Call me eccentric if you will, but whenever I am on tour I take along my trusty wire Hoopoe to add a bit of humour to the images I share with friends and colleagues. What a pleasure it was to find ourselves in Zimbabwe operating a tour for 13 Canadians. On arrival at Vic Falls airport ex O.R. Tambo, we proceeded to the Vic Falls Lodge where our party were given time to relax, settle in and unwind after a long day. This gave the tour leader and I an opportunity to experience some local flavour and dine at an authentic Zimbabwean restaurant, a short taxi ride from the lodge and a world away from the more touristy alternatives.
Over the following week our group experienced an elephant safari, the big 5, an awesome helicopter flip over Victoria Falls and a spectacular dinner on the Zambezi while viewing the crocs and hippo’s. With their itinerary full and in capable hands I took the opportunity to spend a few days at the Chobe Safari Lodge in Botswana. There are few experiences more relaxing than an overnight stay on one of their boat cruises whilst enjoying a delicious meal of bream on the deck at sunset. African Hoopoe Tours will soon be incorporating this majestic experience into one of our tours.
On my return our group enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the truly spectacular Vic Falls Hotel, a fitting end to the first part of our tour. A special mention should be made of the excellent service received throughout our time in Zimbabwe, from the extremely professional helicopter pilot to the attentive service at the various establishments we attended. And so on to Kruger and Timbavati Lodge where to cut a long story short our group saw and experienced everything they could ever have hoped for on safari.
Our next stop was Durban and thanks to our knowledgeable guide Melody for showing us the best the city has to offer, a particular highlight for me being the afternoon spent at the Red Carnation Group’s Oyster Box restaurant in Umhlanga. The view of the Shark Tank from the Skycar over the Moses Mabhida Stadium was also spectacular. Next on the itinerary was Port Elizabeth and a boat cruise to the Kariga five star tented camp for a two day safari, thanks Wayne for your professional guiding. A tour of P.E and the Donkin Reserve completed our time here and the group enjoyed a free day before our departure for Knysna, Oudshoorn, Betty’s Bay and the Stellenbosch Wine Route over the subsequent days.
Our group are now comfortably ensconced in the Cape Grace Hotel as I write and as one of our party is an ex Canadian International rugby player, tomorrow African Hoopoe have arranged for a talk by a Toronto born rugby legend, former Springbok and Canadian international rugby player, Christian Stewart.
“Creating Unique Experiences” is what African Hoopoe Tours strives to achieve for our customers and we would like to extend a big thank-you to all the people that have contributed to making this tour such a memorable one. We hope that our blog will be well received and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Marius du Plessis
African Hoopoe Team!