Clients Trip Reports – January – March 2015 (East Africa)
Tanzania Honeymoon Safari to Ndarakwai Ranch, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti
Thank you so much! Wow…I don’t even know where to start! We kept remarking how seamless and amazing our entire trip was. A big thank you to all of you for everything you did! Our trip was beyond unbelievable and now we are dying to go back!!!
George was the most amazing guide and he truly made our trip so enjoyable. He is extremely personable and has a great sense of humor. He made everything feel so easy and effortless which was amazing. He is extremely knowledgeable about Tanzania, Africa as a whole, and the animals! We could go on forever how amazing we think he is!
I will start with our candid thoughts about each place!
Ndarakwai- Amazing place to start our trip. The walking gaming was nice and the afternoon game ride was also nice. Eric (the owner’s son) and his girlfriend were great. The food was also excellent. In terms of tented accommodations, this was our favorite. The tented room was really nice and the bathroom was great. Clearly the gaming isn’t that great, but a nice way to ease into the trip. I think having one full day there was all we needed.
Manyara Ranch- In terms of experiences, they did the nicest job of sunset drinks in a different location both nights and a nice pre-dinner snack. We felt like the sunset drinks were really special and unique. The game walk and game drives were fun there… We enjoyed Alan and especially loved the Maasai guide, Lapapa. We went to the most amazing, truly authentic, Maasai village. This was by far the highlight of our trip!
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge- Unbelievable! We loved being pampered after 4 nights in a tented camp. Although it’s a lodge, it was small and intimate. The room is not an ordinary room and it truly is a special place. Everything about our experience there was perfect. We loved when George drove us to the crater and set up this breakfast by the hippo pool. It was great! They knew it was our honeymoon and set the table one night in roses and gave us champagne and made it special for us. Also, we had the best massage in the world there! Great service.
Dunia Camp- Dunia Camp was nice. In terms of the room, it felt very similar to Manyara…It was nice they had the “bush tv” and a snack before dinner but we still preferred the Manyara experience of going somewhere and watching the sunset…
Four Seasons – We enjoyed our experience at the Four Seasons. The room itself was nice, nothing crazy or unordinary. The view was beautiful and we really enjoyed seeing the watering hole with tons of animals. The staff did a really nice job to make it more intimate although it is a big property. …The last night we were there Ori’s siblings arranged a special night for us. The Four Seasons arranged the most special night for us. We watched the sunset in front of a fire in the middle of the Serengeti while they remembered what we liked to drink and brought us delicious appetizers. We then had dinner up on this rock with candles and it was beyond picturesque! It was the best way to end the trip and was the most magical night.
Now that we detailed each place, we also want to point out some other things!
Gibb’s farm was an amazing experience. The food was superb and it was great to see the farm and learn about it. The balloon ride was great. Arusha Coffee Lodge was a nice place too!
We really enjoyed that in the beginning of our trip we felt like we were doing different activities and learning about Africa. We stressed how important it was to be immersed in the culture and like I said earlier, our favorite part was going to the village. My only regret is I wish we went to a school or did something else cultural…
Again, thank you all so very much for all your hard work. We had the most incredible trip and can’t stop raving about Tanzania and Africa Adventure Company. We will be sending every person we know that goes to Africa to your company.
Laurel Weiner and Ori Rom, March 2015
Private Safari to Tanzania featuring Asilia Portfolio of Camps and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Dear Mark and Saskia,
The first half of our safari in Tanzania – many thanks for selecting Albert Nanyaro as our guide. So far, we think that he’s the best guide we’ve had during our four tips to Africa. He is superb.
The second half of our excellent adventure in Rwanda was as wonderful as the first. Theo is a kind person and a great guide. Our visit to the Museum of Genocide in Kigali was very sad, and eye opening, but also inspiring in terms of reconciliation.
Our three days of gorilla trekking were thrilling. Each was better than the last. Theo kindly arranged for Francois to be our guide on each trek, at our request. Francois is famous and he worked with Dian Fossey. He is kind and funny in addition to highly knowledgeable. He encouraged each member of his groups, each day, to learn, relax and enjoy each visit to the utmost. His gorilla imitations are a hoot!
Our accommodations at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge were supernal. Finn and Wendy treat their all their customers like invited guests.
It almost goes without saying that we thank you for a supernal Africa Adventure from beginning to end!
