Guest Book


Name: Margrit & Fred Zumstein, Switzerland

E-Mail : marg.zumzum@gmail.com

Comments:  

Botswana Trip 22-30/10/14

Bushveld Safaris, who we know from former trips, arranged a fantastic tour for us. Starting from Johannesburg, we flew to Victoria Falls, where at the Airport we were picked up. Their agent brought us to the Zimbabwe border, where we were taken over by an agent from Botswana. Transport to the Hotel Mowana Safari Lodge, beautifully located at the Chobe Riverside. We spent 3 nights there, having arranged safaris in the Chobe National Park and an afternoon boat tour on the Chobe River. The continuation was a flight to the Okavango Delta, where we stayed at the Footsteps Camp. Magnificent. We had a real pleasure doing the walking safaris. Afterwards on our way back, we stopped to admire the Victoria Falls. Being around there, this is certainly a must. We also can recommend the Gorge Lodge where we stayed overnight. Resuming: we still dream about our trip, which was perfectly organized by Laurence and Alida. No failure at all. We recommend Bushveld Safaris for your future trips.


Name: Alan & Trina Fraser, England

E-Mail : tilda@sky.com

Comments:

Our experience with Bushveld Safaris and Laurence our host and guide was above and beyond….

From the great ambience and accommodation at Journey’s Inn through to the easy transfer through many borders made our African adventure outstanding.

Laurence was an exceptionally knowledgeable guide. From his knowledge of the history of South Africa to his ability to recognize the smallest of birds in the farthest of distances not to mention the up close and personal experiences of the big five and everything in between was amazing. 

The lodges that Bushveld organized were superb and we felt we mattered and nothing was too much trouble. It’s twenty years since my husband and I travelled in Africa and Laurence and Bushveld Safaris has re-kindled our love for this country, it’s people and it’s wildlife.

Thank you


Name: Steve Dymott, England

Tel : 0044 1947 820852

Cell : 0044 (0) 7527 060680

Comments:

A friend recommended Bushveld Safaris to me and was one other of just three of us on Laurence’s escorted tour. It’s been the holiday of a lifetime and perfect from the variety of flora and fauna we saw (we’ll spot that elusive leopard next time!). Laurence’s knowledge of the wildlife is never ending and he’s a good cook and nice bloke as well. I’ll be back in a year or two to find that leopard.


Name: Strachan Family, England

E-Mail : rts.talk@btopenworld.com

Tour: 15 days “An Unforgettable African Adventure & Cape Town”

Comments:  

From the outset the communication and help we received in booking and arranging our holiday of a lifetime were excellent, cutting out the home country agent/tour company is not a risk at all and in fact we received fantastic value for money – our itinerary was the envy of everyone we met during our holiday. We packed so much in but without ever feeling rushed or pressured.

Laurence Marks was our guide and we feel very privileged and happy to have spent ten days with him. Laurence made our experience very rich with his sheer enthusiasm and fantastic knowledge of the wildlife, fauna and history of South Africa. We were booked on a tour with a small group the other half of which postponed their tour leaving us with Laurence as our personal guide. If you appreciate wildlife/nature beyond the big five headliners this experience will not disappoint you. We were very lucky and saw all the big five including a brilliant close up experience with a leopard, but that was only a fraction of what we saw. With Laurence’s enthusiastic help we saw and identified over sixty species of bird and thirty animals and reptiles. We were so fortunate to see rare Black Rhino and Honey Badger. Laurence is just so tuned in to spotting wildlife and he always gets the vehicle in the right position for the best view/camera shot.

We did have some long drives but with Laurence there is always something to see and find out about, he is just an easy travelling companion who is a mine of information and entertaining stories.

All the accommodation we stayed in was good quality, you are unlikely to loose weight on this tour, food was universally good everywhere we went. Some of the best food we had was Laurence’s barbecue and potie meals he cooked for us himself. Some of the places we stayed were simply outstanding like the beautiful Leshiba Wilderness and as you would expect Victoria Falls Hotel and we wished we could have stayed longer than one night at those places – but it has given us an excuse to return to see and experience more.

We left Laurence at Victoria Falls and flew to Cape Town for 4 days to conclude our holiday. Another great experience and a good wind down from our safari tour. Unfortunately we only got a brief glimpse of table Mountain due to winter skies but the tours of the Cape Point, Stellenbosch Wine lands and the city hop on-hop off bus tour were all really interesting and worthwhile.

Overall it really was an unforgettable experience and was outstanding value, we have already recommended Bushveld to others and will continue to do so.


Name: John & Victoria Willetts, England

E-Mail : js.willetts@btinternet.com

Tour: 15 days “Ultimate African Safari, Rovos Rail & Cape Town”

Comments:  

Whether it is an escorted tour, around the British & Irish Lions rugby, or a bespoke trip for a special event, Bushveld Safaris has planned, organised and delivered excellent tours for us. Laurence has a superb knowledge of his country, which he puts to good use in tailoring an itinerary to meet your requirements. It is also reassuring to know that even if travelling on your own, help and advice if needed, is available 24/7. Tours are competitively priced and good value for money.

