Sort By: Date Most Helpful 41-50 of 78 Reviews
Alan Z   –  
United States US
Visited: June 2016 Reviewed: Aug 11, 2016

Email Alan Z  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

A trip of a lifetime

We planned an African trip of a lifetime to see wildlife. We chose Gondwana Tours & Safaris in Botswana because of their reasonable prices, great reviews, an office based in Botswana and their willingness to customize a tour to suit our needs and budget.

Wow did they deliver! Mark Hathaway worked with us for almost a year, answering our questions with a reply usually within 24 hours. Their itinerary took us to four different safari camps through Botswana, followed by a lovely two-day cruise up the Chobe River by houseboat. The trip ended with a stay at Victoria Falls, which was the perfect way to wind down before heading home. We ended up finding and photographing 41 mammal species and saw hundreds of species of birds. Thanks to Gondwana's planning, everything went off smoothly. The camps were ready and waiting for us, and transport was where it needed to be, and precisely on time. The camps themselves were delightful, with good food, a reasonable number of other guests, and eight hours a day in the field. We did not fully appreciate all the planning Gondwana did until we saw it all in action.

Becky   –  
United States US
Visited: July 2016 Reviewed: Aug 2, 2016

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

We took 2 safaris and also visited Victoria Falls.

The entire trip was flawless. There was not one thing that was not done to perfection! From our arrival at the Victoria Falls Airport to transportation to and from each lodge, each leg was without a hitch. Especially helpful was being greeted as we flew out at the end of our trip because the Maun Airport was a bit chaotic and our flight to Cape Town was a fairly new one. The bush flights that were arranged by Mark on Mack Airand came off without a problem.

Aimee   –  
United States US
Visited: June 2016 Reviewed: Jul 22, 2016

Email Aimee  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Perfect trip and mix of activities for solo female

Just as I was booking my Botwswana trip, my traveling partner canceled on me. I didn't want to spend as much money as we were going to spend if I were going alone, so Mark came up with a great trip for me. It was a great combination of types of safaris and geography (Khwai, Inner Delta, Chobe) and the places I stayed I was very happy with, the guides are very knowledgeable and well-trained, the hospitality was ideal, and the food was very good (and there are a lot of things I don't eat which they all catered to). I needed to end in Chobe because I was meeting another friend for Victoria Falls, but if I hadn't needed to take his schedule into account or the zambezi river level, I think it would be best to start with Vic Falls and then Chobe, Inner Delta, Khwai. I like Inner Delta in the middle because you can do walking safaris there and it was good to have that as the middle activity between the game drives you do in Chobe & Khwai. I also would have stayed a 3rd night in the Inner Delta instead of just 2 because the walking safari was my favorite. But considering my schedule needs, what Mark arranged for me was perfect. It was so shocking to get just a few meters away from a lion with nothing but the car door between it and me (no glass and only a very high roof), but then it became normal and later when lions are "only" 10 m away you are like oh those lions are kind of far away. The transfers and flights all worked seamlessly and my whole job was to show up at the right time, which made that part very relaxing and the animals made it exciting.

RobLaine   –  
Australia AU
Visited: June 2016 Reviewed: Jul 15, 2016

Email RobLaine  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Beyond Expectations of a Tour Operator

By the time Mark had discussed our options, made the bookings and sent us his background information and FAQs, we felt supremely confident that we had booked with the right organisation and that all would work well. Now we are back in the "real world" (??) we can say that it was a wonderful experience from start to finish. We had one hiccough at the last lodge but that was outside his control and he is following up.
Thanks Mark. It was great!

Norah Lewis   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: May 2016 Reviewed: May 16, 2016

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

Safari - as we like it!

We booked our "once in a lifetime" trip with Gondwana in October 2015 to celebrate my husband's significant birthday in May 2016 - Botswana being a destination that we have both wanted to visit for years. We researched on line and felt that Gondwana offered the best value for money, took care of all issues eg: transfers and did not pressurise us into doing anything we did not want to. Their knowledge of lodges and game viewing was much better than we could ever have managed; they have sourced suppliers that are not necessarily mainstream and therefore keen to guarantee customer satisfaction. Communication with us was good, very detailed information pack that included inoculations etc. When booking on line there is always the risk of payment without delivery and Gondwanda did not disappoint. All accommodation was of a very high standard, staff friendly, knowledgeable without being patronising and with a good sense of humour. We recommend Gondwana to our friends and would certainly use them again.

Lewis   –  
United States US
Visited: April 2016 Reviewed: Apr 20, 2016

Email Lewis  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Gondwana Tours and Safaris understood our passions and developed a perfect custom itinerary for us!

