As first-time travelers to Africa, we were looking for an introductory type of experience in which my wife and I would have a broad range of activities and locales. That is exactly what our travel agent provided. At the outset of planning this trip, I discovered Zicasso quite by accident and immediately thought the whole premise of the website very intriguing. We were presented with 2 agencies to choose from and, while only 2, I found the task of selecting quite daunting. When presented with 2 excellent choices, how do you choose? I spoke personally with representatives from both and was offered sample itineraries. After much thought, I felt that I connected on a more personal level with the travel agent that I chose, and I felt her plan offered a wider diversity of experiences. We had an excellent mix, with urban experiences as well as safari and game viewing. We started with 3 days at Victoria Falls. Now, we traveled at the end of October, the end of the rainy season. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to see as many of the major waterfalls of the world as I can. Living in the US northeast, I have visited Niagara Falls many times and it is an impressive sight. I was absolutely shocked to find no flow over probably 2/3 of the brink of Victoria Falls. At this time of year, Niagara is a much more impressive sight. This was a major disappointment and my chief criticism of the structure of the vacation. We stayed in Zambia and had to walk over to Zimbabwe to see any flow. Between entry fees into the country and into the park on the Zimbabwe side, this added up to a not-insubtantial sum. Aside from this, the hotels that were suggested to us were absolutely topnotch, from the quintessentially British colonial feel of the Royal Livingstone, to the perfectly relaxed sophistication of the The Residence Boutique in Johannesburg and Cape Grace in Cape Town. Our safari camp, Tubu Tree Camp, offered an excellent experience. We were based there for 4 days after having been on the Zambesi Queen for a 2 night stint. It might have been nice to experience a different camp for comparison, but we did get a good experience on safari. One of the most impressive and important aspects of this trip was the impeccable transfer arrangements. We were never left alone for a second to become confused or anxious over the mutliple international entries/exits, some of which could have proven extremely anxiety-provoking! Overall, a very good experience.
The game viewing was excellent and the guides were amazing and informative. I still can't understand how they could get us back to camp at the end of a game drive. I'd still be driving around in the bush, hopelessly lost! I personally loved the bush flights on 5-seater planes where I was able to sit next to the pilot. My wife, not so much! We both adored Cape Town. We also both enjoyed very much our rainy afternoon of companionship and peace at The Residence Boutique!
As noted earlier, I would definitely visit Victoria Falls during the rainy season. In speaking with a local, we were told that during full flow, there is a mist that pervades the entire area. I would have liked to have seen that. We also would have spent more time in Cape Town, a truly stunning city.
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