Stop over at Hippo Hollow before your Safari One of the best things about work in the tourism industry in Africa is that we have the opportunity to see many, if not most, of the places we recommend daily for clients. This gives us a huge advantage as we are able to create perfect vacations for our clients. [...]
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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.
Hello Sarah, I am back from Tanzania, and wanted to thank you for your help in preparing an amazing trip! I took over 3000 pictures, which I am now beginning to sort through, and saw as many other amazing things. I wanted to provide you some comments on the lodges, camps, and tour operator. Kitela Lodge was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, let alone stayed. Besides the spectacular scenery and gorgeous grounds, the amenities provided, including internet, pool, hot water, and satellite TV (for all of us interested in the Africa Cup final) made Kitela feel like a hotel any where else in the world. The staff were also wonderfully friendly and the food was delicious. The coffee, grown right on their grounds, was likely the best I have ever tasted. I would have sacrificed my entire trip to Zanzibar to have stayed at Kitela Lodge for a few more nights. I noticed that they were a bit under-booked, and would encourage you to send as many clients as possible. Ang'ata Camps provided the perfect mix of the bush experience with hotel-like amenities: hot water for showers, clean and comfortable beds, and great food. My guide, who was not a man to be surprised, was even impressed. The staff were also great...I could not walk anywhere without receiving a friendly greeting, offer for food or drink, and question as to how I enjoyed my game drive or sleep. Matambwe Beach Village forces people to relax by providing none of the amenities that could distract from the beach. I especially liked that the use of footwear and the single guest computer were generally discouraged in the gentlest of ways. Finally to Wild Frontiers and Onesmo Sanka, my guide, to whom I owe the biggest of thanks for my trip. The vehicle was sound, the trip well-planned, and they offer what I believe is most important in a game drive: unlimited kilometers per day. I would highly encourage you to request Onesmo for your future clients. First, he drove slow and careful, which I believe is unique! He grew up in the bush and would see things that other guides did not, for instance a pride of 6 lions laying in the grass just 200 meters from the road that four vehicles in front of us had just sped past. Onesmo not only knew the ecology of the animals, but their habits, which provided many instances where my vehicle was placed specifically in front of where something amazing was about to happen. For instance, we did not park in front of the tree in which a leopard and her two cubs had been seen before a rainfall, but in front of a nearby snag, for Onesmo knew that leopards do not like rain, had gone to hide in the grass, and would likely come up on the snag when the rain had stopped. I had front-row seats to two leopard cubs playing on the snag while their mother cleaned herself in the background. I noticed that many of the guides of oncoming vehicles, upon seeing Onesmo at the wheen of our vehicle, would flag him down for advice. Onesmo was also extremely attentive to my habits: by the second day, he would automatically stop the vehicle when I went for my camera, and then start again when he heard the lens cap snap back on. He also started to avoid the crowds, choosing instead to quiet back roads where we may see a bit less but were alone when we saw it. I could go on for hours, but instead will just again recommend Onesmo for your future clients, with one warning: he is a quiet person and may come off as uninterested at first. However, once the ice is broken, I found him to be truly passionate about the animals, their survival and life history, and how everything in the bush fits together. Again, by the second day, I knew not to worry about a single thing: I simply put my trust as to the perfect parking place, vantage point for photos, route, and time into Onesmo's hands, and he delivered perfectly each time. So there is my gushing post-safari email which I'm sure you receive from every client! I want to thank you again for everything, and please let me know if there is anything else I can provide in terms of feedback for you or any of the above. Ben
Thank you very much!I can’t begin to explain to you how wonderful everything was. To be honest, even though I had agreed to everything, I was still a little skeptical about some of the recommendations you had made. Turns out, some of the things I had been most skeptical of (Cape Town, Victoria Falls, San Camp) were the absolute highlights. You and your team did a remarkable job and Milena and I have already begun trying to figure out a way to get back. If there is ever anything that we can do to help you all convince prospective clients that this is something that they need to do, we’d love to help.As far as pictures go, Milena and I are far from good. However, that didn’t stop us from taking ~2,000 photos. I’ll send you an invitation to our Snapfish folder. Additionally, I’m a fan of African Safari Consultants on facebook. I’m not sure if that gives you access to my photos, but if it does, we’ve got a bunch of them posted there as well. Again, most of them are pretty bad, but if you happen to see anything that you’d like to use, they’re all yours.If I get some time later today or over the weekend, I’ll try to put together a more thorough review of everywhere we went/stayed. Needless to say, we were impressed by everything and we only have good things to say.Thank you all so much for everything you did.
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/ →
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