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You are here: Blog // Client Trip Reports - East Africa - 2014

Client Trip Reports - July - September 2014

- Wednesday, February 04, 2015

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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