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September 2022

East Africa Epic Excellence

This review may be as long as the wait for our pandemic postponed trip to East Africa, but I want to acknowledge everyone that made it so special. Ker Downey Africa team lead by Sarah Morris and Peter Pittendirgh took every request, wish and desire and designed and delivered the most wonderful luxury adventure, exceeding our every expectations.

Our driver greeted us upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro Airport and escorted us to Elewana’s Arusha Coffee Plantation Lodge for a good night’s rest after the long flights from the US. The next morning, we met Charmy, our Ker Downey Africa driver and guide, who was with us for two days. He took care of our every need from shopping to guiding our game drives through Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater. The two nights at Gibbs Farm were made special by the comfortable furnishings and nightly fires in the fireplace of our cozy cottage. The well prepared meals were fresh farm to table. A private dinner was prepared for us in celebration of our 45th wedding anniversary.

The flights to the Serengeti were flawless. Octavian, our Asilia Sayari Camp guide, met us upon arrival. He took us immediately on a personalized game drive before checking us in at the camp. Sayari Camp is a luxury tented safari lodging. Eric and the rest of the staff were friendly and attentive. We witnessed two wildebeest crossings of the Mara River, a true highlight.

Travel from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya is a little complicated. A small plane flight to motor coach. A drive to two immigration offices, followed by a motor coach ride to another small plane flight to Elewana’s Sand River Camp.

Sand River Camp is on the banks of the peaceful and tranquil Sand River. Outstanding game drives with our Masai guide, Alex. World class cuisine prepared by the kitchen staff for ever meal. Hot Air Balloon Safari delivered a awesome balloon ride over the Masai Mara. True highlight.

After leaving the Masai Mara, we overnighted at the Hemingway Nairobi, an outstanding property and Ker Downey Africa arranged a visit to the Sheldrick Wildlife Elephant Orphanage. If you are in Nairobi, this is a must see. An incredible conservation effort to rescue and care for the elephants orphaned by human wildlife conflict and drought.

We flew to Rwanda and were met by Eric, our driver and guide for our last three days of our trip. After a night’s stay in Kigali Serena Hotel, Eric drove us to Volcanoes National Park and The Singita Kwitonda Lodge. Kwitonda Lodge is probably the finest accommodations we have ever stayed. Rob and his staff provide a level of service second to none. Jonas, our personal attendant, took care of us 24 hours a day. The Gorilla trek was beyond words. We spent an hour plus with the “Igisha” family of over thirty gorillas, including five silverbacks.

The next day we trekked the Golden Monkeys. Again, a lifetime experience. The only regret was we only stay two nights at Singita Kwitonda Lodge.

William G, USA

September 2022

We are happy to refer you all! We had a fantastic experience! Words are inadequate to describe Tanzania. We had an amazing time. We feel so fortunate to end up having private game drives throughout the trip. Everyone was so knowledgeable and genuine. John/Schuma of Kaz Mara was a fantastic guide.

Our trip was full of delightful surprises. We look forward to seeing more of the continent soon-ish…in the next five years. Keep working with the good people you are working with and doing what you do! .

I am super interested in the behind the scenes coordination among all the people it takes to ensure a great experience. There are so many small companies that depend on each other. It is fascinating how collaborative you all must be to provide such a consistent, amazing experience!

Be in touch again soon! Thank you for the moving experience!!

Stephanie & Ed, USA

August 2022

Africa changed our lives

 

We booked our Travel through Ker & Downey Africa and they handled everything perfectly. We had never been on a Safari and we left our itinerary up to Ker & Downey. Sarah was our primary contact and she booked us at 3 different safari lodges to give us a sample of 3 different game reserves. Then we spent 4 days in Cape Town which was also magnificent. Rather than write all the details of the trip I will just leave you with two major thoughts that will hopefully address any concerns you might have about traveling to South Africa.

1. Don’t hesitate to use Ker & Downey Africa. Their service was absolutely perfect and we had no delays. They had someone meet us at the end of each flight and we had the best tour guide that one could have for Cape Town. We had a party of 5 people and everything went like clock work!
2. If you have ever considered a Safari but for what ever reason have not taken the step, DO IT!!! It truly changed our perceptions of South Africa and wildlife. The people were incredible and we had the opportunity to get up close to some amazing animals. Every scene had a story for example; watching a leopard guard it’s kill while also guarding it’s cub as a hyena circled the tree. Lions on a hunt for Impala. They were so close we could touch them. Elephants drinking out of our pool at one lodge. They were so close you could have touched them.

On and On!! Just GO and let Ker Downey Africa take care of the details. As they say, You Only Live Once so do a trip of a lifetime. We are already working on our next trip to beautiful Africa!!

