Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a fabulous city that some people compare to San Francisco. It has an exciting waterfront, temperate climate and the imposing backdrop of Table Mountain. There is so much to see and do, you could easily spend a week or more here. We recommend at least three or four nights in order to get the most out of your visit. A visit to Cape Town can be easily combined with a safari, either before or after your city stay. Where to stay? There are several luxurious hotels we recommend.

The Mount Nelson hotel is the grande dame of the city. She has been host to the likes of Winston Churchill and Leonardo DiCaprio since her opening in 1899. The pool and gardens are a lovely place to enjoy on a sunny day.

The Cape Grace hotel is located at the V and A Waterfront. This is a spectacular location if you like to be close to the hustle and bustle of the harbour and shopping area. It's soothing lobby is a welcome oasis after a day of touring or shopping.

If you like the idea of a resort hotel in the middle of the city, then the One and Only Cape Town is the one for you. Palm trees and a lagoon surround the tranquil pool area. The rooms are the largest in Cape Town, starting at 678 square feet, all appointed with the latest in high tech gadgetry.

Book any of these hotels with us and receive exclusive amenities such as complimentary breakfast daily, upgrade upon arrival and more!

Call the travel specialists at Bee Kalt Travel to book your next Africa vacation!
tel: 248-288-9600 or email: travel@beekalt.com

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Londolozi, South Africa

My journey continued with a charter flight out to "the bush", where it is not advisable to reach out and pet the kitties. Federal Air provides flights from its own private terminal at the Johannesburg airport. It's a pleasure to check in with their friendly staff, and wait in the comfortable lounge or the outdoor garden patio before flight time. They have a nice selection of complimentary snacks and a lovely gift shop to help pass the time.

I landed at the Londolozi airstrip in less than an hour, where I was met by my Ranger and taken on a short drive to my home for the next two nights. Londolozi is a private game lodge situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park. Londolozi welcomes couples and families and is run efficiently and enthusiastically by the Varty family, who have owned the property since 1926.
There are five different camps to choose from, each with varying degrees of luxury and intimacy, depending on the individual needs and desires of the guest.

I stayed in Varty camp where my suite had an elegant, rustic feel to it. I loved the dark wood wrap-around deck with private plunge pool. I also liked how the entire length of the suite was fitted with glass or door walls. Even the huge indoor shower had a wall of glass, looking out onto the wilderness. It brings the outdoors indoors - but you are cautioned to keep your doors latched or a curious baboon might find his way in!

Johannesburg, South Africa

I traveled to South Africa recently with the deluxe tour company, Swain Tours. They planned a seamless trip, with timely meet and greet services upon arrival and pleasant, knowledgeable guides throughout. My itinerary included Johannesburg, a safari and Cape Town. I stayed at my favorite hotel in Jo'burg, The Westcliff. Beautiful accommodations, excellent service and delicious food are hallmarks of this resort-like hotel in the city.

I enjoyed a new tour offered called "Walking with the Lions". I must admit to being skeptical when first hearing of the tour. I do not support activities that exploit animals, or animal interactions that exist solely for the purpose of entertaining tourists. This was not the case at Cullinan. The farm we visited, run by Colin McCrae and his family, is working toward the conservation and re-population of the African lion. I was surprised to hear of the dramatic decline in numbers of lions, from a quarter million to only 20,000 left in the wild. Through his program, visitors are allowed unprecedented access to these beautiful creatures. The goal of his breeding program is to have a genetically diverse group of cats, and to create conditions where the lions' instincts will take over so they will be able to be released into the wild. You are only allowed to walk with lions under one year of age. I felt very safe, with many handlers accompanying us on the walk. My favorite part of the day was when we were able to hold and feed 3 week old baby lions! They were so cuddly and cute - it was an amazing experience!