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Having surfed the internet for safari holidays came across Real Africa. Initial contact was professional and surprisingly quick in response even on a Sunday. Unknown to us at the time, all correspondence was through a gentleman named Paul Hickey Fry. He was efficient, polite and very helpful with all issues and dealt with them in a very professional manner. We also believed his knowledge was accurate and vast.
We were very pleased with the professionalism, smartness and punctuality of real Africa's representatives....Albatross and Island Tours , who assisted with all our needs whilst away.
The Safari vehicle was spacious as only 4 people in our party and was tendered with love and care by our SUPERB guide Henry Gathura who went beyond all expectations with helpfulness, knowledge and patience whilst finding and photographing the animals. He left us definitely wanting more...and owes us a leopard on our return ( lol) .
We chose Classic Kenyan Safari staying at Ol Tukai lodge (very good) in Amboseli , Sunbird Lodge ( excellent isn't a good enough description) on Lake Elementaita for Lake Nakuru and lastly Mara Simba Lodge (disappointed ) in the Masai Mara.
Although we selected our choice of package ; due to lack of travellers in Africa since the Ebola outbreak , Mara Simba lodge was empty, only 2 other guests....but I was amazed that staff sat around watching TV all day when we thought that a good clean and maintenance overall could have been undertaken as was the case in other lodges used for lunch and toilet breaks. Mara Simba rooms are very dated , dull , and are in need of desperate TLC , and for this reason will not be on our wish list when we return.
Could Real Africa address this for future travellers ?, as this lodge lets the package down after staying in the previous two high standard lodges.
The Eka Hotel was a fantastic stop for lunch on our way to the airport for our transfer to Zanzibar as our original chosen hotel in Mombasa was located with in the government advised no go area.
Hilton Double Tree Hotel Zanzibar (though no fault of Real Africa) was not the standard we expected to find for a weeks beach holiday and we suffered many problems with the hotel on arrival and during our stay , which had to be discussed with the Hotel management.....I would not recommend this hotel at all and was definitely not value for money or the time spent travelling to reach it!!!!! It put a sour note to a very special holiday..
Having now become Facebook friends with Paul we will be rebooking again through Real Africa in 2017 and having had the Safari experience for the first time will choose our next trip with a couple of the following.....more safari time less beach time, keep travelling to a minimum, stay within 1 country ie Kenya, and lodges of the same standard as Ol Tukai and Sunbird.....
Well done Paul and Real Africa !!!!!!!
Very special thanks and see you in 2017 Henry Gathura
We have recommended you to all...
Thank you, Real Africa, for all your help in organising our safari in Tanzania. We had an absolutely amazing time and all your advice regarding the lodges most certainly helped with that.
The Real Africa service has been first class, and we would definitely use Real Africa again if, or more likely when, we would like to organise another safari to Africa! All the staff, helped make our holiday perfect. Our driver couldn't have done more for us. He went out of his way to make sure we found all the game we were hoping to see. He was extremely knowledgable, friendly and flexible - even taking us on early morning drives at our request.
Over all we had a magical time. A massive thank you to everyone at Real Africa for making our holiday so special.
Well what can we say from start to finish we had an amazing experience.....from the very beginning with your quick responses with any of our queries and concerns how ever small Paul Hickey-Fry was fantastic....on our arrival at Nairobi we were met by the Albatross travel rep who introduced us to Henry Gathura our guide and driver for the weeks safari. Henry was an amazing knowledgable person on all aspects from the smallest birds to largest of the animals we saw. He went above and beyond making our time with him both educational and enjoyable. The vehicle was always clean and well equipped and he always took time to answer our question and made sure we were happy and enjoying our time with him.
Ol Tukai lodge in Amboseli national park was our first stop and we're met with comfort and luxury. Our rooms were clean and comfortable with amazing views of Mount Kilimanjaro and friendly baboons and vervet monkeys. The staff were all friendly and helpful the food was very good and varied. Five stars.
We understand that Kenya is a vast country but felt like we lost a day travelling from this lodge to the next and wondered if a different route could be revised.
Sunbird lodge Lake Elementaita was our second stop although a very long drive it was worth the wait....a small friendly Eco lodge the rooms were very comfortable with amazing views of the lake with local bird life all around. Although the food was less varied it was well cooked and presented...Issac was the main person we dealt with he was fab and took time to make us feel very welcome. Five stars.
Mara Simba lodge Masai Mara was our last stop.....unfortunately this was our least favourite of the three.....our party of four made up the total of seven guest with lots of staff with not a lot to do....the food was fair and rooms need to be updated. We had a cracked wash hand basin and the whole place looked like it needed a good clean and a lick of fresh paint. Three stars.
Sad to say goodbye to Henry but off to Zanzibar and the transition was smooth to the airport and was greeted by the island express rep and taken to Double Tree by Hilton hotel. It was quite late 10pm we had to wait a while to register and didn't receive our cookie and welcome drink as advertised. We were eventually shown to our room which was a ground floor garden view which was pleasant, clean and a comfy bed. During the week we used the pool and pool bar frequently which was very clean and the staff were very friendly. The restaurant which was buffet service for all meals was a little hit and miss with the quality, variety and sometimes ran out. The meal we ate in the fish restaurant which we booked for a special treat for Sarah's birthday was fantastic and worth paying extra to visit.
