African Adventure - South Africa, Zambia & Botswana Some great in depth feedback from clients who have recently traveled with us. Open, honest & some super footage at the end too. Enjoy the read and if you need any advice or thoughts on the properties or itinerary they mention please get in touch with us and we [...]
Great feedback from an African Safari Jeff and Lise, We are sorry to report that we are home. We are thrilled to report that every aspect of the trip was amazing. I am in the process of downloading photos as we write this and can’t wait to go through them and relive every minute. We [...]
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Hi Ilze- Nicole and I are back in the US and wanted to thank you again for all the help that you gave us to make our trip truly fantastic! We're happy to give you some feedback on some places that stood out to us, as well as some learnings for future travelers. I'll also try to address your questions in the respective sections. Below is a quick summary: South Africa
- Cape Town accommodations were fine. Nothing "special" but we knew that going in. It was very comfortable, clean and convenient.
- The lodge in Franschhoek was really nice.
- The Elephant Lodge was a really nice location. Very unique and charming.
- You definitely warned us about the distance between all locations - we probably should of listened. While it was great to see the towns that we did, it was often after a long day of driving only to have to leave again first thing in the morning.
- All in all, the locations and lodges were all lovely in S. Africa.Mozambique
- Everything was amazing! LOVED Islands of Siankaba.
- We've already given feedback here. It was an amazing island. Beautiful, tranquil, etc.
- The Banguerra Lodge had a lot of potential. It was beautiful, the food was good.
Overall Feedback Aside from the above, we were very very happy with all the other elements of our trip (food, boarding, activities, transfers). That said, we thought we’d summarize some things that may have made our trip a bit more seamless so that you can pass along to future customers. Looking forward to connecting at your convenience. Thanks again for your help in planning a truly amazing, life changing trip. I hope the feedback above is helpful, and in the context that it was intended - which is that all in all, we are VERY happy. Have a great day. Colby
- We really loved the Stanley.
- Travel time between parks.
Good morning, Yes, we are back and had a wonderful vacation! I'll give you our honest feedback. We just loved Kirkman's Kamp. In truth we actually saw more animals just driving in our rental car through Kruger National Park ourselves, but the experience of the drive was awesome. For example, we saw a leopard eating it's impala kill and had the ability to sit under it in our land rover for about 45 minutes while a hyena was nearby. This is something we wouldn't have seen on our own car drive. The staff there gave us first class treatment - with greeting us as we arrived and giving us fresh moist towels to clean up with. For the game drive, we loved the touch of having hot water bottles and blankets to keep us warm! They wound up giving us two game drives (we thought there was just one evening one and a walk). The food there was excellent and the room/accommodations superb. Everyone needs an escort to their room as animals can be everywhere. In fact, they said the night before a lion chased an impala through their camp! Too bad we couldn't have afforded another night because we might have been able to spot the only animal of the big five we never got to see, the lion. Riley's Rock was unique. My sister was disappointed with it initially feeling it was too 'rustic', but the rest of us really loved the look and 'feel' of it. She wound up coming around to really loving it - who wouldn't with all the dinners under the stars around a fire? We were blessed with having our first dinner with Ted Riley himself. Apparently he had guests that were in for some important conservation business and it allowed for some very serious and interesting dinner conversation with all of us...a great and memorable experience. Interestingly, they asked about how we booked their hotel and we told them about you (and they were quite grateful). How had you heard about them? We also loved the Swaziland excursions we took through Swazi-Travel. Kosi-Forest Lodge though beautiful, was probably our least favorite. The place was truly lovely yet simplistic. We loved the look of the tiki torches around so we can find our room at night. It would be a much better place to stay in the spring or summer as it was too cold to go snorkeling. It was also more geared for honeymoon couples. The food was tasty and it's presentation very nice. Thula Thula was nice, though disappointing for game viewing. If I had it to do over again, I would have stayed one day there (just because my wife read the book), and two days at a big game reserve hotel. They don't have the big 5 there - and really the main thing to see is their signature elephants, which are breathtaking. The tracker and driver were magnificent, but they excelled more on the bush walks. We only got to see elephants and rhino there...they have no lions and in 3 game drives we never saw buffalo or leopard either. In fact they hadn't seen a leopard since last December. The tented accommodations were nicer, in our opinion, then Kosi-Forest Lodge. They were bigger. Both had family tents, which might have been preferred for us - if less expensive. The meals were good and we especially liked that there was a game meat option each day. We wound up downloading the South Africa map for our GPS and we are glad we did. While it wasn't perfect, it did fill in missing spots when using the directions provided. The GPS did wind up giving us totally wrong directions to Thula Thula though. Looking back, it would have been better doing the trip in reverse...as it is hard to top seeing so many animals (Kruger and Kirkman's Kamp). Again, thank you so much for organizing the trip for us - it was really a once in a lifetime experience and our whole family has memories that won't be forgotten! P.S. - your telephone call to us at Kosi Bay was a wonderful touch and much appreciated. The Toro family
Dear Jeff and Camille – So nice to get your holiday greeting and bad me for not ever writing “officially” to thank you both for the most amazing experience of my life – Simbambili and my safari experience. Your nose and ears must have been itching dozens upon dozens of times as I’ve recounted my adventure to friends and family and colleagues – and most recently, in our holiday letter. It still seems a bit like a dream…Funny, people have said things like, “Wow, now you can check that off your bucket list.” And I always reply, “Check it off?! Now I just want to go on safari again and again!” My time at Simbambili was life changing and life enhancing and there’s something about Africa that seems to have gotten under my skin. Guess that happens doesn’t it? Endless thanks to you both for helping to make my childhood dream come true! You guys rock! Happy holidays and all good things to you in the New Year ahead! Warmly, Melissa
Hello Ilze, Yes, now back at work and, unfortunately, getting back into the old routine. Olympic action is certainly going better than we expected – big plus point there. The gorillas behaved impeccably. They were less than an hour away from the track start. The leader had a bit of an argument with one or two of the younger ones. Baby on mum’s back. Beating of chests. Probably most if not all of what you would want/expect to see. It took longer to find the golden monkeys but they too were good but not quite so obliging from the photography point of view. Marlin Lodge was very good, thank you. The people there – staff – were a really good crowd. The place itself was a delight. The main problem here is that all the weight we lost with gorilla and golden monkey tracking has been put back with – possibly – a vengeance! The weather was better than the week before we were there and, on the day we left, it had taken a turn for the windier and cooler – so we could not complain. I have to say, their attention to detail was excellent. Last but not least, we both enjoyed immensely both parts of the trip and thanks for your help in doing just that. I will certainly get in touch with you again should we get down into that part of the world again. Mgahinga – Bwindi Lodge – Peermont – Marlin Lodge Kind regards, Graham
Hi Ilze Sorry it took so long to get back to you. The honeymoon was great! We enjoyed both safaris a lot, and got to see so many different animals and the wildebeest crossing. We were glad to be able to observe and learn the differences between the two reserves. We especially enjoyed the Mara Bushtops camp. The guides, accommodations and service were all superb. Samburu Intrepids was also very nice, and we had a great guide and the place itself had great service. However, we felt it was a notch below the Bushtops in terms of luxury. Also, there were a few families with children there, so we didn't feel like it may have been the best place for a honeymoon. Overall, it was a great trip. Thanks very much for your help, and I will be in touch for future safari trips! Jeff