Client Trip ReportsSouthern Africa

Clients Trip Reports Southern Africa – Oct-Nov 2016 (Southern Africa)

Botswana Flying Safari and Mozambique Island Retreat

Hello Elena (and others),

We’ve been back for a week now and I thought I should let you know about our trip to Botswana and Mozambique.  It was FANTASTIC!!  This is the third safari we have planned through Africa Adventure Company and we did not think we could beat our Tanzania experiences from three years ago, but this was the best one yet!

We stayed at 3 different camps; Vumbura Plains, Duma Tau, and Chitabe Lediba…

Duma Tau had nice accommodations and great animal viewing!  At the water holes we saw lots of activity including lions drinking and elephants bathing…. Including a baby elephant only a few days old getting a drink on its knees.  (soooooo cute!)  A huge herd of Cape buffalo, lots of elephants, and “Love was in the air” with mating giraffe and leopards.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Duma Tau.

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We really hated to leave Duma Tau as we felt we would not get that level of animal encounters again; but then we got to Chitabe Lediba and met Gordon, our guide.  I swear that Gordon could actually talk to the animals, because his tracking skills were off the charts!  I have many examples, but will give only one.  Gordon saw leopard tracks in the sand and he tracked them for awhile, gathering more information.  He said we were looking for a female leopard with an adolescent male cub and they had killed an impala a day or 2 ago and cached it in a tree.  After searching for about 45 minutes, guess what we found?  Yep, female leopard and her year old male cub in a tree with a mostly eaten impala!  Gordon amazed us over and over again, finding the pack of wild dogs, the lioness who was still hiding her 2 month old cubs, and several leopards.  Chitabe also has a large pride of lions with cubs and we really enjoyed watching them.  We even saw the lions kill a warthog (although 20/20 hindsight I would skip seeing that !) The accommodations were gorgeous and the staff was so friendly that we felt like family.  We could have stayed much longer at Chitabe.

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Then we flew to Mozambique and stayed at & Beyond on Benguerra Island for some beach time and scuba… the snorkeling was decent.  The overall resort experience, however, was WONDERFUL!  The “room” was so big and deluxe that I can’t even really call it a “room”.   Just steps off the beach, with a huge deck and lounging area, a plunge pool, and a beach cabana with a hanging bed.  We were spoiled rotten by our butlers and waited on hand and foot.  We took advantage of all the included activities: kayaking, the island tour, snorkeling, the sunset dhow ride and the private beach picnic (which was one of our favorite days ever)…We really loved this resort and would highly recommend it for beach time, relaxation and especially for a romantic get away.

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Thanks again for your excellent planning skills which provided us with a superb safari vacation!

Josena and Randy Wadle, Nov 2016

 

AAC’s Best of Southern Africa Group Safari

Dear Mark and Kollin-

You are to be greatly commended for a job well done!  We had so many air and ground transfers between visiting three countries in two weeks and there was not one glitch the entire time.  The transfer people were all on time, very friendly and made everything easy.  The lodge and camp staff, also, were friendly, competent and more than accommodating, in fact, we sometimes felt uncomfortable with the royal service that we received.  At every location, staff was waiting outside for us to greet us, provide us with cool washcloths and a cold drink.  The food in each location was delicious, as in gourmet delicious, which was so impressive in these remote locations. The accommodations themselves were fantastic.  I liked all of them as they were each so unique, but one of my favorites was Somalisa Camp (in Hwange).  I loved having our room open to the outdoors so that we could hear the wildlife (even though we were awoken more than once at 3:00 am by a screeching elephant).  Another favorite thing at this camp was eating breakfast around the campfire and having our bread toasted over the open fire.

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The guides and trackers were all excellent – knowledgeable, friendly and always wanting to get us the best/closest view of the animals. I was very pleased that we rarely had very many people in the vehicle – for the most part at the first two lodges it was just the three other AAC people, who came to be our friends and after that, just Barb and I.  This allowed us to tailor our days as we wished.  At Ngoma Lodge, we all enjoyed the boat safari so much that we requested to go again the next day and they did.

