Trip Report: Africa multiple countries


Level 2 Member
This is my first trip report ever. Please pardon me if you find it way too long and with mistakes in spelling/writing.

There were three of us in this trip - my husband, a female friend, and me. We purchased the Etihad mistake fare on Xmas and used SW companion pass to fly from Dallas to New York. They were LONG flights.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve - Elephant Plains Game Lodge The setting was nice. Cabin was big and comfortable. Food was fine.
Every cabin is unique inside. We stayed at the lion cabin with two balconies overlooking the meadow behind the lodge. We could see many animals from one of the balconies. Our ranger was Dawvie. He was absolutely fantastic and very adventurous. He would go all the way to find animals and to get close to the animals for a better view.

We saw all big 5 and lots of other animals. There were plenty of elephants in the reserve. We spotted leopards twice and saw herds of lions. The most we saw was 13 lions at one time. They were sleeping most of the time. Our ranger joked lions are the most boring animals since they sleep during daytime, We did see a herd of lions ready for hunt after sunset on our way back to the lodge.

After two nights, we took a flight from Hoedspruit to JNB and stayed overnight at Intercontinental OR Tambo which is across from the arriving hall. It's very convenient. We flew to VFA the next morning.

Victoria Falls - the Victoria Falls Hotel.
The hotel is located in front of the falls. It's only 10 minutes walk from the back of the hotel to the falls. We took the river cruise in hope of seeing the falls on the fist day. But found out we could only see the mist from 2.5 miles away. Our bad, should have researched this. I would not recommend taking the river cruise. It was USD 90/pp on the top deck.

We walked in the falls area for 4 hours and were soaking wet. We also went to the bridge to see the falls from a different angle. The other side of the bridge is Zambia. We applied a single entry visa upon arriving Zimbabwe. All we did was getting a piece of paper with a stamp right before crossing the bridge at the immigration office. This allowed us reentry to Zimbabwe after returing from the bridge. (Do not bring passport if only have a single entry visa.). We were told there is a nice view of the falls from the Zambia side with a short taxi ride. We took the helicopter tour after coming back from the falls. It was beautiful and exciting.

After 2 nights, we were shuttled to Chobe in Botswana. Visa is not required for US citizens.

Chobe Game Reserve - Chobe Game Lodge
Wow, this is such a beautiful lodge and is the only lodge within the reserve. We also found out Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton came here twice and had their second wedding in this lodge. The room is not as big as the one in Elephant Plains but is comfortable. The only complaint I had was the bathroom which was small for two persons. The food was excellent. the candlelight dinner was so unique and romantic.

There were two game drives and one river cruise each day. To our surprise we saw a lot more animals with more variety here than at Sabi Sands. We saw tons of elephants playing in the water or walking on the wilderness. The only big 5 we did not see was the leopard. There were many hippos in or out of the water. There were also plenty of buffalos and rhinos. At one time we spotted more than 30 giraffes in one place. there were too many and we lost count. The rangers here are all females. They are not as adventurous as those at Sabi Sands but they are good and knowledgable.

After two nights, we flew to Cape Town

Cape Town - Radisson Blu Waterfront
We were upgraded to business class room which is a suite overlooking the harbor/ocean.

This is such an enchanting and beautiful city with plenty of things to do. We all wish we could stay here longer. We visited the table mountain, took hop on hop off bus to tour different places, joined a day tour to Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope etc, ate good seafood. We tried to visit Robon Island but the ferry ticket was sold out. Make sure you get the ticket on the first day if you plan to go. We also shopped at the Green Square Market and got some decent souveniers in Cape Town. You can haggle there. We would love to visit the wineries but did not have time. There are so many things to do there. We all agreed we will visit here again.

It's time to plan for the next trip.
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Level 2 Member
Nice trip report! I stayed at Elephant Plains two years ago with Dawvie as our ranger and enjoyed it immensely. Nice Sabi Sands property and affordable.

Next African adventure will be going to Chobe and Namibia in a couple of months!


Level 2 Member
@niehlin2 - Thanks for posting! I am trying to select lodges and your review was very helpful. Both the Chobe Game Reserve and the Elephant Plains Game Lodge are on my short list!