EAST AFRICAPrivate Safari to Tarangire/NgorongoroFlying safari to Serengeti

Hello,
I wanted to tell you what a wonderful time my sister and I had on our recent trip. Our first camp, Maramboi'¦The staff was lovely and on my birthday our guide had arranged a cake. The staff formed a line and sang a birthday song in Swahili. That was very special.
You were so right about Tarangire being a great place to see elephants. The second camp, Treetops was on the other side of the park and was stunning. All game drives were full of great viewing. We loved Treetops setting and the cooler temperatures. The food was fabulous as was the staff. The waterhole had regular visits from the elephants, a leopard and some lions.
Gibbs Farm was over - the -top gorgeous and plush. I wish my house looked like the cottage! We could hear bush babies at night. It's great that they use organic practices, use solar power and support the local community. Ngorongoro is indeed a unique habitat and breathtaking. We saw 3 black rhino and a cheetah. They were too far for a photo but very special to see anyway.
We also went through Manyara National Park which I would also recommend. It is small but so tropical and full of baboons, birds and more elephants.
Simiyu was a great spot to enjoy the Serengeti. Although basic it was still so comfortable and well run. So much to see, it all went by so fast.
Now a note about our guide, Boniface. He was wonderful. He is highly intelligent, knowledgeable, an expert driver and very personable. He went above and beyond and we really appreciated how respectful he was of the wildlife…
Thanks again for putting together another fabulous trip'¦
Regards,

Lynne Calero, Oct 2012

Group safari to Ndarakwai-foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro/Tarangire/Lake Manyara -Rift ValleyNgorongoro Crater/Serengeti

Lynne, we've finally settled back in at home after our Tanzania Trip.
What an awesome trip! As you know this was our first time in Tanzania. We spent 8 days in a Landrover with 4 newly found friends and Ephata, our amazing safari guide. Every day was a new adventure. We traversed across the country from Mt. Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti and saw the most amazing things.

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Wildlife highlights from our trip include: Lions on a buffalo kill
Cheetah mother with 4 mature cubs
Lioness with 3 small cubs
Jackals on a kill - competing with eagles who wanted their share
Thousands of impala, gazelle, zebra and wildebeest - can you ever tire of zebra?
Over 90 lions! (our guide made a promise at the beginning of the trip that we would see 50 lions)
We enjoyed our visit to the Maasai village. Thomas, our guide at Ndarakwai, is also a Maasai elder. He took us to visit a nearby village, showed us around and shared a lot about the culture. Ephata, our safari guide took us to a local Maasai market. We appreciated the opportunity to learn, visit and mingle with the Maasai.
Ephata was a wonderful guide. He was warm and friendly, with a sense of humor and a vast amount of knowledge about th e area, people and wildlife. Ephata was tireless, and made every effort to make sure everyone was happy. The entire trip was wonderful and we would highly recommended it for anyone.
I've attached some photos that I would like to enter in your contes t. Let me know if there is something else I need to do.
Thanks for all of your support in preparing for our trip. We could not imagine traveling to Africa any other way. We will definitely be in touch for our next African adventure!
Thanks,

Sonia Durrance, Oct 2012

Group Lodge safari to Lake Manyara/Serengeti/Ngorongoro/TarangireFlying safari to the Selous/Visit to Zanzibar

