Read what some of our safari guests have to say about their experiences below.
"If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to travel far, go together." ~ African Proverb
"Mary and I would like to thank you both for crafting a truly amazing 4-week tour (including 3 full weeks on safari) in Tanzania. Ours was a last-minute request. Within 1-week of our first contact, you had prepared a ‘preliminary itinerary’ based upon the things we hoped to experience and our desire for a deeper in-country immersion (quality of places visited over quantity of places). Your draft itinerary needed no tweaking. It was perfect, as were the guides and lodges chosen.
The guides were incredible! Their knowledge of the animal kingdom and their ability to spot wildlife at great distances and then bring us in close contact was unsurpassed. Their personalities matched ours beautifully. We never felt rushed. And they went overboard to ensure our safety and enjoyment.
The lodges you chose exceeded our expectations as well. Most were very remote, which is what we were hoping for. The food was excellent, gourmet in some cases, which was surprising given the fact that most lodges were small (several with only 8 tent – cabins). All were extremely comfortable, and most were far more beautifully appointed than I would have expected. Even the ‘fly camping’ trips and our time with indigenous peoples were over the top.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone could have coordinated a better trip. From the moment we landed until the moment of our departure we never had to worry about anything.
Thank you both so much for a truly wonderful and unforgettable life experience.
—Ben & Mary (travelled March 2022)
"I remember the last night of our Safari as we were standing up in the land cruiser watching the sun go down across the Serengeti with tears streaming down our faces overwhelmed with the upmost gratitude for experiencing this one-in-a-life time adventure. This was absolutely the most treasured trip of all time. As this was our first time to Africa (and I don't enjoy the process of planning travel) it was wonderful to have Aurora Africa at the helm. The itinerary they crafted for us based on our desires did not disappoint. There was not one thing we would have changed. Traveling internationally during the pandemic brought about a different set of challenges and concerns. I want to personally thank Annie for the endless calls and countless mitigation plans that assured us we would be in good hands regardless of what came our way. Our guide Emmanuel was a wealth of information each and every day, teaching us about this beautiful country and ensuring we saw everything we wanted to see and things we didn't even know to think to see - the big 9, the wildebeest crossing, the most incredible sunsets and sunrises, the culture, etc. Each accommodation was unique and special in its own way making us excited each time we changed locations. We were spoiled beyond spoiled with surprises, great food, cultural experiences and the warmth of the African people. Our trip ended on the white sand beach of Zanzibar on the Indian Ocean where we had time to relax, soak in all of the memories and experience a completely different African culture. It was a great end to a great trip. We would not go to Africa without Aurora Africa."
—John & Laurie (travelled September 2021)
"Thanks so much for all your efforts in putting together our African Safari, which we have dreamed about taking for years. Our Tanzanian Safari through Aurora Africa was everything we ever dreamed of and more! We saw eight of the"Big Nine" and the Great Migration of the wildebeest was even more spectacular than we ever imagined. Our guide was absolutely perfect, quick to find all the animal locations, knew all the specific birds' names, and filled our days with fascinating information and stories on the plants, animals, and landscape that surrounded us. Every lodge and camp we stayed at was immaculate and luxurious with the most accommodating staff. The cultural walks and sundowners were a special treat. We can highly recommend Aurora Africa as they personalized our Safari to make it a most exceptional experience of our lives."
—Paula White and Dan Talmo, USA (travelled February 2020)
"Susan and Annie, The Wilsons and I can't thank you enough for our perfect African Adventure! The pacing was spot on and every stop offered us a new and wonderful experience. The attention and care we received at every lodge made us long to stay in Africa forever! Every evening we talked about our favorite experience of the day. The response were varied, sometimes funny, but never for want of ideas. The tribal experiences were often the highlight... I simply can't thank you enough for your tireless guidance and patience, and for allowing us to have Emmanuel for so much of our visit, He's truly a very special person that none of us will ever forget."
—Judy Jorgensen, USA (travelled November 2019)
"...thanks for the links to the various projects as obviously so much help is needed. Your corporate mandate is perfect, your passions for Tanzania very evident. We're looking forward to future updates. If anyone considering traveling with Aurora Africa wants to contact us for feedback we're more than happy to sing your praises."
