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)
We have just returned from an amazing 7 night Safari of Kruger National Park as a family with our 16 and 14 yr old sons. We can’t believe how fortunate we were to have chosen to travel with Michael Jeh of ‘Barefoot In Africa’. The mere thought of organising a trip to South Africa freaked us all out initially but after our first conversation with Michael it was evident that our ‘dream trip’ could easily become reality. After focussing on our interests, Michael set about handling all logistical items including flights, accommodation and all the other (too hard basket) items that would have frightened us off going on this trip. Michael’s organisation and communication put us at total ease leading up to the trip. We soon learnt that no question was too silly to ask – We could text, ring or email (even after 6pm and on weekends!!) and get almost an instant response. We weren’t talking to someone in the call centre of a big company with limited office hours and days of the week!!
The exciting part of the trip started at Johannesburg airport and having Michael by our side to navigate our way out of the airport to our vehicle was so reassuring and it was time to get to the real action! We had 5 nights in various Kruger NP Rest Camps which were brilliantly set up with well- appointed dining / restaurant facilities and the comfort of the accommodation was fantastic. Michael did a great job of selecting which camps we stayed at based on his knowledge of the landscape which allowed us to get a great appreciation of the diversity of this beautiful area.
We were so excited to bounce of bed each morning and have Michael take us on our morning Game Drives – no big crowds and busses – just our family with prime viewing of all the amazing wildlife of Kruger NP. Seeing the wildlife was great BUT having Michael share his knowledge about the animals and the environment is what really made an impression on us. We were learning about the animals and their relationships with each other, the environment and the people. Michael wasn’t talking at us or making announcements, he was talking to us and sharing all his passion and knowledge with us. He had teenagers and adults alike engaged in questioning, laughing, learning and marvelling at so much more than just the Big 5 sightings. This is what made the sightings so great.
Mind you, we saw all members of the Big 5 over the 7 days and due to Michael’s expert driving and route selection we were fortunate enough to see members of the Big 5 on every single drive we went on! We enjoyed our afternoon drives also and all our day trips to interesting locations – all the time seeing wildlife everywhere!
Our Safari ended with 2 nights at the spectacular and luxurious lodge in the renowned Sabi Sands Reserve. It was a great way to finish the trip with many spectacular sightings (including 2 separate Leopards up trees eating their dinner!). We wished we could have had more nights on Safari as it was an unbelievable experience.
Michael organised great accommodation for us in Johannesburg and 3 nights in Cape Town.
We have no hesitation in declaring our 7 night Safari with Michael as our most memorable family holiday yet. We feel absolutely privileged to have had Michael as our guide and friend on this trip. If were the ‘Travel Guides’, we would easily rate our South African holiday as 5 stars out of 5.
Thank you Michael for a superb trip.
The Galvin Family, Toowoomba, July 2019
Wild animals; dawn and twilight safari drives; modern apartheid history; BOMA culinary experiences and stunning Victoria Falls – our family holiday through South Africa and Zimbabwe is one of our most enjoyable and memorable overseas trips ever! Thanks to Michael Jeh, Founder/Director of ‘Barefoot in Africa’ and qualified safari guide, our trip was personalised, escorted, safe and truly authentic. With teenage daughters and busy lives, this connecting with nature and the simple life was perfect (and a tick on the bucket list).”
McCarthy family, Brisbane, December 2018
We have recently returned from an unbelievably successful safari in South Africa and Namibia. The success of this tour was due sole to the expertise of our tour organiser and guide Michael Jeh. His organisational skills could not be faulted nor could his knowledge of the wildlife that lived within these Reserves.
Owing to years of experience in this field, he is fully aware of the effect that humans and the environment play in the life of these animals and birds. This experience is critical when it comes to ensuring that the activity of these animals and birds can be viewed by his clients. This experience allowed us to observe the Big Five at close range in their natural habitat. A myriad of other animals and birds were observed, in particular the rare Southern Ground Hornbill and the Black Rhinoceros, both having low population numbers. If you want the experience of a lifetime we would sincerely recommend Barefoot in Africa.
John and Marlen, Brisbane, May 2017
We were a group of 4 (2 couples) who had an absolute unforgettable safari with Michael from Barefoot in Africa. We couldn’t think of any other person to show us the magic of Kruger. We can’t stop sharing our stories with friends and family.
