This week, Kenyans and environmentalists are mourning the death of their Tree Lady. Wangari Maathai was a most remarkable woman who dedicated her life to sustainable development, democracy and peace. She was 71. This charismatic Kenyan woman was known around the world as well as in the hallowed halls of international governments as the Tree [...]
Tag : environmentalist
africa big 5 big 5 safari botswana cape town conservation East africa elephant family safari gorilla's gorilla trekking hippos kenya kruger national park kruger park kwa-zulu Natal leopard liesl lion lion sands lise londolozi madagascar madikwe malaria free safari masai mara mozambique namibia natal okavango delta rhino rhino poaching rwanda sabi sand safari safaris serengeti south africa southern africa south luangwa tanzania uganda ulusaba victoria falls zambia
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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
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! It sure was a terrific trip for all of us...thanks to both of you for putting up with my endless emails---I guess I worried unnecessarily! The stay at the Stanley was a perfect introduction to the city, and the hotel is wonderful, well preserved, very helpful and friendly staff, great location. We did the Kazuri bead factory one day, and volunteered the next. We had a really nice dinner in an alley down the road from the hotel...called BoBos which is a Turkish outdoor restaurant. Certainly nothing formal, outdoor seating with few amenities, but very good inexpensive food. Worth a look. Then had Gamewatchers pick us up to begin the safari...our driver Stephen was an excellent guide, full of info, very interactive. Took great care of us. The other driver, Tony, was also very good though I was not in his RangeRover too often. Sweetwaters was a great choice. Nothing negative to say there. Lodging very nice, food good, game sightings excellent, fun nighttime entertainment. We all enjoyed. Lake Nakuru was the following day. Unfortunately, I would say that of all the experiences, this was the least favorite. The lodge was quite good, food good, good location within the park. The lake water was apparently very high for this season due to prior months' rains, so the bird life was marginal. Game viewing ok, but of course nothing like the Mara. Mara Entim was one of the favorites of all the camps. Beautiful location, top quality staff, camping on the river's edge couldn't be beat, though the sounds of the hippos grunting all night long was very disruptive to our sleep! The game drives with the park staff were incredible with awesome sightings, just overall magnificent! We got to the NBO in plenty of time for flight out to EBB. I was very impressed with Gamewatchers and our guides. The only negative was Nakuru and the long drive. I think we would have been better off hitting a different park between Mt. Kenya and Mara making the drive less intense. In Entebbe, as you know, we changed lodging to the Karibu House instead of the Lake Vic Hotel. I would strongly suggest you look at Karibu. It's a guest house with about 6 rooms, excellent ownership, very secure location, great staff, good chef in the kitchen, all in all a perfect stop over. First day was Ndali Lodge which a beautiful setting. The owner is very friendly and spends time with the guests, though his staff is not as well trained as I would have expected given his British background, quality of the lodging. Enjoyed Kibale. Could have passed on the Bigodi walk I think, esp during mid day when very hot. Then QE park at Mweya...what a great setting. We loved it! A perfect end to the travel. The Kazinga channel ride as lots of fun as were the game drives, though I was a bit underwhelmed with the volume and diversity of the game in QE. Especially as I compared to the Mara or Mt. Kenya. The landscape and views are unbeatable, but not many animals. Example no giraffe, rhino, few lions. Despite that, we had a marvellous time there. The setting really is unbeatable. Entertainment at night with tribal dancers was fun. Our Wild Frontier guide was named Ham, and he was outstanding. Very personable, soft spoken, courteous, well informed, etc. I would highly recommend him to future travellers. We all really liked the variety that Uganda gave us after a week in Kenya. The varied terrain and different cultures were educational, and it fulfilled the desire I always had to get to this area of Africa. I would not really change anything on the itinerary except the Nakuru stop. Otherwise all lodging and guides were very well chosen You both did a great job for us....thanks loads. I wish we were headed back to the continent soon, but I fear it will be a few yers. Garth
Jeff and Liesl, We want to let you know just how much we enjoyed our vacation and appreciate the quality of service we got the entire time. Most importantly, every day was breathtaking and brought a new experience that surprised and intrigued us. That was the ingenious part of the sequencing of the trip you put together as each segment seemed to build onto the prior. We would not have been ready for the Zambia portions until we had experienced Botswana (with a much needed break in between) and even in-country, each camp seemed naturally to flow from one to another. As we arrived at Chiawa, we thought, "What else could we see," and were amazed and delighted with the river safaris and the creative dining experiences there. Traveling for 3 weeks in Africa is bound to have some challenges and logistical problems. We had none. Sixteen flights, seven stops, I don't know how many transfers - everything was perfect. The food and hospitality at the camps were incredible. In particular: Cape Town - Charlie blew us away with his knowledge and careful planning. A perfect intro to South Africa. Xakanaxa - Baams, our guide got us into the spiritual aspect of being on Safari, and the animal variety was fantastic! Savute - Lucky was our guide, and he really impressed the boys with his tracking and we saw amazing lion scenes. Royal Hotel - Loved the Island tour (Though we suggest they overhaul the lunch and dinner menus.) Magnificent property. Chindeni - Amazing property, really enjoyed talking with the manager, James. Peter, our guide was the family's favorite. Chamilandu - Joe's personal favorite of ALL, loved everything. Chiawa - See comments above. All of the camps we surprisingly responsive to our dietary needs, especially in Zambia, where the worked really hard to make great food that was diary-free (Chiawa did the best with the amazing chocolate desserts!). Zambia really captured our hearts. My head has still not left Africa even after 6 days. I took 4000 photos and have begun to narrow them down. I will send you a Zenfolio link once I get everything organized. We will definitely be sending you other customers as we share our enthusiasm for Africa and are committed to return ourselves. With much appreciation, Joe and Meredith Callanan
Dear Jeffrey and Ilze, We will forward more pictures as we edit them. A friend recommended that we trek a second day, wished we had. It was an incredible experience. Be sure to tell you customers to wear really good gloves, the nettles are bothersome! I had only a knit glove that did not help. David wore very heavy gloves and he had no problem with his hands but those nasty nettles are everywhere. Makes no difference because after a certain point you forget the stings. Our mountain guide, Fidel, was great, very professional and very helpful preparing us for the trek. On the mountain we were met by 3 trackers that were equally wonderful. Our next trip will probably in 2014 unless I can talk David into an earlier one. Thank you again for making this so special. Carol