Sort By: Date Most Helpful Rating 11-20 of 63 Reviews
Gamal El-Masry   –  
United States US
Visited: June 2023 Reviewed: Aug 5, 2023

Email Gamal El-Masry  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Shinzelle Safaris is a reliable tour operator who provided all promised services extremely well.

We booked the "4-Day Essential Greater Kruger Park and Panoramic Tour Combo" for a party of 5 people. Our liaison person at Shinzelle Safaris was Ms. Danielle Smith, who throughout the planning of the trip was very supportive and efficient. She also regularly checked in on us by email and phone/text message during our safari trip, to make sure that we were OKI and address any problems, which we did not have.
Shinzelle put us up at the “Leopard’s Lair Bush Lodge” in Hoedspruit. The early morning transfer from Johannesburg Oliver Tambo International Airport (JNB) to the lodge in Hoedspruit was very well organized and smooth. The driver, André, was very dependable and friendly, and he drove very safely. The lodge where we stayed at was very comfortable, and clean; and the staff very friendly and attentive.
On the afternoon of our arrival in Hoedspruit the first day, we were taken on our first evening safari tour in a private game reserve, very close to the lodge—complete with sunset drinks in the park—which we enjoyed very much.
Early the next morning, we set off on a full-day safari trip to the main Kruger National Park, which was an absolute treat! Our tour guide and driver, Goodman, was a very responsible driver and great safari guide, and he made every effort to show, and explain to, us all the accessible places and animals. We were very lucky to see a lot of great animals, large and small, including hoards of elephants, giraffes, impalas, zebras, leopards, lions, crocodiles, hippos, beautiful birds, and many more. Goodman definitely made our Kruger safari trip a special experience for all of us to remember, and we commend him highly to any and all of Shinzelle’s guests.
On the third day, we headed off on a delightful tour of nature, including gorges, waterfalls, and spectacular views of mountain and valley landscapes, as part of the Blyde River Canyon tour, in the capable hands of Vincent.
On the fourth day, after a delightful early morning safari tour guided by Helmo, again in the adjacent private game reserve, and a hearty breakfast at the lodge, we were picked up around 11 am, and driven back to JNB, where we arrived around 5 pm.
Looking back, all our excursions and trips were conducted by professional and courteous drivers and guides, and everything was completed very much in line with the advertised plan and schedule, as promised by Shinzelle Safaris. All I can say is: "Well done and keep up the good work!"

Teresa Noad   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: July 2023 Reviewed: Aug 3, 2023

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

Great communication, helpful & Friendly, excellent organisation, wonderful trip.

Best Holiday Ever!!! Everything about this holiday was brilliant, wonderful location & accommodation. The communication was excellent & the way the whole trip was organised was fantastic from start to finish. I do not want to do any other type of holiday ever again! The Manor house was wonderful, every person there made our trip what it was, our guides, both from Shinzelle & at the Manor House were great & knowledgeable. Food was delicious, the watering hole opposite the pool was fabulous too. Beautiful place, wonderful people, best trip of my life, cannot wait to come back & I will!

Mikko Perttilä   –  
Finland FI
Visited: July 2023 Reviewed: Aug 3, 2023

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

Perfect Safari

We booked 3 days private safari in Kruger. They arrange everything and it all went as promised. Our guide weesley was great and he knew everything about the animals we saw (and we saw a lot). Higly recomment.

Mark   –  
United States US
Visited: May 2023 Reviewed: Jul 26, 2023

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

Great trip, Shinzelle more challenging than expected.

We had a 2 night safari, organized by Shinzelle. The 4.5 hour van transport to and from Hoedspruit, used by multiple safari tour providers, was comfortable with pleasant driver. 2 nights at beautiful Khaya Ndlovu, a private game reserve, included an evening safari drive (reserve staff guided) on our arrival, a full day tour of southern Kruger Park with a very intelligent guide arranged by Shinzelle, and an early morning safari drive (reserve staff guided) on our day of departure. We loved the location, as well as the comfort and beauty of the accommodations. The guides were smart, kind, and funny - top notch. The lodge staff were lovely, and all of the food was seriously outstanding. We were in southern Africa for another 2 weeks of safaries in the national parks of 3 different countries. Still, we very highly recommend doing the private game reserve experience - completely different and absolutely worth the time and money.

Challenges with Shinzelle started prior to leaving for Africa and continued until 2 months after our return. We don't know but it seems to be a one-person business, because when Danielle had an illness or her young child had an illness or she was traveling, etc. she was often out of touch. When we shortened our planned stay from 3 nights to 2 nights, well in advance of the trip, we did not receive a 'confirmation' of booking changes, nor an accounting of the refund, nor the refund. All of that took 4 months, multiple outreaches to Danielle, and great persistance on our part.

Great safari vacation, will use a different tour operator next time.

Reply from Shinzelle Safaris
Reply from Shinzelle Safaris
Posted on Jul 26, 2023

Dear Mark,

I hope this message finds you well. I am Brandon Smith, the active managing director of Shinzelle Safaris. I wanted to personally respond to your review and address the concerns you raised.

