Testimonials From Happy Travelers
Catherine Thomson, Malta, Europe
This is just a quick note to say thank you to you and the Hills of Africa team for all the preparation and planning that went into Stuart’s surprise trip to Zambia on the Hills of Africa trip. You pulled off an amazing feat for his 50th birthday present by reuniting him with 2 of his best friends whom he hasn’t seen in over 10 years in the most amazing location. It was so difficult to keep it as a surprise for so many months but so worth it – he had a truly fantastic time at the crocodile farm, on the river, and, finally, at the Lafupa safari camp. I really can’t thank you enough, Sandy, and would wholeheartedly recommend you and the Hills of Africa team to anyone wishing to travel to Africa, especially for a special occasion.
Laura & Joe, OR
The &Beyond camp was great. We loved the personal attention we got and the wildlife in the Mara was incredible. We arrived about a week after the migration, so we didn’t get to see many of the wildebeest, but the rest of the animals more than made up for it! We were able to see the leopard on multiple days and found the cheetah! The walking safaris were a great addition to all the game drives. Especially after all the good food we ate there.
Zanzibar and The Hideaway were beautiful. Our room had a great view of the water and the gardens. The food was delicious and the dive shop was great. We ended up going on 4 dives while there- two dives off of Tumbatu and two off of Mnemba. The guys that ran the shop were great- very professional, good rental equipment, and reasonable prices. The reefs and fish were so colorful!!
Thank you so much for planning this trip for us! It was even more incredible than either of us could have imagined! We have so many great memories that will last a lifetime.
Debbie and Jordan Klingsberg, FL
Sandy planned an amazing trip tailored to exactly what we wanted on our honeymoon – relaxation, adventure and romance.
Going to sleep in a tree house in Botswana to the sound of lions roaring and waking up to the image of a giraffe walking past was just one of the memories we will never forget.
Clare & Fran Wohlgemuth, Hingham, MA
Uganda stole our hearts. The people were just amazing and always smiling. One of our favorite guides on this trip was Eric in Uganda. He was a former guide and ranger to the gorillas, so very knowledgeable and was able to help us decide which trek was the best fit for us. He also was in contact with our trek guide on the trails and checking on how we were doing. The gorilla trek in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest of Uganda was one of the most memorable experiences we have ever had. If you can work this into your visit to Africa, then it is a must do experience.
Everything was just perfect and Sandy and Amy could not have been more helpful and attentive to our needs. They were able to take out all the stress of planning such an extensive trip and made it the most memorable trip of our lifetime. We would change nothing! Hills of Africa Travel made our trip a seamless experience. We were met by someone who helped us out at each airport, escorted us through immigration/customs point and handed us off to our guide who took over from there. Thank you for that!
Scott and Stacy, Atlanta, GA
It was an amazing experience from start to finish. There were so many moving parts, (airport pick ups, private tours, private planes, etc.) and we were met at every turn with a smiling face. It was shocking that not a detail was missed. When my husband talks about the trip, he claims his favorite part was the logistics and how everything came together so easily.
The entire trip was life changing. Visiting the chimps in Mahale, seeing the crossing in the Serengeti…and there is a long list that goes on from there. This was our second trip [with Hills of Africa Travel] and the first one was so good there was no one else we would trust with a vacation like the one we just returned from.
Trey, Beth, Amie, and Alex Todd, New Orleans
Dear Sandy, Replying to your email will be an absolute pleasure for me! Any chance to re-live some of the life altering experiences that my family and I had on our ” Hills of Africa” safari is most welcomed. Nothing can beat watching the African sunrise over the Okavango Delta with loved ones or feeling the exhilaration of a charging elephant testing the abilities of our dedicated guide as we back up quickly down the road! Nothing compares to the playful antics of leopard cubs wrestling in the tall savanna grass! When will we ever get another chance to view the majesty of a pride of lions against a backdrop of acacia and baobab trees or a family of cheetahs lounging on a termite mound before an evening of hunting impala.
The magic of Africa now runs through me as surely as if I were a child of the Kalahari leaving my footprints next to the spoor of the hyaena. This same magic that rekindled the passions of my daughters and wife for nature and the great outdoors. Everyone needs to share the experiences of a trip like this with their loved ones. It was unforgettable, spiritually uplifting, and truly just fodder for the soul. Throw in a couple of world cup soccer games and I believe one has found the formula for the perfect holiday!
