Nicknamed ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, the Victoria Falls are without question the jewels in the crown of both Zimbabwe and Zambia. One of the largest, most impressive waterfalls in the world, the mist from the falls alone has created a thriving rain forest on it’s periphery, while the valley below teems with Africa’s Big Five [...]
We’re just a few months away from the start of Zambia’s famed ‘Emerald Season’, which is when the heavens open and Zambia is blessed with life-giving rainfall from November to April. Particularly noticeable in the South Luangwa, the rains transform the valley into a lush, emerald green paradise from which the rainy season takes its [...]
One of the most popular destinations in Africa, the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe is a true wonder of the natural world. David Livingstone came across the falls in 1855 and named them in honour of his Queen at the time, while the indigenous people of the region dubbed it Mosi-oa-Tunya or ‘The Smoke That [...]
In the second part of our exclusive Q&A series with the team behind African Safari Consultants, we speak to Cape Town based partner Liesl Mathews about eggs benedict, where to go with your kids, the perfect holiday snap and much (more) more… For part one of our series, where we speak to Jeff Ward, click [...]
With this, the first in a new series of posts, we’ll be chatting to the faces behind African Safari Consultants and asking them about their favorite destinations, how they got into the industry and much (much) more. First up we speak to Mr Jeff Ward, managing partner of the New York office. 1) Where are you from? [...]
The team at African Safari Consultants recently received this amazingly positive feedback from the McClays, for whom we’d organised their dream African safari. Donna McClay was kind enough to provide us with some excerpts of her travel diary, which we’ve included below. Enjoy!
Zambia is a land blessed with natural beauty and an abundance of wildlife. The country also enjoys the title of one of the World’s fastest economically reformed countries (World Bank, 2010) and is regarded as one of the safest destinations to visit. The multitude of attractions and activities make Zambia an ideal travel destination for [...]
Jeff and Lise, We are sorry to report that we are home. We are thrilled to report that every aspect of the trip was amazing. I am in the process of downloading photos as we write this and can’t wait to go through them and relive every minute. We can’t thank you enough for the superb [...]
If asked what was the world’s largest mammal migration, most people would probably guess the annual migration of wildebeest across the plains of the Masai Mara. And they’d be wrong…
Most conservationists believe that man should not meddle with the natural order and that we should allow nature to run her course however cruel or grim it seems to be. We agree on the whole, unless a wildlife problem has been created by man (for instance in the case of snaring or being trapped in a fence, in which case it’s justifiable [...]
African Adventure - South Africa, Zambia & Botswana Some great in depth feedback from clients who have recently traveled with us. Open, honest & some super footage at the end too. Enjoy the read and if you need any advice or thoughts on the properties or itinerary they mention please get in touch with us and we [...]
Wilderness Safaris Shumba Camp – Zambia We were chatting in the office this week about Zambia and what a fantasic safari destination it is. That of course reminded me of my Friday photo of the week and more importantly this week – the View of the Week! My colleague Lise was recounting her time on [...]
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- Peter Miles on Client Images: Sabi Sand Lions Bonding
- kruger park safari on Zambia’s Emerald Season
- Kruger park safaris on Take a Walk on the Wild Side
- Namibia: A Paradise you should never be asked to leave - African Safaris Blog on African Safari Consultants Team Profile: Liesl Mathews
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
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.
