On Track Safaris

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We specialise in wildlife conservation safaris to Africa in support of wildlife conservation. We prefer small groups of less then six persons. This means that we can offer a personal service and flexibility to cater for any specific requirements and needs that you may have. Whether your preference is just general wildlife or something specific, or if you would like to visit one of our community projects, be hands on or sit back and let us take the strain, whatever you prefer we'll do our best to provide.

Everyone hopes to see the infamous big five when on Safari (Rhino, Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo), and of-course soak up the atmosphere, sights and sounds of Africa. We aim to provide all those things (mother nature permitting), but more than that, we want you to gain an insight into the real African bush. For example, to understand what a Leopard track looks like and how it is just like a finger print, or what the barking noise you heard during the night meant (alarm call of a bush buck, who knows a predator is around), or what that smell of pop corn means as you pass a bush (female leopard in oestrous). And even more, we provide opportunities for you to be involved with our work in conservation and particularly with Leopards. Meet and be involved with conservationists, help to set trail cameras to monitor the nightly happenings, or just simply take time to sit viewing an Elephant understanding its behaviour and the heard dynamics.

Of-course a safari wouldn't be a safari without enjoying the quality accommodation and fantastic venues, that are included in each of our tours.
We will be waiting for you on arrival at Johannesburg airport, we don't use a third party transit service, you will be met by one of our safari team and your safari starts then. Don't worry about the time of your arrival, we will meet you at any time or date to suit you, it's all part of the service. This gives you flexibility to find the best flight deal.
We know that its important to be able to plan your safari costs and avoid any hidden extras. Quite simply, we don't believe in hidden extras, where possible we provide an all inclusive price and any additions to that one off price are clearly shown on your itinerary. These tend to be things that are out of our control such as the entry fee into the Kruger National Park which you pay directly on entry, and we can let you know
those costs before you arrive.
Let us know what you want from your Safari and together we can make your time with us an experience that will provide memories to last a lifetime.

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sueroe100_22324 08/01/2017

“Return trip”

2 weeks ago

We enjoyed last year's holiday with On Track so much we couldn't wait to return. We had left it quite late and so were lucky that Carol was still able to organise such a successful return trip. As before, everything went...

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Date of safari: 
07/31/2017
Length of safari: 
14 Days
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Kruger and Chobe

We enjoyed last year's holiday with On Track so much we couldn't wait to return. We had left it quite late and so were lucky that Carol was still able to organise such a successful return trip. As before, everything went like clockwork, with pick-ups and drop-offs all working perfectly. Carol booked us time at two of our favourite lodges from the last trip, Rukiya at Wild Rivers Reserve and Tangala in Thornybush Reserve. This time she added a couple of days at the excellent Muchenje lodge in Chobe, Botswana and two days at the comfortable Victoria Falls Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe.
We ticked all the boxes for big game viewing and also saw interesting smaller animals. Everyone at the lodges couldn't do enough to make sure we were comfortable, extremely well fed and well-informed. All the drivers and guides were knowledgable and professional with the team at Rukiya of Elliott, Donovan and Conrad especially noted as they added that bit extra to their stories and anecdotes.
Being a keen photographer I appreciated that all the guides and drivers helped in lining up the vehicles where possible to help with getting the best angles.
The food and service in all the lodges was really excellent and each location gave you that "wow, we are going to love it here" feeling when you arrived.
OnTrack really know about the safari business, they seem to know exactly what their customers want, about how long to stay at each lodge and how to value and balance the accommodation, location and the animals that might be seen - I don't think I would trust anyone else to do it so well and to prove it, we have already booked next year's Big Cat Special safari in India with them too!

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teraberube_24672 07/10/2017

“Fabulous 18 Days in South Africa”

1 month ago

This was my third trip with On Track Safaris and I highly recommend them. From the planning to the execution, a journey with On Track Safaris is top notch. For this trip, we stayed at four lodges: Black Leopard Camp, Cheetah...

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Date of safari: 
06/02/2017
Length of safari: 
18 Days
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This was my third trip with On Track Safaris and I highly recommend them. From the planning to the execution, a journey with On Track Safaris is top notch. For this trip, we stayed at four lodges: Black Leopard Camp, Cheetah Plains Lodge, Vuyatela and nZumba. All have striking locations, well-appointed rooms, good food and attentive staff. The lodges had no trouble providing good food for my vegetarian diet. We were well tended to along the trip by lodge staff and the knowledgeable guides and by On Track. On Track arranged easy transfer between the lodges.

With regard to seeing wildlife, for drives on locations that feel a bit more rugged, I highly recommend Black Leopard and nZumba. For locations that have more vehicles moving about and thus the (almost) guarantee of seeing a leopard, you cannot beat the Sabi Sand. Cheetah Plains and Vuyatela combined allowed us to see 10 different leopards. All of the locations were gorgeous and you never felt rushed or crowded. Most times, we had sightings to ourselves. Besides the leopard, we saw lion, elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, birds, mongoose, honey badger and a host of other creatures.

Another wonderful experience.

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kay.arneill_24615 06/23/2017

“Three Center Safari”

1 month ago

Amazing trip. Very well organised, collections and transfers went like clockwork. We could fault nothing. Amazing places, amazing people and even more amazing animals. Will and Carol clearly investigate and choose the Camps very...

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Date of safari: 
06/10/2017
Length of safari: 
9 Days
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Kruger Area

Amazing trip. Very well organised, collections and transfers went like clockwork. We could fault nothing. Amazing places, amazing people and even more amazing animals. Will and Carol clearly investigate and choose the Camps very carefully and they offer the personal touch which is missing in large tour companies. Each of the three camps were unique and offered different experiences. All of the staff and safari drivers were lovely and made us feel very welcome, safe and comfortable. We saw the 'Big Five' and so much more. We were very lucky but Africa is more than just the animals. It is the land, the people, the culture and history. Would recommend the Bush Walks, safe enough if you listen to your guide and do as you are told! We drove from Jo'Burg to Hoedspruit which was good beautiful scenery through the Drakensburg Mountains, but wish we had flown back as the journey is quite long. This was truly a Five Star holiday at a budget price. If you want a real South Africa Safari choose OnTrack and you will have a marvellous time.
We had such fun!!

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sp_24542 06/08/2017

“10 day safari in South Africa”

2 months ago

Our whole trip was exciting from begining to end. The three lodges we stayed at, Rukiya, nThambo and Tangala were of high quality and very indivdual, the staff very friendly, the guiding brilliant and the food excellent. We saw many...

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Date of safari: 
05/25/2017
Length of safari: 
10 Days
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Wild Rivers, Klasserie, Thorneybush, Kruger

Our whole trip was exciting from begining to end. The three lodges we stayed at, Rukiya, nThambo and Tangala were of high quality and very indivdual, the staff very friendly, the guiding brilliant and the food excellent. We saw many, many animals (leopards, cheetahs, lions, ellies, rhinos black & white, wild dogs,antelopes etc....) and were often the only jeep in sight. Will picked us up from the airport and regaled us with many 'bush' stories and information about the leopard conservation programme which OnTrack Safaris profits support. Carol organised our trip and even arranged a special evening for us to enjoy our 25th wedding anniversary.

The lodges support local charities in the area, employ local people, use local produce, use water from boreholes and not plastic bottles and use recycled materials for building etc.The lodges are on private reservations abutting Kruger NP and the guides and trackers are very conscientious and mindful of the animals' wellbeing eg no more than 2 vehicles at any sighting and no high speed chasing either.

We have been to Africa and on safaris before but this rates as one of the best and will definitely be travelling again with On Track!

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messmerj_24528 06/08/2017

“Overland Safari - Botswana to Victoria Falls”

2 months ago

This was my first safari to Africa and because it was such a wonderful experience, I know it will not be my last. We chose On Track Safari for our safari for two main reasons: first, we were impressed with the conservation work...

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Date of safari: 
05/07/2017
Length of safari: 
14 Days
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This was my first safari to Africa and because it was such a wonderful experience, I know it will not be my last. We chose On Track Safari for our safari for two main reasons: first, we were impressed with the conservation work they do and second, we were attracted to the safaris they offered and their uniqueness. How many travelers get to actually go on safari with the owner of the company and learn first-hand about conservation work being done in Africa?! On Track Safari offers a wide variety of safari experiences, and I can’t wait for my next safari with them. The overland trip was everything I had hoped for. Our trip was a big adventure, off the beaten path, and the animal sightings (elephants, lions, rhino, giraffe and many others) were beyond belief. My personal favorite was Chobe, which provided the most amazing wildlife viewings, but I have to say that each day provided a new and exciting experience. Our guides/drivers/cooks, Will and Roy, were exceptional and provided so much information regarding the wildlife and conservation efforts, and also about the history and culture of Africa. The accommodations were amazingly comfortable, the locations we stayed were thoughtfully planned, and it was pretty great having an elephant walk through our campsite one night! The entire experience was enhanced by the fact that there were only eight of us traveling together. Getting to know our traveling companions was a real plus, and we now consider them to be new friends. I highly recommend On Track Safari to anyone who wants to be assured of having a great safari.

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micksmerlin_24510 06/05/2017

“Overland Botswana to Victoria Falls with Greater Kruger NP extension”

2 months ago

This was the 2nd time my wife and I have travelled with On Track Safaris. I know it won’t be the last time as my wife is already planning to go to India with them.
This trip is a must for anyone who wants an ‘up close and...

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Date of safari: 
05/07/2017
Length of safari: 
20 Days
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This was the 2nd time my wife and I have travelled with On Track Safaris. I know it won’t be the last time as my wife is already planning to go to India with them.
This trip is a must for anyone who wants an ‘up close and personal’ experience of Wild Africa. We had high expectations and Will and Carol did not disappoint us with this trip. It was well planned and organised and just kept on delivering. There was a good mix of camping and lodges. I am 6ft 2” and was surprised how spacious and comfortable the roof top tents were. Will and Roy were fantastic leaders/drivers. They also took care of the cooking which gave us time to relax and enjoy the many sights and sounds of Africa. If you are wondering, Will is a great cook and ensures everyone’s dietary requirements are taken into account.
The journey through Botswana alone is not to be missed. Leaving the tarmac behind and travelling on empty sand roads was incredible. The ever changing landscape and abundance of wildlife made this very special.
We will always remember the magical moment when an elephant walked silently through our camp. It left us all speechless!
Special thanks to Carol for all of the planning and organising behind the scenes and to our travel companions, Steve, Don, Peter and Judie for making this an unforgettable holiday.
We extended our holiday and spent 6 days in the Greater Kruger National Park staying at Tangala and Rukiya private lodges. The accommodation, food and game drives were fantastic. We especially enjoyed our time at Rukiya which was the perfect place for us to relax before flying home.

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donbux23_24475 05/26/2017

“Overland Safari - Botswana to Victoria Falls”

2 months ago

Just returned from this most enjoyable (and different) safari trip. Excellent drivers/guides/cooks etc in Will and Roy. A thoughtful mix of accommodation, activities and overnight stops made the whole trip flow together and made you...

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Date of safari: 
05/07/2017
Length of safari: 
14 Days
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Just returned from this most enjoyable (and different) safari trip. Excellent drivers/guides/cooks etc in Will and Roy. A thoughtful mix of accommodation, activities and overnight stops made the whole trip flow together and made you appreciate the planning that had been put in by Will and Carol.

Wildlife sightings were excellent (especially elephants) but the whole experience was different to the normal lodge/game drive safari.

I would suggest it is a more authentic way to experience and get a feel for the real Africa.

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sandy1205_18493 04/17/2017

“A fantastic Safari”

4 months ago

This was my second On Track Safari, and like during my first time, I had an absolutely fantastic experience! Everything was great: the road transfers between the reserves, the accommodation and food at the lodges, the game rangers...

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Date of safari: 
04/17/2017
Length of safari: 
12 Days
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Wild Rivers, Klaserie, Thornybush, Balule & Timbavati

This was my second On Track Safari, and like during my first time, I had an absolutely fantastic experience! Everything was great: the road transfers between the reserves, the accommodation and food at the lodges, the game rangers knowledge of the animals and, of course, the actual animal sightings. I came away with some truly special memories and 3000+ photographs to attest to my wonderful holiday.

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Stuart_24150 03/30/2017

“Great tailor-made safari package”

4 months ago

On Track Safaris created a bespoke package for me and my daughter for 4 nights. In the planning stage they were very helpful and responsive, selecting 2 excellent tented safari camps, Rukiya for 2 nights and Tangala for 2 nights....

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Date of safari: 
03/09/2017
Length of safari: 
4 Days
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Rukiya and Tangala, S Africa

On Track Safaris created a bespoke package for me and my daughter for 4 nights. In the planning stage they were very helpful and responsive, selecting 2 excellent tented safari camps, Rukiya for 2 nights and Tangala for 2 nights. Both provided high quality and comfortable accommodation in delightful settings from which it was possible to see some of the larger animals. The game drives were excellent with very knowledgeable rangers and trackers. We saw all of the big five and had a few jaw-dropping (in a good way!) close encounters with some of them - magical!

Food at both camps was very good and the small size of the camps ensured easy, friendly relations with camp staff and guests alike.

I would whole-heatedly recommend On Track Safaris who, in my view, offer great and carefully chosen safari packages, with attention to the clients wishes and at very competitive prices.

janet_holmes_23783's picture
janet_holmes_23783 12/20/2016

“Unforgettable trip”

8 months ago

Despite having travelled extensively, this was the first time we had been on a safari in South Africa. Friends who had used the company recommended it to us as they knew we preferred travelling with a small group.
From being...

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Date of safari: 
09/18/2016
Length of safari: 
10 Days
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo tholo Wilderness, Wild Rivers, Klaseries, Thornybush

Despite having travelled extensively, this was the first time we had been on a safari in South Africa. Friends who had used the company recommended it to us as they knew we preferred travelling with a small group.
From being met by Will at Johannesburg airport and through the whole safari,all arrangements worked smoothly. The accommodation in each park was excellent, from the two very comfortable tented camps, a small lodge and a larger luxurious one for the last three days. Food was very good and we were well catered for as vegetarians.
However, the most important part was of course the wildlife viewing, and this surpassed our expectations. The guides/trackers were all so knowledgeable and informative both about the animals and the whole environment and each safari trip was different. Of course, we also enjoyed the sundowners in each of the reserves.
We had an unforgettable time, many thanks to On Track Safaris.

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als987_23279 10/15/2016

“Fantastic first safari experience”

10 months ago

First safari so no expectations but suspect the bar has been set so high that the next trip will have to be lead by Sir David Attenborough himself to surpass it.

Well chosen reserves, wonderfully curated for a unique and...

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Date of safari: 
09/01/2016
Length of safari: 
10 Days
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Kruger

First safari so no expectations but suspect the bar has been set so high that the next trip will have to be lead by Sir David Attenborough himself to surpass it.

Well chosen reserves, wonderfully curated for a unique and rewarding experience you wouldn't know you'd missed if attempting the trip by yourself or a travel agent.

One can never guarantee sightings (except maybe impala) but we saw all that we hoped for and then some. The best part is witnessing natural animal behaviours - and having guides who can track, teach and look after you. Their enthusiasm was so great that one of us has become a bird watcher!

As a vegetarian, definite effort was made to cater for different diets. Food was not bland and most certainly did not go hungry.

Will and Carol were passionate about giving us the best trip with every detail considered. Communication was excellent from the first enquiry and throughout, leaving us feeling confident and informed.

In short, a first class experience. We were looking for an Eco-friendly company, we had a wonderful time and found excellent value for money.

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campsoulcat_23238 10/12/2016

“Very good experience with On Track”

10 months ago

Enjoyed Umlani lodge in Rondaval with solar power, luxury housing at Raptor Retreat and lovely accommodation at Djuma. I loved all of it! Food was gourmet at the first two lodges and very good at the third one. The Guides,...

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Date of safari: 
09/20/2016
Length of safari: 
9 Days
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Timbavati, Balule, Sabi Sands

Enjoyed Umlani lodge in Rondaval with solar power, luxury housing at Raptor Retreat and lovely accommodation at Djuma. I loved all of it! Food was gourmet at the first two lodges and very good at the third one. The Guides, trackers were knowledgeable and enthusiastic, no complaints whatsoever. The Animals were the stars, and they were in abundance, from big to small. I especially enjoyed the informative and fun bush walk with Keith at Raptors and the optional Treehouse experience at Umlani. On Track team never dropped the ball on anything. All went smooth. I highly recommend this company.

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padowner_23221 10/11/2016

“Amazing Trip”

10 months ago

This is a smalll company organising small group safari with an emphasis on conservation.
Carol planned an excellent safari for us visiting a variety of outstanding lodges and a camp.
The Rukiya Safari camp was more like...

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Date of safari: 
09/15/2016
Length of safari: 
2 Weeks
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Wild Rivers,Balule Reserve, Klaserie Reserve, Thornybush reserve, Kruger national park

This is a smalll company organising small group safari with an emphasis on conservation.
Carol planned an excellent safari for us visiting a variety of outstanding lodges and a camp.
The Rukiya Safari camp was more like glamping as each tent had its own facilities . Lilly and Conrad are joint owners and run a very friendly and efficient camp and game drives. the food is excellent and so were the drives. Need to take warm clothes for the drive to the reserve as it can be cold early in the morning. Given the opportunity to set a camera trap to see what animals passed by during our whole safari and we were lucky to leopard, zebra, etc. Conrad's knowledge of the bush and tracking skills were excellent ensuring us magical sightings.
Raptors retreat was a 5 star lodge with elephants visiting their water hole as well as our plunge pool! Keith and Charmain run a wonderful lodge and great game drives directly from the lodge.
Senelala safari camp on the Klasserie Reserve was great. Small thatched houses to live in and all inclusive including help yourself bar. Game drives were excellent. another lodge with a watering hole where you could sit and watch animals come and go all day.
Montana lodge on the thorny bush reserve was amazing. Lovely lodges with excellent food. The game drives ensured you had the opportunity to try to see all the big 5, and we did on 2 occasions as well as spend time just sitting and observing the animal behaviour.
Kruger National Park was an interesting day out but we preferred the drives in open vehicles and being the only vehicle watching the animals.
Overall, an outstanding trip that I would really recommend. All transfers and pick ups from airport and between lodges worked well. I would really recommend flying to Hoedspruit rather than the long drive from Johannesburg

lizzihocken_23076's picture
lizzihocken_23076 10/04/2016

“Experience of a Lifetime”

10 months ago

I was very pleased with the itinerary On Track Safaris devised for our trip and the organisation was excellent. We experienced a range of accomodation options during our stay, with each offering something a little different. The...

