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Cooper Mann

How would you rate your trip overall? Excellent
Comment: The trip included all of the things that I asked for and wanted to see. I never felt worried or stressed in my entire 3 weeks of travel. I felt very taken care of. I always felt like my needs and expectations were met or surpassed. Everybody was friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. I’m not a VIP, but felt like one.

What was the most important reason for choosing AFRICAN PORTFOLIO? Expertise
I was overwhelmed when trying to research things online. I needed somebody who knew what they were doing.
Comment: Vanessa obviously knows her stuff! I requested to do or see certain things during my trip. She would explain each of the options and make sure I knew the most information. Making an informed decision for such a big trip ensured having the best experience possible. I was clueless! The expertise is what made the difference for me.

How many safari companies did you consider before selecting AFRICAN PORTFOLIO? One or Two

How would you rate AFRICAN PORTFOLIO’S representatives in Africa? Excellent in both Rwanda, Tanzania
Comment: I only passed through the airport in Kenya and wasn’t in Zambia. For Tanzania and Rwanda I was impressed with how well I was cared for. I’m not a high profile/fancy person. Very low key. I was always met with a smile and enthusiasm. If I needed anything or had any questions they were always helpful or met my needs before I needed them.

What additional information (if any) would you have liked to receive prior to your departure from home?
The information given was perfect! Having now experienced it I understand it better. If I was to do it again I would be able to pack more efficiently. Vanessa was great in making sure she explained everything to me. She took the time to talk on the phone and quickly respond to any of my emails. She told me so many things that I didn’t understand at the time, but when they occurred on the trip I knew exactly what to expect or do.

How would you describe your accommodation, facilities and meals?
All of my accommodations were fantastic. I felt relaxed, well fed, and cared for. The quiet and comfort allowed me to get some of the best sleep I’ve had in years. Even in a temporary camp in Ndutu I was able to get a hot shower and slept like a rock. I felt like I was safe and secure. All of my meals were plentiful as well as tasty.

What and where was your favorite meal of the trip?
I would say my favorite meal was lunch in Kigali. I think it was Repub. It was the one time I tried something I hadn’t had before: goat. It was great! The rest of my meals were fantastic, but all foods I’d had.

How would you evaluate your safari guides and staff?
Daniel Masha was an amazing guide. For 8 days he had to deal with me! He always had good ideas and information. He made sure I got to see the things I wanted: the Big 5, migrations, and several other animals. I’m not the most talkative person. He was great in providing information that I didn’t think to ask for. But always helpful or insightful. He was always on time and more than accommodating. Plus, he kept his vehicle super clean even after driving the dust all day!

Was there anything you would have liked more of, less of, or done differently?
I think I could have done a shorter safari portion of the trip. 8 days was amazing, but maybe a little excessive. I enjoyed every day of it though!

What was your most memorable moment in Africa?
While on the gorilla trek in Rwanda a male decided he wanted to let me know he was the dominant one. He ran past me and swatted my leg. Just playing with me is what the ranger told me as he hung on to my arm just in case. One of the most exciting moments of my life. As well as one of the scariest.
Sitting at basecamp and thinking about reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro the day before we hiked up was a great moment too. Having the realization of how far I was from home and what I was getting to do. Such a great moment of appreciation.

If you could give future travelers one word of advice, what would it be?
Trust the packing guide. It works!

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