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Client Trip Reports - October - December 2014


Multi-generational Family Safari to Tanzania

 

It was an incredible adventure and even more amazing seeing it through the eyes of my nine grandchildren. I have already recommended you to a friend who may be going to Africa with her family next Christmas. I can’t tell you what was best for me.

 

The guides and people at the camps were terrific. 

 

We saw all the animals there were to see plus two rare animals that our guides were very excited by. Everyone cared about our wellbeing and called me BB for grandmother. I have nothing negative that I can speak of. So—thank you

Frances Katz, Dec 2014



 

Plains of the Serengeti Private Tented Safari to Tanzania


Hi Alison,

 

The safari was absolutely fantastic. Our guide, Hillary, was amazing, and everything was outstanding and beyond all expectations, always on time, dressed neatly, in a clean and maintained car, knowledgeable, warm and friendly. Moreover, the fact that Hillary’s car had only 3 rows of seats (as opposed to everybody else, with 4 rows) made the whole difference, allowing us to move freely within the car, and made others (even Micato) jealous of our ample space.

 

It was great to have someone receive us at Kili airport inside the terminal, and being taken right away to Duluti Lodge. We loved that lodge! The Cultural Center was very interesting and we had time to do good shopping there – lucky choice, since it was pouring rain outside. Afterwards Hillary skipped the market (it was too crowded and muddy) and took us to a meal at a local restaurant – it was really interesting and had great authentic African food.

 

Tarangire was the most loved park by us, particularly because of all the animals we got to see, including leopard and wild dogs, as well as many elephants with babies. We even got double rainbows! The Sopa lodge was really nice, and they made Christmas a truly special day (including gifts) - it was great to arrive and have our nice, second-story rooms ready for us. We loved the many elephants, even saw leopard and wild dogs – Hillary kept up to date through talks with drivers (he seems to know everybody!) and radio to take us to every available opportunity.

 

Lake Manyara had very interesting wildlife, but unfortunately the waters have receded so that we couldn’t see the flamingos – but we saw plenty of baboons and elephants.

 

Tindiga at Lake Eyasi was a pleasant surprise – I actually liked it, and found the location perfect. The Hadzi hunt was epic – we run with the hunters at sunrise, and were there when they shot a warthog through the heart. My eldest daughter run with the front hunters and then helped the hunters cut the pig for transport. We then walked back to the camp and shared the cooked liver of the pig, and that was delicious. I loved the visit to the Datoga metal-workers, really liked Joseph (our guide) and also enjoyed greatly the visit to the home of Louise (my English-name for our Datoga lady host).

 

Kitela Lodge was amazing – I really didn’t expect that kind of luxury. I loved the privacy and family feeling of the place, the absolutely tasteful décor and large rooms. The bathroom was my dream bathroom, with large French windows overlooking the Ngorogoro conservation forest and the lodge’s plantation, perfect to soak in the full size bathtub. The flowers were beautiful. Willy, the owner, prepared the drinks himself – and was a fun host. The meals were delicious, in particular dinner overlooking the forest. The Ngorogoro crater was amazing, but very crowded. And yet – we got to see black rhino, and lots of lions.

 

We also loved Serengei’s Kati Kati camp. There we realized what a truly gifted driver Hillary is, as others got stuck in the mud or blew tires, but we never did. We saw leopard, cheetahs with cubs, lions – all very close (almost made us feel we could get out of the car and pet them).

 

We are still going through the thousands of photos – and I already gave your contact info to 3 acquaintances in my first day back to work – hope they call you soon.

It was an absolute pleasure,

Sylvia Kohn-Rich, Dec 2014





Honeymoon Safari to Tanzania and Zanzibar Island Retreat


We had the most amazing time on our honeymoon! Fred, our safari guide, was one of the smartest and most amazing people we ever met. He had answers to all of our questions, and freely discussed culture in Tanzania with us. We really enjoyed being with him. We loved that he enjoyed taking us out from sunrise to sunset - very long hours! He went over the top by offering to sit down with us after the safaris to go over the questions about the animals, and by having the hotel deliver information about our flights that we didn't have.

 

We were fortunate to see some amazing things: a gazelle giving birth, two lion kills, and a cheetah with two babies eating a gazelle. Fred had an eye for everything that was happening with the animals so we did not miss any of the action!

 

At all of the resorts, the staff was incredibly friendly.

 

We also were obsessed with Baraza Resort on Zanzibar - by far the nicest resort we have ever been to in the world, and the treatment they gave us for our honeymoon was amazing.

We LOVED that we had guides with signs up for us everywhere we went - we literally did not have to think about a thing! We were super impressed when we had someone transfer us at the Dar Es Salaam airport from our Zanzibar flight to our Amsterdam flight - that was so nice!

 

Thanks again for an amazing honeymoon!

Amanda Rosenberg, Dec 2014





Family Safari to Rwanda and Tanzania


Staying at Lake Manyara was amazing since it was fun living in the tree houses and it seemed like we owned the entire park - a unique experience. The Maasai escorts after sunset were a fun touch too.

 

The Ngorongoro Serena Lodge was fine even though it was a huge hotel. The evening entertainment and the local walk with a ranger was terrific so nice to compare the smaller accommodations to the large traditional option (for one place). In general Serena seems to be a polished company as the Serena hotel in Kigali was very nice and well operated.

 

The Pioneer Tent Camp was terrific too as the managers and staff made it a memorable experience with Christmas dinner events on two nights. We were very lucky as a family of 4 cheetahs visited us outside the tents (first time ever according to the managers-usually just buffalo visit inside the camp). Lions were on the big rocks behind the camp parking area but they kept their distance. Ephata was a great guide, perfect for the family. By the way we saw the President of Tanzania in the Serengeti Park!

 

Visiting the school was great. Headmaster went out of his way to get kids to the school since it was their holiday break which was really nice of him. Our kids read with the kids at the school and gave them the supplies we brought. We could have taken a second bag with items…

 

We should have kept a few soccer balls for our stay in Rwanda as there is a school next to the Jack Hanna house that we visited (by accident when walking the grounds) Kids in Rwanda all use a makeshift soccer ball made out of paper so they would have really appreciated new, real, soccer balls…

 

The tipping guides were most helpful and Mark's book was a pleasure to read. We used it to track all the animals and birds we saw on our adventure…

 

Thanks again for all your planning and guidance - much appreciated.

 

                                      

 

Hope the feedback is helpful and that you & Mark have a happy/healthy/prosperous 2015!

Regards,

Jordan Rosner, Dec 2014





Group Lodge Safari to Tanzania's Northern Circuit


Dear Jessica -

 

We had a wonderful trip - really an amazing experience. By far the best part of it (or what made it so great) was our safari guide, Martin. He was incredibly knowledgeable, professional, thoughtful and responsive. He knew so much and shared it so easily - animals, birds, land, people. He was a bird expert - I hadn't realized that I was going to see birds as well as the big animals, and Martin was wonderful at showing us things we would never have seen - birds and animals. He was so patient - whether it was having us sit and quietly observe an animal so that we could see its behavior over time (coaching us on what to look for) or stopping for the millionth zebra photo. And he communicated well with other colleagues out on drives so that we could always follow up on their leads.

 

One day - in the process of taking us from Ngorongoro to Tangerire and out on two game drives - he helped two different guides change flat tires - very quickly and easily - and in the middle of that same day while we were resting he ended up going out and helping pull a stuck jeep out of a river crossing where it had gotten stuck. I pointed out to him that not only was he a great guide but he's also obviously a pretty great person.

 

The lodges - accommodations and food - were great and we always felt incredibly well taken care of. Our least favorite was the Sopa lodge at Tangerire - seemed a little less careful (no hot water one morning though they said there would be, yogurt that had gone off) but even that one was really fine overall.

 

The four different parks were all amazing - different things to see in each - and the length of the trip was just right for us.

 

So - all in all a really wonderful experience. Thanks again for your help.

Lisa Smulyan, Dec 2014





'Under Tanzanian Skies' Family Safari


Lake Duluti Lodge was great and well worth the difference in price. The food was really good and there were choices. It was a little far from things but had a wonderful pool so for us it was a good choice. We did go to Arusha National Park as an add-on and had a super time.

 

…We loved Lake Manyara. Lemala Camp was wonderful and the crater terrific. Our guide, Mkenda allowed us to do what worked best for us which was to go out early, come back to the camp for lunch and then go out again.

 

Dunia Camp in the Serengeti was the best run camp of all. Great food and accommodations…

 

The Serengeti Shared Camp was comfortable and the staff was wonderful and totally cooperative. The food was excellent and plentiful. These tents were very close and you could hear everything from either side. My family was the only one there so it was fine for us, but I would not have been as happy had strangers been there.

 

We loved the trip and want to thank you for your efforts…I want to close by reiterating how much Mkenda did for us and how superb he is at his job. He is a gem to be treasured!

Eileen Stern and family, Dec 2014





Group Safari to Northern Circuit of Tanzanian


Hi Jessica,

 

The Tanzania trip was amazing! Everything about it exceeded expectations. Excellent weather, no crowds, many, many animal sightings, great accommodations and our Safari guide Wilfred was terrific. The flow/timing of the week was also great- no gaps and about the right amount of time at each game park and lodge. The balloon ride was also fantastic- definitely glad we opted for that. If you ever need a recommendation for a future prospect I'd be happy to!

 

Thanks again!

Jeff Merselis, Nov 2014





Tanzanian Lodge Safari and Ndarakwai Ranch


Hakuna Matata !!!!!!! We just returned from our amazing adventure to Tanzania. It was the ultimate adventure, a perfect trip, a life changing experience and a dream, all in one. With the current Ebola crisis in West Africa, many friends and family thought we were crazy and told us so. We both work in health care, did our homework and felt comfortable with our decision to go. We are so glad we did and when everyone hears our stories they are glad too.

 

The trip was perfect and from the moment we left we felt safe and comfortable. Our group of 6 strangers became excellent safari mates and friends. Spending a week together, doing our drives, eating our meals, sharing our lives and stories, all of us pinching ourselves that we were really here.

 

James Obene, our guide, made our trip complete. His knowledge, gentle nature, fantastic driving skills, kindness, humor and caring manner proved we were in the best hands possible. From the minute we went down into the crater we could not believe how many animals we saw. The big 5, ostriches mating, herds of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, a pride of lions right next to our truck, baboons, warthogs, many, many, birds and of course, elephants. James spotted animals we could never see and put us as close as possible to photograph them and observe them in their natural environment. The amount of information he knew and shared with us was astounding. When we read our itinerary we thought we would be doing our drives in the morning and afternoon but for the first few days we were out doing drives all day. We are so glad because there was so much to see.

 

The Serena Lodges were great. The design and layout of the lodges were totally African. Everyone we met on the staff were so friendly and helpful. Our meals were delicious and we enjoyed eating with our group so we could really get to know each other. I am a vegetarian and I was so happy to enjoy the many selections offered at every meal.

 

When we thought it couldn’t get any better we arrived at Ndarakwai Ranch, an add on Ian suggested. What a special place it is. It was fantastic to talk with Peter and Eric and learn the history of the ranch, the need to protect the animals and the land and their mission statement of sustainability and conservation. Part of the reason we choose Ndarakwai was the opportunity to do walking safaris, night drives and have the tent experience. We were not disappointed.

 

Thomas, Peter’s right hand man, who has been working side by side with Peter for 20 years was our guide. Thomas is a treasure. He took us for our walking safaris, night drives, sunsets in the treehouse and stargazing. Thomas, not only knew everything and shared his knowledge but you could tell he loved the ranch , the animals and the land with his whole being. The whole concept of the ranch is inspiring with solar energy, veggies from their garden, rangers protecting the animals and a genuine caring about our planet. Our visit to Ndarakwai was truly special. We are glad we did it at the end of our trip because it was the perfect ending to a perfect trip.

 

We want to thank Ian and the staff at AAC for helping us fall in love with Africa. When we were planning our trip we were on, off, maybe because of our work schedules, family commitments and life in general. Then Ebola happened. We feel so blessed and grateful that we were able to live our dream. The trip was an amazing adventure. Everything for us was perfect, the weather, our group, our guides, the animals, the people, the food …… everything. People who have gone to Africa told us it was like no other place on earth, and they are so right. Thank you for making our African dream come true !!!!!! Asanti Sana !!!!!

 

PS We will post on Trip Advisor for AAC and Ndarakwai. People need to hear Africa is safe and they need to come and experience this magical place for themselves. We will send pics soon.

Steve and Donna Cabble, Oct 2014





Kenya and Tanzania Group Explorer Safari


Hello Jessica,

 

First I will tell you many of the positive aspects of our trip.

 

First off, we both found you easy to work with. My wife found your detailed itinerary especially comforting and easy to follow. The transactions between all changes in places was smooth.(country to country --etc)

 

Our guides were especially outstanding because they both really knew how to locate animals and had strong backgrounds in identifying birds. George was outstanding.

 

We enjoyed all the parks immensely; I wish Samburu would have been included in the Kenya part of the trip. We loved the Crater and the Serengeti park in Tanzania.

 

We saw lots of baby animals in Tanzania. Our weather and food were good. I liked that there were lots of fruits and vegetable combinations. We took over 1500 pictures.

 

All of the hotel workers were friendly as we're the people in Kenya, Tanzania , and Tanzania..

 

I will write again to add to this if I think of more positive thoughts I want to share.

 

George was impressed with the conservation area in Tanzania that your company supports.

 

I will read about it later.

Best regards,

Mike Croke, Oct 2014





Private Safari to Tanzania featuring Oliver's Camp, Kimondo and Sayari


Hi Mark,

 

Thanks for reaching out to us so quickly—sorry that it's taken me so long to respond!

 

First, Bob and I want to thank you for orchestrating our safari experience. Our journey into Tanzania was outstanding, from the people we met, the various environments we explored, the places we stayed—and of course, the wildlife we observed. Everything proceeded as planned, no hitches, and we loved it all!

 

Now, here's my feedback re various aspects of the journey:

 

  • - Our guides, Stanford and Mesnga, were outstanding. I realize that Stanford may have been hand-picked for us, since he was part of our final itinerary, and he was a fine choice. He's respectful, patient, highly informative, and an excellent driver. He has a keen ability to find the animals, and gets such pleasure when he can do so for his guests. He has a great sense of humor, and he's also a good listener, sensitive to the needs of his "charges." He helped me develop the patience and mindset needed to really appreciate the safari experience. Bob and I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend time with him and benefit from his expertise.

  •  
  • - I would describe Mesenga as a hidden gem. From the time he picked us up at the airfield, and spotted a leopard stalking something in the high grass, to our last day on safari, when we started at 6:30 a.m., and ended after 6:30 p.m., he persevered in his effort to maximize our experience. He's respectful of his guests and of the wildlife. He has an uncanny sense of direction, and navigated around the Serengeti with ease and confidence. He, like Stanford, could spot animals even when they were well-camoflauged—he was able to spot a bird that has eluded even the bird experts! He took us for evening cocktail drives, early morning drives with breakfast in the bush, and was willing to get back out whenever we were ready. I totally credit Mesenga for the multiple wildebeest crossings we observed, as well as for the lions, cheetahs, and buffalo "in action."

