So sorry about the delay in giving you feedback re our holiday in Botswana.
We had a wonderful time!!! Absolutely everything was all that we had hoped it would be. From the organization, to the camps, the food, the guides, the game drives, the boat trips and last but not least the excellent service and friendliness everywhere.
On behalf of Tony, Cheryl, Pat and myself I should like to thank you for arranging a superb and diverse trip for us. The camps and their environs were very different but equally enjoyable—your choices gave us a broader overview of the Botswana experience. As for the Delta---it is simply stunning.
Although it was not the best time for birding we were able to identify a number of new species which was a bonus. Also saw a lot of game------thanks to the excellent guides.
Thanks for all your arrangements. We will call on your expertise again
Many thanks for your e-mail- was going to drop you a line, but you got in first as we only arrived home yesterday after spending Sunday in JHB with family.
We had an amazing time- did not see too much game due to too much water, but saw lion,lechwe (which was a first for all of us) and plenty of impala, giraffe, about 6 elephants,but the birdlife unreal and saw the Pel's fishing owl TWICE a big thrill for us, at Okuti & Kanana.
The camps were excellent- the staff were so friendly, but very professional. There was not one hitch and the Ker Downey representives who met us at the airport were also so friendly and again very professional.
Our guides at both camps "Relax" at Okuti and "Shakes" at Kanana went out of their way to make the most of our drives and boat rides and were very knowledgeable in their field and both had a great sense of humour.
Thank you for your organising the trip for us- Botswana has its own beauty, which one has to experience to appreciate. The sunsets were unreal!!
Again thank you so much- one of best holidays we have had!!!!
Please let me fully and confidently recommend the use of Brian Kemp as the travel expert and agent for any of your travel needs in Africa. I can not do justice to the service we received through him for our trip to Africa last spring. From the first exchange until we all arrived home safely he was available to answer questions, make arrangements, adjustments, and supply directions to assure every aspect of our trip went without a hitch. This is a major accomplishment since our trip involved many legs and transfers over the course of two months and four countries.
From the beginning Brian was very thorough in making sure to understand the type of trip we were wanting and presented many options for us to choose from to have the trip of a life time. He was able to find wonderful accommodations, give us sound advice, and provided insight as to the best time to travel for both cost and availability of game viewing, and comfort. He provided great advice on how to pack for comfort and safety, where to see the most game in the environment and context we were looking for and book accommodations in a variety of camps and lodges that were both beautiful and elegant rustic.
There were examples of Brian going 'above and beyond the call of duty' where he extended himself personally and professionally to ensure our needs were met. For example: I returned home after the first month and my daughter and her husband were continuing on to Namibia. I realized that I had my daughter's blood pressure medicine and knew she was going to be out in the bush without it. I emailed Brian and he made arrangements to have someone meet Lisa at the airport to find a pharmacy and have her prescription filled before leaving to go to the bush. He then was kind enough to get back with me and reassure me that it was all taken care of. This is only one of several examples of his willingness to ensure our travel experience was of the highest caliber.
It was not until I was out in the bush that I realized the level of organization and coordination that is required to ensure both schedules and the least amount of travel stress is experienced. Brian was able to accomplish this as if it was second nature. Because we were willing to take a risk and use Brian (an agent outside the US) we had an experience of a life time and at a price that was 30% less than what was quoted by the agent states side. Because of both his love for the environment and wildlife and his history as a ranger he has the experience and a vast knowledge base to draw from to create an individual and personal experience that I will cherish for a lifetime.
I fully give Brian not only my endorsement but my trust as not only a travel agent but as someone who is exemplary in both business professionalism and personal and conduct.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns in considering either your trip to Africa or in using Brian Kemp as your agent. I would not trade him or the experience he facilitated for anything! It was the trip of a lifetime and something I will cherish always.
