Sort By: Date Most Helpful 21-30 of 301 Reviews
Tuomas   –  
Finland FI
Visited: June 2022 Reviewed: Jun 9, 2022

Email Tuomas  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Great service and assistance

We have always received great and professional service from Roho ya Chui and Ute in particular. Email responses are quick and communication is easy.

Company is run by very knowledgeable people and thus every safari so far has been a success for me. Rates are usually cheaper than booking straight through lodges.

Most recommended

Jirina   –  
Czech Republic CZ
Visited: August 2021 Reviewed: Sep 3, 2021

Email Jirina  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Unforgettable and overall amazing experience

Ute from Roho Ya Chui has fully organized already two trips to South Africa for our family and they both could not have been more perfect and seamlessly organized. Both trips were truly an unforgettable experience, thanks to Ute and her thorough and first-hand knowledge of several game reserves, her attention to detail and respect for our preferences. She crafted a truly amazing and personalized experience for us each time. She answered all our questions and almost daily emails from us preceding each trip and kept us perfectly updated on any news (we especially valued this, as our second trip was during the COVID pandemic). Each time we truly enjoyed ourselves and had amazing sightings, seeing the Big 5 multiple times, and we felt very safe and taken care of throughout both the planning stages of the trip and during the trip itself. We truly cannot wait to visit Africa with the help of Ute and Roho Ya Chui again!

Lisa Colella   –  
Italy IT
Visited: December 2020 Reviewed: Jan 3, 2021

Email Lisa Colella  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Another fantastic African safari thanks to Ute & Roho Ya Chui!

Ute and Roho Ya Chui have been nothing short of fantastic in planning (and re-planning, 3 more times) our trip to Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, AndBeyond Kichwa Tembo in the Masai Mara, Kenya, and Sanctuary Kusini in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

This was our second safari with Ute, after our first trip to Okavango Delta, Chobe and Victoria Falls in August 2018. The first experience was so great, we didn't hesitate to book with Ute again...originally planned for only 1.5 years after our first trip because it was so wonderful!

Full disclosure: we never book our trips with third parties, we always book everything ourselves. However, at least in the case of Africa, I really recommend looking to a travel agent. The booking is quite complex with the number of camps, flights, etc, and often the camps aren’t used to booking directly either. There’s also a lot of inside knowledge that you really wouldn’t know without having someone who specializes in African safaris. We actually got lower rates booking with Ute and she organized everything for us, with no extra cost.

We booked our trip in 2019 for spring of 2020. Unfortunately, we were scheduled to leave the same week in March that Italy (where we live) shut down for coronavirus. We were not allowed to leave the country, even though Africa was still open at that point. Ute worked tirelessly to convince the camps to let us reschedule. That was no easy feat.

We rebooked for June because we thought the world couldn't possibly still be shut down by then. How wrong were we! Ute was able to help us add 2 extra nights at Sanctuary Kichakani to ensure we would see the great migration, but alas, the timing wasn't possible. At this point, while Italy was doing a bit better, Africa was now shut down.

August is a big travel month in Italy, so we rescheduled for then, thinking things may open up for the summer since it's one of the biggest months for African safaris. We paid an additional supplement as many camp rates are higher during this time. Still, no luck. Travel was fairly open in Europe, but much of Africa still closed.

At this point, we looked at traveling the following August in 2021, but it was already quite full since many people had already pushed out their travel to the next year. Finally, we decided on December 2020. Between Christmas and a big birthday for my husband, we thought this would be the perfect time.

This means that Ute planned our trip FOUR times. Every time involved changes, contacting camps and updating flights, and extra camp / flight costs, but she pulled it off. Ute did quite a bit of extra work for this trip but at no additional cost. Her communication is always outstanding and she is willing to go above and beyond to ensure everything is planned well. She also negotiated on our behalf a couple of times when the prices began spiraling due to all of the changes.

And that’s not all! A week or so before we were leaving, we found out Kichakani wasn’t reopening as they didn’t have enough guests, so we could either move into their Ngorongoro Crater camp, or add a couple extra nights at Kusini. We chose the first option as we were looking forward to 3 camps, and we were glad we did (though it was quite the travel day getting to the crater, particularly with one of the usual airports closed!) We also added a third night at the crater as we didn’t want to travel on Christmas. Turns out that was a good call also. We had great sightings on Christmas Day, and spent the entire day with a picnic lunch in the crater. This allowed us a peaceful day and to save the drive and flight for the following morning. Have you lost count of how many updates Ute made to this trip? I have!

On December 18, we set off on our adventure. We spent 1 night at the Nairobi Four Points airport hotel on our own, then 1 night at Giraffe Manor, 2 nights at AndBeyond Kichwa Tembo, 3 nights at Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater and 2 nights at Sanctuary Kusini.

