CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS EAST AFRICA: JUN – SEP 2021
Plains & Primate Safari to Kenya and Uganda
Our trip was amazing and we have lots of forever memories. Thanks to John and his camera we also have some wonderful pictures. We don’t know if there will ever be a trip we take in the future that will top this one. We enjoyed it so much, it’s very possible that we will take another trip to Africa in the future with our children and we will certainly want you to help us book that one as well.
Kenya was amazing for a plethora of reasons. First, the number of different animals we saw in their natural environment was fantastic. We were able to get up close and personal with many of them. In addition, the local Maasai hospitality, the safari drives, excursions, and the delicious food, resulted in Kenya being our favorite country. The accommodations and services, e.g. guides, drivers, room staff, servers, etc., were top-notch. We loved the various accommodations of hotel stays, but we loved being in tents with screens listening to the sounds of nature. Noteworthy:
- Amboseli’s evening happy hour and sunset, while overlooking the trek of the elephants to the bushes was so magical.
- We met the owners’ niece and nephew at the Speke’s Maasai Mara camp and they were just so lovely to spend time with.
- The service and the hospitality at the Offbeat Mara Camp was exceptional. They invited us to dine at their newly opened 2nd camp, Offbeat Ndoto, and took us on a tour of a tent. This is definitely a camp/tent where you should consider booking your clients. We felt like we were transformed back in time, but with such a modern twist with all of the technologies that are in high demand these days…It is a high-end tent to say the least, very exclusive yet still delicately incorporated into the natural surrounding environment.
Uganda’s landscaping was so different, green and lush, compared to Kenya. The 2nd day’s gorilla trek was definitely a better trek than the 1st day because we saw a family with three babies who played with each other for the entire hour. We were within less than 10 feet from them, our guide spoke English well, he was extremely knowledgeable, and he took great care in ensuring his trekkers had a good experience, but were safe. We realized how comfortable we had become watching them interact that we felt like we were a part of their family. Truly one of the most unique and exciting experience. Noteworthy:
- The food was good, but not as good as Kenya.
- Our assigned gorilla porter Milton was so good to us on the 1st day Trek.
- Our view from our balcony at the Mahogany Springs Lodge was breathtaking and the servers were so kind to us.
- We received massages both days and thought Emily did a great job relaxing us.
…Thanks again for providing us with a wonderfully memorable and enjoyable trip.
Tom & Tracy Aubin, Sep 2021
Safari to Tanzania’s Northern Circuit
I don’t know where to begin in giving feedback on our trip! It was SPECTACULAR!!! So here goes…
Guides: First and foremost, both of our guides were awesome! Thank you for scheduling us with Ephata. He is so knowledgeable and experienced, and his ability to spot game is uncanny. We saw so many animals everywhere, and he is very skilled at getting you into a good position with the truck to take photos. We also thoroughly enjoyed our conversations with him, and his quiet good nature. He even remembered that we mentioned wanting to shop on our last day in Arusha. Our driver, Raymond, said that Ephata told him to take us to the Cultural Center, which was wonderful. We really appreciated his looking out for us even after our safari with him was done.
Steven James was our guide in the Serengeti, and he was fantastic, too! We saw two wildebeest river crossings, an elephant herd river crossing, and many other incredible things. He even met my challenge of getting us to see a black rhino! We had a lot of laughs and great fun. We bonded so well with both of these great men that we exchanged contact info and have already been in touch!
Staff at the Camps: Everyone was so warm, welcoming, friendly and helpful. And everyone loved and was so wonderful with my Mom – or “Bibi” as they called her!…And on our last night, Nelson had three comfy chairs waiting for us on the deck so we could watch the sunset. Then, the whole staff delivered a cake to our dinner table while singing the “Jambo” song. We had seen them do this for people who were celebrating anniversaries or birthdays, but we were not. Nelson said it was just because they had enjoyed us and we had been so nice to everyone. They sure made us feel very special.
Camps: We loved all of them, and the order in which we did them was great. Tarangire River Camp was a good introduction – rustic but still with some luxuries. Ngorongoro Tented Camp was the most rustic yet so cozy, and it was good to have it as our mid-trip stay. And Lemala Kuria Hills was the definition of glamping, and a wonderful treat at the end of the trip.
Food: Tarangire and Ngorongoro did a great job accommodating my food sensitivities. Our server at Kuria Hills seemed surprised at first, and needed to be reminded a few times, but then he got it. Quality of the food was also great.
Itinerary: The plan and pace of the trip was perfect. The four parks were diverse and different. We had just the right amount of time in each, and the order was also great. We saw so much in Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro, but how can you beat ending in the Serengeti with the great migration and a black rhino (which we literally saw on our last day an hour before we planned to be back at camp!) The only thing we would change in retrospect is to stay one more night in Arusha at the end so we could spend more time at the Cultural Center (we did not get to see the art gallery), enjoy the hotel pool and get some exercise, and break up the very, very long return trip (over 40 hours from the time we left Kuria Hills to our home).
Logistics: Our driver and guides were on time every day and knew where we needed to be by when. The Covid testing and paperwork was an unavoidable hassle, but it all worked out fine and I must say Tanzania is very organized about it and committed to getting it right. We greatly appreciated that all the guides and camp and hotel staff were vaccinated. The itinerary said we were supposed to pay for the PCR test in Kogatende, so I was a bit surprised that Naomi had us complete the paperwork and pay for it at The Arusha Hotel, but that was fine…
We are still talking about and marveling over what a phenomenal trip it was, and I’m sure we will be for some time to come! I plan to give reviews on social media, and will post some photos and input to the client FB page. We have already been recommending The Africa Adventure Company, and are meeting for coffee on Friday with a couple who are interested in doing a trip! Thank you for all of your great planning and your patience with my endless questions!
