Clients Trip Reports Southern Africa: Aug – Sep 2022
Safari to Zambia and Zimbabwe with Cape Town
During my time at Tafika Camp (South Luangwa, Zambia), we went out on our am game drive and our guide, Mukupu, heard hyenas whooping in the distance. He drove through the woods following the sounds. We finally came up on a couple of lions with a kill: a Cape bull buffalo. There were over 10 hyenas forcing the issue—they wanted that buffalo! They went in and the lions attacked them. The hyenas were really screaming as they attacked when suddenly 5 more lions got in the action. It was bedlam but clear they were no match for 7 lions and ran for their lives. It was exhilarating! Such action and raw nature in front of us!! A BBC crew was filming it and we had to give them space. By sheer luck I pushed “video” on my camera and captured the height of it. When we left I played my video to see how it turned out and Mukupu went nuts. He couldn’t believe I actually filmed it. He asked if they could download the video back at camp because he knew they’d want to see it and he wanted a copy. The owners were thrilled to get it and it’s going on their website.
We went back during our pm drive and the BBC vehicle was until there. The buffalo was 1/2 eaten and 6 lions went off to get a drink and left a lone lioness to guard the carcass. Mukupu said the hyenas would come back in the dark as one lioness couldn’t stop them. And they did and she ran off. Then 15 hyenas dove on that carcass and all hell broke out again! Only this time it was the hierarchy of a hyena clan attacking the low ranking for their insolence. They don’t eat until the Queen and her main hyenas ate first and when they’re told they can! Vultures were everywhere. When these hyenas are done they’ll clean up the rest.
This was a National Geographic event! Absolutely thrilling!!!
Irene Cavatore, Sep 2022
Botswana Wing Safari with Specialist Guide Brooks Kamanakao
Dear Elena –
I wanted to thank you for all your patience with us throughout the pandemic and for allowing us to achieve our goal of a group safari with Brooks! You really excelled yourself in helping us get the most extraordinary Africa Adventure safari. Your recommendations for the sequence and timing of camps definitely matched the desires of the group and fit well with the progression of activities. We saw simply amazing wildlife and were once again overwhelmed by the joy of a week with Brooks. He is simply outstanding in every way and we learned so much from him. Thank you again for all your efforts on our behalf.
Lynelle Johnson, Sep 2022
Dear Mark and Gang,
I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how pleased we are with our trip. Greg & Marilyn reported they had a wonderful time in Cape Town. All of us enjoyed our brief time at the African Rocks Hotel. Our transporters to and from airports got us where we needed to go.
Savanna Lodge was magnificent. Jeff & I were so thankful for the extra time there. We needed to unwind. Savana set a high bar for the rest of our camp experiences. The facility was beyond our expectations, as were the safari rides. Everyone there, especially our personal waiter, ranger, and tracker (Dan, Dan & Life), were extraordinarily thoughtful, helpful, and informative. We really can’t say enough.
Cynthia took us on an afternoon walk through Victoria Falls yesterday. She wisely advised we would prefer to include rainbow sightings over the Falls, which we might miss if we went in the morning. Again, she was an excellent guide, and we learned and saw a lot.
Our time at Little Makalolo was fabulous. Edwin and his staff treated us so wonderfully. Leo, our guide, let us to amazing sites of lion and zebra herds, I’m on other many species. He was informative and fun.
Our time in Mana pools was equally fabulous. Our guide Mitch is someone we would want to travel with many times in the years to come. We learned so much and were inspired by his enthusiasm. Even when our flight was somewhat delayed getting out of Mana pools, he decided we needed one more Safari drive to look for leopards!
Thanks again for putting together the trip of a lifetime!
Nora Pasman-Green, Sep 2022
Hidden Gems of Zimbabwe
FINALLY we made it happen. Thanks for all of your rescheduling work. Off to a rocky start with that flight cancellation but sure glad we had an extra day to play with in Jo’burg so all turned out well.
Somalisa Acacia was wonderful. Our guide was More. Very good. Camp was lovely. Good food. Nice ponchos to keep us warm in the morning.
