From Ana & Alan, Germany, travelled with us during August 2018
Dear Madi, We are back in Germany after our wonderful holiday in South Africa and just to give you a few details as to how well everything went and how superbly Wild Wings organized everything for us. We were met fine on arrival at Tambo and found Africa Sky Guest House to be perfect for us, everything that we wanted on our 1st night in South Africa. We were collected as arranged for our tour of Joburg and Soweto, etc. Our guide Martin was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and we learned a lot from him about the history of the area. Too many places to mention, we visited the constitutional court, Soweto of course, the city centre, Mandela’s house, the Hector Peterson monument, etc. All very interesting.
After our night in Africa Sky which I cannot praise too much, the dinner in the evening was excellent, we were picked up by Simon for our drive to Kruger. This is a very special man. With 2 other couples he looked after us at Skukuza camp and then from there to Satara there was just the 2 of us. His enthusiasm is boundless and his cooking was great, we were very pleased that we could dine with him during our time at Satara. His knowledge of the animals and birds of Kruger is extensive. We saw everything we wanted including leopards on numerous occasions, 2 close sightings of cheetahs, and of course elephant, lions, rhinos, hyena, jackal, crocodile, impala, giraffe, hippos, buffalo, kudu, nyala, lots of small mammals and too many birds to mention. We did a very interesting bush walk at Skukuza and also did a night drive seeing a wild cat, a genet, a python and a puff adder, all very interesting. We were quite astounded at the numbers of animals it was possible to see.
From Satara we went to Bateleur Camp in Timbavati where we could immediately see the difference between Kruger and a private game reserve. Bateleur is a very special camp, it suited us perfectly, run by Sophie and Brad who we really must thank for looking after us and being so enthusiastic, including the armed escorts to and from our accommodation. Our thanks also to Temba, our tracker, who could see animals where nobody else could. They have wonderful staff there who all contributed to us having a great time. On our morning and evening safari drives we again saw a multitude of animals, we really had a great time.
We must compliment Wild Wings on the organisation of our trip, everything was easy-going but efficient, everything went perfectly. For our 1st visit to SA and Kruger your ideas and recommendations were perfect. Again we must thank Simon for looking after us in Kruger and Sophie and Brad for the great time we had in Timbavati.
We are sure we will return to SA in the future and will be in touch with you for the next trip as our plans take shape. Many thanks for everything.
From Laurence, UK, travelled with us during August 2018
Dear Clare, We have just got back from South Africa. The Wild Wings safari was as before wonderful. Simon was on top form and John doing the meals was a new innovation for us and very enjoyable. We had a great time with nice travelling companions, We saw animals not seen before (Wild Dogs) and lots of birds. My wife and I just wish we were a bit younger! Thanks to everyone, including yourself, for giving us such a rewarding experience. Best wishes.
From Adele, UK, travelled with us during August 2018
Hi Gavin, Oh my goodness I really can't find words to do justice to the safari! It was truly amazing. My wishlist is always a bit of a laugh but Python and leopard cubs ticked off - was seriously beyond my wildest dreams! There was so much interaction between the animals and possibly as there were no first-time guests we spent time at each sighting which was such a privilege. Spending an hour with the leopard cubs watching them play is something I will never forget. Elephants were incredible as always and I've not seen such huge herds before. Unbelievably we got a bit cross with them on one occasion as they were blocking the road when we were on our way to a cheetah sighting just ahead!! The cheetahs waited for us though and then 2 wildebeest arrived. The sound of them alarming is still with me.
Simon has posted his photos on Facebook today and I'm reliving the emotion of it all! I spent a fair amount of time crying!! Haha!
Volume 2 of WildWings, Kruger and Us is underway as is my next list - a leopard a day and the honey badger - Simon has only himself to blame for tweeting these things!!
Thank you so much. It was fab meeting everyone and the beanie was well worn!!
From Damian & Family, UK, travelled with us during July 2018
Hi Madi, the only feedback I can give was that everything was fantastic. Accommodation at Cape Town was gorgeous and location perfect.
