Reviews

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Arvind   –  
India IN
Visited: May 2016 Reviewed: May 16, 2016

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

Safari in Madikwe, South Africa
5/5

We booked our summer vacation to South Africa that included a visit to Johannesburg followed by a trip the the Western Cape after which we took a safari in Madikwe. This was our first trip to South Africa and also our first real safari experience. Right from the booking process to the actual safari experience, it was a smooth process. Our expectations were fairly high and the trip definitely exceeded the expectations. Kids enjoyed the lodge as well as the game drives. Overall, it was an excellent trip!!

Sunny   –  
Singapore SG
Visited: July 2016 Reviewed: Aug 17, 2016

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

Fantastic African Safari Tour organized by Chalo Africa for my big birthday! Absolutely loved it!
5/5

Just returned after a super fantastic safari tour organized by Chalo Africa! The team at Chalo Africa (Sangeeta and Smita) had been splendid at every step in every step while organizing the trip. We were travelling with small children (6 and 9) and it was to be our first Safari Trip. After understanding the brief on what we had in mind, Chalo Africa drew up a few itineraries which were cleverly designed. They had a good mix of theme parks with different offerings and features while at the same time keeping in mind that we were travelling with little children, so it would not be hectic. Although the various information provided by Chalo Africa team had plenty of details, Sangeeta and Smita were always around and prompt in answering all other questions related to Africa, including vaccinations, visas, safari car types, food, safety etc.

Besides an excellent travel plan, the pricing was also excellent as we compared with a few other quotes.

The excellent experience continued in our actual Safari trip to Kenya and Tanzania. We were welcomed by a super friendly guide (we had asked for a child friendly guide) and got the perfect one along with a super well set up Safari jeep. We had a great time seeing the animals and birds and the various landscapes. Different members of the family had expressed different wishes for the safari and each of them were fulfilled. We saw the big five at very close range and many more fantastic creatures from up very close. In lodges, we absolutely loved the Serena Sweetwaters (famous for Rhinos) and the Serena Lake Elementita (lots of flamingos). Of course, being in the Mara was exactly as we had African savannahs and we were very lucky to see the famous Wildebeest migration. In Tanzania, we loved the Ngorongoro crater and all the game trapped in it. We also enjoyed the variety of food across Serena lodges including wide selection of vegetarian options. I also loved my special birthday breakfast by the hippo pool in the Masai Mara!

All through the safari, the Chalo Africa team had created a WhatsApp group to keep in touch and also to give tips and news of animal movements which was super helpful. On a few occasions, when there was a doubt on kind of rooms booked or the days plan, it was very quickly sorted out to our satisfaction! Thank you Chalo Africa for an absolutely fantastic Safari experience! We already look forward to the next one. #A

S. Prasad   –  
India IN
Visited: August 2016 Reviewed: Aug 26, 2016

Email S. Prasad

100% Satisfied - Thank you for arranging a wonderful safari trip
5/5

The African Safari was truly enriching experience.

Chalo Africa did a superb job of planning it. All accommodations were top class. The guides were very knowledgeable and professional. Attention to detail was impressive. We visited Tanzania and Kenya and in all places they took care of us in an exemplary manner.

Our special thanks to Tanvi who was the point person coordinating our safari trip

We had a great time. I have no hesitation in recommending Chalo Africa. Just go with them.

Owen   –  
Kenya KE
Visited: September 2016 Reviewed: Oct 29, 2016

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

Exploring Undiscovered Destinations with the help of Chalo Africa
5/5

Thanks to Sangeeta Prasad i went to Gonarezhou National Park which is one of the finest undiscovered national parks in Africa. It receives only about 2000 visitors annually are practically all of whom self-catering guests from South Africa. Sangeeta is incredibly knowledgable,and provides superb back up service. She is a charming,and kind lady. I couldn't recommend here more. She is very honest,and will do her utmost to give all her clients the best price. I live in Kenya,nevertheless I'm planning to give her much more of my business.Safari is truly her passion,not just her business. I also consider her and her husband to be personal friends of mine,

Goutam Chakravorty   –  
India IN
Visited: February 2017 Reviewed: Feb 19, 2017

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

My selection of Chalo Africa for this African Safari will remain as a sweet memory for a long time.
5/5

As a matter of fact our tour to east Africa (Kenya & Tanzania) was totally planned & executed right according to the plan by Chalo Africa. Our contribution in the whole affair was only to tell them what exactly we want, the duration of time we want to spend & of course the payment. The rest every details, including the timing of the tour was their business which was executed, in a word, splendidly. The game drives, the enjoyment, the comforts in the tents & lodges, the foodings, the guides, the hospitalities, the safari vehicles, weather everything was superb. We could fulfill all our expectations which we carried before we started. Even during the tour the directors of Chalo Africa maintained a constant connection with us for continuous monitoring.

