Blog

Read our news and reports and keep updated with the latest in African safari travel experiences...

You are here: Blog // Client Trip Reports - East Africa - 2017

CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS EAST AFRICA – SEP-DEC 2017 (EAST AFRICA)


African Journey to Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda

We had a fantastic safari. It was perfect from beginning to end. Every location was better than the last. We didn't think we could top the initial breathtaking view of Tortilis until we hit the Ngorongoro Crater top at Entamanu. Those tents were deceiving. They looked plain to the eye but were fantastic and personally, my favorite although the Lemala Kuria Hills were a close second. The rooms were awesome but the staff was the best of the trip and with excellent service at every stop, that is saying a lot…

[caption id="attachment_6040" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Entamanu View[/caption]

…We enjoyed our lunch stops at the hotels, the ease of our travel transitions, the guides, the drinks at our camps, the food. Wow, the food was amazing. And a special thanks for the camps for the impromptu performance at Entamanu, the surprise sundowners, the breakfast under the big old tree in Amboseli. These were all wonderful experiences. We had a great time and if any future customers have any questions about this itinerary, send them my way.

Thanks for all of your work. The group tried to give me credit but I kept telling them, "It was Alison! She did all of this!" Thank you for a phenomenal trip!!!

LeAnn Coleman Nash, Oct 2017   Plains and Primates Safari to Kenya and Rwanda Alison,

We just returned from our 2 weeks in Kenya and Rwanda, and wanted to thank you and your staff so much for planning and executing a trip of a lifetime for us and the Marshalls (I should say FIRST trip of a lifetime, because we are already planning to go back!!). All your arrangements and accommodations for us were FIRST CLASS:

The House of Waine in Nairobi was very nice-we were actually UPGRADED at no charge to the suite, which was enormous and beautiful – the staff there was so nice.

 Sabyinyo Lodge, our base for gorilla trekking, was amazing. Obviously, a magnificent setting, and the staff was wonderful. We were met with glasses of lemonade and wet towels when were arrived each day. They cleaned and dried our hiking boots. The accommodations and food were outstanding. It was great fun to talk with fellow “trekkers” at the cocktail hour each evening.

Our driver and guide, in Rwanda Alex was great. He was so friendly and wealth of knowledge about the country, history, people and animals and took absolutely great care of us the whole time.

Gorilla trekking- this has to be one of the unique experiences anywhere in the world. We went on two treks—each amazing and each very different. We would never have imagined we would be so close to such magnificent animals (I was actually pushed by one female gorilla as she passed by me). It is sad that they have raised the price of the permits so much that it will likely severely limit the availability of this to many.

Hemingway’s in Nairobi-this was one of our only regrets—that we could not have stayed here longer!! It is one of the nicest hotels we have ever seen anywhere in the world.  We wished we had had more days to enjoy it.

Tortillis Camp (Amboseli) – what a great setting and camp all around. Candy and Graeme, the camp managers were so welcoming. As you know, it overlooks Mount Kilimanjaro and an animal watering hole on the plain. One day we saw a succession of zebras, elephants, giraffes, baboons, and gazelles come to water—that was just while we eating lunch!  Our guide and safaris were great. The breakfast in the bush was wonderful. The whole camp was an amazing experience.

[caption id="attachment_6042" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Tortillis Camp[/caption]

Governors Il Moran Camp – another amazing setting by the Mara. We awoke every day to the hippo noises. Dave Richards, was camp manager while we were there, (said he had met with your husband Mark just two weeks before in Rwanda) was delightful. He has such extensive knowledge and experience in Africa and was a treat to visit with him each day and evening…

We did do the hot air balloon ride out of the nearby Little Governors Camp – another amazing experience – gliding over the Mara River—highly recommended. (Jan Marshall has fear of heights and just loved it)

Overall it was a fabulous trip – we felt like we were treated royally every place we went—they would say  “Oh, you are with AAC and Mark Nolting,” so we felt it was in large part your doing. Jim Marshall said one day that he had to keep pinching himself just to be sure it was all real and not just some dream!!

Many thanks again. We will look forward to our next trip and will be in touch when we have saved up our pennies to go.

Ray and Suzy Rhodes, Oct 2017   Iconic Safari to Tanzania, Rwanda, Botswana and Victoria Falls Dear Mark and Team Members,

If we do an Africa trip again, we will certainly contact you for our travel plans!  And we will recommend you to friends that still have Africa on their “bucket list.”

Each country we visited offered unique experiences and adventures, and all of our guides, especially Mkenda, Abu, Alex and Lips were tops.  After our wildlife viewing and encounters, going to a city zoo will never be the same!  The sunsets and vast expanse of the parks were unforgettable.  Viewing solitary animals enjoying time “on their own” and watching the herds, the pods, the prides, the dazzles congregating together to “do their thing” was humbling, and trekking with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda was the experience of a lifetime.

Foremost on our memorable experiences was the warmth, sincerity, and smiles of the people.

As we continue to share our pictures and experiences with friends and family, we continue to re-live the wonder of a trip of a lifetime.

Thank you for arranging a trip with experiences that will bring warm smiles, gentle laughs and awesome memories for days and month and years to come!

Bill and Molly Weiler, Oct 2017   Explorer Safari to Tanzania

Elena, I had a trip of a life time. The guide picked me up at the airport and told me there would be no one else with us. Anyway I was his only client and we had a fabulous time.

Saw three lionesses take down a Cape buffalo, two one week old lion cubs nursing, lions mating, Hunting with Hadzi bushman and a wildebeest crossing, as well "big five" and "ugly five"…

Regards, Bob Billington, Sep 2017   Flying Safari to Kenya’s Maasai Mara

All I can say about Kenya and the Maasai Mara is absolutely the best place ever. The accommodations were excellent, the guide was superb (Jimmy) and the entire staff were wonderful.  We saw things we never could have imagined. Tons of lions -- females, adult males and cubs. We saw 11 cheetahs including cubs (all the ones you saw on safari live on National Geographic Wild). We saw 3 leopards with cubs and tons of giraffe. We never saw cheetahs or leopards the last time and only 1 giraffe in Hwange. We saw 2 river crossings of the wildebeest and zebra from the migration.  We saw a croc come up and take down a zebra and a wildebeest.  We saw wildebeest jumping off cliffs to get into the river. The migration in Kenya is absolutely the most incredible spectacle I've ever witnessed. We videotaped both of the crossings.

In conclusion, it was another great safari adventure in Kenya so thank you for helping us get there. Regards, Lori Dumont, Sep 2017   The Best of Tanzania with Private Guiding

My son and I had a fabulous safari in Tanzania, due primarily to Mkenda, our wonderful guide who always seemed to have us in the right location at the right time!  He was patient with our questions and seemed just as excited at what we were seeing as we were.  Sometimes, we felt like we were tagging along on his safari, which is wonderful attitude for someone who has been guiding for years!  We love Mkenda and he made this the trip of a lifetime.  Each day we said it couldn't get much better and each day it just got better and better!

The migration over the Mara River, which was our #1 priority, was an amazing sight!  The urgency of thousands of running wildebeests could be felt as could the hesitation to plunge into the swift current of the Mara River.  I'd seen it on TV but nothing compares to the sights and sounds of being there in person.

We saw so many other interesting and natural encounters with different animals. Early one morning we watched a magnificent lion walk along the river while his shadow was reflected in the river.  My son wanted to see lions and we saw 6 lionesses slip down a hill, two by two, to surround a group of warthogs.  The kill was behind bushes (and that's OK with me) but we did get to see the 6 lionesses, lying in the grass like spokes on a wheel, chewing on the warthog.

Another time a lioness was just walking and calling, while zebras and giraffes warily watched, until she got to a pile of rocks and 8 cubs came running out of the rocks to meet their mother.

We saw wild (painted) dogs, baboons, lots of zebras (my favorite), giraffes, an ostrich doing his mating dance, two elephants having a confrontation, a leopard in a tree with his prey, cape buffalo, hippos and finally, on the last day, a rhino so we could count the "Big Five".  What I enjoyed the most was seeing the variety of animals, side by side, along the river, each doing their thing and not bothering other animals, having enough room to roam or run!

We were most surprised by Lake Manyara and the flamingos, storks, pelicans and hippos.  As we arrived, the birds flew upward on air currents and looked like a tornado swirling in the air.  The intense colors and various bills on the birds were amazing.  I'm not considered a "birder" but may become one after that experience.

