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Reviews: Classic Kruger National Park Safari

Classic Kruger National Park Safari

Classic Kruger safari - All accommodation in private en-suite cottages in five Kruger locations

star rating Trip rating 5/5 from 10 reviews
Operator rating 5/5 from 53 reviews
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Client: Sheila Engel - from Canada
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: A friend and I did a 7 day safari on Feb. 7 2018 in Kruger National Park with this safari company which I found on your listings. I highly recommend this safari to everyone. Right from the time I enquirer about the safari to actually booking it, they provided suggestions and recommendations and help with flights and hotels from Johannesburg to Nelspruit. Tina was great to work with and handled everything from the minute we hit the ground in Nelspruit.

Neil was our guide and meet us at the Malelane gates of Kruger where our amazing experience began. Neil is so knowledgeable, experienced and passionate about everything to do with the animals and their surroundings that whatever you think you know you will learn more. The whole safari, from beginning to end was so enjoyable and we learned so much. Everybody would be humbled by this amazing experience.

All our meals were provided and Alistair was our chef, camp organizer and close friend of Neil’s, who started each of our mornings with coffee and rusks. After our morning game drive we would return to a fabulous breakfast. After each afternoon safari we came back to camp to a wonderful gourmet dinner that Alistair and Neil would prepared. It was like having dinner with close friends, great stories were shared, politics pondered and the wonders of the day relived. I need to go back and do a 15 day tour with this fabulous company.
Client: M Kay Hearn - from Australia
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: Well what a wonderful full time we had, our guide was so passionate about the animals and knows their habits. We saw a lot more than I thought I would, all due to his great knowledge of the Kruger animals.

We took our time and spent a long tine at the waterholes, which was great as we saw the first lot of animals was rhino, Impala, zebra, warthog, and then the rhinos left and all the elephants moved in with their young antics, it was really great to watch, and the first time I have actually got photos with a variety of animals around a waterhole. We saw a leopard and followed him for about 10 minutes, we could have stayed longer but we also appreciated that he was on a mission and should be left alone to do so.

The accommodation was nice and again the first hour we had 7 rhino walking past..bonus, plus over the 5 days elephant, baboons, all sorts of antelope, it was great.

Our guide also had a great knowledge of all the birds and we had good photos of them as well.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
Client: Cheryl Hackett - from United States
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: Trip was excellent, from planning through delivery at airport for flight home. We were a bit nervous, planning & paying for a trip directly through an African company. But, it all went off without a hitch!

Tina, Neil & Alistar were all very attentive to our needs in their individual and collective capacities.

We enjoyed the safari itself immensely, sighting all kinds of wildlife, even a pangolin! Although, we weren't "birders", Neil even made the bird sightings interesting and informative!

We would highly recommend this company!
Client: Roland and Helen Agard - from United Kingdom
Trip: Classic Kruger National Park Safari
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: One word sums up our experience and our view and that is ‘Outstanding’. There are many other words that we could use: ‘Exceptional’, ‘Superlative’, ‘Unparalleled. I think you get the picture. This was my fourth safari and most definitely the best that I have been on.

If would-be safari goers want to have a safari experience where they are educated, enlightened, enriched as a result of the experience then they need look no further. Our safari was so much more than sitting in truck for several hours a day being shepherded to where the Big Five are. Safaris are also about the amazing array of birds, the trees and flora, as well as the insects and reptiles. My interests in ornithology especially and also in photography have now been taken to another level.

It was nice being part of small group. There were 5 of us in our vehicle, excluding Neil, and I believe that the safari operators does do not usually arrange safaris where there would be more than 8 in a vehicle. Smaller groups work best on this sort of experience in our opinion – we felt far more engaged than we would have been had we been in a much larger group and our inquisitiveness, thirst for knowledge and further understanding was satisfied as Neil was able to give us personal attention and responses. Friendships with others in the vehicle were also formed and we are looking forward to sharing our photos we them, and them with us.

The Team (Neil, Alistair and Tina) are fantastic in performing their respective roles:

- Neil’s knowledge of the bush is phenomenal and he conveys that knowledge in a way that leaves you hanging on to every word. Neil has firm views on conservation and also on the adaption of species to their environment, rather than the Darwinist ‘fittest of the fittest’ beliefs and theories on evolution. We had numerous interesting conversations / discussions on these subjects. Using a photographers’ analogy … Neil is a lens through which you can see and understand things that you would otherwise only in part grasp.

- Alistair is a most engaging individual and the food he prepares is exactly what is needed on this sort of holiday. He is a great host and very attentive to his guests, ensuring that they are well fed and watered (or whatever other refreshing beverage suits their palate).

