"Safari of a Lifetime”
Dec 14, 2016
Where do I begin? Our tour guide, Tony, picked us up from the airport and at first sight, he knew he was in for the trip of a lifetime! Not only did John (owner) take all of our request into consideration, Tony made sure all expectations were exceeded. I went with a group of four on a seven day safari and visited four locations. Tony was knowledgable, funny and dedicated the entire time. No matter what happened, even when we broke a bed at a hotel, Tony made sure our accommodations were top quality. Tony knew where all the animals were and ensured we saw everything we requested. Our safari truck was WiFi enabled (the only company with this capablity) with outlets to charge electronics. Tony made us feel like family and ensured we really experienced Tanzania. He took us around the cities to immerse us in the culture during his off time. Honestly, he became apart of our crew and it was like we've known him for years. We were the five best friends. He participated in all the activities on the itinerary and was just as excited to see the animals as we were. He taught us local songs and the language. If you ever had the faintest whim to go to Africa, contact Open Africa Safari and book your trip to Tanzania ASAP!!! You will not be disappointed. I am already looking forward to my next trip!
Reviewed By: sheamaz
Daryl was the best
Dec 12, 2016
Let me admit that I did none of the planning because I hate that part so I had my friend do it. She told me that John was the most tentative and quickly responding Safari booker guy. I felt at ease booking wight his company. Everything they set up was absolutely wonderful. The food was amazing too. everywhere we ate had great food and the local food was so delicious. The hotels we stayed at were all good, I broke one bed (I swear all i did was sit down), but they immediately fixed it and apparently I was the only person in 12 years to do this, and it's my luck anyhow.. My favorite part of the trip was our guide, Anton, and by the end of the trip he was our friend not just our tour guide which made the experience that much more genuine, real, and amazing.
We had our detailed trip set out before the trip took off, and once we got there the company realized it would be better to flip the days at the certain places, word of advice ALWAYS TRUST THE COMPANY. It was perfect as we got to sleep with the migrating wildebeests and the stupid zebras (i don't like zebras). Luckily for us we were all laid back and didn't question the change and I am so glad because we would have missed out on some truly awe inspiring sites. Another quick tip, if your cool, ask to go to the local bar instead of just drinking at your super nice hotel, it's cheaper and a fun dance filled experience, even if your old sitting at the bar is fun.
I didn't want to make this review too long, because boring. But rest assured going through the Serengeti, our vehicle was having the most fun! if you do anything in life, book through Open Africa Safaris, and if your an energetic, funny, group, ask for Daryl (Anton).
Reviewed By: Scotte
Excellent Service From Conception Until The End
Dec 07, 2016
I normally do not write reviews but felt compelled to write one after experiencing Tanzania and the Serengeti. John was very helpful from the very beginning when I inquired about the trip. He helped me choose the best package suitable for our group and was available whenever I had questions. He was even able to book our flights for us at a discounted price. Tony (Darrell) was our driver on our 7-day safari adventure. He was professional, informative and fun to have as our guide. We were able to experience the safari as well as submerge ourselves into the culture. My birthday was one of the days and I will never forget this day. We experienced a lioness in her primal state stalking, chasing, catching, and devouring her prey. After we visited one of the luxury lodges which was absolutely amazing. They had a cake and we learned a song in Swahili. We were able to participate in other excursions throughout our trip including visiting an orphanage for disabled children. We were able to donate chickens to help produce food for the kids, that alone was a rewarding experience. There is so much I could say and talk about from this trip. I plan to go back and I wouldn't choose any other company but them.
Reviewed By: Christina
Trustworthy, organized, affordable - a great exper
Nov 16, 2016
Trustworthy, organized, affordable - a great experience!
My wife and I had a fabulous experience with Open Africa Safaris! It was nerve wracking to arrange a trip like this without the help of an experienced travel agency. With seemingly hundreds of safari organizers to choose from, it was quite time consuming to narrow down the companies based on our desired itinerary, trip cost, and of course a company that appeared organized and trustworthy. Let me save you time – look no further, go with Open Africa Safaris!
Open Africa Safaris was willing to customize our trip in most any way, from budget to mid-range to luxury, from a few days to many days, from safari only to inclusion of a side trip to the beaches of Zanzibar. We were not up for a “budget” trip – sleeping in tents and sleeping bags was ok when we were younger, but we want nice, clean beds now. Luxury trips seem horribly overpriced to me – you can spend thousands of extra dollars for what I think would be marginally better lodging, and maybe pampered hot lunches with beer and wine – not at all worth it in my opinion. The mid-range trip suggested to us seemed just right, with my exact desired itinerary, and the price was great, compared to many others I had checked.
