User Reviews – South Africa

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Fantastic safari's and a great organization leading us around South Afrtica
Overall rating

Having spent months planning a "bucket list adventure" wildlife trip to Africa we were getting confused over rates, dates of safari's, and how we could add in all the events we wanted and what was available. Thus, ended up looking for trip providers who could assist in our planning. We ended up with Siya Phambile Expeditions (Benjamin Wilson, Director and tour leader), mainly on his tour suggestions and providing a more focused and personal tour. However, saying this all the other providers did give some good ideas but never seemed to understand what we wanted for our "bucket list adventure" which did not include wine tasting, penguins, and events we can see and do in Australia. Our original pricing for the trip was a bit different compared to the trip Siya Phambile Expeditions provided. Overall it turned out a bit more expensive compared to my original plan as I was trying to keep cost down, But, Benjamin did add in a few fantastic 4 and 5 star accommodations, being our driver/ guide in some safari's and giving us pointers on what to see and do, which actually turned out better in the long run.

We ended up taking many safari's in a large area around north and north eastern South Africa (including Eswatini <Swaziland>) and found that while wildlife/land/events differed, it worked perfectly for us to see and do so much in 4 weeks.

With my birthday on the last few days of our trip Benjamin organised a superb accommodation with the staff included singing happy birthday and baking a cake. Not to mention the Champagne breakfast in the morning before the early safari...

The only down side I had was trying to get booked onto the trains to and from Johannesburg and CapeTown, but in the end the trains we desired were cancelled and not a fault of the tour guide. For that matter, I would complement Benjamin for his speed and planning to make this work for us and actually enjoyed the safari's more.

Locations visited:
Pilansberg Game Reserve
Mapungubwe National Park
Kruger National Park (traveled north, central and south)
Hlane Royal National Park. Eswatini
iMfolozi Game Reserve to start the wilderness trail
Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Ithala Game Reserve
Royal Madikwe Lodge

Captivating Scenery and Exhilarating Safari Trip!
Overall rating

It was a perfect trip for my wife and myself. Once we have decided on the safari tour recommended by Sonja from Kruger Park Tour, we know we are in for a once in a lifetime experience. She was detailed, organized and extremely prompt in answering some of out queries. This must be the most seamless booking we've done thus far.

The transit from JNB to Tydon Safari was smooth and we had a stopover for toilet break and lunch before reaching the camp. We fell in love with Tydon the minute we step foot into the camp as everyone there was super friendly and hospitable and made us feel so comfortable throughout the stay. We had 4 nights at the Safari Camp near Sabi Sands. We dropped our luggage, had a change of clothes and off we go for our very first game drive into the Sabi Sands. As this is our first time trying a game drive and hence without any expectations, we were completely blown away by the beauty of mother nature and the animals we saw (elephants, rhinos, gifarres and leopards)! Point to note for travelers, do go with an open mind and not every game drives provide you with the big fives, don't miss out those other animals who are also part of the beautiful nature in the safari.

Upon returning from the game drive, our guides gathered us around a bon fire for delicious dinners prepared by our awesome chefs. They made sure that we have the opportunity to try different African cuisines every nights and we enjoyed and appreciate all the meals presented to us at the camp throughout our stay.

The next few days continued on with an early morning game drive at 6:30am, hearty breakfast at 10am and then lunch at 1pm before heading out again for our afternoon drives to Kruger National Park. We were really blessed to witness a big mane Lion, a lone leopard, herd of elephants, cape buffalos and rhino crossing all within a day!!! It was such an exhilarating experience and so out of this world!

July is actually a pretty nice period for the safari tour as it's quite cooling in the day except that you really need to wrap up quite a bit in the wee hours of morning as well as during the night as the temp can drop to between 4-10 deg. The wind from the open top drive can be gruelling and I was freezing due to being ill-prepared for the cold.

Overall, this is my BEST holiday ever and I absolutely love Africa for the abundance of beautiful nature and the people are so amazing. I want to give a special shout out to our beautiful guide and spotter - Seonaid from Tydon Safari for being the most positive and patient guide to us.