ELEPHANTS!! We certainly have never seen THAT many elephants and it was joy to watch them playing in the water. Sitting in the hide at the watering hole was very special.
Two cheetah brothers. We saw them more than once. They were in the rustic camp one morning so all the vehicles had a nice sighting. They had a made a kill right in front of a vehicle a few days earlier and were due for a hunt so everybody was following them. That morning we found the impala. Waited for the brothers to find them which they did. And we took our positions. The cheetah were starting to creep forward staying tucked behind bushes in an otherwise open area but when the leader was forced into the open, despite the fact that he stayed low in the grass, one vigilant impala spotted him. He was a long ways away, but they got busted. The impala wandered off and the cheetah went to sleep hungry.
Great lions. BEAUTIFUL pictures taken at watering hole with the pride drinking along with their reflections. Never had such an opportunity before for photos like that.
Lots of giraffe. All around a lot of game. And great elephants.
Our four great days went by quickly. Then on to Little Vundu.
Really liked the water and all the hippos on land. Before a hippo out of the water was a fleeting glimpse but here the islands make it common. The water, the pools, the gorgeous carmine bee eaters. Pretty group of love birds.
Being THAT close to elephants was amazing. “Eddie” was misbehaving, as he often does. Not too long ago he decided he wanted the acacia pods lying on the roof of the eating/lounge area and could not reach them. So he simply smashed the support posts and brought the whole roof down to the ground. Discussion was going on about how to remedy that problem. For now somebody sweeps the pods off on a regular basis. Eddie and his trunk came to lunch daily and he needed to be reprimanded a few times but then he behaves…
One morning we joined other vehicles and were sitting on the ground VERY QUIETLY and staying VERY LOW watching sleeping lions not that far away. It boggles our minds that one can do this in Zimbabwe. It was comforting to know that about three people were behind the group with rifles. After a while the lions suddenly got up from their nap and headed off. Somebody had heard a buffalo bellowing. The buffalo was bellowing because it was being killed by hyenas. We followed the lions. Saw the bloody hyena leaving the area. And the group once again sat on the ground, scarily close, to 5-7 lions gorging themselves on the buffalo that they had stolen from the hyenas. Lots of growling and swatting at each other. Crunching on bones. Bloody coats and faces. WOW! Here we are, sitting on the ground, with eating lions periodically looking at us making direct eye contact. WOW.
We saw Tusker from the vehicle and we met Boswell VERY close on foot. Just incredible.
We really thought we were almost guaranteed of seeing the dogs here but three packs is now down to one (probably because of all the lions) so it is far more difficult…
In lieu of a canoe we went out on the pontoon boat. I guess people are doing less and less canoe trips. Fine with us. We got to go into the channels because the water was high enough that day. Lots of crocs, hippos, great water birds. Elephants with the orange setting sun. Different perspective. Very enjoyable…
I’m sure I’m forgetting a million things. It is just so great to have constant sensory exciting input. Nothing like Africa!!
On to Pamushana. What can I say!? Talk about a level of luxury we are not accustomed to! It is so beautiful. The service is perfect. We are very fortunate be able to afford a place like this, if only a few times in our life. And I love that the luxury is presented in a comfortable and totally casual way. Fantastic food, wine, dessert wines. The wine steward was a gem. We could probably live on the BREAD!!
And the GAME!!!! The game far exceeded our expectations. RHINOS and RHINOS and more RHINOS. Rhinos up close. Rhinos in the sun. Baby rhinos. Drinking rhinos.
Lots of sable. We saw lost of them earlier in the trip too. And eland, so elusive when we saw them previously.
Time spent in the underground hide reserved just for us was fantastic. To be down on the animals level is such a different perspective. We got to our hide later than the reservation time because WE FOUND THE DOGS.
