Africa Odyssey Reviews – Travel During COVID-19

22nd October 2020

The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a significant impact on travel, however over the last couple of months travel restrictions have started to be lifted. Travel is now possible in multiple safari destinations and below you will find some reviews from our clients who have travelled during this time.

N.Madhav, 9th – 25th September 2020

I’d give them 10 stars if I could. First off, make sure you ask for Sam, and tell him I sent you. He’s the best. We talked initially for about an hour so he could get an idea of what it was that I wanted to accomplish. Secondly, be clear about what you want.

I wanted to see the wildebeest migration and take iconic photographs of animals. Sam worked with me to get me into camps to create a specifically tailor made experience which was exactly what I wanted. Third, be upfront about what you’re willing to spend, and remember, you get what you pay for. Sam came up with a trip that gave me the ability to focus on the wildlife I wanted to see and not have to focus on the details, since he took care of everything.

I’ve been on several safaris and I have to say that working with Tanzania Odyssey was the best experience and best outcome I’ve had to date. It takes a lot of work to coordinate flight arrivals, transfers and reservations — all of which Sam just handled for me. He walked me through the pros and cons of the various camps and gently nudged me towards camps that were exactly what I wanted. I couldn’t have done this on my own reading TripAdvisor reviews.

I am most appreciative of Sam’s hard work.

R.Horan, 27th September – 3rd October 2020

Hey Sam,

This stay with Asilia was truly amazing. There are not words that could describe how great our stay was. At many times we were the only guests in camp. Not only with their rooms and service top notch, but they really went out of the way to ensure that my dairy allergy was covered. In addition two different camps through surprise birthday parties for Diego. I cannot believe the level of dedication and candor of the staff. This trip would truly go down in history as one of the best.

Thanks again!

P.Collins, 2nd – 9th October 2020

Hi Ted

Trip was just excellent! Amazing viewing with top guiding and super rooms. Namiri Plains is wonderfully appointed.

We had one crossing of circa 5000 wildebeest.  Only 5 trucks instead of 105!! Saw Leopard every day in Sayari.

At Namiri the Cheetah were excellent 5 in total and the Lions were  magnificent 2 prides – one with about 17/18 Cubs – both with 2 males in great condition. Another magnificent pair of males was close looking for food and there is not much there for them so who knows what happened this week  Landscapes were just breathtaking.

Thanks for the great organisation.

R.Bramwell, 2nd – 13th October 2020

Hi George,

We have nothing but positive things to say about the whole holiday! It was absolutely incredible.

Virus-wise, we couldn’t have felt safer from the moment we got picked up from the airport to when we left. A huge chunk of the time, we actually forgot about the dreaded virus as it was all so out in the open air. All the necessary precautions were in place in the lodges, including hand washing stations, hand sanitiser, staff wearing masks, and regular temperate checks. I was quite hoping to be able to buy some of the hand sanitiser from the Lamai shop! as it smelt wonderful and could have sworn it also kept the Tsetse’s away. A couple of the other guests said they would have happily bought the same plus the shampoo and shower gel if it had been sold. Just as a little suggestion!

Aside from that, as sad as it is for the industry at the moment, it felt very special essentially having a ‘private’ holiday. We were the only guests on a number of nights in Kuru and Entamanu, but it made us happy to see that Lamai was a bit busier. As this was my first safari I don’t have anything to compare to but hearing what the guides had to say about how busy the drives can usually be, I felt privileged to have been able to see the wildebeest crossing with so few other vehicles around. It also meant we got saw some other incredible scenes close-up.

ALL the staff we came into contact with were just amazing. It was so nice to see that they genuinely all seem to love their jobs. I wish we were back already! We would happily reside in Tanzania until things settle back down in the UK!! As long as being able to have 2 weeks of quarantine as a possibility/option, we would urge anyone who is thinking about a safari holiday, or wondering whether to go ahead with an already booked trip to GO FOR IT!!!

Just as a side note, the quarantine has been very welcome as it is quite a busy trip, so it has been nice to catch up on some sleep(!).

Many many thanks for organising the dream trip!

C.Kozak, 6th – 15th October 2020

Hi Dave,

We arrived back from Tanzania yesterday morning and I just wanted to email you to say a huge thank you for the trip. I know it was super painful to plan (we started with planning Botswana, pivoted to Zimbabwe, rescheduled Zimbabwe, and ended up in Tanzania with five people, then four people, then three people, then four people and finally five travellers), so thank you for your patience and for organizing everything for us despite the unique external environment.

The trip was absolutely glorious. Our guides (Anael in Tarangire / Crater and Hanafi in the Serengeti) were amazing. The Nomad lodges were great (not absurdly fancy, but still very comfortable and just right for the environment). The hospitality was second to none. It also just felt really special to get away from everything and be in nature. We are still having a hard time believing that everything worked out and that we were able to share this experience as a family.