Great experience in the Kgalagadi
Overall rating

Our eight days in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with Legend Safaris were great. Our guide, Arun, was friendly, knowledgeable and looked after us well. As well as knowing his stuff on the local wildlife, he was able to provide tips on getting the best photos of our sightings, and he is a great cook!

Our trip was split between the three camps of Twee Rivieren, Nossob and Mata Mata. We saw a lot of birdlife - becoming reasonably adept at identifying the ones we saw most often - as well as Oryx, Springbok, Kudu, Red Hartebeest, Eland, Honey badger, Jackel, Cape Fox, Bat-eared fox, Ostrich, Hyena, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Mongoose, Meerkat, Ground squirrel, Spring hare.

We saw a cheetah from a distance on the ridge, but had two great lion sightings. The first, spotted on the ridge, and heading towards the riverbed. Arun knew he was likely to be heading to the waterhole, and got us into the prime spot at the waterhole. We also saw a pride of lions on the day we departed the park - 1 male and five females. My wife was really chuffed to spot a caracal as sightings are apparently quite rare, and we got a good photo of it.

In short the Kgalagadi is a great place to visit, and Legend Safaris were a good choice for us. Its a long way to get there (especially if like us, you drive from Cape Town!) but well worth it.

The most amazing and eye opening experience.
Overall rating

We did a 4 night treehouse safari with VIVA Safaris and the experience was absolutely incredible. They took such good care of us from the delicious homemade food to making the most of all of our planned safari trips. The accommodations within our safari package were in the middle of the bush so it really made you feel as if you were in the safari mode. The guides are awesome and super knowledgeable and are really passionate about making the most out of your bush walk or game drive.

Once in a lifetime experience. If you are thinking about it, stop thinking and just do it!
Overall rating

Nicky was our tour guide. I can not praise her enough. She worked tirelessly to ensure our safari was memorable. Nicky was brimming with knowledge and enthusiasm. We were so glad we chose Wild Wings Safari.

One of the best experiences in my life!
Overall rating

The 3-day tour was amazing! We have seen all the big 5 and much more than that, our incredible tour Guide Liese, explained to us all the details and gave us a lot of information about the animals. At nights we have eaten some delicious food accompanied by a perfect wine. We had a lot of fun and Wildlife Safari did a perfect job from the first day we contacted them until the end of the experience. I completely recommend them! Liese, we miss you :)

Perfect Experience
Overall rating

We spent four nights at the Kapama River Lodge. From being picked up at Hoedspruit airport by Michael to being dropped off it was all perfect. Very friendly staff, very knowledgeable rangers and trackers and lovely food.

Overall rating

I was traveling with my sister and my 18 year old granddaughters. The camp was definitely glamping and the food delicious. Our drives were exciting and we saw the big five up close and natural in their habitat. The camp was very sensitive to be ecologically aware. The only drawback was that we were unaware just how cold it would be at that time of year. Our fault for not checking the lower range at night. It was a memorable adventure for us all.

Fabulous planning and execution
Overall rating

The planning and execution by Safari Bookings was fabulous. Alex was helping us out with our stuff and he was available anytime we needed any suggestions, changes. The planning was to the tee and we found no hiccups. The stay at umkumbe private game reserve and Imbali were fabulous. It went beyond our expectations- the food, the hotels, the rooms and the game drives. Highly recommend Safari Bookings and a big shout out to Alex!!!

Most awesome game spotting ever!
Overall rating

We were three days in Imbali and two days in Arathusa, Sabi Sands. Imbali was a regular game viewing experience, Arathusa was tracking. Both were awesome. Lodges were top notch, service very good, but in both segments the safari experiences per se were really outstanding. We saw Big Five several times over. Extremely close-up encounters. Much better than I had expected. The logistics worked like clockwork, including local flights, transfers, etc.

Average User Rating

  • 4.8/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 497
  • 4 star 79
  • 3 star 9
  • 2 star 1
  • 1 star 1
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