Africa Odyssey Reviews 2023

16th January 2023

P. Merton  27th December –  9th January

Hi Dave,

Just returned after a great trip.

The Uganda part was fantastic, and great to spend time there as a family.

The gorillas were special and we loved Kidepo….had the lodge to ourselves for most of the time.

Personally, I think Apoka is the best lodge I have stayed in.

The Ugandan people are great and incredibly welcoming.

Many thanks,

B. Goodhead  26th December –  4th January


Happy New Year

Thanks for arranging the holiday – we had a great time.


The person who met us at Johannesburg Airport was very helpful in assisting us through immigration and checking us in for the domestic flight (including sorting out our excess baggage!).

We had a great time at Kapama in spite of the fact that it was raining 80% of our stay.

Our guide + spotter were excellent and we saw everything except leopards.

Food was also excellent – so were the rooms.

Only slight niggle at Kapama was that they transported us to the airport after check out in one of the open Landcruisers when we were expecting the same type of closed Landcruiser they had used to collect us – and were dressed accordingly. Fortunately it’s a short trip and we only had light drizzle.

At Cape Town we had the same guide (Carol) for the airport / hotel transfer, for the day tour ,and to and from Lanzerac. She was a real star, very knowledgeable, extremely pleasant and an expert in talking her way to the front of any queue.

The Southern Sun Cullinan wasn’t up to the same standard as the rest of the holiday but you had warned us of this so no complaints. It’s location is very convenient.

Lanzerac was superb for a short stay so all in all it went very well.

Thanks + Best Regards

S. Shanstroom  24th –  30th December

Dear Sam:

Happy New Year!

I am back in New York trying to adjust to life in the city following an amazing time in the African bush.  The whole trip was beautifully planned and executed.  All the logistics went smoothly, and the ground teams are incredibly friendly and very well organized.  Fortunately, the weather cooperated, and we only had a few intermittent rains in Vumbura and beautiful blue cloudless days in Little Mombo and not terribly hot with cool nights for sleeping.  There were many highlights to the trip and the game was plentiful.  We saw a pack of twenty-four wild dogs hunting at Vumbura which was spectacular to see.  Little Mombo certainly lived up to all my expectations.  The camp is beautifully designed and run and the setting is unbelievable.  Thank you for arranging the scenic helicopter flight which was really a treat.  We saw amazing game from the sky, and it offers a beautiful perspective on the stunning scenery of the delta and palm islands.

The whole trip was a wonderful adventure and I couldn’t be happier.

I wanted to thank you for all your guidance and assistance in planning the trip.  I am already dreaming of the next safari.  I certainly will be in touch to plan it with you.

A. Isacsson  22nd December –  3rd January

Happy New Year, Dave, we had a fantastic experience.

We were very impressed with the services provided by Akorn, Abercrombie, and Oberoi — they are excellent partners for you. In all, our trip exceeded expectations.

As you know, this is our third major trip with your agency and all have been exceptional: Tanzania, India and Egypt.

Please note that we are also interested in returning to Africa to see gorillas and cheetahs plus Victoria Falls and then rest up in the Seychelles.
Thanks again for making our Egyptian trip a memorable one,


R. Muse  21st –  30th December


It went off without a hitch and was a spectacular trip!

Mombo exceeded our expectations for the 2nd time. Great asset, great food, great service and super vibe.  We will return. Pls note that we will always choose big mombo over little mombo.

The heli trip was really fun.  We landed at an open plain with hippos nearby.

Looking forward to our next adventure (Rwanda??).

R. Ong  18th –  27th December

Hello Dave and wishing you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR along with the great Africa Odyssey Team!

Dhiraj, Ella and myself have spent the last few days digesting all that we saw and experienced, sorting through photos and videos and corresponding with our wonderful guides and trackers.

Dave, thank you so much for interpreting our wishes and level of comfort so well. You helped us select three excellent safari concessions in Moremi with great diversity of landscape as well as game viewing and all the Kwando staff were so lovely. The Swetsana people really made our safari extra memorable and the Okavango Delta is extraordinary. Each handover was so professional and Moremi Air was impressively slick.

We have so many highlights;

From Kwara, our Guide Mr.Gee and Tracker Mike made every opportunity to fill our activity time! We were lucky enough to track a pack of wild dogs,(endangered) on our first sunset drive along with our first lion sighting and the following morning, a tower of giraffes pointed us in the direction of a leopard! We then tracked our first cheetah and later in the day we tracked another cheetah with twin cubs ……. from Day 1 we were captivated! And we spotted a fiesty honey badger! I loved being on the water in a mokoro too.

From Lebala, my personal standout experience was being surrounded by our first huge herd of elephants of all ages and as we drove on, we encountered an incredible dazzle of zebras grazing with warthog families, bat-eared foxes and ostriches! One evening we were the only guests in the camp and so enjoyed the novelty.

From Lagoon, we loved being surrounded by hippos at the camp. Our guide Stan was exceptionally knowledgeable and was so passionate, educating us all about termite mounds and the entire ecosystem. Watching a pride of lions, including five cubs at one of the waterholes was particularly special on our last night a herd of water buffalos in the morning on our way to the airstrip!

We really enjoyed wrapping up our trip at the fine Victoria Falls Hotel and walking to Victoria Falls and to the bridge. We were pummeled by the Zambezi and got absolutely soaked by the Falls – good fun!

We really would love to make another trip with our twins and I hope to be back in touch again soon – though we were talking about visiting Namibia, Mozambique and/or Rwanda! We all agree that Botswana is very unique with its conservation strategies and I hope we can return one day. I believe mid to the end of December is the best time for our family around work and study.

I will get some photos on the app next and we shall keep in touch. We love safari!

With all good wishes to you,

M. De Smet  25th November –  11th December

Hi Sam,

Finally got around to take the time to get back to you. Merry Christmas first of all!

The holiday blues kicked in, the moment we got our feet back on Belgian ground.

Those three weeks were incredible, sometimes a bit of a culture shock but all the more interesting. Also a very laid-back – pole pole – vibe.

The kids adapted very well, they just went with whatever we had planned. To this day they still talk about ‘driving the jeep’.

I can’t say we came across anything negative or something of which we thought ‘hmm, this is not ok.’

A very nice, practical and most certainly personal touch was the briefing we got in person the day before.

Every camp or lodge we stayed at was amazing (to say the least). From the moment we arrived until we left, everyone was so accommodating and helpful. The kids felt right at home at every place.

How they all manage to create such luxury getaways in the middle of nowhere, it’s just mind-blowing. We were lucky enough to be completely alone in some camps, which was crazy when you think about it.

I know there were some doubts with the kids at the Highlands, because of the altitude, but honestly they didn’t feel or acted any differently. The ride to and from the Highlands was hilarious (aka the dancing roads).

Also, a special shoutout to the ladies from Dunia camp. The boys had the best time, playing soccer and eating cookies (I don’t think they’ve ever made that many cookies for two little kids).

At Chem Chem we bumped into one of the founders, Nicolas and his pet (rescued) mongoose. Exceptional place too, we made quite some people jealous by posting pictures online.

Maybe in hindsight, the only thing we could have done differently was fly in or out of the Serengeti in one of those little airplanes, just to have that experience.

No idea where all the chefs have had their training, but my god, it was all so delicious! We’re not used to eating that much (full breakfast and then a three course meal for lunch and/or dinner) so sometimes we felt bad for not being able to eat it all.

We certainly wanted to but we were afraid we wouldn’t fit any of our pants anymore at the end of our holidays.

Elissa… what to say about Elissa. If it was up to the kids, he probably would be living with us right now 🙂 He was the absolute best, so patient with the kids, played with and entertained them so much. As a guide and travel companion I can say exactly the same. He has so much knowledge about animals, the habitat, the world in general and what a great animal spotter! On more than one occasion we got to see a rhino, a cheetah and a leopard. Never would we have spotted those, hiding away somewhere in the bush or a tree. Also, his driving skills are impeccable, pretty sure I would’ve gotten the jeep stuck in the mud several times, he just cruised through it. Kudos also for spending so much time in a jeep, not just for our trip and for keeping that jeep in perfect condition, every time we went on a game drive it looked brand new. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye at Chem Chem. Elissa is definitely one of the reasons our holiday was such a success and we have nothing but praise for him!

I can understand the time of the year, that it might be a bit on the slow side and that the dry season is much more interesting to see lots and lots of animals, but we’ve seen our fair share too. Rain came in early this year so we were lucky enough to see some of the migration in the Serengeti, which was beautiful! Seeing it in real life is something completely different than pictures and movies. At times we felt so small, standing in the middle of the endless plain. While at Dunia camp and also in Tarangire National Park, there were a lot of elephants. Magnificent animals! Vic was a fan of the lions we saw up close and Gust won’t stop talking about the giraffes.

At times it felt as if we were the only ones out and about in the jeep, which we didn’t mind obviously. Everything felt so calm and at peace.

And now it’s back to work and start saving for our next trip 🙂

Kind regards and a very happy upcoming New Year!

L. Margiotta 20th November – 2nd December

Hi Ted,

Just wanted to drop a quick note to say thanks again for all the help with the trip.

Was a great success. In particular, Ikuka and Xanadu were absolutely spectacular. Very good recommendations.

Everything was very smooth and the meet and greet in Kenya turned out to be quite a big help actually.

We are already in the early stages of discussing the same broad area next year at the same time — Probably Seychelles.

