What our guests say …
There is no better way to learn about a safari than through other travellers’ firsthand accounts. Our Guest reviews are the genuine deal—unbiased and unedited—providing an honest assessment of their experience in Africa.
When choosing an African safari, there are so many itinerary options that narrowing down your choices might be difficult. As a result, we have collated our most recent travelling comments from travellers who have taken an African safari with us to assist you in deciding which safari is right for you.
We have worked with Claire Vile from African Safaris several times now to plan and book spectacular trips to Africa and we will never use anyone else. Claire knows Africa like the back of her hand. She listens to what we want and works hard negotiating on our behalf to lock in accommodation, internal flights and travel between camps. She meticulously checks and re checks the plan to make sure we are looked after and supported the whole way. I cannot recommend her highly enough. We are always dreaming about our next safari.
This is the second African Safari trip that has been master-minded and organised for us by Claire Vial, the superb director of the Aotearoa NZ-based company, African Safaris Ltd (www.africansafaris.co.nz). Our previous trip was to Kenya and Botswana; this one to the Sabi Sands area of South Africa. We (our group of myself and my husband and two friends of ours from the US) had a lot of criteria we were trying to fill and Claire remained focused on our wishes and budget and with her vast experience and careful research gave us all the information we needed to make the best decisions for us, specifically. Our trip was indeed a ‘life highlight’ to equal our previous (but different) African safari experiences. From the wonderful AfricaSky guesthouse in Johannesberg we stayed in before and after our safaris, to the two exclusive (ie: we four friends only) safari camps we stayed in, the first for 5 nights (Little Garonga in the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve, the second for 4 nights (Jaci’s Sabi House in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, every aspect of our trip went exactly as planned. ‘Exclusive’ sounds as if it would be extra-expensive but in fact it was no more expensive than the larger camps (still expensive of course but every dollar worth it in experiences and memories). What ‘exclusive’ meant was that we had our own safari vehicle, guide and tracker at each camp (thank you Maddie and Godlove at Little Garonga and Dylan and Chris at Jaci’s) and they took into account, 100%, what we wanted, rather than what was best for a larger group. This meant that birding was high on the agenda; not always possible with a larger group who would rather concentrate on the Big Five. Luckily in both camps our guides and trackers were avid birders! Of course we did have numerous amazing encounters with the big five and indeed all the big and smaller mammals as well. The food (including a birthday cake for one of us, organised in advance by Claire), service and accommodation were spectacular in both camps, with the staff warm, friendly and feeling like real friends we were leaving when we said our sad goodbyes. Without Claire and her team, we would not have had such a perfect trip, so thank you Claire (and as a bonus, we had booked with Claire before she gave us a generous 5% off the total cost.) Note that all these photos (apart from the sunset view of us in the safari vehicle taken by our guide, Dylan) were taken with my 'granny-proof' small Coolpix Nikon camera and none of them have been edited in any way. So easy and demonstrates how close we were to these amazing animals.
Claire put together an incredible package for us. From the moment we were picked up at Johannesburg airport until we were dropped off at our international flight 10 days later it was seamless. From car to airplane to boat and back to car each connection was seamless. The Chobe Princess riverboat was great with exceptional wildlife. The Kwando Lagoon camp and the Kwara camp were beautiful. Great guides and trackers took us to the best wildlife (Stanley, T-4, Rogers and KB!). Their knowledge was enormous. The private 250,000 hectare concessions meant there were plenty of animals and very few other people. We saw cheetah, lions and leopards hunting both successfully and unsuccessfully, African wild dogs, elephants by the hundreds, all kinds of antelopes, hyena, jackals, zebra, giraffes and countless other species. Strongly recommend a trip of a lifetime.
The Craig family are so grateful to Claire at African Safaris for her amazing job in organizing our three week safari through Kenya and our 2 hikes to the gorillas in Rwanda. I first contacted Claire back in 2019 to book a safari in 2020. She spent a lot of time listening and asking questions to what would suit our family, and came up with an awesome itinerary. Skip to 2023 and with enormous thanks to Claire we eventually were able to go on our trip with all bookings still valid. The moment we arrived in Kenya we were taken care of. We stayed in 3 Porini camps. (Amboseli, Lion and Rhino). These camps are really authentic and you are immersed in the Kenyan culture and amazing wildlife. The managers, guides, chefs and camp staff were all fantastic. The accommodation in the permanent tents was very comfortable, clean and spacious. The wonderful thing was a lot of the staff knew Claire and spoke very highly of her love for safaris in Africa. Claire and the team at African Safaris NZ are passionate about Africa and ensure they keep up with what's happening there. Claire's excellent communication and knowledge ensured our trip was a lifetime highlight.
I've recently returned from a Kenyan Safari organised by Claire at African Safaris. Stayed at the Porini Amboseli Camp, the Elephant Bedroom Camp in Samburu and Porini Lion Camp, Masai Mara. All arrangements went perfectly and it was the trip of a lifetime. Accommodation, transport, meals and staff were all of a very high standard. The game drives were especially memorable with many exciting encounters with animals -especially the cats. I fully recommend African Safaris to anyone thinking of booking an African Adventure in the future. Russell Duff
Our trip to Africa was our trip of a lifetime, and we were recommended African Safaris by a good friend. We are so glad we went with them, they were superb right from the initial enquiry through to our 30 days travelling through Kenya and Tanzania with a few days in Zanzibar before flying home. Our accommodation was excellent (the tents were amazing, very roomy and with shower and flush toilet - we were nicely surprised to find hot water bottles in our beds on a couple of cooler nights), the food also excellent (including the breakfasts and lunches while out on safari drives), and we can't speak highly enough of our guides and drivers - we learnt so much about the animals, birds, land, the people, geography and history. Our trip was much more than we'd ever imagined, and we'd give African Safaris 100 stars if we could - we highly recommend them.
We had a magical time in Kenya and Tanzania. Our East African Migration Explorer Safari, exceeded our expectations. Tracey and Claire made it easy and everything was well organized. Traveling to so many game parks gave us a different experience every time. We would recommend African Safaris Ltd and definitely will be contacting them if we are lucky enough to travel back to Africa. Thanks Tracey. 🙂
Together with Claire we planned this trip in 2019. From trekking to see the gorilla's in Rwanda, the Victoria Falls and then on to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and finally the amazing diversity of Madagascar, it was a trip well worth waiting for. All of Claire's recommendations and her representatives in each country were top notch. A 34 day itinerary went without a hitch. We will definitely use the services of African Safaris Ltd for our next visit to this amazing part of the world.
We have had an amazing trip through Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania organised through African Safaris Ltd. We first made enquiries before COVID hit, mainly dealing with Claire. Her trip was well organised through very reputable companies who were friendly and extremely helpful. Claire gave us lots of tips and was always able to answer questions pre travel. The whole trip was extraordinary, with each country providing new experiences from the incredible animal sightings to the lovely people we met, and places visited. The accommodation and guides we had were outstanding. If I had to pick a favourite, it would probably be Tanzania. I would highly recommend Claire and African Safaris for any African travel.
We had a fantastic experience on our Botswana camping safari in April. In the lead up to the trip Claire gave us an excellent level of service with background information, options and suggestions to help us choose the trip that best suited our preferred style of travelling. The two-week Botswana safari that we eventually decided on was outstandingly memorable. The company Claire booked us with was excellent. The whole trip was well -organised and ran smoothly with excellent guides and wonderful campsites in the National Parks. Having someone here in New Zealand to seek advice from and bounce ideas off certainly added to the whole experience, particularly as this was our first foray into Africa. Thanks Claire for all your input into our wonderful experience.