I exchanged about 20 emails with our contact at Open Africa Safaris (John). I asked MANY questions, asked for references, questioned just about everything I could think of. He responded timely (not immediately, but always in a very reasonable amount of time), politely and patiently. But in the end, I still had to trust a fairly small company to deliver on their promises. A deposit was needed, and full payment was required about 30 days before our adventure. Would they deliver? Could this be a scam? I continued to be nervous literally until I was met at the airport after getting off the plane in Tanzania. But they were there just as promised, and everything went great for the next 7 days, all the way through taking us to the airport to leave!
The lodging choices they selected for us were wonderful! The hotel in Arusha City was older and not in perfect repair, but it was still clean, with good and very tasty dinner options, a nice pool, pretty grounds – and this was the “worst” of our lodging. The other places we stayed were wonderful, including the luxury “tented camp” in the middle of the Serengeti, which was a marvelous experience! All the facilities were clean, available showers ranged from good to great, there was wifi available in all places (ok, not high speed but who cares?), and we were always able to charge our electronics. The dinners were definitely better than I expected, and wine and beer were available for purchase if desired. We had available hot breakfast options each day. The lodging staffs were always very attentive. We felt safe everywhere. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more.
Our tour guide, Simon, was excellent! His heavily accented English was still quite good, and he did a great job navigating the parks to give us the best possible animal viewing. Animals were very plentiful to see, and we had close up encounters with many – lions, elephants, giraffes, cape buffalo, and more. The only Big 5 animal we didn’t see up close (and I mean very close) was a rhino, of which we only saw one, and that was at a distance…oh well. Simon had binoculars available to use, which was quite nice. The box lunches while on game drives were plenty adequate (generally chicken, fruit, bread, a cookie or two, juice, water) though not fantastic.
All in all, the trip was everything I could have hoped for, and Open Africa Safaris was just great! Many thanks to them for making this “bucket list” trip a major success!
Reviewed By: Kent
A once in a life time experience
Sep 14, 2016
I booked a safari trip for myself and partner with Open Africa Safari and from beginning to end they went above and beyond to meet our needs. John who's located in the States answered all my emails, concerns and worries and his team in Arusha really did deliver. Osman our safari driver and guide was amazing and became a true friend by the end of our trip.He was professional, nice and went out of his way to show us as many animals and Tanzania culture as possible .
Open Africa Safari really delivers to you the safari you want.We booked the 5 night stay which was long enough to see everything we hoped for,the lodges where great ,but the tented camp in the Serengeti was the highlight of the trip,If I ever plan another safari I will definitely book it with this company. Thank you for this unforgettable experience.
Graham & Dawn
Reviewed By: Graham & Dawn
Perfectly Tailored Safari with Great Service
Aug 17, 2016
This company went above and beyond to plan the perfect safari for my wife and I. John was extremely responsive to my many queries and was more than happy to accommodate all our needs. We were keen to spend as much time as possible in the Serengeti (4 days), with 1 day in Ngorongoro Crater at the end. John and our guide, Asman, set up the itinerary so that we saw all different parts of the Serengeti comfortably. Asman was super friendly and clearly very experienced as he constantly communicated over the radios to ensure that we didn't miss any of the key sightings. And the animals ... so many animals ... absolutely amazing! We saw cheetahs and lions every day in the Serengeti, and then managed to complete the Big 5 with rhino sightings in Ngorongoro. We highly recommend you choose this awesome Tanzanian-owned company that offers great value, tailored safaris over the bigger foreign-owned companies.
Reviewed By: Clay
Very personal, custom and enjoyable experience
Jul 18, 2016
John and his team (Tony, Nico etc.) were great to be with. Not only did they take care of every little thing (got a cake for people with birthdays, vegetarian food, hot water showers etc.), they were very professional with everything. We had a 10 day safari (Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro) with them. In a safari, you not only spend a lot of time with your family but also a lot of time with your guides and other staff. And we came away with a really good experience every moment. The staff were courteous and accommodating (hot water baths, twice a day for some in our group!). They took us to all the right places, we saw the big five. Several days, we would end up going beyond the allotted time by 2 or 3 hours and Tony/Nico never once complained. In fact, they suggested other things we could do, places we could see. We had lunches and dinners and breakfasts with them and it was a lot of fun over. My two year old daughter absolutely loved 'Mr Tony' and 'Mr Nico' and still listens to the Hakuna-matata song that Tony performed for her.
I can't forget Tony stopping the jeep 5 feet away from a pride of 10 lions or coming 15 feet from an elusive rhino or seeing the first sunlight on the serengeti or a baby giraffe and mom walking into the sunset or so much more...
The last day John got wooden toys for my daughter's birthday and bought us lunch. They dropped us off at the airport and waved us off.
Tony and his team speak very good english and they know Tanzania very well. Tony was a Kilimanjaro porter for many years and has tons of experience in all things Tanzania or Kenya. John goes back and forth between US and Africa to ensure he takes care of his clients. We even got to know their families on the trip even though we did not meet them. We actually plan to meet them now that we are back in the US.
