Are you ready for the wonders of technology? An email has been making it’s way around the travel offices, and inside is a link to one of the most beautiful interactive internet pages I’ve seen in a while. Recently, a couple of friends hiked up Lions Head in Cape Town during a full moon, a [...]
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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
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!!
Hey Sarah, Kari and I just got back from the safari and beach honeymoon that you prepared for us. We could not be happier how the trip turned out. Everything went smoothly and effortless. All the lodges you picked for us exceeded our expectations. We were so impressed and amazed at each of our locations, just can't say enough. All the staff at each place were also just great. We can't even pick a favorite because they all were so unique and wonderful in their own way. A couple of the places had bottles of wine and flowers waiting for us upon arrival, so nice. We thank you personally for this Sarah. We felt so special upon arrival at every location. Our guide that you guys picked for us could not have been better. Jim was so knowledgeable and professional. He was like our own personal teacher for the trip. We asked so many questions and he knew everything and more. Jim not only knows all the animals and cultural aspects of Tanzania, but he also know his birds very well, which made my trip so much better because I am a bird enthusiast and Tanzania's birding was just incredible. He was such a laid back and nice person. We are so happy that we got to spend our time on safari with such a great individual. We truly missed him once we left for Zanzibar. He could not have fit our personalities better. As far as the safari goes we also could not have been more pleased. We saw every animal that we had hoped to encounter. Kari and I both had two animals that were tops on our list, these were the leopard and rhino. Both of which we got to see. So incredible!! We also got to see a cheetah, which I guess can be very difficult to find. A couple other favorites were the Serval cat and the pack of wild dogs that we found in the Serengeti. We felt very lucky to have been able to see the hunting dogs as they are extremely rare and nearly extinct. Our guide said he hasn't seen them in 15 years in the Serengeti! So he was as excited as us to witness them, he believes they may be the only pack in the Serengeti area. Pretty amazing to be able to find them in such a vast area. Of course we saw an abundance of all the other animals you would hope to see on a safari in Africa. Lots of lions, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, wildebeests and so much more! The ending in Zanzibar was a perfect way to end the trip. Diamonds resort was a great place. We loved the beach and the weather could not have been better. We took a tour of Stone town and a spice tour, which was really fun. The rest of the time we relaxed, had some great walks on the beach and ate way too much great food and drinks. Once again thank you so much for the trip of a lifetime. We both agreed this was the best trip either of us had ever had. Best wishes, Jake
Hi Sarah, Xaranna was the most remote place we visited while we were in Southern Africa. It's about 45 minutes by air from Maun to the Pom Pom airstrip, then 10+ minutes by vehicle to the landing and 30+ minutes by water to the camp. The + depends on the wildlife one encounters en route. Our tracker and guide met our plane and the safari began as we drove away from the airstrip. The tents, lounge and dining area were well-designed and decorated, well-maintained and very comfortable. (Special treat: hot water bottles in the beds at night!) Meals were delicious and served beautifully. I am a vegetarian and was impressed with the vegetarian options. Service in all respects was first rate: we were very well cared for. Despite the casual, laid-back feel of the camp, everything ran like clockwork. They were completely flexible about activities, dining arrangements, etc. Our tracker and guide were knowledgeable and did an excellent job. Although, as I understand it, game in the delta at this time of year is not concentrated and still a little leery of vehicles, we saw really good variety on land and got very close to birdlife(and hippos) on the water. & Beyond/Xaranna are involved in a project to relocate hippos to Botswana (Hippos Without Borders). A PhD student from the UK working on the project for the next two years is staying at Xaranna and provided a wealth of information about her research and the project. There is nothing to keep wildlife out of the camp, and wildlife do come through, during the day and at night. While we were there one couple encountered a young elephant on the path outside their tent at mid-day; we had kudus eating leaves from branches just outside the screened wall of our tent in the middle of the night, and on our last evening a hippo grazed alongside the dining deck during dinner. Talk about a real wildlife experience! The warmth and good humour of the staff really struck me. On arrival at the camp we were greeted by perhaps 10 of the staff who were on the dock singing a welcome - in fact, we heard the singing before we saw the dock. Throughout our stay we were treated with warmth and there was lots of laughter. It felt like a large happy family welcoming us to their home. Because the camp is remote, the staff put on the boma entertainment themselves and all the staff participate. They even managed to get the guests up dancing and singing! The manager and all staff are indigenous Botswanans and welcomed questions about their country, their culture and their lives. We were seen off, as we were welcomed, by the staff singing on the dock and waving. It was very touching. I'd go back in a nanosecond. Sincerely, N. Smith
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.