Clients Trip Reports – July – September 2015 (East Africa)
The Best of Tanzania and Kenya including the Serengeti, Maasai Mara and Chyulu Hills
What a nice surprise to receive a note from you at Gibb’s Farm and another when I arrived home! It brought a smile to my face knowing that you were there with me in spirit and that I was in the good hands of AAC.
Words cannot express what an amazing time I had on my safari, and I have you and your team to thank for it all. The trip was flawless. From the airport reps, to the transfers, to the guides, I was so very well taken care I of, not to mention being waited on hand and foot by all the wonderful managers and staff at each of the lodges and camps.
There’s so much to share, I’m not even sure where to begin. The safari was incredible. I saw more on the thirteen game drives I went on than I ever imagined…up close and personal, even! I saw about 40 lions, a few leopards and cheetahs, not to mention the numerous elephants, giraffes, gazelles, hippos, and thousands of wildebeests. I used the checklist in the Safari Journal and counted 40 different species of mammals and 30 species of birds. was fortunate to see not one but two wildebeest crossings, a pride of lions feasting on a fresh buffalo kill, then hyenas crunching on the remains the following day, lions, ostriches, and gazelles mating, cheetahs on the prowl, and a standoff between a herd of buffalo and a pack of lions. One of the biggest highlights of my trip was seeing the Great Migration. It was mind blowingly magnificent and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. I never got tired of going on the game drives. Like you told me, each day was different. I enjoyed the scenery as much as the wildlife as well as learning all about animal behavior and nature from the oh so knowledgeable guides. I was so very impressed with how much they knew…and remembered!
Speaking of guides, I absolutely LOVED Hillary. He welcomed me with a warm hug on the first day and we were fast friends. He was an excellent guide, and because he had such a passion for wildlife, he enjoyed the safari as much as I did. I felt like I was on safari with a friend, not a guide. He was extremely knowledgeable, and we had many fun and interesting chats not only about wildlife and nature, but also about African culture and general life stuff. I was sad to leave him when I went to the Serengeti.
I was very pleased with all my accommodations.
I have very warm memories of Little Oliver’s. Julie, the manager, welcomed me so warmly and the staff were so very friendly. The vibe there was just so comfortable and they all felt like family. I was given a surprise birthday celebration complete with African song and dance by the staff that I will never forget. I was so touched that I cried. I really liked my tent. It was rustic yet chic and very comfortable and had a great view. There were two elephants nearby to greet me the day I got there! The food was very good, and I think they offered the best breakfast of all the camps.
The Ngorongoro Sopa lodge exceeded my expectations. It was actually quite nice and my room was very nice with a great view of the crater. Gibbs Farm was everything I thought it would be and more. I absolutely loved my gorgeous room. Everything there was so beautiful and lush. I decided to do the garden walk (which turned out to be a tour of their vegetable and herb garden) walk around the grounds, and then spend some quiet time on my patio enjoying the view (It wasn’t of the plantation as noted in my itinerary, but of the vegetable garden). Dinner was superb. I knew I’d wish I’d had two nights there and I was right!
I loved being along the Mara River at Serian Camp. I liked this camp a lot and my room (#7 at the end) was perfect, with a lovely view of the Mara. I enjoyed the open air bathroom too. I was able to spend some time on my deck enjoying the relaxing sounds of the flowing river and had a private dinner one night on the deck and one night inside my room. The staff were very attentive and I enjoyed them. The food here was very good and I ate plenty!…
And finally…Ol Donyo. Ohhhh myyyyyyy….Ol Donyo. Talk about a plan going right. I wanted this to be my relaxing retreat before I came home, and boy oh boy did I get more than I imagined!! I LOVED IT HERE! The only flaw in my itinerary is that I didn’t stay four nights!! I’m so glad you encouraged me to stay three nights instead of two as I had originally planned. This place is simply gorgeous. Tthe El Mau suite was just beautiful and hard to leave. After six nights in a row in camps, this was exactly what I needed. I just can’t say enough about it. While at Ol Donyo, I went horseback riding and bike riding, got a massage, did a hike through the lava tubes (incredible!), relaxed at “the hide” watching the elephants, baboons, and giraffes at the waterhole, played volleyball with the staff at their “lava beach” in their quarters, and relaxed in my room, just soaking in the open-air view.