VERY LUCKY. There is only one pack. About 14. The area is so big that it had been over a month since they were seen. But one of the scouts spotted them. So we went and found them just tucking in for the day of sleep. The vehicles disturbed them a little so they moved a bit but we were able to follow and them they bedded down. What a treat! Pete asked our guide (Tengwe) what we were doing in the afternoon, We were going to some different area. Pete asked if we could go to the dogs, hope they were still there, and see them wake up. We could. We did. Nobody else did. No idea why. They missed out. We got there to find them all spread out sleeping. Two returned to quite a greeting ritual. We stayed with them until the all decided to go out hunting. Off they went. All but one went to one side of an open area. A single dog went the other way. We saw the impala. The impala saw the dogs and raced off in various directions. One impala took off toward us with the single dog in hot pursuit. They quickly got out of sight but we heard the impala making that dying noise. Then all went quiet. We went off road trying to find them but it was getting darker and darker and if we didn’t get back to the road we were going to get lost. The other dogs were apparently too far away to know about the kill. They never appeared. We went back to camp and saw lots of things in the dark going back. Every day was a night drive because we were out so late. It was great. The next morning there was no sign of the dogs. Nobody saw them again during our stay. WE GOT LUCKY.
Tengwe was our guide. Very experienced. Very good. Very accommodating. The first morning at 930 he asked if it was ok if we slowly made our way back to the lodge. Pete asked what our choice was. Well, we could stay out longer. We want to stay out longer! We did. Stayed out until about noon. And every day after that we were out a long time. I guess they just need to know that no, we are not interested in the yoga mats or spa, we are interested in photography and game. Our tracker was Memezani. Just the nicest guy! Always smiling. Eyes like an eagle. And he never ever stopped scanning and scanning and scanning. No matter how dark it was…
What a great trip!!! After one day Erik was trying to figure out his next one and proclaiming it ‘best trip ever’ which I told him long ago he would say.
Thanks for everything. Going home for long enough to finish packing for Botswana. Can’t wait.
Helen (and Pete) Reinhardt, Sep 2022
Safari to South Africa and Zimbabwe
Hello Mark & Team,
We had an amazing time! Trip of a lifetime! Here’s some feedback:
- Your prep and material beforehand were invaluable to helping us be prepared and ready.
- The camps you chose (Kwara and Langoon) were spot-on in terms of game, staff attentiveness, & beautiful locations. We saw what you meant about the benefits of going off-road on the drives.
- At first we thought we wouldn’t need to be met at the airports, but that turned out to be quite helpful. Everyone who assisted us from Menzies was reliable and cordial.
- We really liked the tipping sheet. It took the guesswork out.
We are happy to recommend Africa Adventure Company to our friends and colleagues, and have done so already.
Marina Spence and Lucie Grosvenor, Sep 2022
Big Five Safari to South Africa
All we can say is WOW! Thank you once again for the safari you planned for us on such short notice. Each lodge was special in its own way and character. In particular the &beyond lodges’ superior attention to detail and their sensitivity to our needs and desires was extraordinary. Phinda was the surprise! At first the forest atmosphere was off putting but we came to really appreciate being “in the woods” and their staff, the food, our guide and tracker and sightings in the reserve were beyond our expectations. If you want to see rhinos, this is the place. We saw a total of 35, 8 of them black rhinos with a mother and calf close up. Of course Kruger was the location for leopards (seen daily) and wild dogs while at Kirkman’s (adults and a litter of 20 pups).
Early spring was a special time to be on safari with flowers blooming and birds returning and preparing nests for mating. And baby animals….elephant, hyena, leopard, lions, rhino, and those wild dogs.
Even a few dozen dung beetles rolling their balls in rhino poop was fascinating, as was the crocodiles mating in the water (Phinda).
We had so many wonderful animal behavior sightings at every lodge….thanks to guides who were knowledgeable, patient and very motivated to share the animals with us.
Just cannot say enough about how wonderful the trip you planned for us was. We are still basking in its afterglow.
Cathy Wasserman and Tom Menchin, Sep 2022
Safari to South Africa and Zimbabwe
Thank you for the best trip we have ever had! It exceeded all of our expectations.
