South African Dream

I have always adored animals and for years dreamt of going to Africa to see them up close. It took me time to figure out where to go, but finally I settled on South Africa. This was my bucket list choice, and frankly Charles was not that keen. He said we could go to The Wild Kingdom at Disneyworld and be home in time for dinner. Very funny! Although I did love that experience with my grand daughters, but as good as it was, it was not animals in the wild.  Now as I mentioned in my London Sojourn blog https://suddenly70.ca/2016/12/04/london-sojourn/ we broke up our trip with a wonderful stop en route in London.

We left London on a night flight to Cape Town on British Airways, which I booked as part of a multi-city Business Ticket (https://suddenly70.ca/2016/08/01/lists-bucket-or-otherwise/ BA was terrific and the Triple 7 had seats that faced each other so I could see Charles and talk to him during meal service. A good sleep enhanced by half an Imovane, a sleeping pill that I use for only long trips by air, and we arrived in the morning. Now, I booked the London part of our journey myself, but as I really didn’t feel confident about Booking South Africa I used a travel agent.

We have South African friends in Howey in the Hills, our home in Florida and after talking about wanting to go, Chris brought me a copy of a magazine that featured South Africa. I went with one of the recommendations for travel companies, and got in touch with Roar Africa purely on a hunch. Caroline Hunt was the specialist I met on the phone. I told here that I wanted a high-end trip with no safety worries, a good private guide as well. I wanted to spend time in Cape Town and The Winelands, and then go to a game camp and see the Big 5.

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Cape Town Beach from our hotel balcony

She sent me sample itineraries that she designed, and after I booked the flights we settled on one. Caroline was simply terrific, very accommodating and patient however. I did have a moment of panic when I sent the deposit (money transfer). I worried that perhaps it was all a scam and my money would disappear. Crazy me, I never spent any time checking Roar Africa’s bona fides. If I had I would have seen the testimonials of their clients; Robert Redford being a rather well known one.

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Lunch in the Winelands

We made a few adjustments to the final itinerary that also included restaurant bookings. I spent time talking to Caroline and also many dozens of emails were exchanged. And I changed my mind a few times as I tried to envision our trip, but in the end it was a fantastic itinerary and the reality of our South African adventure far exceeded my expectations.

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I will divide my blog into three sections: our time in Capetown, our time in the Winelands, and finally the highlight our trip in Sabi Sand viewing the animals of my dreams, and connecting with them spiritually.

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Water buffalo in for a swim

As I write this I am on a wonderful cruise in South East Asia, currently crossing the Gulf of Tonkin.  I look forward to telling you about this splendid journey after I return To Florida.

Meanwhile I hope to soon tell you about my incredible trip to South Africa. The internet is challenging aboard, so fingers crossed.

Always,

Riki

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