Africa at Long Last
By Jay and Cindy Vetsch
One of our life-long dream trips was to travel to Africa. Safari. Victoria Falls. Culture. All high on our wish list. We started planning this trip early in 2019...to travel in 2020. Well, that didn’t work out very well once the pandemic happened! So, once we were vaccinated, felt more comfortable with traveling and knew the experiences there were just as good (if not better) than before Covid, we knew we were good to go!!!
We started our journey out in Tanzania. After landing in Arusha and staying a couple nights at Arusha Coffee Lodge to get acclimated, we headed north to Taasa Lodge. What an amazing place! It started out and remained our favorite place during the entire trip. One of the main reasons? Gabriel, our butler. He was so sweet, warm and ready to drop everything to help us. He even brought us hot chocolate in bed!
The other staff members at Taasa also made our experience there extra special. Erick our guide and Jackson our safari spotter were attentive and literally went the extra mile to see unique things. A leopard in a tree, a pride of mama lions with their cubs, a newborn baby giraffe (born just an hour earlier) were among our favorite experiences.
The last night they surprised us with a mountaintop fire, bar and private dinner. We literally cried when we had to leave there!
Then our itinerary took us to Singita Lodge.
They have seriously thought of everything and the sense of luxury there was unmatched. Their personal touches and thoughtfulness were so enduring. Our guide Baracka learned that Jay really wanted to see a dung beetle (the small stuff can be just as impressive as some of the big stuff!). Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right season to see the beetles. Magically, on Jay’s menu one evening was a drawing of a dung beetle! Jay also got spoiled as they had his favorite gin and tonic waiting for him each night as we entered the main lodge. That’s personalized service!
We then traveled south to Zimbabwe to experience the Zambezi River for three nights on the Zambezi Queen. The water levels were a bit low so it limited our movements on the river, but we saw elephants washing themselves, hippos and baboons galore. The food, the service and the niceness-factor of the boat itself were all great.
We can’t imagine having planned and gone on this trip without Kris Nosworthy by our side every step of the way. He was a wizard behind the scenes making sure our Covid testings were handled on time and manageable for us...which wasn’t easy since we crossed 4-5 borders, all with different protocols! He was always available and attentive when we were nervous or had questions. It made our trip significantly more enjoyable!
Ironically when we starting our planning process with Kris we told him this would be a “one and done” trip. Not the case now!!! We are already planning a trip back to this magical place. Next, we have our sights on South Africa to do another safari experience and the wineries north of Cape Town. We can NOT wait!
Want to learn more about travels to Africa? Email Kris at KrisN@PiqueTravel.com.