From: Brian and Christine
Sent: 24 May 2006 12:12 PM
Subject: Trip to Kruger National Park
We expect you have spoken to Keith about our trip and hopefully he
enjoyed it as much as we did. Keith is one of the nicest people you
could wish to meet and once again he made the trip for us.
The choice of lodges was excellent, especially as the quality improved
through out the holiday. The locations also ensured that we saw a wide
variety of wild life, much of which we were able to photograph. We are
still using film and have sent our slides off for processing. Once we
have been through them we'll scan some in to send to you. We did
exceptionally well with Lions. We also saw Leopards on 3 separate
occasions, though not in positions that we could photograph.
We also saw plenty of birds. Both Christine and I thoroughly enjoyed
our 2 sessions in the hide at Skukuza, especially the second time when
the Hippos put on a bit of a show.
Keith has probably mentioned to you that I developed a bit of a cough.
I think I picked something up on the flight from London. It didn't
spoil any part of the trip for Christine or me and we hope it didn't
spoil it for Keith. Unfortunately, it deteriorated when we went to Mala
Mala. It was probably the dust in the open top vehicles and the flight
home more or less finished me off. I'm now off work with bronchitis but
hope to return next week.
Mala Mala was something else. Probably a bit over the top for Christine
and me, though you do get very well looked after.
We saw Leopard on the first drive on Tuesday afternoon and the last
drive on Thursday. On Tuesday we had a male dragging an Impala kill
towards a tree. We saw the same male on Thursday but he was stalking
some more Impala and didn't stay still for too long. We also saw a
female Cheetah with 2 fully grown cubs, but the light was too bad for
any decent shots.
On Wednesday we came upon a group of Lions on a male Kudu kill, though
getting decent shots was difficult as one of the females positioned
herself in an awkward spot.
Well that's about all for now other than to thank you once again for
arranging a truly memorable trip.
We are thinking about going to Namibia next year and would welcome any
thoughts you may have.
Keith also mentioned that you had to have an operation whilst we were in
SA. We both hope that it was successful and that you are now fully
With kind regards,
Christine and Brian
Sent: Sun 2005/08/07 07:15 PM
Hi Jeremy -
I just wanted to say thanks for arranging a nice trip for us! The whole group enjoyed it. And Keith was a first-rate guide.
We really enjoyed the Oyster Box - a good location! Thanks for recommending it. Your experience organizing trips really was helpful.
We really enjoyed the wildlife at Hluhluwe. The one in our group who skipped the morning walk was rewarded by seeing 7 wild dogs! And the whole group was lucky enough to watch the 100+ herd of elephants make their way across the park. Just awesome!
We didn't see quite as much wildlife at Ithala, but we loved the scenery and the opportunities to hike up near the lodge.
Overall it was a great experience!
Sent: Thu 2005/07/28 08:48 PM
Just a line to thank you very much for the Safari and to say how pleased we were with Keith.
You have a good guy with Keith, in a couple of years we will be coming back so i will get in touch again. Our only moan is Durban nice people but not safe. Thanks once again.
Sent: Tue 2005/07/12 06:38 AM
What a great holiday we have just had!!!
It was a wonderful experience in terms of what we saw, what we learnt from our guides and the local people and the way they looked after us. From the moment we were picked up at Cape Town airport till we left Dulini Lodge everything was great. There was always someone to greet us whether at the airport, river crossing or camp. We were truly looked after.
What was also great was the range of experiences. Okavango seemed to us to be in the middle of no where and activities were water based, Moremi was land based, Victoria Falls and white water rafting down the Zambezi was awesome and Kruger though closer to the city was vast and inspiring. To finish with the luxury of Dulini was perfect. We were fortunate to be the only 4 at the lodge. To be able to be so close to the animals was unbelievable. In all three camps our guides and drivers were excellent. They were very knowledgeable and eagerly imparted their knowledge to us. In our two days driving ourselves around Kruger we appreciated just how good the guides were spotting animals – its hard work but thrilling when you see something.
We have come home with hundred of photos and even more great memories.
Thank you so much for all your advice, and patience during our planning, and for putting together such a great holiday for us. You live in a lovely part of the world and we are delighted to have been able to share it.
Sent: Wed 2005/05/04 08:53 AM
I just wanted to let you know that Kath and I had a fantastic time. We thought that everything run very smoothly and that the accomodation and food and transport were great. As for Keith, he is a real assett to your company and a brilliant guide. We cannot speak highly enough of him!!!He really couldn't do enough for us...Thank - you, and when you either speak or see him again please Thank him profusley again for all that he did for us and all of his trained animals were great!
Once again thanks for everyting and we have recommended Far and Wild to everyone that we know so hopefully you will get some business from us.
Sent: Wed 2005/04/27 12:57 PM
I have been asked by our party to thank you and particularly our guide for the wonderful experience we had on our safari in April.
We were very impressed by the smooth running of all out trips on the days, the knowledge and friendliness of our guide.
Thank you for making our trip to Africa very enjoyable and memorable.
Sent: Thu 2005/04/21 11:06 PM
We had a brilliant time - the camp was great and Bongoni and Elliot were marvellous.
