“We have had the trip of a lifetime – bucket list!”

Susan and Peter Ford spent 16 nights in East Africa on an awesome trip that included the magical experience of gorilla trekking in Rwanda, before heading to Tanzania for their safari visiting Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, Ndutu to view the migration and of course the stunning Serengeti. 

Oh my God, where do we start with Africa? We had the most incredible holiday!! It’s very hard to isolate highlights but there were two absolute standouts for us.  Firstly was the gorillas! What an absolute privilege to have been so close to these unbelievable animals. It was also the most challenging and rewarding thing we have ever done! We visited the SUSA group and there was a baby not even 24 hours old! The hike itself (2.5 hours up from the base of the mountain) was pretty hard but when you are surrounded by gorillas you quickly forget! I had to keep reminding myself to take a picture because I was just so gobsmacked that I was actually a few metres away from gorillas!!! I have attached a couple of pics for you.

Second highlight was definitely the days spent on safari at Ndutu, the place was absolutely teeming with wildlife, you did not need to “go looking”. We absolutely loved being able to drive “off road” up to the animals and were blown away by the close proximity of lions, cheetah’s, giraffe, elephant – the list goes on and on.

“I had to keep reminding myself to take a picture because I was just so gobsmacked that I was actually a few metres away from gorillas!!!” 

Whilst we also loved the Serengeti  there was not nearly as many animals here and because it was National Park you obviously could not “off road” up to the animals.   They had obviously all migrated to Ndutu!!  The scenery here was breathtaking and we still loved our time here but if we returned we would try to go to the Serengeti when the migration was there.

We must also make special mention of the Lemala Camps. All 3 camps we stayed at were sensational! The comfort level in the tents was superb, the food was surprisingly great but in particular, the staff at these camps were beautiful. Nothing was too much trouble, they were friendly, professional, funny and caring.

Lastly, we must praise your partner companies in Africa. The Safari Company and our driver Andrew was always prompt, safe and knowledgeable. Eugene, our Magic Safari guide throughout Rwanda was softly spoken, knowledgeable and it was so very important personally to him that our experience in his country was “perfect”. On our tour to the cultural village in Volcanoes National Park he arranged for us to be participants in a “re-enactment” of a local wedding. This resulted in much laughter and was actually also a highlight and wonderful memory of our trip.

And finally, John Ngoma (Sense of Africa) our guide for all of East Africa was amazing!! We cannot speak highly enough of John’s experience, professionalism, humour and pride.

So thank you Encompass!!! We have had the trip of a lifetime – bucket list! We have caused quite a stir on social media with our pics and will not hesitate to recommend you guys to other eager travellers!

View their itinerary
Photos courtesy of the Fords