My trip itinerary was a challenge from the start. The plan was to meet my son who is serving in the United States Peace Corps in Zambia.We needed to satisfy my husband and myself in our early fifties, my elderly parents, and my two sons in their mid twenties. Everyone in our group had an outstanding time while traveling through Zambia and South Africa. The attention to detail that we received from Danni Ponter was beyond our highest expectations. Every place we stayed at was exactly what we wanted. Most importantly was the fact that despite the 6 hour time difference between my home and Danni’s, she was always easily accessible while planning this vacation. There were so many details to iron out between hiring drivers and setting up my parents in a good location while we spent some time in my son’s village. Everything went smoothly.
I did quite a lot of research before the trip and wanted to stay at the Royal Livingstone Hotel. While we did stay there for part of the trip, (incredible accommodations), Danni recommended that we spend two nights at Chundakwa Lodge on the Zambezi River. I cannot say enough about the outstanding accommodations in their cottage, the wonderful hospitality of the owners, and the gourmet quality of every meal. It was truly a surprise and I never would have sought this resort out without the assistance of Danni. After being wowed there, we spent 4 amazing nights at the Thornybush Game Lodge near Kruger. The safaris were awe inspiring. The guides were knowledgeable and so much fun to spend time with. Truly the highlight of our trip. The final leg of our vacation landed us in the breath taking city of Capetown. We had four private tours arranged for us and we could not have been happier with our guide, Alan from Capexec. After spending time with him in Capetown, Tabletop, a full tour of Cape Point, Hermanus, and then wine country, we truly felt as if he is a part of our family. Every suggested restaurant was incredible.
What more can I say? I have planned many vacations for my family prior to this trip, but organizing a vacation in Africa for a multi generational group was a daunting task. Finding Danni was a godsend. I knew from our first phone conversation we made the right choice! Her knowledge and travel experience in Africa gives her the edge over any travel agent from the States.
Every place we went was so unique it is difficult to state what was the best. Our private tour of Victoria Falls was incredible. We also truly enjoyed the sunset cruises offered by Chundakwa Lodge. We did not expect to see so much wildlife on the Zambezi River so that was a nice surprise. We loved everything about the safari part of our journey from the sunrise coffee to the sunset cocktail hour in the bush. We also did not realize what a spectacular city Capetown is. So many activities, great shopping, fabulous restaurants, and a night life for our sons.
I really cannot think of anything that I would change, except to stay longer!
Sikeleli Africa Safari’s ability to match the vision of my ideal safari and trip was absolutely prefect.
The elephants were definitely the highlight. They would come up to us so close and trumpet us but never did I fear them as our guide was excellent and knew how to handle the situation at all times. It was thrilling!
When we arrived, we were greeted with a nice wonderful warm towel and a glass of a delicious fruit sparkly drink. It was a happy ending to a long trip, but so worth it.
Thank you for your expertise on accommodations within our budget. I have already passed on the website and a high recommendation of the services provided by Sikeleli. Very nice.
Thank you for making this trip so easy and comfortable and fun for my first trip to Africa. We had a wonderful trip to Chongwe and Victoria Falls. I hope I will be able to return someday.
It was wonderfully fantastic!
We’re back now from a most fantastic holiday. Everything went so well. The 2 safari days were unforgettable & our ranger, Mike, was brilliant. The stop over at the Broadwalk in Port Elizabeth before the safari gave us a good rest after the night flight.
Plettenberg Park was an exceptional hotel, just 10 huge rooms, great service by the staff & no problems at all with food & with a fantastic view from our room.
Our trips with Marge to the Garden Route were excellent & she was a perfect guide.
We ended up in Cape Town with Mark & then Eugene as guides. As Mark is Jewish, we had the whole history, not only of South Africa but also of the Jewish community.
The trips were wonderful & the weather throughout was magnificent. The President Hotel was perfect for our requirements with Checkers, Avrons & the shul on Shabbat so walkable.
All internal flights were on time, though our night flight home didn’t give us much sleep & we only feel human today!
So all in all it has been a holiday of a lifetime & what a way to have celebrated my 80th!
I will certainly recommend Sikeleli Africa to anyone thinking of going & wish you & your father every success & good health for the future.
Leo & Margi
Image courtesy of the five star Plettenberg Park Hotel
Absolutely awesome experience – better than we imagined! We spent time in Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta and Cape Town. The service, guides, lodgings and experiences we had in each location were exceptional. Sikeleli and Ms. Danni Ponter made everything easy – we were greeted each step of the way, enabling us to enjoy our African adventure without the normal stress of traveling in another country. In Zimbabwe, we experienced majestic Victoria Falls both from the air and a guided tour through the park. We enjoyed a sunset dinner cruise on the Zambezi River. Our room at the Ilala Lodge was picture perfect and comfortable, plus we could see the mist rising from the falls. In Chobe National Park, we went on numerous game drives and boat tour with a dedicated guide. The Ngoma Safari Lodge was the most visually extravagant place we ever stayed. The view walking into the lodge literally takes your breath away as you look down at the Chobe River with herds of zebras, giraffes and antelopes moving between a small watering hole close to Ngoma Lodge and the river. Combine that with great location to Chobe National Park, exceptional guides, thoughtful and well-trained staff, delicious dinners and wonderful rooms with incredible views and you have the perfect safari location. In the Okavango Delta we saw so much wildlife (inlcuding a numerous lions and African Wild dogs and their pups) and were again blessed with wonderful guides, great staff, and lovely rooms in an amazing location at Sable Alley in the Khwai Reserve. Cape Town gave us an opportunity to relax at the Clarendon Fresnaye boutique hotel and enjoy winery tours and a peninsula tour, as well as amazing restaurants.
