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Sandee and Bob C

Full Name Sandee and Bob C
How would you rate your trip overall? Excellent
Comment: Everything was arranged beautifully without any glitches. Ranger Safaris provided a wonderful orientation, answered our questions and made us feel very well taken care of. We were able to truly relax and leave the details to our guide and staff at the places we stayed. Our guide, David Barisa, was so warm and friendly and truly cared about what we cared about. We are birders and David helped us identify 150 species of birds in addition to all of the animals. (In North America we have identified 173 birds in 30 years!) We think of him now as a friend. The places we stayed were amazing! Beautiful with creative and helpful staff. The resort in Zanzibar was more luxurious than any place we have ever stayed in before and the staff provided snacks and champagne in our room, which they didn’t charge for. Thank you Susan, for upgrading us to a suite. All we could do was look at ourselves and smile. The food was first class, and we are foodies! Breezes also offered an excursion to a local village, where we were able to learn from a wonderful guide about his village, visit a clinic and a primary and nursery school. We were able to interact with the children, which was wonderful.
What was the most important reason for choosing AFRICAN PORTFOLIO? Referral
Comment: Ari told us one day that we have to go to Africa – due to our love of birds and animals – and one of his clients has a business that plans trips to Africa. Little did we know that we would be so well taken care of.
How many safari companies did you consider before selecting AFRICAN PORTFOLIO? One or Two
Comment: As mentioned earlier, Ranger Safaris was wonderful and helpful. The manager of the African Tulip in Arusha was also very concerned with our enjoyment and facilitated our meeting with Julius and David from Ranger Safaris. The drivers to bring us to Breezes and to the Stonetown tour were on time and professional. The guide for the Stonetown tour was great!
What additional information (if any) would you have liked to receive prior to your departure from home? We didn’t know that we could have a combination spice farms and Stonetown tour, which we would have liked to do instead of a Stonetown only tour.
How would you describe your accommodation, facilities and meals? Please provide the name of the hotel, lodge or camp you are describing. We stayed at the Maremboi Tented Camp, Ngorogoro farmhouse, Kubu Kubu Tented Camp, and Mara Under Canvas on our Safari and Breezes Beach Club and Spa in Zanzibar. The accommodations and facilities were wonderful for all of them. We truly enjoyed each one, especially the tented camps and Mara because of the wonderful views, but they were all unique, which added to our enjoyment of the Safari. The staff in each one informed us about their specific place and what they had to offer. We loved the breakfasts and the soups were great in all the places! The food at Breezes was a cut above the others, but we enjoyed the food in all of them. Mara Under Canvas made me fish to accommodate my vegetarian/fish food preference and they made so many different vegetables, which I truly enjoyed. The boxed lunches were adequate and we were very well fed! Bob said that the meat was very mediocre on the safari.
What and where was your favorite meal of the trip? One night at Mara Under Canvas, the chef made a soup and a bean dish with so many wonderful spices. That was my favorite. However at Breezes their Arabian Night and Swahili Night buffets were absolutely incredible. The food was consistently fantastic there. It was as if famous chefs were cooking the food for each meal. Bob loved the meat there too.
How would you evaluate your safari guides and staff? Please provide the name of the person you are describing. David Barisa was our safari guide. He was knowledgable, friendly and proud of his country. His love of wildlife came through in every explanation and comment. We learned so much from him. David was also very careful in his driving and very professional, but he didn’t back down from a challenge. He wanted us to see everything and went everywhere and did everything he could to make sure that we saw everything. He appeared to really enjoy the safari too! If we had to give him a grade, we would say A+++++++!
Was there anything you would have liked more of, less of, or done differently? Not really.
What was your most memorable moment in Africa? It’s very hard to say because there were so many memorable moments. Seeing a crocodile and vultures feeding on a dead zebra, identifying 150 species of birds, stepping out of our tent and feeling the air in the morning, the sunrise, the sunset, watching a cheetah hunt, the other animals and watching the wildebeest migration was truly memorable.
If you could give future travelers one word of advice, what would it be? Make sure you use deet when the tze tze flies are active. We were quite bitten up on the last day, and we had forgotten our deet in our suitcase. Also, go with a positive open mind, learn, whatever you see will be stunning and don’t worry if you don’t see something. It is nature, real life, and a part of your life story, not a zoo.

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