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Travel Experience – Southern Africa and Madagascar
By Jacquey Turner
I had the absolute pleasure in March of escorting a group of intrepid travelers on our inaugural tour to Southern Africa and Madagascar.
Our first stop at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe gave us a taste of some of the wildlife we would see but more importantly great views of the thundering Victoria Falls. The rainbows and views were breathtaking in spite of the fact we were drowned by all the spray!
One of our wildlife encounters in Zambia was an up close and personal experience with rhinos.
Then we crossed the border into Botswana where we stayed at a couple of different lodges one of which overlooked the Zambezi River and the other in the heart of the delta. Our game drives were all most enjoyable with some wonderful photo opportunities of lions, elephants, giraffes, hippo, bird life, gazelle, leopard and many more.
The accommodation was stunning and food fabulous. We also enjoyed coffee breaks and sundowners drinks in the bush with beautiful sunsets and scenery.
Then it was off to South Africa and a couple of days travelling south on the luxurious Rovos Rail to Cape Town. Cape Town is set on the ocean with Table Mountain as the back drop and our rooms had lovely views of the harbour and the mountain.
Our activities included a trip to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held, beautiful views from the top of Table Mountain and a drive down to the Cape of Good Hope.
We were also privileged to spend some time with a personal friend of Nelson Mandela who first met Mr Mandela as his prison warden but became a close friend. After enjoying some of the wine of the region we flew to Johannesburg and onto the next stage of our adventure-Madagascar!
This incredible island was a revelation to us all. The national parks gave us wonderful opportunities to enjoy many lemur species at close range, plenty of birds, chameleons, beautiful trees including enormous baobabs which are hundreds of years old.
We drove many kilometres through villages and countryside which varied from tropical rainforests to semi desert. In the south of the island we stayed right on the beach overlooking the Mozambique Channel. Our last stop in Antananarivo, the capital, included a ride in vintage Citroen cars of all colours!
This fascinating tour had so many highlights including scenery, wildlife, people and various adventures.
If you would like to visit this part of the world, I'd love to help you plan your own personal experience.