     

    - We were so happy with the various camps and lodges. My personal favorite was Oliver's—for the warm, friendly, and caring culture, for the just-comfortable-enough tent (with outdoor shower), and for the great location in the Tarangire. We met both the relief manager, Michelle, and the managers Jacky and Justin, and they were all warm and caring. Bob and I especially enjoyed the walking safari—our guide, Kheto, was well-prepared for such journey, was highly informative, and was fun! We also loved being able to sit outside and watch wildlife wander by as we relaxed between game drives…

  •  
  • I'm very glad that we stuck with the original plan of staying two nights at Kimondo and two nights at the Sayari (rather than four at the Sayari)… I loved the Kimondo—the relief manager Ana was so lovely and made our stay comfortable and enjoyable. I appreciated the experience of being in a mobile camp, and was in awe of the people who cared for us there. We even had the camp to ourselves for the first night. I'm also so glad that we got to tour that northern part of the Serengeti and see the vast herds of zebra and wildebeest. And, staying there gave us the opportunity to see the crossing from both viewpoints.

     

    We were so happy to learn that Mesenga would be able to stay with us at the Sayari. Great decision by the manager! Our tents there were in the side of the camp with just six tents, which was lovely. The property is terrific, and the "tents" are beautiful—it does feel a bit more like a lodge in camp style. It was very comfortable and a perfect spot to end our journey.

     

    - The food was great —especially at the camps (and at the Ngorongoro Exploreans Lodge). I loved the interesting variety of salads at lunch, the soups, and even the pork lamb, foods I don't eat often at home! Every meal was a special experience, with fine food, interesting stories of the day's experiences, and of course, the unique surroundings.

  •  
  • - One night at Sayari, one of the guides had dinner with us and shared his personal story of growing as a Maasai. It was such a joy to meet him and hear his story.

     

    - Last, but not least, we all agreed that the itinerary was perfect. I loved that we could spend a day at the Arusha Park in the beginning—it's such an interesting and diverse park, but the experience wouldn't have been the same if we went at the end of the journey. I also loved that we were able to spend part of a day at Lake Manyara, also beautiful and interesting. And, I'm glad that we went to the Serengeti last.

  •  
  • Please thank Saskia and everyone else in your office who helped facilitate our incredible journey.

     

    Much appreciation,

    Barbara Fierman, Oct 2014





    Private Migration Safari to Tanzania featuring Asilia Camp Portfolio


    Dear Mark, Saskia, and the AAC Team,


    We returned last week from our amazing safari in Tanzania. We are thrilled with how everything worked out. We loved the variety of our lodging experiences. We were so delighted with the services provided by our exceptional Asilia Guides. Please inform Asilia management that our Guides Stanford Mullinga (who was with us for 6 days) and Messenga who was with us for 4 incredible days in the Serengeti both were fabulous- so polite, knowledgeable, warm, and amazing in their ability to spot animals. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVED Oliver's Camp and Sayari Camps… we were happy to have stayed at Kimondo Camp to have the mobile tented camp experience.

     

    THE FOOD WAS VERY GOOD THROUGHOUT THE TRIP! Ross, the manager at Sayari Camp was very attentive to our group and we really appreciated that.

     

    Thank you so much for helping us plan such an amazing trip.

    Caryn Harding, Oct 2014





    Classic Private Tanzanian Safari to Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti with Victoria Falls Extension


    Hello Szilvia,

     

    We’ve settled back into the routine of everyday life after our exciting adventure with our guide, Emmanuel Mkenda and the outstanding itinerary created for us by Africa Adventure. We thank you so much for your time and allowing us to spend 9 days with the most knowledgeable, personable and well-versed guide, Mkenda. Our time with Esther at Victoria Falls was enlightening. She is very knowledgeable about her country and Victoria Falls. We enjoyed our time with her. We were very pleased with our experience with Africa Adventure. From the first time we contacted AAC to the day we left back for home was a hassle-free experience. We came away with many memories and friendships.

     

    Lodging accommodations were excellent. No complaints. Each camp and their staff were very attentive to our needs and made us feel welcome and at home. We loved our stay at Ngorongoro Exploreans Lodge. The setting is beautiful and knowing we were minutes away from the Crater was wonderful. We especially enjoyed staying at the Shared Mobile Camp in the Serengeti. Peter, Camp Director, Jonas and the staff were awesome!! We thoroughly enjoyed our “talking showers” and “bush TV” (campfire) in the evenings. Dinners, breakfast and box lunches were very good.

     

    As for our guide, Emmanuel Mkenda, no words can describe what a wonderful person he is. We enjoyed his stories of life in Tanzania. We saw the beauty of Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti through his eyes. His enthusiasm of guiding and birding came through in each of our game drives. Ken and I were very pleased and excited to know he would be our guide for the 9 days. I believe, we have made a friend for life with Mkenda.

     

    Please know, when the opportunity presents itself to return to Africa, we will book again with Africa Adventure Company. Thank you again for a lifetime adventure filled with memories and friendships. Please find attached a few photos our trip.

     

                                          

     

    Asanti,

    Doreen and Ken Lawrence, Oct 2014





    "Best of Tanzania" with Private Guiding to Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti


    Hi Jessica,

     

    We’re back home, back to work, and back to the old routine. Was that trip just a dream?? I tried to sear every minute into my memory so that I could relive the moment whenever I want. Where do I begin? First, let me say that we could not have had a better guide than George Mollel. He was amazing, super knowledgeable, answered every question I could come up with, had a terrific personality, and we just loved him. We more or less let him guide the itinerary as he knew the roads like the back of his hand, and how to find all the wildlife – and what wildlife! His scouting ability is phenomenal. While carrying on a conversation, and driving, he was also looking for animal prints, watching where the gazelles were looking, seeing the vultures flying above, listening to the baboons’ warning calls, and still able to spot a lion lying in the tall grass yards and yards away. We were able to see all the animals we hoped to see and then some. Although we loved all the parks, I would say my favorite was the Serengeti. The shear expanse of it, and beautiful sunsets and sunrises, the wonderful camps, gorgeous scenery, of course the wildlife, and fewer people…

     

    I loved Tarangire Treetop Lodge, and it was a dream to see the elephants at the pond when we arrived, and to hear them outside our treehouse at night! The shared mobile camp was also a great experience, even though we were the only guests there for 2 nights. We could hear the lions roar at 5 am as I guess they do every morning. Amazing! The Serengeti Migration Camp was also very beautiful. The staff and food was superb at both of these camps.

     

    Also, we loved Cape Town, despite the time it took to get there. It’s a beautiful city, and our guide (a very good guide also) took us to Cape Hope and Stellenbosch. We enjoyed dinner at “Gold” for the African feast and fun drumming experience.

     

                                 

     

    Thank you everyone at Africa Adventure Company for preparing the trip of a lifetime. This will be a story we will tell our new grandson when he is old enough to understand – but we’re also telling everyone who wants to hear about what a great trip we had.

    Sharon & Ron Roesler, Oct 2014 Photo





    African Journey to Kenya and Tanzania including Amboseli and the Serengeti


    We had a fabulous trip..........Thank you very much.......for all the arrangements and details.........

     

    The Nairobi Serena Hotel was very nice, just not long enough to really enjoy it !!!! Thank you for the birthday wishes/ wine and cake...that was very special......

     

    Tortillis Camp was by far (after all said and done) the best !!!!!! I think it helped they had a manager/wife team to greet you along with the staff/ very, very friendly and very accommodating to every whim/wish/desire one could have. Joel, our game driver was more than EXCELLENT !!!!! very, very knowledgeable/ outgoing/friendly and made every moment count !!!! We saw every animal but the leopard and rhino while here.......

     

    Joel then drove us over to Tanzania where we were met and transferred on to Arusha.....Lunch was very good...... We then met up with Jabshir who would be with us the rest of the way. Our next camp was Maramboi Tented Camp which we found to be very clean and nice...

     

    We then went to Ngoronogoro Farm House...the grounds were just very inviting, flowers in bloom/ beautiful gardens. Had a great time there and the crater was very interesting and different than the Kenya drives...

     

    We then went to our last stop to the shared safari camp and this was a "shock", I guess not knowing what to expect but it became our favorite next to Tortillas Camp............The fellows could not have been friendlier and more accommodating to every single need......They were delightful.....opening zippers to the tent..getting more pillows, etc... The "packed" lunches from here were very good !!!! These guys even made us birthday cakes for both Nancy and I and sang in their native tongue as well as English for Happy Birthday.....very personable................

     

    …the air balloon ride was amazing/ never being on one before......very peaceful and serene until he had to put more fire in it.....saw animals below and the crash landing wasn't bad.............then the champagne breakfast was delightful.

     

    Thanks so much again for making it a very memorable trip........Loved it.................would highly recommend it and your company for all the details.

     

    Thanks so much again for everything......

    Claudia and Nancy Vining, Oct 2014



    Client Trip Reports - April - June 2014


    Group 'Explorer Safari' to Tanzania and Island Getaway to Zanzibar

     

    Hi Szilvia,


    Our Safari in Tanzania was amazing and wonderful in so many ways, we don't know where to begin.

    But here are some highlights:


    1. Customer service was excellent throughout. We were met at every airport and hotel as arranged, with helpful drivers and guides.  We always felt like they were concerned that our needs were met and that we were happy and comfortable. All three ground operators in Tanzania were very good.


    2. Our guide on Safari, Eddie Chami, was great - extremely knowledgeable, interesting, and fun, and was able to share his thoughts about life in Tanzania and the history and people of the country. His ability to find wildlife was amazing (We said he had binocular eyes!), and he helped Paul find and identify over 120 different bird species. His knowledge of animal behavior and his amazing sense of direction were very helpful.


    3. The accommodations were all top notch - large rooms, clean and comfortable with more luxury than we thought we could expect in such out of the way locations.


    4. The itinerary for the "Group Explorer Safari" was excellent. Starting at Tarangire was a great idea, with its abundant wildlife, and then staying at the Maramboi Tented Camp, with wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, and warthogs and various antelope all around was a thrilling way to start! And from there it was a dream come true as we went to different areas.  Although the Ngorongoro Farm House did not have wildlife nearby, it was a beautiful place with luxurious rooms, so a good location to use as a base to see the nearby crater and highland areas.


    5. We can’t say enough good things about our final couple days at Ras Nungwi on Zanzibar.  Probably one of the nicest resorts we have ever been at - a perfect place to wind down and relax after our eventful trip!


    Thank you for all of your help with our preparation. We felt like we were given very good information and were well prepared for the trip. We were joined on the safari by one other person from another travel company, and she was wonderful - but her company did not provide near the clear and detailed information that you provided us to prepare adequately for our trip!

     

    The trip really was a dream come true!

     

     

    Thanks again,

    Paul and Pamela Bosch, June 2014




    Plains of the Serengeti Family Safari to Tanzania

     

    Hi Elena,

     

    I just wanted to drop you a short note to let you know that we had a fantastic safari adventure that you helped us plan.  We saw so many animals (both number and variety) and witnessed two kills during the week or so that we were there.  My daughter actually caught one of the kills on camera in a sequence of shots.

     

    Another highlight was seeing the thousands and thousands of flamingos at Lake Manyara because our guides (George Killas and Mohammed) had the foresight to change the route that we took around the lake.  It was simply amazing and we loved both of our guides.  They really had a knack for putting us in the right place at the right time…


    Best,

    Susan Chan, June 2014




    Group safari to Tanzania’s Northern Circuit


    Hi Jessica,


    I would like to say thanks again for planning such a great trip for us. All four of us had a wonderful time and a great experience. All the pre departure information was very helpful, including the African Safari Journal & Field Guide. When we got to Tanzania everything worked according to the itinerary. The Ground Operator service was excellent, from we were picked up at the airport until our departure for home.


    Naomi who first met us at the hotel and briefed us on the schedule for out time there, was very professional and warm. Seleman Mwyangala, our guide for the duration of the safari was very professional and knowledgeable about the parks, animals, birds. It was obvious that he loves his job. The hotels were beautiful with great staff and services.


    A special thanks for my birthday cake which the staff at Manyara Serena Safari Lodge presented, singing "happy birthday' and other traditional welcoming song in Swahili. It was lovely.

      

    This trip has been added to my special memories.

    Maureen Fyffe, June 2014




    Tanzanian Cultural and Wilderness Safari and Beach Getaway


    Dear Mark, Saskia and the rest of the AAC team,

    We just returned from our amazing Tanzania journey and want to thank you all for helping make a lifetime dream a reality. It was an incredible trip in all respects and looking back at it there is actually very little I would change.


    The cornerstone of our trip was clearly Deo, our Tanzanian guide extraordinaire.  Please consider this my nomination to make him Guide of the Year. Not only was his wildlife knowledge encyclopedic (there wasn’t a bird he couldn’t identify just by us describing it), his well-honed ability to predict animal behavior was mind-boggling, thereby always placing us at exactly the right place at the right time for optimal (i.e. 2 feet away) viewing. I felt he was always 3 steps ahead of the other guides around us.


    For example, on our first full day on safari in Tarangire we had not yet seen any cats. He received a radio report of a large pride of lions crossing the road, so we sped to the spot (my daughter especially loved to stand in the Land Cruiser with top up going at high speed over the bumpy roads; “let’s go hunt lions” is the new family euphemism for driving fast with windows down). When we arrived there were just 2 male lions to be seen in the distance together with 12 other safari vehicles. Deo got the exact description of the pride and their movements from a colleague, and deduced there must be a kill over the rise. Nobody else shared this thought and all the other vehicles eventually left. Following his hunch, he waited everybody else out and then took us discreetly off-road 100 yards. There we suddenly stood, smack in the middle of 10 lions (including large males, females and cubs), devouring an impala 3 feet away, not another person in sight.  What a thrill! And I could give many similar examples - our best cheetah and leopard sightings were amazing Deo finds seen just by us...

     

    Furthermore, Deo was simply excellent company, great with the kids, and so happy to share his country and answer our million questions about culture, politics, food, language etc, although he was unsuccessful at getting us to like unagi. He took unscheduled time on our first “at leisure” day in Arusha to take us around town and was always concerned about our wellbeing. In addition, our local Datoga guide at Lake Eyasi, upon spending a day with us, complimented Deo as being one of the most approachable and respectful safari guides he had met.


    So we saw the Big Five, the Ugly Five and most of the Little Five. We saw a zillion cool birds.  We saw bat-eared foxes (another miraculous Deo spotting from a mile away). We sort of saw the great migration, although the herds were not giant - we were apparently in the right area at the right time, but the herds were pretty scattered this year, “confused because of the rains” per various reports. We successfully hunted a Dik Dik with the Hadzabe bushmen…We milked a cow with the Datoga who thought it was hysterical when Tyler, my son, couldn’t get any milk out (clearly boys were not meant to do that job). We drank Banana beer. I got sung Happy Birthday to in Swahili. We chatted with 4 teenage Maasai boys on top of Shifting Sands who came over just to say hello, not to sell anything. We witnessed a lioness stalk then attack a wildebeest 10 feet in front of us, then the wildebeest turn, butt and chase the lion successfully away, a turn of events Deo said he had not seen in his 14 years of guiding…We swam in the stunningly turquoise-green waters of the Indian Ocean and ate a lot of tropical fruits for the first and, in the case of durian fruit, most definitely the last time. We peeled cinnamon bark off a tree. We did not get eaten by a lion as was my daughter’s everlasting concern. And so much more. Really, it was amazing.


