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South Africa

Mandy H.

December 1st, 2015 for


Thank you SO MUCH for helping us plan our trip to South Africa.  I haven’t been everywhere, but I’ve been to a good number of places and this is by far my favorite trip I’ve taken.  Safari was UNBELIEVABLE.  We saw everything on our wishlist except Hyennas, but that’s a good excuse to go back. Shiduli was lovely, the staff was great; they even upgraded me to the Honeymoon Suite. Food was great, spa was great, but the staff really made the whole experience.  I would have never found Shiduli without you, so thank you.

Our trip on the Panorama Route and Blyde River Canyon was awesome.  Our guide, Sam, told us that we had a very lucky weather day because we got to see most everything.  There was a road closure so our drive was a bit longer than anticipated, but Sam and Thompsons made it work and we saw most everything and still made it to the lodge for our evening game drive.  Sam was AMAZING.  We spend two weeks in South Africa and he was by far, the best guide we had. 

Last note:  My sister was able to get an emergency passport with yours and LeAnn’s, help.  As an agent, I know the basic requirements and steps when a passport goes missing, but the logistics of an unknown city would have taken us much longer to navigate if not for Thompsons sending a representative to escort my sister.  The staff at Shiduli took her to town to get her documents and photos in order, and when we landed on Monday, a representative escorted her to the embassy and back to the airport.  She got a new passport and made our flight, even during JNB rush hour.  It was amazing and SO Appreciated. 

I recently hosted a Discover Africa night (last Thursday) with our African Travel Rep and I made sure that my clients and members knew exactly what you guys did to help us in that situation.  It was awesome and I can’t thank you enough.

Mandy H.
AAA Carolinas


Featured Safari Specialist – Margie Vogel

March 10th, 2015 for

Q: What is your favorite activity you would recommend guests do while on a South Africa safari?

The night game viewing in an open safari vehicle in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve is absolutely a “must do” activity. The various animal sounds, coupled with the fresh smell of the crisp night air, adds to the excitement and anticipation of what one may encounter in the darkness of the bush. The highlight on one of my evening drives was when our tracker pointed the spotlight on three lionesses, hanging out patiently under a nearby tree for their next “meal.”

 Q: How many years have you been with African Travel, Inc. and why do you like your job?

I just celebrated 17 years with African Travel, Inc. on Feb 9th, which says a lot about how much I enjoy what I do. I have learned so much about South Africa, and have visited so many times that I don’t think l would ever want to sell any other destination. Each booking is different from the last, which makes my job interesting – especially those that involve a lot of research into which lodge, game reserve, or sightseeing tour would be suitable for the client.  At the end of the day, it’s great to hear from returning guests who tell you how much they have enjoyed their trip of a lifetime. That makes my job incredibly rewarding. 

 Q: What is the most frequently asked question you get about South Africa?

One of the most frequently asked question is the flying time from the US to South Africa. I also get asked if it is a safe destination and what type of food is typically served.

 Q: What makes this destination so special?

South Africa is a destination that caters to all age groups and varying interests or budget requirements.   The offerings are endless, whether guests are looking for a honeymoon getaway, multi-generational family vacation, adventure seeking experience, or just a “kick back and relax” type of vacation. With so many accommodations and activities to choose from, South Africa is a single-country destination where you can combine a safari with a cultural and city experience.  But I think the most important aspect of what makes South Africa so special is our hard working and professional staff on the ground. I know firsthand that they go above and beyond to service our clients…and they do it with a big smile.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Margie. 

Get out of the Jeep – Walking Safari

March 9th, 2015 for

walking in stellenboschWalking safaris are arguably the most intimate way to connect with African wildlife. On these incredibly rewarding excursions, the landrover’s safety net is removed and suddenly you feel rather vulnerable. Your pulse quickens, senses heightened –your eyes are constantly scanning for movement and the slightest snap of a tree branch is cause for immediate attention.  

Nature is never 100% predictable, and “tame” wildlife is an obvious oxymoron. Depending on your location, you are likely to contact elephants, lions, buffalo, wild dogs – and these majestic beasts are significantly more imposing when you catch them at eye level. On a walking safari, it is glaringly apparent that you are in the wildlife’s territory, and you are there on their terms.

Marataba-Walking-Trails-PhotoCertain lodges are renowned for their walking safaris, such as Maratuba Trails Lodge. Appointed in the spectacular Marakele National Park, home to all of the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats, this lodge is dedicated to providing explorers with incomparable walking safaris by day and comfortable accommodations by night. Morning and afternoon trails depart from the camp each day, and during the winter guests can enjoy a full-day hike and picnic. A variety of trail options are available, ranging from trekking to the top of neighboring mountains to the riverine trails and their accompanying waterholes.

In the below South Africa itineraries, a walking safari can be included as an additional activity during your stay. 


Destination Spotlight: South Africa

March 9th, 2015 for

No other continent can compete with Africa’s prolific canvas, ranging from the stunning savannahs of the Serengeti to Cape Town one of the most stunning cities in the world.  Africa is home to an exquisite Noah’s Ark of wildlife and an incredible array of unique traditions and cultures. As a result of this disparity, the first pertinent decision you must make when booking an African safari is which destination to explore.

If you are seeking a variety of experiences such as a Big Five safari, sophisticated culinary events, adventure options, charming villages and some of the world’s finest safari lodges, then South Africa is calling your name. Cape Town alone is reason enough to make the journey; this breathtaking city boasts an energetic nightlife, internationally renowned restaurants, and close proximity to more stunning natural landscapes than you can count – including the arresting Table Mountain. Step outside the Mother City and find a bevy of enthralling destinations, from the deserted Kalahari to the wildlife-congested savannah of Kruger National Park.

Africa beckons with an unmistakable allure, boasting a kaleidoscope of possibilities sure to satisfy every budget and bucket list. African Travel, Inc.’s NEW Safari Vacation Packages offers deluxe safaris at a truly unbeatable value. Many of these packages even include international airfare – you simply won’t find Africa at a greater value anywhere else!

These locally hosted safaris are intimate, with a maximum of twelve people per journey, and the stunning accommodations are consistent with the quality travelers expect from African Travel, Inc. Additional experiences are available à-la-carte on most Safari Vacation Packages itineraries, enabling you to craft each safari around your own individual interests and desires.

Lucius & Gloria Niles

June 11th, 2014 for

First trip to Africa. It was spectacular!! Glad we had different tour operators and different Safari types, both on road safari and cross country safari. The cross country lets you get really close to the animals, sometimes scarily close. What an adrenaline rush to look straight into the eyes of a lion five feet away, and, to watch four cheetah cubs take down their first kill –  a baby wildebeest. You leave behind the four-star food, accommodations, and service, but take away a lifetime of memories.  We will be talking about our safari for years to come. 


Leaving the safari behind and heading to Cape Town. The Twelve Apostles had fabulous views of the ocean and coastline, about 20 minutes out of town. Out tour guide, Danni, was not only a wealth of information, but upbeat and friendly. The private guides are the best way to learn about the city and areas surrounding it, its history, insider information that most tourists would never have access to, and most importantly, the ability to lean back, enjoy the tour without having to drive or take public transport. 



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