Sort By: Date Most Helpful Rating 21-30 of 98 Reviews
Shridhar Jaju   –  
India IN
Visited: January 2015 Reviewed: Jan 24, 2015

Email Shridhar Jaju  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

I doubt it could have been much better than how Chalo Africa planned it for us

I happened to come across Chalo Africa's website when I was on Google researching for a South African honeymoon. I contacted them just out of curiosity, but it turned out to be the best decision I took.

Sangeeta got in touch with me immediately, and helped me plan a perfect itinerary. She had immense knowledge about every place that she suggested and with that kind of insight, it becomes quite easy to choose what you want and what you don't want in your itinerary.

I had done a bit of research myself previously, and therefore bombarded her with a lot of doubts and questions. And she answered them all very satisfactorily. The planning went so smoothly that my trip for January 2015 was booked by June 30, 2014. The other tour operators that I had contacted didn't have packages for tours in December 2014 / January 2015 till the last week of August 2014.

The implementation bit was just as smooth as planning had been. I had been recommended Phinda Private Game Reserve for the safari part of my tour by the Chalo Africa team, and it was worth every penny I spent of the whole trip. Sangeeta and Smita had intimated the staff at Phinda Vlei Lodge that my wife and I are both vegetarians, and we didn't face any problems on that front. They also knew that we were honeymooners, and thus we were treated to a lovely candlelight dinner on the patio by the private pool of our cottage on our first evening. It was pure luxury in the jungle.

The game viewing was also excellent. We saw four of the Big Five, with only the leopard eluding us. In fact, when we arrived, our safari vehicle was due to leave for its afternoon game drive at the same time. However, since we had been traveling for the last 18 hours or so, we opted out of that drive. As luck would have it, that vehicle saw a leopard on that drive but none on the next seven drives of which we were a part. Had we not been so tired (read: lazy) that evening, we would have seen all of the Big Five.

The non-safari part of our honeymoon had also been perfectly planned by Chalo Africa, and it went off seamlessly. All our transfer vehicles were ready on the time as stated. The accommodations were all as we had expected them to be. And Sangeeta and Smita were in touch with us throughout the tour to see how we were doing.

The best part about Chalo Africa is that with Smita in India and Sangeeta in the USA, at least one of them is reachable 24x7. And they not only have the knowledge of the places to visit, but also of most of the accommodations they suggest. A first person's opinion can be a big aid in planning a trip.

On the day I returned to India, I spoke with Smita and told her that my wife and I also have Kenya & Tanzania on our bucket list. Someday, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, when I do sit down to plan that trip, that is the first phone call I'll make.

Rohan Visited: November 2014 Reviewed: Dec 24, 2014

A hassle-free experience

I went to Nairobi on some business and then used Chalo Africa to plan a 3 day trip to Masaai Mara after my work in Nairobi was done. I have to say that my experience was pretty smooth and quite enjoyable. The taxi drivers hired by them were helpful and courteous. The Kichwa Tembo camp was luxurious and the game drives were elaborate and adventurous with experienced guides. I even got a free upgrade on the room I had booked there. I definitely recommend Chalo Africa for planning a tension-free trip to Africa.

Margo   –  
United Arab Emirates AE
Visited: July 2014 Reviewed: Jul 18, 2014

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

Exceeding expectations in Tanzania courtesy of Team Chalo Africa. Thank you.

Just back from a wonderful safari arranged by Sangeeta and Smita in Tanzania. We were booked into the mobile Ubuntu Camp by the Serengeti Western Corridor to see the migration (glam-camping at its best) and then onto Kitela Lodge (located serenely in the midst of a coffee plantation) for Lake Manyara and Ngorogoro Crater safaris. Both accommodation, food, safaris and staff by Asilia Africa Group were wonderful and we would highly recommend Chalo Africa for organizing everything including internal flights, transfers and being available at all times for questions and allaying worries. Having offices in Washington and New Delhi meant that regardless of time of day I usually got a reply within the hour.
Thank you very much for a memorable holiday.

Natasha Jog   –  
India IN
Visited: June 2014 Reviewed: Jun 28, 2014

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

The African Safari

Still recovering from an incredible holiday in Africa, and a week in Kenya that will be etched in our memory forever. Travelling with children, specially on a wildlife focused trip can be intensive and challenging, but courtesy Smita and her team at Chalo Africa, we had a schedule that was perfect and the right mix of fun and more fun! From home stays to small resorts and big establishments, we sampled a bit of it all, and every stage was as promised, most of the time even better. And not to mention the travel and safety tips, that were a huge help. A big part of the experience was courtesy Tony, our guide and friend for one week in Kenya. His insight, knowledge and gentle demeanour was much appreciated. Thanks all for a very very memorable trip, and hope to be back soon.

C Bhattacharji   –  
India IN
Visited: June 2014 Reviewed: Jun 26, 2014

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

Patiently guided us, provided many options, gave a good plan, provided a fantastic guide/driver.

Everything was bang on. From the pick-up to the drop-off, things went very smoothly. The key was Tony, our tour guide who was brilliant. His knowledge about the wildlife, the layout of the parks and driving skills were very good.
At one point there was no chef when we arrived at a cottage we had hired, at another place, Keekerok Lodge, the food was substandard for a hotel of that level. Otherwise Keekerok and its location are excellent. But these were minor issues compared to the overall, thoroughly enjoyable trip.
Chalo Africa kept track of these issues as well as our general well-being.

