African Safari Guru
- Located In:
- 1-5 employees (Founded in 2005)
- Member Of:
- SATOA, FGASA, SATIB, DEAT, CASSETHA, For Wildlife Non Profit Trust & Prodly South African
- Tour Types:
- Custom mid-range & luxury tours that can start every day
- Price Range:
- $370 to $1,025 ppper person per day (USD, excl. int'l flights)
Average User Rating
Email Julie and Chris | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
We wanted a tailormade trip to South Africa and Matt was certainly the man to fix it for us. From the start, Matt made every step easy and was always available via Whatsapp video call to help with any questions or queries. We arranged our own flights to Johannesburg and onward to Hoedspruit where we were met by one of Matt's colleagues and driven to our first lodge 'Jackalberry Lodge' which was just a delight. The Ranger and Tracker were so knowledgeable, we were treated to a fabulous pride of four male lions on our first night out, breath taking! After 3 nights and 6 amazing game drives we were picked up and driven to our next lodge ‘Idubi Safari Lodge in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park. A very comfortable lodge with our own private pool overlooking the bush route for many different animals, especially elephants, an absolute treat to watch. Again, our Ranger and Tracker were so knowledgeable and capable and made each game drive fun and exciting. The lodge itself was very comfortable, every meal was delicious, the staff were very helpful and friendly which made our stay so enjoyable. We spent 3 nights at Idubi and enjoyed 6 game drives managing to tick off so many of our favourite animals, particularly cheetah, leopard, lion, white rhino and we also saw wild dogs, buffalo, hippo, hyena and so many more fantastic creatures. We were driven to our final lodge ‘Lukimbi Safari Lodge in Kruger National Park. Lukimbi is a pretty spectacular place with individual lodges with beautiful bathrooms and private pools overlooking the park, perfect for game viewing, particularly elephants down by the river. A further 3 days and 6 game drives were filled with amazing wildlife and relaxing days, truly a holiday to remember.
Matt listened to what we wanted and chose the lodges to match our interests; he arranged for our transportation between the airports and lodges and was always at the end of the phone if we had any questions. We would certainly rebook through Matt when we return to South Africa.
Email Lesley & Hugh Evans | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Amazing Holiday Experience
Matthew was very efficient and our amazing two weeks away passed seamlessly. He was very good at communicating everything that was going on and his suggestions were all great. The whole trip was of a high standard with good locations and his knowledge of everything to assist us was so helpful. All the transfers and accommodation bookings were of no trouble to us making our holiday seem effortless on our part and very relaxing.
Email Hugh | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Friendly, efficient and excellent
One of the best holidays ever - and I've been on many around the world - Matt was extremely communicative before during and after the holiday. His organisation skills were excellent, surpassed only by quality of where he picked - the 2 lodges were beyond anyones wildest dreams. If you want an unforgettable safari experience, look no further.
Email Brian Kennedy | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Everything we could have wished for from a tour operator.
We worked with Matty to plan a 3-week tour of South Africa with 1 week in Cape town and 2 weeks on safari. Matty immediately stood out to me as the person I wanted to work with on the tour by having a very fast response rate and setting up a video conference with me to discuss our wish list and budget requirements. Once our meeting was finished he quickly had a proposal in our hands that blew our minds! I thought there was no way someone would be able to offer a high-quality tour and stay within our budget, but he found a way.
In Capetown, he arranged a beautiful apartment in a very safe and scenic area close to the pier. As for the activities, we really enjoyed the cape fur seal snorkeling and shark dive. Matty chose companies that truly care about the country, the wildlife, and your safety. (Cape fur seal snorkeling is a must! easily our favorite experience in Capetown!) I should mention that Matty admitted that Capetown is not his specialty, but he represented it very well. We will return!
