Africa Odyssey Reviews – 2013

7th January 2020

S. Draper, USA. 2013.

Hi Ed,

We just wanted to send a quick note and let you know our time in Tanzania was AMAZING!!!! Magical, really. I was very nervous about spending so much money on a vacation, but Addison and I both agree the experience was worth every penny. We loved all the places you recommended, particularly Sayari Camp. The timing was incredible– there were hardly any tourists and we got to see everything from rhinos to river crossings. Thank you so much for all your help and guidance. We look forward to working with you again and recommending you to our friends and family (who, by the way, are very envious of our trip now that they’ve seen our photos!)

B. Winterton, UK. 2013.

This was certainly the best travel experience we have ever had. Everything was excellent… from the organization, to the attentive nature of all involved, to the food, the very different locations, topography of the land, the tiny planes we flew in, the facilities, the unbelievable gaming… absolutely superb…. we saw big game, small game, lions mating, elephants charging us, sable antelope, bat eared fox, wild dogs…. we were very very lucky. We loved all three camps – so different… so amazing… they do everything just right.

This was the honeymoon of a lifetime… we loved every minute of it… we will certainly use you again in the future. My parents saw the photos and are interested in coming to Tanzania…. perhaps to Ruaha…. I will mention the 5% discount for referring a friend!

Thanks for tailor making this fantastic holiday and really making it great for both of us.

We will always have such fond memories of Tanzania, the people we met and truly an unforgettable experience… so thank you

D. Airey, Switzerland. 2013.

We had a fantastic trip, thanks. We loved the combination of locations (beach / safari / island) and all the resorts were excellent.

Ras Kutani was beautiful, great food and worth having the suite for the extra privacy, views and plunge pool. The quietness of the resort was perfect for winding down after the wedding.

Siwandu was also excellent, great food again and lovely rooms (our favourite on the holiday). We met some great people there and the hostess was lovely. Unfortunately the rains came early, so we had a few wet days towards the end, but that made for a few fun adventures in the mud. We saw everything we wanted to on safari.

Pemba was magical – stunning setting. The resort wasn’t full, so lots of privacy, but we got along brilliantly with the other guests who were there and had many fun late nights! And the diving school was excellent, very professional and great diving.

G. Bramble, UK. 2013.

We had an amazing time, and really appreciate your and Africa Odyssey’s hard work in organising a fantastic honeymoon for us.

Southern Tanzania is a very special place and we has an incredible time on the beach and on safari. Without your local knowledge, attention to detail, and good advice the trip would have been no where near as good. I will definitely be using Africa Odyssey again and recommending to friends and family!

N. Black, UK. 2013.

The staff at Abu were wonderful, particularly the Manager Lizzie. Loved all the camps we used. Thank you for putting together such a wonderful trip,

A. Fuellemann, Switzerland. 2013.

It was the 4th time that we`ve travelled with Africa Odyssey to Tanzania – The trip was perfect.

At Kwihala lodge the staff did everything for our well feeling and the food was excellent . Our guide Lorenzo was very professional, he knows how to find and show us the game so we saw so many many lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, buffalos and many colourful birds.

Also Kinasi lodge was nice- a small paradise. it was the second time that we went there, the lodge is small and beautiful, placed in a wonderful garden with a swimming pool. We went also watch the whalesharks. Kinasi Lodge has its own dive centre with a friendly staff and so diving was perfect, there were only few divers not too much people.

We are absolutely satisfied from our trip. Thank you very much for helping us to organize this trip.

D. Green, UK. 2013.

We had a great time. We were collected, fed and well cared for the entire trip. Seeing my name on the sign in the drivers hand at the Arusha airport set the tone for the entire trip. When I reacted badly to my malaria medication, Bryan and the staff at were caring, attentive, and took the time to make small meals, apply cool wash clothes to my fevered brow, and keep me hydrated. Kudos also to all the staff at Mahale – especially Sacha. He was the camp host extraordinaire! All the staff, especially Mwiga the guide were friendly and knowledgeable.

Overall, our all flights were on time, the food was excellent, the camps were fantastic, the rooms were spectacular ( the elephants came right up to the tent at Jongomoro.)

We’ve already recommended african Odyssey to several co-workers and friends that wanted to go to Africa once they saw all the wonderful pictures and heard our fantastic stories.

Our thanks, again, to you Ted for everything you did for us.

H. Morris, UK. 2013.

I’ve been meaning to get in touch to say thanks for arranging such an amazing trip. We loved every minute of it.

Fundu was simply amazing, and somewhere we would definitely go back to. The staff, the location, the guests were all top notch.

Of the safari camps, both were incredible. I think we preferred Siwandu, mainly because Claire the camp manager was fantastic and we were incredibly lucky with the game viewing (wild dogs, leopard, lions, elephants as well as all the rest….) but Jongomero was still very special.

A. Parker, UK. 2013.

Thank you for organising our trip to South Africa and suggesting Phinda. It all went most efficiently and everyone was there to meet us at all the right moments. We did get stuck in the mud at Benomi airport (in the taxi) but that was all part of the experience. The chartered plane was a great experience. Phinda was great and they were really good with the kids. The animals were all there and our ranger was great. We even went for a run one late morning, as well as visiting cheetah sanctuary and going canoeing.

