What our Clients have to say about their Safari Tours in Namibia, Madagascar, Kenya, Zambia and Botswana
Derek & Sarah – Madagascar, September 2018
Just a quick note to thank you for a truly amazing safari to Madagascar. Your knowledge of the wildlife and the country made a massive difference to the trip and we really appreciate the way you went about to make sure that Sue was happy and well looked after.
Peter & Linda Lausch with family – Tanzania – July 2017
We had an absolutely amazing trip. It was everything we hoped for. The guide Comfort Munuo from Scenic Treasures was amazing. We called him eagle eye. I still do not know how he spotted that leopard in the tree from that distance. I guess his experience and good eyesight were part of it. He was able to answer every question we throw at him and he was fun to be with. He ensured that we were all safe, at all times.
All the lodges were unique and unlike anything we had ever seen before. Each lodge was unique and we loved them all. All the people were exceptionally friendly, and the food was great. The tents were very glamorous camping. I do miss the princess beds with the netting.
Each park was unique and I am so glad we saw them all. When we were driving to Ndutu, I thought was could possible be in this waste land. However, it was here that we saw the most wildlife. I will never forget the Ndutu lodge, it was so Zen.
I am not bragging, but we saw 14 cheetahs, 30 some lions, 4 leopards, 1 serval cat, hundreds of elephants, warthogs, and thousands of wildebeest, and cape buffalo. We even saw a rhino with baby from a great distance in the crater. After a while, Comfort challenged us to find our own animals. Comfort was also an excellent bird watcher. Birds are of course the most difficult to photograph, and do we have great photographs!
We did a few extras too, which were amazing. We went to the museum at Oldupai and met some American palaeontologists at work. We also saw thousands of wildebeests crossing the river. This actually made me sad because they are not very smart and many turned back and went over again. Many of the calves lost their mothers in the rush of thousands. They make a very sad noise as they are migrating.
All the members of our group enjoyed the trip equally.
We can see that the airport security is struggling with new processing, and they are very slow. Apparently they like Canadians better than Americans and we only had to pay $50 for our visa rather than $100. They didn’t even ask about yellow fever. Perhaps this will change again tomorrow.
It was an amazing trip, which we absolutely loved. Thanks so much for making these arrangements for us. I know that you do not live in Tanzania, but we needed someone that we could trust. We saw that there are many many companies competing for this business, and we got the absolute best!
Holidays are over but I want to give you my last feedback and tell you I’m really grateful for all your support and perfect organization of our tour. The same is for my family (and it’s not so easy!).
The only bad surprise was for my flights back to Italy but it’s not your fault of course: 24 hour delay because of lost connection at Addis Ababa to Frankfurt. Very bad behaviour of Ethiopian Airlines.
But all the tour was really lovely and exciting. Also very well built in its itinerary and with the 2 days stops in each site. The car as I said was really performing and safe in every kind of road (no any tyre to change).
All the accommodation were over my expectations: the VIP in Twifelfountain, Onkoshi, Erindi, Swacop (very large room but so cooold). The only regret is not having the possibility to stay inside Etosha at Okaukuejo but Mopane was a good solution with its familiar and warm hospitality.
I know well we started late to organize this trip in March so I think it’s almost a miracle to have all these high level accommodation. But all these are details. The really important items come from this incredible country with its kind people, different cultures and landscapes. Drive the car inside an environment always changing it’s something impossible to forget. As the sunsets on the false sea at Onkoshi; the lion family I saw in Erindi, the single lion roaring in his loneliness at the sunrise in Etosha.
Many many images I’ll keep in my heart and my mind for the next years.
Thanks again and have a nice life with your family and your job (it looks like a family too).
Maybe we talk again for new adventures in the future.
We got home yesterday morning after 24 hours travelling including the 11.5 hour overnight flight from Johannesburg!
This is just a quick note to say a huge thank to you and the Safariwise team for organising a great trip for us. A special thanks of course must go to Jakes who did a terrific job for us – please pass this on as I do not have an email address for him. We saw some great birds and many other things and we would have missed a lot of them but for Jakes’s sharp eyes and knowing what anything seen might be. Thank you too for my birthday presents.
In the next week or so I will try to produce a proper “Bird Report” but the total looks like a little over 260 bird species of which about 90 were completely new for us – slightly more for Diane and the total may get revised a little when I determine which species have different names in southern Africa compared to eastern! The “odd ones” included the Long-legged Buzzard which I will contact Dayne about specifically – he knows it is coming – and we saw a Grey Kestrel well south of the usual range (Toko Lodge) and a ringed Blue Crane in Etosha as well. I don’t think there were any other “rarities” but again will check over the next week or so. After next week too I shall supposedly have more time as I am retiring late next week!
So, again many thanks to Jakes and all and I will be in touch again with some proper notes before long.
Many thanks for the Journal and Lists. Well done to all involved, we had a super trip,full of interest and laughs, the bird list is amazing,415 is a hell of a result.
To ALL STAFF at Swakopmund who supported the 2 tours enroute, Madagascar, Kenya,and who gave NEIL (THE BOSS) all the backup.
THANK YOU, you made the difference to out smooth journey.
Not that easy to sum up these two trips for Sylvia and I, other than to say A BIG THANK YOU for keeping us safe,introducing us to new experiences and having a stress free time,all in between the amazing BIRD/ANIMAL encounters.
Thanks for letting me know in the previous email that all of your people made it home, safe and sound. And I just submitted a glowing review on TripAdvisor.
It was a wonderful trip, Neil, and you made it very special for me. Thank you so much. I truly do have some friends that have traveled all over the world for bird-watching and they are planning a trip to Namibia next year so I will be getting in touch with them and highly recommend that they contact you.
I hope to come to Namibia again sometime in the future and I would not even consider traveling the country with anyone but you. Thank you again for your very professional, personalized attention.
I hope you’re enjoying well-deserved time with that baby girl (with the sweet, sweet smile!) and the rest of your family.
Thank you for organising a really excellent safari trip for our group. It all worked very well. Accommodation was good and so was food.
I’d like you to know that Jakes was a magnificent guide who looked after our interests very commendably. Safariwise can be very proud of his performance.
The only sour note in the whole trip was nothing to do with Safariwise or with Jakes. It happened on our second game drive at Erindi when the driver from the Erindi Lodge drove off-road to pursue a leopard that we had already seen well from the road. He showed no respect for the habitat, driving over shrubs and small trees, and continually disturbing the leopard until we shouted at him to stop.
