Reviews

Average User Rating
4.9/5

Rating Breakdown
  • 5 star 234
  • 4 star 28
  • 3 star 2
  • 2 star 6
  • 1 star 0

Sort By: Date Most Helpful 1-10 of 234 Reviews
Karen   –  
Canada CA
Visited: February 2016 Reviewed: Apr 17, 2016

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

Fantastic Experience
5/5

Going on a safari in Africa has been a dream of mine for many, many years. The choices available are countless. After doing much research, I chose Viva Safaris. Of the options offered, I decided to stay at Tremisana Lodge, and I'm so glad I did. Where to start... The property was exactly what I was expecting... Large, well maintained and authentic. On arrival, I was greeted by at least a dozen monkeys running around the area, a great start! The room itself was spacious, simple and kept very clean. The bed was quite comfortable, a must in my opinion. The food prepared for the guests was tasty and enjoyable. Now, for the best part... The people who work at Tremisana. They made everything perfect. Lianne, master organizer and go to person for anything needed onsite. Pretty (who incidentally fits her name perfectly); the game drive organizer (among other things). The guides: James, Tanya, Bongani and all the other guides who truly go out of their way to make your time in the park sensational. And sensational it was. Way too many sightings to mention, but I do have to mention the last one. On my last morning in the park, James took myself and another guest on an hour tour. Somehow, James noticed footprints in the dusty road and raced to the area he thought the animal the foot prints belonged to would be. Low and behold, we came across the owner of the feet. A mature lion named "Sonof". He was just going about his business calmly and was so close to us, I was able to get at least 50 truly awesome shots including a lion selfie!

If you're debating which safari tour to take, I highly recommend Viva Safaris. It's is the best, bar none when looking at quality/price, (or bang for your buck) and the friendliness of everyone just makes it all the better.

Eva Dietrich   –  
Spain ES
Visited: March 2019 Reviewed: Apr 6, 2019

Email Eva Dietrich

Phantastic organization, excellent guides, different game viewing different reserve, friendly staff
5/5

A wonderful safari adventure, unforgettable, unique. Well, very soon we noticed what Charlotte meant at the welcome meeting: "You will get the real feeling of Africa.." Yes, the treehouse and especially the 1 bed with 1 blanket a bit small for 2 elderly women.... but it was part of the adventure. We enjoyed the warm nights on our terrasse with nothing but the stars above, listening to the frogs, zicades and grills with a bottle of wine, slightly shattered of the daily activities, but happy. My phone had died the 2nd day because of the power cut and I had forgotten my PIN number - how wonderful that has been! Me who has a 24 hour service with my mobile clinic, cut off completely!!! Phantastic!
Charlotte always caring that everything is well organized and everyone o.k., Victor planning the next day program, the guides so enthusiastic explaining their nature, animals, plants, the staff always friendly and with a smile on their face, everything well organized. We have been the oldest ones (and to learn how to climb onto the jeeps without looking like grandmas) and the ones with the longest stay. Luckily we found a very nice group and we have been together most of the time. In the evening interchanging information about other countries, customs, cultures,. We have been a Southafrika couple, two Japanese women and an Australian chap, and we from Germany and Austria. So even more information!
Wonderful photos are reminding me, I put quite some all over in my house.
Thank you very much again and hopefully Viva Safaries stays like this and in future will go ahead offering unforgettable, wonderful safari adventures!

vmayr   –  
Germany DE
Visited: June 2017 Reviewed: Jul 12, 2017

Email vmayr

My best hotel experience so far
5/5

We stayed three nights at Tremisana Lodge.
The staff was very welcoming. In that hotel there is not the typical division between guests and staff. You live there together, eat together and talk together about the animals and last sightings. I reallly enjoyed that.
Furthermore the rangers really love their job and do their best to find as much animals as possible. They are very well trained.
The food is typical South African an homemade. We loved it so much.
The beds with its down blankets are amazing.
I fell in love with the bush and really miss the lodge.

