It's Not Everyday You Take A Celebrity Cheetah For A Walk

24 February 2013

David Infirri, an Area Leader responsible for 13 Flight Centre stores based in Melbourne, recently took a trip to Africa. Over several weeks, David visited Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. In the after glow of such a fantastic trip, David was delighted to accept our offer to share with us stories from his African adventure.

"Many people ask me, 'What was the best bit?' but every part of it was amazing - every country we went to and every experience we had was unique. When we went to Namibia, it had a very German feel, which was surprising - there were road signs in German. We stayed in a German Castle, Heinitzberg Hotel that overlooked the capital, Windhoek. The views were just beautiful. The concept of staying in a German Castle in Africa is pretty bizarre but the rooms were very modern, it was just the façade that was more of a castle."

Sossusvlei, Namibia Hot Air Ballooning, Sossusvlei, Namibia

"Namibia is renowned for its sand dunes, so we went to Sossusvlei, where we stayed in a safari lodge in the middle of the desert. While the lodge is a tent with canvas walls, you still have a proper door and your own bathroom. It was quite magical, from our porch we watched ostriches running past. At 4am in the morning, we took a hot air balloon over the region. We were a kilometre up in the sky, with no wind - it was so peaceful overlooking the sand dunes in the desert. After we landed we then had a champagne breakfast in a sand dune that resembled a crater - that was exciting."

Elephant Safari, Zimbabwe Elephant Safari, Zimbabwe

"In Zimbabwe we stayed at an Elephant Camp - where elephants are rehabilitated back to health. The Elephant Safari was great - riding an elephant through the beautiful terrain. We even had a baby elephant walking with us - her name was Coco. We saw buffalo along the way. Getting off the massive elephants was actually really funny, trying to get your legs over."

Elephant Safari, Zimbabwe David with Sylvester the Cheetah

"Also in Zimbabwe, we went walking with a cheetah named Sylvester, he is very tame because he was raised by humans after his family was killed by lions. He was the only surviving cheetah and is quite famous with his own facebook page. We got to pat him and go walking with him off the lead. Sylvester has now become an ambassador for his species, drawing attention to the fact that cheetahs are on the endangered species list. It's really serious - these beautiful animals are threatened with extinction."

Lions Lions Devouring Buffalo, Chobe National Park

"One of the stand out experiences was witnessing lions munching on their morning kill - a mother and baby buffalo. I saw them eating the buffalo with the blood around their mouths. This was in Botswana in the Chobe National Park. You see animals in the zoo but when you're on a safari truck, they are so close but with no barrier. You are essentially an intruder in their world. They are so aware of the safari trucks but these incredible animals simply carry on as normal. Our safari guide was so knowledgeable; he'd tell us about every bird and every animal."

Flight Centre's Guest Bloggers

Flight Centre is proud to present blog posts written by our customers, affiliates or general travel enthusiasts who are as passionate about travel as we are. We're confident you'll find their insider advice and holiday highlights useful when it comes to arranging your own great getaway!