—Jenn and Bob McKown, USA (travelled February, 2019)
"Thank you for making our safari trip more than the amazing safari itself. Eileen and I appreciate all you have shared with us about Tanzania/Africa, your compassion for the land and people and dedication to improving lives. What an incredible experience for us, both joyful and humbling. Asante sana kwa moyo wote.
—Bob and Eileen Druchniak, USA (travelled February, 2019)
“Thank you for all your help making this an unforgettable family memory; we wanted to tell you what a fabulous Safari we had. Everything was 10 stars. This was a dream of a lifetime and in no way were we disappointed The hospitality and food was exceptional. The staff were all so warm and accommodating. …Of course, the wildlife sightings were beyond amazing. We saw the big 5 the first day, we saw so many babies nursing we lost count, we saw a rhino and her baby, we saw a leopard with her kill in a tree, we saw her hunting, we saw a mother lioness and her two babies and 2 male lions with a female. It was so fun… all the special touches - breakfast in the bush, stops for refreshments on the drives , a special evening dinner in the riverbed with dancing & music, and a last evening setup in the bush with drinks and appetizers was a surprise, they really went beyond the expected I could go on and on.”
—The Romcevich Family, USA (travelled May, 2019)
"I want to thank you and Susan for setting up our most wonderful safari trip; you gave us a trip to remember forever and we are very grateful. Your experience made all the difference to us as visitors. everything was so seamless. The trip to Tanzania was one of our biggest bucket list trips. It was our first adventure to Africa and more than lived up to our expectations. I am sure we will both be talking about it forever! We feel so lucky to have been put in touch with you and Susan because you did such a great job of helping us accomplish what we were hoping for.
Starting from the planning stages almost nine months before, you responded promptly to my questions and made suggestions I hadn't even thought of. The visit to the tribes at Lake Eyasi was fascinating. David fondly remembers shooting arrows and making fire with the Hadzabe bushmen and I really liked the genuinely warm welcome by the women at the Datoga tribe and grinding corn and singing with them. Each and every hotel was exactly what we had hoped for. Each was so different but the staff at each were incredibly friendly, professional and caring. We were treated like royalty and think the management of each hotel deserves a gold medal. We ventured out to see prides of lions with youngsters and then later we came across a very well fed male lion. We also saw our first wildebeests running in the distance and even more exciting, a large herd of 31 elephants. The matriarch and another large female were definitely in charge; the younger baby elephants were a joy to watch as their trunks were barely under control and they generally stayed in the midst of the herd. The variation in climates between Arusha, Karatu, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti was striking as it transitioned from tropical to desert plain. The animal sightings were so impressive even though it was late May plus the grasses were a little taller with the late rainy season and we saw everything we hoped to see and much more.
We both really enjoyed meeting you at the beginning and end of our trip, and hope to catch up with you when you come back to the U.S."
—Sheila and David Bose, California (travelled May, 2019)
"Planning safaris for the past three years with Aurora has been a dream! Travelling with a large group is never easy, but Annie and Susan have made our holidays as seamless as possible. They provide efficient, friendly, flexible and THOROUGH service every time, not sacrificing any detail. We have enjoyed top-notch safari guides, impeccable accommodations at the Country Lodge and above-and-beyond organization from Annie and Susan. They are more than just a travel service to us: they are friends in Africa. We trust them and look forward to working with them again on creating yet another trip of a lifetime."
— Hilary Pickles, Communication Liaison, Lush Cosmetics (travelled 2014, 2015 & 2016)
"THANK YOU!!! We all had such a great time! It was an AMAZING experience!
Thank you for everything you did to make our trip so enjoyable and easy. Those many hours of pre-planning were so apparent in our daily schedule. We had a great time with Kom and saw pretty much everything on the animal list! The bush breakfast was a treat, as was the sundowner sunset, which I could do every night. :) He is part of a real guide brotherhood and takes that very seriously. I was just amazed at how everyone knew who we were, where we were going, and who was taking us there. This was especially evident in Zanzibar from the moment we met our great guide to the moment he delivered us back to the airport. The dhow sunset cruise, plantation tour and lunch were highlights and your restaurant and shop recommendations were much appreciated. We were so touched by your note, the wine and fruit upon our arrival at the Serena. So, thanks to you both for all that you did to personalize our visit. It was a trip all of us will remember -- forever. Even those in the group who were a bit tired and tentative had a incredible time. It was the right balance of adventure, dustiness, relaxation and luxury and we enjoyed it all."
