Entertaining Safari Guide

by Jo Preston
(China)

Dung beetles

Dung beetles

Dung beetles White rhino and calf Young elephant in the lush green bush View point on the Panorama Route

I have to say a highlight was watching a dung beetle try and roll the ball up a little hill with Neil narrating…so hilarious!! We watched him for ages yelling encouragement but in the end he didn't make it but it was lots of fun watching him try.

Safari Operator Performance

We used Bearded Heron Safaris. We heard about them through the Africa Guide website.

Neil, Tina and Gordon were absolutely unbeatable!!! A holiday of a lifetime that we will remember always.

From beginning to end everything went smoothly. Tina was a pleasure to deal with and the service was second to none. I could not fault anything about our trip.

Neil was superb and went above and beyond just being our "guide".

He taught our two boys how to track; we spent an afternoon bird watching.

He explained the beautiful flora and of course we saw the "big 5".

Gordon who cooked for us treated us like kings and always had a big breakfast for us and amazing braais at night not to mention fantastic conversation and lots of laughs.

Accommodation

We arrived in Johannesburg and stayed overnight at Shanguni which was really lovely.

From there we headed to Nelspruit and stayed at Jörn's Guest House which is a stunning guest house with amazing views.

We were picked up from there and went to Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation tour and then did the Panorama route tour with breathtaking scenery.

We then got taken to meet Neil at Kruger where our 4 day safari began. We had two nights at Berg-en-Dal and one night at Malelane.

Food

The food was spectacular.

Gordon went above and beyond trying to ensure we were always satisfied.

Excellent cooked breakfasts, snacks and fabulous braais at night.

Wildlife

Because there had been lots of rain the Kruger was incredibly lush and we thought we might not see much but it was quite the opposite.

We had quite a close up experience with some elephants and Neil explained their behaviour and what they were telling us.

Rhinos, antelope, buffalo, giraffes, countless birds, hippos, crocs, lions, hyenas, baboons which were amazing to watch.

Typical Day

A typical day started with us getting up incredibly early when it was still dark with Gordon having already prepared coffee and snacks and heading off for a few hours early morning searching.

We would come back for a fantastic cooked breakfast then relax for a while and head off again in the afternoon.

Neil was fantastic as he never likes to follow all the cars when people would start to say they had seen something up ahead, in fact we would often go in the opposite direction which we loved. We would often sit and just wait rather than drive and drive which we really liked.

We would then come back for a barbeque dinner and talk about what we had seen that day over a few glasses of wine.

I could have stayed longer but all good things must come to an end.

Our last night was fantastic 'cause Neil explained to us each individually which animal we were which was sooo spot on it was scary.

I was the matriarchal elephant and how he described the traits was exactly me. A fantastic way to end the safari.

Other Activities

The rehab facility and the panorama tour which were excellent.

Tips and Advice

Go with Neil, Tina and Gordon for an unforgettable experience and not just chasing the "big 5"… Apart from the wildlife, meeting Neil and Gordon was the highlight… Neil's passion for the Kruger and his knowledge was amazing, we could listen to him talk for hours and hours.

Remember your camera and mozzie (mosquito) spray!

Jo's Safari Details:

Rating: 10/10

Safari company used: Bearded Heron Safaris (make a direct enquiry)

Parks visited: Kruger National Park in South Africa

Date of safari: 13 December for 7 days

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  • Comments for Entertaining Safari Guide

    Click here to add your own comments

    Jan 22, 2011
    Knowledgeable as well
    by: Gwenda Sullivan, Australia

    I found Bearded Heron on the net and booked a 10-day Kruger safari from 27 Sept 2010. They were excellent, from first enquiry until the end of the trip. The guide was extremely knowledgeable - very interesting, likeable and amusing.

    The food was very good, breakfast was eggs, pancakes, bacon etc, lunch was a variety and dinner was barbeque with salad and vegetables. Very nice, fresh and tasty.

    Regarding wildlife, we saw just about everything, large herd of buffalo, lots of rhino, numerous large herds of elephants and birds, cats as well as the other animals in Kruger. A large owl and its chick in the nest was special to see. Also a large herd of elephants with 3 males in musth competing for 1 female was very exciting and dramatic to watch. Kruger is a park like no other in Africa, fantastic.

    I enjoyed the company of the others on the trip and Neil our guide entertained us with stories and jokes. I also enjoyed the changing landscapes of the Kruger as we travelled through it. I rate it 10/10 and would recommend it wholeheartedly.

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