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“Great camp, food, and a real bush experience”

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Africa on Foot Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 18, 2014 via mobile

I highly recommend this camp as it helped transform our holidays in unbelievable memories. The guys did a great job and the feeling of having to look for the animals and track them down is just ...woooww. Very good food and a "family like" experience.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank theCris_CrisS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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208 - 214 of 355 reviews

Reviewed March 11, 2014

I had a 2 night mid week stay at AOF as part of a press trip and I wasn't too sure what to expect. I'm hardly a "roughing it" kind of girl and that was the very least of my worries when I got to AOF. The chalets are spacious, very clean (I'm OCD!) and well appointed. One even has an outdoor shower - so ask for it when you book if that's your thing.

The key differentiator with AOF as you may have gathered from the name is walking safaris - I didn't even know it was possible. It was great to get off the vehicles and stretch our legs for a change and talk about the "small 5" and other details you so easily miss when driving through - and it's completely safe!

The staff & rangers are incredibly knowledgeable and take it upon themselves to ensure you're getting the most from your visit - it's a very personal service experience. The food is great and the camp is child friendly too.

One of my favourite moments was when over dinner we heard a lion roar in the distance & we all piled into the Land Rover to find him (I wasn't optimistic - it was as dark as midnight out) and we did - absolutely majestic!

I loved the talks out by the camp fire every evening catching up on the day's sightings - bliss!

W

Room Tip: If you like an outside shower, request it when you book!
See more room tips
Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
2  Thank Wisaal A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

Our two rangers, Darren & Matt, made this a truly unforgettable experience for us. Darren is a great front man, he always kept the conversation at meal times lively and had an answer for everything, plus he has a whacky sense of humour! Matt's passion for the wildlife and plant life was displayed in his in-depth knowlege of the interconnectivity of the bush eco-systems. He also has fantastic customer service skills and was very attentive at all times. Lads, we learned a great deal from both of you during our stay - thank you very much.

Whilst the accommodation is likely to be more basic than most people are used to, this added to the experience for us - what a blast having a shower under the stars and laying in bed listening to the elephants eating.

The dining and lounge areas were very comfortable and authentically furnished. The food was incredible and to be honest far better than we were expecting.

This is an unfenced camp with the potential for wild animals to roam through the middle of it, but despite this we felt totally at ease thanks to the professionalism of all the AOF staff.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank NRH41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Great trip. The guides did a great work finding and respecting the animals while getting in their territory. Served simple and great tasting food with a three coursed dinner. Clean and cozy rooms with a genuine bush feeling. With early morning walking safari and game drive in the evening, we would like to go back. Fantastic trip.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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1  Thank Thale-Marie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

In summary: game viewing -good, food –outstanding, facilities – good, service – below average, rooms – below average; overall –average.
I read prior to my arrival in South Africa, that the private game lodges provided outstanding service and flexibility during your visit. We stayed at AOF for three days and only went on one walk. This was due to weather conditions and the non-flexibility of the AOF routine. Upon arrival I asked if my family could go on a walk at the next game drive opportunity since we had just flow for 16 plus hours. The AOF staff informed me that they had a strict program and would not deviate from the program. (so much for private game reserve flexibility) The next day a family of 6 arrived with 2 young children. I asked the AOF staff if my family of 4 would be in a different jeep, my request was mainly due to the number of people. The AOF staff member said that they would have two jeeps for the next game drive. Well time came for the next drive, only one jeep. The AOF staff member said they could only get one jeep. So the 12 of us were packed into one jeep. (so much for private game reserve flexibility) Then as the drive began, our AOF guide informed us that we would have to repeat what we saw before because of the new group in our jeep. (so much for private game reserve flexibility). Then several times during the drives, the game tracker had to ask the children to stop playing the drums on the side of the jeep during animal viewing. AOF advertises a night game drive. This really is the last 10 to 15 minutes hurrying on the way back to camp at the end of the afternoon drive. I asked if the time could be extended, AOF staff informed me it would not be possible do to scheduled diner times. (so much for private game reserve flexibility)
I think hot water is a necessity in a room. The entire time we were at AOF, the hot water did not work properly. It would be scalding hot for 1 minute, then freezing cold for 3 minutes. I requested the AOF staff at least three different times over the three days to repair it, they said they would, but it was never repaired. Another minor service issue was my request for an extra towel, 3 times, was never satisfied. We had no room lights one morning, (AOF rooms work on solar & it had been cloudy for a couple of days), it was a challenge to find your things and get ready for a game drive on a dark morning. You think they would have provided a torch in each room. I am sure this was not the first time this had occurred.
My main complaint is to do with the price they charge for bottle water. It is not really a cost issue, but the principle of overcharging. They charge 10 R, ($1) for a tiny bottle of water. That is 5 times more expensive than the price at the stores in Cape Town International Airport. To make matters worse, all the other 4 places we stayed provided free bottled water on the game drives. Also the price they charge for wine and beer was substantially higher than any of the places we stayed.
Upon leaving, AOF tried to charge us a 100 R per person fee that had already been paid by our booking agent.
The food was the best part of our stay at AOF. It was 5 star quality and more than you could ever want. There was also a wide variety in types of food served.
The staff was pleasant and friendly.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank turbo_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
aofbrett, Director of Sales at Africa on Foot Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2014