Kruger was absolutely amazing - Simon’s knowledge and his whole manner was brilliant. Together with the 2 girls who were on our tour, our whole family had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Simon’s kind thought of cake and champagne on my birthday made it even more memorable. Simon was fantastic with my 2 sons and his photography knowledge has inspired Damian to purchase a new camera and do a photography course.
Then on to Thonga which, again, wow. We were worried that we’d made a mistake of making such a long journey over to Thonga after Kruger but that first glimpse of the beach as we drove down the track to Thonga Beach Lodge put our all my fears aside. Stunning. Again accommodation was lovely, staff fantastic, setting completely amazing.
Thank you so much for all your hard work and input. It was definitely a holiday we will never forget. I would have no hesitations in recommending your company to anyone who wished to travel to South Africa.
From Pei Min, Singapore, travelled with us during July 2018
Hi Clare, The safari experience was fantastic - Simon was a wonderful guide who knew exactly how to get us the best sightings, taught us so much about the animals and took great care of us the whole time.
We found the whole process really smooth sailing from start to end. John who cooked for us in the first 3 days did an awesome job as well - the food was delicious and we got a crash course in South African cuisine through him too.
Would absolutely recommend Wild Wings and Simon as a guide to my friends and family. Many thanks for all your help in arranging for our tour as well. This was definitely the highlight of our trip to South Africa!
From Marty, New Zealand, travelled with us during July 2018
Hi Madi, Thanks for arranging and organising such an awesome 4-day safari for my daughter and myself.
On our marvellous 5-week African trip the Kruger safari was the highlight for both of us.
The transport, food and accommodation were great and absolutely appropriate to our particular budget. Your prompt replies and consistent updates were beyond what we would have expected.
My daughter is a vegan and the efforts made to accommodate her dietary requests without bother were much appreciated.
The facilities and services in the park camps were also beyond what we expected. At times a little crowded but it was the SA school holidays while we were there.
We were very impressed with Simon, our guide. His passion, knowledge and bush instincts for the wildlife and park was outstanding. We felt engaged and included on all the game drives and we never felt like a couple of tourists just being transported from A to B.
We had seen all the big 5 by the second morning and there was never a dull moment with Simon making the most of our daylight time.
Highlights were many but our vehicle being charged at by a big bull elephant (unharmed), watching 2 lions stalk a small herd of zebra, witnessing a stampeding herd of buffalo, seeing a leopard up on a big rock silhouetted against the sunset and close encounters with 2 rhino and 2 young hyenas deserve a mention.
Unfortunately we didn't see any cheetah or wild dogs. But it seems they are quite rare and gives us both another reason to come back sometime in the future.
My only regret is that we didn't spend more time in the park. It is a great asset to your country and I hope it always remains so.
Thanks again for an amazing and uniquely African experience. I would not hesitate to use your services again or recommend them to others.
From Ed & Sarah, Hannah, Daniel & Thomas, UK, travelled with us during July 2018
We had the most fantastic time on safari in the Kruger! Apart from the delay with the pick up from our hotel in Johannesburg(!), everything else went really well. We were joined on part of our journey by a lovely American couple, who were great safari ‘buddies’.
Frank, our guide at Skukuza, is an amazing man!! So knowledgeable, personable, so many stories – and such enthusiasm and love for the animals and the park! And Jonno, our chef, was a delight – delicious food, accompanied by a short history of South African food – we couldn’t have wished for a better start to our safari adventure. We were extremely fortunate, and saw all ‘the big 5’ at Skukuza, thanks to Frank’s knowledge and planning (Hannah’s last count, 104 giraffe, 76 elephant, 3 leopard, hundreds of impala!!).
And then to Kambaku River Sands – well, we were blown away – beautiful rooms, lovely people, great food. Phanuel and Rifos, our guide and tracker, were so friendly and looked after us really well, as did all the other staff.
