Friendly Planet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

« Newer Posts

Why Thailand owns the title ‘incredible’

We recently announced new departure dates for Friendly Planet Travel’s Incredible Thailand tour, and they’re already selling out! However, I’m not surprised. Thailand is beloved by our travelers, including Dr. Ak Schmidt, a long-time Friendly Planet traveler who just returned from our Incredible Thailand tour.

She sent me an e-mail telling me why her tour was so wonderful, and gives some excellent advice if you’re traveling to Thailand. I copied the e-mail below (verbatim).

“the trip to thailand was indeed incredible! it sounds great on the friendly planet overview but it’s so much more! i don’t know where to start. hotels were great. everyone should stay at the dusit thani. we went back there for a weekend on our own.

our guide was awesome. she made extra stops for us along the road for things like sticky rice cooked in bamboo (loved that) and always asked if everyone had their passports, etc when we went to a different place. she took us on a boat to laos and everyone got their passports stamped and of course we got to shop a little.

as far as shopping goes, i’d say watch out. thailand has everything and you’re gonna want it all. bangkok is easy to get around in and has a super mall close to the dusit thani. one thing i would say too is that the golden buddha and the white temple should be emphasized more in the advertising because they are unique and more than amazing – truly incredible!!

i’ve been to egypt, borneo, morocco, cambodia, vietnam, kenya and now thailand with fp. going to south africa this summer. guess that tells you something. ps. will send pix if any are good, but jim yancey is gonna have the best pictures. you should pick some for your website. ps2, our guide, lek, was the best i’ve ever had and y’all have some good ones. and noni, her assistant had a cooler with ICE and COLD soft drinks and water. i can’t tell you how wonderful that was. a really great practice where it’s so hot.” — Dr. Schmidt, La Grange, Texas

Thanks Dr. Schmidt for the kind words! I look forward to hearing about your trip to South Africa with us. If you’re interested in experiencing Thailand, you can still book a departure date for the 14-day Incredible Thailand tour. But hurry, space is limited!

Three-time Friendly Planet traveler reviews our South African Explorer

Before Friendly Planet’s South African Explorer tour sold out for 2010, Holly Pecarek from Atlanta, Ga. was able to book a reservation. When she returned from South Africa, she sent me an e-mail that made my day.

While I was reading it, I found out that this was her third tour with us. Thanks Holly for continuing to choose Friendly Planet Travel! Read on to see what makes Holly a loyal customer. I copied the e-mail below (verbatim).

“Unreal trip! This is my 3rd tour with Friendly Planet and I have enjoyed every one of them. It was so organized and the guides so friendly! I don’t know how you all make any money because the accomodations are always top-notch! Amazing trip from start to finish. I can’t wait to pick my next trip! Thanks for everything!” – Holly Pecarek, Atlanta, Ga.

Thanks again for your note Holly! I look forward to hearing about tour number four. ;) And for the rest of the folks out there, if you’re disappointed that our South African Explorer tour is sold out, don’t be! Take a gander at our new Best of South Africa tour. Departure dates are still available for 2011.

Walk on the wild side with Friendly Planet Travel’s new Best of South Africa tour

The world’s eyes were on South Africa this summer during the World Cup. Most notably, we were introduced to the buzzing sound of the vuvuzela, which every soccer fan seemed to have in hand. But there’s so much more to South Africa than soccer. Even if you paid only the slightest attention to the media frenzy surrounding the games, you probably got a glimpse of a few of the amazing sights and sounds that have made South Africa one of the world’s hottest tourist destinations.

Best of South Africa itinerary

And all of it — the natural beauty, cosmopolitan cities, turbulent past, and unwavering hope for the future — is yours to enjoy on Friendly Planet Travel’s new 13-day Best of South Africa tour.

South Africa is a country of amazing diversity. Johannesburg and Cape Town have become destinations for style, night life, and gorgeous scenery, while the sweeping savannas are home to Africa’s big five game: lions, African elephants, cape buffaloes, leopards, and black rhinoceroses. And to add to the allure, the warm, welcoming hospitality of the South African people make every visitor feel at home.

Your exploration of South Africa begins in Johannesburg, affectionately known as “Jo’Burg” by the locals. Spend two full days in the country’s largest city and tour the former residence of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela, the Apartheid Museum, and Soweto (short for Southwestern Township).

Leaving Johannesburg, you’ll set off for the Blyde River Canyon, one of the world’s largest, stopping for breathtaking views of rolling mountains, the Three Rondavels, God’s Window, and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Continuing your tour at the Karongwe Game Reserve, you’ll hop on safari vehicles for a game drive into the African bush in search of lions, buffalo, and smaller creatures such as chameleons, scrub hares, and more.

African elephant

If that isn’t enough animal interaction, you’ll visit a very special place not usually found on South Africa tours, Elephant Whispers, which is dedicated to securing the future of the African Elephant.