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Date of safari: 
09/03/2016
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Wild Rivers, Klaserie, Baluwe, Thornybush, Kruger

I was very pleased with the itinerary On Track Safaris devised for our trip and the organisation was excellent. We experienced a range of accomodation options during our stay, with each offering something a little different. The food and service received in the lodges were of a very high quality. Most importantly, the wildlife guides and frackers were superb, with many going the extra mile to make the game drives and bush walks truly memorable. We saw the big 5 many times over and much more besides. I have now become an avid bird watcher! A personal and professional service with the added bonus of helping support a leopard conservation project.

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diannewhite031_23117 10/03/2016

“Best time of my life.”

10 months ago

I just had the best time of my life on the Safari organised by On Track Safaris. Carol took the time to set up different camps for me. Met at the Tambo airport by a helpful driver. He was the driver who also picked the group of 4 up...

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Date of safari: 
09/16/2016
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Wildlife parks visited: 
Hoedspruit Lodge,Rukiya Safari camp, Raptor Retreat.Senalala camp, Monwana Lodge

I just had the best time of my life on the Safari organised by On Track Safaris. Carol took the time to set up different camps for me. Met at the Tambo airport by a helpful driver. He was the driver who also picked the group of 4 up to transport us to the different camps. Every camp was special in it's own way.The guides at all the lodges were very knowledgeable, telling us lots about the habits of the animals and birds.The big 5 were seen twice on this trip. Spectacular sightings of animals, birds and flowers.It was hard not to get too excited and shout out when seeing an animal. We had to stay calm so not to frighten the animals. Wow factor all the time. The food was very good, fresh and tasty. Sunrise tours and sunset tours were also spectacular. A visit to Moholoholo wildlife rehab centre was also organised, that was special to see. I would recommend On Track Safari to anyone.Any extra money left over from the cost goes to Ingwe Leopard Research which Carol and her husband Will are passionate about. A Big thank you to On Track Safaris !!!

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davidmaynard_22980 09/28/2016

“On Track Safaris”

10 months ago

Apologies for the lateness of this review, on return life just took over! We were set up with a fantastic itinerary across the gamut of accommodation...tented to 5 star, unbelievable experiences with skilled guides and trackers....

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Date of safari: 
07/25/2016
Length of safari: 
18 Days
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5

Apologies for the lateness of this review, on return life just took over! We were set up with a fantastic itinerary across the gamut of accommodation...tented to 5 star, unbelievable experiences with skilled guides and trackers. Well looked after by Elliott and Tabby who hosted us and ensured we were delivered to where we needed to be. Many fond memories to bring back including much laughter. Many highlights including 5 leopards seen and photographed, the big 5 made all the more special in that we saw both black and white rhinos thanks to the skills of our guides and trackers. Include a cheetah and some of the secret seven such as the civet, the African wild cat, an anteater (twice in two separate parks) and the icing on the cake for me was the Pangolin...only the second one I have ever seen in the wild in 58 years!!! Other highlights included Martial Eagles, a pack of Hyenas exhibiting behaviour not normally seen given often seen on their own. We visited 5 separate camps and topped the experience with 4 days of volunteer work. The whole trip could not have been better. Thank you Will and carol for organising it and leaving us in such capable hands. Magic! I have been recommending On Track Safaris to all my friends and not just for South Africa.
We will be back, especially to help and support the leopard research and orphanage.
All the very best to you and your team. Fantastic
Dave and Molly

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mary_22681 09/05/2016

“Everything we wished for and more”

11 months ago

We are novices when it comes to Safaris and Carol helped me out by creating a safari that would provide us with a varied itinerary and chance to view the Big 5. We experienced a variety of accommodation, from a tented camp through...

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Date of safari: 
08/15/2016
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Wild Rivers; Parsons Reserve; Thornybush; Klaserie; Kruger National Park.

We are novices when it comes to Safaris and Carol helped me out by creating a safari that would provide us with a varied itinerary and chance to view the Big 5. We experienced a variety of accommodation, from a tented camp through a luxury lodge. Our hosts at each stay were friendly and knowledgeable and more importantly, I felt perfectly safe with them, so long as I followed their instructions.

We got to see the Big 5 a number of times over, and so much more besides. Being with such experienced guides meant we were able to get really close without causing any distress to the animals. Also learned lots about the animals and their behaviour as well as the challenges going forward.

As On Track Safaris use the profits from the safari to fund leopard research, it feels like we have done something positive as well as having a wonderful holiday. Would recommend them to anyone considering a safari.

kvlnguyen82_22331's picture
kvlnguyen82_22331 09/03/2016

“Wonderful!”

11 months ago

I was seeking a safari company who also gave back to the community. I found that (and more!) with On Track Safaris. The money made from their safaris go to fund INGWE Leopard Research, a nonprofit dedicated to the study and...

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Date of safari: 
08/15/2016
Length of safari: 
14 Days
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Wild Rivers, Kruger, Thornybush, Balule, Klaserie

I was seeking a safari company who also gave back to the community. I found that (and more!) with On Track Safaris. The money made from their safaris go to fund INGWE Leopard Research, a nonprofit dedicated to the study and conservation of leopards.

The trip was wonderful! After being picked up by Elliott at OR Tambo in JoBurg, we took a long scenic drive out to Will and Carol Fox's home in Hoedspruit where we spent not only our first night, but then a couple of additional nights a few days later. Will and Carol are wonderful hosts who are incredibly kind, gracious, and knowledgeable about the bush.

After our first night in Hoedspruit, we transferred to the Wild Rivers Nature Reserve and moved in to Rukiya Safari Camp. Hands down, this was my favorite place to stay throughout the whole trip. It's a tented camp situated on the banks of the Blyde River. Don't let the tents fool you, though. The inside, while simple, have the comfort of any five-star lodge or hotel. The en-suite bathroom is bigger than my bathroom at home! Conraad and Lily could not have been more wonderful. Conraad is an excellent guide and tracker; drives with him were always an adventure. Lily kept the homefires going and always greeted us with a warm smile when we returned. They are two of the nicest people I've ever met!

Raptor Retreat at Balule was great! It was like staying at the Four Seasons in the middle of the African bush. While the high-end luxury isn't exactly my style, I don't have anything negative to say about it. Keith and Sharmaine are great. The food is beyond amazing! And they have a tame wildebeest called Hayley and a tame impala called Missy (with her babies!) who often visit the property. We didn't see much on drives, but that's the African bush for you... always unpredictable. We did, however, see a brand new baby giraffe - no more than a couple days old. Super cute!

We went back to Hoedspruit for two nights and spent one full day at the Kruger. Elliott spent the entire day with us and we saw LOTS! It was a super hot day, so the respite in the middle of the day at the rest center was VERY welcome. It was a long, tiring day, but very much worth it!

From there, we transferred to Thornybush where I stayed at Monwana. But before that, we stopped at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. I was VERY excited for this for two reasons: 1) Stoffel, the bad ass, escape artist honey badger; and 2) Doo Doo the Southern Ground Hornbill. They do some incredible work there and I was happy to see it and support their rescue efforts.

Monwana was BEAUTIFUL! A very small lodge with a large water hole on the property that brings all sorts of animals to the grounds. There was a rhino mother and calf pair who were down there both afternoons I was there. Beautiful! Shelley and a wonderful hostess, making sure I always had what I needed. Ruan was an incredible guide and super knowledgeable about not only the animals in the area, but all animals in general.

I ended my trip at Klaserie at Senalala. That place is amazing! I was the only guest at the camp my first night, so I had both guides - HJ and Darryn - providing me with a personalized afternoon drive and another one in the morning. I witnessed my first ever kill in Africa! A lilac breasted roller swooped down to the road in front of us to get his centipede. It was incredible!

Overall, the entire trip was amazing! I couldn't have asked for anything better. Everyone - from Will and Carol to our OTS guide Elliott to the staff at all the lodges - made sure that my comfort and enjoyment were top priority. I wouldn't hesitate to book with On Track Safaris again in the future.

sueroe100_22324's picture
sueroe100_22324 08/30/2016

“Fantastic !”

11 months ago

Wow !
We had an absolutely amazing time with this company. They have put a lot of thought into their itineraries and provided us with a well planned and varied holiday experience.
From making our first enquiry to...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
06/25/2016
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari type: 
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Balule, Thornybush, Klaserie, Kruger National Park, Wild Rivers Reserve

Wow !
We had an absolutely amazing time with this company. They have put a lot of thought into their itineraries and provided us with a well planned and varied holiday experience.
From making our first enquiry to our return home contact was excellent and reassuring for 2 slightly nervous first time visitors to South Africa.
On Track only use small safari lodges and all have been personally visited by the On Track team.
We stayed in a variety of lodges and a tented camp all of which were top class offering us excellent accommodation, food, hosts and game drives with knowledgeable guides.
We were taken to each safari camp by a member of the On Track team and everywhere we went people were very welcoming and couldn't do enough for us.
The game viewing exceeded our expectations - we saw the big five and many, many more animals and birds, the smaller creatures just as interesting as the larger, as we learnt about them from our guides.
We most unusually saw aardvark 3 times in 3 different reserves.
Places we stayed -
With Will & Carol who run the company - lovely house, great hosts, good food and stories with wildlife on the doorstep.
Rukiya Safari Camp - tented camp on riverbank - perfect setting, fabulous game drives with most knowledgable guide
Raptors Retreat - most luxurious lodge, amazing food , tame wildebeest and wonderful hosts
Senalala - lovely camp by dry river bed and waterhole, great food
Tangala - recently reopened 1940's camp - very atmospheric, authentic experience with excellent game viewing
We wouldn't hesitate to recommend On Track Safaris who run the company to fund leopard conservation projects and are likely to book with them again .

roseveare48_22065's picture
roseveare48_22065 08/15/2016

“Fantastic family holiday with Ontrack Safaris”

1 year ago

On Track provided an amazing safari experience for our family holiday in South Africa. The trip was designed to enable us to see a wide range of wildlife and did not disappoint - we saw all of the 'big five' and many other species...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
08/05/2016
Length of safari: 
7 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Wild River, Thorneybush, Kruger National Park

On Track provided an amazing safari experience for our family holiday in South Africa. The trip was designed to enable us to see a wide range of wildlife and did not disappoint - we saw all of the 'big five' and many other species of animals, birds and reptiles. The lodges provided high quality accommodation in beautiful locations and had clearly been carefully selected. We felt very safe throughout and were well looked after by the knowledgeable team who were also involved with Ingwe leopard research project. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who is planning an African safari in the future.

ann_21472's picture
ann_21472 07/29/2016

“First time safari experience”

1 year ago

On Track Safaris presented an ethos for the type of holiday we liked the sound of. Carol and Will organised our trip with a personalised itinerary with small numbers of guests and a varied number of reserves for us to observe South...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/15/2016
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Hoedspruit, Thornybush, Kruger, Klaserie, Wild Rivers

On Track Safaris presented an ethos for the type of holiday we liked the sound of. Carol and Will organised our trip with a personalised itinerary with small numbers of guests and a varied number of reserves for us to observe South African wildlife. Their personal involvement is outstanding, including their leopard conservation project and local school support.

Our safari was a pleasure from morning til night. We enjoyed watching all the animals in their natural habitat. This was enhanced by the guides and trackers who showed a very respectful, passionate and enthusiastic knowledge and professionalism, often giving so much extra time and effort to find the next memorable moment. Each snippet of information was a revelation only adding to our whole experience.

The hospitality was 5 star. Tented, lodges or luxury were all to the highest standard of presentation and each meal was beautifully served and so tasty. My favourite thing, was to come back after the sunset drive and be offered a hot facecloth to refresh my face.

Wildlife seen - pangolin, elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, warthog, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, impala, hippo, duicher, porcupine, bushbaby, vervet monkey, baboon, hyena, wild dogs, crocodile, vultures, eagles, jackal, civet, genet, mongoose, steenbok, nyala, owls and ostrich. This list is not exhausted.

We cannot fault our trip.

jahred13_21377's picture
jahred13_21377 07/25/2016

“On Track Safari - A Trip of a Lifetime!”

1 year ago

We had a truly wonderful time with On Track Safaris. We were met by our guide Elliott at O R Tambo Airport who was very friendly and knowledgeable and, together with the rest of the team and the places we stayed, took excellent care...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
06/12/2016
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Wild Rivers Reserve, Balule Reserve, Kruger Park, Klaserie Reserve, Thornybush Reserve

We had a truly wonderful time with On Track Safaris. We were met by our guide Elliott at O R Tambo Airport who was very friendly and knowledgeable and, together with the rest of the team and the places we stayed, took excellent care of us for the duration of our stay. Our itinerary was great: Will and Carol had designed our trip with great care so we could stay in a variety of locations, with different styles of accommodation. We loved all of the accommodation from Rukiya's luxury tents to Raptor Retreat's private lodges. The food was superb in all locations and there was plenty to eat! Due to Will and Carol's meticulous planning, all the locations were aware of our special dietary requirements too.

The best part, of course, was the animals. We were amazed at how many animals we were able to see within the course of one day and we loved going on all the game drives and walks. In all the places we stayed we always had a great guide to track the animals and tell us more about them and the local terrain. We saw all of the big five more than once, as well as seeing lots of other wonderful animals and birds. We also learnt how to track!

The very special part of this holiday is the fact On Track contributes to conservation efforts and helps to fund Ingwe Leopard Research. We learnt so much about the wonderful work being done by Will and Carol, as well as projects like the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. You really do feel as though your holiday is contributing to something much bigger and are made to feel part of the family with On Track.

A huge thanks to Will and Carol for this wonderful holiday and all the happy memories we have made. We watched the elephants by the riverbed at sundown; saw the lion cubs play; and tracked a rhino on foot. These are just some of the great experiences we enjoyed over the course of the two weeks.

This was truly the trip of a lifetime - we hope to be back one day!

suzana.s.pavic_18442's picture
suzana.s.pavic_18442 05/17/2016

“On Track Safari”

1 year ago

My daughter (age 9) and I had most fantastic time while on a recent safari with ‘On Track Safaris’. Everything was perfect; pick up and drop off from O R Tambo Airport (Johannesburg), transfers between camps, hospitality, food, bush...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
04/10/2016
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Rukiya safari camp, Hoedspruit, Kruger National Park, Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Africa on Foot

My daughter (age 9) and I had most fantastic time while on a recent safari with ‘On Track Safaris’. Everything was perfect; pick up and drop off from O R Tambo Airport (Johannesburg), transfers between camps, hospitality, food, bush walks, camera traps, knowledgeable staff, guides, game drives…to name the few!
One month later, my daughter still talks about it like it was yesterday! She frequently asks ‘When are we going back’?
On Track Safaris have unique personal touches which make you feel very special. We were also very lucky to see all big fives and many, many more beautiful wild animals and birds. There was no dull moment and days were filled with morning and evening game drives accompanied by knowledge and informative staff, relaxing time by the swimming pool, conversation with other guests/hosts, great food and luxurious accommodation.
We are already planning our next safari!

bruce.marsland_18665's picture
bruce.marsland_18665 05/12/2016

“Exceeded expectations by far”

1 year ago

We were completely captivated by every aspect of our South Africa safari. From the moment we were greeted at our Johannesburg airport hotel, to the moment when we bade a tearful farewell to our On Track Safaris guide back at the...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
04/17/2016
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Wild Rivers, Balule, Thornybush, Klaserie, Kruger National Park

We were completely captivated by every aspect of our South Africa safari. From the moment we were greeted at our Johannesburg airport hotel, to the moment when we bade a tearful farewell to our On Track Safaris guide back at the same hotel, two weeks later, we were not only welcomed, but we were treated like royalty. The lodges that were chosen for us included an excellent range of styles and were extremely comfortable - in some cases, downright luxurious. Our meals were similarly high quality, from traditional 'braai' to gourmet desserts. The five-star food at N'Kaya Game Lodge will stay in our memories for a long time to come!

The knowledgeable and enthusiastic On Track Safaris staff not only transferred us from place to place, but also guided us on a private, full-day excursion to the Kruger National Park, and accompanied us on several game drives and game walks. The programme of drives and walks was extensive, covering much more than the traditional 'big five', with frequent stops to appreciate and photograph birds and plants, as well as animals of all shapes and sizes, and to discuss different aspects of life in the bush. We thoroughly enjoyed the way that this was both informative and experiential. Moreover, we saw much more wildlife than we had hoped could be possible, from lion cubs playing in the sun to bush-babies jumping around the trees at night.

There were far too many highlights on this safari to recount them all individually, but as a whole the safari experience was emotionally and intellectually fulfilling. Hands-on activities such as setting a camera trap and identifying different animal tracks added depth to the game viewing. Moreover, the link to leopard conservation, emphasised by a trip to the Moholoholo wildlife rehabilitation centre, meant that we could feel good about giving something back to the environment around us.

We would recommend this South Africa safari in a heartbeat!

julie.hill613_18511's picture
julie.hill613_18511 04/26/2016

“Our First South African Safari Adventure”

1 year ago

This was our first visit to South Africa and one that we shall never forget - all for the right reasons of course.

After an overnight flight, a 4 hour car journey and a slightly bumpy trip from the main entrance to the Black...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
03/01/2016
Length of safari: 
2 Weeks
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Wildlife Estate, Klaserie, Thorneybush

This was our first visit to South Africa and one that we shall never forget - all for the right reasons of course.

After an overnight flight, a 4 hour car journey and a slightly bumpy trip from the main entrance to the Black Leopard camp we were excited to find our accommodation in a luxurious glamping encampment. The food was extremely good and the friendly staff were very attentive. We spent three nights here with daytime and evening safaris into the bush with a very knowledgeable guide who was only too keen to point out interesting things and to answer our numerous queries.

Our next stay was two nights at the Raptor Retreat Game Lodge. As we arrived at our accommodation a group of wild elephants appeared as if by magic to welcome us. Again the accommodation and food were amazing. There were plunge pools to relax in and a spa in which to have a massage or facial. Our guide, Keith, again was extremely knowledgeable about the bush and took us on both walking and driving safaris. We saw the Oliphants River with its elephants and hippos.