Simply marvelous. And the food…oh my, it was simply top notch! I ended up having a private guide, which I wasn’t expecting. Great! Jeremiah was great and took good care of me on my rides and hikes. I didn’t want to leave this place. I wish I could pack it up and move it somewhere here in California!
…I’m spoiled now. While I had a simply marvelous time, it was good to come home. I think 16 days was just right for me. I’ve been slowly and reluctantly settling back into real life, missing the sweet, peaceful sounds and mysterious footsteps I heard each morning and night.
What a fantastic experience I’ve had, one that I’ll never forget. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, you and your team have been absolutely fantastic from start to finish. I thank each of you for all the time and hard work you put into planning my trip. I appreciated your knowledge and expertise, your professionalism, your attention to detail, your patience, and your enthusiasm. I’ve absolutely enjoyed working with you and you can rest assured that I will recommend AAC hands down to anyone I know that’s interested in going on safari.
Thank you, Alison, for everything. This was truly a trip of a lifetime.
Tammy Hendrix, Sep 2015
Private Safari to Tanzania’s Northern Circuit and Safari to Chobe National Park, Botswana
Hi! Thank you so much for helping us plan a fantastic trip.
What we loved:
1. Ephata! What a wonderful person and guide (Tanzania). He was the best.
2. The mobile camp. What a unique experience. The special dance/cake for my dad’s birthday was really thoughtful.
3. The elephant ride. Fantastic.
4. The accommodations were each special and unique. The food was great
5. The river safari in Chobe.
6. The great migration.
7. Seeing all big 5 and ugly 5!
8. Gibbs farm was beautiful.
9. The Mt. Meru Hotel in Kilimanjaro with the bush babies you could feed by hand and the sundowners at the tree house.
10. Ngorongoro crater was great to see so many animals in one place. I loved the hot water bottles at the foot of the bed at the Ngorongoro Sopa here too!
Trip of a lifetime. Thank you!!! I have been telling everyone to go and to use your company. Thank you so much.
Kristen Passarelli, Sep 2015
Private Safari to Kenya and Tanzania’s Great Plains and Ruaha National Game Reserve
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that I had a fantastic trip! As usual, everything went smoothly; no problems with connections, the camps and wildlife viewing were superb, as were the guides and staff at all of the camps.
I have so many photos that it will take me months to sort through. But for now, here’s a quick run-down….
Naboisho: On the drive from the airstrip to camp we came across a cheetah mother with her 3 cubs (estimated to be about six months old). Needless to say, we did not make back to camp until after dark; we did not want to lose the cheetah. Since I had my own vehicle at Naboisho, I decided to shadow the cheetah every day. For four days, the main objective was to follow her and her cubs from before sunrise to after sunset as they interacted, played, hid from baboons and lion, were chased by lion, and as the mother repeatedly hunted.
We also got side-tracked a few times by other goings on, but always came back to the cheetah family. Like the time that a nasty baboon grabbed a baby Thompson’s gazelle, ran up a tree with it, and disturbingly started to eat it alive. It then ran down the tree, and while on the ground, black-backed jackals came in trying to steal scraps, while a tawny eagle swooped in and landed in front of us also trying to steal scraps, only to have a jackal then chase the eagle off! On another evening, we had just left the cheetah family in their hiding spot for the evening when we spotted another cheetah nearby. This one turned out to be a big male sitting in the middle of the plain watching a herd of wildebeest. Almost immediately after we spotted him, he started walking right toward the wildebeest herd. They saw him coming but they just stood there. The male cheetah then charged right in. All we saw were wildebeest circling around where we saw the cheetah disappear into the herd. When the chaos ended and the herd moved off, we found the male cheetah had taken down a wildebeest!
The cheetah mother kept expending energy trying to catch prey but kept missing or having her position given away by various animals. After three days we were getting worried for her and the cubs as they had not eaten for at least three days. Finally we were with them on the afternoon of my last full day as she caught an impala! She let the cubs take turns trying to suffocate it, and finally the mother stood well off to the side keeping lookout while she let the cubs eat first. After about two hours, there was nothing left of the impala but the stomach and the skeleton. My guide and tracker at Naboisho were just amazing. We lost the cheetah several times for several hours, and were not sure that we would be able to pick them up again. But with their expertise and persistence, we never lost them for too long. Seeing the entire consecutive four days in the lives of this cheetah family was just amazing and I think the highlight of the trip.
