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Safari Stories

Personal Guest diaries from Guided Safaris® handcrafted journeys throughout Africa.
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Journal Entry Anniversary Safari
The McWards Journal: From East to South Africa

The McWards Journal: From East to South Africa

Words and Photos by Kathleen & Dan McWard. Presented by Guided Safaris®


“Kathleen & I spent nearly two weeks in Tanzania & South Africa.
Our trip was organized exclusively through Guided Safaris®.


We experienced sights, sounds and friendships we never experience in our day to day lives.  It
is a wonderful view of a life that not many get to enjoy.  It is more of a submersion than
a vacation.  Having been home for a couple of weeks the excitement of the camps is
still there. Here are a few thoughts to put into perspective the millenniums of life in a small
spot on the map of Africa. Our thanks to Guided Safaris for arranging this experience.”

Kathleen and Dan


Our Trip Overview…

6 nights
4 nights

What We Loved…

Guided Safaris® in Lamai

We spent four nights in the Lamai, the first of the three lodges we visited. When we look back it was the most fun – and the simplest in accommodations and location. It was also the best in ease of access to the game drives, which is what it is all about. Food is first class, service staff – first class (especially John Michael), and the game drives are spectacular. Kevin’s management skills will add to the advanced training of his team. All in all we had a great time and saw three of the Big Five. We saw the other two at the second & third locations.

Mara River is known as “off the Grid”. Electricity is solar powered. Very comfortable and all the conveniences you expect as well as terrific sights in the bush. So, if you are debating on a camp look at Mara River as a simpler, eco-friendly camp. You’ll love it.

Guided Safaris® in Grumeti Reserve
All we could say was – No Way!…By far the great lodge, five star restaurant, and a Zen spot we couldn’t dream of. Imagine sitting in your huge room, after an outdoor shower looking out your glass wall / window at elephants in the watering hole and monkeys in the trees. It goes on with a health club, spa, massage, brunch for twelve in the jungle and so on. The attentive staff is reassuring in as distant a spot as Tanzania. They have a great sense of humor and you can tell that the staff is selected not only for their service skills but also their interpersonal skills as well.  You will enjoy all aspects of it. You have to do it.

Guided Safaris® in Lebombo

I could tell you about all the amenities of the lodges but one experience stood out: We were packing to leave the camp later that day, so we were relaxing and had planned a quiet day. Having seen the “Big Five” a couple times over during our trip, as well as so many other animals, we felt we deserved the time off! The night before we had been talking with Yolanda, our camp manager about all the animals we saw. The only thing we missed was the male lion here. Not a disappointment, but it would be a nice finish. The phone rang that morning and Yolanda told us that the guides found three male lions who had just moved into the neighborhood. They had a Land Rover standing by if we were interested. We were on board in less than five minutes! After a twenty minute drive we came upon the male lions in the middle of dinner. We parked about thirty feet from the oldest of the three. He had one eye and puncture holes in his coat from numerous battles with Rhinos and Cape Buffalos. What a sight. Just another day on safari…

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We definitely want to go back!

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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.