We are returning to South Africa in October and would like to stay at Nselweni again. Provisional dates are Thursday 20th October for 3 nights.
We would be looking at possibly 6 people staying again. Could you give me an indication of cost? One of the party is an OAP - does that make her eligible for a discount?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Sent: Fri 2005/04/08 01:58 PM
Thanks to you we had two very good 'breaks' in South Africa, which alleviated the stress of moving furniture and clearing storage etc.
I am sending you a few, hopefully constructive, comments. Despite these observations we still had a very good time and are extremely thankful that you did all these bookings for us, but in future we might ask you to look elsewhere.
If I had the contact details I would write directly to the Parks Board, but maybe you could forward my comments?
Hilltop Camp, Hluhluwe is showing signs of wear and tear. Our cottage, 38, needs to be thoroughly cleaned. The carpets felt sticky underfoot, as did the cupboard doors. The second bedroom smelled strongly of urine on the carpets and the bed. The overhead fan in the second bedroom could not be used as it makes a loud noise and the fan blades wobble so violently it looks unsafe. The bathroom attached to the first bedroom was adapted for disabled and most handles, pulls etc looked very poor quality and rusty.
The receptionist, although helpful, needs a few lessons in Marketing. The Parks Board might think they have a monopoly on Game Parks, but they do not and visitors cannot be blamed for looking elsewhere. We arrived at 15 minutes to 1pm as did 2 other parties. We were asked, by the Receptionist, to wait until 1pm to check in. At 1pm one of the other parties again approached the receptionist to check in and she said to him - OK, I am only supposed to check you in at 2pm, but I don't want you all hanging around in here so I'll check you in now. The said other party looked distinctly put out!
Didima Lodge is breathtaking in its location but again lacks the finesse of a top class establishment and cannot cater for long distance travellers arriving early. We arrived at 11am in order to enjoy as much time in the Berg as possible - again rooms can only be accessed at 2pm even if they are ready. My husband and son took the opportunity to start off on their walk as soon as we arrived and I thought I would have a rest (after the stress of our Durban furniture clearing experience) only to find I would have to sit in the main foyer. After a while I felt so embarrassingly sleepy, that I decided to sit in the car, but there is no where to park a car in the shade and the car was like an oven, so that didn't work. During this time I watched our cottage (25) and no cleaner went near it, so it must have been ready when we arrived.
When I eventually gained access to the cottage I found that there was no water in the washbasin in the main bathroom. Also the wardrobes in the main bedroom were very damp and soggy with water leaking from the adjoining shower. There are signs everywhere about saving water, but no one came to look at the geyser overflow which was pouring out a constant flow of water into the garden. The evening meal was only adequate. The dishes on the set menu were not properly described and "Drakensberg Trout" proved to be smothered in pepper sauce disguising the fresh taste of trout.
Jeremy, we took most of these problems in our stride - saying 'Oh, Parks Board', as having lived in SA all our lives we expect a different standard.
But I don't think Parks Board should charge tariffs that belie the higher standards concomitant with these tariffs.
I smiled at the traditional greeting of 'How are you? - I am fine - How are you?' and wondered what would have happened if I told them how I really felt!
Once again, thank you for all your help - I have and will continue to recommend your service to other travellers to SA.
Dave and Anne Larkan
Sent: Mon 2005/03/21 05:57 PM
Just a note to say what a brilliant time we had on our safari in Kruger.
What a fantastic experience!
Many thanks for all the work you put in to arrange it all.
Very Best Regards
Sent: Sun 2005/03/06 08:17 PM
Jeremy - thought i'd drop you a line to tell you how much we enjoyed the safari. it was far more comprehensive than we had realised from your e-mail.
And Peter was a marvel - so knowledgable and committed to esnuring that we enjoyed ourselves - and we certainly did.
We shall definitely recommend your company to anyone visiting SA in the future.
Sent: Tue 2005/02/15 10:03 AM
Morning Jeremy, fist tiime to have a chance to say we had a great trip to RSA. many thanks for all the bookings and guidance. we saw a far and wild landrover at itala so not alone...had a quick stop at ladysmith for the air conditioned anglo boer museum, traded our last night at hilltop for a rondevaal at st lucia, saw hippo on the way. should by any chance you get a communication re refund from hilltop/charters creek please donate to the charters creek sight as they 'got the animals before the rangers had been trained' and so it wasn't possible to walk or take a drive and they need a lot of support there. all good wishes, liz statham
Sent: Tue 2005/02/08 03:33 PM
Now we are back to the artic. Thank you for all your efforts. The trip was a success. Everything you arranged went very smoothly (everything else as well) and fulfilled our expectations. I did see hunting dogs in Umfolozi (four of them resting on a riverbank - great!). Thonga beach was very good (the beach is fantastic - we did not see a single person for a hole day) but I think they must improve their food. At that price you expect seafood and game but you get chicken and rather poor fish.
I think a trip like the one we did would attract the Scandinavian market, especially now when Thailand is down. There are already quite a lot of charter to South Africa but mostly to Kruger and The Garden route. You should give it a try. One way is to contact the big Scandinavian Charter companies and offer them to be their local partner.
