We were looking to explore two different areas in Botswana. Sian listened to what we wanted and helped create a great itinerary for us within our budget. We enjoyed our time at Ghoha Hills lodge. Our guide, rooms, and the staff were all great. The location up on the hill overlooking the watering hole was beautiful.
I would recommend the lodge. We also enjoyed Khwai Lediba. We weren’t sure if it would feel as “polished” since it was brand new, but clearly African Bush Camps know what they are doing. Our guide was from the area and knew exactly where to go to see what we wanted and entertained us with stories along the way. The rooms and the staff were also great. The lodge area is not as big as Ghoha Hills but the rooms were beautiful and they utilize every space (for example, having pregame drive breakfasts by the beautiful fire pit). This camp was built right by the delta- I am sure it is spectacular when it is surrounded by water. We had elephants walking through camp at night. The variety of the two camps was exactly what we were looking for. The Savuti area was dry and the Khwai / Moremi areas gave us more of the delta experiences (mokoro excursion, hippos, crocs) while still allowing for game drives.
Sian guided us in the right direction and every detail was taken care of (flights, vouchers, advice about tipping). It was a wonderful family experience for us with our 21 and 23 year olds.
We reached out to Off2Africa and two other tour operators to put together a custom itinerary to Botswana and Namibia a month before our travel. Chloe Cottrell from Off2Africa was the first to respond and had a fantastic itinerary customized for us based on our input of what we needed. Additionally, her quote was 30% cheaper than other operators for the same luxury experience.
In Botswana, she arranged a phenomenal safari experience with Desert and Delta involving stays at Savuti, Xugana, Moremi, and Chobe with each stay planned to perfection in terms of activities, experience, food, number of days etc. We were expecting Bostwana to be a great destination, but Chloe's planning still far exceeded our expectations of the experience. She made sure our transfers were smooth and we literally didn't need to do anything from our end other than to pack and show up on time. Despite doing a safari for 9-10 days, we didn't feel like the trip was repetitive or redundant as each camp had something entirely different to offer.
In Namibia, she arranged a fantastic trip with Wilderness Safaris which included Sossusvlei and a safari in private game reserve in South Etosha. She made sure we only needed to do air transfers to maximize our time in Namibia since we only had 5-6 days to spend in this country. Our first connecting flight was delayed (commercial flight which was not in Chloe's or safari operators' control) which made us miss our first night in Namibia and Chloe efficiently connected with Wilderness Safaris on the delay and pick up. Her communication and management resulted in us not needing to do anything from our end and prevented a lot of stress.
Overall, Chloe made our trip extremely memorable and we will definitely reach out to her to plan our next vacation in Africa! I cannot recommend her enough!!
I found Off2Africa through Safari Bookings, as they had a suggested trip that fit my needs and budget for our trip to Victoria Falls and Botswana (Chobe and Okavango Delta). I was a bit skeptical at first since I normally don't make such a large purchase through a company that I wasn't familiar with, but the good reviews on Safari Bookings for Off2Africa made me feel more at ease. I worked with Chloe Cottrell, who was fabulous, well informed, and also put me at ease that Off2Africa was a legitimate company. She customized the initial trip to address our additional needs and timing, and suggested lodgings that were fantastic and fit our budget.
We just completed our trip, and I couldn't have been happier. All the locations, transfers, food, etc. were great. I felt that I was pampered by the food, game drives, etc. that made it easy for us to simply sit back and enjoy the ride. Only bad thing is that I think I gained a few pounds from all the good food provided.
Finally, I believe Off2Africa prices were great. I also received a quote from a US agent specializing in Africa, and they mentioned they couldn't provide a quote on the same itinerary/locations without paying much more. In fact, I believe that Off2Africa sometimes may be the middle man for some US agents, so I would suggest cutting out the extra layer and going direct to Off2Africa.
TOM AND LYNN, USA
I’d like to start by saying that our 2-week safari trip to Zambia was absolutely incredible! We started about 9 months ago on SafariBookings.com researching different areas of Africa for our trip. We also spoke to people who had done a safari to the Serengeti area. We wanted to do a variety of safaris (including day, night, jeep, boat and walking). We wanted to be in small “camps” where there were only a handful of cabins/huts and the jeeps were limited to 6-people maximum (this is more expensive, but we saw packed jeeps – and we were glad we went this way). We are in our late 50’s and wanted “comforts” like running water in our cabins and all-inclusive meal/drink packages (in our younger days we might have opted for more “real camping” styles). We narrowed to Zambia as it sounded like it had lots of wildlife and less crowds and the walking safaris were a big part of what they offered. (On those safaris, we learned how much training they go through to become a walking guide…its extensive in everything from plants, insects, animals, astrology, and safety). All this, we did on our own research. Then, we contacted 3 tour companies (top rated ones, as suggested by SafariBookings.com). Within 3 days we heard back from each and knew quickly that Chloe at Off2Africa was the one for us…she was great. We morphed the trip a few times with her help/suggestions – each time she kept the options within the budget we gave her. At one point I asked about adding Gorilla trekking in Uganda to the trip and she found options – and help us understand the travel time between camps would eat up too much time…so save that for another trip. All through the planning, booking, paying stages (months ago) she was great at keeping us informed and asking us different options. She kept tabs on us during the trip, too (she sent us a note saying she heard we had a great safari one day). We really liked the process of SafariBookings.com and especially liked working with Chloe at Off2Africa. Our highest recommendation possible. She really helped make it special. The great people we met at each camp (details below) all commented on what a great itinerary we had put together to get a combination of many different aspects of Zambia.
