With rhino poaching at an all-time high in South Africa, two of Africa’s leading conservation companies, Great Plains Conservation and andBeyond, have joined forces to safely translocate up to 100 rhino from South Africa to the safe haven of Botswana. “There is a battle for Africa’s wildlife raging as we speak. Rhinos are being poached at [...]
One of the Big 5 – Rhinos on Safari I have done a blog post before on Rhino poaching when it was all looking like it was getting out of control a couple of months ago. There was a huge outcry and then things looked like they calmed down a bit and some progress was [...]
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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!!
When we told everyone about the incredible, customized trip that you put together for us in such a short period of time, they all wanted your name and number. We gave it out and simply said that you were the best! The trip truly was everything we wanted it to be. The camps you selected were outstanding--the food, people and activities could not have been more incredible. We loved every minute of it and want to return again and maybe bring our family. The Tronstads
Hi, Johannesburg: the spa day at M'Mangwanani; totally relaxing and excellent way to prepare for trip after long journey to South Africa. Zambia: Zambezi River Islands of Siankaba; loved the accommodation( Bob was uncomfortable with the swinging bridge, I liked it); the cuisine was probably the best we had anywhere throughout our trip. Dinner was served for us under the stars with delightful artistic touches from our waiter. The rhinoceros walking safari allowed us to see all eight of the rhinos. Bob enjoyed chatting with our guide. This walking safari was one of his highlights. The swim in "devil's pool" was a great experience. I have already documented the unfortunate behavior of our guide who was compelled by one of our group to "dump" the rest of us. This tourist works in Lesotho, is from Europe, has done this swim before but wanted a private tour and refused to leave the pool when the next group of tourists w guide arrived. Ultimately we asked a different guide if we could leave. Our guide was giving a private tour of the falls to the demanding tourist. Botswana: everyone said we would love it and we did. The camp was wonderful; the food very good with good variety and well prepared. The staff was so pleasant. Our guide was amazing finding many opportunities to enjoy animals. Bob enjoyed it but ultimately felt we had been on safari in Tanzania and did not need to repeat the game drives. The walking in Zambia he enjoyed. Victoria Falls leaves me wanting to return at a different season to view it again. Zimbabwe: the Hide was an unusual camp. My biggest concern was the night we lost power. I wondered how they would manage our wake-up coffee. Answer: they put another log on the fire. We saw honey badgers and bush babies. The people of Zimbabwe are very interesting to meet. Cape Town: we disappointed David, "that is your luggage"? Despite his initial disappointment we did enjoy our tours and chats with him. Either we did not have enough time in Cape Town or the weather was less than cooperative, I do not have a strong impression. Table Mountain was very foggy, the Cape much the same, Kirstenbosch closed greenhouse early. Probably needed more time and better weather. High tea was wonderful at Nelson Hotel and our accommodations at Four Rosmead excellent. Grootbos: very relaxing place, beautiful accommodations, too bad it rained so much though that fact did allow us to see the whales cavorting which they did not do when it was sunny. Going to southern most point was important, our guide excellent, and we found orchids, Satyrium carneum, orchid along road to Agulhus, blooming along the side of the road. Riding, a horse, into the hills was special for me. The hikes were interesting. Again, weather and time precluded our enjoying more of these activities. Wine country and penguins: excellent. We do enjoy our penguins. We did enjoy the wine especially at our first stop. Lise, thank you for all the champagne which helped this anniversary trip celebration. The people we met throughout our trip were a pleasure. Many of the guides have led interesting lives. It was our privilege to meet them. The staff of each accommodation were pleasant, helpful, made our trip special. Wake-up coffee is my favorite. Bob enjoyed meeting people and the walking at Grootbos and in Zambia. He definitely looked very relaxed and happy at the day spa in Johannesburg. What was best for me? Probably the very nice people we met throughout the trip. Showering under the Milky Way in Zimbabwe; dinner under the stars at Islands of Siankaba; meals enjoyed outdoors; swimming at Victoria Falls; Grootbos; coffee in the morning! Thank you, Lise, for all the special arrangements. Thank you, Jeff.
Hello Liesl, We are home after a short stay in Amsterdam to break up the long flights. Let me sum up our family’s experience with a suggested tag line for your advertising: “How to engage seven teenagers fully for eight days? Take them on a safari !” Adults, too, were engaged---braving cold mornings---to see and photograph the big five, the medium five and the little five. We all have stories to tell, including one truck chased by a rhino. All lodges were comfortable. Each offered a different ambience, but were similar in providing friendly service and tasty food. To continue our reflection of a most magical trip, let me thank you for seamless coordination! All arrangements were smooth, accommodations lovely, hosts and staff at each camp were pleasant and attentive to all 16 family members. No consensus as to which camp was best but Kukimbi was up there and best driver was Zane who the kids dubbed as driving the Ferrari Safari! We all enjoyed our night sky lessons by Duard and everyone's knowledge about the animals. I think our photos will be stellar. SO! A GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO YOU AND JEFF AND ALL THE TEAM THAT MADE THIS A ONCE IN A LIFE TIME EVENT! There are a 100 reflections, all great, and please know it was special. Do let everyone know that. Regards, Dave Forester
Thanks for your mail, I was planning to write to thank you for the wonderful and unforgettable honeymoon you built for us. Every place we visited was amazing, the planning and logistics were impecable and the people we met made us feel like royalty. It was so incredible I left in tears. Be sure we will contact you again in a near future for another trip to Africa! Special thanks to Sarah who was so amazing and understood our needs perfectly. Thanks again for everything, The Valles