not take any meds and did ok Several people on the tour were on meds and had to stop due to the terrible side effects. Bottled Water is safe to drink in all of the lodges. You have to realize these tours are the lifeline for poor countries and the lodges cater to a higher standard of clients, no one wants to have a post on the net that you got sick at their inn. Bottled water is everywhere and if you want you can use the bottled water to brush your teeth but that's it.
1st stop is Old Drift Lodge. Luxury tents,(nicer than some hotels) set right on the Zambeze River. It is in a National Park so there are wild animals roaming around. Cutest worthogs right outside our door. In all the lodges it is very dark at night so bring a small FLASHLIGHT!!!
The game drives are awesome. Guides really know where to find the animals .Also You will visit an Elephant Sanctuary while there and OMG it was up close and unbelievable. A once in a lifetime experience
Victoria Falls is a drive away and it is defiantly a wonder of the world. You can go to all 16 viewing areas or take a shorter one. They do give you ponchos and you will not get wet unless you stay close to edge.. Also, when you leave the park there are many vendors there. You will not have a chance to buy like that so if you see something stop and make a deal. They take dollars
Chobe Game Lodge is next stop. A stucco style hotel, on the Chobe River, in a National Park. Botswana. It is just my opinion, but I think we saw the most animals here. I felt like I was in a Nat. Geo episode!! Amazing. I made the mistake on not bringing my good camera with the zoom lens and missed so many ideal shots. Again early morning it is cold!! Fleece or Down is a must.. All game drives are in open jeeps so it
can get really cold.
Next you fly to Kruger National Park, and stay at the Ngala Lodge. Rooms are very very nice. Game drives a little different but we still saw many animals. Bring warm clothes. All jeeps have warm blankets but even your head gets cold. No windows or protection from the wind.
Last is your flight to Capetown. Culture shock. But still lots to see. The waterfront area is teeming with activity and Tauck will give you free time there. Last minute shopping and many restaurants. We went on a tour of a diamond cutting establishment which was very interesting. And yes you have an opportunity to buy if you so wish. The dollar right now is very strong, goodtime to purchase anything in CT.
Our Tauck Tour Director Susan, was just one of the best guides we have ever had on a Tauck Tour. She was so personable, forthcoming.
She loves Africa and it shows. Always willing to answer questions and just the best. Love you Susan!!
The baggage issue may change on future trips. We were told we could only bring the Tauck Duffels which were not the best moving pieces when full. If you have a small and I mean small rolling backpack with wheels I think it is OK as a carry on personal bag. Some people had very small business size rolling bags Soft side. And they worked. Also do not over pack. There is no dress code. This is a true safari and we all wore our pants and shirts from the drives to dinner. You also get free laundry at 2 lodges so you really only need 3 days of changes. Some of us got into nicer pants for the last dinner but nothing more than that. I like crafts and unique items. The gift shops at Chobe and Ngala had wonderful items. This was probably the best trip we have been on. Just amazing.