Here are the details of our stay: We chose camps along the river – we love the water. We started in South Luangwa at Kafunta River Lodge. Kolo and Betty at Kafunta were GREAT. They told us Kafunta means “crazy” in local language (there are 72 dialects) and we had a great time there. It was our first safari and we saw everything you could hope to see in the first day (no Rhinos on this area of Zambia – but everything else (a herd of water buffalo, including wild dogs hunting, lion eating, leopard in tree and then coming down and walking right past jeep, elephants and zebras galore, a small watering hole area where a giraffe, hippo, elephants and zebras were all around each other). We were visited by elephants, hippos and baboons IN THE CAMP during our stay, as well. We listened to a huge bull elephant eating branches off the tree 10 feet from out porch in the middle of the first night there…welcome to Zambia! We really bonded with our guide, Cannan and everyone at Kafunta. On day 2, we saw a lion eating a zebra, the lioness so stuffed she couldn’t get comfortable, another male lion waiting his turn in the setting sun, then lionesses and small cubs eating on it the next morning and a vulture feeding frenzy I won’t soon forget on the final scraps. Next was Baines River Camp. Fly in a 6-seater plane to a small landing strip (royal “airport”) in the “buffer zone” between Lower Zambezi National Park and people – where elephants were walking on the side of the air strip and the “check-in” person had a desk under a tree (not kidding – so cool). We had a larger plane on the return – about 16 seats. Baines was more luxurious (beautiful views and spaces to sit an relax along the river). The sunset cruises we SOOOO relaxing (it is across the river from Manna Pools National Park and we floated along that shore as seven giraffes walked in and out of view). I tried my hand at Tiger fishing and caught one – it’s really a lot like a sunset cruise – just relaxing and drifting while holding a pole (and a beer/wine). At Baines, we again were greeted “close-up” in camp by elephants (twice they kept us from getting to our cabin for a time), hippos and a family of warthogs grazing along our cabin and baboons that threw our patio cushions and pillows all over the grounds while we were at lunch. We boated to the national park for our jeep safaris, but you could also see a lot of animals doing a drive through the surrounding “buffer area” as an option. Baines was a great place to slow down. Finally, we went to Chundukwa River Lodge near Victoria Falls. Lots to do around the falls. The camp was great. One morning, our alarm scared a hippo back into the water (we just heard it splash and then call out – as it was still dark out). We did a day trip to Chobe National Park (in Botswana) – a must-do. We did a walking safari to track the white rhinos (we saw the new, 1-week old baby rhino!) and we did the jet-boat ride to The Elephant Café (we did lunch). Great food, and the elephant up-close experience is really special. Even the jet boat ride was a new way to experience the river. We spent time in town, saw the falls from both sides (worth the extra money to see them from Zimbabwe side). It was a busy section of our trip – but each evening we sat with Auggie and Linda by the fire and talked about our day and relaxed.
We went in late June/early July – no bugs (our biggest surprise). We still put bug repellant cream on each day, but really bugs were non-existent (a good sized praying mantis walk in one day, but that doesn’t count). It was a “cool” 50 at night (blankets provided in the jeeps for the morning drives). They only have screens on the windows – so you hear everything all night (exactly how we like it) and its cozy to sleep under nice blankets. It got to low 80’s during day – very comfortable once we took layers off. The animals treat the jeeps like they are part of the landscape – so they got really close as they passed by sometimes. So cool to sit and watch the different animals go about their routines. (like a family of baboons with a very tiny baby, two impala males mock-fighting, baby elephants and zebras nursing, the different stages of a zebra kill, an elephant getting “nipped’ by a crocodile and running out of the water, just to name a few). Wow, wow, wow…can’t begin to say how much we enjoyed this trip.
Chloe organised everything for us and we had an amazing experience! All the places we stayed were beautiful and would really recommend them. Everything went to plan and was a really stress free experience!
