Dark Continent Explorer Photo Safari Testimonials
Hear what Dark Continent Explorer's friends are saying.
Judy Walker, New York
"I got to be part of the most fantastic trip to South Africa! The animals were incredible, the people we met were wonderful, and the scenery much more striking than I expected. I had the opportunity to play with baby lions and visit in some wonderful safari camps. I fell in love with giraffes. It was so neat to be going down the road and all of a sudden, a head would be peering at us over the top of the trees! Our guides were wonderful and knowledgeable, our cook fantastic, and our small group made this a trip of a lifetime. If you have ever considered Africa, this is the way to do it. With the experienced Dark Continent Explorer team."
Glenn & Donnie Halter, North Carolina
"When I think of my favorite thing about our trip to South Africa, I picture all the amazing animals, lions, elephants, beautiful birds, trees and flowers, unique and special people and the outstanding accommodations at every stop. After I got home and began to absorb this unbelievable experience, I realized that I had been to a very unusual school. Not only did we observe all manner of African wildlife in their natural habitat, but we were constantly learning interesting facts about everything we were seeing. Wade and the guide were veritable walking encyclopedias about everything we came upon. Their enthusiasm allowed us all to grip the wild country we were traveling and living in. If there happened to be a question asked that they were unsure of, they referred to their always handy-dandy library of nature books that went with us every step of the way. When we had a little down time, we found ourselves borrowing these books and trying to learn even more about this wonderful country and its fascinating inhabitants.
Leopards and lions roaring under the cover of darkness as we huddled behind the perimeter fence in front of our campfire may have generated the most lasting impression.
Thank you, Wade for the trip of a lifetime!"
Margit Paulsen, Council Bluffs, IA
"For a good part of my 74 years, I dreamed of Africa. The enchantment of that dream came true in the summer of 2009 through the organization and efforts of our American Guide, Biologist Wade Nolan, and the African Guide. Lodges and outdoor meals were fantastic, but the best was yet to come with the splendor of each magnificent sunrise – a wild ride through the bush; playing with baby lions at a camp; experiencing native culture; sitting speechless as an elephant family leisurely lumbered across our road in the wild and giraffes gazed at us through their lovely, long eyelashes and posed for our cameras – and much more. "My photo album rivals National Geographic. Thanks, Wade & Bess for an unforgettable adventure!"
"Capturing a Cape Buffalo and not one, but two Rhino calves in one day would be a fantastic end to any adventure. But, It was the start of the unbelievable adventure that Wade and Bess set up for us in South Africa.
Lions roaring, Hippos grunting, and Elephants trumpeting and serenading you to sleep in the evening. Maybe it is the memory of the Elephant you were watching peacefully grazing as it suddenly disappeared and then reappeared with dust flying as it false charged the tour van.
In the capable hands of Bess and Wade you know that you are absolutely safe. This is Africa without Tarzan and with cell phones. Every suppressed primitive instinct that is wired in your being will be automatically reactivated and stay that way for the entire journey. No amount of caffeine could replicate the level of natural rush that you will feel during this trip. Would I go again? You bet! In fact on my next visit to the Dark Continent the Safari will be my main objective!"
Lori Shockley "Lori the Cat Woman", Pennsylvania
"This safari was the BEST vacation I've ever had! My favorite things were petting the cheetah and playing with the lion cubs! And, it was exciting to see a mother hyena & pups playing right beside the road one morning! Wade's background in wildlife biology and his "Nat Geo." connections provided us an awesome adventure! The Wade and the guide are quite knowledgeable about the animals, birds & plants actually their interpretation made Africa come alive. They are also very accommodating to your every need…plus I never quit smiling.this may have been the most fun I ever had on a vacation. This safari team made the trip better than I ever expected. The food was delicious – I didn't have a chance to get hungry. I never thought that I would feel pampered on a safari! Many thanks for making my dream vacation come true! I didn't know that I could become addicted to adventure."
J. Michael Schirra, Pennsylvania
Photography by J. Michael Schirra
It took me 10 years to get my first trip to Africa done correctly. Wade worked to assemble a safari of all of his favorite places. Being a professional photographer I was anxious to participate in a custom photo safari where I'd have opportunity to see the best Africa had to offer.
Kruger is the Promised Land for a photographer. I had seen and photographed more herds of elephants, cape buffalo, zebras, impala and lions than I could count, also a few leopards! The sights during the day and night never failed to impress me. The nights were full of sounds of the spotted hyenas looking for meals or the roars of lions and leopards mingled with trumpeting elephants and grunting hippos. Yet, I always felt safe on our side of the compound fence!
All throughout the trip the accommodations were surprisingly clean, comfortable. Grass roofed huts add to the charm of the experience. Great food was prepared over a flickering Mopani campfire and stories abounded.
Thanks goes to Wade and Bess for knowing how to set up a get-it-all-done itinerary.
Kathy Negro, Pennsylvania
I keep waiting for the smile to fade from my face, but the memories of my recent trip to South Africa keep pulling my lips into yet another grin. The big, expected parts of the trip like the safari drives through Kruger Park were wonderful. Our days were busy and filled with one wonder after another, however it is the small treasures that keep returning to me. The soaring fish eagle returning to its huge nest of sticks, the black-backed jackal trotting off in the underbrush, the cheerful weaver bird working miracles with Mopani silk, my chatting with the Batik artist about her unique silk cloth, watching water cascade into circular potholes in a valley gorge, hearing the thunder of hundreds of hooves from Cape Buffalo moving away from us, and driving the narrow roadway through the majestic Drakensberg Range to mention a few.
Thank you, Wade, and Bess for preparing such a diverse itinerary. Under black night skies filled to overflowing with stars, you often left us holding our breath during your fireside stories. My gratitude would not be complete without mentioning our competent, knowledgeable guide. Good spirits and humor set the tone for our meals over the fire’s coals, local black lore was shared with enthusiasm, and my plate was never empty. What a gem your trip was, a treasure just waiting for others to enjoy. Thank you!
Jim Walker, New York
"As you know I didn't want to be on a plane for 15 hours, but after encouragement from my wife we decided on this amazing adventure. I must admit that I expected the long flight to overshadow the trip but when we woke up that first morning at the predator preserve I was surprised at how the flight never entered my mind again. Sure was impressive seeing the white lions and being so close.
I loved the game watching drives seeing so many varieties of antelope that I still can't name them all. The giraffe and zebra turned out to be the safari's favorites and these were first spotted the first day. All of the safari camps were luxurious and the meals and stories around the fire were great.
I must say that adventuring in Kruger was the highlight of the trip. If you have never woke up at night to the roar of a leopard just over the fence, you have missed a real adventure. The hyenas staring at us in the darkness while we ate supper made me realize that the food chain here reaches a link or two above me. The amount of wildlife we saw great and my wife and I always felt safe and cared for. The camps and reserves we visited were informative and it was fun petting a cheetah.
I can't think of any negatives about the safari. The adventure was everything Dark Continent Explorer said it would be, from wonderful meals to shopping to elephants to lion tracks on our back trail. Even though the wildlife was an outstanding part of the trip for me getting to know the people and experience the culture was the best. I would not hesitate to sit on a plane for 15 hours to do it again.
"Thank you for etching our minds with wonder."