Dana LaFontsee, Sep 2021
Safari to Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Offbeat Mara Camp
I didn’t think I could top my 2018 experience there but I did. I was extremely happy to have Stanley again as my guide. He is amazing. I witnessed 3 kills on this trip. All by cheetahs. There were many lion cubs which is great for the future of the Mara North. Cats were seen on every game drive. I saw lions from 4 different prides. Thousands of photos taken.
I did one day trip into the Masaai Mara. I saw 2 crossings of several hundred wildebeest. Truly amazing. Feeling blessed to have done this now twice.
Offbeat Mara Camp was excellent. I was in tent 5 this time. Great view out to the savannah. The staff are all nice and friendly.
It’s a magical place. I would not hesitate to go back to Offbeat Mara for a third time.
Your ground team in Nairobi doing the transfers and airport assistance were all helpful and appreciated in navigating the covid procedures.
Thank you for putting together a great safari for me. I will be looking to go to Rwanda July of 2022. We will discuss in a few months.
Steve Main, Sep 2021
Private Family Safari to Tanzania
Hi Mark and AAC!
Thank you so much for helping make this safari happen! We have received a lot of calls from friends that are interested in traveling to Africa and we are delighted to recommend you.
What a safari! Our guide, Alex, was phenomenal! The game viewing was incredible and included two river crossings – on the first one we only waited for 30 minutes; on the second one we saw a croc taking down a wildebeest! Out on the plains, a cheetah had just killed a gazelle and chased off a vulture by jumping into the air; then a hyena stole the kill. We even saw a lion on a buffalo kill and some cubs playing.
Our day with the Hadzbe Bushmen at Lake Eyasi was memorable! The bushmen shot a Klipspringer and they shared the liver with us (which we enjoyed). My son and I are archers – and we shot pretty well – the bushmen said “you are one of us”. We also had a nice conversation with the Datoka.
Thank you again for everything!
The Jim Boots Family, Aug 2021
Kenya Classic Flying Safari
Dear Mark & AAC friends,
Jeff & I feel our Kenyan safari with our niece and nephews in August was fabulous. Believe it or not, having enjoyed the high life at Great Plains Ol Donyo and Mara Nyika in May, I wondered how I would weather the Asilia and Elewana camps in August. No problem! Jeff & I found them very comfortable, with excellent cuisine, good amenities, and experienced guides.
I am happy to report that our niece and nephews enjoyed good sightings of all the big cats- and cubs of each, too! No rhino, but, it being their first time, they were thrilled to see (and hear!) pods of hippos and view Mara’s monstrously large crocs. We had a morning view of a family of bat-eared foxes travelling to an unknown destination (which was a treat). And the hordes of wildebeest and zebra, not to mention herds of impala, thommies, and towering giraffe are quite exciting for every first-timer to Africa. Elephants never fail to fascinate, and the landscape, to overwhelm.
Interaction between species is something that those of us who’ve travelled to Africa many times, always find special. In Rekero one morning, having just departed camp, we were lucky to spy some lionesses stalking a buffalo bull. The bull’s pal quickly came to his rescue, and the tables were swiftly turned. The lionesses had cubs nearby and the buffalo were now on the offensive. They moved through the bush next to the river, determined to kill any lions they could find. Soon, more buffalo arrived to assist, while an adult male lion appeared, intent on keeping them at bay. The sounds of lion snarls and belligerent buffalo retorts and snorts as the beasts marched deliberately through the tall bush was a grim reminder that these two species are mortal enemies. With a steep river bank allowing lion cubs and the pride to elude the ill-tempered buffalo, the morning ended in a stand-off, though the hostility between them was palpable and, probably, eternal.
We really enjoyed Amboseli, a first for us, and the promise of big tuskers and elephants galore was certainly fulfilled. The family tent and semi-private pool at Tortilis were special. (The regular tents at the bottom of the hill were not optimal. With no views, and surrounded by the bush below the main lodge and dining area, they felt a bit mis-placed.) Management and staff at Tortilis were warm, and attentive. Our guide, Jonathan, was knowledgeable and allowed us ample time to observe the elephant herds and enjoy the small babies closely protected by moms and aunties. The multitude of flamingos, with their pink and white reflections, on the brilliant blue lake was an unforgettable sight.
Loisaba Tented Camp was outstanding. The view from the tents, the bar, and dining area was breath-taking. I would never tire of gazing out at that gorgeous panoramic landscape of Laikipia. And the “rooms” were beautifully appointed with comfy lounge chairs on private decks sitting on the edge of the escarpment. The dining experience was top-notch; the food was delicious and beautifully presented. The staff was always ready with a cocktail, or glass of wine, and those were especially appreciated around the crackling fire as night fell. Our guide, Mohamed, was, once again, skilled and informative. Our first evening, we saw some half-grown lions chase a leopard up a tree! Later, after the retreat of the lions, the leopard came down, located his girlfriend, and we saw the pair mate. (Twice!) On a subsequent afternoon game drive, Mohamed located a leopard cub sister and brother. Both were practically posing for photographs, and in the late afternoon light, looked exquisitely beautiful.
We chose the sniffer dog program as one of our activities. The dogs were delightful, the trainers very informative, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Besides assisting with apprehending poachers, the dogs are sometimes used for robbery and missing persons investigations. A very effective program!