Sandie   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: July 2016 Reviewed: Jan 3, 2017

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

An amazing experience I won't forget in a hurry...
5/5

I was so pleased with the correspondence with emails keeping us up to date with a wealth of information. There was always someone on hand to answer any questions and very quickly too. I felt they were very professional and left nothing to chance. Deposits were paid in advance and I had no qualms whatsoever and the balance for the trip was paid too without any problems.
I found the staff very friendly right from the start of our journey from the airport to the very end. The accommodation was very clean and comfortable. Every meal was well cooked and superb. Nothing was too much trouble for them.
The guides were very friendly and smart with a wonderful sense of humour. I felt very safe even on our short walk away from the vehicle, trying to find the elephants that were near. My biggest thrill was stroking two cheetahs who had just killed and were very full lying down almost asleep. They each had one eye cocked ready for anything and then we come along! I could almost see them yawning and thinking, oh! it's them again. I must admit we were all pretty cautious going in one by one, for these were real wild animals with the carcass of their kill just behind them. The guides certainly know their stuff and it was an absolute joy to see all the wildlife. It far exceeded my expectations and the night safaris were a real bonus. The sunrises and sunsets were incredible. I have no hesitation whatsoever going with them again. We are planning to go in 2018.

Kristen   –  
United States US
Visited: December 2016 Reviewed: Dec 30, 2016

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

Amazing visit to South Africa / Kruger
5/5

I am not a rich person. But I enjoy rich experiences: viva safaris allowed me to have an amazing experience in South Africa, make our group feel special, see the big 5, eat incredible meals and not have to spend a lot of money to do so. We stayed at several of Viva's properties: Marc's Treehouse, Tremisana lodge, and the wonderful and luxurious Katekani Tented Camp. The latter made me feel like I was a millionaire it was so luxurious. Piero cooked the most amazing meals for us and we had the whole place to our selves. Tremisana is a wonderful place to start a safari as it is comfortable and immediately you feel immersed in Africa with Warthogs and Monkeys roaming the property! Viva is a well put together safari company that is extremely well coordinated across complicated logistics. It feels seamless, but obviously must take a lot of work to coordinate across so many people and activities and have it feel effortless! I highly recommend this company and its various properties. Do make sure you know what you want in terms of accommodations: we signed up for "budget" at the tented camp and while it was great - our older members wanted a bit more luxury so we upgraded to Katekani from Marc's Treehouse. Viva was incredibly accommodating and for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you Viva Safaris! I will recommend you to many others!

Greg Cunningham   –  
United States US
Visited: September 2016 Reviewed: Oct 18, 2016