Olakira: One highlight here was seeing a crossing alone with my guide. We passed on a radio call about a crossing in progress. We were about 10 minutes away and decided that it was not worth racing to join the zoo, so we decided just to continue on and find our own thing. We came upon a group a zebra at the edge of the Mara River, with a ton of wildebeest behind them. Not even five minutes later, the zebra walked into the river to cross and all the wildebeest piled in behind them. The crossing lasted 22 minutes, and my guide held off radioing others for about 5 minutes so that we could enjoy our own find for a short while first. And more of my favorites, lions with cubs, a cheetah, and a leopard.
Namiri Plains: Awesome awesome place for cats. There were a surprising number of lions given the number of cheetah we saw, and all against a stunning backdrop of endless grass plains. Saw a cheetah take down a baby Thompson’s gazelle, only to have it stolen by a hyena. One night at dinner, the staff discovered a leopard *in* camp. It was draped in a tree next to tent four. They gathered us together and we were about to take a walk and a peak at the leopard, but unfortunately, by the time we got there, it had come down and walked off.
Kwihala: On my arrival at mid-day, I thought that I made a big timing mistake. It was so hot and dry, I couldn’t imagine that there were any animals left in the area. I was very wrong. The Ruaha and Mwagusi Rivers were mostly dry, although there were still some areas with surface water. However the water still flows just beneath the sand. The elephants know this and dig holes in the sand so that they can drink. And then so do the other animals. Anyway, lots of lions, lots of lion cubs, several hunts although we did not see a kill, elephants, giraffe, baboons, and many others. And leopards!
Almost every evening we went on a leopard trek on Kimilamatonge hill. I saw six different leopards, and one of them on two different occasions, over my five nights. Probably the neatest thing to happen at Kwihala, was the night with the triple leopard sighting. After about two hours of searching for tracks and listening for hyrax warning calls, we finally got a glimpse of a leopard through the thick brush, but only for a few seconds. But it was there. For the next hour we tried to anticipate were it was headed and kept lookout hoping for better look. We were even joined by a second vehicle as we tried to reacquire it. Finally the sun was setting and we were supposed to back in camp by 7 pm. So the other vehicle left.
My guide suggested we take one last run down the hill side road and back again just to make one last sweep. So we did. And then we saw it. It somehow crossed the road behind us without us seeing it. But then it ran up big baobab tree, hissing and growling, and visibly upset. That’s weird we thought. Then there was a deep growl just behind us; that kind of deep growl that you know can only be a big cat. My guide first thought aloud about lions; lions chased the leopard up the tree. But that was not the case. As we turned and looked closer, we saw two other leopards mating behind the bush right behind us!! While the third leopard was in the tree above them and very upset. Needless to say, we were a bit late returning to camp that evening.
Thanks for your help Kyle, and to the rest of the AAC team for arranging another fabulous adventure!
Chris Swindal, Sep 2015
Safari to Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and Ruaha National Park
We would like to thank you and your team so much for the perfect organization of this trip, everything was super and worked fine, we really enjoyed this trip very much. Every day was so special and we cannot really say what we liked best.
The wildlife and the scenery in Tanzania are incredibly impressive and amazing! Game viewing was way above our expectation and it was worth every second to get up early in the morning! This was just absolute perfect. We were also amazed about your knowledge of all the birds and wildlife and you are such a good observer!
Now we are downloading the pictures……..thousands……………………and are enjoying every moment of this trip over and over again….the wildlife, the scenery, the balloon ride, numbers of breathtaking sunsets and sundawns, the walking safari, the wonderful and friendly staff at the camps, taking care of us and cooking all the delicious meals, the fine wine and drinks and the great guides.
In summary it was this exotic nature and the spectales which were presented to us day and night at the Ngorongoro crater, at the Ruaha National Parc and when we moved through the Serengeti, in the wake of the huge herds of animals, we drifted, felt the freedom and the power of nature, because we were part of it!
That was our trip to Tanzania, a fantastic country that impressed us deeply and will remain in our memories.
Ann & Walter Studer, Sep 2015
Rwanda Chimp and Gorilla Explorer Safari to Rwanda
Our trip was an amazing adventure.
We were greeted promptly at the Kigali airport, a welcome sight in the wee hours of the morning.
