The whole of Europe is more or less covered in snow and winter has really begun! We would like to tell you about the opportunity to visit warmer places during the holidays and to raise awareness of accessible safari’s in South Africa.

Epic Enabled is an accessible safari tour operator that offers “interactive safari holidays that break the boundaries of conventional travel”. It was established in 2001. Their most interesting speciality is an Eight Day Kruger Tour- highlight’s include a four day trip through the Kruger National Park, one of the world’s largest natural reserves, a visit to a Shangaan village, a stop at a research centre for endangered species and a stay at a private game reserve where guests enjoy three days of physical interaction with hippos, cheetahs, lion cubs, elephants and leopards. Epic Enable also offers a variety of other accessible tours and can work out a private tour itinerary on request.

Visitor’s impressions:

We were a small group, five in total , including manual wheelchair users who were travelling independently and a man using a large electric wheel chair who was travelling with his wife. The tour van is a modified truck with a hydraulic lift. It can accommodate up to fifteen passengers, including approximately seven wheelchair users, and is high enough that everyone travelling has excellent views of scenery and wildlife. The accommodation is also wheelchair accessible.

Within Kruger Nation Park, some of the accommodation is in permanent tents, about eighteen inches off the ground and fitted with hoists. The shared facilities also have wheelchair accessible showers and toilets.

The opportunity to touch animals that are living and hunting in the natural environment is rare, let alone to sit next to and stroke a purring cheetah. It is difficult to describe the feeling it brings for someone who had only dreamed of going toAfrica. The smiles just got bigger and bigger. On the way to Kruger we had the opportunity of visiting, seeing and hearing about a different culture – life in a traditional Shangaan village. It was surprising to discover that many of the traditions had similarities to Maori, instantly evident when we were welcomed into the village by speeches and song.

This is just one example of what can be seen, and it is the kind of thing you may have seen on television programmes and do not expect to see in reality, but when you do it’s just amazing. I heard that word so many times from my companions. All the hard work and effort in getting the funds together, and the long air flights were absolutely worth it!

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