Christian J. – London.
Dear Raf and Cisca.
Just back from that amazing one week safari in Tanzania. Some memories will stay with me for ever. I mean how did you find that beach camp in such a stunning remote spot just south of Dar Es Salaam. I didn’t know that such unspoiled stretches of tropical beach still existed – 14km of white sand and palms with barely a person in site except for resident fish eagles in the trees above. How you managed to find this place is beyond me as it was an adventure to reach it through remote bush.
The second part of the trip to the Selous national park was wonderful. I would not have thought of visiting the selous but you persuaded me it was an ideal time of year to be there, and you were so right. I had a wonderful few days surrounded by a large amount of game including a pack of wild dogs and lions eating their kill.
The camp was straight out of the dream safari – rustic but luxurious. We even had elephants in camp to see us off on the last day! I’d like to thank you both for your honesty and advice in the planning stage – all of which was bang on. I would not hesitate to recommend your services as it really pays to go with people who have spent so long on the ground – especially in such a destination like Tanzania.
Christopher S. Singapore
Dear Raf and Cisca,
I want to thank you for organising yet another dive holiday for me. My needs are quite specific and you hit all the boxes for me. Cebu was superb. The wall diving was really impressive, and it was so good to see such healthy reefs in the 21st century. Sampaguita lodge was great although on balance I might be keen to take my family back to Magic Island in December.
Thanks again for organising everything, it really worked out perfectly. I will be back with you again.
Robert T-C and Nikki T-I, Burton on Trent, (UK)
Travelled to Tanzania, 2015
We Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks so much for organising everything for our recent trip to Zanzibar and Ruaha. The latter was an absolute revelation! As I mentioned to you when we spoke, I’d previously been to a number of other more famous National Parks, both in Tanzania and Kenya and when you suggested Ruaha, I’ll be honest in saying, I’d never heard of it. Having investigated it myself, I found that it is as big as the largest of the northern parks and had something like 10,000 resident elephants!
The bush camp you booked at Mdonya Old River Camp was simply superb and beyond our wildest expectations. To be in the heart of such incredible scenery, wild animals all around us, including a large pride of lions, was an experience that neither of us will ever forget until the end of days. On our game drives we saw so many lion and at such close range too. To witness an adult lioness walking along the side of our ‘Landy’, so close we could have reached out and stroked her, gives me goosebumps just remembering. Although we just missed out on seeing the Wild Dog pack that were apparently so close, we more than made up for this with recent lion kills, super-close elephant encounters, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, hyena, hippopotamus, crocodiles…
Anyway everything you booked for us worked out so, so well and your local knowledge really showed at every stage, so thank you once again.
All the best,
Julia M. Qatar
Travelled to Tanzania 2016
Dear Raf and Francisca
Just to add to the note, thank you so much for being such wonderful hosts during our safari – it was much appreciated.
Additionally Francisca, thank you for organising our trip with Frank and his team – Alex, our driver and guide could not have been more professional, and additionally is such a nice man to be with. As you know well enough, the Crater is always going to be OMG! territory, and we had the most perfect day for our visit. As a final point on this, we were also hugely impressed with the Bougainvillea Hotel, and I would say that it is the best hotel of its type that I have stayed in.
With my best from sunny Qatar
Maria R. Mumbai- India
Travelled to Tanzania 2016
Dear Raf and Francesca,
Hope you are doing well. We are well – back to the grind! 😉 The trip was such a charming escape, so relaxing! Dropping a short note to thank you both, for making all the arrangements and being such wonderful organisers.
Scott Bennett, travelling with the African and Oriental Travel Company to Northern Tanzania and West Kilimanjaro in June 2016:
‘The Oriental and African Travel Company did a superb job in organizing my Northern Tanzania safari. I wanted something a bit more off the beaten path and ended up doing two parks. Sinya- , a private concession near Mt. Kilimanjaro and Tarangire National Park. The outfitter they chose for me was a very professional operation, with a comfortable vehicle and an exceptional driver that was not only knowledgeable about the wildlife but as enthusiastic about seeing it as I was!
On numerous occasions, we had the wildlife all to ourselves without another vehicle in sight.
The two lodges arranged for me, KambiyaTembo at Sinya and Sangaiwe Tented Lodge at Tarangire were both first rate; very comfortable with great food and service. It was the perfect balance of luxury but still feeling like you were roughing it in the bush. Both lodges were away from the crowds, which enhanced the entire experience. It really felt like I had my own private game reserve.
The Oriental and African Travel Company delivered the safari experience I was looking for and I can’t recommend them highly enough’
Adam and Maja from Kuala Lumpur, travelling with the Africa and Oriental Travel Company to Yap&Micronesia in April 2017, on joining our trips as a non-diver :
‘If your partner can’t imagine a holiday without a wetsuit, equipment which is probably heavier than him/herself and spending all day exploring waters so deep and that you don’t like even want to imagine it; if you prefer to discover different cultures or exotic flora and fauna, it doesn’t have to be immediately the end of your common holidays.
