EASTERN AFRICAFlying safari in Botswana - Okavango/MoremiGroup Lodge safari to Lake Manyara/Serengeti/Ngorongoro/TarangireFlying safari to the Selous/Visit to Zanzibar
I wanted to send a quick email to say how much Randi and I loved our t rip through Africa Adventure Company. Each of our twenty-five days showed us a fresh new adventure. Now that we're back the both of us have had time to let all of those experiences really sink in. The best way that I can describe Randi and mine's excursion to Africa would be overwhelming in the best ways possible! Only now can I really sit back and process all that we did. Of course the both of us soaked in everything with open minds. No matter how much of a whirlwind everything was I can officially say tha t I now have the '˜African Bug' and I cannot wait to return again! We saw and experienced so many amazing things, and all I can really say is that we surely are a couple of awfully lucky travelers.
Quite the AMAZING AFRICAN ADVENTURE!!!
I wanted to send a few of my favorite pictures to share with you!!! Hope you enjoy, because we sure did!!! Thanks again for EVERYTHING!!!!
Milo Anderson, July 2012
Safari to Amboseli, Lewa Downs and Maasai Mara in Kenya Safari to Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro in Tanzania Island getaway to Zanzibar
To Africa Adventure Company and all of our Wonderful Guides:
'An adventure of a lifetime' is exactly how we would describe our August trip to Kenya and Tanzania. We would like to thank every one of you for your guid ance, patience, and friendship as we went on our adventure to celebrate our 30 th wedding anniversary!
We chose East Africa for the animals, but will return for the people. The guides, drivers, camp staff and even the tuk tuk driver in Stone Town each added a new wonderful memory for us.
To Szilvia, Mark, Cinthia, Saskia and the whole AAC team: You did an outstanding job! There was not one hitch, glitch or problem during 23 days of travel, 18 charter flights, 3 border crossings and 8 locations. We loved each location and could not be happier with the experience. We thought that going to Africa was a
once in a lifetime trip, but we are already thinking about the next one. Thank you for your patience with our endless questions and know that we 're telling everyone great things about AAC!
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
To Giraffe Manor and Newton & Dickson: What a wonderful introduction to Kenya! The Kelly room was spectacular and the atmosphere was magical with the giraffes. The rose petals on the floor and bottle of sparkling wine were beautiful and a very special way to mark our anniversary. And, we had our first taste of Amarula! Newton gave us the historical and cultural context to start our trip, including a visit to a supermarket so I could indulge my passion for food and cookin g. He also introduced us to mandazi (more on that later). Dickson navigated the traffic and roads under construction masterfully, giving us Swahili lessons all the while!
To Tortilis Camp and Eric: Tortilis was beautiful! Andrea and Manuela made us feel welcome from the moment we stepped out of the vehicle and Tent #1 with its Mt. Kilimanjaro view was a great way to start the 'camp' part of our trip. The celebratory sparkling wine for our anniversary made it perfect! Eric introduced us to the famed Ambos eli elephants (see his credit in Frommer 's guide to Kenya & Tanzania!), gave us the helpful hints that would help us differentiate animals and took us to a local Maasai village, where we learned about the Maasai culture, an experience that we would continu e to build on. One of our favorite memories is being on the dry lake bed with the herd of elephants so quietly walking by.
To Lewa Safari Camp and Festus: Lewa was breathtaking! Thanks to Stefano, Liz, and the entire camp staff who made our stay in Tent #6 so comfortable, and to the birds who made having meals so entertaining! Festus started our wonderment of termite mounds, took us on a journey with a tracker to find lions,
remained calm in the face of false charging black rhinos, and hosted a great lunc h in the Ndare Ngare forest, after a hike to see 3 sets of waterfalls and across the forest canopy. We thoroughly enjoyed the hike and
listening to Julius and Koletai tell us about the forest, particularly when they showed us a path an elephant used to slide down a hill! One of our favorite memories is sitting in the vehicle, with a lion not two feet away, having a sundowner. We 're drinking wine and snacking on chips while the lion seems to be looking
not at us, but through us.
