EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA Flying Safari to Chobe in Botswana; Flying Safari to Victoria Falls and Hwange in Zimbabwe; Visit Cape Town
Many thanks to you and your team for arranging our trip to southern Africa! As you know, my father, Robert Miller, arranged for the trip for the 3 of us, himself, me (Vivian Miller) and my daughter, Julia Dash. You did an absolutely FANTASTIC job. The materials you sent prior to the trip about the itinerary, tipping guidelines, packing lists, optional sightseeing opportunities were great --inclusive without being overwhelming! Every arrangement went smoothly, all flights and transfers were well organized and orchestrated. The places we visited were varied, exciting, interesting, and the perfect combination of safari and other sightseeing. The accommodations were excellent, we loved the Cullinan in Cape Town, Muchenje lodge in Chobe, the Victoria Falls Hotel, and Little Makololo camp in Hwange. We loved Cape Town itself and everything to do and see there, and of course it was fantastic to se e Victoria Falls, and the safari at both parks/lodges fantastic!
Thanks for making Julia's 14th birthday unforgettable! Special thanks to Joy and Robert at Muchenje for that; and Lips, our guide, who showed us a great time on safari there! Of course than ks also to the staff at Little Makololo and especially our guide Charles there. Our safari guides were great! They were awesome at spotting animals, birds, reptiles, plants, and had a tremendous fund of knowledge about them all. They taught us a lot, and it was really exciting to be so close to those animals! Favorites were the elephants, the lions, and the buffalo, but EVERYTHING was a thrill.
The Wilderness Safaris organization is superb, they are an excellent partner for Africa Adventures. We enjoyed meeting, and learning from all of the staff who work for them -- the drivers, the pilot, the guides and the staff at the lodges and Vic Falls Hotel. Everybody top notch!
We enjoyed meeting Esther, our guide for Victoria Falls, who also took us to the marke t there. We loved the elephant encounter and the ride, and we learned a lot from our elephant handler/driver, Farai. We also met Sylvester the cheetah, who they raised from a tiny kitten, and he was awesome. The helicopter ride over the falls was fabulous!
We feel very privileged to have enjoyed the unspoiled natural beauty of Chobe and Hwange parks, and all of the amazing wildlife protected and habitats preserved there. We intend to support the Wilderness Safari organization in their responsible ecotouri sm.
We took hundreds of photos, but here are 2 of my favorites: a baby elephant we saw at Chobe, and a photo of the 3 of us at Boulders to see the African penguins. There are so many more, but not enough space to attach them all. (Actually I tried to send more, but the files were too big, I will send more in a separate email after this). Julia has put together a slide show for her class, and I will send that to you on a CD (unless you suggest a different way of sending it).
5353 North Federal Highway, Suite 300 ï‚· Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308 U.S.A Tel: 800Â·882Â·9453 ï‚· Tel: 954Â·491Â·8877 ï‚· Fax: 954Â·491Â·9060
Thank you for making this trip a truly life changing experience for all of us. I will wholeheartedly recommend you to anyone who wants to travel to Africa!
Vivian Miller, February 2012
Safari to Limpopo - Mashatu Private Game ReserveVisit Tzaneen in the Drakensberg MountainsSafari to a Private Game Reserve
Once again thank you for helping to plan and oversee our wonderful trip to South Africa and Botswana. You were extremely organized and responsive, especially when we had to scramble to make alternative arrangements due to park closures (from the inclement weather) . Here are my candid thoughts on our trip .
As soon as I arrived in the Jo'burg a irport I was met by the driver that you arranged to pick me up and take me to the Athol Place. He was there on time and the transfer went smoothly. The boutique hotel that you
put Sheila and me in for the first night was adorable. The rooms were beautifully decorated and the grounds
were quite pretty. We hung out by the pool in the day, had a lovely lunch and used the complimentary car service to go out to dinner in Melrose Arch. We ate in Moyo and had a delicious African meal.
All our transfers went smoothly the next day on our way to Botswana. I thought our driver Mike was very
nice, incredibly knowledgeable and well traveled. I enjoyed hearing his about his travels and take on the area and took down all his recommendations. We felt very secure with him .
Our three night stay at Mashatu was wonderful. The highlights were:
1. Incredible animal viewing and our guide Fish was unbelievable. It appeared that he could track any animal we asked him to. He also took us on a walking tour which gave us a c ompletely different
perspective. We felt safe with him even while stepping over fresh leopard tracks.