Rekero Camp in the Mara gets a “thumbs up” as the warmest, most fun camp we visited. The managers, Louis and Becca, are determined to make you and all of their guests feel like friends and family. Their enthusiasm and energy are contagious. Ensuring that their staff quickly learn your name, everyone at Rekero makes certain you are comfortable and have whatever you want at any given moment. Top notch attention and service. The tents there are older, and a bit dark, but they have an authentic feel. And, with 24-7 electricity, hot showers, and comfortable bedding, I ended up with a fondness for the camp that surprised me.
One evening, just as we arrived back at camp, a shadowy ruckus was underway. Louis told all of us to run to the observation deck with him, where we saw lions surrounding a lone wildebeest on the river. The wildebeest threatened them with his horns, they paused just long enough for him to turn, run past a large croc in the river, and escape to the other side! With almost all light gone, I made out the dark silhouette of a male lion walking slowly over large rocks in the luminous river. Perhaps he was determined to follow the wildebeest and try again. It was a surreal, exhilarating experience.
Francis, our guide, located quite a few lions on the Mara, as well as a cheetah with two tiny cubs. The migration was not in full force yet. Climate change, perhaps. Still, we saw a small crossing at camp. And we travelled to other river spots where the wildebeest and zebra numbers were building, but we chose to keep moving, rather than wait out a potential crossing. The Mara never disappoints. There are always things to see!
Encounter Mara was probably our least favorite camp, but perhaps mainly a victim of our devotion to Rekero and its community vibe. The light-filled tents were welcome, but bucket showers felt very rustic after the amenities at our previous camps… Surrounded by lantern light and a roaring fire our final night in the bush, the guest manager, Anton, joined us for dinner where the pork chops and potatoes dauphine were worthy of any fine restaurant in the states.
Our guide, Nickson, while not as expert as our other guides, had such a natural affability and curiosity about people, that we were quickly won over. In time, he will become a guide for which visitors seek out on return visits. Describing his childhood in a tribal village, and his initial fear of speaking English to others despite his utter curiosity about the foreigners he saw visiting the Mara, we found him to be wonderfully open and warm. Incredibly, our guide at Mara Nyika, Sammi, in May (whom I loved, and feel is one of the BEST guides ever) was one of Nickson’s mentors and played a role in Nickson joining Asilia. Nickson arranged for us to meet up with him one evening to say hello. That meant so much to me, and I was thrilled to have my niece & nephews meet Sammi, having told them what a superlative guide he is!…
On our return to Nairobi, lunch at Tamambo was good, and the covid tests there were handled very efficiently…The Sheldrick Trust the following day was well worth the visit. The presentation lasted about an hour, and the elephants, with their milk bottles, mud wallows, play fights, and dust baths, are always endearing.
My niece and nephews certainly enjoyed the creature comforts of Hemingways, after two weeks in the bush. Two of them scheduled massages, and we made use of the pool during our stay. The staff are quite pleasant, and the bar and restaurant have a such a refined ambiance after camp life.
I loved Boski’s KingAir private charters! Those planes travel fast, and skipping Nairobi and a plane-change at Wilson, had to have shaved hours off of our travel time. Boarding your private plane and arriving at your destination in 45 minutes or less, is fantastic. And, with covid, who wants to sit in close quarters with total strangers for an hour or more? It was one of the best decisions I made related to our family safari. Jeff & I will probably always seek a private charter from now on. It’s THE way to go!
The cuisine, cocktails and wine at all camps were very good (and to excess!)! While Elewana provided hot bush breakfasts in the wild (being on conservancies) and great sundowners, Asilia went “the extra mile” by seating us in different locations (wine tent at Rekero one evening/ sand river at Encounter Mara last evening) with lovely lantern-lit dinners to revel in Africa’s ambiance after dark.
A shout-out to the AAC’s Nairobi rep and our airport facilitator on our departure out of Nairobi. A traffic jam on the way to the airport meant we were very late, and filled with trepidation. They jumped through hoops, assuaged officials, and got us into & through the airport with confidence and poise. On our own, I suspect we would not have made the flight, and been exhausted and distressed. Instead, we were supported and had 15 minutes in the lounge to take a deep breath, and regroup, prior to boarding our KQ flight. They were fantastic!!! Please send them our regards & appreciation, if you can.
Thank you, AAC, for organizing this long awaited, and oft rescheduled, safari for us. It was everything I had hoped it would be!
Robin Fleck, Aug 2021
Safari and Island Getaway to Tanzania
Thanks to you & The Africa Adventure Company for a fantastic trip! Once our hiccup with departing was over…everything else went very smoothly! The team in Tanzania did a fantastic job of providing us with the overview of what to expect on our adventure and went above and beyond to confirm our COVID test arrangements for our return trip home. Our safari guide Martin was just the best! He was so generous with his knowledge and answered my 100s of questions. He also went above & beyond to ensure that our time on safari was unforgettable!!!! Such a kind soul and very professional (we were in awe of his driving skills).
We were also very happy with all of our accommodations as well as with the staff at the various locations. People could not have been more helpful and were so friendly and welcoming! We were so impressed with how they could remember our names at each location; very personalized service.
I’d also like to add that the pre-travel information packages that Africa Adventure provided prepared us well for the trip; we were so much better prepared than our safari companions. They remarked many times about how they were disappointed in their tour company’s efforts to prepare them for the trip. They were also very impressed with our Africa Safari Field Guide that you provided. They even took photos of the cover to show their tour company!…
Thanks again for the trip of a lifetime! I will definitely recommend Africa Adventure Company to anybody planning an African safari!!!
Dana Kernan, Aug 2021
Safari to East and Southern Africa
We’ve been home two weeks now and are trying to get back into some kind of “normal” routine again. Of course, I’ve been sorting photos, and will soon send you some photos and videos for consideration in the AAC photo contest.