    …Now we are recovering from jet lag, starting to sort through the more than 1500 photos and video clips and  learning (very slowly) not to say Asante to everybody such as the local Vermont gas station attendant this afternoon. My children have learned innumerable lessons about not just wildlife and tribal culture, but also what it means to be a developing country and to not take our riches in the western world for granted. We will miss many things about Africa including the wonderful and hospitable Tanzanians, including their frequent and endearing but often incorrect use of “you’re welcome”…


    So thanks again, we are so grateful to all of you for putting our trip-of-a lifetime together, and to you, Mark, for roping me in on the phone the first time I called AAC last Fall to inquire about family safaris. Our trip made turning 50 (while at Tarangire) very painless, and hopefully some day we will be back!



    All the best,

    Tacha Jager (with Tom, Tyler and Sophie), June 2014




    Private Safari to Tarangire, Lake Eyasi, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti


    Lynne and Team,


    Thank you so much for the trip planning - we said more than once how you seemed to know EXACTLY what we wanted to do at the moment we wanted to do it.  While the whole trip was amazing, there were several things that stood out and made you shine as trip planners:

     

    - the surprise lunch overlooking Arusha (I think - I don't even know where we were!).  Pulling in to see a waiter, table and hot meal just for us was unbelievable.  It was a wonderful experience.  Thank you for that.

     

    - The tented camp in Serengeti!  We had a hippo in the camp one morning and some of the migration one afternoon.  Also the employees at the camp could give lessons in hospitality.  Every one of them took their job - and our enjoyment - very seriously… Beautiful people, every single one of them.

     

    - I'm confident in saying we had the best guide and driver in all of Tanzania.  Ephata became a dear friend almost overnight.  He was kind, patient and fun to be around.  He was willing to go off the beaten path if he thought the kids would like something  - while also being very keenly aware of our safety (my son tested that a lot!)  We noticed the first day that he was able to find animals the other guides just didn't see.  Not only find them, but he is clearly an experienced tracker and would anticipate where that animal might walk or come out of the bush.  He had us in prime view of leopards, elephants, lions and cheetahs that other jeeps never saw (or saw too late!)  He also put his heart and soul into showing us Tanzania - I know we exhausted him but he never showed it.  I just can't say enough about him - I hope you will convey our deepest gratitude to him (and tell him we miss him!)…

     

    Thank you again for everything - we have sent your name on to some friends that may be planning a trip in the next few years and will continue to refer our friends to you.


    Best wishes,

    Lisa Pickard, June 2014




    Plains and Primates Safari to Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania


    IT WAS GREAT! THANK YOU!!!!


    Guides -

    Edward (Uganda-Rwanda) was perfect for our first ten days. He knew his animals and where to find them. He knew the roads and, when needed, how to back up and took us to a nifty place for lunch. He was such a learned individual - much more than a fellow who could drive and recite animal facts. He and I chatted about one subject, then another: politics, history, Bible - with Edward avoiding potholes and spotting all the animals. We have made a new friend.


    George (Tanzania) had a challenge! We told him up front that we had already seen this and that animal and lots of them too - and now we wanted to see animals in "action" or some new ones. Well, George already had plans. He already knew where the hard to find animals were. He knew where we would see some action. So in Tarangire he got us going early. He had heard the lions and thought he knew where they were. He was right. We found ourselves alone - as in no other vehicles! - looking down a three female lion and three cubs. We spotted some zebra, the lioness spotted them and the hunt began. The zebras disappeared but the lions didn't! The three females surrounded our vehicle and the cubs came marching playfully up the dirt road. After the lions had gone back down George took us to see oryx, eland, kudu, two different tortoises, a reedbok, hundreds of elephant, maybe a thousand buffalo and a leopard along with at least ten unique birds and some lizards too - all in one day!!

     

    We had another great guide at Sayari Camp named Oredi. He was obviously a "head" guide - in that other guides followed his instructions. He was fun and immediately picked up on who we were and what we might want to see. He was just plain fun! He took us to see the only rhino named Julie - and some wildebeest went galloping by disturbing Julie's sleep and she (he?) jumped up and posed for us the next twenty minutes. She was the only rhino we saw - but also the only rhino anyone we met had seen!


    Oredi spotted a possible wildebeest crossing and told us to "HOLD ON". He drove like a wild man, ignoring ruts and holes! He got us to just the right viewing spot. Wow what a sight. The next day he spotted some zebras, and then more and more and more zebras. He "ordered" the other two vehicles away from the river's edge - explaining to us that the zebras would not cross as long as the "unknown" vehicles remained. So we all "hid" up the field. Then the crossing began. We, of course, were cheering for the zebras.

     

    When the excitement died down we left them behind to go view the migration. Oredi said that the blackened field accounted for about 30% of the migrating wildebeest - perhaps 750,000. Being an actuary I did some calculations. At one wildebeest per ten square meters, and covering a about ten kilometers by two kilometers would come out to 200,000 - but there were more than one per square and more than two kilometers deep! So just maybe there were 3/4 of a million! There were lots.


    Oredi also made sure we saw the leopards, and lion,, giraffe - no not just big tall giraffe - but a mother with her newborn - wobbly legs, afterbirth and blood still running down the mother's leg!


    Uganda was absolutely unbelievably wonderful, exciting, awesome. We had a short drive (45 minutes), a short trek (no more than 45 minutes) and an hour surrounded by the H Group of 18 members walking around us. We saw all 18! The silverback was one of the first to come out of the bush and he sat down across from us. Then one by one all the others paraded in front of us. And, as I am sure you are aware, the SEVEN METER rule had yet to be taught to these magnificent creatures. So we were all MUCH CLOSER. After about 20 minutes the black-back presented himself. He didn't look so overwhelmingly happy, but then how would we know. He checked us out one-by-one and then proceeded toward us. But when he got within about ten feet he did a 90-degree turn and sat down, grabbed a branch and pretty much "joined our group". Across from him there were two young ones putting on a playful wrestle show. At some point I was standing at the edge of our group when a mother with a baby started toward me. I just stood still (well, with my little video camera in hand) as she passed by me brushing my pants! Except for maybe seeing a live birth I don't know how this visit could have been any better!!!


    We were gone a total of four hours. Upon return to the meeting point we were informed that the group that had left on foot from the meeting place had yet to reach their gorilla group. I would love to know just how we were so fortunate - a large group close by. I'm guessing we chose the right adventure company, who chose the right guide, who made the right deal. I'm also guessing it didn't hurt to reserve our space early. Seems to me more than luck - SO A BIG THANK YOU!!!


    Accommodations

    Paraa (Murchison Falls) - hey, the only place to be. Good food, swimming pool and great adventures just outside the door. I eventually got used to the idea that no one was going to have simple iced tea! We enjoyed our "private" cruise on the river. Private is the only way to do it. With Edward encouraging the boat crew and acting as an additional spotter we saw hundreds of hippo and dozens of crocs along with lizards and some small mammals and dozens of birds. By being on the private boat we got there ahead of the big boat and got in much closer. I know private cost us more - but well worth it! We also enjoyed the chimps.


    Kyaninga Lodge (Kibale) - well, we loved it. I wish it were closer to home. But it is about as difficult place to get to as anywhere in the world. But worth the trip!


    Mweya Lodge (Queen Elizabeth National Park) - perfect location - a bit formal…  The food was good, the mongoose plentiful and the private channel boat just a short drive away. This was another wonderful excursion.


    Ishasha Wilderness Camp (Ishasha) - Interesting "green" concept… We enjoyed our stay, the food was okay, but it was the elephant outside our door that was best part. But then the camp was close to all those lion in the trees and Edward found them both days - two the first day and eight the next. Edward also took us to the river so Henri and I were able to crossover to some land that had once been in the Congo.


    Mahogany Springs Lodge (Bwindi). The staff treated us so very special!!! The food was great. Our room was very spacious and very comfortable with a great deck and view - although the view of the rolling mountains put a bit of fear into my heart as I contemplated the gorilla trekking scheduled for the next day! Send all your travelers to this beautiful place.


    Hotel des Mille Collines (Kigali). The hotel was very nice and they cleaned our dirty boots - three pair for only $6!! (plus tip). The food was good. The rooms were comfortable. Having just watched Hotel Rwanda on TV, I enjoyed the historical aspect.


    Sayari Camp (Serengeti). Well it was the place to be since the rains had come early and so had the wildebeest. The "camp" itself was beyond luxury. Great staff - met a very fun guy name Ayouba (gave him an extra tip on the side). He seem to have no specific function except to make us happy - perhaps just with his smile - but he was also attentive to our needs. Nice pool - with some of the best lizards and birds. Food was simple but delicious. The room - huge and private. And, of course, it is the home of Julie (the rhino).


    Ngorongoro Farm House (Ngorongoro). Well, farm house, sort of, if you use your imagination. This place was truly special. Specious - the grounds, the dining area, the "room", The food was good. And all the while I kept thinking how much money I was saving!!! And we had already stayed on the rim of a crater!!! This place was a GOOD DEAL!


    Tarangire Safari Lodge (Tarangire). The best part - it is inside the park. And it is beautifully laid out on the rim of a large valley. Animals can be seen below and heard all the night through... Location, location, location. Oh, and the animals also parade past your room.


    Siwandu (Selous). A beautiful place. Nicely spaced out. The animals parade through the property with a giraffe visiting Henri and I at the pool - as long as we stayed perfectly still, she kept getting closer and closer - all the while examining us.. .some fun surprises - a morning walking safari ending with a delightful breakfast on the beach, and dinner on our room deck the last evening. The staff was well-trained and very attentive…


    Air transfers. All on time (except for a brief delay departing Siwandu). All fun, with views. Good choice - especially after seeing folks who had traveled by road!


    Well, that's it for now. Thanks so much.

    Jeff Skinner, June 2014




    Private Lodge Safari to Tanzania’s Northern Circuit


    Hi Alison and Team,

    We are indeed back from an amazing trip all around.

     

    Thank you for all you did - it was quite the success!  We were super pleased with all our accommodations and, in particular, with our guide, Mathey.  I do wish we had stayed an extra night at the Tarangire Safari Lodge as that place and view is amazing (we heard a lion roar at night!).  Also, thank you for the animal book you sent, we used it to notate all the animals and birds we saw.  And we used the backpacks that you sent, as they were of great quality.


    I was very much impressed by AAC and all the preparations that you helped me with.  The safari was just perfect for me and my two children.  I will definitely recommend your company to anyone going on safari.

    My Best,

    Kira Tewalt, June 2014




    The Best of East and Southern Africa and Seychelles Island Visit

     

    Dear Alison,


    Just a quick note to say thank you for helping us put together our fantastic, beyond belief African trip!

    Schedules, camps, flights, charter flights everything was like clockwork!!!Not to mention we were greeted and welcomed everywhere and pampered and taken care of door to door!


    And the land and the wild ..... Definitely beyond words.... I feel I left my heart in Africa!.... And definitely HAVE TO go back !....something mesmerizing , simple but vast and grand about Africa and we just realized we barely scratched the surface!!! So I guess you you'll be hearing from us again hopefully really soon to help us put together another amazing trip to this wonderful corner of the world!!!


    Thank you again for everything and kindly forward our warmest regards to the rest of your staff who worked with us so patiently.


    Regards,

    Fardin Zamani and Ali Vahidsafa, June 2014




    Private Tanzanian Lodge Safari and Zanzibar Island Getaway


    Kristina, Erica & I were relieved to finally be together to start our safari. When we arrived in the Serengeti we met Ephata. What an outstanding guide! We would like to nominate him for "Guide of the year 2014!" He could see animals that we needed binoculars to see, all while driving over bumpy roads. He even found the migration herd for us. When we drove among those hundreds of thousands, we were amazed & delighted. He knew we loved to see the baby animals & he found us a lion with triplets. One of them climbed under our vehicle for shade! He was so close we could have touched him! Ephata told us the names of all the animals, birds, trees etc., we were seeing so we could check them off in our "Safari Guide". He was a walking encyclopedia. He and Mattae worked well together to find all the animals.  I could go on & on about how wonderful Ephata was....


    Each of our lodges was superb. They were clean and luxurious at the end of each day… The food was good and the atmosphere at each lodge was breathtaking.


    We were sad to leave the main land, but Zanzibar was waiting. We were pleased we chose the Serena in Stone Town, because there was no alcohol at Tembo House. Our driver here was Moses and he was outstanding. When we got to Mapenzie beach we booked a tour & requested Moses. We went to Prison Island, Jozani forest & swam with the dolphins. We had a room right on the beach! We went swimming under the full moon in the Indian Ocean!


    In Nairobi our hotel was very luxurious (Ole Sereni). We went to the Carnivore restaurant and had crocodile, ostrich meat balls, beef, pork etc. Our tour at the giraffe center was fabulous. We all got kissed by the giraffes while feeding them! The elephant orphanage was outstanding. We just loved the babies. We adopted some and got to come back at 5pm to put them to bed. What a thrill! Their security blankets and care givers made us very happy. Our driver here was wonderful too!


    So all in all you have 3 very satisfied customers, who would love to go back some day! Thank you all for doing such a fantastic job of selecting the right guides, drivers, lodges etc.


    Sincerely,

    Olis Cook (Swahili nickname BiBi), Apr 2014




    Clients Trip Reports - January - March 2014


    Harvard Business School's Africa Trek 2014 to Tanzania

     

    Hi Sarah,


    Sadly, after a truly fantastic trip, we are now back on the Bostonian tundra.  I think I speak for everyone when I say that I wish we were still in Tanzania!  We had a great time, and we are so grateful for all the hard work you put in to make our travels go smoothly.

     

    I can tell you that several people have come up to me telling me that this was “the trip of the lifetime,” and I’m already seeing some amazing pictures and commentary on Facebook.

     

                             

      

    It has been such a pleasure working with you – and getting to know you – these last few months.  I’m looking forward to a phone catch-up again soon once all the reviews come in.

     

    Thanks again, Sarah – and please also pass on my gratitude on behalf of the entire group to Mark, Janet, and the rest of the team.  Looking forward to being in touch again soon.

    Greg Lamontagne, March  2014




    AAC’s Signature ‘Plains & Primate” Safari to Uganda and Rwanda


    We are back home from our adventure in Africa.  The trip was everything we expected and more!  Of course for me (Bev), the ultimate highlight of the trip was the gorillas in both Uganda and Rwanda. I loved everything connected to the gorillas which included the trekking to find them, the information about them as well as just observing them in their natural habitat.

      

    The highlight for Jim was observing the chimpanzees first in the high trees and then up close and personal on the ground.  The chimpanzees were a pleasant surprise for us....neither one of us thought much about the chimpanzees before signing up for the trip...for us, it was pretty much all about the gorillas and anything else was just a bonus.  Well, for Jim, that chimpanzee bonus turned out to be his favorite thing.  Albeit, his cold which developed in Uganda kept him from taking his second Gorilla trek in Rwanda...had he been able to take this gorilla trek, who knows, maybe he would change his favorite thing to the gorillas as well.

      

    We both thoroughly enjoyed the private cruise on Kazinga Channel.  We were pleasantly surprised at how much wildlife we saw along the banks of the channel while relaxing with our beer and wine on the boat. The Mweya Lodge was an acceptable accommodation for us...

