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Client Trip Reports Southern Africa - Apr-Jun 2016


The Best of Southern Africa including Sabi Sand, Victoria Falls and Chobe

 

Hi Jessica,

 

All the transitions to and from the airports went very smoothly. I usually get very anxious prior to flying, but was able to relax and feel confident that you had everything arranged and that we would get where we needed to be…

 

Next stop Skukuza and the Savanna Lodge. Our airport pick-up was great - he even stopped and we saw Cape buffalo and giraffe on the way to the lodge. We were really spoiled by having Savanna as our first stop. GREAT EXPERIENCE!!!! People, facility, guide, accommodations - outstanding! Paddy was a terrific host as were Natasha and MacKayla and our guide Derrick was the best. Every time I thought "it can't get any better than this" it did. At lunch the day of arrival, we sat down and a huge herd of Cape buffalo came to the waterhole just outside the grounds. Really liked sitting at one long table with the rest of the guests, trading stories of the day. The first morning we had a leopard hiding next to the wheel of the rover peeking underneath to watch the impala. David was on the top seat just 4 feet above him. Also saw plenty of lions - David's favorite. I'm not sure I can even pick a favorite…Food was great too. Loved the cocktail hour around the fire. Went to the village and took the school supplies we packed. The little ones sang songs for us. They were just precious. Hated to leave.

 

  

 

You were right about the panorama tour- we saw some gorgeous scenery. Did a lot of walking too- didn't make it to the top of God's Window - settled for the lower view…

 

Victoria Falls Hotel - beautiful hotel. Excellent service! Loved the elephant experience. We had a huge 30 year old male Jock - nicknamed the pig as he wants to eat all the time…Great sightseeing experience with Victoria Falls guide, Cynthia. She walked us over to the train station and had the driver pick us up there. David got to go up into the cab of the steam engine- he loved it as he is a big steam train aficionado. Even with the raincoats we were wet. Falls were breathtaking and Cynthia got us there at the right time of day. Rainbows everywhere. Could ask her anything and she knew the answer.

 


 

Chobe Chilwero was terrific too. The river cruise was great- saw elephants swimming-hippos too. They're a bit scary- they'd just pop up and then we would change course away from them.

 

We were a bit concerned that we wouldn't see as much since they aren't allowed to go off trail, but didn't need to worry - saw lots. Elephants up close and personal - 2 feet from the rover.
 
Lions only 20 yds from the restroom/ breakfast stop. She was so hidden in the grass that none of the vehicles spotted her right away. She had cubs stashed in a thicket and didn't appreciate the traffic…Hippos, crocs, sable antelope, more giraffe, zebra, lions. Lots of animals large and small and birds of all kinds. We loved it here too. At meals they have separate tables, but we sat with another couple on a few occasions which we liked better. Ish was our guide and the first day our rover group asked to take off the canvas top of the rover- which they did. It allowed us to see more birds and when we saw giraffe and elephant the top didn't get in the way. Since temps were mild we really didn't need the shade. Accommodations were first rate - would do little special things in the room each eve and after our last evening game drive had a hot bubble bath and champagne waiting for us.

 

This was our best trip ever. Not sure that anything could top it - ever. Ps: took about 1500 photo plus video - still going thru them all.

 

Debra Christensen, June 2016

 

 

 

“Big Five” Safari to Mashatu and MalaMala Game Reserve

 

Hi Lynne,

 

We had a great time!

 

Our safari was really pretty fantastic. We had great photographic opportunities. We saw the big five in the first day and one half and then had many good sightings on the other days. Of the 13 half day safari drives in MalaMala we had only one drive that was fairly quiet. The rest were great. The one problem at MalaMala was that the area is covered in large part in rather thick brush making photography more challenging then say at the more open areas at Mashatu. On the other hand the foliage was starting to change and that added to the scenery.

 

The hides in Mashatu were spectacular for photography and just seeing some of the animals during our use on three half days. Ruth, who was our photography guide, was great. All our drives there were productive. The photo vehicle was a help in low light situations as well as being more comfortable then the regular safari vehicle.

 

  

 

Joe was our ranger in MalaMala and he was also very good although not a professional photographer as was Ruth. We had a photo vehicle there that had been newly equipped with a system of sliding been bag camera supports that was very effective.

 

We saw a more variety animals in MalaMala and the place was very nice for the stay. However it was a little stuffy in our collective opinion and we preferred the less formal atmosphere at Mashatu. The food was particularly good at Mashatu and was over seen by Steve the Executive Chef. Also the meal times that were offered where at better times for our photography drives then at MalaMala.