We stayed in good accommodations and it was very comfortable overall. A part of our group went to Kilimanjaro and they were impressed by the food (3 course hot meals), acco (tents with mattresses) and luxuries that came with it. They sang and made merry all the way to the top. When one of them had altitude sickness they took care of that person with a lot of care.
Overall, a phenomenal tour. There are companies which are more expensive and some which are cheaper - I doubt if you will find one that is such a great value for money. Not only did we see the big five (which was the most important thing for us), they made is super enjoyable for all of us, including my two year old.
Reviewed By: Sandeep
Amazing experience, will do it again!
Jul 12, 2016
I booked a safari trip for my mother and I with Open Africa Safari and from beginning to end they went above and beyond to meet our needs. John who's located in the States answered all my questions, concerns and worries and his team in Arusha really did delivered. From Anton who picked us up at the airport to Ossman our safari driver and guide I really don't know how to describe it. They were very professional, nice and went out of they way to show us as many animals as they could. Open Africa Safari really delivers to you the safari you want. If I ever plan another safari I will definitely book it with this company. Thank you for this unforgettable experience.
Reviewed By: Ciama
Great company and safari experience!
Jul 12, 2016
I booked a small group, midrange, 6-day safari with Open Africa Safaris. From beginning to end it was a great experience. John was very prompt with returning emails and calls, and answering all of my questions. I have food allergies, and he put me at ease that the lodges would be able to accommodate them. Since I was traveling alone, my time was split between 2 groups. The parks visited and accommodations remained as planned. The lodges and permanent tented camp (Serengeti) exceeded my expectations, and they did accommodate for my food allergies. Both guides I had, Omary and Paul, were great. I was impressed with how they navigated the vehicles through the parks and their knowledge about the wildlife and agriculture. The customer service of Open Africa Safaris is top notch, and this was a trip of a lifetime. I learned they will arrange for volunteer tourism in Tanzania as well if you're interested in that. They were also very prompt with my airport transfers. I would recommend them without hesitation!
Reviewed By: Lisa
“Excellent Safari + Kilimanajaro Climb”
Jun 13, 2016
We recently returned from an 8-day safari + 6-day climb (Machame route) with Open Africa Safaris. They made our trip truly wonderful.
From the very beginning John (who is based in the US) was very responsive and provided detailed and useful information as we were planning and customizing our trip. We were a large group of 12 including a baby and they ensured and every one of us was well taken care of. All the suggestions provided and the final trip turned out to be perfect. Our guides/drivers for the safari were Tony (actual name Anthony) and Nico. Both were extremely fun and knowledgeable and ensured that we saw all the animals from up-close at times taking us to parts of the park where we were the only ones so that we did not have to compete with 50+ other vehicles to see animals.
After the safari a few of us climbed Kilimanjaro and this was organized by Open Africa Safaris as well. The guides (Omben, David and Justin), chef and porters were all very helpful and entertaining. We had a fantastic climb where they encouraged and assisted us in every way possible. Ultimately most of us made it to the top.
Outside of the safari and climb, John (who was visiting Tanzania) and Anthony took personal care of us. Picking us up from the airport, arranging for activities on other days, showing us around the city etc. They truly became good friends and we look forward to doing more trips with them in the future.
Reviewed By: Mohammed
Jun 12, 2016
Since the first day we felt super comfortable with the guide, he is very professional. The car was very good and comfortable, we felt safe every moment during the safari. What we negotiated through the webpage was exactly what we had on the safari. I think it's a great company to travel with.
The national parks were amazing, people everywere was really nice to us. :)
Reviewed By: Carolina
Jun 08, 2016
Open Africa surpassed all expectations for our trip! Out tour guide was outstanding! With all the questions of reliability, I feel very secure in recommending Open Africa and their staff to make your trip one that you will remember for a lifetime. Outstanding, Outstanding, Outstanding is how I would answer every question about our experience.
Reviewed By: Rechard
Mar 14, 2016
We just arrived back from a memorable safari with open africa safaris.
We spent a week touring the arusha area, manyara, ngorongoro, tarangire and the serengeti. Our team of Said and Sudi were excellent. Food was fantastic and very clean....not a hint of a tummy problem. Lots of fresh food prepared from scratch. Lots of veggies and fresh fruit!
The game drives were really great. We saw all the animals we had hoped to spot. We experienced some very raw natural sights...lions mating, migrating zebra and wildebeest, croc catching a wildebeest etc.
The land cruiser was comfortable and a very efficient way of exploring the national parks.
The tents and gear provided was clean and decent condition.
Our safari team made every effort to ensure our enjoyment of the safari.
Reviewed By: Martin