We went on an all day drive into the Kruger National Park and our guide, Conraad, enabled us to see all of the Big Five and much much more besides.

We had 2 nights at the N'Kaya Lodge in the Thorneybush Reserve. Again, amazing accommodation and food and lovely staff.

Everywhere we went we were immersed in the beauty and splendour of nature at its wildest. The dedicated and knowledgeable guides taught us how to 'read the bush', to look out for the signs and smells and how to interpret them.

There were so many highlights that we were just so wide-eyed during the whole trip.

Will and Carol Fox gave a professional, seamless end to end personal service which could not be faulted. If you only ever go on one South African safari then I recommend a trip with On Track Safaris. Once you have experienced the nature, the Big African Sky and the amazing hospitality I'm sure you will want to come back for more.

direid_18502's picture
direid_18502 04/25/2016

“9 Days with Fabulous Wildlife ”

1 year ago

Arrived at Umlani Bush lodge in Timbervati after 5 hour transfer from Joburg airport. The journey went quickly with the excitement of what was to come and a couple of stops which broke up the time.
Was just in time to have a...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
03/06/2016
Length of safari: 
9 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Timbervati, Balule, Klaserie

Arrived at Umlani Bush lodge in Timbervati after 5 hour transfer from Joburg airport. The journey went quickly with the excitement of what was to come and a couple of stops which broke up the time.
Was just in time to have a late lunch overlooking the waterhole which had an almost resident Maribou stork and a bull elephant having a drink. Having settled in with the do's and don't briefing, there were some monkeys in the trees waiting for tea! It was time to go on the first game drive.
Game was few and far between as there was a big drought in the area and therefore no grass for the prey animals to eat. We returned to camp which looked really pretty with candles all down the walkways and in the trees, as there was no electricity in the camp, really magical.
Dinner was served, amazing quality especially in the bush, and all the staff were so friendly with nothing too much trouble. All the talk was about the animals they had seen the day before. There was hope then I thought.

Off to bed and I then realised I should have been more organised in the daylight hours, as all the essentials for the morning in my suitcase, were impossible to see with a pinpoint torch!
All the following game drives were great, managed to see the big five, quite amazing in just three days. One of the nights I spent in their tree house, about a ten minute drive from the lodge. Fabulous dark skies and woke in the morning to a hyena bathing and three ground hornbills booming to each other, a very deep echoing boom. A must if you stay there.

Time to go to the next lodge, Carol picked me up at the gate and drove me to Raptors Retreat. Really lovely to meet her and have a good gas! As we arrived at the top of the hill a magnificent Bateleur eagle was standing guard on a post! We rattled down the hill, glad it was her car and not mine, to be met by the owner of the lodge, the indomitable and passionate about the bush, Keith. He then rushed off to make me a fantastic pizza for lunch and served it on the balcony of my luxury room overlooking the bush. The game walks in the morning were a first for me, it was fantastic to learn about the ecology and everything that you don't see from a land cruiser, and also the magic of just walking in the bush. There were many tame-ish wild animals that came to the lodge for extra rations, most of them had names except for the twenty strong warthog family. Keith and his wife Charmaine cooked and entertained you in the evening, great to get local knowledge.

My next stop was Africa on Foot in the Klaserie game reserve just over the road from Timbervati. By now the couple of days rain that we had was producing green shoots and grass so the prey animals were on there way back. Managed to see the big four as although there were signs of leopard everywhere, they remained elusive. Lots more animals about on the game drives. My favourite here, were the morning walks in the bush. Lots of information about tracking, trees and plants, so much to take in. The dung beetles I could have watched all day. So busy and so clever I had to tear myself away!

The lodge here, as with Umlani, was very relaxed and casual with animals pottering into the camp on occasions, it really made you feel part of the bush. As with all the lodges the food was excellent.
The whole safari was brilliantly organised by Carol, two bush lodges with a short touch of luxury in the middle all at a very affordable price. Where to next? I have never seen a cheetah in the wild, so that is on my bucket list. Two days ago there was one seen at Africa on Foot...........

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sandy1205_18493's picture
sandy1205_18493 04/24/2016

“So much more than a Big 5 Safari!”

1 year ago

My On Track Safari was absolutely exquisite! Not only was the itinerary jam-packed with highlights, such as stunning wildlife encounters, staying at top-notch accommodation and tucking into scrumptious food, but I also came away...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
04/24/2016
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Balule, Klaserie, Wild Rivers, Thornybush and Kruger National Park

My On Track Safari was absolutely exquisite! Not only was the itinerary jam-packed with highlights, such as stunning wildlife encounters, staying at top-notch accommodation and tucking into scrumptious food, but I also came away with a renewed appreciation for different species of African wildlife and a heightened understanding that every plant, insect and animal plays a role in the ecosystem.

All guides and hosts at the lodges were passionate about wildlife and incredibly willing to share their expertise with guests. It was an absolute pleasure to learn from them!

Of course it was an added bonus that a portion of the proceeds from the safari go directly to the conservation of leopards and other wildlife, and that lodges at which I stayed all make a concerted effort to minimize environmental impact.

I hope to be back!

maryh_18003's picture
maryh_18003 04/05/2016

“First Class Safari”

1 year ago

Six giraffes standing in a small clearing were my first sighting of these animals in the wild, on my first visit to South Africa. We stopped and watched them, took photographs and absorbed the experience, the first of many such on...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
03/01/2016
Length of safari: 
2 Weeks
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Wildlife Estate, Klaserie, Thorneybush

Six giraffes standing in a small clearing were my first sighting of these animals in the wild, on my first visit to South Africa. We stopped and watched them, took photographs and absorbed the experience, the first of many such on this amazing trip.

We drove slowly on to the lodge along a bumpy track, spotting antelopes of all shapes and sizes – impala, waterbucks, kudu among them, and gazing at the bush covered hills on either side and the cultivated land way down in the valley. This safari area is privately owned and managed. The accommodation is in permanent wooden floored tents each in a secluded spot. Meals are served in a spacious area with bar and comfortable sitting room and a woodburner for chilly evenings. Only green roofs can be seen from the track, the camp is approached via a wooden footbridge over a deep ravine with a stream at the bottom.

After an overnight flight, a 4 hour car journey and an hour on the open game viewing vehicle I was delighted to find an outside shower and bath at my tent. There was plenty of time to relax, to enjoy birdsong and the presence of baboons shrieking and playing on the nearby hillside, before a delicious and plentiful dinner.

The following day after a hot drink we set off at 6 for the morning game drive. At the camp entrance our talented guide helped us ‘read’ the ‘morning newspaper’, which informed him (and us to a much lesser extent!) about all the previous night’s comings and goings. Later as part of our introduction to the bush we were offered a short “bush experience”. As I sat on a warm stone in the early sunshine with a blindfold in place I felt myself immersed in this wild place sensing something of the teaming life surrounding me.

Three nights at the Black Leopard Camp and we now felt part of the ‘family’ . It was time to move on. We drove to Raptor Retreat, a luxurious lodge situated in the bush 4 km from the Oliphants river. As we drove into the Parsons Game Reserve a herd of elephants appeared as if to welcome us and ambled around the lodge for some time to my absolute delight. I cooled off in the plunge pool and watched them feeding a few feet away. The ground here was sandy, the river magnificent with hippos and elephants enjoying the water. A family of warthogs had taken up residence around the Main Lodge and we watched them cavorting in a nearby pool as we sat at breakfast. We walked in the bush for a several hours gradually absorbing some of the information so enthusiastically given to us by our guide, who owns and runs the retreat with his wife.

Our next adventure was a whole day in the Kruger National Park, our guide was splendid. He somehow enabled us to see the Big Five on that memorable day. Sleeping lions, strolling buffalo, grazing rhino, elephants cavorting in the water and in the last hour a leopard drinking yards from the road along with zebra, hippos, several types of vultures, many varieties of antelopes and beautifully coloured birds especially around the picnic areas, were part of that day.

Two more game lodges and a visit to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre before we returned to Black Leopard Camp for our last couple of nights. During this time we saw stroked a cheetah and an eagle, observed a baby leopard and were present as lions and leopards were fed. In the wild we saw bush babies, more jackal, cervil, jennet, zebra, buffalo, a crocodile, hippos, rhinos, elephants, lions, leopards and a variety of antelopes as well as colourful, noisy birds and busy insects

We were fortunate to be given a presentation by a young British researcher on her work mapping the number and distribution of leopards which proves that the numbers of leopards are considerably lower than officially recognised. This means that licences to shoot the animals need to be substantially reduced for leopards to have any hope of survival. Camera traps are used extensively to gain this evidence, each trap costs £120 to buy, set up and maintain, a worthy cause to support.

Rhino poaching is another worry to the conservationists and in spite of their best efforts rhino horn is still valued as an aphrodisiac and recently as a cure for cancer in parts of the world. A great deal of money underpins this illegal hunt and these few remaining magnificent animals have to be protected by armed guards who risk their lives to do so. Unfortunately the distances are so great and the price so high that rhinos are shot with sickening regularity. All for the equivalent of nail parings.

There were so many highlights from sundowners in the bush while watching magnificent sunsets, our hands on experience of setting camera traps and seeing the results on the last day – we had clear pictures of a genet and a procupine amongst others - seeing the profile of a large elephant against a darkening African sky as we returned from an evening game drive, watching a family of warthogs popping out from their overnight termite home and run off for breakfast with their tails held vertical and feeling the ground vibrate as we watched and listened to a lion roaring within metres of our vehicle.

The people we met were dedicated, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and friendly, nothing was too much trouble, our questions and comments were answered seriously. We had a personal service at an affordable price and I cannot recommend a trip with On Track Safaris too highly. Will drove us to and between lodges and frequently joined us for meals, we spent 2 nights at his and Carol’s home. The guides in the lodges ate with us too and conversations were wide ranging and informative. Will and Carol Fox have put created a great product for guests which also enriches the local community.

This trip was much more than I had imagined a ‘safari’ to be; the hands on experiences in the bush and the information about the echo systems, medicinal plants, animal behaviour, land management and future prospects were fascinating and important in giving us an understanding and appreciation of the Bush we visited. I think the giraffes are still my favourite sighting though.

carolpatterson317_15886's picture
carolpatterson3... 02/29/2016

“A top notch company for my first trip to Africa”

1 year ago

I had been wanting to come on safari in Africa for over 5 years. When On Track Safaris offered a special safari for WildEarth Live viewers I knew I had to take advantage of it and go! I have to say that it was the absolute best trip...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
11/30/2015
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Sabi Sands

I had been wanting to come on safari in Africa for over 5 years. When On Track Safaris offered a special safari for WildEarth Live viewers I knew I had to take advantage of it and go! I have to say that it was the absolute best trip I have ever taken. I can't believe we saw as much as we did and that the wildlife sightings were as amazing as they were. We saw, lions, elephants, giraffe, hippo, rhino, kudu, nyala, Impala, zebra, wildebeest, cape buffalo, waterbuck, cheetah, african wild dog pups, a serval, a caracal and my favorite - hyena. We were only there 14 days but we were able to spend quality time on these sightings including an hour in the middle of a breeding herd of ele's, about an hour in the middle of 11 wild dogs pups playing and an hour + at dusk with a coalition of 5 young male lions as they awoke, bonded and proceeded to start their night. We were in the Sabi Sands and Klasserie reserves of South Africa on the Djuma, Nkorho and Arathusa properties for most of our trip but also spent time at Ndzuti, Black Leopard Camp and Moholoholo, again in South Africa. The lodges ranged from eco-conscious, but in no way spartan tents to luxury lodges to off the beaten path, less frequented home style accommodations. The variety of places we stayed represented a wonderfully diverse assortment, offering a taste of almost everything.
For the most part I felt like I was part of the On Track family because of the open, friendly and completely comfortable care and attention I received. Along with wildlife sightings, Will and Carol were always great with sharing information about local customs, issues and events to give you an overall picture of what life is like in South Africa. These people know what they are doing and make it all seem safe, fun and wonderfully exciting. They also know the best places to see, can suggest a wide variety of locations and offer it all at amazingly affordable price. That really was the most surprising part - the fact that such a quality trip could be had for such an affordable price.
I liked my experience with them so much I have signed up to go back on safari with them again next fall. I just can't say enough about how wonderful and professional On Track Safaris is. If you are like me and have wanted to go to Africa just do it! Sign up with them and have the experience of a lifetime!

tomnliz_11491's picture
tomnliz_11491 12/23/2015

“The Whole Package”

1 year ago

I can't say enough good things about this trip - it exceded all our expecations. We were met by Will at the airport in Jburg and taken to our first stop at Black Leopard Camp, a tented camp in the mountains. We were a small...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
10/26/2015
Length of safari: 
2 Weeks
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Th Tholo, Ndzuti, Forest Camp, Nkhoro, Djuma

I can't say enough good things about this trip - it exceded all our expecations. We were met by Will at the airport in Jburg and taken to our first stop at Black Leopard Camp, a tented camp in the mountains. We were a small group of 4, and we all got along famously. Besides the wonderful drives, we got to see the Ingwe Leopard Research Camp and to leave our camera traps on the property to be viewed in 2 weeks when we returned. We headed off to the lowveld and Ndzuti in Klaserie. A lovely setting with a waterhole close by so you could watch the animals coming for a drink as we had our lunch . We saw our first Lions here. The next stop was the Forest Camp at Moholoholo. A beautiful lodge with the Wildlife Rescue Centre close by. We got to visit there and see all the creatures that are Ambassadors for the centre. A great experience. Finally off to Nkhoro in the Sabi Sands. Karin and her staff were so welcoming and the sightings were amazing. We saw our first leopard here, and Rhino, and the Birmingham boys. Our final stop before returning to BLC was at Djuma. Everyone on our safari group watch WildEarth Safaris that are broadcast from here. What a wonderful treat to meet all the crew there and to go on safari for real in the area we know so well. Again Will and Carol were with us as hosts, and we were well pampered! Finally back to Black Leopard Camp to see our pictures from our traps. An amazing variety of animals are wandering around and had their pictures taken. All in all, a trip of a lifetime. We saw so many different animals, many more than we ever expected. The variety of lodging were great - all a little diffent. The whole trip was so well planned and went off without a hitch. Many thanks to Will and Carol at OnTrack Safaris

a.struyck-ismay_8787's picture
a.struyck-ismay_8787 12/01/2015

“Unique safari experience!”

1 year ago

Despite the fact that I had been to several African countries in the past, this was my first expereince as a solo traveller and I was a little apprehensive about the venture -however from my arrival in Johannesburg to my departure...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/27/2015
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve, Balule Reserve, Klaserie Reserve, Umlani Reserve,mKruger Park

Despite the fact that I had been to several African countries in the past, this was my first expereince as a solo traveller and I was a little apprehensive about the venture -however from my arrival in Johannesburg to my departure 2 weeks later, the whole experience was one of perfectly organised enjoyment on many levels.
The choice of lodges was well thought out and varied from super luxury to totally-out-of-africa tents on stilts and rondavals lit by candle and oil lamp in the middle of the bush. Equally the experience of being in a number of different terreins was a joy - from the stunning mountainous Thaba Tholo and participating in On Track's conservation project with leopards, darting a sable antelope to be transported further up the mountain, and setting up our individual cameras to collect Information on wildlife movement in the area, to the lower veld areas of Klasserie and Timbervati and the Kruger where wildlife was abundant - loved the variety!
The hospitalty everywhere was exceptional and the friendliness and professionalism of our various hosts, guides and local lodge staff resulted in one feeling quickly at home. Food and wine were good and jollity during the communal evening meals abounded -always a good ending to each day in the bush exchanging experiences and impressions.
This was a different kind of safari to my previous experiences and why it works so well is due to the team behind On Track. Will and Carole Fox have developed a concept which works really well -combining an enjoyable safari experience with an insight into their conservation efforts, be it in schools we visited or with local farmers and businesses and the effect this can have on promoting environmental and wildlife conservation. They are hospitable and helpful to a fault and nothing was too much trouble to ensure our holiday enjoyment - staying at their Hoedspruit base gave us a chance to gain more insight into their work and we had a couple of enjoyable evenings with delicious dinners cooked by Will. Being around them for that short time it was quickly clear why their operation runs so smoothly, as whereas Will is clearly the face behind their conservation efforts, Carol keeps a tight check on everything to do with the organisational side of the business - great combination!
Last but not least, another member of the team who contributed to the success of this holiday was undoubtably Becky our guide, who accompanied us most of the time. Becky is a fount of local knowledge and totally at home in her adopted african home in the bush and great company. Her humour and enthousiasm for her work were very infectious and added to our enjoyment of this very personal interaction with Africa.
Some of the lasting images have to be of the wildlife itself. Experiencing a magnificent male leopard walking past our open jeep so close I could have touched him and clearly demonstrating a total lack of interest in our presence, tracking 2 lionesses we had seen earlier in the day with cubs, on a buffalo kill and then witnessing the herd's attempt to drive them off, a huge gathering of elephants with mothers and tiny babies, also rhinos passing really close and unconcerned by our being there - absolutely magic and memories I return to again and again.
Definitely an experience to be repeated and many, many thanks to the On Track team for a very special experience.

helen.palmer_8909's picture
helen.palmer_8909 11/05/2015

“Great adventure”

1 year ago

We have recently returned from a 14 day safari with On Track Safaris. Having been regular safari goers for the past 15 years visiting most of the usual destinations through Africa, this was our first safari with OTS and I must...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/26/2015
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Timbavati, Klaserie, Thaba Tholo , Kruger

