In celebration of Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp featuring on tv show “Born to Explore”, shown on ABC in the United States, they are offering 20% off accommodation at the atmospheric camp in Bwindi, Uganda, for a short time only.
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. [...]
With Gorilla permits in Uganda being reduced for the low season (October, November, March & April) to $350 per permit rather than the usual $500 per permit, l thought I would tell you a bit about these wonderful animals and what it is actually like to see them, in the wild within touching distance! One [...]
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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
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!!
Lise & Jeff, The safari was awesome. Among the many amazing animals and landscapes, we saw 3 kills - a pride of lions kill a cape buffalo, and twice saw cheetahs kill a gazelle. Solomon was really 100% responsible for making the trip so awesome. More than just a driver, he was unbelievably knowledgeable about absolutely everything - animals, plants, star constellations, geology, Tanzanian and African history, demographics. We didn't ask a single question that he didn't know the answer to, and we asked a lot of questions. We requested, and he and the camps obliged, for him to eat dinner with us and the other guests because he was so enjoyable to talk to. Not only was he smart, he was funny, considerate, polite, jovial. He also had an "instinct" for what animals were about to do - for example, one day there were a ton of trucks watching a leopard from a distance. Not only did he watch the leopard, but he watched where the leopard was LOOKING. He said "I think I know where it's going next" and drove us away from all of the other trucks. It jumped out of its tree and disappeared in the grass. A moment later, it emerged from the tall grass and jumped onto a log 10 yards from where Solomon had positioned our truck. Not one of the other trucks had done the same, and we got an up-close-and-personal view of the leopard. Then it walked right towards us and around the front of the truck. We have some amazing photos from the trip and I am getting a ton of questions about it. I tell everyone that if they ever go to Tanzania, they absolutely need to use Solomon as their guide. He went above-and-beyond the entire 10 days and it really made our trip special. Dylan
Unfortunately we are back. I could have stayed forever. I could easily live in South Africa. Loved every part of it. It was the perfect balance. Of course the safari was the crown jewel, followed by an instructive and inspiring day in Jo'burg and at the Apartheid Museum. Now I'm furiously trying to track down my habit -roiboos tea. Took over 1500 photos!!!! I could not imagine a more beautiful property than the Lions' Sands, and the safari experience was the best ever! And yes, our dinner with Liesl was delightful. We were brimful of enthusiasm then, and we had yet to go to the winelands, and safari and Jo'burg. Wish you could have joined us. But you can't be envious. You get to go there all the time. I'm the one who's envious. Will give you a call this week to gush some more. In the meantime thank you both for three weeks that went far too quickly and memories that will stay forever. Best, Gabriella
Liesl, Yes, we had a safe journey home. That JoBerg to Atlanta flight is so long. Wow! But at least we had the lay flat seats so we were able to try to sleep more comfortably. Londolozi ended up being our absolute favorite...loved the suites, the staff and the Internet. Tom and Jerry ended up to be the best guides by a mile. Wish I could have gone back to re-tip them bigger. We did promise to send a movie to Jerry, our tracker, and I am having a hard time getting a physical address for Londolozi complete with zip code. an you get me that? Botswana was great but much different and I know that was what you were trying to do. The elephants at Kings Pool And the lions at Mombo were incredible. At Mombo we saw a Wild Dog named solo, who was abandon by her pack and adopted by Jackals. They just put a movie on National Geographic called a wild dogs tale about her life. My birthday was spent on a helicopter and a train in Livingstone. The falls were incredible. We also white water rafted that weekend as well. Very kind people in Zambia. Thanks again for the African Queen boat trip. We enjoyed that very much. We will keep your name handy when/if we decide to come back. I would love a referral for South America including Maccu Piccu and the Galápagos Islands. And also one for Japan. Thanks! Kathy Deal