This is the dilemma that my husband and I face. Because of this we usually organise our holiday with Cisca and Raf, who have always been able to organise interesting activities for each of us. This year it was the island of Yap in Micronesia. It is a small place in the middle of nowhere, and tourism is focused on diving, but there were still plenty of activities and places which a non-diver like me could enjoy exploring.’
Joe and Charlie, UK & USA, travelling with Africa and Oriental in 2016 & 2017:
‘We first met Raf and Cisca when we visited them at their charming dive resort on Pemba island; this quickly became our favourite dive escape when we lived in Tanzania. We will always look back affectionately on those amazing days of stunning dives and evenings of great company, during which we were captivated by wonderful stories and amazing photos of adventures, diving and otherwise.’
‘The amount of experience they have with the places they offer excursions to is what makes the difference. Some travel companies will claim to be ‘experts’ in a travel type or a particular geographic area. What sets the African and Oriental Travel Company apart is how they get to know their customers, taking time to understand what each individual is looking to get out of a trip, and the fact that they are experts on and have wide-reaching networks in the places they are selling excursions to.
This results in tailor-made trips at prices that are unbeatable, and, if you are lucky enough to have Raf and Cisca join you for your trip, knowledgeable, attentive, friendly and fun guides.
We are looking forward to many more adventures with the African and Oriental Travel Company.’
Ricardo & Erin, UK, June 2017, travelling in the northern circuit of Tanzania on a Classic Northern Safari itinerary:
‘We had a fantastic experience on safari in the northern parks of Tanzania with the Matembezi safari company organized by the Oriental and African Travel Company. The local safari company was very well organized, the vehicle was well equipped, comfortable and spacious and the the driver had exceptional local knowledge of the parks and wildlife. Our driver/guide’s knowledge and desire to match our safari experience to our wildlife viewing preferences made the experience memorable. The lodges we stayed at were all of a high standard with great rooms/tents, luxurious facilities, and without exception great food and service – we felt very spoiled! The Oriental and African Travel Company listened to the wildlife viewing experience we wanted and matched the safari accordingly – I would recommend them to anyone wanting to safari in Tanzania.’
Nikki, UK, travelling to remote Ruaha National Park in Southern Tanzania, September 2015:
‘The safari arranged for us in Ruaha was like your dream safari! The travel up from Dar es Salaam in a tiny plane was great fun with real camaraderie between the passengers & the pilot. The views of the landscape & animals as we dropped people off at some of the other parks only heightened the experience & anticipation. Ruaha itself was stunning: amazing glamping style tents, lovely food & breath-taking sights & sounds of animals as they wandered through. We felt safe but excited by being right in the heart of the bush. The guides were knowledgeable, interesting & flexible & we got to see lions, elephants, crocs& much, much more – many very close up. I loved it, would definitely go again & would recommend it to anyone.’
Wannes, Fien and Rutger, from Belgium and Holland, travelling to Pemba, Zanzibar and Ruaha National Park with the African and Oriental Travel Company, August 2016:
‘In 2016 we went on a safari in Tanzania organised by The Oriental and African Travel Agency to Ruaha National park, after our dive holiday in Pemba and Zanzibar.
Being experienced travellers they worked out a great trip, custom-made to meet our wishes and our budget.
We went to Ruaha National Park, the biggest park in Tanzania but one of the lesser known -we think this could change, as it was breathtakingly beautiful and wild.
We saw all the animals we had hoped to spot, thanks to our skilled guide and experienced driver. We even spotted 2 leopards and a serval cat. We were lucky to have the open safari vehicle to ourselves.
The park was is much less traveled than other parks in the country and so we hardly saw any other groups or travellers. And allthough it was remote, we reached it quickly and comfortably by airplane.
The lodgings were really comfortable, considering we were in the bush, hundreds and hundreds of miles from any city. It was an open bush camp, which means the giraffes wandered right by during breakfast. The tent in which we slept was nothing less than luxurious, with the best shower we had in Africa! Idem dito for the food!
I would recommend this trip to any adventurer and we are looking forward to more awesome trips with the Oriental and African Travel Agency in the near future! ‘
Joe & Charlie, travelling with African and Oriental to Yap in April, 2017:
‘It was our great pleasure to join on one of those adventures, finally, this year. Our trip to Yap, Micronesia was like our own personal guided tour of paradise. Everything from the flights and transfers to the diving to anything else we could imagine doing (including a quick hop over to a completely undeveloped island for a day) was offered to us and all that we wanted to do was well-planned, organised, and great prices were negotiated in advance.’
Adam and Maja, from Slovenia, on diving in Micronesia and the Yap Outher Islands in April 2017 and meeting different fold when travelling with us :
‘Cisca and Raf are able to organise all kind of adventures for you even if you are not a diver. But this is not their only strong point. Their trips attract people who are passionate divers and like to travel, but who otherwise have different backgrounds and come from different parts of the world. These people probably would not have the chance to meet under other circumstances. Our trip to Yap Island enabled us to meet people who work for the UN and the development aid industry, an Austrian bridge-building engineer, and American professional soldiers. This diversity is always bringing about very interesting discussions; especially during the evenings over a glass of wine!’