So, whether you want safari or city, mountains or coast, battlefields or flowers; or all six in one trip, I would wholeheartedly recommend Bushveld Safaris.


Name: Lieselotte Brocklehurst, Eric and Frank Jacques, England

E-Mail : lieselottebrocklehurst@btinternet.com or frank@jacques110.freeserve.co.uk

Tour: 17 days “The Magic of SA”

Comments:  

Our holiday in South Africa booked with your Bushveld Safaris, Tours and Transfers in August of this year proved to us a total success story.

One of the main the reasons of this success was your experience and unlimited knowledge of your country, your skill of organizing everything on time, in particular our “Dawn Raids”. As a guide you are second to none. Why else are we contemplating another adventure with you? Accommodation, though varied, was of a good standard and comfort throughout.

Highlights of the tour were the sighting of all of the big five, the wonderful photo opportunities that you were able to provide, particularly in the game reserves, and the lovely people we met through you, not forgetting Tony the guide you provided for our extended stay in Cape Town.

Your company deserves to prosper and expand and if there is anything we can do to further this just give us the word.


Name: Marthese Galea

E-Mail : martheseg@hotmail.com

Tour: Various Tours

Comments:  

Hi I’m Marthese, and have been working as a Tour Manager for British Tour Companies for the past 20 years and have accompanied groups to South Africa since 2001. I have had the pleasure of working with Laurence on several occasions and I must say that he is one of the best guides I have worked with. His knowledge of South Africa is extremely vast and covers all aspects of South African life, from history to nature.

We travel long distances, as our tours touch on many different areas of South Africa including Johannesburg, Kruger Park Hluhluwe, Swaziland, Durban, Port Elizabeth Tsitsikama National Park, Oudtshoorn, Knysna to Cape Town and Laurence’s ability to entertain the group is superb, filling the often protracted gaps with very interesting stories and anecdotes about the indigenous people of Africa, not to mention the funny jokes he comes up with! He is a lovely good nature man, and this is clearly reflected in his ability to make clients relax and enjoy their time even when the long distance journeys are sometimes very tiring.

I would recommend him as a guide to everyone who wants to enjoy South Africa to the full.


Name: Bill Bailey, UK

E-Mail : bailey@gerald56.orangehome.co.uk 

Tour: Tailor-Made Tour

Comments:  

From the first e-mail contact, through the planning of the trip, transfer of funds and our subsequent arrival in South Africa, it was obvious that this was going be the trip of a lifetime. With the services of an excellent leader and guide, our tour through the game reserves, Zululand, the battlefields and the Drakensberg mountains was something we could enjoy with the knowledge that everything was very well organised. Laurence Marks, our tour leader has a great knowledge and a deep love of his country and it shows in the care he gives his clients. We would certainly travel with him and Bushveld Safaris, Tours and Transfers again.


Name: Schotting – Amsterdam – The Netherlands

E-Mail : saskiaschotting@hotmail.com 

Tour: Tailor-Made Private Tour

Tel: 00 31 6 20 57 14 89

Comments:  

We have previously booked several private tours with “Bushveld Safaris, Tours and Transfers” and Laurence was our guide. We informed him by e-mail about our wishes and he made a clear tour itinerary with all the relevant information needed. Laurence is a great guide, he knows everything about every tourist spots in South Africa, history and nature. We like private tour the most because you visit places where other tourists rarely see, Griekwastad, Zastron en Upington We have visited Kruger NP, Marakele N.P, Augrabies Falls N.P, Mapungubwe N.P, Pilanesberg N.P, Golden Gate N.P, Gariep Dam Nature Reserve and Drakensberg. Victoria Falls N.P in Zimbabwe, Inhaca Island in Mozambique, Okavongo Swamps and Chobe N.P in Botswana. Friends of ours have had the same great experience as we have had with Bushveld Safaris. Only someone who knows South Africa really well can show you the real South Africa, we think Bushveld Safaris Tours and Transfers is the best address for it!

Al meerdere keren hebben wij een privé tour geboekt via “Bushveld Safaris, Tours and Transfers”, met Laurence als onze gids. Je geeft aan wat je graag wilt zien en je krijgt een uitgebreide touromschrijving, met alle bezienswaardigheden die je gaat bezoeken. Laurence is een geweldige gids, van elk plekje in Zuid Afrika weet hij je alles te vertellen over de geschiedenis en de natuur. Het leuke van een privé tour is, dat je op plekken te komt waar niet veel toeristen komen, bijv. Griekwastad, Zastron en Uppington Wij hebben al diverse Nationale Parken bezocht, Kruger NP, Marakele N.P, Augrabies Falls N.P., Mapungubwe N.P., Pilanesberg N.P., Golden Gate N.P., Gariep Dam Nature Reserve en Drakensbergen. Victoria Falls N.P. in Zimbabwe, Inhaca Island in Mozambique. Okavongo Swamps and Chobe N.P. in Botswana Vrienden hebben ook al dezelfde goede ervaringen als wij. Alleen iemand die Zuid Afrika zo goed kent, kan je het echte Zuid Afrika laten zien, dan ben je bij Bushveld Safaris aan het juiste adres.