My parents are already talking about going to Nomad’s Greystoke Mahale for chimps and all of us still want to do both Zimbabwe and Botswana… it doesn’t end!

Big thank you again!

A.Fullemann, 25th October – 12th November 2020

Dear Ted,

We arrived in Switzerland without any problems and have already adapted with the Corona conditions. It was definitely the best decision to fly to Tanzania Mafia island.

Mafia island is really a little hidden paradise, so we`ve been now for the 5th time there. We were very spoiled, the crew is adorable and helpful. The food is excellent. Diving is always a special experience.

Once we went snorkeling we met at least 5 whale sharks.

Thank you for the perfect trip organization as You did always before..

With the warmest regards

K.Rua, 19th – 28th November 2020

Good Morning Sam,

Thank you for checking in!  We are back to reality…playing catch up at work and recovering from jetlag =(.

Our trip was absolutely incredible – almost unbelievable!  All arrangements ran smoothly, our accommodations were amazing (especially Asilia), and we had incredible luck with our game viewing!  We checked off our wish list and then some!  We started with not 1 but 2 rhinos in the crater and were treated to a caracal on the way back to camp.  We got our leopard with cubs and a river crossing with a whopping 7 wildebeest up North.  Namiri Plains — this is where safari dreams come true seriously!  We saw a lioness hunt wildebeest and a jackals hunt a rabbit.  We saw a cheetah and her 4 cubs hunt and kill a baby antelope.  We ate breakfast alongside them (in our car) and then they enjoyed the shade of our vehicle when they were finished.  We watched Momma serval hunt and kill a mouse.  She brought the mouse back to her melanistic kitten who played with it!  Then we drove off and spotted Manja – the Dad who is also melanistic!  A cheetah jumped on the hood of our vehicle, lions, cubs…the list goes on…like is this real life?!?!  I didn’t want to leave!

We will be sure to be in touch when we are ready to go on our next safari!  Thank you so much for helping to plan such a memorable vacation!

M.Wreford, 22nd December 2020 – 5th January 2021

Africa Odyssey arranged a great trip for us to the Western Cape & Kruger, South Africa in December 2020. Due to the rapidly changing travel restrictions half of the trip had to be rearranged on a few days notice, refunds obtained, new safari lodges chosen & flights moved. If ever there was a test of a travel firm this was it and the Africa Odyssey team nailed it – calmly resolving things without fuss so we could enjoy our break. Yes the game viewing Kirkman’s camp was outstanding, certainly touring Stellenbosch from the Delaire Estate was fantastic, but the most memorable part of the trip was how these guys made it all happen safely & smoothly in the middle of a pandemic.

S.Denza, 23rd March – 4th April 2021

Simply put, Africa Odyssey is the best travel agent out there.

We booked our trip a year before we were leaving and between booking and the trip Covid happened. Sam from Africa Odyssey was beyond helpful navigating this experience for us. He worked with the people in South Africa on moving our trip date three times, navigated a bankruptcy proceeding of an airline to get us our money back, and even ensured our Covid tests to make sure we could come back into the country after.

As for the trip itself, it was amazing. We did two different safaris in two different locations. Sam picked two places that specialized in different animals and we were able to see every animal we were hoping to see. The lodges were top notch and some of the nicest places we’ve stayed.

On top of the safaris, we spent some time in Cape Town and in Wine country. Sam helped us with things to do each day there and set up a wine tour and all day Cape Town tour. Both of which were excellent.

If you’re looking for a trip to South Africa, there is no reason to pick a different company. Go with Africa Odyssey!

R.Alvey, 30th May – 19th June 2021

OUTSTANDING…….Sam did a fabulous job in planning our Tanzania safari trip. All the locations we stayed at were top notch and transfers throughout the trip went like clockwork. I am a seasoned traveler and this ranks as one of the best companies and individual I have dealt with. A definite 10 only because I can’t do 11.

J.Chandler, 30th May – 19th June 2021

What an exciting adventure! I’ve never been on such a detailed trip that ran smoothly and was top-notch from drivers, chefs, lodging, safari guides, bartenders, hospitality greeters, etc. “WOW” is the only fitting word. Sam put together one of my best vacations with all the “bells and whistles”! Amazing! I’m so looking forward to my next journey with AFRICA ODYSSEY.