Your sequence of hotels and camps was perfect. Cape Grace was perfectly located and great jumping off point. Little Ruckomechi was so wonderful. We had the camp to ourselves (plus a family of 3 elephants). It was just rustic enough while being comfortable. Service was excellent and so personal. Eddie was a wonderful camp manager and made us feel very welcomed and special. Our guide, AB, made us feel very comfortable and safe. He was so knowledgeable and showed us a pride of lions on our way to camp from the airport!
Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel was gorgeous. It felt like we had stepped back in time to the colonial period! The staff was welcoming and the accommodations were gorgeous. Blessed one was our dedicated waiter and he was so helpful and flexible. We really liked him. It was a bit buggy but nothing you could do about that!
Singita Boulders Lodge was perfection. Ahhhh. I wish to be there now. Staff was wonderful. Guide named Q was 5-star, brilliant and fun. He knew everything. I cannot recommend this place enough. It may be the only hotel portfolio I would ever stay in again on the African continent. WOW. It just blew me away.
All of our flights were on time and easy. Transfer helpers were always terrific.
Thank you for a perfect trip. Next one we hope is the gorillas!
Lizzie Bommer, Aug 2022
Best of Southern Africa Safari
Your selections of camps and guides was superb. We could not have asked for more, and we thank you and everyone at AAC for our wonderful experience. Below is a summary of each camp experience.
MalaMala Camp. The residence cottage was clean, comfortable and beautiful. We sometimes sat on the deck and watched elephants drinking in the river below. The main lodge and the outdoor dining were an elegant delight. We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary there under the moonlight. Our guide, “Lucky”, was a pro. He was knowledgeable on wild game, trees, and flowers, and he found more animals than we expected. All of the staff were well trained, friendly, and professional.
Camp Okavango. The camp is constructed on platforms above the ground, and buildings are connected by raised walkways. Our living quarters might be described as a luxurious, comfortable tree house. We enjoyed the community of guests and staff and each night many of us gathered for a glass of wine at the fire pit overlooking the channel. All of the staff were well trained and professional. Our guide, “Kam” was one of the best. We respected his skill and knowledge and we placed our lives in his hands on game walks and mokoro rides. We could not have asked for more.
Camp Xakanaxa. This was perhaps the most rustic of the Delta camps, but very comfortable. The food was excellent and we met friendly people from many countries. We were privileged to have the only woman guide at this camp. Kedi was an excellent and skillful guide, and she had a sense of humor that was delightful. She also has encyclopedic knowledge of animals, trees, birds and flowers. The staff were all well trained and professional. Our game viewing was superb.
Savute Safari Lodge. The staff here did everything possible to make our stay a pleasant one…Our guide, “Conrad” found lions and leopards and seemed to have a sixth sense to track animals. The staff at all of the camps sometimes sang for guests before dinner. The staff at Savute put on a floor show of song and dance that received a standing ovation. This is a beautiful and well-run camp.
Flights between camps and to Victoria Falls were all on time and the pilots were excellent.
Victoria Falls. The Ilala Lodge was a good choice. It was centrally located and very comfortable. We ate dinner on the patio to the sound of the Falls. Our guide, “Precious” was one of the friendliest, and most knowledgeable guides we could have. She was patient with us and gave us a two-hour tour of the Falls with superb descriptions of its history and geologic past. Our driver from and to the airport was very helpful in guiding us through customs and passport control. My only suggestion for improvement is not to limit a visit to Victoria Falls to one day. We would have preferred at least one or two more days there.
Vundu Camp at Mana Pools National Park. Our experience here was exceptional. It felt more like family than a lodge. We had two guides on different days and each of them was excellent. We viewed some incredible game…..everything from elephants, to crocodiles to hippos, to baboons and monkeys.
Cape Town. Chris Tromp was not only an excellent guide who knows the city and surrounding areas well but he was also a kind, friendly man who went out of his way to show us parts of the city and wine country that we never would have seen on our own. He has a wealth of knowledge about the country’s history and its current economy. We could not have found a better guide.
