Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Kathy B on Safari

“Trip-of-a-lifetime. Magical. I did not want to leave.” Just a few of the things Kathy B says about her recent trip to Botswana and South Africa. Thanks to our friends at Belmond, Kathy got to take her ultimate, bucket list trip this June. She spent 2 nights at Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, and 2 nights at Belmond Eagle Island Lodge with a site inspection of Belmond Khwai River Lodge in between. The trip ended with a few nights at Belmond Mount Nelson in Cape Town, South Africa. If you want to hear all the incredible details of Kathy’s magnificent trip give her a call. She would love to talk for hours about it! That said below is a somewhat-brief recount of her trip.


Kathy flew from DFW airport to JFK in order to make the comfortable, nonstop flight JFK to Johannesburg on South African Airways. Kathy’s adventure began with a couple short flights, one in the very tiny jumper plane which then brought them to Savute Elephant Lodge. Savute is known for having the largest concentration of predators, and has a dry, sandy terrain. The lodge offered incredible tented accommodations complete with outdoor showers, fine linens and spectacular views. Belmond’s luxury extended throughout the Safari experience including the open air jeeps used for game drives. With tiered seating there wasn’t a bad seat to be had, and Kathy saw some amazing animals. While there were elephants and giraffes galore the highlights were the lion cubs playing and seeing the elusive leopard twice (which surprised even the guides). 

Kathy stopped at Belmond Khwai River Lodge for a site inspection, lunch and short game drive to get a taste for Belmond’s third tented camp lodge. This property is unique because it has a big river that attracts a lot of wildlife. Kathy was fortunate enough to see a den of wild dogs on her game drive.   Kathy recommends that travelers spend at least 2 nights to take in the wildlife and scenery here.

After another thirty-minute flight by small plane, Kathy arrived at Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, a stunning tented camp in the flood plains. Be sure to visit this lodge between June and September, as this is the flood season and game drives are done by boat. After three days of game drives on land, Kathy found the boat drives to be a fun way to see different animals. Belmond’s aluminum motor boats zip guests in between the reeds to wildlife unreachable by land such as hippos and crocodiles. You can also get a bird’s eye view of the plains with Belmond’s helicopter safari experience. The colors of the landscape and the thrill of the open-air helicopter just tickled Kathy. She also got to visit a local tribe and interact with residents. She treasures the personal experiences she had dancing with the children and shopping for hand-woven baskets. Of the three lodges, Belmond Eagle Island Lodge has been most recently renovated. Kathy described her tent as uber-luxe with a soaking tub, plunge pool and both indoor and outdoor showers.

As Kathy describes, “The staff were exceptional, and there for your every request. The guides were so knowledgeable, funny and entertaining. Every stop, whether coffee in the morning or “sundowners” at dusk, was done luxuriously with linens, glassware and a full bar all while in the middle of the African Safari.”

Her memorable trip didn’t stop with Safari though. Kathy spent the final days of her trip in Cape Town at the historic Belmond Mount Nelson, a superbly located property within the city allowing guests to walk around town with ease. Kathy was fortunate enough to get to explore their great wine region, which is just two hours away, and ride in a motorcycle sidecar along the coast. To take in all the spectacular views of Cape Town travelers need to be sure to visit Cape of Good Hope and see the oceans collide, and hike (or cable car) to the top of Table Mountain. At the end of each day though Kathy was grateful to come back to the luxury of the Belmond Mount Nelson where she could relax in her spacious suite and take in the views of Table Mountain. 

Kathy hated to leave Africa, but she would love the opportunity to send you there! If you want to create an amazing and memorable trip to Africa contact Kathy B at kathy@sanderstravel.com or call your Sanders Travel Advisor. 

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