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CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS SOUTHERN AFRICA – JUL-AUG 2018


Flying Safari to Zambia’s Lower Zambezi, Botswana’s Okavango Delta and South Africa’s Tswalu Reserve Hi Szilvia, Here is our review of the camps from our recent trip: Sausage Tree

This camp totally exceeded our expectations. When you first arrive at the camp it looks very much like a classic camp but after a while you realize it is more like a premier camp. Our Suite consisted of a sitting area with a stocked bar and refrigerator, large sleeping area, large bathroom with tub and outside shower and a large deck with plunge pool. Our butler named Laston would serve us dinner every evening on our outside deck. Collins our private guide was terrific he was a great tracker and would always find the animals we were looking for. The food was always great and they were careful to make sure Barbara always had her vegan food. Even though we stayed six nights it seemed to fly by and would have liked to stay longer. I would highly recommend this camp.

Thorntree River Lodge

An excellent stopover point in Livingstone. The lodge was modern and very well run with fine dining. We decided not to do the river cruise and chose the rhino safari instead which we loved because we got a private guard to walk us very close to the rhinos.

Duba Explorers Camp

Upon landing at the airstrip we were taken by helicopter for the short flight to the camp. The new location is fantastic, surrounded by wildlife the gaming was great. Lungi the chef is wonderful, he would make the most spectacular meals for Barbara and myself. We love this camp because it resembles the more rustic camps yet affords all the luxuries one would expect at the finest camps.

Qorokwe Camp Very nice new camp with wonderful guiding. The rooms were very nice and modern. Tswalu

What can I say, this is absolutely the best Lodge/Camp we have ever stayed at. Our guide this year was Nelson and our tracker Ben which we had last year, between the two of them they could track and find any animal no matter how small or hidden they were. My only regret is five days were not enough!!!!!

Thanks, Jay Berkowitz, Aug 2018   Zimbabwe Heritage Safari to Mana Pools, Hwange and Matobo Hills Hi all - Great trip - very hard to leave, as always.  Here's some feedback:

Mana Pools and Vundu - really the highlight of the trip.  Nick & Desiree were there which I'm sure made it feel like a family situation. Also very welcoming mgrs., Melanie and Daryl.  The elephants were stellar and great walking.

Amalinda and the Motobo Hills - beautiful camp, gracious hosts, fantastic design.  A great way to end the trip. Looking forward to next trip! Nancy Gubman, Aug 2018   Zimbabwe Legends Flying Safari including Mana Pools Hi Lynne:

We are back and safe and somewhat sound.  We had an absolutely incredible time and did things that I couldn’t imagine us doing even a few weeks ago.  The accommodations were wonderful, our flights and transfers were flawless and according to our guides and trip mates, we were incredibly lucky in what we saw.

One thing I do want to emphasize is that Lynne was right on the money about Vundu camp and the guides being the best.  We are so incredibly thankful that you recommended Vundu.  While all of the camps had good guides and excellent accommodations, our guide at Vundu made the trip.  Period.  Daryl Martin (and his wife Melanie, who rode with us several times) was incredible and made our trip.  I’ll give you more details later, but Daryl, Melanie, Nick, Des and their kids were wonderful.  If I sat here for hours, I couldn’t thank them enough for the experience they gave us.

Talk to you soon and I will send some pix when I get them downloaded. Lee Sherman, Aug 2018   Botswana Flying Safari to the Okavango Delta and Linyanti Reserve Hi Alison, We had a great trip! Thanks again for everything. Highlights include:

All 3 camps. Great wildlife every day. Chitabe and Duba Plains continue to be fabulous. Lesh our guide at Chitabe was very good…LetZ at Duba was world class. Great guide. The camp was over the top. Great food, people and ambiance. It was fun to be there again

Anyway a great trip all around. The guys in the airports were great. The lounge in Maun was a nice addition as well. Thanks again!! Kathleen Sullivan, Aug 2018   South Africa Romance Safari Hello Jessica,

It is hard to believe we have been back over a month now and are going back to school tomorrow.  We are still going through our photos. We have been enjoying sharing our experience with family and friends as it was the best trip we have ever taken. Thank you so much for helping make it a reality.

Kyle and I were awestruck with the wildlife and how close we could get to the animals. We saw the big 5 and a very well-fed cheetah on our first full day on safari at Savanna Lodge! A lioness with cubs crunching on an impala and two leopard cubs, one in a tree playing around, incredible to witness. Unforgettable!

Savanna Lodge was outstanding! Everything and more than what we had imagined. The suite and amenities were very impressive, they had everything you could think of.  Kyle used the plunge pool and outdoor shower.   On our anniversary night they had a lovely private dinner for us and some special touches inside. The staff was amazing, our guide Dan, was fantastic, finding the wildlife, sharing his knowledge and expertise as well as creating a good atmosphere among all the guests. It was a pleasure spending time with him.  The food was incredible and the waitress and staff were very friendly and attentive.  On our last night we had dinner in the boma with the choir performing, an experience I will never forget.  We were so impressed with it all that we were genuinely sad to leave.

The Cape Grace was the perfect location, again great accommodation and restaurant, we ate there several times. Concierge service was great. The shark dive was kind of a far drive, it was our whole day but we did see sharks! We were lucky to have a fantastic day to hike Table Mountain, cable car wasn’t working due to wind so there were very few people at the top.

The Phinda Game Reserve had a great variety of wildlife but it was hard to compare it to Savanna and the Sabi Sand…We had a fantastic dinner in the bush. We did appreciate how the land was different and the plane in and out was an exciting experience.

Now that we know what a trip like this is we would have liked to stay a day or two longer at the safari parks. It was a lot of travel to get there and around the country.  The Bidvest lounge in Johannesburg was very much appreciated, a good real meal and an opportunity to move around.

It was a great trip overall. Very smooth meeting all the transportation people and connections.  We will recommend the company to friends and family and would certainly use you again. Africa is a very special place and we would love to go back.

Thanks again for your help in organizing and planning this unforgettable trip for us. Sincerely, Danielle and Kyle Astle, Jul 2018   Iconic Safari to Southern Africa

Szilvia, thank you for planning our safari trip of a lifetime! It was a great experience that we will cherish forever. You have requested from feedback about our adventure, so here goes! These are my opinions and possibly not reflective of the entire group.

Arrival in Johannesburg, transfer and Southern Sun hotel – were great! The staff at the Southern Sun were extremely friendly. The restaurant was delicious. You should add to your description of the hotel that a HUGE buffet breakfast is included in the room rate. I highly recommend the Southern Sun restaurant and the InterContinental Hotel Quills restaurant. The Intercontinental Hotel is next door to the Southern Sun. The Southern Sun provided transportation to and from the InterContinental Hotel and the Southern Sun highly recommended the InterContinental restaurant and made reservations for our party of 7. Delicious food and great wine list at the 5 star hotel restaurant.