After that experience we declined to take any more drives at Erindi. But that did not detract significantly from the overall trip, which was wonderful.
This is just a quick note to thank you very much indeed for all you did in preparation for our wonderful trip. I had been somewhat anxious as my wife had never been on one of these trips before and, although I was sure she would enjoy it, one can never tell!! This was, at least in part, due to Jakes, who was a mine of information and really could not have worked harder on our behalf.
Anyway, it was extremely good (probably the best trip I have been on) and we are looking forward to our next one!! It was also very nice meeting you in Swakopmund and therefore knowing with whom we had been corresponding!
Thank you for a wonderful trip. We really had a tremendous time. Your enthusiasm, strong ethical stance, knowledge and willingness to meet our every request however small or large meant that we could not have had a better time.
We hope you had a reasonable journey back home to Swakopmund. Enjoy your childcare and cooking duties and best wishes for the future.
Again – THANK YOU
I just wanted to let you know what a memorable trip I had to Namibia. The wildlife was amazing and to visit some new areas like Camp Kipwe was awesome. Jakes was his usual enjoyable and knowledgeable self. I often marvel at how you guys can identify birds on the fly and animals hiding in the bushes. My trip to Botswana was also great and I got a nice shot of Victoria Falls with a rainbow. I was also wondering if you could send me Jakes email address as I would like to check to see how his hip and lower back are doing as he saved me from a very nasty fall while we were at Camp Kipwe. All the best to you Neil. I missed your expertise and perhaps will come to Namibia again as I am sort of hooked on Africa.
Back from one of the great safari circuits of the world – my rivers of 3 Countries tour was run in conjunction with SafariWise and produced a list of over 330 species. Highlights included the great views we had of Rufous-bellied Tit, Souza’s Shrike, Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, Pel’s Fishing Owl and repeated views of Slaty Egret, Rock Pratincole, African Skimmers, Western Banded Snake-Eagles and Schalow’s Turaco (seen at Katima, Chobe and on the Zambezi).
We had some very enjoyable boat trips on the great rivers, and also succeeded in finding a new rarity of each of four days in a row! I will post a full trip report and hopefully also a composite gallery of all the species photographed on this wonderful trip. As with all these trips, there are always new things to learn and see, and on this one a flock of Western Yellow Wagtails feeding almost on the lips of a chomping hippo was one of them !
We’ve had the most fantastic trip through Namibia once we set off from Swakopmund. We are very glad with all your service and kindness. That really made the difference in enjoying our trip so much. The car was perfect and we found some lodges in Etosha.
We managed to escape attacks of wild herds of elephants by speeding off. Haha just kidding. It was an amazing place to visit.
Well we have now arrived home and after a few days to settle back in, am feeling human again.
I would like to say a big thank you for a fantastic tour organised by you. All enjoyed it very much and were very happy with and impressed by Mark and Jakes care and knowledge.
The vehicles were perfect and kept spotless. All meals were great and I didn’t hear any negative comments made the whole trip. The ‘Safari Wise’ caps were worn throughout Botswana and we plan to wear them to our club Christmas dinner. In all a very successful safari!
(Andrew Jones Travel – September 2014)
Made it back, unlike Livingstone a lion did not take any hands.
Everyone loved the journey, the results and the planning and execution of that planning by SafariWise was extremely good and we will be promoting your company to anyone who asks how they should go. Thank you from all six contestants in the Survivorwise safari, we got them scared, we got them worried we got them happy every day, ecstatic, what a great trip. My best and most detailed journey in Africa, even better than Namibia. But then again it was much different to Namibia, so no competition. There has not been a single word of complaint only praise.
Well done to you and the team that support you. All had a great time.
Thank you again, well done well managed a credit to SafariWise.
Thank you for another amazing safari and a bucketful of memories to cherish forever. Your warmth, friendship, knowledge, expertise and “neil-isms” make every day an adventure!
Daz and Kate
(The Aussie Drongos)
(Australian family, July 2014)
Thanks for showing us your wonderful country, the birds, the big game and the not so big game! We enjoyed your good humour, marvelled at your energy and were astounded by your ability to find things. You also took great care of us and did so with great charm.”
Thank you so much for sending the report so quickly. It was good to read through that which we’ve been up to! I really appreciated all the planning you put into the trip as well as the anxiety that goes with hoping your plans would work out. It was a terrific experience and I am so pleased it all worked out for you. Thank you for all your kindness.
I have just returned from 2 weeks in England after our trip to Tanzania……The trip was AWESOME….Our guide, Hadji Amani, was so easy to get along with and full of knowledge both of Tanzanian culture and the birds and animals. In fact each day was a true learning experience. We would highly recommend him to others looking for a combination birding/mammal tour – Could you pass along our comments please. But the bird/animal lists that were supplied to you were sadly lacking – We saw 20 birds in Arusha that were not on the list and that was just the first day. So we took to listing as we went and going over it in the evening – That should definitely be improved on.
Hadji met us at the airport and took us to the hotel where we met Shaukat, our guide for Arusha National Park on the day that Hadji drove to The northern Serengeti. After 36 hours of travel it was good to have a quiet afternoon followed by a day with Shaukat. The flight north was great and Hadji was waiting for us and the adventure started!!… We saw part of the wildebeest migration in the north, and many other animals. The camps were great, comfortable with good food. And Kitela Lodge was amazing – When we arrived we were told that they were quiet (We being the only guests the first night)…And so we were given two rooms with an extra king-size bed….Ben could not believe it!! It is in a coffee plantation and they grow all their vegetables – food was great. Manyara and Tarangire were great too. Thank you so much for putting together this trip. It was a highlight not just for Ben but Peter and me too. I would recommend Tanzania before Kenya, having been to both. We met a lot of people who were just going up to the Mid Serengeti and driving both ways – The road was really bumpy and we are glad that we only drove it once. By flying to the northernmost part and driving south we were assured of seeing the migration, something that those driving only part way missed, as the herds move with the rains and it is unpredictable.
Best wishes to Neil, Thanks so much, Jan
(Wilshaw family – June 2014)
It was – again – a wonderful trip to Madagascar and I am looking forward to the North in 2015!? Thanks for all your effort and thank you again, Neil, for the outstanding guiding and the knowledge you shared with us!
See you soon for another adventure!
