In the second part of our exclusive Q&A series with the team behind African Safari Consultants, we speak to Cape Town based partner Liesl Mathews about eggs benedict, where to go with your kids, the perfect holiday snap and much (more) more… For part one of our series, where we speak to Jeff Ward, click [...]
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 [...]
Being in East Africa’s Masai Mara and Serengeti national parks during the annual migration is high up on every animal lover’s wish list. The awesomeness is in the sheer numbers and the opportunity to witness one of nature’s most incredible spectacles. Not everybody is lucky enough to be at the right place at the right [...]
Choosing the right safari Last week I promised a few more tips on how to choose the right safari. Last week I covered: 1. When do you want to go? 2. Winter vs Summer? 3. Malaria Free Safaris? 4. Your budget? With these 4 questions covered we can look at getting a little more specific about your experience. [...]
Some stunning images taken in the Masai Mara Below is a seletion of stunning pictures taken recently in the Masai Mara. These tie in nicely with my blog posting from Wednesday. They really are such beautiful animals. So much majesty and poise!
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 [...]
Wildlife news and conservation stories are hot in the press at the moment. With the recent exposure of a Rhino poaching syndicate; the talk of Elephant hunting in East Africa; the sad poisoning of the Hoaruseb pride of Lions in Namibia; the burning of illegal Ivory by Kenya’s President with a street value of $100 [...]
This series of photos was taken in Amboseli Reserve by Liesl who has recently been on a safari trip to Kenya. Such fabulous shots of the herd going by and the huge male following in the distance – one of the greatest of the Big 5! Did you know that like humans are typically right or left handed, [...]
We have stressed this before but it is super when we get feedback from our clients. It really helps us to know that the trips we put together have been properly tailored to their best interests. Have a read below for some feedback on our services and also some great feedback on particular camps too. [...]
There has been a fair focus on Lions this week with the release of “The Last Lions” movie trailor featuring Ma di Tau. They are also one of the huge reasons people travel to Africa, to see these amazing creatures in their wild, natural habitat. Part of the Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo & Rhino) group [...]
Yesterday I mentioned that there was going to be a central lunar eclipse tonight, and Africa is one of the best places to be seeing this. As long as you have clear skies this is the case – there are no clear skies in Cape Town today! With massive storms lashing our coastline we are [...]
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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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.
Hi Ilze! How did the photos work out? First of all thanks so much for arranging such an amazing trip for us we're never going to be able to go on vacation again as nothing will live up to the experience we just had!!! All of the sites were perfect and the connections were great - everyone/thing was where it was supposed to be when it was supposed to be! The weather was perfect - we only got rained on the first morning for an hour; after that we had rain for 2 or 3 nights, but only during the night so we didn't get wet anymore. It was very comfortable for the first three sites then got hotter in south Luangwa, really hot at Bilimungwe, but we perfected the bush air conditioning!!! The food was amazing and the knowledge and passion of the guides/trackers/mokoro guide was astonishing!! The Chindeni staff stood out as a group and Ryan at Siankaba was very helpful suggesting and arranging extra activities. Neither of us got one mosquito bite which was a plus!! At Shinde we saw a leopard on our first drive!!!! Then lions, elephant, zebra, monitor lizard, hyena and a leopard again on our last drive. We went on the mokoro the 2nd evening and Collen who took us out was great. We ate kudu here, which was yummy! Chobe had lots of fun other guests!! Here we saw bigger groups of animals - elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, buffalo. A black mamba! Python, mongoose, leopard tortoise, lechwe. The first night was a bit rough as we had a thunder storm so the scorpions came out during dinner (we all had our pants tucked into our socks!!) and the hurricane lanterns all blew out because of the wind. Also the wind blew the walls of our tent so much the mirror was knocked off the table and broke (I discovered I didn't really need a mirror in the bush!!!!) and then I was woken up at midnight by a rather large kalahari ferrari spider on my neck!!!!!!! Almost had a heart attack at that point but survived!! The second night there we only had the scorpions......easy peasy!!!!! The food at Chobe was amazing considering Prince cooked the whole thing on wood! The 2nd afternoon we all went on the pontoon boat on the Chobe river - fun! Despite the first night in the tent, we would go back!! The guide Stanza was very entertaining!! The trip between Chobe and