Charles Dattola, Aug 2022
South Africa and Botswana Wing Safari
We had an amazing trip. All three guides were excellent..Steven at Tanda Tula Nkarhi Homestead, Costa at Mapula Lodge and Molls at Sable Alley.
…Nkarhi Homestead was lovely and the chef, Ruth, was excellent. Mapula Lodge was charming but may have needed a little maintenance but the people there were delightful. Sable Alley was lovely and my favorite. We enjoyed the entire trip. We were pleased to have Greeters meet us at the airport or airport hotel and lead us through whatever we needed to do next. All of the people we met were delightful and helpful.
Thank you for organizing such an amazing safari for us!
Patty Foreman, Aug 2022
Safari to Zimbabwe and Botswana with Cape Town
Wow! I cannot begin to tell you what a fabulous experience we had!…Our guides, especially Dennis and manager Charity at Vumbura Plains were not only incredible but spoke so highly of you and your entire company! All of the accommodations we stayed in were great, but more importantly the guides and entire safari experience was way beyond our expectations! I have told so many friends already about your company and the importance of booking at such high-end accommodations to get the best safari experience!
From our time with Kim Wolhter at Sango Dadiso Camp scratching the chin of hyenas, watching a baby rhino being tagged and getting to touch him; to Pamushana with incredible game drives with guides Gafit and Difficult including seeing 14 rhinos from the hide, incredible food and wine and fabulous accommodations; and all the fabulous meals; to Belemi and Pancho at Mashatu taking us on exciting experiences seeing numerous lions so close and leopards, plus more outstanding food; then the incredible upgrade to Vumbura Plains – which was not only absolutely gorgeous but had Dennis take us on the most incredible game drive right after we landed to see 22 wild dogs chase that was taken over by 4 male lions then followed to their puppies and continue with another chase! Wow! Our room was absolutely incredible! Then the incredible wine country with the amazing Paul as our guide. He was not only fascinating but truly showed us all the highlights of Franschhoek.
Thank you for the incredible experiences,
Frances and Neil Ganz, Aug 2022
Explore Southern Africa
Hi Kyle, Janet, Irene, Elena, Megan, Nershada, Tony and everyone else involved in planning and organizing our fabulous trip… including Lynn who started it all back in 2019,
It was wonderful and exceeded our expectations in every way. The flights worked out every time and the sudden change from Airlink to Fed Air from Kruger went without a hitch. Every transfer driver was there and we appreciated the hand holding, even at Johannesburg Airport where they expedited us through lines, which was a nice touch. Your trip preparations and all the people there made us feel special. They were so happy to have tourists back.
Your recommendations for Table Bay, Rattray’s, and Muchenje were excellent and they made us feel like we were VIPS the whole time from the welcome to the lodging accommodations themselves to the friendly and warm service, food, assistance with any questions, etc. They even had cakes and celebrations for Greg’s birthday.
The guides were excellent. Paul in Cape Town was a wealth of information about the area and country from a social, historical and political context. He was very personable and customer service minded and dedicated to getting as many of the sights in each day that we could possibly see at our own pace and we had a great time with him. He shifted things to fit the weather and our interests very flexibly. He had great restaurant suggestions to keep the day moving and give us exposure to a variety of foods. He even added the street art mural tour of local artists in Woodstock to our itinerary for a very local flair. It was a great mix of nature, city and gardens for our days in Cape Town with shopping at the waterfront on our own to end it.
Your suggestion to do private vehicles was right on. We were able to experience it much better that way and for anyone who can swing it, we would definitely recommend it. We could go off road, take our time or skip something, go on longer nature walks, etc. The trackers we had (JJ at MalaMala and Lips at Muchenje) were exceptional at searching and finding the animals and friendly and so dedicated to giving us a wonderful experience. We were blessed to get two of the best they had and it really showed. They knew animals, birds, trees, scat, tracks, songs… so much! Since I am the one into animals and birds and Greg into trees, they were perfect. We saw all the animals, and more, that we had hoped to.. the variety available was so awesome at both camps. It was really neat to see them in different environs by going to the 2 different camps. The long drives at MalaMala and the variety of activities at Muchenje provided tons of opportunities for sightings up close and personal. Seeing the animals crossing in huge numbers while on drives and on the water safari and from the patios was a treat. Having them come right to the back yard at MalaMala was delightful…
During the entire trip, we found that everyone was very focused on making delicious food that met my food restrictions. Specially prepared dishes, baked goods and desserts were a treat. The food was superb and the chefs went out of their way to have delicious food at meals and snacks. I really appreciated that and they deserved the extra tips.
