South Africa is calling our name

Planning a trip is not always done in a straight line. Sometimes the wheels are put in motion by a simple thought, an inspiration, seeing a “too good to pass up” deal on the Internet, getting a phone call from a friend, or in this case receiving an email with an invitation to join a small group that was forming to go to Africa.

We met Ben and Yulia in Turkey on the Gate 1 Tour we took last February. Ben is athletic, a great negotiator, and as Tim quickly learned, has a killer serve on the ping-pong table. Yulia is a tall, blonde beauty that could easily be found walking the runway for a major fashion house. But more importantly, she is kind with a sweetness that immediately puts you at ease in her company. 

Tim and I were riding in the back of a tour bus in Ireland on our way to the Dingle Peninsula when I received their email with the heading “African Tour Invitation”. It took us in the neighborhood of about 20 minutes to discuss the idea and send a return message that YES, please count us in.

What Ben had put together was 13 days worth of awesomeness. But that is a LONG way to go, and I wanted to stay longer. Checking online we found a GATE 1 tour where the dates matched up perfectly so here is what we have come up with:

January 14th fly from Los Angeles via London to Cape Town South Africa arriving on the 16th.  We will immediately start our Gate 1 Travel portion – 12 day Classic South Africa.

Map for Gate 1 portion of our tour

Map for Gate 1 portion of our tour

The highlights will include:

  • Cape Town City & Table Mountain Tour
  • Cape Peninsula Tour
  • Game Viewing Cruise in Zulu land
  • Game drive through Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve
  • Game drive through Kruger Park
  • Soweto Tour
Cape Town, South Africa  (photo courtesy os Pinterest)

Cape Town, South Africa (photo courtesy of Pinterest)

You can see the entire itinerary by clicking here.

This portion will finish up in Johannesburg on the morning of January 26th. Tim and I will have two days on our own to further explore the city before meeting up with Ben and Yulia’s group arriving from the states on the evening of the 27th.

I’m open to ideas and suggestions of what to see/do for those two days in Johannesburg!

Map of Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe

The Motherland Tour has been arranged through Msuna Safaris and Travel. You can click here for an overview of that portion of the trip.

We will have three additional nights in Johannesburg before flying on to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe where we will spend the remaining time, with a side trip into Botswana.

Highlights will include:

  • Soweto Bicycle Tour
  • Tour of Sterkfontein Caves
  • Pretoria Walking Tour
  • Sunset Cruise in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Dinner at The Boma
  • Visit to the Victoria Falls Rainforest
  • Day trip to Chobe National Park
  • Visit the Bulawayo National Park
  • Matopos National Park
  • World’s View
  • Safari Game Drive at Phomolo Private Game Reserve
  • Visit to Great Zimbabwe
  • Safari Game Drive at Mutirikwi National Park

This segment will end on February 7th at Harare.

The next portion of our trip remains open as of this moment. I am in the process of trying to come up with some options of how we can maximize our time, and see the most variety. Luangwa in Zambia, Bazaruto Archipelago in Vilankulos Mozambique,  and Etosha in Namibia, have all been suggested.

Tim and I have our return flight from Johannesburg back to Los Angeles booked for the evening of February 12th.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for Ben and Yulia including us on the “invite list”. This is shaping up to be an incredible trip and a wonderful way to get 2015 off to a GREAT start.

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We hope you will join us as we continue our adventures…

About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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12 Responses to South Africa is calling our name

  1. luceyourself says:

    Love Africa!


  2. CandieTravels says:

    I am so excited to read about your upcoming trip! My husband and I are going to Johannesburg this spring and are planning to do 1 or 2 safari game drives. I am looking forward to hearing about your experience!


  3. Even though South Africa is a long way down my visit wish list I look forward to reading about your trip!


  4. Tom says:

    Excited for you two. Our son is doing a solo vacation two of those weeks to Cape Town and surrounding areas and look forward to comparing both his and your reports. Seems to be the ‘it’ place to go.


  5. Gaye O'Brien says:

    Can’t wait for your blog on South Africa, we visited in in 2011. I hope you can fit in Nambibia. I love your descriptive writing, it opened our eyes to Central America and what we missed. Put Australia, especially Victoria on your Bucket List. Our son and my brother have just travelled across Australia from Perth to Melbourne by car recording very interesting experiences on Face Book.
    Happy New Year and good travelling to you both, Regards, Gaye and Daryl O’Brien


    • Gaye, how wonderful to hear from you! I certainly miss our fun dinners together on board the ship. It does not look like we will get to Namibia on this trip, but we are certainly open to whatever we do get to experience. Your sons journey was no doubt fabulous. Is there somewhere I can check out his stories and pictures? Tim and I would love to get down your way one of these days for a reunion and to see more of your beautiful country. We still need to see the Great Barrier Reef, Ayres Rock and mine for opals in Coober Pedy. Driving across Australia would be fabulous. Sending love and best wishes to you both for 2015.


  6. salpal1 says:

    Sounds wonderful!
    If you haven;t already found it, you might like reading “Slow Travel” by … um.. Martha Barrett (maybe?) about two ladies somewhat older than you who travel to a place each year and spend a few months. they went to South Africa on one of their trips, and it sounds like a fascinating place! Ithink you would enjoy the book, adn I am sure you will enjoy this trip!


  7. Thank you for the book recommendation. I just downloaded a sample of the book to my Kindle to take a look at it. Appreciate the info!


  8. I hope you will enjoy your trip. Love you both.


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