Z. Makarem 11th – 16th November

Hi Dave

I trust you are well.

I wanted to drop you a line to let you know how our stay in Mara Plains was.

Simply put: AMAZING!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank you personally for organising the logistics of a complex itinerary.

To summarise our stay:

1: pick up/collection from the airport was excellent and professional.

2: Mara Plain camp- very beautiful, comfortable, and luxurious.

3: Mara Plain staff- They truly are what makes this place so special. Each member was exceptional, highly professional and so welcoming. Every day we were greeted with the warmest smiles and attentiveness.

4: Safari Guide- “Eagle-Eye Mike” (as we liked to call him) was wonderful, knowledgable and an extraordinary tracker. He always found the most elusive animals just by observing the behaviour of other animals and was constantly on the lookout for something to show us even on our last drive back to the airstrip.

Special mention to the wonderful Masai dance I was treated to for my birthday by the entire staff. We were very touched by the gesture.

All in all, special mention goes to Stella, Alex, Mike and William but also all the others who made it such a memorable experience including the chefs and the night guards.

Finally, I would like to mention the Nabonsho Women Craft centre and the important work of Magdalena to better the lives of Masai girls and women. Their efforts should truly be promoted.

Best regards,

S. Martin 2nd – 10th November

Hi Dave!

Good to hear from you – but not quite home yet. We decided on a 4 night stopover in Doha following on from our safari; we leave Doha today, back home this evening!

Our trip to Tanzania was great, we enjoyed every minute of it The short rains had arrived & Dar International was pretty wet & we understand in disarray!

Sand Rivers camp was just as expected; very professionally run, options on activities & some firsts for us (including a tree climbing lion) – the intermittent rain did seem to impact on the wildlife but that’s safaris for you! We had a truly great time there.

You are in for a real treat at Usangu – we chose it because of its remoteness, difference & focus on conservation. It delivered in bucketloads!

The camp itself is one of the best bush camps we have stayed at – it exudes quality without losing any of its charm. The team are all first class & a joy to be around.

The journey to the camp from the airstrip was protected from the abundant tsetse flies; the camp itself is tsetse free.

The rains did not reach the Ruaha whilst we were there so it was hot & dry. The drives out could be a bit uncomfortable & long, over dried out wetlands but the end results were always worth it. We saw an amazing number of the very large herds which is what we really wanted to see; it’s clear that the elephants & predators (we did see lion) are around but the ongoing struggle with the poachers (grazing & fishing) appears to be impacting still on the wildlife movements. There have been a number of recent fires – but you’ll hear all about that when you visit.

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of setting the camera traps – we had 3 and the end results were a revelation – what we didn’t see during the drives we certainly saw at the ‘reveal’ on the last evening.

And our farewell bush dinner was wonderful – we spoil any surprise that might be in store for you but we do have a video that you might want to see at a later time!

Our guide was Bharti – he was so very enthusiastic & knowledgeable, a real star!

Leena runs the research side of things, very passionate & knowledgable too.

It was both a privilege & a concern to witness firsthand the challenges that the conservators, and indeed the local community, face. It will take time.

So, as you can see from this very long email (apologies!) we thoroughly enjoyed our time in southern Tanzania – many thanks to you for pulling everything together so well. We have already recommended Odyssey to friends, one of whom has booked a similar trip next year & we’ll continue to do so.

Have a great trip yourself – say “Jambo” to the Usangu team from us!

K. Smits 28th October – 4th November

Dear Dave,

I wanted to write you also since your return but it has been so busy….

Fanjove was WONDERFULL!  No words to describe it.

I will send you photos! I have wonderful photos.

N. Mattos 26th – 29th October

Hi Sam,

Everything went well.  Thank you for checking.  I had never seen so many lions in my life.  🙂

I look forward to going on the next adventure sometime next year.

J. Trebble 22nd – 28th October

Hi Sam,

We had the best holiday ever! It all went seamlessly, every detail had been taken care of, we didn’t have to organise anything (as the main holiday planner in the family it was so nice to just turn up) and we enjoyed every second. The hotel in Nairobi was great, the camps were beautiful and all the people we met were so lovely and welcoming. Our drivers/guides(Saruni and Livingstone) were really knowledgeable and we learned so much. We were lucky to be able to see pretty much every type of animal that exists there so for first-timers with no idea what to expect, this was incredible. There was not a single thing to complain about (ok maybe the hippos keeping us up at night in Rekero 😂).

We would like to come back one day in the future so we will definitely be in touch, Asia is also on our list!

Thank you for organising everything so well.

J. Gianuzzi 17th – 30th October

Hi Dave – thank you for this note, we had an incredible trip.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  Yes, all arrangements went smoothly and each location was spectacular in its own way.  The only thing that was a bit “unexpected” was just how remote the Highlands camp was, and particularly how bumpy the road was driving there.  We heard from our guide that the road is bumpy in October ahead of regrading, but it is smoother the rest of the year.

Asilia was a wonderful company as well and their camps and service were top quality.  Xanadu was perhaps the nicest resort we’ve ever stayed at.

Thank you so much for your advice on our trip and help planning it.  We have been recommending to our friends as strongly as possible.

I am not sure when our next big trip will be, but hope to return to Africa for more adventures one day and that is also nice to know that you provide service for Asia and South America.

A. Heller 13th – 21st October

Hi Sam,

We had an amazing trip! Everything went perfectly smoothly, without any issues at all.

We particularly loved Pom Pom and Splash camps and really hope to go back someday. The guides and all the staff were incredible, and it was definitely some of the best wildlife experiences we have ever had!

I suppose one minor downside was the game drives in Chobe didn’t seem quite as exciting, but likely just as it was after such a great experience in the Delta.

My parents are already thinking about their trip to Botswana now, so I’m sure they’ll be in touch in due course.

Thanks so much for all your expert advice, it worked out brilliantly!

C. Edmond 8th – 20th October

We had a really great time and all the places we stayed were for the most part fabulous. Also, the menu at the al la carte restaurant in Zuri was bizarre and really not very good, but the main buffet restaurant was wonderful – we totally stuffed ourselves!

Siwandu is very well run by Emile, who is a great person and really fun, and it was lovely that they made a cake for my birthday and the staff sang to me!

Jongomero’s setting is beautiful and the guide we had was so nice and knowledgeable. I think he was the most senior there and it showed. However, the camp is not quite as well run as Siwandu, but still wonderful nevertheless.

Overall, the level of comfort at all the places was great and pretty much as you described. Each place had lovely little touches that added to our stays.

Thanks for your recommendations and getting the trip set up.

R. Maxwell 7th – 19th October

Hi Sam!

Everything FAR exceeded our expectations!!! We were completely in love with the entire experience, truly amazing! I’ll write down all of the top best parts – I owe you a huge thank you for such incredible service for literally years and all of your expertise and help to coordinate this all. Could not have done it without you! 12/10 !!!!! I also owe each lodge a big thank you post! Truly would recommend everything we did, everywhere we stayed, the guides we got to have, and the dive experiences! Could not thank you enough! Happy to sing your praises on any sort of reviewer service you would like. 🙂

L. McCambridge 2nd – 21st October

Hi Sam,

Thank you for planning an awesome trip! The service was impeccable, the guides and staff were more than accommodating and the wildlife was amazing!!! It was all that we hoped it would be! Thanks for the experience of our life!

J. Forth 1st – 15th October

Hi Dave,

We had a terrific holiday thanks. The four camps worked brilliantly well, with each having its own character. Namiri Plains was outstanding. The accommodation was beautiful and our guide Ngimba, was exceptional. In fact, all the guides were terrific, especially those in Tanzania.

Namiri Plains was indeed amazing, both the camp and the guide who regularly found all three big cats for us before breakfast! Patrick has some extraordinary photos.

We also wanted to let you know that we did the hike down into the crater close to Ngorongoro. We were the only people there, along with approx 2 million flamingoes. It was out of this world.

Very much looking forward to the next time!

Thanks for organising such a great trip.

R. Bacon 1st – 5th October

Hi Sam,

Thank you for your note on our return, sorry for the delay in replying.  Yes, yes, yes. We had the most fantastic stay at Anabezi and would go back in a heartbeat if only we could win the lottery!  The camp, the people including our driver Taps the setting etc were well beyond what we were expecting.  The game viewing was some of the best we have encountered on our trips to Africa over the years.  Zambia is definitely more beautiful and scenic than most other countries..  The river, the several lagoons complete with flowering plants, and the odd elephant roaming through, what more could you ask for…this is not to mention the 12 different sightings of leopards.  The set up of the camp, being able to arrange your activities to suit and having your own private vehicle made for a very relaxed experience.  It was very hot when we were there but the addition of room fans also helped with this.  The size of the tents!!?? Is unbelievable.  We found getting in and out of the vehicle was okay as they have a  raised platform to make this a lot easier.  The food was also good.  We would go back in a flash if we could.

V. Martin 18th – 28th September

Hi Dave,

We can’t thank you enough. You listened to what we wanted to see as well our lodgings..we are very impressed with your team organizing everything. It all went smoothly.