We have recently returned from a 14 day safari with On Track Safaris. Having been regular safari goers for the past 15 years visiting most of the usual destinations through Africa, this was our first safari with OTS and I must endorse the praise for the entire experience set out in earlier reviews.
In terms of the “pre-holiday stuff “, Carol was an excellent source of information and clarity. She responded to every email promptly and with an easy friendly style and was open to suggestions, even to the extent of altering the itinerary of their usual 14 day safari to accommodate our wish to return to Umlani Camp in Timbavati. Once the itinerary had been agreed, the booking process was simple and an emphasis was placed on ensuring we started our holiday as relaxed and refreshed as possible ( even down to exchanging photographs of ourselves and our Guide Becky in advance to ensure we would recognise each other in the crowded airport arrivals hall ).
The safari itself was extremely varied and surprisingly well paced. You are not dropped into a big 5 area within hours (or indeed days) of arrival but instead have the opportunity to undertake a unique sensory depriving bush experience, unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenery at Black Leopard Camp and learn more about the ecosystem, flora, fauna and their leopard conservation work (including setting your own camera traps), whilst all the time being mindful that the iconic predator sightings awaited later in the holiday.
This makes for a significant but surprisingly agreeable change to the “tick box” mentality of other operators who rush to show you the big game to the exclusion of smaller animals.
Black Leopard Camp has rustic tented accommodation set within its own private reserve. The route from the main road is bumpy and slow going but the seclusion and beauty of the location compensates for this and the hilly ground is an interesting contrast from the sandy flatter area covered later in Greater Kruger. The staff and guides at the camp were extremely friendly and attentive and the food of a high standard. We stayed in “Trekker “which was the tent furthest from the dining area following our cheeky request for their quietest room. Not only was it a fantastic choice but it also illustrates their willingness to indulge their guests requests.
From Black Leopard camp we were able to share Will and Carol’s seasonal home on a private reserve near Hoedspurit. This again gave a unique opportunity to stay with the owners of the tour company and reflects not only their willingness to be “ hands on “ and ensure they deliver the best product they can ,but also a confidence that guests will indeed be happy ( as can be confirmed from the earlier reviews ). There is also the chance to learn more about their conservation work, to enjoy Wills excellent home cooking and wine cellar and, if you are lucky, to enjoy visits from the habituated wildlife which surround the property.
Raptors Retreat is a luxurious small lodge run by owners Keith and Charmaine with just 2 detached villas and 2 self-catering units. The accommodation was the best we had on the holiday (including private plunge pool and stunning interior) and the food prepared by Charmain was also the best we had. However it is Keith’s extremely informative and humorous bush walks along with the proximity of the elephants within the camp which stand out. Although we were fortunate to come across a couple of lions on a night drive, Raptors Retreat is again about more than the big 5. We have walked in other parts of Africa on many occasions but Keith was still able to impart new knowledge in a unique and stimulating fashion.
Nthambo Tree Camp on the Klaserie Reserve is a small 5 unit camp which we used as OTS usual camp (Africa on Foot) was fully booked. The rooms were large luxurious canvas tents on stilts and the communal areas were well set out and welcoming. Game viewing in terms of the big 5 and predator sightings were impressive with lions and rhinos seen on a number of occasions.
Umlani is a small 8 unit camp in Timbavati and I have to say a favourite of ours as we have visited it previously. Accommodation was the most rustic of the holiday (but more than acceptable) and the alfresco dining by oil lamp is an extraordinary beautiful experience. We were fortunate that Will had chosen to stay with us in Umlani and his shared sense of humour, insight and affability added to our enjoyment of the stay. For those looking for a fix of predators and exciting photo opportunities the Reserve again delivered and we saw lions (including the rare white lions),leopards and wild dog.
The return to Black Leopard Camp for 2 nights was like a welcome return to old friends and the competitive urge to outdo our fellow travellers with what had been recorded on our camera traps was again a unique safari experience.
Finally well merited praise for our Guide Becky who was enduringly enthusiastic, knowledgeable, attentive and genuinely intent in making the holiday the best it could be.
So would we recommend OTS and use them again? The answer is a resounding yes and we would urge anyone reading this review who might be undecided to drop Carol an email and get a dialogue underway. There is nothing to lose and plenty to gain whether you are planning your first Safari or are seeking a slight change of pace and emphasis to a more “ traditional “ safari for more experienced hands.

cupton29_8290's picture
cupton29_8290 10/24/2015

“An Amazing Safari”

1 year ago

We were met at Johannesburg Airport and our every need was catered for by the experienced guides and staff at each of the lodges where we stayed. There were six guests and so we were able to get to know our fellow travellers well....

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/02/2015
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule Reserve, Hoedspruit Lodge Wildlife estate, Klaserie Reserve

We were met at Johannesburg Airport and our every need was catered for by the experienced guides and staff at each of the lodges where we stayed. There were six guests and so we were able to get to know our fellow travellers well.
The safari had been a special holiday for myself for a 'big' birthday and it lived up to all my expectations and more. We saw an abundance of game and always felt completely safe. The knowledge that our guides imparted to us over the 10 days was incredible, varied and very interesting.
We were able to ask any questions without feeling foolish, the patience and professionalism of all the guides was very high. All the guides and drivers were friendly and thoughtful.
We were very well fed! The food was excellent and my being a vegetarian created no problems at all. The accomodation was of the highest standard.
My most memorable moment was stopping for coffee on a morning game drive by a lake and a herd of elephants came out of the bush to drink whilst we stood watching them. And the second, seeing three of the big five - rhino, elephant and buffalo together.
I was very impressed with the conservation work that On Track are invoved with and this ethos ran throughout the safari.
I wouldn't hestitate to reccommend On Track Safaris.

africa.holiday.2015_8284's picture
africa.holiday.... 10/24/2015

“On Track Safari 10 Day Holiday”

1 year ago

Will & Carol Fox were excellent hosts and made our stay and holiday an outstanding experience. A wonderful touch was when we stayed at their house for one of the nights. After already spending 4 weeks travelling it was nice to...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
10/11/2015
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo Thelo - Black Leopard Camp, Baule, nDzuti (Greater Kruger)

Will & Carol Fox were excellent hosts and made our stay and holiday an outstanding experience. A wonderful touch was when we stayed at their house for one of the nights. After already spending 4 weeks travelling it was nice to eat a home cooked meal and stay with extended family (that's what they feel like now). Staff and owners of the Black Leopard Camp were great, very friendly and had one of the best vegetarian curries I have ever eaten. The guides Dillon and Justine were very skilled and a great laugh. Also Justine is an excellent bar wench lol.
Raptors Resort the accommodation was excellent.
JD at nDzuti in the Greater Kruger was a down to earth bloke who you could have a laugh and joke with. John our tracker was just amazing, spotting a chameleon in the pitch dark.

We may not have seen all of the Big 5 but we saw over 45 other species not including all the bird life.

As a vegetarian who cannot eat tomatoes Carol ensured that all the places we stayed at were aware of this and I could not fault the quality of the vegetarian food provided.

Would highly recommend On Track Safaris to friends, family and complete strangers.

A big thank you to all who helped to make our holiday one to remember.
Trish & Andrew

janebeckett26_8130's picture
janebeckett26_8130 10/20/2015

“FANTASTIC FIRST SAFARI EXPERENCE”

1 year ago

We met Carol and Will of On Track Safaris on a visit to the Destinations exhibition in London (we were looking for a holiday in America. Their enthusiasm is contagious and we were soon thinking a safari with the was what we wanted...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/26/2015
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Klaserie

We met Carol and Will of On Track Safaris on a visit to the Destinations exhibition in London (we were looking for a holiday in America. Their enthusiasm is contagious and we were soon thinking a safari with the was what we wanted to do. They had a show offer but there was no pressure to sign up at the show .

From the moment we were met by Becky at the airport we felt we were in good hands. We started with a couple of days at Black Leopard Camp the whole experience here is first class; no big five here but you can see giraffe, buffalo, kudu, impala,wart hogs and lots of birds The staff are very knowledgeable and friendly. Plenty of opportunity to sit and relax if you want to but we had kudu, clip springers and a lot of birds outside the tent so relaxing wasn't the first thing on our list. We reconnected with our senses on the first day which was a very inspiring experience.

From there were driven to Raptor's Retreat through the Blyde River Canyon which was impressive. Raptor's Retreat is very luxurious; Keith and Charmaine are both very interesting sharing their knowledge in an interesting way. The food is fantastic five star cuisine

Our third and final camp was Africa on Foot which was just outstanding. We were inspired by Mike and Enoch who really knew what they were talking about. The morning walk was one of the most informative we did, we saw wild dogs, lions, elephants, rhinos, hippos, jackals, mongoose, bush babies and loads of birds including the suicide bird and amazing spectacle. We never felt in any danger at all and to think we were on foot for some of the sightings.

From there we spent a night with Will and Carol in their home. It was great talking to them and hearing their passion for all things African but especially leopards. They were very knowledgeable but not pushy.

We then returned to Black Leopard camp to meet up with the staff again and collect our camera's we put out on our first visit. We also went to different parts of the reserve to see the rock carvings and have a sundowner watching our final South African sunset.

Every part of our trip was well thought out; all the accommodation is excellent and far exceeded out expectations; the food is first class at every camp. Each camp is unique and all the guides are well informed, fun and you can't help but getting caught up with their enthusiasm.

Our trip was bound together by Becky who is an excellent guide and nothing was ever too much for her.

The trip exceeded our expectations and anyone thinking of a safari should speak to On Track Safaris.

hathway.liz7_7369's picture
hathway.liz7_7369 10/02/2015

“Above and Beyond!”

1 year ago

This was my 2nd safari with On Track Safaris. This time I was accompanied by my grandson, a 4th year university student studying wildlife conservation & biology. Since my first trip with OTS I had been longing to return and...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
08/18/2015
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Kruger, Thornybush, Klaserie

This was my 2nd safari with On Track Safaris. This time I was accompanied by my grandson, a 4th year university student studying wildlife conservation & biology. Since my first trip with OTS I had been longing to return and hoped that the experience would expand his horizons. As a result of email exchanges with Carol our itinerary was designed to include a variety of venues and wildlife adventures including extra time for my grandson to participate in the Ingwe Research Village that OTS supports. We packed so much into our 2 weeks that it seemed like a much longer time (in the best possible way) but we were both sad to leave & determined to return. It's impossible to even begin to describe all the fabulous game drives, bush walks and wildlife sightings - often from the decks of our very comfortable accommodations. The generosity of the various guides, lodge owners as well as Carol & Will in sharing their knowledge, experience and passion for the bush and all the wildlife who call it home was unbelievable. Discussions about conservation, sustainability and the complexity of the many issues that impact these goals were eye-opening and educational. Each of the 5 "lodges" we stayed at was very special in its own way - all small, very comfortable, and family-like, serving up wonderful food in abundance. All the arrangements were seamlessly organized and executed by OTS staff from meeting us at the airport (after 2 days of travel from Canada) until we were safely delivered back to get our flights home. This sounds kind of serious but in fact we had a lot of fun times and laughter along the way. Thank-you Carol, Will, Becky, Joe, Alan, Lynsey, Dylan, Tara,(Black Leopard Camp), Keith, Sharmaine (Raptor Retreat), Dean, Andreas(N'Kaya), Mike, Greg (Africa On Foot). Our adventure was all I hoped for and so much more. Seeing my grandson fall under the spell of the bush and becoming engaged with all those whose contributed to this once-in-a-lifetime trip was definitely unforgettable. I'll be back - and I'm pretty sure Liam will be too...........Liz

DAVE_N_7422's picture
DAVE_N_7422 09/22/2015

“The Experience of a Lifetime”

1 year ago

This was booked as a special birthday, once in a lifetime holiday and that's exactly how it turned out.

We were drawn to On Track Safaris because of their conservation work, eco friendly credentials and their small...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
08/10/2015
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Klaserie

This was booked as a special birthday, once in a lifetime holiday and that's exactly how it turned out.

We were drawn to On Track Safaris because of their conservation work, eco friendly credentials and their small groups of travellers. Plus it helped that friends of ours had been so impressed with OTS that they went back for a second time.

The whole experience is very thoughtfully put together, starting with a couple of days at Black Leopard Camp in the Thaba Tholo reserve up in the mountains where the Ingwe leopard research project is being carried out. This is not 'big five' country but there was lots to see and being able to walk one of the trails without guides was a real treat. We kept meaning to just sit and relax outside the tent, only to be pleasantly surprised by antelope appearing at the stream below us or exotic birds just demanding to be photographed. Not only were the staff excellent, friendly and very knowledgeable but our fellow guests were a real delight and their enthusiasm for birds, in particular, meant we didn't miss a thing on our game drives.
From there were driven to Raptor's Retreat a fabulously luxurious camp.The game drives and bush walks there were both informative and entertaining, building on what we'd already learned at Black Leopard Camp.
The third camp was Africa On Foot which was an absolute highlight for us as we had some amazing sightings. The rangers really know their stuff and were always confident and in control - and that makes a big difference to how you feel when you're on foot with a rather agitated elephant only 10 metres away! What we experienced at Africa On Foot was stunning - we saw far more than I've seen on previous safari trips and and got really close to the action. We saw everything from the Big Five to the smaller but equally charismatic animals - things like dwarf Mongoose, African wild cats, bush babies - and the rangers had lots to say about all of them.
Then it was back to Black Leopard Camp which, as others have said, felt like coming home. We went to areas of the reserve we hadn't seen before and visited the mysterious rock carvings.

Each element of the trip was different but a great experience in its own right with excellent accommodation and food. The build up worked well for us too. We could take confidence from the initial bush experience in the relatively safe environment of Thaba Tholo to our bush walks getting very close to the animals at Africa on Foot.

The common thread that bound the whole trip together was our excellent guide, Jo, who was brilliant throughout our stay - knowledgeable, organised, unflappable, helpful, and was also a really lovely guy to spend time with - really important when you're together for long journeys. My daughter had been a little anxious about the trip but Jo's confident and engaging manner helped put her at ease straight away. In fact all the staff, as well as Will and Carol themselves, were great. The conservation work is obviously very important to them but they don't push it unless you want to hear about it.

All in all it exceeded our (high) expectations and really was the holiday/experience of a lifetime

ali0504_7306's picture
ali0504_7306 09/06/2015

“Fantastic adventure! ”

1 year ago

Wow! what a fantastic safari experience we had put together by Will and Carol Fox of On Track Safaris. We couldn't of wished for any better, experiencing how amazing Safaris are, meeting lovely people along the way all showing...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
08/14/2015
Length of safari: 
13 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Kruger Park

Wow! what a fantastic safari experience we had put together by Will and Carol Fox of On Track Safaris. We couldn't of wished for any better, experiencing how amazing Safaris are, meeting lovely people along the way all showing excellent hospitality to us.
Cant wait to be able to do it all again some day!
Thankyou all so much,
from Ali, Steve, Jack and Hannah xx :-)

JOHN_7018's picture
JOHN_7018 08/18/2015

“A perfect holiday, thanks”

2 years ago

On Track Safaris provided us with a marvelous holiday which none of us will forget. It was important to us that they are a company with excellent credentials in conservation, research (the Ingwe project) and support for the local...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/21/2015
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve Balule Reserve Klaserie Reserve Thornybush

On Track Safaris provided us with a marvelous holiday which none of us will forget. It was important to us that they are a company with excellent credentials in conservation, research (the Ingwe project) and support for the local community. On top of this they have offered really good service at all stages – initial advice and information, prompt and helpful replies to enquiries, and then great care and attention during our stay. We ended up with a hugely rewarding holiday where we felt that we were looked after from start to finish, and where the team were constantly working hard to make the best of our experience. Our guide for the holiday was Becky who was just perfect for the job – always there when needed, helpful, informative, kind, amusing and always interested in us and what we might want to do.

The game reserves and lodges were clearly chosen with care. Not just for their environmental credentials but also for the quality of the whole experience – accommodation, food, and game viewing. All were excellent but they differed widely in their approach and what they had to offer, complementing each other perfectly.

Black Leopard Camp was probably our favourite, and it felt like a home coming when we returned there after 6 days at other reserves. The guides were uniformly friendly, helpful, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable and the mountainous terrain was amazing and a pleasure in itself. We saw many interesting things there, although this is not a place to see ‘The Big Five’ (we did that elsewhere). Birds, antelope, giraffe, buffalo were there in abundance. We visited the conservation village and heard about the important studies on leopard behavior that the Ingwe team are involved in. This was the only reserve where we were permitted to walk about on our own outside the camp, and this was itself a memorable two hours with quite a few interesting experiences.

The other reserves each had their own unique appeal. At Raptors Retreat we had the best food, and experienced Keith’s entertaining and unique approach to looking after guests and teaching about the bush. It was with Keith that our daughter saw her first wild elephant, something she has looked forward to for most of her life. Africa on Foot had simpler accommodation but was still very good and we had our most memorable sighting there – four wild dogs catching and then devouring an impala just outside the camp, after a chase that took them through the dining area of the lodge. At Monwana in Thornybush, as a result of close team work and expert tracking we saw lions, a leopard and a huge rock python. In each of these lodges the guides were again always interesting and helpful. They were all present at meals which we appreciate could have been hard work for them at the end of a long day, but was a real bonus for us.

We also stayed at the On Track residence in the Hoedspruit nature conservancy (Raptors View). This was an interesting change from the major reserves. It gave us a good chance to talk more to Will and Becky about their work in guiding safaris, conservation and research, and just to relax and enjoy their company.

It was Freya’s birthday whilst we were on safari. I’d let Carol know in advance, hoping that we might get a cake perhaps. As it was, they arrange a birthday treat that was a surprise for all of us, and exceeded our expectations. We were really touched at the effort and thought that had gone into it.

Overall then this was a wonderful holiday thanks to the hard work, experience and organization of the OTS team. Their approach was a highly personal one and we felt that at all times they cared about us and that we really mattered. We left feeling rested, looked after and informed. We’d seen wonderful things with enthusiastic people who love the bush and love to share it with strangers. Since I got home two weeks ago I have been trying to think of ways in which this could have been improved. I’ve had no luck so far ……… We have other plans for next years holiday but I am certain we will be back in South Africa and OTS will be our first choice.

ellen_7109's picture
ellen_7109 08/16/2015

“What a great trip! Thanks, OTS.”

