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Excellent trip, wonderful food and drink, amazing guides and outstanding setting
Booking and receiving confirmation for this trip was the hardest travel arrangements I ever experienced. It took at least 10 calls, where each call resulted in at least ½ hour waiting to speak to a sales represented.
The booking confusion was frustrating at the least. Perhaps this was due to their coordination with the travel group in Africa. I never received a clear travel itinerary and luckily I decided to fly to Zimbabwe to see if the tour representatives would be on the ground to greet me.
Once on the ground in Zimbabwe and Botswana the tour itself was very rewarding as it is hard not to enjoy Victoria Falls as it is spectacular. Chobe National Park is full of animals and the guides professional so that part was amazing and well worth it. The accommodations were nice.
I am giving this a 4 star due to the frustration in the initial booking, otherwise it was well worth the price.
Our tour guide Johnny was the good, and accommodated our requests and made us feel at ease. We sat up the back of the minibus, but unfortunately could not hear Johnny's enthusiastic guide about Capetown or countryside highlights of the 2 hour drive above the engine noise and the rattles at the back. There was no microphone.
On arrival arrival at the Aquila Game Reserve we had to stand over 30 minutes in a queue which was outside the door in temperatures which were warming up for the day. We had booked about 10 weeks ago online, and had our booking reference etc, ready. I would have thought that Viator would have been able to expedite our reception process with a bit more professionalism. Our breakfast and lunches included in the cost of the ticket were great value and delicious.
Our safari wagon was a bus holding over 20 passengers. Understandably there was no microphone
so we could not hear the commentary by the driver or the guide.
Although it states that sightings are not guaranteed we did manage to spot the animals at distance.
People with binoculars saw the face of a lion high up in its cave.. The saving moment of this journey was a truly beautiful scene which happened because 3 bus loads arrived before the animals: Rhino mothers with their babies ambled down to a water hole, followed by several Zebras, ducks and a Springbok.
I was disappointed because seeing animals in their natural environment was my reason for coming to South Africa. I really felt as if we were attending a beautiful resort, with a few animals along the route thrown in for a talking point.
We had a great time, with nice up close views of the animals. Our driver, Maurtie was extraordinary, he made a long ride fun and enjoyable, can't say enough good about him. The extra elephant feeding is a must, nothing like it!
Richard S USA
I'm very conflicted about the rating I've given for this tour. While it is definitely worth doing as there are incredible highlights, there's just enough errant incidents during our tour that has left us with a sour note. First the good... we definitely loved the lion walk, which by the way wasn't even listed in the itinerary here. We also loved the elephant ride as well as the ostrich farm.
Now for the not so good. The game drive was just alright. It felt very artificial.... like a ginormous zoo. Yes, we've seen rhinos, elephants, giraffes. However, there were so limited number of them that we felt like they were placed there just for this reason. It didn't feel like they were really in the wild, very unlike the scenes you see on other safaris where there's a herd of elephants in all stages of life crossing the river, a herd of giraffes crossing the path of the vehicle, lions getting real close to the vehicle, etc. There was supposedly a lion that was pointed out to us that I never saw because we were so far away from it. The hippo was submerged in the water other than maybe a few indistinguishable inches of it's head poking out of the water. There were 2 lonely giraffes by the trees. The Cango wildlife ranch also felt just like any other zoo you'd see at home.
What really disappointed and more than a little peeved us was the whole vibe of the tour. There were 2 vans that went on this tour. One van had the tourists who chose to stay at the 3 or 4 star accommodations while the other van had the ones staying at the backpackers. We unfortunately were grouped with a gaggle of 23 year old German girls staying at the backpackers. We were the only ones on that van not staying at the backpackers. Worse, we were brought to the backpackers place for so called dinner. What's the sense in paying for a 3 star accommodation when you're eating at the backpackers? The experience would've been much better if the company grouped the tourists accordingly.
tr through the park was excellent and guide was terrific but too much time left hanging around at end of park tour before we could leave on the mini bus.
Our driver, Denver, was awesome and got us safely to and from Aquila Game Reserve. Once we arrived, the bubbly wine and breakfast started the safari on the right foot! We boarded the safari vehicles and started on our journey through the reserve. The animals are fantastic and it was just so neat to see them in action! Just realize that this is a reserve and not a national park- the animals are fenced in and it can feel like a wild zoo and not an actual safari. It doesn't limit the danger, though. We got pretty close to the lions, the rhinos were still treated as dangerous, and the guides still have to keep you safe. Half way through the tour, we were able to get out and walk around with another glass of bubbly near the zebras. The tour ended with a fabulous lunch! After lunch, we lounged in some chairs by the fire pit. There is also drink service at this time. It was an amazing day! Loved every bit of it!