Our seventh photo safari was wonderful. We made so many new memories, saw lots of animals and birds that were new to us, and met some great people as well.
Our favorite guide was David, at Offbeat Mara. While the other guides were good, David was especially good, and we had a great time getting to know him and learning from him. We would highly recommend him to others. Jennifer and her staff at Offbeat were all very kind, actually bringing in special water for me and making special ice cubes from it, because they purify their water with iodine (my allergy). It was great to have our private guide, Patrick, at Il Moran, and the special “photographic” vehicle. One thing I hadn’t really thought of until we arrived is that getting down in the floor to take photos is best when the grass is quite low. While we were there in Kenya, the grass was fairly tall, so no floor shots. Lots of other good photos and videos, however, and very nice to have the vehicle to ourselves.
While the timing of the migration was apparently a bit later than normal this year and we didn’t see any actual river crossings, we did see large herds on the open plains of Kenya near the Mara River, and that was very neat. The hot air balloon ride was also very nice. Peaceful to float above the plains and the river.
The food at all camps was quite good, but I think Ngala won the “prize”. Their chef, Oscar, was somehow not told of my allergy needs, but he made a special point of talking to me every single day about what special dishes he had planned for me. He really went out of his way and worked hard to keep me safe and well fed.
…African Rock was a great one-night stop, as always, and the food is still as good as ever. We met Chef Joyce there two trips ago, and she is still there cooking wonderful meals. We will definitely want to stay there again….
….We were fortunate to see the white lions at Ngala, as well as a large pride of lions with cubs that had killed a buffalo and feasted on it for three days. Though we had many other wonderful sightings, including wild dogs (with six puppies), we did notice a scarcity in the density of animals we had been used to seeing in past years, even in Botswana where the density has always been very high. As tourism picks up again, I hope that will change. It’s been a hard time in Africa and still is…
On our last night at Splash Camp in Botswana, we were the only two remaining guests. They whole staff came into the dining area and sang to us – something I’ve always loved about Botswana. Thank you and the AAC staff for a great trip.
With warm regards,
Mary and Larry Lippold, Aug-Sep 2021
Safari to Rwanda, Kenya and Zimbabwe
As we are waiting our flight in Johannesburg back to the states, we decided it would be a good time to send you a note about our trip.
You selected excellent sites for us to visit. We thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The Gorilla trek was awesome. Magezi did a fabulous job of hosting us, answering our questions and making arrangements for us. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge was conveniently located and the staff went out of their way to take care of us…We were really glad we took 2 gorilla treks. What an awesome experience.
Our transfer to Little Governors Camp went very well. The camp was a delight. Food was excellent, service was superb. Perhaps due to few customers, we were assigned to our own tour guide Oliver. We very much enjoyed having the truck to ourselves. Oliver worked very hard at finding all of the animals. In fact, we consistently came back late because Oliver was willing to look for new sightings. Through all of his hard work Oliver was able to find the Big Five.
…Our transfers to Vundu Camp in Mana Pools went as scheduled. The camp staff worked overtime to make us feel welcome. Siraaj took us on game drives each day and was a wonderful guide. We especially enjoyed our walking tours with animal encounters. And Barb even caught a Tiger fish.
Flights to Victoria Falls came off without a hitch. We found Victoria Falls to be a relaxing way to end our visit to Africa. The Ilala Lodge was fine. We thank you with providing us with the Tour of the Falls. Precious did a great job telling us about the history and culture of Zimbabwe.
Two of the meet and assists did an especially good job, Nick at Johannesburg. Another young fellow, who had only been doing the job for 4 months, we believe Swiss port, handled our processing with skill and ease.
We also wanted to thank the flight staff that arranged our flights and coordinated the Covid tests and various flying documents. A daunting task.
Everywhere we went our guides, hosts all knew you. When we said we met you and that you organized our tour, they asked why you didn’t autograph our caps. Overall a fabulous trip with memories for many years. Our only regret is it is time to go home.
Thank you for arranging our trip.
Bob & Barb Remley, Aug-Sep 2021
Private Safari to Tanzania
There is nothing like an African sunset!
The trip met all expectations and with the exception of many and extremely poor timing of some flight cancellations and new schedules it was a perfect pandemic trip!
Outdoors all day with the same private vaccinated guide for the duration and private dining almost throughout made it safer than home! We found the Tanzanian people happy, helpful, and knowledgeable about Covid.
If I could change one thing I would stay longer in the Central Serengeti! It spoke to me, and with miles of privacy and nothing but game, it was magical! We did miss off road safari and perhaps should have incorporated one place to do that but then again that is not Tanzania!
The Lemala properties (Mpingo Ridge, Lemala Ngorongoro and Kuria Hills) were lovely and the Siringit Migration Camp in the central Serengeti was great as well!…
We were surprised and delighted with Lake Manyara which proved to be a delightful change in topography!! Driving everywhere suited us, and none of the drives were too long but they were bumpy so perhaps not for everyone!!
The game was plentiful and we even saw a pangolin which is extremely rare so we knew we were lucky to be on this journey!!
Think of us as you plan adventures to Rwanda and/or Uganda. I imagine some of those magical places to stay are getting very full so perhaps we make that reservation and work the rest of the trip around that! I am hopeful we can go in the next few years!!
Still have my Tanzanian glow as we deal with the aftermath of Ida!!