If you want help let me know.
Regards from Klas and Kicki.
Sent: Fri 2005/01/21 04:22 PM
Ah, yes, friend, you are settled securely within our hearts as well.
Our adventures together are comfortable, fun, and as you say, stimulating.
It takes just the mention of Africa to excite our thoughts of another trip.
It is so very far and so very expensive. Otherwise, we would be on your doorstep every year.
By now you know the gift book was really whimsical and directed to you and your daughter and your fantasy project. Something silly is useful to fill in all the serious parts of a day, don't you think?
Children - no matter how old they become - are a never ending project and presence in our lives. You and Lana are wonderful, loving and supportive parents. Your son and daughter are fortunate, indeed, to have you on their side. It is very obvious you love them dearly.
We had a busy year with family. We had two weddings: Doug's younger son, Nathan, wed in August in New Jersey. And Doug's younger daughter, Abigail, wed in October in New York. That called for two long drives from our home in Michigan. On the August trip we combined the celebration with a stop at Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania. We went for a ten pm moonlight “owl” walk with a ranger and a small group, using only the moon for illumination. I was at first distressed to discover we were the only folks to show up without a flashlight. And then relieved when the ranger told them all to turn off the flashlights. It was interesting to sit quietly on top of a small mountain rise and listen to the night sounds. He identified the owls by their calls. We didn't have to worry about lions and other beasties.
In December we flew to California to have Christmas with my brother. Then we drove to Utah and arranged to sell a piece of property out there before we flew home.
We are making some life changes.
We plan to either sell or close our store by June. It has been open for 8 years and, frankly, I am bored with it. We need something new to feel challenged . . . don't know what yet.
Also, we have had two houses the past five years. Our house of 40 years in the city and a cottage on the river. We have decided to sell the city house and move permanently to the river house. We love it there. The river is at our front door and the big freighters pass back and forth. There are birds and ducks and a huge state park near by. But that means disposing of all that 'stuff' collected over the years that fills every nook and cranny of the house. A huge undertaking that makes me want to crawl under the bed and hide. We hope to put it up for sale by summer.
The move means we will be doing some remodeling of the cottage house to make it a more permanent year around house. Should be fun and there is no hurry. We plan to add a bedroom and that means there will be a place for you to stay when you come to visit us in America.
Our President Bush was sworn in yesterday for the second term. He is a very good and strong and inspired man. We think very highly of him and we thank God that he is our leader in these difficult times. The media is dominated by the Left and perhaps you hear only negative stories about him. Don't believe them. He is much beloved by our country's citizens. He is from Texas and so we got out our Texas cowboy hats and wore them yesterday in celebration of his inauguration. You do remember how funny we can be. Sending a picture along that will give you a smile.
Have you ever contacted the cruise lines to offer your services on day trips for the passengers? Wonder if that would be worthwhile. Loved seeing our pictures on your website. Dough suggests you put the city and state below the names on the comments page. Grosse Pointe, Michigan is meaningful to people. You may even put our email if someone decides to contact us directly. And the email of other happy clients – with their permission, of course.
We think of you often, Jeremy, and love you dearly.
Beverly and Dough
Sent: Mon 2005/01/17 02:33 PM
We are back in Holland and we would like to thank you very very much for the reservations you have made us in Hilltop Camp. It was really wonderfull. When we arrived there was a biog buffalo in our backgarden, which came back every morning we stayed there. During the first game drive we have seen the BIG 5 !!! Excellent!.
Many many thanks, we have enjoyed our stay in your beautiful country very very much. If we get the chance we will surely return to South Africa again!
Thanks and kind regards,
Ron & Gerrie van Duij
Sent: Mon 2005/01/10 07:12 PM
Thank you for handling that transaction, I was rather at a loss for how else to get funds to her. Yes, I will just make advance payments on her credit card, and her lodging and transport are already paid for so it will mostly be just some meals and odds and ends.
Please extend my thanks to your wife for her kindness to Suzy. And of course thanks to you for your extra help and support, above and beyond the call of duty. I know Suzy has had a wonderful time which she will remember the rest of her life.
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 8:28 AM
Well, we have finally arrived back from our trip to Africa and as we imagined it was an amazing place. To say it was spiritual would be an understatement as we were all moved very much by its beauty and drama.
Firstly, I would like to pass on a heartfelt thanks to you from all of us for helping put the Safari trip together - your suggestions were spot on! I believe I speak for our group when I say the Safari exceeded all our expectations.
From the moment we landed in Botswana we were looked after impeccably by the very good people at Chiefs. Their professionalism and service was outstanding but even more impressive was their warmth and good spirits which made our trip that much better. The wildlife we were told is world class and we agree – Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Zebra, Giraffe, Impala, Water Buffalo and many more, and that was just in the FIRST 24 hours! The General Manager of Chiefs, Matt was a wonderful host as was our guide, Comic as they certainly left a wonderful impression on all of us. The camp itself was beautiful and we could not have asked for anything more (maybe air-con for our American friends who had just come out of a North American winter..haha). On the first morning of our stay were awakened (I believe we were all awake by the sounds of the delta anyway) to see a Lion and Water Buffalo ‘standoff’ some 50 metres from the camp…unbelievable! And we thought they were joking when they warned us of the Lions around the camp!!! From there it just got better….Lion Cubs, wonderful food and spectacular scenery.