Kirkman’s Kamp – the most outstanding and breathtaking experience ever! Words cannot describe how fantastic this place was. The Staff were the best. Food and Accommodations were exquisite. Our Guide – Mark Shaw – was the most knowledgeable and best ever. Without his expertise and knowledge, we would have been lost. He not only showed us the wildlife and game, he taught us about every aspect of the Safari. Because of what we learned from him, we were able to apply and appreciate the other safaris on our trip…

Khwai Shared Mobile Tented Camp Okavango Delta – this ties in 1st place with Kirkmans’ Kamp. Words cannot describe how fantastic this place was. The Staff were the best. Food and accommodations were exquisite. We are all still talking about our wonderful experience of tent living, sitting around a camp fire, eating by candle light on a beautifully and elegantly set table, everything was outstanding. Our Guide – Josh Iremonger – was the most knowledgeable and best guide ever. As with Mark Shaw from Kirkman’s Kamp, without his expertise and knowledge, we would have been lost. He not only showed us the wildlife and game, he taught us about every aspect of the Safari. He found every animal we requested to see and then some. His dynamic personality created an atmosphere of togetherness and caring. The game that we saw were incredible and so awesome. Mel Albers, our hostess, has the expertise and attention to every detail that made our safari absolutely the most wonderful experience. She and her team welcomed us with open arms and we left feeling as if we were a part of their family. We all said that we wished we had more time with them and had shorten other parts of our trip so we could have enjoyed more of her, Josh and the Okavango Delta. Our every desire was met and exceeded. Words cannot describe the beauty and incredible experience we will cherish forever.

Cape Town
  • Victoria Alfred Hotel – Luxurious!
  • Restaurant recommendations – you should add the following restaurants to your listing: Willoughby’s at the Waterfront - located in the Waterfront Mall adjacent to the Hotel. Outstanding food and reasonable prices with great wine selection. Very busy but well worth the wait. The Hussar Grill Mouille Point – delicious steak and reasonably priced again with great wine list and only a short Uber ride from the Victoria Alfred Hotel. Reservations recommended. Pot Luck Club – highly recommended but we couldn’t get in.
Thanks again, John Courtney, Jul 2018   South Africa Deluxe Safari including a journey on the luxury steam train "Rovos Rail" Hi Szilvia and the AAC Team, Thank you for your welcome home greeting.

After four trips one would think that there wasn't much to say.  But, as always, this was an outstanding adventure from start to finish.  The Saxon Hotel was wonderful.  We tried "Grei" the new restaurant, which was an amazing experience in itself.  We never had a dinner that lasted three and a half hours, but it was time well spent.  The Rovos Rail added yet another unique experience that we will long remember.  An extra bonus was that about a third of our fellow passengers were South Africans, which made for great conversations about life in South Africa along the way.  Cape Town and the Cape Grace were as delightful as we remembered.  We finally made it to Robben Island. By the way, the dinner at Guardian Peak winery was beautiful and an excellent choice. Thanks for that and all the other special things along the way.  Our guide for the winelands tour was excellent as well.

The game reserves: Lions Sands was as billed, quite elegant, the accommodations and food were top notch.  Our guides, Luke and Abraham were quite good, and especially accommodating, besides the usual two game drives, we did long walks each day as well.   We were particularly lucky with leopards and rhino.

Last but not least, Tswalu was stupendous.  Our guide, Kali, and tracker, Jonas, were incredible.  We were the only vehicle in the section of the reserve with the two male lions and the two prides.  Our guides single-handedly tracked the two lions.  Although it took a few hours, it was well worth seeing them in action.  We saw numerous cheetah, rhino, both the habituated meerkats, and those not so habituated, as well as the pangolin and aardvark.  The high point of our time there was spending time with the pack of African wild dogs and their 12 young pups.  In addition to the family fun, we finally managed to follow the dogs on a very successful hunt. My condolences to the mother oryx whose child is no longer with us.

All we can say is thanks again for an amazing safari and a memorable 25th wedding anniversary. Best wishes, Peter and Mary Ellen Cvek, Jul 2018   The Best of Botswana, Zambia and South Africa Kyle,

Splash Camp was a very pleasant surprise. The facilities were very comfortable. The game viewing was among the best I have experienced in one concession. To top it all the staff was outstanding. The guide Thomas was very pleasant, and exceptionally knowledgeable. As a bonus he knew a lot about photography and was willing to share his knowledge. He also had a good sense of where to stop to get the best lighting. His guide, Ike, was likewise knowledgeable and had a good eye. This will be remembered as one of our best experiences in all our trips to Africa. (Not to detract, but Old Mondoro is still the all time favorite)

The new Matswere mobile tented camp (Okavango Delta) was a once in a lifetime experience. I cannot say enough about Josh, very personable, good stories, good eye. It did not take him long to figure out what we wanted to do and see, so he was not fixated on the big 5, of which we did see all except rhino. He was most helpful with photography and was wonderful with the grandkids. Flo, the chef, can create wonders. I would do this again in a second, but unfortunately, I am not sure the old body would agree. Too bad.

Mwamba (South Luangwa) was great for game viewing, saw more lions than ever before. The camp was most comfortable. A drawback is that it is not on the water, which I think adds a positive dimension. The facilities are perfectly good, but the food was a little below par. Even though the guide took a  while to get a fix on our interests, once he did he was very good.

Zinguilia (South Luangwa) was very pleasant, food good and the staff what you would hope for. Steven the manager and also our guide was special. He expedited the change of transportation, and the return if Nick’s passport, which he had left at Mwamba.

Phinda, I am still trying to figure out my reaction. As you know it is not the type of place we normally visit. Too structured, and too much emphasis and focus on food. The staff was as good as any. Saw a lot of rhino, but it is sad to see them without horns.

All in all a very pleasant experience. Terry Ellis, Jul 2018   Safari to Southern Africa’s Private Game Reserves, Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park Dear Kyle and Team,

Our trip was perfect and flawless!  We just could not believe how well planned and varied all of the lodges and our experiences were.  Each was unique in its own way.

At the airports the person that picked us up was always well dressed and had the most professional sign J It always gave you a great feeling and set the tone for your experience from the very beginning.  You knew you were in for the best of the best!

One night at Victoria Falls was adequate and shorter than 3 nights at the lodges would have been too rushed. All the guides were amazing and we saw all of the animals.  One really doesn’t need binoculars!! Chobe Lodge was a fun different experience from the Tent Lodges but love the Tents too! Tanda Tula is the perfect place to start and Splash Camp is amazing.

The ELLERMAN Hotel in Cape Town was out of this WORLD.  We have no idea of how much money it was a night since it was not broken down in our package and we are glad it wasn’t because we probably would of requested something less expensive and missed the experience.  We just loved the place and they gave us a corner suite overlooking the ocean!

Preparing the envelopes with tips ahead of time saved us a lot of trouble! Brilliant! We just can’t thank you enough for our “once in a lifetime” experience and please have anyone reach out to me for a reference! Sincerely, Linda and Al Grier, Jul 2018   Flying Safari to a Private Game Reserve near Kruger and the Mashatu Reserve We are back and finally adjusting to the time and real world.  Here's a quick review.

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities we have ever been too.  We loved both Welgelgen Hotel and its location, as we could easily walk to lunch, dinner, Lord Nelson hotel, etc.  The staff at the hotel could not have been more accommodating.  They bent over backwards to make sure that our stay was great.  We had to be up and out the door by 7 AM one morning.  Breakfast is not served until 7:30 AM.  Us, "Could you have just some cold things laid out for us about 6:30?"  But instead everyone came in early, everything was laid out by 6:30, and someone was there to make us a full breakfast if we wanted.

I cannot say enough about our Cape Town guide, Chris Tromp.  I would recommend him to anyone for just about anything.  I didn't realize he would be our guide as well.  I just thought he was a driver that picked us up and took us wherever.  I had planned on walking tours of the city.  Nope, Chris would take us.  I had planned on getting a guide to hike Table Mountain.  Nope, Chris could take care of that.  We went out one evening to a really awful restaurant.  The next day Chris says, "Why didn't you ask me; I would have told you not to go there!"  He took all of our suggestions and then constructed everything we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it.