A. Weller, UK. 2013.

We had an absolutely fantastic time. It was certainly the trip of a lifetime. We very much look forward to going back to Africa at some point to fill in the gaps – gorillas, rhinos, etc.

All staff were commendable wherever we stayed. Food was great. Viewings were great. We didn’t actually appreciate how much wildlife we would see. We went thinking if we see 1 lion or elephant, etc, we would be happy. But as soon as we landed at the airstrip the viewings started!

Thanks to the staff at African Odyssey too – you understood our desires and made organizing a breeze. We would certainly recommend.

R. Hamilton, USA. 2013.

Tom,

I wanted to send you a quick note of thanks for your help in planning a fantastic honeymoon. Your recommendations and information were spot-on.
Beho Beho and Baraza were fantastic. During our time at Beho Beho, we had the good fortune of meeting Sarah Bailey, wife of the late Christopher Bailey who originally developed the safari camp as a retreat for family and friends. She was full of stories and added immeasurably to the experience there, where it felt as if all guests were welcomed like family. The quality of the guiding at Beho Beho was excellent, and we enjoyed getting to know the guides and staff better by sharing stories during meals and relaxing in the common area over a game of snooker. We also enjoyed the variety of activities – from the walking safaris to numerous game drive destinations (Beho Beho River, Lake Manze, etc.) and the day trip to Lake Tagalala. We had the distinct pleasure of tracking and, ultimately, spotting a black rhino in the bush while on walking safari with Walter and Saning’o. Other guests had great things to say about their night out at “The Treehouse.” The staff at Baraza also went over and above to make sure that our time there was relaxing and enjoyable. In particular, the beach lunch was a wonderful treat. The experience at Baraza was a great taste of luxury after “roughing it” on safari.

Each location did a great job of trying to address Lynne’s dietary restrictions and was otherwise ready and willing to cater to pretty much any request, reasonable or otherwise.

Coastal Aviation is also to be recognized for their efforts. The flights ran smoothly, but what deserves additional comment is their help on ground transfers. Upon our arrival in Dar es Salaam, we were informed by the staff at the Royal Palm (now called the Serena) that they would be unable to accommodate us due to some government dignitaries who extended their stay. After dropping us off, the representative from Coastal checked back to make sure that check-in went smoothly. Seeing that there was a problem, the driver spoke with the front desk to ensure that alternative accommodations had been arranged and then transported us to the other hotel. Similarly, upon arrival back at Dar’s domestic airport from Zanzibar, the baggage attendant was quick to point out that he had called the shuttle bus driver for us so we didn’t resort to over-priced taxis for the transfer to the international airport.

In general, we were impressed with how seamlessly all of the transfers were handled, including those on Zanzibar. The drivers there took good care of us as well. One thing to note: Zanzibar airport requires paper tickets (or at least a copy of your itinerary) to move through security. The driver helped us get documentation from the Coastal Aviation office, but it might help to have copies of the confirmation from Coastal Aviation for travelers in the future.

All-in-all, Lynne and I came back from Tanzania with memories that will last a lifetime and have already begun thinking about our next safari holiday!

Best regards,

Wong, Hong Kong. 2013.

Ted –

We just got back from our honeymoon. It was fantastic! I must say, Singita Mara blew us away.

Thanks so much for your help. Looking forward to our next trip to Africa.

Thanks.

Duncan, UK. 2013.

Ted –

Just wanted to tell you we had an absolutely magnificent trip, and to thank you again both for designing it and making sure it ran like clockwork (if with a few more early morning flights than we had really anticipated!) In particular, the advice to go to Tarangire in the dry season was spectacularly good (by the end of our first drive from the airstrip we had already seen practically all we had hoped for, with much else besides), and Little Oliver’s an especial treat with a real sense that staff and guides were delighted to invite you into their family. All in all, a total success – thanks very much indeed.

Ferrara, Italy. 2013.

Hello!

We did have a wonderful time!!! The whole thing was wonderful if somewhat surreal at times… being that close to animals you only really get to see on TV, the pristine beaches surrounded by abject poverty… it was really an experience and that was exactly what we were looking for.

The safari camp was absolutely amazing. We loved our tent and told them so repeatedly- it’s amazing how small details make the difference and what could have been a plain plastic tent was not only practical but also extremely romantic.

We went on all the safaris except the walking one, and managed to catch 3 big catfish on the fishing expedition… and they cooked it for us back at camp!! It was one of the tastiest fish dishes I’ve ever had.

Apologies… I started this email over a month ago but then real life took over…

Before I get interrupted again I wanted to tell you that the best part of our trip was our stay at Mchanga. The food was UNBELIEVABLE (thanks to the chef, Ali!), the view was amazing, but best of all we felt taken care of in a uniquely intimate way. It was ideal. The owners were lovely but unobtrusive, the room was very pretty but not too modern… I could go on. i absolutely loved it there. it was everything a honeymoon destination should be.