After two days at Chiefs we were almost sad to leave but we knew Baines would be exceptional as well (The previous GM of Chiefs was now at Baines). Our flights with Safari air were good and HOT (middle of the day) but I knew we were in good hands as the pilots were from New Zealand and Australia. The flight between Chiefs and Baines was spectacular for game – flying at 1000 feet we must have counted about 20-40 Elephant plus many Giraffe.
Once we arrived at Baines we were met by our guide, Martin (great sense of humour and very cheeky – he pretended to get lost!) who finally got us to camp where we were greeted by some wonderful singing by the camp staff – just beautiful! Craig, the GM was a great lad and was full of good stories and information – his walk through Safari was a highlight, Sarah was sticking to him like glue as he was the only one with an Elephant Gun!!! I’m not sure if you have seen the camp, as it is new, but it is stunning – the main part of the camp is situated on a hippo pond and the view is simply breathtaking. The private lodgings which flow on from a raised boardwalk make it very personal and each offers a piece of scenery which is very inviting - I imagine that when the camp has settled in after a number of years it will be one of the best. One of the highlights on the whole trip would have to have been our first encounter with a Leopard. It almost seemed surreal as Martin asked us what we would like to see next (Leopard was the cry as our team of seasoned Safari travellers had seen everything else?), sure enough we get the call and off we go to ‘Spot a Leopard’. We encounter our first ‘traffic jam’ in Botswana (two other trucks from Stanley’s) and push, shove, mow, barrage and plough our way through thickets, trees and bush to finally come face to face with a stunning female Leopard (we came so close that Martin said it was the closest for him – 4-5 feet and even to the point we nearly ran over the poor girl as one of our Safari experts suggested!). For me it was a highlight, a Cat that has it all, beauty, power and speed and of course very hard to see. Of course this story gets better when we were able to see two more the next day! Another first for Martin (or he was just pulling our leg).
Both camps were everything we hoped for and thanks again for dealing with the many emails I sent you over the past year. I know Sarah and I will always cherish the trip and to be quite honest we can’t wait to go back!
Anyway Amor I could write on and on as we all have much to say.
I will be putting a slide show together and will post it on the internet very shortly, I will copy you. There are some amazing photos.
Sent: Sat 2005/01/08 08:56 PM
Jeremy we had a great time thanks.
Doing 3 parks ensured we saw everything:
Hlhuhluwe = Great for closeup Rhinos & giraffes. Hilltop Camp is beautifully located.
Pilanesberg = Elephants (we got stuck in a big herd indecisive about x-ing the road) MalaMala = Leopards (saw 3 different ones up close) and an after-dusk impala kill by a pack of 9 lions.
This made up for no Rhino there. Kirkman's land is incredubly lush - not cheetah territory.
Kirkman's was in fact only half full over New Year = car+ranger to ourselves. A very comfortable camp.
Throw in the cheetah we went to see at both DeWildt and Spier and we were very happy.
Thanks for the arrangements. I've never spent this much on a holiday before but I have no regrets.
Thanks for agreeing to chase the flight refund - however I thought I'd save you acting as mailbox so I send
the tickets straight to your travel agents for them to process. The
important thing apparently was informing SAA which I did the day before our flights. No rush.
Sent: Thu 2004/12/23 08:44 AM
I just wanted to wish you and Lana a Merry Christmas. I can't believe it has been over four years since my mom and I took our safari with you. It is still so vivid in my memory.
I saw the last half of a movie last week. The movie was called Askari. Have you heard of it? I believe it was actually filmed in South Africa and it was even supposed to take place there.
It was a 2003 movie and our TV guide says this about the movie:"Warm family tale of an orphaned teen who goes to Africa to live with her aunt." It was great to see a movie about your neck of the woods.
Due to lack of funds, I will be out of a job at the end of the year.
If my boss is able to get more funding, she will re-hire me. It is such a shame. We just moved into a brand new lab last December and we have several state of art mass specs and I am the only one who knows how to run them.
I hope your company is doing well. Have you been out on any tours recently? I hope all your family had a good 2004.
My Great Dane turns four next month. Even though he is 155 lbs, he still thinks he is a puppy. My mom is doing well. We are headed out tomorrow to spend Christmas with the rest of the family down at the beach.
Sent: Fri 2004/12/03 10:57 AM
Had a great time Jeremy I have got a new sun hat now do not need the old one thanks anyway take care and say hi to Peter.
Sent: Mon 2004/11/29 11:03 PM
We are back home safe and sound.
This is to thank you for arranging a wonderful trip for us. We really appreciate the planning, the thinking and care you have taken for each and every part of our trip. I have to admit that before we started the trip I had little idea about where and what we would visit and see. I trusted in you . Now that we learned more about the region I can realize that you have put much thinking and planning into the trip. My trust was definitely well placed.
