Testimonials

Travelers to Kenya in 2022

"We had such an amazing time! The safari was not the part of our overall trip that I was looking forward to the most, but it ended up being my favorite portion by far. Your staff handled the transfers beautifully. All of them were warm and knowledgeable. The accommodations were amazing across the board. It was a fantastic experience."

"My highlight was the day we saw the migration. We were out driving for almost 10 hours that day and we had to stay near the river for over 5. But James had the sense that it was going to happen so he kept us nearby. Watching the zebra and wildebeests running across by the thousands was so amazing and then to see a leopard dash from the bushes and grab one was incredible!"

KW July 2022

"Best trip I have ever taken! Loved the beauty of the people, animals, and nature!  

I enjoyed the giraffe learning center in Nairobi where we fed the giraffes and learned about these Gentle Giants! The elephant nursery and Karen’s home made the day even better! Phillip was a perfect guide and his accent made our understanding of Kenyan English very easy, I loved being greeted by our guide/driver James in his Masai dress and beads! He was very likable from the beginning.[He] was so knowledgeable and we saw so many animals on each drive. "

PL July 2022

 

Travelers to Tanzania in 2022

"You took my loose itinerary and some specific lodging requests and molded them into a logical Northen Circuit Safari.  You made sure we covered cultural, historic (Leaky muiseum) and major parks.  There is NOTHING we didn't see!   We saw the BIG  FIVE, even the Rhino...and even a Cheetah with her cub...not easy to spot!  And with Goddy's persistance we were able to be right next to a herd of approx 2000 wildebeest /zebra/gazelle... a small break off of what will become The Great Migration as water dries up later in the season.

Goddy (safari guide) never said "no" we can't find this or that....with 16 yrs experience, he had a knack for knowing just the right terrain, tree, rocks, area for every critter...and although it took time and mileage....he said Holden was a generous company and didn't limit a Driver/Guide's mileage or petrol...This policy allowed him to find us EVERYTHING you could           possibly want to see... and nine times out of ten without 4 or 5 other jeeps around.....always ahead of the pack."

DJ June 2022

Travelers to Kenya and Uganda in 2022

What was the highlight of your safaris?

"Hard to pick a favorite moment as there were so many special moments.   I think seeing “Craig” the big Tusker was definitely one of the highlights.  We were on our way back from a day of visiting Carmela’s villages and George spotted him on our drive home.  It was a magical moment to see him walking right toward us and then pass right in front of us.  We topped the day off with a sundowner in Amboseli park as organized by George.  I would say the other highlight to our safari experiences in Amboseli was George.  He was fabulous and became like family to us.  He has a great photographer’s eye and always knew exactly how to position the jeep for optimum photo taking.  Gregg and George got along famously.  George as our driver and guide was also definitely a highlight.

Gorilla trekking was also a huge highlight.  Definitely a once in a lifetime experience. 

But equal to the animals that we encountered, were the places we stayed and the people we met.  The accommodations and everyone’s caring service at every location was superb."

JD April 2022

A testimonial from our guests who traveled during COVID

"Overall, we had SUCH a great time and the weeks went by too quickly. We made many new friends that we will keep in touch with. We were so happy with the level of concern and care shown by everyone who met us at airports, guided us on tours, and especially the way Vivienne was constantly checking in to make sure we were doing ok. We felt very lucky to be traveling during COVID and all the tests went smoothly. We felt fortunate that not many tourists were at the locations since it allowed us to feel like we had all the places to ourselves with no queues. We want to go back to Cape Town when the night life is open again – there was a 10pm curfew so our evenings were limited and it seemed like there were so many fun places to explore there. Every hotel and lodge was absolutely beautiful and we would highly recommend to everyone. Now we have to sort through our thousands of photos to select the best ones to share with our friends."

EC & BD Sep. 2021

A Great testimonial from our guests

Tswalu Motse room
Jamala Madikwe Rhinos

"We both agree that this incredible experience in Dubai and South Africa was our favorite so far and we have been together and traveling for 44 years. It was beyond our expectations and a trip of a lifetime. The entire experience was perfect. Each experience was unique and fascinating. We were able to completely relax and enjoy every moment. Being among the animals in their habitat is very special and surreal." D&R C.