Ras Nungwi was also beautiful (in fact the beach was nicer there) but it felt much more hotel-y and not as intimate. We were really surprised to learn about the crazy tides and it’s something I’ll be sure to look in the future!!

Thanks for everything, we’ll be sure to recommend you to anyone wanting to go to that part of the world.

J and R Heather, UK. 2013.

Hi Angus

My wife and I have recently returned from our honeymoon, which was a combined safari and beach holiday. So good was our experience, we would like to book another safari and beach holiday in either March or April 2014. We saw 4 out of the big 5 and are keen to see the Rhino along with the Cheetah. We were thinking of a 4 night Safari in either the Serengeti or Masai Mara (or a different country…happy to listen to your recommendations) and a 7 night beach holiday in the Maldives.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Gail V-O, USA. 2013.

The trip was FANTASTIC. The connections were as smooth as butter and everyone was ab-fab. Thank you for a dream-come-true trip that went off without a hitch!

We saw everything — lots of everything — except rhinos and leopards, neither of which we expected, so no disappointment. We saw lions mating and lions jostling for territory. We sat 2 feet from an elephant and I got to talk to the hippos (my fav animal). The guiding was superb in Siwandu and okay in Jongomero. The properties were all they promised to be. The hotel and service in Zanzibar was so special we didn’t leave the property for the full five days. It could NOT have been any better. thanks again,

S. Silver, USA. 2013.

Highlights included four river crossings…wonderful. over 500,000 wildebeast and one directly in front of us and eating lunch at the mara river in the tented camp.

we love all the places. made good friends with the incredible chefs, so we ate well.

A. Hughes, USA. 2013.

Hi Ed,Thank you so much for the note. We has an AMAZING time on our trip, truly an unforgettable experience and we were thrilled with the whole itinerary. Jongomero is a really special place and Kim, our guide, and Brian, the new manager, were absolutely fantastic. Brian had lots of personalized touches throughout our stay, from notes to small parting gifts, and he and the whole staff really took care of us.

Siwandu was a different kind of experience altogether and our butler Alphonse was absolutely wonderful. We had a fabulous guide, Mohammed, who we were lucky enough to have to ourselves. It made the experience really personal and we were really able to take our time with the drives – we even saw a lion kill a wildebeest, what a sight!! Plus we loved the campfire drinks, and the bbq night – spectacular. The managers were also wonderful and very friendly.

Ras Kutani was its own experience, truly romantic and so relaxing. I loved that we walked barefoot the entire time, didn’t realize the whole lodge was on sand, wonderful surprise. We both had wonderful experiences with the staff, specifically David, Kali (one of the staff, super friendly and taught us how to play bao!), and Alice the masseuse. We had some mosquito issues with our netting while we were there, but David was kind enough to move us on our last night and we were put in one of the hilltop suites, again SPECTACULAR. It was the perfect way to end our honeymoon.Thank you for all of your help coordinating Ed. It was an unbelievable experience and everything was flawless from the transfers with coastal, to the lodges.

Pettit-Mills, UK. 2013.

Fantastic honeymoon thank you, Siwandu was definitely the highlight, great game – an elephant crossing the lake was a real treat and the food was pretty sensational, how on earth they manage that out in the middle of nowhere I don’t know!

Fundu was also very special, takes a while to get there but well worth it.

T. Cohen, USA. 2013.

Hi Edward! You planned the most perfect adventure. All my travel was so smooth and seamlessly orchestrated.

Lake Manze was so wonderful. What a life changing experience. I think I pretty much covered just about every animal and bird viewing possible! I can’t speak highly enough about the camp.

Ras Nungwi was also a magical place. So beautiful. Never seen anything like it. Went sailing every day and got my diving certification. It’s a great bonus that they have the dive center and water sports on site. The chef there, Samir is exquisite. Everyone that works there is so great. The hotel is gorgeous. Enjoyed every second and never wanted to leave. They ended up upgraded me to an Ocean Front Villa, which made the experience even more incredible.

Tanzania is a beautiful place. I only wish I had more time there. I will be back. Although, I may have to explore other countries on my next trip to Africa.

I know you just launched Asia Odyssey. When I’m ready to start planning India, can you help me with it?

Thanks again! You are awesome.

Cheers,

Chester, USA. 2013.

The trip was magical. We had an exceptional time and everything was really smooth.

Ron. C, USA. 2013.

Dear Ed,

Our African Safari was absolutely spectacular! The wild life was amazing, way beyond expectations. All the camps were great, the food was delicious, and the guides were incredibly knowledgeable. Our guides were Kevin at Oliver’s Camp and Ngorongoro Crater and Pastory on the Serengeti.

Peter G, UK. 2013.

Dear Marc

I am delighted to say that at 0700 on Sat 21st September, I and the Team made the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. It was an amazing experience, we are privileged to have seen the Sun rise over Africa even at – 15c. We arrived at Stella Point At 0600 (the crater rim) after 6 hours climbing. The Sun rose at 0615 and we continued to Uhuru Peak (5985m).