Name: Gary, Lynette, Brittany, and Garet Milligan – USA

Comments:  

WOW! what an amazing trip! Kruger National Park, Mozambique, Inhaca Island, and Victoria Falls all in a short period of time. Thanks to your expertise each place was more memorable, educational and exciting to share with others. 

We encourage all people that are looking for a tour within Africa to book with you. We know that we will again…….. 

We all started out as strangers and ended as good friends, please feel free to visit Colorado anytime!


Name: Gill Raine – Newcastle – UK

E-Mail : gillraine@waitrose.com

Comments:  

Working as a Tour Manager for a British Tour Company, I have travelled with Laurence Marks as our guide, throughout South Africa, on numerous occasions over the past few years. Our clients find him an excellent guide with lots of interesting information on the peoples of South Africa and their history and he is also very knowledgeable about the wild life in the National Parks. He is well organised, practical, but also entertaining and humerous and I look forward with pleasure to working with Laurence again on future tours.


Name: Gillian Pollock, Barcelona / Spain

E-Mail : gillian@gp-solutions.biz

Comments:  

Not only does South Africa have all the animals, nature and history that one could dream of but there is also the pleasure of traveling in a small group, enjoying great food and accommodation, and in addition, being led by a guide who loves to share his vast knowledge of his country. A fabulous trip on all levels. I’ll be back!


Name: Celine Viallard, Barcelona / Spain

E-Mail : cviallard@hotmail.com

Comments:  

A great adventure in the wild…what a country and what an unforgettable trip! the organization was great, everything perfect!


Name: Jim & Darleen Cassidy, USA

Tour: Tailor-Made Tour

E-Mail : cassidyfamily@mac.com

Comments:  

As Darleen and I said, your travel arrangements and the peace of mind you gave us were huge contributions to our having such a great trip. We are already looking forward to our next trip to Africa!

Laurence Marks of Bushveld Safaris handled our transfers to/from Johannesburg airport and guided our tour of Kruger Park, Ingwe Game Lodge, the Panorama Route, and Johannesburg. He also offers tours as far afield as Cape Town, Zululand, and Victoria Falls. He was a super host and a knowledgeable, government-registered guide. If you have clients that are interested in a very professional, private tour of South Africa, we can recommend him most highly. I understand that he also handles self-drive holidays for those so inclined.


Name: Roberts Family – UK & Barcelona 

E-Mail : julie@oakhouseschool.com

Tour: Tailor-Made Tour

Comments:  

Highlights:

– Rafting
– Tracking in the private reserve (Ingwe)
– Elephant Centre visit
– Tented camp (Punda Maria)
– First visit to the tribal people (Shangana)

*(Hotels) First world, clean, friendly, excellent service & security.
*Laurence’s potjie and barbecue were delicious and it made a nice change from hotel food.
*Organisation excellent. Guide excellent – very informative in all areas – wildlife, politics, social structure, history. It wouldn’t have been the same experience without this wealth of knowledge and interesting stories.
*The whole thing ran smoothly and Laurence was the perfect guide….never once did they show anything less than a friendly, helpful, patient disposition. True professionals. Laurence’s natural friendliness and incredible knowledge made it very informative and interesting. Great travelling companion. Thanks!
*(Overall experience) Very good. Feel like we´ve seen a lot and had a really interesting, varied experience which was just what we wanted. Thanks a lot!


Name: Howorth Family – UK, Nash 

E-Mail : geoff@the-bridge.co.uk

Tour: Tailor-Made Tour

Comments:  

Highlights:

– Tracking the lions (in Ingwe)
– Rafting
– Staying in the tents (Punda Maria)
– Elephant Centre
– Brian Jones (Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre)
– Seeing the first elephant
– Seeing an ostrich

*Very excited about coming – a little concerned about violence and political situation.
*A little concerned for South Africa’s future, but the country has a magical feel to it.
*Overall experience – Excellent. Friendly people, amazing scenery and wildlife, comfortable hotels.
*A true African wilderness experience with a first world infrastructure – roads, food, toilets etc


Name: Tony Johnston – Yorkshire, England 

E-Mail : toni.charlie@btinternet.com

Comments:  

Africa’s Wildlife & the Zulu Kingdom tour – I considered the accommodation to be of excellent quality. The beds were extremely comfortable and the facilities very good. I enjoyed the food, the standard of the food was very good, although the portions were too big for me. The tour was well planned and structured, with much thought have been given to regular comfort stops along the way. The highlights for me were – seeing the animals in Kruger, especially the wild dogs, the birds on the boat trip at St Lucia and walking in the Drakensburg Mountains.