Our driver, Mr. Africa, stayed with us the entire trip. He was a welcome source of local knowledge, and seemed to know everybody in the country. He was a key part of a successful journey.
Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel seems very new. The rooms are very nice, the food was good, and the staff was beyond superb. They are well trained, extremely customer-focused, and always helpful.
Chimp trekking was challenging, and views of the chimps were marginal. They may be habituated to humans, but they stayed far away.
Gorilla trekking was one very rewarding hour with the gorillas and 4 hours of brutally hard trekking. The guide cut a new trail with his machete every 3 meters for an hour. But the gorillas were awesome, spent more time on the ground, and the resulting photos and videos were worth the trouble. It was only one hour, but it was magic.
Jack Hanna’s house was a very special experience. A lovely home, with our own chefs and very attentive staff, and great scenery. We used his mountain bikes to tour the golf course for an hour (couldn’t manage the gorilla trek two days in a row). They built us fires in the fire pit, and we sat there each evening. This was an exceptional experience.
The Genocide Museum in Kigali is also a must-see exhibit. Very powerful and moving, it is thoughtfully and thoroughly done. Thank you for including it.
Again this was amazing. Thank you for putting it together for us.
Bob Coburn, Aug 2015
Private Family Safari to Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti
Mark, staff and our guides Mkenda and Daniel:
We have been home for 10 days now and I wish I were still on safari. I want to thank you all for providing us with such wonderful memories. We were an extended family of 11 people ranging in age from 9 to 75, repeat safari goers and newcomers, so we needed something for everyone. This trip more than exceeded our expectations.
Mkenda and Daniel were wonderful guides. They are both knowledgeable about the animals, birds, plants, history and politics of Tanzania. They adjusted our itinerary as we went along….we were always running late. Everything takes longer than one expects but the guides were never harried or made us feel rushed. They kept going morning till night and we really appreciated their efforts. Daniel and Mkenda related well with our grandchildren who range in age from 9-12..the guides kept them interested in the animals and what was happening in real time.
The animal life was amazing…133 lions, 7-10 leopard, 5-7 cheetah, 4 servals plus all the antelopes, elephants, hyenas, jackals, birds, hawks, monitor lizard, python, to just name a few. We even saw a Cape eagle owl, unusual for the Serengeti. This is just a short list of what we saw. The interaction between the animals…Cape buffalo challenging 5 lions, hyenas bothering another pride of lions, elephants chasing away lions.
And, just when you think you’ve seen everything, there in the middle of the veld are bathrooms and a food truck. Tanzania has evolved!
Thank you again for everything,
Nancy Klein, Aug 2015
Group Explorer Safari to Kenya and Tanzania
Rarely in my experience has a company been able to merit to degree of praise I’d bestow on AAC if I had the time. Suffice it to say, you company and its chosen local operators were able to meet and exceed any hope or expectation that I had for my safari adventure. Guides were where they were supposed to be, when they were supposed to be there, were friendly and informative, and went beyond the pre-set program when needed or requested; an unscheduled visit to a local Synagogue or hands-on assistance at a confusing border crossing.
Bottom line . . . I would not consider, at any price, traveling on any new safari adventure with any other company. Your company gave me exactly what it promised: I couldn’t ask for more than that.
Larry Neff, Aug 2015
Private Tanzanian Safari including Mobile Camping on Serengeti
We had a truly enjoyable and fun trip to Tanzania. What a remarkable country and very talented staff that Africa Adventure uses. Ephata was amazing with his knowledge and experiences in northern Tanzania. Ephata took very good care of us. We could not have asked for a better guide. We saw and learned so much about the animals, birds, plants, national parks and people of Tanzania. Africa Adventure’s stateside personnel and African contractors made it very easy and enjoyable for us to experience the wilds of Tanzania. Thank you.
Although the Kitela and Maramboi Lodges and their staffs were extraordinary, we particularly enjoyed the Serengeti Explorer tented camp lead by Peter.
It is incredible to be staying outdoors in a National Park; yet have nearly all the convenience of home. Peter and his staff provided for all our needs. For example, when we wanted to take a shower, we only needed to tell Peter and the shower was ready within 5-10 minutes. The tents and facilities were all topnotch.
The five of us really enjoyed our trip to Tanzania and we will be talking about it for a long, long time.