- Tina is very well organised and nothing is too much trouble, from the initial booking to arranging overnight hotel accommodation at the Golfer’s Lodge so that next day flight connections from Jo’burg O.R Tambo International Airport to the Nelspruit Airport in the Kruger National Park were met.

As to an overall score, it can only be a 10 / excellent ! I would most highly recommend them to anyone who is interested in going on safari.
Client: Henry de Labouchere - from Switzerland
Trip: Private Family Safari to Kruger National Park
Rating: rating 4.5/5
Comment: The 7-day safari was perfect.

Neil is amazing. A walking encyclopedia on animal behavior, on plants and bird songs. And he has a great sense of humor to boot! We saw the big five !

We were out every day for many hours of fabulous animal and bird-watching, and Neil always had fascinating details for the five of us. Our 2 adult kids were absolutely enthralled by him as well!

Alistair is a great cook and organizer, so we enjoyed the “after-safaris” as well.

I highly recommend this safari operator.
Client: Kevan Wylie - from United Kingdom
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 4.5/5
Comment: We very much enjoyed the holiday.

The only anxiety we had was having to make a bank transfer and not be able to pay by credit card. However, the company is very honest and provided everything that was promised and that we expected – including the discount - alongside lots of amiable safari rides for the 5 days. The food and accommodation was very good and we would strongly recommend the company to others.

I hope we can visit Africa again and will use your portal having now had two very successful safaris.
Client: Chris Johnson - from United States
Trip: Private Family Safari to Kruger National Park
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: This past June we had the pleasure of spending a week with in the Kruger. My husband and I and two children, ages 8 and 9, had the trip of a lifetime.

The fauna, the flora, the history, and the scenery were unforgettable. But most of all, we enjoyed the company and guidance provided by Neil and Alistair. Neil had an uncanny ability to connect with each one of us in a special way, and rapidly identified our individual interests. He satiated us with loads of information beyond our expectations. He answered our many, many questions patiently and indulged us with explanations about the nuances of the animals’ behaviors.

Alistair was a great cook, host, and conversationalist. Our girls still talk about the biscuits for breakfast! The evenings by the fire were as memorable as our daytime drives. We saw everything we wanted to see and much more --- SO MUCH more! By the way, if you don’t like bugs and snakes, go in the winter; not one of us got one bite (neither snake nor mosquito).

If you’re looking for a personalized experience in this magical national park, you could do no better than spending time with Neil and Alistair. Your trip will be “cool bananas!” The tour operator is a gem of an operation.
Client: JosephineTan - from Singapore
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: I just returned from the most wonderful holiday in Africa! It's my first visit and it will certainly not be my last.

The Safari in the Kruger was fantastic.

Tina is the most efficient communicator and she ensured we were taken care of, even calling to say hello and goodbye from JoBurg!

Next came Neil who was our safari expert for 5 days. Neil taught us so much, not just about the wildlife and plants, also the respect and passion he has for the land and all that's in the bush. Neil is much more than a safari guide, he is Kruger's keeper! And Alastair, who kept us all well fed, not just with great food, also with his excellent humour and all round hospitality.

Now I am planning my next trip to Africa and will certainly turn to your website for ideas and suggestions. Thank you for the great site and keep up the good work.
Client: Nicole Poulin - from Canada
Trip: 15-Day North to South Adventure Kruger Safari
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: Thank you for the follow-up and for asking me for my feedback on my safari/holiday.

I just came back from a week in the Kruger Park . We had the priviledge to see the "big-5" (some of them more than once) and about 30 different species of animals. It was a fantastic experience! The service provided by this tour operator was excellent!

Our guide, Neil, shared his passion and his extensive knowledge of the Kruger and went out of its way to meet our needs. It didn't go unnoticed and was really appreciated by everyone! We were also thoroughly spoilt by Gordon who managed to cook fabulous meals for everybody's taste.

Without Tina's patience who looked after all the arrangements/logistics and her personal touch this fabulous trip wouldn't have been possible.

I am definitely looking forward to another adventure with them and would certainly recommend them to others.

Nicole from Canada (living in Egypt)
Client: Brenda Travers - from United States
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: My daughter and I had an incredible journey.

The Kruger was more impressive than we could have imagined and our guide, Neil, was knowledgeable about the birds, the animals, and the plants and trees. His passion for the park was obvious and one can understand why. The food provided was excellent, plentiful and always served with a smile by Gordon.

We thought the trip was very reasonably priced and would recommend the tour operator to others.
Client: Sonja Petersen - from United States
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: We had an amazing experience. Neil, our guide and company owner (with his wife Tina) is an incredible guide. His knowledge of the animals, but also of the environment, botany, astronomy, and particularly of the behavioral sciences was fascinating and enhanced the experience so much.