Originally, I tried to work out an itinerary myself using online review and travel books, but became concerned about arranging transportation and guides. Then I contacted several different travel agencies. Danni with Sikeleli quickly responded. She made everything easy for us. She worked with us on locations, desired experiences, dates and cost. We really wanted to see Botswana’s Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta. Two other companies were trying to steer us away those areas due to cost and availability, but Danni was able to make it happen for us. She took care of absolutely everything from lodging, car and in-Africa air travel, tours, guides, and even restaurant reservations for us in Cape Town. Amazing personalized service.
How was the service from your agent?
Sikeleli makes you feel very pampered and special. Danni made time to meet us in Victoria Falls (her home base). In honor of our 30th wedding anniversary, Sikeleli surprised us with a complimentary dinner and bottle of wine at our Victoria Falls hotel, which had one of the best restaurants in Victoria Falls.
Best part of the trip?
Our absolute best day started leaving the Ngoma Lodge on an early morning boat ride on the Chobe River, We saw so many hippos, water buffalo, birds, crocodiles and even elephants. Then we headed out on a game drive and saw an amazing number of giraffes, antelopes, elephants and zebras. Our guide, MK, anticipated the movements of a pride of lions and we were able to spend two hours observing 4 lionesses and their 10 cubs by the river. As we watched, the lions caught sight of two giraffes walking along the riverbank and immediately went from relaxed to alert. The lionesses split up, some stalking the giraffes, another staying with the cubs. As we watched the drama unfold, the sky began to glow with incredible colors and we were treated to an amazing sunset reflected in the river waters. We got amazing photos of the sunset, river with a lioness in the foreground. When we arrived back at Ngoma and went to our room, we found the staff had lit our room with dozens of candles, provided a bottle of champagne, filled our tub with fragrant bubbles and placed a card and some gifts on our bed. It was Ngoma’s way of helping us celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. It was truly one of the best days ever of our 30-year marriage.
If you we could change anything:
We would definitely spend some additional days at Ngoma Safari Lodge and Cape Town. Ngoma was such a special place; it would have been lovely to spend more time relaxing on their patios watching the wildlife. We would love to take our children and our (future) grandchildren there.Cape Town has such beautiful scenery around it, we would have liked to spend more time exploring it. Additionally Cape Town restaurant prices were low; you could get a great meal with wine for very little cash.
One thing we would NOT change – we would definitely use Sikeleli and Danni again!
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe. The only regret is that I feel 13 days was too short, and I feel like we only got a peak of what Zimbabwe has to offer.
Township tour in Cape Town – Xolani was a great guide and you can see that he was passionate about his work and what Uthando is doing in the community. It was good having a guide who grew up in the area and is familiar with the surroundings and the people. I enjoyed visiting the nursery school as well as the seniors. It was great surprise for us to visit the centre where we experienced authentic African dance. I don’t think there is anything I would have changed in the half day tour. Cape Fusion Tours – this was a great tour. I’m glad you added it to the itinerary. I didn’t know anything about it and was totally expecting something different from what we did. Despite the rain, we had a wonderful time and would not hesitate to recommend the tour to anyone that is visiting Cape Town. For me, it’s a must do. It was nice to be able to interact with the Capetonians and experience some of the authentic food and crafts. Ryan was a wonderful, easygoing guide, and you can see that he has a great relationship with the vendors. Leeu House – absolutely beautiful. The staff at both places went above and beyond to provide great service.
Service at Tintswalo Manor House – I have no complaints when it comes to service regarding the staff at Manor House. The service from all the staff especially, Eric, Ntsako (Happy), Orlando, Eunice, and Jonathan was exceptional and the food/meals were superb and delicious. It was really hard leaving the Manor House after having such wonderfully prepared meals. I’m sure I gained roughly 10 pounds just staying at Manor House and Jonathan was on “point” as they say! Overall, the service was great and we had a wonderful and awesome guide Eric who knew his “stuff”. Even when we thought we were in dangerous territory with the elephants especially with our first encounter. However, Eric put us at ease and the rest of our games drives where exciting.
Tuk Tuk tour was a good way to see Soweto; however, it was unfortunate we did not get an opportunity to be able to go and view inside Nelson Mandela House as well as possibly be able to go into the Hector Peterson Museum.
Again, I just want to say thank you for organizing an amazing trip for us. My sister Jill’s new saying for the whole trip was “simply amazing” so with that again I would like to say a big thank you to you and your staff for organizing a Simply Amazing experience for all of us.
This trip was definitely an entirely different experience for me in a positive way from the last time I visited South Africa. I can’t thank you enough and my family including myself will be talking about this “simply amazing” trip for eternity! Thanks again for the wonderful lunch at Jordan Restaurant it was a most enjoyable and a relaxing experience.
A good way to end our stay in “Wine Country”.
OMG, I almost forgot about the helicopter tour over the falls. Not sure if you know, but I had the opportunity to sit in front. I don’t like plane rides and definitely not keen about helicopters but the tour of the falls really topped it off for me. That is a must and I will be recommending that to anyone that plans on visiting Zimbabwe as a must do. The cruise on the Zambezi Explorer on the Zambezi River was a great way also to end a “simply amazing trip!
Thank you for the memories, I honestly wished that we had more time on the ground.
“We LOVED Batonka Guest Lodge- I would highly recommend it to anyone and if I ever go back to Vic Falls, I would definitely stay there again. This place is super charming and the lodge staff was super nice and friendly.”