We then flew to Johannesburg and commenced a 2-week safari tour. Matty had arranged 5 camps of changing amenities, each with its own topography and animal specialty. We started at Mosetlha Bush Camp in Madikwe, and what a way to start! (FYI. opt for the bush flight in and out if you can afford it) This is truly a special bush camp. The manager (her name escapes me right now) made us feel like family as soon as we arrived. She showed us to our bush hut and took us through the amazing procedure they have for hot water showers, the well-stocked and priced honesty bar, and the daily itinerary. Guests should know that there is no power or wifi at this camp, don't show up thinking you're going to the Shangrila to be pampered, this is a bush camp after all. The food was home-cooked with locally sourced ingredients, and the staff was all very friendly. As for animals, I think we lucked out! We had almost everything covered in 2 days! But I don't think this was normal.
The second Lodge was a high-end safari lodge named Lukimbi. Everything was amazing here, the food was prepared by an award-winning chef, the wine cellar was fully stocked with local wines, and the game drives and bush walks were conducted by true professionals who were excited to answer any questions we had. I truly cannot say enough good things about this lodge.
Umkumbe Safari Lodge was next. This place was another great spot, just not quite as high-end as Lukimbi, but great nonetheless. What stood out about Umkumbe was the relaxed atmosphere, amazing views from the bar/pool area, craft beer selection from the honesty bar, and the excellent chances to see leopards. right from check-in, we were greeted by 4 lions and 1 leopard on the far bank of the river, and a local hippo that would often make an appearance.
Back to the bush! Umlani Bush Camp is a small family-owned (like most places we stayed) camp that has a very close-to-nature feel. from the hyena and lions that sing you to sleep, to the boma fire that we sat around exchanging stories nightly, this place made you feel like you were a part of something special. The booze was inclusive, the food was great, and the staff was all friendly. I would recommend asking them to take you out and leave you at the tree house for a couple of hours or for the evening, it was an experience not to be missed. The animals act completely different when you are in the tree house because they don't realize you are there, it's so exciting waiting to see what will pop out next! The staff even packed us a cooler of beer and snacks for our tree house visit.
Arathusa Safari Lodge. Matty ended us off with a bang! another higher-end lodge with full amenities and a beautiful spa. The animal sightings were plentiful, and the food and drink top notch. After 2 weeks of twice-a-day game drives our backs deserved the spa treatment they received from the magical hands of the ladies at Arathusa, pure bliss.
To conclude, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the unparalleled support we received from Matty. The nonstop emails, calls, video chats, transfers, and local information we received were second to none (and we've been on lots of safaris, in many countries). He was always available and even took time from his busy schedule to drive us between the lodges. He is a true professional, I dare say that if you put him at the front of a land cruiser he could provide you with as much quality info as any of the lodge-supplied rangers. He's a real gem.
We will be back!
Email Michal | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
The most memorable travel experience
Thanks to Matt and African Safari Guru, this was the most amazing traveling experience our family have ever had. With 5 days in Cape-town, tasting wine, great restaurants, horse back riding, seals, penguins, helicopter flight to 5 days in the most memorable Safari in Marataba and Madikwe. All perfectly organized with fantastic support from Matt, private transfers & flights between airports. Every step has been organized on 100%.
Email Mitch R | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Amazing South Africa Vacation Trip
We normally arrange all of our own vacation trips, but wanting to have a great safari experience and concern about some of the logistics associated with our family trip to South Africa, made me think we'd be better off with some professional planning. I put out feelers with a handful of tour operators, including Matthew Grace at African Safari Guru, and he was by far the most responsive and helpful. Matthew is so knowledgeable about South Africa. He has a good awareness of what are the best things to see and places to go at various times of the year - he really listened to what we were looking to do, gave us some great advice and laid out a series of options for our trip rather than a standard tour operator package, and put together a fantastic itinerary for us.