With sincere gratitude,
First I have to apologize to write you back so late, but these last months have been extremely busy for us. We have to thank you again for the wonderful time you have organized for us in the South Africa region. Whole trip was absolutely fantastic. We still weren't able to organize our photos, so I will send them later. Flamingo bay, Thonga and Rhino post were all absolutely beautiful. Service was as expected for the price. They all made an effort to make a stay special for us, since it was our honeymoon. If we had to choose between them, Thonga beach was perhaps the best, because managers are really nice and friendly and they always did a bit more than necessary to make us feel happy. The whole staff in the lodge works as a big family. Scenery (beach, lake Sibaya) is really fantastic and diving was great. We liked that it is so secluded and relatively small. There were enough different activities to keep us busy for the five days we were there.
To sum up, all services and accommodation we had during our trip were very professional and we would recommend everyone of them to other travelers.
I have to say the holiday was an amazing experience, one we will never forget.
The highlights were many; Xarana was an incredible experience, and whilst they had only been open for 3 days the quality of the service, food and the lodge can not be faulted. The delta experience is something else, and CC Africa an incredible organization.
Lebala was the true wilderness experience - hippos and elephants in the night, and the quality of the game viewing amazing. The Lodges were superb, with good homely cooking.
The Blue Train - Unrivalled luxury, but to see South Africa roll by the window and to experience Kimberly and the arrival into Cape Town really make this an experience and a half.
The Cape Grace - a true 5* experience.
Schulphoek - incredible view of the sea, an incredible room and probably the best food of the trip.
All the people we met - without an exception - polite, intelligent, enthusiastic making sure that we enjoy our experience - a true memory.
....... an incredible experience, and thank you so much for your time and effort in pulling all this together. We will certainly recommend you to Friends, and most importantly use you next time!!!
Thank you so much for all the hard work that you put into our simply fabulous holiday. We had thought that the holiday was a bit expensive, but we were wrong. Pricey perhaps, but incredible value for money. We loved both camps, and had the most incredible views of both animals and birds. I am only sorry that I was not able to go on one of the walks - next time.
And it won't be another 40 years before we go again.
Thank you again.
Sorry Brian but I wouldn't describe this as a good trip.
It was an excellent trip, one we'll remember for a long, long time!
I was originally skeptical about 3 safari camps - but each was different and great in their own way. Overall, Stanley's was our favorite due to guides who actually tracked the animals, extremely collegial people and great food - but we wouldn't hesitate to recommend either of the others. Okuti has the best accomodations and even better food and Muchenje benefits from the huge amount of game in Chobe and the ability to put you in a small boat on the Chobe river. The V&A in Capetown and the Royal Livingstone are great hotels. The Capetown weather could have been more accomodating but we knew we were going in Capetown's rainy season....
Our guides in Capetown & Joburg were great. Colin made an afterthought tour of Joburg into one of the highlights with a great Soweto tour including a walking tour of a tin shack area.....
You can certainly add us to the list of recommendations and we'll be back in touch when we're ready for our follow-up safari trip. Thanks for everything.
Stanley's was the first destination of our trip and Bruce and I agree, the best. We saw incredible wildlife and were treated very well.
We were extremely impressed with the lodging and, even more important, the quality of the staff. This lodge is staffed by people who have an ownership stake, and it shows.
Our guide, Alan, was top-notch; we didn't encounter any guide at our other destinations who was as good as he was. He had skill in spotting game, but also a great personality. One of the best things we did at Stanley's was a walking safari.
We are fairly active, so we were getting a little restless with constantly being driven around. Alan took us out for a safari walk and we learned a lot about the "web of life" in the delta.
We never had a problem with transfers. Everything went extremely smoothly, everyone was extremely professional and friendly and -- on time! No stress at all for us.
Stanley's Safari Lodge: This was clearly a way of ending our trip on a high note. The service and accomodations were exemplary. We have never stayed in a place so nice, and I'm sure it will be a long time before we experience anything similar. The falls were very interesting. We did a game drive and safari walk.
One of the two remaining rhinos in the area had been killed by poachers a few days before our arrival. That certainly put a damper on things, but also gave us a deeper understanding of the challenges of keeping game alive in these countries.