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
Hi Ilze! How did the photos work out? First of all thanks so much for arranging such an amazing trip for us we're never going to be able to go on vacation again as nothing will live up to the experience we just had!!! All of the sites were perfect and the connections were great - everyone/thing was where it was supposed to be when it was supposed to be! The weather was perfect - we only got rained on the first morning for an hour; after that we had rain for 2 or 3 nights, but only during the night so we didn't get wet anymore. It was very comfortable for the first three sites then got hotter in south Luangwa, really hot at Bilimungwe, but we perfected the bush air conditioning!!! The food was amazing and the knowledge and passion of the guides/trackers/mokoro guide was astonishing!! The Chindeni staff stood out as a group and Ryan at Siankaba was very helpful suggesting and arranging extra activities. Neither of us got one mosquito bite which was a plus!! At Shinde we saw a leopard on our first drive!!!! Then lions, elephant, zebra, monitor lizard, hyena and a leopard again on our last drive. We went on the mokoro the 2nd evening and Collen who took us out was great. We ate kudu here, which was yummy! Chobe had lots of fun other guests!! Here we saw bigger groups of animals - elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, buffalo. A black mamba! Python, mongoose, leopard tortoise, lechwe. The first night was a bit rough as we had a thunder storm so the scorpions came out during dinner (we all had our pants tucked into our socks!!) and the hurricane lanterns all blew out because of the wind. Also the wind blew the walls of our tent so much the mirror was knocked off the table and broke (I discovered I didn't really need a mirror in the bush!!!!) and then I was woken up at midnight by a rather large kalahari ferrari spider on my neck!!!!!!! Almost had a heart attack at that point but survived!! The second night there we only had the scorpions......easy peasy!!!!! The food at Chobe was amazing considering Prince cooked the whole thing on wood! The 2nd afternoon we all went on the pontoon boat on the Chobe river - fun! Despite the first night in the tent, we would go back!! The guide Stanza was very entertaining!! The trip between Chobe and Siankaba was really interesting with the little ferry at the junction of the four countries and being able to see the villages - that was an eye opener seeing how many people live in Zambia.. Islands of Siankaba was beautiful. We went on the mokoro almost as soon as we got there and did the sunset river cruise. Michael went fishing on the 2nd afternoon, after our terrific horse ride in the bush and the Zambezi. He managed to catch a small tiger fish. We didn't do the regular tour of the falls because of the lack of water, but at Ryan's suggestion we went to Livingstone Island right to the very edge of the falls (arrrrr!!!), no devil's pool though - we're not that crazy!!!! And then we did the helicopter tour - both spectacular!! We did both of these after the fun elephant ride and the Bushtracks driver who took us around also took us to a market in Livingstone as we had an hour to spare between the elephants and Livingstone Island. That was great, we would have liked even more time there!! The third afternoon Michael went out in the mokoro with Brighton the ferry guy, just 30 feet from the dock and caught more tiger fish!! We ate crocodile for dinner one night! Chindeni was beautiful and we really enjoyed the walking safaris and the night drives. We saw lots of hippos and elephants, also giraffes, lions, monkeys and saw a fishing camp on the other side of the Luangwa river. The manager James, and the guide Charles and the tracker Michael were all great and really interesting and fun at this camp. Also the waiter Sam and the wildlife policeman Leonardo who came on our walks were terrific. One day we had to take quite a big detour around some elephants to get back to the car!! Bilimungwe was beautiful!! Hot, hot, hot!! We saw wild dogs three times there, that was great! Also some pretty big towers (new word I learnt) of giraffes!! Elephants, lions, zebras, hyena, wart hogs. One day we were out with a guy who's really interested in birds so our guide James took us to a place where there were loads of birds nesting. It turns out we're much more interested in birds then we thought!!!! The water holes in the camp were fascinating - what a great feature, you could almost just sit in camp all day and be happy watching all the animals coming and going!!! During the last night we were woken up by elephants eating the tree about 6 feet from the back of our bed!!!! The trip home was very long (35 hours) but everything went very smoothly and we washed with wipes and changed in Johannesburg and then sprayed ourselves with perfume in the duty free so we weren't quite so disgusting on the last plane!! We were able to do some shopping in Johannesburg airport too! The whole trip from start to finish was an amazing experience - 20 times better than we ever imagined it would be - and we'd do the whole itinerary again next week if we could!! Great trip with lots of variety; we wouldn't change a thing! We met so many interesting people and discovered that out of all the people we met only one had never been to Africa before (apart from us!) which was very interesting!! Most of them have been multiple times!! Have you been to all of the camps we went to? If not, you should!! Again, thanks so much for arranging the trip of a lifetime for us - it's something we'll never forget!! Louise
Hello Liesl, I am so pleased with this trip to Botswana. The country was beautiful and green. The weather was very comfortable. We saw many of the animal life, certainly a successful safari with lions; leopards; cheetah; painted dogs; elephants; hippos; giraffe; zebra; impala and much more. The lodges were marvelous, really. The food was great, no one became ill. Everything went exactly as planned, everything. I thank you so much for arranging this adventure for our family. I am so impressed that a trip of this sort with so many different arrangements to be made, that it can go as flawless as it did. We had a great time. Thank you so much, and thank you to all that did such a memorable and remarkable job in a service of providing a great safari. Happy New year! I will send a picture or two.