Traveller Review – Becky Rasor

Iconic Africa Traveller, Becky Rasor recently returned from her first time visiting Africa! 

Her mum Danae Prousis took Becky, her sister Katherine and brother Greg on their first safari. This wonderful family quickly created lasting memories in the bush, met new people, and built relationships in such a short time at each location. They had an adventurous trip, visiting Arusha National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, Southern Serengeti, the Masai Mara, Nairobi and Aberdare.  Becky has been kind enough to chat to us about her time in Africa – here’s what she had to say: 

Q: Was this your first time to Africa? 

A: Yes!

Q: What was your first impression? 

A: The most stunning landscapes and kindest people.

Q: What surprised you the most about it? 

A: I didn’t expect to develop close relationships in such a short time with the different people I met along our journey. They are so proud of their country and make you feel like family. It’s a level of service and care that is difficult to replicate elsewhere.

Q: What is your favourite memory/experience at Giraffe Manor? 

A: Feeding the giraffes! One of the most special experiences. I also loved that the dinners were group dinners with other guests at the manor.

Q: Where in Africa do you want to safari next and why? 

A: Rwanda to see the gorillas.

Q: What did you spend most of your time doing while on safari? On game drives, cultural experiences or relaxation and self-care? 

A: Most of our time was spent on game drives admiring the beautiful landscapes and animals.

Q: Describe your trip to Africa in just 5 words? 

A: The trip of a lifetime.

Q: When do you think you will next visit Africa? 

A: Hopefully in the next five years 

Q: If there’s anything you could tell people who have never visited Africa what would it be? 

A: Visiting Africa helped to bring me back to reality and put things into perspective. You have a moment where it’s just you and nature and nothing else matters. I think everyone deserves that opportunity to reconnect with themselves and the world.

A Whirlwind Adventure

Deborah and Jim Mills have just settled back in New Zealand after an unforgettable trip to Africa. They went on a whirlwind adventure from North Eastern Tanzania to the award-winning Londolozi. They certainly had a magical trip and plan to return in 2021. Deb and Jim have very kindly shared some of their experiences from their trip and a few tips for those visiting soon:

“Iconic Africa did it again! A trip to Africa that felt like something out of a National Geographic production. Absolutely awesome.” – Bev Mills 

“We fell in love with the bush 12 years ago in the Sabi Sands on an excursion offered after a conference. Our first sighting was a giraffe ambling across the road, later came the elephants, leopards and lions. We only stayed four nights, but immediately began to plan our return. While sitting in the Federal Air terminal, I picked up a book, “I Speak of Africa” by Shan Varty and Molly Buchanon, and I was hooked. It was clear that Londolozi had to be part of our next trip, and it has continued to be the anchor to our travels on each of our visits. It was at Londolozi that we met John Holley, now of Iconic Africa, who introduced us to the fabulous bush, as well as South African hospitality. Subsequently, the Iconic Africa team has planned many more adventures for us, always choosing the perfect lodges and locations.

Our trip this year in late July, early August, to Tanzania and South Africa was spectacular. We stayed at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, the Mara River Camp and Faru Faru in Tanzania, and Tswalu and Londolozi in South Africa.

There were so many highlights. The trip to Arusha National Park provided the opportunity to photograph the colobus monkeys, and to see an albino baboon. Our guide, Antony Kivuko, positioned us perfectly so that we could spend an extended period photographing the monkeys, with no one else around.

It was our second visit to the Mara River Tented Camp, and it felt like coming home. The people there are special. Herman Charles, our butler/waiter, was a pure delight, teaching us phrases in Swahili and treating us like members of the family. Benson Mboya, our ranger, got us into the perfect position for each of the crossings. The crossings were an amazing experience. We could not believe the number of wildebeest in the Serengeti, and we saw at least half of the three million. We felt like we were in a National Geographic moment. Another highlight was seeing a herd of sixteen elephants crossing the Mara River. After watching the frenzied crossing of the wildebeest, the elephants were majestic and graceful, a sight that we will never forget. For anyone who wants to see the migration and a river crossing, The Mara River Camp is the perfect location.

Faru Faru provides a great opportunity to see the Serengeti Plains. We would definitely like to stay there longer next time. There were two special sightings at Faru Faru, the tree-climbing lions and the zebra migration at the water hole. It is also a great spot to view cheetahs.

Tswalu is very different, with the red sand desert and rocky mountains. It is a great place to see pangolin, aardvark, bat-eared foxes and meerkats. They let you get out of the range rover and follow the pangolin and aardvark on foot. For the meerkats, you arrive early in the morning, just as they are beginning to come out of the dens and acclimate to the cold. You are also able to get out of the vehicle to observe and photograph them. Winter is a great time to go because the nocturnal animals are out earlier and are easier to find. Tswalu also has a number of wild dogs, as well as cheetah, lions and rhino.