2 years ago

We couldn't have chosen a better way to visit South Africa than our trip with OTS. From the moment Becky and Joe met us at the airport, we felt welcome and well taken care of. Black Leopard Camp was the perfect way to start and end...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/29/2015
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thornybush, Kreuger,

We couldn't have chosen a better way to visit South Africa than our trip with OTS. From the moment Becky and Joe met us at the airport, we felt welcome and well taken care of. Black Leopard Camp was the perfect way to start and end our stay, and we really enjoyed the company of the Ingwe Leopard Research Center volunteers during our stay at Raptor Retreat. All of the guides and trackers were knowledgable and enthusiastic about the fauna and flora wherever we went. All of the accommodations were fine, from solar powered tents and huts at Black Leopard Camp and Africa on Foot, to luxury rooms at Raptor's Retreat and N'Kaya. Food was delicious and plentiful. And the animals ... WOW! What a joy to see them so close. We felt truly fortunate to have guides who were so attuned to their habitats that they could spot a tiny bush baby in the dark, or predict where and when a leopard would emerge from the bush. We loved placing our camera trap, and revisiting it 11 days later. We recorded visits from a Jackal, Impala, a Bush Fox and a beautiful Leopard!
It was important to us that we spend our money in a way the would have a positive impact on conservation and community. OTS contributes so much to Leopard research and to the primary school in Lydenburg. We were lucky to have had the opportunity to visit the research center and the school and see what a difference they make.
One couldn't ask for more companionable, knowledgable and fun to be with guides than Becky, Joe, Dylan and Justine. Carol made the administrative side of the entire trip run smoothly, and so stress-free that we were able to enjoy every minute of our safari. I truly cannot imagine a better way to visit this remarkable country.

jennysherwood93_7078's picture
jennysherwood93_7078 08/12/2015

“Amazing experience with wonderful people”

2 years ago

On Track Safaris offer a brilliant small group tour which is then personalised within. The staff are amazingly friendly and knowledgeable. They go above and beyond to make your trip remarkable.
Not only do you get to see a...

Days
Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
08/12/2015

On Track Safaris offer a brilliant small group tour which is then personalised within. The staff are amazingly friendly and knowledgeable. They go above and beyond to make your trip remarkable.
Not only do you get to see a variety of animals over the 3 reserves, from the Big 5 to the birds and insects, but you also learn how to predict what you might see. The experiences about how to use your senses efficiently and track animal spurs and dropping is essential to becoming fully engrossed in the experience.
The staff at all 3 reserves were efficient, friendly, knowledgeable and approachable, while the varying accommodation gives you different insights into South Africa. From the hot water bottles at Black Leopard to the Electric Blankets at Thornybush, nothing was too much (it was winter). The outside bathroom at Black Leopard was a unique experience and the animals roaming by your door at Thornybush never got old. The food at all locations was tailored to individuals and believe me you never went hungry! Delicious. There was a lot of driving but even in this time you learnt a lot and the transport was always very comfortable. Traveling was tailor around the group.
This was the perfect safari for anyone who wanted to experience a variety within South Africa and didn’t have time to set it up! The consistent staff made you feel safe (particularly as a solo traveller, although in the group I never felt alone) and the fantastic communication from Carol could not be faulted. Will’s knowledge was endless and you could tell Becky and Jo had taken on board his passion for communicating information.
A big thank you to Carol, Will, Becky, Jo and Stefan.

Thank you.
Jenny

Amyleighsmith86_6930's picture
Amyleighsmith86_6930 07/27/2015

“Perfect honeymoon safari”

2 years ago

Carol at on track safari's organised a '3 reserves' safari for us as part of our honeymoon. She was easy to deal with, great communication and always able to answer our questions and offer advice. The Safari was our...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
06/30/2015
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari type: 
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Raptor's retreat, Balule reserve / KwaMbili, Thornybush reserve / Umlani, Timbervati reserve

Carol at on track safari's organised a '3 reserves' safari for us as part of our honeymoon. She was easy to deal with, great communication and always able to answer our questions and offer advice. The Safari was our first and what an experience we had! We started at Raptor's retreat where we were blown away by the accommodation, Sharmaine's cooking and our first sightings of African wildlife. Keith's bush walks were great and so informative. The number of elephant that visited the camp during our 3 nights here was incredible, it was a great experience.

Next up was the Thornybush reserve and the game viewing here was absolutely amazing, we saw the big 5 and so much more. Again we ate some amazing meals and the staff were really good fun and the game drives were always exciting. Sleeping under canvas and being able to hear the lions roaring in the night was something we will never forget!

After it was on to the Timbervati reserve where again Carol had organised great accommodation. The game viewing here was also spectacular and again we saw the big 5. The overall experience is something we will never ever forget and we have to thank on track safari's for their help. Would recommend them to anybody.

lemon_morag_6812's picture
lemon_morag_6812 07/20/2015

“Great experience”

2 years ago

From being picked up at the airport by Becky to being dropped off again, we felt looked after and relaxed.
I still cant believe how much we packed into our 7 days, starting with our drive into Black Leopard camp where we saw...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/11/2015
Length of safari: 
7 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo Thalo Wilderness Reserve, Thornybush Reserve, Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre, Hoedspruit

From being picked up at the airport by Becky to being dropped off again, we felt looked after and relaxed.
I still cant believe how much we packed into our 7 days, starting with our drive into Black Leopard camp where we saw so many animals before we even unpacked.
Everyone at Black Leopard made us feel very welcome and made sure we enjoyed our stay. The beds were very comfortable in our tents and the Bush Bathroom was an added experience. The food was plentiful and tasty. Dylan and Justine, our guides and Becky were very knowledgeable about the animals and plants in the area. I especially enjoyed the walks we took, seeing the terrain from a different perspective than the vehicle (and getting some exercise). Checking out the animal tracks and being able to examine the plants in more detail was definitely an extra dimension to our trip. The volunteers at the Leopard research camp were also very friendly, the talk Tabi gave us was very informative and interesting. And placing a camera trap to see what we might capture to help the research was something most people wouldn't get to do on a safari holiday.

It was lovely to spend time at Hoedspruit, meeting Carol Fox and seeing wildlife coming up to the back door. The Warthogs were very amusing and the Porcupines feisty.

Moholoholo Rehabilitation centre was very educational and interesting seeing what can be done for injured animals and birds, and the impact humans have on wildlife. Stroking a Leopard and having a Vulture land on my arm were definitely bonus experiences I wasn't expecting.

N'Kaya Game Lodge was very different in style to Black Leopard camp, but the staff were equally welcoming. Our guide Dean and tracker Andries, were determined we would see a particular Leopard and made every effort to track it until they found it on our last drive. The 4 game drives we took there were even better than I had imagined. Two of them with just us. We saw a fresh kill and two Lionesses guarding it from the vultures sitting in the trees nearby. The time we spent quietly at the lodge hide was also amazing, so many animals and birds appearing during the time we were there (over 3 hours). The food was excellent and plentiful and we enjoyed the braai which was in a lovely setting.

It was nice to be welcomed back to Black Leopard for our last night, and although our camera trap didn't capture any Leopards we did get a Civet and 2 rabbits.

Overall, I would have to say a big thank you to Becky and Carol, who made sure we had a great time right from the start, and all the people we met who made the safari a really amazing experience.

tmodleski_6572's picture
tmodleski_6572 06/26/2015

“Wonderful adventure”

2 years ago

Viewing the animal life and the plant life was our main reason for going on safari, but we came away with so much more than we had anticipated. The careful construction and execution of our itinerary by On Track Safaris was such...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
06/05/2015
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo Tholo Wilderness Reserve, Balule Reserve, Kruger National Park, Klaserie Reserve, and Thornybush Reserve

Viewing the animal life and the plant life was our main reason for going on safari, but we came away with so much more than we had anticipated. The careful construction and execution of our itinerary by On Track Safaris was such that our knowledge of animals, plants, the ecosystem of the bush, and even the culture of safarigoing was built upon throughout. The personalization of the experience through our relationship with various guides (especially Becky) made the experience intensely meaningful.

For us first-time safarigoers, the "smorgasbord" approach we were offered—a "sample" of various safari sites and experiences over fourteen days—was perfect. But for those who have been on safari before or simply feel they want to concentrate their energies more on one place or type of safari, On Track Safaris is flexible in working with guests to construct their ideal journey.

On Track Safaris emphasizes issues pertaining to environment and wildlife conservation. They use some of their profits to benefit not only conservation of animals but also, for example, to sustain and improve local schools. We were impressed by how much we learned on our safari about the interdependence of animal, bird, plant, and indeed human life: one can say that by fusing tourism and ecological practices, On Track Safaris puts this lesson to work. The result is that one can have the adventure of a lifetime—which is what our safari was for us—and still feel one is contributing to the planet!

We started and ended our adventure at Black Leopard Camp, home base for On Track Safaris. We visited in wintertime (June) and were somewhat taken aback by how cold our beautiful tent was. On two of the nights the temperature dipped near 0°C, and we were blessedly allowed to have two hot water bottles each. Even so we went to bed wearing our winter fleece jackets. The lodge itself was marvelous and set in a stunning location, but it too was rather chilly in the morning and after sundown. It would have helped had all the fires been lit at cocktail hours and mealtimes, as it is a bit uncomfortable to eat dinner wrapped in many layers. That issue aside, the personnel at camp (Justine, Joe, and Julius) were warm, generous and well-informed, and gave us a range of experiences that acclimated us to the bush. Black Leopard Camp is not home to any of the Big Five, except for the few elusive leopards that make their homes on the surrounding reserve, but as we were to enjoy much time on the low veldt where the Big Five dwell, our time on the mountain was spent getting acquainted with a great diversity of plant, bird, and animal life that gets overlooked on more generic safaris.

After three days of glorious dawn and dusk game drives in the high veldt, we were ready to transfer to the low veldt, to warm ourselves a bit, and to begin the lookout for bigger animals and predators. Our two days at the meticulously designed, upscale Raptor's Retreat, run by Keith and Sharmaine (who served fabulous food), were glorious. We saw elephants the first night at the watering hole on the property and had our first close encounters with elephants in the next days (both from the vehicle and on foot). We did some game walking in the mornings and continued to learn about tracking and plant life. Each day of the safari we encountered more and different animals and a greater sense of how to live and move in the bush; in this respect our experience built beautifully. We were accompanied at Raptor’s and on the upcoming Kruger day by our guide Becky who is a fount of information, not to mention a whole lot of fun. She worked hard to make sure we were well informed and well cared for at every moment.

We then transferred to the Hoedspruit home of Will and Carol Fox, owners of On Track Safaris. They hosted us at lovely meals, including home-cooked dinners after which we sat in front of the fire and chatted. It was wonderful to get to know them, and their extensive and impressive projects, a bit more, and we were very warmly welcomed. This was our base for the full day (sunup to sundown) we spent in Kruger National Park with Becky. What a day. With Becky shaping the whole excursion, every moment was rich with viewing and learning—by 3pm we could barely keep our eyes open from “looking” so much!

The next day we were off to Africa on Foot, which proved to be our favorite of the three lodges we visited in the Greater Kruger. The camp itself is the most historic of those we visited, constructed in the mid-twentieth century and consisting of small thatched rondavels around a central thatched, open main lodge. The rondavel was very comfortable, and cozily warm at night. On both morning game walks (accessible for most levels of fitness, don’t worry!) and evening game drives, we experienced beautifully tracked and prolonged sightings of white rhino, lion, buffalo, and elephant. We found the guides energetic, passionate, and careful; we found all staff thoughtful and scrupulous; the food was varied and delicious and the hosting friendly and unobtrusive. Make sure this lodge is on your itinerary—we ourselves would love to come back!

Our final stop in the Greater Kruger before returning “home” to Black Leopard Camp to round out our journey was N’Kaya Game Lodge on the Thornybush Reserve. This lodge, like Raptor’s, is quite luxurious; accommodation is in an extravagant and well-appointed suite. We experienced exacting service and plentiful, inventive meals here, as well, including a nice braai that began with a starter of warthog carpaccio! The trackers and guides here were certainly the most experienced and professional of all the lodges and it was a pleasure to watch the tracker and the guide work together on the vehicle (even if we didn’t always know what they were onto!). The tracking abilities on offer here mean that one is likely to be treated to unusual and extensive sightings, such as we had on our second night: tracking a hyena den off road deep in the bush, and awaiting as night fell, then observing, a hyena and her two very curious pups for 30 minutes.

Our final two nights were spent at Black Leopard Camp. Justine brought chairs on our last evening game drive and we sat and watched the sunset, drinking sundowners and amusing ourselves by observing the mountain reedbuck, who though normally timid and stand-offish, munched his way through a pile of grasses the entire time we were there. It was as if he, along with the various people, and even some of the other animals (e.g., Marvin the lion at N’Kaya) that we met along the way, recognized us as friends. We were sorry to leave them all, but will remember them always.

jspence964_5695's picture
jspence964_5695 04/23/2015

“Great experience for first time and experienced safari goers.”

2 years ago

We wanted our 14 year old granddaughter to have her horizons broadened and to experience a safari before having to settle down into her exam regime. My internet search found On Track safaris and with a visit to meet them at the...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
04/12/2015
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Lydenburg, Greater Kruger ( Balule, Klasserie, Thornybush) and Kruger

We wanted our 14 year old granddaughter to have her horizons broadened and to experience a safari before having to settle down into her exam regime. My internet search found On Track safaris and with a visit to meet them at the Destinations show I was hooked on their concept of an evolving Safari - enabling an appreciation of the small and building the experience to see the larger mammals (which can often be an all consuming focus). The safari experience was a real hit with Ionna ( and her mum) and as experienced safari goers we also had a great time seeing and appreciating things we had not seen or known before. We would definitely recommend On Tracks - Carol, Will and Becky ( our guide) were thoroughly professional, warm , sharing and really caring adding to everyone's desire to travel with them again.

Animals - we saw everything from mountain reedbuck to leopard and wild dog to rock hyrax, narina trogan and porcupine.
We saw sunrises, sunsets and were transported seamlessly from camp to camp. It was great to start and finish at Black Leopard Camp and see the product of our camera traps set 7 days before......no leopards but lots of interesting photos.

Choose On track safaris - you will not be disappointed - and the fact their profits support leopard research is a real bonus.

flokrause_5341's picture
flokrause_5341 03/31/2015

“South Africa 14 day safari”

2 years ago

This was by far the best holiday we ever had. Travelled with my partner. We had no idea what to expect. She had been on a safari before, in Kenya. The contrast between the huge plains in Kenya and the thick bush in South Africa took...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
03/14/2015
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Klaserie, Thorny Bush

This was by far the best holiday we ever had. Travelled with my partner. We had no idea what to expect. She had been on a safari before, in Kenya. The contrast between the huge plains in Kenya and the thick bush in South Africa took her by surprise. The safari was brilliant in every way. Firstly, communication with Carol (and Will occasionally) was flawless. She answered all our questions via email promptly and informatively. This put us in trust. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, we felt well looked after and taken care of, without anything amiss ever. The previous reviews describes the lodges and reserves. We couldn't agree more with the descriptions and comments from that previous review. We went to the same ones except the last one which was in Thorny Bush reserve. We stayed at Waterbuck Lodge.The most extraordinary setting. Our french doors opened on a big waterhole and we woke up to see six hippos sleeping in the water after their noisy night's grazing around our lodge, then a horde of buffalos came to drink, followed closely by a group of skittish wilderbeasts and a couple of resident herons strutting their stuff on the edge of the water. It didn't take long for the monkeys to try and see if there was anything worth investigating in our room. All of this was going on and we were witnessing it from our bed. Just heavenly!
We then returned to Black Leopard Camp, full of stories and looking forward to seeing those we had met at the beginning of our trip. It felt like coming home. We checked the photos our camera had taken while we were away. Had a baby Klipspringer on it (my favourite antelope) and a water mongoose. Nice. No leopard though!
Becky, our guide, was with us throughout the trip (bar a couple of night when we were at Waterbuck Lodge). She was both knowledgeable and personable and we had a fantastic time listening to her explanations and her answers to our endless questions. She also made sure, tirelessly, that we were well taken care of. She never put her needs first and was always in a good mood even if things might have been difficult for her on a personal level. We were treated like royalty all the time we were there.
In terms of game viewing experience, we couldn't have asked for more. We saw everything there was to see, big and small. we learned about conservation, tracking, eco systems, insects, spiders, birds, tress, plants, shrubs and life for people outside of the big cities in South Africa. The organisers have phenomenal knowledge of the country's infra structure and conservationist places. This means that they are able to put together a safari itinerary that will provide the client with an overall experience that is very personal and unforgettable. We already want to come back (actually, for the first time in our lives we didn't want to come home) and we are talking all out friends about it. All the people we met through Carol and Will's extensive knowledge were of the same mind when it came to the bush. It felt safe, exciting, real and above all respectful of the environment and of the creatures in it. A big thank you from us to all who worked (and still work) so hard to make it the absolute success that it it. We shall be back!

Deb.lloyd_5132's picture
Deb.lloyd_5132 03/14/2015

“On the right track...”

2 years ago

From the moment we met Becky at Johannesburg airport until the moment she dropped us off two weeks later we had a superb time with On Track safaris. We were a small group - myself and my husband, along with two other ladies, all...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
03/13/2015
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari type: 
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Klaserie, Balule, Thornybush

From the moment we met Becky at Johannesburg airport until the moment she dropped us off two weeks later we had a superb time with On Track safaris. We were a small group - myself and my husband, along with two other ladies, all getting to know each other on the drive to Thaba Tholo in a comfortable combi van.

Black Leopard Camp - home base for On Track - is beautiful. Accommodation is in luxury tents (with proper beds, and ensuite bathroom). The communal areas are comfortable, with amazing views from my seat at the bar. Drinks prices are very reasonable (especially for UK visitors), and the bar works on an 'honesty' system where you just note down what you take. The food is lovely, and all the guests and guides sit together at communal tables. Although Thaba Tholo is not a 'big five' reserve, it is home to giraffe, zebra, many different types of antelope, and by the time you read this, Cape buffalo. It is also home to the Ingwe Leopard Research project, and we were able to spend time with the researchers, and learn more about what they are doing. Drives at Black Leopard Camp are in open 4x4 vehicles, with knowledgeable guides.

After we left Black Leopard Camp, our next destination was Raptors Retreat, on the Balule Reserve. Run by Keith and Sharmaine, Raptors is delightful. The food is first class, and the accommodation to a very high standard. We did a game walk with Keith, and learned so much about the plants and animals in the reserve. Raptors also has 4x4 game vehicles, and they have a canvas shade roof.