Hi turbo-UK

Thanks for taking the time to send in your feedback. All feedback is valued and we will take onboard your comments and improve where we can.

I have been in touch with your ranger to get his feedback and would like to clear up a few issues. Firstly although we offer a morning game walk (or game drive) and then an afternoon/evening game drive, we are always flexible to guests needs. This could involve waking guests up at 430am to respond to lions roaring nearby, or getting all the guests onto the landrover over dinner time in order to follow up on a leopard calling close by. The fact that you only went on 1 walk over 3 days was purely down to weather conditions. Please note that we only walk in the mornings. The afternoon activity is always a game drive.

Please note that in your booking details, there was no request for a private vehicle, and if there had been we would have been happy to bring in a private guide and vehicle for you. This comes at an extra cost (for obvious reasons).

As regards the number of people on the landrover. There were indeed 12 - ten guests, in 3 rows of 3 guests, and then a guest on the passenger side of the landrover (next to the ranger), and then the ranger (in drivers seat) and our tracker on the tracker seat at the front of the bonnet. Africa on Foot does only accept 10 guests and only 10 guests can fit onto the landrover. Please note that we are an affordable bush camp, therefore don't have the luxury of only having 6 guests on the landrover all the time. Camps that have this luxury are significantly more expensive than us.

As regards the night drives, we certainly do offer them. After sundowners, the rangers will always take guests on a dusk/night drive on their way back to camp. If sightings are good, then game viewing will always take preference over dinner time. On this particular occasion Darry informed me that you were on your way back from the East Block from the lion sighting (on buffalo kill) and that it was raining heavily, hence the shortened night drive.

As regards the water issue in your room, Darryn has informed me that he did pop over to your chalet to advise that to resolve the water issue you needed to introduce the cold water slowly into the shower rather than turning it on sharply as this will cause the hot water to stop momentarily.

Africa on Foot does indeed work on solar power and in addition to the lighting provided by solar there are also solar jars in their rooms that could have been used as a torch for the mornings. In saying that I will endeavour to add "torch" to the suggested packing list that we do provide guests with before arrival.

As regards the Conservation levy, this is normally paid at the camp on checkout. On this occasion your agent had pre-paid it and Darryn just need to check the reservation system to double check as pre-paying the Conservation levy is an exception as opposed to the rule. There was no intention to try and duplicate the levy and we apologise if it came across this way.

As regards the cost of drinks, we believe it is very affordable and guests are able to request a price list before arrival. Although we do charge for bottled water, we also provide drinking water in the main area from a jug with some ice. Please note that often the lodges that offer bottled water free of charge are often significantly more expensive than Africa on Foot and would build that into their pricing.

I hope this helps and thanks again for your feedback - it is appreciated and we will aim to improve wherever possible at all time.

