Mike and Gai Bedford’s 21-night trip to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe

“Encompass Africa really are the Africa specialists.”


We returned from our trip last night, so I wanted to shoot you a note while things are fresh in our minds. We are, as you know, pretty well-travelled, with this trip landing us on 51 countries visited to date. To that end, we have also used a fair number of travel agents putting things together.

I can honestly say this trip way surpassed our wildest expectations for what you delivered.

Travelling for nearly three and a half weeks, with a variety of places, activities and free time to schedule, while also nailing flights and availability isn’t easy, but with this trip, it was absolutely spot on.

Your recommendations for where we go and where we stay in Africa were an absolute delight, and it astounded us that every hotel stay was simply amazing and a wonderful surprise.

All this before we turn our attention to the locations themselves, which in Pondoro Lodge’s case was somewhere between inspirational and life-changing, from the closeness to wildlife, the unbelievable accommodation and the pampering we received by the wonderful team of staff.

Our entire schedule was seamless and perfectly balanced with only two small glitches: 1. The KAZA visa didn’t cover us returning back through Zimbabwe and 2. An unfortunate gentleman who had a heart attack and delayed our final flight home.

All in all, we thank you, Gen, for your exceptional work and would be delighted to repay your professionalism by being a reference for anyone you care to send our way.

Incredible as it may seem, we came upon you via the net and haven’t met face-to-face.

Please also convey our sincere appreciation to Katie and the rest of the team and again, thank you for making our trip to Africa so very special and truly memorable. Encompass Africa really are the Africa specialists!


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Gen from Encompass Africa says:
It was an absolute pleasure working with Mike and Gai. From the get-go, I had so many ideas of wonderful places that would give them the comfort, diverse activities and experiences they wanted and ultimately, their trip took them to Johannesburg, the Northern Cape, Cape Town, Cape Winelands, Balule Private Game Reserve,  Lowveld and Sun City, all in South Africa, Chobe Riverfront in Botswana, and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

I could sense they were a bit overwhelmed with the choices of where to go and where to stay. But it was clear Mike and Gai loved the romance of Africa, and when they expressed interest in all forms of transport, I had planes, trains, boats and automobiles already in mind.

Gen’s suggestion for Mike and Gai’s next African adventure:
I know these two really enjoy great hospitality and the opportunity to truly be in the moment, so I would be thinking Kenya and time in the Samburu region where it feels like time stands still. Another secret favourite of Danica’s, in particular, is eco lodge Campi Ya Kanzi in the region of Chyulu Hills, southern Kenya. It is known as Ernest Hemingway’s “Green Hills of Africa”. We would slow the pace down a bit and really allow Mike and Gai time to linger longer, learning more about the regions and the people behind the conservation stories.

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