By Dave & Anne Sinclair and Ellen Sinclair
We were about to start our story when we were interrupted by the elephants walking by the lodge deck! They finally disappeared into the sunset – we can continue telling about our most fabulous adventure with John X Safaris.
Seven days ago, we arrived from New England with extremely high expectations – and each day continues to far exceed those expectations. What started as one man’s dream safari turned into a family adventure. Starting with the first evening at Tree Tops Lodge and being met personally by Carl, our journey has been filled with personal attention and sincerely friendly people who anticipate our every need.
With so many aspects that make up a safari, it is impossible to describe every amazing detail, but a few memories stand out. The hunting experience was rewarding and the trophies were hard-earned in areas that were physically challenging with numerous opportunities on a daily basis. Dave was after a genuine hunting experience with numbers or sizes not dominating the approach of the safari. The focus was on the quality of the experience and the effort required to obtain the trophies. On reflection, this approach meant Dave was able to acquire above-average trophies without undue pressure on the hunters.
The experience was enhanced by John X Safari’s willingness to include the non-hunters – in this case, the ladies Anne and Ellen – enabling them to be part of the hunt, often from a bird’s-eye view perched high above on the edge of a cliff. Ellen’s and Anne’s increased proficiency in “glassing” enhanced the total experience of spotting animals and watching the entire hunt unfold. Often our tracker Zwayi enlightened us on the plan while sharing his knowledge and experience of the bush. This in turn connected us with the hunt.
Exciting days in the field were topped off with a return to the lodge where the hospitality continued. The lovely African décor in quality accommodations, the personal warmth of the staff, the natural beauty of Tree Tops and Lentaba Lodges, the wildlife encounters on twice-daily game drives, the African dancers providing evening entertainment around the boma, and the fabulous gourmet food also provided us with memories that will live with us forever.
A safari is not just a hunt. For us, it became an opportunity to experience the beauty and culture of South Africa. Spectacular scenery, the warmth of every person we encountered, the opportunity to observe the cultural diversity of this extraordinary part of the world made each of us ever grateful to John X Safaris for being our hosts in our most fabulous adventure. We learned that there is no word for “stranger.” We will leave as friends – and will be back.
Welcome to our Africa – Pinch Me.
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