We were two families who went first time to Africa. We were extremely lucky finding Paul Tickner who planned us very nice trip to Ruaha and Selous. With his experience and contacts in Tanzania you do not have to worry. About anything. Just wake up when it is told. Our itinerary looked very nice and reality exceeded the expectations. For us, mostly novice in Africa, the web based read ahead package ... Read more was very informative and useful. All in all, the preparations went with ease. And one should not be worried if Paul is not answering quickly. He might be in the bush and there is very limited internet access. Which is good. You can focus on the wildlife.
Ruaha and Selous are hidden gems in Tanzania. There is a lot to see and very few people to see it. Every drive we did was with pumping into something new and had different experience. The vehicles were very comfortable and some snack and cold drink (also some GT or beer) was always available. Just enjoyable!
I will not describe what we saw or what we did not, as this is the main reason to go there and see it yourself! I can tell that there is a lot to see, hear and smell. Day and night.
Another great aspect on our trip was that Paul himself agreed to join us as guide. However, the local people are very trustworthy. It was very easy to establish good relationship with everyone and it felt that you are on the adventure with punch of friends. Every guide had its own stories to tell.
One thing I can suggest is to have honest expectations, tell who you are, where are your standards and surely you will be suggested where to go and which camp to use for accommodation.
By the end of our trip to bush, we were overwhelmed and started to talk when to come back. Moreover, we are waiting when we can host Paul and show him one, 100 years young country he has not visited :)
We even send someone to wake you up at the right time Birgit, and they bring coffee! And yes you are totally right, people should not worry if I don't reply quickly, I might be in the bush with my Estonian friends.
You make a great point Birgit about preparations and expectations, we had great discussion before the safari so we could make sure the group got what they wanted and more from the saf... Read moreari. I had a wonderful time and it was really a privilege to meet you all and share Selous and Ruaha with you.
I'm super excited to come to Estonia one day, in the summer though! We'll talk about your next safari then.
Paul Tickner made our vacation animal safari very easy. We just had to show up. At every stop someone was waiting for us to take us to the next place, and those places were all amazing. We saw so many interesting and beautiful animals and experienced the African bush really, really up close. Everyone we met was helpful and friendly. The bush camps that Paul picked for us were all very comfort ... Read moreable and the service friendly and accommodating. Our experience was deeply satisfying and it was no accident - we owed it all to Paul's experience, good taste and desire to share the world that he has come to know and love.
Wow, what a lovely thing to say Marc. We're so glad you enjoyed your safari. Hope to see you guys in Tanzania again one day!?
We had a fabulous trip to Tanzania! Everything worked like clockwork. We were picked up, dropped off, and told of our scheduled times. Everyone was well informed and so welcoming. The accomodations were great..good food, good people and knowledgeble guides. We felt well cared for and welcomed. And we saw an amazing array of wildlife with beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
It is an experience we al ... Read moreways remember.
Thank you Elizabeth, that's exactly what we all work for. You're always welcome in Tanzania.
I didnt communicate much with Paul before the safari, but the service of Paul and the staff members at the camps was unbeatable. Super attentive, friendly, and protective. Lived up to all my expectations of the animals, and blew away my expectations of the housing. Paul and the drivers he works with are extremely knowledgeable on the areas and really fun to be around during the safari. We were luc ... Read moreky enough to see every major animal we wanted up close and personal, especially Lions.
We also saw some leopards, and that was no accident either I think you'll remember! All down to the leopard whisperer himself. I must say I have not been practicing my beer die, but I don't think there's anywhere to play as good as the Serengeti!
I couldn't be more pleased with the trip. Paul handled everything and made sure everyone was comfortable, engaged, and getting from the experience what they'd hoped for. The teams Paul assembled for us on the ground were stellar (from the drivers to the lodge staff) and at no point did we ever feel that we needed something we didn't have. It's a massive benefit having someone who is both a native ... Read moreEnglish and Swahili speaker.
Being on a safari can be draining or just generally a lot - driving in the car all day in the sun/rain, but Paul made sure everyone was comfortable at all times, prepared for any conditions, and scheduled everything perfectly (we never went too long without a nice meal, a rest stop, or a break). As for the sightings themselves, we had an amazing time. We saw everything from Leopard and Cheetah cubs to mating lions. Paul knows how to be patient, which many other guide companies seemed to disregard - we watched a cheetah hunt a gazelle after waiting for about 10 minutes, at which point 3 other tour companies had come and gone.
The bottom line for me is this: Paul will always be my top choice for a safari. If he is available, it is a mistake to choose anyone else.
Ooopffh, thanks Sarge, very humbling review. And great photos as well. I had a smashing time with you guys. Especially our highly intellectual chats with you and Victoria, well you being intellectual and me listening and trying to understand!
Let's do it again sometime.