 

However, despite the minor differences, we liked both places and they complimented each other well. We were on safari during the nice weather of fall. Both places were not very crowded which was a plus.

 

The 7 nights in Mala Mala and the 5 nights at Mashatu were about right given how productive the days were while we were there.

 

All the arrangements worked out flawlessly which we very much appreciated. We were glad that, with your help, we picked two good places to visit.

 

Stu Hahn, June 2016

 

 

 

Legends of Zimbabwe Flying Safari including Hwange and Mana Pools

 

We wanted to thank Lynne and the rest of the team. We just got back from Zimbabwe. The advice we received was spot on. Our only regret is that we didn’t stay a little longer.

 

Linkwasha Camp was excellent and a good transition. Hwange was in the low 40s at night and in the morning and about 75 mid-day. They bundled us up in ponchos, blankets, and gave us a hot water bottle for the early morning drive (in addition to our several layers). All 3 of our main guides were great - especially our walking guide, Sam. His pre-walk prep talk bordered on humorous (he showed us how to load, chamber, and shoot his gun…he showed us how to use his GPS to find the jeep...). Walking was an event here - it was basically the day’s drive.

 

Linkwasha had a red light night drive and the guides worked together to find animals for us….The food was good - for the animals too … an elephant ate outside our tent at night. There were a lot of animal noises as many things wandered through the camp on the way to the nearby watering hole. I would definitely recommend the camp.

 


 

Vundu Camp was, of course, totally different as a smaller family-run rather than corporate camp. The resident managers, Marie and Alex, were wonderful. They went overboard in making us feel at home. In fact, Marie found out that we would be celebrating our anniversary later in the week. She organized a surprise candlelight dinner for 2 in front of our tent along the Zambezi. It was amazing. They set up a little bar (a little of everything from spirits to sparkling wine) and appetizers by a fire and 2 chairs. They brought a 3 course meal down to a candlelight table they had carried down. Our guide joined us briefly as an elephant decided to eat his way walking by our tent mid-dinner. We had plenty of hot water from our own fire heated tank. Henry was an excellent guide and took us canoeing; we had a brief moment of excitement when a bull hippo turned around and decided to chase us. Henry’s approach to walking was to drive around until we saw something interesting then get out and approach it by foot so we had lots of short walks. We walked up to the painted dog den. In general, the animals were fewer and less varied than Hwange but the experience was definitely different….

 

  

 

Thank you for arranging such a good guide (Cynthia) for Victoria Falls. I think listening to her stories about her life in Zimbabwe was probably even more interesting than seeing the falls themselves. Our bush pilot was kind enough to fly us around the falls as well.

 

Elephant Camp in Victoria Falls was a little like a Ritz Carlton! It was a little unlike being in Africa but for the end of our trip (and our actual anniversary) it was great. Sylvester, their resident cheetah ambassador was a real highlight. We went on a 2 hour off leash walk with him in the park. He was habituated to people enough to let you touch him but otherwise he really ignored you rather than acting like a pet. We also met their elephants and fed them (but didn’t ride them).They gave us a tour of the research and animal rescue facility that is independent but on the Elephant Camp’s grounds and that was fascinating.

 

We’d do it again.

 

Thanks,
Gerald and Karen Striph, June 2016

 

 

 

Safari to Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and Botswana’s Okavango Delta

 

Dear Szilvia,

 

Sally and I, on our trip with Meredith and Pat, had the trip of a lifetime. We had some apprehension before leaving, but the time on safari, starting with our accommodation and tours in Johannesburg, could not have gone better.

 

The accommodation you selected for us in Johannesburg and Cape Town was excellent, good rooms, meals and staff. The safari camps were all excellent. Wilderness Safaris and their air services do a fabulous job. There was a variety in the terrain the camps, and the wildlife we viewed was plentiful, colorful, and in several cases brought home to us the fight for survival - several viewings of a “kill” being guarded/feasted on, starting with our first day in our first camp at Little Makalolo. The guides and the camp staff were all very good. Getting a wake-up at 5:15 or 5:30, still dark outside was a bit of a shock at first, but we soon got used to it. The water features in the Kwetsani Camp gave us a very different view of the landscape and we enjoyed that. The number and variety of mammals more than met any expectations, but for me the bird life was also impressive.

 

Once again, it was a wonderful experience, and thank you for your choice of camps and the itinerary.

