Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Traveler gets close to a tusker on safari in Tanzania.

Diane Boas gets close to a tusker on safari in Tanzania.

Cherri’s deputy Katie McDonough planned a perfect two-week itinerary for us in Tanzania.

We stayed in a range of unique accommodations from luxury camps to tents to a historic farm property. Each was beautiful, comfortable, served incredible, often organic and locally grown food and was managed by the most welcoming and gracious people that we have encountered on any trip.

Each day on safari day we saw a multitude of beautiful and fascinating animals including the big five: Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalo, and Rhinoceros, the little five, and even what the guides call the ugly five (you’ll have to see for yourself to decide if you agree). We witnessed the wildebeest migration when thousands of animals surge across the Mara River as well as a multitude of other animals hunting, mating, grooming, sleeping and playing. Every day we witnessed something extraordinary.

The guides were extremely knowledgeable regarding animal behavior, the local geography and horticulture, and regional history. They were genuinely warm and accommodating, always ensuring that we could have a special experience while remaining within our individual comfort zones.

I can recommend Cherri’s team without hesitation.

Just back from a 12-day trip to Madagascar to see the lemurs. Our 3rd time using Cherri’s office for Africa, and as always, appreciated all they do. Madagascar is extremely poor, and road conditions and travel can be quite something—we asked to minimize as much as possible while maximizing our opportunities to see the lemurs and enjoy the best of Madagascar. Elise chose 4 great properties—Maison Gallieni in Antananarivo, Mantadia Lodge, Anjajavy Lodge and Tsara Komba Lodge. Also arranging a private driver, and then shared charter flight and a private charter flight to lessen road travel and scheduled flights (a few people we had spoken to had lost luggage and cancelled flights with the national carrier). We loved all the lemur sightings and felt that we were given premium villas at 2 of the lodges. Most of all, we felt safe, and looked after and had great activities to fulfill our wishes! Surprisingly, food and beverage was extremely good at all our locations and the snorkeling around Nosy Be (Tsara Komba Lodge) was outstanding—especially the whale sharks where Elise had organized a private excursion, which is really the way to do it.

We had an incredible stay in Africa. We started with 3 nights at Lolebezi, which is what dreams are made of. The room was STUNNING, the staff was kind and attentive, and the game drives were incredible (Elijah’s night spotting was next-level!!!). We were fortunate to meet the owner during our stay—an incredibly impressive woman dedicated to supporting her Zambian community in all ways. We then spent 2 nights at Thorntree, which was the right amount of time. Game drives are limited, but we saw the white Rhinos (a mother with her baby) and visited the Victoria Falls with our wonderful guides, Claudia and Navy. We then moved on to 4 nights at Somalisa. Somalisa was a bit more rustic than our other camps (no AC, no hairdryers, no Wifi), but it was so special. We had the most incredible time on our drives (Dophas provided excellent sightings and jokes for days) and another wonderful experience with the staff, led by our amazing host, Sydney. Thandie is the definition of service with a smile. It was hot during the day, which made being in the room uncomfortable (though the temps were perfect for sleeping). But this allowed me to sit at the little pool next to the elephant watering hole, where there was just enough shade/breeze to doze off while watching elephants, including baby elephants, giraffes and other animals come to drink. From there we moved on to Cape Town. We organized a lot of it on our own, but Cherri’s office connected us with a wonderful guide, Chantell McBain-Charles, who organized 2 days for us—one in wine country and the other in Western Cape. Unfortunately, I came down with food poisoning and was bed-ridden for one of these days—Chantell graciously squeezed as much as she could into our remaining day, and we had a wonderful and informative time. I cannot recommend Chantell enough. This was our first trip to Africa, but certainly won’t be our last.

Travelers swimming in the Devil's Pool at the top of Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe

Karen Lindfors and Patrick Moore in the Devil’s Pool atop Victoria Falls.

We had a marvelous, perfectly planned trip to Zimbabwe and Namibia in September, 2023. Katie McDonough designed an itinerary that was varied and had an optimal blend of animal safaris, cultural content, adventure activities and jaw-dropping landscapes. We began our trip with one day in Johannesburg, which we spent in Soweto with a fascinating photojournalist who seemed to know everyone in Kliptown. Following our tour he sent us all of the photos he took during our day with him. Unfortunately we were there on a day when the Apartheid Museum was closed so we weren’t able to visit. From Jburg we flew to Zimbabwe and stayed at three different safari camps. The first was on the Zambezi River, the highlight of which was a canoe trip on the river amongst the hippos and crocodiles. Our second stop was the stunning Bumi Hills Hotel on the shores of Lake Kariba. There we enjoyed traveling to a local village and visiting an African Bush Camp Foundation school. Other highlights were fishing on the lake, where we caught about 50 bream in a couple of short hours, and a wonderful sunset cruise. Our third camp in Hwange National Park was in the classic African savannah. 50,000 elephants live there and we marveled in their fascinating behavior at the camp and park-maintained watering holes. We saw many lions up close and even a leopard on multiple occasions. Our sundowners (those gin and tonics were something else we loved) were generally in open areas where we could see herds of animals traversing to the watering holes for their own evening drinks. It was nature on full display. After our three safari camps we spent a night in Victoria Falls and, at Katie’s suggestion, braved a heart-pounding swim in the Devil’s Pool at the top of Victoria Falls. After a helicopter ride over the falls, it was on to Namibia and its stunning Sand Sea. The desert was mesmerizing and a photographer’s dream. We drove through the dunes, hiked on them and even took a balloon ride over the desert landscape. Throughout the trip we had fabulous guides who shared so much knowledge with us, both regarding the natural world and all of its creatures, and also their personal stories as well as the history and politics of their nations. The camps were lovely with such hospitable staff members who truly made us feel like welcomed friends. For the first time ever on the last day of a trip, my husband said he wished he could stay longer!

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