"" Writer's Wanderings: Safari Anyone?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Safari Anyone?

The weekend's visit to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo got me to thinking more about that safari on my "bucket list." So I spent (make that wasted) a couple hours surfing sites and learning about options for taking a safari.

I found two very interesting places on the web. The first is called the Paperbark Bush Retreat. It came highly recommended on Tripadvisor from the people who wrote reviews there. It is in South Africa between Johannesburg and Kruger National Park. Relatively new, it is owned by Lambert and Shelly Van der Nest who developed it in 2006/7. Carol and Will Fox, the hosts, were highly complimented on their hospitality by reviewers. The retreat is also a part of the Leutla Conservancy which is involved with the study of leopards. Bush walks, night drives, and activities associated with the leopard studies are all a part of the package. Back on Track Safari leads the treks into the parks.

The other place I found was the Shamwari Game Reserve. There were several choices of places to stay there. All looked very inviting and offered treks into the African parks to see the big five: elephants, rhinos, buffalo, lion and leopard). Again, this place was highly recommended on Tripadvisor as well.

If you take a look at the places I've mentioned, you'll see that I'm not looking to camp out. I gave that up way back in my Girl Scout days. I prefer indoor plumbing and relatively sturdy walls. One of the other choices we've considered is a cruise that ends/begins somewhere there is an opportunity to do a pre/post cruise safari. Unfortunately, due to piracy and unrest I'm guessing, many of the destinations for cruise ships have been abandoned for the time being. If we sign up for the 80 day leg of the Queen Mary 2 world cruise though, we could stop in Cape Town.

Ah well, perhaps I will settle for Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, get a nice balcony view of the the animal compound and use my imagination.

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