Michele Tupler, Aug 2021
Safari and Chimp Trekking Adventure to Tanzania
What a wonderful trip! We had an amazing time and saw many animal sightings that we have never experienced! Can you believe 18 female lions and cubs crossing the river! Our guide was even amazed! The chimps in Mahale, of course, were fantastic…we saw them every day! Greystoke Mahale is an unbelievable camp! Great in all aspects!
I would like to say that I really liked your new Personalized Tipping Guide! Very helpful!…
Thank you again for the perfectly planned trip! What a blessing to visit Africa after the Covid hibernation! Bob and I are already talking about what our next Africa Adventure will be…perhaps Mana Pools and vicinity in 2023!
Denise Blackney, Aug 2021
Plains of the Serengeti Private Tented Safari
Hello Africa Adventure Company Team,
We are back in the US after a magnificent experience on our safari! Everything went absolutely perfect! Everyone picked us on time, very friendly and helpful, but a gigantic thank you for appointing Emmanuel Mkenda as our guide! He was simply spectacular, what a knowledgeable person and his expertise and familiarity with the African wildlife and the geography was more than obvious. I don’t think the experience would have been the same with someone else.
We witnessed a zebra being haunted by a lion right in front of our very eyes simply because Emmanuel knew what to do and how long to wait. He was guessing the lion’s steps one by one and had us wait 3 hours but had us in front row when it happened. We have the pictures and we will load them to Facebook when we download them from our camera. He also helped us spot many leopards than a less experienced guide would have never been able to do. And he knew exactly where to have us for a wildebeest crossing on the Mara River.
He simply tried his best to always give us the best possible experience and chance to see as many animals as possible. He also made us always feel safe even when animals were very close to us.
Some additional feedback:
- The balloon ride in the Northern Serengeti was short of spectacular. I am glad we did it and you should always push people to do it.
- Every camp was excellent but especially the Dunia and Olakira camps. We almost wanted to cry when we left both camps
- We wish we would have had more time at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, perhaps one day upon arrival. What a gorgeous resort but we really didn’t have as much time to enjoy it
In summary, we want to thank you for delivering to us everything as expected and more! We hope to repeat the experience in the not so distant future and we will recommend you to anyone potentially interested in an African Safari.
Jorge and Claudia Quinonez/Jeff and Angie Colon, Aug 2021
Tented Explorer Safari to Tanzania
I wanted to add some perspective on the visits with the tribes – a part of the safari I was really looking forward to!
- Maasai – they have done an outstanding job capitalizing on their fame, and good for them for doing so. However, I felt like the visit lacked authenticity and sincerity. While I enjoyed the traditional dance and song, I wanted to learn more about it and there wasn’t really a window for that…
- Hadzabe – We really enjoyed this. We went hunting with the men. They caught two birds and a squirrel. They stopped, built a fire and cooked them up right then and there, and offered us each a bite of their squirrel. While they snacked, they had a few questions for us, too, and we were all able to share some laughs. After the hunt, two of the men (well, one man and another who seemed to be a young teenager) tried to show us how to shoot their bow & arrows. We all got a good laugh out of that – Addison was most successful while Kennedy & I could barely do more than let the arrow drop to our feet! The women didn’t give us the time of day and none of them were interested or cared whether we bought anything from them or not (they had a few items but didn’t care if we even looked at them let alone bought them). In fact, we had no interaction with the women at all.
- Datoga – this was by far our favorite visit. We sat for a long time in a hut and talked with three women. They wanted to know as much about us as we did them. They were stunned to learn that Bill had not paid any cows to marry me & wanted to know how Dale felt about that. They were surprised that no sheep/lamb sacrifices were made when my kids were born and were totally perplexed about why I had not found additional wives to help with the chores and how I managed to get everything done without other wives to help me. Unimpressed with Bill, surprised that Dale was okay without cows, and impressed with me. We all – Datoga and us – got something out of that visit and even though they also encouraged us to buy their crafts, they also showed us how they make them and, as such, added a personal and memorable story to our keepsakes. I think we would have sat and talked with these women for hours more if we could have. My kids both said that they are glad we got to visit with them before they were sensationalized and visits were more like we experienced with the Maasai.
…We had a fabulous time and when it is time to go again or refer others, AAC will be our go to!
Thank you for everything!
Lisa Cook, Aug 2021
Plains of Tanzania Safari
NZURI SANA! (“Very good” in Swahili) Words can’t describe the amazing trip we had from start to finish!!!
Every accommodation was wonderful, food was delicious and every guide was fabulous! Each camp created a unique experience and the staff was so warm and welcoming – made us feel like we were such special people and bent over backwards with their kindness and hospitality! We will never forget the talking shower at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp – lol.
Finias welcomed us into his home like we were family. Our guide, s was so great and created a fabulous safari experience in Arusha, Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. We didn’t think we could get a better guide than him. Then came Dullah from Asilia’s Namiri Plains Camp and Bosco from Lemala’s Kuria Hills Tented Lodge. The experience they gave us and the laughs that we shared and the education we received was incredible! We will miss them all so much!
The game drives were beyond anything we imagined. We were up close and personal to everything. Lisa couldn’t get enough elephants and I couldn’t get enough zebras. From the roaring lion a few inches from our jeep, claiming his territory, to the migration of wildebeests in the Mara River, one experience was better than the next.
We also had a touching moment going to a Masai school in one of the villages where we met the head Masai, a couple teachers and students from one of the younger classes. After handing them a donation of pencils, erasers and sharpeners, the students sang to us and were so happy! Mark and Russ were so moved that they gave the Masai $ to buy chalk, paper, books, pens and soccer balls. A couple days later Servuli sent us photos of the kids all holding the supplies that we bought for them. It was such a great memory!
Thank you Elena and Africa Adventure Company for creating a trip of a lifetime!!