Victoria Falls was spectacular and we got a clear day to go up Table Mountain in Cape Town.  Weather was great the whole trip.

We really enjoyed the people we met.  Everyone was so friendly and took great care of us…Matetsi Lodge met us with drums, dance and song and also had a celebration on the last night that gave us a flavor of the local people.

We enjoyed the whole experience and hope to return to another part of Africa.  This trip was so perfect, I don't think we could repeat it, but other areas beckon.

Marsha Erickson, Sep 2017   Adventure to Kenya and Ethiopia Hello! We had a great time in Kenya and Ethiopia!

First, our visit to Jonathan's village was amazing - his family and friends are so warm and welcoming.  They are incredible people!  The Nairobi City Tour was also wonderful.  As expected, the elephant orphanage was my favorite part!

I am incredibly proud of Jonathan.  He's an excellent guide - very knowledgeable and on top of everything!  I was particularly impressed by the way he is greeted by other tour guides, drivers, and the staff at the tourist sites - it's obvious he is well-liked and held in high regard…

As you are well aware, Daniel is also an excellent guide - I honestly can't imagine seeing Ethiopia with anyone else.  We felt comfortable with him immediately and I'm now going through separation anxiety because I miss him so much!

We enjoyed Bahir Dar and Lake Tana.  During our tour of the lake, we stopped to attend a lovely church festival.  Very interesting and colorful!

Our visit to see the Gelada baboons was fascinating.  It isn't often that we get a chance to observe wildlife so closely!  An extra night there would have been nice to be able to explore the park further and see some of the other animals and birds.

The Meskel Festival was amazing.  We had great seats and were able to wander amongst the priests and groups of villagers who came to perform.  I stood in front of the President of Ethiopia and two of the country's most important holy men while sharpshooters kept watch above me (needless to say, I didn't stay long) and then cheered with the crowd as the bonfire was lit.  I was so close I could feel the heat from the flames!

The palaces, tombs, and churches were beautiful - I particularly liked the churches that were carved from a single, huge rock (the Church of Saint George in Lalibela was my favorite) as well as the cave church of Yemrehane Christos.  I will never understand how people from so long ago could have built such incredible structures without the aid of modern day tools, blueprints, etc…

Thanks again, Cheryl Hillery, Sep 2017   Luxury Safari to Kenya and Tanzania Elena -

You have definitely given us the ULTIMATE SAFARI.  We loved the guides and all the camps including Chem Chem, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Sayari, Naboisho, Angama Mara and our final stay at Giraffe Manor.  We had Daisy's room and could feed the giraffes from our balcony.

The trip was completely seamless.  From the time we arrived in Kilimanjaro to landing in San Francisco.  We were met at every airstrip and taken through the visa process by your staff.

We did luck out as it turned out and we had a private guide at each camp.  We were treated like royalty.  The "tents' were so comfortable and roomy.  At Angama Mara the view from our room was breathtaking and the Out of Africa Picnic was delightful.

We saw the Big Five including 6 black rhino.  We loved our guides and they made us feel like family.

The hot air balloon ride was incredible.

I would recommend AAC to anyone that wants to travel to Africa.  You are definitely the best.  We will cherish these memories forever.

Asante Sana! Ken Hirsch, Sep 2017   Flying safari to Tanzania’s Serengeti, Ruaha and Selous plus Botswana’s Okavango Delta

Duma Tau and Chitabe were top flight camps.  I really can not say enough about them. Service outstanding.  Meals excellent.  We were really fed too much.  Nothing that I would have wanted for from either camp.  The concentration of wildlife was amazing.  Never found the rhino though.  Maybe next time.

Victoria Falls Hotel was excellent.  The staff also top notch.  Location great. The breakfast and dinner buffets were superb.  Our guide of the falls was so fun. She really seemed to act like it was the first time she had seen it.  She was amazed at the rainbows as were we.  Photos do not do it justice.

Our location in Serengeti was again excellent…

Azura Selous was an excellent camp with top notch staff…Overall a really excellent camp though.

Ruaha was also outstanding.  It was our favorite in Tanzania.  Very diverse landscape and animal viewing.

Again this was a great trip. Thanks again for you help!!

Mark Janes, Sep 2017   Private Safari to Tanzania’s Northern Circuit Thank you for helping us with such a wonderful trip! The whole Sage family had a truly amazing experience. Some highlights: - Watching a lioness come down from a tree, stalk, and kill a wildebeest in Tarangire National Park - Being surrounded by thousands of pelicans, storks, flamingos, etc. at Lake Manyara - Seeing two hippos in a territory squabble, then later an ostrich mating dance at Ngorongoro Crater - Watching a mother lion with her 4 cubs eating a wildebeest in Serengeti. We immensely enjoyed all the animals- incredible number and variety, and fabulous to see their natural behaviors. The lodges we stayed in were very nice, however we much preferred our tent stays! They were very comfortable and offered a closer, more authentic experience- would recommend to anyone! Our guide, Abu, was excellent- absolutely no complaints about him- he was a wealth of knowledge, friendly, and a champion in deciphering what to do with 6 different opinions coming his way!

Our guide Ephata was extraordinary and a particularity stand-out guide. His experience was evident and he was able to make our game drives better than we could have imagined as well as making the whole operation run smoothly. Can't say enough good things about him and will campaign for him to get Guide of the Year 2017!

We enjoyed it all! Thank you again and let us know if we can provide any further, more specific feedback. Alli & Ben Sage, Sep 2017   AAC’s Signature “PRIMATE and PLAINS SAFARI TO UGANDA AND RWANDA” I'm fresh back from another incredible AAC adventure.

The chimpanzee trek was also wonderful…What a beautiful creature and an incredible opportunity to see him…I'm so thankful that I was included on the trek. We had a lot more time just to observe at a respectful distance and the ability to observe the behaviors and have them explained by a wonderful guide was so helpful and educational…

The gorillas were amazing, of course. The guide and trackers were so helpful and very protective of the gorillas. After about 45 minutes, it seemed like the silverback was over it and the others followed. Rather than push them, we left a little early. It was great to see how much they respected the need for the gorillas to have some peace and quiet. It had also started thundering and I think they were concerned for our safety going downhill if there was a hard rain. I really appreciated that as well.

The trek in Rwanda was medium in difficulty… They were kind and helpful. I enjoyed walking through the terraced fields. It was beautiful. The gorillas also were amazing and we had clearer viewing. I had a few quiet minutes to sit and watch a female grooming the silverback. The gentleness brought tears to my eyes. Then after moving to get pictures of a female about 3.5 years old, she started walking past us. Before I could move aside, she tapped me with her hand and then put one of her back feet up on my leg. It was so unexpected and gentle…

This was one of my best trips ever!!  From the time I got to The Boma, there was one highlight after another. My fellow travelers were amazing and I loved the small group aspect of the trip. I had enough time on my own to walk Entebbe and to visit the Wildlife Center, along with Ngamba Island. It's clear how the right people are in the right positions when visiting so many wonderful lodges. Each person I came in contact with felt like a new friend…I am anticipating more trips to Africa and I can't wait to work together again to make that happen.

Jennifer Steck, Sep 2017   Private Safari to the Maasai Mara, Serengeti and Ruaha Reserve

Overall, it was fantastic! The wildlife was everywhere. And as usual, some great stories unfolded. There were some sad stories as well, but that's nature. The guides were phenomenal at all three camps; Naboisho, Namiri Plains, and Kwihala…

I only stayed two nights at the Emakoko. But it's a great place to stay in Nairobi. It's on the southern border of Nairobi National Park, and you can take drives in the park whenever you want. They will also take you to visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage on the west side of the park if you have adopted an orphan elephant. It's a great place to spend a few days relaxing after flying into Nairobi to catch up on jet lag. We saw all kinds of things in park, including two lion prides, one of which had a lioness stalking an impala, and several black rhino, one of which had a baby.

My first camp was Naboisho (Maasai Mara), which accommodated my request to have Daniel as my guide again. We found Naboor. She is the mother cheetah that we followed two years ago for four days with her three cubs. I was happy to learn that all three cubs survived to adulthood, and left Naboor in May 2016. They remained together for another six months, during which time another male cheetah about the same age as the growing cubs, joined forces with Noboor's three cubs. Not long after that, the female cub left the group to strike out on her own as a solitary female cheetah, while the three male cubs stuck together in a coalition but moved their territory from Naboisho to the Mara. I also learned that after my trip two years ago, the BBC spent six weeks at Naboisho following Naboor day and night for material that they used in their series, The Hunt.

