AFRICAN SAFARI TRAVEL REVIEWS 2005

PAST CLIENT FEEDBACK - YEAR 2005, page 1 | < previous | next >

Feedback from Clients on their African safaris and vacations in 2005


"Our stay atWoodall Country House and Spa was absolutley marvellous. Everything was excellent right down to the minutest detail. The food superb - the Game Drive marvellous and everyone so helpful and pleasant. So things could not have been better."
Elizabeth Taylor, UK
(travel dates: January 2005)

"We had a great holiday and you were incredibly helpful and professional. I would be happy for my name to be used as a reference for you and your company. I have already recommended you and the Mozambique lodge to some friends here - they are interested.

Marlin Lodge was excellent, the food was outstandingly good - exceeded expectations. The staff were excellent as well, both the local staff and the young management team. The classic chalets without aircon are not great, very small, tiny bathroom and too hot, definitely in need of upgrading. We managed to upgrade ourselves to the Exec Suite (room 12) which was of course much more expensive but worth it, it was huge, airconditioned, it had an indoor and outdoor shower, two washbasins, huge deck with hammock etc etc.

We also stayed in Maputo at the Polana Hotel which is a really good hotel, the staff are really well trained and look after you very well indeed. The pool area is lovely as is the dining terrace etc. highly recommnded.

We will be back in Southern Africa before too long and would plan to contact you to help us with our itinerary."
Sandra Dawe & John Meikle, UK
(travel dates: January 2005)

"Overall our trip was superb and we had a wonderful time. In particular I would highlight the service we received at the Skeleton Coast Camp and would be grateful if you would pass on our comments to Wilderness. The staff and guides there could not have been better and the camp was really well managed, with good food, in the middle of some of the most spectacular scenery we have ever experienced.

The hotels in South Africa which we chose were universally excellent. We were particularly impressed with Steenberg, which we would certainly return to and of course Grande Roche maintained its impeccable standards.

"We had a great holiday; thank you for organizing it."

Geoffrey & Barbara Collier, UK
(travel dates: February 2005)

"We had a terrific experience! The people of Wilderness Safari and Sefofane were unbelievably professional, and yet, at the same time, made us feel as if we were welcome guests in their homes.

We wrote rather complete reports for each of the three camps (full of praise of course). Our favorite camp, without question, was Little Vumbura . The managers, Tammy and Rohan, and their staff, were the perfect hosts, and our guide Kitembo was incredible. The whole trip was an absolute thrill a minute!"

Charles (Chuck); Gwynne & Matt Grimes, USA
(travel dates: February/March 2005)

"Thanks for your efforts in helping organise our honeymoon. The entire trip ran extremely smoothly, and I really can’t fault any aspect of it.Dugong Lodge in Mozambique was a great place to start our honeymoon – we’d been travelling for 37 hours, having left heavy snow in Washington DC. On the safari, whilst we certainly enjoyed our time at Chobe Chilwero , it was Baines Camp which really stole our hearts – that place is incredible. It’s so small and intimate, and you really feel like you’re out in the wilderness (which of course, you are!)"
Andy & Hope McCallum, USA & UK
(travel dates: March 2005)

"We must tell you that our safari exceeded our expectations, by far. All of our connections went smoothly and we enjoyed all three camps, Mombo, and Kings Pool . The staff at each camp were hospitable, warm and friendly. We felt very welcomed and well taken care of. We met many interesting people from all over the world. Siankaba turned out to be one of our favorite places. Besides being in a beautiful eden like setting, we were very moved by our guided tour of the nearby village where we met many of the people who lived there.

We very much enjoyed our stay at Cape Grace and managed to do lots of sightseeing and shopping in Cape Town."
Dorothy Weiler & Allen Weiss, USA
(travel dates: March 2005)

"I am back from the fantastic holiday which I spent with my wife and 2 children (aged 9 and 12) in South Africa, where,we stayed at a variety of hotels and a game reserve and did a lot of travelling. I write to commend you for your part in making this such a memorable holiday for my family.

I was born and brought up in Southern Africa and travel there frequently,albeit having been resident in Ireland for over 20 years now. Nevertheless when planning this trip I relied very heavily on your advice and recommendations and bookings execution. You were very careful in trying to ascertain our needs and preferences before making recommendations and were particularly helpful on advice regarding the children. We also changed parts of our a la carte itinerary several times during the process and this did not phase you.