      

    We loved the Ishasha Wilderness Camp as well as the Gorilla Forest Camp and we both were a bit sad to have been told we had to leave the Gorilla Forest camp a day early due to a reason unknown to us.  As it turns out, we believe the camp was hosting the American ambassador to Uganda.  That said, our night at Mahogany Springs Lodge was very nice and we also loved our accommodations at this site…

       

    When I take adventure trips such as this one, I'm always ready for the surprises that may come our way during the trip.  Again, we were pleasantly surprised that the trip went according to plan!  Someone was always where they were supposed to be to meet us....that's a very reassuring feeling when traveling in a foreign country.

     

                               

      

    Thanks again for showing us a wonderful time through Africa Adventure Company.  I won't hesitate to recommend you to other adventure travelers.

    Bev Erickson & Jim Moen, Feb 2014




    Private Chimp and Gorilla Safari to Uganda


    Elena & Team,

    The only bad thing we can say about our trip to Uganda is that it's over.  We had very high expectations prior to leaving, and are happy to say that they were met (and even exceeded).  Sula was an amazingly informative and friendly guide throughout our journey, and we'd be very happy to travel with him for future excursions.  Our experience with the chimpanzees and mountain gorillas was absolutely amazing, the accommodations were way better than we needed, the food was delicious, and the people were wonderful.  We’d highly recommend Uganda and The Africa Adventure Company for anyone who wants to see the primates while enjoying a luxurious getaway.

     

    Best wishes,

    Andrea & Andrew Krohnberg, Feb 2014


     

    “African Journeys” Safari to Kenya and Tanzania


    Elena, Mark & Alison


    Thank you thank you, thank you for the most unbelievable trip/vacation we have ever had!!  Having been on some short ‘safari’ day trips on a cruise in South Africa we knew that we would enjoy our trip to East Africa but never in our wildest dreams did we think it would be as fabulous as it was.

     

    We saw everything game wise (almost) and saw it in large quantities.  We got amazing pictures and videos that will help us to relive the two weeks for the rest of our lives.  Our private guide in Tanzania, George Mollel, was super! He was personable, knowledgeable, informative and a great spotter.

     

    The first drive we did (in the Ngorongoro Crater) set the tone when we were lucky enough to see a wildebeest give birth (photo attached) only to have the newborn attacked by jackals who were unable to actually kill it.  We watched in horror (caught on video) as the baby kept trying to stand only to be pulled down by the two jackals.  Then much to our surprise a hyena ran in, killed the little wildebeest and ran off with the carcass.  We had wanted to see a birth and kill but not all at the same time.

     

    George proved to be very good at planning and finding the game we were most interested in – lions.  We drove to the back on Manyara directly and then worked out way out to avoid any crowds.  We saw a pride of 4 females & 3 babies with no one anywhere near us.  One of the females chased a porcupine towards our truck and then laid in the road in front of us pulling quills out of its paw.  In Tarangire we once again saw a pride that posed for us on a tree branch – talk about a photo op.

     

    The camps we stayed in were all nice but kudos to Oliver’s whose location allowed us to be first in and last out of the areas deep within the Tarangire.  We also enjoyed the other people at the camp especially Justin & Jacky the managers.  We loved being at the fire pit for wine & sharing every evening.

     

    Mara Explorers was an unbelievable camp also – same fire pit experiences and although we were doing shared drives the camp was very empty (5 people besides us).  The manager, George knew we had been in Tanzania for a week so put the other first timers in one truck and gave us our own driver!

     

    We also are so thankful for The Africa Adventure Company taking all the stress out of the travel, connections, etc.  Elena and the final itinerary made us feel comfortable that we would be well handled but we were not prepared for how well it would be…

     

    The day we flew back from Arusha to Wilson, Kenya Air cancelled our flight (not enough people) and we were put on a SafariLink flight.  We were running late and of course I worried about our connecting flight and wondered if the person meeting us even knew about the cancelled flight or what flight we were actually on.  Silly me – we were met at the bottom of the stairs and escorted across the tarmac to our flight to the Mara – they were holding the plane for us – too cool.

     

    I’m not sure what day it was – probably the second day in the Mara when after our morning drive Suzy looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “You know we’ll be back.”  To which I answered simply, “I know.”


    We are already working with Elena on next year’s safari!!!


    Thank you for the most amazing adventure one could ever have.  Like I said to Elena a couple of weeks ago after you’ve been to Africa where else is there?

    Suzy & Ewald Wiberg, Feb 2014


     

    AAC’s Signature Private Safari to Tanzania

     

    Dear Kyle:


    We were delighted with our safari as planned and managed by Africa Adventure Company, your ground operator and guided by Emmanuel Mkenda.

     

    This was Scott’s sixth safari in Africa and Adelaide’s seventh, including a group tour in Kenya, a private safari in Tanzania, and visits to camps in Botswana and to several private game parks in South Africa.  AAC and your ground operator don’t take a back seat to any safari company based on our Tanzania experience.  All arrangements were flawless, the vehicle was in excellent shape, the guide was outstanding and the preliminary planning assistance was excellent.

     

    Arusha:  Your representative met us at the airport walked us through visas and passport control quickly and the trip to the lodge went just as well.  Mountain Village Serena Lodge was an excellent choice — comfortable, well managed, excellent food.   The decision to stay at the lodge for two nights was good.  It allowed an extra day and night to recover from the trip to Arusha and the half-day in Arusha National Park was excellent.  We went there with Mkenda and saw the crater, Momella lakes and colobus monkeys we’d only glimpsed before in Kenya.

     

    Tarangire:  …At Tarangire we got our first exposure to Mkenda’s exceptional ability and experience.  One morning, we and others observed a leopard cub in a tree near the road and the mother perhaps 100 yards away in a tree by the marsh.  We went back in the afternoon and saw the cub sleeping on the ground near the marsh but the mother was not in sight.  Other vehicles stopped for brief photos and left.  Mkenda said, “I’m going to find the leopard, I know she’s nearby.”

    We drove up and down the road, scanning the marsh edge with binoculars.  Suddenly, there was an outbreak of guinea fowl alarm calls.  Mkenda spotted the leopard moving through the marsh toward the cub.  The cub joined her and they picked up a second cub behind some bushes.  The three leopards angled toward the road while we kept pace.

    A dead tree snag beside the road was perhaps 20 feet tall with a horizontal branch about 10 feet up.  The mother leopard climbed it and lay down on the branch stub.  The two cubs played, climbed up and lay on top of her…15 feet from us in the vehicle.  We watched them for 45 minutes until sunset in perfect light with no other vehicles present.

    Mkenda was as thrilled as we were…in 18 years of guiding he hadn’t had an experience like that!  Just the leopards and us.  At Tarangire we also watched three cheetah cubs wait while their mother went through the bush to make a kill, then we followed them as they caught up with her and the four of them began to feast on the kill.

     

    Lake Manyara:  You were absolutely right to encourage us to go to the south end of the park for two days.  The Lake Manyara Tree Lodge was comfortable and a good base.  One day our butler set a lunch table for us at poolside because an elephant was feeding perhaps 50 feet away; but by the time we got there the elephant had moved on, still a nice gesture on his part.  The game viewing alongside the lake was excellent with good diversity and huge numbers of flamingos.  We’re glad we went there.

     

    Gibb’s Farm:  This was a pleasant break mid-way with lovely rooms, beautiful gardens, and excellent food.   I took the walk with Mkenda and a local ranger to the elephant cave and waterfall and it was an interesting 4-5 mile round trip on the ground.  With my forestry background we had a lot of good conversation about the trees along the way.  While I did that, Adelaide was with the artist in residence.

     

    Ngorongoro:  We spent 10 hours in the crater the first day, arriving at 7 am and leaving in late afternoon.  It wasn’t overly crowded and vehicle roads were in good shape.  We saw a diversity of animals and birds and were reminded of the uniqueness of the crater and its habitat.  Often we were alone except when lions were found.  In late afternoon we had an experience with lions reminiscent of our first time there in 2000 when lions lay alongside our vehicle and cubs lay under another vehicle in its shade.  This time we found a group of lions beside the road doing what lions do best:  sleeping.  A large male got up and walked to our vehicle and lay down against the rear wheel for a snooze.  Then, he got up and walked around the other vehicles lie down in the road under the front bumper of the vehicle next to us and went to sleep again.

    Explorean is a beautiful lodge facility — elegant, huge bedroom/living room/deck, excellent staff and food.  The first night a German tour group of 20 people and their leader made the dining room lively.  The second night there were only three tables of guests.

     

    Ndutu: Lamala Camp:  The drive from the main road SW to the lake was across a dry, dusty.  When we arrived at the camp, guides had discovered a leopard in a tree 100 yards from the camp just as a rain began.  So, we took more good photos of a leopard and saw her call her cub, climb down and the two of them walk off.  Buffalo and wildebeest and zebras grazed through the camp at night while lions roared in the distance.  The open acacia forest by the lake had lots of giraffes.  The camp facilities were fine, food was very good, and staff was outgoing and friendly.  It wasn’t crowded…only three tents were in use, and two were single ladies on safaris.  It rained during the nights we were there which made the grass green up immediately.  

     

    Serengeti Shared Safari Camp:  The mobile camp was fine; very basic but good beds and good food served “home style”.  We were the only guests in camp so we got full staff attention.   The game drives were outstanding.  We were in the midst of the migration, so on the plain we were surrounded by wildebeests and zebras and gazelles with lots of new babies as far as the eye could see.  We saw long columns of them crossing the lake bed or wading across the shallow parts of the lake.  We went NW across the plain completely alone to the Hidden Valley water hole where we found lions.  On the plain we also saw warthogs, jackals, hyenas, bat eared foxes and vultures of all kinds.

    In the Serengeti we saw numerous cheetahs, including one with five cubs that we watched for perhaps an hour.  We followed a cheetah across the plain where she was hunting — the prey animals were some distance off and after an hour we broke off.  We saw another cheetah catch and eat a scrub hare and another stalked a dikdik that got away in the bush.  We saw lions eating a zebra that was freshly killed.

     

    On the morning drive north from Ndutu to Seronera airstrip, we saw a cheetah lying beside the road just east of the Naabi Gate and another on the plain north of Naabi Hill.  When we passed the Simba koepies, a lioness was lying atop the tallest rock.  The Regional Air plane was on time.  Ironically, after we took off the plane flew to Ndutu to pick up two passengers a mile from our camp, then on to Arusha!

     

                                 

     

    Overall, an excellent safari experience!

    Scott and Adelaide Wallinger, Jan-Feb 2014



    AAC’s Signature Plains and Primates Safari to Uganda and Rwanda


    Hi, Szilvia!  Sorry to be so late in responding, but we're really just now getting our heads above water after returning from the trip....seems the older we get the longer it takes us to recover from the long flights.

     

    The trip was wonderful and even exceeded my expectations, especially our time spent with the gorillas!  Our first trek in Bwindi was VERY challenging because it took us 7 hours to find the family...ugh!  Betty became extremely fatigued and needed a lot of help from our two porters to help her down the mountain.  We treked the family all he way to the top of a mountain and then all the way back to the bottom of the mountain....the family was initially at the top of the mountain, but a rouge silverback infiltrated the family and scared them back down to the bottom!  Nonetheless, once we found the family it was awesome.

     

    We enjoyed the gorilla trek in Rwanda the most for a couple of reasons....first, it was a much easier trek to find the gorillas; second, we were able to see the entire family in a much less vegetated areas; and finally, we saw three silverbacks and two 4-6 month old babies in the family.  Wow, did Betty enjoy seeing the babies.

     

    Habib was superb.  He went out of his way to make our safari the best it could possibly be.  So, thanks so much for helping to set us up with him.  The accommodations were excellent, especially after seeing how limited accommodations can be in both Uganda and Rwanda.  We particularly enjoyed staying at the Jack Hannah cottage....we had no idea how special that place is especially after realizing that so many famous people have stayed there (eg, Bill Gates; Bill Clinton; Jack Nicklaus; the creator of Google; etc.).  The entire staff treated us like royalty there.  It was an experience we will never forget…


    Thanks again for setting us up with such a marvelous trip, Szilvia!

    Bill and Betty Campbell, Jan 2014



    Private Explorer Safari to Kenya and Tanzania


    Good morning Lynne,


    Thank you, thank you so much for a trip of a lifetime! All 7 of us had a wonderful, exceptional trip. We were so well taken care of each step of the way. The lodges are beautiful with such attentive staff! All logistics were smooth as silk. Not one glitch!


    And the guides! Alex in Kenya and James in Tanzania are superb guides! We all fell in love with them both. They each made our safaris far superior and more satisfying that we dreamed it could be. We felt so lucky with the vast numbers of animals we saw, very up close and personal! I think the average of photos we each came back with is 4000!


    Your name is spoken with gratitude and respect by this set of 7 African Adventurers!


    Thank you so much,

    Kris and Frank Matarrese, Jan 2014 




    Private Safari to Tanzania and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda


    Hello Kyle,


    John and I returned yesterday (just suffering from a bit of jet lag!), and although we are happy to be back home, we are missing Africa! We had an AMAZING trip and we want to thank you and everyone else at Africa Adventure Company for helping us to plan the trip.

     

    I speak on behalf of the Gregg's also in saying that the trip was more than we could have imagined. Everything went off without a hitch (no flight delays, no illnesses, no injuries, etc.).

     

    We all fell in love with Mkenda and I was close to tears when we had to say good-bye to him at the airstrip near Olakira to board our plane for Rwanda. I really felt like I was saying farewell to a family member, not knowing when I would see him again. He is such a fabulous guide and provided us with some amazing game viewing. He is so passionate about his job and connects so well with his clients. We just can't praise him enough! If he ever returns to the US, please let us know so we can fly him to Seattle for a visit.

     

    We enjoyed all of our lodging experiences in Tanzania, but especially LOVED Oliver's Camp (and how lucky for us that Paul Oliver was visiting while we were there so we had the opportunity to chat with him over dinner). What an interesting person! Jackee and Justin are the greatest host and hostess, which only added to the perfect experience at Oliver's.

     

    We all fell in love with Rwanda! What a gorgeous country and how amazing to see how they continue to heal from the Genocide. We loved our guide, Theo, and miss him already also.

     

    Gorilla trekking was beyond words, and we were lucky to get Francois as one of our guides. It is amazing to watch him around the gorillas!

     

                              

     

    Needless to say, we would highly recommend Africa Adventure Co. to anyone planning travel to Africa. Thanks again for ALL your help!


    Sincerely,

    Lisa and John Russell, Jan 2014



    Client Trip Reports - July - September 2014


    Classic Tanzania including the Serengeti and Selous Game Reserve 


    Kyle:

     

    The sequence of camps you arranged for us was incredible! 

    The Arusha Coffee Lodge had excellent accommodations and food. 


    Then, onto Oliver's Camp, Sopa Lodge at Ngorongoro, Sayari Camp in the Serengeti, and Beho Beho, each was better than the last!  Camp staff at each location was very welcoming and helpful in our getting the most out of available wildlife viewing.  IF we had to choose a favorite guide on the trip, it would be Jabshir, especially because (with the exception of a rhino) he showed us every bird and animal we expected to see on the first day.   BUT, we don't have to choose and all of the guides were excellent.