We spent our first 5 days based in Cape Town, and Matthew arranged an outstanding hiking excursion to the top of Table Mountain, as well as day-trips along the coast and into the wine country -- with excellent guides for each. Then we traveled to Kruger National Park for an unbelievably memorable safari experience at Lukimbi Safari Lodge. Lukimbi was a perfect fit for our family -- not sure how Matthew figured that out, but it really worked out great. The safari guides and all the staff at Lukimbi were welcoming, enthusiastic, fun, and really, really good at their work. The game drives were spectacular, and the food and accommodations at Lukimbi were first-rate.
Matthew also arranged for all our transfers, and every one was flawless. In addition, Matthew stays in daily communication with you while you're on your trip, via WhatsApp, and was always available to answer any questions or resolve any issues that cropped up. Not only that, but he personally met us at the Nelspruit Airport and was our driver for a day as we transited to Lukimbi (and he knew some great spots to view some of the wildlife in Kruger on the way to Lukimbi, so we had kind of a bonus game-drive on the way in!). Matthew tries to meet up in person with each of his clients at some point on their trip, which is a great indication of the individual attention he provides as a tour planner.
When it was all said and done, we had a fantastic holiday and I can confidently recommend African Safari Guru. Matthew's professional knowledge, honest and straightforward advice and hands-on approach to planning, and his great customer service paved the way for what each of us agreed was possibly the best vacation we have taken as a family.
Email Romain | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Use African Safari Guru if you want an amazing and personalized safari !!
It's the second time Matt from African Safari Guru organizes a safari for me in South Africa. This time it was for my honeymoon. He organized an amazing trip in incredible lodges. I was able to really understand the experience we wanted and build a packages that was ideal for us. I really recommend it for anyone looking to do a personalized safari. Thanks again Matt!!
Email Dr. Tony Fernandez | 65+ years of age | Experience level: first safari
Excellence in touring South Africa
After some problems with Viator's booking I was fortunate enough to book the tour directly with Matt's African Safari Guru. From the first contact Matt was extremely professional and attentive. He guided me step by step and for several weeks since our first contact to the actual activity he kept me informed of how things were unfolding and frequently updated me about everything. One of the most important things about Matt is his great customer care capacity. Every time I contacted him with questions or doubts, I got a full response in less than 3 hours. From my pick up at my hotel to my return everything was easy and smooth. At the activity site all was perfectly arranged. I most mention the gentleman who took care of my transportation, Doug, who made the whole round trip nice and smooth. He's a very nice and jovial person who made the long trips very interesting with his deep knowledge of South Africa history. I honestly and without reservations recommend Matt's African Safari Guru for all your activities in South Africa. Matt is very knowledgeable, caring and his prices are highly competitive. Excellent job Matt!
Email Laura G. | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Trip of a Lifetime - Way better than what I could have planned on my own
Excellent all the way around. Matthew was very responsive to emails, answered all of our questions, addressed all of our concerns, and made all the little adjustments and changes we requested throughout the planning process. His service exceeded our expectations. The experience itself was great - just what we were looking for, and more. It was evident that he had done his research to make sure he sent us to top-notch places. The itinerary he prepared included activities that I would not have known to look for on my own, such as the activities in Cape Town and the trip into Botswana to visit Chobe National Park. Also, the lodgings he selected for us were superb - a penthouse condo right on Camp's Bay Beach (Cape Town) to start the trip; a BEAUTIFUL and spacious cottage at a small river lodge in Livingstone (Victoria Falls), and two excellent but very different game lodges in Greater Kreuger. I am so glad I went through African Safari Guru rather than booking on my own.
Email Gary Rupe | 65+ years of age | Experience level: first safari
Fantastic personalized travel service
We used South Africa Guru for a last minute trip and we were absolutely amazed. We provided some broad guidance on what we thought we would like to do and Matthew Grace knocked the agenda out of the ball park. With only two weeks notice before we arrived he put together every detail into an amazing agenda we turned into wonderful memories. Give Matthew a call with a little guidance on your dreams and I am sure he will do the same for you.
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