Thank you very much for our great travel to Namibia. The programme was fantastic! We are very sorry for writing you only today. The political and social conflicts inside of our country did not allowed us to thank you right after arrival.
We are satisfied with your services during our trip. The guides were up to standard. Moreover, Mark and Holger are the best guides in the Universe.
Please, pass them our warmest greetings and very best wishes!
We will be happy to continue our cooperation in future.
Thank you so much for such a wonderful, wonderful trip. The Scops and Wood Owls. The fabulous birding at Chobe and having our own boat so we could stop and look. Having our own vehicle at Pom Pom and elsewhere so we can stop and bird watch. I cannot thank you enough. We enjoyed it so much. Victoria Falls was just spectacular.
We are back at the office (after a short stop at Joburg) sharing our fantastic experience from our recent educational journey to Namibia with our colleagues. So we would really like to thank you for offering us the chance to get to know your amazing country. We will try our best to promote Namibia to our friends and clients, because as of today we consider ourselves sand lovers therefore Namibia admirers 🙂
So even though Greece goes currently through a tough economic situation, we will encourage our clients to visit the wonderful sights of Namibia.
Also, a special thanks to Mark who knew perfectly how to promote the destination and Safari Wise by being polite, outgoing and professional. We really enjoyed having Mark as our tour guide. He gave us many info about the natural wonders of the country and successfully managed to fit in a tight schedule (and not always under smooth circumstances) both sightseeing and hotel inspections.
Please give us our best and warmest regards.
Once again thank you for the excellent organization of this educational tour. I hope that we will soon cooperate concerning the planning of tours to Namibia.
I am joining Alan in thanking you for all your help with our trip.
Everything was so well-organized that it reduced most of the stress usually associated with travelling in a new country. There was nothing you could do about the long airplane flights and lost bird book! (We bought a Newman’s at the beginning of our visit and were thankful we had it for the entire trip, as it ‘s an excellent guide; unfortunately, we left it on the plane between J’burg & Heathrow & it was never turned in.) Actually, the truck breakdown was not as troubling as it first seemed and Budget provided superior service over what we would have experienced here in the U.S.
I wanted to add to Alan’s list of some of the highlights in regard to accommodation. Of course the birds and animals were the best part of the trip, but we also very much enjoyed the staff every place we went. At Mahangu we went out with Theo to West Caprivi, and he was a great bird guide and companion. We also asked Kay (Kai) to go out with us on one day, because he is very keen on getting out more to learn more about birds, and we wanted another pair of eyes with us. He would prefer to guide than be a bartender, and apparently has completed some of the required training, but has to be in the “real job” of being a bartender to earn his living. Felix gave the go-ahead for Kay to come out with us and the three of us spent time observing and learning together, although Kay certainly knew more than we did. If there is anything you can suggest that would give Kay a helping hand so that he can make progress toward doing more guiding, I would like to know. I think he has the motivation and desire to learn more and would make a good guide. I’d like to see him succeed. Not everyone is keen on birding, so it was nice to find at least two fellows at Mahangu that appreciated the bird life.
All the accommodations were wonderful. I especially liked the lighting and excellent shower at Roy’s Camp, along with the interesting decor. We appreciated the pools of water placed around the property to assist and attract the wildlife. Thanks for including Roy’s Camp on the itinerary!
By far the best food was at Kaisosi–we had an outstanding dinner there. Waterberg was beautiful and all the staff members were extremely friendly and helpful. The dining area was lovely; we enjoyed sitting out on the porch and watching sunbirds while eating our meals.
In Etosha, I liked Halali the best for staff and organization, and to me it was the most pleasant and comfortable of the three park lodges. It also happens that the Halali waterhole was one of the best for animal viewing. But I also enjoyed the outdoor showers at Namutomi and the grounds at the last camp.
I do think that we’ll be sending along some mystery bird photos for Neil. Many of the identifications–especially of the larks and pipits– fell by the wayside and are forever lost (good thing I’m not a rabid lister!)–but there are a few puzzling photos that really deserve to be labelled since I truly had good looks at the birds and want them on the list. So, thank you for suggesting Neil’s help.
Thanks so much for everything! I hope we can return some day and explore Namibia’s west coast and other locations, and we’ll be sure to call on you for guidance.
First, thank you, and thank you again for everything….
Our vacation of a lifetime was just that – unforgettable…….
All your organization and planning made life so wonderfully easy for us. From the time we arrived and had your wonderful gift pack (including the signed Etosha book from Neil; thank you!) to the time we departed then every hour seemed filled with fun and adventure. It’s virtually impossible to pick out highlights as almost every experience was that. Wendy’s first ever trip to Africa was an eye-opener for her – no better and easier introduction to southern Africa than Namibia….
There was so much happening from the time we got up till the time we finally turned (usally well past midnight at the floodlit water holes) in that there seemed no time to be able to email you and tell you how much we were enjoying everything. Our apologies for that….
Things I can pick out:
Pel’s (X2) – at Drotsky’s (basically in Shakawe town on the river!) and white backed night heron (virtually right under the pier at Mahangu Safari Lodge!)
Leopard drinking at Halali floodlit water hole at one minute to midnight last Wednesday….
Almost 60 elephants at one water hole
The breakage of the compressor on our Toyota Hilux 20 km from Windhoek on the way back. Best time and place to break down…. At least my cell phone worked! Budget got a tow truck and replacement car to us quickly…..
Blue cranes (Adoni; Namutoni); Rock Pratincoles (from Mahangu)
11 simultaneous black rhinos at one water hole on the Namutoni night game drive….
Too many other things to mention while my neuron is full to overflowing…. All the accommodation was wonderful – you’d obviously prepared the way well for us! I’ll be putting together more superlatives for you to post and will wholeheartedly recommend you and Safariwise to our friends and colleagues here in England and the USA. In general, one gets out of life what one puts in and you and your organization have put a lot in! You richly deserve a lot out!
Thank you for the superb hosting that was provided to the Clock Tower Images Group and in particular to me.
Cindy, Eldie and myself arrived at supper time, Saturday, in Victoria, safely but without luggage (delivered 24 hrs later). Neil, Jakes, Andre, thank you all for putting up with my witisms.
Gradually sorting out my photos of a journey I will long remember. Take care and wishing you all a Merry Christmas and for sure rain to make a 2014 a Healthy and Prosperous year.
Thanks again for everything.
(Clock Tower images, October 2013)
What an amazing job you and your company have done.