From the early days of planning our trip we all were on the same page with what sort of safari we wanted and when we met Michael he was able to put all our ideas together and come up with one amazing itinerary. We loved everything about our safari from cruising in the vehicle spotting the animals, we were lucky to see at least one of the big five daily, to singing along to groovy songs. Michael’s knowledge and expertise made our trip so easy, from navigating Kruger (and surrounds) accommodation options, places to visit as well as learning about the animals.
Our trip was planned to perfection the only thing I would change would be making it longer. We look forward to planning another safari sometime soon. Donna & Karen, Perth, Oct 2016
We are 4 friends (2 couples) who had always had a trip to South Africa to experience a safari on our bucket list. It was clear from the moment Michael started talking about Africa that he has a deep love and passion for the animals, the land and the people. We gelled with Michael right away and knew that he would be a great person to take us on our dream adventure.
Michael organised the entire trip – during the 12 months lead up time to the trip Michael was in regular contact with us to ensure he was on the right track with what we wanted – there really was very little for us to do. We had a range of accommodation in both public and private camps in and around Kruger National Park and a variety of safari experiences from touring in our van, open truck drives and a walking safari. We had so many amazing animal sightings and interactions – including at least 1 of the big 5 every day – and learnt so much. Michael was great fun, very experienced and always had our safety in mind. Spending 10 days with someone in such close contact can be sometimes difficult but with Michael it was just so easy – it was like having another best friend on safari with us.
Michael really gave us an experience of a life time – he understood what we wanted and certainly delivered. Would we go on safari again with Michael? In a heart beat. If you do decide to book with Barefoot in Africa you will not regret your decision as we couldn’t recommend Michael highly enough. Liane & Sally, Perth (Oct 2016)
If you are looking to take a trip to Africa that’s not just a holiday but a life changing experience than I highly recommend Barefoot in Africa. Going on safari with Michael was like being let in on an intimate secret from the country herself. Sure we saw heaps of animals (at least one of the ‘big five’ everyday) and we stayed in loads of great places (half the adventure was where we were staying each night) but it was more than that. Michael has a connection with Africa and he’s happy to share it with anyone willing to open their heart and enjoy the moment. His extensive knowledge of the wildlife and his tracking skills meant we not only got terrific animal photo opportunities but learnt about their behaviour and environment too. Michael’s love of Africa isn’t just for her beasts and landscape but extends also to her people and it’s obvious by his interactions with the locals that this love is reciprocated. On returning home I am able reflect on the most amazing two weeks where I was able to totally immerse myself in an interactive safari lifestyle. From the age of 10 the seed of an African adventure was planted in my heart, this holiday brought the dream into full bloom. Thank you Michael.
Lisa F, Maleny, Qld (April 2016). PS – Lisa returned again for another safari with Barefoot in May 2017
Africa is a magnificent place; a must do on the bucket list of many. So when you do visit – go with Michael Jeh of Barefoot in Africa. Why? Because he will show you the people and animals of the continent, explaining them in such a way that you not only see them but you feel them too. Barefoot in Africa provided the framework for me to change the lives of African orphans in clear and tangible ways; those smiles will simultaneously tug your heartstrings and make your spirit soar. You’ll see amazing creatures, know the name, what it eats; what eats it, and every possible quirk about it before any self drive tourist has even opened their field guide.
My husband, children and I were guided through the African wilderness, from place to place without the hassle of holiday logistics like navigating, planning arrival or departure times and lodge check in. Michael provided all the info I needed from what to pack through to what I could expect at our next destination to keep us safe and ensure we enjoyed the best experience possible. All I needed to do was open my eyes, my mind and my heart.
Vanessa Bradley, Brisbane, Sept 2015
What an amazing experience! Apart from seeing all of the big 5 and many other incredible African animals we were looked after and entertained by a fantastic tour guide – Michael. From start to finish Michael was organised, professional, knowledgeable and fun to be around! We solved the problems of the sporting world as we drove through Kruger; debated issues of health, wellbeing, attitudes, racism, families and education!
This was more than a safari – this was a learning experience which has impacted on my life! The visit to the orphanage and the interaction with the children and staff there was very special. A real insight into the issues that are experienced in that country on a daily basis. Michael’s involvement in the support of this organisation is a credit to him. It is not possible to change the lives of all the people in the world who live like this, but he is making a genuine difference in the lives of those children!
Every day since returning to our reality back here in Perth I have reflected on the time in Africa – the rhythm of the days, the colours of the sunrises and sunsets, the feel of the dry African breezes, the people, the animals and the friendship that we now have with Michael. Truly a privilege to have shared that experience together!
