Sunday, December 29, 2013

The 2013 Travel & Things Awards...


This was the Award that Travel & Things won (again).



"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely 
in an attractive and well preserved body.
But rather to skid in sideways, Scotch in one hand,
chocolate in the other.
Body thoroughly used up. totally worn out 
and screaming   
" Yee Ha, WHAT A RIDE!"


2013 was a "milestone" year for me.
I turned 60 in June...
and what a travel year it was as well!
I would like to thank all the properties that hosted me (and, on occasion, my wife).
It has been a year free of travel drama ...
2013 also marked my return to Radio Today.

www.1485.org.za
Travel & Things has its own radio program that started in February.
Broadcast live on a Saturday morning from 10-11am (SA time),
it is rebroadcast on a Wednesday from 19h00-20h00 (SA time)
The podcasts can also be found on my Blog.


BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME...
my work for the year is done,
and so...
Without any further ado...
*DRUM ROLL*
Here are my 2013 awards,
 in no particular order...
"TRAVEL & THINGS"Awards for 2013.
Disclaimer!
*The awards are not based on any recognized rating system*
Only on my experiences at these particular venues.


Best Photographic Safari Company
I got to spend time in Kasane with Guts and the team from this company.
In all my years of travel I have never been on a "proper" photographic safari.
This experience was an eye opener for me.
They are situated on the Chobe River, Kasane.
If you are a wildlife photographer,of any skills level.
this is the place for you to hone your craft.



www.pangolinphoto.com



Muddy elephant.
Taken from the Pangolin Safari bunker

 
Best photo safari guide.
My wildlife photographic mentor, Grant Atkinson!
What a talent...
And he has a very gentle way of helping you to make your images better
www.grantatkinson.com


Best Island holiday
Mauritius.
The resorts that I stayed at were of the highest caliber
and the people that I interacted with were both friendly and helpful

www.wlh.co.za

Best "special event" destination
This was a 60th birthday present...
A four day cruise on the Chobe River.
Highly recommended.

www.ichobezi.co.za



Best Honeymoon destination
Massinga Beach in Mozambique.
Great accommodation, food and sea views.


www.masingabeach.co.za



Favourite game reserve.
Madikwe, North West
Great lodges, the Big 5, as well as Wild Dog and Cheetah.
Only four hours from Johannesburg/Pretoria, this reserve has it all.
www.madikwe.net

Best game lodge
Service, accommodation and dining...
this lodge ticks all the boxes.
Great staff and game viewing as well

www.machabacamp.com



Best wildlife project.
I tip my proverbial bush hat to Guy Ellis and his staff.
They are trying to do for leopards what others are doing for the Rhino.
With one BIG difference...
Guy is self funding the project!
I will follow their progress with interest in 2014

www.leopardidproject.com


Most authentic "bush lodge" experience
No electricity, VERY limited Internet/mobile connectivity and stunning game viewing.
Add to that attentive staff, good food and comfortable accommodation.
A well deserved winner!

 
www.nottens.com


Best commercial airline
I have flown with this carrier to a number of destinations
and have been impressed with the service levels on each occasion.
They might not fly to the major destinations(yet)
but they make it easier to get to the less frequented airports.
www.flyairlink.com


Best charter airline
I don't drive to game reserves anymore.
I save time and possible speeding fines, petrol and toll costs by flying with this airline.
They offer best arrivals/departure lounge in Gauteng
and regular daily flights to a variety of lodges.


www.fedair.com

Best African destination
Rwanda.
I fell in love with this previously troubled country.
A safe and clean capital city.
Great hotels and friendly people.
While there, I was able to visit Lake Kivu.
Well worth the 5 hour drive.


Best Spa.
Karkloof Safari Spa
All treatments are included in the daily rate, and there are no treatment limits.
I tried a couple of facials and several Thai massages and well as a rejuvenating bath.
My wife, on the other hand, tried almost the entire Spa "menu"...
And loved every minute...especially the hand and foot massage that we enjoyed as a couple.


 www.karkloofsafarispa.com




Best weekend Market
B&B Norwood Rooftop Market
Without a doubt, my favourite Rooftop Market.
I have frequented this almost since its inception 17 years ago.
The move to their new site has rejuvenated and regenerated it

 
www.craft.co.za


  I travel with my own pillow.
This means that the "best pillow" award is very prestigious.
( The award is subjective as I like a firm  pillow)

 Best close-to-home destination
And Best Pillow Award
  Heia Safari Ranch,Muldersdrift
This establishment has been a favourite of mine since 1976.
Wildlife, good food and the magnificent Lake Heritage
all add up to a great place for either a family weekend
or a conference.

www.heia-safari.com


Most "unusual" destination
Tinyeleti Tree House.
If you book into Lion Sands, Kruger  book one night in their tree house.
It is an exciting way to spend a night in the bush.


www.lionsands.com
                 
 
     Revisits
This was the area that I most visited in 2013.
I visted Bush Camp and Selati Camp with more trips planned in 2014
5 star accommodation, staff and food.
And not to mention some stunning predator interaction and general game viewing
                       www.sabisabi.com                  


Best fine dining award
Prana Lodge
Basically this was "fish and chips"
However, it is the Prana Lodge presentation
that take it from ordinary to the superb.


www.pranalodge.co.za




Best "Small town South Africa" award
Shared between:
Howick...
for the new Nelson Mandela Capture site museum
www.thecapturesite.co.za

AND
 
Bronkhorstspruit
For the Nan Hau Temple
www.nanhau.co.za


Best value for money zoo
Take the family and spend a day here.
So much to see and experience that you need to allow several hours for a visit.
It also offers a great view of Pretoria from the predator enclosures level

www.nzg.ac.za


Best conference venue
Kopanong
This purpose built conference venue near Benoni offers on site accommodation and food
It also has a Birds of Prey sanctuary that is open to the public from 2-5pm,Tuesday to Sunday.
www.birdsofprey.weebly.com or www.kopanong.co.za



Place I would like to revisit in 2014
Mosethla Bush Camp,Madikwe
VIP toilets and hot water from a "Donkey-boiler" make this camp one of my special places
www.thebushcamp.com


Best new travel experience
Voyager of the Seas cruise.
Australia and New Zealand.
This was my first cruise and it certainly will NOT be my last.
To see why I enjoyed this adventure so much, visit:
http://www.davidbatzofin.com/search/label/Voyager%20of%20the%20Seas


www.cruises.co.za


Special mention
Last, but by no means least...
A special "THANK YOU" award to my wife Carolyn.
It is as a result of her support and love that I am able to do what I do.
She does not get to travel with me all the time,
but when she does, I often subject her to bumpy (sometimes early morning) game drives,
hot weather and a ship that caused her some trouble getting her land legs back.


Here's to many kilometers of travel in 2014

         
And the final Award is to "Travel & Things"
The Blog retained Runner Up position for 2013!
              www.sablogawards.com

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
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