There were also plenty of lion sightings, including males next to our vehicle calling at dusk. That's a sound you never forget, as the power of their call reverberates through your body sending chills down your spine! There were also many lions with cubs, including these three from the Ilkisiusiu pride watching the sunset.

A highlight worth mentioning is The Five Boys. While I was at the Emakoko, Anthony told me that he had seen a coalition of five cheetahs in the Mara several weeks prior. So while at Naboisho, I asked Daniel about it. He said that the Five Boys were first seen in the Naboisho Conservancy in December 2016 and remained there until about three months ago. Male cheetah brothers often form coalitions. But it's usually two, sometimes three. A coalition of four is rare, and five is unheard of. So much so that the BBC also spent time in Naboisho this year to film them. Then about three months ago, the Five Boys left the Naboisho Conservancy, and started moving through adjacent villages, causing trouble by taking livestock along the way. They made their way to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, where they have remained for the last three months; presumably because the migration had arrived and they found it fertile hunting grounds. No one knows what they will do once the migration leaves. Daniel of course is hoping that they return to the Naboisho Conservancy.

I was hesitant about taking a long shot to go to the Reserve and brave potential traffic when Naboisho Conservancy has such great stuff, and where there are almost no other vehicles, you are allowed to go off-road, and you can stay out after dark. But in the end, the prospect of possibly seeing five cheetahs together was too much for me. So on my last full day at Naboisho, we decided to go for it. We left camp before sunrise and got briefly distracted along the way by older lion cubs making a run at a herd of wildebeest and a hyena catching a baby wildebeest. But while it was still early and not too far from the border of another conservancy, there they were!! The Five Boys! It was only 7:19 am and far enough from camps in the Reserve that only a handful of vehicles also showed up. Oh my gosh!!

On to my next camp – Namiri Plains (Serengeti, Tanzania).

Namiri means 'big cat' in Ma. And did it ever live up to its namesake! Everyday was filled with sensational big cat sightings and action; the kind that evoke what I think of as iconic Africa. The camp is in a nice location, the staff is superb, and my guide Patena was fantastic. Every night there were lions calling around camp. One night, the trail cam that I placed to look behind my tent caught a male lion strolling by, while another guest told me at dinner one evening that he had seen a male lion walk by his tent at 6:30 in the morning before he went to breakfast.

My very first morning at Namiri was filled with action. And it just continued from there. I was thrilled with Namiri Plains and could have spent even more time there.

Chris Swindal, Sep 2017

"See Our East Africa Programs"



CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS EAST AFRICA – JUL-AUG 2017 (EAST AFRICA)


Private Tanzanian Safari to Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti Hey Kyle, thanks!

So, first and foremost, we had an AMAZING trip! It lived up to (and sometimes exceeded) my dreams and expectations. Our guide, Omary Moudy, is absolutely terrific.  His knowledge and expertise (about the flora, fauna, history, current politics...) are both broad and deep. He was indefatigable, and ALWAYS went the extra mile (or 100 kilometers) to ensure we saw spectacular wildlife and landscapes. I recommend Moudy unreservedly - and as a special point, he was really good with the kids, always checking in with them personally to suss out their needs and wants. He was very patient and indulgent with all of us (over a whole week) and is an excellent teacher (about Tanzania as well as teaching me kiswahili on our long drives). He is fun, funny, and enthusiastic, and we always felt safe, happy, well-cared for, and excited about whatever we were about to embark on next.

A personal note on a distinction of East Africa: Tanzania has a very different feel and system than the countries I've visited in southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia). It's a lot more wild and open. I found the landscape spectacular, and perhaps because of the visit to Oldupi Gorge, I felt an ancestral, dna-level draw to the countryside. In southern Africa, it's very exciting because you see pretty much animal you want, very up close and personal. You're mostly on private concessions and can drive off road. There are spotters who go out before the drives, and note where animals are. The guides then work very closely together and orchestrate the viewing - no more than three cars at a time, you see a magnificent creature and then move on. If you're there for just a few days, you don't notice how much you and the wildlife are "managed," but over the course of a few weeks, despite the wonder and joy, it takes on an almost zoo-like quality. Not so in Tanzania. Not only did we see loads and loads of animals, including the special "marquis" ones, we also saw so much animal interaction - lionesses and leopards hunting, both successfully and unsuccessfully, hyenas assessing prey, wildebeest, gazelles, zebras, and giraffes responding to perceived threats - it was fascinating. Instead of just checking off a list, we got to observe the ecosystem, which, even without the big national geographical finales, feels wondrous and intimate...

Animal highlights: for sure, the wildebeest crossings and seeing their migration numbers on the northern banks. We were spoiled by our first: 4,000 animals over 40 minutes. We heard from another guide that a crocodile had eaten a foal, and whereas before I had seen a crossing, I believed I would have liked to see that, as it turned out, I was very happy to have missed it. You are so rooting for these animals. And, as at the end of our trip, it began raining on the Tanzania side, the herds were crossing back - we saw them going both ways at the same time which was weird, fascinating, and kind of sad. Seeing - literally!  - a million wildebeests, looking like an ant farm, as far as the eyes could see, all around the entire landscape - took all our breaths away…

Watching a lioness hunt and kill a gazelle - just like on the documentaries!

Watching seven lionesses stalk and isolate a zebra - and seeing the zebra get away. New appreciation for zebras' intelligence and perception (not just pretty face).

Seeing a caracal, up close. Leopard and cheetah, up close, were favorites, too. Elephants at Tarangire. Every other animal encounter - too many to enumerate. Every day was fantastic. Details on the camps and hotels:

Swala: probably our all-around favorite. Who doesn't love waking to the smell of elephant poo? We learned what to do when you can't get to your tent because there are elephants on the path: clap and stamp your feet. We loved the night drive, so thanks for setting that up. All the staff - from managers down - are absolutely terrific, and the food is really really good.

Shared Serengeti Explorer Camp: so, we loved eating with Moudy (would have also liked eating with the other guests at community table, as we ended up doing at the Asilia camps). This camp had a special feel to it, the warmest and most inviting. It may have been the specific staff when we were there, but people seemed more authentically themselves than solely super gracious, as at all the camps.

Ubuntu/Sayari/Kimondo: We did really like the Asilia camps- they seemed legitimate in their environmental and community involvements.

It was, a remarkable, stellar, life-affirming vacation. For all of us. We can't wait to return! All our warmest wishes, Lee, Charlie, Nora, and Lucy Dockter, Aug 2017   Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and Uganda  Hi Kyle, My brother and I have returned from another one of your arranged trips and, once again, you and your people have outdone themselves.

Everything without a single hitch; every reservation done correctly; every contact on-time and well informed. I would never Africa with anyone other than the Africa Adventure Company AND best of all . . . the gorillas were so photogenic!

Larry Neff, Aug 2017

  East African Adventure to Uganda and Tanzania

First and foremost, the trip was fantastic. We both agreed that this one was even better than the last one to Botswana/Zimbabwe in 2014, a feat we had not thought possible.  Highlights included the gorilla treks in Uganda/Rwanda, the migration river crossing in the northern Serengeti, and an amazing lion encounter on our last morning at Naboisho in Kenya (4 males, 3 females, & 7 cubs – all active and interacting with each other).  There were numerous other wonderful animal encounters, including leopard w/cubs, cheetah kills, hyena hunt, caracal, and of course the pangolin at Namiri Plains.  We also really enjoyed the cultural experiences in Uganda/Rwanda.  In Uganda in particular, driving across the country with our local guide gave us many opportunities to see how the local people live.  The proximity of Buhoma to the Gorilla Forest Lodge in Bwindi made both independent and guided tours of the village a real treat.  The guided tour of the village near Kinigi in Rwanda was also very worthwhile.

We were the only people we know of who were doing 5 gorilla treks.  Most were doing just one.  We found that each of our 5 treks was unique, and we would happily do 5 more.  A huge advantage of doing multiple treks is that you get the initial novelty worked out on the first trek, get a bit of experience as to what to expect, and can really relax and better enjoy the ones that follow.  You are also not entirely dependent on a single trek to give you a quality gorilla experience; if one turns out to be not so great, there are four more to ensure you make the most of your trip.  Many people were overly anxious to ensure they got close to the gorillas and got good pictures during their one and only chance to do so.  In the end, however, all five of our treks were unique and magical…

The chimp treks were a bit different… Thank you for recommending the Habituation Experience to us, as it was much better and we were glad we did it.  With the Habituation Experience, it was just the two of us with a guide and a trainee, we got out early in the morning when the chimps were just getting up, and we generally avoided the larger groups of people as the day went on…

Overall, we had an amazing trip, full of unique cultural and wildlife experiences.  We are grateful to you and AAC for making all of the detailed arrangements that make a trip like this so enjoyable.