     

    Our experience in Beho Beho was the cream of the crop.  The hosts and the entire staff made the experience fantastic.  We appreciated the way the staff intermingled with the guests during the day and appreciated the guides being included in meals.  It was especially enjoyable to experience different guides for our outings.  One of Ann's favorite moments was sitting down to visit with Saning'o about Masai traditions.  Delicious food was enjoyed at ever-changing settings with beautiful table settings. The accommodations were beyond compare and basically we had the feeling we were visiting a friend's estate.  The morning visit of the young elephant outside our banda was quite exciting.  Our birthdays were celebrated in style with a special cake, champagne, and a lovely breakfast on a lake before our boat trip and then a swim in the hot springs.  No detail was left untouched.  This camp was the highlight of our trip.

     

    At the end of the trip, we acknowledged that we had expected this to be our only trip to Africa.  I'll bet it's not!


     

    Thank you for arranging such a wonderful trip,

    Ann & Andy Campbell, Sep 2014




    30th Wedding Anniversary Safari to Kenya and Tanzania


    Dear Mark,


    • Sonya and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Saskia, and the rest of your team for a wonderful trip to East Africa. We are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this month and wanted to do something special. With that said, I really do not know how we could have chosen anything better, or more special than the trip we booked with you to East Africa.

    • The trip surpassed all of our expectations. I have never been to a place that offered so many spectacular sights to see, and so many opportunities for camera and binoculars. We were amazed at the abundance of wildlife in every location that we visited. The migration crossings at the Mara River were truly a sight to see, and it is our understanding that the concentrations of animals were especially heavy during our visit to that location.

    • We were able to visit two different Maasai Villages, one in Amboseli and the other in the Manyara Ranch conservancy. We were touched by what we saw in those places and enjoyed our visit with those people immensely. They were very welcoming to us, and were quick to share their way of life with us.

    • We were thrilled with every lodge and camp that you placed us in. They were all in amazing locations, with delicious food, and fantastic service. They were all very welcoming and showed a strong desire to meet our every need.


    We had a number of different guides during our visit, and it was difficult for us to part with them as we made the transition from one location to another. Without exception, our guides were friendly, professional, knowledgeable, hard-working, and a pleasure to be with.


    Throughout our trip we had people meeting us at airports, transferring us from location to location, helping us with our bags, greeting us at the lodges, escorting us to and from our rooms, watching over the camps through the night, serving us with wake up calls and hot drinks, cooking delicious meals, preparing our tents, and attending to our every need. Without exception, all of these people are deserving of special recognition and our sincere thanks.


    I am also a believer that a successful trip such as ours will not simply happen by chance. I believe that from beginning to end, there is a lot of coordination to be done, and a lot of details to be worked out. Throughout our trip, Sonya and I could see the results of your design and your attention to detail.


    Perhaps the times this was most appreciated, would be during our transfers, while in a strange place, we would be met by the smiling face of someone who expected us, and would help us to our next destination.




    Thank you,

    Tim and Sonya Carr, Sep 2014




    Chimp and Gorilla Trekking to Uganda and Rwanda and Safari to Kenya and Tanzania


    The trip was superb! Arrangements were almost perfect and everything went so smoothly it did not feel like Africa. The trip was complicated as our dates were constrained and we asked for a number of different elements to be included but it worked beautifully. Your guides/drivers were great as were the contractors who facilitated the transfers, border crossings, etc.

     

    Food and accommodation were also great and of course the staff and guides found us lots of critters and photo opportunities. There was not a thing we think we missed. We are still sorting through hundreds of great photos.



    Thanks again; we will and already have, recommended your services to people contemplating African travel.

    Bill Dexter and Victoria Canada, Sep 2014




    Adventurer Safari to Tanzania and Kenya


    We have had an exceptional trip and I want to thank Szilvia Hegyi and the team at Africa Adventure for all the planning. Also for helping us choose the right combination of ecological and safari trip for us so that we would experience the different aspects of the bush.


    Now about the vacation we have had. First in Tanzania.

    Our two guides were Shaukat and Jonas for the whole trip in Tanzania. They had excellent knowledge and they knew where to find the animals. We built a good relationship with them immediately as we shared their love of Tanzania.  We had the use of two Toyota Land Cruisers which are adapted for the Safaris and had plenty of room for us.

    I enjoyed all the Camps we stayed at. They were all a little different and I thought the level of comfort was very high at them all. I liked that with them we experienced different types of accommodation.


    We had two nights at the Maramboi Tented Camp in Tarangire. The views from the camp were fantastic and we saw zebra, wildebeest and warthogs from the lounge area. The visit to the Tarangire National Park to see the elephants was amazing.  Visiting the local carver was great and it was interesting to see how good the carvings were and how amazingly they were in proportion. Many of us bought some of the carvings. We also visited a market and a Banana Plantation and had a local guide and his young helper for this. We had lunch at the banana plantation and could see how they prepared and cooked their food.


    Food at the camp was good and plentiful. You could help yourself to your breakfast and dinner. The breakfasts were very similar to American breakfasts and the dinners were more African authentic and took a little getting used to.


    We visited the Bashay Primary School for 7-14 year olds and they showed us what they are learning. The Principal gave a talk with information on the school. The students were very enthusiastic and were excited to meet us. We gave them the things we had bought with us including a soccer ball which they loved.


    The Kisima Ngeda camp at Lake Eyasi was very nice and comfortable and I enjoyed meeting Chris and Nani Schmelling and hearing a little about the site and what they do and how they interact and help the tribe. The food was excellent. It was interesting to see how the bartering was done between the camp people and the Bushmen and the Blacksmiths so that everyone benefited by the visits from the campers. The road to this camp was extremely bumpy.


    Ngorongoro Farm House, located just outside the crater was really nice. It had fantastic gardens so was quite a lush setting which I didn’t expect. The accommodation was excellent and the food again was help yourself. Breakfasts being very normal for us and the dinners a mixture of African authentic.  There was even entertainment by the fire at night by the Iraqw tribe.


    We visited a market and also a Coffee plantation with a guide Pascal. We also saw an immunization clinic and a maternity ward and a church where we were included in the singing. We visited the Maasai Village near the crater. It was very interesting to see how they live and what they eat. We also watched the little kids in school.

    Dropping down into the Ngorongoro crater Park was amazing. The Oldupai Gorge was very interesting and I’m glad we stopped there. We had a lecture about the history and saw where remains of Australopithecus was found in 1959. We also were told about the Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus skulls that were found at different sites.


    We were at the Serengeti Katikati Camp for 4 nights. This was a fantastic camp and probably my favorite. It was a beautiful spread out camp and the people that ran it were fantastic. We saw many animals during our travels and thoroughly enjoyed travelling through the country. We saw a small part of the wildebeest migration before we left Tanzania. We said goodbye to the group and to our guides as my sister and I were going on to Kenya..


    Now about the vacation we have had in Kenya.

    Our stay in Kenya was absolutely fantastic. I loved Tipilikwani Camp and the people were very friendly. The two days of game drives were fantastic and Dee the guide managed to find the animals that we were interested in seeing at this point…


    Throughout our whole trip we felt completely safe and were amazed how smoothly everything fit together. We know that it took a lot of really good planning to bring off this amazing vacation and I can only say that it gave us a really good look into the country of Tanzania and Kenya and I would recommend this trip. We have seen some fantastic animals, including the big 5. We did see the black Rhinoceros in the distance but everything else was up close.  We have also seen many of the smaller animals.  We have seen many colorful birds and I loved the trees in Tanzania, especially the Baobab and the flat topped Acacia trees. We have some wonderful photos so we will be enjoying this trip for a long time. We had very good weather which was cooler at night and it didn’t get too hot during the day.




    Thank you,

    Jeanette Dilley, Sep 2014




    Best of Tanzania with ‘Great Guides’ – Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti


    Dear Jessica,


    We just got back from our trip last night. It was FANTASTIC!  We had great expectations for this trip and it exceeded those expectations. Our guide Wilfred was outstanding. He knew exactly what we wanted and he always delivered. He had great overall knowledge of the areas we visited and his expertise with birds was amazing and that really enhanced our trip. We had many interesting discussions with him and we learned many things about Africa from him.


    We really enjoyed everywhere we stayed. The lodges were extremely nice with fantastic views and the tented camps gave us a real feel for being in Africa. It was quite an experience sleeping among the animals and hearing their sounds every night. Everyone we dealt with was extremely friendly and we met and talked to many other fellow travelers.

      

    As expected we took many pictures/videos and it will take me quite a while to sort through them.  We saw everything we wanted to see including a male and female leopard in a tree, a lion pride with two kills, elephants chasing a lioness from a kill, an amazing hippo encounter in a pool involving some of the male hippos, a serval (which is rare), several cheetahs, and 3 wildebeest crossings of the Mara River just to name a few.

      

    We want to thank you and the Africa Adventure Company for planning such a wonderful trip for us.  It was really a trip of a life time.

    Cindy and Russ Hudson, Sep 2014



    Exploration Safari to East and Southern Africa – including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Botswana and Namibia


    Dear Mr. Nolting,


    We are home from our “Africa Adventures” and finally back in sync with the Eastern Daylight Time Zone in the US.  We haven’t finished sorting our pictures (a total of over 9000 digital exposures between the two of us), and Ann is still waking up at night wondering which camp she is in.  We went hoping for the great adventure of seeing exotic wildlife in their natural settings, and we wanted to learn something of the lives of the people and of their countries.  We certainly accomplished the first goal and have made a small start on the second. In many ways, Africa has become part of us. 


    Certainly for me, the gorilla trekking was a special highlight.  Both days went very well and will always be a special memory. 


    And there are other special highlights.  The vastness of Kenya and the Maasi Mara with thee huge herds and varieties of animals made it special.  We are also glad that we included Namibia because the terrain was so different and other-worldly.  In fact, we loved every place even though there were also some things about each one about which we could quibble.  For example, in Rwanda, the visit to the Genocide Museum shouldn’t be skipped, but lunch at the selected local restaurant should be.  Both of us were very careful about our choices from the buffet but experienced digestive issues thereafter.


    We both loved Tanzania, and we had an exceptionally good guide; however, the Ngorongoro crater was a waste of time.  Except for the drive down into the crater, we saw nothing “new.”  In fact, we saw very few animals the entire day. And there was nothing “special” about Gibbs Farm; it was an ok restaurant. Nevertheless, we were deeply touched by the school visit.


    Of the camps where we stayed, our favorite was Selinda. It is well run, offers excellent food, and is a special place. Hoanib is also special, but is still going through the shake down phase; some of the operation is still rough.  The facility is lovely and spacious.  Elephants came up to the “water hole” each day so we had that special opportunity to see them.  Our guide was able to show us the desert-adapted lions and the lunch on the beach was exceptionally memorable. The flight back put a wonderful finishing touch on this special day….


    The trip was great, and we would recommend your company to our friends.



     

    Sincerely yours,

    Paul R. Lawrence, Sep 2014




    Great Migration Safari and Chimp Trekking in Tanzania


    Dear Elena,

     

    What an extraordinary adventure! We had a marvelous time; throughout the trip we would look at each other and comment on how there is no way to describe what we experienced to people back home. I can't imagine how the trip could have been any better!

     

    For starters, everything ran like clockwork, from the time we were helped through the visa process to the ride to the airport at the end. The accommodations were top notch as was the service. We did enjoy the way the managers at the Nomad properties sat down and chatted with us. We learned a lot and felt more connected to Africa.

     

    Our guide, Ephata, was exceptional --knowledgeable, professional, friendly, helpful, engaging.....He added so much to the wildlife experience. I think he should get a big fat bonus! 

    Mahale was the perfect way to end the trip. I have never been to a more idyllic place. The service was the best I've ever experienced-- not only did they take care of your every need, as did the other lodges, but they anticipated what you might want. The guides there were great too…

     

    I will recommend Africa Adventure Company to anyone who asks! Thanks for making the trip so easy and wonderful.

    Marti Neveln, Sep 2014



    Exploring the Remote Selous and Ruaha Game Reserves


    All three camps (Jongomero, Selous Impala, and Beho Beho) were fabulous, and the guides outstanding.     Even though Beho Beho is a stunning setting with an amazing banda, my favorite experience was the Selous Impala camp, especially the fly camping.   The one night of fly camping was something I’ll never forget.  Our guide, Gerrard, did a great job of approaching the camp through the bush.  I didn’t know what to expect, so I was blown away when we emerged from the thick bush to find a complete mobile campsite already set up for us.  He timed it right at sunset.  Our camp was right on the lake, facing the beautiful sunset.  To catch the good light, I ran down to the water’s edge to get a photo looking back at the camp all light up in the last of the light.  I surprised a hippo coming out of the water for his evening feed, which created quite the spectacle as the hippo ran back into the water.  (It seems I must have a hippo close encounter every trip).  

      

    In addition to the fly camping, the boat safari at Selous Impala camp was amazing.   Again, Gerrard did a great job.  It was just Carrie and I in the small boat with Gerrard at the motor.  We took the boat safari twice.  We were able to spend time watching elephants while enjoying our sundowner drinks.   We spent too much time with the eles and the sun had set, so Gerrard opened up the throttle to get us back to camp before it got too dark.  As we were zooming down the river at dusk, the herd of elephants chose that moment to cross the river, right in front of us.  The last elephant across the river decided to let us know he was in charge, turned and trumpeted at us splashing water in the air. It was spectacular.

       

    As has happened before on our AAC trips, most of the safaris on this trip turned out to be private safaris.    On the walks, it was often just our guide, ranger, and Carrie and I.   In the vehicle and boat safaris, we rarely had to share the vehicle/boat with anyone else.  That kind of exclusivity makes the safari very special.  Thank you for whatever you did to arrange that special treatment for us.     We did have one fun encounter with another couple.  We were having lunch at Selous Impala camp, when another couple arrived.  As they walked up the stairs, they yelled, “Dave and Carrie.  What are you doing here?”.  It was Fiona and Alan, from the UK, who we had met on our last trip with AAC.  Fiona and Alan were in the Mwaleshi Camp with us 6 years ago on our Zambia safari.   We had become friends with Alan and Fiona while in Zambia, but lost track of them over the years.  It was fun to see and go on safari with them again.  We look forward to seeing them again someday in Africa. 




    We have yet to sort through the 7000 photos (over 200Gb of data) and video which we came home with.  Attached is a snap shot from the trip…It during our first walking safaris in Jongomero with our guide Brian.   When Carrie and Brian were looking at a Goliath Heron, I handed my Nikon D300 SLR to the local ranger walking with us.  He didn’t speak English, but he figured out what I wanted.  In one move, he swung his AK47 over his shoulder and snapped a quick photo the of Brian, Carrie and I.     I love the photo because Carrie is doing what she loves, and I am in the photo with her!    I’m sure we’ll share more photos with you after we sort through them .

    David Pinkernell and Carrie Burhenn, Sep 2014




    The Best of Tanzania and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda


    Dear AAC, Mark Nolting and Ian Flores

     

    I don't know where to begin on our report of our safari booked through you!  Everything far exceed our expectations!  To say this was a trip of a lifetime is too understated.  We booked this trip thinking that this was a once in a lifetime experience, but on about day two we were asking questions of our guide about what we should do the next time we come to Africa.

     

    In Tanzania, we were perfectly matched with Daniel Nyamoga as our private guide.  He is a wonderful guide with a perfect understanding of all mammals, birds, plants and geography just to name a few of his skills.  He would start out each day with of a plan of what we would see and BANG!, there it was right in front of us.  I jokingly accused him of pushing a button in the front of the vehicle for animals to appear.