The whole process with you was highly efficent and gave a great deal of comfort. All your recommendations exceeded our expectations and all of our bookings and arrangements fell flawlessly in place when we arrived at the various locations.

Thank-you very much. I have already passed your details on to several of my friends who are also considering South Africa later this year."

Richie Boucher and Family, IRELAND
(travel dates:March 2005)

"We had a wonderful vacation and I want to thank you so much for making the arrangements. Everything was perfect and we so appreciated having someone meet us at each location to get us where we needed to be. South Africa is a wonderful country and the people were fantastic. I am still waiting to get my pictures back but may send some once I get them. You did a fantastic job!!!"
Dicker Family, USA
(travel dates: March/April 2005)

"Thanks for your welcome home. We had a fantastic time and really enjoyed Shibula and South Africa in general. Found the South African people extremely friendly and helpful. Also really enjoyed the fantastic cuisine and great wines. Can't wait to go back again - thanks for all your help with booking Shibula."
Jacqueline Rooney & Philip Ripley - IRELAND & UK
(travel dates: April 2005)

"Just wanted you to know that my Mom and I had the TIME OF OUR LIVES at Shibula Lodge. The place was absolutely beautiful and the wildlife was to die for. We saw a leopard on our very first drive, lion on 3 separate occasions (a mother with her 4 cubs the last sighting), rhino, giraffe, jackal, and eles! It far exceeded any expectations I may have had. Thank you so much for your help and for the excellent recommendation! I will honestly never forget the time we had there."
Mandy Macaskill Andersen, USA
(travel dates: April 2005)

"My Ker & Downey safari experience was very well organized and all travel arrangements were down pat from my ride to Kasane to the airplane ride down to the Shindi airstrip.  Callistus from Footsteps picked me up and we had a most enjoyable ride down to the camp.  The walks ith Paul and Callistus at the camp were the right length and very imformative. The two men together form a nice combination of knowledge, experience, and extreme friendliness.  I enjoyed my walks and conversations with them very much.  They strove constantly to make sure the guests were well cared for.  The entire camp staff was helpful and attentive to my needs.  If I needed something they were there to take care of it.  I would recommend Footsteps Camp to any one who enjoys walking in the great outdoors. Shindi was also a very nice experience. More people were there but I did get to meet some very interesting people.  Once again the entire staff from guides to kitchen/tent staff were attentive and helpful.  We did a lot of things there at Shindi but if I was to pick between the two I would have to choose Footseps, not because of anything the staff did or did not do but just because I enjoyed the walking more than the just riding in the safari vehicles.

I would be willing to share any thoughts with other people in my area if the need ever arises.  Once again thanks for the great experience.  It was great fun."
Allan Young, USA
(travel dates: March/April 2005)

"The service from GreenLife was excellent and any questions/queries we had were dealt with very quickly. Marlin Lodge was superb, The staff made us feel very welcome and within a few days it felt like being at home. The food and accomodation were both fantastic. We would recommend GreenLife and Marlin Lodge, the whole experience made our honeymoon that something special we were looking for. "
Gary & Catherina Cook, South Africa
(travel dates: April 2005)

"What a wonderful experience, perfect from start to finish. For starters, so easy to get to for any European wanting a week in the sun during the gloomy months. No jet lag and the 12 hour flight didn’t seem so long because you sleep a good portion of it. But it was the animals which were absolutely amazing. We couldn’t believe how intimate the experience was, really in amongst them, be it herds of elephant, buffalo and rhino or prides of lion and families of leopard. Close enough to touch if you were so foolish. There were also plenty of other animals to see: giraffe, warthog, zebra, hippo, hyena, croc, baboon, vervet monkey, all manner of birds and reptiles and eight different kinds of antelope.

The safari camps were both equally marvelous in their own way and probably experienced in the correct order. Tangala has its own special atmosphere, being without electricity and very small and intimate. Jimmy Whatmore and his wife, Liezl, were our hosts and guides and genuinely seemed to have the same enthusiasm for each day as we safari ‘virgins’ did. Jimmy’s knowledge of plant and animal life was awesome and, together with his tracker, Bennet, had an unbelievable ability to find them. We were always late for Liezl’s delicious meals because our drives and walks overran as Jimmy and Bennet had found something else that was absolutely amazing. The whole camp was lit by kerosene lantern in the evening, not something you experience everyday and making one feel somehow closer to the bush.