The trip was magical. Each area offered a different perspective of Tanzania.
TARANGIRE offered all the animals. I love elephants and we really enjoyed watching them and learning more about all their habits etc..the babies are darling.Patena, our guide was very knowledgeable about flora, fauna and environment. He was a gem.
NAMIRI the eastern part was so plains, yellow grasses just endless country.. beautiful. Here we saw more lions, leopards and cheetahs..They came amazingly close..they were not afraid of the open jeeps..just wonderful to watch such amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Keko our guide followed a mother cheetah and very young cub.She was on the lookout for a meal.Later we saw her kill and the cub enjoyed the fruit of moms hard work..The day before we saw another cheetah and 2 older cubs munching on a good meal too.
The lodgings were definitely 5 stars and service here as well as all the other camps was exceptional.
SERIAN our last camp was also a delight. We met Alex Walker and he is just a wonderful, giving person. He and his staff made us feel at home like the other camps.
We saw the crossing of the amazing experience…we were able to catch it on the second day. We waited the first day and the crew from the camp even brought our thoughtful. We also enjoyed our breakfast each morning in the open fields. During the crossing we saw 2 wilderbeasts taken by the crocs…Hippos were on the sideline down the road.
Our guide, Hussain and spotter, Colin were also superb..while waiting we asked about how they lived, education, politics etc.They were more than willing to share their thoughts.
We saw a leopard in a kill snd dragging it up a tree…totally amazing to experience.
We saw 4 out of 5 different species of mongoose and also lionesses in a large group with their cubs. Giraffes meandering with their young ones…all was beyond wonder.
We had a great experience on our was one if the top ones along with Galapagos and Alaska.
Thank you again..we will recommend you and the organization highly.
Our best to you,

K. Pittman 14th – 25th September

Hello Sam,

I have been singing your praises about our trip. I believe it was perfectly planned. Everything went very smoothly. The progression of parks was perfect. We saw pretty much every animal on our first day in Serengeti. The Wildebeest crossing was awesome. After that we were able to relax and enjoy the country, the unique sightings and all the knowledge our amazing guides had to share. We did 2 bush walks in Katavi and a night drive and we enjoyed them very much. After the two Nomad camps, which were great, Ikuka blew us away! The accommodation, the food, and especially the cool breeze at the top of the ridge were such a delight. Chevy was so fun and we were fortunate that Mark was at the camp when we were. We did 2 bush walks with him and loved every minute of it.
Every flight went smoothly. Our afternoon away from the airport in Dar es Salaam was very nice, just not sure it was worth the price.
The only negative we experienced was the heat in Katavi. I live where the temps have been 40 degrees C all summer, but the downtime( 1-4pm) in the tents at Katavi was mostly unbearable. I can only assume that the location of our tent was getting a lot of morning sun and heating up, although some of the other guests that I spoke to were also very uncomfortable. They provide a nice oscillating fan, but it just wasn’t enough.
I was surprised when I looked back and realized that Ikuka was less expensive than the Nomad camps. I certainly don’t understand that. I would have expected it to be more! You should tell Mark to raise his prices….
I am happy to leave a review for Tanzania Odyssey somewhere if that would be helpful.
Thank you so much,

R. McLeod 13th – 25th September

Hi Sam,

Hope you are well. The trip was amazing! Thank you for all your help in organising it. Everything was really smooth, easy and comfortable, and we loved not having to do any logistical thinking for 10 days especially as our phones weren’t working! All the lodges were excellent and we loved our various animal experiences (and saw just about everything we hoped to!).

We will be sure to send some good photos across and tag you in the inevitable post-trip Instagram posts – when is the deadline for the end of year raffle?

If we had to really think and flag anything we’d do differently, one thing was the journey from Kisoro to Nkuringo Cottage. The walk was fun and our guide (Vincent) was great but we hadn’t expected to do a coffee plantation tour – whilst it was interesting, it meant we didn’t have long on the canoes in (beautiful!) Lake Mutanda and got to Nkuringo quite late. That cottage is so spectacular that it was a shame not to have spent more time there – we got in late on the day of arrival and left v early morning after the gorillas to get our early flight from Kisoro airstrip. So in hindsight we would have been happy with a hike plus canoe and then gone straight to Nkuringo before it got dark.

Thanks again,

N. Doohar 18th – 28th September

Hi Dave,

Thank you for the email. I am delayed in replying – work has been so busy after being away.

The trip was wonderful! My mom and I had a fantastic time, and we loved everything about it. The camps were as expected after your descriptions, so this was great. We really enjoyed the rustic and casual experience at Lake Manze with family style dinners and elephants and hippos right in camp. As a contrast, we loved spending time in the luxury of Ikuka. The views were incredible, and the attention to every detail was really a treat. The guides in both places were fantastic, and we were so happy to visit both parks. The water and hippo experiences were special in Selous, and the scenery and close contact with so many animals (especially the leopards and elephants) in Ruaha were amazing.

The logistics that you organized all went well. We spent a couple days in Dubai in the way, so we arrived in Tanzania fresh, adjusted to the time change, and ready to head right out on safari. Just as a tip for you for other clients coming from the US, I would recommend either time in Dubai on the way or a night in Dar before going out to the bush. Had we arrived in Dar directly from the US and gone straight to safari, we would have been exhausted for the first day. It’s a 9 hour time difference.

Thank you for putting together this great trip! My mom and I have fantastic memories that we will keep forever!


A. Chanmugam 10th – 18th September

Hi Sam & Ted,

Can I just say the experience at Chitabe was mind blowing!! Sam I cannot thank you enough for encouraging us to consider Chitabe.

In 4N we saw 12 cheetah (2 families of six), 4 leopards including one leopard jump from a tree to catch a Steinbeck, one leopard kill and eat an impala (Brutal) and two other leopards on the hunt with a lot of close calls, 24 lions including 17 all together at once, we saw 2 female lions with 3 cubs attack 2 intruder female lions, countless herds of elephants including 2 elephant encounters where the elephant charged the vehicle, a 30-pack of wild dog including 14 puppies, we saw them on the hunt and we saw them feeding their puppies, we saw a pack of 15 or so hyena eating an elephant, then 2 lions eating the same elephant, lots of giraffe, lots of zebra and finally we saw 5 buffalo who were charged by the pack of lions and attacked back. Top it off we saw 5 cheetah cubs attack a hippo and get within 1 meter off the hippo before it charged off to the water.

I’m not sure if this is a normal l experience but it was honestly epic and our guide Phinley was just exceptional. You should see the photos and videos.

We have just arrived at Leeu house and looking to absorb, reflect and take on what has been a truly remarkable experience.

Many thanks once again for such an amazing recommendation. There is no way we would have picked Chitabe without you. We had multiple other guests who said the Chitabe experience we’ve had in terms of game viewing was the best they have ever experienced.

Many thanks,

A. Trasatti 5th- 16th September

Hi Dave,

We had the best time. We loved all three spots. It was a great mix or relaxing, adventurous, and romantic. The hospitality was amazing and we loved our guides Manda and Nathan. All the transfers were well coordinated and everyone was very accommodating. Thank you!


P. Hankin 1st – 13th September

Hello Ted,

We are actually on our last flight back home on Qatar Airlines.. there aren’t words to express how amazing our trip was!!!!! From start to finish, the accommodations, the people and the entire experience was more than amazing!!! We had such a wonderful time and got to see so much. The people who worked every camp and hotel we visited were by far the most incredible people I’ve ever met. Their kindness, attention to detail and enthusiasm was something I never could have imagined!! And the wildlife was like being in heaven. Thankyou so much to you and your team for guiding us through this process and making it so delightful and seamless. We appreciate all your help and hard work in making our first safari experience incredible!!

With much gratitude,

B. Jupiter 31st August – 14th September

Hi Ted,

As with previous trips booked your company, connections all worked flawlessly. We stayed at 3 camps in Botswana and 1 in Zambia, as well as overnights in Johannesburg, South Africa, and people were there to meet us when they were supposed to be there. Even, when we had to leave the US a day earlier, to get out before the hurricane, you accommodated this without any issues.

The Wilderness Safari camps were superb. The managers and staff, mostly people local to the camps, were delightful in their hospitality. The food was wonderful, leaning heavily on recipes of the local chefs. An endless supply of South African wines, or other beverages of your choice., accompanied the meals.

The wildlife numbers in the Okavango Delta and Linyanti outnumber what we saw in national parks in Tanzania (other than crossings at the Mara river) or Uganda. But more importantly, there was a limit of only 3 vehicles at a sighting. Much of the time we were the only vehicle at the sighting and many times we were the only people in the vehicle, along with our guide, which made the animal sightings spectacular.

Johannesburg – met by the Menzies representative after deplaning. He guided us through customs, and then walked us to our hotel. Customs was a breeze; no paperwork to fill out and the agent just stamped passport. The Intercontinental O.R. Tambo was a great hotel. Excellent room and food. We took a tour of Johannesburg and Soweto. Johannesburg city is quite run down, with intermittent power, trains that don’t run, and many businesses have moved out. It was very sad. Soweto was very nice. Unfortunately there were areas across from the nice ones that had tent like structures with cows, goats, and pigs roaming free. We visited Mandela House and Hector Pieterson Memorial, which were educational and well worth visiting.

Chitabe – Predator rich!!! Jim said this lodge “rained cats and dogs”. We saw hunts: the cheetah mom (locals call “SuperMom”) caught an impala for her 5 cubs, wild dogs caught an impala. Our sundowners started with a wild dog hunt. We had multiple lion sightings including a pride of 25 lions eating a giraffe. We saw several leopards: one with a kill in a tree, another we watched as baboons chased her into the top of a tree, and a leopard roaring to warn off an intruding leopard. In fact we saw 4 different leopards in 1 day. As for other wildlife, we saw spotted hyenas with cubs, elephants ,red lechwe, kudu, steinbok, reedbuck, tsessebe, blue wildebeest, to name a few. Birders won’t be disappointed. Our guide, OD, was excellent, and was truly a talented animal tracker. We had only one other guest in our vehicle for part of our stay. The “music of the night” was the sounds of hyenas, lions, and hippos, while we lay in bed.