— The Crawford Family, California (travelled December 2018)
“Thank you Annie and Susan for making it possible. We loved our trip...our group, our guides and our organizers!”
— Araceli Bosch, Spain and Florida, USA (travelled February 2017)
"I was lucky to find Annie Birch and Susan Wahlen of Aurora Africa, who not only met me on arrival, arranged for multiple car transports, but also gave me a pre-safari briefing, a list of what to pack, advice on what animals I might see, and also made sure to offer me options for camps that were committed to reducing their ecological impact, while still offering great food and comfortable sleeping. Because they’ve both lived in Tanzania for over 10 years, they know everyone and give back to local orphanages, schools and hospitals. They believe in IMPACT: Imagine Many People Acting Compassionately Together."
— Barb Dehn, Los Altos, California (travelled January, 2016)
"Without much lead time, Annie, at Aurora Africa was able to give us an itinerary to fit our budget, the needs of our large family of 10 ranging in age from 11-74 years, and get us room reservations at the perfect lodges for the exact dates we needed. That’s a tall order! After being met at the airport, they also sent us off on safari in the capable hands of our wonderful guides who looked after us with great care, humour, and knowledge for the whole trip. We also received very detailed pre-departure information for everything including vaccines, travel insurance, packing lists, tipping guidelines etc so we could plan well for the trip. The whole trip was organized with so much personal attention we felt very confident that our needs would be met at every stage. Our expectations of service were surpassed. I would recommend Aurora Africa to anyone wanting a personalized planning of their safari."
— Nina Rao, Brooklyn, NY (travelled July, 2016)
“Everything lived up to all my expectations and more. I personally thank you for everything you both did to make this an amazing adventure and all your work around every detail."
— Sandy M. Illinois, USA (travelled February 2017)
"Thank you for honoring Howard and I with the donation to FAME. Having been there for just a week, I cannot think of a better place to support. The individuals here are so dedicated and make a real difference in this unfortunate community. As for the Safari, it was everything I had dreamed of. Michael and Nathan were great, the accommodations first rate. Hoping to meet you soon."
— Dr Paul Weinberg, Atlanta USA
"Our African/FAME adventure has come to an end, as we arrived home yesterday. As Paul has said, the Safari was amazing, seeing the Wildebeest crossing is something out of Nat Geo, and all of the other animals as well (including watching lions mating) The camp was great, as was the company of the other guests. Perfect location and the guide was so knowledgeable, plus had great eyesight to pick out distant animals. Being the seasoned African traveller that I am, :), I was not too surprised at the need to shoo the animals off of one of the airstrips, but Paul was just amazed and amused. Your recommendations were perfect, but nothing less than what I have come to expect. I’m sorry that we missed you, hopefully we can connect on our next trip.
And, thank you so much for the donation to FAME. They have grown so much since we were there last, I’m always gladdened by the comittment of the staff and of course Susan and Frank at the work they do."
— Dr Howard Silk, Atlanta USA (travelled August, 2017)
“Again — thank you SO MUCH for an amazing trip. It was everything I could have hoped for and more. ...you handled the details so well for us it made our lives a little easier. My hat is off to the both of you for your amazing gift of doing things so effortlessly even though I know it isn’t or wasn’t always easy. We all sang your praises, along with all our amazing guides and places we stayed, not to mention the incredible array of animals we saw, to all who are ready to hear our stories. We even experienced some of the migration at the end. People told me the trip would be “life changing”. I know now what they were speaking of. Thank you for the sharing the information regarding the organizations you support and that we saw, so we can make a contribution."