Thank you Africa Adventure!
Bobbie and Stan Walinsky, Aug 2015
Flying Safari to Tanzania and Kenya
Hi Elena et al:
Only one word to describe our latest experience — MAGNIFICENT! It only underscores why I love planning my safaris with you.
All the members of my party had a wonderful time. I think they were a little overwhelmed by the hospitality of the staffs; the wonderful accommodations; and the exciting viewing of the wildlife. Having been to all three of the camps before, I was not surprised. They are definitely my three favorite camps in Kenya and Tanzania.
I think the terrain at Sayari is the most beautiful overall that we have seen in our trips to Africa, and it is a terrific camp for viewing the migration. The guides have numbered all the crossings and they keep in touch by radio when the animals are milling around, as it was only about a 45-minute drive from camp to one of the areas where they have the largest crossing. Both days we saw the migration we were on the north side of the river already and a 15-minute ride to see the first one. The next day we went a little early and waited–and we were rewarded with “front row seats” to an incredible crossing that lasted all most an hour. We were able to see the line of wildebeests in the distance and it just went on and on! Their trail out was within 6 feet of our vehicles! We also saw several take downs by crocs.
We also saw lots of giraffes, hippos, gazelles, a pride of lions, a cheetah and two cubs, elephants, one lonesome leopard, and more there! (We also did get Albert as one of our guides. They told him that someone had requested him and he recognized us immediately when we got off the plane.) We were also assigned Calson who was also a terrific young guide.
Food was wonderful and their staff is so friendly and accommodating!
The charter plane ride from Sayari to Lake Victoria and a checkout from Tanzania; on to Kisumu (beautiful new airport) to check into Kenya; and then to Elsa’s was nice–although pretty bumpy on the last leg in the early afternoon. It’s sooo nice to land right at the airstrip at Elsa’s!
Elsa’s is such a unique camp! Philip & Charlie are still the managers so had a nice reunion with them. Business is still slow for them. It’s too bad that Kenya has such a bad rap these days! We were 2/3 of the guests for the first 2 nights. Of course, game viewing is much different there, but we were treated to lots of reticulated giraffes (so beautiful and stately–very large groupings); saw the rhinos and even a Grevy’s zebra at a distance. A pride of lions was near camp the last day and some people could hear them just below their units the last morning before we left. Staff and service at Elsa’s is first class!
Off to Amboseli and Tortilis, which is such a nice camp. Andreas and Manuela were the new managers the last time we were there and they are leaving in September to go back to Italy. Mount Kilimanjaro came out in full splendor our second morning and played peek-a-boo with us throughout the stay. The viewing highlights of our stay were a cheetah and two cubs who were being harassed by a jackal–which the mom eventually chased! What a sight! Also, of course, saw lots of elephants, Cape buffalo, rhinos and the wonderful water birds that inhabit the area. All in all, a magnificent time! We did take the newbies to the village, also, and they really enjoyed meeting the Masai families and being entertained!
Aw, memories of gracious people, beautiful scenery, exciting animal viewing, bush breakfasts, and sundowners!
Thanks again for all you do to make our experience so great!
Colleen & Mike Yuhl, Aug 2015
“African Journey’s” Safari to Kenya and Tanzania
I have been searching now for a week to find the right words to describe was an amazing adventure we had. Honestly, it was a trip of a lifetime and the absolute most memorable experience we have ever had.
The packing list that you provide was very thorough. There was nothing that we wished we had brought. You guys cover everything. It seemed that no one else was aware of the 33 lb limit as other people had huge, hard suitcases with frames. While we didn’t need to bring any more luggages, a bag with a frame would have been easier to carry.
The quality and service of the lodges was first class. They exceeded every possible expectation that we had. The food was absolutely amazing. My vegetarian needs coupled with Fred’s gluten free requirements made me thinking that we would go hungry. That was far from the case. Not only was the food delicious, but it was so beautifully prepared and served. The wait staff at each location made sure that we had what we wanted and accommodated all of our special requests.
Hillary was an excellent guide and we felt so fortunate to have him. His knowledge, his sense of humor and his determination for us to see everything there was to see, made each day more exciting than the day before. He went above and beyond to see that we were comfortable and taken care of.
Michael was equally as wonderful of a guide. He catered to our every need and tried his hardest to find the specific animals that we were looking to see.