Our third camp was Africa On Foot, in the Klaserie reserve. Accommodation was in an individual rondavel (comfortable beds, and a quirky outdoor bathroom). Here, we also got to spend a night in their treehouse (thanks to Carol at On Track for organising that). As the name suggests, we got to do walking safaris in the morning, then 4x4 vehicle drives in the afternoon. Don't panic if you're not very fit. I'm not, and the guides happily arranged a shorter walk for me.

In Thornybush reserve we stayed at N'Kaya Lodge - probably my favourite in terms of both accommodation and sightings (we got to see both Leopard and black Rhino here). There are only 4 rooms at N'Kaya - I should say 'suites', as there is a lounge, bedroom and two(!) bathrooms in each individual cottage. The food was impeccable (especially the braii on the first night), and the service provided was outstanding.

Leaving N'Kaya was hard - but knowing we were going back to Black Leopard Camp helped. It almost felt like coming home (and we were certainly welcomed like family).

I would heartily recommend On Track Safaris. They provided excellent value and great service. I hope to revisit South Africa with them in the future.

tomscu101_4232's picture
tomscu101_4232 11/03/2014

“Amazing Safari”

2 years ago

The first stop was Black Leopard Camp (in the Thabo Thalo Reserve) which was a beautiful, rustic, small camp. The staff were incredibly friendly and enthusiastic and this made the stay at BLC so much more enjoyable. The tents were...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
10/14/2014
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari destinations: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Black Leopard Camp at Thaba Tholo, Tangala at Thornybush, Greenfire lodge at Balule

The first stop was Black Leopard Camp (in the Thabo Thalo Reserve) which was a beautiful, rustic, small camp. The staff were incredibly friendly and enthusiastic and this made the stay at BLC so much more enjoyable. The tents were amazing with huge soft beds and ensuits as well as outside showers/baths. The food was great and to top it off we we had some amazing game drives. After 3 days at BLC we transferred to Greenfire Lodge in the Balule Reserve. Lovely staff, excellent food and the accommodation was stunning. The game drives were great here too with very knowledgeable guides and drivers. The third reserve we visited was Thorneybush, staying at the Tangala Camp (with no electricity) which was just amazing. The camp can be described as rustic but at night it is magical with kerosene lamps all over the place. The staff were very friendly and the food was sensational. The game drives were brilliant and we saw all the animals we had hoped to see along with many many more.

The whole trip was fantastic and everyone made us feel that we were with friends. We didn't just see animals we learnt all about them. Special mention to our fantastic guide Becky who kept us entertained on each the transfers. We have sponsored a cameras for the Ingwe programme and look forward to seeing what animals get photographed by our camera each month. We are recommending OTS to our travel agent, friends and anyone that will listen to us.

marjo's picture
marjo 10/16/2014

“Coming home”

2 years ago

As I booked a trip with On Track Safaris last year it was supposed to be a once in my lifetime experience. Well, it was not. Since I have been at Thaba Tholo, Tangala, Balule etc. it was clear to me, I have to go for a second time....

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/09/2014
Length of safari: 
3 Weeks
Safari type: 
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Black Leopard Camp at Thaba Tholo, Tangala at Thornybush, Greenfire lodge at Balule

As I booked a trip with On Track Safaris last year it was supposed to be a once in my lifetime experience. Well, it was not. Since I have been at Thaba Tholo, Tangala, Balule etc. it was clear to me, I have to go for a second time. As I am a single traveling woman it is important to me everything is well organised, and then there is no better organisation than On Track Safaris! Will and Carol from On Track Safaris are such caring people, Lynsey and Alan of Black Leopard Camp make you feel at home, Rudi and Dylan were the enthousiastic guides of Thaba Tholo and Becky was our fenomenal tourguide. I like very much the eco-friendly way of traveling, suspending the wildlife conservation by booking a trip with OTS and the possibility to get involved in the leopard research team by sponsoring a camera. It is great fun to get the pictures of “your” camera every month.
I was pleasantly surprised to get an invitation to visit Will and Carol in their beautiful house and Carol organised a trip by bus for me to meet some friends in Hoedspruit. Thank you Carol for all your efforts. After my 14 day safari I spend some days with the Ingwe Leopard Research team and too soon the time was there to go back home. I already miss my South African friends a lot and I cannot imagine to never go back again.

lyn's picture
lyn 10/08/2014

“A Wonderful Experience”

2 years ago

This was our second safari and first in South Africa and our first with On Track Safari's. We hadn't heard of On Track and only came across them whilst looking at other reviews, and we're so glad we did. Will, Carol and Becky at OTS...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/11/2014
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo Thalo, Balule, Thorneybush

This was our second safari and first in South Africa and our first with On Track Safari's. We hadn't heard of On Track and only came across them whilst looking at other reviews, and we're so glad we did. Will, Carol and Becky at OTS are all very knowledgeable and really helpful, making sure that you get what you want from your safari with them.
Our first stop was Black Leopard Camp in the Thabo Thalo Reserve; a beautiful, rustic, laid back, small camp with lovely staff and great food. The tents are amazing with huge soft, snuggly beds and we had great game drives. We then stayed at Greenfire Lodge in the Balule Reserve - another place to take your breathe away. Lovely staff, lovely food and the accommodation was stunning. We had wonderful views along the riverbed from our deck, at one point seeing a herd of elephant coming down to the river. The game drives were great here too with our very knowledgeable guide and driver. Our third reserve was Thorneybush, staying at the Tangala Camp. This really must be the most relaxing place we've ever been to - not for those who want 5* serviced luxury but for those who enjoy being amongst nature, listening to and watching wildlife in a rustic settling (with no electricity). We had some brilliant game drives whilst here and saw all the animals we'd hoped to along with many more. Lawrence was our tracker and he took us to places we didn't know a vehicle could go and tracked everything from a herd of elephants to a leopard cub.
Overall, the whole trip was amazing and we really felt that we were amongst friends with Will, Carol and Becky. This trip was so much more than 'spotting the Big 5' and ticking boxes, the whole experience was valuable to us; we learnt so much about the animals, conservation, the Ingwe Project and more. We will definitely be sponsoring a couple of cameras on the Ingwe programme and will definitely be making another trip with OTS in the future.

sylvie.kearney's picture
sylvie.kearney 09/02/2014

“Big five but so much more...”

2 years ago

This was my mother (80years young) and my first trip to Africa. On Track Safari arranged a marvellous experience. We got to learn so much about South Africa from all the guides who are so knowledgeable and giving of their time and...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/29/2014
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari type: 
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Black Leopard Camp, Greenfire Lodge Balule, Hoedpsuit Private Wildlife Lodge, Tangala Safari Camp

This was my mother (80years young) and my first trip to Africa. On Track Safari arranged a marvellous experience. We got to learn so much about South Africa from all the guides who are so knowledgeable and giving of their time and experience. They could answer our questions about animals, vegetation, birds, way of living in general, etc. So we got much more then the Big 5!! Mom was also very pleased with this amazing trip. Have been talking to all our friends about On Track Safari and their fantastic team. Thanks for the reference, everything was perfect: food, transport, and luxury camping!We will be repeat customers.

charlieandmark's picture
charlieandmark 09/01/2014

“Safari August 2014”

2 years ago

This was a our fourth visit to Southern Africa and our second via On Track Safaris. We would very rarely choose to revisit the same area via the same operator, but we certainly don't regret the decision to do so. Will, Carol,...

Value: 
Weeks
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
08/15/2014
Safari type: 

This was a our fourth visit to Southern Africa and our second via On Track Safaris. We would very rarely choose to revisit the same area via the same operator, but we certainly don't regret the decision to do so. Will, Carol, Becky and all of the team make you feel part of the On Track Safaris family from the first moment and every effort is made to build the safari around your requirements. Black Leopard camp is the base and we were so pleased to be able to visit there again. The camp is a little oasis, beautifully appointed tents with the world's most comfortable beds! Guides and camp staff who were not only great fun but also informative and an opportunity to get on board with the research programme and gain an understanding of the real issues facing wildlife and conservationists.

As this was our second visit, it was good to visit a completely different set of lodges than we had previously visited. Whilst we were familiar with the general area, we really felt we'd had a completely different experience from before - each visit has been different, but we have loved every minute. We had some very memorable sightings, with wildlife literally all around us in camp - it doesn't get any closer than antelope drinking out of the pool, elephants eating the trees outside our room and laying in bed listening to the lions roaring in the distance!

When you use On Track Safaris you know that you are not just visiting a country to take a few photos and leave - the profits from On Track are ploughed back into conservation projects and community projects and this means you can feel good about being there and making a valuable contribution. Since our first visit we have continued to support the projects by sponsoring a camera for the research team (can't recommend this enough, every month we get set a heap of photos from our very own corner of Africa) we have also raised funds for the schools project and once again enjoyed our visit to the latest school On Track are supporting. The school is fantastic and the kids love being there, but there are a lot of issues for the kids and their families and it's important as a tourist that you gain an understanding of the problems and do what you can to help. With On Track you can do as much or as little as you choose, but we'd really recommend a visit to the school.

Our only problem was that this visit was too short - we're already planning our next visit - get yourself out there, you won't regret it!

jril30's picture
jril30 08/29/2014

“Another great safari with On-Track - Ro and Ian Lynam”

2 years ago

We booked a holiday through Will and Carol 5 years ago and had such a great time that we did what we rarely do and that is book something similar. From the start we enjoyed excellent service, and through conversations with Carol...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/29/2014
Length of safari: 
11 Days
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Thola, Balule, Thorneybush

We booked a holiday through Will and Carol 5 years ago and had such a great time that we did what we rarely do and that is book something similar. From the start we enjoyed excellent service, and through conversations with Carol were able to put together a tailor-made package which involved all new reserves, as well as accommodating our requirements for our Ruby Wedding Anniversary.
Black Leopard Camp is a great place to use as a base and to have the leopard research explained first hand by the research team. The tented accommodation is fabulous, especially the outdoor bath and shower. And what a great team of staff! Becky is a natural making everyone feel really welcome, with a perfect balance of professionalism and fun. Rudi and Dylan were great rangers - very knowledgeable and such fun.
It was interesting to visit a variety of places, all of which had something special. Our one-night stops at Greenfire camp (Balule) and Will and Carol's home were a great addition to the trip.
Our choice of spending 4 days at Tangala was definitely the right one. We absolutely loved it and thought Tosha was a wonderful, knowledgeable ranger, who sought out some very memorable sightings. It couldn't have been better in terms of atmosphere, location, game viewing and very attentive staff. The views from the lounge area and deck, to the water hole with the Drakensberg Mountains as a backdrop, were very special. And what a great place to spend our Ruby Wedding anniversary! Couldn't have been better (especially since we were the only guests)

So, thanks again - Carol for organising a wonderful holiday for us, and Will and all the staff at all camps for treating us as friends rather than clients.

CliveLP's picture
CliveLP 08/27/2014

“Beyond Expetations”

2 years ago

After seven years of badgering I finaly persuaded my wife to relutantly go on a safari. Despite positive reports of my past trips to both Kenya and Zimbabwe she was convinced that it would be dispointing with the animals only seen...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/28/2014
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo Widerness Reserve, Balule Reserve (Greater Kruger National Park) Kruger National Park, Hoedsuit Private Wildlive Reserve. Tangala Safari Camp (Thorny Bush). Blyde River Wilderness Lodge.

After seven years of badgering I finaly persuaded my wife to relutantly go on a safari. Despite positive reports of my past trips to both Kenya and Zimbabwe she was convinced that it would be dispointing with the animals only seen as specs in the distance or surrounded by hoards of minibuses whilst we melted inside a hot vehicle. I deliberately chose a trip with a company via Responsible Travel where we knew that the ecologial soundness and sustainability would be genuine. We chose the South Afrian winter for our trip for cooler weather(no mosquitos at altitude being a bonus).
From the very first contact 'On Track' displayed a professional care and skill at insuring their clients had the best possible personal experiece. Upon arrival at our first nights acomodation after a fantasic one and a half hour game drive from the wilderness entrance expertly guided by 'our young South African guides ably assisted by the incredible Becky from On Track', my wife was already completely gobsmacked by the experience. We had alresdy seen so much game close up and had now arrived at a wonderful luxuary tented camp nestled in an Eden like valley. From there it only got better, possibly the highlight being helping Tosher the headguide at Tangala remove a herd of elephants from within the lodge compound; our 'On Track' guide Becky and the other lodge staff having held them at bay till Tosher and the tracker returned with us. The whole trip was a stunning example of how eclogialy sound tourisim should be done, from partiticipating in real researh into leapord behaviour to ensuring that real benifitis are given to the local comunities.
As experienced travelers and expats roaming from the Aritic to Syria, the personal adventure [generally fewer than 5 people] and expert and enthusiastic guides with the addition of marvellous,varied and amazing accomodation with exeptional staff, made this trip breathtaking. Dont go on a cheap crowd squeeze. Make it a trip worth the time and the distance. GO, go go!

mail_1's picture
mail_1 08/11/2014

“Safari review”

3 years ago

We are fortunate to have been on safari with OTS before and Will, Carol and becky continue to do an outstanding job in understanding what we as a family look for and tailoring the safari accordingly so that our expectations are met...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/08/2014
Length of safari: 
11 Days
Safari destinations: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Tangala, Umlani and Simbavati river lodge

We are fortunate to have been on safari with OTS before and Will, Carol and becky continue to do an outstanding job in understanding what we as a family look for and tailoring the safari accordingly so that our expectations are met. We have recommended friends to them, all of whom come back with glowing reports. They personally check out the camps before recommending them and, although they did not personally accompany us as we had been on safari with them before, they wil do this for all who request it, to make sure you're looked after and have every need catered for. We went first to Tangala camp in the Thorneybush reserve, where we have been before through OTS. This is a very eco-friendly camp, with no electricity, very small and therefore personal. The food was of an excellent quality, with breakfast served overlooking a drinking hole very close by, wonderful! The accommodation is OK, a bit tired and needs updating, but you get what you pay for. The staff, inlcuding safari guides, were all excellent, providing very good service, and we had ver personal and attentive service from the manager, Louw. Thorneybush is a great reserve for animal sightings. After 3 days there we went to a very similar eco-friendly camp we had not been to before, Umlani in the neighbouring Timbavati reserve. This too was fantastic, right up ther with Tangala for quality of stay, service and food. The accommodation comprises well apppinted in small rondavels with outside showers. We were fortunate to stay whilst the owner, Marco was there, and he helped add to the quality personal service, even arranging for champagne and bithday cake on one of our birthday's, a lovely and much appreciated touch. We very much recommend Umlani. We then went on Simbavati, another more but more expensive camp, in Timbavati. The tents there all have electricity. The camp, ike Umlani, overlooks what is in winter a dry river bed. The guide we had there was Christof, the best and most knowledgeable guide we have ever had but the animal sightings were not as good as in the Thornybush reserve, not helped by private land owners in the reserve not allowing traversing rights over their land, meaning we had several instances of not being able to track or follow animals - very frustrating! Many thanks to Will, carol and their colleague Becky for looking after us so well and for organising yet another trip of a lifetime.

ewan's picture
ewan 07/31/2014

“Could it be bettered?”

3 years ago

On the return journey to Johannesburg airport our guide, Becky, asked us if there was anything of our holiday experience that could be improved upon. We could not think of a single thing at the time but said we would give it more...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/31/2014
Length of safari: 
8 Days
Safari destinations: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Thornybush

On the return journey to Johannesburg airport our guide, Becky, asked us if there was anything of our holiday experience that could be improved upon. We could not think of a single thing at the time but said we would give it more thought and let "On Track Safari" know. We have indeed given it a lot more thought and have still come up with nothing. From the moment of contacting On Track Safari until getting home the experience has been quite fantastic. We only decided relatively late on to book a safari holiday and even thought that we may have left it too late. However Carol Fox of On Track Safari responded very promptly to our initial enquiry with a proposed itinerary within the dates that we had given her. As we had no experience of a safari holiday we were happy to go along with her suggestions. We were not to be disappointed. Each lodge/reserve differed and each had their own VERY special appeal. As a family of six, we all had different highlights of the holiday, of which there were many, but not a single negative between us. In each location the local guides were extremely knowledgeable and able to share this in an enthusiastic, passionate and often entertaining way. It was so much more than just "game spotting". We all came back enriched, understanding far more about the animals and their environment. This far exceeded our expectations.
Lodge accommodation at each of the three reserves was quite different: Glamping ("youth hostel meets four star hotel") at Black Leopard Camp, Thaba Tholo Reserve; contemporary steel & glass "pods" at Green Fire, Balule Reserve and traditional thatched units at Tangala Safari Camp, Thornybush Reserve.
Food served at each was outstanding - again for a family of six to have no complaints is quite something.
In short, we could not imagine that the holiday could be bettered. That said, if we were to try to better it, we would certainly choose On Track Safari. Will Fox seems to think he may have something for us!
Our sincere thanks to Carol for organising absolutely everything, ensuring a completely stress free holiday. Also to Will and Becky. One or the other was always with us from the moment we reached arrivals hall at Johannesburg until being dropped back at the airport. They had such a passion for sharing their knowledge with us and Will, we never did have to tell you to stop talking!
Congratulations also to On Track Safari for their input into the Leopard Research project and schooling within the local community.

gillgrubbx's picture
gillgrubbx 07/11/2014

“12 DAY GORILLA SAFARI”

3 years ago

In our opinion Uganda is underestimated in terms of a safari venue. We have been on 3 previous safaris, Kenya/Tanzania, Botswana/Zambia and South Africa. Uganda is right up there with the best. We only went to see the gorillas,...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
06/20/2014
Length of safari: 
12 Days
Safari type: 
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi Impenetrable, Lake Mburo

In our opinion Uganda is underestimated in terms of a safari venue. We have been on 3 previous safaris, Kenya/Tanzania, Botswana/Zambia and South Africa. Uganda is right up there with the best. We only went to see the gorillas, but we were pleasantly surprised at the other animals we saw. We particularly liked the Murchison Falls National Park, a lovely location where the Nile is forced through a narrow gap and we were lucky enough to see a whole range of wild animals including elephant, giraffe, buffalo & lions. The gorilla tracking was a wonderful experience, we were lucky enough to find them quite quickly and our family had 3 silverbacks, which we saw all at once. The accommodation and food were fine. Our driver/guide, Paul, was excellent, we felt safe and well informed. We were the only two on the safari and it was fantastic to have the bus to ourselves. We could open the roof to get up and down to take photos whenever we chose and we could set our own pace. Having now been on two safaris with On Track, we have found it is far better than being on a group tour and no more expensive.