We had slept for 2 hours in all our summit gear other than our extreme outer layers. We got up at 2300 hours for a light breakfast and left at Midnight, it was -8c and light snow falling from a beautiful starlit night with the Moon lighting the whole area with Mt Mawenzi eerily to the south. We climbed slowly and steadily, the Head guide leading with four assistant guides. Each climber had a guide to assist in case of accident or if the team had to breakup.(it often happens that climbers do not get beyond Stella because of the extreme weather on the Summit or just exhaustion ).

We left the summit at 0720hrs, descending is heavy on the knees and the legs and by1700 we had reached our final over night camp,some 17 hours after we departed .We were truly exhausted

Dave & Kate, UK. 2013.

Hi Edward

We are back from another great holiday to Tanzania. Thanks for organising another wonderful trip.

Regards

Grabb, USA. 2013.

Hey Ted,

We had an amazing time on our honeymoon and are very thankful for your services and your companies knowledge of everything! We loved our safari’s! The six days of game viewing was excellent. Unfortunately we did not get to see any Rhino or Cheetah, but we saw plenty of everything else, including the Leopard.

All the people and workers there were very nice and always willing to make our stay better. The guides were great and some were pretty entertaining! It was nice arriving in Africa and not having to worry about anything else since it was all taken care of by you guys. Definitely beyond our expectations!

Lake Maze:
We really enjoyed our stay at Lake Manze! This was our first stop on our six days of safari. It was thoroughly enjoyable, with excellent game viewing and great people. The lodging is nothing extraordinary, but we knew that coming in to it. Lake Manze definitely makes up for it with the service, the guides, food, game viewing and scenery. It was quite the experience to go on multiple riding, walking, and boating safaris. Having the lake nearby provides beautiful landscapes, great sunsets, and an abundance of wild life. Lake Manze was a terrific first stop in our journey. We highly recommend it, especially for the elephant lovers, as they frequently walked right by the lodges!

Jongomero:
Jongomero was a great place to spend our last three days of safari. The lodging was much better than our expectations! The place was so nice and the service was excellent, especially the food! I really don’t think the stay could have been any better. The game viewing in Ruaha was great, although a little harder to find game. The landscape was absolutely beautiful, with a river that provided plenty of green and wildlife surrounding it. All together this was a great destination to finish our safari experience!

OK hope this helps! We loved our stay in Africa and want to thank you guys again for the experience! When we go back we will definitely be going through you guys!! We will also be recommending Africa Odyssey to any others wanting to go to Africa!

– Patrick

R. Cohen, UK. 2013.

Hi Ted and Ed

Sorry for the late reply. We had an absolutely amazing time it was a really incredible trip and thanks very much for all your help organising it.

Particular highlights included:

Having an outdoor bubble bath with champagne at Olivers watching elephants graze right in front of us.

River crossings at Serengetti under canvas, they were incredible as was our guide Godson. We loved Serengeti under Canvas and the food was amazing there so compliments to the chef.

Mnemba despite the astronomical price was incredible, one of the most beautiful places we’ve been and with brilliant food and service, our butler Rajab was brilliant, we absolutely loved it and would love to go back. Probably in about 20 years when we’ve saved up enough again.

There weren’t many minus points we thought the whole thing was wonderful and it went very smoothly, thanks again for all your time and help. We would definitely use Africa Odyssey for future African trips.

Cheers

John V, UK. 2013.

Hello Ed

Back from our trip to Zambia on Saturday – I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for organising things so perfectly for us. All connections were perfect, there was someone at Lusaka airport to help us every time we passed through, it was all brilliantly arranged. Thanks very, very much.

The Norman Carr camps were absolutely fantastic, the guiding especially. Innocent Tembo is reason enough to visit Nsolo on his own. We did a sleep out under mossie nets one night and this must rate as our best ever safari experience. Mchenja was equally impressive. Lovely facilities, great guides, excellent food, (even brand new Land Rovers. Very posh.)

The River Club was a great way to unwind at the end. Peter Jones is a great host and the place has the feel of a weekend house party in 1950’s Northern Rhodesia, and we enjoyed it very much.

Chongwe River Camp wasn’t quite our thing (although we had a great time anyway). We felt it was a little geared towards first-timers, a bit ‘touristy’. The Fred Flintstone pretend-mud walls sort of set the scene, we thought, and the guiding was a little cynical. They worked pretty hard to persuade everyone in camp to do the same activity at the same time, (on one occasion resorting to fibs to achieve this) which was strange as they had no shortage of guides… On the other hand, the Cassia Suite was lovely, and camp manager Flossie is a lovely friendly lady. No specific problems, just not our ideal camp.

Plans are afoot to revisit the South Luangwa in March to experience the bush in the rainy season, so we’ll be back in touch when we have some firm dates. BA cancelling the direct flight to Lusaka is a pain, isn’t it?

Thanks very much for your help once again. This is the third trip we have done with your company and each of them has been faultless. I’d be happy to provide any recommendation that might be of assistance to you.

Kind regards,

D. Trice, USA. 2013.

Just wanted to drop you a quick note about our trip. As always, the arrangements were flawless and with the logistics of this trip, that was really important.