We visited a village here and I have to tell you that it was one of the most wonderful experiences of our entire trip. Bruce and I were befriended by a village resident who also worked at the lodge. He took us to his home and introduced us to his family. We will be keeping in touch - they invited us to stay with them if we come back!
It was funny to me to experience the deep deep cold of late night and early morning of African winters. I came to know and love the hot water bottle. I enjoyed the traditional morning porridge, mealie-meal, and surprised a few locals by asking for it. We ate ostrich and warthog.
Normally, I avoid pork (pigs are just too smart to consider them to be food), but I felt like I should experience everything to its fullest.
Luckily, no one offered us the home-made beer they were making at the village (thick, bubbly, grey liquid - like a watery gruel) and we were in the wrong season for harvesting and eating termites!
We appreciated being met at Johannesburg Airport, it was a long flight back and it was nice to be coddled one last time before we boarded our plane.
Thank you so much for everything. We sing your praises to everyone! We will keep you in mind. Africa was really so wonderful. I want to see more hyenas & wild dogs, and we haven't yet seen a cheetah or rhino!
We had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed all of the arrangements.
Arrangements for transport to the lodges were very good. Send my regards to Mike. I enjoyed our conversations in the van.
Shamwari was the best for everything
Belvidere Manor was excellent, Lavender Manor was excellent
Overall we had a fantastic holiday and both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Once I have had time to edit the photos and videos we will have a show for various friends who are also interested in visiting South Africa. No promises but maybe there will be some other business coming your way.
South Africa has also gone to the top of our list for places to retire to in a few years so this might give you an indication of how much we enjoyed it.
Thanks for all of your help
The overall result was not "good" it was excellent!
Finally back in oz. The safari was certainly the highlight, we saw 4 of the big 5 and much more. The acommodation was sensational and the people were soooo friendly. I would recommend this place to anyone doing what we did we didnt want to leave
Thanks again for looking after us
All your arrangements were perfect. We thought the 2 camps run by couples, Baines with Glenn and Karen, and Chobe with Rob and Heidi, were significantly better than the other two. The elephant experience at Baines was memorable.
Many many thanks.
Just arrived home safely a hour or so ago. Sorry I was not able to ring you from the airport. By mistake, I forgot to shut off my mobile phone the last time I used it and when we got to the airport in Jo'berg, I just did not have any time to charge it. Our flight out of MalaMala was a few hours late, so we were in the Jo'berg airport at about 3 :30 or so, and by the time we retrieved our bag and went thru all of the security checks (3 of them) and stood in all of the queues it was time to board our plane.
So, I just wanted to thank you for putting together a great trip for us. We enjoyed the diversity of both the wildlife and the ambiance of all four camps - the food was great, the wildlife viewing was different at every one, and each one had their own unique charm and personality. As I said on the phone if they gave out gold medals for arrangements, you would be up for one for sure.
We did go into Zimbabwe for a day, for a Lion Cub walk and to tour the other side of the Falls. We walked around town for a bit and then walked over the bridge back into Zambia for our pickup. It was all really good.
Any time anyone asks you for a reference, we would be most happy to talk to anyone about our trip, so do not hesitate to use us whenever you need to. We are happy to recommend you to anyone.
Thanks again for a wonderful Holiday. it was truly great, one of those trips of a lifetime. Pat is already talking about taking our grandchildren back.
I came across African Odyssey website quite by accident but I have to say that in the ten months it took for me to finally decide on the itinerary (not his fault but my indecision), I really felt I had found a friend. His expertise and knowledge of South Africa was complete and sound. As we wanted to travel from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth, take in a Safari then drive the garden route to Cape Town, there was quite a lot of organising to do. It involved flights, car hire and private guides along the way. All of this was done by Brian, with the minimum of fuss and huge recommendation. Even to the trip to Robben Island - Brian recommended what day of the week was preferable!