Little Vumbura – We traveled from Chitabe to Little Vumbura on a Horizon helicopter and stopped for a champagne break (thank you Ted). It was really great seeing the vistas and animals from a totally different vantage point. After landing we took a motorized boat to get to camp. Our guide was Onks, who was also an excellent guide. Since this was a water based camp, we saw numerous birds, elephants, crocodiles, and hippos. We took a relaxing and educational mokoro ride. On a separate boat ride we saw a fish eagle with its young, huge flocks of birds going to roost before sunset, and an elephant ambled into the water eating all the vegetation in sight. We saw our first sable antelope. And we saw night-time animals during the day: Peter’s epauletted fruit bat and Verreaux’s eagle owl. Of course we saw lions (and cubs), leopards (and cub), and wild dogs (and pups). We saw lionesses unsuccessfully stalking tsessebe. A highlight of one of our afternoon game drives was watching the interactions between two lionesses and an intruder male. The ladies were not happy to have him around and hid their cubs. In camp there were several active lesser striped swallow nests in the dining and bar areas. This camp is situated on an island, and we had to take a short boat ride for our safari drives. Therefore, there were no night drives in this camp because of the potential hippo encounter. We were the only guests in the vehicle.

Savuti Camp – Landed at Chobe airstrip for a 40 minute ride to camp. We saw lions, with a buffalo kill, lionesses trying to keep their cubs safe from intruder lions, and leopard. Savuti was a great place for hippo viewing. There were many, so viewers got to see the interactions and disagreements between the bloat of hippos. The herds of buffalo were large. The elephants were plentiful. and we saw kori bustard and several young eland which our guide said were unusual for this area. Night drives at Savuti were a bit limited. After sundowners, the drive back to camp was after dark, and the guide scanned along the road with a spot light. For two out of the three “night drives”, we saw no nocturnal mammals (we saw thick-knee and nightjars), but for the other we saw spring hare, a civet, and incredibly, a pangolin. Our guide Timmy was not that interested in birds, but led us to many great predator experiences. One of the most exciting was finding 2 coalition male lions. One was finishing off a buffalo calf and the other was on patrol. We followed him as he roared and marked his territory. He ended up resting for a while just yards from our lodge. He was so close, staff from the lodge came in a vehicle to watch and take photos. At night we heard lions, hyenas, and baboons.

Thorntree River Lodge – We drove back to Chobe airstrip for our Wilderness Air flight to Kasane. The flight was cancelled due to pilot illness. Another flight came, but there was room for only 2 passengers so we were left behind. Our driver drove us back to Savuti Camp. The camp manager communicated with Wilderness Air as well as Thorntree River Lodge to ensure rescheduling went smoothly. We finally left for Kasane 3 hours later. We were picked up at the Kasane airport and driven (approximately 20 minutes) to the Zambian border. There we were required to step into a pan containing some sort of solution to clean the bottom of our shoes to prevent spread of hoof and mouth disease. Our temperature was checked with a temperature sensing camera as a screen for Covid-19. After going through immigration and customs, we were transitioned to another vehicle for our drive to Thorntree. Thorntree was a fabulous wind down from our demanding safari schedules, with a luxury, air-conditioned room overlooking the Zambezi River, and located in Mosi-oa-Tunya national park. There were elephants, vervet monkeys, bushbuck, hippos, and crocodiles around the lodge. We opted, one morning, for a private breakfast on our room’s deck overlooking the river. We felt like royalty for our included island lunch, where the staff, including the chef, prepared lunch for just the 2 of us, on an island, and our entertainment was watching elephants taking baths across the way.

We took advantage of their included Zambia/Zimbabwe Victoria Falls itinerary. We had to get a Zimbabwe visa at the border, which cost US$30.00 per person (for US citizens). Much of the paperwork at the Zimbabwe border was by hand, in triplicate, and not a fast process, but we had no issues in getting a visa. At this drier time of year, the Zimbabwe side was more impressive than the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. But both sides were worth the time. We also took part in the white rhino walk in Mosi-oa-Tunya national park. It wasn’t much of a “walk”. Since the rhinos are guarded 24 hours daily, their location was known to the park rangers. Our vehicle drove us to where the rhinos were, we stepped out of the vehicle, took pictures, and returned to the vehicle. It was spectacular to see the rhinos, but it was not a long encounter.

The end of our trip included a day room at City Lodge in Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport. City Lodge was not luxurious like the Intercontinental, but entirely adequate for a shower and a nap prior to our flight back to the US. Travelers should be aware that the “porters” at the airport were very insistent that you let them help you through the self-service check-in, and then were very demanding on the amount of tip you give them for that help. We realized that this could be their major source of income for them but you don’t really need them if you can read signs to get through check-in, security, and customs.

We had an absolutely fabulous time.

K. Jafrodi 31st August – 12th September

Hey Dave,

The trip was incredible! Definitely one of the most memorable trips we’ve ever had. Everything went super smoothly and the safari’s were so much more relaxing that I could have expected. I feel like we’ve been introduced to a whole new world of vacations that we didn’t know about.

I think for a trip next year, we’d love to explore one of these 2 options:
1. A gorilla trek in Rwanda – we met some other people who said this was the favorite activity they’ve done and they recommended we do it while we’re young. I feel like this wouldn’t be until late 2024 but I’m mostly curious on what one of these itineraries looks like
2. I think seeing Orangutans in Asia is something else we’d really like to experience. I’d like to explore what an itinerary there looks like as well (and the best times of the year for that)

Thanks again for all your help setting that up! I’m looking forward to many more safari/adventure trips 🙂

C. Anza 28th August – 5th September

Hi Dave

Thanks for your email below. We have been away for 7 weeks so just catching up with everything now.

We had a fantastic time in Kenya and it could not have been any better. We still didn’t catch any crossings (4th time trying). Apparently all the Wilderbest were still in Tanzania and running really late. OMG might have to try again in a few more years !!

The camps were brilliant and it was a really authentic experience for us. I can understand that some clients might like the high end uber luxury experience (and these might not be the camps for them) but we all absolutely loved the ‘classic’ safari experience. The four guides we had were excellent and the hospitality was great. Could not fault the service or food in any way. The guides were humerous, interactive, flexible, loved the animals and we all got on exceptionally well. We were thrilled when we got off the plane to see Gladys there. Thanks for organising this. The two trucks were also a god send and we all took turns with different guides (three guests in each truck). It really did enhance our experience. It was all love, love, love.

We were all very very sad to leave and it was a superb holiday that we will never forget.

We are now considering going to Tanzania for the ‘birthing season’ in a few years.

Take care and thanks for all your help.

L. Rewood 28th August – 5th September

Hi Dave

Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into planning our trip. All the arrangements & transfers went smoothly. Thank you for answering my millions of emails I know it wasn’t easy.

The trip was one to remember for the rest of our lives. We were impressed by Kenya, the people, the scenery and wildlife.
The guides who accompanied us in all 3 camps were outstanding, passionate, informative, engaging and entertaining, they truly cared about us and did their best to make this trip memorable. We will see them again as we feel you can never get enough of an African country and its people..

The camp staff at all 3 camps treated us with respect, humor and fun . Food was wholesome, delicious and plentiful.
The customer service was exceptional and our ever need was antipated with a smile.
We saw so many animals including a Leopard which is rare.

Our favorite camp was Nkorombo it has a vibe that makes you never want to leave. Here tents were clean, very very comfortable bedding , hot showers, flushing toilets , hot water bottles in your bed at night , the sound of hippos outside your tents … heaven.

M. Althuis 26th August – 9th September

Hi Sam,

I can truly say that this has to be one of the most extraordinary trips I have ever made, and I have travelled literally all my life. To do two treks to the gorillas was absolutely the best thing, both treks were hard, especially the second one was very challenging but wow to spend time with the gorilla groups at close proximity, I will never forget. I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us. We also made a huge effort to see the chimps, but they were more illusive, but it was a wonderful walk in that very special rainforest. And we did hang out with the golden monkeys whilst it was raining buckets!!

The service and care we received from all the team, Bihati the driver and our guide to the falls and Ron the driver and our guide in Kissoro was over and above anything we could have expected. The same goes for the boat driver, the sunset and swamp guide Mr Rogers, everything was beyond expectations and everyone went all out to give us the best experiences! You’ve organised an absolutely fantastic trip for us; we couldn’t be happier.

Plus Uganda itself was just so beautiful, the people super friendly and easy going. We have lots of great photos, I will post some on instagram and Facebook. Having said that, these are two are some of my favourites: (at the bottom of the email).

We heard that you were in Murchison Falls as well, hope you had a great trip, and one day I/we would love to join for a photography trip.

Thanks so much for organising and customising this trip; we were also very happy with the accomodation, we loved everything about Karibu guest house, and were in awe of Mutanda Lake with the backdrop of the volcanoes plus resort. The food was definitely best at Karibu. Murchison River Lodge was also more than fine, but hard to compete with either Karibu or Mutanda.