Victoria Falls was spectacular and the guide (Cynthia) was great…very personable and knowledgeable and sensitive to our pace. They did a great job with all the transfers and getting us to all the activities we had scheduled in one day, which we would highly recommend…sunrise cruise on a small boat, short helicopter ride, bike tour. All were professional, friendly, customer focused and knowledgeable and very keen to give us a great experience.
The Victoria Falls Hotel is classic with beautiful grounds and restaurants and the food was really good…
Overall, we would say this was a trip of a lifetime thanks to you all and your ground operators and their people. As you know me, this is very detailed and hopefully helpful feedback. We appreciated your responsiveness to our MANY questions during the past few years to make this trip as successful as it was.
Going through the thousands of photos and will post them as soon as we can.
Ronni and Greg Haston, Aug 2022
Botswana Wing Safari
Thank you Kyle and AAC for providing us the trip of a lifetime! It’s hard to put into words the specialness of this safari. Here are a few notes you might find useful for planning future trips…
Victoria Falls. We really enjoyed our visit to the falls. It actually surpassed our expectations. The logistics for the visit were complicated but worked perfectly. Cynthia was a great guide and the time we spent there, 90 minutes, was just right. We’ve wondered if we made the right decision by missing a game drive to see the falls and we definitely feel we made the right decision.
Wilderness Safaris. These folks were great. They smoothed out the logistics of all our travels. We did not have any issues with flights or transfers. Rob was wonderful as a guide for both the Cape and Winelands. They also offered to get us all the cash we needed after our credit cards were stolen on our first day in Cape Town. We did not end up needing their help, but it was very comforting to know they would step-up for us in such a situation.
Rob was so knowledgeable about animals, geology, plant life, wine… a true renaissance man! It was very enjoyable to spend time with him. He did a great job of customizing our schedule. He also was very helpful the two mornings we spent with him helping us to get money transfers due to the credit card theft. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide.
Muchenje Safari Lodge (Chobe, Botswana) – Surpassed expectations. Gourmet Food. Wonderful management. Super friendly staff. Top notch guide. Excellent facilities and well-appointed room. Excellent game viewing—saw lions & leopards. Boat cruise a major plus—tons of elephant herds that were spectacular and fun to watch crossing the river. Interesting night drive! Good at working with us to customize our own schedule due to our late arrival. It was a great way to start the safari! We wished we could have stayed longer. Highly recommend.
Linyanti Bush Camp – Friendliest camp. Greeted with song upon arrival and at every dinner. Everyone went out of their way for us. A+++ service. There is a friendly bull elephant who has taken up quasi-residency at the camp which has named Thomas, who we ran into several times. We also had a breeding herd grazing around our tent one night.
We liked that there was no fencing and animals could come in and out of the camp as they please. Great food, great guide. Lots of unusual nocturnal animals seen like honey badger, bat-eared fox, African wild cats, etc. We really enjoyed being at the pool as elephants grazed in the water hole in front of us — an iconic safari experience.
The camp did a lot of special lunches and dinners that we weren’t expecting and we were totally blown away by. One night we drove to the middle of nowhere and they had tables set up and lights everywhere. Fabulous star gazing. We enjoyed a BBQ dinner. One of the lunches was set-up around the pool and they had great breakfasts before the drives around a fire…
By staying 3 nights we had the option to do a 30-min scenic helicopter ride or use the scenic ride to also transfer back to the airstrip. We took this option, which is fantastic because it saved us so much time. The helicopter viewing over the Lynyanti flood plain was beautiful and we got to skip the 2-hour ride back to the airstrip! We hear that they’re building a new airstrip much closer to the camp.
