Written on: June 28, 2015
I visited in May 2015
Do you have an aunt and uncle that will take you on a perfect safari, cook for you every day and night and dote on your kids while you relax on vacation? No? Well call Chris and Nikki at Armadillo Overland Safari and Adventure tours- they'll do all this and more. My wife and three daughters (4, 6 and 8 yrs old) spent 5 nights and 6 days with Chris and Nikki and their "armadillo" truck and we wanted to stay longer. Another month or maybe a year would be about right.
Communication with Chris was easy and his e-mail responses were quick while we were planning our safari before we left the US. He sent us a planned itinerary of a safari in Kruger National Park and then added a requested side trip to Elephant Whispers which he arranged and included in the price of the safari to make it even easier for us. And when traffic snarled our original itinerary, he made a few calls and re-arranged the visit to ensure we had plenty of time with the Elephants and plenty of time in the park. He also added the requested panorama route during our return trip to Johannesburg and was flexible with our schedule as our flight got moved up a couple hours the week before we left.
The 'armadillo' vehicle is a elevated box on the back of an Isuzu 4x4 that ensures you can go virtually anywhere in the park and see everything when you're there. The sitting height is even higher than the game viewing vehicles that we saw allowing us to see animals far into the bush. The elevated box has multiple windows perfect for wildlife viewing and picture taking and for keeping cool riding around in the park. The box also has tables set between chairs to allow kiddos to play some card games when the game drives got longer than their attention spans or on the way to and from the airport. It also has an honor drink bar (beer, cider, water and chocolate milk for us) that Chris and Nikki will stock with whatever you'd like prior to departure. Binoculars? Check. An extensive library on all things safari? check. A heater for chilly mornings? check. An electrical strip for charging devices, camera batteries, etc? and with adapters? Check and check. I'm not sure what they could add to make it better but give it a couple months and I'm sure they'll come up with something.
Chris cooked up something delicious for us every night - it was so good that even our 8 year old that hereto forth we thought survived on photosynthesis asked for second helpings a couple nights. And the brunches were just as good.
We camped in the park for four nights and just outside the park the last night. The tents and sleeping mats were comfortable and kept us dry during a couple unseasonable rain showers. Chris and Nikki provided pillows and extra blankets which reassured my cold-phobic wife.
This was the best family vacation we've had so far. If I could give them 10 stars I would- and it still wouldn't be enough.
I used to live in South Africa and have been to the Kruger Park more than once, both on a tour and on many self driven stays, so I had a fairly good idea of what to expect from Kruger. As a group of 4 families with kids (half of whom had never visited South Africa) we decided that taking a tour and having the advantage of being all together in the overland truck wh...