Our client Laurie Pratt just returned from the kind of trip that even the most experienced travelers dream about: a luxury African safari. From spotting cheetahs, lions, and more, to what it’s like to stay in tented camps, we asked Laurie to share her honest perspective on her safari experience with us.
Read on to discover what Laurie’s bucket-list safari trip was like, see her incredible photos — and find out the unusual reason she decided to take the trip now!
Southern Travel Agency: Where did you go on your luxury African safari?
Laurie: I flew into Nairobi and traveled through Kenya; our safari crisscrossed the country. We started off in the dryer areas of Kenya and ended up heading into the mountainous and swampy areas. We also visited three different Kenyan tribes along the way.
STA: Who went with you?
Laurie: It was actually just me! I joined a Globus tour. Globus said their small-group safari tours may be up to 16 people, but our group ended up just being 10. We had two jeeps, with five travelers in each.
By the end of the trip, we felt like one big happy family.
I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy. ~Ernest Hemmingway Click To Tweet
STA: What spurred your trip — was it a celebration trip or in honor of a milestone?
Laurie: A luxury African safari has always been in the back of my mind; I’ve always wanted to go. I love travel, period, and I often travel with my husband, my kids, or go on girls vacations with my friends. My usual vacations involve beaches, sun, massages, and pampering in the U.S.
This year, however, my husband wanted to go to Scotland to golf. And I had no desire to go!
He said, “that’s good, because it’s not a trip for girls.”
So I got dead set on going on a safari, and because he didn’t have a desire to go on a trip like that, it was the perfect time to do it.
The great thing about traveling alone was that I didn’t have to coordinate with anyone else. I got to go on my dream trip. But by joining the tour through Globus, I also never felt alone.
A Luxury African Safari with a Service-First Travel Outfitter
STA: What was the luxury safari experience with Globus like?
Laurie: I can’t say enough about Globus! They’re a first-class operation.
Our drivers were great, and they gave out information on so much — from the land we were passing to the birds, animals, and culture. Even if the tour director wasn’t in my jeep for the day, I didn’t feel like I was missing out.
We Loved Our Tour Director!
Speaking of the tour director — he took great care of us!
He always called our resorts ahead of time to let them know when we’d be arriving and ensure we got rooms close to all the amenities. He even greeted the stewardess of one of our planes as soon as our plane arrived to make sure we could be the first to board and sit together!
STA: What were your accommodations like?
Laurie: Four-star and above. Some resorts and two tented camps.
Even the tents were first class — they had wood floors and ceramic tiles. Almost all of the resorts had swimming pools too. I went on Safari during Kenya’s winter, so the weather was perfect, mostly in the 70’s. But at night the staff would tuck hot water bottles under our bed covers to keep us warm.
STA: What was your favorite moment on the trip?
Laurie: I can’t pick just one! Before I left, I had a list in my mind of what to see, which included the Big Five game. By the second day, we spotted four of big five!
We saw a leopard, ran across a pack of lions, spotted a cheetah. Everything we could have possibly seen on a trip like this — we saw. I was just in awe.
Plus, our trips into the villages were very interesting. The tribespeople invited us into their huts, and we learned a lot about their culture. It was very special.
How-To Tips for Planning Your Own Awe-Inspiring Luxury Safari
STA: How did Southern Travel Agency help you plan your trip?
Laurie: I travel so much and I like to do my own details, but this time I was going to an unfamiliar country by myself and I wanted the assurance that I had somebody just a phone call away.
I worked with Mike Kerbelis, and he recommended Globus. I priced it on my own and STA basically matched my price — so it was a no brainer. Mike even helped me figure out what shots I needed and was super helpful with the details.
STA: Do you have any advice for people thinking of going on a bucket-list safari like this?
Laurie: Honestly, it’s not a trip for people with bathroom issues!
We stopped at specific restrooms. There were no unscheduled stops in between — we’d drive for miles and miles and miles and not see a gas station.
Plus, you never know what the conditions are going to be.
At one stop, I had to stand over a hole in cement! While the resorts were not a problem, you do have to go with the flow, and bring your own pack of tissues.
I’d also say it’s a pretty grueling schedule with not a lot of downtime. We probably put 1,000 miles on our jeeps. I loved it because we got to see so much of the country. So I think a trip like this would be great for first timers who want to see everything. But people who’ve done a safari before may want to do a trip where they can fly between locations.
Ready to Seek Adventure On Your Own Luxury African Safari?
If you’re itching to come face to face with breathtaking wildlife, unforgettable landscapes, and heartwarming people, just like Laurie did, then get in touch with the travel experts at Southern Travel Agency in Augusta, GA and our online travel advisors to start planning!