Time to start planning our next trip…  any suggestions? Thanks again, Brad & Jennifer Rutledge, Aug 2017   Family Safari to Tanzania Dear Alison and team,

Where do I start?!!  It was the trip of a lifetime, we enjoyed every minute. From the moment that Eli came to pick us up at the Duluti Lake Lodge, it was like magic. Eli was so knowledgeable and interesting, we learned so much about the animals and the parks every day. Thank you for the Field Guide, we used it every day to check off all the mammals, birds, trees, it was great!

I would like to thank you for your attention to detail, everything went very smoothly. All the accommodations were great, each with its own charm.

Some of our favorite moments:
  • Entire family of elephants with babies walking in front of our jeep at sunset in Tarangire
  • Driving over the ridge into Ngorongoro Crater in thick fog, it was exciting when we got to the crater and suddenly saw the sun and lots of animals
  • Witnessing a lioness catch a wildebeest in Ngorongoro!
  • Seeing a cheetah and her baby eating an impala in Tarangire
  • Wildlife (wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, Grant gazelles) gathered at the river in perfect harmony in the Ngorongoro Crater
  • The happy hippos in the Ngorongoro Crater
  • When Daniel and Dennis picked us up in Serengeti at the airstrip with tea and snacks
  • Special birthday/anniversary dinner in the bush at Bushtops Serengeti!!
  • Our family having a gourmet lunch by a tree in the Serengeti watching the great migration
  • Arriving at the Giraffe Manor for high tea and to feed the giraffes
  • Visiting the orphan baby elephants in Nairobi, and adopting one!!
Well, I could go on and on…

I would also like to thank you for arranging birthday/anniversary celebrations at Tarangire River Camp, Bushtops Serengeti, and the Giraffe Manor!!! We were so surprised each time, and the warmth with which they delivered is something we will never forget!

Of course, we are already thinking about our next adventure. Maasai Mara sounds amazing, as well as gorilla trekking in Uganda. We are thinking about bringing my parents on the next safari, but perhaps it would be a shorter trip.

We did take thousands of great pictures and will definitely send them to you for the contest…we need to sort through them.

Thanks again for everything! Africa, Stefan, Sofi & Alex Apitz, July 2017   Best of Tanzania with Great Guides Hi Lynne,

What a fabulous experience.  Everyone associated with the Africa Adventure Company was helpful, professional and contributed to making this a wonderful trip.

A BIG thanks to our guide, Jabshir. You were right, he is fantastic.  He was extremely knowledgeable and told us many interesting facts about the animals, birds and trees.  He knew where to take us so that we were able to see everything we wanted (including a crocodile getting a wildebeest during the Mara River crossing).  And what a fantastic spotter. While driving he would spot a cheetah in a tree that took us binoculars to see.  Because of his ability, we saw more than we could imagine.  We saw the big five, the ugly five and a couple of the small five.  What made this so special was not just spotting the animals but watching them live naturally (watching the elephants eat the trees, the lions with their kill, the male gazelles fighting for their harem, the families of warthogs running around, the giraffes walking across the savannah, and of course, the wildebeest and zebra migration and river crossing).

Also, we want to give major kudos to Lemala Kuria Hills and the managers, Tansi and Rich.  They went above and beyond in making our stay with them special.  Our accommodations here were comfortable and charming. The meals were great and the vistas from the lodge and the tents were breathtaking (especially when we did sundowners up on the rock - see attached picture).  I would highly recommend this place to everyone!

All the places we stayed were great and the staff was always really nice, helpful and personable.
  • At Oliver's Campsite, we did a bush walk - would recommend this to all because it gets you really out into Africa.  (see picture). And we woke up one morning with elephants in this campsite - very exciting. Jen, the manager, and Christine were warm and welcoming and Michael, the bartender, kept my glass of chardonnay full.
  • Escarpment Luxury Lodge was beautiful and Eli, our butler, was so very nice.   Loved being greeted here by singers.
  • Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge was nice (even though a big hotel feel), because we were right on the edge of the crater and had easy access to the park.
  • We had a great time with at the Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp - wildebeest right at the camp in the morning and a cape buffalo outside our tent one night (though the latter is probably not a good thing :). We sat around the fire at night and looked at the night sky filled with stars. It was lovely. The Maasai, Matata, who escorted us was really nice and funny - and was always on the watch for our safety.
  • And I have already mentioned how great Lemala Kuria Hills is......if I pass that way again, I am definitely staying there! (Bosco, the bartender, remembered everyone's drinks and was great (again, chardonnay glass never empty) and Diana, our server, was so nice .... she also teased our traveling companion which we loved). Everyone had such wonderful and sweet personalities.
  • Lake Duluti Serena Hotel was a perfect place to start and end our trip - comfortable and relaxing environment.
My tips for future African adventurers:
  • Always let the campsites know if you are celebrating something  - not only do you get an extra desert but the entertainment factor is priceless.
  • Incorporate downtime into the schedule - George and I decided to cut one day short and just hang out at Lemala Kuria Hills pool and relax - need to really enjoy the lodges as they are so nice.
  • We all had a marvelous time and hope to get back to Africa again one day.  Asante sana!
Warmest regards, Debra & George Bergeris, July 2017   Multi-Generational Family Safari to Tanzania Dear Szilvia,

We had a wonderful time. Everything went very smoothly. Our safari guides were wonderful. We all had a lot of fun while seeing an amazing amount of animals. I will write in more detail soon. We have a bit of jet lag and lots of mail to sort out.

You all did a marvelous job with all the essential details and then  some. We had great help in getting visas quickly in Tanzania. All the brochures and details you provided before are departure gave us great confidence embarking on this adventure. In the end we had 8 happy people ranging from 15 years to 83 years —not a small feat!

Thank you again, Rose and Jack Desai, July 2017   Private Safari to Tanzania including two locations in the Serengeti Hi Alison,

We can’t believe we are home almost 2 weeks already! We had an absolutely amazing trip. It was an unforgettable experience and we can’t wait to go back.

Above all, Hillary was incredible. His knowledge about the continent, the country, the culture, the people and of course all of the animals was unparalleled. We feel we have made a life-long friend and hope to go back and do the Southern Safari circuit with Hillary and perhaps at a different time of year. He had great ideas and we made slight changes to the itinerary and we were never disappointed. It was a great match for us! He is just a nice, genuine person. (And we hope he liked us just as much!)

Our Tanzania trip overall was incredible. Africa Adventure Company was great to work with and you certainly covered all the bases. Information and documentation was abundant as well as every driver or liaison assigned to us was helpful, friendly and accommodating. Before I give feedback on all the places we stayed, I’d like to recognize a few extraordinary people aside from Hillary of course! Kudos to Ali our driver that took us from Arusha coffee lodge to Kilimanjaro airport….

All of the accommodations we stayed at were clean, people were friendly and welcoming, and we were spoiled.

Lake Duluti Lodge: Room was beautiful, people friendly, food delicious. We just weren’t there long enough to really enjoy or explore the place to comment more. (Tarangire Safari Lodge lunch was also very good and a beautiful place to stop.)

Tarangire Treetops Camp: An amazing place. Loved our treetop room and the lobby with its very own bats and 1000 yr old baobab tree! Watering hole visited by the elephants. Food and people were great. Yohanna was our butler and he treated us so well and took care of everything. He just appeared at places, like the Sundowners and Boma dinner. The elephants drank from our pool and were eating from the trees off of the deck during the night. And the sounds! We loved it. We also did a Safari walk here which was good.

Manyara Ranch Conservancy: Incredible! Mubarak(sp?) the manager was so accommodating, friendly and knowledgeable. We were the only guests during our stay which was so cool! Mubarak took us on a day game drive, Sundowners, night game drive and a visit to a Maasai  home. We learned so much, we tracked the lion pride by its actual tracks and found them. We saw a bunch of nocturnal animals and met a Maasai family and toured their Boma, their huts etc. It was an unforgettable experience and we enjoyed thoroughly (think it was Sean’s and Hillary’s favorite place). Food was very good.

Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp: Very cool tented camp. We felt as though we were staying right out there with the animals! Confi and staff were amazing, he put us in a family tent so it was very spacious. Our Maasai security were so friendly and did their jobs so well. Matata and Ganini(spelling?) were a blast and we took loads of pics with them. Met a lot of people from all over the world as we sat by the fireside before dinner. Food was good.

Buffalo Luxury Camp: A great place, beautiful and so accommodating. Wayne and Alicia, Malau were all so personable. Great staff as well, Wilson was so nice and Hilton, our ranger, was sweet. Again, we were the only guests for our first night. We had our own Sundowners and Boma Dinner up on the hill just for us then off to another night game drive. In the morning before we left we had an 1 ½ hour Safari walk. We were spoiled and enjoyed this place! Food was very good. Loved that they have a gift shop where the crafts are all made by local women and all proceeds go to them. They had bios on all the women as well. Would have stayed here longer…

Animal, animals, animals!! We saw 4 of the big 5 by Tuesday and was incredible! Then at the crater we saw the rhinos at a very far distance but we saw them! We could have ‘safaried’ forever. The great migration of wildebeests and zebras was amazing as well…

We loved the experience! We loved the trip! And seriously are thinking about the Southern safari circuit in the future!

Look forward to hearing from you, Andrea Kiernan, July 2017   Safari to Tanzania and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Hi Kyle and team.

We returned from our Africa adventure this week and we have to say it was truly epic! We had so many great experiences and tons of photos and stories to share with our friends.

We are so glad that we booked through AAC! We met many other safari-ers from around the world and we feel that we could not have had a better travel partner than AAC. You provided a perfect itinerary, the best guides and accommodations, attention to details. We felt that we were better prepared for our adventure than most other travelers and we benefited tremendously from your experience…

We'll be sharing some posts on the AAC Clients Facebook page. And we might even enter the photographic competition if we ever finish sorting our 4,000+ photos and videos.

Thanks again for arranging the best safari! Dave & Kristi Nelson, July 2017   Group Explorer Safari to Kenya and Tanzania Attn: Lynn and Jessica:

I would have written sooner but my arm is so very sore.. Oh.. you ask?  Yes the left arm where I received the Africa Adventure Company Logo tattoo on the entire deltoid region.  Yes, we love you that much.

Good news, Karen and I will be released from the Safari Exhaustion Ward on Friday.  To the point. You at AAC have a very well oiled machine. It is my plan after attending to the business of paying bills and mowing lawns to submit our reflections on this adventure.

The entire trip was seamless. Our party, Karen, Julie and myself felt the marriage of the other three persons with us was paramount. The 16 year old daughter of this lovely Irish couple told us that she "Prayed they would be matched up with Americans". The chemistry was superb - Colin, the father was an ardent "Birder" sharing his knowledge and we our patience as he connected with yet another feathery friend. he claimed to have added ~30  that he didn't expect. This activity united us...as did the local beers.

The added cement is this journey came in the form of the two VERY knowable Drivers who provided the ideal orientation... telling us what where about to see and ... then ... introducing us to it. Both offered the basics, but were also able to delve into the depths of flora and fauna...

Our day tour of the city, and the other 3 attractions were well planned. We gained important insights, enjoyed a wonderful luncheon and as hoped for gave ample time for Julie and (now her parents) to spend quality time with our adopted elephants.

Karen and I are seen as a "fun couple" who have passed those genes on to our adventuresome children. One could envision that we - world travelers - could become jaded and bored but in the instant case I was totally captivated with attaining my goals over one 17 hour period of seeing two secretary birds, the Southern Cross and that the clouds had rolled back from Mt. Kilimanjaro just as we went to a six am breakfast. I was almost too excited to eat - a trait I'm not known for.

I don't know who choreographed the special amenities at the Sopa lodges but our 36th Anniversary was celebrated on four different occasions with a very nice cake presented by the entire kitchen staff en parade. Karen (since guys don't normally get flowers) was thrilled with a presentation vase of two dozen roses at Ngorongoro and another cake at Serena Lodge, again with colorful songs and fanfare.

Synopsis: We loved it, the list(s) of what to take and what not to - were spot on. The food was wonderful and varied, the bar service was on their toes - the prices as I was informed by Lynn were shockingly reasonable. We used the laundry service 3 times. It was returned in perfect condition.   The tipping guidelines as well as the distribution plan (daily envelopes) was golden.

Karen has informed me that the generators are turned off at 7 pm here in Virginia and the hot water for my shower will be depleted only moments later. I can only hope she remembers to fill my hot water bottle.

Thank you. Bob Roubik, July 2017   Private Family Safari to Tanzania Lynne, Our family including my wife’s parents had a wonderful experience in Tanzania.

Our guide, Daniel Nyamoga, was a pleasure. Courteous, well spoken, and enlightening (well versed on local flora and fauna), he was great with our twins. Kristen and Tyler liked him immediately, and enjoyed his entertaining safari stories and pop quizzes on animal trivia. Daniel had us waking up at the crack of dawn so as not to miss any potential wildlife sightings. He had the patience for local wildlife to show themselves clearly and made the experience more complete, where other guides just cut and ran to the next animal sighting. We had the opportunity to see rare African wild dogs in Tarangire National Park, scores of lions up close at all the parks, and even saw the wildebeest crossing the Mara River, one of the highlights of our trip.

Kisima Ngeda Camp was an oasis after a long drive from Tarangire with lovely fixed tent accommodations. The owners were always present, making sure our stay was pleasurable. My twins enjoyed the interaction with Hadzabe bushmen with their morning hunt, fire making skills and bow & arrow lessons. We enjoyed the climb to local cliff above the camp to enjoy the sunset with drinks.

My kids liked Kitela Lodge from the start with the warm welcome with drinks, snacks and impressive open layout of the main lodge.  We especially enjoyed the special lodge with connected family rooms: the accommodations were exceptional.

Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp was a great experience. Our family tent was comfortable and had amenities that we could not fathom with traditional camping, including plush bedding, warm showers and flush toilet. The Maasai guards were a pleasure to talk to. No wifi but we had quality family time without technology over campfire and dinner. I wished we spent an extra night there to enjoy more camp activities…

Warmest regards, Louis Jan and Linda Wang, July 2017   Private Safari to Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Dear Mr. Nolting, Mr. Rivard and Ms. Hegyi,

Jambo.. and habari asubuhi!  Cindy and I had a wonderful adventure in Tanzania.  Our Senior Safari Consultant, Szilvia Hegyi was instrumental in answering all our questions and customizing our safari to be an amazing experience.  The two of us enjoyed the company of our guide, Martin Mallya, throughout our safari.  At each of the locations and mobile camps, Cindy and I had close and extraordinary interaction with wildlife and nature, with the abundant animals, spectacular birds of all colors, enormous reptiles, and Tanzania’s plains, grasslands, acacia trees, kopjes, savannas and rivers.

We would like to thank the staff who paired us with Martin Mallya, who, while our guide, became our friend by the end of the safari.  Martin was, without doubt, the very best person to show us Tanzania, and MADE this the once in a lifetime trip.  Martin was superb; he “knew” everything and explained or provided descriptions, calls, lifestyles, breeding, dominance in groups (males and females), tracking, prey and foods, habitats, and so much more to us throughout our safari in Tanzania.  He repeatedly stopped to show and explain animals, birds, plants, habitats, and more.  He has phenomenal eyesight and spotted animals and birds way beyond what we could see.  Martin demonstrated respect for the animals, and was always courteous to Cindy and me (and he routinely helped with our learning of Swahili phrases).  Martin knew the routes and habits of the animals, showed us why patience, when needed, always resulted in appearances of spectacular animals, including lions, cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, buffalos, gazelles, leopards, impalas, wildebeests, on and on.   Cindy and I also had delightful, amiable conversations with Martin in the land rover and during lunches and dinners, getting to know about his family (wife and two children in Arusha), experience as a guide in Tanzania and his background.  At our request, Martin took us to visit a kindergarten school which was not in the normal “tourist” areas.  We so enjoyed meeting the children and the teachers, who were all so engaged and enthusiastic.  Cindy and I are now setting up a way to support this specific school from our church in Maryland.  Cindy and I extend our input to your company to put Martin up as your next Tanzania Guide of the Year!  He so very well represents all the values, regard and commitments of the Africa Adventure Company and to your guests, and demonstrated enormous respect for the ecology of Tanzania.