Tom B, USA

September 2022

I got Ker & Downey Africa to arrange a 6 day safari for my wife and I in 2020 as part of a trip to South Africa. COVID killed that trip, but K&D Africa were fantastic in recovering or reserving all deposits for safari lodges and flights. We have just completed the rescheduled trip (Sep 2022), and everything went perfectly smoothly, and the lodges they recommended and booked were brilliant, both in terms of hospitality and game viewing. Apparently there were some hassles on a transfer, where industrial/protest action closed some park gates, but all this was handled to be virtually invisible to us. And I should add that in the course of booking other accommodation in South Africa, I came across direct booking access to the lodges we were in and got curious and did some sums – and allowing for the cost of road transfers, I found that the premium I paid for all this management was really quite marginal. In my situation, with the COVID cancellation and reschedule, it was a godsend to have an agent to handle the hassles for me. So I’d say use an agent to make things easy, and use this agent because they were brilliant.

Phil, USA

August 2022

Excellent company

 

I actually planned the trip in early 2020 before COVID became a pandemic and Jenieen worked with me to plan which areas would be best to fit our needs in terms of lodges and the animals we wanted to see.
After a couple postponements, Peter took over from Jenieen and answered MANY questions I asked from time to time while we waited to see if the trip would happen or not due to COVID. He was always gracious and fully answered me, which I appreciated.
The trip went exactly as they said, in terms of representatives meeting us from planes, tour guides arriving to pick us up, border crossings – it all went smoothly. We saw every animal on our list and some more we didn’t even think we would see. All the lodges that were arranged for us were wonderful and fit our needs perfectly. The staff at the lodges were great, the guides were great, the drivers were great.

Heather, USA

July 2022

High School Graduation Trip

 

Our 19 & 19 year old granddaughters chose a trip to Africa as their destination. They graduated June 2022 and we started planning the trip with Sarah a year before our departure. I have been to Africa many times before and really wanted to see the migration of the wildebeests in Tanzania to Kenya. So the trip was designed around that request. The girls wanted to see Giraffes and Hernias. We were successful and saw our requests. My husband is a photographer and he was able to shot wonderful pictures on our 11 day trip.

We were taken care of from the moment we landed to the time we had to say good bye to Africa.
We experienced 5 different camps and each one offered a different look at Africa.
Sarah and Peter were always available before our trip and had everything mapped out for us.
The transfers from camp to camp went very smoothly and we were always with a guide to help us with our luggage and get us to where we were going next.
The camps were able to take care of our dietary needs as one of our granddaughters is a vegetarian .
All in all our trip was a memory our granddaughters will always carry with them
As a side note I have used Ker & Downey 4 times now.

Teri, USA

July 2022

The entire team is professional and excellent in their work. Very thoughtful. Highly recommend!

 

Everyone in our family enjoyed this wonderfully planned trip very much. The Victoria Falls were magnificent; the safari was magical; the Cape Town was mesmerizing; the Babylonstoren Farm was masterfully built and maintained. We loved the cozy cottage and the food there was incredible. It is truly once in a life time trip. Many thanks to Ker & Downey® Africa team and especially Lauren and Gavin. Highly recommend and will talk again for our next Africa trip.

Yifeng USA

June 2022

We absolutely loved working with Ker & Downey® Africa who helped us book our travel in Cape Town and our safari in Botswana. They worked with us on our budget and put together the perfect itinerary for what we were looking for. The safari portion was the big highlight! They curated the most unbelievable lodges with amazing wildlife sightings. We were blown away by the staff, food, lodging, and professionalism. We 100% recommend Ker & Downey® Africa for your travel needs! They will not disappoint.

Daniel, USA

May 2022

Incredible Safari Experience!

 

We absolutely loved working with Ker & Downey who helped us book our travel in Cape Town and our safari in Botswana. They worked with us on our budget and put together the perfect itinerary for what we were looking for. The safari portion was the big highlight! They curated the most unbelievable lodges with amazing wildlife sightings. We were blown away by the staff, food, lodging, and professionalism. We 100% recommend Ker & Downey for your travel needs! They will not disappoint.

Stephanie, USA

February 2022

We absolutely LOVED our trip to South Africa

 

We absolutely LOVED our trip to South Africa, and have already recommended Ker & Downey Africa to two friends who’ve asked how we had such a wonderful experience. Our same group of 7 wants to return to Africa in 2024–perhaps somewhere we haven’t been (should be easy, we’ve only experienced Egypt, Kenya and South Africa)  and will be reaching out to you first for suggestions and then planning!  Thank you so much to your whole team for everything. We wouldn’t have changed a thing about our trip!

Britt, USA

November 2021

Outstanding

 

I can’t imagine planning a future trip to Africa without the help of Ker & Downey Africa! They did such a wonderful job arranging my 8-night itinerary in South Africa that included stays at three unique properties (they handpicked for me) and two internal flights. Knowing experts had planned my trip I was able to enjoy it without worrying about what could go wrong. Based on my experience I’m under the impression that they only work with the best properties and tour guides. As a travel journalist I’ve stayed at hundreds of hotels and lodges and have met hundreds of tour guides so I should know. I also appreciated the attention to detail that went into creating my itinerary as well as the constant communication. I even reached out to them one Saturday morning before 8 am and I got a reply within minutes! They also made themselves available to assist me with anything after my itinerary was over and I was enjoying an extra week in Cape Town. It would be an honor to travel with Ker & Downey again. If you have the opportunity to, definitely don’t hesitate

Katie, USA

October 2021

Wow! Wow! Wow!