The country itself is beautiful and awe inspiring. The government appears to be working hard to eradicate the inequalities that still exist. My overall experience of South Africa was excellent, wonderful and life- enhancing.

Thanks


Name: Gean Silverstone, Spain, Barcelona 

E-Mail : gean.silverstone@gmail.com

Comments:  

Had wanted to go on safari for a long time and was excited at coming to South Africa. Family and friends went “Gosh”, but failed to understand my enthusiasm, their loss! The highlights of my adventure were – the Cape Wild Dogs, Kruger in general. The Zulu’s, their humour, history and friendliness. St Lucia, with the hippos and also the Drakensburg Mountains.

South Africa is a beautiful country. There is magic in the abundance of wildlife, its open spaces, its call of nature, peace in its true state. Lovely – just wonderful.

Thanks


Name: Brenda Wright, Spain, Barcelona 

E-Mail : brenwrightben@yahoo.es

Comments:  

What influenced my decision to do this tour was the desire to go on safari with a small group, in a “protected” group, with both a guide and driver. I was also intrigued by South Africa.

South Africa is a fascinating country with delightfully friendly people, both hotel staff and those encountered on the journey. My overall experience of my South African adventure was stimulating and informative, fun and intriguing, filled with enthusiasm for both tour manager and expert guide. The highlights of my adventure were – adore all the sightings close up of animals, the variety of tours – each day brought new surprises, the night drive and boat trip viewing of hippo’s, and the impressive mountain scenery, etc, etc. 

Thanks


Name: Holly and Stephen Schultz

E-Mail : hollycsomers@gmail.com

Tour: Tailor-Made Tour

Comments:  

We had an amazing trip of a lifetime in South Africa. Seeing the animals in Kruger National Park was a thrill as well as the private game reserves. Our guide, Dries, was very knowledgable about the animals, birds, and trees. His diving experience was a huge plus when we went scuba diving in Sodwana Bay. The 5 dives we did there have been our best diving experience ever! The visibility and variety of fish and corals made it memorable. Dries made sure our gear was suitable for us.

He was a very attentive guide who met all our needs and answered any questions we had about South Africa. He genuinely cared about our comfort, experience, and enjoyment during the trip. His love of animals and nature were obvious and that trait makes him a good guide for safaris. Booking the safari was a smooth experience. All our questions were answered promptly and we felt comfortable with the whole process. Thank you so much for this awesome tour.

V/r Holly and Stephen Schultz


Name: Claudia Levy, Cape Town – South Africa 

E-Mail : Claudia@bagsdirect.co.za 

Comments:  

Dear Bushveld Safaris, Tours & Transfers

This is a mail to let you know on behalf of myself, Clauda and Eric that we enjoyed our week away in Africa ( Botswana, Zambia and the Victoria Falls) This is an unforgettable trip besides having a lot of luck to see plenty of animals. The experience in the camp of Shendi in the Okavango Delta was wonderful and no words to describe the atmosphere and 5 star service at all times with the staff and Managers at the camp. The experience to have seen a elephant 2 nights outside my camp where I slept was unforgettable as the elephant brings “Good Karma” and that certainly is true!

The Chobe Game Reserve in Botswana is a worthwhile visit especially with all the wonderful animals we got to see in the month of October and once again the accommodation was great. The food, service and attention I experienced throughout my trip kept me happy and smiling for 7!

The Royal Livingstone Hotel as well as a short visit to the museum in the town and learn the history of Livingstone himself was worthwhile as the museum itself is so well set out that one can understand the feeling and date back to the hard times of slavery in Africa as well as so much more interesting information to read upon.

I would highly recommend this African experience trip to anyone in the Botswana and Zambia region as well as the beauty to feel and see the wild animals in their natural habitat, not to mention the great experience riding the largest African Elephants in the world!

Thank you for all the great organisation of this trip and all the luck we had in one week to see Africa!!

Regards Claudia Levy


Name: Dale Leeds

Denver, CO USA

Email: If people that read this want to communicate directly with me they can contact me at: daleleeds@comcat.net

Comments:

I have used the services of this company twice for two very different trips. Both experiences were terrific and everything was handled exactly as I told it would be.  I was slightly nervous doing something like this over the internet the first time but everything was professionally and expediently handled including Laurence and Alida giving me clear expectations of what to expect and their follow through on communications has been superior.  This is true for both trips.

I don’t have experience with the guided tours but I am an experienced traveler and very comfortable with the self-drive experience. Basically I wanted to travel with this company to save me the work of setting everything up which takes a ton of time and I wanted a “safety net” should something come up during the trip.  If you have travelled a bit on your own Laurence and Alida can save you a lot of time at very low cost and the company will be there to support you should something unexpected come up.