We found Rwanda to be a beautiful country and were absolutely blown away by the Virungas, and, of course, the gorillas. Pictures and stories cannot convey the sense of being close to these magnificent and gentle mammals in their natural setting. The Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge was a great place to stay. The fireplace in our room was used often. We saw the Titus and Sabyinyo groups and absolutely enjoyed our 60 minutes with each. One evening at the lodge, we met a young woman who is the gorilla doctor. that was a treat. Our driver during our stay in Rwanda (Theogin) was great and we highly recommend him to others.

Katavi– we enjoyed to remoteness of Katavi and were very lucky to have 5 delightful companions here and we all went to Mahlale together. Mussa, our eagle eyed guide, was fantastic and had a great sense of what the animals would do next. It is not easy game viewing in Katavi but Mussa and Samuel, the guide for the other vehicle, made our game viewing memorable. We spent an hour with a fabulous young male leopard one evening and only the 7 of us were around to witness this marvelous sighting. The leopard put on quite a show for us climbing down one tree to pursue a hare (he missed), then posing on a log before heading up another tree. Elephants, crocks, hippos are ubiquitous at Kavati and we had lots of mock elephant charges. We saw 2 separate lionesses with cubs – one with 2 cubs less than a month old and the other with 3 cubs about 2 months old.

Mahale- a wonderful setting on Lake Tanganyika and I enjoyed the chimps as much as the gorillas. And the chimps are much more volatile. On our first trek, the chimps were going wild hunting monkeys and they were successful with the kill of 2 young ones. Lots of pictures of this event. On day 2 the chimps were calmer and we were able to closely observe several young ones. Again, lots of pictures. We fished in the lake and brought back enough for sushi and grilled fished. Fishing was Tanzanian style with hand lines.

Jongomero — a beautiful camp and beautiful setting, but game viewing was tough. Our guide was delightful but not in the same league with Mussa in finding game. Our highlights included seeing a group of 4 cheetah (mom and 3 grown cubs), a group of 4 young male lions which apparently have bonded and may soon rule the area, and being in the midst of more than 100 elephants under an expansive acacia arcade. We also did a morning walk in the bush and enjoyed that a great deal. On our last day at the camp, Rob and Sue, artists who live in Ruaha, arrived in camp for dinner and were on our same flight to Dar. They were delightful and it was truly a treat to meet them and spend a bit of time with them.

We returned home home exhausted but delighted with another great trip.

Savill, UK. 2013.

Hi Ted

Just a quick note to say what a wonderful trip we had. The time that you and your colleagues spent discussing with us what we wanted from our holiday really paid off, and your recommendations were spot on. We were looking for a safari experience that gave us excellent game viewing in locations where there were not too many tourists, with good quality accommodation and food, and without long transfer times – and that is exactly what we got. The two safari camps, Impala in Selous and Kwihala in Ruaha, were both fantastic, and three nights in each worked really well: they had a very different feel from each other, and provided a great contrast. All the staff at both camps were great, and Pietro at Kwihala was a particularly outstanding guide, combining in depth knowledge of the wildlife with a great sense of fun. The Ras Nungwi hotel in Zanzibar was also perfect for us, and the on site dive centre was excellent, both for experienced divers and for beginners. There were regular diving trips to Mnemba Atoll, and it was great to see our three teenagers, who have done little/no diving before, all enjoying the experience.

The food at all three of the places we stayed was also excellent, and I was particularly surprised by and grateful for the quality of the gluten free alternatives which were prepared for me. This was a bit of a concern for me before I went, as I knew that we would be staying in the middle of nowhere on safari, but I need not have worried. The staff at all three locations understood what I could and could not eat, and produced very appetising meals. The chef at Ras Nungwi made lots of special things for me, as well as a lovely impromptu birthday cake for my daughter.

Barton Family, UK. 2013.

We had a really marvellous time and the kids loved every minute of it.

Lake Manze Camp
We enjoyed our stay at Lake Manze hugely. I have been on Safari a number of times, but seeing Elephants strolling through the middle of the camp on a daily basis is an experience I will never forget.

Lake Manze had the big advantage of the relative seclusion of Selous while still providing plenty of opportunities to see the game. The camp holds a maximum of around 24 people, so it was intimate and friendly. The staff are marvellous in the camp and knowledgeable and helpful on the drives/trips (thanks, Victor and Emanuel, you were stars). We were able to choose our own itinerary each day from a number of options and took in drives, boat trips (including fishing) and a walking safari. Having breakfast and lunch in the bush is a great experience and we did so whenever possible.

This was the first Safari I had been on with my entire family, which encompasses 10, 13, 19 and 23 year-olds. I have never seen them all looking happy for so long, although it was a shame that the youngest could not go on the walking Safari.

Anyone looking for real 5 star accommodation will be disappointed by Lake Manze. However, it is very comfortable and more than came up to our expectations.

Echo Beach
Anyone looking for a relaxing time on a tropical beach will find Echo Beach ideal. The big advantage from our perspective was the size. There is only room for a maximum of around 20 guests, so it is intimate and easy to find somewhere to sit or lounge even when full, as it was towards the end of our stay. The surroundings are not manicured lawns, but raked sand and shrubs, which I thought really made the place. We had children with us and they were made to feel welcome at all times.