Elephant Plains had a very tough act to follow, but follow it they did, in spades. All the Big 5 in the first afternoon (and the last morning) drive and leopards to die for (sorry!). Lots of great special situations like lions hunting and eating a kill and roaring their pleasure, leopard dragging an impala up a tree to keep it from other predators and scavengers, rhinos having a bit of a ‘domestic’ and a big bull elephant in musth – not especially pleased to see us at close quarters. David Fellowes proved to be an excellent, highly knowledgeable ranger, and together with his tracker, Rufus, seemed to be in the forefront of all the significant ‘finds’ while we were there. Elephant Plains was more luxurious than Tangala, but the chalets and main lodge buildings had all been built in the native style with log and thatch roofs and were architecturally very pleasing in their own right. Lorien’s food set new standards of excellence and we certainly didn’t lose any weight while we were there.

Chestnut Country Lodge was the perfect respite in between camps. Tucked up in the hills outside Hazyview with a lovely view, it is very private but a great base for exploring the Drakensberg escarpment and the Kruger Park itself. There was nothing Christine and Niell couldn’t sort out for you, including quad biking for the kids, packed breakfast and lunch for our day in the Kruger and a recherché textile and craft shop for us to explore. The Kruger provides an opportunity to see lots more game, but also the time to stop at leisure and check out the plentiful birds. Jimmy had set us up with a circuit that took in some great views on top of the basalt ridge running down the spine of the park.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend exactly the same itinerary to someone else, perhaps adding one more day at Chestnut to explore the area a bit more at leisure. In fact, I wouldn’t mind doing it again myself! Thank you very much, Janice, for organizing the perfect trip from start to finish and holding our hands all the way through the process. In this day of online booking and DIY travel, this was a perfect example how a good travel agent can add serious value, even though we did most of our communication via email! I will enthusiastically point our friends in your direction and would be happy to act as a referee."
Ralph Miller & Family, UK
(travel dates: April 2005)

"Thanks for all your help and support with our holiday. We all had an unbelievable time, no hitches and something different every day. Transfer from airport to Monkey Valley was reassuring and swift. Room in Monkey Valley had amazing views over the beach and to the lighthouse.Hire car arrived despite the road being closed due to the Marathon Run. Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope and the associate reserve, Chapmans Peak road and Table Moutain (we went up and down on foot which was tough but buned off sone of the calories from the excellent food!) all essential visits.

Elephant House Addo and the Addo Elephant Park were excellent. The Elehpant house gets our award for all round service, food and accommodation - and the competition was tough! Kariega Game Reserve suffered as a result of our visit coinciding with the only wet two days of our visit but they did their best and we saw a lot of wildlife. We were in the cheaper accommodation which was perfectly good but getting a bit tired and in need of some renovation.Kwandwe Game Reserve was terrific, saw our first Lepoard as well as cheetah, lion, elephant, white rhino, etc. Only had one night here but the standard of accommodation was excellent as was the knowledge of the guides.

Driving was easy with good roads and we had no security concerns throughout our stay. In conclusion - brilliant and our thanks to you Julie, for ensuring our holiday went so smoothly. Elephant House, Kwande and yourselves may well see us again in the future."
Fflur, Ann and Martin Jones, USA
(travel dates: April 2005)

"Incredible experience at Kanana and Camp Okuti. Not one hiccup- well done!"
Jeremy & Ian Stewart, SOUTH AFRICA
(travel dates: April 2005)

"Christian and I have just returned from our Africa travels today (we were driving around Namibia in a rental car after our wonderful safari in Botswana).

I can recommend Greenlife for any nature and Africa lover, looking for personalized, perfectly organized and extremely friendly service. I have really appreciated your quick follow-up on all questions and your well thought through recommendations.

Everything worked perfectly, the pick-up, the transfers, the luggage storage and foremost the beautiful camps and safaris in a beautiful wilderness area with very friendly Ker & Downey personnel. There was no question our guide couldn't answer.