To Little Governor's Camp and Collins: What a location! During our registration with Tirza, an elephant walked out of the swamp and through the camp. Julius, Issa and Ankarliet made the stay very comfortable. We found a favorite new cocktail, the Dawa! Sitting on the deck, watching the animals at the swamp, listening to the hippos, sipping Dawas - ' this is camping?' The balloon ride over the Maasai Mara was amazing, as was the bush breakfast afterwards. The celebration of our anniversary on our final night was spectacular, with a Maasai dance and delicious cake! Mark was able to use the jumping skills first learned at Amboseli. Collins found us our one and only leopard, a very angry big cat treed by vehicles. Collins also persevered, taking us 3 separate times to the crossing, maneuv ering so that we were in the front row of the multitude of vehicles. The third time was the charm - an awesome sight, with a soundtrack of braying zebras and water splashing, and the view across the river of a flock of vultures. Wow.
To Sayari Safari Camp and Malaki: Sayari is built among some of the most interesting rock formations ever. The kopje have personalities and are beautiful. Claire welcomed us and this graciousness would follow throughout our stay. We had a tour of the kitchen and found out tha t the delicious food was being prepared by the 2nd in command chef. I'm not sure if the safari guides have to take eye tests, but Malaki saw a cheetah's tail twitching from 100 yards away. He was also able to navigate the roads using not one, but two gear shifts! Our time with Malaki showed us many unique sights: two week old baby giraffes, a male ostrich incubating eggs, and all of those beautiful rocks. He met us at the end of a nature walk with Nathoo and Julius, hosting a sundowner in a light rain, on t he banks of the Mara River. It was absolutely beautiful. I mention Nathoo because he confirmed the wonderousness of termite mounds and told us so many other things that I wrote 6 pages in my journal!
To Lake Manyara Tree Lodge and Milinga: I 've coined a new word: 'Pamping'. This is not to be confused with 'glamping.' Pamping means pampered camping! At Disneyland, there used to be an attraction, the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, after the movie made based on a book. It was a multi -leveled tree house.
We felt as though we were on the set of a movie! The tree lodge, with its outdoor shower and visiting elephants, was decadent. Liberati was our butler and made a wonderful frozen gin & tonic. Scott and others celebrated our anniversary with a Lake Manyara son g and a delicious chocolate cake. Magic!
Milinga, our guide through Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro, did his utmost to meet our requests, including surprising us with a home cooked lunch at Mama Esther 's after our village tour through Mbo wa Mto and taking us to Oldupai Gorge and the shifting sands, after our game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater, where we were given an in-depth tour by the Antiquities Officer, Jackson, whose knowledge about geology, geography, sociology, anthropology and science was incredible .
To Zanzibar and Jumah: After many days of travel in the bush, arriving in Zanzibar was almost a culture shock - lots of people, traffic, humidity. But wandering around Stone Town, smelling the spices and getting lost in the maze of buildings, we still had a sense of wonderment and awe. The Serena Inn is absolutely beautiful. This was the perfect way to ease out of vacation mode. Jumah took us on three tours: Stone Town, sharing with us his knowledge of Stone Town and the history of Zanzibar; Spice Tour, allowing his trainee to conduct the tour with an amazing young man whom I 've dubbed the 'Weaver' for his creative use of palm fronds; and a Taste of Zanzibar. It was this last tour that was my favorite. The halwa factory where we were to be shown how the confection is made was closed, so he asked what other activity we might like to do. Still on my quest for mandazi, I asked to be shown how it was made, thinking we'd stop by a bakery.
No, instead, we got into a car and went to Mohammed 's house, where his wife graciously showed us how to make mandazi, mboga, vipopo and visheti! What a fabulous experience!
Once again, thank you all for a fantastic visit. Hopefully, we can return the favor one day and show you around our home town of Los Angeles if you ever come to Southern California.
Pam and Mark DiMaria , August 2012
Safari to Ndarakwai-foothills of Mt. KilimanjaroPrivate safari to Lake Eyasi/Ngorongoro Crater/SerengetiBeach getaway to Zanzibar Island
I just want to thank all of you who worked to put together such an amazing trip for us. The trip was more than we could have ever have anticipated.
