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Traveler’s Corner: Adventures and Abundant Wildlife in Southern Africa

January 26, 2024  By: Gretchen

Bonnie and Bruce knew several people that had traveled to Africa on safari and had loved it. After a self-planned 2020 safari fell through, they decided to work with specialists to plan a new trip. A friend had recommended Africa Adventure Consultants (AAC) and they took that trusted recommendation to heart, planning their Southern Africa adventure with us.

lion with mouth open

Bonnie and Bruce traveled to South Africa, Victoria Falls and Botswana. They loved their accommodations, the people they encountered, the services they chose, even their transfers – and the safari experience itself was ‘mind blowing.’

“It was a little surreal. It was so amazing to be there and be part of it. Watching the symbiosis of nature was incredible.” - Bonnie
Bruce and Bonnie with Table Mountain

The last time Bonnie and Bruce had worked with a travel professional was many years ago for their honeymoon. They like to plan their own travel, heading off the beaten path and avoiding crowds. “The worst thing I can imagine is being at the end of a line in a group with someone standing up front holding a stick,” said Bruce. That is definitely not the kind of travel that AAC is known for! Bonnie and Bruce have since become ‘ambassadors’ of AAC, recommending our services to family and friends alike.

"It was hard to let go of the planning process, but once I started, I realized AAC would be there for everything we needed. From the minute we left, everything was incredible from start to finish. We didn’t have a single issue – the trip was flawless." - Bonnie
male lion

The top highlight of their trip was the sheer abundance of wildlife they encountered.

“Our guides were gifted in being able to find wildlife. To be there and have a lion walk next to the vehicle and stare at me…it was magical.” – Bonnie

They managed to see all of the Big 5 on their first day and enjoyed multiple encounters with leopards, lions (40 in one day!) and wild dogs.

“We saw a leopard with her kill up in a tree. You could hear her crunching on the duiker. Seeing it in reality – the smells, the sounds and the feelings – it’s a sensory overload, in a positive way.” - Bonnie
bird with reflection

Bruce enjoys photography and found that their expert guides helped to enhance that part of the trip.

“We had the absolute best time with our guide, JuJu, and our tracker, Douglas. They were beyond amazing.” – Bonnie
wild dog in grass

Bonnie and Bruce both found unexpected excitement about species they didn’t expect to be interested in. Wild dogs were the first surprise followed by a general increase in their interest in birds.

“We did not leave for the trip thinking we would be interested in painted dogs, but we have a passion for them now. We had multiple sightings at Kambaku River Sands – we watched them play dead, saw pups playing and other behaviors. It was a high point that was unexpected. Also, the lilac breasted roller. We didn’t have much interest in birds before this trip but now we love birds. Their sheer numbers are amazing!” - Bonnie
Bruce and Bonnie with guides

They enjoyed their accommodations, but Kambaku River Sands stood out as their favorite. They found the staff to be wonderful – going above and beyond in every way possible, including arranging a private anniversary dinner in their wine room as a surprise.

“The head chef took special care of my gluten free needs. Every single meal she ensured I had multiple options. Each meal, she sought me out and made sure I knew which foods were gluten free. I felt like I had a gluten free angel watching over me!” - Bonnie
Bruce at Devil's Pool

Bonnie and Bruce advise travelers considering an African safari to be more adventurous. Bonnie strongly recommends visiting the knife’s edge of Victoria Falls and peering over the edge. You can do this seasonally via the Devil’s Pool or the Angel’s Pool, or like Bonnie and Bruce did, to a safe spot with a guide.

“I was terrified but do it! It’s amazing!’ - Bonnie

Bruce has a few tips for photographers. He suggests bringing a full frame camera with a zoom lens up to 400 mm, and ensure it has good resolution in low light. He brought two different cameras (and his iPhone) and you can see some of the incredible results throughout this blog.

“Everything was wonderful. AAC too! It was wonderful working with Angie.”

Are you ready to plan your customized safari adventure? Contact one of our Journey Specialists to get started or subscribe to the newsletter below to keep in touch!


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Photos courtesy AAC Livingstone Club members Bruce and Bonnie C.