Andrew and Sue were perfect hosts, constantly checking that we did not have any problems and helping whenever we needed something. However, the biggest surprise was the food. I have stayed in many 5 star hotels and never had such excellent food on a consistent basis. There was a decent choice, even when we were more or less the only people there, but whatever we chose was good.

The beach is almost a cliché, with white sand, blue sea and even a horizontal palm tree. High tide gave great swimming in the Indian Ocean and low tide provided great walking opportunities out towards the reef.

Fitzpatrick, Ireland. 2013.

SIWANDU
we were really taken aback by the views when arrived at the tent; great hosts, especially the way that they talked to everyone around the camp fire; good variety of game; excellent food (and probably the best out of the camps as it had a local twist to it); say why the food was best..the private honeymoon dinner with champagne was gratefully received!; Mohammed was an excellent guide and we were lucky enough to have two private game drives and our own breakfast brunch on the 6.30am safari.

JONGAMERO
it’s hard to say what but there is something very special about Jongamero – it may be how close and personal you get to the elephants or the fact that you have lunch overlooking the elephants eating their own lunch! I think the intimate feel to the camp and remotness of it (not seeing any other vehicles on safari also gives it the special touch) there’s a very initmate feel to the camp; Emile was the interim host and he was excellent – he had such a passion about the animals which was infectious! again, we were lucky enough to have two private game drives.

SERENA INN, STONETOWN
after experiencing the personal and welcomming service and luxury of Jongomero and Siwandu, the Serena Inn feels like a 3* hotel but it probably is the best place to stay in Stonetown; rooms are quite tired (e.g. no lampshade on one lamp and bathrooms not particularly pleasant) but hopefully they will sort this out when the Hyatt opens; we had a ground floor room, which was a bit disappointing; Emerson Spice could be a good place to stay had much better service much more welcomming front of house person but no pool and felt more Moraccan than East African but the restaurant is well worth the visit.

RAS KUTANI
a great way to arrive by boat across the lagoon; beach can be quite windy but it’s great to have a cool “breeze” when sunbathing and it makes going into the sea much more fun – we loved the bodyboarding; food was great especially the lunches and the service was fantastic; we didn’t wear shoes or even flip flops for the whole time we were there, which was fantastic!

P. Contsable, UK. 2013.

Hi Ed,

I just wanted to let you know that we returned today from an amazing 8 days at Tafika and Mwaleshi in the Luangwa valley. Thank you so much for suggesting these camps to us, they were absolutely perfect. We loved the Remote Africa set up, there was a real hands on approach and we had a great time getting to know the owners and hosts at both camps over meals and walks. Wendy and I are pretty experienced travellers and quite demanding of our hosts and we can honestly say that the past week has been some of the best times we have ever spent in Africa.

So thanks again to you and your colleagues for recommending these camps and putting together the itiniery. Everything worked like clockwork and we could not have asked for more.

Best regards,

J Donson, USA. 2013.

My wife and I completely agree (rare) that the safari Africa Odyssey planned for us for Tanzania in February 2013 was the best vacation we have had.

M. Davis, USA. 2013.

Ted, Angus-

I’m so sorry for the delay in my note… I wanted to say THANK YOU for an amazing trip! You really hit the nail on the head in designing a trip to our image.

Logistically everything was perfect… smooth sailing! Everywhere we went, there was someone waiting with a sign that said “Davis”… just as you said! We were so thrown off when we arrived back in NYC and no one was there attending to our every need! J

You can see from our pictures (link below) that we had a great safari experience. Everywhere we stayed was completely unique… the essence of my “classic safari” request. The tented camp, though, was our absolute favorite. Such great ambience, such a nice friendly atmosphere! Not to be missed by anyone.

And Ras Kutani… wow! Exactly as you described… safari lodge. And thank god! We had gotten so spoiled by the lack of a room key, personal attention, and endless amazing meals, I couldn’t imagine a “typical” resort after that. The place was special.

If we did it all over again, only thing I would do is probably shorten our Ubuntu Western corridor by a day and add 2 days in a similar tented camp up North. We missed the bulk of the migration as they had moved early and another view of the Serengeti (since we loved it so much) would have been great. We did end up getting a fantastic “flying” safari on our way to Dar… Western, Northern, Southern to Arusha. Even had to fly by the runway up North three times due to wildebeest on the runway. Really fun.

We loved Asilia— both guides were wonderful… so friendly and accommodating. The food at Ubuntu was amazing! Crazy they can make sure great food (at ALL of these places) out in the bush like that. We provided the feedback to Mark at the camp but one thing they could be clearer on is the trip to Lake Victoria (not sure if either of you have visited Ubuntu lately). When talking about our stay, the guide said “and one day we can go to Lake Victoria”…but it is really about seeing a village and school that Asilia supports. Ras Kutani had something similar but was more clearly positioned as such… an opportunity to leave the “glamping” to understand the village life and support this cause. We were SO glad we did it (and would have done it at Ras Kutani if we hadn’t up north) but it should be more clearly articulated and should be positioned as an optional cultural experience with donation (they charged us $40pp… really a donation to the town but, again, we were caught off guard).
I’m happy to provide perspective on any of the places we stayed while fresh… just let me know. Overall this itinerary is absolutely perfect for anyone looking for that “classic safari”… thank you for giving us the perfect trip.

