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Gail and Robert R

October 27th, 2015

Hi Jennifer,

Gail and I returned from our safari in Tanzania last evening, and as you predicted we had an unbelievable time. It truly was an experience of a lifetime – and with your help and guidance everything went exactly as planned.

Some highlights: 

  • Ranger Safaris were outstanding. They were attentive to our needs, and very willing to accommodate all requests. Our private driver/guide – Phillip Chami – was one of the nicest, most personable – and particularly knowable persons that we have met in a touring/guiding situation. With his knowledge of big game habits and the local environment  every day was an exciting, new adventure – with abundant game sightings. Before he left us – we had seen all big five animals and dozens of others. We were only sorry that he was not with us during our stay up in the Serengeti. (If you have the opportunity when speaking with Ranger Safari management in the future you might let them know how pleased we were). Of particular note was that while on a game drive in Ngorongoro, Phillip received a phone call on his international cell from Ranger Headquarters in the UK. A member of the management team wanted to speak with us to learn about our experience to date and how things were going. Very Impressive!!!!
  • Sanctuary Swala is a very special place. Chris and Mina (the Operations leaders) were very warm and friendly hosts, and the location and accommodations could not be beat. Lions, zebras and elephants at the watering hole just 100 feet from our porch was something we never expected. Meals, both onsite and in the bush were beyond expectation.
  •  Explorians is  a beautiful lodge, the accommodations and the grounds were unbelievable. The ride to the main entrance of the Conservation area is just a few minutes away, and while the ride to the caldera is about 45 minutes away, it is not an issue at all – monkeys all around.
  •  The hand-off from Ranger Safari’s to Klein’s was flawless. A first for me was the landing at Lobo field with zebras on the runway!!!
  •  Kleins Camp. An hour’s drive from Lobo airstrip is at the northern edge of Tanzania. The mountainside location is breathtaking. The Operations Manager – Taiwanda – was always there to make certain  that we were being appropriately cared for. Here too the continental food preparation was dining at its best. As the short rains had begun about two weeks earlier we were able to view the ending of migration. No small event. We viewed 5 different wildebeest and zebra migration streams totaling about 40-50,000 animals.A highlight while on a game drive was to witness a leopard that had just killed a large wildebeest.  The kill occurred about 2-3 minutes  prior to  our arrival.

As planned, we joined others for several of the drives while here. A thought for future consideration – pairing guests who have had similar prior game drive experiences would be beneficial. The combination of “first animal sighting” guests with those looking for particular animals to complete their experience is not always productive.

  • The Coffee Lodge was a great choice as a arrival and departure location.

 There is so much more – but I hope that this gives you the sense of our experience.

 Thanks so  much for all your efforts – we will always remember this as a most wonderful experience!!

Best Regards,

Bob & Gail 

By

Babs & Larry Jackson

October 21st, 2015

Asante Sana from the Jackson Family 

Jambo!

And ASANTE SANA for creating a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for us and our friends.  Our two week trip to Kenya and Tanzania were truly  amazing. Special thanks to Hilda for listening to us and fashioning a trip that was exactly what we were looking for.  As an overall assessment,we were delighted  with  everything. We particularly appreciated  the attention to every detail so that each step of the journey  was hassle free. We were greeted by warm, welcoming people wherever we went, the service was outstanding, and the sights amazing. What a great wealth of resources we observed everywhere. A few comments  on specific places we visited:

Nairobi – The House of Waine was lovely and comfortable. Staff was very accommodating. We asked  them to prepare  a typical African dinner for us on our last night in country and they outdid  themselves. We loved visiting the Sheldrick Center to see our foster elephants, as well as the Giraffe Center and the bead factory.

Samburu- The Elephant Bedroom Camp was terrific. We particularly loved having to lock the zippers on the tent to keep out the facile monkeys who were always waiting for us when we returned to our tent. Sitting in front of the tent watching the river with all its wildlife was a delight.  Julian, our guide, was outstanding, and the first full day ended with our getting to watch a leopard for about 20 minutes.  It was a profound experience.  The food was delicious,with many choices and the staff was most gracious.

Tanazania – Unlike our experience  in Kenya where our guides worked for the specific camps, in Tanzania we had the same guide, Moudy, from our arrival at the Coffee Lodge until we arrived back there for our return to Nairobi. We felt that the Kenya model provided more local (site specific) knowledge and information and that our guides were more relaxed.  

Arusha – The Arusha Coffee Lodge was beautiful, and the food delicious.  We understand that the reason for the one night stop there was so that we could visit Lake Manyara on the way to Ngorongoro the next day. 

Ngorongoro Crater, the scenery and the wildlife were well worth the time it took to get there and  follow the road all through the crater.  Amazing views, certainly wonderful photo ops. Given the size of the crater, it is hard to imagine the mountain that existed before the volcano blew the top off.

Exploreans Lodge – WOW!  We were quite ready to luxuriate in a beautiful setting.  Everything about the lodge was perfectly done.  We loved it and would have been very happy with an extra day there to just relax and enjoy the accommodations.

Tarangire – The Treetops was probably our favorite of all the places we stayed. It was a perfect combination of a sort of “tent” experience with lodge amenities. What a joy to sit at the lodge overlooking the swimming pool and watch the elephants and other animals come right up to the water hole in the late afternoon. The evening meals in the bomas, complete with bonfires, were delicious and great fun.  We did an evening game drive one night after dinner, led by a Treetops guide, who took us all around the area of the camp.  It reinforced our feeling that camp/lodge guides are preferable to one person over several locations.  The Treetop managers, Johan & Lori van Eeden, were delightful and welcoming. We loved getting to visit with them.  Again, we would have liked to have had an extra night at this fabulous place.

It will take weeks for us to sort out all the pictures,but we certainly have a lifetime of memories from this amazing trip.  We are dedicated to telling everyone that these countries are fabulous, safe and welcoming places to visit. Consider us part of the Africa Ambassadors. And we would highly recommend African Travel to anyone considering a trip.

Babs & Larry Jackson

By

Kent B

October 21st, 2015

The trip really could not have been better. Trip of a lifetime, although I hope you schedule more trips of a lifetime for us in the future. I am sure that you are dying to see 800 pictures or so. Thanks so much for putting this together for us; it was absolutely spectacular!!

 

 

 

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