 

Harry Beattie, May 2016

 

 

 

Botswana Flying Safari to the Okavango Delta

 

Dear Lynne,

 

Thanks to you and your staff, Kirk and I had the best time EVER on our recent trip to Victoria Falls and Botswana. It was exactly what we wanted and even surpassed our expectations. All connections went smoothly. We really appreciated the attention to detail throughout.

 

We left the planning in your capable hands and were very happy with how it all turned out. The camps in Botswana were a very nice contrast to one another (ie. Savanna-marshland-water areas). We found the staff from managers to custodial to wait staff all professional and courteous giving us personal attention and going out of their ways, at times, to see that we were comfortable.

 

Our guides (Luke, Moyo and Moss) were all knowledgeable on a variety of topics from animals to plants to the ecosystem in general and even astronomy. At Kwetsani, Moyo gave us all a power point slide show one evening which was a wonderful overview of how the Okavango Delta came to be.

 


 

Our accommodations were more than adequate in all camps. What a surprise to discover a hair dryer at Mombo! We were very comfortable in all environments. The investment in the use of solar energy is consistent with the “eco” concept and good planning for future needs.

 

The animals? Well, what can I say?! They were the main reason we went and we saw a wonderful variety. Of course, everything was new to us so that we were thrilled even after the thousandth impala. We loved the varieties of trees and plants—especially that most interesting one at Mombo with the champagne glasses dangling from it and a side sprout of a champagne bottle. All animal were quite courteous and photogenic (except for some baboons at Kwetsani who left a couple unsavory deposits on our deck table and outdoor shower.)

 

It truly was a trip of a lifetime for us. We so appreciate your planning and arrangements---A+!

 

Most sincerely,

 

Barbara and Kirk Eidenmuller, May 2016

 

 

 

The Best of Southern Africa

 

Words cannot describe the amazing trip you planned for us. Your tag line states “For the safari of a life time” and it is true!

 

I travel a lot and this has been my favorite trip to date! The trip was so easy and smooth due to all the people that transported us from location to location.

 

I have so many highlights including the following:

 

• Rob Byram couldn't have given us a better tour of Cape Town and the surrounding area. He was informative and fun!
 
• Cheetah Plains Safari Camp was amazing! Everyone there had a visible passion for being there and were so welcoming! The guide Andrew was a phenomenal guide who taught me more in 3 days than I thought I could learn. ..I would have loved more time with him! His love of animals was addicting. The rooms were so clean, comfy and felt like home while we were there. The food was delicious! Chef made local dishes which were so much fun to eat and so yummy!
 
• Cynthia in Victoria Falls was so fun. She helped me understand the culture of Zimbabwe and see the beautiful falls!
 
• Everyone at Muchenje Safari Lodge was very kind. Paul was a wonderful guide who was extremely informative! Sy's boat cruise was an amazing end to our trip.

 

We had no glitches and had the best trip thanks to all your preparation!

 

Thank you!

 

Jean Kostka and Meg Kefaloonitis, May 2016

 

 

 

Adventure to Kapama Game Reserve, Cape Town and Victoria Falls

 

Kyle,

 

From start to finish it could not have been better. After the first flight it was nice to be greeted right at the gate and escorted trough the entry process. All escorts were very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.

 

Kapama Buffalo Camp was beautiful and our guide F. W was excellent. He had as much if not more enthusiasm as us every time we spotted an animal.

 

The Welgelegen Guest House in Cape Town was great and so was our guide Lucia. The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge was a great way to end our wonderful trip.

 

We can’t wait to return to Africa. Thank you for a wonderful trip.

 

Doug Mutton, May 2016

 

 

 

Safari to Botswana and South Africa

 

Our trip was awesome thanks to you. Plans flowed flawlessly as we were met always (as promised) by helpful, courteous and knowledgeable people at each step of our African journey. The accommodations you helped me choose were excellent.

 

I will recommend your services to all my friends. I want to thank you for your superb arrangements and planning. We could just relax and enjoy every moment because we knew that you had planned our trip down to every detail. Thank you.

 

Trudy Sack, May 2016

 

 

 

Best of Wilderness Safaris Botswana Flying Safari

 

Thank you so much Szilvia! We had a wonderful time in Africa. Everything went smoothly, all your planning was well worth it. We arrived in Johannesburg early and were met and transported through customs easily. The trip to the hotel was quick and we were able to relax a little that evening. The hotel was very convenient, nicer than we had imagined. The restaurant was very nice, we had a perfect stay there at the Intercontinental Hotel.