Many thanks to the “Hills of Africa” people who made this trip a reality for my family. Thanks to the staff of the Chitabe, Tubi Tree and Duma Tau camps for the meals, the dancing and entertainment , and the camaraderie. Thanks to the extremely knowledgeable guides for teaching us the species and the environmental impact of everything we do. Lastly, thank you Sandy for helping us get through a very trying time when we thought all the preparation would be for naught after we missed our flight. I can’t wait to schedule our next trip to Cape Town or Kruger or to recommend your company to friends.
Warren Wagner, Cary, NC
I just had to write and say “Datende”! What a magnificent itinerary you arranged for me and Jim. We were simply in awe of how EVERYTHING came off without a hitch. I’m tired right now as I just got home about 3 hours ago, but wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU for everything you did to make this a trip of a life time. We’ve already recommended your services to others we met throughout our journey. Thanks so much!!!!!!
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
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!
Katie W., Los Angeles, CA
Hills of Africa (HOA) provided the most amazing service, from the moment we began considering destinations until the day we departed Zimbabwe for home! They asked the right questions, and gave us just the right amount of information to make informed choices about our family safaris in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Once those decisions were made, HOA took care of everything and gave us regular updates and necessary information along the way. They let us know exactly what we needed to do to make our trip go smoothly, then ensured that it did. Not only was every detail attended to, but every promise was kept and every guide and driver provided was simply superb- friendly, well-informed and professional. Plus, everywhere we went, we were greeted by warm, personal notes from Sandy and her staff (and more than a few wonderful gifts as well!)
Every one of our accommodations was different in its own special way, but each was simply superb. I cannot say enough wonderful things about HOA. On top of all this, HOA managed somehow to arrange for us to see the most amazing array of animals you can imagine, including the “magnificent seven” on more than one occasion.
I will certainly be using them again on my next trip to Africa (which, I hope, will be soon!).
A sequence of events best described as synchronicity led to Dave and me joining Hills of Africa Travel on their Soul Safari 2009. Having much in common, we struck up an online conversation beforehand (via our respective blogs, twitter and facebook), which quickly developed into a warm friendship. The Soul Safari concept held instant and powerful appeal, due to my spiritual curiosity and dedication to personal development, particularly since it was planned for two favorite (and first class) destinations. Reading Ainslie MacLeod’s book further enhanced my fascination, so we were delighted to accept Sandy and Meredith’s invitation to join them as their official photographers, and to meet them in person! The trip was a true inspiration and absolute joy (as the videos attest to ), leading to many lasting connections, including the one we share with Hills of Africa. This has soundly expanded the reach of our company (Outdoor Video & Photographic) to North America, while blessing us with the opportunity to share our love of Africa, its wildlife and culture, with others around the world. Apart from pampering and privilege, 2010 Soul Safari Transformation offers more fun, exploration and insight, as well as another fabulous benefit: a long-anticipated visit to Zimbabwe and Vic’ Falls. We can hardly wait!
Jeannie Cooke, Houston, TX
Sandy and Amy, thank you so much for an incredible trip. Steve and I have come to depend on you for expert, professionally executed excursions. After many overseas experiences, we both agree you are the best. Guides, drivers, excursions are perfection. Everyone shows up on time, we are never left hanging and having to scramble, accommodations are well thought out and meet, but often exceed, our expectations. There is nothing quite like walking into a hotel suite, exhausted, and finding pure luxury. You have managed to pull this off every single time. Thank you for an amazing trip. You are the perfect travel team, Steve and I are so lucky to have found you. We are anxious to start discussing our next trip!
Bill & Esther Puterbaugh, San Jose, CA
Every aspect of the trip ,the choice of hotels, the guides, the people who met us and eased our way through the airports and transferred us to our hotels, the special dinner and lunch reservations, and any of an amazing number of details that made our trip go so smoothly was fabulous. We loved South Africa! The safari camp experience was beyond our “wildest” imaginations. We just loved it — the animals, the sights, the sounds, the amazing sunsets. The camps were great and we met some really fun people. Thank you so much for all you did to make this such a spectacular trip for us.
Libby Hertz, Atlanta, GA
Wow! I really don’t know what to say. We’re on our way back to the US today and I cannot believe this trip is over. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful and perfect it was. Every place we stayed at was incredible. Thank you so much for all the planning and work. We truly had the trip of a lifetime
Steve & Jeannie Cooke, Texas
Sandy, Amy and all Hills of Africa Travel, we had the absolute BEST time on this trip. It is, without a doubt, the most perfect experience we have had on any of our international travels. All the planning and attention to detail more than paid off for the headaches in doing so. As we repeatedly said to each other the entire trip “There is nothing we could have changed or done differently”. Pamela was such a knowledgeable guide for Cape Town and the Winelands. I took copious notes so as not to forget the information she was delivering. We were grateful for all our guides through airports, security, customs, and VISA acquisition. It’s the only way to travel stress free, and we thank you and Amy for the excellent job you did supplying us with dependable contacts. Often our contacts were helping those whose contacts never showed up. We never felt abandoned or concerned with our environment. Hills of Africa gave us the trip of a lifetime. Our experiences in South Africa have set the bar on quality time spent in a far off country.
