To suggest that Benson is one of the best safari guides in the world is actually missing the point. He is indeed that, but much more. Benson has a deep understanding of the Western culture, yet he has firmly retained his roots, enabling him to give us a varied, insightful and complete picture of the at once exquisite and confounding African wilderness. That his long journey (from a boy growing up in a rural village in Zimbabwe to becoming a world-class, truly bi-cultural guide) was achieved in one lifetime is quite simply remarkable.
There have been plenty of dramas on safaris booked through Ngoko Safaris but never any drama in booking them. Fiona executes each trip with precision and integrity. Dealing with Ngoko is a pleasure.
Let me start by saying what an incredible adventure we had. Benson was incredible. It is not easy orchestrating 15 people on activities but he did it with grace and remarkable efficiency. He is also great company and a truly fascinating man who obviously loves his work and his culture. The camps were just beautiful. You chose two great examples of Africa with a little different take in each. The food, service and accomodations were perfect. The game viewing was life-changing for someone who had never been to Africa. Finally, I can not say how great you have been to work with. You really kept us on task and made sure we were all prepared for the trip. There were no surprises and that made the trip even more enjoyable. You have a great company which I would recommend to anyone. As we told Benson, we will be back!!! Thanks for the trip of a lifetime.
We arrived at home 45 minutes ago. Please tell Benson we are home safe and send us our email. He was fantastic: guide, concierge and friend. We do hope the two of you visit us.
To begin with, each of our three safaris has been better than the one before. This one was much the best. The depth, variety and proximity of the animals was truly overwhelming. Yes, we did see an aardvark, one evening, also a leopard walked to three feet of our jeep and opened her maw to let me know who was more important. We saw the usual droves of impala, perhaps a thousand elephant, maybe 500 giraffe, and 75 lion, 8 leopards and one cheetah. We saw Roan, Sable, and most of the little antelope. We saw wild cat and caracal. We saw both lion and leopard mating, many feeding scenes, a leopard run up a tree with an impala to escape an hyena, an elephant chasing a lion, wild dogs chasing feeding and killing. We had herds of elephant and buffalo walk past our jeep. The food was wonderful.
This trip has been amazing and authentic. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect trip. I feel a sense of appropriateness and connectedness that gives me a deep sense of peace and gratitude. Several people have commented that whenever they look at me I have a contented smile. How can one not. I’ve had many brilliant trips to Africa, this is the most fulfilling!
My heavens, what a wonderful trip! Our time with Benson was everything and more we could have wished for – simply a superb time with this man who is so marvelous – as a guide, a friend, a wonderful human being whose love for the bush makes all things bright and beautiful. How can we ever really express it? Thank you, dear Fiona for all you did to make things go well – you traveled with us daily.
I have just returned from my safari in Botswana with Ngoko Safaris and am busily recalling a fantastically organised and executed experience. I must say Benson Siyawareva is a very knowledgeable and experienced guide who helped create one of the most memorable holiday experiences we have had with his outstanding knowledge of all wildlife and other facts about Botswana. A wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone considering a safari in this part of the world.
Hi Fiona, The trip was extraordinary! Everything was perfect. The safari’s were amazing and we had such a great time. It was the best and most rewarding trip of my life thanks to you.
Hello Fiona, thanks for your welcome back email. The trip did not only live up to expectations, if anything it exceeded them and was full of surprises, some of them on the adventurous side some simply resulting from personal ideas not matching reality. Anyway, our somewhat poorly informed decision to travel to Zambia turned out to be just right and with your resourceful support in researching options and planning the details we got more than we had hoped for. We were particularly happy for your late night patience in answering questions about pyjamas and sandals. Next trip we will have a lot less trouble in deciding what to bring and what not. 12 kg weight restriction is really no problem.
Hi Fiona! Thank you so much for the note. We had a fabulous time, and Benson was just so much fun to be with. We just had lunch with my brother and he was asking what the #1 best thing about our safari was, and Christian and I both, in unison, said “Benson.” I want to write you a longer note later this week with more details, but the first thing I wanted to just say, quickly, was thank you for setting up such a seamless, smooth holiday for us. We loved the Norman Carr safaris, and we loved each of the places we stayed in Botswana. It’s a LITTLE hard to be back and actually have to get things done, not be pampered and fed, and have our only responsibility for the day be to be driven around looking for animals! : ) I know you know how that feels.
Hi Fiona. Thanks for enquiring. The only word that comes to mind is Brilliant! Everything was brilliant. The Safari, the accommodation, Wilderness Safaris, the guide, the camps staff and the animals. All beyond my wildest expectations. And that includes your help and service. I’ll be going back in a year or two and I’ll be coming to you for more of the same. Thanks a million for all your help.
We decided not to sell Benson as we compared him with all the other guides on offer, including his older brother, and thought that we had got the best on offer – don’t tell him as it will go straight to his head and then who knows what will happen ……………? He was delightful, charming, fun, kind, naughty, cheeky, etc., etc. I hope our write up [in the Travel Africa magazine] does him, the camps and the country justice. We had a fabulous time ! Please look after him as you have got a real treasure and I am sure that he is a wonderful friend and colleague. As you can see he sort of crept under our skin. Your itinerary said that we would be saying goodbye to Benson when we arrived in Vic Falls – we must have said it on at least 4 or 5 occassions but we kept finding reasons to get back in touch (him just as frequently as us).
Thank you so much for organising our holiday so efficiently. It exceeded all expectations (which was hard!). The highlights include watching the game from our balconies at Mfuwe lodge (a bachelor group of elephants having a mudbath amongst other things) and watching a leopard kill and eat an impala. You seemed to get us all the best rooms at the lodges and everything went smoothly (flying in Africa is so much easier than in Europe!). I will definitely be singing your praises.