The track our safari took worked very well for us, staring at Tarangire in the south, and working northerly through Lake Manyara, then the Ngorogoro Crater up to the Serengeti.  We chose to visit Tanzania in the early August dry season to be able to see the wildebeest and zebra migration over the Mara River in the Serengeti.

Tarangire National Park was an excellent location to begin, seeing so much diverse wildlife and fascinating animals (including many lions, and a female cheetah and her cub), multicolored birds, and the sweeping, vast Tanzania savanna ecology.  We saw a simultaneous crossing of a dry river by multiple elephants and giraffes.  At Lake Manyara during a game drive, Cindy and I saw a large number of animals and amazing numerous exotic birds on and around the water.  Also, one teenaged elephant came very close to the front of our land rover and “challenged” us for a while for control of the roadway (eventually he went away peacefully…).

The Serengeti was magnificent, spectacular and the highlight of our safari.  We so enjoyed staying in both tented camps (Shared Explorer and Olakira), right along with all the wildlife around our camps.  Cindy and I were able to see four crossings through the Mara River of wildebeests and zebra (with one lasting over 30 minutes!) during their migration toward the Masai Mara.  During two of the crossings, we saw a wildebeest taken by a crocodile (huge and intimidating).   We also watched an extremely long crossing over a dry river bed by wildebeest as well as another by multiple giraffes and elephants.  The calls of the lions, hyenas and wildebeests were heard at dinner which were out under the stars (stunning views of an amazing number of planets, stars and a full moon without the lights of any civilization nearby) and as well during the night in our tents.  At the Olakira Camp, we woke up in the morning to several zebras just outside our tent, with about 30 wildebeests further out.   After the late afternoon game drives we so enjoyed sitting around the fire pits with the other, smaller number of guests, then enjoying with them being served such delicious foods at each of the dinners.  The sunrises and sunsets were spectacular and beautiful.

We had a surprise on our flight from Serengeti to Arusha.  When we landed at an intermediate small airport, a herd of impalas ran across the landing strip and caused the pilot to have to brake to avoid hitting any of them.  This is Africa!

Upon our return to Arusha, we were met by Alee for our trip to the lodge.  Then Arira Mzava took us to the Mt Kilimanjaro airport, which was a good finale to our trip.  Alee, when we first arrived, had shown and explained the sights in Arusha.  Arira was fabulous in getting us through all the red tape coming and going.  Hats off to these gents as well!!...

Again, our thanks for a safari etched in our memories forever…  The vistas, the closeness to the wildlife, the people….  all now part of us.  Your guide, Martin, was the one who made this safari so extraordinary.  Please commend him, and we’re sure his work, skills, knowledge and outstanding talents have earned next year’s Guide of the Year for Tanzania.

Asante sana….. Don and Cindy Williams, July 2017   Private safari to Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Hello, Kollin et al.

Our safari was amazing! I can't say enough good about our guide, Sam; the accommodations were top notch, with very kind and welcoming staff; and the variety and sheer numbers of exotic (to me) and fascinating animals were well beyond expectations.

I really enjoyed traveling with Sam. He was quite professional, but also warm and easygoing, had unbelievably sharp eyes for spotting animals of all shapes and sizes, and had a wealth of knowledge from both experience and formal learning about the animals, people, landscape and the interactions among all of them. He made the trip interesting well beyond just what we saw in front of us. We greatly appreciated his ability to find us fantastic viewing opportunities in areas with few or no other people around. We were well looked after and appreciate the long days he put in on our behalf.

All of our accommodations were very comfortable, though I especially enjoyed the camps. Being out in the parks under a dark sky, with strange animal noises in the night or bonus morning sightings from the tent porch was an extra degree of safari immersion I really appreciated. Al fresco dining was a highlight wherever we stayed (I don't get to eat outdoors enough in Alaska), as was bush TV at the camps. Nasikia camp went to some special effort one night to provide a lovely lantern-lit dinner under the trees. Service was uniformly attentive -- to a degree that took some getting used to, actually, since we are more accustomed to living and traveling more independently…

And of course, the animals were off the hook. I won't ever forget elephants, lions and baboons (not all at the same time) doing their thing close enough to the rig we could have touched them (not that we did). Or a hyena peeling out of a scrum with a disembodied warthog head in its mouth. Lunch with gentle giraffes; zebras and wildebeests streaming across the river while crocodiles drifted back and forth between their legs; gazelles and impalas bouncing about the vast, fenceless landscape; leopards prowling in the brush or napping in a tree; ostrich necks bobbing up and down above the sea of grass; birds wading; hippos bathing; everyone going about their business taking little heed of our coming and going…

Thanks for arranging a wonderful trip for us, and feel free to write or call if there's anything you'd like to follow up on. And please pass on my best regards to Sam!

Cheers, Neil Huddleston, June 2017   Private Honeymoon Safari to Tanzania Hi Elena and team!

We had the most incredible, magical honeymoon and can't thank you enough for making it a dream come true. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Plantation Lodge was so lovely. We were the only ones staying there and they upgraded us to their largest villa. They served us two lovely, candlelit dinners in the villa and even assembled a full breakfast buffet for us in the living room while we were getting dressed in the morning. It was a perfect place to come home to after our time exploring Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater.

Our guide, Servuli, showed us an amazing time. He was a wealth of knowledge about the animals, Tanzanian history, and gave us a wonderful overview about the different tribes. A definite highlight was seeing not one, but two rhinos, which at one pointed started charging (just for a second!) towards the car, something Servuli hadn't seen in all his years guiding. He set up a table and chairs right outside the vehicle in the crater, and we had a great lunch, while Servuli fended off the monkeys.

Naona Moru showed us the most incredible hospitality we have ever experienced anywhere -- bar none, full stop. We had the camp to ourselves and every single person went the extra mile to make us have the greatest honeymoon imaginable. They surprised us with a bush dinner by the camp fire, a lunch al fresco right outside of our tent, and on the last day after a walking safari, prepared a sundowner extravaganza in which the entire staff started singing and dancing for us after we descended down a mountain (see the video here!). And then, as if that wasn't enough. they surprised us again with another round of singing and dancing during dessert in which they presented us a beautiful honeymoon cake. The food was out of this world -- the pumpkin soup might just be the best thing I've ever consumed. We heard lions, hyenas and baboons at night and woke up to see elephants right outside our bathroom window -- this place was the living end.

Shatri, our guide, was absolutely extraordinary. He was so much fun, knowledgeable and by the end, he felt like an old friend. We saw leopards in trees, numerous prides of lions with cubs, a lion family eating a zebra -- and he even drove us 4 hours to the Western Corridor to see the migration! Every safari guide should be trained by him. Our walking safaris were both fantastic, and the waking guide Joseph knows everything and has a great way about him.

Zanzibar was the perfect place for a week of a apres-safari, and Baraza is my favorite resort I've ever stayed at -- better than any Four Seasons, St. Regis, etc. We had a beautiful ocean view villa, absolutely loved the unique neo-Moorish architecture and the food (even the Indian and Japanese buffets) exceeded the quality of some of our favorite New York restaurants. We were surprised with a private beach lunch and the staff were incredibly accommodating of our food preferences. We greatly enjoyed our snorkeling excursion and our half-day in Stone Town, but there was nothing better than just lounging around the beautiful resort. The Sultan's Bath spa treatment was absolutely heavenly and I'd highly recommend it to anyone!

Many, many thanks again! We can't wait for our next safari and to tell all of our friends about your amazing company!! All the best, Brian Levin and Sophia Lufkin, June 2017   East and Southern Africa Exploration Safari Kyle, We had an amazing time in Africa. The experiences and accommodations made for a true once-in-a-lifetime trip…

We would definitely recommend this trip to our family and friends, as it was a really great experience. We really want to have a shout-out for our Tanzanian guide, Jabshir, who was a big part of making this a great experience. He was very professional and answered our many, many questions in a knowledgeable and informed manner. He was really fun to talk to and had eyes of an eagle in spotting wildlife throughout the trip. I would definitely recommend him for any future traveler. He was great!!!

The Tanagire Treetop, Pioneer, and Migration camps were outstanding, and the staff at the camps were very welcoming and treated all the travelers in our group with a great customer service approach. We really felt a bond to the staff at each of these locations, and we loved the top notch accommodations.