Annie & Garth, Perth, July 2015
I wanted to drop you a very special “Thank You” for the way you organised and guided us on the safari into Kruger National Park. As you know, I have done two safaris in Africa previously, but the time with you was by far the best. The wild animals we encountered were just spectacular. The walk through Kruger was an experience I will never forget. I find myself proudly relating this experience to everyone who asks about the safari. Also, from a “value for money” perspective, the safari with you was outstanding. In comparison, my previous safaris cost two to three times the cost of yours.
More importantly, you went well above and beyond your role as organiser and guide to ensure that every detail of our trip went smoothly. I mentioned this because you sorted out a number of issues for me (and for other members of the safari) which really were well outside your role as guide. Thank you for all your assistance. I could imagine that without your experience with how things work in South Africa, I may still be trying to sort out some issues.
Finally, I thoroughly enjoyed spending the 8 days with you. Your knowledge of all things African, your calm and thoughtful approach to all things and your wonderful sense of humour made the whole trip simply delightful. There are so many incidences (just too many to list here) for which you rightfully deserve my sincere appreciation.
I have absolutely no reservation in recommending you and “Barefoot in Africa” to anyone thinking about going on safari in Africa. Anyone who goes “On Safari” with you will, like me, have the experience of a lifetime. Thanks again for the wonderful experience.
Steve Simpson, Sunshine Coast, March 2015
Have just (March 2015) spent the most wonderful week on safari in Kruger National Park with Barefoot in Africa and company owner / guide and now good friend, Michael Jeh.
First there was the planning – our trip was some time in planning with Sandra liaising with Michael, whom we were introduced tooby a mutual friend. To say that Michael conducted himself in a professional manner does not adequately portray his commitment to ensuring we had a successful safari, this included a visit to our home on Sunday, initially to formally introduce himself and to ascertain that what we were seeking from the safari matched his expectations and that he could deliver on these requirements. From here Michael simply organised everything while keeping us informed every step of the way. It was simply great service from someone we had only just meet, truly wonderful (above & beyond the service one would/could expect).
Our trip to South Africa commenced with one day in Johannesburg prior to our departure to Kruger. Michael had organised a full day in J’Burg for us including a guide for our group of six, tour included :-
Visit to the apartheid museum – spent two hours here and it could have been much longer – truly an eye opening way to start our visit to this wonderful yet troubled country.
Then onto Soweto including a tour of the township and a visit to the ‘Kliptown Youth Program” – http://www.kliptownyouthprogram.org.za experiencing the infectious nature of these children whom reside in the nearby shanties and the work that the program organisers deliver was awe inspiring. The kids have so little yet so much in terms of positive attitude. They produced a wonderful “gum boot” dance routine for us. Got to speak to a couple of the lads about the world game (football) & joked with them re what positions they played etc.
Further tour of the Soweto district including a drive down Vilakazi Street the only place in the world that has housed two Noble Peace Prize Winners.
Wow that was only the first day and we have yet to get to Kruger National Park.
Within an hour of entering Kruger National Park our group of seven (including Michael) had managed to see four of the big five – yes 60 mins into the week long safari. Could it get any better? You bet it could and it did!!!
As planned by Michael we slowly moved from Rest camp to Rest camp during the week, with game drives in the early morning and afternoons. Michael’s knowledge of the area and its inhabitants was outstanding and no request from us was too much for him.
Lions mating within 5 metres of the open top safari van was amazing – Simmo’s quote “well after that performance between the bed sheets , I don’t feel so inadequate myself’
Lions feeding on a buffalo kill – then watching the hyena’s move in with the vultures perched in the trees and roaming the ground nearby
Following a bull elephant in musth down road, sensing and smelling his agitated state, while feigning an attack on the van – all the time feeling extremely safe, given Michael’s knowledge.
Observing numerous Rhino’s – by themselves and in a crush (Group)
Watching elephant herds walk through the bush and then miraculously disappear
Being surrounded by a pack of 14 wild dogs – whom just emerged from the bushland after enjoying a meal (blood still fresh on their snouts) and the promptly parking themselves on the road in from of our vehicle – effectively saying we own this place and you guys can pass when we’re ready.
