At A Glance
- A family safari holiday that was designed to tick off bucketlist items- great migration in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania
- Plus time in Botswana’s famous Okavango Delta
- Victoria Falls finale where adventure and adrenalin activities abound
- Combination of luxury safari camps, bigger hotels in the best locations and boutique B&Bs and iconic hotels in the larger cities
The Safari Briefing
Experienced by the McClymonts.
We had a wonderful family of five approach us to create their dream safari holiday that was sure to tick off the iconic locations they desired. They wanted to ensure we could offer the trip within their parameters of time (in December but getting home for Christmas), experience (all sorts of wildlife sightings) intimate and exclusive (private safari) and comfortable (combination of authentic tented and safari lodges and boutique hotels).
The key places on their list were Tanzania for the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, Botswana for the Delta and Zimbabwe or Zambia for Victoria Falls.
We worked hard to ensure every need was met and exceeded. Years later this family are still talking about the experience!
Northern Serengeti Luxury Safari Video
We arrived in time to enjoy a clear view of the crater and see the sunset. There were very few people around so the crater was almost to our own. The geographical phenomenon and various habitats within the crater amazed us. At Olakira Ndutu, the words casual and comfortable come to mind. I was initially unsure of the idea of mobile camping but it was so much more comfortable than I expected.
We also loved Dunia Camp, the camp, service, food were great, beautiful area and lots to see. There were a few herds of wildebeest and zebra had begun to arrive. Sayari is beautiful and this was the perfect place at the perfect time, we absolutely LOVED it.
The camp was fantastic, best food ever, beautiful landscape and we saw so much there. It rained on our last afternoon and we were tired by then so just enjoyed the spectacular views from out tents instead of the evening game drive. We are so grateful that we didn’t miss the northern Serengeti. Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam gave us everything one expects in a five star hotel, however by this stage my daughter and I much preferred the camps. It was lovely to have air-conditioning and a long, hot shower.
We enjoyed the great views on our flight over the Okavango Delta and were absolutely amazed by the environment, variety of habitats and whole concept. By then we had seen so many animals, so our guide and tracker concentrated on searching for hunting cats and followed a few during the day and a pride at night (incredible). The boat ride in the channels were fantastic as it gave a completely different perspective. It was here that we learnt exactly what hippos are capable of and came away with a very healthy respect (fear) for them. Victoria Falls Hotel was just as Jono described it, a step back in time.
Our rooms were fantastic. The helicopter flight, walking the falls and cruise were great. We would have loved to have had another day there to enjoy the hotel and shopping. Our highlights were being in Africa and not having to cook one meal. Another was being in Johannesburg the morning after Nelson Mandela died and mingling with the people outside his house and his museum in Soweto. The family couldn’t believe how chilled I became! No TV, phone or internet. I had no idea how demanding and noisy these are. We loved the drive from Arusha to Central Serengeti. Alister was fascinated by the Masaai and their cattle, lifestyles etc. The game viewing was excellent, we watched two mating leopards on an open rock at Sayari which we were able to watch for ages, river crossings at Sayari, hunting with a pride of lions at night at Kwara. We also had a brief encounter with very unfriendly elephants at Kwara. Everywhere we went was a different landscape and experience.
As with everything else, our guides were all completely different. Alissa was very professional, knowledgeable, polite, discreet and reserved and sensitive regarding guiding. We didn’t want to part with him by the end. Campbell felt quite sad waving goodbye. Oredi at Sayari was younger, energetic, moved around more quickly and a bit more brash as a guide (but in a good way). We had some wonderful experiences with him. KB and TJ at Kwara. KB was our intrepid tracker and a good one too. We really enjoyed his personality and humour. TJ was an Okavango Bushman, very good at his job and an encyclopaedia of information. Both had had traditional childhoods so were very interesting to talk to and went out of their way to find us what we were interested in.
In a nutshell, our trip was fantastic. Your knowledge, patience and flexibility during the planning stage was amazing and allowed us to end up with the perfect trip for us. All of your advice was spot on. It really was a packed trip so we couldn’t believe that, with all of the flights and travelling that we did, not one thing went wrong. Thank you all so much for organising such a wonderful and unforgettable experience for us. We will tell anyone who stands still long enough about Encompass Africa.
2 Years later: You’ve probably done so many trips now that you’ve forgotten who we are! We think of you often as we reminisce about our Africa trip. It has been interesting watching the effects of the experience over time. Campbell, our son even said to me recently that he appreciates it more and more as time goes by. He and I spent an entire meal in a restaurant talking about Africa which is quite something with a fourteen year old. He has even requested that we have a slide night again! We went to see The Lion King production and he is sure we enjoyed more than the others because we had been to Africa.