Akshai   –  
India IN
Visited: March 2017 Reviewed: Jun 3, 2017

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

Perfect end to end customized service
5/5

I happened to be going to Nairobi-Naivasha for a conference and decided to do 10-12 days of safari after that. I'm so glad one of the first online sites I found was Chalo Africa. They helped me customize the trip to perfection, putting up with all my weird demands, got me the best deals as a solo-traveller and did all my bookings and sent me all my tickets, information packets, additional information, etc. - a lot of which I was not even expecting as a "service"! Tanvi was always available throughout this process on the phone, whatsapp - went out of her way to truly customize the trip for me and really made me feel special! The icing on the cake is that when I thought their duty was over and now I would be interacting with the local tour partners in Africa (Gamewatchers/ Asilia) .... Chalo Africa surprised me by creating a whatsapp group only for me and 3 of their people which I could use to ask any question at any point during my trip and one of them would always be there to respond! What service!! Truly exceeded my expectations on all counts!!

Lori   –  
United States US
Visited: May 2017 Reviewed: Jun 21, 2017

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

Absolute professionalism with a desire to have your safari be exactly what you want it to be!
5/5

Hi Sangeeta,

I can’t even express how amazing the safari that you helped put together for us was. It truly was everything that I imagined it would be, and more! I told you that I had wanted to do this forever and finally bit the bullet and was so happy that I did it. I went on this adventure as a once in a lifetime trip, and it may very well be that, but I am going to try to do everything in my power to go again! As you said yourself, it can become an obsession!!

I loved everything about the safari and Botswana! The landscape, the sky (which is huge and goes on forever), the local people that worked at the camps, the other travelers, and of course the amazing animals that we were so fortunate to see were beyond my expectations. All of the camps that you had us stay at were wonderful. All the people that worked at the camps, from the manager and guide down to the wait staff, were all so friendly, warm, inviting and really made me feel right at home. Most specifically, the managers and the guides all interacted with us and got to know us. The guides were all phenomenal. They seemed to know the answer to all our questions, never got tired of answering us and gave us so much information. At Sango camp, there were 6 of us who all wanted to see a leopard and we were hounding our guide Frank to find him. He was very good natured about it. We weren’t seeing much that am but all of a sudden he saw a leopard standing in a tree quite a distance away and we got to see this young guy up close! He went up in another tree, walked right by us and just gave us an amazing show!

Footsteps was unbelievable. I’m glad that you suggested we stay somewhere for 3 nights and I’m glad we chose that one! Sandy and I were the only guests for the entire time!! It was definitely the most rustic but wow, so fantastic. On our way from the airstrip to the camp we had to take a mokoro ride due to the high water and had a bit of an incident with a hippo. He didn’t want us to pass. Noah (our guide) and the other guy ended up bringing us back to were we started and they yelled and threw some sticks at him and he eventually moved back. At no time did either myself or Sandy feel threatened. About 10 mins before we got to camp we came over a small hill and there were 3 folks from the camp who had set up lunch for us (it was about 2 or so and I was hungry). There were 3 tables, one with food, one with drinks and one with plates, glasses and silverware. We were so surprised and amazed that they did that for just us! There was also a ton of food. The setting was beautiful, we were near a pond and if I remember there were some hippos in the water and some Impala drinking. Mpho, the manager, was just lovely! Since there was no electricity she charged some stuff for me. Noah was the most amazing guide! On our night drive we went out in search of the lions that we heard late in the afternoon and we saw 2 of the males!! They were not bothered by us in the least and weren’t aggressive. One of them was walking toward us in the road and just walked right next to the truck and by us! The second one was laying in the road so we stopped maybe 10 feet from him. He was unfazed and then started roaring 4 or 5 times, looked at us, yawned and put is head down! We guessed he tired himself out and wanted to nap!! It was just mesmerizing! The opportunity to do the walking safari was beyond words. To be walking on the same ground that all these amazing animals are walking on is inexplicable.