The recommended tours are good but each time I wanted to make some modifications to see or do specific things not on the recommended tour. These modifications were graciously accepted and changes to the itinerary were made on my behalf.  Something I found very helpful is that on a couple of occasions I was told that a request I had made was unrealistic (distance of travel in a day) or unnecessary (GPS on most recent trip).  You can see that I like working with this group and the last sentence is a compliment rather than something negative about my experience.

I think this company has something for everyone. If you are a confident or experienced traveler go with the self-drive tour and you won’t be disappointed.  If not, give the guided tour a go as based on my experience the quality of the work done on your behalf will be equally high in quality.

When I have another opportunity to self-drive in South Africa I will definitely use this company again.


Name: Agneta & Martin Pigotte, United Kingdom

E-Mail: agneta.pigott@gmail.com

Comments:

We met Laurence and Alida at a travel show in London. We were impressed by their enthusiasm and approach and knowledge of South Africa and decided to request a proposal from them. We opted for a comprehensive tour, including three days of safari in a private game park in the Kruger area, a self-drive tour of the Garden Route, ending in Cape Town.

Laurence was very prompt and helpful in providing a proposal and tailoring it as a result of our comments and preferences. We booked our own flights, but everything else was organized by Laurence and Alida. He met us a Johannesburg airport and we spent the first night at their pleasant lodge. We were very pleased with the itinerary and choices of accommodation that they made for us. This was our first trip to South Africa and we were slightly apprehensive about security but found Laurence’s advice very helpful and we felt completely confident and safe by following his itinerary and advise. All in all a very memorable trip made easy by using Bushveld Safaris.


Name: Alex Miller, USA

E-Mail: amiller2@utk.edu

Comments:

Laurence,

I had a nice visit. Now that I’ve done it once, I would be in a much better position to provide you with my interests. I felt like the safari didn’t really begin until I hit Kruger, and I would place greater emphasis on wildlife viewing and less emphasis on driving and sightseeing.

Umlani was fantastic. We saw the Big 5 both days I was there. We saw a leopard take down an impala from only 20 feet away! We were surrounded by herds of elephants and cape buffalo. It was simply superb and the staff were first rate.

The truck and camper were fine. I very much appreciate your help in organizing the trip. It would not have been possible without you. I especially appreciate the honesty and integrity you showed in processing exchange rates, handling payments, etc. I would not hesitate to use your services again or to recommend you to anyone else. More folks from the USA need to understand how easy you make it to visit South Africa and enjoy an unforgettable African adventure.

Alex Miller, PhD


Name: Angie & Simon – England

E-Mail: awestall1@yahoo.co.uk

Tour: Self drive tailor-made tour

Comments:

We have just come back from a wonderful tour oragnised by Laurence. The meet and greet was very good with help finding our pre organised car as well as last minute tips and advice, which prooved very useful. The intinery provided was very detailed with good road directions, maps, and interesting sight seeing opportunities along the way. The hotels that were booked up by Laurence were of high quality with lovely staff and delicious food. We orgainsed our own activites at Sun City which included Hot Air Ballooning, Elephant Rides as well as other activites which helped to enhance our holiday at this lovely location. Moving on round to Magabaskloof where we had amazing views from the hotel that Laurence had booked for us. We then entered Kruger Park where game activities had been prebooked through Laurence and there were plenty of animal encouters which were amazing. We continued our trip to Hazy View where we were able to follow Laurenece’s clear instructions to see God’s Window, Blydes Canyon, experiece a snap shot of a real tribal camp, as well as, many other attractions. We then continued to Misty Hills hotel where we were able to experience the Carnivore Restaurant and able to relax in our last lovely hotel before returning to England. We had a thoroughly good honeymoon and would be happy to recommend Laurnece to anyone as he created a truely memorable experience for us both at a very resonable price! For further information please feel free to contact us.

Angie & Simon England


Name: Bill Amos – USA

E-Mail: bill2@bamos.com

Tour: Self drive tailor-made tour

Comments:

We had a great time on our self-drive tour. All reservations were immediately recognized and were fulfilled exactly as we had discussed and agreed. Game viewing at Kruger National Park and at Karongwe private reserve were far above our expectations, which were already high. Friendly, courteous and attentive service is what we encountered all along the way. Kudos to the greeter who met our flight at Johannesburg and got us off on a good start.

Thanks for the great service and a trip which I think of as one of my best (of several international trips since retiring nearly two years ago.)

Bill Amos USA


Name: Brian Cawdron – UK

E-mail: brian.cawdron@mphlimited.co.uk

Tour: Self drive tailor-made tour

Comments:

Back in the grey and cold of England and just reflecting on what a great time we had in SA over Christmas and New Year and just wanted to thank you and your team for putting together a great itinerary and package. Without doubt, the best holiday we have had! We are more than happy to share our thoughts………

From touchdown at Joburg, we felt we enjoyed independence combined with the knowledge that Laurence was a phone call or text away. We were a little intimidated before embarking on this trip but there really is no need to be – no more than the sensible precautions a traveller would consider on visiting an unfamiliar area.