This has been my favorite trip of all my travels.
Your dedication to your clients is outstanding.
Thank you so much
(Clock Tower Images, October 2013)
Thanks so much for a trip of a lifetime.
You have a wonderful country and you are a great ambassador. Your attention to details like having our name on some of the material and the welcoming package set the right tone and what turned out to be great adventure. Your sense of humour, in depth knowledge of the wildlife and caring attitude definitely made the trip for me. I will be planning a trip with my wife to celebrate our 25′th anniversary and I cannot think of a better destination than Namibia.
Thanks again for everything.
(Garry Black Photography group – September 2013)
Just a quick note to let you know we got back to Antwerp safe and sound.
We had a fan-tas-tic time in Namibia: fantastic locations and landscapes, fantastic animals, fantastic lodges, fantastic people!
Thank you so much for taking the time to understand our needs and for tailoring the trip exactly to those needs!
The car and all reservations turned out to be perfectly organized. All lodges were just waiting for their Safariwise clients to arrive J!
With perfect experiences in the most diverse Namibian landscapes and with good spottings of many different animals (including some pretty illusive ones), it was also for our first-time-Africa friends a totally unforgettable holyday! The Caprivi extension was a real hit, perfectly fitted in the rest of the program.
We will keep in touch concerning potential new plans.
Frank, Brigitte, Chris, Jandri
George and Jeanette Powter
Many thanks for what was, once again, a fantastic Safariwise trip. Once we left you, everything worked out for the trip to Tsarasaotra with John, and for the transfers to the airport in the evening. Neil, we trust you enjoyed your steaks in Jo’burg, and that you have put behind you the odd stressful moments you had on the trip. I suspect everything didn’t go quite according to plan but, for us, it did not detract from a wonderful experience in Madagascar. I have not yet had chance to sort out my photos, but if there is anything special, I will send you a copy. Many thanks for the two that you sent so promptly.
Thanks for your company, Neil. We look forward to our next Safariwise adventure.
We would like to sincerely thank both you and Neil for organising our trip around Namibia.
I have been on many long birding trips, and I have to say that this one was by far the best organised trip I have ever been on. That is largely thanks to your organising, and selection of routes, hotels, lodges and other venues.
We managed to see all but one of our target birds – which is really good for a longish trip. The accommodation you chose was excellent, and I would only make one change if we did the trip again. We managed to see over 250 birds, and I got my three target birds, and our friends, George and Jeanette Powter, managed to get around 20 new birds for their life lists. The travelling routes also took us to some of the best scenic sights in Namibia, and we have some really memorable photos to cherish from the trip.
We will definitely come back to Namibia again, and we would definitely ask you to do the organisation!
Mike and Carole Bridgeford
George and Jeanette Powter
Perfection! Could not have asked for anymore. We all compliment you on your understanding us and putting together a trip that suited us perfectly! You did a great job. So after a few days – I shall start working on what I would like to do in 2014 and ask Neil and you for assistance in planning this trip.
Cheers – Mohan Mohan
The Trekking Company – Australia
I’ve just returned to Greece after some days in London and have access to my e-mail again.
Many thanks to Safariwise for organizing an excellent two-week trip round Namibia for Janet, Peter, Annabel and myself. We all enjoyed it immensely as you’ll see from our feedback questionnaires.
We would especially like to thank Mark Hays, who proved to be an outstanding guide, very knowledgeable on animals, birds and everything else that makes up Namibia.
Mark really went out of his way to meet our needs, particularly with the bird-spotting, and proved to be a most enjoyable companion. We wish him personally all the best, and success to Safariwise.
First of all I would like to apologize for not coming back before with feedback on the tour. But I have been extremely busy in the office since I returned to Denmark. I want to thank you for making it possible for me and Knud to visit your wonderful country.
It is one of the most wonderful trips in my life. I didn’t know what to expect from you country and I must say – I am completely overwhelmed. Your country has so much to offer and I can’t stop talking about Namibia. I have visited quite a lot of African countries and I must say: your country has so much more to offer compared to other African countries. Another big plus is that you feel very safe everywhere and people are kind and friendly. East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania): they expect to receive so much money in tips and that is not an issue in Namibia – furthermore I must say: I have never seen so much game in other African countries – it was again overwhelming (hope it is the right word in English)
I never expected that I could experience so much in such a short time. Mark was the kindest guide one could wish to have and he has a knowledge about a lot of interesting subject: game, birds, landscape, people, politics etc – It is a pleasure to have a guide like that on a tour and I would love to have him as guide if I can get a group to go to Namibia.
I am surprised that your tourist board does not make more promotion for Namibia – they ought to be able to sell your country so much better
Once again thank you so much – I promise I will do my utmost to promote your wonderful country and the service of Safariwise
Med venlig hilsen
VIA Egencia Denmark | Group & Meeting | An Expedia Inc. Company
As you know we returned from Cape Town this weekend after Namibia.
For us it was our first visit to your country and it was fabulous. Thank you so much for this opportunity, Frederik will do his very best to advice his contacts in Holland about the programs of Safariwise in Namibia. And what would a journey in Namibia be without the very experienced guiding of our Mark Hays, we felt very secure with him and enjoyed his knowledge and stories so much. For me, I tell friends and family about all our tremendous experiences. As old owners of an incentive business, it was so nice to be in your office in Swakopmund.
We felt the atmosphere of old times. Like Neil, Frederik wrote books as well, an affective
We keep in contact and wish you lots of success with Safariwise.
With our kindest regards,
Thank you so much for a fantastic tour to Namibia.
It was one of the best educational tours I’ve ever been on.
The tour gave a good taste of Namibia, and it definitely taste like more.
Thanks for a great time in Namibia! It´s unforgettable, it was so good! And I mean it also. I saw more of your country than I could believe that I could.
I would like to thank Mark for these memories because without him it wouldn´t have been as informative, educational and nice! I have learned so much. And the effort he made for us, he made everything happen. As in my pics from the desert sand boarding, I wouldn’t have had them without him. Thanks.
These sand boarding pics are the first ones I made now. Moore is coming.
All the best and thank you.
Thanks for the great FAM trip in Namibia. We had a great best of Namibia -tour and I’m sure we have ingredients for great stories in our hands. In many ways Namibia exceeded all expectations I had, very much so in flora, fauna & nature. Animal sightings were close & plenty. Namibia took it by force if we refer to my previous Safari Experiences (in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
Mark was a real professional guide with exceptional knowledge on all thing nature especially, always keeping up good spirit as well. If I’d want to add something to the program that would be more different kind of a African food traditions but really this was a trip to remember!