Some photos of the wildlife and the lodges where they stayed in South Africa. Tswalu Kalahari, the Motse, and Jamala Madikwe, Royal Safari Lodge with Nico Verster a well-known Chef preparing gourmet dishes.

"Thank you for the trip of a lifetime!  Meeting the kids and spending time with everyone is something we will never forget.  Each moment was perfect and precious.  We appreciate all of the hard work Holden Safaris put into making priceless memories for us!

Looking forward to additional trips in the future!"

DG

This was Holden Safaris 2nd “Women Travel With A Purpose” trip to Kenya, visiting the schools supported by the African Child Foundation in Nairobi.

Feedback from recent Holden Safaris clients who stayed at Gibbs Farm; a working coffee farm on the slopes of Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. They offer numerous activities: waterfall and elephant caves walks, community and cultural activities, farm activities and much more.

"We enjoyed our stay very much. The farm is beautiful, our cottage was so comfortable and the food delicious!"  

S & T W.

POST-SAFARI SURVEY

Welcome home from your safari vacation in Africa.  We hope your experience was all that you dreamed it would be. To help us refine the quality of our services and safaris, please take a moment to complete this simple post safari questionnaire.  

1). Overall, how would you describe your safari experience?

The entire trip was like a beautiful, epic dream.  Any film we have ever seen of Africa does not compare to the actual experience of being there. The quality of the accommodations was superb but the extensive wildlife we experienced was beyond anything we imagined was possible.  Perry and I have traveled extensively together all over the world.  This is the BEST trip we have ever taken.  In every way.

2). What was the highlight of your Safari? 

Every day was a unique and special adventure.  We will treasure these memories forever.  

3). Did you feel safe at all times? (if not, why?)

Absolutely.  From the moment we stepped on to the soil of Africa at the airport in Nairobi until we left ten days later, we had constant companionship and attention by our dedicated guide, James.  We stayed at beautiful, high end resorts where our every comfort and safety was their primary focus.  

4). Where there any significant issues? 

None

5). How was the quality of the guiding? (Any specific guide stand out, if so Why?)

We spent ten days with James and he became so much more than a tour guide to us.  He is a true expert on the wildlife and culture of Kenya.  We saw every one of the Big Five up close and some of these rare and elusive animals many times. This was due to his vast experience and unique ability to find them and ensure we had the best possible vantage point for photos or simply gazing at them in their natural habitat. He is also a man of great integrity and was solely dedicated to the four of us the entire time he was with us.  We quickly learned to simply follow his lead and trust his guidance and were always rewarded with an extraordinary experience.  Besides experiencing the wildlife, he taught us a great deal about the people, culture and politics and we absolutely fell in love with Kenya as a result. Everywhere we went, it was evident that James had taken the time to become acquainted with the people he interacted with.  From the camp porters and gate guards to the camp managers and park officials, James was friendly, cordial and always ensuring that we were given the best advantages and service possible.  

6). How was the food quality? (Any specific lodge stand out?)

We stayed three nights each at Tortillis Camp, Ol Pejeta House and Mara Ngenche Safari Camp.  The food was excellent and abundant at each location as was the service.

7). Would you recommend Holden Safaris to family and friends?

Absolutely - from the beginning Jim and his staff lavished us with information on every detail and were extremely attentive to our questions and travel details.  

8). Is there anything you felt was missing, either before or during your Safari?

Nothing. 

9). Any additional comments?

The first time we met with Jim he told us that most of his clients return to Africa after taking what they think is going to be their one “trip of a lifetime” there. Now we understand why.  It is such an extraordinary place and the entire experience is life changing.  Truly words have not been invented yet to describe what traveling to Africa on a Holden Safari is like. SE

Holden SAfaris designed a custom safari for this family to Kenya and Tanzania, and it exceeded their expectations.

1). Overall, how would you describe your safari experience? The safari experience was amazing.  it was the trip of a lifetime we had dreamed about come to life!!

2). What was the highlight of your Safari?   Coming in close proximity to the animals and seeing them in their natural habitat interacting with one another.

3). Did you feel safe at all times? (if not, why?)  yes, there was always a local with us and the guides are very experienced.  At the camps, there is a lot of security. They make security a high priority. E.C.

"Jim, As you might have already guessed, we had a great safari adventure. Thanks to your expertise and organization and support. Reality way exceeded our expectations.