EILEEN, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
After having been told by other operators that our preferred route and timings to Victoria Falls and Botswana were unrealistic, Off2Africa and specifically Chloe were a breath of fresh air.
We found the company and agent to be responsive, professional and proactive in identifying a fantastic itinerary and ideal camps to meet our interests and budget. It was also a thoughtful touch to find two locally made sarongs in our room at the Victoria Falls Hotel as a welcome gift from Chloe.
Our priorities included Botswana safari camps with differing locales, ideally with no children under 18, and at a reasonable price point, and Chloe delivered. She also shared extensive pre-travel info and responded quickly at all of our questions. We would not hesitate to book another trip with Off2Africa.
We decided to go to Botswana to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We were hesitant to use an online agent, but our fears were quickly eliminated! Chloe put together the most perfect trip for us! She listened to what we wanted, unlike travel agents we interacted with in the states, and made those dreams come true! We had multiple transfers between camps, and they all went off seamlessly. The trip itself was beyond our expectations. Botswana is the most magical place! If you’re thinking about going, do it!!
From start to finish, everything went off without a hitch. Chloe booked us at high-end accommodations, but at very reasonable prices compared to other providers. She arranged all of the transfers and flights so that this was an entirely seamless trip for us. Everything happened exactly when it was supposed to, and all of the accommodations, guides, and game drives were excellent. It was truly a trip of a lifetime for our family!
OSMAN BHOLAT, USA
Great trip, great views, perfect safari's into the national parks! Saw many animals in harmony with their natural surroundings! People were friendly, locals were welcoming, tour operator's lived up to expectations and we had a wonderful trip! Would suggest to anyone looking for a great experience in Africa to work with Off2Africa and Chloe!!
It’s worth for the money spend . Especially she selected the camps in such a way where we could able see different kinds of animals and different terrain in different camps. She gave us confidence and trust to deal with a big amount of money. Eg Acknowledging immediately after transfer the money etc. other important thing she will communicate immediately when ever we ask any questions. On the whole it’s a very good trip and memorable one too.
Chloe listened to what we wanted to do and worked with us to create a trip that matched our best budget. Her recommendations for what to do in Victoria Falls were great. The best part was Hwange National Park and staying at The Hide. Again, recommended by Chloe and exceeded our expectations. Do it if you can!
We got in touch with Chloe at Off2Africa Travel for help in putting together a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Zimbabwe.
The attention to detail from Chloe was incredible. Our email thread ran to over 100 messages, covering everything from the accommodation, the activities, the choice of game reserve and the camp used within it, the methods of travel and the changes to Zimbabwe's entry and exit requirements due to Covid-19.
This level of contact speaks to someone who cares passionately about providing a first-rate travel experience - and, what's more, Chloe does so in such a friendly manner. It was actually quite a disappointment that we weren't in Victoria Falls long enough to meet her in person because she had played such a big part in our trip.
There is no way we would have had anything like this package had we booked it ourselves. Chloe knew which Sunset Cruise to book on the Zambezi in order to be on the only boat that goes towards the Falls and thus has unobstructed views and sees wildlife (as well as provides delicious canapés and drinks). It was Chloe who knew that Mana Pools rather than Hwange was the destination if we had our hearts set on seeing Wild Dogs. And when the dinner and dancing spectacle at The Boma wasn't available on the night we were in Victoria Falls, it was Chloe who recommended a township dining experience at Dusty Road instead which we agreed was much more what we were after.
Even when our flights out of Zimbabwe (which were not part of our Off2Africa package) were cancelled at short notice, Chloe was immediately in touch offering to help us find an alternative flight.
In short, if you are booking a Zimbabwe break and want an agent to take care of every detail and every concern, Off2Africa is the place to go.
CHRISTIAN WILLIAMSON, USA
Off2Africa and specifically Chloe really saved us. We are a family of 6 with late teen children and were planning a graduation present trip for one of my children to Scotland when the entire trip was cancelled due to COVID restrictions. Needing to save our doomed family vacation, I reached out to Off2Africa with only about 6 about to go before our travel dates and an immediate response with various options was provided within 24 hours.
A customized trip that exactly met our travel date requirements and our desire to experience various activities within our budget was put together with the next few days. Not knowing exactly what we wanted, Chloe was able to provide first-hand insights into the various camps providing options.
The fact that Chloe was able to put together this trip so quickly and was also able to help us navigate a number of complications due to COVID testing requirements is a testament to how she really cares about her clients. She cares about you on a personal level which is both unusual and refreshing. She met us in person when we arrived in Victoria Falls at the airport and once again later in the trip making sure everything was ok. She continued to check in on us throughout the trip making sure all of our needs were taken care of. Her organizational skills, creativity and empathy was tremendous and allowed us to have the trip of a lifetime. We felt incredibly well cared for.