Arthur Kaplan, Feb 2015
“The Best of Tanzania” Privately Guided Safari to Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti
Dear Mr. Witten,
My wife, Ruthe, and I returned yesterday from our safari in Tanzania. I wanted to write immediately to tell you that it was a great trip. The arrangements made by the Africa Adventure Company fully met our expectations. The food was very good and the accommodations comfortable…
And then there was our guide, Mr. Mkenda. He was simply amazing. His knowledge of and ability to spot wild life led to some fantastic photo opportunities. Also, he was a great source of information on local geology, culture and flora and fauna.
Thank you very much for the effort put forth by you and your colleagues at the Africa Adventure Company.
Bob Kaplan, Feb 2015
Private Safari to Tanzania including Luxury Camping on the Serengeti
You arranged a wonderful trip to northern Tanzania for us in 2007. We hoped this recent trip could somehow surpass that adventure. Well, it exceeded our every expectation. The itinerary was just perfect. We had ample photographic opportunities and just enough time to relax between game drives.
Having someone at Kilimanjaro Airport facilitate our passage through immigration after our long flight was a nice touch. The accommodations were all satisfactory. Gibb’s Farm was as wonderful as I remembered it, Lemala Camp was ideally situated for maximizing our time in Ngorngoro, and the Asilla tented camps were magnificent. Kudos for placing us in Kimondo and Dunia for the last five nights. We were able to fully appreciate the Serengeti from dawn to dusk. The staff at those two camps were also extremely warm and friendly. I had the pleasure of celebrating my 69th birthday in Kimondo.
What made this safari most memorable was our guide, Mkenda. We can’t praise him enough. We were constantly amazed at his ability to spot wildlife at a great distance. He understands what makes a great photograph and made every effort to get us in the right location. He is knowledgeable, easy going, and it was a joy to travel with him. We can see why he was selected to guide Mark Nolting on his recent trip to Tanzania.
Jim and Cathy Kleeman, Feb 2015
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Flying Safari to Kenya’s Chyulu Hills and Private Tanzania Safari to the Serengeti
Thanks so much to Szilvia, Mark and everyone at Africa Adventure Company for putting together this great trip. Here is some feedback for your consideration:
– Your ground representative in Kigali did a great job meeting and orienting us in Rwanda. Bernard was our guide and he was very personable, friendly and knowledgeable. The Genocide Memorial was a must stop in Kigali.
– Sabyinyo Lodge- Very Good- I wrote a great review on Trip Advisor – “Great Lodge Designed for Gorilla Treks”
– Ol Donyo Lodge- Excellent- Enjoy reading my Trip Advisor review- “Like Returning to Visit a Close Friend!”
– Our Tanzanian Safari Guide, Deogratius was outstanding, got to know him pretty well over 5 days
– Ngorongoro Crater- obviously great game viewing
– Olduavai Gorge- very good, something I remember reading about when I was a kid. Would have liked to go into the gorge if time would have permitted.
– Olakira Camp – Excellent- A highlight was seeing the migration herds in the southern Serengeti.
– Grumeti Reserve’s Faru Faru- Excellent- Please read our Trip Advisor review- “Yes, It’s That Good!”
– Baraza (Zanzibar) – Very good- Please read our Trip Advisor review- “Great Place To Relax”
– Gorilla Treks- Outstanding; 1st trek, Sabyinyo group- they came out of the park and met us in the potato fields; very close contact, at times even brushing up against us; 2nd trek, Agasha group- long hike through fields and then up the mountain, not quite as active as first group, but very nice; on this hike the porters were invaluable!
We had a great trip. The overall number of travelers we saw were down as compared to previous seasons based on comments from locals we got to know. The overall consensus was that the Ebola scare was the primary reason. While that was generally good for us with reduced crowds and perhaps some more personalized service, we also regret the negative impact it has had on travel related workers and economies.
Steve Plesh, Feb 2015
Luxury Tanzanian Safari exploring Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti
Kyle and The Africa Adventure Company,
Thank you for the wonderful Safari. Tanzania exceeded all of our expectations! After our experiences in Southern Africa we were leery of the “crowds” of East Africa. Kyle really chose some camps – Tarangire TreeTops, Dunia, Sayari – that really gave us a secluded feeling and enhanced our experience.