PS. I’ll keep you updated with the articles when they got it out and have them sent to you but as I said earlier, this process takes time.
Toimittaja – journalist
A belated Happy New Year to you both. I hope 2013 brings you healthy, happiness and lots of customers.
Thank you both so much for organising our accommodation in West Coast, Cape Town and a huge thank you for the wonderful “3 countries trip”. We all had a fantastic time. The trip was much more than I ever would have imagined and the extra 11 nights we spent in Kruger after we left Namibia topped off my dream trip of a lifetime. We both enjoyed ourselves so much that we did not want to come home.
While the accommodations and food were very good during the trip, we have to agree with Arthur & Sheryl by saying that the best place we stayed was Lawdons in Botswana and nothing surpasses The Wreck in Swakopmund for excellent food and service and an even more excellent price. We will certainly be recommending SafariWise to anyone we talk to who plan to visit Africa.
We just wanted you to know that our adventures in Namibia were exciting and memorable. The chance to see so much wild life up close in Etosha and Erindi was really special. Our very experienced guide, Mark Hays, treated us royally. It was wonderful that he took care of all the details. Mark took us back to Etosha Park where we stayed for five days. And what a difference it was to have an experienced guide. He knew where to find all the big game that we missed on our previous day in the Park. We weren’t there during the dry season when game viewing is supposed to be at its best, but I don’t know how we could have had a better experience. Mark was born and raised in Namibia, and he loves his country. He really put himself out for us and freely shared his knowledge.
So thanks to SafariWise and to Mark for sharing his love of Namibia so freely! It certainly made a difference to my travelers, for which I am very appreciative!
My best to you all,
Time flies, it doesn’t seem like we have been home for just over 2 weeks for us and less than a week for Phil and Linda.
Thank you for organising our Three Countries Tour. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, the abundant wildlife and varying landscapes just enthralling.
Robbie is an excellent birder and never ceased to amaze us with his keen eyesight and hearing, producing some wonderful sightings. As a result, we are now going through our sightings notes and sorting out bird lists, a time consuming task. Apart from his birding skills, Robbie is good at his job, very organised, attentive and knowledgeable with the ability to impart that knowledge.
The accommodation and meals provided was generally very good especially considering the remoteness of some places. The best accommodation, Lawdon’s (?), Shakawe. The best food – at The Wreck, Swakopmund but the buffet meals at some lodges were also excellent.
We all had many laughs together; hardly a dull moment as Robbie will attest to.
So after the tour we came home with many fond memories of our adventures, thanks to you all.
In one fortnight, one man has opened the eyes of one family to the riches of one country that they previously knew little about. This could not have been achieved without the encyclopaedic knowledge, vast experience, unbridled enthusiasm, thorough organization and great companionship of our guide and mentor, Neil MacLeod.
We will certainly return to this wonderful country and again trust Neil to lead us to other treasures that Namibia has to offer. Thank you for making the experience so enjoyable and memorable.
Greg, Sue, Kate and James
(25 July to 8 August 2012)
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You have introduced me to your country, full of it’s raw beauty, rich culture and amazing contrasts, and I am definitely coming back for more!
You are a wonderful guide and host Neil, so thoughtful with a terrific sense of humour, an encyclopaedia of information for a brain and a consummate professional. Despite all the amazing experiences I have had on this holiday, (oop’s, safari), one of the most precious memories I will take away with me was the night we were guests of yours and Berdene’s at your home. It was unexpected and very special. I hope we can share another bunch of experiences together in the future. Go 2014!
From Golden Hues to Sandy Dunes
From Sweeping Plains to Mountain Range
From Craggy Rocks to Birds that Flock
With Mammals of Game that Seem so Tame
Wildlife is Abundant I Hope Never Becomes Redundant
Landscapes so Dramatic they are Just Fantastic
“Namibia – A Land of Contrasts with Memories that will Last and Last”
“Macleod’s the name ; Safaris the Game” – Neil
What can I say that has not already been said by the previous entries?
This, our fourth visit to Namibia, and again with you as our guide and mentor. There can be no more experienced, knowledgeable, friendly guide than yourself and we are again indebted to you for all kindness during the trip. We saw some previously unforeseen birds and animals and learnt more about your lovely country.
Thanks also to Berdene for entertaining us to such a lovely dinner and evening at your home.
Sue and I seriously hope that one day you will both join us on safari in Cornwall. With much love to you both,
Alex and Sue
Tregonce Farm, St Issey, Cornwall, UK
(25 July to 8 August 2012)
Thanks to you we had a great trip for the safari except we would have liked to stay longer at Idube to view more of the Big Five closer. We would recommend Lukimbi for great hospitality from the team especially Shaun n Shelly, super Rangers Jade n Zain, Tracker Stranger n excellent food from Chef Mark.
We surely hope to contact you again in the near future andante meet you if possible next time when we plan to visit Namibia, Tanzania etc.
Also, please let us know you would like to visit India, it will be a pleasure to take you around there.
Thanks again and hope to stay in touch,
Yes, arrived home safely but straight back into running the business.
What can we say ? All adjectives could be applied-superb, fantastic brilliant we could go on forever. Is it better to keep it simple ? It was just perfect.
It was lovely to meet you and Neil, it’s nice to put a face to a name, but a special word of thanks must go to Robbie. He was excellent, in his attention, his manner, his knowledge and his patience. With this he has made sure of a collection of photographs and videos which we can treasure forever.
Looking to the future, can you please send details of Madagascar plans and possibly Namibia/Botswana.
P.S. Please tell Robbie I will be sending the book shortly.
P.P.S. Maureen says that even some of her photos are worth a mention.
Madagascar April 2012 with SafariWise:
Please: I want more of it! 🙂
We HAVE to go to Tsingy……..!
And up north and down south….
Thank you, Neil and Robbie, and Berdene and the staff at the office in Swakopmund!
It was an amazing adventure and a lifetime experience!
Bearing in mind that “Madagascar n´est pas une destination facile” – “Madagascar is not an easy destination” the trip was more something of an expedition, especially the first part of it…., but this makes it all so much more interesting and brings one together with the local folk with the possibility of making new friends and getting to know the country and the people.