valhms's picture
valhms 06/18/2014

“Small group, big value”

3 years ago

I traveled with Mary Bradley and will agree with her excellent review. I do want to add that OnTrack Safari never has more than 6 guests on each tour. How can you better that. In fact, there were only 4 of us, and at some of the...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
06/17/2014
Length of safari: 
19 Days
Safari destinations: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Victoria Falls, Thaba Tholo, Balule, Thornybush, Sabi Sand

I traveled with Mary Bradley and will agree with her excellent review. I do want to add that OnTrack Safari never has more than 6 guests on each tour. How can you better that. In fact, there were only 4 of us, and at some of the lodges, we were the only guests there. How special! I highly recommend OnTrack for a thoroughly wonderful experience.

mj_bradley's picture
mj_bradley 05/23/2014

“Safari May 2014”

3 years ago

I don't know where to start! This was my first trip to the beautiful country of South Africa and after dreaming of this for many years, my dreams were exceeded in so many ways. First the time and care given by Will and Carol Fox...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
05/01/2014
Length of safari: 
20 Weeks
Safari type: 
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Thornybush, Arathusa

I don't know where to start! This was my first trip to the beautiful country of South Africa and after dreaming of this for many years, my dreams were exceeded in so many ways. First the time and care given by Will and Carol Fox made this a stress free trip. The work done by these two people and their staff is amazing. First stop was Victoria Falls. You really must see it to believe the power in the falls. The water was too high for canoeing or rafting so we chose to do a continuous zip line 9 times across the gorge! How beatiful it was. One of our travel companions lost her red sandals to the local Baboons! Guess they needed them more than she! Our second stop was Black Leopard Camp in the Thaba Tholo reserve. BLC is run by Alan and Lyndsay who are lovely people and make you feel like family.
Our guide there was Dylan who is a wonderful young man very knowledgeable of the bush. Becky our guide from On Track Safaris, was a joy to share our experience with, she too is very knowledgeable and so full of passion for what she does. We we fortunate enough to visit the Sivo school, where the children are so very grateful and thirsty for knowledge. Thank you Will and Carol for loving not only the wild life but the children and future of South Africa!
Next stop was Balule Reserve. Another beautiful place with the water hole right outside your luxury tent. Wonderful food and two wonderful drives with Karl and Maurice, our tracker. We then stopped to visit Moholoholo. They rescue the wild animals and birds and return them to the wild if possible, if not they use them to educate the public about these animals and how to share the world with them. Moved on to Thornybush, Tangala camp. This was the most rustic of the camps, no electricity and it was a wonderful experience. Wildlife is abundant and we enjoyed 4 wonderful drives. We began and ended our day watching the wildlife visit the waterhole. They have a resident porcupine who visits the kitchen in the evening to see if they have anything for him. Also saw a vervet monkey with a bobbed tail go and get a pancake from one of the kitchen staff!
Then on to Arathusa in the Sabi Sands. Our wonderful guide there was Dries (Drizzle) Jordaan and tracker Derrick. Both of these men were wonderful at what they do.. We saw 5 different leopards and 6 sightings. A cheetah on a Nyala calf kill. Ellies, Buffs, Wildies, Warties, Giraffes so many sightings!
It was especially wonderful to see the beautiful leopards we had come to know through the live drives and the live Djuma cam. We we fortunate to meet one of our guides from the WildEarth live drives. The Barefoot Professor. He is a very knowledgeable man and is truly a man of the bush. We wish him well in whatever he does in the future.. Arathusa was beautiful and there were 7 Hippos outside our rooms in the Waterhole! At night you could hear them having conversations. A hyena was in the bar area early one morning, before we got up and managed to break the tall table used to serve morning coffee. Wonder what he was after? Maybe the cream/milk? After 4 magnificent days at Arathusa we returned to BLC. Becky left us after handing us over to Tara.
We said a sad goodbye to Becky with hopes of seeing her again one day. Tara took us back to camp along with Tuckka, her Jack Russell, who is a sweetheart.
It was like coming home after a holiday.. It was a bittersweet return knowing we only had 3 days left. But in those 3 days we reviewed the pictures on our camera traps, and ours won.. we had Zebra, Babs, Antelope and a Porcupine! Yay!! we poured plaster casts of leopard spoor. Enjoyed a few more days of Alan & Esroms cooking. Julius was a sweet wonderful man who took care of our every need and was always ready with a nice laugh. Tara took us to the research compound and showed us around. It is amazing. They have a shower and a toilet with a view! It was wonderful meeting the people we came to love and admire from the WildEarth drives and also to meet such wonderful new people.
When I go back to Africa, which I hope to do, I will most definitely use On Track Safaris. They made this, my first trip, to Africa so very special and they were so very kind

richiewalsh2003's picture
richiewalsh2003 04/13/2014

“Awesome, incredible, interesting, interactive and humbling”

3 years ago

My wife Therese and I have just returned from an unforgettable and dare I say life-changing experience with On Track Safaris. This was our first safari but arrived well prepared thanks to regular and detailed guidance notes from...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
04/13/2014
Length of safari: 
2 Weeks
Safari destinations: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo Tholo, Balule, Thornybush, Kruger, Moholoholo

My wife Therese and I have just returned from an unforgettable and dare I say life-changing experience with On Track Safaris. This was our first safari but arrived well prepared thanks to regular and detailed guidance notes from Will & Carol Fox. Hailing from the same part of England and working with Will in the Oil & Gas industry several years ago, it was great to be reunited with them both.

Will met us at OR Tambo and embarked on the 3.5hr drive via Lydenburg to Thabo Tholo, explaining our itinerary and also about the conservation work they were deeply involved with. We stayed with Will & Carol, their hospitality being second to none.

So where do I start to describe an absolutely amazing, interesting, interactive and totally involving best holiday ever?

Will & Carol were perfect hosts; at Thabo Tholo, Tara, Becky, Dylan, Rudi & Joe were all incredible and dedicated people, knowledgeable guides and a pleasure to be with. Although we didn’t stay at Black Leopard Camp, it was a focal point of our time in Thabo Tholo and many thanks to Alan, Lyndsay and Tennille for making us feel at home. Camera Traps placed at strategic locations was a novel idea and the photos eagerly anticipated on the final full day at Thabo Tholo. Sadly no Leopard but almost 300 shots, some good and some not so good.

The itinerary was designed to ease us into the safari experience. Game drives were early morning, usually starting with a jungle drum wake-up call at 05:00, returning for a hearty breakfast at around 10am, free time until 15:00 when, after a light lunch, we embarked on another adventure until around 19:00 dependant on sightings (tracking Lions and Leopards at night was certainly an experience). The evening meal at all locations rounded off the day in the best possible way; bed time usually around 21:00 to prepare for the next early morning drum.

Food was excellent and plentiful, varied and always extremely tasty and mid-drive hot drinks each morning and sundowners each evening were always welcomed. I think the sundowner tradition might be maintained at home.

After Thabo Tholo, our itinerary took us to Balule Game Reserve staying at Drifters Lodge, Zulieka Guest House used as a base for visits to Kruger National Park and Moholoholo rehabilitation centre (interactive introduction to Cheetah, Eagle and Vulture) Thornybush Game Reserve staying at Tangala camp, Blyde River Wilderness Lodge returning to the Lydenburg area via the panoramic route taking in Blyde River Canyon (think Grand Canyon in USA) and Pilgrims Rest followed by a visit to Sizo Primary School near Lydenburg, one of Will & Carols (PAW) projects and a humbling experience.

Guest accommodation was both luxurious and practical, excellent locations and warm hospitality. Living without electricity at Tangala was an experience no-one should miss. Make sure all your devices are fully charged before arrival; a powerful flash light will help scan the waterhole for any nocturnal visitors.

Special mentions must go to our guides at Drifters, Isaac, finally finding the family group of Spotted Hyena at home and at Tangala, Floris who excelled with his knowledge of the area and for his sublime off-road driving ability. Off-road is usually a term used for dirt track driving in UK but believe me, when I say ‘off-road’ I mean heading off through thick bush in pursuit of ‘The Big Five’. Sometimes I thought he was getting confused, driving not a Landrover Defender but a Tiger Tank the way small trees and bushes were dispatched below the vehicle only to spring back up again after we’d passed through, over and around.

Finding ourselves in the middle of heavy bush, shadowing a herd of Elephant patiently doing what Elephants do, ignoring us completely was an awesome experience. Coming across a Black Rhino family group was almost the icing on the cake but there was more to come. Philip the tracker was gone for almost 2hrs following the spoor of a Leopard, finally catching up with him with the Leopard lounging behind some thick bush, nearly impossible to see with the naked eye, extremely difficult to see with a zoom lens and an unbelievable feat of tracking by Philip during the hours of darkness. On the way back to Tangala, we came across our two male Lions, marking out their territory and preparing for a showdown with the resident ‘dominant’ male to claim the Southern Pride for their own.

Oh yes, we also sighted the Southern Pride and herds of Buffalo to complete ‘The Big Five’; very surreal watching probably over 200 individuals moving (almost) through Tangala camp, some stopping at the local waterhole and others venturing to the camp swimming pool for a well-deserved drink. Without fences, Tangala can easily be classed as in the bush so be careful when you turn the next bend, you could be confronted by Nyala et al.

I could really write a whole book on our most fantastic holiday with On Track Safaris and after 2 weeks of action packed, interesting and totally absorbing vacation time, it was all over and time to head back to OR Tambo and the flight home to UK.

Did I say ‘all over?’ Not in the least. We take the Newsletter, will be donating to PAW and will join the camera club.

Will we return? You bet!

rt.fermor's picture
rt.fermor 02/21/2014

“SIMPLY THE BEST”

3 years ago

As seasoned travellers and one-time managers of an Indian wildlife camp, we reckoned we had seen it all! But how wrong we were. We arrived at Black Leopard Camp in the Thaba Tholo private reserve as strangers and left as part of a...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
01/21/2014
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Kruger, Thorneybush, Thaba Tholo, Tangala, Balule

As seasoned travellers and one-time managers of an Indian wildlife camp, we reckoned we had seen it all! But how wrong we were. We arrived at Black Leopard Camp in the Thaba Tholo private reserve as strangers and left as part of a family. Never before have we stayed in a place where we have been treated as long-lost friends rather than paying guests. The food was superb, everyone from the owners Alan and Lynsey, to the chef and guides made our holiday extra special. The accommodation was first class, huge meringues for beds, stunning views, total peace and quiet and starry, starry nights - which can be enjoyed with an outside bath and shower! (Indoor ones are provided). Each time we look back on our stay we remind ourselves how lucky we were. Our first leopard sighting was unforgettable. A 14 month old boy lying across a track, nonchalantly gazing at us, totally unfazed. Taking spoor moulds turned into a mud fest, complete with hair spray and talc. There was some confusion when we found a perfect spoor but what was it? After much deliberation it turned out to belong to Tucker, the delightful Jack Russell who lives with the Ingwe Leopard Research gang. They have a camp not far from BLC and do a fabulous job conserving the leopards. Super sightings on the camera traps as well as in real life! Becky, our English guide, together with South African Rudi were a mine of information on the animals and birds and made sure we saw anything that crawled, slithered, walked or flew around the reserve! Animals apart, one of our enduring memories will be watching a 6 Nations Rugby match on TV at the camp, amply supplied with the necessary drinks! Views from the panorama drive were out of this world, complete with some wonderful plants and trees as well as the puzzling petroglyphs.
We are already planning our next trip in 2015 and a stay at BLC is top of the list.
Roger and Trisha Jan 2014

jennifer.blain's picture
jennifer.blain 02/14/2014

“The Best Holiday Ever”

3 years ago

The Best Holiday. Ever.

... and I have been on some wonderful holidays.

This holiday far exceeded my expectations. I totally agree with other 5 star reviews about the superb organisation and excellent food and...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
02/14/2014
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo; Balule; Thornybush

The Best Holiday. Ever.

... and I have been on some wonderful holidays.

This holiday far exceeded my expectations. I totally agree with other 5 star reviews about the superb organisation and excellent food and accommodation. Two highlights were lying in my super-comfy bed listening to baboons chattering on the cliffs behind my tent at Black Leopard camp; the myriad twinkling oil lamps that greeted us in the evening at Tangala. The animals, however, were the stars and we had so many wonderful sightings. Being up close to mating lions and coming across an elephant family playing on the river bank, seeing a black rhino and her infant or a family of baby mongooses playing in the sun were all unforgettable.

But there were lots of other unexpected pluses which came from being among passionate and committed people who were prepared to chat about conservation issues or trying to combat poachers or the tensions in South Africa between games reserves, hunting and farming. I loved 'Reading the daily papers' - stopping in the early morning at a sandy stretch of the road to have a stab at identifying the spoor or the animals that had passed that way overnight - and being encouraged to use all of my senses to try to work out where we might go to try to find a leopard.

sarahs's picture
sarahs 01/17/2014

“Our First Safari - On Track is it!”

3 years ago

First things first, we THOROUGHLY enjoyed our trip with On Track Safaris and we think about our safari experience every day, usually with longing to get back to South Africa!

Everything was so easy to plan with Carol's help...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
11/28/2013
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo Thalo, Balule, Kruger, Thornybush

First things first, we THOROUGHLY enjoyed our trip with On Track Safaris and we think about our safari experience every day, usually with longing to get back to South Africa!

Everything was so easy to plan with Carol's help - she patiently answered all my questions while planning and preparing. We were met in Johannesburg by our On Track guide, Becky. She is an absolute gem! Although we probably would have had a great experience with another guide, Becky's bubbly personality, sense of humor, extensive knowledge, passion for wildlife, and desire to help us learn made the whole trip an absolute joy. We wanted to particularly commend her professionalism from first meeting at OR Tambo to our sendoff. She never lost site of her professional obligations and we don't doubt she could handle any situation or emergency that could arise. Just great!

As this was our first safari, we chose the itinerary suggested by OTS. The selection of camps and reserves, the pace and timing of each venue, was perfect. Particularly the choice of beginning and ending at Black Leopard Camp proved to be very satisfying. We loved Drifters and Tangala, Kruger and the two guest houses. We thoroughly enjoyed the staff, hosts, and guides at each place, but are of course sentimentally deeply attached to Black Leopard Camp, the wonderful Alan and Lynsey, their guides Dylan and Rudi, and the feeling of being at home there. We were treated like royalty wherever we went, but the atmosphere at BLC is closest to our hearts. From the design of the camp, the remote and rugged terrain, the presence of Ingwe Leopard Research on the reserve, everything was perfect.

Despite some irregular weather, we were happy with our choice of traveling in summer, particularly for the astounding sightings of baby animals (antelopes of all kinds, warthogs, rhinos, ellies, zebras, giraffes, lions, hippos, wildebeests, etc.) but also eager to come back to South Africa in winter, with drier weather and less greenery.

We really appreciate the commitment to conservation and sustainability in all aspects of your business. This had a major influence on our choice of OTS, along with your customer service. At the end of two weeks, we were amazed at how much we had seen and how much we had learned - about the animals, tracking, the environment, culture, etc. We wanted to commend manager, Kim and game ranger, Karl at Drifters, along with their excellent staff, and Lowe and game ranger, Floris at Tangala, along with Margaret, Goodness, and Irene at Tangala (we LOVED Tangala almost as much as BLC).

We are already talking about when we can return to SA and happy to see that OTS is adding programs! Our highest recommendation for safari with OTS!

Sarah and Daniel

garyparker1958's picture
garyparker1958 10/03/2013

“perfect on track”

3 years ago

this was the third time with on track and every time its got better
everything is geared to you having a good time from the booking process to drop of at the airport
the owners and staff at the fantastic black leopard...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/05/2013
Length of safari: 
17 Days
Wildlife parks visited: 
kruger thornybush

this was the third time with on track and every time its got better
everything is geared to you having a good time from the booking process to drop of at the airport
the owners and staff at the fantastic black leopard camp rearly make you fell at home with wounderful accomadation and food and service to die for with carol and will always on hand to attend to your every needs it is such a wrench when you have to leave
if you want a top safari experience and a stress free holiday this is the company to book with
I recommend on track to anyone who wants something more than the normal tick off big five type of trip
book now you will not be disappointed
gary and Julie
uk

peterbholt's picture
peterbholt 09/20/2013

“Our first safari.”

3 years ago

Being our first time on safari we had a few worries but these disappeared and our minds were put at rest once we were collected by Will at the airport.
On our way to Black Leopard Camp we saw a number of animals. We were...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/02/2013
Length of safari: 
8 Days
Safari type: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo Tholo, Balule, Thornybush.

Being our first time on safari we had a few worries but these disappeared and our minds were put at rest once we were collected by Will at the airport.
On our way to Black Leopard Camp we saw a number of animals. We were welcomed at the camp and made to feel at home by Alan & Lindsey, Ruddi & Tenile, and Jason. The tented accommodation with a huge double bed (with hot water bottles) was better than expected. After 2 days of being looked after we called in at the INGWE leopard research centre where we met Tara and Becky. They are very enthusiastic about their work and Becky made an excellent tour guide who took us to Drifters Lodge at Balule Game Reserve where we saw our first big game. Isaac the ranger here, had a terrific sense of humour and made everything so interesting, right down to the termites and the way they organise their colonies. Then on next day to Tangala Lodge in Thornybush Game Reserve. We saw just about every animal you could think of. Breakfast was taken on the deck which overlooked the waterhole so we could watch all the animals coming down for their morning drink. The nyalas even came up to the swimming pool to drink. Floris, our guide here, knew all the places to show us the big game. He even stopped the Landrover next to a male lion who had gorged himself on a kill and could only lay in the road panting. After 2 days it was back home to a welcome at Black leopard Lodge for our final days. A few more bush drives, good food and conversations. Just time to buy a leopardcam, call in at the school then fly off home. What an experience it was. We hope that we can do it all again one day.
Peter and Julie.

d5nrw's picture
d5nrw 08/16/2013

“Just Perfect”

4 years ago

Before the review a huge thanks to Will & Carol at On-Track and to Rosy at Responsible Travel who put me in touch with them.