I loved both Notten's and Mashatu.  Both camps our game drivers and spotters were exceptional.  I did slightly prefer Notten's Bush Camp in part because it was a bit smaller, the amazing ambience, we got to know almost all of the staff, and they went to great lengths for a memorable stay.  For example, arriving home the first night from the game drive we found our cottage already lit up with lanterns and candles AND a hot bubble bath with iced down Champagne waiting for us.  Same thing 2nd night for the bubble bath.  Third night in the middle of nowhere everyone showed up for a bonfire where they had setup a bar, appetizers and were grilling kabobs.  Then we went stargazing.  I also liked the fact that each group had separate seating for breakfast and high tea, but at night it was communal seating and we got to talk to and know more people.

Not to say that Mashatu wasn't exceptional and probably the most spectacular event was the hide at Mashatu.  Thank you for giving us that.  I don't think I would have done it otherwise, and it was truly a highlight of the entire trip.

Anyone that wants to go to Africa, I wholeheartedly recommend the Africa Adventure Company.  Thank you for making my 60th birthday and Dan's and my 25th anniversary over and above our expectations!

Best, Deb Laufer, Jul 2018   The Best of Southern Africa  Dear Szilvia,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for an outstanding trip to Africa.  All of the arrangements you made were excellent choices for our family and gave us a real taste of southern Africa.  The pre-trip documents were spot on and helped us know what to expect on the trip.  I especially appreciated the tip guidelines since I wouldn’t have had any idea of appropriate amounts (and recipients) otherwise.

Some specific comments about the various stops:

Southern Sun Waterfront - excellent location, great service, comfortable rooms, and the best breakfast buffet we’ve ever seen.  Lazarus, our guide for the day trip, was very informative and helped us squeeze a lot into a short period of time.

Skukuza Airport - I’ve never seen such an airport!  It looked like a hotel lobby!  Mpumalanga Airport was also very modern and clean.

Kirkman’s Kamp - spectacular in every way.  It felt like being a guest in the days of the old hunting lodges.  The service was impeccable, the accommodations elegant, the food was terrific and the safari guide (Matt) and tracker (Richard) really made for a special adventure.  Matt in particular was extremely knowledgeable about the animals, their habits, their life styles, etc.  It seems that the guides receive a lot of training to be rangers including frequent firearms certification. The wildlife viewing was great - we saw lots of leopards, elephants, giraffe, zebras, rhinos, and the omnipresent antelope varieties.  Some of the animals graze on the lawn in front of the lodge. Everything at Kirkman’s was very professionally done to the highest standards.  The food was wonderful - every few hours a new meal or snack awaited!  The only suggestion for you would be to consider adding a tip category for the “Butler” (the server assigned to you for meals) for your guests at Kirkman’s.

Batonka Guest Lodge - Comfortable, friendly family lodge.  Very good breakfast.  They wrote us a nice departure note and gave each guest a parting gift of a beaded key ring!

Muchenje Safari Lodge - Location, location, location.  Wow, what a view!  We loved being able to look over the river plain and see herds of elephants, impala, and zebra roaming below.  Chobe offers spectacularly large herds of animals down by the river.  No need for a tracker there!  Since vehicles can’t drive off-road, you see whatever animals come near the established roads.  Fortunately, there were lots of them, especially elephants.  Whereas Kirkman’s was very professional with a capital P, Muchenje was like a family.  Guests eat at communal tables, with some of the guides and managers.  Food is served buffet-style.  The quantity of food was fine, but the quality wasn’t at the same level as Kirkman’s.  They made up for it in very friendly management who went out of their way to interact with guests rather than just answering requests.  Also, the lodge staff are mostly from the local area, so there is a real sense of community among them that is different from Kirkman’s, which isn’t near any settlements.  For example, the lodge supports the local village elementary school and one of the activities offered is a tour of the village and visit to the school.  Community is very important to them.  Several of the other activities are canoe tour and boat tour to see the river islands and their wildlife (especially crocs and hippos)

In short, we had a WONDERFUL trip.  I especially appreciated the care you took to schedule our stops logically and logistically.  I am glad we went to Kirkman’s first; going to Chobe first and seeing the herd upon herd of animals would have spoiled us for the Sabi Sand area where you need to go find the animals.  (although oddly, the early morning drive at Chobe yielded no animals at all whereas we saw lots at Kirkmans on the early drive.)  Breaking up the safari with a stop at Vic Falls helped us catch our breath.  We saw/did lots of wonderful things and could have spent another day in each location.

I wanted you to know how much we appreciate the work you did for us! Best regards, Betsy Munz, Jul 2018   Flying safari to Botswana’s Linyanti Reserve, Okavango Delta and Moremi Reserve Dear Mark and the staff at Africa Adventure Company,

First and foremost, let me thank you for arranging a wonderful vacation for our family! The level of customer service and quality of the experience far exceeded my expectations! Michael has asked me to provide feedback to you as I tend to be the hardest to please in the family!

Other than a bit of jostling and crowding in the Maun airport, all went well in terms of transport. The accommodations at Savuti were lovely – the rooms were gorgeous. Our guide, Onyx, was a man of few words but that was fine for this family as we tend to not enjoy too much small talk…Quality and density of wildlife viewing were good. There were times when we would drive for an hour or two without seeing really much of anything, but at the time we didn’t see this as an issue.

Transport to Little Vumbura went smoothly. Our guide was K, who was far more chatty than Onyx. Jack’s “bush buddy” there was OB and she was phenomenal. She taught him games and how to weave a bracelet and was overall amazing. He looked forward to seeing her and played mancala with her constantly. Accommodations were also lovely (particularly the porch area) and we enjoyed the boat ride to and from the camp. Quality and density of wildlife viewing were good.

…Our last camp was Sandibe and it was probably the entire family’s favorite place to stay. The lodge was gorgeous and our rooms were fabulous. The level of customer service and attention to detail were off the charts! Max was our favorite of all the guides we had on the trip. And the quality and density of wildlife viewing was exceptional. We all agreed that it was good Sandibe was our last stop as it would have set the bar for game viewing so high that the other camps could not have met it!

I hope this was helpful. Again, thank you for planning an incredible trip! I absolutely want to return to southern Africa in the future – maybe Namibia next? A few different camps in Botswana? You’ll be hearing from us again!

Many thanks, Lisa Seyfried, Jul 2018   Wildlife Safari of Southern Africa including MalaMala and Mashatu Game Reserve Hi Alison, Here are some of our comments, trip reviews.

MalaMala - Beautiful renovated rooms. We were the first to stay in our room since the renovation. Great food, great lounge area. The guides and staff were all excellent, friendly, helpful etc.  You can clearly see what you are paying in the higher price range for-nice toiletries, nice thick soft towels, laundry and drinks included, etc. Also they mentioned that they have a significant anti-rhino poaching ranger program and I assume some of our costs go to supporting that-which is great…Game viewing was outstanding! We had some good rhino sightings, which we were looking forward to as we had only seen them once in 2000 in Ngorogoro crater, from very far away. Some good leopard sightings and lots of everything else.

Mashatu Tented Camp - More rustic, as expected, but the tents were nicely appointed and comfortable. The hot water bottles at night and on the early game drives were much appreciated…Staff and guides again were helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. Game viewing again was excellent, we saw a cheetah and her 2 cubs several times (no cheetah in MalaMala). Also some good leopard sightings, and all the other game. We did spend a morning in the hide (not the hide right there at the camp, but the big one) which was well worth it. I would definitely recommend this.