Aquila is very organized and the breakfast and lunch are great. On viewing the lions they seemed to be in an enclosed area and didn't appear to be in a free and natural habitat.
Well what can I say - this tour was the best thing I have ever done.
I visited South Africa for five days with work and decided to spend the three nights i had to myself in Cape Town. First of all - the most amazing city I have ever visited !
I was picked up on time and after picking up the other people, we set off along the beautifully scenic garden route stopping off to do a 4x4 safari for a couple of hours and then do a lion walk. The lion walk was the highlight of the tour. Walking with the kings of the jungle is just something I will never forget.
An overnight stop in Oudtshoorn pronounced 'oates-urgh-in' in a comfortable family run b and b was done then the ostrich farm, elephant ride amazing also and then the wildlife ranch followed before arriving back at my hotel for 6.30pm.
Everything mentioned in the itinary was done and for the price, is something i would recommend to everyone. Truly unforgettable and a great way to see the sights outside of the city which are breath taking.
Finally, a special mention to the tour guide Andrew. A top bloke who made sure everyone was ok. Didn't intervene and allowed people to get on with what they wanted to do. I was on my own and he made me feel very welcome. Deserved the big tip I gave him. If you read this mate, again, it was awesome to meet you.
JAMES S Canada
I completely enjoyed my stay at Kruger Park. The accommodations were excellent and the game drives did not disappoint. I highly recommend this tour.
Stefano G Italy
Perfect trip! Perfect guide! At Pilanesberg the landscape is amazing with a sufficient number of animals. Sun City is an interesting place to see.
The game reserve was great, and the animals were a pleasure to watch. The buffet breakfast and lunch were super.
Beautiful!!!!! Totally beyond expectations.
highest rating organised so well thankyou.you have a client for future
Had an amazing time the tour guide was really good. Loved it
J Kenneth R Canada
This 2 Day Safari was amazing.Our tour guide,Andrew, was so well informed and did everything to make our voyage interesting and informative.While the safari and visit to the Wildlife Park were amazing and we got to see quite a number of different species of animals,the lion walk and elephant ride were the highlight of the trip.Thanks Viator and to Andrew for such an amazing time.
tour guide was good. got to see soooooo many animals. rode an elephant, walked with lions and touched cheetahs. best part of my trip!
I have to give this visit a low score. First, the title is inaccurate. The accommodations were not in Kruger Park. Second, the transport to and from Johannesburg and lodge was definitely not luxurious. Makalali game reserve deserves four-plus stars. It is a small boutique lodge, with three camps each hosting maximum perhaps 12 guests with accommodating and courteous staff, great food, and knowledgeable safari guides. The game contributed their part too, and I saw many animals. I would call the accommodations not luxurious but something more along the lines of refined but rustic. A toilet in a room with no heat when the outside temperature is five degrees is not my definition of luxury. Still, on the whole, an excellent stay. My biggest complaint was the lengthy, uncomfortable and tiring five-plus hour ride from Johannesburg to the lodge and the return. In sum, four-plus stars for Makilali lodge and its services but one to one plus stars for the tour organizers because of the misleading title and the lengthy and uncomfortable trips.
Great safari. Well thought of scheduling. Thank you.
Not what I expected. The tour guide Andrew was reluctant, and did not care if you saw any animals at all or not. Vehicles were worn out. Too much time was waste on breakfast, and equally as much time was wasted on lunch!! Could do with more organization.
Doing what: Kruger National Park Morning Game Drive
Guide Andrew made it the best ever! Excellent knowledge and friendliness. Great accommodations. Animals galore. Jane Goodall experience a treasure! Protea lodge superb.
It was good to see 'The Big Five' animals around the park. Tour was great with well informed guides. Good food at breakfast and lunch.
My friend and I were amazingly lucky, as we ended up being the only two on our tour! Our guide, Finnias, was friendly, super-accommodating of any request, and was so much fun to be with for the four days.
I HAD THE BEST TOUR GUIDE EVERRRR! I hope that I remain life long friends with Isaac, he was so funny, knowledgeable and great to be around. The tour was amazing and something you must do if you come to Cape Town, I got a chance to face my fears and walk with lions, I also got to ride an elephant and feed ostriches. If I could give this 10 stars I would.
Although the driver had a breakdown and arrived late to pick us up we had an amazing day, private tour with flexibility and a wonderful tour guide. For the limited time spent in the game reserve we were able to see a large variety of game!
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