Thank you too for selecting two excellent guides , Ray for the first part of our Lesotho visit and Keith for the entire trip. Ray brought an enthusiasm and love for Lesotho and its nature. He was the ever lasting optimist. It was fun to be with Ray. As to Keith, he is a true and dependable professional, very knowledgeable and very capable. As we spent more time with him, we began to appreciate more and more his outstanding qualities. My wife and I both enjoyed discussing with him all subjects, especially those relating to South Africa, the regions we were visiting and many historical backgrounds. If we were to do another trip in his area of coverage we would be very happy to be in his company again.
Other remarks I wish to share with you are:
Lesotho is a hidden jewel. The mountains are extra-ordinarily beautiful.
Each time we climbed a pass we were struck with awe at the beauty of the scenery. Pass after pass and mountain range after another. Totally unspoiled. The people were kind, smiling and seemed to be hard working. At no time did we feel threatened or in danger. The lodges where we stayed were nice and comfortable, except perhaps for the Katse Lodge which was just ok. The food was like home made. It is a real shame that not many people know about Lesotho. I for one will give our travel agent in Switzerland a good brief and will encourage him to recommend a tour of Lesotho to his clients .
The various places where we stayed in the Drakensberg area were also excellent. We loved in particular our stay at Didima Lodge and Montusi Moutain Lodge. It was unfortunate that the Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge had no water and was run down. We do understand why you had selected it originally. The location is perhaps one of the most spectacular. But regrettably it seems that its management had run it down over time. Anyway, we thank you for taking immediate action to relocate us for the second night to a more suitable place.
We really have little to critique. It was fun overall and as one says.....all is well that ends well. Thanks again for all your help. We hope to stay in touch.
Elisabeth and Fouad
Sent: Sun 2004/11/14 08:27 PM
Just to let you know that we had a great time at Hilltop and Shakaland - apart from the weather.
Thanks for arranging them.
Sent: Tue 2004/11/09 10:47 AM
Good morning Jeremy,
We are back home again, safe and sound.
Everything we agreed went well, for which I thank you.
The only accommodation that was not to our expectations was: Mkuze.
The watertaps, the warmwater, the bath ,the outside watersinck ,it was not working well.
We filled in the sercice level enquiry, so hopefull they do something with that.
Jo & Ria Sol
Sent: Tue 2004/11/02 01:41 PM
Back at work here - Its a chilly 11C. Really enjoyed my trip in Imfolozi and SA in general. Will be back next year - maybe June and November.
Thanks for organising everything at your end.
BTW the ranger Ian said he went to school with you.
Thanks again & regards
Sent: Tue 2004/10/26 10:56 PM
I just wanted to say thanks for your excellent work with this safari booking, everything went perfectly! Well done. I look forward to booking with you again in the future.
All the best,
Sent: Sun 2004/10/24 03:37 PM
Just to let you know that we have arrived home after a wonderful 3 weeks.
The safari you set up for us was excellant and I cant fault any of it.
Keith was very helpful and informative and certainly knew his stuff.
We were able to find plenty of animals, although the cats eluded us but I gather from others that this was a problem for them too. However this didnt mar anything.
We thourgherly enjoyed being driven about and this took a lot off us, in not having to worry where we were heading.
Keith was a very good guide and companion for the 7 days. We felt quite spolit having him to ourselves.
The weather was good apart from 1 day in Cape Town.
All the accommadtion was very good and so was the food, I'm sure ive put on pounds.
We really enjoyed the drive via the garden route and found by staying 2 nights most places it gave us a chance to settle and get a good feel of the area.
The whole area is beautiful.
We saw loads of whales at hermanus, but the shraks eluded us as the weather was quite windy and the boats werent going out. never mind.
I cant believe how quickly the holiday went by and we are now back in cold , rainy weather.
I would just like to say thank you for all you did in making it a wonderful holiday.
A big thank you to keith for an excellant first week.
Gail and richard
Sent: Fri 2004/10/08 09:38 PM
We have returned.
First, the trip was superb and I want to thank you for your professional arrangements and especially working out the details of Warwick and the KZN tour.
Everything was professional.
2. Also I have not had a chance to review the details of the itinerary and the charges for each segment, but a cursory glance at selected items attract my attention. For example, as I indicated to Warwick, my documentation seems to indicate that we paid twice for the JNB>Londolozi flight. Don't address that yet, as I want to go over the entire trip, and look at each segment again. I will follow up with you on this.
3. Perhaps Warwick has already indicated that we would like to make a contribution, in Warwicks name, to the Environmental organization that he (and you) support.
If this makes sense, I will need to know the name of the individual to whom I will send any documentation etc. Warwick indicated that you could help in this area.
4. The left front mirror on the Avis Polo was damaged during the time we rented it. I left them (Avis) a note so indicating when I turned the car in at the Vinyard.
That's it for the moment.
Sent: Thu 2004/09/09 08:45 PM
Just a note to thank you and Dean for making my recent photogs tour work so flawlessly. Your very professional approach is very comforting especially in dealing with my own tailored style of working with photographers. I look forward to working with you again.
This week I had the kidney stone problem sorted out - not an exercise I want to repeat in a hurry - and after a brief bit of contract photographic work this month it's off to the US for Virginia in The Fall.
