Vamsy and Alair from the USA, who did our 7 day Kruger, Hluhluwe and St Lucia safari package. Vamsy is a Neurologist and Alair is a Psychologist
November 2022: From world travelers, BEST experience we’ve ever had!!!!!!! Highly recommend!!!!!!!
I don’t even know where to start! My partner and I travel often, several times a year and travel all over the world, so we try to make the most out of our vacations. Having flexibly is very important since “packages” don’t always fit want we want in our time frame. Well, this was not a problem for viva safari!!!! Talk about accommodating, customer service!!!!! Wow! From the first contact with the proprietor, Piero (an amazingly kind, intelligent, sweet person, but more on that later) we felt like our needs were being heard. He put us in touch with Rei, the property manager who called us in the middle of the night (her middle of the night, daytime for us) and answered all our questions and concerns and made us feel comfortable with our choice, seeing how this was our first experience in South Africa and we didn’t know what exactly we wanted/needed. So, before we even got into the country, we had personal contacts with actual people we later met on the property.
We were picked up from our hotel in jo-burg and taken to the first of the viva safari lodges we stayed at, tremisama. What an amazing place! It is exactly what you picture a safari lodge to be. Rustic, yet clean and quite and beautiful. Looks like Hemingway would be writing his books from our patio looking into the bush or at the desk in our room. Just lovely. Beautiful lagoon like pool; nice bar and lounge area where the staff and guests spend time eating dinner and hanging cocktails together in the evenings. The safaris themselves were just wonderful. You can’t be sure you’ll see anything because animals are animals but we did! And what viva doesn’t tell you is how skilled and trained their safari guides are!! These men aren’t just your guides; they’re highly skilled and trained men who have gone through rigorous arms training for safety and who are extremely knowledgeable in wildlife and all the vegetation. They also have a passion for what they do and where they live that just can’t be learned. We spent time with one of the guides, Rocky, who talked about being what it is to be a “tracker ” (following animal tracks) and his experience in the bush and his life in his country and his passion for what he does. In fact, all of the staff, like Rei, who I wish I had more time to spend with, talked about their lives and how it is to live on the property. You can feel their love for the bush and their jobs. Pierro, the proprietor, met us the first night we were there and made sure we were satisfied with our accommodations and did so throughout our trip. The last night we were there before we moved to another property, we had a wonderful dinner with everyone on the patio of our room (where we watched elephants eat the trees right from our room!!!). I can’t say enough about the staff. Amazing!
And then we left with the most amazing amazing guide there ever was charl, to Pimusa Bush Lodge. The 7 hour trip there felt like nothing because the road trip with Charl was part of the fun! We learned more about the bush, the country, and his absolute love and passion for his country and his job during that trip. We know we’d be friends for life. When we arrived at the lodge, Andre, our host made us feel like family arriving home. What a host!!!!! And every meal he tailor made to our tastes . And, again, the wildlife experiences were outstanding. Just outstanding. We were fortunate to see Pierro and his wife again and spend time with them, and what a pleasure that was. You can tell when someone puts their heart into something. Pierro’s love for the bush and his lodges shines through in the properties as well as his staff and customer experience, and we can’t say enough how much we appreciate everyone there. We miss you all.We have spend 5x as much money at top resorts and they can’t hold a candle to what we experienced with viva safari. We highly recommend.