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“Fantastic day”

Cashan Africa Tours & Safaris
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We conduct private and small group tours around JHB, JHB/Soweto, Apartheid museum, The Cradle of Humankind, Pretoria and the Pilanesberg. We also do overnight tours to Pilanesberg, camping or chalet and lodge venues. Group size is kept small to ensure an exclusive experience. We try to accommodate special requests as far as possible.
Holmfirth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fantastic day”
Reviewed March 21, 2014 via mobile

We were collected by Chris from our hotel at 0830 in his 4 wheel drive vehicle. We had all our luggage with us as were were flying out that evening and Chris had agreed to drop us at the airport at the end of the tour. Chris began the tour straight away chatting about the large houses in one of the leafy suburbs of Joburg. He is extremely knowledgable about the city and delivered his tour with lots of facts and he clearly has a passion for the new South Africa. It was wonderful to listen to his optimism for the future and his despair at the past events.

He met people along the way as if they were his best friends and they would respond in a like manner . We often asked him how well he knew the people we encountered and he said that with some of them it was the first time.

We toured Soweto which was a very uplifting experience . We were slightly ashamed that we thought we were visiting a very poor and dangerous area. To our surprise and delight we found Soweto to be a vibrant upwardly mobile area with friendly people. It was an amazing community and Chris said that after 1994 people could actually own their own homes. This led to people having more pride in where they lived and the community spirit grew from there. We met one of the residents and elderly man sitting on a rock watering his very beatiful and well manicured garden. We spent 5 minutes chatting with him and he said he was using the garden to show people that you can make a difference and that although he would never forget the many lives which were lost he was full of optimism for Soweto. It made us feel very humble.

All through the tour Chris kept us engaged with the history of South Africa and the troubles.
We then visited Nelson Mandellas house in Soweto which was once again a humbling experience and very emotional even for a couple from the uk on their first visit to the country. One of the many fascinating exhibits in the house is a dustbin lid with bullet holes. This was used by Mandela to protect him and his family from the attacks made on the house by the Police. Hard to imagine him standing there with just a dustbin lid to protect the family. Our guide was superb and took us round the house pointing out the major things and then we were left to browse by ourselves and take photographs. A must see place.

The morning was full of visits to interesting locations and many many fascinating stories.

Chris then took us for lunch at the food market, which tuned out two be a large number of food stalls set up in a multi storey car park. The range of food available was amazing and the car park was buzzing with a mixture of people. The atmosphere was buzzing and friendy. We sampled paella cooked in a huge dish right in front of us. It was superb and the best paella I have ever tasted. Cooked on a gas ring In a car park. Amazing.
We the continued the tour with visits to several locations connected with gold mining. Once again fascinating and very informative. We visited the building where Nelson Mandela practised law. The locations are too numerous to mention here but every single one had us engaged .
Chris finished with taking us up the Carlton tower where from the 50 th floor we could see a 360 degree view of the city. The visibility and the view was Superb and Chris proudly pointed out the areas where regenaration was in progress.

We were then dropped at the airport ready for our return flight. We were tired but both agreed that the day had been fascinating , humbling shocking and uplifting. A great experience that we would recommend to anyone interested in the history and the future of South Africa.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank tunny58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris G, Owner at Cashan Africa Tours & Safaris, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Hi Tunny! Gosh thank you so much for your very full review of your visit, it was indeed a busy day as Saturday usually are! Soweto is great on the weekends as people are out on the streets and it is very social without the traffic. There are many very poor areas in Soweto but overall you are quite correct, the community is committed to upliftment and everyone is working hard towards that goal. Soweto is a far cry from the dusty shanty town of the 1950s, 60s. We are blessed to have two fabulous food/street markets in JHB on the weekend so Saturday or Sunday one can obtain awesome paellas like you discovered in Braamfontein! JHB is a big place and so one is compelled to be selective to get a balanced picture, it is possible to do this and the variety makes it a great city to visit, every day is different!
I am glad you enjoyed your time in Johannesburg and I look forward to meeting you again some day, many thanks for your review too. We grow by getting feedback on what people think of our tours!
Best wishes,
Chris Green
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Mannheim, Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fabolous full day tour”
Reviewed February 24, 2014

