Client Trip Reports

CLIENTS TRIP REPORTS EAST & SOUTHERN AFRICA – JAN-MAR 2018

Honeymoon Safari to Southern Africa 

Hi Jessica – thanks for everything. It was truly an amazing trip!

Our tour guide in Cape Town was incredible! (Lucia Bellairs) she was warm, welcoming, patient and everything you’d wish for in a tour guide. She knew the answer to every question and kept things very interesting and flexible. She will be a friend for life.

The Greenhouse Restaurant in Cape Town is one of the best meals I’ve had in my life.

We don’t have enough good things to say about Savanna lodge. It was perfection. We saw every animal we wanted to see, the room was beautiful and the staff was perfect. We left there and Cape Town so sad to leave and eager to go back. Our guide in particular was extremely knowledgeable and made us feel warm and welcome throughout our stay.

Lastly the Zambezi Queen. This was the perfect ending to our trip. Very relaxing, beautiful room, different experience being on the water. This is highly recommended for someone who wants a nice relaxing cruise. The trip over through the three countries is a pain which we expected based on your coworker and reviews online but once we got there it was perfect. Highly recommended.

Thanks again for everything. We can’t wait to go back! Hope this is helpful.

Brooke Kornberg, Jan 2018

 

South African Odyssey Group Tour

Dear Elena,

We had a wonderful time in South Africa!! What a beautiful country and friendly people!!

We also enjoyed the itinerary because we got to see a lot of the country and Cape Town is a jewel; too bad it is so far away…

I have a lot of beautiful pictures and I’ll ask my daughter to help me sharing them on your facebook page.

Maybe in the future we will go back or try other safari countries like Botswana or Namibia and stay in a lodge and enjoy more the wildlife.  We met a couple that really enjoyed a lodge near Port Elizabeth; I’ll get the name of this lodge and let you know.

Thank you for putting together this great trip!!

Tom and Selma Savage, Jan 2018

 

Private Safari to the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti

Elena,

What an adventure! Thank you for helping us experience the beauty and magnificence of the Great Migration. I would not have changed a single day on safari. Most importantly, thank you for the selection of our wonderful guide, Ephata. In just one week he became what feels like a life-long friend. It was a special treat to watch my brother, the animal behavior expert, and Ephata share their knowledge and excitement. It didn’t matter if we were watching a cheetah hunting impala, lions mating, weaver birds building nests or the lowly dung beetle rolling a ball of dung. Ephata shared his knowledge with wit, humor and warmth. We are all planning to attend the Africa Adventure Company evening in Seattle in April and we all are looking forward to our next safari with AAC.

Regards,

John Holmes, Jan 2018

 

“Best of Tanzania” Safari including the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti

Dear Elena,

Linda and I have finally caught up with our “at home” lives after returning from our safari so I can share some of my thoughts and impression with you about our time in Tanzania.  Without qualification, I can say that we had wonderful trip which met all of our expectations.  First, I appreciated how organized and thoughtful your communication was with us before our departure.  You anticipated potential questions and answered them in documents you sent even before I could ask the questions and when I did email a question I always got a clear, prompt reply.

You and your team put together a safari that was just the kind our group wanted: one that emphasized seeing an array of animals rather than lounging in “comfortable” accommodations.  And where you really hit a home run with us was pairing us with Ephata Lotashu as a guide.

You may recall that I spent my professional career as an animal behaviorist and faculty member so I knew that our safari guide was going to be of paramount importance.  Ephata was exactly the kind of guide I had hoped for and our group could not have been happier or more satisfied with his work on our behalf.  Not only was he adept at finding animals for us to watch but he could also tell us about their behavior and ecology.  He and I had several exciting conversations in which he’d be sharing something about the animal we were watching while I shared relevant evolutionary theory that could help explain why the animal had evolved to behave the way it was.  My brother, sister-in-law and wife quite enjoyed these Ephata-and-Warren exchanges and often joined in to broaden and extend our discussions.  Besides Ephata’s knowledge about animals, his personality and style of interacting with us was consistently impressive.  All four of us would pick Ephata in a heartbeat to lead us on another safari!

Another high point of our trip were the various staff members with whom we interacted in the camps where we stayed.  They were uniformly friendly and helpful and did a great job of caring for us, including all the great meals that we had.  Perhaps because it best matched our “style,” we especially enjoyed our time at the Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp on Lake Ndutu.

Thanks,

Warren Holmes, Jan 2018

 

Private Safari to Tanzania’s Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater and Flying Safari to the Serengeti

Hi Szilvia,

The trip was very memorable and a true adventure for both of us. Here are my comments and input on all stops.

  • Lake Manyara Tree Lodge was incredible. The service and the accommodations at the lodge were wonderful. The staff was so welcoming and friendly and went out of their way to make our stay lovely. Food and drink was also very good. Memorable as you are really staying in an animal park. Lion tracks in the morning outside our room and an elephant coming towards us when we were leaving. Our guide, Fadhili Mtoro was the very best. He was accommodating to our schedule and interests and treated us to some of the best game viewing. The lunch that he provided us on our drives made it so special. His knowledge also appreciated and helped make the days educational as well…This stop was really great to start our 2 weeks.