Please feel free to use my name as a reference. I am happy to recommend further. I haven't checked my pictures yet but will have a look...I have more than 2000.....Take care and continue the friendly service you are providing. "
Monika Herbold & Christian Busch, GERMANY
(travel dates: April 2005)

"We would just like to say thank you for organizing such a great trip.  Zibalianja Camp was fantastic, a true wilderness experince with out having to slum it! Sean and Sam were great and made such a great effort with my dietary requirements & what Mots our guide didn't know about the area and the wildlife probably isn't worth knowing!  Xigera was also nice, but we were a little disappointed that they couldn't cater to my dietary requirements, even so they are a bigger camp.  They said they weren't told soon enough? but I assume both the camps would have been informed at the same time."
Jenny Sayers & Colin Chandler, UK
(travel dates: April/May 2005)

"I was going to contact you anyway to thank you for all your help in organising what was a wonderful trip!

I preferred Tangala to Elephant Plains Lodge because the staff were so fantastic. Jimmy and Liezl were excellent hosts. The African bushlife and animals are their passion as well as their vocation.

Although it was easier to find animals at EPL, the variety at Tangala was greater. We were lucky enough to see the Big 5 as well as cheetahs.

But overall, we had a FANTASTIC time. The lodges were very professionally managed. I never felt unsafe. "
Teresa & Evan Heisler, AUSTRALIA
(travel dates: May 2005)

"Hello Janice. We had a great time on our trip. Tanda Tula was excellent. It was exactly what we were looking for. While the camp was nice, the service (both staff around the camp and rangers) was what we enjoyed most about our stay there. The wildlife and guiding was also excellent.

Thanks again. You can use my name as a reference in the future. Have a great day."
Will Alexander , USA
(travel dates: May 2005)

"Just to tell you that we have been very happy about our safari holiday in Namibia and at Stanley's, where we have spot some lions and two leopards.

So thank you for everything, I will contact you again when I will need to organize another holiday to Africa, and have given your email address to one of my wife's friend because he wants to go to Namibia and Botswana. "
Marco Saglia, ITALY
(travel dates: June 2005)

"THANK YOU!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! We have NEVER had such good service from start to finish on any trip we have ever been on and we certainly do get around. Thank you for making arrangements for every pick up, transfer and tour so effortless for us. Your coordination and caring persistence to make everything go smoothly for us was very evident.

The accommodations were superb!!! We loved the Emperor Hotel (though we barely gambled). The rooms were lovely and they gave us such a warm welcome: (as you must have told them it was our 30th anniversary they made a rose petal design on our bed and everywhere!!) It was quite romantic!!

Thornybush Shumbalala totally spoiled us! As we were their only clients the first night they upgraded us to the Presidential Suite!!! It was gorgeous. They run a fine lodge: every person was working 150% to make our stay a grand one. They also had fine dining. Plus we had such fabulous game viewing: we saw all the big five (including a black rhino and a mother leopard and her cub) plus so many other animals: all up close and in large herds as well. You have got to keep recommending this place to other clients!!!! It was such a great idea of yours to visit two different reserves!!! The terrain in Thornybush is so different than Mala Malas and they were both incredible.

Of course Mala Mala was great too. They upgraded us for all 3 nights at the Sable camp which was magnificient. From our deck we saw lots of ngalas, kudus and impalas. We had some fabulous game viewing as well: a male and female leopard doing their thing, a few day old elephant calf and mom, a male lion just after its kill and the remains (not pretty but it is nature.)

At Chestnut Country Lodge, the owners were so caring and thoughtful that we had a lovely stay there too. The panorama route was quite beautiful and we enjoyed it too.

Kensington Place is an incredible guest house!!! Our room was gorgeous and the view looking down at the whole city from our deck (where we had breakfast each morning) was magnificient. Their breakfasts were excellent too. We loved Cape Town!! It is truly a city not to be missed by anyone. We also found Johannesburg to be interesting, Pretoria was quite beautiful and Soweto truly touched our hearts.

You know, Janice, that I did a lot of research before booking this trip even dealing with 2 other agents and we are very positive we picked the right one for us and for anyone else as well.

From the bottom of our hearts thank you again for your excellent service and attentiveness. Some friends of mine are thinking of doing a trip like this next year (they are a little hesitant) and I will certainly recommend you the first chance I get.

