Robert, Salisbury NC
My South African trip was inspired by the history, environment and culture of Africa as well as to photograph my journey — I fell in love with the people. My time at Toro Yaka Safari Lodge provided me with the best room and my best evening meals. During one game drive, I was able to see 7 lionesses and 10 cubs feasting on a recent kill – what a family meal!
The coolest part of my trip was the numerous opportunities for wonderful photography. My funniest moment was the 2 tiny bush babies that showed up every day at 6am, had a look at me then they would start jumping around like pinballs!
I would have loved to stay longer and spent more time in the bushveld and in Cape Town — where I loved not only the wine but the scenery in the Cape Winelands, as well as a great antique car museum.
Overall, good weather, excellent services, friendly people and the best photography!
Kelli and Family, NC
Everyone we encountered, from the porters to the transfer agents, were kind, professional and helpful. Thank you again, I am already trying to figure out how I can get back to Africa in the near future!!
Cindy Venendaal – September 2021
We just returned from two weeks in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Let me start out by saying, that the Covid precautions were top-notch. Everyone was wearing a mask (required by law) and our guides were all vaccinated. We had two Covid tests for travel during our trip with no issues.
Now onto the fun stuff, it was an amazing trip from beginning to end. Hills of Africa covered every detail! We spent 5 days in Cape Town followed by 2 different safaris.
In Capetown, we explored the Cape of Good Hope, saw the penguins at Boulders Beach, went wine tasting, did a city food tour and went up Table Mountain. We also took a day to do the marine 5 boat ride out of Gansbaai and saw the famous shark alley.
Our safaris were absolutely amazing. They are so excited to have tourists returning, that they really went above and beyond in every way.
Tintswalo was truly a 5 star experience. Our ranger (Alistar) and tracker (Foster) were so knowledgeable. We were able to see animals up close and truly observe their behavior in nature. It was so relaxed and truly a once in a lifetime experience. We finished the trip in Zimbabwe where we did a dinner cruise on the Zambezi River and visited Victoria Falls.
The Mansfield Family – June 2021
We cannot thank you enough for planning the most perfect trip to Tanzania. It exceeded our expectations, we all fell in love with the people and nature of Tanzania!
Hills of Africa made details of traveling during Covid so clear and manageable, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Stacey and Dave Sadelfeld
Traveling during times of COVID (with the confusing, testing requirements), Hills of Africa made all the arrangements for us to be tested in Zimbabwe prior to returning back to the US and the process could not have been easier.
Jennifer & Scott Mansfield, Charlotte, NC
We cannot thank you enough for planning the most perfect trip to Tanzania. It exceeded our expectations, we all fell in love with the people and nature of TZ!
You made details of traveling during Covid so clear and manageable, we couldn’t have done it without you.
I will happily recommend your services to anyone who asks.
Thanks for everything and hope to book another marvelous trip with you soon!
Kelli and Family, NC
Sandy, Amy & Dana,
We are back! Thank you for putting together an amazing trip!! Everyone we had the pleasure of meeting in Africa was fantastic!!
We loved the Simbavati lodge and the game drives were great! The food at Simbavati was excellent and absolutely top notch service. Meridith and Paul at 528 Guest house were the best. The property is stunning and they were so helpful. Thanks to you and the team for our champagne. We had fun drinking it on the rooftop looking out at Zambia across the Zambezi River.
Everyone we encountered from the porters to the transfer agents were kind, professional and helpful. Thank you again, I am already trying to figure out how I can get back to Africa in the near future!!
Jim and Amber from Crystal Lake, IL
We were inspired to visit Africa to experience animals in the wild and the culture. The biggest impact on us was the respect that locals and everyone has for the animals. Loved the outdoor shower at Sand River Masai Mara (no fence!), it was cool! We had an intimate dinner under the stars at Lewa Safari Lodge – that was really great!
We loved the guides at both camps that were so informative and made the experience incredible. My favorite moment was having a Sundowner in the middle of a wildebeest herd. For my wife, it was the 45 minutes of watching a lion pride.
Our biggest surprise was the group Sundowner at Sand River with a fire – it was fantastic. Sampson, our guide, joined us and was wonderful and we felt so special to be able to spend time with this special young man.
Sand River also had animals right outside, since there was no fence. After discussing, we had private safaris at both camps and that really gave us autonomy and never felt at anyone else schedule. AND we still met a lot of people at the campsite each night at Sand River. That really allowed everyone to meet each night over drinks and make friends and made that group Sundowner a better experience.
Sacha, Tamlyn and Tobin at Sand River were really fun. They spent time with us and we bonded with them, every night. Sacha was really so COOL and he spent time showing my wife how to do special effects with her camera. He went to great lengths to make it memorable (and we noticed he did this with all of the people there). Maybe he was just himself!
