Testimonial: Stefan and Glynis - Cornwall, United Kingdom

Places visited:

  • South Africa: iMfolozi / Hluhluwe Game Reserve (Lodge) / iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Kosi Bay (Camping)
  • Mozambique: Ponta d’Ouro (Lodge)

Time of year: May

Key features / sightings:

  • iMfolozi Game reserve: Africa’s oldest proclaimed game reserve. Rich in Zulu history and Big 5 game viewing and great for bird-watching. Short, morning and afternoon walking trails from the lodge set within the reserve.
  • Kosi Bay: A part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, SA’s first listed World Heritage site. A place of spectacular beauty – boating, fishing in the lakes and snorkeling at the river mouth (juvenile reef fish species), and sight-seeing of ancient Tsonga fish-traps near the mouth of the estuary. Walks through the giant Palm Forest.
  • Ponta d’Oura: Pristine beaches as far as the eye can see. Exciting off-shore fishing and scuba-diving.
  • Types of Accommodation: Luxury Lodges (iMfolozi / Ponta d’Ouro), Camping (Kosi Bay)

Journey duration: 14 Days

Distance travelled: 1 300 km (810 miles)

Testimonial comments:

For those of us who love African adventures, Out There Overland Travel manages to capture that most elusive of qualities, a sense of uniqueness and a chance to discover the real, local South Africa in the company of John Gale, whose intimate local knowledge has been built up over a lifetime of wild travelling. It’s a whole ‘other dimension’ of safari experience when you walk little used tracks, visit remote hides, and uncover rarely visited corners rich in wildlife. John‘s knowledge of flora, fauna and folklore is hugely impressive as is his devotion to acquiring the very best travel experience for his clients. He has the knack of knowing when to sit and wait for the wildlife to appear, when to divert to something new and unexpected (in our case wild dogs), when to move on, when to listen and interpret information from  local guides and when to stop for coffee and sundowners.

 Out There Overland Travel provided us with such contrasting experiences, all wrapped up in one amazing trip. We will never forget viewing the herds of elephants walking along the river bank from our lodge in iMfolozi, or running the surf and landing at speed on golden beaches in Mozambique after a morning’s fishing. Nor the sense of solitude and wonderment at the beauty of Kosi Bay as we glided silently along crystal waterways watching hippos.  Plus, the whole set up was highly professional, well organised and super friendly. It was such a privilege to get to know a region in a different, and highly authentic way.

 Can’t wait for the next one. 

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Testimonial: Kevin and Cathryn - Greenwich, United Kingdom

Places visited

  • South Africa: River lodge at Martin’s Drift border post
  • Botswana: Kubu Island and Sua Pan and Kasane – camping, Lodge before Pandamatenga border post, Lodge near Kasane with a ground level viewing hide meters from a water-hole for keen photographers 
  • Zimbabwe: Hwange National Park – Ngweshla and Detema campsites

Time of year: October

Key features / sightings:

  • Kubu Island: vast expanse of dried salt pans with a huge rocky outcrop with some ancient cultural significance, populated by large Baobab trees. Crystal clear skies and some beautiful night-time star-gazing.
  • Victoria Falls: One of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
  • Hwange: The big 5 and more. Huge elephant populations. 
  • A photographers dream all-round.

Types of accommodation:

  • Camping – Kubu Island
  • Camping (Ngweshla and Detema Campsites – Hwange)
  • Luxury (30km outside Kasane) and affordable lodges (Pandamatenga)

Journey duration:15 days

Distance travelled: 4 800 km / 2980 miles

Testimonial comments:

John took us on an amazing journey from South Africa through Botswana into Zimbabwe and back.

 Our time experiencing the sights and surrounds of Kubu Island was magical, only surpassed by staying in a remote part of Hwange and experiencing the beauty of its wildlife.

 John is a superb guide. His personality and knowledge kept our enthusiasm and fascination going, from identifying all manner of birds to tracking lions from the safety of our vehicle. We were well-fed and each night we slept safely and comfortably.

No complaints other than when is our next trip?