I saw more animals than I ever dreamed, including lion cubs and their mom and thousands of elephants.  And, had you told me two months ago that I would be walking in the wilderness and standing 30 feet from a bull rhino and two female rhinos, I never would have believed that it would happen.  Breathtaking it was – that is, as in paralyzed with fear breathtaking, but exhilarating!  Unusual happenings included seeing a hippo close to us on dry land far from the river, two eagle owls on opposing branches above the leopard reclining over a large branch of the same tree the impala legs (all that was left of her kill) strung over the branch next to her.

We met Beks, the owner of Somalisa and African Bush Camps, and his family while at Somalisa.  I mentioned my AAC Safari Journal book and he asked if he could see it since he had never seen it.  He was very impressed with its comprehensiveness – just thought you might want to hear the positive feedback.  I relied heavily on that book for animal identification and journaling – it was really great.

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Thank you again for your expertise and professionalism in putting our trip together.  I have already recommended you to a friend who is coming over to look at your book.  If (when) I return to Africa, I will be calling the Africa Adventure Company.

Regards,

Diane Cook, Oct 2016

 

Big Five Game Viewing in Botswana and South Africa 

Hi Mark,

Firstly, thank you so much….we all had a wonderful time.

As far as the two lodges in Botswana are concerned, both were wonderful as far as the staff was concerned. Vumbura Plains has beautiful tents and they catered to our dietary needs perfectly. Additionally the food was excellent. Our guide, Emang, was very friendly and tried his best to show us what was around… the highlights were an elephant encounter for about 15 minutes, a leopard on a kill at night and a few owls…

Duma Tau was wonderful and I would return in a heart beat….I loved our tent, the staff was gracious, engaging and not sacchariny sweet….The food was outstanding and made gluten free and game options not only available but wonderfully prepared.

Both Karen and I loved our guide, Evans. Although young with only 4 years of experience he was not only knowledgeable but extraordinarily intelligent and I am sure you will be hearing more about him…he is a rising star…Since we only had one full day we were offered the choice to go to the Kings Pool area to see the dogs there but we opted to stay local and try to find some cats (both Karen and I like leopards more than dogs and we had a 10+ dog experience at Rattray’s so there was no pressure to see them. We started out finding a male leopard’s footprints but they soon vanished….soon afterward Evans detected a odor  and then a vulture in a tree and just after another vulture was seen taking off from the ground and that led us to a dead giraffe. Searching around we found a leopard print and figured that there must be one around and so we searched….as we drove around we heard guinea fowl alarming and then further another guinea fowl alarming….we quickly drove a bit more and saw a leopard walking up the road…..soon to be followed by her 14 month old male cub…..wow, and double wow.

Evans was always explaining to us what he was thinking at each step so this was no fluke….he knew exactly what was going on and while the “hunt” for the leopards was exciting….finding them was the cherry on top….just outstanding…..and because all other vehicles were at Kings Pool we had the cats to ourselves until they lay down to rest…..it didn’t end there. We had two other spectacular sightings……after we had just watched a saddle billed stork for a bit Evans heard a squirrel alarming and so we quickly went forward and I heard the words I had never thought I’d hear, “Black Mamba”…yes there was a mamba in a tree hunting the squirrels and I was perfectly positioned to get a few shots….when Evans suggested it could leap on us if threatened we made a quick departure but not before getting some decent images.

The last highlight was a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl during the day that decided to perch on a branch with some sun on it and then fly directly towards us….as a rule, owls never fly towards you when your are photographing unless they are being baited so this was incredible….I managed a few head on flight shots as well as some perched ones….maybe next to leopards, owls are my favorite so this was quite special. We also had some wonderful opportunities to photograph elephants crossing the Linyanti channel….fabulous!

