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About diannelovestravel

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    Tour Operator
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    Metrowest Boston
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    Worldwide travel. Specialist in crafting custom itineraries to match client's interests, style of travel, vision and budget.
  1. Hi there! My name is Dianne and I live in the Boston area. I am a Safari Specialist and Planner for Africa Direct USA and I thought I'd introduce myself to all those interested in going on Safari as well as extending their travels beyond the safari experience! I craft custom itineraries for clients interested in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, East Africa, Uganda/Rwanda, Mozambique and more. My clients run the gamut of Families, Honeymooners/anniversary, Single travelers, Girls getaways, etc. Most clients combine a safari with other destinations such as Cape Town, Panorama Route, Garden Route, Victoria Falls etc etc. I work very closely with clients in an effort to understand their travel profile (such as their ages, needs, and experience traveling) as well as their vision for their trip, preferred style of travel as well as a sensitivity to their budget. My business is largely built upon "word of mouth". Throughout the planning process, clients find me very detail-oriented and responsive to their needs and inquiries. I am so passionate about the bush and my hope is to inspire others to travel there. My goal is to create that special experience that makes one's trip incredibly memorable! I have excellent testimonials! My business developed out of my passion for safari and the bush. While living overseas with my husband and 2 sons in the late 90s, we traveled extensively around the world. In spite of all the incredible destinations that we visited, it was Africa that kept drawing us back again and again. There was something very humbling and moving to sit in the presence of the animals. Every game drive is different from the last game drive and every bush experience teaches you a little something about yourself. Sharing this with your spouse/partner, your children, your friends is very bonding and special! The experience never gets old! While overseas, I became a "go to" for travel advice to Africa and created a number of itineraries for friends and families. Upon returning to the USA, I continued helping people and then I aligned myself with the operator (based in South Africa) that I used for much of my logistics and bookings. It is great to have an extended team based in South Africa. We routinely travel to check on lodges and ensure that the standard of service is still solid and that what you see online is what a client will get when they arrive. We work only with reputable providers for transfers, private guides etc. I am excited to join SafariTalk. I hope to share my passion online, as well as specific tips, thoughts on logistics, and unique ideas to experience what Africa has to offer. Here is just a sample of some photos that either my husband or son took while on various safaris. Enjoy the photos!
  2. Hello there! Some other camps/lodges off the top of my head that don't charge a Single Supplement: Sabi Sabi offers no single supplement up to a max of 2 suites booked. Excludes holiday period, their villas and Presidential Suite though. http://www.sabisabi.com/ Seasons in Africa lodges (Leopard Hills and Kings Camp, just to name a few) do not charge a Single Supplement. http://www.seasonsinafrica.com/ Exeter River Lodge and Leadwood are now owned by Dulini. They are no longer part of the AndBeyond portfolio and they do in fact now have a Single Supplement in place at these two lodges. Happy to help! Dianne Africa Direct USA
  3. Hi @Zoooom! So awesome that you are considering a safari! Such an amazing experience and one that will bring lasting memories! Just a couple thoughts to add... I highly recommend that you give South Africa some serious consideration. First, the RAND is still at a historic low so your travel dollars will extend further for you than countries that book in USD such as Kenya and Tanzania. Secondly, since this is your first safari, it will not only give you an incredible game viewing but also a very well-rounded experience unlike other safaris that perhaps have a strong focus, like the Migration or Gorilla-trekking just to give a couple examples. Third, as others have pointed out, moving around is quite easy in South Africa whether it's planes, road transfers, trains etc. Even self-drive options! There are so many lodge stay choices and travel options available to you that can make your itinerary unique from others as well as meet your vision and budget. I am a big fan of the private game reserves, especially for those who consider their trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience or who are on their first safari. Private game reserves offer some added benefits over National Parks that are especially great for a first timer. In a National Park, you are restricted access via gate times so early AM game drives when animals are often on the hunt are not an option as well as night game drives when you can enjoy the nocturnal side of the bush sight and sounds, not to mention the incredible African sky illuminated with more stars than you can imagine. Also, in a National Park, you are restricted to driving on the roads. Therefore, your ranger can't drive off road and your game viewing is limited to the road. In a Private Game Reserve, you can drive over small bushes/scrub and in and out of river beds to stay on track with an animal or to follow an animal to learn more about its behavior which is incredibly exciting! Lastly, a Private Game Reserve restricts access to only those guests staying in the lodges of the reserve. Therefore, the only guests in jeeps are those in nearby lodges unlike National Parks that are open to the public and include weekend'ers, busses with backpackers, jeeps with visitors from outside the park etc. I have thoroughly enjoyed my National Park safari experiences but have been a choice for safaris such as the Migration for example which has a specific focus. In addition to Safari, you could visit Cape Town. Cape Town is such an amazing city that's vibrant and rich with culture, food/wine, history and nature. There's something for everyone! Have you ever looked at a picture of Table Mountain and see how it hovers over a city where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans converge! Really spectacular. A day trip to visit the penguin colony at Boulder's Beach with a further stop at Cape of Good Hope (tip of Africa) in an area where you'll see Baboons and Ostrich along the road. Horseback riding on Noordhoek beach is beautiful too. The Centenary Tree Canopy Walk is pretty at sunset. It was architecturally designed like a "boomslang", local for tree snake. There's Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his imprisoned years as a freedom fighter and if you are into Wine and Food, the Wineland region of Franschooek and Stellenbosch and Paarl are incredible. I think the City and its surrounds have so much to offer and again, lots of choices to meet your vision, style of travel and budget. No matter where you go and how you choose to travel, you will have an amazing time. I do think you should give some thought to SA and, while I don't know the specifics of your budget and your vision for the trip, I think it would be a great fit for you! One caveat.. It's easy to get addicted to safaris. So many of us have returned many times and some of us focus on inspiring others to do it! Best Dianne Africa Direct USA

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