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Testimonials

What our clients are saying about us and our trips...

With web review sites being all the rage these days, it can be a little difficult to sift through the debris to actually find out what a place or hotel is like. From our point of view, having stayed in 99% of the hotels and safari lodges we sell (and quite a few we don't), we think that these reviews can be very misleading as it is impossible to know what the reviewer likes, was looking for, paid etc. etc. In our opinion our job is to find out what you like and match the correct product to you...see how we have done. (please note that ALL of the reviews we feature are 100% real and unedited. If you would like to speak to any of our past clients please let us know)

Gemma,

What a fantastic trip of a life time, everything was perfect from our first conversation with Gemma who managed to fulfil all our wishes and awkward ask's. No request was too large for Gemma to sort for us, from fear of small planes to missed departure.

We managed to see wilder beast migration, a kill and big 4 (no rhino), with the help of our friendly and experienced guides in both Naibor and Kicheche camps in Kenya.The camps were authentic and luxurious at the same time.

Our adventurous week on safari was followed by a beautiful and relaxing week in Zanzibar.

We cant recommend Gemma and The Africa Specialists enough. Best trip ever.

Lisa and Rob

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Lisa and Rob

Dear Gemma and Nick,

A massive thank you for organising our holiday of a lifetime!

Journey over there went like clockwork, nice short transfer time that was fine due to planes both being on time! Donald was our guide and met us at the airport... very professional and knowledgeable and we had a great time with him for the first 4 days.

Tarangire Treetops was absolutely lovely... out of this world. Elephants that need shooing away so you can get to your rooms... rooms were exquisite and food to die for! No idea how they get showers that powerful in the middle of nowhere. Was a bit of a journey at the ends of each day but worth it. Yohana was our butler and he made our stay... a charming man. Two day game drive... all fantastic... animals a plenty, lion that had just killed a zebra, leopards, elephants, zebras, giraffes, too many to mention... and very beautiful birds.

The Ngorongoro Sopa - good drive up there and amazing views like I have never ever seen before. It blew us all away. Stopped at the viewing point, eldest daughter managed to lob her phone over the railings as she took a photo..... super Dad to the rescue, only a short climb down to get it! The view and external appearance of the Sopa Lodge was amazing, rooms rather more basic and 'crossroads'! Though if we had gone there first, we would not have thought any such thing... it was simply that Tree Tops was ridiculously nice! The majority of staff were good, some grumpies..... again this would not have been so obvious had we not just come from Tree Tops. The game drive the next morning was an early start and another amazing time. Different terrain, colours and slightly different animals, all amazing though. Hyenas became a bit of a favourite for my husband and hippos for the rest of us.

Coastal Flight to Serengeti and Lemala Kuria Hills... rather windy by the time we got on... consequently an hour of torture in the biscuit tin! Still... we quickly moved on having been greeted with tea and cookies by Miraji, our new guide. Even on the 2 hour game drive back to camp, we had seen a cheetah, leopard, lions and more! Again, very different scenery.... so much greener and wetter... but all breath takingly stunning.

Lemala Kuria Hills - we thought tree tops could not be topped but this was a phenomenal place too. The staff were charming and helpful, food delicious and the 'tents' were not tents as I had imagined at all!!! Here, we were accompanied at night to shoo away Buffalo and the hyenas, being lulled to sleep by yet more animals... all rather unimaginable, now we are back in Surbiton. 

Two and a half more days of fantastic animals and great fun with Miraji... he tolerated us singing 'when I was a young warthog' (from the Lion king...hideously predictable!) every time we saw a warthog, he searched hard to find the leopard cubs for Lizzie and sang spider man to Megan every time we saw the red and blue lizard that she called The spider man Lizard! A thoroughly nice man.... . He came and sat with David at night to go through his photos and rename all the birds they saw (up to 100 different ones) as we knew we would struggle once home. He thought nothing of throwing us around in the jeep (to our great amusement) to get us to The River Crossing.... a truly breath taking sight... unfortunately final score was: Wilde beast 3000 - Crocs 3 (did look at all three girls sitting with tears rolling down their cheeks at this sight, sad though at the same time, understanding this is the harsher reality of the animals life here).  We later saw a cheetah kill a baby Thomsons Gazelle. 

Coastal flight home was easier weather and the two trips were much much better and I even glanced out of the window on a couple of occasions! We all felt very sad and emotional to be leaving.

All in all, we completely agreed... our favourite holiday of all time (and possibly always will be) that humbled and amazed us all at the same time. I would recommend it to anyone and was glad we pushed the boat out and stayed in the extra special places. A massive thank you to you all for your time and patience getting it just right for us, we massively appreciated it. 

Thank you!

Emma 

Emma and family

Hi Gemma,

We had a great time and we were very happy with the program you created for us!

Siwandu was perfect, ! A place we couldn't had afford if we had to pay full price and we wouldn't have found it our self.

Thank you Gemma!

Jon

Jon and Tale

Hi Gemma,

We had an absolutely amazing time. Thank you so much for organising the trip for us – everything went so smoothly!!

We managed to see all of the big 5 and the Migration Camp was a real highlight of the trip. The service was outstanding and the quality of the tented accommodation was unreal considering where we were!!

Kono Kono was an ideal location with an amazing beach however we did find the service to be a little lacklustre with some room for improvement.

We both had the best time and are now thoroughly depressed to be back in the UK and back at work. We may be in touch sooner rather than later to plan our next trip to Africa so thanks again for all of your help.

Kind regards,

Chris

Chris and Ceri

Hi Gemma,

In short, we had the most amazing time - everything was as close to perfect as you could ever want or imagine. Sorry for the delayed response, settling back into real life has been a rude awakening.