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Now to Rattray’s…..I was somewhat skeptical about going back to a lodge rather than a tented camp…. This however changed my mind completely. If I could rate the whole experience on a scale from 1-10 I would easily rate it a 15! The lodge is wonderful without being over the top….the staff is so professional and engaging and willing to do anything we wanted whether it be meals, game drive times and as a surprise we were not charged for drinks…classy move!

Our guide, Fritz was the perfect mix of giving just enough information without trying to overdue it and being pedantic. We were spoiled a bit by the quality and quantity of the game viewing….it was spectacular…from arriving at camp and having eles and rhino viewed from our lunch table to seeing the Big 5 plus and pack of 22 wild dogs hunt and kill to having two male leopards viewed and photographed on a warthog kill with the first one going into a tizzy and salivating and growling off to the side once it realized another larger and more fit leopard had come probably to reclaim its kill.

It didn’t stop there….the next morning we saw a leopardess with two  6 month old cubs…and although there wasn’t much interaction amongst them it was stiff special….Our leopard sightings continued as the pack of wild dogs on a hunt ended up treeing a leopard who just happened to have a duiker kill in its mouth…seriously???

And last but not least….getting met at the airport for both Karen and me as well as Jaclyn and Camilo was a godsend….I don’t know that others really realize just how important that is….we essentially bypassed a queue that would have taken us an hour at least to get through and were out in less than 10 minutes….and since my kids had a close connection, had you not provided that service they never would have made the flight to Maun.

Thanks again to you and your staff for all you did to make this another successful safari.

Best,

Eric Gurwin, Oct 2016

 

The Best of South Africa’s Private Game Reserve, Chobe and Cape Town

Dear Elena and everyone at AAC,

We are back from our trip. I cannot thank you enough! The trip was fabulous!

Cape Grace and MalaMala especially exceeded expectation and set the bar very high.

The Cape Grace was absolutely great. Thank you for the personal touches. The staff was on the look out for Jim and I as well as our group. They made the effort to call us by name. The wine, tea and whisky tasting was a treat!! Thanks!  The location was great and easy to walk to great restaurants.

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Our guide, Andrew Brink, was great too. I was a little concerned about having the same guide for 3 days but he was perfect- very knowledgeable and pleasant. Our meal at Babel was unbelievable!!! So good and so much food!!!!

MalaMala was Fabulous! I am already planning a trip in my head to bring my son and his wife. The group all agreed that we would all come back to MalaMala. The staff and guides were fabulous. Food and accommodations were wonderful. Any place after this had a high bar to surpass.  Animal viewing was great. Mike and Theo were an awesome pair. We could not believe how close we got to the big cats. The drought has put stress on the animals and environment and we all pray that they will get some relief soon. We only appreciated the benefit of the private reserve and “off-roading” once we moved on.

Victoria Falls was great. Our guide for the falls, Cynthia is a real jewel. It was comforting to know that she was an AAC employee as our entry into Zambia and Zimbabwe was rather stressful -really the only part of the trip that difficult.

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Victoria Falls River Lodge – we loved the lodge. Several of the staff were very special to the group. Andrew, one of the young, new assistant managers was particularly engaging. We especially got attached to “Chips” our river boat driver. Justin and Polite also were staffers that we remember. Game viewing was great. It was interesting that the guides found ways of teaching and showing the lesser aspects of the reserves when the big animals were no where to be seen.

Muchenje Safari Lodge – The safari offerings were great -designed to keep you busy with lots of options for morning drives, walk, evening drive, and after dinner drive. Also a full day option with a river cruise.

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…As for the game viewing and experience, it was great. We saw lots of birds, herds and cats!!! We missed the off road experience of MalaMala but in the end we saw more variety of animals in Chobe.

It was a great trip and every place was different with something new to offer. Our group was very impressed with AAC and the small touches. It was great itinerary!!