We (my husband and I) booked a full day tour of Johannesburg together with Chris and had the tour in mid of February. Everything went perfectly. Already the booking process was lovely (Penny is awesome). Chris was timely, very courteous (he even brings water and fruit, indredible!), has an immense knowledge of the history and geography of Johannesburg, and can tell some incredible personal stories. We saw the soccer stadium, downtown Joburg (including the changing parts with restaurants and art galleries), Carlson Tower, Apartheid Museum, and took a ride through a richer part of town.
We always felt safe and even more: we discovered a side of the city most visitors most likely never see; how it is changing in something great in a very short period of time. How the mining history is still very visible in the face of the city (even after the tour we started seeing old mining shafts all over the place *g*). And how even the architecture of a building or a fence can tell a lot about who you are and what you want. The city is absolutely in flux and Chris is able to let one actively feel and experience that. He went far out of his way to make that day memorable for us (the tour lasted even longer than originally pronounced) and we can fully recommend him. Thank you Chris!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Franziska R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris G, Owner at Cashan Africa Tours & Safaris, responded to this review, March 8, 2014
Hello Franziska! Thank you so much for your review of the tour. You are very kind! Jozi is a fun place as you certainly found, it is so dynamic and changes all the time it makes living here a treat! Touring is just the same there is so much to discover and share, Right now we are having the first really sunny day after ten days of heavy rains so JHB is sparkling! The big movie set that was the CBD is now back to normal after the New Avengers crew departed. It was chaotic but also interesting to be a local citizen with such a big productions going on! Take care and come back to SA again, many thanks,
Chris
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England
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Fabulous 2 days.....”
Reviewed February 16, 2014

We wanted a guide for a day trip around Johannesburg and then a one day safari to Pilanesberg. We chose Chris and Cashan Tours purely based on reviews on here...and boy was that a good choice!!! Chris is a hugely knowledgeable, personable and accommodating guy and our days were highly enjoyable, informative and at times laughter filled. He is all at once a historian, anthropologist, geologist, naturalist and many more things besides.... We had a fascinating city tour including a quick look at Soweto and Mandela's house and then visited the Apartheid Museum. We felt that being with Chris we saw and learned so much more than we could have imagined. The following day we made an early start for a full day to Pilanesberg Reserve and this was simply a brilliant day that will live long in our memories. Apart from leopards we saw all of the big 5 (including a whole herd of about 30 buffalo which even Chris was particularly excited about!) and many, many more things besides. Chris even supplied breakfast snacks and a lovely picnic lunch...great service. So many people question whether to spend time in and around Jo'burg - our advice is to not think twice. Just do it, it's a terrific place......and try to book Chris to show you around, you won't regret it. We plan to be back and for longer next time. Many, many thanks from Clive and Vicky (the lucky buffalo people!)

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank CharlieBEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chris G, Owner at Cashan Africa Tours & Safaris, responded to this review, February 18, 2014
Hi Clive and Vicky! Thank you so much for your very generous review of your two tours with me, I am blushing! I think you know that I had a wonderful time sharing JHB and especially the Pilanesberg with you. We had to really pack it in on the first day given your 'short' time allowed but it is possible to get a solid feel of Jozi if you plan it right. I like weekends for city and Soweto tours because there is so much less traffic. The Pilanesberg remains one of the best value for money wildlife experiences in the region as your experience showed. I took the liberty of posting some photos and a story on our face book page about the day. We were indeed fortunate but by no means was it unusual, aside from the buffaloes of course! They are being seen more frequently now that the herd is bigger as I told you. Thank you once again for your very kind reviews, we grow and improve from the feedback we receive so it is much appreciated. I wish you both a fabulous year and look forward to meeting you again when you return to SA
Best wishes,
Chris Green
Cashan Africa
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Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“One very special small group tour”
Reviewed January 29, 2014 via mobile