Every aspect of the trip was fantastic but what really stood out for us was the people. From the camps to the ground transportation and everyone that we met along the way, the service and the people were exceptional.
Thank you for all that you did. I will recommend the Africa Adventure Company very highly and I hope we are lucky enough to return one day.
Eve Bocker, July 2015
Private Family Safari to Tanzania
This family trip was spectacular. I had the unique opportunity to travel to such a beautiful region of the world, with some of the most beautiful & majestic animals, I’ve ever seen.
The people, the places, it was sensory overload. I keep looking over my photos, but they just don’t do Tanzania justice.
We were fortunate to have Jabshir & Daniel, as our guides. They were experienced & extremely knowledgeable. They took time to educate each of us, on the beauty of Tanzania & everything it has to offer. The animals in their natural habitat, the Crater, the Maasai village, the Baobob & Acacia Tree’s—-there were so many different sights, it hard to pick a favorite.
Jabshir & Daniel made sure that both of our jeeps had ample time to witness all the natural wonder’s that makes Tanzania unique. Both vehicles saw the “Big 5” of Africa’s great animal kingdom Daniel showed us over 50 different species of birds. The final day, after driving for quite some time, Daniel found the most BEAUTIFUL Cheetah—–she was stunning.
There are so many wonderful memories, from the tented campsite (aka: Glam-camping), the smiling faces of the staff at all the locations, the beautiful crater & lush vegetation, The Serengeti , The Animals —-every bit of this trip was memorable.
The final night came too quickly. The dinner —-out on the Serengeti, surrounded by nature & special people, Spectacular!
I feel so blessed to have traveled to Tanzania. I have seen the most incredible sights. I pray that one day, I’m fortunate enough to visit Tanzania again. It’s something that can’t be expressed in pictures —you have to see & witness it for yourself- first hand.
My compliments to the entire Africa Adventure Company staff !
Lynn McNulty-Coullias, July 2015
Plains on the Serengeti Tented Safari
My son and I traveled to Serengeti National Park July 12th to the 16th and had a wonderful time. The staff met us at the airport and handled everything for us, including procuring our visas. We were transported to the Arusha Coffee Lodge which I would highly recommend. And the next morning we were driven by the same gentleman to the Arusha airport…Kimondo Camp was clean, complete with many amenities, located at an optimum location for viewing animals, the food was delicious and the staff very attentive. Our trip back to Arusha was enjoyable as well, and the use of a room for the day was wonderful!
Thank you for organizing a fabulous trip!
Michele and Nathan DeGroat, July 2015
Private Safari to Samburu/Aberdare/Lake Nakuru/Maasai Mara
Hello, Africa Adventure Company. Thank you for such a wonderful safari!!! Here is some feedback for you:
Local Ground Operators: We could not have been more pleased with your team on the ground. They took care of absolutely everything we needed from the time we arrived in Kenya and stepped off the plane, after 36 hours of travel, to the time we arrived at our departure gate at the end of our trip. Each person we had contact with spoke impeccable English, was kind, personable, and friendly. What a wonderful welcome to Kenya they provided!
Our guide Joseph was a gift to all of us- he was such an EXCELLENT guide. First, he had a plan for each and every game drive, a specific animal or group of animals he wanted us to see during that time. Rather than aimlessly driving around, we had a purpose for each trip. Amazingly, I think we met our goal and saw the animal or species we were attempting to spot on all but one game drive! And of course, we saw many, many more animals each time we went out, too.
Secondly, Joseph added plenty of information to keep all of us, from our teenage sons to our 23 year old to my husband and I, interested. He was very knowledgeable, and there wasn’t a question he could not and did not answer for us. The scope of his knowledge was really impressive. Joseph had a great sense of humor, was highly intelligent, and he truly loved his country. We could not have been more pleased with our guide, and each of us thought he was great! Most importantly to me, as a mom, was that he really bonded with our youngest son. Since this son had chosen this safari for his Make A Wish trip, his kindness to our son alone would have made Joseph special in my eyes.
Accommodations: Overall, the accommodations were wonderful! Our favorite place was the first one, in Samburu. We loved both the rooms, which were adjoining in one cabin, and the food, which we all agreed was by far the best of any place we stayed (and the only place that did not feature a buffet for every meal). The luxury and beauty of each resort, along with the excellent Kenyan service, was a real treat.