 

The flight to Victoria Falls was easy, our time there was very relaxing. The Victoria Falls Hotel was what we imagined, the Stables Wing rooms were very nice. We'd stay there again. We had a nice dinner at the hotel that night, and the breakfast buffet exceeded expectations. The Wilderness Safari people were excellent. We had a great tour of the falls with Precious, our driver during the trip Abiata was very entertaining. Everything went smoothly. The sunset cruise was outstanding, we had the best pictures of hippos on our trip there. We got to see our first elephant on the banks of the Zambezi as well.

 

Abiata drove us the next morning to Botswana, we smoothly went through customs, etc. The driver took us to the airport, and the Wilderness people at Kasane again got us situated easily onto our flight to Duma Tau. We really enjoyed our time at the camp. The people were friendly and the game viewing was excellent. We really wanted to see the wild dogs and were not disappointed…Godfrey was our guide and went above and beyond in trying to make sure we saw everything we wanted to. We wished we had booked a 3rd night there.

 


 

Our flight to Vumbura went well, the camp's views were breathtaking. Our tent was really luxurious, the food excellent. Z was our guide, his knowledge helped us in everything from tracking to photography. We saw the leopards, hyenas and again wild dogs.

 

Finally Mombo, we arrived to Little Mombo where our guide named Tebla picked us up at the airport. We preferred Little Mombo, enjoying the quieter camp. The staff catered to anything we wanted. They arranged a Birthday lunch for Rich in the bush that was amazing...

 

Needless to say, it was an unforgettable experience and we are planning to return there after it is redone. We again were lucky to be able to see all the game we wanted, including lions and a white rhino.

 

It really was a trip of a lifetime. Rich is already looking into returning in 3 or 4 years, possibly to Zimbabwe and part of Botswana. We wanted to thank you again for all your recommendations. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I tried to hit the high points.

 

Susan and Rich Chernick, April 2016

 

 

 

Big Five in South Africa’s Private Game Reserve

 

Hi Kyle/All,

 

I wanted to report back that we had a wonderful trip to Victoria Falls and Tanda Tula. All of the transitions, rides, and reservations worked out perfectly.

 

I found Victoria Falls powerful and a wonder of nature. Ester was a wonderful guide. She ensured we got there in time to see the rainbows.

 

I was totally surprised when our sunset cruise on the Zambezi River turned up elephants feeding on the shore and a hippo family in the river.

 

It was a good taste of what was to come on the safari. The safari was even better for me since I have a soft spot for the animals. The theme for me was seeing mothers and babies nursing. We saw this with 2 giraffes, 2 rhinos, and 2 impala. We saw plenty of animals and the surprise for me was that we went off road and got really close to the animals. Last time I went on safari in Tanzania and Kenya we had to stay in the roads. The difference was that we saw thousands of animals then, but saw animals up close and personal this time. It was great.

 

Tanda Tula is a wonderful camp - accommodations were amazing, and all of what goes into a great stay. The staff and food are wonderful. They invited us for a morning drive on our last day which wasn’t on our schedule but we had time for given our flight schedule. That was the day we saw a final round of great sites.

 


 

So, thank you for a great trip. I found it so easy making the plans. I think we had 1 phone call and perhaps 2 email rounds. I’ll be back again next time I plan a trip to Africa. My trip 6 years ago and this one have been the best 2 vacations I ever gone on!!

 

Cheers,

 

Janet Evans, Apr 2016

 



Client Trip Reports - January - March 2016


“Bespoke Namibia Spectacular” to Sossusvlei, Damarland and Skeleton Coast

 

Ian,

 

I wanted to get back to you with a short review of our safari to Namibia. My daughter and I have a wonderful time and everything went perfect. All the logistics and information you provided were right on.

 

The itinerary we had developed was very good for the time frame we were limited to and I think the order was perfect for traveling through Namibia. I was very impressed with Wilderness safaris - their camps were outstanding and the flights all were on plan to get us to the appropriate camps.

 

Soussusvlei - our guide Chris met us and took us to Little Kuala where the assistant manager reviewed camp with us. Very beautiful and great accommodations. They were prepared and offered us lunch and then we met up with our guide around 4:30/5 for first sundowner drive (which we had every evening while in Namibia). Chris was our guide for our 3 days and a great guide. Little Kuala met its description and was fabulous. Outdoor shower, AC, hairdryer, plugs in room, fridge , coffee/tea maker, private plunge pool with very large private patio all overlooking the water hole. Loved the room and the lodge layout. We had a wonderful bush dinner with friends we met on sundowner. We even had the staff singing and we all danced around after dinner. Also very good choice of food at this dinner and very good South African wines at all camps…

 

  

 

It is very sandy there with the wind blowing sand all the time. Best hint I had reading blogs was to bring baggies to store camera/glasses.

