I think the overall trip was just about as good as it gets – well organised, very stress-free, the best of accommodation, wonderful people, fantastic food, a very comprehensive view of Africa, and lots of animals.

Got some amazing photos and videos of animals – elephants, buffalo, lion, rhino, leopard, plus the migration in Serengeti, wild dogs in Savute, lots at Okavango Delta, lots at Ngorongoro Crater. We did not see cheetahs and only saw 15 flamingos about 300 metres way on the lake at Ngorongoro Crater. On the plus side, we saw the big five, five times.

Camps and Lodges – They were all top-flight places – outstanding places to stay and beautifully presented. And, all different.

All places had great people. At all we were met by a welcoming committee comprising most, if not all, the management and staff. Then we were allocated a personal driver, a personal butler, a personal housekeeper and others to assist. We felt mildly embarrassed, but enjoyed the attention and the high level of service.

Food – What can I say? It was fantastic wherever we went. Excellent quality and lots of it. Do you have a good diet for returned travellers?

Zara’s Birthday was a highlight. Bateleur had heard of the birthday coming up and sang and gave her a cake even though it wasn’t yet her birthday. Then, on her birthday, Ngorongoro were fantastic. They sang at 6.00 am as we departed for an early game drive, they gave her beautiful beads when we returned at 3.00 pm and they sang and had a cake at dinner. They both deserve credit.

In addition to the animals we saw more of Africa than expected and that was a highlight. From travelling by road from Joburg to Kruger (a partly scary urban area, smog and ugly countryside for 2 hours, then attractive rural areas for 2 hours, then bush and scenic attractions for 2 hours), to driving between lodges and airports (densely populated rural areas with poor living conditions, people walking from nowhere to nowhere, and small towns with roadside traders), to flying in small planes low over intervening spaces (our road trips seen from the air, but with greater depth), to visiting a Masai Village (traditional values and norms that are hard to comprehend and some hard to accept) to a tour of Soweto (how the other half lives) to a visit to the Apartheid Museum (such injustices), we learnt a lot.

This tour was was practically seamless, as we were always met by someone, transferred to our destination, picked up and delivered back. Much of this was undertaken by & Beyond. This company performed faultlessly. I don’t think we have ever been able to say that before. They need to be commended. To illustrate the point. At Nairobi we were met on the tarmac, ushered to a private minivan, taken to a side entrance, helped to fill in our visa applications and to proceed through customs, then taken to the street where another van picked us up to take us to the second airport to catch an onward flight. This exceeded our wildest expectations.

An outstanding tour. Once again, thank you for organising this trip!