Pacing of the trip: I was very impressed with the excellent pacing of the trip, and we stayed in each place just the right amount of time (1 day, 2 days, etc.) to be able to see the attractions of that particular area. Any longer and it would have been too long, any shorter and we could not have seen all we wanted to see. My husband and I commented several times that the trip was very, very well planned.
Wildlife: Well… this was truly the highlight. We loved everything, from the tiny dik dik antelopes to the incredible black rhinoceros- what a gorgeous world we were able to experience. We saw a leopard mama up in an acacia tree with her kill; then we returned the next day to see her walking through tall grasses with her baby at her side. At other times we were privileged to see a family of giraffes quietly eating, a lioness climb a tree to sprawl in the branches next to another lioness, two cheetahs hunting antelopes, only to give up and lie under a tree when the male antelopes sounded a warning to the herds, and much more.
The people of Kenya were beautiful, whether walking tremendous distances to look for work or, in the case of children, to go to school, hanging up their wash on Saturdays, or riding double on the boda boda motorcycle taxis. They were so kind to us and so friendly.
The country of Kenya was a feast for the eyes, with so much to learn and absorb. Our week there was an incredible experience, and one that although my husband and I agreed we would never have thought to choose it ourselves, was one that we were so very thankful to have experienced. It was truly an experience not to have missed.
Africa Adventure Company – well done!!! And thank you. We most sincerely appreciate all that you have done for us.
Dave, Cheryl (writer), Nate, Kevin, and Aaron (the Make a Wish guy) Giffin, July 2015
14-Day Primate and Plains Safari to Uganda and Rwanda
We are back home after a great trip to Africa. All the arrangements were top notch…Edward was an excellent guide (I think he must have infrared vision to be able to notice things like he does).
The Bwindi gorilla trek was very easy. The group was feeding right next to the village. The Rwanda gorillas were further but still not bad for people of reasonable walking ability in their 50’s or 60’s, especially if using a porter as we did.
The gorillas were a highlight but I would have to say for me the most memorable moment was at the start of the chimpanzee day. We were early in the start of our hike when all of a sudden the group of chimpanzees began calling out. We were then amidst of a group of dark shapes descending from the trees, calling to each other, then converging on the feeding tree. I don’t think it would have been more surreal if they were wearing hooded robes and carrying candles.
Thanks for a wonderful adventure!
Mike and Sylvia O’Brien, July 2015
Explorer Group Safari to Tanzania
We had an absolutely fantastic time on Safari. It really couldn’t have been better in every way and a lot of the thanks have to go to our fantastic guide Samson, whose knowledge, communication skills, kindness and humor were superb. We saw everything we expected to and more, were incredibly lucky to be travelling with the Mays family who we didn’t know before but got along with really well. Accommodations were great and service staff terrific.
Zanzibar was lovely, although the hustle and hassle of a city after the Serengeti was a bit much to take. We enjoyed staying up North, swimming and snorkeling and returned to the States feeling very satisfied and tremendously lucky!
We did want to ask you about the Kisima Ngeda camp on Lake Eyasi. Not only was it beautiful, but it seemed like Nani and her husband are very committed to making it eco friendly and in supporting the local environment and community. Do you know any more about their project?
Thanks for all your help Jessica, we have no hesitation in recommending the company, you and Samson to our friends.
Annie Sweetnam, July 2015
Multi-Generational Family Safari to Tanzania
Finally getting caught up and wanted to get you some feedback. First of all I can’t thank you all enough. “Trip of a lifetime” doesn’t begin to describe it. We had 7 family members from 11 years old to 78 and we were all happy with everything. That’s quite an accomplishment, especially with our family! We always had someone to meet us and never felt unsure about what was next, where we were going, or supposed to be.
We loved the routing of the trip and all the properties and wished we could have stayed at each longer. The food, staff, settings, tents etc were all A+.
All of the guides and staff were amazing but I’d have to give a special nod to Jabshir and Moudy along with Nicholas (who was part of the staff at Treetops) and Richard at Kimondo who was outstanding with my nephews in making sure they were having fun, liked the food etc. There wasn’t a person anywhere we didn’t like but the previously mentioned were really, really exceptional.