It was our son, Daniel’s 21st birthday just after we returned from South Africa. Frank very kindly gave him a bottle of Amarula (we had seen and been talking about the Marula trees), and at Kambaku, he was also given a gift – which was all so thoughtful – thank you for your part in that!
Thank you to you, Madi, for your brilliant communication, reassurance and planning of our trip – we couldn’t have wished for a more spectacular ‘once in a lifetime’ family holiday – one we will never forget.
From Cindy, USA, travelled with us during June 2018
Hi Clare, We had a wonderful time - we were very impressed by the changes between 1998 and 2018, lots of progress! The caliber of the museums has really improved - we were particularly impressed with the District 6 Museum in Cape Town and the Apartheid Museum in Jo’burg. The Mandela Museum - oh, my. Not kept in good repair, and Winnie Mandela’s story as a noble leader is given center stage.
The Spur Wings guide was great, we had a lovely time at nThambo, and I would be happy to recommend Wild Wings to friends.
Thanks for checking in, we had a fantastic trip - it’s such a pity SA is so far away, or we would return more often!
From Belinda & Mark, Australia, travelled with us during June 2018
Hi Gavin, We had a fabulous trip, everything went like clockwork just as you had arranged.
If the itinerary said that we would be met in the lobby of our accommodation at a specific time then that is what happened. Only once did we have to wait for a pick up and that was at Cape Town Airport when we flew in from Maun, the representative wasn’t waiting for us when we arrived but we didn’t panic as we were seasoned travellers by then and he arrived within a few minutes apologising for the delay due to an accident on the road that delayed him.
The itinerary worked well but if we were to change anything we would avoid flying into a high altitude area (Rwanda) so soon after arriving in a different time zone. We struggled with sleeping for a few days so next time we visit we would get a connecting flight from J’berg to Cape Town on arrival from Australia, have a couple of days sightseeing and adjusting to the time difference before moving on to other places. It didn’t spoil our time in Rwanda, we had a couple of hours sleep in the afternoon after the Gorilla Trecking and felt much better from then on.
All of the accommodation that you arranged was of great standard, except [name withheld] Lodge which you had warned us was very basic. The staff there were wonderful but we were pleased it was only one night as the bathroom was very old and the shower quite mouldy and the worst bed we have ever slept in, hard as a rock but we managed ok.
We never felt unsafe for one minute during the whole trip, this was definitely due to the fact that the transfers were arranged and so reliable so thank you for that. We realise we paid a lot of money for our trip and could have saved a bit if we took taxis and made our own arrangements but it was definitely worth it to have peace of mind.
The mix of accommodation and experiences was really good, from hotels, lodges, tented camps etc. The food everywhere was a big surprise; usually we return from a holiday and can’t wait for a home cooked meal. This time was very different, the food was amazing everywhere with a great variety and we loved it.
All of the drivers/guides were really knowledgeable and went out of their way to ensure we had a great experience. Special mention must be made of Abou Nsinga from Primate Safaris who looked after us during our 5 days in Rwanda. Abou added in so many extras, every time we expressed interest in something he went out of his way to stop and show us more. He stopped at a tea plantation so we could talk to the workers, Mark had told him about an English guy he had been talking to at Lake Kivu who was in the country building suspension bridges so Abou stopped at one on the drive back to Kigali so we could go across it. Abou also took us to the Congo border crossing and spoke to the security to ensure it was ok for us to have some photos. Abou lives in Kigali and had been away from his wife and children for 5 days so would have been very keen to get home but he did not rush us at all during the drive from Lake Kivu and it was his suggestion to make all of the extra stops. He went out of his way to ensure we had a great time and experienced as much as possible.
Our guide Onesmo from Wild Frontiers who showed us the Serengeti was a true gentleman and was amazing at spotting all of the animals. The Kati Kati camp staff couldn’t do enough to ensure we had a great time and it was one of our favourites.