     

    Daniel has a fantastic work ethic and is very proud of Tanzania and his job with Africa Adventure Company.  He was most professional and very real with his excitement of each sighting.  He has a great personality and love for the animals and nature.  He always added more information about each species we saw.  If we only remember half of what he told us, we are way smarter than we were before the trip.  He is a wealth of knowledge and a true asset to Africa Adventure Company.

     

    We carefully examined the other vehicles and guides in Tanzania and are very confident that we made the right choice with Africa Adventure Company.  Daniel was our first contact in Tanzania and he made a lasting impression on us.  He set the tone for the whole trip. We noticed our vehicle was much nicer and better cared for than the other companies we encountered in the parks.  We also compared sightings each night at the campfire and were always the "luckiest" of the camp.  This "luck" all had to do with our amazing guide Daniel.

     

    The camps you recommended were top notch.  We enjoyed the camp managers, camp atmosphere and camp meals.  We were always happy to return to a clean towel and cold drink after our exciting day.  I'm a picky eater and planned on losing weight during my trip to Africa, but instead I gained weight.  The food was fabulous and meticulously prepared.  The camp chefs did a fabulous job of making gourmet meals in the bush.

    We left the central Serengeti and with a heavy heart said goodbye to Daniel.  I begged him to squeeze into our small suitcase, but he wouldn't fit.  After such a good time and seeing all of the animals on our list, we thought the trip could not get any better.

     

    By staying in a second camp in the Serengeti, we were able to relax our hunt for the perfect sighting and instead were able to enjoy the behaviors of the animals instead.  Our camp guides in the Lamai wedge were very eager to show us a great crossing of wildebeest and zebras.  They did not disappoint.  As a bonus, our last day of safari in Tanzania, we encountered a female and baby rhinoceros.  We were able to see them quite close and this was a fitting end to our time in Tanzania.

     

    Then we were off to Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas.

     

    In Kigali, we met our guide “Africa”.  We learned a great deal from him.  We toured the Genocide Museum on our way to the National Park.  This was a very moving and somber experience.  Once we had lunch, we took the drive to area around the National Park.

    Africa was a great guide and showed us around and helped us immensely at the National Park.  He was instrumental in getting us a great gorilla guide to hike the mountain both days. 

    We loved our accommodation at Jack Hanna's House.  It was such peaceful and relaxing retreat after a long trip.  All of the staff at Jack Hanna's were top notch and took great care of us each day.  How they managed to get our boots that were covered in mud clean was a true miracle.

     

    After leaving the National Park and returning to Kigali, we had a restful day to end our time in Rwanda.  The following day we took a city tour with our guide Africa.  We told Africa that he could just drop us off at the airport, but he said no way.  He would wait with us until we were able to enter the airport.  He was a true professional.

     

    We found the people of Tanzania and Rwanda to be so welcoming.  What a wonderful business you have sending people to such a fabulous place.  If you ever need any recommendations or testimonials we are more than happy to oblige.  We will contact you when we are ready to return.

     
    Until next time,

    Judith and Keith Sharp, Sep 2014




    Group Explorer Safari to Tanzania and Flying Safari to Kenya’s Maasai Mara


    Kyle –


    Thank you for putting together a wonderful experience. We are still a little overwhelmed. The group safari in Tanzania had Emanuel as our guide. He did a fantastic job of balancing the whole group's desires and getting us exceptional opportunities for photos.


    Naboisho Camp in Kenya was a fantastic location. The camp managers (Roelof and Helen), guides (Daniel and Lucy) and all of the staff were very friendly and helpful. Naboisho is a VERY nice camp and Roelof and Helen are the best hosts we've had anywhere.


    As for safari experiences we had many memorable ones. They ranged from watching a group of hyenas take down and devour a zebra in 10 minutes to watching ostriches mate. It was the circle of life experience over the span of a few hours as one of our fellow travelers put it. We saw lions and cheetahs up close, a leopard try and carry a reedbuck up a tree, a leopard with a kitten, a serval cat and lots of large herbivores from elephants and giraffes to dik-diks, as well as 120+ species of birds. And although the rains had come early to the Mara, the experience of driving back to camp through the flooded plains was fun too.




    We came home with over 4000 photo and video files. In summary, it was a great trip and it all went very smoothly. All the transfers went off without a hitch, accommodations were superb, we had the time of a lifetime. Thank you so much for the help.

    Boyd and Kathy Turner, Sep 2014



    Chimp Trekking in Tanzania’s Mahale National Park


    Dear Elena,

     

    Our safari was absolutely wonderful!  The service, accommodations, and food were all outstanding.  We really loved our guide, Ephata.  I would recommend your company to others and already have.  We especially enjoyed our last 3 days in Mahale.  It was like being in paradise and we loved viewing the chimps… 

     

    Sincerely,

    Kathy Whitaker, Sep 2014




    Flying Safari to the Maasai Mara and Serengeti

     

    Kyle-


    My wife and I would like to pass along some thoughts and highlights of our recent trip. Overall we wanted to thank you and your company for making it a trip of a life time. Your coordination and support services made the rip enjoyable and without hitches or problems and we especially appreciated being met and greeted at the airports, camps and connections.  I think it would be a nightmare without your connections and attempting trip on our own would be a disaster-This was especially evident when we landed in Nairobi and were met when we got off the plane, taken through customs and taken to our hotel.


    Some other highlights were staying at the Tawi Lodge (Amboseli) especially the visits by the baboons during the day and the other animals around the perimeter. We also appreciated the manager of the lodge, the guide, and the nature walk.


    The Maasai Mara was exceptional and unforgettable and we totally enjoyed the Rekero Camp and being next to the river and the hippos rubbing against our tent at night. The guides Sammy and Moses were fantastic and exceptional -they were warm, friendly and informative and went out of their way to make us comfortable and excited. their drives were knock your socks off with getting close to animals . Another highlight was baloon ride and despite the early wake up it was once in a life time experience.


    Ralph the manager of Kimondo was especially nice and helpful. Even though we waited all day to see a mass river crossing which never came to fruition it was still great seeing the mass of wildebeest and the flow of nature.  Other highlights were seeing lions mating on three different occasions and seeing a lion pursuing a zebra who tripped and fell down and lucky for him got up and outran the lion and then the lion came over to our jeep to rest. It still seems surreal and despite losing one my memory sticks for my camera the trip on a whole was exciting, exhilarating and a total life experience which we were able to share with brothers and wives.




    I would totally recommend your company and staff and hopefully contact you in the near future about seeing the gorillas.


    Thanks again

    Scott Zohlman, Sep 2014



    Private Safari to Kenya’s Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and Maasai Mara


    Thanks for the welcome back! First and foremost we had a fantastic time again! Kenya is a very fascinating place to say the least…


    Alex, our guide was FABULOUS! He met us first thing in the morning and was a wealth of information from the moment we stepped into the land cruiser…


    Amboseli. What a fabulous park! More elephants then we've ever come across at one setting. Mt. Kilimanjaro was of course covered by clouds most of the time but we did get to see her peak on our way to our sundowner which was breath taking to say the least.  The accommodations at Tortilis Camp were unbelievable!  The food was fantastic, tents clean and fresh and EVERYONE was friendly, polite and always welcoming. We would recommend this camp to anyone. We had a fantastic time there...


    The drive from Lake Nakuru to the Maasai Mara is long (and dusty) but worth it. Seeing townships, villages, and wild life all along the way…


    Kichwa Tembo (Maasai Mara). Well, not enough can be said about this place. It was breathtaking. We were put into one of the newest tents and although it was far back from the scenic part it was perfect for us. It gave us a chance to walk back and forth giving us some exercise and there was nothing (noise) except for the peering eyes and chatter of the monkeys. We slept with the sides of tent up, the shower open and the toilet as well. What a freeing experience I must say! The staff was phenomenal!! The food, fantastic! Would we go there again, without a doubt.


    As for wild life, it was fantastic and we saw everything we had come to see.. The big 5 and more. Lots of LOVE in the air as well and we have some great pictures to prove it.


    Alex, our guide, was a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the locals, schools, country, wild life, He had an answer for every question and if he didn't he found it from someone along the way. He also had fantastic ideas! Like when I said I wanted to buy a few Maasai clubs to take home as gifts. Now, I could have bought them in the stores but Alex said, hold up Becky, why don't we stop at a Maasai village on the road back to Nairobi. They would have the REAL thing there and I can try and bargain with them if you'd like, that way it will help the villagers directly.  So not too far from camp on the way back we saw a village. Alex blew the horn and a young girl came out running, all smiles. Alex asked if they had any of these clubs in the village and if so would the elders mind selling one. She went back to ask. A few minutes later she was back with 3 BEAUTIFUL clubs, one which was beaded and are now sitting in a stand on my kitchen table... One will go to my son, the other two are my treasures. Thank you Alex for caring so much.


    The Mara is awe inspiring, the life, the death, the vast space (my and Alexs' new saying, “take a picture of forever”) the mountains, the river, the people. It was an awesome trip to say the least.




    Thank you Lynne and everyone else for taking such wonderful care of us and giving us another trip of a life time.


    Thanks again,

    Becky & Richard Douglas, Aug 2014




    Private Luxury Tanzanian Safari and Rwandan Gorilla Trekking


    Thank you!  We had such an amazing trip!  Everything was as we imagined it would be or better.

     

    In terms of the Tanzania part of the trip:

    Hillary was a wonderful guide- so knowledgeable and we learned a great deal from him.  He was also an excellent spotter- Jeff and I could not believe the animals he would see that were completely camouflaged and this allowed us to see much more than we probably would have!  We saw all of the animals on our list (multiple times each) and much, much more and a lot of that was thanks to Hillary's spotting abilities.

     

    Our accommodations were great- we particularly enjoyed Treetops and Migration Camp…they are both so full of charm.


    In terms of the Rwanda part of the trip:

    Theo was a great guide as well- such a nice man and also very knowledgeable.  We enjoyed getting to know him although spent much less time with him than Hillary obviously due to the duration of that part of the trip.  The gorilla trekking was fantastic- I could not believe how close you could get to the gorillas.  It was breathtaking. Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge was amazing.  Can't say enough good things about it. 


    …Again thank you for everything, it was the best trip!  We would definitely recommend Africa Adventure to friends/family and when we get the safari itch again (we're already talking about it)  we will definitely reach out. Thanks,

    Sara Fulton, Aug 2014




    Private Tanzanian Safari including Mobile Camping on the Serengeti


    Dear Ian,


    It has taken us awhile to come back to reality from our trip. Sometimes there are no words to describe this event, and other times there are just too many to wrap ourselves around to do justice to it. First, let me say "Thank You". You put together the perfect trip for us, following exactly our specifications. There was nothing out of place.  We have already, and will continue to recommend Africa Adventure Company to anyone who wants to seriously adventure into this magnificent continent.


    Next, Jabshir Rashidi. He is such a wonderful teacher and guide. He never seemed to tire of our endless questions. With every animal or bird he pointed out he also told their story of survival and life and how they then fit into the whole of the country. Jabshir has a love and respect for his country that is very tangible. We are so privileged and grateful to have seen Africa thru his eyes. And his eyes are crazy! The things he sees and from the distance he sees them from is just nothing short of amazing. Because of his ability to find many things to see, from animal to flora, and his great supply of patience, we were able to capture over 7000 pictures. He would find us something and patiently wait for us to ask questions and photograph it and then say "Are we good?"  If yes, we moved on, if not yet, we stayed a little longer until, "We're good".  I know the trip would not have been the same without him, so "Thank You Jabshir"!


    All the places we stayed at were just perfect. The food, accommodations, and the people were wonderful. Two Best things about the trip were the Balloon Ride and the Shared Safari Camp. Everyone knew their jobs and were very accommodating and made the trip better because we experienced their warm hospitality.


    My most favorite part of the trip, was to stand in the open roofed truck and experience the huge expanse that is Africa and all the wonder that follows on such a grand scale. It was everything I thought it would be, and if possible more. We are grateful. Thank you.


    Sincerely,

    Bernie and Keith Keller, Aug 2014

     


    Group Lodge safari to Tanzania’s Northern circuit


    Dear Jessica,


    We had a great time on our safari.  We saw tons of animals and loved the parks. All our arrangements went smoothly. We were picked up in Arusha and had an expedited exit through passport control.  We enjoyed all the lodges.  Best of all, our guide Wilfred, was superb.  He was very knowledgeable about all animals, birds and plants.  We appreciated his low key manner - he didn't overwhelm us with chit chat. We were so pleasantly surprised to be by ourselves.

     

    Thanks for all your help and advice.

    Kathy McGann, Aug 2014



    Classic Kenya Flying Safari to Amboseli, Maasai Mara and Island of Lamu


    Hi Kyle,


    The highlight of the trip was obviously the Safari.  Amboseli has a stunning backdrop.  Tortilis Camp was very comfortable.  Our guides, especially Joel, were excellent.  The camp is in a very good location and they have access to a large conservancy.  The main highlight in Amboseli was the bush breakfast.  It was quite grand for just 2 couples.  There was a dedicated chef and two waiters.  The safari viewing was very good, especially elephants.


    Maasai Mara was excellent.  The Little Governor’s Camp was quite luxurious and very intimate (due to small size).  I was very impressed with the quality of food there.  It was a bit of a hike to go from the camp to the jeep across the river, but its all part of the experience.  The balloon ride was definitely worthwhile.  I am not sure if I would do it again but one must do it once. 


    We saw everything we had hoped to see in Mara.  All the predators in a large number, other big 5 members, python, rhino, etc.  We missed the kill by the Marsh pride lions but got their when they had just start feasting.  It was probably the most intense experience of our safari.  We got as close to predators as possible.  In some cases, lions or elephants brushed against the vehicle.


    We are glad that we saved Lamu Beach Resort for 4 nights as our last stop.  We were quite exhausted and it was a perfect place to rest.  We were on Kizingoni Beach which is about a 25 min boat ride from the air base…  


    So overall it was a fantastic experience visiting Africa for the first time.  We are certain that we would want to return in the next few years…  Thanks again for all your help in organizing the trip for us.  You and your team did a wonderful job.  We will certainly write a review on Trip Advisor.


    Sincerely,

    Raza and Sana Mujtaba, Aug 2014



    Exclusive Safari to Kenya’s Amboseli, Loisaba and Maasai Mara and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda


    Hi Saskia,


    Thanks again so much for everything. Here are some of our favorite moments and people we met.

    •       Our guide Joel at Tortilis

    •       Our hosts at Rekero Camp, Conway, Clea and Mariana

    •       Bucket showers

    •       Our guide Daniel at Rekero

    •       Our guides Moses, Mrefu and Sammy at Sala’s Camp

    •       Our driver and guide Sam in Rwanda

    •       The Gorilla guides and trackers

    •       Dr. Jan at the Mountain Gorilla Vet Project

    •       The powerful Genocide Memorial in Kigali

    •       All the animals we saw.

    •       All the people we met.

    •       All the food we ate.


    Thank you again for everything.  We made many decisions while planning this trip, some better than others.  Our best decision was to engage the Africa Adventure Company.




    Warmest regards,

    Jim and Kathy Parakin, Aug 2014




    Migration Private Safari to Tanzania’s Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti


    Hello Elena,


    You did a fantastic job planning our safari. I think it was just about the right amount of time for us, and the variety of accommodations was great. Here are a few thoughts about our experience.