Regards
Brett

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

Planning your first safari is overwhelming. For many, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip and getting it right is important. There is information by the truckloads, but it more often than not raises more questions than it answers: are you staying in the heart of the ‘real’ Kruger and not aside some nearby highway; are you in a good animal-viewing area; will the accoms equate with expectations of what you’re paying; are your fellow guests likely to be honeymooners, aged or families? And the list goes on.

But, with the guidance of Jacqui Sive from safari accommodation specialists, Lodge Trackers (who I found on TA, and chose to use because of her informed answers to many of these same questions in the forums), I was directed to Africa On Foot (AOF) and nThambo in Klaserie … and, happy to report, 1000% more than thrilled.

Marrying recommendations with expectations, by email alone, is a difficult task I don’t envy, so having a few sentences outlining what you imagine your trip to be, will help. I knew I wanted to walk. I didn’t mind camping, but didn’t want to do my own set-up, carry my own gear, or share. I worried, if travelling so far, maybe I should splash out and go high-end? Jacqui recommended Africa On Foot for a more “rustic” and walking experience, combined with nThambo for a “upmarket” stay (each owned by the same people and nearby one another, so no wasted time in long-distance driving or flight transfers). From research, I would consider both these mid-point price accoms in terms of cost, but sensational accoms in terms of safari and value for money.

I didn’t want to leave Africa On Foot. Rustic? I thought it was luxury! But apparently some people need a flat-screen TV and towel warmer when on safari, so if you do, then, yes, AOF would probably be rustic. Animal viewing? I started seeing animals before any safari started, on the transfer drive from Bones Bush Pub! AOF’s warm and personal welcome marked my entire stay; from safari guides, trackers and lodge staff.

Absolutely recommend the walking safari; an entirely different experience to being in a vehicle, and though not as many animal sightings, when you do (a breeding herd of female elephants and five rhinos), it’s heart-stoppingly exhilarating and, somehow, if I may say, more “real” or connected or something. Even in times when sighting the “significant” animals were scant, the flora and tracks and birds were amazing in themselves.

The honey badgers, loping in at night to AOF’s kitchen and around the communal area and boma camp-fire, are an added bonus and, without being on either a walking or vehicle-safari, you can watch them with wine in hand! During the day, between your morning walk and night vehicle safari, you can lounge by the converted water tank – now a dip-pool – and chill. Beware; it is a water source, so you may find yourself sharing the enjoyment with a visiting, thirsty, bush friend.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in your accom rate, but alcohol is additional. My only criticism is the bain-marie food. A menu-choice (provided either at booking or on arrival) and prepared a la carte would up the ante significantly here. Meals are an important component of a holiday and this is the one area AOF just don’t have right.

Stayed the Ghwarrie chalet: a secure rondavel-type building, great bed, lush and luxurious linens, mosquito net and pretty decorative hotel touches. Loved, loved, loved the outside shower! Rooms have no electricity, retire by lamplight, and you can charge electronics at points in the main building.

Great news for solo travellers is AOF does not impose a single supplement which means it’s also affordable to other solo safari-ers! Its accom capacity is also reasonably small, so there’s no fear of being overrun with one traveller type. Staff amazingly attentive and will look out and hang out with you if you’re travelling solo too.

As Nancy Sinatra sings it, “these boots were made for walkin’” … so, hot foot yours to Africa On Foot and enjoy your safari dream. I certainly did.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank SoozSolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2013

What a truly amazing experience! As having grown up in South Africa I am used to the bush, but this was unlike any of my previous experiences. Being so truly close to everything and seeing so many amazing things up close were truly awe-inspiring. Francois, Darryn, Christina and Enoch were also wonderfully welcoming and so knowledgable. I will recommend this to anyone locally or internationally, when leaving there we truly felt like we were leaving friends behind who we will definitely visit again soon!

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Anneri M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Africa on Foot Camp

Address: Ross Farm, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Klaserie Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Klaserie Private Game Reserve
Price Range: $360 - $434 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Africa on Foot offers Big Five Kruger Walking Safaris and game drives in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve which shares unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Africa On Foot Camp Hotel Limpopo Province
Africa On Foot Camp South Africa/Klaserie Private Game Reserve

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