 

As offseason, ended up having private drives with our guide Chris and it was perfect. He climbed Dune 45 with us (took our pictures), gave us great information on the dunes and animals and did a great job showing us all the highlights of the area. Very knowledgeable and professional guide. He even (as he had background in restaurant service) chilled our wine glasses at sundowners. We decided to take balloon ride and it was worth the money. The pilot takes you up fairly high and then back low to the desert—great picture opportunity. Glad we did it on the 2nd day as could see the dunes from a different perspective. The company running the balloon ride is doing a great thing with operating a school for locals who work in area and even picking up the children and transporting them to school. Instead of tipping him ands staff, he had container for school.

If we had not done the balloon ride think 3 nights would have been too long…

 

Damaraland—Chris took us to airstrip to wait for our plane to take us to Damaraland. (Note- the guides really take care of everything for your trip, to coming by tent for wake up calls to walking back at night to tent, handling luggage and waiting at airports until after takeoff. They suggest times to have breakfast and timeframes for days schedule so we felt like all we had to do was just show up. Being an independent traveler, was a change to have someone else in charge of everything -was nice and made week very relaxing.

 

 

 

…The staff at Damaraland Camp were friendly, particularly James the manger. We felt like he was welcoming us to his home and he was always around t meet us when we came back…Our guide was Teek and he is walking instructor on the geology of land. We caught up with friends we had met at Little Kuala and had fun evening at Boma for dinner. Saw lots of elephants the next day and Teek found them first so we had time to be by ourselves following them around. later, quite a few other vehicles showed up so we toured more of the area looking for zebras (no luck). Our sundowner had a full car load and as soon as we started Teek got message that there had been a zebra kill by group of lions. He asked if we all wanted to go and we said of course and held on as we drove very fast to get there… our group bonded so was nice at dinner at one big table to have great conversations and exchange experiences. It was interesting as one of the staff would translate menu in “click” language at dinners. They also had a very nice bush breakfast on a hill near the camp…

 

Skeleton Coast/Hoanib- Loved this camp!!!!! This was such great camp and experience- it was highlight of trip (2nd would be the sand dunes). I can’t say enough about the staff, accommodations, and activities. Clement, the manager was the best we experienced. He was so involved and also there to talk with (or pour wine) and make us feel welcome. He was always there and we felt like special friends staying at his home. He set the tone but everyone we met at the camp gave us the same positive feeling. We were in the farthest tent and the views were amazing and we had feeling of being on another planet. The setting is so amazing. All the meals were excellent and we had a great guide Elias. He was so enjoyable to be with and we spent a lot of time out looking. Think we had longer drives than the other 2 camps. He was very knowledgeable and showed us even the very small animals (spiders) but also saw giraffes, elephants, oryx, seals, springbok, and a brown haired hyena walking across from water hole while we were having breakfast.

 


 

We were very fortunate to have time with MC and to hear of her work with the brown haired hyenas plus Dr. Phillip Stander was there. One evening he spotted a leopard stalking a giraffe with a baby and all of us went out and were able to see the leopard. Then Dr. Stander came back and sat around the fire pit having a glass of wine and talking about his work. What a wonderful opportunity we had. The next evening Elias let us stay out during our sundowner to watch the mother giraffe over the deceased baby and observe all the animals that were trying to scavenge.

 

We also enjoyed the trip to the coast and was surprised how much we saw on the drive over to coast. They had a wonderful lunch set up on the beach that was great and the pilots who flew us back managed to find group of elephants that we flew over. It is amazing how the camp operates on solar power only and with food, water, supplies all trucked in. It was a 5* experience. They showed the movie that Nat. Geographic made about Dr Standers 17 year work with the mother lion and the 5 lions. I have been finding on line other videos of his as was so impressive for conservation and protection of the desert lions.

 

In summary, we had a wonderful trip and I would recommend your organization and also Wilderness Safaris. In fact, I want to go to Botswana and stay at Wilderness camps. While expectations were that we would not see many animals, knowing it is a desert environment we were very fortunate and I feel saw a lot. They had rain the month before so that helped as many animals in the riverbed. And our guides were very good. Having been in Kenya on safari, this was such a neat change as felt like we were only ones in the parks or reserves. We would drive for hours and not see other cars. So different from Kenya. Plus as most people were also staying at the different camps you ran into them multiple times-either at a camp or airport. All the information and documentation you provided were valuable and everything we needed. (The camps did such a good job with laundry we realized we had over-packed.)