It was great that they gave us each a refillable insulated water bottle to use. Much better than plastic bottles. I wish all the camps would do something similar…

Thanks again for all your work on planning, changing plans etc to end up with this great adventure!

Laura Sullivan and Jon Krohngold, Jul 2018   Botswana and Zimbabwe African Bush Camp Safari with Nic Polenakis

Greetings Alison, Elena and everyone who worked on our Safari! As always, it was beyond our greatest expectations.

Your choice of camps was perfect for us. The tents on the Zambezi were just as I like, giving the real feel of being in the bush. Kathy did like running water and hot showers in Khwai and Somalisa, and I can’t disagree with her there. The hospitality was as good as it gets, and we never wanted for anything, the cheery staff think of things before we realized we wanted them. And they all mix a great G&T! We agreed that Somalisa Expeditions is the perfect camp for old people. Comfortable, plush without being ostentatious. Quiet, small, the perfect place for us.

The charter flight team are an excellent group. They were always there, showing us the right way to go, on time, and very organized. And again, so eager to please and cheerful. Especially, whatever they do at Kazungula border crossing is worth their weight in gold. Instead of the 3-4 hour wait that everyone else had to endure, we were in and out in 15 minutes. Whatever magic they have there is a real godsend.

And of course, all your planning and attention to detail made the travel seamless and easy. You have never left us wandering, scratching our head, not knowing what to do or where to go. Listening to other travelers made us realize how fortunate we are to have you planning our trips.

Nic Polenakis was in fine form, and hit it off with Kathy right away. Having the “Professor of the Bush” with us takes the safari from interesting to astonishing. We were also fortunate to spend some time with guide Paul Hubbard, another fascinating character. He unfolded African history for us, and made it alive as we drove through places where history took place.

So, all in all, an excellent adventure. For me it gets better each time I visit, and Kathy’s first visit was more that she had ever expected. Thanks for that…

Thanks again for an incredible journey, and we look forward to talking soon! Craig Woloshyn, Jul 2018   The Best of Southern Africa to Cape Town, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, Chobe Game Park and Victoria Falls Hi Szilvia and all the staff who contributed to making this a “bucket list” adventure! Bouquets to you for the absolutely perfect arrangements from start to finish!

How shall I ever get thru any airport again without Menzies!  Oh my!  They made what could be a long, long frustration in an endless que absolutely zip thru in minutes.  Without a doubt one of our greatest gratitudes of the trip.

You asked what we liked best.  Hands down, the stay at Notten’s Bush Camp was amazing.  Perhaps because it is privately owned there was a whole different atmosphere.  The welcome, the care, the courtesies were over the top wonderful.  I think we all agreed that the 4 stars rating needs definitely to be raised to 4.5.  I can’t recall when I have had better food!

Although as a “bloodless” Floridian I was in 5 layers of clothing much of the time, the staff made sure I was next to the heaters or had a hot water bottle for the early game rides or on a very cold night in bed.  The manager personally saw that during quiet moments writing my log in the living area, I had hot chocolate or a cool drink.  The devoted and constantly working staff somehow managed to take time to relate to the guests – with their long hours I have no idea how they remained so cordial and caring.  After being in the other places on our itinerary, we recognized this as unusual and truly exceptional.

I hope you will pass review this along to Dale and staff.  Our guide, Timyika and tracker, Gideon made this adventure so special – they got the vehicle closer to the wonderful animals than I ever would have imagined possible.

However, our guide,  Lips, at Muchenje was also so personable – an incredible driver over difficult trails – his good humor even after hours of navigating the safari vehicle over brain joggling trails was wonderful.  He was always up and ready to hit the trails and the day on the boat – up close to the herd of mud bathing elephants was beyond a dream…

The experiences at these two places were vastly different – one true bush country, the other flood plains.  One a more up close to individual or small groups of animals, the other the interaction of larger herds.  Both coming together to give a fuller picture of African game.

Cape Town was very nice.  I have to admit I am NOT a city person and shopping holds minimal appeal to me but the others enjoyed the Victoria Mall and I had my first ever Ferris Wheel ride.  We very much like Lucia and she did a fine job escorting us to Table Mountain, Robben Island and Cape of Good Hope…

Radisson Blue was excellent!  The meals there were superb! The Staff welcoming and ready to help at all times.  We had a bit of hilarity when one of the doormen gave us a brief lesson in the “Click” language.

The visit to Victoria falls was lovely.  The grand old hotel gives a real feeling of stepping back into the past - with the colonial uniforms of the staff, the lovely old rooms and hotel grounds.  We had to laugh when at our first TEA on the veranda we were kept amused as 3 warthogs were grazing just feet away – so totally unafraid.  They are so cute (can warthogs BE cute?) when they kneel to graze. As one guide informed us it is because the grass was mowed and their necks are short.  I checked off another bucket-list item with a lovely helicopter flight over the falls.

Our guide, Cynthia “stand-up Elephant” as she explained her name, was very nice and informative as she led us thru the wet experience of viewing the fabulous falls.  We also enjoyed visiting the Orphans and the school.

Our Group felt that the 3 of the extra activities: Cape Town cooking/spice market, the sunset cocktail cruise and the Jungle Dinner did not have the same quality as the rest of the itinerary.

When the girls returned home and Joan and I were to make our way to Zambia for the homestay with my “adopted” son and family.  We found the arrangements were letter perfect.  It was a day of many rides, van, safari buggy, “john” boat, and plane.  All three guides met us on time and guided us thru the passport checking or visa purchasing.  We made all connections and had a most wonderful time with our Zambian family, meeting and getting to see a more “people oriented” side of Africa.  It was a perfectly balanced trip.

On behalf of Kristen and Gaelen, I want to thank you for the months of preparation in making this an adventure of a lifetime.

Sincerely, Kate VanNoorden Zerner, Jul 2018


CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS EAST & SOUTHERN AFRICA – APR-JUN 2018


Multi-Generational Safari to Southern Africa including Sabi Sand and Okavango Delta Hi Kyle and Rhoda and the rest of the team at the Africa Adventure Company,

We have returned from a truly magical trip to Africa. We are excited to share our experiences with you.

First, we want to tell you that the trip was beautifully planned, and everything went off without a hitch. Everyone was where they were supposed to be. There were no delays. Traveling with our family party of 9 (including 3 children ages 11, 11, 13) and 4 grandparents, we were delighted that every time we arrived at an airport, we had someone to meet us and guide us through the transition. This was terrific...

Our transfer to Ngala Safari Lodge was very easy…The lodge was wonderful. Mama Connie was a wonderful hostess. We saw the Big 5 in the first 24 hours. That was not all we wanted to see, but we did not see most of those animals again while in Africa, so we were happy we saw them there. Also go to see wild dogs! The service and quality of the guide (Barney) and tracker (Given) were superb.  We knew they were outstanding, but we really came to appreciate them even more when we went to our next lodge and realized how outstanding they were in comparison. We enjoyed being able to have all 9 of us in one vehicle.  We were not sure if this was a good idea when it was proposed to us initially, but Barney assured us that we should do our first game drive all together on the afternoon of our arrival, and if we wanted to have 2 vehicles the next day, he would make it happen. Needless to say, they were right, and we only wanted one vehicle. Barney has been nominated to participate in a competition for best guide in South Africa, and we totally know why.  Cannot say enough about them…We did do a walking safari (me and my husband Steven) with Barney and it was a highlight. Our butler Marcus was wonderful. The rooms were beautiful (we loved the outdoor showers), the food was excellent and plentiful, and game drives outstanding…

[caption id="attachment_6858" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Ngala Safari Lodge[/caption]

The transfer to Livingstone was very well organized as well. We had the perfect amount of time there- about 1.5 days.  The hotel was perfect- Avani. Great breakfast and we also had dinner there one night and it was actually one of our best meals…The next day we went to the falls, and had a blast with the kids. It was great being able to walk there from our hotel and having admission included with our stay. The next afternoon we did the African Queen boat ride down the Zambezi, and this was really fun. It was so beautiful and we enjoyed the sunset. The service was excellent and the snacks were good…

Our transfer to Botswana went well.  It was eye opening to ride across the Zambezi on that motor boat and to see the bridge being built! The assistance with transfer, immigration, etc was excellent and timely. Everyone was where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there.