The trip was nothing short of amazing. One of the best we’ve ever taken. Every place we stayed was so lovely, the people friendly, the food delicious. Because of current times, we had our game drive vehicles completely to ourselves for every one. Usually there’s an up-charge for this and it made for a really special and peaceful experience.

Ute knew it was my husband’s birthday during this trip, and we had several special cakes and songs to celebrate - it was a lovely touch!

All staff at all 4 of the places we stayed were very professional. Always masks and hand sanitizer, often gloves, and they sprayed our items to disinfect also. I never felt nervous - everyone was so careful, and honestly, it didn’t make the experience any less wonderful.

Sadly, camps were at a fraction of capacity, which was nice for us because we felt we had the place for ourselves, but sad for them as they desperately need the tourism to come back.

On our last day, we were the only game drive vehicle in the entire southern Serengeti...during the Great Migration!!!

There was a bit of confusion about when COVID tests were needed. We had taken one within 96 hours of arriving to Kenya as required, but Tanzania doesn’t require one, nor does Italy when returning back home. At the Nairobi Wilson airport in Kenya, at first they insisted we needed one when we left to head to Tanzania. I didn’t believe we did and Ute confirmed this as well. The airport then called to Tanzania and they confirmed we wouldn’t need one. But then when we arrived to Tanzania, they then started saying we would need a test to leave Tanzania. We explained we weren’t flying back through Kenya, but there was obviously some confusion as they were pretty insistent. Ute again confirmed we didn’t need one. Finally at Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater, the camp manager came to us on Christmas Eve and said he received a message from the head office that we needed to drive 3 hours roundtrip on Christmas Day to the local hospital for a test. We kindly pushed back, and Ute again confirmed we didn’t need, and she would have someone call. All along, we were very happy to follow all regulations in place and were quite careful, but there is is still a bit of confusion with the virus and what’s needed, where and when. Ute stuck to her guns and so did we. We flew out from Kilimanjaro airport to Rome with a stop in Doha, and sure enough, not a single person asked about a new test. Instead, we are quarantining for 14 days in Italy following country regulation.

This was the biggest complication we encountered on the whole trip, which I would say is quite good considering the current circumstances. It didn’t detract from our trip and we knew going in there would be an added layer of complexity traveling at this time.

There is something so magical and indescribable about the African bush. Our trip was a perfect mix of camps, with different scenery and wildlife along the way. We saw the big 5 (elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion)...we actually saw more than 50 lions on our trip, everything from small cubs to full grown males. We also saw giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, jackals, hyenas, hippos, impala, many birds and lots more. We even saw one cheetah...every animal on our wish list!

If you are considering a safari, I highly recommend it. I promise it will be a highlight of your life. Even during this time, you can do it carefully and have a really special experience. Options are available for a range of budgets, and Ute and the Roho Ya Chui team will put together a perfect itinerary for your needs. Ute really went above and beyond in this planning, and we look forward to booking with her again when we visit the gorillas in Uganda! I can't recommend her or Roho Ya Chui more highly, and if you are considering booking a safari, now is the time!

Carolina Griffiths   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2020 Reviewed: Mar 22, 2020

Email Carolina Griffiths  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

5th Safari with Roho Ya Chui and service provided is 5* as always!

This was our fifth trip with Ute's help, but the first time we have booked a safari in Kenya with her, as we had previously used a Kenyan operator. Given our extremely positive experience with her during the past years for safaris in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, we decided to use their services for our trip which combined Kenya with Zimbabwe and everything went smoothly. Given the unexpected rains in Kenya, the camp we had originally booked in the Masai Mara was damaged, but Ute immediately worked to rebook us in another camp which ended up being a much better option since it was in a conservancy rather than in the Mara Reserve. What I love about Ute is that she responds immediately. When I have an inquiry, there is nothing more disappointing than having to wait for a response or in some cases, I've had companies even ignore my inquiries when they think it may not be enough business and don't even bother to respond, but Ute will always respond promptly. She is also very straight forward with her advice and when she thinks something is not ideal, she will also let you know. That's when her expertise is really appreciated. She's a great professional and I wouldn't hesitate one instant in recommending her company to anyone wanting a great safari experience anywhere in Africa. She will always aim to get the most reasonable price and is very detail-oriented in presenting her itineraries and quotes. I hope to be able to book a new safari with Ute as soon as possible!

