We have just returned from the most incredible 3-week Private Journey in South Africa arranged by Lewie and the Worldwide Quest team - our first trip since the pandemic began. As always, the planning was meticulous as Lewie came up with wonderful experiences, exhilarating locations and gorgeous accommodations. The whole trip went so smoothly, efficiently and stress-free. Worldwide Quest has created many great private journeys for us around the world over the years, but this was truly exceptional. What were some of our highlights?
We flew by KLM to Cape Town where we stayed 2 nights at the Victoria and Alfred Hotel, which has an excellent location on Victoria Wharf waterfront. This is where the action is and it’s a picturesque and safe walking area with lots to take in.
Rovos Rail
What a remarkable 2-night experience from Cape Town to Pretoria on this “Orient Express” super luxury train! We felt like we were in an Agatha Christie novel (without the murder). We spent most of our time in our large suite watching the stunning scenery go by. The dining car was elegant silver service with amazing food and terrific wine pairings. The level of service was excellent, as it was throughout the trip.
After a drive to Johannesburg from Pretoria, it was a short flight north into the Kruger National Park area where we spent the next 12 nights at 3 different safari lodges in Timbavati Reserve and Sabi Sands bordering the vast Kruger reserve. The fences that formerly separated Kruger from surrounding private game reserves have been removed to allow free migration of the wildlife, so these areas offer a wonderful quantity and variety of wildlife with the added advantage of vehicle number control and off-roading options, plus luxury accommodations.
All three lodges were gorgeous, and the spacious cottages/suites came complete with butler service, which suited us well as we had all our meals in our own suites. &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge had the largest capacity but feels very private, and then Dulini Moya and Dulini River have a smaller capacity with only 6 cottage/suites each. The Dulini lodges were luxury personified, from the plunge pool on your deck to exceptional wine cellars. Dulini River was our favourite as the suites look onto a small river frequented by a variety of wildlife...and one afternoon we had the thrill of watching a leopard stroll by our deck!
We selected private drives for all locations as we like the option to view wildlife for extended periods, and we were thrilled with the results. Our driver/rangers and trackers were amazing, fun, and supremely professional. Spring in South Africa is a great time to visit. There a lots of animal babies and the bush is not densely leafed yet, so the viewing is easier. Incredible doesn’t begin to describe what we saw: a baby leopard climbing a tree; a just-born baby elephant with mom; numerous prides of lions with cubs; 2 white lions; a rhinoceros baby with parents; an adult leopard slowly descending from her tree; cheetahs, hippos, zebra, giraffes and so the list goes on. The viewings were wonderfully close and the number of vehicles for each encounter was limited from 1 to 3 depending on the situation; unbelievable encounters in the glorious bush with its gold sand dry riverbeds and spectacular trees. We got amazing photographs and memories.
From the moment we boarded our flight to South Africa until we landed back in Toronto, we were totally impressed with the excellent precautions that were taken to prevent the spread of the Covid virus. All plane, trains, hotels and indoor spaces had mandatory masking. Testing was required before boarding Rovos Rail, our temperatures were checked at all hotels and lodges and lodge staff were fully vaccinated. Both locals and guests were extremely observant of the rules and precautions. Testing for our return to Canada was conveniently available in our hotel.
GO GO GO !!!!!

To plan your own Private Journey to South Africa and beyond, click here to browse ideas or be in touch with Lewie at Worldwide Quest directly by email or call 1-800-387-1483.