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Ways to Experience Acacia Africa
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Reviewed 26 July 2017

My wife, sister, and I took the Southern African Magic tour with Acacia traveling through South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. The price was reasonable, as were the prices of the extras that we paid for in some of the locations on the journey. Having traveled to Tanzania where I booked safaris on site, I have learned that many companies charge outlandish prices, but I did not feel this way about this trip with Acacia. It is possible that I could have arranged a trip for a little less money on my own, but it would not have been worth the hassle, and I don’t think that the trip would have been as good as it turned out to be. Virtually every day on the trip was nothing short of spectacular. We had encounters with rhinoceroses on foot, camped in tents on the Okavango Delta, went on adventures in Kruger, Matoba, Chobe, and Victoria Falls national parks, the Rondavels and Blyde Canyon area of South Africa, a number of wildlife preserves, and we took boat rides on the Zambezi and Chobe rivers, and a fantastic pole-driven canoe ride in the Okavango. As extras, all of which were worth the additional money, we walked with lions, rode elephants, horses, flew in a plane over the Okavango and a helicopter (over Victoria Falls), and we had great culinary adventures, including a traditional boma dinner in Victoria Falls. Sitting five feet away from a family of meerkats near a salt pan was as unforgettable as being approached by a bull white rhino while on foot in Matoba NP. There was a minor unintentional error made in regard to a charge for our transportation to and from the airport, but Acacia was quick to refund our credit card with an apology. Our guide, Simon, was wonderful and he bent over backwards to make the trip the great adventure that it was. The bus that we traveled in was quite comfortable as was all of our lodging. It may be the luck of the draw, but I enjoyed the company of everyone who accompanied us on the tour and found them all to be intelligent and friendly, which is something that I found quite refreshing after some of the experiences that I have had on cruises in past. I speak Arabic, Urdu, and German, and had a great time putting those languages to use with some of our fellow travelers. This was, of course, something that could not have been anticipated or arranged, but it did heighten my total experience. My wife declared that this was the best trip that we’ve ever taken. Considering that we have made amazing trips to Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, Tahiti, South America and Easter Island, Egypt, China, New York, and a Mekong River cruise, I’d say that was saying a great deal. I wouldn’t hesitate to take another trip with Acacia, and may consider doing so in the future.

Date of experience: July 2017
4  Thank JohnH94
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sabine_Acacia, General Manager at Acacia Africa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 August 2017

Dear JohnH94

Thank you for taking the time to post this lovely review. We are pleased to hear our team exceeded your expectations and that you and your family had such a great time on tour. I'll be sure to pass your compliments on to both Simon and Roxy as I'm sure they'll be pleased to hear their hard work was appreciated. We hope to see you in Africa again!
Regards, Sabine

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Reviewed 8 July 2017

We started our tour in Cape Town then headed towards Cederberg then all the way up to Swakopmund. Our tour guide, Pete, was INCREDIBLE and driver Ben was awesome too!! They were both so inviting We were unsure what to expect with the food, but were pleasantly surprised with how good it was and well portioned. I HIGHLY recommend this company and this tour. I wouldn't go with anyone else after how good of an experience I had.

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank 1021shelbyw
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sabine_Acacia, Manager at Acacia Africa, responded to this reviewResponded 13 July 2017

Dear Shelby W - thanks so much for taking the time to post your review. Ben & Pete will be thrilled to hear their hard work was appreciated and you had such a great tour with them. We look forward to seeing you on the road again!
Regards, Sabine

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Reviewed 25 June 2017

I took the tour with Acacia to Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Guide Justin and Khumboo did the excellent job. Food for the camping nights are more than 5 stars restaurant.
Very Yummy!!!! Great experience for camping.

Date of experience: June 2017
1  Thank beautyking2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sabine_Acacia, Manager at Acacia Africa, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2017

Dear Beautyking2017

Thanks for the lovely review and the compliments to Khumbu and Justin! We hope to see you travel with us again soon.

