From our guestbook... - African Encounters

From our guestbook…

  • Apart from the fact that Africa is THE destination we want to go to, travel with Karen is the only way we would do it. We have travelled to Africa with Karen 6 times now and just love the small intimate groups and the feeling that the whole trip is planned with just us in mind. And the daily surprises!! We stayed in some amazing places and so varied. The meals are excellent and the drivers are a part of the incredible experience that is Africa. We love Karen’s philosophy about travel and her intimate knowledge of and love for Africa.

    Helen & Pat Ranson, Rotorua
  • Like many people, we came to Africa for the wildlife and I’m guessing that like many people we have been wowed by said wildlife. I’d also take a wild guess and say that like us, many have been wowed by the people. An incredibly warm welcome has been extended everywhere, especially at the private camps and conservancies. 

    A trip like this is not just about the seeing and doing. It’s very much about the feeling. The people have made us welcome and very aware that we have made a positive impact on their environments and communities. To be welcomed the way we have is both humbling and uplifting. 

    When I first booked this trip the other half was a bit twitchy about the cost. He’s since realised you get what you pay for and to experience what we have experienced without the masses of trucks full of people lining up for a glimpse of a lion or whatever, is worth the extra cost. We have been up close and personal with many, many beasts. The guides have been respectful of them and our desire to get as close as possible without disturbing them. In short, it has been one of the most wonderful months of our entire lives. 

    Sue & Richard Lovett, Stewart Island
  • My second safari with Karen, another very special experience. Small group, small camps, wonderful meals and nothing too much trouble. Karen’s itineraries are well researched and paced with 2 to 4 nights in each camp. Time to feel at home! Such professional and knowledgeable guides in each camp.
    We had some wonderful close encounters with the animals especially the elephants. The ever amazing birdlife was either posing for or challenging the photographers.
    This was meant to be my “grande finale” after 3 trips to Africa but maybe not, these safaris are addictive. Thank you Karen.

    Anne Luther, Auckland
  • I’ve now been on four trips with Karen, and they have all been above expectations. My most recent trip was to Tanzania in February with great travelling companions and wonderful experiences especially enjoying the animals in a private conservancy without loads of other people around as well as a terrific day spent in the Ngorongoro Crater. The camps are gorgeous, and the food and service – just glorious, with the scenery and wildlife the icing on the cake. All magic!

    Silva Bassett, Auckland
  • For the trip of a lifetime Karen’s AFRICAN ENCOUNTERS are magic. Fabulous itineraries in wonderful places for small groups. Up close encounters with the animal and bird life are a photographers dream come true.
    The small group boutique camps offer true comfort, fabulous food and unique ambience.
    After two Safari’s to Botswana and Kenya with Karen I’m about to embark on a third to Zimbabwe and Zambia and I can’t wait – African Encounters Safari’s are addictive!

    Jenny Anderson, Napier
  • We chose African Encounters because we liked the small groups escorted by Karen which appealed to our idea of a “boutique” safari instead of being packed into a zebra-stripe van full of tourists.
    The game camps without exception are of a very high standard and are superbly located in the pristine wilderness. What constantly amazes is the mouth-watering cuisine produced in basic “bush kitchens” which seems so appropriate. On our daily game drives the guides are not only experts on wild game, birds, fauna and insects, but enthusiastically share their love of their country. We would just like to say thank you for another wonderful trip. Hard to believe we have done 10 safaris!! We have 1500 photos to sort…

    Karen de Willimoff, Auckland
  • Amazing experience above expectations. A chance to see wildlife in their own environment minus the truckloads of tourists. Staff extremely knowledgeable about the animals and their environment.
    Impressed with the effort towards sustainability and green environment. Many concessions having Green awards. Need to highlight this more.
    Accommodation at each concession was beautifully presented with comfortable beds.
    Food and wine excellent, served by friendly staff.
    Highly recommend.

    Julia Staines, Hamilton
  • From when we first booked your safari we knew this would be special! Wow! You fulfilled every expectation and included many experiences we couldn’t have imagined. Our dramatic arrival at our first camp and the warm welcome from Danni and her crew set the scene for us to learn about fabulous African hospitality. The journey went on getting better. As you say ‘you never know what’s around the corner!’ Karen, your choice of camps and experiences led to amazing surprises and caused much fun and joy! This holiday was to be a bucket-list tick. Who knew it would be the best of experiences and the most outstanding holiday! Your knowledge, organisational skills, and patience (!!) have been fabulous – thank you!

    Tina Fitchett, Auckland
  • Although I’ve been on safari previously, the African Encounters ‘Baby Season in the Serengeti’ safari really appealed to me. I have to say it exceeded expectations with wonderful travelling companions, superb accommodation and a highly experienced guide who excelled in finding wildlife, catered for individual desires (such as trying to find a wildebeest giving birth – we almost succeeded) and frequently the best angles for photography.

    You can’t do better than travelling through a private conservancy although the whole trip was amazing with a special mention to the Ngorongoro Crater – a modern day Noah’s Ark of animals. The trip will live on in my memories, even more so now that overseas travel will be curtailed for some time by Covid 19. Thank you Karen and African Encounters.

    Silva Bassett, Auckland
  • The difference between the private conservancies and National Parks was extreme when I went with you Karen. The relaxed, often the only vehicle and actually seeing wildlife in the wild versus a bun fight for photos with every driver trying to get the best spot. No comparison. I know what I preferred.

    Anne Merritt, Havelock North
  • We did back to back Namibia with Mozambique extension and Botswana, with Karen. Each awesome in their own way but the standout impression is that it is definitely worth spending some extra and going off the beaten tourist track into the private conservancies. There is more game, less people, the camp staff are genuinely happy to host us, they are also happy to share what tourism is giving back to their local communities.

    Sue Lovett, Stewart Island