Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Holiday of a Lifetime, by Julia Gower - UK

My husband & I have just returned from South Africa fulfilling my wildest dream! I am 54 years’ old, and have had MS for 33 years but it is only during the last 6 years that the condition has advanced to secondary progressive, affecting my walking. I walk with the aid of two crutches, using a wheelchair at times.

For a long time I had wanted to go to South Africa but thought that such an idea was impossible, that is until I found the tour operator – Epic Enabled and what a find! Epic Enabled ( is a company aimed at people with mobility problems. Therefore, at the beginning of October my husband and I set out on our African adventure!

We flew to Johannesburg and from there went in a specially adapted truck to the Kruger National Park for a week. The truck has a hydraulic lift making it easy access on and off and wheelchairs could be secured to the floor with straps. Our group comprised of a Yorkshire girl (MS) and her mother, a New Zealand girl (MS), a Swedish girl (MS), a Dutch man (MS) and his wife another Dutch man who had a stroke and his wife.  We stayed in three different camps in the Park and in one Private Camp. The accommodation was good comprising of bungalows each with a walk-in shower. We went on day and evening drives and saw so many animals (very close at times), even managing the Big Five one evening.

Following the safari we went to Cape Town where we stayed a few days, visiting Robben Island which was rather sobering, Cape Point, the Penguin colony, Table Mountain and the Winelands. Then for the remaining five days we travelled along the beautiful Garden Route, spending some time whale watching en-route to the first camp. The dense, indigenous vegetation was quite spectacular. During our stay on the Garden Route we managed to visit an Ostrich farm and an Elephant sanctuary where one can walk or wheel “hand in trunk” ! For the last two nights we stayed on the coast’s edge and to see and hear 20ft waves crashing just a few metres from our cabin was truly amazing and a lovely end to our South African adventure. 

We did have a wonderful holiday and I say to everyone reading this that it is possible to go on a Safari even if you have mobility problems.

Julia & Andy Gower, UK

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