This was a really fun day.
This group was awesome.
So much fun. The weather was crazy that day with huge down pours of rain and lots of thunder and lightning.
Our timing of it all was perfect.
Managing to do Bree street, Bo Kaap and even to the station roof for African food with Sandile. Making it by seconds before the sky’s opened and came down it buckets.
The guests were great and were not fazed at all.
Unfortunately after the Eats tour we tried to go up Table Mountain but it was suspended due to lightning strikes earlier which apparently caused a lot of issues with the morning groups being stuck.
All and all it was a great day with awesome people.
On behalf of the 30 Peruvians (in the group) we, the committee, would like to say thank you very much for organizing an amazing Cape Town experience for all of us!
For such a short time visiting your beautiful city you managed to put together the most amazing itinerary, which not only included the best city tours, amazing accommodation, A1 tour guides and transportation, beautiful wine farms, delicious food at wonderful places and a safari that far exceeded our expectations.
We wish you only the best on becoming the link between Peru and South Africa, and count with us if you need any references!
Once again, thank you very much! (PEPE PEPEPEPEEE!)
Warmest regards + Salud Señor!
The service from Danni and Sikeleli was excellent! We really appreciated having a “customized trip,” incorporating many of the elements from other tours but combined just for us. Danni used our suggestions, but also drew upon her own expertise and knowledge. As a result, the trip was exactly what we had hoped.
Danni responded to our questions in a timely, detailed way, even when she was traveling herself. The itinerary provided on arrival was very helpful and complete, so that we knew what was in store for us each day. We do suggest that Sikeleli consider sending the itinerary prior to departure, as it would have been good to know about tip amounts so that we could bring appropriate cash, schedules when we were in cities so we could arrange to meet friends there, etc.).
The trip exceeded our expectations in so many ways! The accommodations were lovely; the guides were excellent; and of course the scenery and animals were incredible! Our itinerary and schedule was structured but flexible and allowed us to have a number of serendipitous experiences. We felt very comfortable and reassured that all was unfolding as it should – never a doubt or worry!
There were so many special moments that it’s a challenge to pick only one highlight. The safaris and the animals were of course fantastic – we couldn’t believe how many we saw (the Big Five in the first 24 hours!) and how close we were to them. It was great to have an opportunity to meet the local people, in the villages and at the camps. One night at Gomoti, we were the only guests and ended up joining hands with all the staff and singing together around the campfire under a sky full of stars – an image and feeling I’ll never forget.
We loved the cities too – seeing the sights around the cape, tasting the wine, walking through Soweto, and visiting the powerful Apartheid Museum.
The helicopter ride over the Gomoti Plains was totally unplanned but was an amazing way to see the terrain and herds of animals – like something out of a movie. We would definitely recommend Sikeleli to friends and family!
I hope to return to Botswana with my son-in-law and their family. In addition, I would love to visit Tanzania and perhaps Uganda or Rwanda to see gorillas.
“Spent two nights at Elephant Camp West in August 2016. A luxurious and wonderful experience – the service was impeccable, having our own private chef and attendants, bubbles for breakfast, beautiful meals, all the nice little touches that come with a top-class resort experience. All this in the middle of the wilderness – it was fantastic watching and feeding the elephants in the afternoon. The camp is also very close to Vic Falls – Sikeleli arranged our trip to the Falls and also managed to fit in a game drive in our limited time there, to see the big 5!
A nice surprise we found out that the entire Elephant Camp West was booked out for our group of 5 – which meant we had all the amenities and common areas to ourselves. Thank you Sikeleli Safaris for organising our entire booking with all the activities. A big plus point about the package was that it was inclusive of everything, and pre-paid, so the booking and all associated logistics was more efficiently managed.
Danni was most professional and her recommendations to ensure we had the best possible and most memorable Zim experience, were spot on. The service was very personalised, she also visited us at the camp to check in and see if we were comfortable and looked after. Her responses to emails and enquiries were also very quick.”
Thanks, Sikeleli, for our best vacation of our lives. The recommendations of places to visit, hotels, safaris, tours have been wonderful. Africa has been for us a place full of sensations, different and absolutely recommended trip. The love and concern that put everything related to your customers is second to none. Thank you very much!
Gracias, Sikeleli, por nuestras mejores vacaciones de nuestras vidas. Las recomendaciones de los lugares a visitar, los hoteles, los safaris, las excursiones han sido maravillosas. Africa ha sido para nosotros un viaje lleno de sensaciones, distinto y absolutamente recomendable. El cariño y la preocupacion que le ponen a todo lo relacionado a sus clientes es insuperable. ¡Muchas gracias!
Our Safari Camp, The Hide, The hospitality, food, amenities, staff, facilities, and of course, the park are all top-notch. The only “complaint” (and not their fault whatsoever) is that because we were there for such a short time. The lunches and dinners, both at the camp and in the bush, were exceptional and memorable.
A couple of highlights……On our first afternoon there, just before sundown, we were able to watch a herd of around 50 elephants at a watering hole, soon joined by at least another 50. Thereafter, whether a night drive or daylight drive, we always saw numerous elephants…….The other highlight was seeing a lioness on the hunt. Managed to see her make a move on some impala, but the baboons had tipped them off. She then turned around and slowly walked back towards us, eventually walking between our jeep and the other one from the Hide, Incredible.
Ian led all of our drives. He has incredible knowledge and expertise, not just of the animals but also of the birds, trees, you name it. One of our guys from the UK is a very avid birder (his life list of African birds went over the 600 species mark on the trip) and between he and Ian we saw so many beautiful and interesting birds. That made the drives much better because as you know, sometimes you don’t see animals for long stretches, but you almost always see birds!