All the best,
Mark & Renee Finger and Russ & Lisa Kipprman, Aug 2021
Wilds of Tanzania Honeymoon Safari
We made it home safely and we had a great time. It was truly an unforgettable experience and a perfect choice for our very delayed honeymoon (thanks, COVID!). We felt as if it’s the closest we will ever get to witnessing nature in its purest form possible. We documented seeing over 100 types of birds and managed to see the big 5! Our accommodations were wonderful with excellent attention from the staff at each of our lodges. We are so glad we went through with the trip given this crazy pandemic that caused us to reschedule twice.
We LOVED our tour guide- Servuli…Throughout the trip, we got to know him and found him to be a kind and genuinely good person. He also has so many years of experience that he pretty much was able to answer every one of our questions about animals and helped us identify the many, many birds throughout Tanzania.
It’s also very important to mention how great the customer service was from the Africa Adventure Company. We loved how efficiently emails were answered to each of our questions- and we had many leading up to the trip. You were all so great about helping us reschedule the trip- both times!…
Again, thank you for everything!! Until next time!
Giselle & Ryan Gutierrez, Aug 2021
Migration Safari to Tanzania
Good morning Alison.
I wanted to let you know that I had a fantastic time in Tanzania. Everything from start to end went as planned and I literally did not have a single complaint other than the cold weather in the Serengeti. Haven’t you figured out how to control the weather yet??? Your team here in the U.S. was attentive to my questions and did a great job making sure I had everything I needed to be prepared for the trip. The team in Tanzania was top notch. Each guide was professional, highly knowledgeable, and had respect for the wildlife and the parks. You could tell that they really loved what they did. The staff at the camps were friendly and made sure that I had everything that I needed. The hotels and camp tents were much more than I needed but it felt good to be pampered.
I understand that the wildebeest give birth in the masses in the southern Serengeti around February and is a wonder to see. Do you have any trips planned around this event?
Thank you again to you and your staff for making my trip to Tanzania a great experience that I will never forget.
All the best,
Mike Lang, Aug 2021
Safari to Tanzania including the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti
Thank you for the welcome home. We really enjoyed our trip. Our guides were top notch (see comments at end) and we enjoyed our stays in the Rivertree Country Inn, Acacia Farms and Zebra Camp. Each of our lodgings were uniquely different but all offered the greatest hospitality in comfortable surroundings.
Our game drives were quite successful in that we managed to see the big 5 and witness not one, but four river crossings in the Serengeti. My husband loves photography and especially enjoys capturing birds and we saw many birds this trip. We didn’t get very close to the one rhino we saw in the crater which was a good thing since the rhino was quite agitated. Through our cameras and binoculars, we watched it charging the cars (no worries the cars they were chasing were for the team that was out trying to vaccinate the rhino) and were thrilled we were able to see this sight. We also saw many elephants, zebra, giraffe, lions and antelope. We saw one leopard and one cheetah and enjoyed seeing cubs and other baby animals. It was a great adventure and after hearing the stories of those working in Africa, we were humbled in knowing our being there meant they could be working, earning money to support their families.
…Thank you again for putting together this wonderful trip. I didn’t think I’d ever get my husband on safari and now even he is saying he might like to go back.
With best regards,
Julie McCroskey, Aug 2021
Tanzania Safari & Gorilla Trekking Adventure to Rwanda
WHAT A TRULY AMAZING, EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE OUR SAFARI & GORILLA TREKKING WAS!!! In Tanzania, Ephata was one of the best, if not the best guide, I have ever had. He was knowledgeable about the wildlife and birdlife, was very friendly and enjoyed conversing with us, became just as excited as Jim, Linda, & I upon seeing the animals, birds, and several close encounters with the wildlife. Moses was also an excellent guide although we did not get to spend as much time with him as we did with Ephata. He, also, was thrilled to hear about our experiences with the gorillas and wanted pictures sent to him of the gorillas…
Naomi was invaluable with her assistance in making a few scheduling changes to accommodate getting COVID-19 tests and results in a timely fashion. She, along with Ephata, are people that AAC should be proud to have as onsite representatives, as Jim said.
The airport liaison at Kigali International was fantastic and had us in and out of the airport in a timely fashion after taking a rapid COVID-19 test and then meeting our safari driver.
For our flight from Kilimanjaro to Nairobi, the guides, Swissport employees at Kilimanjaro and Winnie, at the Nairobi airport, were most helpful in facilitating movement through Customs and to the gates. As Jim said, their assistance was greatly appreciated…
Now on to the most important part of our journey: the safari and gorilla trekking. Honestly, there are no words which accurately describe our experience: extraordinary, superb, outstanding, fantastic are not adequate.
All of the camps were amazing: each staff was extremely friendly and was very interested in making sure our visit to their camp was a great experience. In particular the staff at Kati Kati Tented Camp should be commended for their concern that all our needs were met; as the old saying goes “They went above and beyond the call of duty”. The same is true of the staff at the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. Again, all the employees of the camps were a great credit to AAC and they should be commended for the excellent service to the guests at their camps.
The wildlife and birdlife viewing was incredible!!!! We saw elephant, giraffe, numerous types of antelope, lions, a leopard with a kill up a tree, two snakes – a puff adder and a rock python – (I had never seen any snakes on my previous 8 visits to Africa), a black rhino which was a real treat, and more – too numerous to mention. The Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area were incredulous with the quantity and variety of wildlife; seeing so many animals in these areas was astounding, especially seeing the black rhino in the NCA.