Completing a bush walk with two Park Rangers and seeing a massive Rhino less than 150 metres from you with nothing between you and the animal & then a similar experience with an elephant
Hippo’s fighting, following a leopard down the road on a sunset drive, giraffes drinking, baboons stealing misplaced food, birds of all kinds including ostriches
The accommodation within the rest camps as arranged by Michael exceeded our expectations for a trip of this nature and service provided by the friendly local staff could not be faulted.
A further highlight of the trip was a visit to an orphanage for abused children that Michael has an association with. Prior to visiting the orphanage we went shopping at a typical African supermarket for the birthday party (Steve’s birthday was the day before & it was a good excuse to throw the kids a party) – Seeing these kids and having the opportunity to share my birthday with them is not something that will ever be forgotten, as will be watching the joy on the kids’ faces during the party and then afterwards as they played with their new toys and when we played football with them.
I am sure I have missed a number of highlights – just so so many to remember. The opportunity that Michael afforded us in sharing his rather obvious passion for all things African was truly appreciated by myself and Sandra. As stated, Michael’s knowledge & passion is obvious for all to see – he treated us like life-time friends and not just clients, the jokes we shared with each other in the van will have to remain our secret. It is now our great pleasure that we call Michael a friend and would not hesitate to recommend his services to anyone remotely interested in an African Safari – just do it, you will not be disappointed.
Steve & Sandra Mainey, Brisbane, March 2015
Thanks again for providing us with wonderful and warm memories. If we could go back tomorrow we would! The rest of the holiday (Cape Town) was good but not as good as the first bit in Kruger. Thanks for showing us a great time and looking after us from start to finish.
The Harveys, Mackay, March 2015
We had a brilliant week with Michael in Kruger. His knowledge, local commitment and local contacts were evident from the start of the planning phase for our trip right through to the end. We experienced all the “must do” things plus the little extras that made the whole trip more enjoyable, rewarding and memorable.
So many animals, so close and such spectacular settings. Having local contacts to visit a youth center in Soweto and orphanage in Hazyview brought our whole African experience into context. The mix of National Park and Private Lodge accommodation was perfect and Elephant Whispers was the cream on the cake. I would recommend a Barefoot in Africa Safari to anyone.
Peter & Amanda, Brisbane, March 2015
Traveling with Barefoot in Africa is an opportunity to forever enrich your mind and soul with the truly beautiful sights and sounds of Africa. Michael will give you the opportunity to experience the true Africa if that is what you want. With his wealth of knowledge and wisdom to share he will immerse you into the very essence of what is Africa whether it be the wildlife, the people, or both, that drew you there. This is the third safari I have done with Michael and that says a lot in itself. I travel on my own and found the small group size wonderful. If you really want to have the experience of a lifetime, get in touch with Barefoot in Africa, you will keep wanting to go back. I did!
Kerrie M, Geelong, Victoria (Nov 2014)
It is so difficult to describe this extraordinary experience with words, especially a few words! This adventure opened up a whole new world for us! It gave us a glimpse into the heart and soul and spirit of Africa. You showed us your passion for Africa and that ignited the spark within us. We felt that spark grow daily and is still growing, even now, as we re-live it in our memory and photos. The Safari was breathtaking! It was magical! Seeing herds of elephants, impalas, buffalos, rhinos, thunders of hippos, dazzles of zebras, journeys of giraffes (Did I say that correctly?)…Ordinarily, this would have become tiresome after a couple of days, but it didn’t! We were never tired or bored! You, and the others, dazzled and intrigued us with stories and titbits about each animal’s habits of eating, breeding, parenting , “pooping”, surviving and dying in the wild. (We really enjoyed “the language of dung”! Didn’t know poop could reveal so much about an animal! ) And then there was the daily, unexpected treat! Seeing a leopard feasting on an impala in the tree or chasing a hare, catching it and lying down in the grass to feast on it right before our eyes or the up close and personal view of two, beautiful, huge, ferocious lions sleeping around a tree totally oblivious to us gawking at them in amazement and wonder and the countless other treats that seemed designed just for us. To say that every detail of this adventure was more than we could ever have imagined, would be an understatement! You orchestrated a symphony and played it to perfection! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! A thousand times and more, Thank you!
Mabel C – Houston, Texas USA (Oct 2013)
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)
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 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.
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 for a fantastic holiday! We won’t forget!
Peter & Joanna G. (Brisbane)
I went on safari with 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.
Michael took us out on many walks in the bush, protecting us with his rifle, but more importantly, his 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 we later 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.
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.
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)