“If you want to see the world, I’d recommend doing a Barefoot in Africa safari last. Once you’ve experienced it, you won’t want to spend your holidays anywhere else…”
Gus (Stanthorpe, Qld)
It was such a great feeling to come away from a holiday with knowing I was actually helping someone, with Barefoot in Africa, Michael gave me the opportunity to interact with the local people on a level that meant something. Seeing the happiness that the children and adults have, without what we take for granted was the highlight of the trip and handing over the donations we took to the teachers and students was one of the best moments of my life and a moment I will never forget, the dancing and singing was infectious.
The animal viewing was superb, and the game drives always seemed to turn up something new and exciting at every turn. Michaels passion and knowledge of Africa shone through and along with the friendly and informative guides meant I learnt so much could feel the excitement from guides that genuinely enjoyed what they do. Definitely a safari with a conscience.
Karyn Steele, Brisbane (2012)
I had the most amazing experience on the Barefoot in Africa safari! From the very first moment we set foot in the country it was a once in a lifetime adventure. My favorite part was connecting with the people at Humani Ranch in Zimbabwe. It felt like being so much more than a tourist – it felt like being a part of the community. I expected the animal viewing to be fantastic and I was not disappointed. We were more up close and personal than I ever imagined being. Lying in bed at night and hearing lions roar and other animals at work and play was incredible. Michael and his team are just amazing…I have never been so well looked after. He even made time for me to talk to my dad in the U.S. on his birthday! If you are thinking about it…JUST GO!
Shannon, Texas USA (2012)
Barefoot in Africa provided us with an exhilarating and genuine African experience. We didn’t want to be crammed in the back of a bus for a week with an uninterested guide – thankfully we got the opposite. Our week was led by down to earth and passionate guides who were keen to share their extensive knowledge of the environment. Their experience enabled fantastic up close wildlife viewing. On top of all of this made friendships we will never forget – what more can you ask for!
Claire & Kim, Hobart (2012)
I was lucky enough to be able to join a Barefoot in Africa safari during at the end of September (2012) and what a wonderful, magical experience it was ! From our visit to Soweto and being able to see the history and hardships endured to the hope engendered by the hard work currently underway, then on to Zimbabwe where we travelled to the Save Conservancy where we spent the most memorable of times at Humani.
I lost my heart in Humani due to the beautiful people that I was privileged to be able to spend time with both at the school & whilst visiting some of the community, and also the stunning wildlife and actually being able to walk up close to a magnificent white rhino – all in the same day !! It was absolutely what dreams are made of ! Then it was a very sad farewell to Zimbabwe and on to the next stage of our adventures into South Africa where again we was able to walk close to rhino, witness a battle for dominance by two of the bulls one night ( a rare and awesome sight indeed) . The following evening we witnessed that amazing leopard sighting at sunset, combined with charging buffalo & a shooting star streaking across the heavens all at the same instant – it was pure magic and totally breathtaking !!
Michael Jeh was a wonderful host & guide for us all and his attentiveness to our enjoyment and wellbeing, as well as his knowledge & close affinity with the local people & wildlife, made it such a incredible & unique experience that will live in my heart always ! Going Barefoot in Africa with Michael Jeh is an unforgettable and wonderful adventure which I definitely want to experience again, and again…….
Colleen (Hunter Valley, NSW)
After the tour in Sept-Oct 2012 with Barefoot in Africa and Michael Jeh I now know where my heart is. Humani was the highlight for me, meeting the children, parents, teachers and all the staff from the Save Conservancy. This part of the tour would not have been a success without the support of sponsors Qantas, Crocs, Ferny Grove State School and also the handmade beanies, which were all received with spontaneous song and dance. Learning to’ijuguja’ (move your hips), who said the big white women couldn’t dance! Our guides from start to finish were a wealth of information on ecology, animals and the weather. There were times we could have reached out and touched elephant, giraffe, hyena and let’s not forget seeing a leopard chased by cape buffalo at dusk. The wildlife also liked to surprise us appearing from nowhere. Well done Michael, if anyone wants to learn to live again I would recommend they go Barefoot in Africa.
Peter Olliver, Brisbane (2012)
Your attention to detail and personal touch made this a truly authentic and unique way to experience the South African game parks and the treasures on offer. The moment with the leopard and the buffalo was the stuff of dreams. To be so close to something as majestic as that leopard sent shivers up my spine and will stay with me forever. I am still blown away by the knowledge displayed by the Barefoot guides and their understanding of the behaviour of the animals and identifying what type and which direction they were going. Getting that close to the elephants made me think I could nearly see what they were thinking. The photographs of the sleep in his eye has pride and place on my wall.
Darren & Deb, Emerald, Queensland (2012)
Barefoot in Africa put together a sensational group and a safety-conscious, well balanced, value- for- money itinerary for our safari. It was filled with stunning locations, adventure, creature comforts, entertainment, flexibility and not to mention variety (we saw over 70 species in 2 weeks).