This trip was on my bucket list and after this experience I am putting back on the list for a return visit. I know our son would love a trip like this so I am hoping to plan a trip again doing something new for me and Jim (Okavango and perhaps Namibia) in addition to MalaMala and Cape Town for all 4 of us. You will be hearing from me again!!!

Thanks again,

Betsy Hamilton, Oct 2016

 

Iconic safari to Southern Africa including Sabi Sand, Chobe, Hwange and Matobo Hills

Mark and Kollin:

What an amazing trip.  We saw more animals than we ever imagined!

I really appreciated the Bidvest Lounge after we landed in Johannesburg at 5:30am.  We were able to take a shower, have breakfast, and freshen up before our 10:00am flight to Skukuza to begin our adventure.  Lion Sands River Lodge (our first lodge) was beyond expectations.  The staff is so friendly and accommodating, and rooms, gift shop, were great.  We were served wonderful meals.  I like the idea of sitting out for lunch and watching the kudu grazing, elephants in the water – a truly enjoyable stay.  I would recommend Noel, our tracker and Kelly our guide to anyone.

I also can say the same for the Ngoma Safari Lodge in Chobe, and Somalisa Acacia Camp in Hwange.  Johannes, our guide in Chobe was great.  We visited the small village where Johannes grew up and also the school where his daughter attends.  I enjoyed Somalisa – the openness to view the elephants, Cape buffalo and antelope as they walk past the screen of our “tent” to the watering hole…

I can’t forget Camp Amalinda.  It was a different experience (which I am glad for) to see the beautiful cave paintings and “hike” on foot to within 30 feet of 3 white Rhino!  Howard our guide was great.  Our accommodations were very different with the stone work, and I felt we were staying in a cave too.  Billy, the owner/manager is very outgoing and really works hard to do his best to accommodate everyone’s needs.  Food was excellent.

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One thing that was amazing to me was that were was never a “hiccup” in any of our transfers.  The transportation was always there and on time.  Great service.

Again, everything was very professional and words can’t express how much fun I had.  It takes a long time to get there from the west coast, but well worth it.  I learned so much.

Enjoy your day,

Barbara Hildebrandt, Oct 2016

 

Hidden Gems of the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Dearest Elena,

Once again you surpassed all our expectations.  Do think this was the best of all our African adventures.   You were “right on!”  First two camps were perfect for the four of us; Bill and Jackie and Chuck and I couldn’t have been happier.   Then Singita Pamushana.  Don’t know if you knew we were paired with Mark Friend as our guide.  He is amazing – truly the animal Whisperer.  We got out of the Land Cruiser at least five times to track hyenas, elephants, lions and white rhinos.   Honestly we were up close and personal.  What an adrenalin rush!

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As far as lodges – nothing negative at all to report.  Accommodations were beautiful; food – delicious; wines – good; guides and trackers – excellent.    The Kalahari and Pamushana were quite hot – but we survived.  All the transfers worked well.  Everyone on time, polite and helpful.  Really a 10 on all accounts.

All the best,

Marcia Kossman, Oct 2016      

 

The Wilds of Zimbabwe and Botswana

What an amazing trip!  Such good variety in the three camps we went to, the guides were superb and we saw every animal possible…Managed to see both the black and the white rhino!

We marveled at the arrangements – how a bush plane would manage to pick us up at the exact time specified and how there was never a game drive void of some incredible sighting (we joked with our guides that they spoke to the animals before we arrived on the scene).

Small touches like the celebration of my birthday at Little Makalolo were fabulous, and the personal notes welcoming and bidding us farewell from each camp, or the seeded messages left at Mombo.

Overall, it was one of the finest trips ever.  We used the safari guide extensively and got quite good at identifying birds and animals.

Thank you so much for your expertise, your meticulous planning and your enthusiasm about southern Africa. Truly a memorable trip.

Juliana Post, Oct 2016

 

 Flying Safari to Namibia and Zimbabwe including Victoria Falls

Kulala Desert Lodge – Sossusvlei dunes were far more spectacular than I expected.  Deadvlei was just like the photos I had seen!    We enjoyed the performance at dinner by the staff in the evening.

