CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS EAST & NORTH AFRICA – OCT-DEC 2019
Safari to Kenya and Botswana including the Maasai Mara and Chobe River
It is always with mixed feelings that we return from a trip, particularly a good one. The sadness of leaving exciting places is balanced with the desire to sleep in one’s own bed. Luckily photos and memories ease the transition to our “at home” existence.
Since we were more or less replicating a previous trip we knew what to expect at each segment of our trip – that the providers would offer excellent service – and they did. Where your involvement was most noticeable was in the timely and friendly support of those who met, and transferred, us. Looking back, the Livingstone airport to the Zambezi Queen transfer was quite complicated, yet came off without a hitch. Having had a few “meeting glitches” on our world travels we really appreciated our carefully orchestrated move from the airport to the riverboat.
It is clear that you and your colleagues know “what is what” in Africa, and use that knowledge to benefit your clients. Knowing about the culture of the countries to which you plan trips is much superior to just searching the Internet. A fine example is that you are aware of the fact that time seems to be a “flexible concept” in many of the places we visited. We were only treated with helpful politeness in each locale. It was comforting to know that you would have highlighted places that would have been less welcoming, and more risky for tourists.
We do feel quite comfortable suggesting your company to others with an interest in African travel.
Drs. Brian and Debora Clifford, Oct 2019
‘Plains and Primates’ Safari to Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda
Thanks so much for arranging such a wonderful holiday for us. It’s very difficult to identify highlights as every day was fantastic. There were two main objectives for us on this trip – seeing the migration (including a crossing) and seeing gorillas – and both were even more amazing than we’d expected. We saw two crossings, one when we were in the Serengeti and one in the Mara and they were every bit the exciting experience we’d hoped for. Our camps in both places were wonderful but we particularly loved Mara Expeditions – such a beautiful setting, fantastic staff, delicious food.
We were really pleased you had suggested going to both Uganda and Rwanda, as it was fantastic to experience both countries as well as having quite different experiences on our gorilla treks. We were really impressed by the Trackers Safari Lodge – the service and attention to detail by the staff was really outstanding. We also had a wonderful guide, Joseph, for that part of the trip who made sure that we were in great groups for gorilla trekking and who also went out of his way to make sure we learnt about the countries. We had some spare time in Bwindi and he took us to a women’s organization called Ride 4 a Woman which was, without question, one of the highlights of the trip.
As you know, I had wanted to stay at Bisate in Rwanda but Singita Kwitonda was absolutely amazing. The accommodation is beautiful, food was amazing, staff went above and beyond in so many ways – absolutely fantastic. We also loved our night at Hemingways and wished we had had a bit longer there – maybe for next trip!!
Thanks again, Alison. I’m already thinking about where we might go on our next African adventure so we’ll definitely be back in touch.
Jo and Len, Oct 2019
Private Tanzania Migration Safari
Recognizing that a review is to help others make decisions, we lead with the highest recommendation for our guide Severin Shirima. After the decision where to go is made, and how many days to spend, the guide is such a key part of the trip’s success. We sincerely thank Severin for his attention, knowledge, clarity, driving skill, timeliness, humor, kindness and amazing vision. We appreciated not only his daily guiding, but that he joined us for meals, and was open to deeper conversations about Tanzania, people, culture and more, and fit very well into our group (two sisters and their husbands).
Our interface in booking this trip was through Africa Adventure Company, and they used a local company and the owner greeted us our first day, and followed up with a check-in as we prepared to depart — very nice touches. Communication was clear and timely throughout. Africa Adventure Company has a well-developed program, with good materials and preparation advice (packing, background info, etc.). Communication throughout was strong. Logistics from pick up at Kilimanjaro Airport until we were dropped at the small airfield in the Serengeti (we flew on to Zanzibar) went very well, including one minor itinerary change to enable our school visit.
