by Tamlin Wightman on December 13, 2012
4 min read

It’s always great to hear back from our clients after they’ve returned home from their magical African adventures.

Read what Brad & Debbie Baumgarten from America had to say about their latest safari, which included Cape Town, Vic Falls, Botswana, the Sabi Sand and Mozambique, organised by our super consultant Bianca Johnstone.

Dear Bianca,

Now that we are (sadly) back in the U.S., I wanted to email you a summation of our trip.

In short, it was magical, the best trip we’ve ever taken and everything we could have possibly hoped for from our African honeymoon. It would be hard for us to give less than 5 stars to any aspect of our trip, every lodge or hotel you booked for us was better than the previous one, and that was hard because each one we stayed at was as nice as any place we’ve stayed in our life. We’ve stayed in some luxurious hotels in the past, but when the luxury is in the bush, in the middle of nowhere looking over the Okavango Delta or overlooking the Sabi River, the luxury seems even more opulent juxtaposed against the wilderness.


2inn1, Cape Town

2inn1 Kensington [in Cape Town] was a wonderful decision. They bring new meaning to “concierge service” the way they take care of your tickets, dinner reservations, and taxis, and they do it without you having to get up from breakfast. I don’t think the service could have been better at a huge 5 star hotel because their service is so personal.

Royal Chundu Island Villa

Royal Chundu Island Villa – photo from Royal Chundu

Royal Chundu [on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls] is beautiful and the Island Lodge was spectacular. The showers and outdoor bathtub were the highlights of the accommodation and the sundowner cruise on the river was gorgeous. I would also highly recommend the lunch on Livingstone Island and the swim in Devil’s Pool.

Xudum [in the Okavango Delta of Botswana] was spectacular and the luxury in an area so remote was incredible. The upstairs viewing deck at our cabin was a great place to read and relax between game drives and the ranger we had was absolutely top notch.

Lion Sands [in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve in Kruger, South Africa] was probably our favorite place of the trip (though honestly, that is a really really hard choice because we loved every spot). The Ivory Lodge was absolutely spectacular and it was also the lodge that we thought had the best food.

Lion Sands

Sundowners at Lion Sands – photo from Lion Sands

The game viewing at Lion Sands, which I actually expected to be better in Botswana, was spectacular here – 2 month old lion cubs first time ever seeing a vehicle, a big alpha male lion (our first and only of the trip) marking his territory and roaring, a hyena den with pups, and mating leopards (even a ranger told us he’d only seen this twice in 3 years at the lodge) were above and beyond the already normally incredible game viewing.

 Azura (Bazaruto) [Mozambique] was gorgeous and we loved that too. A perfect way to end the trip. The beach and the Indian Ocean is gorgeous, the way they serve meals on the beach and in your “sala” and elsewhere is romantic, and the snorkelling was great (and the fishing was almost great… if I’d been able to reel in the big one I was fighting). The Butler was also adorable.

Azura Villa

Looking out at the plunge pool of Azura… – photo from Azura

Everything in between was handled beautifully as well. We barely had to think when it came to transfers–people just told us when to be ready to go and they took us to the next spot.  The transfer from Zambia to Botswana was an adventure with 3 pass-offs from truck to boat to truck to airport and it all went smoothly. And even when we ran into the one little hiccup of the trip, losing the day at Azura because the plane couldn’t land at Nelspruit because of the fog, you and Federal Air really took care of us and made a difficult situation as painless as possible.


Beautiful Bazaruto…

Honestly, the trip was so fantastic that my wife was literally crying the last day when we had to go home.  I hope you’ll share this email with the owner of your company as I want him to hear what a great job you did.  I would not hesitate to recommend you and Icon Expeditions/Rhino Africa to other people here in the U.S. and would be happy to be a reference for you should you have a potential customer that wants to hear from a satisfied customer in the U.S.

We’ve both been bitten by the Africa bug and can’t wait to come back. We think our next adventure might be the migration or primate viewing! Thank you so much for making our honeymoon something we’ll never forget,

Brad & Debbie Baumgarten