Damaraland Camp – This may have been our favorite camp!  The staff was amazing…so warm, so talented, and so enthusiastic.  The food was gourmet, and we all agreed, the best food of all the lodges, including Victoria Falls Hotel!  We loved the fact the guides ate with us!  The visit to the village was wonderful, and the final sundowner around a fire on the top of a mountain was a memory I will treasure.

 Ongava Lodge This lodge had the best watering hole, and a first class photography hide, AND the blessing of air conditioning!  The accommodations were first rate.  A highlight was driving right in the middle of a pride of lions near sunset, and tracking rhinos!  Abner was a daring driver!

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Linkwasha Camp, Hwange – A highlight would have to be meeting up with Charles again, after 3 years!  The game drives were great, and Robert was an excellent guide.  The accommodations were also superior!  The visit during dinner from the elephant who chose to drink from the swimming pool was exciting as well as the afternoon the elephants walked through the camp!

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Victoria Falls – Our accommodations at the hotel were absolutely wonderful!  The room was spacious and more than comfortable!

Touring in Victoria Falls – Our tour of Victoria Falls was one of the most memorable highlights of the trip, mainly because of Cynthia who was the most wonderful guide!  She shared information on the falls, but also insights into her life in Zimbabwe, and a summary of the recent political events in the country.  She gave a very leisurely tour and let us set the pace (3.5 hours!) She gave us her full attention the entire time and was so very personable!    We could have talked with her for hours!  What a treasure!  The highlight of the sunset cruise on the Ra Ikane was watching the elephants cross the Zambezi.  Our pilot managed to get us up close, which was not the case with the larger boats.  The day tour in Chobe was a delight!   The highlight was the afternoon cruise where we saw the elephants swimming from the island to the mainland, and hippos up close.

Having the Bidvest Lounge during our layover in Johannesburg was greatly appreciated!  The time passed quickly, and it made our long return trip so much easier!  Thanks!

We also appreciated the upgrade to business class on our South African Air flight from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg.  Despite all the travel we have done, we have never opted to fly Business or First Class.  It was a special treat!

 As a vegetarian, the food at every lodge was wonderful, but especially at Damaraland!  It was sooo good, that several others opted for the vegetarian meals!  You certainly get more than vegetables over rice!  The US could learn something from the Africans about vegetarian cooking!

We cannot thank you and your staff at Africa Adventure Company enough for such a wonderful trip!  We thought our second time in Africa would satisfy the craving we had after our last African Adventure, but after this trip we found ourselves saying, “….next time…maybe more time in Botswana?”

Jeanne Mitcho, Oct 2016

 

Botswana Wing Safari to Linyanti, Okavango Delta and Moremi Reserve

 Hi Szilvia,

Thank you for planning such a magnificent adventure for us!! I’ll take you through our days and tell you some of the countless highlights.

Victoria Falls was very nice.  I’m glad we added a day there to get some sleep and adjust to Africa time.  Esther was at the hotel when we arrived… She was a joy to spend time with.  It was lovely.

The first day we just went to the special tea they had for us and the appetizers later on and ate the fruit and treats that were in our room.  Breakfast was wonderful.  The second night we went to Jungle Junction.  Great buffet and a nice time.

All the transfers and air charters went very smoothly.  No glitches at all.

Duma Tau was wonderful.  The first afternoon 70 elephants made the crossing toward camp.  Before our game drive we went out in the float boat to get a better vantage point and see them in better light.  What a treat!

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Because this was our first time in Africa we got very excited about EVERYTHING.  Termite mounds for instance!

Flame was our Duma Tau guide.  He was our favorite guide.  Full of passion.  Always telling us something about the plants or animals or even himself.  How he was saving his money so he could get married.  He was so in tune with the guests in the vehicle it seemed he had eyes in the back of his head and unbelievable hearing.  He did everything he could to get us to the right place at the right time in the right light.  He seemed to really love what he was doing.