    Nairobi - So glad we didn't cancel our trip. We were greeted on the tarmac after a long day…Our guide in Nairobi, Newton, was probably the best guide we had on the trip.  We loved the Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Manor and Karen Blixen Home. Tamarind was a lovely spot for lunch.


    Tarangire/Little Oliver’s - We really enjoyed Little Oliver’s. The sunsets were spectacular and the park was beautiful. We liked that they did a walking safari ( despite my trepidation) and a night drive. They packed the most wonderful breakfast for us, as we were on the road very early. The food was very good and we enjoyed the intimacy of the camp with just two other couples in residence with us…


    Ngorongoro Crater/Exploreans/Gibbs Farm - Wow- Exploreans is quite the place to stay. It was a nice change from the tents. The staff was lovely and the villas were spectacular. We loved sitting by the pool and relaxing after safari. They included more expensive drinks in the price, which was really nice. We asked the GM if we could sit outside in the restaurant and play cards, and his reply was "of course, this is your home". We loved our lunch at Gibbs Farm. We wandered around and saw the animal pens and various food making operations.


    We had an amazing day in the crater. We saw a hyena kill of a zebra. ( kind of hard to watch, but it was pretty incredible). The setting is so beautiful as you drop from the rain forest into the crater.


    Our guide for Tarangire and Ngorongoro was James/Ombeni. He was very knowledgeable and excellent at finding amazing wildlife...


    Olakira/Serengeti- We loved the staff at Olakira. They were so friendly and the food was spectacular. Chocolate truffles to die for!! They barbequed in the pouring rain and it was wonderful. The best appetizers too. We met the most interesting people at Olakira, and we really enjoyed the communal aspect to the camp. Daniel the bartender was most hospitable, and they did not skimp on the wine! If we had stayed in lodges like Exploreans the whole time, we would have missed this part of the trip.  Our guide, Reuben, was wonderful. He wanted so badly for us to see the Wildebeest crossing and to find a rhino (alas, that was the only thing we did not see).  We were incredibly fortunate to see 2 huge crossings and it was truly a sight.


    Overall, we were so pleased to see different environments and experience different camps on our safari


    Thank you again for all your planning, hand holding and expertise. This is truly the trip of a lifetime and one we will never forget.  I will certainly recommend Africa Adventure Company to anyone who in interested in traveling to Africa.


    All My Best,

    Dana Riccard, Aug 2014



     

     

    Tanzania Safari with Expert Private Guide


    Ian!!!!!!


    Thank you sooo much for helping us plan this trip... it was truly an incredible and unforgettable experience... Everything was so organized I was truly impressed that we made all the arrangements via email without a single phone call!


    I don't even know where to begin... Every expectation I had (really very high) were crushed by what we experienced. We fell in love with the scenery, with the people, with the lodges and camp...


    Every day we made a recount of our personal highlight and everyday we got so many that we couldn't choose. Waking up in the morning when it was still dark wasn't troubling the moment we looked at the starry sky... I can't explain the rush and the excitement we felt every second of the day... Driving around the parks wondering what was it that we would encounter next.


    Our guide, George Mollel was incredible... I guess all of your guides are real experts and knowledgeable, but what I think made a difference with George was his optimism and energy... There was nothing he was not willing to do in order for us to have a great time and see what we wanted to see... In the Serengeti, we even drove 3 hours north to go to the Mara River... we didn't get to see a wildebeest crossing but what we got to see in the river was all worth it... A true image of death... We might have seen around 200 wildebeest carcasses throughout the small part of the river we covered. It was heartbreaking but so real.


    Also something we loved was that on our second night on the Katikati Camp, after dinner the staff came out singing their "happy birthday" song and came over to our table bringing a "Happy Anniversary" cake... I was so moved... It is truly a memory I will cherish forever.  And the balloon safari was an out of this world experience. The views, the sunrise... It was breathtaking.


    Again, I do not know how to thank you... This was the best experience I've ever lived.


    We want to plan another safari in a few years and we will definitely plan it with the Africa Adventure Company.  THANK YOUUU!!!!!

    Paulina Vega, Aug 2014




    Safari to Tanzania’s North and South

     

    Hi Kyle,


    The trip was great and all arrangements went as planned - thanks for setting this up!... the safari gods were really good to us as we saw all the big cats and a pack of wild dogs, African wild cat, striped hyena, lioness killing a zebra, cheetahs on a kill, and a  Mara River crossing.  Camps were good, guides at Oliver's and Sayari were really good, food was great at all…Thanks again for organizing this fantastic trip!

    John & Kathy Wingard, Aug 2014




    Primate and Plains Group Safari to Uganda and Rwanda


    Hello!

    My trip to Uganda and Rwanda was wonderful.  It was everything I expected and more.  Everything was 5-star and I couldn't be happier.  Our guide, Sula was AMAZING, the food was excellent, the itinerary was perfect and the people were heart warming (helped everyone spoke English). 


    You guys were awesome too, start to finish.  I choose right.  Thanks again for an amazing experience.  It will never be forgotten.

    Best,

    Amanda Bush, July 2014




    ‘Under Tanzanian Skies’ Safari to Ndarakwai, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti


    Hello Mark and company,


    Thank you for making my #1 bucket list priority dream realized in such a fantastic fashion!  This was a wonderful experience and I consider this my "magnum opus" by treating my family to go along with me in celebration of my 80th birthday.  (With minimum persuasion)


    The guides accompanying us were so knowledgeable about their country, the land (geography), animal behavior, climatology, economics, etc., that we were impressed that they were able to answer creditably, almost any questions posed to them.  Notably, they bonded with us, especially with the children.  That was a big plus, in our books.  They questioned, reviewed, and taught them many things of what they seeing, eating, and generally experiencing in this new environment.


    The lodges and camps were awesome!  My favorite was the Treetops Lodge.  (almost left the safari to stay there indefinitely). The most telling aspect was the SERVICES rendered at each locale.   The services were so professional...no obsequiousness, condescension, haughtiness, or the like;   only friendliness and a seemingly genuine desire to please and make our visit as pleasant and memorable as possible.  That is a great selling point.


    As for what we came to Africa for, it was everything I imagined!  My one disappointment was, we never got to see black rhino, good reason to return.  The sights and sounds of wildlife literally at our door at night was at once, scary and exciting.  Surprisingly, Collin (11) who was my roommate, said to me one morning before rising, "you know, Grandma, I like hearing the birds waking me up in the morning."



    Regards,

    Pat Choy, July 2014




    AAC’s Private Migration Safari to Tanzania


    Dear All,


    Well - where do I start….?

    To say that our Safari was a "trip of a lifetime" is not doing it justice!  My sons, Jack and Alex (ages 15 & 17) and I will remember our 10 days in Tanzania for the rest of our lives - not only because of where we were but because of the superb and professional organization by all of you at The Africa Adventure Company.  From that first day when I cold called you after seeing an advert in an airline magazine to the day we left for our trip, I cannot praise you enough for how smoothly the whole trip went…You thought of absolutely everything!


    Our Guide, Elibariki Pallango - Eli.  I don't know where to start with Eli.  What a wonderful man!  From the time he met us at Arusha to the time he put us on the Regional Air plane in the Serengeti we could not have asked for a better, more competent person to take care of us.  We felt so comfortable with him and being a father of a teenage son himself he knew exactly how to engage the boys…His knowledge was first class and the pride he took in his job was clearly obvious. He has a wicked sense of humor which was enjoyed by all three of us. He organized us well but also accommodated us if we wanted to return to the hotel a little earlier than planned. Jack and Eli developed a great 'working relationship' as Jack was our official photographer and he and Eli would work together to get the best shot! On our last night we invited Eli to join us for a farewell dinner and it was clear that we had all become very good friends - always hard to say good bye to a good friend when you don't know when you will see them again!


    Tarangire Tree Tops: What fun to sleep in a tree house wrapped around a giant Baobab tree!  The staff, food and service all excellent.  The first evening I was Skyping my husband and some elephants walked up to the watering hole by the pool and within a few minutes there were 10 of them all trying to get into the watering hole!  It was a surreal moment as I was able to let Neil, who was sitting in his office in downtown Chicago, see everything live! Our waiter Mbaiz was brilliant.


    The Manor at Ngorongoro: What a beautiful setting - again it reminded me of houses in the north of Scotland.  Roddy and Camilla (the Managers) are lovely.  Having a massage in their spa was relaxing at the end of the day.


    Serengeti Pioneer Camp: I think the boys were thrilled at the thought of staying in a tent at last!  I was very relieved when I saw the inside of the tent and realized how luxurious they are!  Once again, the food and staff were excellent…The first night I was awakened by the loud sound of breathing and chomping and realized that there was a buffalo (which I established the following morning) literally on the other side of the canvas from my head working its way around the tent - another surreal moment!  The open sided lounge with the spectacular views was hard to leave.


    Serengeti Migration Camp:…we had a great experience with the food and staff - especially 'Charles' who couldn't have been more helpful.  Lauren, the Manageress, is a very sociable and gregarious lady which the boys loved.  Again during the night I woke up to the sound of 'chomping' again.  This time I woke Jack up so that he could witness it with me - we carefully pulled the curtain back to find a mother elephant and baby elephant feet away from our veranda working their way around a tree - so exciting! The boys thought it cool that, in order to attract the staff members from our tent, we had to stand at the door and wave a torch and in the event of an emergency we had to blow a whistle!  Something we did not have to do!


    A huge thank you again from all three of us - I just wish I could turn the clock back 8 months (when I first contacted you) and have it all to look forward to again.  It was our first time to Africa but it will definitely not be our last.


    Take care and I wish you continued success,

    Warm regards,

    Jane, Jack and Alex Cummins, July 2014



    Luxury Safari to Tanzania


    Hi Elena,


    We finally got some time to send a link to select pictures and a brief trip review.  Overall we had a fantastic time! We all felt that the itinerary was perfect.


    Mkenda, our guide, was absolutely outstanding. He was enthusiastic, energetic and highly knowledgeable. He took his cues from our interests and our reactions and indications of what we wanted to do and see most. He really took good care of us. As some of our friends consider doing a similar trip (especially after hearing our descriptions and seeing our photos) we will be certain to recommend Mkenda highly!


    All of the arrangements went off flawlessly - from the time we landed till the time we took off, we felt that everything went without a hitch…

     

    Accommodations:  We were fully satisfied with all of the choices - they were fine properties with very good service.  Dunia camp was our absolute FAVORITE!  The staff was superb in their personal service -- Anna the temporary manager was very warm and a lovely person.  Not to mention the fantastic location in the Serengeti surrounded by the kopjes.  We loved it.  Lemala Ngorongoro was also great, under all those majestic Acacias… 


    This was of course nothing to dampen our absolute delight over our trip - you were absolutely right when you said that it is a PRIVILEGE to be able to go there and see the animals in their world.  It was like no trip we have ever taken, and far beyond what we could've imagined -- even after reading about it and watching movies.  It was like being in our very own National Geographic video every day!  Tanzania - its people, its scenery, its animals - is indelibly inked in our memory and we can't wait to go back!  (though we think we might do the Okavango Delta next... before we return there).  We are enthusiastically recommending AAC to all of our friends and family.




    Thanks again for all your help and wonderful planning…My mother, for whom we really planned this trip in this year, simply loved it -- a wish of a life-time come true.  As for the rest of us, we know we'll go back!

    Warm Regards,

    Anagha Dandekar, July 2014



    Private Family Safari Exploring Tanzania’s Wilderness and Wildlife


    Dear Mark Nolting and Africa Adventure Company staff,


    My family and I want to thank you for the incredible trip that exceeded our expectations. Your help in planning the itinerary was truly invaluable. We really enjoyed meeting the three different tribes and visiting the private school.  It was a once in a life time experience that all of us will never forget. Especially, hunting with the bushman and watching them kill, prepare, and eat squirrels over a fire. The wildlife was truly amazing and so captivating to watch the animals in their natural habitat. The highlight for me was being able to fulfill a long awaited dream of watching the great migration before my very eyes. What an incredible sight it was to see thousands of wildebeests moving in unison and crossing the Mara River determined to reach their destination.


    We all felt that the people at the different campsites were very warm and welcoming. They truly made our stays very comfortable. Our accommodations made us feel close to our natural surroundings.  Your staff was extremely helpful in informing us with detailed information and itineraries. Also, they were very knowledgeable when we called with questions from vaccinations to packing.


    Finally, and most importantly the jewel of the trip was our outstanding guide, Ephata. We can not say enough about him. He captured my family's hearts from teaching my children Swahili, to helping cultivate my oldest new found interest in birds, to helping me fulfill one of goals on my bucket list by driving many extra miles out the way to reach and view the crossing. Or he would just sit around the fire or dinner laughing and sharing family stories with Dom and the rest of us.. Ephata helped us to really learn about life in Tanzania.




    Keep up the great work!!  Fondly,

    The Izzo Family, July 2014




    Multi-Generational Private Safari to Tanzania


    Wow. What a fantastic trip. All fifteen of the family consider it their trip of a lifetime. We saw so many animals and birds (all the major mammals including the rare Wild Dog). We saw a Cheetah kill a gazelle 30 feet from our vehicle and then watched in fascination as the mother taught her cub how to hunt the struggling animal. We have hundreds of memories in photographs.


    We want to thank the Africa Adventure Company and staff for all they did in organizing, arranging and assisting us in making it happen. The AAC service was unbelievable starting with our phone call and meeting with Mark at the Mississaugua golf club, our pre-trip discussions with Szilvia and Saskia and Irene, the greeters at the airport in Mt. Kilimanjaro airport (One of which was one of our guides Hillary) the other who arranged for the payment of our 15 visas, the transportation to the hotel, the briefing by Evans the next morning, the same on our return to Arusha with the greeter who handled our Visas (I didn’t get his name but a heavy set individual) arranging for us to check out in the Priority line and then insisting in filling out the exit forms for all 15 family members. Fantastic service by all.


    Our guides (Hillary Mandia, Davis Matafu and Elibariki Pallango) were again fantastic. All were very knowledgeable and could clearly communicate about the animals, the country and the culture. They were very patient in answering the numerous questions of both the adults and children (6 to 15 years of age). We never saw a moment of frustration. We became very attached to them. They were family and all of us were sorry to part with them at the Seronera airstrip. They were very competent drivers of our three vehicles.


    The accommodations were perfect, a mixture of hotel comfort and opulence, cabins on stilts (with zebras and gazelles grazing 20 feet from the door), farmhouse gardens and rooms  to comfortable tents on the plain with hyenas running past in the evening light).The 5 dayrooms and lunch at the Mt Meru hotel were appreciated. The staff at the Maramboi and Kati Kati camps were exceptional in their friendliness and service.




    Thanks to all at AAC for making this trip so successful and we will be spreading the word on AAC to all our friends.

    Paulette and Jack King, July 2014



    Plains and Primate Safari to Tanzania and Rwanda


    Mark,


    We had a remarkable time.  What special places Tanzania and Rwanda are.  Beautiful country, people, and animals! We are appreciative of how seamlessly the trip unfolded.  Each new safari team knew their itinerary, worked effortlessly with the preceding team, and allowed us to keep our focus on our adventure. 

     

    The selection of lodging was superb.  The guides were professional, knowledgeable, and congenial.  The sequencing of the parks was like a symphony, each part flowing and building with the next, with the finale being the Mountain Gorillas.