Lynne;
After being away from home for over 6 weeks I am finally getting caught up on all my emails etc. We received the new copy of Mark Nolting's book so thank you very much.
As for comments on the Safari over all it was excellent. To begin with the information that you kept sending out to us was very helpful. We had some friends planning a trip a bit later than us and not with you and they did not receive anywhere near the information that we received '¦
The accommodation and staff at Arusha Coffee House were absolutely awesome as well as the food. It was a great place to recover after our flight in from Europe . We really liked our guide Clemence as he was very knowledgeable and has binocular vision it seems. Also he was determined that each of us would see all the animals and birds possible and I believe we did. He was very aware that all three of us loved to take photos and made sure that he would get us into a pos ition to take a good photo. He would pick us up early and bring us back late so that we had very full days. It was very nice to have the cool
water in the vehicle in the day as it was hot and dusty . As there were only 3 of us on this particular safari we all became very comfortable with each other and had a good time together '¦
The accommodation was excellent and we especially enjoyed the Serena Lodge at Lake Manyara and then we got up graded to the Tarangire TreeTops Lodge as the Sopa Lodge was being renovated. This place was fantastic with amazing accommodation and very good food outside by a fire under the stars…
When we flew into Selous we were once again upgraded to a very nice tent with ou r own plunge pool which was much appreciated as the humidity here made for much hotter weather. The woman who runs it is quite the character and she really makes it feel like a family situation. We both really liked this area, first because there were fe wer people and vehicles and so the animals were more natural in that they were quite skittish when approached so we were able to see them running rather than just sauntering along.
Also of course the environment is much different with the river and small lakes so amazing bird life. We were very fortunate to have Frank as our guide on all 4 safaris that we went on including the river and walking ones. He is just a wonderful person and extremely well educated and knowledgeable. We were sorry to say farewel l to him when we left.
When we were in Stone Town and at the Tembo hotel it was the end of Eid and all of the local people were out on the beach in the late afternoon which was very entertaining. The hotel was lovely '¦
We did book a walking tour and it was arranged that we would do that first thing in the morning on our way to Mapenzi Beach Resort. It was very interesting and once again our guide was very good. It was very nice to be able to walk around and not be hassled on the street by people tryin g to sell us something. We quite enjoyed Mapenzi Beach Hotel especially the staff they went over backwards to make sure you were looked after and well entertained. Two of our three nights there we had fantastic entertainment.
The food was generally good with a large choice of options. The pool was very nice as well '¦
'¦We both really enjoyed our time in Tanzania and found the people wonderful, the animals amazing and very plentiful. I loved it all. The Serengeti was our favorite with Selous being ou r next favorite but all of them are very interesting. I wish to commend Africa Adventure Co for putting together an excellent package as I think that with the North -South Safari we got a great sense of the country of Africa as not only did we see lots of animals we saw communities and their people as we were driving from one park to another. When we flew from Arusha to Selous and then on to Zanzibar we saw a lot of the country from the air as we were flying in a 12 passenger plane to much closer to the gr ound. Once again thank you for all the information that you sent on to us ahead of time and helping us sort out the tipping etc it was an excellent trip and a truly lifetime experience

Caroline & Gary Hill, Oct 2012

Private Safari to Tarangire/Ngoron goro/Serengeti

Dear Mark and staff
Ellen and I wish to thank you all for arranging what became a trip of five lifetimes during the recent
Christmas school break. (grandma/grandpa/ 3 grandchildren ages 14, 12, 9).
The accommodations were varied between t ented camps to 5* resorts (5 in all) and each brought unique and comfortable charm, splendid animal viewing as well as friendly, competent staff.
Our absolute favorite location was Gibbs Farm. Lisa, the Scottish chef, was outstanding and deserves special acknowledgement.
Tabatha, the manager at Lake Masek Lodge, likewise deserves special acknowledgement for her hospitality and welcoming personality.
As you can understand, with three kids in tow (no parents) the role of the tour guide is critical.
Without question, Omar Seiff fulfilled every expectation one could hope for. He had a fantastic knowledge of animals and birds as well as the culture and life style of various tribes populating Tanzania.
The kids remained mesmerized and learned much about the p eople of Tanzania as well as about the wildlife throughout the 12 day trip. This was in large part due to Omar's wisdom and commitment. Of the many safaris we have taken, Omar was the BEST! He deserves special "kudus" for his efforts. : -)
Once again, thank you and I wish you all a happy and healthy new year.