We just didn’t want to come home! We drove nearly 3000 miles (5000km) in three weeks and feel we had a great introduction to what SA has to offer.

It was like having two holidays in one – Pretoria to Mpumalanga (Hazyview and Kruger for my 40th Birthday), Swaziland to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Zululand and the Battlefields, then onto the the Drakensburg Mountains for Christmas, this concluded part one of a trip filled with game, culture, history and landscape.

A short flight from Durban to PE started part two along the beautiful Garden Route with great stays at Knysna and Outdshoorn before enjoying the cosmopolitan Cape Town for four nights with so much to see around the Western Cape. The view from Table Mountain on New Years Day was stunning!

All accommodation was first class and the itinerary/timetable supplied spot on, maximising the time available. If you wish to see as much as possible of SA in three weeks, then this must be the way.

The memories will be with us a long time and we thank Laurence for making it this special trip possible. We have been telling friends of our experiences and more than happy to recommend – We are sure to visit again.

Genuine thanks! Brian and Sue, February 2007


Name: CeCe Wilkens, Jack Van Sambeek, San Diego,CA USA

E-Mail: cece@wilkenspr.com

Tour: Self drive tailor-made tour

Comments:

Laurence

Our recent trip to South Africa was truly a dream-come-true! Thank you for making our arrangements, providing the detailed itinerary and suggestions for interesting sites along the way. Everyday in your wonderful country was amazing, different and memorable. Of course, the biggest highlight was seeing the Big 5 – several times!

Your willingness to personalize our self-drive tour to our interests (bird watching, hiking, wildlife viewing) meant this was “our trip,” rather than a “one size fits all” version. We will always remember the joy of meeting new friends, watching the sun rise over the Umlani waterhole, following lions as they stalked a herd of Cape Buffalo, and eating a variety of wild game and the fresh Knysna oysters.

Thanks again — and if/when you come to California, we hope you will include San Diego in your plans and that we can see you here


Name: Christel Leyendecker, Australia

E-Mail: cleyendecker@optusnet.com.au

Comments:

Thanks again for everything. You made my dream of seeing the animals of Africa come true!

We got so excited to see our first animals, not realizing how many more we would see. The Golden Gate Highlands National Park has a beautiful camp site! We had a chance to practice with our tents (4 x 4 camper) and after a rocky start, we managed towards the end of the trip to get all ready within half an hour which we were quite proud of. In the Golden Gate Highland National Park we went for a hike and admired the beautiful landscape and amazing rock formations. We sincerely enjoyed this park.

The drive to Giants Castle was spectacular, so beautiful. One of the highlights of the trip. The accommodation couldn’t have been better with a direct view towards the Giants Castle.

We thought that people in Swaziland were very friendly and open. Accommodation was fantastic.

Kruger National Park was another definite highlight of the trip. We absolutely LOVED it. We saw the “Big 5” even though it took the driver of another vehicle to explain to me for at least 5 minutes where to see the leopard on the other side of the river. It was worth having purchased the WildCard for the SAN parks, as this saved a lot of money. We found that the South Africans were very friendly towards us and helped and chatted whenever there was an opportunity. We were sad to leave Kruger and promised to come back one day.

Mapungubwe National Park and Mazhau Campsite is a place that we will always hold dear in our memories. After being slightly uncomfortable when we realised how close to nature we were and people telling us that the lions were roaring at night, we absolutely adored the place. Sitting in the hide and seeing the animals come to the water hole was an experience that none of us will ever forget. It was possibly the best place that we visited on the trip in terms of nature and experience.

Although, we decided not to visit the Makgadikgadi Pans (dry season), we LOVED Chobe and Victoria Falls even though the weather was wet. At some stage we changed from camping to accommodation. It was just too rainy and we couldn’t be bothered. However, it was fantastic and the people of Botswana are very open and friendly. The wildlife in Chobe is something else even though it was the low season. We were wondering what it must be like in the high season.


Name: Claudia Levy, Cape Town – South Africa

E-Mail: claudia@bagsdirect.co.za

Comments:

Dear Bushveld Safaris, Tours & Transfers

This is a mail to let you know on behalf of myself, Clauda and Eric that we enjoyed our week away in Africa ( Botswana, Zambia and the Victoria Falls) This is an unforgettable trip besides having a lot of luck to see plenty of animals. The experience in the camp of Shendi in the Okavango Delta was wonderful and no words to describe the atmosphere and 5 star service at all times with the staff and Managers at the camp. The experience to have seen a elephant 2 nights outside my camp where I slept was unforgettable as the elephant brings “Good Karma” and that certainly is true!