 

Thanks for your planning and support and this was a trip my daughter and I will remember for a very long time.

Sydney Bland, March 2016

 

 

 

Exploring Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Linyanti Reserve

 

Dear Mark,

 

You and AAC did an outstanding job with our first safari. Thanks so much for the wonderful and careful planning. We had so many fascinating experiences in the bush, and we found our accommodations superb! We even did some of our game rides with clients of yours from Canada! Small world--a lovely couple.

 

The guides at the lodges were excellent! Duke, at Chitabe, was especially interesting and most accommodating.

 

Again, thank you for your professionalism and topnotch plans for our trip!

 

Sincerely,

Mary Campbell and Stewart Brockett, March 2016


 

 

 

Desert and Delta Safari to Botswana and Victoria Falls

 

Hi Alison, we had a wonderful time on our African adventure——thank you and your team for all your help! Everything worked just beautifully!

 

Every transfer and road trip was seamless and on time. The drivers shared lots of history and stories. The camps were just so comfortable and wonderful. We enjoyed each one of the three camps for itself and its particular environment. The camp managers and staff were so friendly and knowledgeable, also very accommodating and caring. Every need was met. The three of us all felt the same positive way about the camps. The small plane flights in between the camps were totally fun. Each pilot was so personable and made the short hops fun.

 

Duma Tau—Probably our most favorite was so interesting and exciting. Dave was an especially skilled people person and his staff reflected his enthusiasm and energy. It was a lovely site and so beautifully set up. Game viewing was exceptional and “Moke” really knocked himself off to ensure that we saw as much as possible of the landscape and animal life. The boat trip and lecture about Botswana were a definite highlight.

 

  

 

Kalahari Plains—very nice with an equally caring staff. The opportunity to interact with the Bushman was very special. Andy was also an excellent safari leader. He made sure we saw and learned as much as possible.

 

Kwetsani—exceptionally beautiful camp site—tree house effect. We all had a wonderful time there and would have liked another day just to sit around and enjoy the room, deck and view. Moyo also was an excellent safari leader. We saw a considerable amount of animals at this site also.

 

We loved the small sites, and the restricted number for Land Rovers per animal viewing. This fact more than anything ensured an excellent experience. The food in the three camps we visited was fresh, tasty, varied and plentiful.

 

We so enjoyed the Victoria Falls Hotel…also could have used another day here to have more fully utilized the facility. The Falls walk leader, Esther, was definitely a wealth of knowledge. What a joy. We definitely would recommend the helicopter ride, the 25 minute one.

 

Four Seasons in Johannesburg turned out to be a smart thing to add to the trip. The ride to the hotel gave us a few minutes just to see the town and some of the neighborhoods. The hotel was, of course, very lovely and a relaxing way to end our trip.

 

We felt that the entire experience was excellent. The organization and experience of your company and Wilderness Safari is impressive. We have a great respect for the Wilderness Safari Company, and the work it preforms. From camp to camp we heard others sharing compliments for the company. Their work was seamless and very impressive. They appear to have highly trained staff members in the various job categories. Staff members certainly seemed to enjoy their jobs and were very good ambassadors for their country.

 

Lastly, your materials, check lists and field guide were excellent for trip preparation.

 

We appreciate your work and send you our thanks.

Carol and Stan Pugmire, March 2016

 

 

 

 

South Africa Family Safari including Singita and the Cape Grace

 

We wanted to thank the entire team for a wonderful and most memorable family vacation. Once again the Africa Adventure Company not only delivered but exceeded all expectations.

It was truly special to revisit our honeymoon trip 20 years later but this time with kids. I'm sure we will be returning again.

 

Thanks again for the personal touch.

 

Warm regards,

Marko, Susan and the entire Sonnenberg family, March 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Best of Namibia and Botswana Wing Safari including Skeleton Coast and the Okavango Delta

 

Dear Elena,

 

We returned on Tuesday and just received your letter asking for our feedback. We had a wonderful trip. Thanks to you all for being so good at what you do!

 

Everything worked like clockwork and we enjoyed it all.

 

Namibia was a very different experience from our past Botswana safaris. The Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp was extremely comfortable, we loved the contemporary flair, the manager and staff were first rate, and the food was spectacular-- the best of all the camps.

 


 

We enjoyed our drives into the desert and had interesting animal sightings in this stark desert environment. We took a very enjoyable walk one morning for about 1.5 hours from the camp.