On our first morning game drive we very nearly saw a leopard get a warthog.  The unsuspecting warthog came out of an aardvark hole only to walk into the path of the leopard.  They both moved very quickly but the leopard didn’t move quite fast enough.  The warthog joined his two fellow warthogs and the three of them stood facing the leopard for a long term standoff.  The leopard decided dinner wasn’t going to happen and just lolled in the grass.

We saw our first lions at Duma Tau also.  And all the ‘usual’ things all of which were the thrill of a lifetime for us.  And the leopards!!  One evening we came upon a mother and two older cubs along the water.  Golden sunlight.  They tolerated very close approach.  We watched them drink and roll in the golden sunlight for a long time.

Then off to Vumbura Plains.  What a beautiful place, though Pete loved Duma Tau perhaps even more.  Vumbura Plains also did everything right.  Our guide was Chris.  Not quite as good as Flame but excellent.  They had a special bush dinner and everybody wished me happy birthday.

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…All the staff were so warm and their actions seemed so genuine.  The game viewing was fantastic.  Our very last drive we found the dogs!!!!  They hadn’t been seen for two weeks.  WHAT A TREAT!  A pack of twenty, including three tiny puppies who should not have been born.  They were the pups of a non-alpha female and non-alpha male and consequently were shunned by the entire pack.  Chris could not even figure out who the mother was.  He said we should not be seeing pups that young, ever.  They should be in the den.  They will never survive because they are being expected to keep up with the pack and they are far too young.  He wished he could take them for a few weeks to give them a chance.  He explained so much to us about the animals and everything around us.

And the giraffe and zebra.  And the countless vultures feeding on a carcass.  It was fascinating.  One day was ‘vulture day.’  We found two carcasses and feeding birds.  We felt like our brains were blowing up from all the mental stimulation.

Lots of hippos.  Got to see them standing in the water.  Out of the water.  Yawning.

Beautiful birds.

GREAT food!!  Too much great food.  I wish I could store it for future gathering, like a squirrel.  We ate every molecule at lunch and dinner but couldn’t possibly try everything at high tea.  What a beautiful job they do of preparation and presentation in difficult circumstances.

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We do feel bad we could not have purchased lots of things at the Victoria market.  The vendors have so little and we have so much but there is just no space or available weight to buy what we’d like to.  Pete said he should just walk from stall to stall and give everybody a little money but I’m sure they are far too proud to have wanted something like that. Our driver from the  airport to the Victoria Falls Hotel was far more than a driver.  He told us about the trees and the villages and everything we passed.  He was very nice.

We finished up at Mombo.  Saw some amazing things we saw nowhere else.  On one drive one of the guests spotted a black rhino.  I have NO idea how she could see that far.  He wouldn’t let us get anywhere near him (or her).  We found the thicket he tucked into and sat waiting to see if he’d venture out.  He went out the back and we drove off road to follow him the best we could as long as we could at a distance he would tolerate.  Wow.

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One evening in that golden light we saw a cheetah and her two cubs.  The cubs were off in the grass and mom was on a mound where she could keep an eye on them.  And where we had unobstructed photographic opportunity in beautiful light.

We saw the habituated hyenas.  The babysitting female and two sets of cubs hanging out while the other mom was out and about.  That was a treat because our other hyenas were fleeting glimpses early morning or at dusk.

Loved the pride of ten lions.  We spent time with them on two occasions.  Maybe three.

Thanks for everything.  I’m already tweaking my packing for Kenya and Tanzania.  33 pounds here I come!!!

Our best,

Helen Reinhardt, Oct 2016

 

“Great Wilderness Explorations” Group Safari to Botswana

Dear Kyle,

Back on my home turf now – barely a week and a half – still in the throws of the afterglow of my amazing adventure – trip of a lifetime.  I can only relish the realization that we pulled it off – with your help – and your wonderful colleagues – particularly Rhoda.

