We are a family of 5 with three kids between 12-17 living in Melbourne, Australia. Coming out of Covid lockdown we were considering our options for the Christmas holidays; we wanted to do something special and were targeting a 4-5 week trip away. Do we stay in Australia, go further North to somewhere in Asia (again), maybe go East to the Pacific or further to South America or, as we finally decided, go west to Africa.
My wife and I had been very fortunate to have travelled reasonably extensively and independently in Africa pre-kids but with a limited timeframe and kids in tow we decided to look for a slightly more organised trip. We still wanted a level of independence but with more certainty on accommodation, transfers and timeframes. Being very busy with work and life generally we also wanted to ‘outsource’ a lot of the local travel related ‘stuff’.
I reached out to Discover Africa via their website and was quickly contacted by Susan. From our very first zoom call with Susan I felt we were in very safe hands. Susan in a very experienced and knowledgeable operator and we quickly built a strong rapport. She was as interested in understanding who we were, how we like to travel as much as the where, when and budget. We told Susan our rough conceptual itinerary based around South Africa & Namibia. Yes we wanted to spend time on Safari but also wanted to expose the kids to local cultures and experiences.
After working with Susan on a number of iterations of the agenda we ended up settling on a self drive with a week in Cape Town and surrounds, driving North though Springbok into Namibia. In Namibia – Namib, Sossusviel, Swakopmund, Erongo Mountains (for Christmas), Etohsa and back down to Windhoek. From there we handed the car back and flew to Vic Falls transiting to Botswana – Kasane Forest and down to Savuti then back to Vic Falls then out via Johannesburg back to Melbourne. While it was not peak season for Safari we did have an amazing time and all without the crowds.
Yes the driving distances were large (Australians are generally quite used to this) and most of the roads quite rough but in all 100% worthwhile. Susan’s suggestions for accommodation were absolutely on point and all aspects went smoothly. We did have some mechanical issues with the car we rented – a new Toyota Fortuna from Avis – cracked rim in the middle of the desert and some other issue that required a replacement car. Susan was across this and on the phone to Avis. She was in constant contact, checking how were were travelling, if we need anything and checking we made our destinations. She was like a travel support team and as always keen to hear what we had been doing, how the kids were enjoying everything and providing suggestions for interesting stops along, things to do or watch out for or restaurants worth visiting. The detailed itinerary Susan provided in .pdf and on the website, including all supporting documentation and vouchers, was extensive and detailed. This included driving directions and times.
I cannot recommend Susan and Discover Africa highly enough and will definitely be using their services again (hopefully sooner rather than later).
Mick Stephens travelled to Botswana in February Namibia in February
The trip included: Cape Town Namib Desert Sossusvlei Etosha National Park Windhoek Kasane Savuti Victoria Falls Big Five Safaris in Africa Luxury Safaris in Africa Family & Kid-Friendly Safaris in Africa Victoria & Alfred Hotel Namib Desert Lodge The Delight Swakopmund Gondwana Collection Namibia Onguma Tented Camp Elephant Valley Lodge Savuti Camp Shongwe Lookout
Safari planned by: Susan Swanepoel