Our days in the Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti were filled with amazing views of animals and beauty beyond what we had I magined, but I think overall we enjoyed the visits with the Bushmen, Datoga and Iraqw people more than anything else. Spending time at the Tindiga camp and at Lake Eyasi were some of our favorite days. The local guide Mustafa was very well informed and p rovided us with a lot of information about the area and the people. Milinga was the perfect guide for our family. He immediately got to know us all and learned about what we hoped to see and do and then made sure that we saw and did things that addressed those things. Mike has an interest in geology, which Milinga was very knowledgeable about. The side trip to the quartz mountain and shifting sands as well as the Tanzanite Museum were some of the highlights of the trip for Mike. Nathan and Ashley enjoyed learning Swahili. Nathan picks up languages quite easily and he and Ashley learned a couple of local sayings that always brought a smile to
the people they met. All of the camps we stayed at were very inviting and comfortable and it was nice that they were small.
Although we saw and did amazing things I would say that our trip would not have been as enjoyable if it had not been for Milinga. We had never traveled with a guide before, so we did not know what to expect.
He took excellent care of us a nd we were really sad to have to leave and go on to Zanzibar without him. His attention to detail and information and knowledge about everything were amazing. We could tell that he
really cared about whether our trip was amazing and always was thinking o f ways to make it an incredible experience for us. Nathan got sick about half way through and he made sure that the doctor came and then checked with Nate throughout the next few days to be sure he was feeling better. His ability to spot animals
was amazing, seeing things that none of us could have seen without him; lions in trees, leopards, cheetah.
The accommodations on Zanzibar were really relaxing (Matemwe Zanzibar) and it was nice to have a couple of days to relax and reflect on the trip. The local people were really friendly and our day trips to Stone Town and the village were interesting '¦
I hope we will get to travel to Africa again in the future. I know that Ashley is going to try to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and I might just do it with her. We all left with a different perspective on Tanzania and the people than we had before the trip.
Thank you so much!
Julie Firl, May 2012
Private Safari to Tarangire/Lake Manyara/Serengeti/Ngorongoro
We want you to know that we had a wonderf ul time on our safari. It met and far surpassed all of our expectations, thank you for helping us to arrange our trip. Our guide Milinga was terrific and full of knowledge which he willingly shared with us. His knowledge of the animals and their behavior a llowed us to see so much and to experience things we might have missed. We would highly recommend him as a guide and feel like we have gained a friend. We would also highly recommend Africa Adventure co. to anyone interested in going on safari - everything went so well and we really enjoyed all of our lodging, especially the mobile camp and Kirurumu tented camp. Kirurumu is a beautiful place and the rooms were beautiful. We really enjoyed getting to know some of the staff at the places we stayed, everyone w as so friendly and always willing to spend time talking or answering questions. The small part of Tanzania that we saw was so beautiful and we feel very lucky to have been able to see it and the incredible animals that live there. All of us agreed that thi s was our best trip ever! Who knows we may even go on safari again.
Marsha and Rocky Gmeiner, September 2012
Group safari to Ndarakwai-foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro/Tarangire/Lake Manyara -Rift ValleyNgorongoro Crater/Serengeti
We returned home from Tanzania on Wednesday, July 18.
I can tell you our experience was unbelievable! We will never forget our Tanzania Safari.
I can go on and on about the properties, the spectacular scenery an d the awesome wildlife.
A dream come true!
Our guide, Omar Seif, made our trip delightful in every way. He is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Every single day was an adventure we will never forget. It is amazing how he handles the vehicle on extremely bumpy roads and at the same time points out a spectacular bird in a tree or a Lyon in the brush. He never lost his sense of humor and always kept us safe.
What an asset to The African Adventure Company!
Dreaming of our next adventure……….. Sincerely,
Peggy and Cecil Hallinan, July 2012
Private Safari to Lake Manyara/Serengeti/Ngorongoro /Tarangire
Hi Lynne (& team)
Tracy and I have been back for 2 weeks from our holiday and are just now recovering from all the excitement on the trip and then of course sharing it with all our family and friends. We cannot thank you enough for putting together such a fantastic once in a lifetime trip for us. Clemence (our guide) was phenomenal. Whatever the process you use to select the guide.. Keep it up. He re ally did a great job of tailoring our experience (in-country) and made a point of asking about our expectations on the first day and then checked in frequently through the trip to make sure we were having fun (as if it was not already obvious!) It was great to share all of our adventures at the different lodges and it was clear that we were having a much better trip than almost all of our peers. I credit him for that wonderful experience and highly recommend him for your future guests! And'¦ the safari debrief at the end was great and very unexpected. We reviewed all the anima ls we saw and where, how many lions, leopards, cheetah's… and our overall number of species. It was a great end to the safari and really showed how much he cared about us experiencing and remembering the best of his home country, Tanzania.