We arrived at Shinde via small plane to a welcome with a smiling, singing staff.  We had a quick lunch and then went on afternoon game drive.  Our guides were Mathes (who is usually a manager) and Simon (who was new to Shinde but not to Ker & Downey) in 2 separate vehicles. Our time at Shinde was wonderful in many ways. We took advantage of opportunities for motorboat ride (where we really got to spend time with hippos), the mokoro (where we learned so much about the delta), and fishing (where the kids caught a ton of fish and the staff cooked a handful of them for dinner- thanks BT)… What we really enjoyed about this camp were the staff. The managers- Gosego, Angie, Thuso- were welcoming, wonderful. We enjoyed spending our meals and down time with our guides. Our favorite time of day was after the second game drive when we arrived back at camp and all sat around the fire drinking cocktails before dinner. We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to interact with and really get to know the staff. This was truly a highlight. I know the staff are working so hard, and part of their job is to be with the guests- but we really felt they wanted to get to know us, and we really wanted to learn all about them as well!  This really made this lodge special to us! We loved the open bar, open fridge, and ability to help yourself at any time to a soda or cocktail.  The wine choices here were really excellent, and we found several we liked and enjoyed. Two other highlights were a surprise lunch in the bush (with the whole camp), and on our last night, they surprised our family with a private dinner under the stars. Our accommodations were excellent. We loved the tents and the “hushbabies” (hot water bottle) in our beds at night. The bathrooms were spacious and modern, and I understand they were added relatively recently.

[caption id="attachment_6860" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Shinde.[/caption] I cried when we left. I am sure you hear that often. I cannot wait for our next trip to Africa. Thank you so much for all you did to arrange our trip and to make such wonderful suggestions about our itinerary. Sincerely, Shireen Sims, May 2018   “Big Five” Safari to South Africa’s Private Game Reserves and Cape Town Hi Kyle,

The safari was amazing! Even though I had thought about what it would be like to be on safari, it was so much better than I could imagined! I didn't realize how very close you get to all the animals and how many we would get to see. Both Tanda Tula and MalaMala were great! I think the combination of Tanda Tula and MalaMala were perfect as we got to experience both tented and lodge based safari camps. Honestly, before going I was a little apprehensive about the "tented" experience, but Tanda Tula takes "glamping" to a whole new level! At Tanda Tula our guide, Luke, was really great and we learned so much about the animals and environment from him. He even gave my dad a photography lesson. Our tracker, Jack, had an astonishing ability to locate animals from far distances. On top of the safari experience, the food was amazing! I loved the outdoor bush breakfasts and one day we had a special sundowner with a gin tasting and lanterns.

MalaMala was the perfect contrast to Tanda Tula. I loved the huge individual lodges with thatched roofs at Sable Camp (where we ended up since the Main Camp was be renovated)! Both our guides at MalaMala, Pieter and Kyle, were also great! They were fun while also being informative. I think we saw the Big 5 every day at MalaMala! Plus we got super close to the animals--and there were multiple leopard sightings everyday. Although it is hard to pick a favorite moment, some of my favorite moments included being surrounded by almost 150 elephants (including babies) at Tanda Tula and literally following a lion and lioness one morning at MalaMala. We also saw a leopard attempt a kill.

Cape Town was very beautiful despite the rain! Our guide did a great job making sure we got to see everything we wanted in the 2 days we were there and was flexible in changing around the itinerary due to the weather. It was also nice to learn more about South African history from him. The Welgelegen hotel was very cute and in a good location.

Everything was planned perfectly, and we did not have to think about any pick-up, transfer, or airport departure the entire time we were in South Africa. I know we would all like to go on another safari sometime in the future, and we would definitely use the Africa Adventure Company again.

Thanks! Saira Khan, June 2018   Southern Africa Adventure to Mashatu Game Reserve, Sabi Sand, Victoria Falls and Mana Pools Africa Adventure Team –

THANK YOU!!!  It was an amazing family adventure.  Your collective support, guidance, patience and insight to the continent/culture/location was imperative to our highly successful trip.

We could never have done this without you and truly value your support and guidance.

Our favorite guide was Tim from MalaMala.  He was able to connect with our family in a great way – making the adventure truly more memorable.  Mashatu was phenomenal and the sunsets/animals reflect that  -- the Mashatu Team were so welcoming and made us feel welcome/wanted and very safe.

[caption id="attachment_6866" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Our guide Tim from MalaMala.[/caption]

The way you all laid out our trip was perfect – every few days we went to a new venue/met new friends/experienced more of Africa.   We got to experience Safaris, wonderful Camps, variety of transportation methods, physical activity (mountain biking/hiking) and amazing food/wine.  We really appreciate your support to our family’s needs/desires and building a truly unique adventure just for us.

Thank you. Catherine Clinch, May 2018   Iconic Southern Africa Safari Dear AAC,

I have been blessed to get to travel with you three times and each time has been a real treat!  Each trip has been different & very special.  Your attention to detail is unparalleled.

I love MalaMala & the off-road game drives that allow you to truly track animals.  This was my second trip to MalaMala and it was as wonderful as the first.

Victoria Falls was wonderful again!

The Chobe Game Lodge was beautiful & their environmental awareness was very refreshing.  This is my second trip to the Chobe River.  My first trip I stayed at Muchenje Safari Lodge.  Muchenje was not as upscale as the Chobe Game Lodge, but I enjoyed my stay there equally well (we were very spoiled on our trip to Muchenje because we got to see elephant herds crossing the river right next to us.)

[caption id="attachment_6869" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Chobe Game Lodge.[/caption]

We truly enjoyed our time in Cape Town.  Our guide, Rob, was very nice & knowledgeable.  The weather cooperated and allowed us to hike on Table Mountain.  We enjoyed wine tasting, seeing the Cape of Good Hope, & seeing the penguins.

We cannot thank you enough for arranging another wonderful trip to Africa.  I hope to be able to go back again! Best Wishes, Helen Close, June 2018   Botswana and South Africa Wildlife Safari and Cape Explorer Good Afternoon Elena, I do not use the words, great, fantastic, and awesome very frequently, but they fit this adventure. Our trip was not good, It was FANTASTIC!

We had thought that this would be a once in a life time trip, but all of us quickly agreed that we have to plan another trip!

You put together a great trip for us and we thought that we could start gathering information for another trip to Africa.  We loved the accommodations at Mashatu and MalaMala and the quality of camps. The connections worked like clockwork, very impressed!

Again, The trip was fantastic!...

The African Rock Hotel was very neat and different. We were very pleased that we were not staying at a regular hotel. The food was good, as were the rooms, and the staff were very nice.