Read more on Steve & Jeannie’s experience on their African Safari Vacation click here
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many truly amazing places thus far in my lifetime, but it’s taken me until now to set foot on the African continent. Finally, everything fell into place to make it happen this past month. I had the time (always the hardest part about getting away!) and an enthusiastic travel companion, and the trip fit in perfectly with my personal agenda of doing some reading up on International Wildlife Law during summer break. What better way to follow up reading about wildlife than by hanging out with the elephants and leopards themselves? After landing in South Africa and spending our sixth wedding anniversary at African Rock Hotel in Johannesburg, my husband Seth and I headed to Zimbabwe. The chance to be with the animals in their own environment is an experience that I wish each person could have at some point during his or her lifetime. We encountered all kinds of animals — animals I didn’t even know existed before this trip. And we did so quietly and respectfully, mindful not to intrude upon them or disrupt nature in progress. We were there simply to bear witness. I remain in awe of the power and peace one finds co-existing in the wilderness.
To read more of Sharon’s experience in Africa, click here.
Ainslie MacLeod and Kelli Nichols, Seattle, WA
Meredith and Sandy, We would like to thank you for such a wonderful trip to South Africa. It was truly amazing and we appreciate everything you did for us. We know it took a huge amount of planning and effort and it certainly surpassed our expectations. You are both such awesome people and it was really a pleasure meeting you and getting to know you better. Thanks again for everything. We look forward to more adventures!! Much love and best wishes, Ainslie MacLeod and Kelli Nichols
Sarah Panyard, CA
I can’t THANK YOU Enough!!! We loved it. Carolyn and I had a River Rafting ride of a life time. Changed my life and how I look at things as much as any part of the trip. I am sending your name and co. out to all my friends and family. YOU and your entire staff in all areas have really won the day with me.
Sarah & Family, Jersey, UK
Huge thank you for organising the best holiday we have been on for many years. It was amazing, the girls loved it, so did I. It couldn’t have been better, and so well organised. I am hooked on going back to Africa, absoultly blown away with it! The animals are so incredible – loved everything.
Judy & Les Hathaway, Ambassador Events Travel, February 2018
Before we even left for our extraordinary vacation, we knew we would want to return to Africa – and, now, we can’t wait for that to happen! Hills of Africa did a superb job putting together our itinerary for Cape Town and the Winelands. In Cape Town we had a Food Tasting tour that most tourists would never experience. It is impossible to describe the wonderful history of food that is part of Cape Town’s heritage. And seeing the penguins (up close and personal) was a special treat! We stayed in Franschhoek in the Winelands – what a lovely, charming town. Very reminiscent of Napa Valley in California. The hotels we stayed in were 5 Star, but our favorite, by far, was Leeu House in Franschhoek. Truly 5 Star++++. We didn’t want to leave. The wineries in Cape Town are beautiful, and their wines are delicious…..wish we could have brought back more bottles with us! We even had a chocolate tasting at the first winery; learned – and tasted – so much. And our guides took extra-special care of us – can’t thank Ryan and Shelly enough. Our trip to South Africa exceeded our expectations. As a travel agents, we work with all the tour operators in the world – Hills of Africa is hands down, our first choice for any travel in Africa!! Thank you, most sincerely from our hearts, for creating this wonderful memory……
Carol and Michael Pliner, CA
It is the trip of a life time and we want to go back in a few years, as we fell in love with the countries we visited and the people – from our guides (Pam, Liese, safari guides) to the people in the village near the River Club and in Soweto. Seeing the animals in their natural habitats never stopped thrilling us. Every minute was perfect and went off without a hitch, and we cannot thank you enough for that. Thank you so very much for planning this trip for us. If you are ever in my area, please let me know as I’d love to meet you.
Brett King and Shiva Sadri, New York, NY
(We were) always fascinated by South Africa and wanted to visit for a long time. Hills of Africa was exceptionally helpful in preparing our itinerary and everything went very smoothly throughout the trip. We feel more fulfilled and recognize that we had a very special and unique experience.
Bill and Sara Walker, CA
Thank you for making our trip to South Africa and Botswana fantastic. The itinerary was carefully planned to include exactly what we wanted to see and do; and everything was carried out according to plan. We are so glad that you are already preparing our next trip to this incredible continent. Thank you again.