And you were right'¦while it was hard to pick a favorite, Mbuzi Mawe, in the Serengeti was by far the best experience.. (lions roaring and coming through camp, cape buffalo and hyena's right outsi de our own tent'¦ amazing), but almost tied was the Tarangire Safari lodge where we had elephants come right next to the tent (and poop right outside). We look forward to posting some pictures on the site and have the feedback link
to do but I wanted to make sure you knew what a great time we had and how much we appreciate
everyone's hard work to make this such a memorable vacation.
Jeff & Tracy H., September 2012
Private safari to Ngorongoro Crater and SerengetiGetaway to Zanzibar Island
We are finally back to normal after our amazing honeymoon and we wanted to send some feedback. We'd
be happy to speak with you on the phone if you think it would be better, so just let us know. Overall, we had an awesome time.
Nearly every element of the trip was seamless and everyone we interacted with in Tanzania was extremely helpful and kind. We were really impressed by the fact that there was always someone waiting for us upon arrival at each destination and we never felt insecure.
Upon arrival in Dar, the hotel and driver were great. We were especially impressed that there was a bottle of champagne waiting for us even though we were only staying until the morning.
Baraza -- We could have stayed here for another month because it was ab solutely amazing. The service was unbelievable; in all parts of the hotel, someone asked if we needed anything within minutes of sitting down. Everyone was very helpful -- even when we asked the same stupid questions several times. The food was amazing; every meal was better than the last. We loved the honeymoon treatment (free massages, secluded table at the pool on our last night) and truly felt special staying there. In fact, it was so great that we wouldn't have minded staying there for an extra day. Ma ybe we would have cut one day from Migration Camp at the end. We can see why many people end their trip in Zanzibar, but considering that we were coming straight from the wedding, we're happy that we went there first.
When we got to the safari part of the honeymoon, we found the service levels we loved from Zanzibar continued throughout Tanzania. Our guide Jadim was extremely knowledgeable and patient with us. He was flexible and suggested great ideas for game drives and meals throughout our safari. We really liked him.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge was also wonderful. We felt it was worth the hype. The food was amazing, people were great and kind -- we could get used to having a butler. Everyone at the Lodge seemed genuinely invested in our happiness and it p aid off -- we really enjoyed our stay and got amazingly close to animals in the crater.
We liked Soroi as well'¦the service at Soroi was really great and the game drives around Soroi also were really good. We got to see massive concentrations of wildebees t cross a river, and saw an endless number of fascinating animals and scenery '¦
We loved Migration Camp and were happy to end our trip at such a nice camp. Again, the food and staff
were beyond our expectations and we saw quite a lot of game right on the p roperty. The northern part of the
Serengeti was different from the central, which we really enjoyed.
We had such a wonderful trip and have not talking about how much we loved it since we arrived home. We'd love to plan another trip to Africa sometime in the future.
Karen and Evan Kwarta, June 2012
Visit Abayudaya Community, UgandaGorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Elena et al., -- we're fresh back from our trip to Uganda and Rwanda and I wanted to report in. We'll try to write up a better trip report soon but wanted to give you some immediate feedback in case it's useful.
First, the trip to the Abayudaya was absolutely terrific and we would recommend that you see if others might like to do it'¦probably only of great interest to Jewish travelers but well worth the trip. Very warm and welcoming people and extremely interesting. As you had suggested, staying in their guest house would not be too comfortable but the Mt. Elgon Hotel was lovely and close by enough (with a quite goo d restaurant). More on that later. Oh yes, and the local tour company was excellent as well.
Very good guide named Dennis. They coupled it with a local guide for the Abayudaya who has a business called Shalom Tours…also very good.