October 2019 Trip to Kenya
VIP Clients of Ursula Pearson, Travelex International
Stacey & Dave, OH
Dave and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you did in order that our trip to Uganda/Rwanda was beyond outstanding. We are well aware of how much time and attention to detail it takes to plan a trip like this, and we sincerely appreciate your efforts.
Andi & Scott, VIP clients of Alex Khoshaba, Travelex International
Hi Alex and Sandy. Thank you is not enough to say to you for planning this trip of a lifetime! Your attention to detail is unbelievable! We enjoyed every minute of this trip (except for the long flights!) You listened to what we wanted and customized a trip that we will never forget. You made sure that there was someone to meet us at every leg of our journey. Every single guide that we had was awesome!! I would not change a single thing about this trip. All of your recommendations were remarkable! So glad we decided to go with your choice of Nottens!! What a wonderful safari camp! We met such terrific people. The staff was beyond terrific, and our safari guide was the BEST!!!!! We were also very spoiled and impressed by the food at Nottens! Unbelievable, 5 star meals!!! I hated to leave!
Harlan and Lisa from Atlanta, GA – VIP Clients of Amy Metzger, Travel Edge
Traveling to Africa was on our bucket list and it did not disappoint as we traveled to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. The greatest impact on us was the people, their stories, water conservation and the plight of the rhinos.
There were so many animals that we got to see at The Hide in the Hwange National Park and we got to see a cheetah with her cubs at Mapula Lodge. We loved the location and luxury at Notten’s Bush Camp and what a nice surprise was the candlelit dinner for our anniversary at The Hide. Thank you!
– September 2019
Robert W-H, Salisbury, NC
My South African trip was inspired by the history, environment and culture of Africa as well as to photograph my journey — I fell in love with the people. My time at Toro Yaka Safari Lodge provided me with the best room and my best evening meals. During a game drive, I was able to see 7 lionesses and 10 cubs feasting on a recent kill – what a family meal!
The coolest part of my trip was the numerous opportunities for wonderful photography. My funniest moment was the 2 tiny bush baby monkeys that showed up every day at 6am, had a look at us me then they would start jumping around like a pinball!
I would have loved to stay longer and spent more time in the bushveld and in Cape Town — where I loved not only the wine but the scenery in the Cape Winelands as well as a great antique car museum.
Overall, good weather, excellent services, friendly people and the best photography!
Jordan and Walker Collier from North Carolina
Our trip to South Africa was incredible! Your planning was superb and we loved our time both at Londolozi Tree Camp and Cape Town. We were in such awe over Londolozi, the animals, the people we met and the beauty of the bush. Cape Town was such a hit with Lezelle as our tour guide. She took us to all the right spots. Test Kitchen was a neat experience. Each bite of food was full of flavor and richness we had never experienced. Nothing could top this 40th birthday trip. We are glad to be back home with the kids. I have these fond memories stamped in my mind forever. Thank you for making this trip so perfect for us. We hope to go back as a family one day when our kids are much older.
Dr. Sue LaFave – May 2019 – VIP Client of Amy Metzger
My friend wanted to go to Africa for her 50th birthday, I have always wanted to do a safari, so it was a win-win! The friendliness of the people in Kenya and Tanzania had the greatest impact on me while we were on our African safari.
We saw so many animals on our game drives (we loved seeing all the cats!) Solomon was the best game drive guide we could have hoped for. He knew (and spotted) every animal, bird, tree, etc. He included us in the experience by letting us try to spot animals and he took us to what he thought would be the best spots and he was correct. We dubbed him King Solomon!
One of the funniest moments was when my roommate and I heard a bush baby outside our tent, I wish we had been filming ourselves!
I can’t wait to return to Africa although I loved Tanzania!
Robin Stroud and her daughters from Birmingham, Alabama
Our African safari in May 2019 was inspired by my daughter wanting to go so we made it a mother/daughter trip. Our trip took us to South Africa and Zimbabwe and while on a safari game drive, we watched lions finishing off a meal while the hyenas stood around “laughing”, waiting for the leftovers. We could not have asked for a better guide than Mbongani at Simbavati River Lodge, he was wonderful, knowledgeable and entertaining! Our funniest moment happened on safari, I dropped by glove out of the Land Rover and a hyena picked it up. Another hyena grabbed one end of it and they ended up in a tug of war over my glove until it ripped in half. Each ran off with a half!
While at the Simbavati River Lodge (best location and best luxury), we saw 4 elephants walk across the river and started playing in the water right by the deck on our room.
This quote from my daughter says it well: “Take me back to my new favorite place. Seriously can’t believe how beautiful God’s creation is. It was completely unfenced land. The animals roam freely. There are preserves you can visit that are fenced, but that is basically a zoo. It is truly amazing to see these animals do what they were created to do.”
Mel and Kaylie from New York
Our trip to Kenya and Tanzania was driven by us always wanted to visit and experience seeing the animals in their natural habitats and to learn more about the culture. We walked away from our trip with a much better understanding of how incredibly beautiful the landscapes are, how friendly the people are and how the animals interact and live.
