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Open Heart Safari Reviews

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A life transforming experience

Dmo
Visited: Aug 2012 Reviewed: Jan 11, 2014

I just finished rereading my journal from my Open Heart Safari of almost a year and a half ago, and it still brings goose bumps every time I read it. I had never considered doing a safari before I heard about the Open Heart Safari. But Tom’s passion in describing the trip, the prospect of stunning wildlife with intentional personal and spiritual connection, and a desire to do something special for myself motivated me to sign up. This was a very big commitment for me in terms of time and money. But once the trip started, I never once doubted that I’d made a good decision. By the end of the 2 weeks, it felt as if the entire trip had been designed and executed specifically for my personal benefit. The heart-opening activities (sharing our intentions and reactions with the group, poems, meditations, and movement) were powerfully effective in opening my heart to a deep impactful experience of the wildlife, wilderness, and local communities we visited. I started the trip hoping to get some clarity on my career direction. At the end of the trip I felt a major transformation in my life had been catalyzed, and that sense has continued more than a year later.

Here’s a (no doubt incomplete) list of highlights of the trip for me:

Nature: The majesty of the beautiful animals, the calm, peaceful beauty of the African bush, the expansive starry night sky, and experiencing the natural order of diverse types of animals, each with its own niche in the ecosystem, co-existing and playing their role, all helped me feel part of an amazing unified tapestry.
The people: It was striking how in the rural village of Kawaza, with no plumbing or electricity and few possessions, the people seemed so full of life and joy. I saw more joy in one morning in Kawaza than I see in a year in Philadelphia.
Zebra meditation: Sitting down to meditate, and after a few minutes discovering a zebra peering at me from inches away.
The close bonds and open hearted sharing among the group helped me experience the wildlife and communities we met in a deep way.
The accommodations in and near the parks were wonderful, especially the Gilligan's Island-like creative luxury using primitive materials in Kafue Park. Accommodations in towns were fine. Food was interesting and satisfying, occasionally gourmet. Transport was fine. Safari guides were incredibly skilled and knowledgeable, and eager to share their knowledge. Trip leaders Tom and Laura are gems and they inspired close bonding among the group.

I visited:
  • Zambia
Meet and greet team
Quality of vehicles
Responsiveness of staff
Knowledge of guide
Quality of itinerary
Overall rating

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Amazing and Fantastic Trip to Zambia

Liz
Visited: Jul 2014 Reviewed: Mar 30, 2015

My two-week trip to Zambia was thrilling and fantastic. Almost immediately upon our arrival I saw an elephant wandering through the grounds of our lodge. I was so amazed to realize that we were located right in the middle of the wild animals’ habitat!

There were so many exciting things: the passion of the dedicated wildlife guides; a pride of lionesses stalking... read more

I visited:
  • Zambia

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A journey of self discovery

Red
Visited: Jul 2013 Reviewed: Jan 18, 2014

Safari is a Swahili word which means journey. For me this safari turned out to be a journey of self discovery as well as a study of the native wild life. I also gained an understanding of the day by day struggle in a rapidly expanding African country to develop an ecologically balanced understanding of the relationship between man, the native birds, animals, and aq... read more

I visited:
  • Botswana
  • Zambia

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A Journey Like no Other!

Sph
Visited: Aug 2012 Reviewed: Jan 14, 2014

This was the journey of a lifetime! South Luangwa Park is teeming with incredible animals — so abundant, varied, natural and free, beautiful, graceful, powerful, funny, accessible and exciting, not to mention photogenic! Kafue is remote, wild, scenic and exciting. We missed nothing by passing up Tanzania except the crowds. And we gained a day at Victoria Falls, wor... read more

I visited:
  • Zambia

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Extraordinary Experience

Katie Hazard
Visited: Aug 2012 Reviewed: Jan 08, 2014

Wow! I can’t imagine a better way to experience the “real Africa” than with the Open Heart group. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and definitely exceeded expectations.
I went on the trip with my 72-year-old father, and we both had such an incredible time and it was a wonderful experience to share together. One of my highlights was seeing a wild leopard just... read more

I visited:
  • Zambia

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It's like 3 great trips in 1

Jeanbruno
Visited: Jul 2013 Reviewed: Jan 06, 2014

I had been looking for a safari experience for several years and when I heard of Open Heart Safari, I knew it was the one because it provided a multi-layered experience. The leaders know Zambia and they plan the safari itinerary to include plenty of game drives with expert guides who know the animals and their habitats. But also included were several opportunitie... read more

I visited:
  • Botswana
  • Zambia

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