For the first 5 nights, our guide was Baracka… we had a great experience at Lake Manyara – very different than any camp or park we have ever been in. Enjoyed the elephant encounters and a nice pride of lion. Crowds were minimal at the south end of the park and we hardly saw other vehicles in the south.
Baracka also took us into the Crater and stayed with us at the Manor. Despite the number of vehicles, we were awestruck by the crater and its beauty. The Manor was magnificent bordering on too opulent. Roddy was excellent as manager – they threw us a private dinner in the library one night and made sure a hot bath was ready for us when we arrived both days. His uncle owns Chikwenya lodge in Mana Pools where we stayed in 2001 – so we had lots to talk about.
We moved on to Dunia Camp and it was truly spectacular. We saw leopard and lions on every game drive. Lucas was an OUTSTANDING guide. Excellent with his tracking and very personable – he worked in the hotel industry prior to guiding. We felt Lucas is probably the best 2 or 3 guides we have ever had – definitely near the level of Brooks from Wilderness Botswana whom we love. The camp and staff were excellent as well…
Sayari Camp was excellent and a gorgeous way to end the trip. We didn’t see another lodge vehicle for the 2 days we were there. Julie was outstanding as camp manager – she has been there for only 6 weeks, but was at Kings Pool (Botswana) for a long time. She definitely had the camp running very well. We had lamented the lack of sundowners in East Africa compared to Botswana, so at the end our wonderful walking safari along the Mara River she surprised us with sundowners at a hippo pool – although we had to leave before sundown by park requirements. The other groups got sundowners on their last day as well so I am sure it is something she is working on. The walk along the Mara was awesome – I could have done that all day…. saw lots of game on both sides of the river and some truly GIGANTIC crocs.
Thank you again – our expectations were exceeded and that says a lot given our past travels and safaris. Not sure what we will do next ……..maybe a walking safari ?
Thank you again
Mike and Colleen Shepard, January 2015
Serengeti Explored Safari to Tanzania
Dear Mark, and the Team: Thank you so much for arranging one of the most wonderful trips of my life — and certainly the most memorable birthday! Almost every aspect of the trip exceeded my expectations, but most especially the overall quality of the accommodations, the amount of wildlife seen, the beauty of the countryside, and the knowledge, attentiveness, and skill of my guides, Mkenda and Blessed. They both made me feel completely safe and protected, and made the trip truly special by enabling me to see an unbelievable assortment of animals, including 9 rhino (including a baby!), 4 leopard, 9 cheetah, thousands of wildebeest, and dozens of elephants, lions, giraffes, hippos, hyenas, mongoose, jackal, many types of antelope — and even a crocodile. But the most unexpected pleasure of the trip was that, because of Mkenda’s tireless effort and enthusiasm, I was able to spot 270 different species of birds — truly amazing for such a short period of time.
– Ndarakwai and Namiri Plains were my two favorite camps, and a great way to bookend the trip. Beautiful, comfortable accommodations, terrific locations, and great fresh food (indeed, fantastic gourmet food at Namiri), as well as very kind and helpful staff, and great local guides (Asheri and Blessed) made these camps exceptional. I could easily have stayed longer in each location, and found them both very beautiful and extremely relaxing.
– I also enjoyed my stay at the Serengeti Shared Mobile Camp, where I thought the tents were well-designed and very comfortable, and Peter, the manager, was a terrific host who attended gracefully to every need. Plus, it was in such a beautiful location next to Lake Ndutu, with its beautiful sunsets, abundant bird life, and close proximity to so much game. The food was simple, but tasty, plentiful and well prepared.
– The guides: I cannot say enough in praise of Mkenda. His enthusiasm and cheerfulness never flagged, while he ensured that every request was met, and every detail of my trip went as smoothly as it possibly could. He patiently taught me more about birds and animals than I had learned in a lifetime before this trip, and I will always be grateful for that. I cannot imagine a better guide! Similarly, though my time with Blessed was more brief, I was very impressed by his knowledge of the birds and animals, as well as his thoughtfulness and insight into African history, politics and resource management, which were subjects I was very interested in learning more about. He was a fascinating, friendly, and articulate guide, who also went above and beyond to ensure I had a great experience and saw many wonderful things.
…I am completely hooked on Africa, and plan to do another safari sometime in the next couple of years. I would not consider arranging it with anyone else. Your team did a fantastic job!
Thank you again for arranging this wonderful safari!
Elissa Warantz, January 2015