The Chobe Game Reserve in Botswana is a worthwhile visit especially with all the wonderful animals we got to see in the month of October and once again the accommodation was great. The food, service and attention I experienced throughout my trip kept me happy and smiling for 7!

The Royal Livingstone Hotel as well as a short visit to the museum in the town and learn the history of Livingstone himself was worthwhile as the museum itself is so well set out that one can understand the feeling and date back to the hard times of slavery in Africa as well as so much more interesting information to read upon.

I would highly recommend this African experience trip to anyone in the Botswana and Zambia region as well as the beauty to feel and see the wild animals in their natural habitat, not to mention the great experience riding the largest African Elephants in the world!

Thank you for all the great organisation of this trip and all the luck we had in one week to see Africa!!

Regards Claudia Levy


Name: David Broadhead, UK

E-Mail: cdwb@btinternet.com

Tour: Self drive tailor-made tour

Comments:

By regular contact via e-mail, prior to the holiday Laurence and I had put together a plan to tour the Garden Route in a self drive hire car. Highlights of this tour were Addo the Elephant Park, Mountain Zebra, two nights at the Drostey Hotel in Graaff-Reinet (where you must visit Nieu Bethesda), Oudtshoorn (the Cango Caves and the Animal Conservation Park) and Knysna where Laurence arranged our accommodation off the beaten track in what was described as ‘a Mediterranean style’ lodge. A night at the Old Post Office Tree Manor at Mossel Bay another at Struisbay the “Southerly tip of Africa”, Robertson (dinner at the Bourbon Street Restaurant!) then Tulbagh on our way to Bushmans Kloof – if you go nowhere else in South Africa you must visit here. Down to the Victoria and Alfred Hotel on the Waterfront at Cape Town and finally a couple of days at Hout Bay Manor from where we visited the Cape of Good Hope before flying home.

Our holiday accommodation and car hire was booked and paid for by Laurence (50% paid with the booking in advance). We had made separate arrangements for flights being offered a good deal by a UK agent. I can thoroughly recommend Self Drive Southern Africa to organise your self drive tour and to provide satisfaction for your individual requirements.


Name: Debra Lyn, Australia

E-Mail: queen_deb_2004@yahoo.com.au

Tour: Self drive tailor-made tour

Comments:

We had a fantastic time in SA – driving the panoramic area of Drakensburg Mountains, touring the Kruger National Park and checking out Cape Town and surrounds. We did not have any particular expectations so the whole trip was quite surprising and most enjoyable. The accommodation was beyond our expectations (you never know what you might get when booking over the internet!) Your directions were very clear and at no point did we get lost or end up somewhere we shouldn’t have. The gentleman (forgotten his name) who met us at the airport in J’burg was very efficient and helpful with initial enquiries. Hire cars were of the standard we expect in Australia.

Overall, the service during the booking period was efficient and prompt and we feel we got good value for our money. The only complaint that we have is nothing to do with your company but that we found ATM’s difficult to find that either worked or would accept our cards. Apart from that we would most definitely come back again to see more of your magnificent country.

Debra Lyn

PS – We thought the Great Wall of China was a challenge but Table Mountain rivalled it – but we did get to the top. Well worth the effort!


Name: Karen Holladay

E-Mail: karen_holladay@hotmail.com

Tour: Various tours

Comments:

I have travelled all over the world over 20 years as a Tour Manager for Page & Moy Travel Ltd and have recently had the good fortune to work with local guide Laurence Marks on comprehensive tours of South Africa, from Johannesburg through the Eastern Transvaal, down through KwaZulu Natal to Durban, Port Elizabeth and along the Garden Route to Cape Town.

As a guide, Laurence is outstanding for his detailed knowledge of not only the country’s history, but also of its peoples and wildlife. His precision in timings and practical advice combined with a great sense of humour and a knack for story telling makes him the best guide I have worked with anywhere. He makes the experience of a visit to South Africa truly special.


Name: Powell Ettinger, UK

E-Mail: Powellettinger@btinternet.com

Comments:

I have just published the piece about our self-drive on www.wildlifeextra.com. See – http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/safaris/botswana-self-drive.html. It will also appear on a newsletter shortly.

We are generally agreed that it was the best holiday we have ever had, and we have had a few – So once again a huge thanks.

Hope you are well – See you at Destinations Show: Manchester or London?


Name: Rodger Van Haitsma, USA

E-Mail: vanhaitsma@mpinet.net

Tour: Self drive tailor-made tour

Comments:

This was my first attempt at booking a trip on line so I was filled with skepticism. Now after the trip, I can’t say enough GOOD about the service of L&A Safaris & Travel. We visited Kruger National Park, then drove up thru Botswana and Zimbabwe to Victoria falls, back thru Botswana visiting friends and former co-workers and arrived back in South Africa. Then we flew to Cape Town for a five day visit where L&A rented another car for us. Upon arrival we had a slight problem with Avis car rental but this was quickly resolved with a few phone calls by Mr Marks. All hotels, restaurants and driving directions were exactly as we had hoped for. After returning home we received a refund for returning the rental car early. L&A has given us the highest level of professionalism, honesty, and integrity. I would use this service again for another trip!