Of course nature and wildlife is the biggest draw-card and it was sometimes overwhelming, especially the lemurs. It was eerie to hear them call in the rain forest and later, standing just below them when they called again. I think we all held our breath….. I will never forget those moments!
I had, almost my entire life, dreamed of standing on the “Avenue des Baobabs” in front of those age-old although beautiful and almost gracile giant baobab trees….. It was a dream come true – thank you Neil! Thank you Robbie, Berdene and the SafariWise team!
I´d join you again on any safari, would love to go back to Madagascar to explore more….. and having discussed the gorillas, I would join you tomorrow for a new adventure in Central Africa…!
Good reading (especially AFTER having been there): Mark Eveleigh, “Maverick in Madagascar”, published by Lonely PLanet Journeys (2001)
(Neil: Don´t buy, I have a copy for you!)
Thanks again for a wonderful trip and excellent planning!
Happy to be back in Namibia (after a 2 year stay in good old Germany), coming to see you soon at the coast!
Both Gail and I congratulate SafariWise for the great programme you put together and the fabulous young man, Robbie, who transported us over hill and dale around Namibia, with great commentary and knowledge, he is an absolute asset to your team, do not let him go. I say that as an employer of young people of Robbie’s age, who now have collectively billions of dollars under their control today, Robbie exhibits those great qualities that make a great asset in your business.
The tour was very well planned and if there were any hiccups we did not see them and only for our decision to want to leave Roys (RUSTIC) camp, everything ran perfectly. I quote further on young Robbie:
Driving, I love it I demand precision, not once did I flinch with Robbie, well driven, well considered all aspects of the long journey
Polite, I almost had to restrain him for being so nice, steps here, bags there, you know.
Always on time, never flustered, arrives at the site(s) on time every time
Knowledge, what he didn’t have we read and updated all of us, we all learned a lot, with Robbie as the guide.
His knowledge even tested the veteran guide at Africat where Robbie called two birds without Bino’s the Guide was ‘incorrect’.
Great asset, look after him.
Back to the organisation of the tour, great, saw all the things we could imagine to see, the vehicle was of good quality, subject to the lack of an Aircon in Sossusvlei (42degC), but you can’t have everything. After Sossusvlei, no need for Aircon. Great accommodation and I shall rate them below;
Okonjima Lodge – (Suite) very spectacular
Emanye – Spectacular
Camp Kipwe – Stunning
Dolomite Camp – Good but needs attention by staff, transport, but lovely
Sossusvlei Lodge – Lovely relaxed, well chosen
Atlantic Villa – Tidy, spacious neat, good, a great restaurant next door
Terra Africa – A nice way to finish the trip, nice staff, relaxed.
Okaukuejo Resort – Tidy neat, lovely, I think we are spoiled
Grootberg Lodge – Great asset to the conservancy, will change, as the management updated us
River Crossing – Needs a severe update, nice staff, working with an old operation.
Roy’s Camp – Well, if I was going pig hunting with “the boys” would be fine, drink, fall down, who Cares.
Best aspects of the journey for our interests;
Himba and Bushmen – What a fantastic bunch of people, I can’t separate their contribution to the journey
Twyfelfontein – Desert Elephants, great, fantastic to see them keep up the support of these animals.
Etosha – Brilliant, congratulations Namibia
Sossusvlei – A spectacle!!, by land and air.
Walvis Dolphins – Skip the dolphins, amazing seals, amazing birds, value value
Little Five – Chris Nel, dedicated, great value
I will be recommending SafariWise and have already promoted it to several parties and they will be looking to go to Namibia, hopefully with your company and do not forget, your people. Can I be more effusive about your man (Robbie), your plan and the venues you chose. I have asked Robbie to communicate with me on the Madagascar trip Neil and he are taking, I am very interested. I have also included Robbie on the mail as he deserves the accolades for his excellent performance, Robbie, use your congratulations wisely, remain the solid young man that you are.
Congratulations to Berdene, sorry Neil, she did the work, congratulations to Neil for having the business and shouting Gail and I to a lovely night in Swakopmund, sorry you could not be there Berdene.
I can never thank you enough for the great safari you organised for us. It was fabulous and you and your organisational team are the best! I am in the process of taking about 1200 photos off my camera. We are having dinner with my oldest daughter and her daughter tonight – and they will be shown some pretty good photos – even though I say so myself! The leopards, the buffalo, the country side we were in, etc etc.Not professional like some, but pictures that will always remind me of a truly spectacular holiday.
I can never thank you enough – it was great. I really hope that I shall be able to come over again with some of the family to show them what I love about your country and its people and wildlife.
I feel really at home in Namibia and that is a fact! And those wild dogs – what a privilege.
It has been an extraordinary time traveling with you through your very special country. I know that I will have amazing photos to share with my friends and students in the US. But even more, I will have memories of the awesome beauty of Namibia and the range of experiences that we had here. It will be fun to juxtapose the tiny desert agama lizards with the elephants of Etosha. You have both shown us kindness, patience, humor and great sensitivity to our countless requests. I can’t thank you enough for your generosity of time and spirit. You have made it very special and a memory forever. Hopefully, a memory that might live again. I shall try to make it happen!
World Photo Adventures Namibia Photo tour – August 2011,
Just got home from a 2 week photo tour of Namibia with Darran Leal, facilitated by your company….had an amazing time….we saw many different kinds of vehicles and we were glad to be in yours…we thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the 4 man ground/cooking staff…very talented, friendly, hard working guys..terrific food! Our guides, Robbie and Ben….Robbie is obviously quite good at his job and a friendly, nice young man….We, my partner Keith McKavanagh and myself, want to especially comment on Ben…we were told (by Darran) he’d only been with your company as part time? for about 3 months… Ben greatly enriched our experience with his wealth of knowledge of everything Namibian. Where Robbie was happy to answer any questions (we had 8 people, 2 vehicles so swapped drivers/guides frequently) with ease…and accuracy I’m sure…they were mostly simple answers….Ben ‘filled out’ the picture with most of our questions by explaining each bird or animals life, impact and or needs…he explained how the people we saw lived, their needs, experiences and the interactions of them and the wildlife..he did all this in an easy to understand, succinct manner.