Chobe Bakwena lodge was quite a gem. When we got to the gate, we had trouble getting someone to open it up. After a few minutes someone did and boy were we surprised at what was in store. We were greeted with warm towels and someone to take our luggage. We were then brought into the lovely lounge are which was so homey looking and looked out on a beautiful lake. Op is an amazing manager. She made us feel right at home. She and her staff took wonderful care of us. The room was so lovely and we had a hand written note addressed to the 2 of us. Starting here was wonderful since it was a nice step down from the 5 star Ilala lodge and Chobe national park afforded us the opportunity to see so many animals!! The staff sang and danced for us at our first night of dinner and then explained what the song meant in English. Op also told a bunch of us about their culture and their ways. Truly wonderful. We also got sung to when we returned from our game drives and given those wonderful warm towels!

Going to Victoria Falls ahead of the safari was a great suggestion! The falls were so powerful and phenomenal and again, beyond words! There is only one suggestion that I would give to others that want to go white water rafting and that is there is a very steep gorge that you have to go down and then back up to do this! I am not a nervous person about doing crazy things but I was a bit nervous, especially going down. There are no railings and nothing to really hold on to, other than some trees and rocks. The ground is quite slippery b/c there is a lot of dirt and small rocks that slip under your feet! I loved it and would do it again but a heads up to folks would be suggested. The guides at wild horizons were amazing and helpful and I loved it!!

I can’t thank you enough for giving us the selections you did so that we could pick out the trip that we did! I went on trip advisor for all the lodges and gave rave reviews!

I love everything about Botswana; the people, the scenery, the landscape, the gov’t seeming to want tourism to thrive and the fact that they are the only country in Africa that has outlawed poaching makes them number 1 in my book and I will suggest Botwana to anyone that wants to go on Safari. ! hope to be back there one day and I will be in touch if/when I do!!

Thanks again for everything Sangeeta.

I will send pictures soon as well but wanted to get this to you!~

Lori

Prabhakar Baskar   –  
India IN
Visited: June 2017 Reviewed: Jun 21, 2017

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

Want a dream safari planned? Look no further!
5/5



Right from my first call to Sangeeta enquiring about a safari in Kenya to arriving back home after 9 eventful nights, the experience has been top notch. Chalo Africa provided me with all the options available and I am so happy that I followed her advice and stayed at Mara Encounter and Topi House, both run by Asilia Africa. Sangeeta provided us with quite a few options within just a couple of days. Her knowledge of the African bush is unparalleled. Chalo Africa is prompt with their service including providing vaccination requirements, visas and so on. Once you freeze a plan they execute it with perfection; no follow ups required. If you are looking for a specialist safari expert that caters to a range of budgets, Sangeeta and Chalo Africa are the ones to rely upon.

We stayed at the Eka Hotel at Nairobi prior to our flight to the Masai Mara. Eka is a good hotel with excellent food. A practical option close to the airport. We then flew to Naboisho where the adventure began. Wilson and Nabala at Mara Encounter were excellent guides. I have been on safari before at Sabi Sands and Botswana and the standard of guiding here is the best I've ever experienced. The camp is at a prime location with sweeping views of the plains and a river flowing just by the fence. The tents are spacious with bucket showers. The food was sumptuous. We had breakfast in the bush on each morning game drive. Wilson and Nabala know the bush very well. They tracked for over 5 hours one morning to see the 5 male cheetahs. We had given up by 11.30 am after driving from 6.30 am but they persevered until we found the cats. We learnt a lot at the walking safari. The visit to the local village was very educative for all of us especially the children. The night drives at Naboisho were thrilling, especially seeing lions on the hunt. Sammy and Peter who run the camp are very warm and excellent hosts. Go to Naboisho to see the big cats especially Lions and the Cheetah. Asilia has 2 camps - Mara encounter and the more expensive Naboisho camp which provides a better tent etc.... but the game drives are the same at both the camps.