Our trip involved landing at Kilimanjaro International airport, a night at the Rivertree Inn, then 7 days on safari. Because we asked to, we were hosted for an hour+ long stop by a local chief at a Maasai school, and spectacularly sung to and warmly greeted by a class of boys and girls. It was truly terrific to learn more about the school system, how it works in this single community, their needs, and to see the ambition and optimism in some of our next generation.
We continued on into Tarangire National Park- great wildlife viewing, ending at Tarangire Ndovu Tented Lodge – very comfortable and simply amazing food (a consistent theme). We then made way to Lake Eyasi with 2 nights at the Ziwani Lodge – a most warm and welcoming delight after a long day on the road – this is a lovely place to stay. The new next day consisted of an early morning trip to visit the Hadzabe and Datoga tribes (all highly recommended- and trail along on the hunt if you are able); so much more that could be said about these two visits that each impressed us all deeply – but we’ll leave it at “highly recommended”.
The Ngorongoro Crater was the next day- beautiful and fascinating people, animals and landscapes. The fancy Sopa Lodge hosted us that night; it was very nice, and given the presence of both a touch of cold and rain, welcome. Because of the rain, the drive out the next morning was hairy indeed, and again Severin showed his skill.
We then traveled to the Serengeti where we spent three nights at the Asanja Africa tented camp, truly surrounded by the sights and sounds of the life all around. We were serenaded each night with the low growl of an alpha male lion; this is truly a sound to behold and respect. Spectacular game drives daily, great food by evening (and for breakfast and packed lunches during the day)…
Care was taken to ensure safe water at all points, and we all were quite confident with food at each stop. And it was so good – like Chef good. We saw all the wildlife we hoped to, and experienced so much more. Tanzania treated us very well, and we recommend Africa Adventure Company, and their ground operator wholeheartedly for a great safari. If you can get Severin as a guide – so much the better!
Thank you so very much –
Chris & Colleen McMeen and Tom & Christine Medhurst, Oct 2019
Moroccan Highlights including Fes and Marrakech
Good Morning Alison & Team-
We’ve been home a week now and are getting close to being Time Zone adjusted. I thought I should take a moment to pass along our appreciation for a spectacular trip. The literary that you developed, went flawlessly and exceeded our expectations across the board.
First – let me pass along our greatest thanks to our guide Lhacen and driver Yoonas who are absolutely the best. Both of them greeted each day with patience, interest and enthusiasm. Lhacen’s incredible knowledge of Morocco deeply enriched our experience. We will miss them both.
Your choices for lodging were incredible. It took us a good 5 minutes to close our mouths after stepping into the Riad Fes. It was the perfect arrival experience to sit in the Skyline Bar as the sun went down over Fes. But, I think our favorite was La Maison Arabe in Marrakech. We had what we believe was the finest hotel room we’ve ever experienced and thoroughly enjoyed the craziness of Marrakech, like dodging motorcycles in the Souks for example. The La Maison Arabe cooking workshop was an unexpected treat. The chef (Dada?) and staff were wonderful and hopefully we will be preparing lemon chicken tagine soon.
Both Mary and I appreciated the organization of our departure booklet. We kept it close by and referred to it often. Very helpful. I noticed you’ve added the “Personalized Tipping Guide” since our last trip. This is a great add, and helped us be much more comfortable that we were tipping appropriately.
Overall – Thank you for a wonderful trip – we wouldn’t change a thing! Mary & Jerry Richards, Oct 2019
Scenic Morocco including Merzouga, Skoura, Atlas Mountains and Marrakech
Thank you for planning our wonderful trip to Morocco. We had a great time. Our guide and driver were wonderful. They were knowledgeable, friendly and very likable.
One of the highlights was riding camels for sunset at the dessert camp. The hotel accommodations exceeded our expectations. We are glad we upgraded. Beautiful landscapes, friendly people and fun shopping in the souks. The food was great. Another experience that will last a lifetime. We look forward to our next trip with you.
Tom and Paula Trainer, Oct 2019