We would really like to thank you for all of your assistance and guidance in developing an outstanding itinerary and scheduling all of the travel accommodations throughout the entire trip. We have many memories and a lot of pictures to sort through over the next few days.

Thanks for everything, Jim and Jennifer Pachan, June 2017   Migration Private Safari to Tanzania We had an EXCELLENT trip – above and beyond our wildest expectations.
  • Our guide / driver was Ombenni – he was fantastic.  He knows everyone and was able to find all wildlife for us – including cheetah family, black rhinos, leopard with its kill up in a tree, and so on.   He’s a safe driver and caring guide.    We didn’t have morning and afternoon game viewing, but rather 12 hours of continuous game viewing!   We are happy to recommend him to everyone.
  • Tarengire Treetops Camp is beautiful, and all staff were perfect – from our initial greeting to the farewell.   We enjoyed the night game ride, the safari walk, and were amazed at the sunset drinks and appetizers after the walk.   They made us feel special.
  • Gibb’s Farm was a lovely stop – the grounds are gorgeous and the buffet lunch was exceptional.   Our visit to the reenacted Iraqw “camp” was fun – the “leader” was entertaining.   We felt welcome and there was no pressure to donate, etc.
  • Serengeti Pioneer Camp is beautiful as well..We celebrated our anniversary there and felt very special (separate romantic table, cake, singing)
  • Migration Camp is also beautiful.   We loved our “honeymoon tent”.    We celebrated Michele’s birthday there with cake and very fun singing.   We had dinner on our deck – so much work for the staff – we truly felt special.
  • Arusha Coffee Lodge is beautiful, and the food was good.   We even were able to see Mt. Kilimanjaro!
We’re happy and tired customers.   Feel free to use us a reference. Thanks again. Natalie Sands, June 2017   Flying Safari to Tanzania’s Northern Circuit and the Selous Game Reserve

Hi Ian,  I wanted to write in about our safari, while everything is still fresh in my mind.  First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you!  What a wonderful experience!  As you know, while I've traveled with you before, my husband and daughter had never been to Africa, and they were just as wowed as me.

We loved all of the Asilia camps.  It was interesting how different they each were.  The Highlands were amazing, with their loft tents (which looked like something from the future or space travel!).  The trip to the Maasai village was really enlightening; I think my daughter in particular was very affected.

Namiri Plains was unbelievable!  First, I want to mention our guide, Erasto.  He was amazing--we all felt like he was our best friend at the end.  The camp was so isolated, amazing in the Serengeti.  We saw tons of lions and cheetahs, and several leopards, including a cub with its mother.  A particular highlight, of course, was getting to have dinner with Alison Nolting (Founding Director of AAC)!  After first seeing her in the crater, which was exciting enough; I told her it was like meeting a celebrity.  I now know that Robert was in touch with you about my birthday, but he could never have imagined what you guys would do with that information!  Alison may have told you, but the celebration went on forever, and was something I will never forget…

Okay, on to Beho Beho:  You weren't kidding when you said it had the "wow" factor!  That was pretty much all we could say as they showed us the lobby and our banda.  At first I wasn't sure how I would feel being in the less densely populated (animal-wise) environment of the Selous, but we wound up loving it.  Our first night, we took a game drive and didn't see that much, other than an entertaining troop of baboons.  As we were enjoying our sundowner watching them, however, we all heard the roar of a lion nearby.  Our guide quickly ushered us back into the car, and we were wondering if he was worried about surprising the lion.  No, it turns out he wanted to find it!  We drove around, changing direction each time we heard a new roar.  I thought it was a little strange, like looking for a needle in a haystack, but suddenly he said, "There it is!"  It was sitting up, so we could see it, but soon laid down.  We watched for awhile; it wasn't doing much, and it was getting close to the time we had to return to camp.  Just before we had to leave, it started roaring again, about 10 feet from us, and in our direction!  (it didn't seem upset!)  What an experience!  And I have to say, there was something very different, and deeply satisfying, about searching out and finding the lion, rather than just coming upon it on the road (as we did in the Serengeti).  We also got to watch a pack of African wild dogs engage in a greeting ceremony on our last day, which was fascinating.

Every meal at Beho Beho was an absolute culinary delight (as were the Asilia camps).  It was interesting to get to eat with different people each night, so that we felt like we got to know everyone there, including the head chef.  I don't know if you know, but we had another amazing experience there.  On our second night, it just happened that the owner (Charlie Bailey) was there, with his right hand man George.  We had an intimate dinner with them, and again, it was an experience I will never forget!  Charlie was the ultimate story-teller (and it sounds like his father was the ultimate character!).  We loved every second of it, and it made our trip just that much more special.  Now I just need to win their photo contest, so we can go back!  (until then, I'll just go to bed dreaming about the animal symphony we got to hear every night we were there)

[caption id="attachment_5541" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Beho Beho[/caption] All in all, it was another perfect trip with Africa Adventure Company.  Time to start planning our next!  Thank you again for everything. Liz Snidman, May-June 2017   Adventure to Morocco Alison and AAC team,

Overall, I give this trip to Morocco an A+. The itinerary you worked out was excellent in terms of sequence, pace, venues, accommodations and activities/amenities. Having a single driver/vehicle/guide for the entire trip made a huge difference in dealing with and appreciating this fascinating country. Our guide, Lahcen Zaaim, was superlative and a lot of fun. We cannot recommend him highly enough.  He said the itinerary was about the best he had seen, although he made some minor adjustments along the way to ease the logistics. He even took us to his mother’s home to have lunch with his mother, brother and family. That was special. His help in negotiating some significant purchases was invaluable.  All the accommodations were excellent whether in the city, medina, country side, or in the tent in the dunes. Dar Ahlam was our favorite, with Kasbah Tamadot a close second. Overall, I would not have changed a single thing with the possible exception of adding a day to do absolutely nothing at either Dar Ahlam or Tamadot…

[caption id="attachment_5542" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Dar Ahlam[/caption] Thanks again for helping us with a wonderful experience. Skip Shipman, April 2017


CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS EAST AFRICA – JAN-MAR 2017 (EAST AFRICA)