 

We think this camp should promote a walk since it gave our guide a chance to fill us in on so much about this environment and, because there is little danger from animals close in to camp, a walk really works. On our drives out from the camp, we saw the "five musketeers" and learned of the efforts to expand this very small lion population in this part of Namibia. We had other animal sightings and many spectacular vistas of the desert. The sunset/moonrise was something special!

 

Our next camp was Chitabe in Botswana and we loved it. We had the great good luck of having Duke as our guide. We had him three years ago and he made that safari and this one memorable. The camp manager encouraged us to always request the guide we want. No guarantee, but they like requests so you might want to encourage your repeat guests to do so. The animal and bird sightings were spectacular. So much animal behavior this time including lions mating, hippos mating (big splashing!), one outcast lion returning to the territory and challenging the two who sent him away. No direct confrontation but lots of challenging roaring in both directions. We also saw cheetahs and hyenas that we did not see the last time. And of course many, many zebras, giraffes, elephants and more and everything so close to the vehicle. Fabulous safari experience. We would definitely return to Chitabe.

 


 

The last camp in Botswana was Vumbura Plains. I am glad you persuaded me to stay in this "premier" level camp. We are very comfortable in Chitabe which is "classic," but we had no trouble enjoying the luxury of Vumbura. Our "tent" was a virtual suite and the adjacent deck was huge. Spectacular accommodations. They even had an exercise bike that we kept on the deck and enjoyed. The staff were very friendly and the service was great. We enjoyed the option to dine alone rather than family style as at Chitabe. Family style was fine but the twosome option was good. Our guide, Ike, was excellent. The guide really matters as you know and Ike's passion for his world and great knowledge of the animal, bird and environment were on a par with Duke's. We would definitely hope to get paired with Ike on a future trip...

 

And, speaking of overnight stays, the Olive Grove hotel in Windhoek, Namibia where you had us stay before we continued to Hoanib was so excellent that we wished we had two nights there! Such a comfortable place with great staff and very good food. And we would have liked to spend some time in Windhoek and in their beautiful museum learning a bit more about this country.

 

All in all, Elena, a wonderful safari experience. You and your team did a great job and we are recommending your services to friends who are considering safari.

 

Our best,

Donna Sorgi and David Bernstein, March 2016


 

 

 

50th Anniversary Flying Safari to Namibia and South Africa

 

Hello everyone -

Just a quick note to thank you for an amazing trip! The Weale family absolutely loved all of it. And you guys made it easy for us to do so. I am happy to be a reference for anyone thinking about working with you guys. I also just responded to a forum post on TripAdvisor about tour operators (I told the woman to check you guys out) - and will continue sing your praise wherever I can.

 

A few specifics, in case they're helpful:

1. Little Kulala: You guys were very smart to start with the trip with Namibia. (I think I had originally wanted it to be at the end.) It was amazing - so vast and breathtaking there, but if we had ended with it, I suspect (maybe?) that we would have been disappointed with the lack of animal life. Instead, we took a million pics of every springbok we saw (not many) - unaware that we'd see so much animal life that we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves. Our guide was Chris at Little Kulala - he was phenomenal. We loved our stay at Little Kulala (sleeping out under the stars was incredible). We also did the hot air balloon ride - another stunning keeper. The company was fantastic.

 

2. Cape Town: Our guide (Lucia) was perfect - thank you for matching her with us! Use her wherever you can - your guests will never be disappointed. We went to Signal (at Cape Grace), Del Aire Graff, Mondiall, and Black Sheep for restaurants. And Karibu in the V&A Waterfront. Oh - and Two Oceans at Cape Point. All were excellent - no disappointments. (And the dollar is so strong!! It's ridiculous how impeccably you can eat & drink in South Africa for very low prices.)

 

3. MalaMala: Nothing bad to say about the safari. We loved it. The animals, the scenery, the lodging, the food, the service... They were amazing to us - and our ranger Dave was phenomenal. We loved the history of the place & the old school vibe. And of course, the game viewing was fantastic.

 


 

I'd go back and do any of it in a heart beat.

 

You gave us the trip of the lifetime. Thank you. Please let me know if there are any other ways that I can spread the word about you guys. I'm so glad that John recommended you when I started my search; I hope to be that person for many others in the future. And as I said, I'm happy to be a reference for you if ever necessary.

All my best,

Liza Weale, March 2016

 

 

 

Spectacular Safari to Namibia and Botswana

 

Hi Mark

 

The trip was fabulous.