 

Our trip to Zambia and South Africa was incredible! The team at Ker & Downey was amazing! They took care of every single detail. They were very easy to work with, answering all the questions we had, and jumping on zoom calls when we needed to. They checked in with us during our vacation to make sure everything was going well. I can’t recommend them enough – we felt totally pampered while we were in Africa. In particular, a big thank you to Sarah Morris, who put our amazing adventure together (not once, but 4 different times due to COVID), and Peter Pittendrigh, who had to do last minute hotel negotiations/tour changes, arranged for all of our required COVID tests, and made sure we were met at the airports. The team arranged for an early birthday at each of our destinations, which made the trip even more special. And Sarah took time to meet us in-person in Cape Town. The team at Ker & Downey made this a trip of a lifetime for us!

Robin S, USA

October 2021

Very attentive to our wishes and needs and very personable

 

Communication with Sarah Morris at Ker & Downey was extremely comfortable and helpful from the first time she contacted me. She arranged an itinerary for us according to our needs which fit perfectly and she adjusted for our feedback on the first suggested itinerary very well. The whole trip was a wonderful experience and very memorable in large part thanks to the good organisation and perfect choices for accommodation, transport and pace of trip. The whole team was attentive to us before and during the trip and made us feel very well taken care of. I could not recommend anyone better to organise a trip to Namibia.

Amira, Switzerland

October 2021

It really was our best trip ever!

 

We had the most wonderful time on our trip! It really was our best trip ever! You all took such good care of us while we were there. It was so nice to not have to worry about anything, e.g. where to get covid tests, would they be back on time, would we have trouble checking in for our flights in Johannesburg, can we see everything we want to see, etc. We had great experiences with all of the people we met, and that took care of us at Sussi & Chuma, Lukimbi, the wine country and Cape Town. Everyone was so warm and welcoming. We saw all the things, and more, that we wanted to see while we were in Africa.

Robin, USA

October 2021

Every aspect of the trip worked out well

 

For that matter the entire trip went well!!! Rwanda was indeed amazing & we are already talking about a future return trip 😊 And Singita Kwitonda….WOW!!!!

Every aspect of the trip worked out well…transport, lodges, guides, connections – everything! We felt comfortable the whole way through. In particular, our guide in Rwanda – Sibo – was fantastic. He was informative, kind, friendly and accommodating.

Scott, USA

September 2021

Unbelievable service and amazing hospitality

In short, if you are looking for safari planning, look no further! Ker and Downey Africa will not only deliver, they will exceed your expectations and take care of every single detail. We have just returned from a 14 day trip to South Africa which included Cape town as well as 6 day safari in the Greater Kruger area. Our travel agent Emma Perrin who planned our very first safari to Tanzania planned this trip for my 50th birthday with my husband almost 3 years ago, but due to Covid we had to push our trip to now. Her attention to detail and understanding of what we need is like no other. She knew exactly what we were looking for. In every single location, she got us the best deals she could find and our accommodations as well as safari trips were beyond our expectations. We stayed in multiple locations, and throughout the trip, Emma, Sarah and Peter stayed in touch with us via WhatsApp. Our son lost his passport 6 days into the trip, and Emma also helped us get him a new passport without really changing any of our plans, which was truly a miracle. Every single person we met on the trip left an impression on us and we know that we are now completely hooked on traveling with Ker and Downey Africa. It is just going to be a matter of time before we start planning our next trip with them 🙂

Brian, USA

July 2021

Ker & Downey Africa was beyond our expectations!

 

I cannot say enough about how wonderful our trip to Kenya was. We worked through Ker & Downey. From the very beginning, Ker & Downey Africa designed a wonderful itinerary and their attention to detail was impeccable. We had to delay our trip because of COVID but once Kenya opened for tourism, we were there. Sarah and her team arranged a way for us to be in touch with them the entire trip which was very comforting… There were a lot of moving parts and there was not one hitch. Those in the tourist industry have been vaccinated and everywhere we went people were masked and our temperature was taken. We felt more Covid safe there than we did in the US! … It was definitely the trip of a lifetime – I can’t thank those at Ker & Downey Africa enough!

Arlyn, USA

July 2021

Truly lovely caring and professional employees!

 

What a wonderful experience of a lifetime! Ker & Downey OUT DID themselves. I ALWAYS felt safe and in great hands by being in touch with a professional caring group of people. The lodgings at each camp were welcoming with loving, joyful staff and ALL of our needs (if any) were attended to in haste. We lived in luxury!!!! A hot water bottle at our feet every night!!! Food was excellent! As I am a picky eater ALL of the chefs were sooo accommodating I just loved them! As for our guides and seeing beautiful Kenya landscape and wildlife…..couldn’t have asked for more. We saw ALL the animals we could ever have hoped for….each guide said HOW LUCKY WE WERE and I totally agree! I would go back in a heartbeat and HIGHLY recommend Ker & Downey Africa to anyone!

Pamela, USA

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