Traveling with Michael Jeh is a highlight, his knowledge of the wildlife, passion for the African land and compassion for its people is both deep and infectious. I would jump at the chance to do it all again!
Vanessa Allen, Cronulla (2012)
As a first-timer to Africa, I could not have asked for a more amazing holiday. The format of the tour and the group was fantastic - game drives, walks and interacting with the local villagers and children, not to mention our own group made for a truly unique experience! I cannot speak highly enough of Michael’s ability as our guide, not only to impart his knowledge of all things Africa, but to be intuitive and attentive to the group. If you are considering going walkabout in Africa, I can thoroughly recommend going “Barefoot!”
Tracey W, Cronulla, NSW
Going where other tours can’t and getting close enough to get the heart really pumping. This tour is like no other, allowing you to get out of the truck and track animals on foot! Hennie and Michael are the most passionate and knowledgeable tour guides I’ve ever experienced, further adding to our enjoyment on the safari. Despite being on foot they still maintained complete control allowing you to feel completely safe.
The accommodation and food is also first class, allowing you to experience unique South African food in safe and comfortable surroundings. I would recommend this safari to everyone and can’t wait to go back.
Edward M (Macksville, NSW)
I am not sure exactly what it is I miss the most: the incredible clear skies; the amazing wildlife; the smiles of the locals who greeted us wherever we went; or the group of fellow travellers who all felt like family by the end of the trip. Whatever it was that made the trip so special the cherry on top was always your guidance and incredible knowledge about all things African, and the generous nature and good humour with which you shared it throughout the trip.
Chantal L – Sydney (2012)
Been on two trips with Barefoot in Africa and already looking forward to my next one. It was brilliant! In between getting really, really close to the animals and feeling that “short of breath” sensation, we spent the rest of the time short of breath through laughing! Hennie and Michael are great hosts and there’s no doubting their passion for wildlife. It’s hard not to get caught up in their enthusiasm. I’ve been on many safaris and I’ve enjoyed them all but with these guys, the knowledge and understanding of the animals is taken to a whole new level.
The standard of food and accommodation is exactly what you want in the middle of the jungle. Simple luxuries and you don’t feel like you’re in a city hotel. Spent most of our time taking the mickey out of Hennie but when it’s time to get serious around dangerous animals, he switches on and we felt totally safe. Loved the chance to track animals using our own skills and no one laughed too loudly when I went in the opposite direction to the buffalo we were tracking! Had that real “let down” feeling when I got back to England but that’s just made me keener to jump on a plane and do it all again. Thanks guys.
Richard D. (Kingsland, England)
Our time with Barefoot in Africa was nothing short of spectacular. Nestled on the banks of the Olifant river is amazing accommodation where the wildlife is literally only a stones throw away. Our guides Michael and Hennie were excellent hosts, with the guided walking safaris providing a unique personal experience unlike anything else that I experienced during my travels throughout eastern and southern Africa. We learnt not only to track wild animals by sound, footprints, droppings and smell but also how to survive in the wild using the landscape and foliage to our advantage, in what they like to call their “Game ranger” experience. Having such vastly experienced rangers like Hennie leading the group made me feel comfortable and safe at all times. In between the morning walks and evening game drives there is plenty of time for relaxation to soak up the surroundings and watch the elephants and other wild animals head down to the water for a drink. I would like to thank Michael & Hennie and the staff for all their efforts in making this as personal and memorable experience as possible. I would recommend this unique trip to anyone and will surely be back for more.
Sam C. (Bellingen, NSW)
We travelled throughout South Eastern Africa from the Serengeti to Kruger but the Barefoot in Africa experience was something unique! You don’t just drive around in a truck pointing at animals from afar. You actually get down on the ground with experienced rangers who teach you about the art of bush survival and tracking. The rush you get when pushing through the trees to see the family of elephants you have been on the trail of for the last hour is like nothing else. The hospitality and accommodation at the lodge were also excellent, not to mention the excitement of being woken up to witness lionesses on the hunt run past the fence not 50m away. If you want to get up close and personal with the real African wild, this is where to do it!
Scott C. (Boonah, Qld)
It was a great family holiday. The accommodation was luxurious- hot water, fans or air-conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities, laundry facilities. Awesome experience – would highly recommend going to South Africa and visiting not just Kruger National Park but some of the private game parks as well.
We were able to get very close to a rhino (within 10 metres) and a giraffe while tracking them on foot. The game drives were exciting especially when one day we were surrounded by 3 lionesses and 4 cubs. Breathtaking scenery most notably around waterholes. We were speechless when a young inquisitive elephant decided to wander up to the jeep and sniff the tracker – the vehicle was very quickly put into reverse gear!!
Anthony & Rachel C. (Brisbane)
Best overseas holiday ever! The accommodation was fantastic. The food was great, especially the all- you-can-eat buffets. Riding in an open jeep with the fresh air in your face and seeing a leopard 5 metres away is an experience you cannot get anywhere else.
