Sunday, April 20, 2008

‘On Assignment in Africa’ – an update from the Original 2AFRIKA, INC.’s Director of Operations, Dominik M. Zakrzewski

SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2008

I still am on New York (EST) despite the fact that I have been back in Africa for close to two weeks now. I woke up yesterday in Zambia and just didn’t feel right. As I work in the travel industry, travel is supposed to be natural for me, but I felt terribly home sick.

Another flight … I dread this for I’ve taken 7 flights so far during my journey. My driver collected me 10 minutes later than the recommended pick-up time due to adverse traffic situations at the Zambia/Zimbabwe border and drove me to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe, even the Victoria Falls area which is very much insulated from most political conflict that might occur in the rest of the country, is the quintessential third world! Activity at the border is noticeably a little tenser than in Zambia. It really has been my least pleasant experience to date. The Victoria Falls International Airport is a two room building that is decorated in dull hues of gray, brown, and what used to be white. At least the border in Zambia is lively with people. Here, it was reminiscent of what the Soviet countries used to be like during the Cold War – at least this is how it was explained to me by my father.

I was glad to arrive back in Johannesburg. I always want to leave New York when I go to Africa but then when I am there, I yearn for the rural areas of Botswana.

I took a Federal Air flight (a well maintained 12 seater aircraft) to Madikwe Game Reserve in the Northwestern Province of South Africa and am staying at the luxurious Mateya Safari Lodge. This, to me, is the ultimate in Safari accommodation. A 5 suite compound situated in the middle of nowhere. It originally was a private ranch for the proprietress but then opened to the public. I am staying in one of 5 private suites a great distance of the main lobby. Here, I have total privacy with my own private plunge pool attached to my suite. We’re about to go for a game drive in a four person, custom-built Safari vehicle. I’m the only one here so it’s a totally private game drive. We have one mission in mind – to sight the elusive nocturnal leopard.

The likes of Kate Hudson and Beyoncé have previously stayed here at Mateya Safari Lodge. This really is the most luxurious, all-inclusive (yes, wine and spirits are included too) Safari experience, complete with a private chef, private Safari vehicles and panoramic views which are indescribable. A fly-in package already features proudly on our website and will retain high rankings. In addition to that which I have told you, Mateya Safari Lodge features a vast library and a huge collection of authentic African art – the largest on the Continent.

Yet again, I have stumbled upon a moment of pure stillness and peace induced by this Continent. I’m humbled but grateful for being back in Africa, and especially now for the first time, at the wonderful Mateya Safari Lodge. It’s in a Malaria-free area so I don’t need to worry about Malaria medicine. I did have a slight scare as I started to get a cold (first signs of Malaria) when I arrived back from Zambia. It turns out that I am exhausted and dehydrated and sleep-deprived (remember, this is also a business trip for me as well). Please be reminded to ALWAYS get Malaria preventative medicine prior to arriving on the Continent to spare the unnecessary stress that I experienced.

For further information on this informational Blog post or any other Safari in the Original 2AFRIKA Collection, visit us on the web at

The Original 2AFRIKA, INC. remains committed to Corporate Social Responsibility in Tourism.

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