With regard to future visits to your neck of the woods I have several ideas at planning stage as well as repeating this recent successful one. With specialist photographers like Des Drury and Alec Jones I would like to spend extra time in places where they can concentrate on close-up work like Tembe elephants.
Anyway must end off here. Let me know if you want anything brought back from the US. Hope the Landrover problems are now sorted out....
Best regards - Mike
Sent: Tue 2004/08/31 10:05 AM
Now back in England and dreading the beginning of term and hordes of unruly British teenagers! SA is truly God's country, I must return soon. Thank you so much for arranging our fantastic safari at such short notice, we truly had the experience of a lifetime. I am recommending you to everyone who asks.
The one (very slightly) sour note, which I didn't mention when we saw you in Durban, was our host in St Lucia. The accommodation was wonderful, the food excellent and his wife charming, but he has a very unfortunate manner and embarrassed my entire family with a number of quite offensive racist remarks which he seemed to think were for our amusement. I thought you should know - we were polite, but would not want to stay there again! St Lucia itself was wonderful, though, and a brilliant coda to the journey.
All the best once again
Sent: Sat 2004/08/21 06:40 PM
sorry it has taken me so long to contact you, but this week we have both got back to our working routine.
Thank you for organising another great Holiday for us.
The views and walking around Blyde River Canyon were great as was the sunshine. Kruger - although we saw lots of animals, I don't think we would visit the National Park again. Most camps reminded us of a F1 race at 05.30 a.m. waiting fo r the camp gates to open, with the exception of Berg en Dal. Our wilderness trail was not a patch on the one we done at Umfolozi, unfortunately our ranger although interesting, I think he was "trailed out".
Kirkmans Camp at Sabie was fantastic and worth every penny also would recommend Walkerson's at Dullstroom.
Still we really enjoyed it all
will be in touch soon
Many thanks again
Sent: Tue 2004/08/17 10:07 PM
Well, thank you - they both had a great holiday and all the reservations were fine!
They were amazed at how cold it was - they both wished they had taken gloves, scarves, hats and even ski-jackets - especially for the morning and evening game drives. We all thought that Africa was permanently hot! Obviously not!
It was raining and misty when they arrived and, sitting on the terrace of the hotel, they couldn't even see Table Mountain. They never got up it but they did get to the bottom of the cable car which was high and still had a very nice view.
They went out to Cape Point and saw lots of baboons. They went out on a whale watch - apparently most boats are allowed to motor only to within 200m but their boat (presumably because it was the most expensive in
town) was allowed to motor to within 50m. Anyway, having found some whales and approached to 50m, the whales then swam to within 12 feet, so they were very lucky (fin whales, I think!)
They went into Shark Alley and saw some Great Whites - Sam said that they swam under the boat.
They went to an ostrich farm where Sam rode on an ostrich - we have a video of him falling off. We also have a video of him standing on a termites mound.
I can't remember what they did at Knysna - I think they didn't do much - I probably didn't prepare them well enough.
They had an excellent time at Sanbona - the park has two widely separated groups of lion and, most, most unusually, they saw both in one day and, as an extra, they saw four lion stalking some springbok. They saw cheetah and kudu and everything else apart from the black rhino.
That park had four but one of them had killed the other three. They have to find him and take him out but they can't find him - only the spores. Sanbona had a dramatic storm last year (?) which flooded their lake which then broke the dam and largely drained the lake - so that part of it wasn't so good. They said the dam and the lake would take at least five years to re-build/fill.
They ate very well including crocodile, ostrich and kudu at least.
They also felt that they tried to do too much and to drive far too far.
The roads, albeit very well signposted (UK motorway standards) were dirt roads and very slow. They found themselves driving for hours and hours which screwed up the timing. For example, when they arrived at the entrance to Sanbona, it took them an hour to get from the gates to the centre!
So, all in all, a very successful holiday and thanks for your help!
Sent: Fri 2004/08/13 04:41 PM
We have just returned from our stay in SA/Mauritius and want to thank you for sorting out our stay at Phinda some three weeks ago.
We had a fabulous time and took a total of 1000 photographs ! (Thanks God for digital).
I will not fail to contact you next time we come out (Easter 2005 ?) as this time we will be thinking about lots of hippos in Botswana.
Many thanks for looking after so well.
Sent: Mon 2004/08/02 06:00 PM
I have just returned to the Lodge after a visit to the U.S. and I discovered something while there that you may find interesting.
As I was cleaning our files (to make room for more paper!) I came across an exchange of e-mails between us that went back to April of 1997. I was then putting a trip together for the two friends who came to Isandlwana with me for the first look-see at this sight.
I found you on the internet, then asked for some suggestions which you kindly gave. After all was said and done, I didn't use you to book the trip, but I did make this notation, "Try to use them next time. Jeremy was very nice to me."
It didn't occur to me when we first met that we had corresponded before but I do remember that your name was familiar. Now I know why.
Trust your business has been good. We are, hopefully, seeing a little pickup in bookings at this time. The short-lead time is making me nervous. I like to look months ahead and see some significant bookings!
Let us know if we can do anything for you in this area.