I felt relieved knowing that everyone in our small group, but especially the first-timers, had a great time, thanking me for making the arrangements and indicating that the short excursion exceeded their expectations.
As for the services of Sikeleli Africa Safaris, I want to again express my deepest thanks for the thoughtful recommendation but particularly for arranging all the transportation and fees into a single reasonably-priced package. The transportation was comfortable and punctual; Peace is a very conscientious and safe driver.
Danni, it was a pleasure working with you to put this excursion together. Your personable but professional approach immediately put me at ease, and I appreciated your quick and helpful responses to all my questions. I would most certainly recommend Sikeleli Africa Safaris (and The Hide) to anyone I know thinking of going to Zimbabwe or anywhere else on a safari.”
You have really done a great job, completely without any remarks. In fact, we have never before (during 22 years) had an operator carrying all requests to 100%. All logistics have worked perfect, all lodges have been aware about our plans and requests. We really thank you.
When it comes to lodges (on a scale from = to 10) we provide the following rating (room, food, service, vehicle, guide):
KAINGU 8, NKWALI 7, PUKU RIDGE 9, KASAKA 4
Generally all guides had very good skills as drivers and great knowledge about wildlife.
The system with Tours Africa at the airport was brilliant. Without knowing how much it cost we find it worth every kwacha. Boarding and handling luggage always consumes a lot of power and getting rid of that was a release.
When it comes to result we are quite satisfied considering that wildlife in Zambia has a smaller diversity than many other safari countries. Out of 4800 pictures we have got 141 different species and among them 17 new ones we have seen before. Most pleasing was that we got nice pictures of all three endemic subspecies in Zambia.
To sum up; you are a professional.
Thank you SOOO incredibly much! We have enjoyed our time here!
And a big THANK YOU for the wonderful “bubbly” that you had waiting on us! We made some excellent friends while here and enjoyed on the beautiful patio at the hotel! That was so kind of you!
Our tours were excellent! Alisdair picked us up from Stellebosch and we started an early day for the peninsula tour on Monday– saw amazing sites and enjoyed his company. Certainly got in lots of walking and experienced breathtaking views! It was a full day and he was a perfect host!
On Tuesday, Ryan picked us up for the eats tour…and boy did we eat! Lots of local food, coffee, beer…it was also exceptional.
I’d say that both tours were extremely helpful and enjoyable. It was great to get the “overall” and out of town perspective from Alisdair and the city/urban/eats tour from Ryan.
The hotel has been extremely accommodating and it’s a fantastic setting. From the reception to the comfortable beds, certainly five-star! We just wish we could stay longer!
Thank you – not only were you and your services amazing, but also our time in South Africa was top notch!
Your service and advice was amazing. You booked the perfect trip for us and in the limited time we had you managed to get everything in that we wanted to do.
The whole trip definitely exceeded our expectations. The accommodation was very good and the food amazing.
I can’t really suggest any improvements as everyone, from booking the trip to the shuttle taking us to the airport, was so friendly and accommodating. Even on the last night with the Boma dinner, they did not have reservations for us but the lady at reception said that if we were booked through you, she was sure it was done and that she knows everything will be good so she let us attend the dinner.
All the activities were amazing. We really enjoyed the Gorge Swing. Definitely something I would recommend anyone does at least once in their life! The Devil’s Pool is also an experience everyone should have!
It is hard to give one favourite activity, but if we have to then we will say the Zambezi Explorer cruise was our favourite. The whole experience was just perfect and all the staff we encountered during our trip was very professional and friendly but the staff on the cruise was just that level better.
If we ever get the chance to visit again we will definitely use your company and would highly recommend it to anyone with confidence that you are the best and know what the customer wants.
Our Zimbabwe/Botswana trip:
Knowing Danni already for years we knew that we were in for a treat. Well this was the understatement of the year, what an amazing trip we had.
On our arrival at Victoria Falls Airport we were collected by the staff of the Victoria Falls Safari lodge and in 30 minutes we arrived at the stunning premises of the lodge. Even though I’d been to the lodge before it still amazed me what an amazing vibe it gives. I can only imagine how it felt for my parents and my girlfriend.
In our itinerary we were staying at one of the standard rooms facing the waterhole which I can assure you is already an amazing place. However, this time Danni organized us an upgrade to the Honeymoon suites, which are absolutely stunning.
Besides our accommodation we had the pleasure that Danni organized us a trip on the Zambezi Express. The cruise was an ultimate combination between exploring the Zambezi, tranquility and luxury.
Other activities which we have done while in Zimbabwe;
– Visit to the Victoria Falls (a must see)
– History Talk on Livingstone and Rhodes (very interesting)
After our stay in Zimbabwe we had a great transfer to Botswana. The transfer was well organized and we had only little waiting time at the border and prior to our flight to the Moremi Game Reserve.
On arrival at the Moremi Camp (Dessert and Delta) we felt strait away at home. Both the welcoming staff as well as the accommodation were excellent.
During our stay at the lodge (4 nights) we had Vincent as our guide. With his amazing skills(and hospitality) he was able to show us the diversity of wildlife in the reserve. During the game drives we were extremely lucky seeing wilddogs on a hunt and just minutes after they killed an impala. We furthermore had an extraordinary sighting of a female leopard and her cubs eating from a pray by keeping (us)patiently waiting until they came out of their hiding spot. This were only two of the highlights during our stay, we furthermore saw; lions (eating a waterbok), kudu, giraffes, honey badger, crocodiles, large hurt of buffalo, large variety of birds, and more. A private dinner at the pool makes the trip even more exciting.