 

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Testimonial: Tim and Belinda - Cornwall, United Kingdom

Places visited:

  • Zimbabwe: Mana Pools, Houseboat on Lake Kariba

Types of accommodation:

  • Riverside lodge at Martin’s Drift border post
  • Old Colonial building (The Bulawayo Club) in Bulawayo
  • Basic Lodge (before entering Mana Pools)
  • Camping – exclusive campsite in Mana Pools
  • Houseboat – Lake Kariba
  • Lodge at Antelope Park, near Gweru

Time of the year: July

Key features / sightings:

  • Mana Pools: Unfenced camping at Mana Pools alongside the great Zambezi River. Daily visits by elephants. Big 5 bushveld. Many bird species for great bird-watching. Walking allowed anywhere in the reserve. Canoeing and fishing.
  • Lake Kariba: mid-priced houseboat with spectacular views from the vast expanse of this man-made lake, of the mountainous and impressive Matusadona National Park. Tiger and bream fishing. Great game viewing from the boat and tender boat.

Journey duration: 14 Days

Distance travelled: 5 100 km (3 170 miles)

Testimonial comments:

I cannot recommend Out There Overland Travel more highly. 

My first experience travelling with John was to Mana Pool and then on to Lake Kariba.  The Mana Pool part of the trip was specifically significant in the fact that I had never wild-camped in the bush before – in fact camping has never been something I would have considered, but John’s knowledge of the African bush, friendly and reassuring manner gave me the confidence to embrace the trip and make every moment count.  He is highly organised and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to planning, budgeting and contingencies!

 Our trip was 14 days in total starting in Durban, driving to Martin’s Drift border crossing, where we stayed at a river-side lodge before crossing into Botswana.  Onward via Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, where we stayed in an old and beautifully preserved colonial building, before moving onto Makuti Lodge, a short distance before the first gate into Mana Pool.  We stayed 7 nights at Mucheni 3 campsite which has magnificent views across the Zambezi river.

 Our accommodation was very comfortable with everything we could possibly need for a good night sleep given we were in tents!  Our days were spent driving around looking for the big 5 as well as the little 5, enjoying rusks and coffee to start our early mornings, followed by our breakfast at one of our stop points later in the morning.  Back to camp for lunch and a snooze, a bit of fishing or generally chilling, before heading out for sundowners and final game drive of the day.  All followed up with a fabulous ‘braai’ around the campfire in the evening, talking about our day and our highlights.  It was a joy to fall asleep at night to the sound of the Hippos laughing in the river, the Hyenas whooping as well as the occasional Lion roaring in the distance.  Highlights were definitely the elephants who, once they had decided we were not going to bother them, walked through our camp daily. 

 From Mana we drove to Lake Kariba where we stayed on a houseboat for three nights, spending our days pottering around on the lake looking for Fish eagles, hippos, elephants on the riverbank and many other amazing creatures. There was even the chance to do a bit of fishing. 

Truly a trip of a life time!

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Testimonial: Luis and Scarlett (Santino & Maximo) del Canto - Santiago, Chile

Places visited:

  • iMfolozi Game reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Type of accommodation: 

  • Luxury and exclusive bush lodge along the Black iMfolozi River, inside the iMfolozi Game Reserve.

Time of the year: July

Key features / sightings:

  • This is a Big 5 game reserve but we did not see Lion or Leopard during our short stay. We had very good close-up experiences with Elephant
  • We witnessed an interesting tussle for dominance between two male Zebra in a fairly large herd.
  • The children enjoyed the short walks around the campsite especially at night, near the braai (bar-b-que) area looking for scorpions, using an ultraviolet torch which makes their exoskeleton glow in the dark.

Journey duration: 4 days

Distance travelled: 450km (280 miles)

Testimonial Comments: 

I travelled to South Africa on a business trip and because I was going to be here for a while, I invited my wife and my two boys to join me at the end of my business engagements. We were able to enjoy a short Safari experience after the business while we were there.

We went with John Gale, a guide living in Durban, to the iMfolozi Game reserve and stayed at a private bush lodge called Hlatikulu (which in Zulu means: Big Bush).

The safari was incredible and one of the best family moments we have ever had together. John’s knowledge of the bush taught us a lot of things about the many animals we saw. And  the boys also enjoyed the time around the camp and sitting around the fire when we cooked the meat which the South Africans call a ‘braai’. It was the perfect break after a busy period at work and a beautiful place to relax with my family.

The safari was very well arranged by John and it is an experience we can recommend to anyone.

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