Ngorongoro Crater was just so beautiful and Amboseli was incredible for the elephants and the Serengeti was just indescribable all around. Too hard to pick the best! Watching the elephants cross in front of us heading toward the water and back again (Amboseli – was the perfect place for us as we got to see so many elephants up close). Watching all of the cats up close in the Serengeti and seeing the animals interact with each other was amazing!
Some of our coolest experiences were being surrounded by what seemed like 100 elephants heading back from the water and crossing all around us; encountering elephants outside of the washroom in Amboseli and having to be “rescued”; waking up to a buffalo chewing outside our tent at 2 am in the Serengeti and watching about 9 lions under a tree with some really young cubs. We were there during baby season so we got to see a lot of babies and the interactions with their Moms.
Overall it was an amazing trip — the animals, hospitality and beautiful landscape and how well the trip was planned and arranged. It was absolutely the trip of a lifetime and we will carry this experience with us forever.
Jean from Florida – March 2019
This was a once in a lifetime experience to see the gorillas of Uganda. While my trip was inspired as a mission trip to Tororo, Uganda to see what the Send 56 Missionary Training Team is accomplishing, I was able to see the great commission work being done there. I was then able to enjoy the excellent food, service and view over the lush valley at Mahogany Springs Safari Lodge, where I also had the best room in Bwindi!
The Batwa Pigmy Walk and Gorilla Trek had excellent guides, knowledgeable and caring and I thought the Gorilla Trek was the best wildlife experience and over all the best thing on my trip. I can’t want to return to Uganda!
The Bournes from Houston, Texas – March 2019
We loved returning to Cape Town as we had been there on previous business trips, but we really enjoyed spending time with Marcus and Mike, our Cape Town guides on this trip. What has changed for us after this trip is our awareness of South Africa’s beauty outside of Cape Town.
We loved our time at the Kwandwe Great River Lodge. While at Kwandwe, all of the game drives were awesome! We would highly recommend Kwandwe – fabulous landscape, wildlife, staff and food. The coffee and cocktail stops during morning and evening game drives were luxurious and then we even got surprised by the birthday treats and songs from the staff! One of the funniest moments was a young lion completely failing at a warthog attack attempt!
Start to finish it was an incredible trip!
Genevieve & Tedd Winter – March 2019
We were inspired to visit South Africa as it’s been a goal to go to Africa for years, and we wanted to reconnect with our friends there. Since our return, what has changed for us is our understanding of how both climate change impacts and water/population issues for others. We spent 4 nights in Cape Town and our best food experience was The Stack. While in Simon’s Town we were kayaking with the penguins which was cool!
Our best room was a tie between Laird’s Lodge and the chalet at the Kwandwe Great River. While at Kwandwe, we experienced a lioness with her cubs, a cheetah with cubs and elephants sparring.
The entire 2 weeks was an adventure and fun filled – everything was the best – the people, the weather, the wine, the sights, the animals, all of it!
We were inspired to go to Africa for the love of nature and we so enjoyed our previous visit. We have a greater appreciation of the beauty of the animals and seeing how they interact with the environment. We tracked a male leopard for 2 hours, saw a white rhino and we even saw a cheetah! We found the Simbavati Hilltop Lodge to have a spectacular room and we had a great birthday dinner there too. We found the guide at the Tydon Bush Camp kind, knowledgeable, passionate and patient with our questions. We will be returning to Africa to see other countries there as well!
Gail and Steve from San Francisco, CA
Our inspiration to visit Africa came from wanting to learn more about the people and the country — what impact Apartheid had on life, what has happened since 1994 and what the future may hold. Our view around political, social and economical aspects of the country have all changed since our trip. Loved all the little surprises – personal notes, gifts and treats in our room compliments of Hills of Africa. Seeing the animals in their natural habitat, whether it was on the Zambezi River or the land safaris as well as engaging with the guides and people we met were some of the best moments of our trip overall. We can’t wait to return to Cape Town and explore other areas of the country. Thank you Hills of Africa for all the information sent ahead of time, we were well prepared for this great trip!
Jamie and Sheldon from Baltimore
A lifelong dream is realized when you do a customized itinerary with Hills of Africa. We received the royal treatment at every camp from the wonderful staff and the great food. You realize that the world isn’t as big as we think when you meet people from all over the world at each safari camp, adding a special dimension to the overall trip. The utter amazement of seeing wild animals in their ecosystem — seeing elephants and hippos walk next to your tent at night and hear the lions roar in the distance. One of the funniest moments is when a hippo rose out of the water right next to our boat at Great Plains. We can’t say enough great things about Tintswalo Safari Lodge — it was our best room, best food, best wildlife experience and best luxury overall. Next trip? Gorillas in East Africa!