His advice on hotels and inns was superb. He recommended someone to be a guide in Johannesburg - this person met us at the airport and took us under his wing completely - even to taking us back to his home to allow us to use the facilities and store the luggage which was safer than having it in the vehicle whilst going to Soweto. Apart from deciding which hotel to stay in and what dates to travel where, we really had very little to do. Brian sorted everything. Several itineraries were offered - we just chose the one most suited to us (and our pocket) and Brian was most obliging when I wanted to change details here and there. I must have driven him crazy but the e-mails I received in return were always friendly and obliging.
Our safari was absolutely mind blowing - completely recommended by Brian and I have no hesitation in telling people of his service. In fact, my own daughter recently married and whilst thinking about a honeymoon, thought of South Africa and I gave her Brian's contact details.
If I take a trip back to South Africa (which I hope to do at some stage as my trip last March was definitely amongst the best I have ever taken), I will be speaking to Brian.
In terms of feedback the most important of all is that we all had a most fantastic holiday and it was as good or better than expected.
We had a wonderful trip. The arrangements were superb. Everything went off like clockwork. Collin met us at the airport, made sure we got to our first hotel and gave us all of the arrangements and some good advice. All of the lodges were great.
My wife had worried about the accommodations but remarks that they were much better than she expected and probably the finest she has stayed at. We saw 4 of the Big 5 - that elusive leopard escaped us. We also saw many other unique animals and birds as well as countryside. Victoria Falls - wow! Thank you, Brian for putting together a wonderful visit to Southern Africa. It was a real pleasure!
I can assure you that everything was great. My exclusive means of communication with Brian was e-mail, but he was always prompt in his response and the trip was planned just as he had promised. As for African Odyssey, we had all the information we needed before we left. A representative met us at the airport in Johannesburg to give us all the information and tickets and get us on a plane to Maun. The guide was waiting for us in Maun as promised. There were no hidden expenses. We knew exactly how much everything, including the visa into Zimbabwe, cost
We thought we would just drop you a line to let you know what we thought of our trip.
Thanks in no small part to your thoughtful planning and experience our holiday was a great success.
We all enjoyed it and in particular your good planning allowed us to relax.
Thank you again for all your help in making this such a wonderful holiday for us.
"STOP YOUR INTERNET SEARCH HERE !
Brian Kemp, as Principal of African Odyssey Safaris, has created five custom photo-safaris for me. He has helped me begin a new pursuit as group-leader on the last two trips. I cannot say enough about Brian's imagination, hands-on approach, or his complete understanding of the needs and goals of each of his clients. He always gives more than expected or necessary. Frankly, I cannot imagine NOT using his services for my future endeavors. Yes, there are bigger agencies, but they don't have Brian. And Brian has all of their resources without the pressure to put people into cookie-cutter safaris. After your first communication you'll be a lifelong friend."
Thank you so much for your hard work in arranging yet another wonderful trip J.
It was indeed a fabulous trip!
As Terry mentioned, Busanga Plains Camp was excellent!!! I found the game viewing was even better than 2 years ago. The lion sightings were great too though I was sad to hear from the camp manager that the “size” of the prides were actually in decline and that the cubs we photographed 2 years ago didn’t make it. The good news is that there were some collared lions and hopefully through research the species can be preserved in the area.
We also had the pleasure of visiting the children at the Mukambi community school. Such a great project!!! I took some short video clips of the children and the teachers. Randy is going to help me post them on “YouTube” sometime this week so that Linda can use them to promote the school.
As soon as we get settled back to reality and finish downloading the photos from the trip we will share some.
Thanks again for everything.
We had a great time and a great vacation. Even Lourdes had to admit it was a fantastic adventure. Once we tell our friends you will have new clients. Thank you for all your help.
Both of your trips to Tuli, Botswana and Kafue National Park in Zambia were terrific. In addition to the experience of the bush, which
was paramount, the food, accommodations were excellent. The professional guides were the best at locating and identifying the wild life.
Thanks again. Photos coming. Have not even had time to download them yet with the demands of daily life after getting back home.
Randy is a wonderful trip leader, Brian. We owe him for finding you as well.