What more can I say,
Many many thanks 🦍

E. Garcia 26th August – 9th September

Hi Sam,

Everything was amazing! Everything ran very smoothly and everyone knew what was going on. The only thing that was a little bumpy was the transition from Mara to Wilson to Sheraton to Nairobi airport. And it was because the flight out of Mara was delayed, that’s something no one can control, and it worked out just fine.

Everything that was Elewana was absolutely perfect. The lodge, food and guides were amazing! If we go back we’re only staying Elewana.

Kichwa Tembo (& Beyond) was good but not as great as Elewana. The food was good but not as great as Elewana. And we realized we prefer smaller camps, experience is more intimate and we get to know everyone better.

We will be reaching out when we decide to go to Asia.

Will attach some pictures below.

Thank you so much for everything!

K. Walrond 23rd- 29th August

Hi Dave

The trip went very smoothly from the airport pick up and transfers to the high level of service received at each lodge. The food cooked was outstanding. Thanks for all the arrangements. No complaints to report.

A few pictures below for the competition.

I will complete the trustpilot review over the weekend and keep and eye out for future trips.

I. Guerrero 12th – 26th August

Hi Sam,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for organising our amazing family holiday in South Africa. The country exceeded our expectations in every way.

All of the accommodation was amazing, especially in Boschendal and at Little Garonga. We were very impressed with the places we visited, including Cape Town and the wine lands around Stellenbosch. In Cape Town, we really enjoyed visiting Table Mountain, Robben Island, Boulders Beach, the Cape of Good Hope, the V&A Waterfront and all the museums. And of course, all the restaurants (the food is amazing and great value). And in Stellenbosch we absolutely loved visiting different wine state in a tramp. It was great fun. Boschendal was amazing, the food, the landscape and just spending time there was an absolute pleasure. We truly loved it.

The safari at Little Garonga was a highlight of our trip. We were particularly impressed with the wildlife, as we saw almost all of the big 5 except for the buffalo. It was truly amazing to see all of the wildlife up close. The accommodation at Little Garonga was luxurious, and the staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming.

We also enjoyed our time in Johannesburg. Although the city has its challenges, it was interesting to visit, and we particularly liked the Apartheid Museum.

In conclusion, our trip was absolutely wonderful. The accommodation was amazing and everyone we met was so kind. Thank you for making our holiday unforgettable!

L. McVie 6th- 19th August

Hi Sam!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond – back home and straight into return to school & work craziness.

We had a truly amazing time, loved it all and we were so grateful for your planning and support throughout the trip. Literally could not have done it all without you!

Regarding our next big trip we will 100% use you guys again – It will be a 2025 trip and possibly South America but we aren’t fully decided on location yet. I’m also gently harassing my friends to go on a safari organised by you

Thank you for everything !

N. Mattos 30th July – 4th August

Sam, Ted, and George,

I just want to let you know that we had a *wonderful* safari last week.

As you know, my wife and I have been to pretty much every national park in Tanzania and traveled with several different game drive operators. Despite the issues we had with our flights from Serengeti back to JRO, this was by far the best safari we had. We were impressed with the quality of the Nomad guides. We loved their camps and their service. We were particularly amazed with their ability to show us the best of Serengeti without seeing the huge number of tourists that crowds the park at this time of the year. We were isolated from the crowds, enjoying the animals either alone or with another Nomad vehicle. Incredible!

Please send my congratulations to the Nomad Team and thank you VERY much for organizing our trip.

J. Calder 29th July – 18th August

Hi Dave,

The trip was awesome, seamless and great camps and people! Plus the animals.

For me:
• First time to the North of Tanzania. So many animals, lucky to see the Migration but also the Land cruiser migration. The nomad camp was very good. Our guide Joel, excellent and he was our guide in Ruaha 2018!
• Namiri Plains was DUSTY! Cat life is great. The camp is a little too ‘hotel like’ for us
• Katavi/Mahale. What can I say? Two great contrasting camps. Very different but a great package.
• Mahale was very special. Camp. Facilities, Guides, Chimps, Water… cars and only 12 people including us!
• Ruaha after all of the above a little quiet on the animal front. But that is Africa!

All flights, connections, collections, transfers went very well.


C. Wang 28th July – 10th August

Hi Dave,

Seeing of wild dogs is our key interest for this trip. We tried to look for them in Ruaha and Selous in southern Tanzania (before COVID) but didn’t see. This time we saw them several times in both parks, which was truly amazing.

Another sighting worth mentioning is we saw some one-week-old baby animals in South Luangwa, such as elephant/giraffe/hippo. We also saw 3 hyena pups(3-4 months old) playing around the den. They are just adorable.

The area where Chinzombo located is not only a game-rich area, but also a highly car concentrated area in the dry season. So on next day, our guide drove us further to Nsefu Sector to do a full day drive. There were less cars in the area and we enjoyed the drive without rush, highly recommended!

I will leave a review on Trustpilot.

Again, thank you for arranging the trip for us.

T. Sualp 22nd – 31st July

Hi Dave,

İts our last afternoon of our vacation. I just wanted to take a couple of moments & say thank you to You & the Team for an utterly amazing 10 days in Botswana with my daughter.

The camp selections, the different terrains, wildlife, nature at each was simply perfect. DumaTau was truely spectacular! & Mombo met her worth! Just wanted to also say thanks for pushing me for little mombo because yes it is a much more secluded & tailor made perfect.

The game was phenemonal swimming elephants /DT, Wild dogs & the phenomenal Leopards at MC were just perfect.

Thank You Dave

P. Breen 18th – 31st July

Hi Sam,

Thanks for your email. We’ve are settling back to normal life after an amazing time in Tanzania. The arrangements went really well, we had sufficient time in all the stops to settle down and appreciate. The staff in all lodges were amazing particularly at Kirurumu north camp.

We had the time of our lives – thank you for your advice and for all the arrangements.

K. Wood 13th- 25th July

Thanks Dave – we had a great time, no issues at all. I’ve tagged you guys in a few photos in Instagram.

We will be back – probably thinking of South America next, just away from the massive insects (!)

All the best

M. Foster 11th- 17th July

Hi Sam!

Yes you are correct we are on the beach in Mauritius now!

I was definitely going to be in touch once home as everything was perfect…..
The collection at Joburg the transfer and handover to the camp was all very smooth.

Once in Weldegoven we had the most amazing time….
The Camp was fabulous I can’t rate it highly enough….. the people and the location were the standouts…. Amazing waterhole with lots of action especially Elephants….

The team at Ndlovu were fabulous the food the service game drives were all great.

We had the Camp to ourselves at times and the owner visited one day another couple stayed for a few nights but we had undivided attention of the lovely team.

The weather was pretty cold (frost on the ground) and we probably didn’t take enough warm clothes, but that was our fault! There was plenty of blankets and hot water bottles…

We were all very sad to leave on Monday…..

All in all an amazing trip

I will send some pics once we’ve collated the thousands of pics!!

Thank you so much… will be in touch again once the adventure of Africa beckons again


K. Wood 10th- 20th July

Hi Sam,

Yes, everything ran absolutely smoothly, thank you very much. After all those years planning, it was great to finally get there and experience everything. We had some great guides and the Asilia properties and staff …. unbelievable. We had such a good time and they really looked after us extremely well. The hot air balloon in Serengeti was a great addition and we also did a night drive at Oliver’s which was amazing too. We didn’t quite manage to see the Wildebeest crossing the Mara; they were sooooo close, but didn’t quite take the plunge while we were there. Although we saw a couple of small groups crossing back, so we’ll take it!

We had a great time with our Asilia guide, Esto, down in the crater, which is what we were there for, so all good.

Thanks again for bearing with us for so long! 10 out of 10 trip!!

J. Lucas 6th – 17th July


We had a great time in Botswana and 3 days at each camp was the perfect time. It is amazing how well the air transportation works there.

We are looking at Cape Town and Namibia for fall 2024. Best time for us would be late September or October. As usual, we are interested in wildlife and scenery and climate controlled accommodations. Two weeks would be a good time for us.

In Botswana, we did not realize that tents have no heat. The hot water bottles in the beds helped, but we may need to go when the weather is a little warmer.

C. McDonald 22nd June – 1st July

Hi Sam,

We had a great time although Air France continue to do their best to ruin what was a great trip.
Everything went well and everyone we met was very kind and helpful.
I don’t do lnstagram but I can share some pics in due course.
The safari experience has been terrific.
Great accommodation great food too.


S. Lassen 20th – 27th June


Thank you for organising a wonderful safari for us all. It was absolutely everything we could have hoped for, incredible service and food in both camps and the multiple flights and connections went without a single delay or change. We were particularly impressed by the extraordinary knowledge of both the guides, the variety and number of animals and everybody’s the respect for the land and environment.
You gave us good advice to end our holiday at the Vic Falls Hotel and an exploration of the Falls. We travelled to Zambia for the micro-light over the Falls which was absolutely spectacular.

Thankyou Sam, for your efficient planning and as importantly your experienced guidance in camp selection.

C. Lavery 17th – 23rd June

Hi Dave

We got back this morning. Everything went according to plan and we had a great experience. Kwando were very friendly, we got great food, great service and many unforgettable sightings. We tacked on 4 more nights and went to reserve in SA, but after Botswana, it paled in comparison.

I don’t have any travel plans for a while. I will certainly explore Odyssey Explorer when I am ready.

I will try and get the time to add some photos on Instagram.

Thank you for your help, you were very responsive throughout the whole process.