Sent: Tue 2004/06/29 06:08 PM
Yves and I wanted to let you know that our safari with Far and Wild was
fantastic, truly a trip of a lifetime. The most outstanding part of the
experience was being guided by Keith. His knowledge of wildlife and history was amazing and we had many great conversations about South Africa. We came home very well informed, relaxed and with many great memories.
In terms of venues, the variety of locations, ecosystems and lodge experiences made for an interesting trip. Of the four lodges, Amakhosi stands out. The combination of excellent food, a beautiful setting, first class service and great game viewing made it difficult to leave. I would highly recommend this lodge to others and I would go back in a flash.
The accommodation at African Ambience in St. Lucia was good as well, although we were a bit surprised at the amount of our bar bill when we left the next morning. They were very generous with the bar service but the costs could have been made more transparent! In retrospect, I think it would have been better to proceed directly to Hilltop rather than stay the night in St. Lucia.
The experience at Kosi Forest Lodge was a welcome change of pace from game viewing. The atmosphere there was very informal, relaxed and intimate, especially at night with the kerosene lamps, candles and fire and great conversations with the other guests. We ended up doing a boat trip in the lake system rather than the 4-wheel drive excursion that you had originally arranged. It seemed like a more relaxing option and we certainly had great views of the fish traps. The canoe trip was okay and we opted not to do another activity on the morning we left. I would recommend this lodge as a good place to relax but not for its activities/game viewing.
We had the same issue at Kosi that we did at St. Lucia with our bar bill.
Costs were not made clear up front nor was there any obvious accounting of what we consumed, especially on the excursions. We ended up with a large bar bill at the end that was not itemized. After two days we could not remember exactly what we had consumed and did not want to make an issue of it, so paid. However we thought we should let you know in case you use this lodge again. (When we got to Amakhosi, we made sure we knew exactly what the situation was vis-a-vis drinks....in turned out that everything was included, including a very well-stocked mini bar in our room!)
My husband left a rain jacket at Kosi Forest Lodge. We tried to contact the lodge when we were at Amakhosi but could only get through to a central reservation system. Do you have a local number or address for the lodge so we can contact them about the jacket?
Thank you again for arranging such a wonderful trip for us. We would love to come back some day...
Sent: Fri 2004/06/25 06:44 PM
Thank you for the kind words. :)
> [Original Message]
> From: Far & Wild Safaris - Jeremy Williamson
> Date: 6/25/2004 8:56:31 AM
> Subject: Re: In Passing
> Good morning Dawn
> Thank you for sharing the loss of Shaka with me. I so admire what you
have done and
> for what you do. There has to be so much that will follow from the
exposure of your
> cause that was made possible by him.
> Keep in touch. There have been so many changes here within our Park
> here's hoping that it is all going to turn out to be positive and
beneficial to our wildlife.
> Ezemvel KZN Wildlife Honorary Officers Regional co-ordinator, Zululand
Sent: Wed 2004/06/23 05:17 AM
It is my sad duty to let you all know that our precious cheetah Shaka died today. Thank God that he died naturally and with people he loved around him. And my hope is that in death, just as in life, he can teach researchers so mething more about the rare and unusual diseases that plague cheetahs. His sister Zulu has never been alone without her brother, but she apparently knew that something was not right and is not burdened as we humans are with the emotional grie f that we put ourselves through. She is doing fine.
Shaka was always "my boy", as I often called him. Zulu is sweet as can be and everyone loves her for it. But Shaka could be challenging at times and I felt so privileged to be selected by him for comfort. When he wa s a cub he was more skittish than his sister, maybe he felt it was his responsibility to be big and strong, and she was always in tow, letting big brother worry about the monsters. When he was scared as a youngster, I would just open my arms wide and call to him and often he would rush into them, purring loudly. Momma made it okay. And as an adult, magnificent predator, he still would soften his wide eyed fear when he'd see me anywhere with my arms outstretched to him and I woul d hear the rumble of his purr get louder.
As my Dad said to me just yesterday, when an animal looks at you like that, like you are their savior, it is like being touched by the hand of God. I will never forget it. I will never forget him. He will always live on in the les sons he taught us about cheetah health, and in the funds that he raised for cheetah conservation in the wild, and most importantly in the hearts of all the many people that looked into those beautiful eyes and felt as if they too were touched by the hand of God.
Goodbye my Sweet Boy. I will see you again.
Sent: Wed 2004/06/16 10:46 PM
Jeremy, I'm back in the US now after my Africa vacation. I had a fabulous time in South Africa, especially at Singita Boulders. That lodge was possibly the best place that I've ever stayed in. The room, staff, food, scenery ...everything was first class. AND, I saw all the Big 5 within the first two safari rides. It was all quite exciting.
Thanks for making the reservation arrangements painless.
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 11:22 PM
Just wanted to thank you again for making our trip to S. Africa as interesting and fun as possible. Feel free to use our names as references, any time!
Things have been hectic since our return. Dina had her pole vaulting... which she performed well... but not well enough to medal. Then Dina & younger sister Jamie had their dance recitals. Frankie is now home from college, and she needed my help getting summer employment. She found a great job choreographing shows for a local performing arts camp. This past weekend was big family time, Memorial Day. Now things should get back to "normal".