I would repeat this trip as it was tomorrow without hesitation. We will always recommend you and your company to anyone. Dr. R.F."

"It was wonderful. The attention to detail was impeccable. We never felt abandoned or unsafe." NI

"We wanted to thank you again for an amazing safari. Everything was fantastic and we loved every minute. The memories will last a lifetime. We cannot than you enough for all the time, effort and personal attention you gave to make this the trip of a lifetime." SG

"Thank you for the wonderful experience here in Africa. This truly is the most amazing trip I have ever experienced. I could have stayed another two weeks! We were treated so well by all and we know it was because of you. Sonia, it was so good to meet you. We all will get together when we are all home. BG.

"A truly exceptional trip. Starting in Nairobi the elephant and giraffe centers were amazing. We visited two villages, two schools and one high school in the Masai Mara. We played soccer in both places! A universal language. TW.

 

"Our Safari was perfect. The guides were professional and friendly. The lodgings were amazing and set at great locations with great food. We saw so many active animals. It's a trip I will never forget. LW.

 

"Jim Holden gave us an excellent briefing to review our itinerary prior to departure. The flights, transfers and camps were excellent" PA.

 

"James, It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank you for your incredible thoughtfulness on this 'first' safari. You have made this the most incredible journey. You have taught me so much about the Kenyan people. I will never forget this trip and you, James. Your American friend."  -SLE

 

"Our trip exceeded the very high expectations we had! We were impressed with the people who met us.  Food was excellent, especially at Ngoma.  The guides were all great  - Allan at Ngala was outstanding!  All of the accommodations were comfortable, clean, and very chic!  We have recommended you to everyone that we've told about our trip! "

-MC & DS

"The trip was outstanding, all the guides, the accommodation, and of course, all the food. Each [place] was unique and special as were all the people. Thank you for planning such a special trip."

-GH

"It couldn't have been a better trip!  Extremely well organized and orchestrated.  We never had to wonder where we're going as someone was there to greet us every step of the way.  Visiting a real village outside Livingstone was a highlight!"

-MH

"James, It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank you for your incredible thoughtfulness on this 'first' safari. You have made this the most incredible journey. You have taught me so much about the Kenyan people. I will never forget this trip and you, James. Your American friend." SLE

"Our trip exceeded the very high expectations we had! We were impressed with the people who met us.  Food was excellent, especially at Ngoma.  The guides were all great  - Allan at Ngala was outstanding!  All of the accommodations were comfortable, clean, and very chic!  We have recommended you to everyone that we've told about our trip! "

-MC & DS

"The trip was outstanding, all the guides, the accommodation, and of course, all the food. Each [place] was unique and special as were all the people. Thank you for planning such a special trip."

-GH

"I want to say how pleased I am with the help I have received from Holden Safaris.  I have been in the travel industry for over 30 years and Africa is one of my favorite places.  I know how important it is to have an expert help you with planning your client’s unique trip.  There are so many factors that come into play when planning a safari and getting just the right components are so important.  Holden Safaris has the true in-depth knowledge of Africa needed to get it just right.  Because of that knowledge I am able to help my clients get great value for money and meet their expectations."

-BA

"The trip was outstanding, all the guides, the accommodation, and of course, all the food. Each [place] was unique and special as were all the people. Thank you for planning such a special trip."

-GH

"It couldn't have been a better trip!  Extremely well organized and orchestrated.  We never had to wonder where we're going as someone was there to greet us every step of the way.  Visiting a real village outside Livingstone was a highlight!"

-MH

"Dear Jim, Our experience in Southern Africa was nothing short of spectacular!  Thank you so much for your knowledgeable advice and guidance.  The arrangements provided by Holden Safaris were everything we could have hoped for, and more!  Our friends are so enthralled by our photos and reports that they will be calling you soon to book their trip.  Thank you so very much!"

-NM

We had a wonderful time!  Seeing gorillas in the wild is an experience of a lifetime. Service and accommodations were very good.  We really enjoyed our trip!

-AL & D L.

Our guides in Cape Town and Kichaka were outstanding.  They contributed more than they will ever know to ensuring we had the trip of a lifetime - which we did!

-MS & JS.

Tremendous vacation!  Two guides were fantastic.

-GM.