Wow, what can I say about Splash Enclave. The camp is pure luxury and the staff so attentive. Our guide Tom and tracker Mike were fantastic, showing us so many different experiences. As you know the camp has only been open since the beginning of June and I go down in history as the first person to swim in their pool. I think they thought I was crazy as the water was cold but I couldn’t resist. We live at the beach and I am a real water baby so swim every chance I get so having the free time at Lake Kivu was much appreciated too.
Kambaku River Sands was another highlight, again the staff were fantastic, the accommodation amazing and we could not fault it at all. Cordy spoke highly of you.
We really enjoyed Victoria Falls, walking with the lions was a once in a lifetime experience as was the helicopter flight. Of course, the Victoria Falls Hotel was beautiful and in a perfect location.
I can’t leave out Chobe Marina Lodge, again the staff were amazing, the food fantastic and seeing the animals from the boats on the river was a great experience and a different perspective after the game drives in the Serengeti. They arranged a trip across to an island in Namibia for a village visit too which was great.
We were really happy to be staying at the Portswood in Cape Town. We had been warned by several people in Australia about the crime in Cape Town and to be very careful walking around. The location was perfect as it was so close to the Waterfront and we felt secure at all times. We used the on/off bus for 2 days and booked a day tour to Cape Point so the accommodation was in the perfect location.
By the way, thank you for the perfect weather in Cape Town, not a cloud in the sky and no wind the day we went to Table Mountain. [We try our best! - Ed] A week earlier would have been a different story I believe.
All in all, we had a fantastic trip and we will definitely be returning as soon as we can. We are thinking of a trip in September (maybe next year), that way the water will be a bit lower at Victoria Falls (we want to swim in the Devils pool) and will go back to the Serengeti to see the migration as the wildebeest cross the Masi Mara so will combine that with a trip to Kenya.
We will be in contact with you to arrange our next trip and we really appreciate everything you have done for us. If you have any Aussies who want some feedback you are welcome to pass on my details as sometimes it can be a bit daunting booking with an overseas Company when so much money is involved.
Thank you again for everything and keep in touch.
From Brooke, Australia, travelled with us during May 2018
Hi Madi, Everything went well, no problems at all. Our safari driver Simon was excellent, formed a great rapport with us all and was always diligent and on time.
Thanks so much for organising. The Guesthouse was amazing to stay and the servants were lovely and always so helpful (I felt like a little queen)
From Kathy, USA, travelled with us during May 2018
Dear Clare, Rolin and I had an amazing time on safari! We are so pleased we chose Wild Wings and so lucky you were our contact person. You are so organized and detail oriented. When SA Express was suspended and it affected our flight you were right on top of things. This could have potentially been stressful but you were monitoring the situation and had it resolved well before our departure date. We really enjoyed the itinerary you put together for us. This Kruger combo safari on a private basis was exactly what we had in mind.
The best part of our safari was having Frank as our guide. We were so lucky and privileged to spend a week with him. His knowledge and enthusiasm during game drives was much appreciated. We learned so much from him! His love of the bush and his passion for conservation is evident. Frank is just such a likeable guy and we enjoyed conversations about his family and life in general. We missed Frank dearly when we were at Kambaku.
We had shared a couple of fun and interesting sightings during our time with Frank. If you could, please forward a couple of these videos to Frank. We have caught the safari bug and would love to come back to Africa soon!
From Kristin & Caitlin, USA, travelled with us during May 2018
Hi Corlie, We had an amazing trip! The safari lodge was perfect - staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, accommodations were spacious, clean and comfortable, and the game viewing was amazing! We really couldn't have asked for more.
We had no issues in terms of transfers - it all was very smooth, always had someone waiting for us with a sign. And thank you so much for letting us know about our initial Cape Town to Hoedspruit flight being cancelled - we really appreciate the heads up, which allowed us to re-book on CemAir in enough time to not miss out on any game drives.
Thank you for all your work setting up the trip, and for the excellent recommendation of Kambaku Safari Lodge. We would not hesitate to recommend Wild Wings or Kambaku in the future.