Second, the Rwanda portion was superb. Both of our treks were very long and rather difficult but well worth it. I actually thought we had better views of the gorillas than in Uganda three years back, but am not sure I remember so well. Guides on the trek were wonderful and it worked very well. I even got a love pat from a female gorilla so am thrilled. Pictures will be forthcoming for both '¦We loved the Gorilla Mountain View Lodge. The pictures do not come close to doing the place justice. The whole setting is lovely, the bar a nd dining room and lounge area is very lovely, the rooms are quite big and great (with a fireplace that they light), food is good etc.
Rwanda generally is heavily underappreciated by people, and I could go on and on about it as a country (I had a series of "business" meetings at the end of the trip that reinforced my view of the place as thriving and a comer).
More later…and thank you for the extra work you had to do to make the Abayudaya portion happen. It was well worth it.
All the best
Alan Leshner, Aug-Sep 2012
Group safari to Arusha/Tarangire/Lake Manyara/Ngorongoro/Serengeti
Hi Lynne, I want to thank you again for getting back to me so quickly with a Plan B when there was a delay in our flight. All ended well and our Safari exceeded expect ations……I keep running out of adjectives like
extraordinary, fabulous, and just wonderful.
Hilary was an exceptional guide and everything went smoothly once we set foot in Tanzania.
Jan Lowenthal, June 2012
PS. This is the note I sent to my sister a bout our trip!:-
The Safari exceeded our expectations and I am truly at a loss to choose the best 5 events. We were in the midst of the Wildebeest migration and were surrounded by animals. It reminded me of open range experiences where you run into her ds of cattle or sheep but these herds were endless and covered the plains as far as the eye could see. We saw lions in trees, stalking, mating, lurking in the grass, and a lioness with two cubs chasing a zebra herd. We had elephants next to the car, thi nking about charging, and crossing the road in front of us or in back of us. We saw large groups of giraffes numerous times. Of course the zebra, baboons, 2 type of monkeys, hyenas, topi, springbuck, dikdik, waterbuck warthog, impalas, two types of gazelles, Cape buffalo, crocodile, Nile monitor, mongoose, 5 different vultures, and a scavenger
stork. There were large numbers of birds and butterflies. The rarest sightings were a leopard in a tree with a kill, a cheetah and four cubs with bloody fa ces, lions in trees, and a black rhino fairly far away.
I may be spoiled forever because we almost had a private guide. There were only three of us in a 4X4 Land Rover + the guide. The tour we selected could have had up to six in the car. The top popped up and the other guest was also named Larry and a camera enthusiast ---as was the guide. I sat in the back, used my binoculars, tried to stay out of the way of their perfects shots, and let the two of them ramble on. Our guide was extremely patient, per ceptive, and above all knowledgeable. I cannot recommend Africa Adventure Company and their ground operator highly enough!
The lodges were better than expected and camping is definitely better than I have ever experienced before - even in a tent top. The entire site which included tents with bathrooms, dinning room, and another for a lounge will be packed up and moved to another site in the Serengeti to follow the wildebeest migration….
You should definitely explore The Africa Adventure Com pany at www.AfricaAdventure.com. We dealt with Lynne Glasgow, General Manager, but others that we met had other agents that they also prized
highly. They sent a luggage duffel, cap s, lots of luggage tags, and a document folder. They were available
24-7 with a hot line that took a message and Lynne got back to me within the hour. She had a very good plan B when our scheduled flight did not fly and said 'just keep me posted'. She was patient when we bugged her about Yellow Fever shots, malaria medication, whether we should take smart phones and electronics, and the numerous other questions ----even though it was all in their literature.
They have numerous trips to various parts of A frica and are now offering trips to Australia and New
Zealand and probably they have personally selected the guides and accommodations in those parts also. Our guide, Hilary, was the 2010 guide of the year and I can personally vouch that he would be a gre at candidate for 2012.
Visit to Cape TownGroup Safari to Sweetwaters/Great Rift Valley/Lake Nakuru/Maasai MaraEgyptian tour of Pyramids/Old Cairo/4 Night Nile Cruise - Luxor, Edfu and Aswan
We are back from an amazing, fabulous trip!! South Af rica was more beautiful than we had ever imagined it to be! The locals were very friendly and we had an exhilarating time on our Great White Shark dive. We
saw 4 Great Whites and although the water was freezing we loved it! As we were heading towards th e seals
we came upon 2 Southern Right Whales mating and luckily we had a marine biologist who specializes in the whales on our boat to educate us.
