Client Trip ReportsEast Africa

CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS EAST AFRICA – JAN-MAR 2017 (EAST AFRICA)

Tanzania Safari and Kilimanjaro Climb

Hi AAC,

I want to thank your for providing a great itinerary for our trip.

A few comments:

The pre-trip planning and communication was superb. Nothing more we could ask for. We will strongly recommend Africa Adventure Company to anyone for future travel (and our own return someday!)

The local operators that we used I’ll comment on individually:

  • Lodging—luxurious. We certainly didn’t need or expect such nice accommodations. The Serena lodge at Ngorongoro was heaven. The Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp was also amazing. Excellent staff (Abu, Azgar—everyone).
  • Excellent vehicles, nice people. We were with our safari guide (Ephata) for 4 days. He is amazing. A thoughtful articulate guy who loves Tanzania, the people, the animals, and takes excellent care of his clients.
  • I simply cannot say enough—give him a raise, make him the boss—he is a great ambassador of the country, the Serengeti, and your company.
  • When our plane from Serengeti was delayed, your team handled it perfectly, and got us where we needed to be to meet the Kili group.

The Kili Climb: There were many guide outfits on the mountain. I can honestly say that I felt your team provided the best overall experience. Our total group was 9 climbers, which at first I felt was a little big, but with 5 guides we could spread out and everyone do their own thing. It also provided some variety of people to talk to at meals, etc. So ended up being a good thing.

  • The equipment—tents, toilet, kitchen/dining—were great. Food—warm, nutritious, and plenty of it. The route—Rongai—was a great choice.
  • The people: We had 5 guides and 25 + porters/crew.
  • The Guides: Lead guide David and John—are excellent. They apparently travel together a lot, very different but complement each other (in a Yin and Yang way). You should ALWAYS request them for your clients’ trips.
  • The remaining 3: Marewa was also very good—knowledgeable and enthusiastic with excellent speaking skills. I would highly recommend him as well.
  • Gerard and Shaboni: were quieter, but competent.
  • I also GREATLY appreciated the effort to hire women for the Kili expedition. Our group had more women than any other. This is such an important opportunity for the women in the area to not be excluded from this job. Thank you for supporting them.

Final note: While this trip was amazing, we also would have enjoyed it in a less luxurious way.

I think there are more and more travelers who want local food, to be able to explore an area on foot, to see Tanzania.

Thank you for an amazing trip!

Kristy Deep, Feb 2017

 

Private Safari to Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara

Hi Szilvia,

Here’s is my feedback on another incredible safari with Africa Adventure Company.

Once again, AAC was awesome to work with.  Szilvia is a wonderful coordinator to work with.  She goes out of her way to make sure all is in order and makes her clients comfortable with the booking process.  The customized itineraries with Africa Adventure have been excellent and exceeded all our needs.  Our flights, transfers, and lodging was done through AAC; which made our visit seamless.

Our first trip to East Africa was fabulous, but our second trip to East Africa was more than we could hope for.  No words can really describe what we saw and the amazing time we had with our guides.  It was like a page out of National Geographic.  We went during the calving season.  We visited the areas of Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Maasai Mara.

Our stay at the Sopa Lodge on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater was convenient.  We were able to enter the Ngorongoro Crater early in the morning.  We were greeted by a large pride of female lions taking their cubs for an early morning walk.  The cubs were jumping, tumbling and climbing logs on the green grass plains.  It was rewarding to see these cubs enjoying their morning play.  During our visit to the crater we saw the elusive black rhino.  He slowly walked over the plains and walked past our vehicle.  Then, we were able to see a mother wildebeest give birth.  Our excellent guide, Emmanuel Mkenda, told us calving happens in the morning so the baby can be strong enough to run with the herd when the lions stalk their pray in the evening.  Emmanuel was our guide on our first trip and we were pleased that our request to have him for our second trip was granted.  It was nice to visit with an old friend.

The Serengeti was also giving of its nature’s secrets.  We saw over 40 cheetahs, many lions, 1.4 million wildebeest (I think I counted all of them), zebras, elephants, leopards numerous birds, etc.  We had a wonderful stay at the Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp.  The food was excellent. The staff was very accommodating when I requested that I would like to take night photos of the sky and Lake Ndutu.  They briefly turned off the camp lights for me to get the photos.  We were all thrilled with the results.  At the camp, we also met with old friends, Abu and Jonas.  It is wonderful making lasting friendships as these.

The Maasai Mara blessed us with lion cubs, cheetah kittens, cheetah and lion kills, giraffes, elephants wallowing in the mud and the most beautiful blue eyed leopard.  We saw something new everyday we were out on our game drives.  Our guides Ben and Jacob from the Neptune Mara Rianta Luxury Lodge were the best.  We felt safe and comfortable with these young men.  They told us stories of their upbringing as Maasai Warriors and how they became guides.  They were prompt and very accommodating to my photographic needs.  They made sure I had the best lighting and photographic shot opportunities.  The Lodge was absolutely beautiful and relaxing.  We were able to hear the hippos grunting in the river with nearby lion roars to help us sleep at night.  The food was excellent and the staff superb.

All, in all, we had another rewarding and heartfelt trip to East Africa.  We plan on returning to Africa.  Africa has become a part of our heart and soul.  I believe, there is no other place on earth as special as Africa with its people, wildlife and nature.

Thank you Szilvia for another excellent and rewarding trip.