Xaxanaka (Moremi Game Reserve) – Probably the best game viewing of anywhere. Beautiful camp, food was good…the camp was at least double the size…None of this took away from the outstanding sightings we experienced that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
Kwetsani (Okavango Delta) – This is not ranked as the “premier” camp in the Jao Concession, but it sure seemed like it to us! Our treehouse was simply beyond! Absolute perfection in every way. 5-star. The food, the professional and friendly staff all rounded it out to be the most special and magical camp at which we stayed. The Jao geography and vegetation was different from the other areas we stayed which also made it well worth it to go there. The camp management was superb…We saw amazing lions while there, and we took a gorgeous mokoro ride and motor boat ride. Truly memorable…
Tips: We really want to thank AAC for explaining how to do tips: when to give them and how much. We never saw anyone else tipping mokoro polers and the like, so we really felt properly prepared. Not a day went by when someone in the camps didn’t tell us how much they appreciated tourists coming back to Africa, and we were more than happy to tip them for everything they did to make us feel so welcome.
Thanks especially to Kyle who made our dreams come true with this outstanding trip of a lifetime!
Lance & Nancy Hood, Aug 2022
Safari to Zimbabwe and Kenya
First off, thank you so much for making our trip so logistically seamless. We sailed through crowded security checks and backed up check-in lines knowing what a disaster it could have been had we attempted to navigate it all ourselves.
This trip was quite different from the last one. Vundu with Mitch and Nancy (Gubman) was a dream – we love those two and there’s nothing like tracking lions on foot and hiking riverbeds to find million year old dinosaur fossils with your favorite people. Chitake Springs was raw and real – we saw and heard things that brought the harsh reality of life in the wild closer to home than ever. The last day back at Vundu was a welcome recovery and perfect ending, closing the circle.
Kenya was a sobering experience for me that gave me perspective on life that I’m still processing and will probably continue to reflect on for years to come. Seeing the gap in wealth and access to basic resources – dire poverty contrasted with billboards offering “glow in the dark mini golf”, the security in Nairobi creating the sense of being shielded from an unknown danger behind the gracious hospitality…
The Masai Mara was hot, dry, and beautiful. We ran 10k one morning at Offbeat which I’m quite proud of. Our guide seemed impressed. The food was the best we’ve ever had, and the level of care and service was fit for a queen. The second camp (Little Governors) where we spent just one night paled in comparison to the others – it was more factory-like than any of our other camp experiences, so I’m glad we only spent one night there.
Again, thank you so much for creating such an incredible trip for us, making sure we were safe and taken care of, and seeing to it that we enjoyed it all to the greatest extent possible. These past two Africa trips have enriched our lives beyond words and the memories and newfound perspectives continue to shape our realities in beautiful, mysterious ways.
With gratitude and until next time,
Miriam Illions, Aug 2022
Iconic Visions Safari to Southern Africa
Greetings, we made it back to NC late Saturday and we are still experiencing the euphoria of the most magical trip we have ever taken! We LOVED Africa! From the time we booked this trip 2.5 years ago we have been so impressed with the professionalism of Africa Adventure Company and that expertise was evident for the entire trip! When I say it was perfect, I mean perfect in every way, not a small blip or big glip! And the people, from the airport greeters to the drivers to the tour guides, they were prompt, knowledgeable, and so personable… just lovely.
Spending the day with precious at Victoria Falls was indeed…precious. And when she conveyed to us how Mark and Africa Adventures had been so caring and helpful to her and her family during the pandemic, we realized that your company was more than a Safari company but a company that truly cares about people!! Very heartwarming indeed. In Cape Town, Lucia expertly covered the natural beauty of the area and our day in the wine country was the perfect (and palate pleasing) way to wind up our Africa adventure!