After South Africa we headed to Kenya for our amazing safari. Our guide Alex was award winning! He was friendly, knowledgeable and it felt as if we had known him forever. He offered so much information and gave us many different choices so that we could make the best decisions on what activities to do. Our favorite camp was Sweetwaters. It was exactly what we expected from safari. We absolutely enjoyed having our morning/evening drinks while looking out at the watering hole and viewing all the wonderful animals so up close and personal! Camp Elmenteita was beautiful also. We really enjoyed the Massai Mara'¦ Every safari was unique and amazing and we saw everything except for the leopard, which we have come to realize is most likely due to the fact that the leopard is indeed just a safari fairytale and is not real LOL!! We had 2 bush breakfasts which was so surreal and our balloon ride over Massai Mara was exceptional. It was also mating season at its best! Not only did we see the Right whales mating but we
were also lucky enough to view lions mating 50ft from our vehicle. It was so extraordinary and a once in a lifetime opportunity'¦
Next we headed to Egypt. Our guide Mohammad was great and spoke great English. He also gave us many options of things to add on and explained the history of Egypt as if he was a professor of Egyptian History.
'¦The cruise was lovely and we really enjoyed coming back in the afternoon and spending hours at the pool.
This was the trip of a lifetime we had imagined and more!! I never thought we would be thinking that we need to do it a second time, but we will for sure!! Really the only thing we would change if we could do it all over again would be to flip flop the itinerary and start in Egypt, go on safari and end in South Africa '¦.
Thank you soo much for an amazing trip!! We will be back one day!! I have enclosed some photos I would like to use for the client photograph competition, we could really use the prize for our next trip :)
Synthia Jans, September 2012
Safari to Serengeti and Ngorongoro CraterIsland Getaway to Zanzibar Island
Ishani and I wanted to write to you to thank you and to tell you about our wonderful trip to Africa!
First, we have to thank the Africa Adventure company for handling all the logistics and picking such wonderful places. Going to a country like Tanzania can be both exhilarat ing and overwhelming at the same time, but I have to say that we were not overwhelmed at all! We knew exactly where we were going between transfers and who to talk to and all of the lodges we stayed at were so accommodating.
At Mount Meru Lodge, that was a great selection, because it was so close to the Kilimanjaro airport. Our guide that we met the next morning, Eli, was fantastic. He was very nice and very informative during the whole trip. We talked about culture, animals, etc. during our rides and we got to know him very well. We had a great time eating and taking a tour at Gibb's farm. Ish and I said it was some of the best food we ever had. Everything was so fresh and tasty. We absolutely loved staying at the Ngorogo Farm House! The staff was sooooo nice and accommodating and we loved our room as well. The views were absolutely stunning and we spent our evenings watching the sunsets before having dinner. The culture shows were awesome as well in the evening! Eli took us to see the Masai village and th e Iraqi village and we had so much fun interacting with the people and hearing their stories. We came home with a much greater appreciation for what we have after seeing their way of life, which to them was "normal." The Ngorogoro Crater was beautiful and we saw a lot of beautiful animals. Our favorites at the crater were the gazelles, elephants and lion. However, we didn't know there were regulations about going off the road there, so a lot of the animals were yards and yards away.
After the crater, we were on our way to the Serengeti. This was our absolute favorite part of the trip, b/c it was such a rush being so close to the animals. We were "right next to" lions, elephants, giraffes, etc. And of course the migration - WOW! We had soooo much fun! We ha ve to say our game drives were amazing in part due to our guide, Victor, who knew exactly where to find all the animals and could spot them from soooo far away! Ubuntu camp was our favorite place to stay as well, because we were kind of roughing it, but also kind of living it up in a semi -luxury camp. We loved our tent, the staff at the camp and the group dinners, where we talked to people from around the world. Please give our regards to the staff there and
thank them again for a great time, b/c they are s ome of the hardest working, most accommodating and nicest people we have ever met.
At the Baraza Resort and Spa, we felt like we were royalty. The staff there treated us so well and we just loved the food, the beach and just being lazy all day and night. It was a nice change from the safari. The beach lunch and the massages were some of our favorite times at the resort. We also had a good time visiting stone town and was happy that our hotel was able to arrange that for us.
