lifestyle

OUT OF AFRICA

It’s no secret I’m something of an Africa-phile. Having planned and hosted many trips over the past decade my love for this vast and varied continent never fades.  So when B.LOVED contributor Tori mentioned that she was about to embark on her own African safari adventure I asked her to share some of her experiences with us right here.  From the rustic wilds of Zimbabwe, the lush landscapes of Botswana to the vast Kruger Park in South Africa, her trip covered some of my favourite spots and some new ones that have definitely made their way onto my lust list!

Tori travelled as part of a group in an organised tour, which is a great way to make the most of this part of the world, although of course if you have more time you could always plan my ultimate adventure self-driving from Cairo to Cape Town!!

Destination: Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa
Travel time: 12hr Direct Flight
Time of year: May – start of dry season

Over to Tori…

My sister and I had both been saying for a while that we really wanted to go on safari in Africa and over the Christmas break found ourselves dreaming of sunnier climates – a little Boxing Day sale swung us! Both of us are really into travelling although we often book quite different trips! My boyfriend also joined us on the trip which was definitely out of his comfort zone!

We booked our trip through Intrepid – both my sister and myself had traveled with them before in Colombia and Vietnam respectively.  On our previous trips we had been solo travellers and so travelling with a group had really appealed to us.  For our Africa trip we decided to book a group trip as none of us had been to Africa before and we only had 2 weeks so wanted to see as much as possible! Intrepid has so many trips to choose from it was so hard to pick so we narrowed down a few and then picked the dates that worked best for us!

Prior to the trip I was a little bit nervous about camping for 9 nights – it definitely isn’t really my preferred accommodation! Once we were there it was totally fine, we actually enjoyed it!  One night our campsite wasn’t fenced off from any animals and were warned of elephants walking past the tent in the night – terrifying but also amazing.  Travelling with a group was definitely something that doesn’t appeal to everyone – there was 16 in our group which was a great size.  There were people from the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand – it was so interesting getting to know and talking with all the people on our trip.  Many people on the trip had travelled a fair amount so it was fascinating hearing their stories and adding to my wanderlust wish-list!

Our trip started at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe which was stunning, we tracked Rhinos on foot, had an evening in a local village bar and ate with a local family and spent two days on Safari in Kruger National Park.

Our trip was the Vic Falls to Kruger Intrepid trip – it was 9 nights which was a great amount of time.  We definitely didn’t want to come home but I was quite excited to see a bed when we got to the hotel we had booked at the end of the trip!  Everything is organised for you and the guides (we had two AMAZING guides Siya and Timon) told us what time we had to be up and ready by every morning.  They cooked us breakfast and dinner every day and stopped at the supermarket so we could buy our own lunch and snacks.  I loved sitting round the campfire for dinner and in the evenings!

I know some of the Intrepid trips have a lot of optional extras but almost everything on ours was included – we added in 2 evening Safari’s in Kruger and it was so worth it.   We were lucky enough to see a leopard on one of the extra nights, so my recommendation would be to do all the extras you can!

I would definitely go to Africa again, although probably another part as I love to go to different places when I travel.  I would 100% book another Intrepid trip – I really cannot recommend them enough.  They make everything so easy and it made the trip so enjoyable not having to worry how to get around it just all happened!  I also think their knowledge they share with you is so valuable and because the guides are local you get such a great experience in the country.

WHAT TO PACK

●    Anti malarial tablets and insect repellant with DEET
●    Comfy shoes
●    Loose clothing
●    Travel towel and flash light
●    Good sleeping bag and pillow

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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