Africa Odyssey Reviews – 2024

23rd January 2024

M. Helsby  9th – 15th June 

Hey Sam,

Will reply now before I forget and get bogged down with all the work that has piled up!

What a trip!!!

Honestly, our sightings were phenomenal.  We saw at least one leopard every single day and even some days 4 different ones (including a leopard love triangle up a tree, haha)

Other highlights included:

  • First time seeing a porcupine (they are massive!)
  • Two African bush pigs
  • African genets
  • Pack of wild dogs
  • Leopard kill 20m from us
  • Lion kill 60secs before we arrived
  • Foul hooking a croc by mistake on a fishing trip

Anabezi was great, thanks for the recommendation on that camp.  Found out that mum and dad were there back in 2016 too.

Chiawa also fantastic and different.  Also, far enough the other end of the park to not be doing the same drives.

Transfers were all seamless.

No complaints, cracking trip.  More photos to follow on Insta after I’ve sorted through about 4,000 of them :-s

Gorillas and tigers still very much on the list for the future 😊

Cheers,

T. Alexander 27th May – 9th June 

Sam,

Sorry about the delayed response, but things have been a bit hectic since we got home. I want to thank you and the Africa Odyssey team for planning such a great trip for us. Ted planned my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa, and this Kenyan trip was equally stunning. I am not sure what I would change. Perhaps one less night in Samburu, but really all was good. We had amazing game viewing (our only miss was not seeing a rhino), and we actually made some new friends!  I attached a few pictures, but after editing I still had over 1500. Hard to pick from so many memorable images.

Thanks again,

G. Xuejiang 19th – 24th May 

Hi Dave

I and my wife just arrived at Vila Rosa Kempinski Hotel. The Africa Odyssey part of our trip is finished.

I and my wife thank you so much for all of your efforts to make our trip safe and happy. All the pick-up and transfers were smooth. The camp and lodge are fantastic. We have seen so much of animals closely and so many interactions. The meals were very good and all of the staff were very friendly. There was nothing that made us uncomfortable in these 5 nights on safari. We enjoyed this Africa trip and thank you again.

Our trip has not been finished and we do hope the rest part of the trip will be as good as these 5 days. Africa has made us a sweet memory.

Have a lovely weekend.

G. Vitorino 13th – 19th May 

Hi Sam,

Hope this finds you well, also.

Yes, Namibia is fabulous and we enjoyed every moment of this special one !

Indeed, the challenges remain over the long car drives which, basically, take some leisure time.

But thank you for taking care of this.

G. Browne 19th – 28th April 

Hi Dave!

In a nut shell I can say it was great. The staff at all the camps were lovely and the guides and trackers were very good. The best game viewing was in Ra dinare and Lagoon.  Kwara had the nicest physical amenities but the game were sparse and the grass was very high.

Thanks for arranging another great safari for us!

C. Didsbury 10th – 20th March 

Hi Ted,

This is a belated ‘thank you’ for organising another magical trip to Botswana for me.  I can’t believe I’ve been home for nearly two weeks now!

I enjoyed all three camps and Little Vumbura remains one of my all-time favourites.  They get the balance between comfort and a sense of connection with the environment absolutely right and Sam was a fabulous and highly experienced guide.

Chitabe was pretty dry and guests who had come from Kwetsani also talked about the lack of water there.  In contrast, there was a lot of water around Little Vumbura and the Delta looked very beautiful.

One difference I noticed from previous trips – and really appreciated – was the shift away from offering a pretty full breakfast at 5:30am, which inevitably makes for a slower start to the morning drive.  Getting out before dawn led to unforgettable mornings watching lions playing, or sitting quietly as a leopard woke up and came down from her overnight perch in the tree where we’d left her the previous evening.  Breakfast in the bush, with a cup of coffee from a tin mug, was far more enjoyable than eating it in camp!  We had excellent sightings of wild dogs, watching them mating, setting out to hunt, and demolishing an impala (much to the disappointment of the waiting jackals and vultures).  We also saw a herd of sable and several pairs of wattle-necked cranes, which felt fortunate.