A.Schroeder, 11th – 26th June 2021

Hi Sam,

We had a fabulous time. Everything ran smoothly. Arriving in Dar was a bit stressful because they take rapid tests from passengers. It was quite chaotic. But as we were among the first it took us only 90 minutes. Then we would have had to wait 6 hours for our onward flight to the Selous. Dar Natl. airport is not really a place to spend many hours… As we were the only passengers we flew 2,5 hours early which was great. Sand Rivers is a great camp: beautiful location, very friendly staff, excellent food. The rooms are more open than I expected so there may be some animals visiting you… But it was not a problem at all and added to the nature experience. There were only few tourists in the park. At the lodge we were often the only guests. The landscape was awesome, wildlife was however quite difficult to find. We saw neither a cat or a wild dog. In Ruaha we were upgraded to Jabali Ridge. It is a wonderful lodge, breathtaking! It was probably the best lodge we have ever stayed at on a safari. Everything was top notch. They surprised us every day with something new, e.g. breakfast in the bush with wonderful decoration, a cold and hot buffet and even a toilet they set up for us! You simply cannot do it any better. Very romantic, attentive, friendly, superb food! And the views! Game was again a bit rare. At least we could find some lions. Zuri on Zanzibar was another great choice. Beautiful location, great beach, diving. The hotel is well run, food is good, everything is very clean. Again: nothing to complain about. [..] Finally we also loved Park Hyatt in Stone Town.

All in all it was a phantastic trip! Thank you for everything. Every flight, every transport, every lodge, every experience worked just perfectly. And all the people were so glad and thankful to welcome back tourists. They really depend on it and do everything to make you feel special and happy.

All the best to you and thank you and Africa Odyssey! If we plan another Safari it will definitely be with you again.

H.McInnis, 13th – 23rd June 2021

Hi Sam,

We just got back from our trip a few days ago and I wanted to let you know it was absolutely AMAZING. You did an unbelievable job arranging everything and it went SO smoothly. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I will be recommending you to everyone!

D.Melamed, 18th June – 30th June 2021

Hi, Ted!

Yes, we are well, thank you! Hope you too!

Our trip was great! Everything was excellent in Zanzibar Zuri. And safari was amazing. Thank you very much from all of us for a fantastic family trip!!!

Kind Regards,

J.Hendrix, 26th June – 05th July 2021

Great to work with!

I used them in 2018 for my first safari and they did a great job this time as well. My trip was originally supposed to take place in the summer of 2020 and they helped navigate rescheduling it to 2021.

They also were great answering any Covid related questions and other questions we had about changes in travel. It was a great all-round experience for the second time!

J.Romero, 26th June – 07th July 2021

Sam,

We arrived back home at midnight last night.  The Asilia camps and people were all amazing that there were some people we developed some fun relationships with while we were there.  The camps are truly amazing.  We really can’t say enough about the people and the camp experiment.  Sandik, Swedi, David, Panuel are a few of the people that made our trip that much more special.

You asked if anything could have been better.  Really not much.

Maybe prepare travelers for Highlands which is very cold at night.  We were fine but coming from summer, we did not imagine that it would be that cold.  We enjoyed and the camp was fun.

We asked for more of a cultural experience especially with the Maasai.  We did at Highlands but we had to arrange that with the local Massai guide.  It was one of the highlights of the trip.  We would have liked more.  We learned at Sayari that we could have arranged another village trip but it had to be done in advance so we were not able to go on that one.

Really everything was amazing and the camps were all an A+.  We especially loved Namari Plains and Sayari.  Those were amazing places and we will definitely go back.

We look forward to much more travel.

Thank you for all of the COVID help.  That went smoothly.

Paffrath Family, 14th – 26th July 2021

Hello Sam

Tanzania was amazing. We literally had our accommodations mostly to ourselves and the parks had a fraction of the tourists. The pictures were amazing as every animal was right there. We saw the Wildebeest migration as well.

The flight into Entebbe from Kongadente in the Serengeti was really the only hassle. They canceled our direct flight and put us on a milk run touching down 4 times. Other than that we faired well.  Hoopoe and Nkuringo safaris did a great job. Nykani camp tried very hard to give us the very best experience guiding and at the camp. The food was excellent. One game drive was 8 hours. We virtually had the camp to ourselves.

Trekking the gorillas went very well. We had a 90 min hike uphill the first day to a family with 3 older silverbacks but it was manageable. The second trip we saw the Nkuringo family easily just inside the Forrest past the buffer zone. This family had several young gorillas and babies  but younger male gorillas. The lodge was quite nice and we had the place to ourselves. The villa had such an amazing view. We enjoyed all the service but the food was not as good as the Serengeti camp. The new lodge is very nice so I would return. We met the owner Lydia  herself and really felt good we were supporting her. The lodge guides were also very nice and we took great interest in the Nkuringo village and also happy to support them.

All in all it in was a trip of a lifetime. We are very appreciative of your attention to detail as the trip went very smoothly in a difficult time.

 




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