Our next stop on our trip was in at the Xugana Island Lodge. After arrival by plane we already had a warm welcome at the airstrip we headed to the lodge by boat (with the first sighting of Hippos near the lodge). The Lodge is based in the middle of the Okavango Delta and is completely surrounded by water. Lodges are a bit more luxurious and have an amazing view over the lake in front of you. The people at the lodge are as friendly and warm as they were in Moremi. They really like to give you that “home” feeling.
The water-based activities are amazing, we had an amazing thrill of a hippo chasing us in our boat, but at all times the experience of our guide (TH) made it feel comfortable. Also during our walking safari on one of the islands we felt the comfort that nothing would happen. Unfortunately, we were unlucky this time and didn’t see any big animals.
Our Mokoro ride was probably the most amazing event of our trip, as my girlfriend and now fiancé answered the big question with a “Yes”! A special thank you for Danni and the team of Xugana Island Lodge who organized all the things I requested for this day, including a dinner on the lake.
It was my second trip organized through Danni and again I would recommend everyone to use Sikeleli for Africa trips. She really understood our needs, basically all our requests materialized and she even went beyond that by organizing all kinds of amazing surprises along our trip.
On behalf of my parents and my fiancé we would like to thank Danni for the great care and most of all for the lifetime lasting memory of this amazing trip. Personally I would like to thank her for all the help with preparing the wedding proposal, it was absolutely beautiful.
We furthermore would like to thank Desert and Delta for the great care during our stay, it was amazing.
Vintage Camp in Hwange was absolutely great. Great scenery and wildlife viewing, including large herds of elephant. For lovers a must! We always had plenty of time to view animals. Life-changing experience, it has to be done!!! Our guide Dennis told us all about his life in Zimbabwe; he gave us many interesting facts about the animals, about the flora and the land. Good conversations, humorous, and witty.
Sikeleli Safari –
Organization / planning. Our ideas and objectives were completely met. Our trip was full of hightlights, full of unforgettable experience we will never forget. There is absolutely nothing to complain about and we would do it again at any time. Very reasonable value for money and our investment in this holiday has been more than justified.
Daniella Ponter. Danni is always sympathetic, patient and friendly. She was very helpful during our stay and gave us more insights and tips for sightseeing and local interest. While in Victoria Falls we all went together to great restaurants with fine menus. We thought that the shopping at the Elephant Walk was nice.
Danni, we thank you again very much for the wonderful trip that you planned and arranged for us. We will never forget our time in Africa. It was great that we could get to know you and spend time with you. Hopefully you can see us in autumn in Switzerland. We would be delighted! (Roughly translated from the Original german language text)
Daniella went above and beyond to plan our safari adventure at Little Makalolo camp in Hwange, Zimbabwe. The service in the camp was excellent, the friendly staff made us feel welcome, safe and took care of our needs during our stay, combined with excellent food.
This was our first safari getaway, what a fantastic experience! During the safari rides we saw it all, loads of elephants, lions, zebra’s, hippo’s, giraffes, absolutely everything we were hoping for. A special thanks to Daniella and the staff of Sikeleli Safaries to making our first safari an unforgettable one. We will use Sikeleli services again for sure and we highly recommend it to others.
Just want to say a big thank you for recommending the places in Botswana and booking it for us. We had an AMAZING time! Could not have been a better honeymoon destination. Everyone was hospitable and welcoming, accommodation was great, we saw everything we could possibly see and… there was a computer with internet to satisfy my connection with the world every now and then.
It was wonderful and we’d definitely look to go back to Africa, and do a different type of safari elsewhere.
We are back home and all still reliving the memories of the amazing wedding back in Zimbabwe. The whole trip to Vic Falls was incredible, for us it was a reunion with family and friends.
Dani had her work cut out for her with our booking, from the start I warned her we would be a handful with everyone’s different demands to negotiate. I almost guaranteed Dan beforehand that whatever was booked would change last minute and I was right. Dani could not have been more accommodating to help get everything secured for us.
We are a family originally from Zimbabwean who have done many trips over the years to Victoria Falls and Hwange so probably high expectations and some tough to beat previous experiences. Thanks again Dan for all the running around when bookings changed and cancelled. We absolutely loved our time at Safari Club, the staff were exceptional and the luxury of the rooms was outstanding. We look forward to going back again soon. The final night we spent in Hwange on the way home, and it was a dream to be back in the bush even if for a night under the African stars. Looking forward to the next trip.
From the moment I contacted Daniella she couldn’t have been more helpful, organised and efficient! Nothing was too much trouble. It was all left in her capable hands and she didn’t disappoint! We stayed in Miombo, Hwange for my Dad’s 60th (14 of us). Daniella had organised a lovely surprise bottle of whisky for my dad on arrival, entertainment after dinner by the Ingonyama dance group from Dete, more complimentary drinks for the duration of our stay and a lovely bush dinner on our last evening.
The rates were super competitive, Miombo camp was beautiful, all tented accommodation (above ground on wooden stilts), over-looked a watering hole where we saw large bull elephant one night and lots of plains game the rest of our stay. The tented rooms were tastefully done, keeping with the bush style. Our room was large and open plan with a beautiful roll top bath which overlooked the watering hole too, inside and outside showers, just lovely. I could really could go on.
Everyone had a fantastic time and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough for any bookings throughout Zimbabwe. Daniella couldn’t do enough for us and really went out of her way to make our stay extra special, thank you so much Dan! I really can’t wait until our next African adventure with you.
