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Mark Abdy

How would you rate your trip overall? Excellent
Comment: Great overall safari itinerary – we had great sightings of all the species I could have hoped for (and more).  The Kwando team did a great job and our group bonded well with the guides and trackers.  Also, many thanks to Cuan Rush for all his in-country support.
What was the most important reason for choosing AFRICAN PORTFOLIO? Expertise
Repeat Client
Please Specify Have worked closely with Vanessa Hensley for 10-or-so years
How many safari companies did you consider before selecting AFRICAN PORTFOLIO? None
What additional information (if any) would you have liked to receive prior to your departure from home? None
How would you describe your accommodation, facilities and meals? Please provide the name of the hotel, lodge or camp you are describing. All good to excellent: Idwala Guest House, Tau Pan Camp, Lebala Camp, Splash Enclave Camp, Ilala Hotel
What and where was your favorite meal of the trip? “Bush” brunch prepared by the Lebala Camp team, and Springbok Carpaccio appetizer at Idwala
How would you evaluate your safari guides and staff? Please provide the name of the person you are describing. Very Good to Excellent.
– Simon DeLaney: Joburg Tour of Victoria Yards and Constitution Hill/Court & drive through Maboneng
– Tau Pan: Dimbo (guide), Zimbo (tracker); Dimbo was good but not exceptional; Zimbo did a great job interacting with the guests – more so than your average tracker
– Lebala: Mike (guide), Mr. Mo (tracker): Mike is new to the Kwando team and did an excellent job positioning the vehicle for photos, he also work well with the tracker; Mr. Mo is a legendary tracker and very well respected by all the guides; he’s not fluent in English but did understand much of what was being said and collaborated very well with Mike
– Splash Enclave: TJ (guide), Matt (tracker): TJ is an experienced guide and great tracker who did an above-average job in communicating with the guests; Matt was an average tracker and is still young and learning how to communicate – seemed like he’d been put with TJ to learn. Together, they worked very well together.
– Vic Falls: Mike from Wild Horizons did a good job communicating and added-in a quick visit to the “Big Tree”; we just didn’t have enough time to hear all the information he wanted to tell us.
Was there anything you would have liked more of, less of, or done differently? As the group leader, there are a few things I’d change for next time: I’ll detail them more in a  separate review I’ll send to Vanessa. But briefly;
– I wanted to go the The Carnivore restaurant in JNB; it is a long way to drive and will use another dining option next time
– Simon Delaney’s Tour: more ad hoc than other tours, but his knowledge of the Constitutional Court was great and sitting in the actual court room listening to his comments was the highlight. The time at Victoria Yards and Maboneng could have been better organized; spent a lot of time driving from A to B — perhaps too much to fit in to a 1/2 day tour
– Vic falls: the time at Vic falls was a little short and rushed; we are alresday planning to expand this to 2 nights in 2020
What was your most memorable moment in Africa? The Wild Dog kill IN the Splash Camp, and while very hard to watch, the baby elephant kill by a clan of hyenas (I recognize how unique this sighting was).
If you could give future travelers one word of advice, what would it be? While nature and wildlife can be extremely beautiful, it is a brutal world and you may witness the harsh realities of the African bush, namely kills (we saw 4 predators on kills during the trip). Need to frame what they could see in context to better prepare them for possibly witnessing a kill

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