Off to Mashatu, what a great experience! Debra was so concerned about having a bucket shower. The tent set up was very nice and we all enjoyed them. Food and staff were all great. Our Guide was Jakes, he worked hard to assure that we saw a variety of animals and lots of them. One time, we had a herd of about 300 elephants walk past us. The lines of elephants just kept coming and coming and coming. We never expected to be so close to so many different animals. Every game drive held exciting new experiences. Being away from the crowds was very nice.  We hated to leave Mashatu!...

On to MalaMala, We thought that it would be hard to beat Mashatu but MalaMala did! The main lodge was closed so we were in Sable Lodges. What can we say? The rooms were fantastic, we had wild animals wandering around outside of our decks, Food, staff, guide (Bens), Staff. Michael (wine steward) went out of his way to give us a list of African wines that he thought we would enjoy. Everyone made us feel like celebrities! Our guide did everything he could to put us on the different animals and tried very hard for us to see a Kill, but that did not happen. We even saw the Big Five in one day.  Now we REALLY hated to leave.

On to Victoria Falls, the connections went great, they helped us though the customs and immigration of the countries. It was obvious that they knew some of the people behind the counters. Smooth process!

The falls were beautiful, but the information that she shared was fantastic. Lodging at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. Rooms and staff were very nice…

[caption id="attachment_6872" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.[/caption]

The day tour of the falls with Cynthia was great. She has a tremendous amount of knowledge and pride of her African culture. We could only start to comprehend a tiny bit of what she shared.  Chobe National Park, the river cruise was very nice. We were able to see a few different animals and how they acted around or in the water. Hippos were amazing. We never knew that elephants could swim!

Onto Cape Town and Lucia, another great guide. She made sure that we were able to see all of the places on our list even if it took a little longer than planned. We had two full days for adventure, seeing the sights, tasting the wines and listening to Lucia share her knowledge of the different areas.  The accommodations at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront were very nice. They gave us rooms facing the ocean. A storm had come through a few days earlier and the waves were very large. The waves crashing on shore sounded like we were back on the coast of Maine. Everyone there was very nice and friendly. The breakfast here was great! Nice way to end our trip!

We have always been ready to get back home from other trips, but we all could have extended our visit in Africa. We hope that this was not too much information. Blaine, Debra, Wayne, & Rebecca Richardson, May 2018   Botswana Premier Flying Safari to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Reserve Dear Jessica, Leonard and I want to thank you for planning another memorable trip to Africa for us.

The places we stayed: The Saxon—Elephant Camp—Kings Pool—Vumbura Plains—Mombo Main Camp were all 5 star.  Okay, I have to admit Mombo is more than 5 star.  It is so special and we hope we can return one day.

Botswana and The Okavango Delta is truly a magical and unspoiled land.  Once there you return home hoping to help preserve this natural resource that is like none other.

Africa has so much to offer the environments, the animals and especially the African people who are so caring and gentle and it is they that we keep telling our friends about.  They have seen our photos but it’s impossible for them to feel the spirit.  In each camp we enjoyed talking to the staff and finding out about their lives and we feel that we have left new friends in Botswana.

The Boma dinners are always a highlight for us since we enjoy the singing and dancing of the different villages. Here are just a few of our photos.  The interior photos are of our “tent" at Mambo. Stay well and keep in touch. Warmest regards, Barbara Bernstein, May 2018   Honeymoon Safari to South Africa and Mozambique Hi!

Sorry for the delay, Drew and I are just getting around to providing feedback on our honeymoon! We wanted to give some feedback on the amazing honeymoon we had!

Cape Town - Clarendon Bantry Bay

Very relaxing and wonderful accommodations.  The place was amazing and the staff always went above and beyond. We really enjoyed the wine tour on the bike, although it was definitely more strenuous than we thought, especially since we biked through several dirt/sand roads!  The guide was great!...We also LOVED the shark diving trip - the tour guides were excellent and we saw three great whites a handful of times!

[caption id="attachment_6883" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Clarendon Bantry Bay.[/caption] Safari - Savanna Lodge

This was definitely our most enjoyable part of the trip.  Neil (our driver) was fantastic.  Between him and the other guests we were paired with, we had an absolute blast!  We still keep in touch with the other couples from London and Chicago we met on safari!  The resort staff and all the special touches (dinners, baths, dessert wine, etc.) were all very much appreciated and made each night so incredibly special!  We've talked up the safari and Savanna lodge specifically to all of our friends and family!  We want to go back!

Mozambique - Santorini

This was the definition of relaxation.  We really got a chance to unwind and relax during this portion of the trip.  Some days we just moved from beach to pool to couches reading books (something we never get the chance to do)!  Our host, Sergio, did an excellent job of making us feel welcome and taking care of every need!  We were amazed by the level of service, the accommodations and especially the food!  Every meal was so incredibly delicious and all the personal touches (flowers, butter writing, etc.) made each meal very unique and exciting!  The managers of Santorini were also very welcoming and easy to talk to!...

We really had the trip of a lifetime and can't wait to go back some day as the pictures and videos don't do it justice! All of the details were impeccable and everything was executed so well thanks to you guys. You made the trip the easiest thing to plan while giving us the trip of a lifetime. We recommend you to everyone and anyone we can so thank you!! It was an incredible trip and we owe it all to you and your wonderful staff!

Dave & Drew Brophy, April 2018

EAST AFRICA CLIENTS TRIP REPORT

AAC Signature Primate and Plains Safari to Uganda and Rwanda Dear Ian

Sadly I have returned home. This trip was EPIC.  Your ground team is amazing and we really developed a close bond with Eric, our guide.  Outstanding!  Penny thought Peter, their guide at Murchison was amazing also. Everything went so smoothly. The treks were awesome and it is easy to see why Rwanda permits cost more. Uganda treks are harder and much more challenging but that was part of the experience. Rwanda, as you know, is less strenuous (we did supposedly have an easier trek given our time constraints), but they really have it down to a science. We were with a family of 12 gorillas and at one point we were surrounded by them all! I can see why you work for an African company because this just gets into your soul.

Besides the gorillas, Eric set up an amazing visit to a local school that gets no donations. I was there 2 hours and now my family and I are going to support the school and begin to help fund them. I have never been more focused on any project. We felt strongly that the Ugandans are so friendly and warm…

Gorilla Forest Camp in Bwindi: Our favorite place hands down. Maybe because we stayed 3 nights and just fell in love with it. The tents are top notch, food was great, the spa area was wonderful and really necessary after 2 tough hikes. Nicholas the main manager was spot on. All the wait staff were highly trained and motivated. Would not stay anywhere else. Nailed it!

[caption id="attachment_6888" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Gorilla Forest Camp[/caption]

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge: great location for us. Much much better than we expected…The rooms as you know are large and odd with marble floors-and leather sofas. Fire place was nice and beds were very comfortable…

[caption id="attachment_6891" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.[/caption] I know I could go on and on. I want to thank you and your company for a great job! Thank you so very much!!! Deedee Geib, June 2018   Private Safari to Tanzania, Flying Safari to Botswana and Cape Town Exploration Hello Mark-

First of all I want to thank you for offering such a wonderful trip. My husband, Al, and I were so very pleased and impressed with the guides, Davis was simply outstanding in every way, Cynthia was knowledgeable and focused on us having the best experience possible. The accommodations were all A+++, and we were treated to several anniversary celebrations throughout our trip.  Bush babies are our new best friend! The food was plentiful, and varied and allowed us to sample the local cuisine. We got a taste of the local culture with a visit to a local Maasai village and a stop at the Oldepei Gorge. The animal sightings were incredible. I’m still editing my  photos and will post some shortly. We saw the Big 5, Ugly 5 and 4 /5 of the Little 5; all in Tanzania!

