On Thursday, October 19 we flew from Seattle to Dubai on Emirates air. With travel upgrades we were able to enjoy the benefits of first-class travel on Emirates. The airlines provides a chauffeur driven service as part of business and first class flying. They pick you up in Gig Harbor and drive you to the airport plus providing the same service on your return to Seattle The arrangement in first class is really special. We had beds that went flat, with pajamas provided and all inside a private area with doors that close. Within the individual suite there is a complimentary selection of food, beverages and entertainment. The service is extraordinary with a selection of food rivals good restaurants. he experience makes up for the fourteen hour trip involved.
We stay at the Ritz Carlton in Dubai on the night of our arrival. We have been to Dubai before and it is an impressive city of tall modern buildings and a kind of Las Vegas atmosphere. This is where you'll find the biggest, the tallest and the most unusual. It's been called the fastest growing city in the world because less than 50 years ago there was not much there. Today it has no shortage of tall buildings including the world's tallest building which is 160 stories high. Islands have been constructed out of the underwater sand from the sea. That includes the world's largest man-made island shaped like a palm. Another one has been constructed that is shaped like the continents of the world.This is a place of ultra luxury resorts and an indoor skiing area plus many other unique features in a desert location.
After spending two nights in Dubai., we leave on Emirates for Johannesburg South Africa. In Johannesburg we will stay at the Saxon Hotel overnight. The Saxon Hotel, villas and spa is located on 10 acres. The hotel is well known for the fact that Nelson Mandela chose the hotel as his sanctuary in which to complete his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
After spending a night there, on Monday, October 23, take a charter flight to the Thornybush Game Reserve and the Lodge at Royal Malwane. It is located in Kruger National Park, South Africa. This luxury five star hotel is located on the western border of the Park, which is the largest game reserve in South Africa. This facility has a gym, spa and other features in addition to the excellent food provided at its restaurant. While there we are scheduled for game viewing twice a day. Kruger national Park has 30,000 acres of game viewing with lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino and many other animals to see and photograph. The Royal Malwayne Lodge Accommodates a maximum of twenty guests. We travel by vehicle and guide to view the animals.
On Friday, October 27, we take a charter flight to the Sigita Private Reserve and the Sigita Boulders Lodge. This Lodge is one of two luxury safari lodges in the Singuita private game reserve. Located in the North Eastern part of South Africa, it has only twelve suites, all of which have fireplaces (which I don't anticipate we will need during the summer season). The suites have indoor and outdoor showers, private heated pools and a private wildlife viewing deck. The main lodge offers an exercise area, restaurant and other amenities.We will be there for the next five days until we leave for our charter flight back to Johannesburg with a short layover in Dubai and on to Seattle.
This will be our fifth Safari to Africa.We have enjoyed each and every trip in spite of the long journey to get to the destination. Photographing the animals in the wild up close is such a unique experience. We are both looking forward to the extraordinary adventure. We return on November 1.