In less than a week (May 2!), I’ll be marking off the number one destination at the top of my bucket list: Africa. And I’ll be participating in the very last activity on earth that I ever desired to do: cage diving with Great Whites (more on that in an upcoming post).
I remember the moment I heard about luxury safaris: It was January 2010 at my very first Virtuoso event. I sat at a table in the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead as a representative from Micato Safaris handed us each a brochure with the most stunning photograph of a leopard that I’d ever seen. My jaw must have literally dropped when she began describing luxury safari camps that sounded nicer than the apartment I was living in. I recall going back home to my roommates and showing off all the shiny brochures from across the globe – but my favorite, the one I held onto for myself, was the one from South Africa.
As an avid indoors-advocate and lover of the finer things, I simply never could see myself traipsing across the globe to rough it in order to see wildlife in their natural habitat. My general relationship with nature is one of bad karma and fear. I literally had to hang up the phone with Delta last week because a spider was crawling across my desk and the cord wouldn’t allow me to run far enough away. So, when I found out that a luxury safari even existed, I thought This, this could very well be my cup of tea.
I’ll get to find out soon enough – Singita Pamushana has been gracious enough to host me and six other young agents for the first “Friends that Fam” trip. We all owe a big thanks to James Haigh at Singita for coming up with the idea and offering to bring us to the beautiful safari lodge in Zimbabwe and assist us with arrangements during the rest of our stay in South Africa.
I’m beside myself with excitement not only at the trip, but at the companions I’ll be traveling with. I met the majority of the group at my first ever Travel Mart (the same year I learned of luxury safaris) and have made life-long friendships out of those one-time acquaintances. A trip like this will only bring us closer together and create new memories that I can’t wait to share.
As for the itinerary, it will go as follows:
1 Night at the One&Only Cape Town
1 Night at the Cellars
2 Nights at Ellerman House (IN ELLERMAN VILLA – big deal. VERY big deal)
3 Nights Singita Pamushana (Zimbabwe)
1 Night at the Westcliff in Johannesberg
3 Nights Tswalu
It is truly a dream trip come true and I can’t thank the above hotels enough for hosting us. Their generosity is appreciated more than I could ever put into words. I’ll be posting more this week leading up to my trip and hope to update frequently throughout the trip.