All in all, we were very impr essed with all the planning and thought that went into this trip. We thank the Africa Adventure Company and for the staff and drivers at all the lodges for making this a trip that we will never forget.
Amar and Ishani Patel, August 2012
Flying safari to Maasai Mara & Naboisho Conservancy
Well, I'm home. Very happy with trip. Where to start. Thousands of photos to go thr ough, think I got some
great ones, lots of good ones, and of course a bunch to delete.
Long plane flights but all connectio ns went smoothly. Every stop in Kenya was met with a person holding a sign with my name printed on it or otherwise expecting me. Was in two different camps for 4 days each. Although it was "scheduled" for shared game drives I only had one game drive where there was another person in the wagon, otherwise I had the driver/guide and spotter all to myself. They were very attentive and worked hard to get me exactly what I wanted in terms of what I wanted to photograph and how. They quickly learned about viewing angles and directions of lighting, backgrounds, and contexts. It was apparent that they were not used to having someone with a long lens as often they got too close to the animal for
good shots with my long lens, used to people with point and shoot brownie s or camera phones.
The tents were magnificent, like 2 room apartments. In the first camp I was about 3 football fields hike thru the brush from the main area with the wonderful setting, lounge and eating area. Would be greeted each morning at 5:30 with arrival of coffee and "biscuits", and as soon as I was ready a guard was waiting about
50 yards behind my tent to escort me to the main area where foods and beverages were awaiting for those who wanted. My driver had car ready and we were off by first light. They had a picnic brunch loaded which
would be set out in some very open - safe - place.
My first camp I was near a small hill where a pride of lions hung out, there roars would literally vibrate the canvas at times during the night, and lesser animals would make some noise as they wandered thru camp. My second camp was on a bluff overlooking the river where a very noisy bunch of Hippos went at it off and on all night, at both camps accompanied always by hyenas and jackals.
We would return to camp aroun d noon, lunch was served under a large shade tree at 1, buffet style with several choices. Afternoon game drive started at 4 and back after dark for a fancy candle light dinner served in the main hall tent at 8. Of course beverages of all kinds always avai lable, the red wine always at the ready for me in camp or in the car - for Sundowners - should I want. After dinner an escort or two would walk me back to my tent. If we were late getting back to camp I would shower after dinner. In the first camp there were two showers, one inside and another outside - in a tall stone walled little area attached to rear of tent. The shower was filled at what ever time I wanted, a 5 gallon bucket of warm water hoisted up above the
stall. First camp also had running cold wat er in tent, second camp had large pitchers of water, both camps had thermoses of hot water by sinks, and plenty of bottled water for drinking. At night always a turned back bed with a hot water bottle in it. Lighting was by a 12 volt system with switches b eing attached to the end of a cord located around the rooms, but not very bright lighting.
The camp hosts, Helen and Roelof at Naboisho and Maryanna, Cleo and Conway at Rekero worked hard at making sure everything was taken care of in proper fashion '¦On my last night at Naboisho they surprised me with a birthday cake. It was a surprise, almost impossible to cut but soon turned into a real laugh, in bush tradition it was made of elephant dung, then followed by a real cake.
At the first camp, Naboisho, locat ed on a 50.000 acre reserve on the flanks of the Mara, my driver was Wilson, and Christina, a recent graduate of guide school and the first female guide to trained was the spotter. At the second camp, Rekero, Martin was the guide/driver and Resha was the s potter, Resha was guiding his family cows at age 15 along with 2 younger brothers when 3 lions attacked the cows, the boys attacked the lead lioness with their spears, killing her but not before she turned on and mauled him, leaving a big scar on his side and large dent and scar on back of his head.
One morning I went on "the nature walk" with the host, about a 3 mile walk seeing plants and insect life not seen from vehicles. It turned out to be memorable for all involved. First we saw a small snake, an un usual sighting that seemed to be fun for the honeymooners.
