I feel like I have a PHD in Safari planning!

 
As you have been reading, I recently completed a phenomenal 16 day Educational with Africa Inscribed, hosted by their Directors Dylan Harriss and Gavin Ford
 
Properties we either saw or *stayed in were:
 
*1. Saxon Hotel – Johannesburg  10+
*2. Jack’s Camp-  Salt Pans on the edge of the Kalahari Desert Botswana  9
3. Camp Kalahari- Kalahari Desert Botswana 5
*4. Wilderness – Vumbura Plains – Okavango Delta Botswana 10+
5. Wilderness – Little Vumbura_ Okavango Delta Botswana 8+
6. Duma Tau- Linyanti Reserve Botswana  9
*7. Savuti- Linyanti Reserve Botswana  9
8. Victoria Falls Hotel- Vic Falls Zimbabwe 10
*9. Singita – Pamushana- Pamushana Reserve Zimbabwe 10+
*10. Royal Malewane- Thornybush Preserve South Africa 10++
*11. & Beyond – Exeter Leadwood- Sabi Sands South Africa  9+
12. Dulini- Sabi Sands South Africa 8(under renovation)
13. & Beyond – Exeter River Lodge – Sabi Sands South Africa  9
14. Singita Ebony- Sabi San Reserve South Africa  10+
15. Singita Boulders- Sabi Sand Reserve South Africa  10+
16. Lion Sands – 1933- Sabi Sands   9+
17. Lion Sands – Ivory- Sabi Sands       10
18. Lion Sands – River Lodge- Sabi Sands 8+
*19. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge – Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve  10+
20.  Selati Camp – Sabi Sabi – Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve  9
21.  Little Bush Lodge- Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve  8
*22.  Singita Sweni – Kruger National Park   10+
23. Singita Lebombo _ Kruger National Park    10+
*24. Molori- Madikwe Game Reserve ( Malaria Free) South Africa    10 but expensive
25. Lion Sands – Madikwe Lodge – Madikwe  9
26. Mateya – Madikwe   10
27. Jaci’s Safari Lodge 5 and Jaci’s Tree Lodge- Madikwe    7
*28. JNB Intercontinental – Johannesburg Airport South Africa   9
 
 
The numbers after the resort names are the ratings I personally gave them -10 being the highest.
It really depends on the client but these were my personal impressions.  
I totally defer to Dylan on resort choices.  He is really picky.
 
When I say educational I really mean educational. At the beginning of the EDU we were given a manual which included all predeparture information for every country in Africa. We also received a map covering the destinations AI favor. We actually had a map session one afternoon, locating preferred camps in Botswana, SA and Zimbabwe on the map. We went over zones that were malaria free and those that were not. We went over destinations near beaches, marshes, plains, mountains, best game viewing, and best locations for particular game. Best locations for families, honeymooners, groups, couples, photographers or special interest groups.
 Each day we learned about birds, mammals(predators and grazers), birds, insects, trees, birds, grasses, seeds and the environmental impact on the climate on each area, did I mention birds? We also learned about animal conservation,  land conservation, water and the impact on the reserve we happened to be traveling in. We learned about resort management, land management, and safari planning down to details as to why one wants a private game vehicle- and the enviromental impact too many cars can have on the resort. I feel like we have a PHD in Safari planning.
We traveled in style, Dylan chartered a Pilatus PC12NG ( the largest Pilatus). And we learned what a luxury having a less pressured schedule can be.  
The biggest take away for me was the tremendous knowledge, creativeness, and passion  Dylan and Gavin have as a DMC.  Their excitement was contagious. We were on a high from the moment we landed to the moment we left. And it was so much fun!
We had the best group- we laughed all the time, and never stayed still for long. So we were the best exhausted group.
If there was a glitch, we never knew it. Dylan and Gavin travel to camps and resorts 200 days a year, so they REALLY know what they are talking about. We looked at high end, medium and low end camps. All came with value for the right client. They are very selective. 
It was a privilege to participate in this EDU with Africa Inscribed. I can’t wait to book Africa with them

Traveling in Style

We are on a journey with my favorite safari operators, Africa Inscribed.
Dylan Harriss and Gavin Ford started the company five years ago, and are a force to be reckoned with, on the safari scene. Based in South Africa, AI specializes in white glove private travel. Gavin, recognized as one of Africa’s premier guides has been escorting adventurers for over 30 years. They come by their expertise the expensive way, spending at least 200 days a year exploring, and experiencing camps and lodges all over Africa. No detail is too small. They build strong relationships with camp owners and staff. We partner with Africa Inscribed to make sure our clients have the best personal private experience .

Johannesburg is usually an overnight because international flights land too late in the day to connect with another airline. I recommend at least one day in Johannesburg for a tour with Robin Binckes who will do a visit to historical sites of South Africa starting with a breakfast intensive history of SA. By starting with a historical background, the entire trip takes on a different meaning if you are staying in SA