— Linda D. Florida, USA (travelled February 2017)
"Now that I have come up for air, I wanted to tell you how wonderful our family trip was. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Everything worked out perfectly. Isayah was phenomenal. He was a great driver with an ambitious itinerary you and I had mapped out. The places we stayed were all fantastic. Absolutely no complaints; we will have great memories for years to come. I am so glad we took the detours to the Boma and Rift Valley Children's Center and the beading cooperative. Some of the places were really hard to get to but we always made it thanks to Isayah."
— Dr Mary Ann Zetes, California USA. (travelled August 2018)
“We haven’t stopped talking about our trip to everyone and how wonderfully organised it was by you both. I don’t think any trip I have ever done would surpass our African experience. Thanks again for a wonderful itinerary; it would be great to travel back to Africa in the near future.”
— Brenda & Rae, Sydney, Australia (travelled August, 2015)
"Thank you for this. Our Safari vacation was THE BEST! Everything was so lovely and it was made even better with Paul and Killian as our guides. They are truly lovely humans, very professional and superb guides. (Having been on safaris in the past with less than stellar guides I can tell you that they make all the difference). Thank you, thank you, thank you. Our balloon ride over the Serengeti was another big highlight for sure. The balloon company is the epitome of professional and I highly recommend them. All the camps were perfect... I'm sure it will be vacation that is spoken about for years to come. Thank you again for all you did."
— Nicole Entz and Family. Canada (travelled February 2018)
"You two are delightful, and a great team! Thank you for all of the great work you put in, and everyone enjoyed your company - (in every aspect of the word!). I hope our paths cross again, sooner than later. Many thanks!"
— Nancy S, California (travelled October 2018)
"Dear Annie and Susan,
Thank you for making our safari trip more than the amazing safari itself. Eileen and I appreciate all you have shared with us about Tanzania/Africa, your compassion for the land and people and dedication to improving lives. What an incredible experience for us, both joyful and humbling. Asante sana kwa moyo wote"
— Bob and Eileen Druchniak, New England, USA (travelled February 2019)
“Stupendous trip! I continue to dream of baby elephants, lions and miles of wildebeest careening across the land. To return all I need to do is get out my trekking shoes, which from now on will always have the aroma as well as brown silt. Not only a super trip but what a great group of interesting people!”
— Cam Nielsen, Wisconsin, USA (travelled February 2017)
“I am a frequent traveler to Africa, and was determined to arrange our adventure in Tanzania by myself. I had Aurora Africa handle only a portion of our trip in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Karatu, and in hindsight, I wish they’d organized our entire stay. Thanks to Annie and Susan, we had two of our very best experiences. The first was driving directly through the middle of the great wildebeest migration—they knew exactly where to send us, and it was more awesome than we could have imagined. Second, they organized a smart and delightful Maasai guide to accompany us on our hike down Empaakai Crater. Having grown up in the area, he knew of a large Maasai village, and arranged for us to camp there. It was one of the most memorable nights of our lives. Not only was it a rare experience to be among the Maasai, but the landscape was majestic and soul-stirring. Next time around, I’m going to have Annie and Susan create our full itinerary.”
— Melanie Doherty, San Francisco (travelled December 2015)
"The two of you certainly know how to put together a fun filled adventure holiday. I still think of Africa everyday. Thank you so much for all your effort, fun and wealth of information. It was truly special. If ever you make it to Australia, be sure to look us up."
— Alyssa & Doug, Australia (travelled October 2018)
“Everything was so perfectly planned and thought out. Ending with the tented camps was such a good idea! We ended feeling even closer to nature and that was just right. And all the guides were warm and knowledgeable and funny. Susan and Annie, you really couldn't have done a better job. I feel so grateful to have been one of the group. It was such fun to make new friends and spend time with old friends. The experiences we shared have created a very special bond. Like Linda, people I talked to who had visited Africa all said the experiences I would have there would change me forever. They were right.”
— Martha Madden, Florida, USA (travelled February 2017)
"This has been the vacation of all vacations, SO wonderful, everything I hoped for. Nothing can top it, I might as well stay home forevermore. . . You are so lucky to be going back to the Serengeti, say hello to it all for me".
— Louise & Charlie, New York, NY (travelled January 2012 & October 2016)
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If you’re thinking of planning a safari, Susan and Annie are ready to help you out.
All you have to do is get in touch and we’ll take care of the rest.