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Shadows of Africa reviews

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“Wildebeest migration, close encounter with an elephant herd, great views of male lions and lion cubs were all highlights of our safari.” - LuRue

Thrilling trip for young and old!

LuRue
Views: 446 Visited: Jan 2015 Reviewed: Feb 22, 2015

While planning a 3-month multi-country trip with my granddaughter, beginning in January, I felt at a loss at where to begin to find a wildlife safari to kick off our trip. Turning to the Internet, I began to read top reviews for Shadows of Africa, so decided to contact them first, expecting to wait a few days for an answer as it was a weekend. The response came within hours from Stacy (in California) and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship! From then on, all questions and concerns were addressed almost immediately.

Our timing was critical as we needed to be at our first volunteer program within a certain time frame, I wanted to arrive two days early to reduce jet lag, and I wanted to know what would happen after we arrived at an unfamiliar airport. I needn’t have been concerned about any of these things. Stacy assured me that everything could be handled nicely, and she was so right! She made arrangements for us at a clean, comfortable hotel, an airport pickup and drop-off, and made provisions for our extra luggage while we would be on safari. Knowing all that beforehand eliminated a lot of potential travel stress.

As we were checking into the hotel after a morning arrival, we met not only Richard, who would be our guide/driver, but also Natasha, the owner of Shadows of Africa. What a wonderful and personal welcome! We headed to our room shortly after for some much-needed sleep. Richard would be meeting us the following morning for a day tour of Arusha. Stacy had mentioned a possible visit to an orphanage that the company supports, but we hadn't expected to have the extra day of attention. Richard gave us time at a museum, then strolled the streets of Arusha with us so that we could get a feel for local activity. Even though it took him an hour and a half to drive home, due to Arusha traffic, he wanted us to have a full day. The day included a visit, not only to the orphanage, but also to Natasha’s home for another visit with her. She assured us that we could keep our extra luggage there, which helped us immensely. We felt we were in the hands of friends more than a commercial outfit.

From the time we met Richard, through our day tour, then our 4-day safari, I constantly peppered Richard with questions, not only about the parks, but about life, customs, behaviors, current events, and even personal opinions. Richard always responded graciously, even when felt I was being a nuisance and apologized. Our days were full of wonder as we saw all the beautiful animals, even being within a stone’s toss of 27 elephants crossing in front of us and stared in awe at two magnificent male lions within whispering distance. We saw everything we could have possibly seen. But just as important to me was the chance to exchange thoughts and opinions with Richard, an outstanding host (guide/driver)! The only negative note to the experience was that Godi, our cook, thought we didn't like his cooking. We could never convince him that our appetites couldn't handle his overly-generous portions of wonderfully-prepared food.

I have already recommended Shadows of Africa to one of the volunteers at our next destination, and I will continue to do so, every chance I get.

Visited: Tanzania Tanzania
Meet and greet team
Quality of vehicles
Responsiveness of staff
Knowledge of guide
Quality of itinerary
Overall rating

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