Tanzania Safari and Kilimanjaro Climb Hi AAC, I want to thank your for providing a great itinerary for our trip. A few comments: The pre-trip planning and communication was superb. Nothing more we could ask for. We will strongly recommend Africa Adventure Company to anyone for future travel (and our own return someday!) The local operators that we used I’ll comment on individually:
  • Lodging—luxurious. We certainly didn’t need or expect such nice accommodations. The Serena lodge at Ngorongoro was heaven. The Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp was also amazing. Excellent staff (Abu, Azgar—everyone).
  • Excellent vehicles, nice people. We were with our safari guide (Ephata) for 4 days. He is amazing. A thoughtful articulate guy who loves Tanzania, the people, the animals, and takes excellent care of his clients.
  • I simply cannot say enough—give him a raise, make him the boss—he is a great ambassador of the country, the Serengeti, and your company.
  • When our plane from Serengeti was delayed, your team handled it perfectly, and got us where we needed to be to meet the Kili group.
The Kili Climb: There were many guide outfits on the mountain. I can honestly say that I felt your team provided the best overall experience. Our total group was 9 climbers, which at first I felt was a little big, but with 5 guides we could spread out and everyone do their own thing. It also provided some variety of people to talk to at meals, etc. So ended up being a good thing.
  • The equipment—tents, toilet, kitchen/dining—were great. Food—warm, nutritious, and plenty of it. The route—Rongai—was a great choice.
  • The people: We had 5 guides and 25 + porters/crew.
  • The Guides: Lead guide David and John—are excellent. They apparently travel together a lot, very different but complement each other (in a Yin and Yang way). You should ALWAYS request them for your clients’ trips.
  • The remaining 3: Marewa was also very good—knowledgeable and enthusiastic with excellent speaking skills. I would highly recommend him as well.
  • Gerard and Shaboni: were quieter, but competent.
  • I also GREATLY appreciated the effort to hire women for the Kili expedition. Our group had more women than any other. This is such an important opportunity for the women in the area to not be excluded from this job. Thank you for supporting them.
Final note: While this trip was amazing, we also would have enjoyed it in a less luxurious way. I think there are more and more travelers who want local food, to be able to explore an area on foot, to see Tanzania. Thank you for an amazing trip! Kristy Deep, Feb 2017   Private Safari to Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara Hi Szilvia, Here’s is my feedback on another incredible safari with Africa Adventure Company. Once again, AAC was awesome to work with.  Szilvia is a wonderful coordinator to work with.  She goes out of her way to make sure all is in order and makes her clients comfortable with the booking process.  The customized itineraries with Africa Adventure have been excellent and exceeded all our needs.  Our flights, transfers, and lodging was done through AAC; which made our visit seamless. Our first trip to East Africa was fabulous, but our second trip to East Africa was more than we could hope for.  No words can really describe what we saw and the amazing time we had with our guides.  It was like a page out of National Geographic.  We went during the calving season.  We visited the areas of Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Maasai Mara. Our stay at the Sopa Lodge on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater was convenient.  We were able to enter the Ngorongoro Crater early in the morning.  We were greeted by a large pride of female lions taking their cubs for an early morning walk.  The cubs were jumping, tumbling and climbing logs on the green grass plains.  It was rewarding to see these cubs enjoying their morning play.  During our visit to the crater we saw the elusive black rhino.  He slowly walked over the plains and walked past our vehicle.  Then, we were able to see a mother wildebeest give birth.  Our excellent guide, Emmanuel Mkenda, told us calving happens in the morning so the baby can be strong enough to run with the herd when the lions stalk their pray in the evening.  Emmanuel was our guide on our first trip and we were pleased that our request to have him for our second trip was granted.  It was nice to visit with an old friend. The Serengeti was also giving of its nature's secrets.  We saw over 40 cheetahs, many lions, 1.4 million wildebeest (I think I counted all of them), zebras, elephants, leopards numerous birds, etc.  We had a wonderful stay at the Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp.  The food was excellent. The staff was very accommodating when I requested that I would like to take night photos of the sky and Lake Ndutu.  They briefly turned off the camp lights for me to get the photos.  We were all thrilled with the results.  At the camp, we also met with old friends, Abu and Jonas.  It is wonderful making lasting friendships as these. The Maasai Mara blessed us with lion cubs, cheetah kittens, cheetah and lion kills, giraffes, elephants wallowing in the mud and the most beautiful blue eyed leopard.  We saw something new everyday we were out on our game drives.  Our guides Ben and Jacob from the Neptune Mara Rianta Luxury Lodge were the best.  We felt safe and comfortable with these young men.  They told us stories of their upbringing as Maasai Warriors and how they became guides.  They were prompt and very accommodating to my photographic needs.  They made sure I had the best lighting and photographic shot opportunities.  The Lodge was absolutely beautiful and relaxing.  We were able to hear the hippos grunting in the river with nearby lion roars to help us sleep at night.  The food was excellent and the staff superb. All, in all, we had another rewarding and heartfelt trip to East Africa.  We plan on returning to Africa.  Africa has become a part of our heart and soul.  I believe, there is no other place on earth as special as Africa with its people, wildlife and nature. Thank you Szilvia for another excellent and rewarding trip. Doreen Lawrence, Feb 2017   “Galloping Gnus” Safari to Tanzania and Kenya We had a marvelous trip to Africa.  If not life changing, certainly perspective changing.  Thanks to everyone at Africa Adventure for their organization and recommendations and quick responses to our questions. CAMPS/HOTELS Fairmont Norfolk - A classic. Tortillis (Amboseli) - Our second favorite camp.  Nice location right at the park, which we especially appreciated the next week when we were in the Serengeti. Service was excellent - friendly, sincere, helpful, non-obtrusive. Ali, our guide, was great.  A kind man, anxious to give us the best experience possible.  We were fortunate because occupancy was low we had Ali as our private guide for our stay. Note:  all tents are powered by solar so they all have full-time electricity.  Hair dryer available in bathroom at swimming pool.  internet available in lounge and dining room.  Loved having coffee delivered to our tent at wake-up time. Kitela Lodge (Ngorongoro Conservation area) - Lovely setting.  Gracious and accommodating staff, great masseuse, dinner by menu was nice. Note:  Full-time electricity and internet.  Hair dryer in bathroom.  A very nice birthday celebration.  Thank you for informing them. Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp (Serengeti) - Setting is not beautiful but certainly it is in the bush.  Staff was anxious to please - our wish was their command.  They treated me to a second birthday song and cake. Bucket showers were surprisingly good (water was hotter than the water at Mara Explorer Camp which never got hotter than warm).  Solar powered tent so electricity on demand.  It's surprising how complete a mobile tent is - we were really impressed.  Food was good.  No buffets, which was a relief. I would recommend this experience to travelers… Mara Explorer (Maasai Mara) - Our favorite camp.  Incredible setting, Wonderful staff. THE BEST FOOD OF THE ENTIRE TRIP - THE CHEF IS FANTASTIC. Loved having coffee delivered to our tent at our wake-up time.  Loved the common areas with views of the river.  Loved the sundowner on the first day, bush breakfast on the second day, and planned (but it rained) bush dinner on our last night.  The manager goes out of his way to please the traveler - he and our guide even met us at the airport.  Great guide - Samson - he knows the animals in the park so well (the guides name them) and where they live and hunt and play that he knew exactly where we should go when.  Because of low occupancy, Samson was our private guide. AAC - Tipping recommendations were much appreciated, the recommendation of the bush flights - we loved the views, the experience of landing and taking off from a strip of grass with white rocks as markers, and eliminating hours of driving. We appreciate the knowledge and experience of the staff which served us well in the planning of the itinerary. RAVE REVIEW - BEST OF THE BEST Wilfred Mollel, our guide in Tanzania. We couldn't have imagined a better guide than Wilfred.  He is passionate about what he does.  He loves the animals and is incredibly knowledgeable.  I ask a LOT of questions and he could answer every single one.  He was professional at every moment.  He took great care of the Land Cruiser - washing it after every drive. He asked us what we wanted to see and he found it.  He had endless effort and energy.  If we had agreed to stay out all day, that would have been fine with him. Spending 7 days with a guide could be difficult...but not with Wilfred.  We enjoyed every minute with him.  We appreciated that he is well educated and quite bright so our discussions during some long drives ranged from current conditions in Tanzania as well as its history, to raising children, to current events around the world, to the importance of education. He has a great sense of humor and we even found ourselves giggling a couple of times.  He gave us great memories. We were sad to say good bye to him.  If we ever go on another safari, we will absolutely request him. Margaret and David Rhyne, Feb 2017   Private Safari to Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti and Gorilla trekking in Rwanda Hi Szilvia, Rachel and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Tanzania and Rwanda… The game viewing in The Crater and Serengeti (especially central) were both excellent and exceeded our expectations. We saw huge numbers of wildebeest and zebras, wonderful families of elephants, giraffes, baboons, hyena, buffalos, cheetah, etc. Many lion and a couple leopard. It was all truly extraordinary and thrilling for us. Our guide, Servuli, was extremely knowledgeable and professional. He had encyclopedic knowledge of everything we were seeing and was very enthusiastic especially in tracking for lions. Shortcomings were going on long unexplained and sometimes unexplained detours resulting in us always arriving back to camp later than planned. Despite our great enthusiasm for hanging with other families of animals such as elephants or giraffes, baboons etc it was hard for him to adapt from a somewhat lion focused mindset. But all considered we were extremely happy with our experience with him and would choose him again. We really enjoyed the monkey filled oasis feeling at the Rivertrees and was an excellent stop. The food and service there were also excellent.  The Serena Crater lodge was an excellent choice for locale and you were right to advise against staying at the Crater lodge since we had little time after a full day out. The buffet there was fine. The Pioneer Camp was excellent with a very fine staff top to bottom and very good chef. The room there was really beautifully appointed and very comfortable but a little far away at night… You were right to strongly recommend Pioneer Camp and we are very glad we stayed there. In Rwanda the Serena Kigali was excellent accommodation and really good breakfast. The Sabyinyo Silverback was of course eye popping beautiful place. Room was extraordinary. The manager couple had just started 2 days before so although extremely friendly and engaging they had little expertise on the area. The staff was really top notch and extremely efficient, friendly, and competent but the food was spotty but at times excellent but a bit limited. Tarzan was an excellent and competent driver and took great care of us and made sure we were on schedule for everything. He did not have the same skill sets as Servuli as a guide though, for example in the Kigali tour but this is a minor point. Of course in summary an amazing once in a lifetime trip for us with great photos we will be entering in your contest. Please let us know if there is anything else we can comment on. Thank you, Mark Harrison, Jan 2017


|

1