I had never been to South Africa and on this trip wanted to experience the best that the country has to offer. I reached various tour companies and chose Cashan as I love small tours. I did 3 days of Safari in Kruger and it was amazing, even the 5am early bird starts weren't an issue as it was just great to be out there seeing animals including lions, elephants and rhinos in their natural habitat. Chris and Penny are a brilliant team and really looked after me. Admittedly, that did take a tiny of getting used to as I am normally very much an intrepid solo traveller.

Chris' knowledge of Kruger and his overall bush skills are excellent, although he will probably blush reading this as he is so modest but sometimes things just have to be said.

For someone looking for a truly authentic Kruger experience small tour experience,I would totally recommend them.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ayo A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris G, Owner at Cashan Africa Tours & Safaris, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
Hi Ayo! Gosh thanks, you are so kind! It was our great pleasure taking you to Kruger. Penny and I both enjoyed meeting you, solo traveller or not you gave us much useful input and comment along the way too. Thanks for your great company. We like the itinerary we did too, the animals played along and it was a bit of a variation on our usual trips but it worked out very effectively for the time we had. Penny and I both love the Kruger park, it is one of the most wonderful 'old' parks, we also love the wilder parts of Africa too but that's another story. We are getting some late season rain today, which is most welcome, we had a little when you were here but the recent falls have been sparse. Best wishes to you and best of luck with this new year.
Penny and Chris
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Saw more in one day with John than in 10 days in Botswana”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

This review is long overdue! I spent two and a half months in Southern Africa with Botswana being the linchpin of my entire trip. After all, it's the premier wildlife viewing country, right? Not for me. My trip, with Wilderness Safaris, was so awful I got half the cost back. You know it's bad when that happens. We'd drive 3 hours and be excited because we saw a squirrel. And this was in October - prime season (this was in 2012 but TripAdvisor won't let me go back past 2013). Anyway...

I get back to Johannesburg and am completely devastated. I didn't want my last wildlife viewing experience to be awful and it most certainly had been. A friend of mine is also friends with John and suggested I hire him and go out to Pilanesburg. I figured it couldn't possibly be worse, so why not. Let me tell you, this man has an eagle eye and knows his stuff. Honestly, I saw more in six hours on our first day in Pilanesburg than in the entire 10 days in Botswana. The kicker was when we drove up to a plateau to look out over the park. He said we were going for the view, that he'd never seen any animals up there. We go around a curve and almost run over two lionesses lying in the road. I rolled my window up pronto - they were less than five feet away. It was AMAZING. And the number of elephants we saw... One was probably less than a week old. Just goes to show - you need a good guide, they're everything. And John is way more than a good guide. We stayed the night and saw more the next day but the first day felt like such a bonanza that everything else was just icing on the cake. I'm so grateful to him for making my last wildlife viewing experience exceptional.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank ShellyR41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris G, Owner at Cashan Africa Tours & Safaris, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Hi Shelly! Long time no hear but great to see your review, I guess you remember my name is Chris, right? John was your friend's partner. Easy confusion on a busy journey! I remember that trip very well, it was kind of last minute for you and we certainly were fortunate with our sightings. I still tell the story of those two lionesses! What a surprise, you said to me not to ''run over the 'view'" !! The strange thing was the heat that day, not the heat itself but the number of animals we saw despite the heat. You took 650+ pictures plus some video.I thank you for sharing some with me. I have to tell you I had another day like that last weekend, just a fabulous reserve is the Pilanesberg, it always turns up interesting sightings. It is really good to 'hear' from you again, how is your cat sitting business going? It would be a great pleasure to take you on another trip should you ever return to SA, I drive a nice comfortable Toyota Landcruiser now! Thank you so much for posting your review. Chris Green now of CashanAfrica, we've grown up!
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