Here a warm, loving, and compassionate environment is provided for six rescued elephants. You’ll experience the thrill of getting close to these magnificent and intelligent creatures and discover how gently they interact with humans. You even get an opportunity to ride one if you wish.

After another safari drive the following day, your evening is filled with festivities at the Shangaan River Club. Watch the sunset over the Sabie River as the drums sound and the torches are lit. You can have your face painted or your hair braided while the Ronaldsi Youth Cultural Traditional Dancers, all of whom are AIDS orphans that have been rescued from a life on the streets, provide entertainment.

Cape Town via cable car

Your tour will continue to Cape Town where you travel by cable car to the top of Table Mountain, Cape Town’s most striking landmark. Stop at Milnerton Lighthouse for spectacular views of the mountain and the city below. Proceed to the country’s oldest building, the Castle of Good Hope, an imposing 17th century Dutch fort set against the dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain.

Next jump from land to sea on a cruise along Hout Bay View where you’ll see the seals of Duiker Island. Then you’re transported by railway to Cape Point to visit the African jackass penguins at Boulders Beach. Venture to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where you’ll enjoy a magnificent display of indigenous South African flora.

Your last day will be spent in Cape Town where you can choose a full day optional tour to the famous Winelands, visiting the towns of Paarl, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch, as well as a wine cellar tour.

If you want to see all of this and more firsthand, book the 13-day Best of South Africa tour for $2,999. Included in the price are round-trip flights from New York via South African Airways wide-bodied jet service, including fuel surcharges; flights, ground transportation, and transfers within South Africa; 10 nights in superior first class hotels with private bath; 16 meals; professional English-speaking tour directors; comprehensive touring programs and safaris, including entrance fees; and more.

Victoria Falls

But if 13 days won’t be enough time for you, take advantage of the already included international airfare to visit Victoria Falls, one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, for five days. This pre-tour extension departs the U.S. four days before the departure dates shown.

Or extend the end of your vacation with a five-day trip along the Garden Route. It’s a beautiful stretch of the southern coastline of South Africa from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. In fact, if time and budget permits, why not take advantage of both extensions for the perfect South Africa vacation.

While the itinerary is extensive and inspired, with a number of interesting and original components not typically found on other tours, the prices are down to earth.

Comparing Friendly Planet’s Best of South Africa with other tours, you’ll discover that the savings are as amazing as the country itself. The value for money contained in this tour is easy to see, and it has proven to be one of Friendly Planet’s most popular travel programs year after year.

If you have any questions, visit our website for more details and the full itinerary of the tour. And as always, feel free to write to me or call 1-800-555-5765 and speak to our reservations team.

The wonders of South Africa for under $2,800

FP_elephants.jpg

This week, the Friendly Planet Travel office is abuzz over one word: AFRICA. And considering the deals we just ironed out, there’s no wonder why.

Africa is perhaps the last great vacation frontier for travelers. It isn’t that people haven’t been traveling to Africa, but for several reasons – mainly political unrest and cost – many who would want to enjoy the beauty and diversity of Africa choose other destinations first.

However, trends are changing, and more people are discovering that Africa, as a continent, offers a vast array of treasures for the traveler who likes to mix nature and adventure with relaxation.

Stay tuned this week, as I feature some of our most incredible Africa adventures, starting with South Africa!

For the adventure seeker, South Africa is one of the world’s most magnificent natural settings to explore. But as with many of our destinations, it has always been incredibly expensive to get there.

With our new 12-day South African Explorer tour for $2,799, travelers get the chance to visit modern, vibrant Cape Town – one of the world’s hot new destinations for style, night life, and unforgettable scenery – as well as cosmopolitan Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest metropolis.

Then, it’s into the wild for a visit to several of the country’s lush game reserves in search of the “Big Five” —  lions, African elephants, Cape buffalo, leopards, and black rhinos. Vacationers will even spend a night at a traditional rural village, where you’ll be treated to warm, welcoming South African hospitality.

And while you’re in South Africa, why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare to visit Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. Passengers taking the pre-tour extension will depart the U.S. four days before the scheduled departure date.

FP_SouthAfrica.jpg

On this optional extension, travelers experience the power and majesty of the largest curtain of falling water in the world. The tour also crosses over to the Zimbabwe side of the falls, and ends in Johannesburg, where you’ll meet up with the remaining group members as you depart for the full South African Adventure.

Join us in South Africa, and see why this destination is fast becoming one of the most popular in the world. It’s a vacation of a lifetime, at a price you won’t believe. But don’t wait too long to reserve your spot, because space is limited and will go very quickly.

Have a look at the Friendly Planet Travel Web site for the full South African Adventure itinerary, as well as the Victoria Falls optional extension itinerary.

« Newer Posts

About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

Tour & Cruise Packages Our specialty for 30 years! Find one now:
choose a region Europe Mediterranean Asia Middle East Africa Central America Caribbean South America South Pacific