It is not easy to satisfy six totally different people, all with different expectations. Sikeleli did a good job in achieving just that! Danni was very responsive to all enquiries and tactfully guided us back on track in the initial planning, with gentle reminders that Africa is a very large continent where it is best to confine one’s search to one or two countries and not ALL. Her knowledge and experience in working through every detail of a safari is exceptional. There is a great deal of background work and connection bookings that go into putting a trip together. Our safari went without a hitch with well-planned transportation and inter-camp transfers/flights. We came back home with memorable experiences of Africa, as we would have expected, but with so many additional unexpected experiences that made this trip special. The friendliness and professional quality of the Botswana people and camp staff; the unexpected helicopter ride; the night-drive to find a leopard; the rush of excitement when a group of lions went through the camp at night; meeting a hippo and then the elephant wondering down our pathway; the smell of death and the sight of the kill; the vultures in the tree tops; the safari walk tracking a family of elephants; the crisp, cool early morning drive out to a new day of “what will we find today” and all those bird names you have to try to remember; and then, the return to the camp in the late evenings with unbelievable sunsets – just too many amazing things to mention but enough to want to go back and do it all over again, as there will be more!
All the camps were comfortable, and tastefully decorated. Certainly the comfortable beds and quality linens were appreciated! We voted the Linyanti Bush Camp as being the more authentic to an actual bush camp, where the tents had open views to the marshes. We soon learnt that knowledge and experience of your guide is of key importance in making your safari memorable. Although our guides were good in all three camps, Paul, our guide at Linyanti, was exceptional and by far the most experienced. He went the extra mile (literally!) to make our day-trips different and memorable. We were certainly not disappointed with the amount and variety of wildlife we were able to see at such close quarters. The private game reserves offered more exceptional viewing without too much ‘crowding’ with other game vehicles at the same sight, as experienced in the busier park of Chobe. We loved ending our trip at the Vic Falls Hotel, and final meeting Danni!
Anthony: “Fantastic time in South Africa and Zimbabwe! Thoroughly enjoyed it!!! The Cape Royale was a great property and everyone was really nice!!!! Location and facilities – amaze! Also loved the African Safari Lodge and Boma… Was shocking how expensive Zim was compared to SA! To be honest… I’ve nothing but positive reviews for you! The trip WAS GREAT! Thank you!”
Gary: “The room in the Cape Royale was very nice. I thought the staff were all very nice and accommodating. The breakfast food was great, the front desk staff were gracious, and again, overall the quality of the rooms was high, in my opinion overall. The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge was great. A beautiful hotel, the pool was enjoyable, loved the views. Poolside service was a little slow, but the drinks were good and the breakfast food was good. The Zambezi cruise was great…great staff, fun and scenic trip. The boat was nice and the staff song at sunset was priceless. 🙂 Thank you so much for everything and it was a pleasure meeting you!”
Jason Dinger & Phil Greenberg: “Yes all around!! The hotel in Zimbabwe was very comfortable and the staff was friendly. It had the African vibe we were hoping to see. Insider info on where to go and what to do is what every traveler is looking for and you delivered. So yes, very pleased. The Zambezi River sunset cruise was wonderfully romantic for Phil and I and one of the best highlights of the trip. Also, I had the time of my life dancing and banging on the djembe drum with everyone at Boma Restaurant. I truly felt a love that night for Africa! Your wonderful personality and warm welcome to your country was truly appreciated!!”
We planned to travel to Victoria Falls in December. So glad that Danni was recommended to us by my cousin. She went above and beyond with the planning of the activities on our trip as well as the transfers. She had amazing ideas for our family vacation and truly made it one to remember. Danni was always on the ball and addressed all queries and concerns, she was there to help from the 3 month prior to our trip till the very end of it. It made our trip so much better arriving at Vic Falls with everything already planned out. We did the Zambezi explorer signature deck, the helicopter ride, game drive and the best experience ever, the Livingstone island tour with a dip in Devil’s pool. Sikeleli tours is highly recommended to everyone wishing for an epic holiday!
We recently went on a trip organized by Daniella Ponter from Sikeleli to Victoria Falls and were all very impressed by the service we received. Not only did she organize us great accommodation at a beautiful lodge, she managed to identify what we were looking for in our holiday and organize the services we needed. The communication was fast and efficient making our holiday planning easy and stress free. We thoroughly enjoyed all the activities and places we saw and highly recommend Victoria Falls as a fun holiday destination.
I just came back from South Africa, where I spent the most amazing time together with my boyfriend. Thanks to Danni! I didn’t really know what to expect when I contacted her first, but she replied promptly and asked all the right questions to get an idea of what we wish and expect from our vacation. I was amazed how quick I got a first suggestion of how we can spend the two weeks and experience the most of ZA. We like to be spontaneous so in the end we only booked the Safari at the Kariega reserve with her. It turned out to be the absolute highlight of the two weeks! We stayed three days at the Ukhozi Lodge. The Game Reserve and lodge was beautiful, the staff was courteous and very helpful. Danni recommended this lodge and promised us an unforgettable experience, but it was even better than we imagined! We saw so many different animals (4 out of the Big 5) and our ranger was great and knew everything.
Afterwards, we followed the Garden Route to Cape Town with our rental car. We stayed at different BnB’s on our way. It was a good opportunity to get in contact with the locals.
Danni gave us some good ideas of what to do in Cape Town, so we had no problems to keep us busy for five days. It is a beautiful city and you can visit and experience too many things for just one vacation. So we will definitely come back to ZA and also definitely book it with Danni again. She’s really amazing and has a lot of experience, I can highly recommend her!