Regards
Sabine

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Reviewed 31 May 2017

I did a tour Kruger to Durban 7 days -(also part of Kruger to Capetown 19 days) the tour guides we lovely our guide cooked the best food! I did not find this tour expensive and if you want to travel around for a ood price with a group I do recommend. Lots of driving but plenty stops and has a table in the truck to kill some time with card games. I do recommend and would use again.

Date of experience: March 2017
2  Thank MollyT511
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded 2 June 2017

Dear Molly,

Thank you for taking the time to review our 7-day Kruger, Swaziland and Beach Overland Tour. We are delighted that you enjoyed your tour with us. We shall pass on your compliments to your Acacia tour guides :-)

Thank you for recommending the tour and Acacia Africa. We hope to see you again for another Africa adventure.

Regards,
Sabine

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Reviewed 11 May 2017

There were two of us that paid a little over $4,500 for 13 days. The bus had no air con, no fan, no curtains and only a few of the windows opened, no water was provided and a few people got heat stroke. The staff on the bus were friendly and professional and did what they could, but were clearly limited by the company. There were also some parts that you couldn't explore because you had to help cook, clean and set and pack down your own tent. Which would have been fine, had we not paid so much for the tour.

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank Kirstie d
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded 26 May 2017

Dear Kirstie

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. We value our customer feedback and respond to all emails received and if you had written to us directly following your tour would have responded on a personal level with detailed comments directly. I hope the following few general remarks assist in the meantime.

Acacia overland tours are run with our fleet of self-sufficient, custom-built trucks and are some of the finest in overland travel. All vehicles have at least 8 large sliding windows (4 each side), which normally create sufficient airflow whilst driving to keep the passenger cabin cool. You mention some did not open. We have not received report of faulty windows from our crew but will investigate the matter further to rectify any problem. Overland vehicles are not air-conditioned but they are equipped with a 300-litre water container, as well as all the camping and cooking equipment needed for a group to make its way around Africa. It is very much in our interests to have people arrive for their tour knowing what to expect and properly prepared for the trip and that’s why we provide details about vehicles, highlighting specifications, and tour inclusions/exclusions in tour documentation issued including comprehensive predeparture information and dossiers which I hope you received.

Since receiving your post we have reviewed all customer feedback received from your tour. There is no mention of anyone suffering from heat stroke or other illness nor did any of the crew mention anything of that nature. Travel in Africa, especially overland travel, can sometimes bring about periods where people don’t always feel 100%. Normally it’s nothing serious but we do like people to inform crew if they aren’t feeling well because of the obvious potential for something more serious where medical attention may be needed.

Passenger participation means that we encourage everyone to help out with the daily chores – pitching tents, helping with cooking and food prep, cleaning up afterwards, keeping the vehicle and camp area tidy. These are not arduous tasks but they do go a long way to helping the trip run smoothly. Normally the crew arrange things on a rota system, with two or three people rostered at a time to help. Aside from helping the trip run this is a good way to know your fellow travellers. Naturally we make every effort to ensure chores come either before or after included tour highlights so no one misses out on the important stuff.

In visiting national parks on this tour we are proud to make use of local experts and purpose built game driving vehicles. Starting with the Masai Mara, we use Kenyan ground handlers with local guides and vehicles suited to the Mara’s narrow winding tracks for a better game-viewing experience. We sleep just outside the reserve in pre-erected tents complete with bedding and bathrooms and a separate Mess tent. This is far superior to using the overland truck for gameviewing. In the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater we again use local guides and vehicles, and - again – it gives clients the benefit of expert local knowledge and know-how, superior to what would be achieved using the overland truck. The other point about this is that , as well as ensuring clients receive a better experience it also provides strong support for local businesses and communities who see a direct benefit from Acacia’s visit. We appreciate this may mean the cost is slightly higher than some of our competitors but customer feedback tells us that the great majority of clients feel we are doing things the right way because of the added value and enriched game viewing experience, and support given to local communities.

Despite your review of the tour, therefore, I hope you were able to take home some happy memories of your African holiday.

Kind regards
Sabine

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