Hippopotamus amphibius – “river horse” This great shot of a hippo showing off his incisors was taken by Stephen Raffay, a professional photographer who is currently on safari in the Kruger National Park area care of africansafaris.com. Contrary to popular belief, this old guy is not yawning or opening up wide for the dentist…! This [...]
Tag : photographic safari
By Vanessa Ratcliffe on October 5, 2011 in Africa, African Safaris, classic safari, luxury safari, private safari, South Africa
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!
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If you are looking for an African adventure, look no further than African Safari Consultants to help you plan it. We were planning a self-drive tour through Namibia, a visit to Victoria Falls and stays at several of the fly-in game-viewing lodges in Botswana. While we had a pretty good idea of the places we wanted to see, we needed help with customizing our itinerary and making all of the necessary arrangements. Having sent our queries to six companies that claim to specialize in African safaris, this was the only one that provided a timely and detailed response. Our consultant was Ilze Foxx from the Cape Town office, who provided us with the best service we have ever had from a travel agent. She helped us shape our ideas into a travel plan that provided everything we could have wished for in terms of game viewing, sightseeing, accommodation and transport. Her attention to detail and availability at all times, both before and during the trip, made our African experience the trip of a lifetime.
Ilze: Just a word to say thank you for arranging a wonderful trip for us. Everything went as scheduled, except for our trip up Table Mountain, which got scrapped due to fog. We were met promptly with each tour and transfer. The tours were wonderful, and just the right balance. The visit to the townships with Utando was interesting, and the village tour in Victoria Falls was interesting. The falls were magnificent, and very glad you added that to our itinerary. Both game camps were great, and quite different in terms of the topography. Glad we went to 2 sites. A different feel. Clearly Simbambili was a 5 star resort. I also liked Notten’s. People were all very friendly and helpful. The food everywhere was great. Cape Cadogan was great location for Capetown. Many restaurants were conveniently close by. In Vic Falls we did a helicopter tour, but found a different company other than Wilderness. They were a bit cheaper, and their helicopter was newer. When we drove out to the helipad and saw the other copter companies, it was evident that we were in the most modern vehicle. The people there were great. I would gladly recommend your company to anyone. You have been great. If we ever decide to do another trip to Africa , I know who I would call for help. Jeff
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
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
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!!