My husband and I found Paul on the internet and were impressed with his reviews. We liked that he had not only spent much time traveling in Tanzania, but had such a deep love and appreciation for the country and the people. As such, we felt 100% confident with his responses to questions we asked him during the planning stages and felt 100% confident he was creating an amazing itinerary for our fam ... Read moreily (of 5). Paul was always quick to respond to questions and sent our itinerary electronically, complete with daily activities and pictures of the accommodations and the surroundings. While the pictures were absolutely stunning, they didn't hold a candle to being there in person! When we arrived at our first camp, Paul had chilled champagne waiting for us in our tent as a welcome gift. We visited 4 areas: South Serengeti (Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp Kogatende), Ngorongoro Crater (Nomad Entamanu Camp), Ruaha (Ikuka Safari Camp), and Selous (Sand Rivers, Nomad). The staffs at each place were incredible hosts. Everyone was kind, accommodating, knowledgeable. Our guides were outstanding. They each worked incredibly hard and had a deep respect for the environment and animals. They took great care to not just make sure we had a great experience, but to make sure we had as little impact on the land/animals as possible. We had community dinners most nights (food was delicious!) with other guests at the camps, which the entire family really enjoyed. In addition, because our trip was in late December, the staff went to extra effort to make the holidays special for everyone there. I happened to be celebrating a birthday while we were at Ikuka, and with the help of Paul and the staff, I was treated to a special day, complete with champagne and a cake. It was a birthday to remember! We had zero problems with transfers, accommodations, etc. Everything was exactly as Paul's itinerary stated it would be. I highly recommend to bring more tip money than you expect you will use. I was deeply moved by the kindness and the work ethic of everyone and wished I had brought more tip money. Other highlights include: fly camping/hiking in the Selous, game drives (of course!), sunsets/sunrises, picnics in the parks/preserves. Although our balloon ride over the Serengeti was cancelled because of wind, I have heard from other travelers that this is a must. It is impossible to pick a favorite place as they were each special. I will say for our first trip to Tanzania, seeing the wildebeests during their migration and the plethora of animals in the Serengeti was quite moving. Overall, this trip left us in awe. It's was an amazing experience and Paul could not have planned a better trip for us. If you are looking at other tour operators, I would advise you to talk to Paul, too. We did and it solidified our decision to go with Paul. Simply put, his heart and soul are attached to Tanzania and he wanted us to love it, too. It showed in the amazing trip he put together for us.
Thank you Kari. What an incredible way to celebrate your birthday, Christmas and New Year, on safari! What a pleasure it was to work with you and your family and my only regret is that I couldn't be there myself. This is why we do what we do.
I am a repeat customer of Paul and have gone on safaris arranged by Paul a few times by now. I have different needs and requirement every time due to my budget, length of stay and other factors. Paul was patient and able to accommodate my requests every single time without any hassle. My husband and I visited the northern circuit and it was my husband's first safari. The package that Paul put toge ... Read morether was the highlight of our life. Paul has years of experiences and wealth of knowledge on African wildlife and best safari destinations. What impresses me most is that while he is a safari tour operator by trade, he has a heart for wildlife conservation - as evidenced in his incredible wildlife photos on his social media platforms and his highly informative newsletters.
Someone reads the newsletter! Thanks Iris, always a pleasure to work with someone who works for animals everyday and is willing to bump down hot dusty roads in the middle of nowhere listening to me waffle on about elephants to do it! We even managed to find the shirt, some months later...
Paul and I together planned five very diverse experiences over a 3 week Tanzania safari. First was Arusha in the North and a deep dive into this high paced African city and all of the wonderful diversity of people, cultures and perspectives it holds. There I spent most of my time in the local markets and places not often visited by tourists. Chem Chem was my first deep dive into the bush and Ta ... Read morenzania's amazing wildlife. Here at Chem Chem, the guide, the Maasai warrior companion for walking safari, and the hospitality are simply exceptional. On to Ndutu in the Serengetti with Nomad Safaris, more exceptional guiding and a team with deep respect and care for the wildlife. Here I watched a male Cheetah finish a kill on a Wildebeest and much, much more. Then to Ruaha National Park in the South for its abundant elephant populations, big cats and as elsewhere remarkable bird species diversity. Finally to Chole Island in the Mafia Archipelago where I lived for several a in tree house.
Paul's knowledge of Tanzania, its people, its wildlife and the biodiversity of this beautiful country made this experience possible. Its is hard to imagine a better experience than I had with Paul Tickner Safaris. It doesn't get any better than this. I would give Paul my highest recommendation and my deepest thanks.
Marv when you first contacted us you said you wanted to really experience Tanzania, to meet people, to see wildlife and to learn along the way. Your open minded attitude made it a pleasure to work with you, a fellow wanderer. It's a joy to be a part of a journey like this.
The thing that impressed me most about Paul Tickner was that we felt he was truly creating an experience for us. He didn't have a package A, package B, package C, etc. that he was trying to fit us into. He took the time to ask what we wanted out of our Tanzania experience, and offered ideas and suggestions. We went back and forth a number of times, and Paul was very patient with us. As a true "onc ... Read moree in a lifetime trip", we obviously wanted to make sure we planned the trip we have always dreamed of -- being from the States, it wasn't practical for us to say "too bad this didn't work out, we'll just come back next time", because there may not be a next time. We explained to Paul what it was we wanted, and he was a wealth of information. He encouraged us to see Southern Tanzania, which was a terrific recommendation as we loved Ruaha and Selous so much. We stayed at amazing lodges/facilities, and some of the other guests (who had also used Paul) and many of the staff at the lodges (who were familiar with Paul) had nothing but good things to say. If (or when) we do make it back to Tanzania -- we'd definitely use Paul again to plan our safari.
As a bit of a background, we did come from the States. We were a family of five with three children (19,16,14). Paul did an outstanding job.
Rajy, I certainly like to think it's a case of 'when' you'll be back in Tanzania rather than 'if'! Our tailor made approach doesn't suit everyone, but when it works, this is what can happen. I would say that you were very patient with me as well, the perfect team.
Paul worked with us to arrange a Safari trip in 2018. We were novices and he spent time via email and phone to understand our interests and propose options. We settled on his Tanzania recommendations and ended up with a great experience. He selected the tour operators for 2 parks and arranged the flights and accommodations from the time we landed until we left. The parks and operators were ex ... Read morecellent. Paul is quite knowledgeable and helped us pick through the locations, timing and experiences and then was able to arrange a terrific experience. We would use him again without reservation.
Thank you for such a kind review Grant. I know you had a great safari because your photos are fab!