A reminder that the migration is in full swing at the moment in East Africa. We received an update this week from one of our partners Asilia who operate luxury camps in the area. Have a read as to what they are currently seeing: “This week has been fantastic as we had a chance to [...]
With the beginnings of the annual migration in East Africa taking shape this week I thought I would include an image of a lion with a kill. This photo was taken recently by one of my colleagues, Liesl in the Masai Mara. The migration has a massive predator following – there is no shortage of food for these big [...]
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Gabriella: I have worked with Jeff and Liesl on our annual "Around the World Gang" for the last 5 years and during that time there was NEVER ONE tiny detail left undone. Both Liesl and Jeff are enthusiastic, thorough, dependable, very knowledgeable and committed to their profession. From my experience, they are "above & beyond" anyone's expectation and you will find no one that could surpass their performance. Dee Phillips
Hi Liesl, Yes, everything went smoothly with the transfer and we are home safe! Overall, the trip was lovely. As expected, our favorite places to stay were the small tented camps, and both had their own special qualities. The Kichche mangers and staff were especially wonderful and the food there was some of the best I've had anywhere in the world (and I'm an annoyingly picky eater). Lemala was so impressive and we had an enchanting evening around the fire hearing stories about the bush and old Africa from an owner and one of his friends who happened to be there. We were pleased and we thought you'd like to know that when we first arrived, after the mix-up with the guide, the manager (Mark) assured us that although we didn't have a game package, they would make sure we were accommodated if the guide never arrived and he got on the phone right away to try to help sort it out. As you explained, Soroi was an important stop on the trip and a great location for game viewing, though we missed the small personal touches of the tented camps. We had heard great things about Exploreans from friends and we agreed that it was a wonderful spot and offered many welcomed perks after so many days in the truck. The the beach at La Gemma was gorgeous and we had a wonderful time exploring Stone Town. The Palacina was fantastic and very accommodating. As far as game, we saw everything we could have hopped to (all the big 5, 2 major crossings, and lots of big cats) and our guides throughout the trip were incredible and, of course, a major reason we had the wonderful experiences we did. At Kicheche we were with a man named Jonathan who was top notch at his work and a lovely person. We felt the same about the private guide you arranged, David, who was also exceptional. He was very knowledgable, professional and, honestly, a joy to be around for so many days. Thanks for your work preparing the trip we dreamed of and, importantly, always being available to receive our questions and concerns. It did not go unnoticed that you answered every phone call and were immediately proactive. Overall, we are officially in love with East Africa and hope to return again very soon. Cheers, Eleni and Nick
Hello Sarah, I am back from Tanzania, and wanted to thank you for your help in preparing an amazing trip! I took over 3000 pictures, which I am now beginning to sort through, and saw as many other amazing things. I wanted to provide you some comments on the lodges, camps, and tour operator. Kitela Lodge was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, let alone stayed. Besides the spectacular scenery and gorgeous grounds, the amenities provided, including internet, pool, hot water, and satellite TV (for all of us interested in the Africa Cup final) made Kitela feel like a hotel any where else in the world. The staff were also wonderfully friendly and the food was delicious. The coffee, grown right on their grounds, was likely the best I have ever tasted. I would have sacrificed my entire trip to Zanzibar to have stayed at Kitela Lodge for a few more nights. I noticed that they were a bit under-booked, and would encourage you to send as many clients as possible. Ang'ata Camps provided the perfect mix of the bush experience with hotel-like amenities: hot water for showers, clean and comfortable beds, and great food. My guide, who was not a man to be surprised, was even impressed. The staff were also great...I could not walk anywhere without receiving a friendly greeting, offer for food or drink, and question as to how I enjoyed my game drive or sleep. Matambwe Beach Village forces people to relax by providing none of the amenities that could distract from the beach. I especially liked that the use of footwear and the single guest computer were generally discouraged in the gentlest of ways. Finally to Wild Frontiers and Onesmo Sanka, my guide, to whom I owe the biggest of thanks for my trip. The vehicle was sound, the trip well-planned, and they offer what I believe is most important in a game drive: unlimited kilometers per day. I would highly encourage you to request Onesmo for your future clients. First, he drove slow and careful, which I believe is unique! He grew up in the bush and would see things that other guides did not, for instance a pride of 6 lions laying in the grass just 200 meters from the road that four vehicles in front of us had just sped past. Onesmo not only knew the ecology of the animals, but their habits, which provided many instances where my vehicle was placed specifically in front of where something amazing was about to happen. For instance, we did not park in front of the tree in which a leopard and her two cubs had been seen before a rainfall, but in front of a nearby snag, for Onesmo knew that leopards do not like rain, had gone to hide in the grass, and would likely come up on the snag when the rain had stopped. I had front-row seats to two leopard cubs playing on the snag while their mother cleaned herself in the background. I noticed that many of the guides of oncoming vehicles, upon seeing Onesmo at the wheen of our vehicle, would flag him down for advice. Onesmo was also extremely attentive to my habits: by the second day, he would automatically stop the vehicle when I went for my camera, and then start again when he heard the lens cap snap back on. He also started to avoid the crowds, choosing instead to quiet back roads where we may see a bit less but were alone when we saw it. I could go on for hours, but instead will just again recommend Onesmo for your future clients, with one warning: he is a quiet person and may come off as uninterested at first. However, once the ice is broken, I found him to be truly passionate about the animals, their survival and life history, and how everything in the bush fits together. Again, by the second day, I knew not to worry about a single thing: I simply put my trust as to the perfect parking place, vantage point for photos, route, and time into Onesmo's hands, and he delivered perfectly each time. So there is my gushing post-safari email which I'm sure you receive from every client! I want to thank you again for everything, and please let me know if there is anything else I can provide in terms of feedback for you or any of the above. Ben
Hello Friends!! Well, we have been back for a while now, and I have just finished cleaning up after the second set of guests since arriving home. And the boys have finally forwarded their pictures to us. So I am finally taking some time to reflect on our wonderful two weeks in Africa. Let me begin by saying thank you, thank you. The trip you planned for us was amazing. We saw so much, and there are so many of these experiences that are imprinted on my soul. In reflecting back, our time in the Kalahari was probably our favorite. Everything about that camp was amazing - the food, the guides, Michael and Cam (managers) and especially the meerkats!! One of my favorite memories is my son Jesse laying on the ground with a meerkat on his arm and another, pregnant, meerkat standing in the curl of his body. The bush tribe were great too - they were as curious about us as we were about them. We had a great time at the delta too. The floating lodge was good, but by that time, I think that we were just exhausted. The next time you plan a trip for us, remind me to keep it to 10 days, ok? The kids will probably fill you in on the first week of our trip, but it was truly amazing. Lou and I officiated a western wedding, helped to negotiate a lebollah (dowry) danced and sang african songs - what an experience! While I know you were puzzled Jeff about why they scheduled the first few days at Tau in the Madikwe, it had its charms. A great place to schedule a destination wedding. The staff were lovely, and they went way out of their way for us. We saw lots of animals there, and the accommodations were very comfortable. The food was good, and they even had a disco dance floor. Camille - I just have to say that all of the transfers were spot on. Lou was amazed that we didn't wait more than a few minutes for anything. You guys hit a home run, and I'll be happy to recommend you at any time!! Thank you again from the Loosbrocks!!
It was an absolutely great trip and we loved every minute of it. It was so worth it to upgrade and the accommodations were excellent and all our guides were superb! I am very glad you used you and will absolutely recommend you to everyone I know who will want to see the gorillas!