Firstly, I want to clarify that we are not a one-man band as you seemed to imply in your review. We take pride in our dedicated team of travel consultants who work hard to ensure our clients receive dedicated personalised service, In turn giving them a memorable experience.

Regarding your comments about one of our employees, Danielle, I must express my disappointment with the tone of your review. Your backhanded compliments followed by a personal attack on a working mom have had a severe impact on her. It deeply troubles me that your words have caused her sever mental distress. We value our employees as individuals with personal lives, not just workers. It is essential for us to foster a company culture that supports their well-being.

The package you booked and enjoyed was personally designed by me, drawing from my 20 years of experience in the industry. Our suppliers, itineraries, and rates are carefully curated to offer our clients the best possible value for their money.

Regarding your concerns about your queries during a time when Danielle was sick or taking care of her sick child, our company policy is to ensure there is someone available for emergencies and essential reservations are facilitated while an employee is on leave. Unfortunately, some clients choose to ignore the automated responses notifying them of the employees absence and choose to contact our staff through personal channels, invading their personal lives, even during odd hours.

While Danielle was understandably unavailable during her recovery, we always made sure that all aspects of your tour were well taken care of. In case of any legitimate emergencies, they would have been promptly handled internally.

As for the change in your itinerary and the subsequent cancellation of a night's accommodation and activities, our terms and conditions state a 100% cancellation policy within 30 days of arrival. However, Danielle sought a meeting with me to discuss your situation, and I decided to authorise a refund based on special circumstances, despite our policy.

It is disheartening to see that after receiving your refund, in return for this gesture, you chose to write a damaging review that could affect Danielle's livelihood and that of her child's. Please understand that your published review will have repercussions. We will no longer be able to grant special refunds in the future due to public attacks like this. Also, our business may lose reservations as potential clients might be influenced by your review.

I urge you to consider the consequences of your actions on individuals and their families before publishing such reviews. Our employees work tirelessly to provide excellent service and go above and beyond for our clients. It is essential to show empathy and understanding, especially when dealing with personal matters and challenges that can arise unexpectedly.

I operate on an open door policy and would have appreciated it had you first taken this matter up with me personally in order to come to an amicable resolution.

I sincerely hope that you will reflect on the impact your review could have on the lives of our team members. We strive to make every client's experience exceptional and deeply regret that you felt the need to share your dissatisfaction in this manner. Especially considering you enjoyed our packaged experience and the issue on hand is the service level you received in refunding you, when we were not under any obligation to do so.

Wishing you all the best in your future travels and decisions.


Brandon Smith
Managing Director, Shinzelle Safaris

Helen   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: January 2023 Reviewed: Jan 29, 2023

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

Made my dreams come true

We booked the four day Kruger and Private Reserve Tour with Danny, staying at Khaya Ndlovu Manor House. First of all, the accommodation and food was first class. The manor is beautifully decorated, with a deck area and infinity pool overlooking a water hole, where you can watch zebras and other wildlife come down to drink. The game drives were out of this world! Johnny our guide for Kruger was so knowledgeable and could spot all types of wildlife. We were extremely lucky and saw everything we could, and the trackers and guides at Khaya Ndlovu also went above and beyond to track cheetahs and lioness. Everything was perfectly organised by Danny, so we just had to sit back and soak up the whole experience.

Jan   –  
Germany DE
Visited: December 2022 Reviewed: Jan 26, 2023

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

Excellent organisation, See you again!!

Ist was a great value for money, we could always reach someone, friendly and professional

David   –  
United States US
Visited: January 2023 Reviewed: Jan 12, 2023

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

Great Safari Adventure

Danielle kept us informed before and during our Safari. Jeffery, our guide, had 16 years experience and an eagle eye for spotting wildlife and bringing it to our attention. The Panorama tour was fantastic...but make sure you go when the weather is nice. Our hotel had large rooms, a welcoming and kind staff, and air conditioning that worked. (For Americans that are only used to high end US hotels, you may want to spend more money and request fancier accommodations...though I did enjoy our stay at our hotel.)

Donnie R   –  
United States US
Visited: May 2022 Reviewed: Jun 21, 2022

Email Donnie R

Simply incredible!

10/10 greatly exceeded all expectations! No regrets! Incredible!

S.   –  
Germany DE
Visited: May 2022 Reviewed: Jun 21, 2022

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


Everything was planned perfectly. we stayed at
umkumbe bush lodge, which was a really
awesome place to stay. food was good.
everybody was so nice and friendly and
helped us with everything. the safaris were
unbelievable. we almost saw every animal of
the big5 (except the buffalo). really good
rangers which found a lot of animals. it was a
perfect trip and also thanks to danielle who
planned and booked everything for us.

Raj   –  
United States US
Visited: May 2022 Reviewed: May 28, 2022

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

Excellent Itinerary and Arrangements

We had a wonderful time on Safari arranged by Shinzelle with wonderful memories. The team from Shinzelle including Danielle and our guide Derrick took care of all of the arrangements including airport pickup, lodging and the Safari tours at Kruger. The staff and guides at Ukumbe Safari Lodge arranged for great Safari experiences in Sabi Sands where we saw Lion, Leopard, Rhino and Elephant. Everything was perfect, making our visit such a memorable experience.

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