Thanks again for answering every single one of my numerous questions and making a vacation for us that we will truly never forget!!!!."
Elliot & Linda Wiesner, USA
(travel dates: June 2005)

"Thank you for your e-mail. With respect to our stay at Kwandwe: it was excellent!! We thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. It's very luxurious and service was impeccable.

Thank you again for helping me find this location."
Richard Baltus, SWEDEN
(travel dates: June 2005)

"Our trip was indeed a most memorable one. As a starter, we all found Cape Town to be a beautiful city. The Winelands tour and the Cape Peninsular tour were delightful. The Wilderness tour guide (Lionel) was personable and knowledgeable.

The Cape Grace, The Grace Hotel and The Royal Livingstone were all wonderful hotels. The hotel personnel were most gracious, courteous and attentive to our needs. The Royal Livingstone far exceeded our expectations.

The Blue Train was an interesting, luxurious "once-in-a-lifetime" experience. Nice but, in our opinion, one time is enough.

The safari camps that we chose (Xigera Camp and Kings Pool Camp) were also wonderful camps. We were fortunate to be assigned an excellent and knowledgeable guide at each camp. As was the case with the hotels we stayed at, the camps staff were gracious, courteous and attentive to our needs. Both camps provided an opportunity to view an interesting and spectacular variety of birds and animals. We saw lots of elephants, giraffes, hippos, kudus, impalas, red lechwe, zebras, warthogs, hyaenas, two lionesses (with three lion cubs) a leopard --to name a few and a wide variety of birds (too many to name individually). We thought "the hide" at Kings Pool Camp provided an exceptional opportunity to see elephants "close up and personal".

Wilderness Safaris did an amazing job of coordinating "meet-and-greet", transfers, tours, etc. We would definitely recommend them to others who may be planning a trip similar to ours. Of couse, we would recommend that they contact you first to arrange an itinerary. We were very impressed with the service that you provided to us during our itinerary planning period.

Janice, you were a delight to work with throughout our itinerary planning process. We appreciate your prompt response to our many E-mail messages and your attention to detail. You most certainly helped to make our trip a success. "
Henry & Isobel Capuano, USA
(travel dates: June 2005)

"What a great trip. Thanks for all your help - what an itinerary! Singita was amazing, Little Mombo was very intimate and Kings Pool was great. Zambia was ok - a little end-of-vacation fatigue at that point. "
Robert & Sara Cusimano, USA
(travel dates: June 2005)

"We got back late last night from a truly wonderful trip. The staff at Chitwa Chitwa were fantastic. The lodge is very comfortable and very beautiful, the food was also excellent. Oh, and the game sightings were incredible. We saw leopard everyday, and a whole host of other things. Our ranger is one of the most knowledgeable I have ever come across.

Top marks all round, and really good value for money. I have been to Phinda, Bushman’s kloof and one or two other A list lodges, and this is up there with the best of them. At half the price it is an even better deal. "

Zaheer Bhyat, SOUTH AFRICA
(travel dates: July 2005)

"Our stay at the Tau Game Lodge was just a magnificent experience. It was really wonderful and I would most certainly recommend it to anyone. The individual chalets were most comfortable, the outdoor shower was lovely experience and just as private as a normal bathroom.

The food was excellent and plentiful but the best of all were the Game Drives and all the animals. We were lucky enough to see all of the Big 5 plus cheetahs, wild dog, an aardvark, and many other animals, as well as 53 elephants at one time just from the balcony of our own unit. It was just magic.

Your three day package was very well priced and I thank you for arranging it for us. "
Jean and Alan Lawson, Australia
(travel dates: July 2005)

"Thank you very much - we've had a so wonderful time with Okavango horse safari, we will recommend everybody should do the horse safari one time in their life.

We've had safari tour in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya...but this was our best safari experience.

Of course, your service is also super! Hoping we will book next horse safari by you again. We will come to Africa for another horse safari in Malawi next year! Maybe you also have some good tour for us? "
Hans-Guenter Reinke & Yvonne Liu, GERMANY
(travel dates: July 2005)

"We had a fantastic time. Everything was as or better than we had expected and we thank you for your help in organising the trip. We loved Jaci's Safari and Jaci's Tree lodge (staff and guides were brilliant, not to mention the game). The winelands were probably the next best experience and we could have stayed forever at Le Petite Ferme. Overall 11/10! "
Tim Howitt, UK
(travel dates: July 2005)


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