We saw Ben first thing in the morning..working in camp…driving us all day..always with the trailer… frequently inquiring of us if we were quiet too long…to last thing at night helping with dinner before sitting down to his own..then helping more! He is an excellent driver as well and paid attention to all of us to quickly ‘suss’ out our individual interests in order to be the most helpful to us. We want you to know how very impressed and appreciative we were with/of him. You have many great employees and hope you will decide to keep Ben on permanently. Additionally,. we appreciated the special touches (hot water bottles), nicely set tables, etc…and the lovely welcome bag with gifts. While the tour was quite ‘full on’ physically, your staff made it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
I want to thank both of you for the time we spent together, Robbie thank you very much you did it very well and for Kurt I had a great time with you in the little bus. You worked very hard for us. I wish you all the best for now and in the future and for Kurt, take it easy don’t work to hard.
Greetings from Wim Wolvenne from the fotogroup of Wim Broekman.
Groeten, namens Bep, Marijke, Jaap, Anton,Chris………..Jet PASMAN
Eindelijk ben ik er aan toegekomen om je een reactie te sturen.
We hebben een fantastische vakantie gehad, samen met de allerbeste gids. Robbie paste goed OP ons en paste ook goed BIJ ons. Nooit één seconde te laat en een heel goede chauffeur.
We hebben leuke excursies gehad, De 2 in Swakopmund waren schitterend. Tommie, van Living Desert , was een attractie op zich. Maar ook de boottocht was heel leuk en goed verzorgd (mag je wel zeggen). De enige excursie die niet leuk was, was die bij de The White Lady Lodge. Hier hadden ze de houding van; “er is voor betaald, dus we doen het dan maar”. Iedereen (behalve wij) wist dat we geen olifanten zouden zien, want die waren niet in de buurt. Verder hebben ze ons 2 uur rondgereden, zonder aandacht voor de gasten.
In de Twyfelfontein hebben we de tocht overgedaan (nadat Robbie had uitgezocht of er ook werkelijk olifanten in de buurt waren). Wat een verschil; een leuke gids, die veel te vertellen had. En na 10 minuten kwamen we de olifanten al tegen. Deze gids wist waar hij wezen moest.
Namens ons alle 6, bedankt voor de verzorging van de reis. Er mankeerde helemaal niets aan. Alles was geregeld zoals het geregeld moest zijn.
PS: 2 foto’s in de bijlage. De Sossusvlei met water; dat was 15 jaar geleden voor het laatst is ons verteld.
The trip was fantastic! You are correct … Damaraland was greener than I have seen but it did allow us to see desert elephants which was a plus. Even the Namib was green, even creeping up into the bases of the dunes. Sue was reluctant to go on the trip, at first, saying that of all the places we have taken students, to her, Namibia was the least satisfying. She is now raving about the Namibia adventure as the best of all of our trips! It was a great combination of photographic safari and some plain old fun stuff, like sand boarding and riding the ferris wheel left over from the World Cup in Cape Town. Safari Wise was a wonderful group to work with and the service was excellent. Indeed, we are already talking about a trip to Botswana and Zambia in two years and hope that we can arrange to have Safari Wise host the trip (Robbie Bergh was a great guide).
Will send a few pictures in a couple of days (even the dunes from our hot air balloon ride [Sue and I paid for all of the students]… it was amazingly different than previous trips and I am so grateful to have seen the Pan with water and flamingoes as well as leopards and cheetahs (Sue’s wish-list) and both black and white rhinos at Etosha. That was a little more interesting since there was so much water, there was little visitation at water holes so we had to do a little more travel and tracking to find the critters but we did.
After a 36 hour trip we arrived home in Michigan on Friday evening, 10 June, tired but happy. After Robbie dropped me off the week before, I continued to bird at Omujeve with Jacob, my Tswana driver, in spite of the freezing mornings! I was happy that I was able to recognize many birds again, having seen them earlier with Jacob and/or after Robbie showed them to me. I added several new species, too. I have finally finished counting and sorting out the new names. Here are my final numbers:
Total species seen: 142 (Very good for late autumn and freezing temps)
Total lifers: 86* (*Apparently the Damara Hornbill has been lumped into the Red-billed Hornbill, so I can’t “count” it, but I’m noting it)
Total NE/E 9/15 (All of these with Robbie!!)
Total at Omujeve 80 (I’m proud of Jacob and me!)
Going for the Dune Lark!!
Tommy’s Dessert Tour.
Omaruru–the white-tailed & white-capped shrikes; the rockrunner early in the morning. Khan River–The Ruppel’s Parrot and the Hartlaub’s Francolin.
This has been my 4th trip to Africa, but my first trip with a real birding guide. I cannot say enough good things about Robbie–he is thorough, smart, kind, introspective, well-organized and a very pleasant person with a good sense of humor. I appreciate that Safariwise was able to customize a great birding experience to meet my time constraints. My accommodations were lovely, and the vehicles great.
I definitely would like to come back and do your whole trip, hopefully in a year or two. And I certainly will recommend you to others. I am a VERY HAPPY BIRDER.
I should have written my thanks to you before this, but, what can I say, I’ve been busy. Hope you had a great time on the Skeleton Coast, I was quite envious. Wouldn’t mind doing that one day. I’m guessing you’re back at work now, and already off on some amazing tour. I’m sure every job has it’s draw backs, and I suppose yours would be that you’re away so much, but I think you have the most wonderful job.
People ask what were “the best” things about the tour and I’m lost for an answer! I grew up in the country, so I think things like the temperature, colour of the arid landscape, and the Southern Cross in the starry night sky, were all very comforting. It is very difficult to name just a few highlights and when I try, I find I’m literally walking my way through the whole trip.
So this is the best I can do: A Star rating system! out of 5.
Photographically (my only problems were my own, like I needed a heavier tripod etc)
Transport (getting us from A to B) (you’re an excellent driver) How’s the new Toyota you’ve ordered going?
Accommodation the tents were great, but a tiny bit small when you get the luggage in. Not a complaint – just an observation.
Meals I still can’t believe the consistently high standard of the menus and attention to detail.
I can tell you about the things that ‘blew me out of the water’!!!
How much information is stored in your brain!
Your 20/20 vision
Your ability to stop on a penny at the sight of a minuscule lizard on a rock 15 feet from the edge of the road when we were traveling at around 60 kph!
Your ability to name every feathered entity that enters your line of vision
Your ability to be at the right waterhole at the right time – and – know exactly how much longer to wait!!
Actually now I’ve started, this could go on for a long time, so I’ll stop now and just say, you deliver a standard of adventure safari excellence I’ve not even heard of before.