With regard to our Safari lodges, we equally loved them all and each had something unique! The game viewing and accommodations at MalaMala was were stunning! Our guide Jon was the best ever! Everything about Chobe was equally stunning but our guide Oriah was our only time of a disappointment. She seemed to lack the guide “enthusiasm“, perhaps a bit tentative and just did not connect with the people in our group. Maybe she was inexperienced so in my review comments I suggested additional mentoring. And the staff at Xugana Island was so warm and personable, we fell in love with them and the camp. In the short span of three days, we felt like one big family. We had Gee as our main guide and it was a bit of a surprise the we had an assistant guide for all our game viewing and activities. We felt that sharing one guide tip was not sufficient so luckily we had some cash in reserve to cover his tip as well. At every camp, the food and refreshment was beyond wonderful!! We came home with a variety of souvenirs, from beautiful ebony wood, tanzanite, handmade baskets, to a bottles of South African wine and of course Amarula!
Your suggestion to label tip envelopes ahead of time really was a brilliant suggestion as it great way to stay organized with money and eliminated the stress at the time of tipping!
A note of intrigue, I received a few surprise birthday celebrations during our trip. It caught me off guard as my birthday is October 15th and then I realized that our original trip for 2020 was planned to celebrate my birthday and was booked as a birthday Safari. I just soaked up the sweetness of those celebrations and was very touched …. and just kept it quiet that it was not my actual birthday!! Our trip was perfect for us in every way. We loved viewing the most incredible animals in the world, but equally wonderful was meeting the people, learning about the environment, and being educated in everything from dung to seeds to the beautiful papyrus in the Delta. In a heartbeat, I am ready to go back! And without hesitation we will highly recommend Africa Adventure Company to all our friends.
Betty Ann and Tom McInteer, Aug 2022
Safari of a Lifetime!
When we returned home, we told everyone that the Africa trip was a trip of a lifetime. We were not disappointed by anything we saw and did on this trip. Given the complexity of our trip, the flawless arrangements that were made and executed are a tribute to your company!
Before we left we didn’t realize that we would have private guiding for the whole trip. Expected to be part of a tour in Namibia at least. All of our guides had very different personalities but all were very knowledgeable. Nick Murray was the only guide that you said we would have that, in fact, we did have. The others were new to us.
One of the other surprises was that at two lodges we were the only tourists there-Mountain View Gorilla Lodge and Sorris Sorris. The staff at Mountain View Gorilla Lodge were very welcoming (and we appreciated the foot rub after the gorilla trek) and the architecture and setting of Sorris Sorris were stunning. The good-bye song that the staff there performed for us was charming. All of our accommodations were perfect…
The wildlife viewing was all that we hoped for! We saw a mountain gorilla family of about 10-12 in a clearing and up close in the bush on our first trek. It was so good that we elected to not take the second trek. The prior chimp trek had been especially challenging and we had enjoyed the colobus and golden monkey treks also. But by the time the gorilla treks were scheduled we were kind of trekked out! (thank goodness for porters). We thought of the second gorilla trek as insurance, in case the first one was disappointing-which it wasn’t.
By the end of our trip we saw all the wildlife we had hoped to see. Some of the highlights (and there were many) included: wild dogs, gorillas, baby elephants (at an orphanage in Botswana), kayaking with fur seals in Namibia, lion kills and close up views of all the big cats and elephant herds, including spotting ‘Bozwell” in Mana Pools.
Thanks go to you and your staff for such a wonderful experience.
Janice and Hal Miller, Aug 2022
Classic Safari to Zambia
Truly a trip of a lifetime!! I know they all say that, but having visited 137 countries, this comes from the heart. It was our last hurrah, and the memories will remain with us forever. The Africa Adventure Company made everything possible, and the recommendations of Puku, Old Mondoro and Chiawa were perfect. There were so many highlights and memorable moments. This trip would not have been possible without your company. The reception and surprises we got at each camp to celebrate our anniversary was a little gift from heaven. Thank you again for this outstanding trip.
Judy Koehler-Newell and Michael Newell, Aug 2022
Safari to Zimbabwe and South Africa
Well done Mark and Africa Adventure Company!
Fantastic job. Loved every minute without exception. Where to next?
Dana Weinberg, Aug 2022