Our final stop was Londolozi, which never disappoints. There were leopards everywhere, as usual. The leaves were not out on many trees, making it excellent for photographing leopards. Seeing the three Birmingham male lions, along with the Ntsevu lionesses and cubs walk by the land rover was breathtaking. On our last day, we had the opportunity to view a cheetah, much to the delight of all. Londolozi is still is the best for consistent wildlife viewing that we have experienced, in terms of both variety and density. However, it is not only the wildlife that makes Londolozi special. The people, the culture and the environment all contribute to the magic of the place. Our guide, Alex Jordan, is an excellent photographer and he gave us new tips and also helped us edit photos in the studio. Our tracker, Lucky, was excellent, always able to read the tracks and the signs to find the elusive leopard. Pioneer is our favourite camp, and Trevor and Tais made us feel right at home.

And lastly…

Bev Van Schoor of Iconic Africa has repeatedly developed itineraries that have exceeded our dreams, as well as our expectations. We are so thankful for Bev’s patience and attention to detail that makes this experience absolutely worry-free. Thank you, Bev. We are looking forward to our next adventure.”

A big thank you to Deb and Jim – we look forward to having you back on African soil in 2021…

A BIG thank you to our travellers

The end of the year is on us again and it’s time to reflect on all the wonderful moments the year has brought us. We have had the privilege of making many traveller’s safari dreams come true and we can’t wait to take you on more adventures! 

We’d like to take this opportunity to send a very special thank you to all our clients who have taken the time to review us on Trustpilot. We appreciate your continuous support and are thrilled that we have could be a part of your unforgettable African memories. 

We’ve had a look through our 2019 reviews and here are some of our favourites:

***

Pete Shelton – Absolutely the best!

Iconic was absolutely fantastic and exceeded our expectations with everything we did. All the drivers and guides were always helpful, kind, knowledgeable and always on time. There were no issues with any of the accommodation reservations, plane tickets or transfers. The itinerary was phenomenal and we would not change a thing. We will absolutely use Iconic the next time we venture to Africa (which we all are hoping will be sooner than later!).

 

Philip Jackman – Courteous, timely and very knowledgeable service!

Iconic Africa provided a truly unique travel experience and I would highly recommend their services to anyone travelling in and around South Africa. All of the lodging accommodations were first-rate in terms of service, food and location (urban and on safari). The guided tour recommendations were also well organized and easy to choose, and there was no pressure to choose a high-priced option over the more economical options. The tour companies are all well run, and every driver was on time and well trained about the tourist sites. Every step of the way, Iconic Africa was only a phone call or a WhatsApp message away for answering questions.

 

Christine Tessler – Our trip to Africa was outstanding

Our trip to Africa was outstanding! A highlight of the trip was how informative and knowledgeable the guides were, they made our trip so much more than we had hoped for. Every andBeyond place we stayed made us feel welcomed and cared for, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Every detail was taken care of by Iconic Africa, they made our vacation one we will never forget. Thank you for everything!

Bev van Schoor was so helpful when we had questions and she listened to what we wanted and gave us so much more! I highly recommend her and Iconic Africa!

 

Phillip Vecchio – Treated like your memories matter

Iconic Africa treats you as if one of their own. Rather than sell tours or experiences, they read who you are, care about that mix, understand your reasons for travel and then give you a lifetime of indelible memories

 

Bob Pearlman – Iconic Africa is a top-notch…

Iconic Africa is a top-notch organization and extremely knowledgeable about travelling in southern Africa, especially as it has to do with safaris. They handled everything from start to finish (in Africa – we were responsible for arranging our flights to Johannesburg and back), including all transfers and flights within Africa, practically without a hitch (nobody’s perfect). Accommodations were mostly top of the line, and we had an excellent all-around experience.

 

Geri Potter – The Iconic Africa team were a dream to…

The Iconic Africa team were a dream to work with. They were able to, not only tick every box on our bucket list, but also provide us with a first-class experience from beginning to end. From the volcanic Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania to Victoria Falls, Zambia, a tented safari at Singita Mara to a gorgeous cabin at Singita Kwitonda and a hotel suite at The Cape Grace at the foot of Table Mountain, gorilla in Rwanda to elephant, lion, leopard and everything in between in Tanzania and, our favorite, the leopards of Londolozi! Iconic Africa can do it all! Thank you, John, Lauren and Terri!!

We can’t wait to have you back on African soil again soon. Until then…