2. Lovely pool area with ample shade and two resident baby Bushbuck grazing nearby.
3. Nice and accommodating staff
4. Lovely rooms, with nice bathrooms.
5. The dining area overlooking a waterhole was a real treat, also did my own yoga there to the sound of snorting wart hogs. Also, it was nice to eat with some of the guests and staff.
6. Wonderful selection of African wines a nd it was so sweet that the staff gave me a complementary bottle of sparkling wine for my birthday that was delish!
Some things that could use improvement:
1. For the most part the food was basic. Could use more variety and flavoring but then again I don't
think they are use to my type of eating, no meat, no dairy, no white flour and no sugar!
2. Rooms really should have patios. Kind of have a closed in feeling - though you did warn me
Just an overall concern I had was that the animals tha t we saw on property seemed used to us and comfortable with us around. I really wonder if that jeopardizes their well being if they should wonder in outside the borders into South Africa and Zimbabwe where I understand they can be hunted or captured for canned hunts.
As for our one night at the Kings Carriage House in Tanzeen, well considering we arrived during torrential rains and that the electricity was out and that are second safari would be cancelled, we had a lovely time.
We curled up by the fireplace, ate plenty of chocolate cake and during the 10 minutes that the rain stopped, walked the grounds which were stunning'¦ beautiful English gardens and what appeared to be a wonderful view of the valley. We had a very nice dinner in a cozy dining room.
You were awesome, scoring us that amazing suite last minute at the Twelve Apostles in Cape Town. The mountain and ocean views were spectacular as was the great service at the hotel. We had our own concierge to help us plan our spa treatments and day tri ps with wonderful drivers. She also made us dinner reservations (though she was not hip, and didn't really know about the more trendier places) and arranged
for a private bike ride for me with another younger concierge, free of charge. I had so much fun r iding along the coast and it got me out of the funk I was in when we first arrived in Cape Town after the disappointment
of our Tanda Tula safari being cancelled (due to flooding) and 10 hours of travel to get to Cape Town. The
Twelve Apostles has a magni ficent setting between mountains and ocean but the hotel could use some sprucing up; common areas need some refurbishing and were a bit stuffy and the main dining room had a
funky smell. Pool areas were very nice but could use more shade. A beautiful shop in the lobby,
complimentary business center and free shuttle to Camps Bay were added pluses. Ate at some very good restaurants in the area for dinner, though the dinner we ate the first night at the hotel was not great but we enjoyed the setting on the t errace overlooking the sea.
We ended up having an incredible time in Cape Town, loved our day trip to Fransc hhoeck and Boulder
Beach to see the penguins. Will definitely be back.
Look forward to using you again for my next trip to Africa, hopefully in the very near future! Warm regards,
Beth Stern, January 2012
Flying Safari to the Okavango Delta, Linyanti, Selinda
Thanks so much for arranging our Okavango safari. It was absolutely an amazing experience. We loved every minute! On our first day, on our way into Chitabe, we had to make a second pass on the plane because there was a giraffe on the airstrip - it set the tone for all the animals and birds we saw! We were lucky enough to see 6 leopards in total, including one while we were o n foot outside our tent in Duma Tau and elephants visited us at both Little Vumbura and Duma. It was magical.
But the best (for Angela, anyway) was the hippos, including a pod of 27 in the river at Little Vumbura. Outstanding! The camps, the guides and staff, the food quality, all exceeded our expectations. It was the trip of a lifetime, except we've decided we have to return! Our whole experience in Africa was just superb.
Thank you again for all your help with planning and for arranging an itinerary that was so fantastic.
Jonathan Tarlton, March 2012
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
I just came back from Rwanda.
As always, your planning and organization were impeccable! The local guide as well as transportation and lodging were wonderful . I enjoy traveling "solo" and it gives me great comfort to know that I am always well looked after.
All of the trips I have planned through your company have been fabulous and I am con stantly recommending the Africa Adventure Company to anyone I know who is thinking of going to Africa.
Until next time…..
Leonie DeRamus , January 2012
Private Safari to Tarangire/Ngorongoro/Serengeti
Dear Alison and other Africa Adventure Company members,
I am most pleased to provide the feedback you requested via th e letter sent upon our return from Tanzania. I will try and organize the information following the topics you outlined and also adding comments of my own.