J. Andrews, USA. 2013.

We did have a great time on the safari, and I’m happy to tell you the highs and lows. I’m not a Facebook person, but you can use my comments as you wish.

The only low, and it was a big one, was the condition of the vehicle we were given. Specifically, the window at the place I sat……that was the left side of the seat immediately behind our guide, was so stiff that I could not move my window either up or down. This meant, among other things, that I often had to take pictures through the glass, and of course they are not as good as they should be. If I really wanted to change the window and we had the time, then either the guide had to stop the car and do it, or Judy had to climb there from the row behind and give it a heave. The window on the right side wasnt much better. This problem was continuous throughout the entire trip.

One plus was our guide who was really a nice man and seemed to know a lot about Africa, it’s animals and even it’s foliage.

Having written the above general comments, I will go to specifics.

Arusha……The hotel you recommended for us, Onsea House, was great. It was generally very nice and the food was really good … They obviously had a first class chef. We enjoyed seeing the town and the two visits which were arranged for us. Then we had a day at the National park there, we enjoyed our day there, and Judy and Craig did a walking tour there and later went canoeing, both of which seemed to be well organised and enjoyable. I really think it’s a pity that most people just arrive, overnight and go on.

Lake Manyara was nice and the tented camp quite OK, but I don’t really have anything special to say about it……except that we didn’t see any lions in trees!

Ngorongoro was a lovely place to see, but the hotel was really only passable as the food was nothing special.

Serengeti … This was great we saw just about every animal, even a leopard in a tree, also lions in trees, and our last outing was superb as just about every kind of animal appeared on that trip. The camp was also excellent , very comfortable, and great food ..presumably, again a great chef! I’d certainly love to go there again!!!!

Despite the fact that we were supposed to be in the rainy season, it was very dry and dusty, .the only rain we had was on our last afternoon.

We had a great time, thanks for organizing it.

N. Passanante, USA. 2013.

Yes, we made it back successfully and are still sorting through all of the amazing pictures trying to re-live the experience again!

It was truly the trip of a lifetime and I appreciate everything Marc and the team did to make it happen!

We started off a bit rocky with flight cancellations and delays (due to the Turkish Airways strikes) but Marc and the folks at Predators went out of their way to accommodate — waiting hours at the airport in Dar for my sister’s delayed flight and re-arranging transport for me at 3am after I was able to switch flights to Kilimanjaro. And when my bag didn’t show up off the plane with me, the team at Predators made sure it wasn’t stressful for me — they got me some necessary toiletries and handled all the communication with the airline to get my bag to me — eventually getting it to me on a tiny airstrip in the Serengeti three days later. I was really amazed at the level of support they provided!

Upon arrival, Pascal (one of the Predators guides who provided transport from the airport) gave us the first bit of unexpected good news — despite booking a group tour, my sister and I would be the only ones on this particular tour! While Im sure it would have been a great Safari regardless, it really turned into a special experience to tour privately with our guide, Amineli (Amos).

Im very glad that we had a full day and night in Arusha at the Serena to recover from the jet lag — it was a gorgeous hotel property and they graciously arranged for a complimentary tour of the grounds and a walk to view Mt. Kilimanjaro while it was clear. I only wish that we had been on full board at this location instead of B/B…since we were there for 1.5 days (two nights) and there was no other dining options, it would likely have been more affordable than paying a la carte.

Amos picked us up bright and early the next morning and we set out on our journey. It was immediately clear how good of a guide he was. He was very proud of how long he had been guiding and how long he had been with Predators company. He was also very personable and funny; we enjoyed his company and his stories on the long drives, and yet he also knew when to not talk and just let us enjoy the scenery in quiet. I have nothing but great things to say about Amos.

Each day on safari, we were sure we had just had our best day, only to be surpassed the next — Amos took us to the far corners of parks, away from almost all of the other trucks (many other companies were just following each other around in packs). We saw everything we came to see and more — the great migration, jaguars, leopards, lions, elephants, giraffes, buffaloe, warthogs, hippos, too many birds and small animals to name…and on the last day Amos came through on finding the last of the Big 5! (He knew I really wanted to see rhinos…and he found me not one but FOUR rhinos in the crater.). Each park was incredible in its own right, but Ngorongoro was by far the most spectacular — waking up at 4:30am to do the sunrise game drive was the highlight of the trip!

Each of the Serena hotels were wonderful — however the ones in Manyara and Stone Town, Zanzibar stood out as particularly memorable with exceptional staff. I think if we were to do it again, we would opt for a bit more diversity in where we stayed. The Serenas — especially in the Serengeti — became a bit monotonous. I would have liked to have tried a tented camp in the Serengeti to mix it up — we wouldnt have minded feeling a bit more as if we were “roughing it” (just a little bit anyway) while on Safari ;).

