This was one of the most incredible experiences my husband and I have ever had! Our safari travel agency booked everything from our international airfare, inter-Africa airfare, hotels and tours, and everything was spectacular. There were ZERO snags or misunderstandings, and everything ran completely smooth. Everyone we worked with at the company was friendly, helpful, and willing to answer any questions or concerns we had leading up to the trip. I would 100% use this company again when we go back to Africa!
There were so many incredible moments on this trip, but my husband and I agree that the best part of this trip was visiting the private Game Reserve, Thornybush, outside of Kruger National Park in South Africa. Not only was the park itself spectacular where we were able to see the Big 5, but our game driver on the first two drives was phenomenal. He taught us so much about the park, Africa's wildlife, and how to track and spot animals. I give the guide and the tracker five stars as well. My husband and I both said that next time we come back to Thornybush we are coming when they can be our guide! (Our other game drive guides were great too, but we really enjoyed our first guide and his personalized stories!)
Along with the amazing Game Drive experience, the Monwana Lodge at Thornybush was beyond every expectation we had! The staff there was so friendly and accommodating! Also the food, was out of this world! Truly, we cannot wait to return to Thornybush!
We would do a few things differently if we could. First, we would book different international flights. The 8-9 hour layovers in London on both ends of the trip added a lot to our travel time. We would try next time to fly from Las Vegas to Atlanta, Atlanta to Cape Town versus Las Vegas to London, London to Johannesburg. Also on the flight home I wasn't sure why we needed to fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg, then Johannesburg to London. Couldn't we have taken a flight from Cape Town to London? Seemed a bit round-about and added another 6+ hours to our travel time. The flight themselves and the seats were fine (other than always being at the wing of the plane so our window seats were just of the wing).
The second thing we would do differently is flip the trip itinerary a bit. We started at Thornybush, then went to Zimbabwe, then ended in Cape Town. The experience we had at Thornybush was so incredible and the private moments we had with animals were breathtaking, that by the time we went to Zimbabwe (and the day trip to Chobe in Botswana) we weren't so impressed by the elephants and other animals in the more populated and busy National Parks. We would have rather started in Zimbabwe and done the popular National Parks there, and THEN gone to the private game reserve and had those more intimate moments with animals next. Then ended in Cape Town. We think this would have given us a much greater appreciation of the Private Reserve than we had while we were there.
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