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Jessica Azoulay

How would you rate your trip overall? Excellent
Comment: The logistics were perfectly arranged!! Anouk really took care of us from start to finish. Despite numerous transfers and charter flights, nothing was ever delayed or stressful. It was incredibly seamless
What was the most important reason for choosing AFRICAN PORTFOLIO? Competitive Cost
Comment: We were looking for a premier experience but without the incredibly steep price points that come along with many of the operators. Of course safaris aren’t cheap but we felt that our money was very well spent – a tremendous value for the dollar
How many safari companies did you consider before selecting AFRICAN PORTFOLIO? Three or Four
How would you rate AFRICAN PORTFOLIO’S representatives in Africa?
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South Africa
What additional information (if any) would you have liked to receive prior to your departure from home? The droughts in Botswana and Zimbabwe were more dire than we realized. We didn’t do enough due diligence on the situation to understand how dry the land would be. It actually worked out well because the game viewing was exceptional but there was no opportunity for any of the traditional delta activities.
How would you describe your accommodation, facilities and meals? Please provide the name of the hotel, lodge or camp you are describing. Outstanding!! The andBeyond Nxabega was absolutely phenomenal. Of all the locations we stayed, this was by far our favorite in terms of accommodations, service and food. We will likely want to stay at only andBeyonds from now on, they set the bar so high. The Vic Falls River Lodge and Little Makololo were also both fabulous – slightly less so in the service area but accommodations and food were much better than expected in all camps.
What and where was your favorite meal of the trip? The soups at Nxabega were out of this world. I certainly didn’t expect to go to Botswana for the best soup of my life but… that’s what happened!
How would you evaluate your safari guides and staff? Please provide the name of the person you are describing. Judy, Doris, Richard and BK at andBeyond Nxabega were exceptional. As were Rumbie, Valentine, and CHARLES(!!) at Little Mak. It felt like each of these individuals constantly went out of their way to make sure we were having a good time and maximizing our stay. It felt that when we were happy, they were happy too.
Was there anything you would have liked more of, less of, or done differently? I would have preferred to stay indefinitely.
What was your most memorable moment in Africa? While my husband had been before, this was my first safari. The first afternoon, when we saw lions right away was like nothing I’ve experienced. Being a few yards from a male was not something I could prepare myself for and was so incredibly awe-inspiring. Similarly, every time we asked Charles to see something at Little Mak, he magically made it happen! I asked if there were cheetahs and 1 hour later we were looking at two boys. I asked if there were wild dogs and 2 minutes later we saw three chasing a hyena. It was like it was on demand!
If you could give future travelers one word of advice, what would it be? No need to pack so much mosquito spray. I went OVERBOARD but really there was a spray in each room, truck and common space. I ¬†could have saved myself some space in my luggage. I also think coming from the US, a day to acclimate is important. The first few days there we were exhausted and the days are structured in a way that doesn’t really allow for rest.
Lastly, I would suggest getting into the community whenever/wherever possible. We spent a day in the school/village in Zimbabwe and I will never forget the time we had with those children. It was life changing.

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