 

Highpoints were

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Jack’s Camp in the Kalahari [perhaps the favorite]

Mombo Camp and Sandibe

 

The Kalahari and the Skeleton Coast were sublime.

 

The guides were all uniformly excellent. Highest marks to “Bones” at Jack’s Camp and Jonah at Sandibe. Sandibe was the most “thrilling” of all the camps — really felt like we were out there and had to be alert to game at all times. Although Mombo was certainly like that, too.

 

We definitely plan to go back to Africa some day! Maybe Ethiopia?

 

Thank you,

Tony Eaton, Feb 2016

 

 

 

 

Classic Botswana Flying Safari to the Linyanti Reserve and Okavango Delta

 

I am home and happy to report that the planned trip went smoothly and well. I had a wonderful time with never a worry about where I should be when.

 

The tented camps you suggested were great, very different personalities and somewhat different landscapes. I enjoyed both. Tim and Hailey are especially good hosts and go out of their way to please. Plus, the food at Seba cannot be surpassed.

 

Guides and managers were knowledgeable and helpful. At Chitabe Lediba, Molousi gave us history and political lessons when he joined us. Just terrific.

 

Ruby made sure I had a birthday cake even though I was avoiding this birthday, but we all had fun and the cake was delicious.

 

All of your people were polite, on time, and very helpful every step of the way. Thanks for planning so well.

Marcia Mumbrue, Feb 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Best of Southern Africa including the Sabi Sand Game Reserve

 

Greetings Elena!

 

The trip was outstanding and we had a great time. Kirkman's Kamp service, guides, staff, etc. were amazing and a perfect start to our trip. Zimbabwe was an eye-opening experience on many, many levels. Our guide in Cape Town and in the wine country, Rob Byram, was excellent. We were blessed with outstanding weather the entire time - there was no animal we did not see (including a leopard in a tree with its kill on the lower branch), no experience we did not get to enjoy (including Table Mountain, Robben Island, Shark Cage Diving, and climbing Lions Head), and no day that we did not have great food and wine.

 

Thanks for you help.

Marlene Nations, Feb 2016


 

 

 

Flying Safari to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast and Botswana’s Okavango Delta

 

Hello Mark and team,

 

What a great adventure!!! Such wonderful people in the camps...so genuinely caring and gracious. They are very hospitable and will do everything in their power to make your stay as perfect as possible. The food was terrific and I will have to learn to live without afternoon tea!! Our itinerary was well thought out ….. loved the change from desert to savannah.

Diane Stillman, Feb 2016

 

 

 

 

Cape Town, Whale Coast and Safari to South Africa and Botswana

 

Hi Elena and Alison:

 

I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how wonderful everything has been here in South Africa.  All of the arrangements you made for us have been perfect and transfers, etc have worked like clockwork!  Alison, you clearly did understand what we were looking for.  We LOVED our guide in Jo'burg& Cape Town, everything about Mashatu, the Turbine Hotel and Mosaic!  They were each perfect for us.  Thank-you for once again facilitating an excellent African Adventure for us.

 


 

We had a fabulous time…  I think you were right with your initial idea though - we should have stayed at Mosaic 3 nights.  The same in Knysna.  Oh well, next time I won't second guess you haha!!  All the staff at both Mosaic and Mashatuwere just so incredibly friendly, caring and helpful.  They really make those places wonderful.  And the food!!  Oh my!!

 

I hope it won't be another 10 years before we head back to this amazing continent.  I'd actually like to come back in about two years with all of our grown-up "kids".  I'm thinking Mashatu and then the Okavango Delta or maybe Zimbabwe or Namibia. I'll be in touch again when that idea becomes closer to reality.  In the meantime, keep me on your mailing list.

 

Just a couple of more days here in Cape Town and then back to the cold, grey reality of life - hopefully spring will be just around the corner!

 

Thanks again,
Tracey  Bennewies, Jan 2016

 

 

 

Big Five Game Safari to South Africa

 

Hi Elena!

 

Yes, I am back home safe and sound.  I am totally jet lagged but still on a very high 'high' from the awesome experiences I had on safari.  Thank you so much for arranging everything in short order - everything was perfect and amazing!

 

I enjoyed both Kirkman's and Ngala Tented Camp.  I met amazing people both staff and other guests, and saw amazing things at both locations.  Finishing off my trip at Ngala was definitely a highlight for me though - I loved the tented camp experience!

 


 

Thanks again for everything!
Kind regards,

WillyDrost, Jan 2016


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