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

5-day Viva Safari in Tremisana Lodge near Kruger
5/5

Our 5-day safari at Tremisana Lodge near Kruger Natl Park exceeded expectations for my wife and I. Our trip started with a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, where we stayed the night at a comfortable but inexpensive Safari Lodge near the airport which Viva Safaris helped us to reserve. The next morning we had a 6-hour drive to Tremisana that was part of the package, arriving at the Lodge in the late afternoon. That evening we went on a 3-hour night drive where we saw a black-backed jackal mother (with cubs in a nearby termite mound), elephants (mothers and children), and numerous impala (the fast food of the bush). The following morning we went on a 'bush walk' just after sunrise where our guide, Rex, and his partner, Elias, tracked a black rhinoceros and her 2-year old daughter. Rex predicted that the rhinos would be near our jeep when we returned there an hour later, and, sure enough, they were happily munching twenty feet off the road upon our return. We were so close we could see them use their protuberances to strip the leaves off the branches, hear them chew the vegetation, and see the young rhino communicate with her mother in response to our presence. Prior to returning to the jeep we had seen a group of hippos next to several crocodiles in the river, and a troop of baboons across the river. Rex and Elias also showed us some of the 'little five' along our hike, and their communication with the group while tracking the rhinos at a distance truly enhanced the experience. During the middle of the day we enjoyed the small pool and lounging chairs, interacting with other guests from around the world. During the evenings of our stay we regularly went on drives, and saw many different types of animals, including giraffe, kudu, duiker, impala, steenbok, mongoose, hyena and others, often with their young. We were astounded how much wildlife there was considering how badly the drought seemed to be affecting the vegetation, but the lack of vegetation made seeing the animals easier, I think. Other highlights of the trip were the full day we spent in Kruger, where we saw small herds of wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, impala, Cape buffalo, a pride of lions with the alpha female protecting a recent kill, a recent impala kill stored for safekeeping in a tree by a leopard, a lounging leopard under a tree just 30 feet from the jeep, and many other amazing sitings. We also enjoyed our visit to the Maholoholo Sanctuary, where we learned about the devastating impact that modern civilization has on these magnificent creatures and we enjoyed petting an 'ambassador' cheetah, feeding the vultures and watching an adult male lion take raw meat from our guide. Our trip to the private game reserve Tshukudu was also very enjoyable as we got within 50 feet of a pride of lions napping in a dry river bed. The male and female roared in response to the engine noise of our jeep. We saw a baby hippo with its protective mother in one of the water holes there as the sun set. On our farewell drive the morning of our departure, we experienced a poignant moment when we saw four lion cubs, one of whom had somehow gotten on the 'wrong side of the fence' and was chuffing at her litter mates. The three that were on our side of the fence were in obvious distress at the fact that their litter mate was separated from them, and all four were communicating with each other. Despite the immense size of Kruger Natl Park, which Tremisana Lodge is adjacent too without any fencing separating the two areas, this experience reminded us that habitat loss is one of the major problems facing the many species we encountered during our stay. Overall, we thought that Viva Safaris provided us with a terrific experience for a very affordable price. We enjoyed the breakfasts and dinners prepared by the kitchen staff that were served outdoors, with a troop of velvet monkeys playing amongst themselves and often attempting to play with the guests, the warthogs and yellow hornbills eating the leftover fruit disposed of by the staff just outside the protective fence, and a curious genet exploring the area around our dinner one evening. Everyone we talked to who was on safari with us wished we could stay 'just one more day' because every day yielded something unexpected and memorable. We appreciated all the hard work from the staff at Viva Safaris and felt like we had made a lasting connection with many of them; we can't wait to visit again!

Cathy Martin   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: May 2014 Reviewed: Mar 9, 2016

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

The Jewel of Africa
5/5

In 2010 at the age of 50 something I finally decided to follow my lifetime dream and visit Africa. As it was a solo trip and had no idea where I wanted to go, I spent many weeks searching the web for the perfect and safest place that met all my requirements. I finally was guided to Viva Safaris website and I knew this was the one. Six years on and I have returned many times.

Viva Safaris has not just become another Safari company offering a wide range of activities, they are now family and treat me as such. I have seen their programme of activities grow throughout the years offering guests a more personalised adventure that is suitable for both adults and families at a very competitive price.

From the moment you are collected from your accommodation your adventure begins until you finally have to bid farewell you leave with memories that will last a lifetime.

The transfers to and from Johannesburg is aboard a 12 seater comfortable mini bus, the journey does take around 6+ hours there is many stops on the way and also an hour stop for lunch. The time goes by very quickly as you get to know fellow guests.

On arrival at Tremisana I was met with a warm friendly welcome from the Hostess and staff providing cool drinks for all guests. The first thing I saw was the beautifully kept tropical gardens surrounded by thatched roof lodges and a swimming pool. The lodges are spacious, comfortable and very clean, each one has its own distinct African feel about it. The en suite lodges also have tea/coffee facilities. The Lapa area is where breakfast is served and it borders Balule Nature Reserve which is part of Kruger National Park. This area is so peaceful (when the vervet monkeys are asleep) and I have spent many hours sitting on the swing bench reading and observing the wildlife around the watering hole. There is a bar area where you can relax with a beer and access the free wifi. The dining area gives you no doubt that you are in Africa with its open firepit and the smell of delicious variety of home cooked food.