We feel so fortunate to have seen these amazing animals in their natural surroundings, but also to hear the stories behind their behaviors. Many people here in the Kruger drive themselves on self-tours, and while this experience is probably wonderful, they are missing so much by not having the expertise of someone who understands this environment like Neil does. If you are looking to truly experience the African bush, rather than just chasing the Big 5, I would whole-heartedly recommend this tour operator.
Client: Kate Smith - from United Kingdom
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: I would thoroughly recommend the tour operator. The staff were knowledgeable, friendly. The accommodation was fab and the food was superb.

I saw three of the BIG 5 and many more interesting birs and animals.

Well- satisfied.
Client: John & Diana Tass - from United Kingdom
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: My wife Diana and I had a wonderful Safari. Neil was a wonderful ambassador for the Kruger and his intimate knowledge of animal behaviour, his patience and advice brought great rewards in seeing the real Kruger and its wildlife. We were not there to ‘tick boxes’ but to have a first-hand experience and knowledge of the natural history of the area.

The back-up service, camp facilities and cooking arrangements ‘al fresco’ suited us down to the ground, and the fact that we had to be up with the animals at the break of dawn was a very rewarding experience.

I would recommend anyone who wanted to see the real Kruger and experience the Natural History first-hand to join Neil in one of his future adventures (safaris). Gordon, who cooked for us and provided the back-up logistics support was a great character.

Full marks, we would love to do it again!

PS. Great value for money!
Client: Jo Preston - from Australia
Trip: Private Family Safari to Kruger National Park
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: A holiday of a lifetime that we will remember always.

It was a pleasure to meet Neil who gave us not just the “big 5” but so much more. From teaching our two boys how to track, to an afternoon of bird watching, the beautiful flora and of course the “big 5”. To Gordon who treated us like kings and always had a big breakfast for us and amazing braai’s at night not to mention fantastic conversation and lots of laughs. And of course Tina, without her none of this would have run as smoothly as it did. She was a pleasure to deal with, very professional and so well organised that everything went off without a hitch.

I would highly recommend them to anyone and everyone, in fact I already have.
Client: Lesley Abbott - from Australia
Trip: 15-Day North to South Adventure Kruger Safari
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: Going on Safari with them was the most awsome, exciting, mind blowing and educational experience of my lifetime.

I have travelled extensively throughout the world for many years. I travelled to Churchill Canada recently where I observed and photographed Beluga Whales and Polar Bears which at the time was the best thing I had experienced....but then I went on safari in the Kruger! THAT experience far exceeded my expectations.

Coming from as far away as was amazing to see such wonderful wildlife and indeed to be educated by Neil about the animals, people and environment of the Kruger. I appreciated his willingness to share his passion and knowledge with us and I loved listening to his stories of life in the Kruger National Park.

I feel happy, thankful and lucky that I chose to experience the wonders of the Kruger with them and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone interested in experiencing a safari in South Africa.
Client: Phil and Trish Davies - from Indonesia
Trip: Classic Kruger National Park Safari
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: As with any internet sourced holiday experience there is always a degree of hesitation about the final choice. Will it live up to expectation? Will it be value for money? Will it ... all travelers know the myriad of questions associated with these decision making processes.

The operator gets our vote for being all that we had hoped for and more. Neil and Tina in the pre-departure phase could not have been more helpful. Their communications were prompt, friendly and detailed and they gave a lot of time to ensuring that our unique queries were also answered in full. They also suggested an add on walking tour with another company, in the Timbavati region of the Greater Kruger that provided another dimension to our holiday.

On meeting Niel and Gordon at the start of the safari it was obvious that we were going to experience a level of knowledge about the bush as well as hospitality that exceeded our expectations. Neil's extensive knowledge of savanna ecosystems and his specialised knowledge of the Kruger National Park in particular, provided us with levels of insights that would not have been gained through a self drive / travel book tour around the Kruger. Traveling with Niel is much much more that seeing African wildlife; it is about about environmental sustainability, bird and animal behaviour, and an immersion into a world that he loves and delight in sharing with a passion.

The small size of the group means that their safaris are also about personal individualised touches and 'butler-like' service. Excellent home cooked meals shared with Neil and Gordon also gave us an opportunity to find out a lot more about modern South Africa through their eyes. Our accommodation, in permanent camps in the Kruger Park, enabled many a conversation with ( mostly South African) fellow travellers. Our meal time chats will be fondly remembered.