Hope all's well with you... and that your wife is not working such long hours/days.
Sent: Sun 2004/04/18 07:56 PM
Just a note to tell you that we haven't fallen off the edge of the earth, even though it has been five years since last we saw you (April 1999). We think of our trip to South Africa -- Durban, Hluhluwe, Kruger, the Zulu battlefields -- with a great deal of fondness, much of it due to your care.
Since then, Patty and I have gotten all of the kids out of college and out of the house. Of the kids who took the trip with us, Ginny has gotten married and John has become a veterinary doctor and plans to get married this fall.
I keep looking for your photo book "Butt, of course" and have not found it, not even on Amazon.com.
Drop us a note and let us know how life is treating you. Your wee one should be out of the house as well.
John L Dyer
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Who is - Jeremy
Wallace Williamson sole owner of Far and Wild Safaris cc
Born in Durban in 1948 to third generation settlers,
originally from Great Britain.Brought up on farms in the Natal midlands and Zululand.
Here I learnt to speak Zulu and to understand the people and their ways.
This environment nurtured my love for our wildlife.Educated and Matriculated in Durban and furthered my
studies in Zoology and Botany in Pietermaritzburg.Married since 1974 with three children.An avid book collector I maintain a library on all material
pertaining to the fauna, flora and peoples of the sub-region, primarily
as a study aid. This collection is continually being added to along
with a photographic slide library. This, along with my photographs,
used primarily for various educational presentations.During the 1980's I was invited by the Bureau of Natural
Resources, Department of Nature Conservation, now the (KZ-N Nature Conservation
Services) to assist their conservation and cultural efforts as an honorary
officer. I worked primarily in northern KwaZulu-Natal (Maputaland) and
the Drakensberg regions.Spent four years on the Exco committee of Natal Hunters
and Game Conservation Assn. receiving their 'Hunters Proficiency Award'.1995 Joined the Natal Parks Board Honorary Officers
in the Durban, Inland Unit, joining the committee soon after and becoming
CEO of the unit during 1996.
Chairman of Hluhluwe Honorary Officers Group as of 1999 to 2002. Appointed
in 2002 as Co-ordinator Zululand of the Honorary Officer Organisation.
Resigned October 2006.Member of the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Local Board for
ther Hluhluwe |Imfolozi Park for 5 years 2000.
Longstanding member of various wildlife and ornithological
Began extended touring of southern Africa in the early
1980's, taking friends and acquaintances on tours into the wildlife
/ protected areas of KwaZulu-Natal, the Kruger
National Park. and other regions within South Africa. These tours
increased in popularity to the point that I was requested to guide safaris
to many southern African wildlife destinations. As the political climate
changed so the tours visited Botswana, Zimbabwe, then later Zambia and Malawi . Guided
tours were usually preceded by trips to the area with my family in order
to research the potential and to gain local knowledge. This way of life
culminated in the formalising of my tour guiding operation and the formation
of African Wilderness Tours cc in 1991 with an associate of mine.Far and Wild Safaris cc was registered in 1993 where I am the sole member and this Close
Corporation is my primary safari tour operation.Registered as a National Tour guide in both Nature and
Culture at NQF Level 4. KZN 083 by THETARegistered by THETA as a National Guide assessor
# WIL107CQualified by SATOUR as a specialist >Wildlife=
and specialist >Kruger National Park= guide.Member of KWAZulu-Natal South Field Guides Assn of South
Africa local comittee 2004 - 5. FGASA Level 2 qualificationQualified in SCUBA as a Master
Diver, having dived extensively off our local shores as well as the
Seychelles and Madagascar with trips to British Colombia and in the
Mediterranean off Spain, the Greek Isles and Turkey.We presently have a number of SATourism registered tour
guides used on a regular basis. We are members of the South African
Tourism Services Association, Durban Africa and the Battlefields
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Code of Conduct
Far and Wild Safaris cc operates with the highest integrity within all aspects of its business
We are proud of
our providing personal attention whilst showing some of the finest South
Africa has to offer. Our professional guides will take you to exotic
destinations, where your every expectation will be met. From the unique
wildlife, culture to our fantastic scenery.
Our team facilitates
regular safaris from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, into the wild
areas of South Africa. We will transport you in a luxury vehicle or
mini-bus, throughout the country, to explore this fascinating environment
. The emphasis of our safaris is to provide an holistic experience in
both the natural and or cultural environments.
utilise the services of SATourism THETA registered specialist tour guides
with further input from associates. All with many years of experience
in the African bush so that you and your party are able to get the most
out of this African experience. Our guides have
expert knowledge of the principal protected areas of the region where
we focus our game viewing.
We wish to
promote ecotourism by bringing together peoples from all walks of life
to develop in them a better understanding of themselves and their environmental
heritage. To nurture a spirit of adventure whilst respecting our conservation
ethics and to provide an enlightening, participatory travel experience
to environments both natural and cultural, that contributes to the sustainable
use of these environments. Whilst respecting the integrity of the host
communities, produces economic opportunities that contribute to the
long term conservation of the resource base and reinforces the concept
that conservation can bring meaningful benefits.
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