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Client Trip Reports - October - December 2014

- Tuesday, February 10, 2015

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.

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  • - 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…

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  • 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.

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  • - 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






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