I was looking to climb Kilimanjaro and do a Safari, however I was slightly concerned which travel companies I could trust. A good friend recommended Daniella at Sikeleli Safaris and duly put us in touch. My goodness, does Daniella know how put a personalised package together. In all, I received quotes and itineraries from 3 different agencies. The quality of the itinerary that Daniella put together and the professional and courteous manner it was delivered, even though it was slightly more expensive, far exceeded any of the other contenders, so without hesitation I booked the holiday, which payments were very simple via international balance transfer.
On the lead up to the trip Daniella was available via emails to help with any questions or concerns I had, and with her expertise always delivered the information required. Phase 1 of my trip was to climb Kilimanjaro, and was booked with Zara tours, the most reputable firm in Moshi. Everything ran incredibly smoothly and the team that took me up and down the mountain were highly professional, my guide had 12yrs of experience and was a friendly chap who spoke very good English. I only have 1 point to note that should be passed on to others, and that is including tips for the team. The amount of effort that is put in by the entire team is absolutely phenomenal, and $260 standard tip doesn’t really come even close to what those guys deserve. I tipped almost double. However, to ensure everyone on the team does get their rightful share, it’s absolutely paramount tips are given at the end only once the whole team are present and logged on the Tip sheet. Otherwise I’m afraid the guide will try and take a large amount, if not all of the tip for himself. I could almost feel the tension amongst the team as we were coming close to the gate, clearly this goes on a lot.
RANGER SAFARIS WILL TAKE ANY EXTRA LUGGAGE YOU HAVE OVER 15KG, THEY EVEN ARRANGED FOR MY BAG TO BE DELIVERED FROM SPRINGLANDS IN MOSHI AND MEET ME AT THE HOTEL AFTER MY SAFARI.
So, upon successfully climbing Kilimanjaro and 1 nights rest, it was time to move to phase 2 and transfer to the Serengeti via Arusha airport. I was met by an agent from Ranger Safaris who checked me in and gave me my itinerary for the next few days at the luxurious Elewana Migration Camp. My flight was roughly an hour or so to Lobo airstrip where I was met by guide and driver Elias/Alias. As this was a shared vehicle safari package, we had a short wait for a Dutch family to arrive, then we proceeded with a morning’s safari, prior to moving to the lodge to check in and have lunch.
The lodge itself is probably the finest place I’ve had the pleasure of staying at, and combined with being right amongst the Serengeti wildlife with breath taking landscape, it really is worth paying a little extra. All the staff are highly polite and professional, and the head chef certainly has a wealth of experience. Winding down from Kilimanjaro here (personally selected by Daniella) made the holiday thousand times better and I’m so glad I chose Sikeleli for this adventure. The Safari was my first and certainly lived up to expectation, with Elias being extremely helpful and knowledgable with a straight answer on all questions. We viewed almost everything the Serengeti has to offer, with only Rhino and Leopard missing, though Leopards are rather illusive and as I understand it, there’re only 10 Rhinos within the whole of the Serengeti’s 15,000 SQM. Overalll a great experience.
Sikeleli Safaris delivered quite possibly the finest 10 day trip I’ve ever experienced. Daniella really is in a league of her own when putting together a package based upon her clients personal requirements. I whole heartedly recommend her to anyone seeking an African adventure. You’ll certainly receive quite possibly the best service that’s available from this family run business. In the future I think I’d like to book something in Zimbabwe and get the opportunity to meet and thank her in person.
Kevin and I and our three sons had a fabulous time , and were very happy with everything you organised for us – thanks so much .
We would especially recommend Big Cave, Vintage and Gorges. They all served welcome drinks and the accommodation was very clean and comfortable. Lynne at Big Cave was an absolute delight. We did the rhino walk/drive – well worth doing! Roy Aldridge made Vintage very comfortable and went out of his way to make our time comfortable and interesting. Gorges had upgraded our accommodation (complimentary) prior to our arrival which really impressed us , and included free wifi which was a real hit with our sons. Lokuthula was was very comfortable and the free shuttle in and out of town was really useful too. I was sick the day we went to Chobe so couldn’t enjoy the trip , but still saw plenty of game and the others really enjoyed it. I think we had a good mix on our trip and know we will have many treasured memories.
Hope this gives you some useful feedback . Thanks again for all your efforts which made our trip so special . Wishing you all the best and will pass your name on to anyone looking to holiday in Zim
When we decided to plan our trip away to Victoria Falls, the obvious choice was to book this through Sikeleli Safaris. The personal touch we received was very special, ensuring that we got a full itinerary that was within our budget. Everything went exactly to plan, on time – despite very late and liberal changes by Air Zimbabwe. Everyone we had the pleasure of meeting who were connected with Sikeleli and they went out of their way to make us feel welcome and as though we were their only guests that weekend.
We really did have a fantastic trip and a very memorable one – for many reasons – one of them being having dealt with a very helpful and professional tour operator. Friends and family have already been referred by myself to Sikeleli – I have no doubt they will also have a fantastic time.
Daniella – to you and your Sikeleli family we are grateful and loved our time together, till our next trip.
The transfer was great – the driver arrived on time, with no issues, and got the boys there and back in time, and they said that he was great. They absolutely loved Imire, and did rhino walks, game drives, sunset drinks – the whole lot. They thought it was great, and that the food was really good too. I think it was one of the highlights of their trip! Thanks so much for the flawless organisation, it was so nice for me to be able to leave them and not worry about how they were going to get around and what they could do!
