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98% Client Satisfaction Rating
98% Client Satisfaction Rating
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Client Reviews

Adventure Holiday to Botswana & Zimbabwe

Kathryn Doermer Callen, 14th May 2022
Overall Rating:

Our entire trip was the trip of a lifetime. Claire couldn't have planned a better or more memorable trip for us and worked hard for us to plan the trip that enabled us to see and experience all that was important to us. From the moment we landed in Africa until we boarded the plane to come home, every day was magic and there was nothing that could have made the trip more perfect. The activities that Claire arranged or suggested were really special and made the trip even more exceptional... helicopter tour of the Delta, guided walks (day and night) to Victoria Falls, the elephant camp... all enhanced an already unbelievable trip. The variety of accommodations made the trip more interesting and experiential and each camp was special in its own way. The guides and staff at every camp were exceptional. The experiences that Abby and I shared made treasured memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. The staff and guides that we met will forever be especially remembered. We have told people that what made this trip so life-changing was not only the experiences but the incredible people. Each person we met was joyful, proud of their country, warm and welcoming, gentle and kind. We will never forget them.

Accommodation Visited

OR Tambo City Lodge

“We only spent the night as we waited for flights but it was very comfortable and nice. We enjoyed the bar and the lovely breakfast in the morning before we departed.”

Batonka Guest Lodge

“This was a lovely lodge and a our stay was so pleasant. The accommodations were very nice with all the desired amenities. The staff was very friendly and helpful and the food was fantastic. They coordinated with our guide so that meals would be ready for us when we could eat them. We also liked the location because it was a nice walk into town. We would recommend it to anyone going to Victoria Falls.”

Chobe Under Canvas

“When we pulled into camp, we were greeted by song which was such a joyous surprise and made us feel incredibly welcomed. It was a wonderful way to start our safari experience. We were amazed when we walked into our tent and saw the nice beds and the bathroom that they rigged up in the tent... even toilets! We loved our guide, Big Mike, and all of the staff. Abby and I were the only guests in Big Mike's jeep so we had a chance to really get to know him. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the land and the animals and so we learned so much while we were with him. He was determined that we see every possible animal and we did! The camp staff made sure we were comfortable and went out of their way to make our stay nice. The meals were so good and served so beautifully. We felt incredibly close to nature which made the stay so unique. We enjoyed the other 5 guests and our time around the campfire and meals when we had a chance to get to know them and hear their stories. Enjoying nature in its fullest glory made this camp so special. The first night we slept in our tents surrounded by buffalo. What an incredible experience! We were sad to leave.”

Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp

“We experienced the same incredible service and staff that we had at our previous camp. The camp is beautiful and we really appreciated all of the amenities that weren't part of the "under canvas" experience. The service was exceptional and we especially enjoyed the coffee and biscuits that were brought to our tent (more like a beautifully screened bungalow) in the morning upon being awakened. Our tent was lovely and offered us incredible views of the grasslands and the sunrise. The food was delicious and the camp was beautiful with lanterns and candles... out in the middle of this beautiful grassland. Our guides were terrific and taught us so much about the animals we saw. We had the chance to see more cats in the Delta than we did at Chobe and they were fascinating to watch. We had a chance to get to know some of the other guests as we "shared" our safari jeep and we enjoyed spending time with them as well as our talented guides. As with the other camp, we were so very sad to leave.”

Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge

“This was the most beautiful camp (and one of the most special of any place we have stayed during any of our many travels) and was a perfect stay for the last part of our trip. Spending three nights here, we were at Sandibe longer than we were at the other camps and this gave us the opportunity to better get to know the staff. This stay was the highlight of the trip because of the beauty of the camp, its amenities and the wonderful people who we got to know so very well. Again, the only word I can think of is "magical". We had wonderful guides in Lasty and Joel who were terrific trackers and led us to incredibly close up experiences with lion prides, cheetahs, leopards and many other animals. Everyone in our jeep really wanted to focus on cats and Lasty and Joel really knew how to track and find them. We saw large lion prides, lion cubs, huge males, a cheetah with cubs, hyenas with cubs, a leopard with her "kill" up in a tree and many other animal experiences that we will never forget. Joel and Lasty were a perfect team and knew every detail about the animals, land, insects and birds. We had cocktails by candlelight in the bush at sunset which I will never forget. Every detail was perfectly planned and made us all feel so very special. One of our favorite moments was on the way home from an evening safari and it was very dark. We all gawked at the incredible stars which we don't get to see to that extent at home. It was breathtaking. As we are crossing a bridge over a wetland area, we heard the most beautiful sound... almost like windchimes... and we asked Lastly to stop the jeep in the middle of the bridge. In the quiet, we heard this incredible "music" coming from frogs in the water. It took our breath away. We listened to this "music" while looking at the black sky filled with stars and it was one of those experiences that we wanted to "bottle up" so we could re-live it again when we returned home. The beauty of those moments is not something that we will ever be able to really explain to anyone. We will always remember it. On another note, Abby and I each had a massage at the spa and we agreed that our massages were the best we had ever had (Kelly was the masseuse). The staff made a concerted effort to get to know us and we loved getting to know them... again, the staff was one of the highlights of the trip. One evening the staff all gathered and sang us a number of African songs and the joy with which they performed warmed our hearts. We just loved every minute of our stay and Abby and I cried when we left. I can't imagine a more memorable experience than we had at Sandibe and our stay in Botswana.”

Staff Review

“We can only give Claire 5 stars above but we would give her 10 stars! We can't say enough wonderful things about Claire. She worked with us for over 2 1/2 years to make this trip a reality for us and she did an exemplary job. Frequent communications over the 2 1/2 planning years enabled Claire, Abby and I to work together to plan the perfect trip for us based on what we wanted to see and do. She sent us several itineraries which we tweaked until we arrived at the trip we ultimately took. She cheerfully changed dates and flight reservations for us multiple times. Right before we left, she reviewed every detail with us and re-assured us that all the details were taken care of. She made sure that we knew that we would be greeted by someone to assist us at every stop who would make sure we arrived on time at our destination and/or transportation to the next stop. They helped us through customs, Covid tests, etc. so we didn't have to navigate all that by ourselves. She couldn't have made the trip any better, from the moment we landed in Africa until we boarded the plane to come home, every day was magic.

I have to mention that we had lots of trepidation about this trip. The other trips we had taken to foreign countries were done through a travel company that offers planned itineraries. We just "showed up" at the designated meeting site and everything was planned and done for us until the trip was over. We were with the same leaders and group of guests the entire trip and followed the designated schedule of activities. They were wonderful trips and effortless on our part. So... we hesitated in changing companies... especially on such a huge trip to a different culture and so very far away... but we wanted to plan our own trip with destinations that we wanted to visit. One of Abby's friends had mentioned Mahlatini so we checked it out. I was very hesitant at first but once we made the call to Claire, Abby and I both knew that Claire would plan a life-changing trip for us and she did. I have raved about Claire and Mahlatini to our friends and family. After talking about the trip and showing our pictures, many want to go. This is definitely not our last trip with Mahlatini and with Claire... we give her an A+++++! All the Mahlatini staff that we encountered both before (via email) and during the trip were wonderfully helpful.

To summarize, from the moment we landed in Africa until we boarded the plane to come home, every moment was magic and there was nothing that could have made the trip more perfect. We have already recommended Mahlatini to our friends and will continue to do so. THANK YOU!!!”

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