Aditi Singh   –  
India IN
Visited: June 2014 Reviewed: Jun 26, 2014

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

A wonderful experience

Thanks Smita for organising a truly memorable trip to Kenya- no easy task with 4 adults and 2 eight year olds. We enjoyed every moment of our safari to the Mara, Ol Pejeta and Nakuru.
Smita met with us and helped plan the trip from start to finish and was there to answer endless questions. Her turnaround time was always no more than a few hours at most. She kept in touch with us through the trip to ensure that things were smooth with no unpleasant surprises.
Tony our guide was competent, friendly and patient. He knew the parks really well and we had some really wonderful sightings with him. The kids loved him too.
Thanks much to Chalo Africa for making it all happen. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Tarun Arora   –  
India IN
Visited: June 2014 Reviewed: Jun 17, 2014

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

Extremely helpful with incredible knowledge of travel options in Africa

Both Sangeeta and Smita were very flexible in working with our ever changing travel plans. They found us a great safari option in South Africa meeting our high expectations and our budget! I would recommend Chalo Africa to our friends and would absolutely work with them in planning our next trip to Africa.

Harsh Choudhry Visited: December 2013 Reviewed: Apr 1, 2014

We could not have asked for a more perfect honeymoon.

We engaged Chalo Africa to plan our honeymoon in Dec 2013. We went to South Africa - 3 night at a safari lodge in Sabi Sands, 2 nights at a wineyard in Stellenbosch and 3 nights in Capetown. It was awesome!

We had already planned a part of our honeymoon and Chalo Africa was perfectly flexible to create a program around our pre-existing plans, which made our lives very simple. All the places they booked were top end, but still affordable. The rates we got were way better than what we would have got had we gone on our own. They even checked on us during the honeymoon to ensure all was well. The best part was how personalized the whole honeymoon was. We had special requests on several things including the model of the car we would rent, the food we wanted to eat and Chalo Africa went out of their way to ensure that every request was met.

Chalo Africa is by far the best travel company I have used. I have been recommending them to everyone who asks about our honeymoon. We could not have asked for a more perfect honeymoon.

Ankit Visited: December 2012 Reviewed: Apr 1, 2014

We have and will spread the word- if anyone needs to do Tanzania- it has to be through Chalo Africa!

The start of the trip had a flap- I think it was a missed pick-up! But nevertheless, the Guide-Driver--Alfred was a complete delight to be with from thereon. He was the Captain of the Ship and pretty much decided everything for us. We were very comfortable with this arrangement , as he also educated us about various topics ranging from culture, economy, education etc in Tanzania. He made our long haul journey seem like nothing!

Then Sopa Lodge tat was arrange for us was also extremely picturesque. Te rooms very aesthetically appointed, excellent service and superb food. The safari the next day with Alfred was yet again a pleasure, the packed lunch, the lovely car and more importantly Alfred was very knowledgable. He supported all the animal attributes and peculiarities with substantiation from books ( which is actually quite informative and impressive ). He was on top of the game; and made us watch lions Mating--not once but 8 times over! We saw Hippos, crocodiles, Rhino from far , Zebras, Wilderbeasts, Hyennas, and many other birds and animals. He made all this so interesting with the amount of information he overloaded us with.

The mud strip running planes were another Wow, and we thoroughly enjoyed the arrangement. Then we went to Serengeti, where I have to say, besides the staff-- O'Reddy and Michelle were the stars! They made every safari superbly interesting. The rooms and the arrangements and the extra mile that Michelle extended for us being on Honeymoon was humbling. We saw lions eating kills, cheetahs, leopards,Giraffes and the park was so humbling, being so close to nature was a once in a lifetime experience. The food in all places was also very appetising!!

We saw 3 migrations in Serengeti, 1 small( with a zebra killing), 1 medium and 1 very large to the effect of 15-20000 Wilderbeasts crossing the Mara River. This was truly the icing on the cake.

Then came Zanzibar, where again the room was extremely good, the food was the by far the best we had in the trip, the only minus was the Air- Conditioning as the unit was much small for the size of the room. We did our own thing, all days - the guided tour was also very nice to Stone Town by Joseph and the driver through the trip was also very helpful( Abdul if I'm correct).

We proceeded to Turkey on our own- which was not a patch on your arrangements. Neha and I would like to thank Chalo Africa and Asilia for their amazing standards of service, organizational abilities and hospitality throughout the trip. We have and will spread the word- that if anyone needs to do Tanzania- it has to be through Chalo Africa!!

Bahar and Vijay Bedi   –  
India IN
Visited: August 2013 Reviewed: Dec 3, 2013

We would recommend Chalo Africa for those looking for a unique and responsible wilderness experience

The game safari industry in Kenya caters basically to a western clientele. That's why it was a refreshing change to come across an Indian company like Chalo Africa that caters specifically to Indian needs. More importantly , what made us happy was that we were looking for a more specialized wilderness experience, keeping in mind that we make many visits to sanctuaries and national parks. We liked the fact that they were willing to experiment and help plan a holiday away from a cookie-cutter approach and keeping in mind our desire to get an offbeat wildlife experience. Sangeeta from their team, made several suggestions on what we could do to get off the tourist trail and get a more intimate wildlife experience.

I also like the fact that they tie up with counterparts in Africa who believe in the principle of 'responsible tourism' and take that very seriously. The bushcamp they suggested for us, had no walls constructed, (so we had wild animals coming to sniff our tents at night !) and use of resources like lights and water was restricted to the minimal. We would recommend Chalo Africa for anyone looking for a unique and responsible wilderness experience!

Bahar Dutt is a wildlife conservationist and journalist
Vijay Bedi is a award winning wildlife film maker

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