We did have one concern that workmen worked through the night in the room next to ours and there was a period of loud banging from about 3 am.
Our overall rating for real Africa is 100% and will be using your company for a next trip hopefully in 2017.... Many thanks.xx
Just returned from Ethiopia, which is a fabulous country to visit for history and scenery. Everything very well planned down to every detail and all went exactly to plan. Organisers on the ground very good, Dinknesh Travel, the drivers very good and courteous. Our guide was excellent , very attentive and very knowledgable, nothing was too much trouble.
Would recommend Real Africa to anyone, we had a wonderful holiday
Provided the opportunity to see exactly what we wanted to see, ie the wildebeest migration, and a great deal more. The four locations provided a great variety of landscapes which enabled us to see a wide range of fauna. Our only regret was not having an extra day to enjoy Tarangire to its full extent.
We asked for mid-range level and these all provided an excellent base for our travels at each location. Each had its own charm. They were all comfortable with excellent food. No one could possibly go hungry. The staff evrywhere were helpful and added to general enjoyment of the safari. Especially interesting were the tales told of old experiences and the history of the place around the open fire at Ndutu before dinner.
Albatros provided comfortable vehicles, which were spotless every morning, and your advice of travelling with four in each vehicle aws absolutely correct. Samwel and Marco were obviously experts in their field finding animals that we would have never seen. They took pleasure in pointing out everything and contributed significantly to our enjoyment. Their slight variations to the original itinerary were fully justified and enabled us to even more wildlife. Their driving was always safe and considerate.
The first objective was to see the wildebeest migration. This was achieved witht sghting of so many, who knows 50,000 or 100,000, plus thousands of zebra. The experience was topped with three cheetah, one where we watched an unsuccessful chase before leaving the animal in peace to go about its undisturbed. Added to this we saw the African 'big five' with no fewer than four leopard up trees and four rhino in the Ngorongoro Crater. We even had that wonderful experience of following wild dog for a couple of kilometres, a rare experience even for the guides.
A superb safari which we would find very hard to repeat. Our thanks to all at Real Africa and Albatros Travel for the organisation. One always goes on safari expectant of seeing everthing. This time it was achieved!
Left the organisation to Real Africa and they arranged a holiday of a lifetime which allowed us to experience diverse landscapes and wonderful wildlife in a beautiful, friendly country.
Our safari was excellent. Everything ran according to plan. Unfortunately it was just too short. We wished we'd added an extra few days and done the Kalahari as well because Kwando's camps were great.
They made you feel like you were having a genuine experience of tracking animals in their native habitat rather than being pulled along by the nose in a bus load of tourists.
This was Peter's first safari experience (I'd done Kenya/Rwanda 27 years ago) and I was a little unsure of whether he would like it but he was talking about his "next" plans even before we'd left.
My daughter and I greatly enjoyed a three week holiday in Africa organised by Paul, of Real Africa. the detail was very well thought out, and there were no hitches throughout, and the holiday more than met our expectations. The accommodation was good, with a couple of places being outstanding. Delicious food throughout, and excellent games drives with wonderful viewing. In Tanzania we enjoyed our own vehicle with a knowledgeable and very nice guide/driver for the week. It was excellent value and I strongly recommend Real Africa.
This was a major event for our family as our first "Big" holiday together, so we wanted to get it right. Real Africa fully engaged with us over what we wanted out of our visit to Kenya, and put together a perfect package that satisfied the requirements of both adults and children alike (our girls are 10 and 12).
I honestly cannot fault anything; the itinerary was comprehensive and ran on rails, the lodges were excellent or better (you *have* to go to Chui), and the guides and staff on the ground were knowledgeable and friendly. We ticked off the Big 5 in short order, but the mix of lodges and locations ensured we saw so much more of this awesome country's wildlife than just that.
It was an unforgettable trip and we'd all book again (with Real Africa, of course!) in a heartbeat.
This is the second time we have been to Tanzania with Real Africa and what a fabulous time we had again. Albatross Travel looked after us exceptionally well. Everything was very well organised. We only had to get up in the morning, have our breakfast and let our driver/ guide do the rest. Nothing was too much trouble for Marco our guide. We saw lots of animals including lions in trees and giraffes drinking, things we have not seen before even though this was our sixth safari. We plan to return in two years time with Real Africa.
Thank you Paul.
Honestly the best holiday I've ever had. The hole set up was smooth, from the minute we landed until the minute we were dropped back at the airport. Our driver Godfrey was amazing, there was nothing he could have done more and certainly made the difference, defo 10 out of 10.