Tony Wideen   –  
United States US
Visited: March 2020 Reviewed: Mar 20, 2020

Email Tony Wideen  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

At 62 years old one of my top two vacations of all time. Simply wonderful

Everything was excellent with great transportation, two different type camps both unique, wonderful customer service from staffs & Guides were outstanding as saw all Big Five in first 1.5 days of 5 day, 4 night trip. Ute gave us every type of information we could use & was a phone call or text away with anything I had questions on. Got home just before Virus hit the world so may never have been able to do this again. A trip of a lifetime with my only son.

Thanks Ute, You Rock.

Nia   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2020 Reviewed: Mar 10, 2020

Email Nia  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Excellent reservations!

Ute was always available and promptly answered all our questions.

Kurtis   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2020 Reviewed: Feb 25, 2020

Email Kurtis  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Great safari, quick responses, with no mistakes or missing pieces

Ute did a great job of communicating with all the places I was staying and all the guides/transports on the tour. It was really nice that they all seemed to know my next meeting points/times, allowing my wife and I to just relax and enjoy the safari.

The safari was great and fully lived up to what we were expecting. During the time we were there, all the guides (Kruger + Notten's) were having trouble finding big cats, but we still were able to track down a fair lion sighting (Kruger) and an excellent Leopard sighting/tracking (Notten's). I definitely don't recommend going any shorter than the 4 day safari as it's too hard to predict what you'll see on any given day and if I were to do the trip over, I would have probably asked Ute to add an additional night at Notten's. We decided to do just 1 there b/c of budget but would have stretched a bit more b/c of how great of an experience it was. Being able to go off the roads at the private game reserve for some of the tracking/sightings is an experience you just can't get at Kruger (though we still enjoyed our time at Kruger).

Chestnut Country Lodge was great as well and felt very personal. The staff was very friendly, the food was excellent and I felt the lodgings were a great value.

Mandla from GAP tours was an excellent guide (nice/knowledgeable/funny) and it was really nice sticking with him for the 2 Kruger game drives and the transfer to Notten's. We had some great sightings in Kruger, but even during some of the slower times he had plenty of interesting things to point out and could answer all my questions.

I highly recommend this safari, and working with Roho Ya Chui.

SH Law   –  
Hong Kong HK
Visited: February 2020 Reviewed: Feb 20, 2020

Email SH Law  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Expectation exceeded on all aspects of the tour

Seamless communication before, during and after the tour with Ute - email, WhatsApp, call are quick and clear
Throughout the trip, all the commutes and stays have been very comfortable and well taken care of.
The 3 nights in Machaba Camp is a highlight - excellent services, food and quality of the game drive.
We were in honeymoon and with all the stays we were given "surprises" and very nice hospitality to celebrate this lifetime event of ours. That's very nice of Ute and the camps for the arrangements
In additional to the arranged tour, Ute was helpful in an incident when we intended to fly out from Maun to Cape Town (outside the tour). She sent a local representative to accompany us in dealing with local airline. That is highly appreciated especially we haven't paid for that part!
We will definitely come back to Africa and Ute will be our agent for sure.

Malcolm   –  
United States US
Visited: July 2018 Reviewed: Nov 28, 2019

Email Malcolm  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Excellent safari, and Ute Sonnenberg is a true professional

Our safari in Botswana and visit to Zimbabwe were outstanding experiences. What I want to write most about is how patiently and well Ute Sonnenberg guided us through our choices beforehand and how she was always there for us during the safari. This was our first time going with a custom safari, but I do have considerable knowledge of Africa, so I do have some perspective. Ute has DEEP knowledge of African safari planning and experience. She also was acutely attuned to us. She listened carefully to what we wanted and always followed our wishes, providing guidance and information and never pushing us in other directions. Everything she said in advance turned out to be completely correct. Ute answered every call and email promptly, and when the inevitable minor glitches occurred, she was quickly on the line to provide advice and help. We will go unhesitatingly with her when planning our next safari. As a word to others when planning your safaris, I would suggest doing what Ute helped us decide: go mostly to private reserves/concessions rather than national parks, splash out for at least one higher-end concession safari experience, and have a night or two's rest after arrival before going on safari. And don't always be on the hunt for the big five because that is just box-checking ... by all means choose one concession that has most of these wonderful iconic animals, but also vary your experience with water and desert camps. Lastly, but also firstly, thank you Ute! You will be hearing from us again!

Mariana   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: November 2019 Reviewed: Nov 17, 2019

Email Mariana  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Unforgettable trip! Everything was perfectly planned and organised.

Ute did an amazing job planning our trip to the Okavango Delta and to Victoria Falls.
We pretty much left everything in her hands and she planned an unforgattable trip for us.
We stayed two nights at two different camps inside the Delta; the camps were in two different locations which gave us an opportunity to see different landscapes and animals.
After the Delta we went to Victoria Falls where we stayed at a great guest house.
Everything was perfectly arranged. It exceeded our expectations.

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