* Victoria Falls River Lodge
The big question when travelling to Victoria Falls is “which side of the Falls should you stay on - Zambia or Zimbabwe?” This is a similar situation to Argentina vs Brazil for Iguassu Falls and US vs Canada for Niagara Falls.
There’s no right or wrong answer to this – the accommodation is a little more plentiful on the Zimbabwe side however all activities run from both sides and are easily accessible.
Whatever your decision, you will be able to cruise the Zambezi River and see the Falls from all angles.
Did you know that Victoria Falls is called the Adventure capital of Africa? it’s not only known for the majestic Waterfalls, but you can do any or all of the following whilst you’re there:
*white water rafting *bungee jumping *Gorge swings *Zipline *jetboating *walk with elephants
*helicopter rides *Zambezi river cruises
If you want to see both sides of the Falls, obtaining a Kaza Univisa for USD50 is an economical way to spend time in both countries.
I stayed up the river on the Zimbabwe side – the Victoria Falls River Lodge accommodates adults only in the Island Treehouses or families in the mainland villas.
Staying in the treehouses was a great experience. Sitting on the deck overlooking the Zambezi river, watching elephants and hippopotamus in the river below and monkeys in the trees above whilst sipping a G&T is what African dreams are made of.
* andBeyond Botswana properties
Botswana is well renowned as one of the best game viewing destinations in Africa and the most heavily populated wildlife areas are Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta.
Chobe is famous for its elephant population, but you can generally see most of the other major wildlife there also.
The Okavango Delta on the other hand can be seen from air, water or on land and in every instance, the game drive is diverse and the wildlife amazingly different and equally majestic on every occasion.
Fly me Around Botswana, a package put together by my local travel partner andBeyond Travel, provides great savings and amazing flexibility.
Stay up to 7 nights at up to 3 x andBeyond Botswana properties and you’ll not only get your flights in between the properties thrown in, but you’ll also be saving up to USD5300 per person for the 7-night stay. You have the choice to combine any of 3 x lodges and 2 x under canvas camps for what will be a very memorable experience. See the attached link and ask me more on how to book this incredible package!
Is there a right or wrong time to visit the Delta? The answer to that is no – every part of the year has something different to offer.
Generally speaking though, from April to September the Delta will be full of water due to the rains in Angola flowing down river and you will be able to do both land and water safaris during this time. You may not see as much as you would if you just did land activities, however it’s a great way to mix things up. A mokoro safari is a very unique experience.
* The Silo Hotel
* La Residence, Franschhoek
For me, South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world.
Starting with the vibrant city of Cape Town which is set on the beautiful Victoria & Alfred Waterfront; it has spectacular beaches stretching for kilometres in both directions. Table Mountain sits atop the city providing the most incredible views and there really is an extraordinary amount to do in and around the city. Venture down south to the Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach to see the penguins and come back into town to see the colourful Bo-Kaap houses in what was formerly the Malay Quarter.
Cape Town is also the gateway to the Winelands District which leads into the Garden Route, hugging the coastline around to Port Elizabeth. Hire a car and spend days meandering between vineyards, seaside towns and surf beaches, throw in some adrenaline filled activities and even see fabulous wildlife.
Then of course there is Kruger National Park as well as many other wildlife reserves within the country. There’s a reserve to suit everyone’s budget – and the Big 5 are there on show for everyone to see. Don’t be surprised if you see the Big 5 of elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard on your first morning game drive!
My tip – make sure you give yourself plenty of time to spend in South Africa. You could make it your one stop destination, taking in Johannesburg, Durban and even a Rovos Rail experience from Cape Town to Pretoria as well. You can use it as the gateway to other parts of Africa, but don’t dismiss it as just a gateway – it is a destination on its own.
* andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
With mind blowing landscape, Namibia is the most diverse country I have seen in Africa. It’s not well known as a tourist destination, but it needs to become a must-visit on every trip to Africa.
There are game reserves, parks, safari lodges, spectacular coastlines, waterholes and huge expanses of desert. The country is rich in game viewing, even considering how dry it is but it is the place where experiences can be found that are nowhere else in the world.
Did you know…..?
*it is one of the easiest and safest places in Africa to do a self-drive holiday
*it has hundreds of thousands of shimmering stars and makes it one of the best star gazing locations on the planet
*it has a population of only 2 million people, so it is extremely unpopulated
*it has the collection of the highest sand dunes in the world
*It is one of the most sustainable countries and is extremely rich in conservation
*as well as the normal 4WD safaris; you can do horse back safaris, hot air balloon safaris, walking safaris and helicopter safaris – all over or on rich red sand dunes and rugged terrain
*the Skeleton coast got its name from the whale and seal bones that once littered the shore line from the whaling industry, but now many shipwrecks are found that were caught by offshore rocks and fog.
*A combination of Sossusvlei desert, Etosha National Park and the Shipwreck coast make for a fabulous Namibian holiday
*Accommodation varies from camping to luxury lodge accommodation - I stayed at andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
* Singita Kwitonda Lodge
The main purpose of my trip to Rwanda was to do the Gorilla trek, however I found the country to have a sense of calm about it that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world.
The city of Kigali was heavily populated, yet no-one was in a rush, there was no honking of horns, cars weaved in and out of traffic and pedestrians were given right of way. They hadn’t seen tourists for just on 2 years as tourism was completely shut down during Covid and the welcome I received everywhere was quite extraordinary. The villagers were delighted to see tourists and waved at every passing vehicle, the kids chased the cars and wanted to have photos taken and interact. Everyone was at peace…… and after visiting the Genocide Museum in Kigali, I understood why.
This country had suffered the unspeakable, yet they had got through it and were living harmoniously.
The gorilla trek in the Volcanoes National Park was a truly incredible experience – read my account of it here.