Shinde Camp in Botswana offered us the other experiences unavailable in national parks; walking safari, night drives, mokoro canoes.  Fabulous adventure and another wonderful guide, Sam (the man)! Victoria Falls was a great intermission between safaris and some welcomed civilization. But not too long! The helicopter ride was fantastic and so exciting, I will definitely do it again. Our finish in Cape Town was excellent. The Kensington Place staff are heads above Americans in hospitality and customer service.

I do need to point out that our guide in Tanzania, Davis Matafu absolutely made the trip for us. His knowledge of the animals, the country and its history, the people (his people), their customs, his driving skill and spotting skills (he taught us a few tricks of the trade) were impeccable. We were frequently the first to spot the lion in wait in the tall grass, and witness the kill. He spotted both rhinos, the leopards and cheetahs before anyone else.  Its like if we asked for something it would appear. Amazing. Plus he is a genuinely likeable guy, or as we joked, son from another mother!...Unfairly, we compared all other guides to him, and they just didn’t compare.

We would love to go back and see Uganda, Namibia and who knows, Davis spoke highly of the Serengeti during the birthing season? Thank you so very much for making this a trip we will never forget! Sincerely Marguerite and Alan Voorhees, June 2018   Private Honeymoon Safari to Tanzania’s Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Hi Jessica,

We wanted to thank you very much for helping us organize the honeymoon of our dreams!  Everything was perfectly organized, we had absolutely no worries throughout our trip.  From the moment we landed in Tanzania, until we left, we felt very welcomed.  The driver that picked us up from the airport and took us to Arusha Serena was friendly, his vehicle in impeccable condition.  We would have loved to stay one more night at Arusha Serena, the place is quaint and relaxing.  The staff had arranged our room with rose petals and a welcome cake congratulating us on our marriage, which we loved!

The next day we got to meet Mkenda, who we had read had been the best guide in the past, and we absolutely agree that he is the best! Knowledgeable, truly loves his country and the animals and nature within, we got to learn and see so much thanks to him, he helped us make our honeymoon a memorable one!

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is fantastic!  5 star!!!  I would go back and stay there a whole week.  Not just that the tree lodge itself is incredible, but the staff makes you feel at home. Patrice was phenomenal!   We got candle light dinner for our honeymoon celebration, and a bubble bath after a game drive, these details made us feel incredibly pampered.  Animal viewing at Lake Manyara was great, even though it had been raining until just before we got there and some roads were not accessible, we got to see leopards, lots of different bird species, baboons, giraffe, elephants, amongst many others. Picnic breakfast/lunch were our preference and Mkenda made it happen.

On our way to Ngorongoro we stopped at Gibbs Farm, beautiful place!  Lunch was fantastic, and getting to learn about their organic farm was educational.

Mkenda took us to an Iraqw tribe and also to a Massai tribe.  In both we got to dress in their typical wedding attire and participate in what some wedding dances would be.  We loved to get to learn about these cultures and are very thankful to Mkenda for taking us there.  I have many pictures that I will share with you soon!

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge has breathtaking views!  The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the view of the crater upon awakening is priceless!  Ngoronorgo Crater itself was spectacular!  We got the see the Big 5 there, which says it all!

On our way to Serengeti we stopped at the Olduvai archeological site, which was quite interesting and allowed us to learn about human origin theories.

The Serengeti Explorer Camp was everything we had imagined it would be, nested in the middle of nowhere, we felt it to be our home during the time we were there.  The staff was exceptional!  Being able to take a warm shower in the middle of the Serengeti, sipping on a cocktail after a game drive, enjoying “bush TV” (fire pit), seeing all the stars at night we had not gotten to see in our lifetime, tasting their deliciously cooked meals, are amongst the highlights, obviously besides of the unforgettable game drives that Mkenda took us to, where we got to see many lions, the migration, cheetah, leopards, more than 150 birds (he knows all of them!!!), etc.  Serengeti is a special place, we absolutely are fascinated by it!  The balloon ride was smooth, and the views from above worth the 4:30 am awakening.  Upon landing we did hear a lion from afar, which added some excitement to the experience.  The bubbly breakfast was yummy!

Star of the East in Zanzibar was the perfect ending to our honeymoon.  Our villa was astonishing!  It was the perfect relaxation time after our active Safari.

I hope to get to send you a few pictures from our trip soon.  We are looking forward to another safari experience in the future. Best, Diana and Diogo, May 2018


CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS EAST & SOUTHERN AFRICA – JAN-MAR 2018


Honeymoon Safari to Southern Africa  Hi Jessica - thanks for everything. It was truly an amazing trip!

Our tour guide in Cape Town was incredible! (Lucia Bellairs) she was warm, welcoming, patient and everything you’d wish for in a tour guide. She knew the answer to every question and kept things very interesting and flexible. She will be a friend for life.

The Greenhouse Restaurant in Cape Town is one of the best meals I’ve had in my life.

We don’t have enough good things to say about Savanna lodge. It was perfection. We saw every animal we wanted to see, the room was beautiful and the staff was perfect. We left there and Cape Town so sad to leave and eager to go back. Our guide in particular was extremely knowledgeable and made us feel warm and welcome throughout our stay.

Lastly the Zambezi Queen. This was the perfect ending to our trip. Very relaxing, beautiful room, different experience being on the water. This is highly recommended for someone who wants a nice relaxing cruise. The trip over through the three countries is a pain which we expected based on your coworker and reviews online but once we got there it was perfect. Highly recommended.

Thanks again for everything. We can’t wait to go back! Hope this is helpful. Brooke Kornberg, Jan 2018   South African Odyssey Group Tour Dear Elena, We had a wonderful time in South Africa!! What a beautiful country and friendly people!! We also enjoyed the itinerary because we got to see a lot of the country and Cape Town is a jewel; too bad it is so far away... I have a lot of beautiful pictures and I'll ask my daughter to help me sharing them on your facebook page.

Maybe in the future we will go back or try other safari countries like Botswana or Namibia and stay in a lodge and enjoy more the wildlife.  We met a couple that really enjoyed a lodge near Port Elizabeth; I'll get the name of this lodge and let you know.

Thank you for putting together this great trip!! Tom and Selma Savage, Jan 2018   Private Safari to the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Elena,

What an adventure! Thank you for helping us experience the beauty and magnificence of the Great Migration. I would not have changed a single day on safari. Most importantly, thank you for the selection of our wonderful guide, Ephata. In just one week he became what feels like a life-long friend. It was a special treat to watch my brother, the animal behavior expert, and Ephata share their knowledge and excitement. It didn’t matter if we were watching a cheetah hunting impala, lions mating, weaver birds building nests or the lowly dung beetle rolling a ball of dung. Ephata shared his knowledge with wit, humor and warmth. We are all planning to attend the Africa Adventure Company evening in Seattle in April and we all are looking forward to our next safari with AAC.

Regards, John Holmes, Jan 2018   “Best of Tanzania” Safari including the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Dear Elena,

Linda and I have finally caught up with our “at home” lives after returning from our safari so I can share some of my thoughts and impression with you about our time in Tanzania.  Without qualification, I can say that we had wonderful trip which met all of our expectations.  First, I appreciated how organized and thoughtful your communication was with us before our departure.  You anticipated potential questions and answered them in documents you sent even before I could ask the questions and when I did email a question I always got a clear, prompt reply.