Shortly after that we were startled by a vicious roar as we apparently startled a large male lion who did a blast of might roar from a brush pile about 5 yards in front of us before turning tail a nd vanishing. Later we were watching a small herd of elephants as they meandered in our general direction. We retreated from their apparent general path but they came in our direction anyway. At one point the lead cow noticed us and
flared her hears, trumpeted, and then charged from about 80 yards away. We were by then huddled under a large sprawling tree on our knees. Roelof was unable to get her to change her direction and when she was about 10 yards he fired a warning shot. She did an abrupt about face a nd ran off but had he had to shoot her with the second shot the momentum in her charge would have carried her right into our huddled mass yearning to be spared. Somehow it didn't scare me but it sure did the rest of the group, including Roelof who was very upset, the first time in 8 years he had to fire a shot and it shook him. I had some fun with him later as I teased him about being a bad shot, not being able to hit an elephant at 10 yards. Hoped to kind of ease his obvious lingering upset and concern.
The camp had heard the shot and a vehicle sped out to find us, and of course lots of radio communication with the conservancy headquarters and rangers.
I must say the Maasai people are certainly attuned to the environment, very adept at seeing any wildl ife long before I did and often I had trouble seeing it even with binoculars.
I took 3 of my native flutes, turned out to be a super idea, the Massai staff and guides were like kids playing with them, great fun and a real ice breaker.
I think the amount of time was just right, I was ready to come home by the end of it - as far as photos, got everything I had hoped for, from lions, cheetah, leopard, elephant, giraffe, hyenas, animals with babies, a lion kill, …
Thomas Saville, September 2012
Private safari to Tarangire/Ngorongoro/Serengeti
Every morning as I awake I yearn to hear the morning birds of Tanzania singing their songs telling me it is time to rise and shine. Africa can never be explained for the beauty and excitement it holds for people like
myself and my family.
We loved the Safari you arranged for us ; it was just over the top. Our guide Ephata, was everything you promised and more. My adult son and daughter had such a grand time with him and he was superbly knowledgeable. My son Michael loves a challenge especially with languages. Therefore he and Ephata went at the Swahili and how many lions they could spot, actually I think the number of lions came to
35. Tanzania's topography, people and animals are understated. I could wr ite forever however my last statement is ,"We shall return."
Karol Scancarella, August 2012
Private Safari to Tarangire/Ngorongoro/SerengetiFlying safari to the Maasai Mara
We recently got back from our African Safari and wanted to take a moment to thank you and your staff for all your help arranging this wonderful trip for us. We're glad to say that many of the decisions we obsessed over turned out just right, thanks to the patient response we received to our endless questions. For example, we were very happy that we chose to stay at the Sopa Lodge, on the Ngorongoro crater rim because we were one of the first vehicles down in the crater, at sunrise, and got to see the black rhino up close (see attached). We had lunch at the Farm House which satisfied my desire to see the area and as beautiful as it was, I preferred the rim and particularly the Sopa which was right next to the entrance to the crater.
We were also thrilled with our decision to upgrade our accommodations to Mar a Explorer. We requested Tent 4, which was incredibly located at the river bend where the hippos hung out and the baboons and mongoose came to play in the afternoon. I can't say enough about this wonderful camp. The service, the food, the beautifully appointed tent and the overall hospitality surpassed all expectations. This was truly a highlight of our trip.
Our guides were wonderful. The Norfolk Hotel was great. I loved it. I felt very much at home there. They upgraded us on both stays. We enjoyed the restaurants, p articularly the atmospheric Delamere Terrace. I was glad you convinced us to stay in Nairobi.
Boniface was our guide in Tanzania. We spent eight days with him and enjoyed every moment. He was very dedicated, always making sure we got to see w hat we came to see. We were blown away by how knowledgeable he was about all aspects of the wildlife, including naming every bird we saw. In spite of the treacherous roadways, I was confident that he always had safety in mind when driving, particularly o n those perilous river crossings. He told us he was a mechanic, which gave us comfort after seeing the many vehicles that broke down. Boniface was also interesting to talk to, He was versed on Tanzanian politics and African politics, in general. We thoroughly enjoyed his company.
Overall, we had a wonderful trip, we saw every animal we expected to see and, of course, many more. The accommodations were great, the food was excellent and most important, the people that we dealt with and that looked after us couldn't have been nicer or more helpful or more hospitable.
Thanks again to Szilvia and to Lynne and to you for all your help and guidance. Best Regards,
Pat & Bob Sharkin, August 2012