Gary Tratt, Dec 2012

SOUTHERN AFRICASafari to Private Game Reserve near Kruger in South AfricaSafari to Chobe Game Park in BotswanaVisit to Victoria Falls to Zimbabwe

Dear Allana,
It's taken me way too long to write to you, and so let me begin with a sincere apology for the delay. Larry & I had an absolutely amazing trip to southern Africa. It definitely ranks as one of our best trips
ever! The safari portion planned by you and your sta ff at The Africa Adventure Company stands out as a once-in-a-lifetime journey that we will always cherish. From the moment we received our final packet, we knew it would be smooth sailing.
First and foremost, the safaris. We had no idea how captivated we would be by the animals or how thrilling it would feel at each major sighting -- like the lone giraffe and 6 zebras standing as still as coul d be in a forested area of MalaMala, all staring in the same direction, then discovering what they're staring at -- a leopard crouching low amidst tall grasses, hoping the zebras wouldn't notice him! Who knew that a leopard was afraid of zebras? Or that a hyena could grab a leopard 's kill away from him, carry it a distance, then hide the carcass in a mud hole where a leopard would not venture? We saw The Big Five durin g our first 24 hours at MalaMala, seeing more leopards than lions, and way more elephants than expected. I have to
admit, my love affair with elephants began on that first day. Watching their social interactions fascinated me -- the nurturing care of the mothers, the playfulness of the youngsters, the testiness of the adolescent
males, and the responsible role of the matriarch.
Both Larry & I were delighted to continue seeing many more elephants a t Chobe National Park, but we were also thoroughly wowed by the up -close views of two different pairs of lions during mating season, the herds of zebras splashing across the Chobe River in single file, racing in our small boat past huge hippos glaring at us, or watching the enormous crocodile slip into the water next to us and wondering how close he might be!
Second, the logistics. Everything was not only well planned out, but well executed. We were pretty exhausted after traveling all day, beginning wit h our flight from Denver to Atlanta and then the long flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg. One piece of luggage was temporarily lost, so we were among the last people out of the terminal. Your representative was there to greet us, having waited despite t he delay, and courteously delivered us to our hotel. The travel connections continued to be outstanding throughout our trip -- drivers were there to transport us from place to place, airline reservations were in order, and special excursion arrangements came through without a hitch'¦
All our accommodations proved to be true to the descriptions. MalaMala Main Camp'¦our room was enormous, attractive and really comfortable, with one wall of windows overlooking the river -- a view that perfectly matched my vision of what Africa would look like '¦
We thoroughly enjoyed our overnight stay and dinner at the Rissington Inn (especially the minimalist outdoor shower behind a pony wall), spending hours talking with the owner, Chris, about life and politics in South Africa. He & Larry hit it off right away and Chris had to constantly remind himself to get back to his other guests. So glad we followed your recommendation to sit back and relax there.
Muchenje Lodge felt authentic, as though we were living in the movi e "Out of Africa", from the main building's attractive open -air structure to the netted canopy bed in our stylish room '¦our Muchenje safari guide, KB, was exceptional. Cannot say enough wonderful things about him -- well informed, accommodating, and clearl y enthusiastic about his daily encounters with the animals. With only a handful of guests staying at the Lodge on our one full day in Botswana, KB fulfilled our wish to spend as much time as possible out and about exploring -- land safari in the early mor ning, boating along the Chobe River for several hours including lunch, then back in the jeep until sunset. Exhausting but AWESOME!
I'm so glad we persevered and you were able to get us into the Victoria Falls Hotel. It was as gracious and charming as a colonial hotel should be, and despite the dozen or so blackouts on our first night when we
were showering and trying to get ready for dinner (rather funny), we loved it! The location was right on, the
grounds lovely, and the pool a perfect respite on a hot afternoon. Although it has a long way to go before becoming a 5 star hotel, it's history and ambiance more than made up for that.
We were thrilled with each of our adventures in Victoria Falls (except for the sunset cruise which was boring after having been on the Chobe River in Botswana), and the people we met along the way. Esther was everything you had said. What a special lady. She met us at the hotel and joined us for lunch before our walk along the Falls. Her stories about Livingston, Victoria Falls, and her own family, made this a
memorable afternoon. With perfectly blue skies, our helicopter flight the next day was awesome! We even had dinner with the other couple on our flight. But best of all was the Elephant encounter. Our guides were knowledgeable and friendly, the facility well run and attractive, the work they do meaningful, and our ride
on the huge, but ever so gentle elephant named Jacob, an experience we will never forget.
Lastly, the packets of information you provided were absol utely the best, listing every detail of our safari and leaving no stone unturned '¦
Allana, you are a gem. We've been sharing glowing comments about you and the company since our return, and happily sharing your name with any friends thinking about a tri p to southern Africa. Thank you so much.
Best regards,