Congratulations on having some great staff as well. Samuel, Simson and Melakia made camp life so very comfortable and welcoming. Their sense of fun and their ready smiles were a wonderful sight when we returned to camp.
Not everyone can say that they have lived a childhood dream. I can!
Hi Neil / Berdene,
Just a quick note of thanks. We had a great time in Namibia and all out plans went smoothly. I can really, really recommend Agama river camp. We had a wonderful time, the facilities were top notch and the hosts were friendly. Definitely worth a visit. Thanks for organizing everything. We are coming back later in the year to visit Etosha and I will most definitely contact you again.
“14 years ago I went to Namibia. It was so beautifull, that, in 2009, I wanted to show it to my childrens.
I found the same magic country.
Warmed colours, wild and quiet, lions and sea lions…
My children didn’t come back to FRANCE.
We ‘ll never forget this trip.
Thank you to Berdene and Neil
PS: what I don’t tell you, that in 1995 and in 2009, our guide was always the same : Neil Mac Leod.”
Love from the Great Ormond Street Hospital Team, UK
What a Fantastic Trip!
We have travelled to many countries, birded in many areas and have worked with many guides over the last ten years. By comparison to the above trips, our SafariWise Namibian experience far outshines the rest. Why? Well firstly the breathtaking landscapes, then the amazing bird life and then the mammals. However, what really made the trip was the company of our guide, Charles. As a guide, Charles has all the qualities that anyone can ask for. His knowledge of the birds and mammals was superb. Add to that his knowledge of the plant life, insects, reptiles and eco-systems of Namibia and you have a “complete package”!
But knowledge isn’t everything ….. a guide must be patient, concerned for his clients and have an awareness of when it is time to rest ……. again Charles surpassed all expectations. As a professional guide myself, his overall skill is what I aspire to.
Well done also to Neil for organising such a superb itinerary ……. great lodges, food and some good wine as well. He took in our requirements in full and met them all.
The professionalism of SafariWise was superb and I would recommend SafariWise to anyone!
We zijn inderdaad goed thuis gekomen. Bij aankomst in Frankfurt Duitsland werd de luchthaven een half uur later gesloten wegens de stofwolk.
We hebben goed genoten van Namibië en ik ben zeker dat Martine en Ik later bij leven en welzijn er nog zullen teruggaan.
Heb vandaag de dvd met de foto’s verzonden. Ik hoop dat je er zal van genieten.
Stuur je me even een mailtje bij ontvangst dan weet ik dat de dvd goed is aangekomen.
Hopelijk kan je dit Nederlands lezen maar ik denk het wel.
Bedankt voor je goede zorgen tijdens de fijne reis.
De groeten van Martine en Jos en de rest van de groep.
Nog veel succes en misschien tot later
ps Sinds onze thuiskomst is het laatste wat Martine en ik iedere dag zeggen: “lekker slaap”. Toch een mooie taal het afrikaans !
Dear Neil and Berdene
Thank you so very much for the generous hospitality that you showed to Barry and me when we stayed with you last week. I had a wonderful introduction to Southern Africa and am already looking forward to coming back. But a country is made of more than landscape and birds, and the two of you contributed in very large part to the great impression that Namibia made on me. So, thank you.
With very best wishes,
Just a quick message to thank you and your team for a wonderful experience ( not calling it a holiday as I’m tired out !) Have had lots of lie-ins since my return and I’m still tired, but it was worth every waking moment.
Best regards to everyone especially Robbie and the three chefs S.,S. and M.
Met dat mailtje wil ik U bedanken voor het gidsen in uw zeer mooie land Namibia!!Ik kende uw land helemaal niet maar door uw hulp heb ik nu een beter idee hoe uw land in elkaar steekt!! Het was gewoon een super reis, vond Bart ook.
Bedankt U hebt goed werk geleverd.
We would just like to say thanks to all of you for being such a great group of fellow travelers. It was a wonderful time. We are still enjoying the trip as we share our memories with friends and family and show them some of our many photos. Special thanks to Neil and Robbie for sharing all their knowledge and fun – first class guides.
Best wishes for a nice spring and summer ( or winter for those “down-under”).
Thank you so very much for what was a most wonderful safari. Heloise, Saskia, Harry and I all immensely enjoyed the trip – partly because of the stunning wildlife and scenery and partly because of the perfect way in which you ran things. I cannot thank you enough for the huge effort and attention to detail that you put into every aspect of the trip.
It went way beyond our expectations and we saw so many diverse and wonderful sights that my head is still reeling!
It was also really good to see you again and I am sure that it will not be the last time that we meet.
Thank you also for the lovely cook book that you gave us on departure – we have a large collection of cookery books and I enjoy reading them in bed! Saskia is already planning to prepare some of the dishes and wants to write to let you know how they turn out!
One aspect of the trip that I did not expect was the effect that it had on Heloise – never would I have imagined her playing the Impala poo game! Yet she gave it a go. Also, seeing her eyes fill with tears at the airport when she said goodbye shows that she does have a soft side after all!
Anyway, thank you again for a most wonderful time, for our best family holiday and for your great good company.
But now for the trip….thanks so much to you and Neil for putting it together for us. We had a wonderful time and all really enjoyed it.
Neil was marvellous throughout and took care of everything so well.A highlight of the trip were the early morning chasing around the waterholes at Etosha looking for a pride if lions that we found. The animals were a revelation – I did not think that we’d see so many; but we also greatly enjoyed the extra little detours to see the meteorite, dinosaur footprints and the sink hole.
Heloise and Saskia had never done this sort of holiday before – usually beach and pool – but both enjoyed it so much that they’d like to reutrn to Africa.
We had 3 nights in Johannesburg after the trip you set up for us, and so got home yesterday morning (Monday 9 August). EVERYTHING you had arranged ran smoothly and exceeded not just expectations but hopes! We had many good sightings so have come back so that amongst the LARGE number of photos there are ones of Pell’s Fishing Owl, mating lions, White-tailed shrike, leopard in tree, … well basically LOTS.
When I have sorted the photos I will send you a DVD with a selection and if we make a general trip report it will be saying good things about you and the various lodges, Caprivi cars, and about Pride of Africa and through them Papadi Safaris, Grant Craig (and his cook!).
So THANK YOU everybody who has been involved in making this happen for us, and you will hear again when we have had time to sleep and sort out what to send you.