H. Morris 13th – 25th June

Hi Sam,

Thanks for the email – we had an absolutely amazing time! I don’t think we had any issues at all and everywhere we went/everyone we dealt with was faultless. I’ve been recommending the trip to everyone I speak to, including my new sister in law who I think has already made contact with you guys!

Thanks so much for your help organising an amazing honeymoon we’ll never forget!

S. Mouzaoui 8th – 17th June

Hi Sam,

Just a quick word to same that our trip has been absolutely FANTASTIC.
All was super, very well organised and very nice people meet. I will really recommend that to all of my friends.

We have been super lucky from day 1 as we saw so many animals (Giraffes, elephant, lion, Buffalo, Zebra, Impala, crocodiles, Hippos, baboons, Leopard, cheetah… any many different birds)
We had the change to see lions killing and eating an hippo that has been eat then by the vulture and the hyena. This was really incredible to see how is the food chain.

The organisation in the camps was great, good food and nice people. To be honest for our first experience this has been even more than our expectation.


A. Lichtman 26th May – 8th June

Hi Sam,

Thank you for your patience on our reply! We had a bit of a hectic week coming back to “real” life!

We had an absolutely wonderful honeymoon, and wanted to thank you for coordinating everything so seamlessly for us. Both Borana and Angama Mara were real highlights with truly exceptional service, and we are excited to visit them both again someday. At Zuri, we had a very minor hiccup with our room at first, but the team there very graciously moved us into a new (and even better) room and all was perfect.

From start to finish, we were so well looked after and every driver, guide, staff member we interacted with the entire time was so “on it” and lovely. And, I am happy to report, we both had an amazing time doing the hot air balloon ride!

Thank you again for everything, we are so grateful!

A. Stratton 26th – 28th May

Hey Dave,

The trip was fabulous. We had a great time with the gorillas and Buhoma Lodge was excellent.

We are considering a trip with my mother in law, are you free today for a quick chat about it? Thinking Kenya…


A. Schroeder 21st – 6th June

Hi Sam

Thank you for your E-Mail. It is really incredible that we are back already!

The trip was excellent, thank you for all your help and recommendations.

Southafrica: Capetown was great and the weather amazing. More Quarters is really nice and in a great location. On day 1 we explored the City on our own, taking advantage of a hop on/off-Bus. On day 2 Wilderness and a guide took us to the Cape and to Boulders. In South Africa they have daily load sheddings for about 8 hours. The big hotels and restaurants are not affected as they have generators. But for South Africa this really is a major problem.

Botswana: both camps were wonderful and authentic. Lagoon is the older camp with a bit less comfort, but we liked it at least as much as Kwara as it was a bit more personal. Unfortunately the flood has not arrived yet in the Delta. But as both camps are near permanent water we could also do boating and mokoro. We really like Kwando and its approach to Safari. The camps are not ultra luxurious but they have all you need and much more. The staff is very friendly. The focus is on Safari and they really deliver. We have not seen animals in abundance at this time of the year but we saw all we wanted to see, even wild dogs in Kwara (a long wish of mine). We also liked the possibility to chose from land and water activities. We especially appreciated that all camps were informed about our birthdays. We had birthday cakes and staff choirs performing for us. The landscape in Botswana is beautiful. And having all this almost for ourselves in the private concessions was the real luxury of this Safari.

Mozambique: Azura Benguerra is a gem. Wonderful location, great staff, superb food. I can really recommend this place after a Safari, especially as it is not so far from Southern Africa as for example Mauritius or the Seychelles. Unfortunately we could do only one dive. Because of the quite strong wind boating out at the reef was too rough. But we enjoyed life at the beach. Azura supports the local community with a clinic and a school which is really a great thing.

Flights: all flights in Southern Africa were very good and on time.

All in all a wonderful holiday that we will remember for a long time. I think it won’t be very long until we return to Africa… 

Best regards,

M. Helsby 18th – 23rd May

Hey Sam,

Our trip was phenomenal from start to finish (excl. the standard BA flights delays which seem to be part and parcel of travel these days!).

Top things to note:

  •  DumaTau is out of this world!
  • The lodge and location blew our minds.
  • The service was exceptional.
  • The food was great.
  • Hot water bottles in the vehicles in the morning and in the bed at night – what a great touch!
  • Boma night there was amazing
  • The water activities with all the elephant activity was awesome
  • We had lunch on the water barge – another great touch
  • Land drives in the afternoon we saw a lot less than mornings – so my advice to anyone visiting the same time of year would be to sack them off and go enjoy the water (either sunset cruise or fishing)
  • With the mopani being so dense up here I don’t think I’d stay here longer than 3 nights unless of course I simply wanted to enjoy the lodge. I think you said the same to me when we were first discussing all the lodges.
  • Chitabe is another beautiful camp, not on the same level as DumaTau but VERY VERY nice too
  • The food here was actually exceptional in our opinion. We actually prefer the group dining buffet every night rather than being seated separately
  • Staff again were all super and very friendly and helpful
  • The game drives were very very good.
  • All transfers/connections went perfectly.
  • If I was you, I’d seriously sell the heli transfers to as many people as possible, I can’t imagine any of them will regret paying for it! It was amazing and 1000% times better than getting on another one of the little planes.

R. McKenzie 17th – 26th May

Hi Dave,

Greetings from Victoria Falls, where we arrived yesterday. The trip has been amazing. All the connections went smoothly, we have loved Zimbabwe, and overall it has been a brilliant experience. I’ll happily give you some feedback.

The Mack Air guys were great – there were some dignitaries visiting the airport in Harare that day, so closed terminals and lots of chaos, but we were guided through smoothly and didn’t have to wait too long.

Tembo Plains was absolute next-level luxury. The manager Lloyd and all the people there were amazing and couldn’t do enough for us. The rooms were incredible, with private pools, beautiful views, and everything you could want. The game in that area is not so plentiful as other places, but the game viewing experience was actually one of the best, because our guide Mbecs was qualified as a walking guide, and on a few occasions he had us jumping out of the car or boat and stalking elephant or buffalo (safely obviously). The river trips were also wonderful, and we had a very knowledgeable river guide. This was a proper old school luxury safari experience, with surprise pop-up full sit-down lunch by the river one day, a pop-up barbecue for sundowners on another, amazing dinners every night. I also had a lovely massage. I’m so glad we spent four days there and would definitely go back.

The river transfer was a great experience, and definitely the best way to travel between camps on the Zambezi.

Ruckomechi, the game viewing was very good, and we had some excellent lion sightings, including a mating pair. The camp was a little more basic than the others,  – not a big problem for us […] The people were friendly though, and the food great, and it was only by comparison with the other camps that Ruckomechi suffered a little. The sky bed was a nice experience.

The Wilderness Air flights were all fine. It took us a while to figure out that they don’t fix the schedule until the afternoon before, so you have to be flexible and just go with the flow.

Linkwasha was probably our all-round favourite. The camp has a great vibe to it, the game is excellent, the food and people are fantastic, and I really can’t fault it. It’s less full-on luxury than Tembo Plains, and a bit more relaxed, but we liked that about it. Hwange was really different from the riverside areas, and it was great to have that mix, so well-planned on your part.

I’m so glad you suggested Zimbabwe – it’s a really beautiful country, and the experience has been fantastic. Judy (who is 79 next week and this is her ninth safari trip) has really enjoyed it, and everyone has been very solicitous making sure she was ok.

Finally, Shongwe Lookout in Vic Falls is a lovely hotel – nice pool, good food, and we’ve just watched the sunrise from the lookout tower. Easy 1k walk into town, and there’s a resident taxi guy who has been ferrying us around.

Overall, absolutely brilliant trip, seamlessly
organised. Thanks for everything, and we’ll definitely be in touch next time we want to do something similar.

J. Beckerman 14th – 25th May

Hi Ted,

Just wanted to let you know we are back and somewhat over jet lag. Our trip was amazing. Each camp different and offered wonderful experiences and staff.

Our favorite camp was little vumbura and we loved the Cape Grace in Cape Town. We did a sleep out in Little Mackalolo which was one of my high points.

All connections went smoothly and every person along the way was helpful, professional, warm, and on time. Really perfect.

I am happy to give you more feedback if you wish, but many thanks for all your help these last five years

Warmest regards

L. Hicks 18th April – 4th May

Hi Sam,

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I’ve been really busy.

The holiday was amazing, everything we had hope for and more! The package you put together was perfect.

Slightly disappointed that we only had the 1 big cat sighting when followed 1 male and 3 females one night for 40 minutes before they headed off into the bush. The day we left our fellow travellers came across a pride of lions and a leopard.
That’s the way with the wild and a good excuse to go back and do another one.

Thank you for a great experience

Best regards

C. Didsbury 9th – 16th March

Hi Ted,

I wanted to share some highlights from my time in Botswana. Thank you for making such brilliant arrangements – everything happened exactly as it was meant to and I had another wonderful trip. I was very lucky in that, in both camps, I was on my own in the vehicle for most of the drives – and I had two of the best guides I’ve ever had!

In Nxai Pan, Dabe and Shoes really brought the magic of the Kalahari to life and were very generous in sharing information about their lives and those of the Bushmen, as well as lots of info about the animals and environment. I felt I learned a lot more about their society, the politics, religion, and family life than on previous visits. Nxai Pan camp was as enjoyable as I remembered from my first visit in February 2019. I like the light and space of the rooms and the watering hole drew in lots of elephant and zebra every day and then huge herds of springbok appeared in the area. The downside of Nxai Pan is that you are restricted to driving on the marked roads in the park and we didn’t find any cats whilst I was there. But this time I made the day trip to Baines Baobabs, which were stunning. On the way, I recognised the stretch of road where, in 2019, we had had to reverse up the bank in order to let a very large bull elephant pass. Dabe and Shoes found this very funny, recognising the area from the photos I showed them and claiming to remember hearing about the incident!