Siankaba was really interesting with the little ferry at the junction of the four countries and being able to see the villages - that was an eye opener seeing how many people live in Zambia.. Islands of Siankaba was beautiful. We went on the mokoro almost as soon as we got there and did the sunset river cruise. Michael went fishing on the 2nd afternoon, after our terrific horse ride in the bush and the Zambezi. He managed to catch a small tiger fish. We didn't do the regular tour of the falls because of the lack of water, but at Ryan's suggestion we went to Livingstone Island right to the very edge of the falls (arrrrr!!!), no devil's pool though - we're not that crazy!!!! And then we did the helicopter tour - both spectacular!! We did both of these after the fun elephant ride and the Bushtracks driver who took us around also took us to a market in Livingstone as we had an hour to spare between the elephants and Livingstone Island. That was great, we would have liked even more time there!! The third afternoon Michael went out in the mokoro with Brighton the ferry guy, just 30 feet from the dock and caught more tiger fish!! We ate crocodile for dinner one night! Chindeni was beautiful and we really enjoyed the walking safaris and the night drives. We saw lots of hippos and elephants, also giraffes, lions, monkeys and saw a fishing camp on the other side of the Luangwa river. The manager James, and the guide Charles and the tracker Michael were all great and really interesting and fun at this camp. Also the waiter Sam and the wildlife policeman Leonardo who came on our walks were terrific. One day we had to take quite a big detour around some elephants to get back to the car!! Bilimungwe was beautiful!! Hot, hot, hot!! We saw wild dogs three times there, that was great! Also some pretty big towers (new word I learnt) of giraffes!! Elephants, lions, zebras, hyena, wart hogs. One day we were out with a guy who's really interested in birds so our guide James took us to a place where there were loads of birds nesting. It turns out we're much more interested in birds then we thought!!!! The water holes in the camp were fascinating - what a great feature, you could almost just sit in camp all day and be happy watching all the animals coming and going!!! During the last night we were woken up by elephants eating the tree about 6 feet from the back of our bed!!!! The trip home was very long (35 hours) but everything went very smoothly and we washed with wipes and changed in Johannesburg and then sprayed ourselves with perfume in the duty free so we weren't quite so disgusting on the last plane!! We were able to do some shopping in Johannesburg airport too! The whole trip from start to finish was an amazing experience - 20 times better than we ever imagined it would be - and we'd do the whole itinerary again next week if we could!! Great trip with lots of variety; we wouldn't change a thing! We met so many interesting people and discovered that out of all the people we met only one had never been to Africa before (apart from us!) which was very interesting!! Most of them have been multiple times!! Have you been to all of the camps we went to? If not, you should!! Again, thanks so much for arranging the trip of a lifetime for us - it's something we'll never forget!! Louise
On Safari, we saw all of the Big Five plus a multitude of animals and a beautiful array of birds. Included was the first spotting of a white rhino in the last several weeks at Mombo and following a pride of lions from laying around and cubs playing, to their stalking a herd of buffalo, isolating one and eventually taking it down. National Geographic definitely abridges their footage and removes the sound track! What an experience!!! All of the camps were excellent, with highly knowledgeable guides who made sure that we saw all. Thank you so very much for the work you did to put this together for us! It was truly a fantastic dream of a lifetime trip!!!http://www.africansafaris.com/ →
Dear Ilze, We are home, safe and sound. You always called the trip “Your Fabulous African Journey”. And, you were right on. It was absolutely fabulous! A trip of a lifetime. We saw all the BIG 5, met wonderful people ( guides, waiters, cooks,transporters, etc.), ate great food and had an exciting time. The trip exceeded expectations, by a factor. Thank you for your work. I should have called you back to also thank you for getting my walker delivered that first night. My son took close to two thousand pictures. I’ll share the best with you after he sends me copies. My friends are jealous. Regards, Dave
Tom and I are now at almost the end of our time at our Londolozi stay and it has been absolutely incredible. I never dreamed of seeing all the things that we have seen: a lion pride eating a giraffe that they killed a couple of days before, a small herd of about 20 elephants just walking calmly by our range rover, a leopard pulling a warthog out of its den (we arrived after it had killed the warthog—which I was glad not to witness); lions mating, a leopard eating an impala up in a tree; incredible things. The staff and the rangers have been great. The food is wonderful and way too abundant—I am afraid to go home. Thank you for your assistance in making it happen. Best regards Marjorie