  • Gibbs Farm was also wonderful. A different feel, more colonial and a different side of Tanzania. The grounds are lovely and the service also was most welcoming. We would have a wake up call early with the best coffee and hot chocolate we have ever tasted. We had dinners outside and every meal was delicious. The breakfast and the eggs coming from an organic farm made us aware how fresh everything is. From here Fadhili took us to the Crater, which as you know has spectacular views and that day we saw some of the best animal interaction. Overall very good.

  • Namiri Plains – Serengeti. Very good and gave us more interaction with other people on safari, which made for fun conversation around the fire in the evening for “Bush TV”. The weather here had started to change, so rides were a bit more bumpy and rough, but manageable. Our guide here, Patena was good and knowledgeable. At this leg of our journey we were able to see many lions. Some of the best lion photos came from here. Including a female and her cubs lunching on a zebra and also a male lion up on a rock that seemed to be posing for us especially. Truly incredible.

 

  • Kilindi – Zanzibar was bliss. The room and the surroundings and services were top notch. The view from the room and the outdoor experiences were so memorable for both of us. Anything we requested, on the menu or off was provided for. Victoria, our butler, was great…We were able to swim in the Indian Ocean, which I will never forget. Here we were able to relax and rest. We both wish we could have stayed longer.

On one flight at the end I was able to get a photo or Mt. Kilimanjaro, which was very memorable as we heard many people say you can never get a shot as it is always covered in clouds.

All in all the trip was wonderful and an experience we will not forgot. Thank you for your guidance in planning.

Regards,

Lenora Larson, Jan 2018 

 

Explorer Safari to Kenya and Tanzania and Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Dear Lynne,

Thank you for setting up a wonderful trip.  Alan and I had a wonderful time. It’s hard for me to pick out a favorite moment.  All the parks were beautiful and special in their own way, and the gorillas, oh  my.

I guess my three favorite parks in no specific order were Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and the Serengeti. But as I previously stated all the parks were gorgeous.  We were lucky enough to see the big 5 or 6 because we were able to see both black and white rhinos.

I fell in love with Alex, our guide in Kenya.  He was incredible.  Very professional, friendly, and compassionate.  Always went out of his way to make sure you could get the perfect picture with the sun just in the right spot.  He was very knowledgeable, and the enjoyed sharing his knowledge.  He made you feel at home.

Uganda is a beautiful country.  The guides, park rangers, and porters are incredible people.  They made sure everybody got to enjoy the gorillas and were very patient with the slower clients.  Gorilla trekking is no joke but I absolutely enjoyed every step.

All the lodges were great.  It was certainly nice to be able to have a hot shower after being out on safari all day.  All the workers were very nice and more than attentive. I love the people.  The Buhoma lodge in Uganda was wonderful.  The food was incredible.

Most of the transfers went off without a hitch.  It was nice to have someone at the airports and borders to help us negotiate our way through.

The Protea Hotel staff were absolutely wonderful and very helpful.  Francis, our Speke Uganda guide in Bwindi was also wonderful.  He was always on time, very informative, and professional.

Overall it was a wonderful trip and I can’t wait to go again.  I fell in love with the countries and the peoples.

Again thank you for setting up a wonderful trip.  I will definitely book a trip with you again and recommend you to anyone looking to go to Africa.

Sincerely,

Ronda Kennamer, Feb 2018

 

East Africa Adventure including Tanzania and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Hi Mark,

We just got back from our 2 week adventure in Tanzania and Rwanda and it was beyond words.  I can’t thank John Decker enough for recommending your company.   The details your team provided on what to expect, pack and gratuities was very helpful in planning.   We were so glad we did the private tour.  The charger in the safari truck in Tanzania was very convenient for battery charging.

I would not have changed a single detail.  Our guide, Servuli Harri was incredible knowledgeable about so many topics both in scientific terms and ability to describe it in story form.   We felt his passion for what he does and for the wildlife.  We received a good education not only on the wildlife, their anatomy and physiology but of the country, culture and history of the area. We felt well taken care of and it was wonderful spending time with Servuli, who turned into a kind friend that we were sad to leave.  He even helped fellow guides on several occasions which was very admirable. His driving on roads that did not seem passable was impressive. On the first day of our trip we saw and experienced so much and yet each day continued to be just as exciting.  I believe we saw every animal except the leopard.  We even saw a lion attack a hyena, which I understand is rare.  It is our opinion that Servuli has to be the best guide in Tanzania!

All accommodations were wonderful.  I’m fussy when it comes to food and all meals were delicious with far too much food served.  The Chaka tent camp was not “roughing” it at all their attention to detail was wonderful.

We were surprised how different Rwanda was from Tanzania in feel and culture but just as interesting.  The genocide museum is a must for anyone visiting Rwanda as it’s both heartbreaking and educational.  Guillaume was very open in helping us understand the history and the culture.  We enjoyed his company. He provided a detailed city tour and stroll through the local markets. He’s very proud of the direction of the country.

If I didn’t have tons of photos (literally 10,000) I wouldn’t believe we were so close to gorillas, it was dream like.  The guides and trekkers were so calm and reassuring we were never worried.   The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge had a beautiful cottage for us, hot water bottles and even soaked our feet and massaged our legs after trekking.

Truly an experience of a life time that I can’t stop talking about.

Thank you,

Suzanne Shindle, Mar 2018

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