Above all else, the staff at both the Migration Camp and Matlai really made it. They were brilliant and made us feel very welcome and well looked after. Of course they were well supported by incredible accommodations that were far beyond our expectations. The wildlife on the safari was great, we only missed out on a rhino spotting and frankly after everything else - particularly the wildebeest crossings - we were already well spoiled. Matlai is in the perfect location and the fitting end to a very relaxing trip.

It's also worth calling out how seamless the transit was as well between all the places we went. We were always met on time by a friendly face who knew more about where we were going, when etc than we did. It made the whole process very relaxing and reassuring.

We took a lot of photos so are still working our way through thinning those down to the best.

Thanks again for everything - it really was the perfect honeymoon.

Ben

Ben and Mel

Hi Gemma,

We had such a wonderful time and were so fortunate in the diversity and amount of the wildlife we saw. I’ve been back for about a week, but lost your email in amongst the millions!!

Our trip to Tanzania was fantastic and we got to see over 2000 Wildebeest cross the Mara River, which was amazing. The accommodation was great at both the Crater Lodge and Sayari. The only thing we noticed at Sayari was that the food was not up to the same standard as we had experienced in South Africa and Zambia, and in particular the gluten free bread, cakes and desserts. I did pass this onto them in their feedback form. Of course, the food in general was good and the place and staff was lovely.

The small aircraft were great too, even though I was a bit dubious - all worked out well and we had very smooth flights. The only small hiccup we had was with the Palacina driver pickups from the airport. When we arrived on the 4th which was late at night, the driver was over half and hour late. He said there had been a terrible traffic jam with delays of 2 hours. I understand that can happen, but as feedback, it would have been nice if they had called our mobile to let us know. It was a bit scary outside the airport with 20 to 30 ‘drivers’ with signs, many of whom did not look very professional. The driver was also late from Palacina the second time, but this was due to the flight arrival time being incorrect on our Coastal booking.

These were only minor and the rest of our holiday was great. Hemingways was really great and I had a few massages there, but we didn’t have much luck with their butler service. Our Butler kept mucking up our bookings, but I get them sorted out in the end.

Sabi Sabi Selati in South Africa was fabulous if you ever have anyone going there. We had the best guides, trackers and food of anywhere on our whole trip. Also The River Lodge in Zambia had fabulous food and great rooms. It is a little way from the Zimbabwe border if you want to go to Victoria Falls or do any other activities there. However, we found plenty to do on the Zambian side and only spent one day in Zimbabwe which worked well. Hope you are well too.

Unfortunately now I am back into the work routine :( . We would definitely recommend you to friends for holidays to Africa. It certainly made our life easier in Tanzania with all of the flights and transfers.

Thank you very much!


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Cheers,

Helen

Helen and Phil

Hello Gemma,

I just wanted to let you know we had a wonderful trip! We were very glad we decided to stay at the Singita Mara River Camp – saw three crossings, one of which was incredible.

Everything worked very well and the Boma Hotel was a good recommendation. I used Nairobi airport transfers for all 4 trips between the hotel and airport and found them very reliable and reasonably priced.

Thanks again for all your help!

Best wishes,

Doug

Doug and Barbara

Hi Gemma,

We had the most amazing time, and thank you so much for organising it all. Everything went incredibly smoothly (we did have a Coastal Flight back to Dar overbooked but another couple agreed to take a later flight so no drama for us.) Stanley's Kopje was just as advertised... very quiet and out of the way (we were the only guests on one night!), but a lot less big game viewing than you would get on a larger game reserve. Having said this the variety of wildlife and scenery was amazing, and it suited us perfectly. We did manage to see lions and even a leopard - so the big game is around if you are lucky! Everyone at the camp was incredibly friendly and it was great.

The Matlai Boutique Hotel was out of this world! Absolutely ideal for couples - we were so well looked after. We did the private island safari which we thought was fantastic and well worth it. This seemed to be incredibly popular as lots of the other couples staying at the same time did it - I would suggest booking this in advance if possible, or as soon as you arrive at the hotel. The food for the whole stay was amazing - I would highly recommend this hotel.

All the information you provided was incredibly helpful and we cannot think of anything else that we would have liked to know before we left. Once we have gone through all our photos, if we have any that are appropriate for your website we will forward them on.

All in all, the most amazing honeymoon we could wish for, and would strongly recommend you to other people.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Emma and Nick.

Emma and Nick

Hello Nick , Great trip well organised and enjoyed it all , loved Rwanda. Will be in touch for my next trip. Regards Peter

Peter and Lucinda

Hi Nick,

Thank you for getting in touch.

Our honeymoon in Zanzibar was simply blissful!!!

The Jafferji hotel in stone town was incredible. Would 100% return. We loved how close we were to everything. And how unique the hotel was.

When we got to Matemwe, we were put in a room without a plunge pool. When I spoke to the manager about it, he wasn't aware of the booking so I showed him your email and the receipt. He also wasn't aware it was our honeymoon. However within a couple of hours, Ross (another manager) told us they had another room we would love and we could move to.

Oh my god, it was a huge villa with its own chef and butler. Couldn't believe it. We were moved from the Lodge to the Retreat and the villa we stayed in was truly incredible. My husband and I did not want to leave. The meals were excellent. Every day was beautiful, fresh seafood and salads.

The staff were so friendly and kind. The surroundings were immaculate and we loved how authentic it was, rather than a massive modern hotel.

We were very sad to leave Zanzibar - it really captured our heart. We would love to return one day.

Thank you for all your recommendations Nick. Anyone we know who plan to visit Tanzania, we will be giving them your details.

Thank you for making our honeymoon so special. Have attached a couple of photos you're welcome to use.

Lisa.


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Lisa and Chris

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