I arrived in Vumbura Plains South with my experience tuned to the slightly more rustic feel of Nxai Pan and on my first introduction to Vumbura, thought ‘this is ridiculous and far too extravagant for the bush’. However, after 4 days, I could hardly bear to leave my palatial residence and plunge pool and I can’t wait to go back! My guide at Vumbura, Max, was outstanding. He had come over from Little Vumbura and knew the whole area phenomenally well. With just me in the vehicle, we could sit and watch birds or animals at leisure and talk about everything – the whole ecology. I felt the bits of knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years really coming together. I had the best lion sighting ever, watching 2 females calling their cubs, who came running out of the bushes to greet them – it was wonderful to see and to hear, as they made all their contact and re-connecting calls and rumbles. We watched them interacting and then moving to the tree line, where the lionesses jumped up into a tree for a superb vantage point across the grasses in front of them. Max commented on how unusual it was to find lions doing that. I was having a sense of deja vue at this point and found the photos from my last time in Little Vumbura in June 2018 – I can’t swear to it being the same tree, but it was definitely the same area and quite possible that the females we were watching had been the cubs in my 2018 photos! There was a lot of water around, which was magical, and everywhere looked beautifully green and lush. On one evening, I went out for a couple of hours after dinner on a night drive (my first real night drive, rather than simply driving back in the dark after sundowners). We were so lucky, seeing wild dogs setting out to hunt, loads of hippos out grazing, elephant and lots of antelope/zebra – and bat eared foxes – always a treat!

It really was hard to leave – this is definitely one of my favourite areas and I’ve also realised how close Duba Explorers Camp is. The staff at Vumbura Plains were really excellent. Without exception, from the manager to the person carrying stores, everyone was warm, engaging, and comfortable talking – they stood out even amongst the usual high quality of the teams at Wilderness camps.

Something else I noticed was that, whereas in the past, most of the Wilderness camps were managed by South Africans, all the managers I met were Batswana.

So, I think 2024 will have to include a trip to Savuti and Vumbura and maybe Chitabe Lediba – something to think about later this year.

S. Legge 2nd – 14th March

Dear Dave,

Wow! What a transformation at Fanjove. It has been done up to a very high standard but without losing that desert island feel. The rooms are huge with lovely bathrooms and verandahs with especially comfy sofas. The decor is beautiful and so appropriate. Shells is the theme. Bell jars full of them, mirrors encrusted with them, bowls full of shell balls, mats surrounded by them. No air conditioning but the fans are super efficient and certainly kept us cool all night. They provide hats, torches,walkie talkies and kikois , soap, shampoo and conditioner, tissues and cotton wool, a hair dryer and plenty of plugs for recharging. The Wi-Fi is excellent.
The light House has been been very sympathetically done up and makes an excellent dining room. Because it is raised there is usually a breeze .
The food is delicious and beautifully served by a dedicated waiter, we had Husein who was so sweet and kind and efficient and always cheerful.
We snorkelled every day with Abdallah who was amazing. We saw hundreds of fish and corals and he even found a sea horse.
All the staff were charming and couldn’t do enough for us .
Nathalie oversees an amazing team.
We loved it all and had such a relaxing time, very restorative .

We had some amazing sightings at Namiri and they looked after us beautifully. Nelson was an excellent driver guide. We saw leopard, cheetahs and masses of lions. Hundreds and hundreds of zebra, gnu, eland, hartebeest, oribi, Thompson gazelle , warthogs, hyena etc. etc.And about 50/60 species of birds.
We arrived in sluicing rain and drove through huge puddles but we donned the very welcome ponchos and didn’t really get wet.
The next days were dry and dusty. We were very grateful for Marc’s advice to take jerseys and waterproof/wind proof jackets.
We swam each day, apparently the first to do so in 4 months ! One night was very exciting with lions and hyenas hunting all night, I love to hear that tucked up in bed!
We couldn’t have had a better safari

All in all a wonderful trip.

R. Kennedy 21st February – 3rd March

Thanks for the email! We had an excellent time.

The South Serengeti really was absolute textbook Safari glory, we saw everything. Beautiful landscape, hundreds of thousands of wildebeest on the plains, massive flamingo flocks on lake Ndutu, lions under the vehicle wheels, incredible waterhole scenes, cheetah’s on a kill. It was like being in an illustrated kids’ book. Ngorongoro was pretty similar, as expected. Incredible.

I really liked Kuro. We had fantastic drinks by the river. And we saw two huge male leopards, one in the middle of the day and one in the middle of the night, which was pretty excellent. The guide reckoned they were indeed two different individuals. Tsetse flies suck, though, and one drive was tough because of them. I believe this is usual.

The Serengeti Safari Camp was perfect for us all. NEntamanu is beautiful. As I said, I really liked Kuro’s vibe, and the guide there was just excellent, I think he had been in wildlife management first rather than tourism – anyway, top guide.

Still going through photos. If there’s any really good ones I’ll send them.

Hope you have a great day and I’d love to here whatever your ideas are for another great Safari.

E. T. 20th February – 12th March

Ted, we are back and it was as spectacular as last time.
Absolutely spot on.

We are appalled to be back in the wind and the rain.
But grateful as all get-out to have been there again.
Thank you for all the care and attention – and we hope to return next year. I

I will be in touch ASAP.

meanwhile happy trails and all the best as ever

C. Ning 15th – 23th February

Hey Sam,

I just came back from Tanzania!

First of all, I want to say thank you sooooooo much for helping planning and organizing the whole trip. The trip was amazing and we had a fantastic honeymoon! I cannot use the exact words to express the feeling. The safari, the camps, the lodges, everything was perfect. We had an unforgettable experience in Africa!

Second, if you don’t mind, I may share your contact email and our Africa odyssey to my friends and colleagues who may also be interested in an Africa trip in the near future. I just want to recommend you and odyssey travel to them based on my experience:)

Last but not the least, safari is addictive and we’ve already started thinking our future journey. We may target on Namibia for our next Africa stop. If so, I may need your help again to help us planning the trip in the future.

Anyway, thank you again and Africa odyssey. Really appreciate it:)


N. Eveleth 11th – 28th February

Hi Sam,

My apologies for not writing sooner. We had another wonderful trip thanks to you and Odyssey Travel. I tell people it’s like being on a treasure hunt every day. We learned a lot, saw the cats we didn’t see in Uganda, ate fantastic food, stayed in lovely places and enjoyed the guides and all the staff we encountered. Kathy’s command of the Swahili language added to our experience. People were impressed and it added to the conversations and laughter we experienced with them. I also tell people that one of the great things about your safaris is that we don’t have to make decisions, other than at our meals, and I always felt safe. Since we’ve been back I’ve given your contact information to several people. I think we inspired them.

Kathy mentioned you were looking for black leopards photos. I don’t know if she told you, but we saw one on a night safari which made it hard to get good photos. He was walking along the side of a hill. The red light they used to shine on the animals made it even more challenging. The good news is we saw one and we got a good long look at him.

Thanks for everything Sam!

K. Aaron 11th – 28th February

Asubuhi njema!
(at least it is here)
If I tell you we are already planning our next trip, does that answer your question?…

Everything and everyone were incredible. From picking us up at the airport until sneaking us into the first class/priority line on departure.

The trip was seamless.
Amboseli broke my heart. They desperately need rain. There were carcasses everywhere. We still saw many animals, but the past fall’s toll on animals was evident. The rangers are feeding the elephants. To be an employee of the conservancy must be very emotional right now_what the future holds, the fate of the animals, etc.
Loisaba is in slightly better shape, but not by much. Although we did see the black leopard along with a plain old fashioned leopard. We observed elephants scraping the thorns off of the prickly pear pads to eat them (a learned behavior due to the water content in the pads). I thought living where we do in, we had a good night sky for stars I stand corrected. The star bed night (along with just about every other night) was phenomenal. And the lions talked at night. Muhommad was our guide at loisaba we thought he was incredible. We saw two honey badgers_what was fun was how excited muhommad got.
Have I mentioned the quality of the food at all the camps?! Holy cow! Most of the food must arrive by truck, but they produced wonderful creative dishes. Lot’s of vegetables. It will take me several weeks to work off some of those desserts.
We especially liked the camps at ol pejeta and elephant pepper camp_more our style. Nelson was our guide at ol pejeta_very thoughtful, educated, and invested in conservation. We saw three leopards chase (and catch) a rabbit. The rhino visit, the canine anti-poaching visit, and the lion tracking were all very interesting. Ol pejeta has done such a good job with rhinos. Have you heard the tree hyrax “talk” at night? for a little animal, I was expecting something the size of a lion. We also saw an aardvark on our night drive. Have you seen the corey bustard in full strut all puffed up and walking around (except there were no women to be seen).
And elephant pepper camp, probably my favorite. Although our tent was broken into by the “cheeky” monkeys and our clothes were distributed throughout the room. We had locked up the tent zippers with the carabiner, but they would run and leap at the screen window until the velcro pushed away, then they would crawl in. roger and I were in the tent when the tried it again. At least they didn’t poop inside the tent. We attributed the event to part of our “adventure package”. At night in the field next to the camp, one might find a number of giraffes or a large herd of buffalos. The hippos walked through at night. I like listening to them. As we were flying in to elephant pepper, our first comment was it’s green. There were leaves on the trees and green grass on the ground. It was actually nice to end here after all the dry and dust we had observed. We saw leopards, cheetahs, and lions, along with all the other incredible animals.
So yes, the trip was great.
I think nancy took ~4000 pictures.
I would go back to all the camps again after it rains.
We have heard Botswana is the place to visit. When I looked at africa odyssey’s introduction to Botswana, it states “if money is no option”…
Do you suggest another location/country where we might see similar scenery at a more affordable price? Of course, we are at least a year out (which makes me very sad. The laundry is done, I’m ready to go again).
So thank you for putting together this once in a lifetime trip. We saw everything we could have imagined plus more. I heard my lions, hyenas, and hippos at night (the tree hyrax was a bonus). The scenery was spectacular. We have a greater appreciation on how climate change can have a impact on animals/people’s lives. We ate well, we became more educated on local Kenyans, and I improved (a little) my Kiswahili.

