Guided Safaris of San Francisco

Safari Stories

Personal Guest diaries from Guided Safaris® handcrafted journeys throughout Africa.
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Family Safari in South Africa

Photography by the Goldman Family Safari in South Africa with Guided Safaris®.

“I cannot recall taking a family trip that over-delivered in every aspect. This was a seamless, exciting and wonderful adventure for each of us – so thank you again – we have many stories to tell.”

“We visited South Africa this summer and did a community visit to the village outside of the lodge and delivered books. Our daughter Sarah has decided to continue to help gather donations for the Growing to READ program from her friends in Northern California, USA. We look forward to all of the wonderful learning that you can create with so many children through this program. I keep recommending your Guided Safaris® to friends that are interested, and of course, Jonathan & I hope to be able to come again & again.”

– Deborah Goldman

The Community Development Trust works in partnership with the READ Educational Trust and their Growing to READ program to initiate Early Childhood Development practices in pre-schools. As part of the Guided Safaris® journeys, we invite families traveling to these beautiful regions to meet the children in the rural village and school environs surrounding the Private Game Reserve to witness this vital community program firsthand.

Family Safari Stories by Guided Safaris®:

About the Goldman family’s visit

Sarah Goldman, age 13, is from the Bay Area and her first time time safari to Africa became a personal endeavor to raise awareness for the school children in the rural communities.

“The children read books, took photos, painted watercolor pictures, rode bikes, did archery & skeet shooting, played chess and decorated cookies with the kitchen staff. Of course, this was all in addition to participating in all 10 days of safaris as well as touring Cape Town and the Winelands! As part of the lodge activities we also sang, danced and visited the community & cooking school. They were amazing in all aspects of the trip and it was a perfect age to take the children (12, 14 & 16),” says Mrs. Goldman.

As for Guided Safaris, from the very beginning of inquiry phone calls, Gareth was really responsive and helpful in planning a first time luxury trip for our family that fit our parameters of not too many small airplanes and long transport rides. As well, the selection of Lebombo first and Ebony second (with the Family Suite!) was brilliant. The wildlife at both properties amazing, and the people and their attention to detail for the children’s needs with regard to wildlife viewing, activities, meals & ‘special activity treats’ was magnificent. They especially loved the surprise “meals” and “viewing” treats at the end of the long hikes, or game drives.”

“Dominique at Lebombo was very kind in receiving our books there and taking them to the community that was 2 hours away. Her husband Archie is the Chef there and he spoke to us as well. And then she did arrange the visit to the Cooking School outside of Lebombo which was really nice to see and gain perspective on the meals they produce for all of the employees, their living situation and the educational opportunity they are providing for people from the village to become Chefs.”

“The visit to Justicia community was through a guide. We had our own time to see a few different singing and dancing troops as well as one that made us dance with them! As well, they made a traditional food for us and we visited the High School on special request. We of course visited the preschool and gave the teacher our books. This was truly remarkable. The children sang to us and we were able to take photos.”

The Goldman family then finished their safari with a relaxing few days in Cape Town. As a family with a winemaking background in Napa, their visit was complemented by meetings with special winemakers in the region.


How the Goldman Family Contributed:
A note of thanks from Pam Richardson,
HR & Community Development Director at Singita

“This is such a special collaborative approach to supporting the Growing to Read programme. Every time a new e-mail comes through, indicating that one of the Goldman family’s friends is adding their support to this programme, I am sincerely moved.”

“The 20 pre-schools are currently having their end of year ceremonies – the graduation for those who are going off to Grade 1 in 2015! It is very satisfying to know that these “graduates” are so much better prepared for Grade 1 than they would have been if this programme had not existed, for the last few years, in the 2 areas. With support gained from families like the Goldmans, we can ensure that this continues into the future. In 2015 we are starting to provide support to the teachers of 12 local Primary schools – to enable them to provide a better quality of education to the learners in their care. In this way we trust that these pre-school graduates will continue to benefit from an ever-improving quality of formal schooling.”

About our Safari…

Guided Safaris® Big Cat Eco-Luxury
View this journey
Singita Growing to Read Program
Learn more about the rural schools
Recent Stories from Guided Safaris® travelers’ journals

Private Family Safari in South Africa

“We had a great time in South Africa and want to thank you for all of your help. The people at the lodges were fantastic. We loved Sweni and the renovated Ebony.

We definitely want to go back!

Marc & Niki’s Gift of Love Charity

As part of their wedding fundraising gift, Niki & Marc ventured to Africa with Guided Safaris® to meet the children in the village and school environs surrounding Sabi Sands Game Reserve, and witnessed a vital educational program firsthand.

A Lifetime Experience at Singita Grumeti

“I knew I had to go back to Africa again, knew I wanted to experience something unique. I was thrilled with the idea of staying in a tent on the open Serengeti. Several people have asked me how I arranged all of this and I said I wouldn’t use anyone but Guided Safaris.”