Prior to my journey – farther away than I’d even been – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana were dots on a map.  I think of these countries now and can only smile internally reminding myself of all the people – staff, managers, guides who showed up every day in so many small caring, loving ways to make me feel so well taken care of.

The wonder of Emmanuel – our tour guide and driver – who stood by us protectively, patiently – sharing our excitement as if he, too, were experiencing the amazing panoramic sights for the first time.  A loving parent, dear friend, a unique human being.  I was so touched when he offered to “fast” with me during the day of atonement – reflection on Yom Kippur.

…It was hot over there in October. Temps rose as high as 105 degrees in the shade in the AM hours. Staff at the campsites went out of their way to protect us from the heat.  They met us back from each drive with lemongrass scented iced towelettes and a smile and often a welcoming song – going the extra mile.

Airline connections went smoothly – attendants were there to greet me with wheelchair assists in all the airports.  Even the bush planes were part of the adventure – particularly when I discovered one of my bags didn’t make it off with me at the airstrip at Xigera and was circling the delta – seeing more that I did – only to arrive the next morning intact.  I can only smile when I think of that.

Thank you for your patience in answering my many questions in the months prior to the trip.  You and your colleagues took time to reassure me that everything was being done to give me the optimum send off with arrangements carefully planned and executed each step of the way.  Excellent choices for all the camp sites.  Not eating meat or poultry I was treated to fresh fish as often as possible.  Meals were delicious.  Gin and tonics kept us happy.  And of course, the South African wines were available and delicious – without asking.

Thank you again for a once in a lifetime memorable journey.

Sincerely,

Elaine G. Siegel, Oct 2016

 

Best of Southern Africa including Botswana’s Okavango Delta

Dear Elena,

We had an amazing trip! Truly amazing. The camps were wonderful and the three cities great. Every single thing went as planned. There was not one “miss”. Every van and driver was there as planned. They even met us and got us through customs eliminating the lines! Every guide was terrific and informative. The hotels were lovely and accommodating.

We particularly liked the way everything was scheduled…the cities interspersed with the safaris.

Kirkman’s was just wonderful. The rooms were so lovely, like a beautiful hotel. We loved the back porch in each room where you could sit and see the animals and scenery at a distance. The food was superb, the people so very nice, the guide, Matt, and his tracker, Victor, were knowledgeable and knew everything, animals, birds, plants and trees…even the stars in the southern sky! The lodge area was beautiful with a great old bar to congregate. Kirkman’s….my score…A+.

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Victoria Falls was lovely. It was so nice to stay in the old Victoria Falls Hotel…an architectural treasure. They were very accommodating. I was sick and they made me scrambled eggs and toast for room service. …We loved our experience there as well as the tour of the Falls and the guide.

Chobe Muchenje. The experience here was good and we would recommend it… The game drives were good but it took quite a ride on a paved road to get to the preserve. That being said, one of the greatest things we saw was there. The elephants crossing the Chobe River! Amazing.

Little Vumbura. Wow. This is an amazing place. The tents were like nothing ever seen with heart pine stained floors, the back wall totally screened to view the bush and wandering animals. Taking a shower with a screen open to the bush is something we will never forget. The food here was exceptional, the people, service, facility…top notch. One of our group was in tears when leaving…wanting to stay longer. If we had known, we would have chosen to stay there one more day. It was the experience of a lifetime.

So on to Cape Town. Our guide, Andrew, was terrific. He showed us so much. We had a great time in a great city. The Victoria and Alfred had just been renovated and was very nice. We spent one day doing the winery tours. Cape Town city tour, Table Mountain and Lions Head, climbed the Cape of Good Hope, and a couple of us did a jump at Signal Point! Shopping and shopping!

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It was all lovely and so well planned.  We thank you for a wonderful, amazing trip. It was well planned and went perfectly! We would highly recommend your company!

Many thanks,

Ruth and Bob Tuttle, Oct 2016

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