What’s next?!

S. Quinn 8th – 19th February

Hi Dave

Apologies for the belated reply but I have had a hectic week since I got back and am still trying to get used to a normal life in the London winter. I had a wonderful trip and all the arrangements went to plan.

The safari experience was wonderful and we saw loads of animals, and lots of lions – a great photo will be sent in a separate email. The only one in the area that we missed was the leopard but are told they are very elusive and rarely seen. And of course the two lodges were beautiful and we had great service. Especially at Beho Beho as we were the only guests, even at Sands River there were only a few other people so we seemed to have the whole National Park to ourselves!

All in all a great trip – thank you for organising.

Best regards

M. Martin 8th – 19th February

Hi Dave,

Yes the trip was great and the two Lodges were as good as I remembered and we had many good sightings, including the wild dogs.
All arrangements went well.

Thanks for all the arrangements.

Best wishes

D. Epstein 07th – 24th February

Dear Ted,

To tell you about our trip, which was one of our greatest of all times.
Elsa’s has emerged as a truly amazing park. Wild, few tourists and a population of wildlife that just has grown and grown. And it feels wild. It is our favorite of all the camps we have stayed at.
Sirikoi is so full of animals and for Adam or anyone who wants to see diversity of wildlife, it is unparalleled and the service and house were very spectacular.
Reteti and the Samburu people and the opportunities we had to interact with them, was one of the most primal and eye opening experiences of our long travel lives. The singing well is nothing short of Biblical. The house was filled with warm smiles and delicious food. It altered all our lives to have spent time there. The elephant sanctuary visits were so wonderful and full of fun animal interactions.

The trip was flawless. Thank you.

N.Doble 7th – 14th February

Good morning Dave,

Thank you for your mail.

We had a really great time, and all the arrangements you put in place for us worked perfectly. It went very smoothly, with no hiccoughs. Hugh and Sarah, who we were introducing to Tswalu, also seemed to enjoy themselves greatly which was a relief, especially as it is not a run-of the- mill lodge as you know.

We had fun with a lovely tracker looking for black rhino, but every time he caught up with one, the wind was in the wrong direction and it ran off. But we had a share of the excitement and witnessed the chase. Other sightings included lions with their cubs, a good range of antelope including sable and eland, white rhino and many lovely birds.

But the most exciting were a good long look at a brown hyena, which has been on our list for years, and watching a cape cobra winding its way in and out of a sociable weavers’ nest, eating the eggs and chicks.

The lodge itself was lovely. The staff were falling over themselves to see to our every need, and the food was great. They don’t seem to be as rigid in their timetabling as most lodges, where the game drives and meals are at particular times. They are much more flexible with both. We had a lovely guide, Helen, who appeared to be available at any time of day, and was encouraging us to go out as much as possible, including night drives, having started at 5.30 am.

Many thanks, and very best wishes (till next time!)


A. Ogilive 4th – 18th February

Dear Dave,

Thanks for your email. We took about a week after our journey with you to return to the US, with time spent in Addis and Accra. Thus the delay in my response.

We were very pleased with the arrangements you made for us. We were met in Zanzibar around midnight by a very nice driver who took us to the Zanzibar Palace and roused the night guard to let us in. The room was on the top floor and quite comfortable. We loved the hotel.

The driver came back at the appointed time and transferred us to Sunshine Hotel in Matemwe, now called Zoi. Another good choice by you. We went scuba diving for three days at Dive Point, which is located at the Sunshine Marina Lodge. That facility looked very nice but there was no beach and thus nowhere to walk for exercise. We enjoyed the beach at Matemwe and walked at sunset each day. We ate at the restaurant at Zoe and enjoyed our meals. Gina, the chef, was exceptionally nice to us and sent us off with a bundle of spices from Zanzibar.

We were met by Godwin who took us to the Plantation where we spent two nights. The accommodations, bar and food were superb. Godwin was our driver and guide for the day in Ngorongoro Crater and he was perfect. It was a long day but we enjoyed it. Godwin came back the following day and got us back to the airport for the flight to Ndutu in the Serengeti.

Nomad’s guide Rog was there to meet us and to get us to the camp. Rog was great too. We had him to ourselves for all three days and got to be friends with him. We had three perfect days of game viewing, which is about the right amount. He got us back to the airstrip and we took Coastal to Kilimanjaro for our flights from there. We especially liked the level of Nomad. It is not a fancy as other safari camps, like the permanent ones in the Okavango Delta but we prefer this level. The staff was great. The guy that brought the water for our showers in the afternoon was very amusing. And the fact that everything was included – no nickel and timing — was greatly appreciated. I would recommend Nomad to anyone who asks.

Thanks for your help in arranging it. We were very pleased.

N.Doble 25th January – 9th February

Hi Dave,

Happy/sad to be home if that makes sense. The trip was amazing.
I do have some feedback for you.
Hoopoe safaris was great. Accomodations:. Rivertrees- don’t have much to say, we got there late, greeted warmly, beds were comfortable, breakfast good and we left. All was clean. Room was fine.
Ngorongoro farmhouse was lovely. The grounds, the staff, the rooms, the food, all first rate. Highly recommend.
Kiurumu was fabulous. It might have helped that we were the only guests there. Tents were great, bathrooms, showers great, plenty of hot water, laundry was done well. Food was amazing, I mean amazing. Breakfast and lunch picnic boxes, lovely and they accommodated to our tastes. The staff was fabulous, the camp manager was hospitable and welcoming, the waiters, especially Denis who brought me coffee every morning with a big smile on his face were all fun and perfect. They loved to tease us about the food they were serving. Our Masai guards were great. I absolutely fell in love with the people and the place and cried when we had to say goodbye. Obviously highly recommend!
That brings me to our driver/guide Lesikar. What a marvelous human being. From the time he met us at the airport, when we were tired, filthy, grumpy and sleep deprived, to saying goodbye at the airstrip with many more tears, he was absolutely the best. He was patient, knowledgeable, accommodating, funny, listened to what we wanted and worked very hard to make the trip the best it could possibly be. He shared is love of the animals, the people, and the land with us. I felt like I knew him for much longer than the short time we were with him. He made the trip amazing. Do you get the idea that he was the perfect guide for 3 independent, stubborn, 60something year old women? He was!!!!!

Mafia – fabulous! Hotel was great, staff was great, food was great swimming with whale sharks and snorkeling excursions were fabulous. Would highly recommend Kinasi Lodge.
If I were to do the trip again, and I very well might, I’d spend more time at kiurumu and mafia and maybe hit Tarangire.
You did an incredible job in making this incredible trip a reality for all of us. I’d highly recommend Africa Odyssey to anyone looking to go to Africa. You and your colleagues were patient with us and answered our multiple questions quickly and professionally. It was the trip of a lifetime and absolutely wonderful.
Still going thru pictures, if there are any good ones, I’ll send along.

R.Wreford 20th January – 2nd February

Hi Sam,

Phinda was excellent, saw everything including black rhino !
The cover was up since we went 30 years ago and trackers and guides were essential, but both sets were very good.
The camps were not very full and for the most part we had vehicles to ourselves.

B.Rosenbaum 16th-19th January

Hi Sam,

Our trip to Tanzania was fantastic. The climb was great (and successful) and the safari in Serengeti/Ngorongoro was a fantastic experience. All the arrangements you guys put together came off without a hitch (car transfers and flight to Serengeti), the guiding experience was excellent, and the lodgings were comfortable and met our expectations and beyond. We were the only guests at our safari camp making it feel as if the whole set up was just for us, and the final night at the Farm was a luxurious and romantic way for us to spend our last night in Africa.

Thanks so much for everything!

L.Lee 12th-17th January

Hi Sam,

Thanks for the email. It was amazing!!
We had a brilliant experience with the gorillas and the accommodation and people there were really lovely.

Thanks for all your help, we will definitely come back to you if we can do another exotic holiday again.

J.Boretti 4th-15th January

Hi Sam,

Thank you for reaching out. It was wonderful – a truly amazing experience and one that we won’t soon forget. Everything went smoothly and everybody we met with was great! We even saw all big 5. Thank you so much for all of your help through the process, we will certainly tag you on Instagram when we post our pictures.


P.Marliani 2nd-8th January

Hello Ted,

thanks for the email. It was really great. Overall, a perfect compromise for the family.
And thank you very much for all the arrangements that were all perfect.

To the next one!
best regards,