    As the team that coordinated all the players and sites, I would like to give you feedback on your choices.


    LODGING

    Machweo Wellness Retreat:  Beautiful location, outstanding service.  Unfortunately, none of us were there long enough to fully appreciate the amenities.  


    Ndarakwai Ranch:  Rustic, natural, inviting accommodations.  Eric, our host, and his entire staff were friendly, helpful, inviting, entertaining, and professional.  Really liked this location because the staff was so great.  Great way to start our safari adventure.  


    Olakira Mara:  What a beautiful site for a camp.  The staff was friendly, interested, attentive, professional.  From the top management down everyone made us feel at home.  Tents, food, service were all top notch.


    Kigali Serena Hotel:  Outstanding hotel and staff.  Attentive to our every need or want, eager to please.  Rooms were spacious and comfortable, food delicious, service excellent, location perfect.


    Jack Hanna's House:  Beautiful location.  Felt like being home.  Staff was exceptionally efficient, friendly, professional.  Probably more than we needed since our group had shrunk to 3, but we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.


    GUIDES

    Wilfred Mollel (Tanzania):  Punctual, congenial, professional, liked him from the first moment we met him.  Extremely knowledgeable, listened well and anticipated our wants and needs.  We trusted him and his judgment and benefited daily for doing so.  We were in excellent hands while with Wilfred…We loved every minute with Wilfred and feel our time in Arusha and Tarangire were richer because of him.  Can't say enough good things about him.  He represented your company in a stellar fashion.


    Baraka (Olakira Camp):  Baraka had big shoes to fill after our experience with Wilfred, but he filled them easily.  We learned that he has trained most of the guides at Olakira and we benefited from his experience, often being the first on the scene to a magical moment on the Serengeti.  He was professional, courteous, punctual, knowledgeable, friendly.  He, too, anticipated our needs and wants, accommodating us at every turn.  He, too, enriched our experience because of his extensive experience and knowledge of the Serengeti.  Could not have asked for a better driver or guide.


    Bernard (Rwanda):  Met at the airport in Kigali, taken to the hotel, briefed on our itinerary in a professional and inviting manner.  His wealth of knowledge and intimate experience of being a local, like the other two guides before him, contributed to our understanding and love of the country and its people.  From the drive to the Jack Hanna house, with our never-ending questions and his relevant and informed answers, to the gorilla family sorting process, to the heart-wrenching Genocide Memorial, Bernard was with us, advocating, explaining, comforting, sharing.  He was more than a hired guide.  He, like the others before him, became our friend in country, allowing us to see his country through his eyes and understanding, making our experience greater than it could have been without him.  And, like the other two guides, Wilfred and Baraka, through their efforts they have created in us ambassadors for their countries, as we go home and tell our family and friends about our life changing adventure and experience in East Africa.


    DESTINATIONS

    Ndarakwai:  What a great way to start a safari.  Small, intimate, not overwhelming, inviting.  This was our first time getting this close to the African wildlife.  This certainly primed the pump for what was to come. The opportunity to visit the Masai, with their beautiful, innocent children, was special, particularly since our guide from the ranch knew this particular village.


    Tarangire:  Beautiful, breathtaking, grand.  From the Baobab trees, to the giraffes and the majestic elephants, to the sunsets and sunrises, it was all so awe-inspiring.  The symphony of experiences was in its second part, building with excitement, as each day presented something new and marvelous.


    Northern Serengeti:  The excitement and Wow! moments continue to build.  The unbelievable expanse and beauty of the Serengeti is match by the sheer numbers of animals and the beautiful dance of nature on display.  Each location different from the others yet tied together.  The sequence of parks seemed designed to show this woven tapestry of nature in its best light.


    Volcanoes National Park: This is definitely the crescendo to the entire trip, for its intimacy with this impressive relative of ours, to the effort needed to experience that intimacy, to the sheer excitement of being one of few to experience the intimacy with the gorillas.  To have a black-back gorilla brush up behind you or to have a three year old gorilla sit on your foot and hold onto your leg, as we experienced, is unforgettable.  One can never look at wildlife again without knowing they are sentient beings worthy of our respect and understanding and protection.


    This may have been more than you asked for but how can one express their experience in East Africa in a few words.  We are not done with Africa.  We will be back.  

     

    Thanks again for helping us create the vacation and experience of a lifetime!

    Liz and Mike Lang, July 2014



    Cultural and Wildlife Safari to Ndarakwai, Ngorongoro and Serengeti


    Dear Africa Adventures,


    We cannot thank you enough. Our time in Tanzania was truly extraordinary, a once in a lifetime experience.  I am going to try to capture our highlights here, but please know that I am writing for all four of us, Yvette, Collette, their mother Jean, and myself.  I am going to try to touch on Africa Adventure, Tanzanian culture and wildlife, and perhaps most significantly, Ephata, our guide.

     

    Africa Adventure:

    First, we must thank Africa Adventure for making this all possible.  It is clearly an expert operation.  I so enjoyed talking with Elena; she quickly helped me feel confident in her and the organization.  She listened intently and built a trip to meet our particular interests and desires.  She was also reassuring and responsive.  In one call, I felt like I was talking to a friend who was giving me recommendations I could trust.  I am sure there are a variety of itineraries, but ours seemed absolutely perfect.  We loved that we moved through Tanzania, starting in Kilimanjaro and ending in the northern Serengeti.  There was such a great variety to the places we stayed and the things we did.   And, everything on the ground ran incredibly smoothly…I have been fortunate enough to travel to many places, and I have always encountered glitches or bumps in plans, but everything was seamless.  This fluidity and ease allowed us to be completely in the moment, taking advantage of every experience to the fullest.  It was such a gift.


    Tanzania:  Culture and Wildlife

    Wow!  That is all I can say, wow.  We instantly and then over the course of the trip fell in love with the people, the place, and the wildlife.  It is such a beautiful country.  We know we only encountered a handful of people, but it was hard not to believe that every person in the nation is sweet, vibrant, joyful, caring, and giving.  We also appreciate that we were able to learn about the Masai, a fascinating and rich culture…And, then of course, the wildlife is truly unbelievable.  Tanzania with the Serengeti has in its borders some of the most beautiful wildlife anywhere.  We had no idea we would see so much, in sheer quantity as well as in variety and activity.  In our twelve day trip, we saw a total of 93 lions.  We saw two male cheetahs fighting over one female.  We saw five lion cubs feeding on a recent kill and then following their mother across the open plain and into the rocks.  We saw lions mating.  We saw a leopard stalking gazelles.  We saw numbers upon numbers of zebra, elephant, giraffe, and more.  We saw a crossing.  All truly, truly unbelievable.  We wish everyone could have an opportunity to visit this remarkable country.


    Ephata, Our Guide:

    What can we say?  There are no words.  We are so grateful to know Ephata.  He is an exceptional guide -and person.  He is thoughtful, caring, joyful, and unbelievably knowledgeable.  Ephata has an advanced degree in wildlife conservation, so is clearly so expert, but he is also a great teacher.  I never thought I would learn so much on this trip, but he offered up information always at the perfect moment.  He is clearly the top of his profession, and this trip would not have been the same without him.  Yvette and Collette's mother was very anxious going into this trip, but Ephata knew just the right things to say and do, and by the end, she trusted him like no other.  By the end of our journey, we all felt emotional saying good-bye, because we felt so fortunate for all he had given to us.  We felt we had a new friend. We so hope our paths will cross again sometime.


    Ndarakwai Ranchi:  It was the perfect first stop.  The place is stunningly beautiful.  The tents are sublime, with just what you want for comfort, but not over the top and all in a tent.  The central area has the same feel with it's open space and overall comfort.  There is a simplicity, but also a kind of elegance to the whole place… 


    The Serengeti Mobile Camp: Amazing!  Again, the people were so incredibly sweet!  They clearly work hard!  They also went out of their way to make sure our mother was comfortable and at ease.  They were so joyful, helpful, and fun.  We instantly felt at home.  And of course it is such an experience to live so close to the natural environment of Tanzania.  This is a must experience!!


    Lemala Kuria Hills:  This was far more luxury than we are used to, and at first we thought we were going to be uncomfortable.  But this place is out of this world.  It is stunningly beautiful.  Every detail is done tastefully and thoughtfully.  It is such luxury, but has managed to create a design that still fits with the landscape.  And, again, the people were amazing.  They are the reason we felt so at ease.  Every person there was joyful and helpful.  Again, we felt like we could make real relationships.  It was blissful.


    School Visit:  I also want to mention how meaningful it was to us to be able to visit a school.  We asked Ephata if it might be possible since I am a teacher, and he made it happen.  The kids were spirited, singing us a song, and the teachers were so committed.  It was illuminating and deeply moving.  It felt like one of the most important moments of our trip.


    …In closing, this was one of the most incredible experiences of our lives.  It will stay with us forever.  And, we hope that we can somehow give back to Tanzania in the future.  Thank you ALL so much.


    Take care,

    Susan McCray, Yvette Pratt, Collette Pratt, & Jean Pratt Beuoy, July 2014




    Serengeti Mobile Camping Under the Tanzanian Sky


    Hi Lynne,


    What a fabulous trip.  Every detail of this safari was perfection from start to end.  And everyone was so friendly and helpful.  Our guide, Hillary, was very knowledgeable about the areas we visited and the animals that we saw.  He arranged the day so that we would get maximum animal viewing.  After all, that is why we went on safari.  Hillary should be given an award for stopping every time I had to go to the bathroom.  Actually he should receive guide of the year for 2014!!  The lodges and tents were very nice, and the food selections were plentiful.  The shared Serengeti Mobile Camp  worried me until I became used to the facilities…The food was very good at the camp, especially the soups. We were amazed that the food was so good for the facilities that they had.  And everyone at the camp had the biggest smiles all the time!! 


    It was a trip of a lifetime.  Your company from the first day gave us all the information in a timely manner and answered our email questions quickly.  It was a pleasure dealing with a company that is so reputable.


    Thank you,

    Carol and Bud Petersen, July 2014



    Multi-Generational Family Safari to Tanzania’s Northern Circuit


    To Mark Nolting, Szilvia Hegyi, Saskia de Gouveia:


    Everything about the trip was absolutely fantastic - the people, the sights, the accommodations, the parks, the animals!  The care that was taken by your company to ensure that every planning detail was thought through and well-coordinated was both remarkable and obvious to us all.  It’s incredible to think that we did not have a single “hitch” during our 10-day (15 person) stay! 


    For me, the highlight of the trip was our wonderful, wonderful guides -Hillary Mandia, Davis Matafu and Elibariki Pallango.  These three men were superb hosts and guides in every way.  Their knowledge of their country, the animals and parks was deep and impressive.  Warm, energetic, positive, engaging and thoughtful, they did everything possible to customize each day to meet the varying needs of our group.  They were attentive and loving towards our very young family members (the children LOVED our 3 guides!) and patiently answered all and every dumb/repetitive question we had for them.  They also willingly and generously shared the details of local Tanzanian culture and tradition which added so much depth and context to our visit.  Hillary, Davis and Eli are truly outstanding representatives for your company and they were, for me, the main reason why I enjoyed this safari so much.  We were sad to say goodbye on our last day!


    I hope to return to Africa again for another adventure in the near future.  Please know that I will be highly recommending The Africa Adventure Company to any of my friends and colleagues wishing to plan a safari!

    Sincerely,

    Carolyn Spriet, July 2014 



    ‘Galloping Gnus’ Safari to Kenya and Tanzania


    Lynne and Jessica,


    We had a fantastic vacation. Saw lots of animals up close, learned a great deal about Africa and it's people, and met some interesting people. Our main guide, George Mollel, was fantastic; one of our best guides ever and a main reason we had such a good time. And we got some fantastic photos and videos.


    We loved Tortilis Camp. It was magical! Our guide, Vincent, was very good. We spotted a hawk eating a mongoose. Mara Explorer offered the best view! Magical setting, Jeremiah and Andrew and all the staff were excellent. Food was excellent, outstanding.


    The extension to Zanzibar was great and very relaxing. And necessary since the safari was fun but very tiring. Breezes is one of the best beach resorts we've ever been to, maybe the best.




    A great adventure and one we will always remember.

    John and Joan Tarsha, July 2014



    Flying Safari to Maasai Mara


    Dear Kyle, Janet and all the wonderful people at The Africa Adventure Company who work so hard to make their customers happy…..

     

    We just returned from the 4th trip you arranged for us to the Maasai Mara.   It might have been our BEST trip!   The people you work with on the ground did a fabulous job while we were in Nairobi.   Not only are they friendly and helpful, but they greet us with the warmth of “welcome back”….   They are always so appreciative that we love it there so much and that we want to keep returning.


    The Mara Intrepids truly treat us like family….  A complimentary bottle of wine in our tent…. A surprise farewell dinner for just the two of us….  So many of the staff genuinely greet us with the same excitement that we feel being back together again.   It’s truly an amazing experience filled with warmth and love.


    And then there is our guide, Samson.   The bond we have developed together is for life.  Not only is he an amazing, knowledgeable and considerate guide, he has truly become our friend.   We had amazing experiences with Samson….  We were right in the middle of the huge migration; saw 7 crossings; 2 rhinos; many, many lions, along with very young cubs; cheetah and their young; 3 different leopards; a python; lots of elephants and their young; and, of course, all the other wonderful animals, birds…  too many to mention them all.   We also experienced action….  A female lion killed a wildebeest during one of the crossings and then we watched how the male lion showed up to “have his meal”.   Samson not only knows how to find the animals, but his love of the Mara becomes contagious.   The land, smells, sun rises and sun sets and amazing rainbows…. All a part of the magic we experience while we are there.


    Thank you all for being so wonderful to work with.  You truly take the stress out of going on a trip that can sometimes be concerning.   Your attention to detail is fabulous.   When our plane lands in Nairobi, there is someone at our sides to help us find our way.   We had a wonderful experience.

     

    Thank you from us both.    We look forward to our next trip!


    Warmest regards,  

    Bill & Janis Webb, July 2014



    ‘Tanzania’s Best Privately Guided Safari’ to Ndarakwai, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti


    Dear Saskia and Mark,


    Africa was never on my "bucket list" as I never expected to go there, even though I always enjoyed documentaries on Africa, such as PBS' Nature series or Richard Attenborough's Africa.  But opportunity knocked, and I am so glad and thankful that I was privileged to personally witness all the amazing sights and sounds that Africa had to offer!


    Tanzania is so beautiful, the abundant and varied animals so exciting and amazing, the lodgings so unusual but so comfortable, the people so friendly.  Wherever we went, the staff treated us royally, and served us such delicious meals with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  They even served us goat as a special favor to one of the guests


    What made the safari so successful may be attributed to our guides/drivers: Mkenda, Robert, George, and Daniel.  They were superb!  They were knowledgeable, informative, openly friendly, and very professional.  And they all worked so hard to see that everything ran smoothly, that we saw as much wildlife as possible (their ability to spot an animal in the distance or camouflaged nearby was truly remarkable), that we were safely transported from one camp to another despite the bumpy roads (it was sometimes fun, actually).  Their rapport and interaction with the children were enjoyable to watch as well as heartwarming.  And the kids actually paid attention to their narratives, as they were able to answer correctly when they were quizzed later.


    All in all, it was one of the best vacations ever! 

    Verna Young, July 2014 




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