M. G. Oct 2012

Livingstone-Victoria Falls/Chobe/Linyanti/Khwai/Okavango Delta

Allana -
Here, as promised, are my notes on how very well AAC worked for us in organizing our Botswana safari. You were great! And as I mentioned previously, we were certainly the best prepared of our entire group
due to the materials and phone help you provided. And I know that preparation really improved our enjoyment. All the arrangements, connections and transf ers went very smoothly.
Our Botswana safari was well beyond our expectations in excitement and wildlife viewing. Wilderness Safaris does a wonderful job with the camps. Our guide Anderson, was very knowledgeable and just a great guy. And, the camp sta ff and food were excellent. We had an elephant charge us on our first day out - quite an adrenalin rush! Then later in Khwai camp, a female lion was stalking elephants bathing in the lake from the bushes right next to our tent. Two males were following her when finding us interrupted their hunt. A heart racing encounter that we survived by backing into the tent. We watched a painted dog pack for extended times on two days. That was a real thrill for me as it was the animal I had
most hoped to see beyo nd the "big" ones. Our son and daughter -in-law, Andy and Lise, had a spectacular time, too. They became champs at poling the mokoros. We are so happy that we included them and
made it a fantastic family vacation to remember together. We hope to travel again to Africa and I will
certainly be checking with AAC when we do.
Again, thanks for all your help. Hope all is well with you and yours.
Take care,

Colene McKee, Oct 2012

Sossusvlei/Kuiseb/Swakopmund/Damaraland/Etosha

Dear Ian,
I have just returned from the GREAT NAMIBIAN JOURNEY which I booked through you and your office. It was an incredible experience and I want to compliment you, your company and Wilderness Safaris for a
trip of a lifetime. And, this comes from an experienced world travele r!
Your attention to detail from start to finish could not have been better and I felt very informed. I was equally impressed with Wilderness Safaris. The accommodations were outstanding and the scope of the itinerary made each and every day exciting and filled with adventure.
I especially want to complement Wilderness Safaris on the quality of their camp staffs as well as the outstanding leadership provided by our Expedition Leader, Regan Fransman. Regan is a true professional with an encyclopedic knowledge of the land, its people and its wildlife.
His high energy was infectious and his humor entertained us on the long drives. He was very considerate of the various needs and wants of our group of six 'strangers'. We were 'family' after spending two weeks in his company! I credit Regan for making the trip so memorable.
I hope you will share this information with Wilderness Safaris home office and with their Namibian headquarters.
I look forward to working with you on my next Wilderness Safari. Most sincerely,

Barbara Robert, Sep-Oct 2012

Safari to Chobe in BotswanaFlying Safari to Victoria Falls and Hwange in Zimbabwe

Saskia,
I just wanted to report that your arrangements for our trip to Southern Africa were wonderful and we are singing your praises to anyone who will listen. I am particularly appreciative of the way you listened to our need to accommodate the Irvings. Your choice of Muchenje was perfect. Annette gave me a "thumbs up" after she had inspected the cabin and checked out the view. Best of all, they were able to see a wide variety of animals, particularly on the "picnic" boat ride.
Your recommendations about Little Makalolo provided Ernie and me the extra sense of adventure which made the trip so very special. I didn't really understand the value of having a private vehicle and guide when you recommended it, but now I do. Dixon was a perfect match for us, both for his knowledge and for his quiet, confident demeanor. By the time we left, I felt like he was a relative. I'm attaching a photo of Ernie and Dixon on our walking safari. We enjoyed the entire camp staff; they were both professional and personable. Friends had suggested that we should not to go to Zimbabwe because of the political situation.
While we did not engage in political discussions per se, we came away with a good feeling about the people we met, their high level of competency, and their determination to make the most of the opportunities that
are available.
All of the arrangements (airport pick ups, hotel s, and guides) worked perfectly. Again, thanks for everything. We will certainly be back in touch if and when our future travels include one of the destinations which you handle.

Leslie Zomalt, Oct 2012