C78C9BCC61CFF8FA4B18CA8E6CE8A54285930F276AC6DE6110EF1F6F5213355D

Sometimes we blindly get lucky. There is no other way to say it. Something falls into our lap and you can’t explain how you got such a good deal, or came across something so good. This is exactly how I feel about Elefant Tours. And before I even go into detail and tell you how grateful I am that I found this company, let me preface this by saying that I haven’t received any compensation and didn’t mention to the company that I blog.

Two days before my summer vacation was to start, my boyfriend and I cancelled our round-trip Delta passes to South Africa because we didn’t like the way it was going. So instead we booked a one-way ticket to South Africa leaving a lot earlier than we had anticipated. We booked a hotel stay for one night and crossed our fingers that we would be able to rent a car after the first night and drive around Southern Africa. Right away I started calling and e-mailing companies that put together self-drive packages, but no one would call me back. The couple of people I was able to get on the phone pretty much laughed in my ear then told me it was impossible to book something so last minute and so close to high season. But then I called Elefant Tours and our vacation was saved. I spoke with a woman named Iben that told me she couldn’t do anything same day, but asked me to give her a day to figure something out. And did she ever!

My boyfriend and I enjoying lunch and an amazing view near Victoria Falls.

My boyfriend and I enjoying lunch and an amazing view near Victoria Falls.

A day later my boyfriend and I were on our way to Botswana, followed by Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland, for almost a month of travel, much of which was self-drive. Elefant Tours took care of the car rental, accommodations and mapped out our vacation for us day by day, including directions from one guesthouse to the other. The accommodations were all very nice, with adorable guesthouses booked along the way, except for when we stayed in Kruger National Park.

All of our stops along the way.

All of our stops along the way.

One of the guest houses we stayed in along the way (St. Lucia, South Africa).

One of the guest houses we stayed in along the way (St. Lucia, South Africa).

Every few days we would get an e-mail from Iben asking how we were doing or updating us on little things we needed to know about the particular leg of the trip we were on. She even gave us restaurant tips. She was Zagat, Frommer’s and Lonely Planet all rolled into one. Needless to say we had an unforgettable trip as you may have seen in some of my other posts.

But let me tell you the best part…. the price. In our desperation we didn’t call around to get a bunch of quotes because we were anxious to get out there and see everything. So we went with what she quoted us and didn’t really ask too many questions. Now that we are back and catching up with colleagues about their summer vacations, we are learning just what a deal we got, particularly for the level of service and accommodation. Someone I know who did a two week trip to three Southern African countries paid about double and stayed at accommodations that were not as nice. Meanwhile we stayed for nearly a month, had our own car and saw two additional countries. So if you are even thinking about a safari in South Africa, I highly recommend giving Elefant Tours a call. And no need to worry, they won’t laugh at you.

Hiking in the man made forest just in front of our hotel in Swaziland.

Hiking in the man-made forest just in front of our hotel in Swaziland.

The Knysna Heads in South Africa. I wouldn't have even known to stop in Knysna if it wasn't for Iben.

The Knysna Heads in South Africa. I wouldn’t have even known to stop in Knysna if it wasn’t for Iben.