Our game drives and morning walk have given us a huge insight into one small part of Africa. At all times Neil was extremely safety conscious, though this did not mean that some very up close encounters with the animals of his world did not happen. Our safari allowed us to see, learn and recognise that being part of bush life on a daily basis is about cycles of life and death yet above all survival. Any safari is definitely about luck and being at the right place at the right time (we waited 10 days to see a lion yet chanced upon a leopard climbing a tree to devour its kill). It is also about an ever present anticipation about what might be around the next corner. With this safari another dimension was added to that mix - Neil's skill in the bush, his affinity with it and his knowledge of its complexities.
Client: Kiran Nathan - from Singapore
Trip: Private Family Safari to Kruger National Park
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: We had a wonderful trip and a highly memorable safari and would recommend this operators services highly.

They customised the whole 6 day trip for us, keeping in mind our family profile - a couple (aged 41yrs), 2 kids (aged 31/2 and 71/2 yrs) and granny (aged 72 years).

We had 4 days of guided game drives in open air safari vehicles, and a day of sightseeing and visiting the Moholoholo animal sanctuary, and a day of free and easy activities. We were able to see the Magnificent 7, and Neil kept us well-informed about the wildlife and flora in the park, got us great positions for fabulous photos, as well as kept us safe even with such close proximity to the wildlife.
Client: Manfred and Sylvia - from Canada
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: Our safari was the best experience ever. We saw every animal we could think of, the pride of lions was great. We loved to learn all about the different animals Behavior. Neil was very knowledgeable. If he didn’t know something we had inquired about he would find out and let us know.

Everything from the Impala to the elephants was a wonder. Right from our trip from the gate upon entering we started with the impala and even saw a lion on our first day. We learned what a maulk charge and a rhino charge was all about. We always felt Neil knew what he was doing and kept us safe. Both him and Gord have a unique sense of humor which we both enjoyed.

The weather was perfect as we came from 30 below to 30 above. We saw wild dogs, rhinos, hippos, hyenas, giraffes, kudos, buffalo, impala, lions, leopard, jackals, zebra, sable antelope, wart hog, elephant, so many birds I can’t mention. The bush was beautiful as well. Gord fed us like kings and queens.

The food was great, and was served wine at super. It was great coming back from a game drive or walk and have a nice cold beer. Gord always made sure we were taken care of. Hats off to you both. There was so many animals I am sure I didn’t list some but that didn’t make them any less important in our eyes. It’s a beautiful country and I would like to return some day. Our memory of Neil telling a joke and the hippo laughing was priceless. Our accommodations were very nice as I was expecting to ruff it.

Thanks again we will think of this trip often

Manfred and Sylvia
Edmonton ab Canada
Client: Allen lewis - from Puerto Rico (US)
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: My wife and I enjoyed a four day trip in Kruger. The booking details were handled expertly by Neil's wife, Tina, who also helped us arrange an initial overnight in Nelspruit at the lovely Jorn's Gastehaus with transportation to the park the next morning.

Upon reaching Skukuza at noon Neil met us, showed us our room and gave us a quick orientation to the rest camp's facilities. After lunch he took us on our first safari drive in his comfortable open vehicle. We had indicated a special interest in birds which Neil was happy to accommodate. He knew many of the birds by sound and knew where we should be looking. After two nights at Skukuza we transferred to Berg en Dal.

The trip was a success in every way. The pace was comfortable with time to appreciate every creature. By mutual agreement we were on the road by 5:30 AM each morning, exploring until early afternoon and then again after lunch with a night drive arranged for us on the last night.

With limited time we chose to stay in the southern portion of the park where we saw the Big Five, most of the Small Five, and the Intermediate Twenty or So (this is meant to be humor; we saw a great diversity of mammals). We also saw over 150 species of birds from tiny cisticolas and crombecs to huge ground-hornbills and seven species of eagles.

Throughout we benefited from Neil's deep love of Kruger, his knowledge of its wildlife, and his awareness of the broader issues of conservation. He was tireless in his efforts to make sure that we experienced the magic of the place. He was not just an excellent guide, but a gracious host.
Client: JP and Patricia Vanderschueren - from Belgium
Trip: currently unavailable
Rating: rating 5/5
Comment: well, what can we say...

I have made Safari's in several countries over Africa and jungle treks in Central- and South America and in the Far East.

Neil has a fantastic tailor made safari operation. the accommodations were excellent, and the fact that the group is limited to 6 people, gives it a very intimate character. Even tough we were only six, several of us had our little "interests" and "passions", and , being in the "customer service business"

Myself, I was amazed how Neil and his right arm and cook, Gordon (this cook is a wizard - incredible what he can do in the bush), went out of their way to suit the (nutritious and interest) needs of everybody.

As I said, I am not knew to having wildlife experiences, but the way that Neil "reads" the bush and animal behavior is beyond words.

we can only recommend the safari operator to everybody who wants an "off the beaten tracks" experience in South Africa, in Kruger.

We will definitely come back and book our stay in Kruger again with this tour operator.

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Classic Kruger National Park Safari

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