Jack’s Camp was something else again – definitely one of life’s experiences!  The style was too ‘heavy’ for my taste and the tents were seriously OTT, but I loved the stark beauty of the Makgadikgadi and had an excellent guide – Ali.  I was really hoping to see a brown hyena and an aardwolf and to my delight, we were able to watch an aardwolf come out of its burrow one evening and walk along a ridge before disappearing in the gloom.  I didn’t see the brown hyena this time but had fabulous sightings of honey badgers and groups of bat eared foxes – as well as time with an habituated group of meerkats.  I hadn’t expected to see lions there, but we saw two different prides, plus a pack of about 21 black backed jackals surrounding a lioness, waiting for her to finish eating.  We also had an extraordinary sighting of a very dead steinbok – the guide was able to put together the story of what had happened:  a small python had probably surprised the steinbok and started to consume it, but only got as far as the shoulders before (probably) realising that it was too big, so regurgitated it, leaving green slime all over its head. Fascinating.  And we even had the local spotted genet make an appearance on the sideboard one evening!  I left the Makgadikgadi very reluctantly indeed.

The arrangements you’d made worked perfectly – thank you.  I’m attaching a few photos to share as you wish and look forward to planning my 2025 trip with you later this year.

J. Marcotti 11th – 14th February 

Hi Sam,

It was a great trip and experience, thank you!

It will also take me a while to get all the animals and vistas sorted in my memory banks 🙂

Kindest regards,

K. Gerda 7th – 19th February 

Hi Sam!

We had a wonderful time on our trip.  I can’t thank you enough for all the time you spent planning for us.  It honestly met all of our expectations and more.  Every night we would say that the next day couldn’t possibly get any better.  Of course, the next day always gave us something more special than the day before.

As for the lodges and staff, they were all top notch.  We couldn’t have felt any more special.  It did take some time getting comfortable sleeping while we listened to the lions roar in camp at night :).

I think the highlight of our trip was the gorilla trekking.  There are just no words to describe what that experience was like.  From the accomplishment of the hike, to being carried across a river on my porter’s back, to sitting with the gorillas, was just amazing.  I would however recommend staying one more day there and having a day off between hikes.  We had 2 strenuous hikes and could have used a break.  Our guide tried to get an easier one for us the second day, but we were one of the youngest/fittest ones there and couldn’t take up space on an easier group.  We got so close that it took all my power to keep my hands to myself 🙂

We will definitely be reaching out about future trips.  We are talking about going back to Africa in 2 years and bringing our boys.  I think it just gets in your blood.  Tanzania and Uganda were so much more than the animals.  The people are just so special and you can tell that they love their country.  Anyways, I think we would like to try Kenya next time and maybe add on a beach vacation to it.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

D. Clarke 4th – 16th February 

Hey Sam,

My parents had a fabulous time and had nothing but great feedback to share! They loved the properties, animal sightings, etc… they had a hard time getting on the flight to come back!

Best,

S. Jeffries  4th – 16th February 

Hi Dave,

Apologies for my delayed response.

We had an amazing trip! Everything went smoothly and we saw so many animals! I was excited to see the cats – lions, cheetahs and a leopard! We got to see a wildebeest calving and a baby gazelle’s first steps. Sol had a great introduction to Africa!

We liked all of our guides! The staff at all of the camps were great. The food at Dunia was the best of the camps.

I just finished my Facebook posting about the trip and will post some of my favorite photos on Instagram as well including you.

Best,

T. Sommer 31st January – 14th February 

Hi Sam!