Aidan aged 15, (Brisbane)
There are some excellent TV documentaries on African wildlife, but it doesn’t really prepare you for being face to face with a rhinoceros. That was our experience when we casually switched off the jeep engine and rolled into the path of 4 rhinos. And that … was only the beginning!
This rhino experience was topped off later in the safari, when we stalked a mother and calf… on foot!!!
Having our guide (Hennie) bleating like a distressed buffalo calf, as we track down hyena, on our way to Hyena’s Den, is not something I expected to be doing in the bushlands of South Africa either. It was excellent!
I must say that we felt safe! Super human maybe, but safe! Hennie explained everything exceptionally well… what we might expect (but in reality, it was always far more than we expected), what we needed to do if things went wrong, and everything we wanted to know about the African environment. Our kids now have a lifetime of short stories for English assessments, and we all have plenty of material for “show & tell”.
The luxurious accommodation was amidst varying settings and it was breathtaking to watch Nyala antelope grazing from our balcony.
The kids enjoyed lounging in the spa amongst the bushes.
The food was delicious, sometimes elaborate and sometimes simple and tasty.
Hennie, your baboti was scrumptious, and sampling South African cuisine and game was sheer pleasure. With all the eating, no wonder the gym became so popular!
Particularly special was the time of conversation with Hennie sharing about life in South Africa – going off the tourist beaten track. Hearing nightmare material, scary stories on the one hand, and side-splitting hilarious episodes on the other, made for many hours of entertainment. Stand up comedy for no extra charge!!
Thank you Michael, and Hennie, for a fantastic holiday! We won’t forget!
Peter & Joanna G. (Brisbane)
I went on safari with Hennie/Michael in 2009. I have been on many overseas trips over the last 20 years and this was by far the most invigorating, exciting, tantalizing holiday I have been on, this can be confirmed by my 2000+ photos (all of them great ones), and my eagerness to tell anyone who will listen, about the trip.
Hennie took us out on many walks in the bush, protecting us with his rifle, but more importantly, his 25 years of ranger experience and passion.
He took us down the river past the bathing Hippos, hungry crocs and screaming Baboons, pointing out the different tracks of each animal, including Lion tracks, and that was only the start of each walk. Each day was a real adventure; we closed in on herds of Elephants, Buffalos and passed the curious Giraffes.
We had a magical day in “The Garden of Eden,” as Hennie described it. The five of us sat on top of a huge boulder and watched, in complete silence, as a herd of buffalo, decorated by an array of birds on their backs, led by 3 Giraffes, walked up the river towards us. On the other side of the river from us were some elephants shading under a tree, with a pod of Hippos on the sand bank in between the elephants and us. The Buffalo casually crossed the river in front of us, pushing the Hippos off their sand bank, and carried on up the river without care of the Crocodile swimming around in the river near them. It was great to be out in the bush without hoards of other people around to scare the animals away, we were the only humans in the area.
Another absolutely fantastic experience was at camp. During our sunset beer, we sat and watched as a herd of Buffalo plodded through the 7 foot grass to settle down for a nap on the sand bank a few metres from our table (and behind the camp fence). It looked like about 100 buffalo settled down with us, and the mother and baby Hippo grazing on the grass closer to our fence made the experience even more surreal. As Hennie said as he went to bed that night, “I’ve never seen that before. “
We were truly gifted with our experiences every day. I’m running out of space here, so I don’t have time to go into our sightings of the pride of Lions we saw attack and bring down a Buffalo, or the Leopard that walked in front of our truck one night, or the Hyenas stalking around the lions’ catch, not to mention zebras, eagles, oh yeah the stampeding Elephants was an experience, and many other animals I can’t remember the names of. I could keep writing on and on about my trip, but I have other things to do this week.
It was an absolutely fantastic, surreal, adrenalin pumping, exciting adventure, without a doubt.
Did I mention Hennie also cooks a great braai (BBQ)?
Peter W. (Noosa, Qld)
Been to Africa twice, both times with Barefoot. Fabulous trip. My family are sick of my photos and videos but bad luck – they’re having it!
Wasn’t really sure what to expect first time but in between the laughter and mutual insults exchanged, we saw some amazing things. Lion killing buffalo in front of us, charged by elephants, crossed a river with huge crocs nearby, circled by buffalo herd. Never felt unsafe but always felt an adrenalin rush. Both Hennie and Michael know their stuff but they don’t ram it down your throat. Felt like we learned something new every day.
It’s not the sort of holiday where you just sit back and relax by the pool though. If you go with these guys, make the most of the chance to do things that normal safari tourists don’t get to do. Spoke to loads of other African travellers and their stories were nothing like what we experienced. You get plenty of time to enjoy the food and the lodges which were top notch. Can’t relax on country roads in England now because I’m always looking out for elephants or rhino! Haven’t seen one yet but still looking…..
Duncan P. (Leominster, England)