“Family holiday of a lifetime” – Goodwin family

My 18-night adventure in South Africa combining city (Cape Town) and safari, by family traveller Leisha Goodwin

I can’t thank Encompass Africa enough for the organisation of our family holiday to South Africa. Every detail was covered, every drop off and pickup, plane flight and tour was exceptional, with friendly and accomodating staff and incredible experiences. We loved Cape Town for its beauty, culinary experiences and adventure. It gave us loads of time to really be tourists in a stunning city rich in history and culture that even the children enjoyed far more than we ever anticipated.

From Cape Town we ventured to the Kruger region and stayed at Chitwa Chitwa which is on a private game reserve called Sabi Sands. We had such a fantastic time from start to finish and highly recommend it to families. Our game drives were amazing and we saw all of the Big Five as well as many birds and plains game. We adored the sunrise and sunsets.  The most exciting experience was chasing a pack of wild dog in the bush and through a herd of trumpeting elephant. The Boma dinner, bush dinner and bush breakfast were highlights too. We didn’t want to leave…

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Out of our three safari regions, Tswalu was the most surprising and wonderful. We all absolutely fell in love with Tswalu and our accommodation at Motse. The kids called it their Hobbit House. Our guide Nelson was so enthusiastic, and so knowledgeable, and we felt he went above and beyond for us.

We saw 9 Cheetahs in one day which was an absolute thrill because we didn’t see any in Sabi Sand. Another highlight was the meerkat and getting close to them as they went about the morning forage for food. We saw plenty of other incredible wildlife too like the desert-adapted black rhino. The landscapes are awe-inspiring, and having your own guide, tracker and vehicle is special.


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The final safari on our family holiday was in Madikwe, a malaria-free area a few hours from Johannesburg. We stayed at Madikwe Safari Lodge and our guide, Mitchell, was excellent. We learnt lots from him and he was very patient with the kids. Being around the waterhole by the pool is great (at Lelapa) and you can see lots of animals coming to drink. We especially enjoyed seeing the giraffe drinking with their legs wide apart and the flick of their head and we even had warthog jump the fence to join us on the grass.

All in all our trip was literally the trip of a lifetime and I am already trying to work out when we can go back. Africa truly gets under your skin.   Every single person that we met was so warm and friendly, the safari experience beyond compare.

Thank you to Encompass Africa for the great suggestions, advice, and organising our amazing family holiday of a lifetime.

See the itinerary


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Madikwe South Africa


Danica from Encompass Africa says:
It was an absolute pleasure working with the Goodwin family and from the very first meeting with Leisha and Isabel, I knew we’d have fun in the concept stage all the way through to travel completion. 



Danica’s suggestion for the Goodwin family’s next African adventure:
I know just how much the family enjoy fun activities and wildlife viewing and so I’d send them to the original safari country, Kenya. Here we could have a ball with cultural interactions, a diversity of accommodations and wildlife experiences.