I often get asked whether I get bored doing the same trips over and over. The answer is NO. Every group is different and interesting, some in a good way, some in a bad way, but all are interesting! We do stay in the same places but game viewing is always different and unpredictable. A major influence on a trip is undoubtedly the teachers as they determine how the students perform and behave. Sparshoult B group definitely behaved in a good way so they get a thumbs up from me!
Moholoholo was definitely a highlight with the students as being allowed in a cage to play with baby lions is more than the students expected. How much longer we will be allowed to do this is questionable as they are rapidly growing up and a playful bite from one of them could be very painful. Like all youngsters they are naughty and needed the odd slap across the nose to keep them in check. Moholo’ has great staff who are passionate about what they do and what I particularly like is that they tell it how it is, no painting pictures through rosy coloured glasses.
Khamai Reptile Park followed and this too is a favourite of mine as Donald Strydom also gives a down to earth presentation. Their policy is that at no stage do they frighten their visitors and before they bring out any ‘animal’ they explain what it is so that the more nervous people can prepare themselves. Donald has the ability to get nervous students to hold things like big hairy spiders purely because he demonstrates confidence as he slowly transfers it from his hand onto the student’s hands.
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) is a venue that I can never predict how the students and teachers will respond. Some are blown away by the Centre and others don’t like it at all. Again I think it has a lot to do with the HESC guides and the knowledge that they are prepared to impart. This group seemed to like the Centre which I think had a lot to do with the Vet and PRO spending time before and after the tour chatting about things.
Our Kruger Park stay was at Skukuza Camp in the safaris tents except for three rondavels where a few of the students and teachers stayed. The early morning bush walks were a hit with the students and most got fantastic pictures and sightings of leopards, lions, rhino etc.
From here we were off to Mlilwane in Swaziland for two nights where many students and teachers managed to get in a 2 hour horse ride. Another big hit in Swaziland was the craft market where many gifts were bought for family and friends back home. The biggest hit though was when CJ, Stuart and I were stopped for speeding! Thankfully the police were kind to us and only gave us small fines. CJ tried hard for me to take the brunt of the fine being in the front vehicle but the police wouldn’t hear of it. Thanks CJ.
Tembe Elephant Park was our last destination back in KwaZulu Natal where tents with mattresses on the floor was the sum total of comfort. Most students thoroughly enjoyed ‘roughing’ it as it presented a truly African experience.
Game viewing throughout was pretty good with most seeing the ‘big-5’. The one disappointment was that Simon never managed to find his wild chameleon but all that means is that he will have to return next year.
Thank you for an amazing trip Nigel – I am sure that every single one of us miss South Africa more than we could have ever imagined! Thank you for your time, patience and effort; particularly Stuart who made for a fantastic guide! 🙂
We’re so happy that you had a great time Hannah!
Thank you Nigel, for an unforgettable amazing experiance of a lifetime. The whole trip was great. Definatly something I will never forget.
Thank you for your message Jasmine – it is much appreciated!
I would like to say a huge thank you for making this trip the best I have ever been on! We all had a wonderful time, I learned so much from the guides and had the most wonderful, unforgettable experience!!
I big thanks to Nigel, C.J and Stewart for making the trip even better!! It was a sad goodbye at Durban airport but it was a trip I will never forget.
Thank you very much for the great feedback Amy!