Girls Going Wild – Small Group Tour for Ladies visiting Kenya, Victoria Falls and Cape Town
Our ‘GM’, Leanne hosted this inaugural ‘Girls Going Wild’ trip for a small group of ‘Young at Heart’ girls to discover Africa. Below is the first excerpt from their Kenya experience.
(written by one of the lucky participants)
We were a diverse group of 9 women, friends for years, about to embark on a holiday of a lifetime, prepared by one of the most experienced African Safari Travel Experts in Australia, we trusted her implicitly, our itinerary was packed, there wasn’t a single detail we needed to worry about because we were taking her with us – Leanne Wild, The Africa Safari Co. General Manager – and Legend!
In the early morning hours we arrived at Nairobi airstrip to board our small plane to Laikipia to join the Karisia Walking Safari, the adventure was about to begin… Girls Going Wild cleared for take-off.
We were met at the Loisaba Conservation Centre by Gabriel our Samburu tracker and guide. For the next two hours our convoy of 2 vehicles traversed the country of Tumaren and we were soon to learn that Gabriel missed nothing, this had to be the most interesting “hotel transfer” ever experienced, complete with a “mock charge” from a young male elephant, Gabriel didn’t blink an eye, the rest of us just held our collective breath.
We arrived at our campsite which was nestled amongst the rocky outcrop of Nysaura, where we met the team of warriors (18 in total) who were taking care of our camp for the duration of our visit. I don’t think any of us were prepared for the experience of the next few days, the knowledge of our Guides, their willingness to share and explain the intricacies of their country, the wildlife that we walked amongst, the amazing scenery viewed from the ground and from the top of a camel, being so close to curious giraffes and spying the shy dic dic amongst the bushes, fabulous food, hot showers, smiles and laughter. The Karisia Walking Safari team are amazing, the memory of our farewell song and dance celebration performed by the Samburu Warriors is something I will not forget.
Although sad to say goodbye, our next adventure beckoned….. a transfer to Nanyuki Airstrip, Girls Going Wild were again cleared for take-off heading to Mara North Conservancy for a 3-night stay at the amazing Kicheche Mara Camp, luxury sustainable safari camping at it’s finest.
The accommodation, service, food, friendliness of the staff all fabulous, the ethos and passion for the Mara is evident everywhere within the camp, the Camp’s Manager Carys and her humour never wavering (even when we drank the camp dry of Sav Blanc) shhhhh!!! But it is our guides Richard and Jimmy who show us the absolute wonders of the Masai Mara – this is Africa.
The landscape of the Mara takes your breath away and there was never too long in the drive before you were seeing something incredible. We had sundowners in the rain watching the Hippos wallow, we flew across open plains to be amongst the first to see a litter of cheetah cubs playing with their mum, we spent leisurely time watching a pride of lions and their cubs play in the early morning sun. We picnicked by the river watched a giraffe walk slowly across, we had countless sightings of Impalas, Thomson’s Gazelle and Hartebeest and saw a zillion Zebras.
The Girls Going Wild adventure continued, taking a road trip from the Mara back into Nairobi, driving through townships and countryside, making the obligatory stop at curio shops to use the loo and haggle for a bargain. The highway into Nairobi took us past the shanty town on one side and Nairobi National Park on the other, two very different views of Africa.
After an overnight stop to wash the dust off, we were cleared for take off again and flew into Livingstone, crossed the Zambia/Zimbabwe border, crossing the Zambezi River, an experience in itself, enroute to Old Drift Lodge. We arrived via a boat ride, long enough for a glass of champagne or two and an introduction to the magnificent Zambezi River. On arrival we were welcomed with a refreshing towel service and an equally refreshing cocktail, the scene was set for what would be 24 hours of pure luxury and indulgence – Old Drift Lodge certainly has the wow factor and ticks all the boxes!
With each luxury lodge situated on the river it was hard to know what to do first; the plunge pool, the outdoor bath, the bar or a game drive? The day ended with a beautiful sunset champagne cruise on the Zambezi followed by a magnificent meal – we had been very well cared for.
With reluctance we left Old Drift Lodge and headed into town. In Victoria Falls we were based in a private residence and met by the delightful housekeeper Silvia who assisted us during our stay. I am sure she was quietly horrified how much washing 9 women could produce. We transferred to Victoria Falls Station for the Tram and Historical Bridge tour. What an experience, with a Pims or Champagne in hand we boarded the Tram and headed to the famous Victoria Falls Bridge. The period history presentation was as entertaining as it was informative, and we were transported back in time with the telling of the story. The day finished with a dinner cruise on the Zambezi – you really could never get tired of these wonderful views.
The next day was an early start for our guided tour of the Falls, getting in before the crowds and the heat. Sadly with the drought and extreme dry conditions the Falls were not at their roaring best, and although we might not have experience the drenching spray we were all still impressed by the vastness and beauty and were looking forward to our birds eye view from the helicopter next. Victoria Falls from the air was simply glorious and gave us a true perspective of this marvellous natural wonder!
From helicopter flights we moved to the elegance of the grand lady, Victoria Falls Hotel for a spot of high tea, a stroll through the township, a bit of shopping in the local markets and shops before finishing the day sharing a feast cooked on the braai (BBQ) with some of our friendly local mates. Victoria Falls – we hope to see you again. Now, off to Cape Town.
After a girl’s night in at our amazing 3 story villa, we were picked up by Ryan of Explore Sideways for our Best of Cape Town day tour First stop Table Mountain, a cable car ride up the mountain to enjoy those world famous views that Cape Town is famous for.
Returning to sea level we headed to Greenmarket Square – some frenzy shopping and impulse buying, it is hard to resist, before venturing on to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and lunch at the Watershed (very much like New York Chelsea Market). With a pick-up time of promptly 2pm we had a bit of time to explore and really no idea what the afternoon held. The surprise and delight of the group when we rounded the corner to find 5 motorbikes with side cars lined up ready to take us up to Lions Head in search of another view of the Mother City Cape Town. What fun we had with lots of laughs and amazing scenery and arrived at our viewing point and while we waited for the clouds to part, there was of course more champagne!
Our final full day of fun, escaping the city for a drive along Chapmans Peak, before stopping at Cape Point for a walk to the lighthouse and a photo opportunity at the Cape of Good Hope (the most southwestern point of the African Continent), the scenery today did not disappoint, in fact we were blown away (sometimes literally)
Venturing on to Boulders Beach, we got to watch the African Penguins – so much cuteness, and so many to see. Our last official stop Cape Point Winelands for a leisurely lunch and wine tasting – simply sensational. We celebrated our last night of this absolutely brilliant holiday at Gold Restaurant Cape Town, what’s not to like about some African Drumming, African Dancing served with a 14-dish taste-safari meal.
Africa we will be back…..
If anyone is interested in re-creating this or a similar experience lead by Leanne Wild it can be highly recommended as every detail was taken care of.
Girls Going Wild Editor in Chief signing off for NOW!
If your or your clients are interested in joining the next ‘Girls Going Wild’ Tour, just get in contact with us …
Tour Dates: 20 September 2019 – 4 October 2019
Host: Leanne Wild