Local Ground Operators and Guide
-at every transition location, we were always met and were treated with care and clarity. From landing in
Arushsa, our driver was there immediately and took care of us as we traveled to our overnight lodge.
-He made sure we were clear about checking in for the flight and stayed until we were set.
-Our pilot was friendly, competent and helpful about where we were going and what we would likely see and do
-Dominic was waiting for us as we landed and immediately it was clear that we had an amazing guide.
*having ALL arrangements clearly and consistently taken care of was cri tical to my comfort and confidence. As two women traveling alone, no cell phones, etc. safety and care was number one.
-Each location was distinct and special in it's own way. I feel the quality of each lodge was consistent
although I must say that Lake Masek was my favorite. Places were clean, mosquito netting carefully prepared, food was excellent and the staff was simply outstanding.
-I am very glad we ended up going in reverse order from the original plan as it proved to be IDEAL in e very
way. I might have been concerned (disappointed?) had we gone to Tarangire first as it was so different than all the others that …I don't know…I feel it would not have been the best "first" introduc tion to game drives and to the lodge system.
-The staff at Lake Masek were amazing. So happy, thoughtful, responsive, gentle, kind….just wonderful. I
am so glad we paid for an extra night there. It proved wise and worthwhile. All the locations were hig h quality both in terms of our l odge and the main lodge.
-I eat mainly fruit so I was concerned about food. I was pleasantly surprised at my choices. The food was
plentiful, varied, delicious and safe. We had enough water on our drives and Dominic was great about insuring that all along the way. I wanted t o stay well hydrated and we did that.
- I felt safe and cared for at each and every place . The laundry situation at Plantation lodge came at a great
time in our trip. I was able to get diet cokes at each location and we had access to Internet at each loca tion.
Our cell phone did not work anywhere, however.
-Beading with the Maasai women and going to a boma that was NOT commercialized were particular highlights apart from the wildlife (our main focus)
There are no words to express how INCREDIBLE Domi nc Maji was. HE WAS THE "X" factor in making
our safari THE most amazing experience possible. He was so consistent, so competent, so knowledgeable, so responsive to our requests…..he simply was THE BEST! We did not want to zoom from site to site or
animal to animal like we saw so many drivers doing. We wanted to stop, to learn, to watch, to wait, to
listen….we wanted to go slowly and purposefully. We wanted to watch the wildlife in their element and not just check off items in our book. I liked how r espected Dominic was in all the camps. We watched and listened to so many different guides at different times…no one topped Dominic in any way. He was a problem solver, he shared so much wisdom (not just knowledge) and so much emotion about his country
and the wildlife. We knew we wanted a "top 10" tour company but there are many I n that list. We selected
Africa Adventure Company because of the consistency and quality…the attention to detail and the quality of the GUIDES….we choose wisely.
Wildlife Sightings Fantastic! Incredible! Amazing!
Every drive was different. Morning, afternoon and evening. Every location was distinct and magical in it's own way. We wanted to be out and stay out a long time and Dominc accommodated that request. He quickly learned what WE wanted and he took initiative to make it happen. We would mostly see one jeep followed by 4, 5, 6, 7 others…like little trains. NOT Dominic. He knew when to go where, when to follow the main road and when to take a side road. We were alone, quiet, purposeful and he never disappointed. He always, always found the magical place and his patience put the animals at ease.
-A major bit of feedback I want to give is about all you did (thank you Alison!!) BEFORE we left. I was very hesitant and reluctant for a variety of reasons. Karen and I agreed that if I did not feel comfortable, we
would not go. The patience and timeliness of your responses was ESSENTIAL. No one ever sounded or seemed frustrated with all our questions or conce rns. We got answers usually the next day if not within two days. We needed clarity about medical services, insurance, quality of accommodations, food…you name
it…we had questions. Because of how YOUR STAFF was, we made the trip. Without that point of c ontact quality, we likely would have chosen a different adventure. We knew what was due and when. IF you said
it, it happened. Getting the bags well in advance, packing lists, the DETAILED and high quality
ITINERARIES…each piece was first rate and essent ial.
By now, you have seen 180 of our 2000 photos. Perhaps those pictures help tell the best story. If you would like additional information or clarification in any of my points, please don't hesitate to ask.
The trip was
I hope we can return!
C.H., January 2012