Would also like to call out Paul who helped with all my questions and arranging the trip as again he couldn't do enough for me. Will definitely recommend this coupany and trip to family and friends
This was our second trip to Africa organised by Real Africa and I can say we had the most amazing holiday both times. Our trip to South Africa was organised brilliantly with no problems. We stayed in 4 different properties and each was excellent. the service in all was amazing and Paul had arranged everything from the car hire, directions, flights and accommodation. We did not have any problems with any of these. The flights were with Emirates which meant more leg room and we had a Toyota Corolla car which was plenty big enough for 2 people. We would love to go back to Africa one day and will definitely be using Real Africa again. Thank you Paul for arranging a magical trip for us
Real Africa put together the holiday of a lifetime for us which surpassed all of our expectations. We travelled to Botswana and Zimbabwe. starting and ending at Victoria Falls. We also stayed in a fabulous safari lodge in Chobe National Park and enjoyed 3 days sailing on the wonderful Zambeze Queen.
Every minute of our holiday was planned by Paul, who was extremely attentive and helpful.
Our accommodation was always of the highest standard and we were treated like VIPs wherever we went thanks to Mr Hickey-Fry's forward planning.
We returned with so many wonderful memories (and photos!) that I fear we will bore friends and family for many years to come.
Given the chance, we would definitively return to Africa and can not think of a better firm to travel with. Definitely a Big Five Star experience. Thank you so much.
Thank you Real Africa and in particular Paul. From starting in Cape Town until leaving Victoria Falls the trip was perfect. We thought the boutique and friendly Sugar Hotel was a lovely place to explore the city from. The lodge at Arathusa overlooking the watering hole was an incredible setting with accommodating staff was more than we could have asked for. Our final leg in Victoria falls capped off an amazing trip.
The organisation wasvery good the car was virtually new so very reliable and comfortable. Driver was safe and competent, smart and very punctual and very polite.As we travelled about 3000km that was important.Weenjoyed travelling
overland ( not for everybody as the roads are not tarmacked) but we could stop at local markets /for photos/local scenic places. The accommodation generally was very good -we were disappointed with the food at Mweya Safari lodge but the location more than made up for it. We were not expecting gourmet food and overall the food and accommodation was excellent We enjoyed the 'tented' rooms!
The three boat trips that were included were excellent - we saw so much wild life and took loads of photos - very worthwhile.we also enjoyed the walks we had craters,Mburoagain with local people .All the game drives were fantastic the driver was very knowledgable about bird/animal life and was great at spotting everything and went out of his way the look for particular animals/bird we wanted to see.Highlight of the game drives were the tree climbing lions!
The gorilla tracking was great - demanding walking -but just as we expected and it was very exciting to get so close to such magnificent creatures.
Overall we hada fantastic trip and everything was very well organised from Real Africa's point of view- great communication keeping us upto date all the way through and tweaking the itinerary to our choices.
Many thanks -please keep us informed of your trips in Africa(send a brochure?) and we have no hesitation of recommending your company to other clients! Best wishes Eleanor and Mike
The whole holiday was well planned and ran smoothly. We were really grateful to Real Africa for planning it for us at very short notice and coming up with 4 alternatives. We chose the trip to Honeyguide tented Safari. We stayed at Mantobeni Camp which was amazing. We loved the tents, the service and the overall experience.
Travelling was easy, especially being met at the airports and transfers ran smoothly.
Thank you so much
Booking a safari can be intimidating. I did a lot of research and called many different companies but Real Africa stood out as the most friendly, informative and welcoming. Paul Hickey-Fry offered a strong knowledge of the seasons, game viewing and places to stay in our destination, Tanzania. The itinerary was well tailored to our preferences and punctually sent over and the whole booking experience was made very simple. The information packs were excellent and we had no issues with the flights.
In Tanzania, we were very well looked after by our guide Richard and had an unforgettable holiday. The game viewing was well beyond our expectations and as well as the big five, we were treated to African Wild Dogs in the Serengeti. The lodges were luxurious with great food and we were exceptionally well treated at each one by the dedicated and welcoming staff. Splitting the holiday between Tarangire, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater offered refreshing changes of scenery. I can't recommend a Safari with this company enough.
A fantastic experience made possible by the great customer service and organisational expertise provided by Paul at Real Africa. From the moment we stepped off the plane, the itinerary arranged for us went like clockwork. Our safari guide and driver was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about Tanzania. He shared stories and anecdotes which brought the whole experience to life. Our lodge accommodation in all 3 Tanzania locations was excellent and having the land cruiser to ourselves allowed us space to move around and enjoy the wildlife viewing. The hotel in Zanzibar was beautiful. The staff were attentive and friendly and the food was delicious. A fantastic holiday and we would definitely recommend Real Africa to anyone willing to listen. Thank you.
This is the 2nd time with REAL AFRICA and it was excellent as was the 1st. Albatross travel is Real Africas contact in Africa and made sure that everything went as good as clockwork. No problems encountered at all. Accommodation both at Govenors Camp in the masai mara and at Pinewood Hotel and Spa were superb. The food was very good at both venues as was the service. Everyone was extremely helpful and nothing was too much trouble. Safety was paramount and Real Africa excels in this department. We plan to return to Africa and it will be Real Africa I phone.
Absolutely faultless, right from the initial request. Our requirements were not totally straight forward but everything we asked for was met with courteousness, friendliness and above all, efficiency. They certainly know how to go the extra mile. It was not the first time that we have used Real Africa and it will certainly not be the last. Well done yet again.