This trip, put together by Steffi, who immediately understood our passions and expectations, was absolutely, positively the best travel experience of our life.  I’d rate it higher than 5 stars, but I guess there is no such astronomical rating.  But the trip and her advice and booking does certainly rate in that category.

Of special notation are several things . . .

1 — All the accommodations recommended were superb!  The transports to and from were perfect, flights beautiful and convenient, always taking into account our wishes for as many game drive opportunities as possible, and various transfers and border crossings easy and without incident.
2 — The choice of Kwando for most of our trip was exactly right for us, because of their deep and intense focus on wildlife and all of the resultant knowledge, tracking and photo opportunities then available because of their staff’s expertise.
3 — The pristine wilderness of especially the Tau Pan (CKGR) and Kwara (Okavango Delta) areas was mindblowing!  I took night sky photographs from our deck at Tau Pan, leaving the room’s door open for possible escape since there were lions roaring in the background!
4 — We experienced amazing wildlife at all locations, and I’ll take months and months to go through all of the photos. I’m certain I have some great shots, and several are good enough that I’m going to enter the Kwando Safaris photo contest — and, regardless of that result, we are sure to be back!
5 -- Due to the expertise and sensitive quality of the guiding, Cheryl often had the opportunity to sketch from the vehicle the scene in her journal, even those events involving wild painted dogs(!), cheetahs and leopards. 

TomD   –  
United States US
Visited: March 2016 Reviewed: Apr 1, 2016

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

Wonderful family reunion trip to Botswana !

Our party of 8 had a trip of a lifetime - Victoria Falls to a houseboat on the Chobe River and then Lagoon Camp and Shinde Camp in Botswana. The accommodations, service, and food were excellent at all locations. The staff at the camps were amazing - so friendly and helpful to our party and especially the two teenagers. We saw several groups of lions including young cubs and a fresh lion kill, not to mention elephants, zebras, hippos, crocs, giraffes, and many types of birds and antelopes - all very close.

Esko   –  
Finland FI
Visited: November 2015 Reviewed: Mar 23, 2016

Email Esko  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Great two weeks in Botswana!

The first impression is often crucial. When I started planning our safari trip to Botswana, I contacted a few local tour organizers in the internet. Mark from Gondwana answered promtly and came up with some tempting suggestions and good description of what to expect. So, it was easy to select Gondwana to work with. Our itinerary underwent numerous changes and last minute alterations and every time Mark patiently and quickly responded to our needs and wishes. The end result was great and everything worked as planned. We had wonderful time in Botswana. Visited 5 camps, all different, all with comfortable and spacious accomodation and good meals. Flew on small planes from one place to another, did safari drives with knowledgeable and helpful guides every morning and evening, saw lots of animals, gulped sundowners with spectacular sunsets, etc. Even the weather was on our side. Then it was nice to finish our safari with a visit to Victoria Falls and to celebrate the birthday of one of our travel companions with a sumptuous dinner on the terrace of Victoria Falls Hotel.

Michael Willis   –  
United States US
Visited: December 2015 Reviewed: Jan 14, 2016

Email Michael Willis  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

A perfectly planned safari

I contacted Gondwana to help me plan a safari in Botswana, and they put together a great trip. I stayed several nights at two camps and had amazing animal sightings. The staff at each camp were superb, from guides to wait staff to housekeeping. Everyone was extremely friendly, and the guides were very knowledgeable and clearly cared about making sure the guests had a great time. I was there for New Year's Eve and we were privileged to watch as the staff sang and danced in celebration. I'll definitely return to Botswana to check on the adorable leopard cub I was lucky enough to spend most of new year's day with, and I'll contact Gondwana to help me plan the trip again.

James Kent   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: December 2015 Reviewed: Dec 30, 2015

Email James Kent

Gondwana Tours to Namibia

We has a really marvellous holiday organised by Mark Hathaway at Gondwana and Ati travel in Windhoek. It lived up to our expectations and beyond. Both Mark and Ati travel had it down to a tee. Highlights are too numerous to mention but certainly Mowani's gorgeous lodge, the stupendous dunes and Etosha from Tree Tops were all fantastic. A small quibble but Swakopmund was a bit disappointing (It's not a particularly attractive place and Walvis bay is somewhat dispiriting!) but we know this may have been owing to demands for accommodation at the time of year around Christmas. Otherwise wonderful and effortless and superbly organised by the team. You won't be disappointed in the experience that these destination experts offer. We would certainly use again - next time Botswana!

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