The Game Drives were everything and more than I could have ever imagined. The Balule Reserve and of course visits to Kruger National Park has an abundance of wildlife and the open game viewers gives you the ultimate viewing platform to see magnificent wildlife up close. The Wildlife Guides are all very knowledgeable in conservation, animal behaviour and identification from the largest to the smallest inhabitants that they share their lives with, all done with amazing sense of humour. The Bush Walks opened up another world to me and gave me the understanding why everything down to trees, termites, Elephants and everything in between is connected and why habitat protection and conservation is vital for wildlife.

I could continue to talk about dining in the middle of the African Bush with wildlife just feet away under a blanket of stars, or visits to the amazing work of the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehab Centre, visit to Tshukudu Lodge where the cheetahs are often found lying around the pool area. Each day is different and each day you find something else to add to this unique African experience.

I also became very involved with the orphanges, missionaries and schools that Viva Safaris sponsor and to date have raised over £5000 supporting a local school with necessary educational materials and sports equipment and I am currently raising funds to construct a multi purpose sports area for one of the schools in Acornhoek. I couldn't have achieved this without the full support of Viva Safaris who have encouraged me with my ideas to bring hope to the children and provide a better understanding of the importance of protecting the wildlife and their habitats in Africa.

You can become an involved visitor or enjoy everything Viva Safaris have to offer. I would recommend a visit to Marc's Treehouse Lodge, I love this place so much that a few years ago my partner and I became engaged under the African night sky...so romantic. The Treehouse is definitely a unique experience. The treehouses come in varies shapes and sizes with picture size windows allowing you to see your very own incredible view of the African Bush and its wildlife. Again the accommodation is very clean and comfortable, food is incredible and the staff are just amazing.

If you are like me and find it difficult to choose from so many different options for your travel plans, I can in all honestly recommend Viva Safaris, it has changed my life, it is not just another holiday destination for me, every time I say goodbye to my Viva family and return to Scotland I leave part of me behind. I look forward to seeing everyone again in September 2016.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions I will be happy to respond.

Sally   –  
Gibraltar GI
Visited: March 2020 Reviewed: Apr 28, 2020

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

MEMORABLE SAFARI WITH VIVA!
5/5

Our tour with Viva Safaris met all our expectations in every way. FANTASTIC! The booking process was quick and informative and all the pick ups and schedules were timely. The Viva staff at the lodges were friendly helpful and the food delicious!! The hostess and kitchen staff at Marc’s Lodge even treated us to a birthday cake and Zulu dance!! MEMORABLE! We liked the rustic feel of both Tremesana and Marc’s Lodge which gave you a real sense of being in the Bush. The game drives were great and we were lucky to see lots of animals including the big 5. The guides were all very knowledgeable and informative. Elias entertained us with his great sense of humor and plenty of sightings of “Bush McDonalds “!! “ All part of the Game!”
Big thank you to ALL the staff Including drivers and those in the background for making our holiday so memorable!
Stay safe through Covid19 and wish you all the best in the future!

Penny W.   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: January 2020 Reviewed: Apr 26, 2020

Email Penny W.  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Absolutely wonderful!
5/5

From beginning to the end it was such a lovely experience, filled with great hospitality, kindness, friendliness, and patience from all the people who took charge of the logistics of our days and nights. The accommodation, meals and the soul filling hours on safari in the parks were all truly fabulous! And exciting! There was a seamless flow to the activities scheduled for each day and all we were required to do was to relax and enjoy it all; all logistics were cared for with aplomb!
I’d love to do it all over again!

DAVID LAUGHTON   –  
Australia AU
Visited: April 2019 Reviewed: Mar 5, 2020

Email DAVID LAUGHTON  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Well organised and reliable.
5/5

The pretour communications were excellent, we were met at the correct time, our pre safari accommodation was great. The safari tour was well organised, with both lots of accommodation being comfortable and clean. The meals were very good (despite the fact that a monkey stole one of our muffins off the dining table - very funny!). The safaris each day were well run, guides were fun and knowledgeable. We were given plenty of time to enjoy each day in Kruger and all in all had a wonderful time. Highly recommended!

Average User Rating
4.9/5
Rating Breakdown
  • 5 star 234
  • 4 star 28
  • 3 star 2
  • 2 star 6
  • 1 star 0
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