We ended with two nights of relaxation in Stone Town and at this point, the luxury of the Serena was very much appreciated. The pool was gorgeous, the service 5-star! This was also a perfect place to do B&B because the food in short walking distance was fabulous and allowed us to explore the city. Safari Blue was also an amazing experience to end our last day with — the feast on the island was a perfect way to finish the trip before embarking on the 36-hour trip back to the states.

Please send my regards to Marc for all of his help in arranging this holiday. We will recommend you highly to others looking to travel to the continent and hope that someday we may return as well!

All the best,

D. Chong, Canada. 2013.

Thanks for arranging our Tanzanian Safari – it was a wonderful itinerary, and a memorable trip – it well exceeded all our expectations.

Onsea House was a great spot to start the vacation from – we spent an extra day there and it gave us a chance to recover from the long journey from Canada. Very nice accommodations, and an added bonus was the restaurant, where we had some very good meals.

As you suggested, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge was well worth the expense and having experienced it, we cannot imagine doing the trip without our stay there. We found the accommodations to be first class, as well as the service. We were well pampered by our butler! Drinks in the lounge were a highlight of the end of each day, as well as the dining. The game viewing was remarkable – the environment of the crater gave us a very large concentration of wildlife in a relatively small area. A highlight was a sighting of a pride of lions – they were parked about 100 yards from where we stopped for lunch!

The Nomad Serengeti Camp was a great change of pace – we were in a very comfortable tent, positioned very close to the migration. Our first evening in the tent was especially memorable, as a large contingent of wildebeest settled next to the camp, and we could hear their distinctive lowing through the night, allow with some mating antelope. The disturbance in our sleep was well worth the interruption – we felt like we were in the midst of the herd. The camp was very comfortable – my wife claimed the bed was one of the most comfortable she has ever been in. The meals were also very good – especially considering the locale.

Faru Faru was a great way to finish the safari. The lodge is very luxurious, and unlike the traditional décor of the Crater Lodge, this was very modern and well placed into the environment. The property seemed very environmentally responsible, and we again found the restaurant wonderful – the daily lunches were a highlight of ours. We likely enjoyed the game viewing most here – we managed to see a cheetah and her cub who had just completed a kill, and settled in for dinner!

Wonderful guides at all the properties – very knowledgeable, friendly and engaging – they all made the trip enjoyable. We found the level of service at both the Crater Lodge and Faru Faru to be absolutely first class – equal to if not better than five star European and Asian hotels we’ve stayed at.

We finished the trip at Ras Nungwi in Zanzibar, and again your suggestion was spot on. The diving was excellent, and as everywhere else we were, the accommodations were great, as well as the dining.

A. Beattie, UK. 2013.

Everything was epic – almost exactly as you described. One of the flights turned into a helicopter ride – Belgian pilot – ill have to get you his details! Matamwe was good / Zanzibar was good. The others were brilliant. We think we enjoyed Ruaha the most funnily enough. Jongomero had such a funny collegiate atmosphere going on! And you couldn’t beat Suite 2 at Ras Kutani!

All the honeymoon touches were awesome too – thanks for our bottle of champers too mate!

Yes – game viewing was top notch – we saw as much as we could have hoped for of everything…. Only things missing were leopard and wild dogs – but can’t be too spoilt!!

One or two overcast days – no rain! Nice and warm – cant complain there either – was great!

M. Mioni, USA. 2013.

Edward:

We just returned late last night from an absolutely wonderful, seamless trip organized by you. Thanks so very, very much!! We are exhausted since our flight home (arranged by me) via British Air ended up with a 6 hour delay in London due to some landing gear mechanical problems. Thus, we arrived home much later than expected and are dragging this morning here in Los Angeles. Consequently, I shall send a more detailed review in a few days once we are back to normal. Just wanted you to know we loved the trip and especially loved King’s Pool and Mombo. At Mombo we had brilliant wildlife viewing including the elusive coupling of two gorgeous leopards (a rare sight according to our 5 star guide), a baby giraffe trying to stand within an hour of birth, a pride of lions feasting on the sad remains of a buffalo (quite an interaction there among the lions) and so many other unbelievable sights. We enjoyed the company of many enjoyable people we met, ate well, rested well and just had an A+ time. Many thanks and I’ll be more explicit in my next e-mail once rested. For now, I just wanted to say thank you so much, Edward. Marcee

M. Barber, USA. 2013.

Just wanted to let you know we had a wonderful time in Tanzania. everything went smooth, flights and car connections.

Thanks again for your help, we will recommend Africa Odyssey to friends.

PS – here is our blog with photos on our time at Alex Walker’s Serian, feel free to share it with other prospective clients seeking a great safari..! http://latitudeb.com/serengeti-safari/

J. Donson, USA. 2013.

I wish to thank both of you for arranging the trip that my wife Kelly and I took to Tanzania from February 12 – 23. Each of the three “on safari” locations was different from the others, truly exceptional, and very enjoyable.

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