Danni and the whole Sikeleli team are an absolute pleasure to deal with. They understand the destinations that they sell and have the relationships in place to mitigate any problems or special needs that may come up along the way. Danni was present and available through every step of the planning process including on the ground once my guests and I arrived in Zimbabwe. Besides making sure every detail was taken care of, her welcoming personality instantly made my guests and I feel at home and comfortable in a place that otherwise could feel very foreign. She is simply an expert when it comes to Southern Africa and I can’t wait to work with Sikeleli Africa Safaris again!
The stay was great, O on Kloof are extremely hospitable and helpful, the staff there are incredible. Thanks for looking after all of that, you were very helpful and professional, easy to communicate with. The winery tour was excellent, we had a great day and saw some beautiful places, plus our guide David was lovely.
Danni was really put under pressure when after deciding to take a mini sabbatical safari, I gave her less than a weeks notice. I can say even if she had more time to organise don’t think it could have been any better. I started off doing a safari in Hwange national park, Zimbabwe. The accommodation was high end but beautifully rustic with a view overlooking the watering hole where the animals drank at dusk. We did jeep drives but also explored on foot and not sure if just lucky or the skill of the guide ( would say the latter as he was amazing) but saw a myriad of animals from Lions, Lioness and their cubs to Elephants etc. To top it off the food was sensational and wine flowed into the evening.
The Next destination was Botswana for a river safari which even though I had just done 3 days in Zimbabwe this offered a totally different perspective from the water. I needed up in Cape town with a great guide doing wine tours which Dannis team organised. Weather unfortunately wasn’t great but nothing a few vineyards didn’t solve. Would highly recommend using Sikeleli and their team.
From the moment I contacted Daniella she couldn’t have been more helpful, organised and efficient! Nothing was too much trouble. It was all left in her capable hands and she didn’t disappoint! We stayed in Miombo, Hwange for my Dad’s 60th (14 of us), Daniella had organised a lovely surprise bottle of whisky for my dad on arrival, entertainment after dinner by the Ingonyama dance group from Dete, more complimentary drinks for the duration of our stay and a lovely bush dinner on our last evening.
The rates were super competitive, Miombo camp was beautiful, all tented accommodation (above ground on wooden stilts), over-looked a watering hole where we saw large bull elephant one night and lots of plains game the rest of our stay. The tented rooms were tastefully done, keeping with the bush style, our room was large and open plan with a beautiful roll top bath which overlooked the watering hole too, inside and outside showers, just lovely. I could really could go on,
Everyone had a fantastic time and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough for any bookings throughout Zimbabwe. Daniella couldn’t do enough for us and really went out of her way to make our stay extra special, thank you so much Dan! I really can’t wait until our next African adventure with you.
To think that it was only four days! A huge thanks to Sikeleli Safaris who gave us a holiday we could never have dreamed up ourselves. Looking back, we just can’t figure out how we did so much and still managed to find ourselves with plenty of time to relax at the Vic Falls Safari Lodge pool; here we enjoyed endless game-watching from the deck, which overlooks a water-hole before the bush stretches out as far as the setting sun.
From negotiating the roaring rapids below the falls, to a Sundowner Cruise on the gentle waters above, we were able to enjoy all that this great river has to offer. And as if guided walks through the bush weren’t enough, a brisk jog through the reserve in the Vic Falls Half Marathon was arranged. All of this was organized without us having to look up from our afternoon G & Ts. The logistics were seamless!
Most memorable of course, was a night at the majestic Victoria Falls Hotel. This beauty of and establishment stands as if grown out of the african ground beneath it. Sloping terraces, immaculate grounds, high-tea overlooking the falls…. and so much more. We can not praise Dani Ponter and Bren Butterworth enough for organising a surprise getaway for us to this hotel, where, after a year and a half of dating, we decided to commit the rest of our lives to one another!! We can not imagine a more suitable setting. We loved, loved, loved our trip to Zim, and at this rate, we have to accept that coming back next year is non-negotiable; as much to see the country as to see our new found friends!!”
What a beautiful place! We had such a good, relaxing time—it really felt great to unplug from work. Camps Bay was a great location—beautiful, fun, lively and lots going on. We changed apartments and got one on the front so we had a view of the water and mountains—a view that is definitely worth getting out of bed for in the morning. The winelands tour was exceptional—our guide was Z, and I recommend him highly—fun guy who knows the area; he booked us into Le Petite Ferme for lunch—among the best meals I’ve ever had! And having a couple of days at Shamwari at the end was a great way to wind things up—beautiful place and they really pay attention to quality service, food, and no detail is too small for them.
It felt like three vacations—each part different, fun, and exciting. We initially thought that so many days in CT would be a bit much, but we loved every minute of it and could easily have spent more time there. It’s tough being back home but I look at my pictures and videos of the ocean, the penguins, and Table Mountain—and life feels a lot better for a few minutes! Thanks for your help and patience with us. We were really pleased and enjoyed working with you.
Danni organised a wonderful itinerary for us through Zimbabwe and northern Botswana in July/August 2014. Zimbabwe was definitely the highlight of the trip. We arrived we a few apprehensions about the political situation and what it would mean for our trip, and we could not have been more pleasantly surprised. The welcome we received, the people we met and the quality of the camps and service, were superb. Some of the highlights included seeing a 6 week old rhino up close in the Matopos, sundowners on Rhodes grave meeting a local school trip learning about the site, sun downers being surrounded by elephants in Hwange and the bungee jump at Victoria Falls! We saw lions kills, cheetahs, giraffes drinking and herds of buffalo. Beautiful birds and “pumbas” everywhere. We saw all the animals we had hoped to see and all came home agreeing it was the best family holiday we have done.