Name: Ronny Myle – Kessel-Lo, België

Tel: 00 32 16 35 50 11

E-Mail: ronnymarida.mylle@telenet.be

Tour: Self drive tailor-made tours

Comments:

I appreciate the speed and correctness in which this company operates. Plus the accuracy and personal attention of the design of the tour packages. Our last 3 self-drive tours in the last 4 years were possible with the help and advice from Laurence and all were a great success. All reservations, our hired car from the airport, accommodation throughout the Transvaal and daily traveling directions were faultless. Laurence knows all the camps in the Kruger National Park and four times he recommended different “private game reserves”, each with there own unique and exclusive experiences, all were outstanding. Most travelers in my friendship circle have experienced good service in South Africa, but this self-drive operator stays my best reference.

Ik apprecieer bij “Bushveld Safaris,Tours and Transfers” de snelheid en de korrektheid van de organisatie. Plus de gedrevenheid om een maatwerk op te stellen van een vakantiepakket.Onze drie laatste “self-drive”tours in de laatste 4 jaren werden met de hulp en advies van Laurence en zijn teameen sukses.Reservaties van huurwagen vanaf de luchthaven,van logement in de regio Transvaal,dagelijkse wegbeschrijvingen waren foutloos.Laurence kent alle kampen in het Kruger Park.Vier keer was zijn aanbeveling van een ‘private game resort’ een unieke en exclusieve ontdekking.Alle finantiële overschrijvingen verliepen vlekkeloos.Meerdere reizigers uit mijn vriendenkring ervaarden reeds hetzelfde goede dienstbetoon.Voor een reisorganisator in Zuid-Afrika blijft hij mijn beste referentie.


Name: Ruth & Ylar, Estonia

E-Mail: Ruth.Laatre@rimibaltic.com

Comments:

Laurence and his team organised for us very balanced self-drive trip in South African Republic. We had sufficient time to spend in Kruger and Umfolodzi safari parks and deep sea fishing in St Lucia and second part of trip was more in cities (Port Elizabeth, Capetown) and surrounding areas. The accomodation selection was perfect and included safari tents, as well as luxury lodges and a historic Zulu village. The daily milages was professionally planned, allowing us time for sightseeings, stops and reaching all our overnight locations before darkness (we tried to avoid driving in the evenings).

The driving instructions and tips were included, all bookings and references worked. We feel very confident to suggest Laurence and his team to help you in your trip planning.

Our highlights were a very interesting night safari where we saw how 7 lions were eating a Cape buffalo and a succesful deep sea fishing trip (we did not catch the largest fish, but still some our group mates did). Pictures from these events can be viewed on Self-drive Southern Africa photo gallery. Thank you very much.


Name: Sean Bent, USA

E-Mail: Sean.Bent@adm.com

Comments:

It’s very rare that a 14 day vacation went smoothly without any major problems. The flexibility of the schedule allowed my wife and I to choose when, what, and how we wanted to spend our time. Laurence and his staff delivered exactly what they promised. My honeymoon was custom designed for South Africa for the perfect balance of excitement and relaxation. Activities included: nature tours ……., riding ostriches, petting cheetahs, petting lions, cage diving with crocodiles, cape town vineyards, and great white shark cage diving. Every part of the trip we felt safe. My wife and I had the trip of our lives and recommend booking through Bushveld Safaris.

Sean and Stephanie Bent


Name: Stuart & Sue Richardson, UK

E-Mail: sturich9@yahoo.co.uk

Comments:

I had to write to thank you for our recent holiday to South Africa, it could not have been organised any better. We all had the most wonderful time and the information given by Laurence on wildlife, historical detail and the country was first rate.Once again thank you and we hope to visit SA again in the next year or two. Regards Stu and Sue


Name: Zola and Neil, UK

E-Mail: zola_hurst1@hotmail.co.uk

Comments:

Thank you for organising such a fantastic holiday for us.

We can not have asked for more, the guides throughout, were not only knowledgable they were great company, the accommodation and food was brilliant, and we were closer and saw more animals than we ever expected on the safari (Tanda Tula camp). The other people at the camp who had been on various other safaris said this was by far the best.

The “panorama route” and the pot holes were spectacular and Cape town is a beautiful town. The wine lands and museum houses are very picturesque and interesting and the area around Cape Town is very scenic with spectacular views. The whole thing went like clock work and we had the best holiday ever. We also went shark diving with the great whites (Fabulous and very exciting) and saw southern right whales on the way back.

We would like to thank you and pass our thanks to your colleagues for a super time. We will start saving for our next trip.


 

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