Doreen Lawrence, Feb 2017

 

“Galloping Gnus” Safari to Tanzania and Kenya

We had a marvelous trip to Africa.  If not life changing, certainly perspective changing.  Thanks to everyone at Africa Adventure for their organization and recommendations and quick responses to our questions.

CAMPS/HOTELS

Fairmont Norfolk – A classic.

Tortillis (Amboseli) – Our second favorite camp.  Nice location right at the park, which we especially appreciated the next week when we were in the Serengeti. Service was excellent – friendly, sincere, helpful, non-obtrusive. Ali, our guide, was great.  A kind man, anxious to give us the best experience possible.  We were fortunate because occupancy was low we had Ali as our private guide for our stay.

Note:  all tents are powered by solar so they all have full-time electricity.  Hair dryer available in bathroom at swimming pool.  internet available in lounge and dining room.  Loved having coffee delivered to our tent at wake-up time.

Kitela Lodge (Ngorongoro Conservation area) – Lovely setting.  Gracious and accommodating staff, great masseuse, dinner by menu was nice. Note:  Full-time electricity and internet.  Hair dryer in bathroom.  A very nice birthday celebration.  Thank you for informing them.

Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp (Serengeti) – Setting is not beautiful but certainly it is in the bush.  Staff was anxious to please – our wish was their command.  They treated me to a second birthday song and cake. Bucket showers were surprisingly good (water was hotter than the water at Mara Explorer Camp which never got hotter than warm).  Solar powered tent so electricity on demand.  It’s surprising how complete a mobile tent is – we were really impressed.  Food was good.  No buffets, which was a relief.

I would recommend this experience to travelers…

Mara Explorer (Maasai Mara) – Our favorite camp.  Incredible setting, Wonderful staff. THE BEST FOOD OF THE ENTIRE TRIP – THE CHEF IS FANTASTIC. Loved having coffee delivered to our tent at our wake-up time.  Loved the common areas with views of the river.  Loved the sundowner on the first day, bush breakfast on the second day, and planned (but it rained) bush dinner on our last night.  The manager goes out of his way to please the traveler – he and our guide even met us at the airport.  Great guide – Samson – he knows the animals in the park so well (the guides name them) and where they live and hunt and play that he knew exactly where we should go when.  Because of low occupancy, Samson was our private guide.

AAC – Tipping recommendations were much appreciated, the recommendation of the bush flights – we loved the views, the experience of landing and taking off from a strip of grass with white rocks as markers, and eliminating hours of driving. We appreciate the knowledge and experience of the staff which served us well in the planning of the itinerary.

RAVE REVIEW – BEST OF THE BEST

Wilfred Mollel, our guide in Tanzania. We couldn’t have imagined a better guide than Wilfred.  He is passionate about what he does.  He loves the animals and is incredibly knowledgeable.  I ask a LOT of questions and he could answer every single one.  He was professional at every moment.  He took great care of the Land Cruiser – washing it after every drive.

He asked us what we wanted to see and he found it.  He had endless effort and energy.  If we had agreed to stay out all day, that would have been fine with him.

Spending 7 days with a guide could be difficult…but not with Wilfred.  We enjoyed every minute with him.  We appreciated that he is well educated and quite bright so our discussions during some long drives ranged from current conditions in Tanzania as well as its history, to raising children, to current events around the world, to the importance of education.

He has a great sense of humor and we even found ourselves giggling a couple of times.  He gave us great memories.

We were sad to say good bye to him.  If we ever go on another safari, we will absolutely request him.

Margaret and David Rhyne, Feb 2017

 

Private Safari to Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti and Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Hi Szilvia,

Rachel and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Tanzania and Rwanda…

The game viewing in The Crater and Serengeti (especially central) were both excellent and exceeded our expectations. We saw huge numbers of wildebeest and zebras, wonderful families of elephants, giraffes, baboons, hyena, buffalos, cheetah, etc. Many lion and a couple leopard. It was all truly extraordinary and thrilling for us. Our guide, Servuli, was extremely knowledgeable and professional. He had encyclopedic knowledge of everything we were seeing and was very enthusiastic especially in tracking for lions. Shortcomings were going on long unexplained and sometimes unexplained detours resulting in us always arriving back to camp later than planned. Despite our great enthusiasm for hanging with other families of animals such as elephants or giraffes, baboons etc it was hard for him to adapt from a somewhat lion focused mindset. But all considered we were extremely happy with our experience with him and would choose him again.

We really enjoyed the monkey filled oasis feeling at the Rivertrees and was an excellent stop. The food and service there were also excellent.  The Serena Crater lodge was an excellent choice for locale and you were right to advise against staying at the Crater lodge since we had little time after a full day out. The buffet there was fine.

The Pioneer Camp was excellent with a very fine staff top to bottom and very good chef. The room there was really beautifully appointed and very comfortable but a little far away at night… You were right to strongly recommend Pioneer Camp and we are very glad we stayed there.

In Rwanda the Serena Kigali was excellent accommodation and really good breakfast. The Sabyinyo Silverback was of course eye popping beautiful place. Room was extraordinary. The manager couple had just started 2 days before so although extremely friendly and engaging they had little expertise on the area. The staff was really top notch and extremely efficient, friendly, and competent but the food was spotty but at times excellent but a bit limited.

Tarzan was an excellent and competent driver and took great care of us and made sure we were on schedule for everything. He did not have the same skill sets as Servuli as a guide though, for example in the Kigali tour but this is a minor point.

Of course in summary an amazing once in a lifetime trip for us with great photos we will be entering in your contest.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can comment on.

Thank you,

Mark Harrison, Jan 2017

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