My nephews absolutely loved having your African Safari Journal and checking off animals we saw on the drives (as well as quizzing us nonstop on animal attributes). They are working on a “book” of their own putting together all the animals we saw.
Our special requests of having my parents with close tents were met as well as having a bday celebration for Henry and anniversary for my parents. We had several great celebrations ( and cakes ) for each. I always had plenty of vegetarian food and many things made just for me. I ate better there than I do at home, by far!…
A huge thank you to you all. We never would have been able to do this without your knowledge, expertise and guidance. This was by far our biggest and our best family vacation. Every single one of us has said we would love to go back. We’ll send a handful of photos soon.
Again, I can’t thank you enough and can’t wait to start planning the next one with you.
Tami Thomsen, July 2015
Best of Tanzania Premier Drive/Fly Safari
WOW!!! What an adventure! The safari adventure far exceeded our greatest expectations. Beginning with the quality of accommodations (superb), services of all local operators (could not ask for better) and drivers (concerned that someone may not be there to pick us up), our privates guides (Kevin & Albert provided extensive knowledge, attentiveness and concern for our well-being) and viewing of wild life in their natural habitat was exhilarating!! The itinerary was flawless and everything worked like a well-oiled machine!
Thank you for an incredible safari adventure and beautiful memories.
Kathy & Michael Warhol, July 2015
Flying Safari to Kenya’s Maasai Mara
Yes, we’re back from yet another wonderful trip to the Mara. It was great being with Samson all week. We saw wonderful things…. millions of wildebeest (migration) and zebra, lions, rhino, hundreds of elephants, cape buffalo, hippos, cheetah (including Malaika and her 4 year old cubs) and on our last day, we saw a leopard. What more could we ask for!!! It was totally amazing and wonderful. We leave a part of our hearts and souls every time we’re there.
Thank you again to you and your team for a wonderful visit to our favorite place. The travel/planes all worked out great this year too. It was perfect!!!
All the best,
Janis & Bill Webb, July 2015
Safari to Tanzania’s Northern Circuit including Tarangire and the Serengeti
Loved – loved – loved my safari! My guide, Mohamed Mgandu was amazing and it was obvious that he was much more skilled and knowledgeable than other guides that I encountered from others on safari. I would highly recommend Mohammed to others. He was GREAT! He was a very good match for Carol and me and this greatly enhanced our trip.
The Lemala Tented Camp in Central Serengeti was great! I could appreciate why Lemala cost more — it was worth the additional cost. Kitela Lodge was beautiful and beyond my expectations!…
Our guide was amazing. The National Parks were amazing. The animal viewing was far better than my expectations. The lodges and tents were good with the standouts being Kitela and Lemala. Your prep materials were good — in hindsight I would have packed a little bit differently but generally, I felt very prepared for the trip and had what I needed.
And the most important part — we saw all the animals!
Christine Wong, July 2015
Family Safari to Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti
After much research and review, we selected The Africa Adventure Company as the tour company for our Tanzanian family safari. They proved to be a top notch tour company and were wonderful to work with. All of the staff members were very professional and accommodating. Lynne was our main point of contact and did an excellent job of making sure all details were attended to, including transfers and special requests. She was very flexible, offered excellent recommendations, and helped us create the perfect safari for our family.
Communication was also very thorough which was especially important as we were preparing for the trip and making sure we packed all of the essentials for our first time safari.
We were also very happy with all of our accommodations, most of which exceeded our expectations. They were all very clean, had very good food, and a friendly hospitable staff. The Treehouse was our favorite, not only having unique accommodations, but having a staff that continuously went above and beyond in every aspect making us feel pampered throughout our visit.
The best aspect of our safari was our guide, Emmanuel Mkenda. He was the primary reason that our safari turned out to be such a huge success. He was an exceptional guide with regard to both wildlife and customer service skills, being extremely professional and always having a smile on his face. He was amazingly skilled at being in the right place at the right time, and spotting wildlife everywhere we went. Mkenda was very attentive to our every need down to the most minute detail, even to the point of anticipating what we would need next. He continually worked to make our adventure a wonderful experience with great success. In all of our years of travel, he was the best guide that we have ever had, and feel that the overall amazing vacation we had was in large part due to his experience and expertise. He was an absolute pleasure to be around and we loved having him as part of our family for the trip.
We would highly recommend this tour company!
Lori, Dane and Carolyn Wuest, July 2015