I have a thing for elephants. They’re my favorite animal and it turns out I’m going to get to meet a few of them soon…. and, not in captivity.

So you’ve probably guessed where I am off to.

Welcome to Friendly Planet Travel’s Tour…Best of South Africa.This is the trip my husband and I signed on for and we are over the moon excited. We are leaving this week and have been so impressed with the clarity of the website, and the ease of use that we are convinced this company knows how to take care of their guests.

When I was contacted by Friendly Planet Travel to write about their tours, I was thinking this must be a mistake. But it all became real when I was invited to select a tour from among several of their destinations.

A South African safari was on my “bucket list,” and so I signed on. I am thrilled my husband is joining me on this adventure and apparently so are 15 to 18 other guests. This is classified as their small group escorted tour. And, that’s a good thing because I’m not a fan of big tour bus travel.

Preparing for this trip takes a bit of organizing, including a visit to the travel Doctor to get a few necessary shots, a mini shopping spree for safari pants and shirts, deet and of course the essentials…binoculars and a good camera. The website makes the packing job easy as everything is spelled out.

When we heard about this trip, we were amazed to see how reasonable the fee was for the 13-day itinerary and the optional excursions. We are so curious to see how they can accomplish taking us on this comprehensive itinerary given the cost.

The flight is on South African airlines which is direct to Johannesburg and it’s a long 18-hours from JFK. We  then hop another flight to Cape Town. Sounds like an insane amount of travel but definitely not a deterrent. Once I figure out how to download the Netflix series, Stranger Things, onto my i-pad, I should be all set to binge watch, eat and sleep.

The schedule looks packed — 4 nights in Cape Town at 15 on Orange, 4 nights in Kruger at 2 different hotels/camps, and the last 2 nights in Johannesburg.

In Cape Town, we are really excited about the days offerings but as we didn’t want to miss anything we also added  2 excursions as supplements:

  • Half Day Stellenbosch Winelands Excursion

Enjoy an optional half day excursion to glorious Stellenbosch, the heart of the Cape Winelands. Explore fine art galleries, architecture, history, and curious and quaint shops. But first, take a leisurely drive to get acquainted with beauty of this world renowned region, before venturing into the wine-making process in a fascinating cellar tour with wine tasting.

  • Full Day Walk to Freedom Tour

Experience the wonderful energy of Cape Town’s townships in one unforgettable tour. Start with a visit to the oldest township, Langa. Stop by a local “shebeen” (pub), to get glimpse of local life. Then from Langa travel to Khayelitsha, the largest township of the Western Cape. In the afternoon, visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years.

Take a look at this website and spend some time perusing  Friendly Planet’s other trips to see there full offerings.

We are feeling optimistic this will be a trip of a lifetime.

I will be writing next week about the adventure …while on assignment.


This is a BA50 sponsored post.

A Taste Of South Africa, First Time Ever! was last modified: by

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