From Naboisho, we went on a game drive to the next stop on our itinerary: Asilia's Topi House. Perched on the very top of a hill that is in turn wedged between a Conservancy and the Mara, Topi House is the sort of hidden gem every safari lover ought to seek. What stood out about both properties is the quality of the guiding and the unique spin that each one had despite being very close to each other. Our guide at Topi, Fred Ronko, is a veteran Maasai guide with more than 20 years of experience in the bush that includes guiding both tourists and well-known documentaries. Fred is that rare sort of guide that can predict where exactly a particular leopard is moving through the dense forest, anticipate its arrival at a particular clearing and then position the car to get the best shots possible whilst avoiding the numerous vehicles that throng the Mara. Fred also correctly predicted that a lioness is going to kill a wildebeest and we waited till the kill happened and were well rewarded. He knows the pulse of the bush. Topi house is fantastic for families as you get the entire house to yourself. The entire team from Chef Isaac to Jackson and others treat you like family. A must if you can spend a bit more at the Mara. Asilia also runs Rekero camp within the reserve but Topi House is more strategically located.

We were so happy we chose Chalo Africa and Asilia ! I have given overall rating of 5 stars as " Excellent ". But the whole experience exceeds 5 Stars. We look forward to visit Tanzania and other places with Chalo Africa and Asilia.

chandrasekhar   –  
India IN
Visited: May 2017 Reviewed: Jun 23, 2017

Email chandrasekhar  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Chalo Africa made our dream of an Africa holiday into a Dream African Holiday !!!!
5/5

My experience with Chalo Africa has been absolutely super from my first mail and then telephonic conversations.The phone calls and email conversations helped our group plan our holiday meticulously without even the slightest glitch. Sangeeta, Smita and Tanvi were on top of whatever requests we had and were very prompt in replying to all our queries and also providing alternative choices for our stay quickly which helped us make our decision quickly enough.I must compliment the Chalo Africa team for their patience as we had a lot of queries and could not decide on a travel plan.They gave us so many alternate plans which really put things in perspective for us to decide.their service throughout our planning and during the trip was exemplary.They were in constant touch with us all the way which was very reassuring to us as we were first time travellers to Africa.Their attention to detail in picking the right place for us to stay and fixing up the right guide since photography was a big part of our trip.All our expectations were met and beyond..we have never ever been on a vacation that was so well planned,well balanced with wildlife,visit to CapeTown and their advice on places to visit and restaurants to go were perfectly aligned with our expectations.They also picked the best places to stay at Manyeletti Reserve (Tintswalo Manor House) and More Quarters Hotel (Redcliffe House)in CapeTown.It was just perfect for our group. The plan for CapeTown was not rushed and at an easy pace so as not to tire us and at the same time we had a great time with our guide Eugene who was perfect just as our guide Darren in Manyeletti.Clear communications,prompt replies to all queries and a detailed trip dossier prior to our trip prepared us well in advance and there were no apprehensions at all.Best of all we never had to call them for any problems or queries in between as there were none !! I have no hesitation in recommending Chalo Africa to anyone who wants to plan on an Africa trip ..i intend to do more trips to Africa with them !!

Pamela   –  
United States US
Visited: June 2017 Reviewed: Jul 6, 2017

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

Sangeeta has the patience of a saint and made our first family Kenyan safari the trip of a lifetime!
5/5

I have wanted to go on a safari for 24.5 years and decided it was time. After deciding on Kenya, I reached out to about 8 different safari operators. Two gave me what I had asked for but only Sangeeta really focused on my biggest concern- keeping our our teens, 13 and 15, engaged . She provided a customized 2 week safari for us that provided activities for the children for the first 4 nights in addition to game drives for the remaining safari.

Our first stop was to be Sosian, and this had to be changed due to regional instability. She was immediately responsive and we were able to change our lodging to the Sanctuary at Ol Lentillle, which I cannot recommend highly enough. Here we visited a school, did a camel safari, atv rides and our absolute favorite, a village visit. After, we moved on to small tented camps in conservancies at Kicheche Laikipia for 3 nights and then Kicheche Mara for the final 4 nights. They were all teen friendly camps and our children were included in meal time conversations. She specifically requested guides that would work well with our family. She also made sure we had reservations at the Rhino Sanctuary which other guests had to miss out on because it was fully reserved.

Sangeeta was amazingly responsive to my many emails and phone calls. Honestly, it was our first 2 or 3 calls that made me decide to choose Chalo Africa. She really listened to my wants and the end result was a trip that was better than we ever could have hoped. We all agree it was our best trip yet. Thanks so much Sangeeta and the Chalo Africa team.

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