Testimonial: South Africa Trip

Being one of our top destinations, we love planning trips to Africa. Even more than that, we love planning peoples’ second trips to Africa! Heather had gone on one of Jill’s previous trips to South Africa, and traveled again with her this August. Here is what Heather had to say about her trip:

In August, I traveled back to South Africa for the second time. My first trip in 2012 was amazing and I hoped this trip would not disappoint. Jill arranged our first stay at Idube, where we were greeted with nyala, warthogs, and elephants and we hadn’t even been on safari yet! Rob the ranger with his low-key approach to the bush and wildlife found the Big Five for us, but also spent time with a mother hyena and cubs, followed a lioness and her cubs only to watch her hunt later, and had many close encounters with the ellies. The only animal I dared to wish to see this trip was a cheetah and was ecstatic to not only see one, but follow it through the bush. I enjoyed watching from the blind a warthog taking mud bath as well.

Our next stop was Tanda Tula which was the only camp I had been to before. I love the family atmosphere, Chef Ryan, [ranger] Forman, bush walks, bush breakfasts, and the obvious love and respect they all have for the animals and their habitats. So many memories, but my favorites are having sundowners with a couple of young hyenas and coffee with a pack of wild dogs. You always feel special when staying at Tanda Tula.

We finished our trip at Kapama Buffalo Camp, which was the most luxurious tented camp. Jeffrey our ranger took us on some wild rides to view the animals. I loved following the leopard to watch it use a tree for a scratching post, seeing another cheetah, and searching for a pride of lions. We saw many hippos, giraffes necking, and many of the Little Five – elephant shrew, buffalo weaver, leopard tortoise, lion ant and rhino beetle – Jeffrey has a great sense of humor.

Esplanade has given me not one trip of a lifetime, but two. It is difficult to put into words just how much I enjoyed both trips. South Africa is beautiful, the animals majestic and never predictable, and the people are very gracious.

-Heather W

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Esplanade arranged a wonderful New Zealand adventure for my wife and myself in 2020…just a couple of months prior to Covid shutting down the world! During this difficult time for the planet, the staff from Esplanade continued to reach out to us on how they recommended we deal with our travel plans and the expenditures we had previously committed to. They continuously updated our travel plans and made all the necessary adjustments to our itineraries. Almost three years to the day later, we were able to enjoy our New Zealand trip. The reservations, excursions, and overall recommendations made by Esplanade were fantastic! We commented several times that their commitment to the smallest of details was very apparent. Our flights were perfectly spaced, our drivers all showed up on time, and our accommodations and excursions were beyond expectations. We now plan on trusting Esplanade for our future travels to Africa and Europe. We cannot recommend them more.

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