You and your team put together a safari that was just the kind our group wanted: one that emphasized seeing an array of animals rather than lounging in “comfortable” accommodations.  And where you really hit a home run with us was pairing us with Ephata Lotashu as a guide.

You may recall that I spent my professional career as an animal behaviorist and faculty member so I knew that our safari guide was going to be of paramount importance.  Ephata was exactly the kind of guide I had hoped for and our group could not have been happier or more satisfied with his work on our behalf.  Not only was he adept at finding animals for us to watch but he could also tell us about their behavior and ecology.  He and I had several exciting conversations in which he’d be sharing something about the animal we were watching while I shared relevant evolutionary theory that could help explain why the animal had evolved to behave the way it was.  My brother, sister-in-law and wife quite enjoyed these Ephata-and-Warren exchanges and often joined in to broaden and extend our discussions.  Besides Ephata’s knowledge about animals, his personality and style of interacting with us was consistently impressive.  All four of us would pick Ephata in a heartbeat to lead us on another safari!

Another high point of our trip were the various staff members with whom we interacted in the camps where we stayed.  They were uniformly friendly and helpful and did a great job of caring for us, including all the great meals that we had.  Perhaps because it best matched our “style,” we especially enjoyed our time at the Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp on Lake Ndutu.

Thanks, Warren Holmes, Jan 2018   Private Safari to Tanzania’s Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater and Flying Safari to the Serengeti Hi Szilvia, The trip was very memorable and a true adventure for both of us. Here are my comments and input on all stops.
  • Lake Manyara Tree Lodge was incredible. The service and the accommodations at the lodge were wonderful. The staff was so welcoming and friendly and went out of their way to make our stay lovely. Food and drink was also very good. Memorable as you are really staying in an animal park. Lion tracks in the morning outside our room and an elephant coming towards us when we were leaving. Our guide, Fadhili Mtoro was the very best. He was accommodating to our schedule and interests and treated us to some of the best game viewing. The lunch that he provided us on our drives made it so special. His knowledge also appreciated and helped make the days educational as well…This stop was really great to start our 2 weeks.
  • Gibbs Farm was also wonderful. A different feel, more colonial and a different side of Tanzania. The grounds are lovely and the service also was most welcoming. We would have a wake up call early with the best coffee and hot chocolate we have ever tasted. We had dinners outside and every meal was delicious. The breakfast and the eggs coming from an organic farm made us aware how fresh everything is. From here Fadhili took us to the Crater, which as you know has spectacular views and that day we saw some of the best animal interaction. Overall very good.
  • Namiri Plains - Serengeti. Very good and gave us more interaction with other people on safari, which made for fun conversation around the fire in the evening for "Bush TV". The weather here had started to change, so rides were a bit more bumpy and rough, but manageable. Our guide here, Patena was good and knowledgeable. At this leg of our journey we were able to see many lions. Some of the best lion photos came from here. Including a female and her cubs lunching on a zebra and also a male lion up on a rock that seemed to be posing for us especially. Truly incredible.
 
  • Kilindi - Zanzibar was bliss. The room and the surroundings and services were top notch. The view from the room and the outdoor experiences were so memorable for both of us. Anything we requested, on the menu or off was provided for. Victoria, our butler, was great…We were able to swim in the Indian Ocean, which I will never forget. Here we were able to relax and rest. We both wish we could have stayed longer.

On one flight at the end I was able to get a photo or Mt. Kilimanjaro, which was very memorable as we heard many people say you can never get a shot as it is always covered in clouds.

All in all the trip was wonderful and an experience we will not forgot. Thank you for your guidance in planning.

Regards, Lenora Larson, Jan 2018    Explorer Safari to Kenya and Tanzania and Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Dear Lynne,

Thank you for setting up a wonderful trip.  Alan and I had a wonderful time. It’s hard for me to pick out a favorite moment.  All the parks were beautiful and special in their own way, and the gorillas, oh  my.

I guess my three favorite parks in no specific order were Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and the Serengeti. But as I previously stated all the parks were gorgeous.  We were lucky enough to see the big 5 or 6 because we were able to see both black and white rhinos.

I fell in love with Alex, our guide in Kenya.  He was incredible.  Very professional, friendly, and compassionate.  Always went out of his way to make sure you could get the perfect picture with the sun just in the right spot.  He was very knowledgeable, and the enjoyed sharing his knowledge.  He made you feel at home.

Uganda is a beautiful country.  The guides, park rangers, and porters are incredible people.  They made sure everybody got to enjoy the gorillas and were very patient with the slower clients.  Gorilla trekking is no joke but I absolutely enjoyed every step.

All the lodges were great.  It was certainly nice to be able to have a hot shower after being out on safari all day.  All the workers were very nice and more than attentive. I love the people.  The Buhoma lodge in Uganda was wonderful.  The food was incredible.

Most of the transfers went off without a hitch.  It was nice to have someone at the airports and borders to help us negotiate our way through.

The Protea Hotel staff were absolutely wonderful and very helpful.  Francis, our Speke Uganda guide in Bwindi was also wonderful.  He was always on time, very informative, and professional.

Overall it was a wonderful trip and I can’t wait to go again.  I fell in love with the countries and the peoples.

Again thank you for setting up a wonderful trip.  I will definitely book a trip with you again and recommend you to anyone looking to go to Africa.

Sincerely, Ronda Kennamer, Feb 2018   East Africa Adventure including Tanzania and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Hi Mark,

We just got back from our 2 week adventure in Tanzania and Rwanda and it was beyond words.  I can’t thank John Decker enough for recommending your company.   The details your team provided on what to expect, pack and gratuities was very helpful in planning.   We were so glad we did the private tour.  The charger in the safari truck in Tanzania was very convenient for battery charging.

I would not have changed a single detail.  Our guide, Servuli Harri was incredible knowledgeable about so many topics both in scientific terms and ability to describe it in story form.   We felt his passion for what he does and for the wildlife.  We received a good education not only on the wildlife, their anatomy and physiology but of the country, culture and history of the area. We felt well taken care of and it was wonderful spending time with Servuli, who turned into a kind friend that we were sad to leave.  He even helped fellow guides on several occasions which was very admirable. His driving on roads that did not seem passable was impressive. On the first day of our trip we saw and experienced so much and yet each day continued to be just as exciting.  I believe we saw every animal except the leopard.  We even saw a lion attack a hyena, which I understand is rare.  It is our opinion that Servuli has to be the best guide in Tanzania!

All accommodations were wonderful.  I’m fussy when it comes to food and all meals were delicious with far too much food served.  The Chaka tent camp was not “roughing” it at all their attention to detail was wonderful.

We were surprised how different Rwanda was from Tanzania in feel and culture but just as interesting.  The genocide museum is a must for anyone visiting Rwanda as it’s both heartbreaking and educational.  Guillaume was very open in helping us understand the history and the culture.  We enjoyed his company. He provided a detailed city tour and stroll through the local markets. He’s very proud of the direction of the country.

If I didn’t have tons of photos (literally 10,000) I wouldn’t believe we were so close to gorillas, it was dream like.  The guides and trekkers were so calm and reassuring we were never worried.   The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge had a beautiful cottage for us, hot water bottles and even soaked our feet and massaged our legs after trekking.

Truly an experience of a life time that I can’t stop talking about. Thank you, Suzanne Shindle, Mar 2018


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