Two experiences that stand out:
- In the Serengeti we were watching a cheetah mom with her youngster when she suddenly jumped on the spare tire of our vehicle. She eventually jumped down and went to another vehicle near ours and jumped on the spare tire; her youngster also tried to jump on the spare tire but had difficulty doing that so the mom reached down to help the youngster. The cheetah mom returned to our vehicle and jumped on the spare tire and then jumped up to a flat platform on the back of our vehicle. Since I was standing on the back seat of the vehicle to take photos, I came eye-to-eye with the cheetah mom who looked at me and then hissed at me. She calmly walked over to the side of the platform and sat down. She stayed there for a short while and then jumped down. To be about 24” from the cheetah’s head was quite a thrill, to put it mildly! After she hissed at me, Ephata plus Jim & Linda quietly told me to slowly step off the back seat to put some distance between myself & the cheetah. Other than the hiss the cheetah mom seemed perfectly calm and made no threatening movements toward me. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE TO BE SO CLOSE TO AND BE HISSED AT BY A CHEETAH!!!!
- During our second gorilla trek, Linda was taking a photo of me with a silverback in the background. All of a sudden, the silverback began charging toward Linda and I. Our guide told several people to step back and told Linda & I to sit down, assume a submissive pose, and not to make eye contact with the silverback. Linda & I were trying to gracefully sit down without falling in the path of the silverback. He ended up walking right by us, so close we could have touched him without extending an arm. TO SEE HIM SO CLOSE MADE ONE REALIZE HOW BIG AND POWERFUL A SILVERBACK CAN BE!!
…I am just beginning to sort through my photos and videos. A few photos are attached.
Perhaps someday in the future I will return to Africa but if that does not occur, what an experience to end my travels to the African continent! Thank you for answering all our questions, keeping us up to date on any developments with our safari and gorilla trekking, and providing an adventure of a lifetime!!!!
Carole Replogle, Aug 2021
Best of East and Southern Africa
Dear staff at Africa Adventure Company – To each and every person there who worked so diligently to get us in, around and back home —
THANK YOU for an experience we cannot begin to describe.
Everywhere we travelled, every person encountered, every COVID test, every transport was so well planned. It was as if you were right there with us!!
You are an amazing team and did an amazing job planning our journey through Africa. In many places we were the only two people there so we also had the undivided attention of staff personnel. This was most appreciated when we got to South Africa during their lockdown especially at Fancourt where they set up a separate room for us to have our “takeout” breakfasts and dinners!
I will provide you additional feedback on accommodations, food, camps, staff, etc. in a few days as we settle in back home
Again, the greatest of Thank You’s to the Team.
The Fillers, Jun-Jul 2021
Conservation Flying Safari to Kenya
We had an incredible experience and loved Kenya!
We started at Solio – and our first game sighting was 17 rhinos just hanging out together!! More than 120 rhinos in total by the end of the two days. Our guides Ali and Charles were incredible.
We were enjoying breakfast in the bush at Solio and as we were sitting down to eat a family of rhinos walked into the area and were grazing. We had breakfast with four rhinos behind them (about 50 feet) just grazing away!…
It was off to the Maasai Mara and Sala’s Camp – Steven and Fred, our guides, were fantastic. We saw so much it was overwhelming. Our favorite sighting was a coalition of 4 cheetahs who we followed around for an hour. Also fantastic was a leopard with her cub and we sat and watched them play for a long time.
We loved the whole experience!
Gary and Gwenyth Spinks, Jul 2021
Private safari in Tanzania including Tarangire and the Serengeti
Good morning Elena,
We had a wonderful time! It was everything we hoped for and more than we expected. The safari for 10 days was exceptional. Servuli was a guide that went above and beyond for us. He really tried to meet all our needs and to locate every animal each of us wished to see. His knowledge base of the area, history and general facts was outstanding. We would travel with him again given the opportunity. The accommodations in lodges were wonderful and staff were so polite, caring and seemed genuinely interested in meeting our needs. Service everywhere was exceptional.
The trip was well organized by your company and your team on the ground. Transportation, transfers, and accommodation were spot on. At each point of transfer there was someone waiting for us, there was never any question. Any advice given by you to us prior to the trip was extremely useful. Required paper work was clear…
Michael is collecting all the photos from all of us and we will sit down and prepare an album. Hopefully we will find a couple of great pics to forward to you. Enjoy the video!
We will definitely be recommending to our friends and family to travel to Africa with your company as we recognize the importance of a thorough plan and coordination between here and the company in Africa. You outdid yourselves.
Thank you again,
Naomi and Michael Tashman, Jul 2021
“Wilds of Tanzania”
I am writing to you from Zanzibar as we are having great downtime after an exhilarating and amazing safari. I wanted to tell you what a great time we are having and how special you made our trip. The camps were wonderful, the Acacia Farm Lodge (near Ngorongoro) was very special and the Pongwe Beach Hotel in Zanzibar is so comfortable. (The special birthday surprise for Steve was very special with a song and dance and a cake as well).
What stands out though is our driver, Sirvuli. He was so warm, funny, pleasant, amazingly knowledgeable about the animals, the plants, the geography, and the history of the areas. He helped us appreciate the wonderful culture of the Tanzanian people. They are so gracious and you can tell they really want to please— not for the tips, but because this is in the culture. He really wanted to make sure we saw everything we came for. He even borrowed a taxi from a friend in Arusha to take us to find Tanzanite. He could spot and tell us an animal from far away when we couldn’t see anything. Then, all of a sudden a lion and her cubs would appear. He made a point of finding out what we wanted to see — and then found it.