You have been on my mind, especially because we are so happy and grateful. In sum, it was the trip of a lifetime! Honestly, everything we could have hoped for and more. I would go back in a heartbeat… Thank you for all your attention to detail, pacing, guides, hotels, transportation, etc. We did not have a single problem the entire trip. Truly AMAZING! […]

Leaving was a sad day…. Truly, it was a trip for the ages. We are so grateful to you and our team. You have this whole experience down right, and you helped us reach all our goals, including wildlife, history, beauty, adventure, and immersion in local culture and life. I wouldn’t change a thing!

S. Legge 28th January – 9th February 

Hi Sam

We had a wonderfully relaxing spoiling time on Fanjove. We were looked after beautifully, the food was delicious and our villa was kept spotlessly. Charming staff are always there to help.

We snorkeled twice a day and saw so much, we had the most amazing dolphin trip with dolphins spinning and leaping all around us and a lovely sunset dhow sail.

Our travel out and back went faultlessly.

A pretty perfect trip!

Thank you for organising it all.

P. Cropper 28th January – 6th February 

Dear Sam

Had a wonderful time in Kenya. Both lodges are very good and the wildlife viewing is excellent. Very green everywhere as lots of rain before we arrived.

Features four cheetah cubs playing and five lion cubs also playing. Also huge herd of buffalo 500 approx quite incredible. Elephants in Amboseli are fantastic, never seen so many together with the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Many thanks for arranging the itinerary so well.

Kind regards

P. Nugent 27th January – 11th February 

Hi Sam,

We arrived home on Monday after a very long journey.  Our experience in Uganda was phenomenal.  We agreed that the itinerary you put together was great.  Starting with the gorillas in Bwindi allowed us to get over any anticipation and anxiety so we could relax after that. Spending time with the gorillas was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s hard to explain.

The other locations were excellent for viewing all the game and we enjoyed the lodges.  Ishasha was our favourite for the accommodations, food, and most of all, the lovely staff.

Thanks for your help.  We will definitely recommend you and Africa Odyssey to anyone planning a trip to Africa.  I will send you a photo of our group taken at Ndali Lodge.

Best wishes,

W. Shenfield 13th – 16th January 

Hi Dave,

We had the best time. The staff could not have been nicer. We were surprised how quiet it was. Weather was great for us! Thanks for helping us with the trip!

R. Onorato 5th – 19th January

Hi Sam!!  We had an incredible trip.  Thank you so much for the amazing itinerary.

The safaris were absolutely incredible.  We saw everything and more – the guides were the most amazing hosts and guides and we built a great relationship with them, especially in Olakira and Singita – they were so informative, over the top nice, kind, and really made the trip exciting.  Highlands was a very fun lodge, with good food, Caroline was amazing.  Crater was a good first stop – a bit far of a drive, but we were also able to do a Masai visit which was very nice.  Olakira – what can I say – the best reco.  Incredible experience, amazing team all around, Christian was the best driver, Zach was the best host, the tents were beautiful, and game viewing was incredible – I am so happy we did this, we were definitely on the fence but your reco was the absolute best.  Singita – they are the best of the best – true luxury travel, better than Four Seasons – the room was insane, so nice, beautiful.  Amazing food, facility was off the charts – Richard the host was absolutely wonderful, Jafrod our driver was unbelievable – nice/knowledgeable/funny made the trip really incredible.

we thought the trip was absolutely incredible, especially the safaris, and your recommendation on Olakira was incredible – one of the highlights of the trip and so happy you pushed us to do that!  We loved working with Africa Odessey and are 100% recommending you to everyone we know and hope to be a repeat traveler with you – i just hope the above will help the next people traveling!

Hope we can stay in touch and hope we can plan our next trip soon!

D. Goodman 4th – 14th January 

Hi Sam,

Both places were lovely.

Fanjove isn’t for everyone. At least in December/Jan, it’s incredibly hot in the rooms.

It is worth selecting a room that set away from the vegetation in order to benefit from some breeze into the room.

The island is beautiful though. Good for families.

I would rank the One & Only as the Worlds best hotel. It is incredible place with great attention to every detail.