When I decided to do a safari in JoBurg, I did something thats really out of the ordinary, I did not even bother to email a few companies for quotes but somehow I just emailed Chris and his replies to my emails convinced me that he is the right guy.
To call Chris a company is not even right, he is just about a one man show and he uses that to his strength. Not saying that any other companies cannot do it well, but the wealth of knowledge that Chris has about Pilanesburg where I spent 3 days 2 nights is simply remarkable. I was skeptical about my ability to survive 2 nights of sleeping in a tent. I am not a particular luxury traveller but I still love my basic comforts but I thought, what the hell, you go to a place, try different things! Chris was patient and reassuring throughout my questions and my seemingly ignorance of South Africa or specifically Africa as a whole. The fact is I do not know much about the animals, the safaris and the country itself but it is really good to have a guide who is never tired of explaining why things are the way it is.
Chris is personal and to be honest, bringing just one person up for a trip like this may incur alot of costs because it is just not worth the resources for Chris, but he was more than willing to do it not only for a low cost but at the end of the day, he collected even lesser than what he originally quoted me.
Now I hope this is not taken as he cuts on the quality, In fact, if I thought it was expensive to go on a safari trip in the first place, I would have been willing to pay more after the trip with Chris. Firstly, he just got a Toyota Prado which is a huge car, comfortable enough for 4-5 people compared to his previous Mazda 323 which he says is still a great car, just not big enough. Secondly, for the 2 mornings, he insisted we wake up at early and go into the park at 6am so that the chances of us seeing animals are high. He practically drove from 6am to 6pm stopping probably for lunch, short breaks etc. And that is the wonder of a guide like Chris, totally customising trips to your preference. He is personal, sharing his plans to go into life in the bush full time, sharing about his family, his experiences in the past. I did not see all the animals I want to see but the beauty of it all is precisely that. Like what Chris says, you want guaranteed sightings, go to a zoo! haha! But it was not too shabby. I saw elephants, really wonderful and beautiful creature. I saw Rhinos, was especially fortunate to see a mother rhino sheperding her calf. I saw 5 lions, 4 females and 1 male, though really far away. I saw plenty of zebras and giraffes and hippos and we even saw 2 cheetahs which Chris himself has not seen for some years now. And the amount of knowledge Chris has of these animals and the plants and the birds are amazing.
And just one last thing. Chris does not stinge on the food he provides. In a camping condition, you cannot expect a buffet of course but the sausage and beef steaks he BBQs every night is as good as you can get. He also prepared eggs and bacons for brunch! You will not go hungry!
I cannot recommend Chris enough. He does plenty of other tours and to be honest, while many people can deliver the contents of a tour well but not everyone can deliver it on a personal basis. Chris is a fantastic guide and a fantastic person as well. If I ever get a chance to go back to JoBurg again, he will definitely be my choice.
Chris, thanks for sharing your knowledge with me. It is something that has touched my life on being in South Africa and good luck with your ventures and dreams. I hope the next time we talked, you will be living your dreams to fullest!
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