On my wish list was to see a cheetah, a chase and see a lion in a tree. We saw all of these. He would stay at a spot longer than the other cars and sure enough, we would end up seeing behavior other cars missed. There was the time he saw two female lions with four cubs far away. We stayed there a while and saw a teenage elephant approaching the cubs. Sivuli told us the elephant was trying to go after the cubs. The lions drew away the elephant from the cubs and it became a cat and mouse game in front of us. The lions won, the cubs were safe, and the elephant walked off. Had we just stopped and looked at the animals and moved on we would have not seen the dynamics of the relationships.
My warmest thanks,
Wendy Goldzband, July, 2021
Classic Kenya Flying Safari
What an amazing trip!!! There wasn’t a minute we didn’t enjoy. I can see why everyone who goes to Africa, immediately wants to return. So, so many memories.
The guides were tremendous. Each camp and their management was tremendous. All so attentive and helpful. Especially when I needed some medical attention because of a gash in my leg. What would a trip be to Africa be without experiencing their medical facilities. All is well. Gash didn’t stop me!! We bonded with all personnel we came in contact with. Sammy, our guide, at Elephant Pepper Camp in the Maasai Mara was exceptional!!
Many thank you’s for helping us plan and see through the trip to Africa that I have wanted to do since I was 12 and now can check off my “bucket list”.
With no hesitation, I will be referring all those that ask for a referral for their Africa Adventure!!
Nancy Burbott, Jul 2021
Highlights of Uganda
Our recent 12 day trip to Uganda with our four children ages 16-22 was a fabulous family adventure! I give you all the credit for making it happen! A mere two months ahead of our eventual travel date, we were loosely considering a trip to Uganda, and I made a couple of exploratory phone calls to you. I was uncertain about dates, prices, and the logistics and practicalities regarding Covid travel. But you simply took the initiative and then, in no time, presented us with an amazing and personalized tour package that we couldn’t turn down! You listened to all our wishes and answered all our questions and we are so appreciative of you planning such a wonderful trip!
Originally, we looked into Uganda as simply a place where we could go gorilla trekking. But after just a little research, we quickly discovered that Uganda has so much more to offer than just gorillas! So, on your recommendation, we decided to spend 12 days touring the country and it was a perfect choice! We visited the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls NP, Kibale NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Bwindi Impenetrable NP. Departing from Entebbe and driving around Uganda to these parks afforded us the opportunity to see the spectacular beauty of the country. It was also a great way to experience local daily life as we drove through countless villages and markets and saw many smiling and friendly Ugandans all along the way.
Our trip exceeded our expectations. We knew that the chimpanzee trekking and our two days of gorilla trekking would be the highlight, and it didn’t disappoint! Seeing the gorillas was truly a surreal and overwhelming experience! We saw silverbacks, mommies, juveniles, babies, and even a 6 day old infant! But in addition to chimpanzees and gorillas, we saw a beautiful country with abundant wildlife including the big five, we ate delicious food, and we stayed in superb accommodations. We especially loved the tents at Paraa Safari Lodge and Ishasha Wilderness Lodge. And, Buhoma Lodge was exceptional – our favorite stay during our vacation!
The thing that really made our trip whole was the people of Uganda. We can’t fully express our gratitude for the hospitality we received. From the lodge staff, to the local guides, to the trekking rangers, guides and porters, the people of Uganda are some of the most happy, genuine, helpful and thankful people we have ever met. They are so delighted and appreciative to have tourists returning, and they are accommodating in every way!
Of course, the most important person on our trip was our amazing guide, Vincent! As a native Ugandan, his insight and expertise on the country he knows and loves was unparalleled, and we enjoyed him so much as a person. He really was one of the best guides we have had throughout our travels over the years. He is knowledgeable, dependable, accommodating, flexible, courteous, fun (and funny!) and excited! Vincent was a thorough teacher, and he ALWAYS went the extra mile for any of our wants and needs. He was a great problem-solver when we needed help, once at a bank, and he also arranged to retrieve one of our bags when it arrived late and after we had already moved on from Entebbe. In addition, he was fantastic with the kids, always checking in with them to make sure they were happy!
We are so pleased we made the decision to go to Uganda. Covid-safe polices were in place, lodges and parks were far from capacity, gorilla permits were available on shorter than usual notice, and prices were right! We knew that we were in good hands and always felt safe and well-cared for. Our trip was a wonderful and unforgettable adventure for our whole family!
Jan Garside, June 2021
Safari Adventure to Tanzania and Rwanda
We had a fantastic time. The guide in Tanzania (Wilson) was exceptional.
We saw everything we wanted to see and more. Lots of Lions, a cheetah, a leopard, a rhino, and the usual animals that are more abundant – all beautiful and memorable.
There were so few people there that the staff were delighted to have us at the camps – most of the time (95%) we were the only ones there. Ikuka Safari Camp in Ruaha was a real plus. I’m so happy that we were upgraded for those 4 nights – we needed a break and a place with a real shower… Siringit, on the Serengeti was a very nice camp too.
The gorilla trek could not have been better. We were able to go with just our group of 4 and visited with a wonderful family with a Silverback, 2 babies, some rambunctious “children”, and a very pregnant female with her girlfriends. They were all around us. Very fun; and emotional too.
Thank you for the organizing job. My Gluten sensitivity issue was handled very well by all the camps. And my 2 birthday parties were a real treat – music and dancing and GF cakes. Loved it.
Lots of COVOD tests – all that went well – no problems. Thank you for putting together a very memorable trip.
Kathy Panetta, June 2021
Dynasty and Desert Tour of Morocco
We are having a fabulous trip. Thanks for arranging it.
This is fun but there are no elephants in Morocco!
Dan Wright, June 2021