Our safari was an extension to a riding holiday in Mozambique which I undertook with my two...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
08/04/2013
Length of safari: 
7 Days
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo Tholo, Thornybush and Balule

Before the review a huge thanks to Will & Carol at On-Track and to Rosy at Responsible Travel who put me in touch with them.

Our safari was an extension to a riding holiday in Mozambique which I undertook with my two young daughter who are 12 and 10. We were a little apprehensive as not only was this our first safari experience but it was also my first ever holiday with the kids by myself. From the moment Will picked us up at Johannesburg airport all apprehension just melted away and we immersed ourselves in a magical experience which had the perfect balance of locations and experiences for both myself and the girls.

Will and Carol have been involved in conservation for over a decade and are founders of the Ingwe Leopard Research Project which is based in the Thabo Tholo reserve where we spent our first two days. The Black Leopard Cap where we stayed was set deep in a stunning valley where we looked after by the Oners Alan and Lyndsey and all their capable staff including Ruddi our ranger guide and his partner Tenille. The accommodation was two stunning fixed tents including luxury beds and an outdoor bath :) and Alan's cooking was a treat to savour. Within the reserve we visited the Leopard research project headed by Tara and her able volunteers from Reading University and we are looking forward to our camera capturing some stunning pictures over the next year.

Will then came back to take us to Thornybush for two days - for those in the know this is simply a stunning place to see game with accommodation ranging from A List prices in some lodges to ours which was no electricity so oil lamps and open fire cooking which the girls just loved. All big five ticked off (twice) with great AM and PM game drives.

We then moved onto Drifters Lodge in Balule which was our luxury accommodation stay with food and a wine list to die for. A much bigger park than Thornybush but Will and Carol had again picked perfectly as rather than just repeating Thornybush our Ranger was much more hands on in terms of bush skills so he had the girls out spoor tracking and demonstrating how you can survive in the bush. They absolutely loved it.

And then finally Will and Carol on our last night invited us to their home on another private reserve for a fantastic evening meal and a bottle of red.

In summary - one Dad and two young children could have been complicated however Will and Carol had put together an itinerary which made my job easy as they weren't bored for a minute and they have come back with a completely different view of the world.

I'm sure I could have spent much much more on a safari, I'm glad I didn't as I don't really think you could get better than the service and passion we received, so much so that were are already looking forward to hearing from Will as to his Polar Bear Safari next year and the one he is planning in the Serengeti.

If you are looking or something different with exceptional customer service then just drop Carol a line with who you are, your group and what you hope to experience and then just settle back and count down the days to your trip.

A perfect 10

Still have 4,500 photos to sort and organise - once done I'll come back and add them to the review

Neil, Molly and Jenny

alexandraspyra's picture
alexandraspyra 08/13/2013

“Unforgettable adventure”

4 years ago

This was my first safari holiday and it could not have been better. From the moment you meet Will and Carol at the airport you know you are in good hands. Our base for the first few days was at Black Leopard Camp; the...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/24/2013
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari type: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Thornybush

This was my first safari holiday and it could not have been better. From the moment you meet Will and Carol at the airport you know you are in good hands. Our base for the first few days was at Black Leopard Camp; the accommodation is in spacious tents with ensuite facilities and is surrounded by awe-inspiring scenery. When we arrived we were warmly greeted and throughout our stay were treated like friends who had come to visit and were very well looked after. Wasting no time we were taken on the first of many game drives through the reserve and to name just a few, saw zebra, giraffe, impala, kudu & waterbuck and when we returned near the end of the holiday we also saw leopard cubs roaming high in the mountain. For the remainder of the trip our itinerary was filled with a variety of experiences including a visit to the injured animal rehab centre at Moholuholu and to a primary school for the opening of their kitchen, which Will and Carol had financed from donations. It was heart warming to see the appreciation that was shown by the staff and the children at the school and to realise that OTS is trying to put something back into the African community other than just arranging the safari trips. More of this was evident when Tara Pirie who runs the INGWE project with Will took time to explain about the dedicated work she and her team do in monitoring leopard numbers on the Thaba Tholo reserve and their efforts to protect the species through interacting with local farmers. We visited 3 game reserves in all, each offering a different experience including tracking on foot as well as viewing in an open vehicle. Being so close to animals such as lions, rhino, buffalo & elephants is quite something when you are less than 3 mts away and at times within touching distance. It was a wonderful, memorable 10 days with no bad experiences at all, each of the lodges/camps were comfortable and clean and the staff friendly. Clearly a lot of thought and care had been put into organising the itinerary and selecting accommodation that would meet with widespread approval. A truly unforgettable adventure.

stephenroselancs's picture
stephenroselancs 08/11/2013

“Brilliant experience with On Track Safaris”

4 years ago

We have just returned from a brilliant safari with On Track Safaris. We have undertaken safaris previously within South Africa and other African countries and feel we are able to reflect on our most recent trip and write a review...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/24/2013
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Safari type: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule and Tangala (South Africa)

We have just returned from a brilliant safari with On Track Safaris. We have undertaken safaris previously within South Africa and other African countries and feel we are able to reflect on our most recent trip and write a review based on a fair amount of experience. From the moment we arrived in South Africa we were welcomed to what would prove to be a warm and very knowledgeable family operation as we toured the region and visited a number of private game reserves. Everything was well-organised and the personalised itinerary ran like clockwork. As well as visiting the reserves we were able to accommodate other points of interest en route. Nothing was too much trouble and we left South Africa with a stunning collection of photos we took of the extensive wildlife we encountered and the ever-changing natural landscape in this beautiful part of the world. Will and Carol run a terrific outfit in On Track Safaris and we were able to experience at first hand how their activities bring genuine benefit to the wider community in which they operate their safari business. We had the privilege of visiting a local school with which OTS has close links and it is really good to see how tourism can so effectively benefit wildlife conservation and the wider community in which it operates. All accommodation on the trip was really comfortable and of a high standard, ranging from zero carbon, traditionally oil lamp-lit Tangala to the sophisticated design of Balule. Wildlife encounters were second to none and we highly recommend OTS to supply a highly personalised, friendly and relaxed service of the highest quality.
Stephen and Sarah Rose
August 2013

c.c.coleman's picture
c.c.coleman 08/09/2013

“Fantastic experience”

4 years ago

We had a fantastic experience with On Track Safaris. We were part of a small group on an 8 day safari which incorporated Black Leopard Camp, Drifter's Lodge at Balule game reserve and Tangala Camp at Thornybush game reserve, and we...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/13/2013
Length of safari: 
8 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thabo Tholo, Balule, Thornybush

We had a fantastic experience with On Track Safaris. We were part of a small group on an 8 day safari which incorporated Black Leopard Camp, Drifter's Lodge at Balule game reserve and Tangala Camp at Thornybush game reserve, and we had an absolutely amazing trip. Aside from the great food, luxury accommodation, excellent guides and outstanding game viewing, what really set On Track apart was the personal service and the focus on education and research. From the moment that Will (the CEO) met us at the aiport to the moment he dropped us off for our return flight home, we felt consistently taken care of (without feeling mollycoddled or crowded) and that we were part of the On Track 'family'. We also learned a huge amount about the animals and environments we were in - learning to track and identify animal footprints, listening to animal sounds and what they mean (and especially those, such as a Kudu bark, which indicates the presence of a predator), and visiting the Ingwe Leopard Research Project. We also got the opportunity to get involved in some research ourselves by setting our own camera 'trap' which was fascinating. The educational aspect of the trip added an entirely new dimension to our experience, making On Track a 'must' for wildlife enthusiasts. Highly recommended!

georgiatracey's picture
georgiatracey 07/30/2013

“On Track make the difference!”

4 years ago

This year we set out to do something different on our fourth time in Africa - a safari with a difference, not just a trek through the bush, so to speak , and we found it in "On Track safaris". Without a doubt one of the most...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/08/2013
Length of safari: 
2 Weeks
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo reserve, Balule reserve ,Tangala reserve ,Kruger Park

This year we set out to do something different on our fourth time in Africa - a safari with a difference, not just a trek through the bush, so to speak , and we found it in "On Track safaris". Without a doubt one of the most pressing issues in Africa at the present time is the preservation of its wonderful diversity of wildlife and On Track safaris have successfullly adopted eco-tourism at their Black Leopard Camp base where staff and all visitors find themselves naturally involved to varying degrees in conservation and ongoing research by professionals and volunteers alike. As their guests, you too can participate in the conservation experience becoming ambassadors for their work in this field. Not only does this organised and thoughtful bush experience allow you to relax, but it also promotes and encourages an understanding of Africa's bigger issues.
All staff involved were considerate and committed to the experience, whether in the preparation of guests' meals or in the daily exploration of the bush during game drives and walks. Wildlife viewing was excellent due to the variety of habitat visited during our stay.
All said and done, for the thoughtful traveller this is definitely the holiday of the future!

Georgia & Mike.

bev.wills's picture
bev.wills 07/26/2013

“Wonderful conservation safari”

4 years ago

We have been on safari before but liked the idea of a safari that was considerate of environmental issues as well as providing a fantastic holiday. This was a top notch holiday experience, coupled with a great learning experience...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
12/22/2012
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 

We have been on safari before but liked the idea of a safari that was considerate of environmental issues as well as providing a fantastic holiday. This was a top notch holiday experience, coupled with a great learning experience. The accommodation, food and guiding were all excellent. We started at Black Leopard Camp, where we stayed for 3 nights, and the hosts Alan and Lynsey (and all of the staff) looked after us very well. We saw lots of wonderful animals and birds, were shown around the INGWE Leopard Research Facility and positioned 2 camera traps to see if we could spot the elusive black leopard! From there, fully relaxed, we travelled to the Balule Game Reserve, accompanied by our wonderful guide Becky, who looked after us so well for the next 6 days (there were only the 2 of us with Becky so we were very spoiled!). Balule was remarkable - again we had lots of amazing sightings and took a walking safari; the food was excellent and the new building is very comfortable and stylish - all good. We then had a day in Kruger and were rewarded with sighting after sighting. Three cheetahs strolled aorund the back of our car and treated us to a 10 minute sighting while they lay under a tree next to the road. We saw ostriches mating, hippos lounging by the water, herds of elephants, in fact every corner brought fresh delights - an unforgettable day. Fro here we went to Tangala, which is a magical place. There is a comfortable lounging area with a water hole in front. It was possible to sit there for hours just watching animals come and go from the water hole - as we did! Elephants wandered through the camp during the night and the feeling of being right in the bush was fantastic. Again, food, accommodation and guides were excellent. We ended the trip at the Black Leopard Camp, again relaxing and revisiting our favourite spots (this is a great birding location) and we left the place feeling like part of a loving family. The black leopard didn't turn up, but that gives us all the more reason to return, as we hope to one day!

iangreen891's picture
iangreen891 07/04/2013

“True excellence!”

4 years ago

Wildlife viewing in Africa is such a brilliant experience that it would be easy to get carried away and give virtually any safari holiday a 5star review on the back of the thrill of wildlife sightings, ignoring how well other...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
05/30/2013
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari type: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba tholo, Balule, Kruger, Thornybush

Wildlife viewing in Africa is such a brilliant experience that it would be easy to get carried away and give virtually any safari holiday a 5star review on the back of the thrill of wildlife sightings, ignoring how well other aspects of the holiday have been put together. This was our second African safari holiday and whilst we would at the time have given our first holiday (with another company) a 5 star rating, we now realise that a 3-4 star rating for that holiday would have been more appropriate - because the organisation, thought, skill, service and attention to detail that went into ensuring the maximum enjoyment possible from this holiday with On Track Safaris was absolutely faultless and clearly superior to what we had experienced before. Consequently we have no hesitation in rating this holiday a genuine 5 star experience.

We chose this safari after reading several reviews which were full of praise and because it offered something a little extra and different from other options. We were not disappointed. Our experience actually exceeded our already high expectations! The itinerary was clearly put together with great care to maximise the chances of thrilling and varied wildlife viewing in a range of different habitats and in such small groups that it was always possible to stop and watch what interested us, whatever the time of day. Visits to a conservation/leopard research camp, wildlife rehabilitation centre, historic and scenic sites and a local school all added to our experience and understanding of local issues.

The tour operators - Will and Carol- had clearly selected every location with great care, having vetted every lodge and camp we stayed at thoroughly. Will transferred us personally between sites. The service and hospitality we enjoyed at every location was second to none and our guides could not have been more helpful in maximising our viewing experiences. Each location paid more than just lip service to being eco - friendly yet always managed to produce wonderful meals. We would particularly make special mention of Alan, Lyndsay and the staff at Black Leopard Camp in the mountains of Thaba tholo, where this holiday began and ended, and who along with Will and Carol did so much to ensure this was a holiday we will never forget. We love the conservation work you are all doing. Ian and Jackie.

marjo's picture
marjo 06/22/2013

“First time in Africa”

4 years ago

It was the first time for me to be in Africa. As a female solo traveller I really enjoyed my safari with you. It was so well organised and the transfers to other lodges were very comfortable. Will and Carol Fox and Lynsey and Alan...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
06/01/2013
Length of safari: 
15 Days
Safari type: 
Circumstances: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo, Balule, Thornybush

It was the first time for me to be in Africa. As a female solo traveller I really enjoyed my safari with you. It was so well organised and the transfers to other lodges were very comfortable. Will and Carol Fox and Lynsey and Alan from Black Leopard camp were so nice and friendly, it felt really like coming home after being elsewhere.
I loved Tangala Lodge because of the atmosphere and the beautiful view over the waterhole. I was very impressed to see elephants in a close encounter, lioncubs playing next to the vehicle, rhinos and giraffes and a big herd of buffaloes drinking at the waterhole at Tangala and many beautiful birds. Although we didn't see a leopard it was a great time. At the end I spend some days at the conservation village with headresearcher Tara and the volunteers. They are a very nice team of young people. Being there I learned a lot about the research and conservation at Thaba Tholo. I will say a big thank you to all of you for organising things so well and I had definitely a very wonderfull time. I enjoyed every minute of it. I can sure recommend On Track Safaris.
Marjo

moyramcp's picture
moyramcp 06/18/2013

“Wonderful experience”

4 years ago

This was my first safari and my first solo travelling experience. Everything was so well organised from start to finish. I didn't have to worry about anything. Black Leopard Camp was fantastic, lovely food and the Thaba Tholo...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
06/01/2013
Length of safari: 
10 Days

This was my first safari and my first solo travelling experience. Everything was so well organised from start to finish. I didn't have to worry about anything. Black Leopard Camp was fantastic, lovely food and the Thaba Tholo reserve is beautiful. Balule Drifters was great, it would have been nice to have a second night there. Tangala Safari Camp was beautiful, very atmospheric, lit by oil lamps and sitting around the camp fire having supper. Everyone I met was genuinely friendly. I would definitely recommend On Track Safaris.

chrisfawcett38's picture
chrisfawcett38 04/11/2013

“Our First Safari”

4 years ago

This was our first safari and we were somewhat apprehensive about what sort of experience we would have having spent a fair amount of money.
We didn't want to be part of a crowd rushed around the sights and taken from Big 5 to...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
03/03/2013
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari type: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 

This was our first safari and we were somewhat apprehensive about what sort of experience we would have having spent a fair amount of money.
We didn't want to be part of a crowd rushed around the sights and taken from Big 5 to Big 5 sighting.
We needn't have worried, there are no preconceptions and all the staff and guides have the same enthusiasm whatever your experience. This is as close to a personal, taylor made safari you can probably get without spending vast amounts.
You are encouraged to get as involved as you wish and the itinery is as flexible as you wish it to be.

It is very difficult to list just one memorable experience. Though we saw a vast array of wildlife including some special leopard sightings, the chance to observe animal behaviour and learn some tracking skills made us appreciate the overall experience much more.
Black Leopard Camp and Tangala Camp are superb, the hospitality is outstanding.
The On Track Safari guides and representatives are a font of knowledge and never failed to keep us informed and interested during our travels.

Dont be concerned if you don’t see the Big 5 straight away, there are so many other animals and creatures out there that will enthrall you.
Don’t forget a torch.
Don’t expect to stay on your diet, the food is superb and plentiful.
Get involved in the experience and ask the guides as many questions as possible.
You will take a lot of photographs, it is worth investing in a spare battery for the camera. Recharging facilities at Tangala are limited.

We booked this holiday as the organisers champion the conservation message. We were not disappointed as we experienced the research and conservation projects that any profits go towards.
Those camps that did have power appeared to use it sparingly and be as environmentally friendly as possible.
He company seem to go out of their way to only use the most eco-friendly camps in the area.
I will never drive through a pile of dung again after we were shown the impact of this on the mass of creatures that rely on it for their survival.

I can only rate the accomodation as excellent, none of the accommodation is 5 star hotel like but the experience is all the better for it.
Each place has its own special qualities which made them 5 star in our eyes.
It is apparent that the company care about Africa and they make sure that you have the best experience you can in the relatively short time you are with them.
Can’t recommend the holiday enough, we will be back.

sychan613's picture
sychan613 01/27/2013

“A life-changing experience”

4 years ago

This was a life-changing experience. As a female solo traveler, I wanted safety and security as well as adventure. The opportunity to view wildlife (birds, antelope and the big 5) were simply spectacular. From the moment I was...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
06/19/2012
Length of safari: 
9 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Kruger National Park, Karongwe Reserve, Sabi Sands, Thaba Tholo/Black Leopard Camp

This was a life-changing experience. As a female solo traveler, I wanted safety and security as well as adventure. The opportunity to view wildlife (birds, antelope and the big 5) were simply spectacular. From the moment I was greeted at the Johannesburg airport until I was returned to the airport for my return journey, I was in really excellent hands. The guides were knowledgeable; ensuring that I and the couple with whom I was grouped, had the opportunity to view and photograph the diverse birds and wildlife that presented. We were driven to the various lodges and the national park by car where we enjoyed early morning and afternoon drives to view the animals when they were most active. I saw cheetahs playing, lions strolling, elephants munching, fish eagles taking off, crocodiles lazing, leopards hunting and herds of kudu, impala and wildebeest- to name a few.

I learned a great deal about man's cruelty to animals when visiting the rescue and rehabilitation centres for wildlife who had been injured or lost its parent to poachers and traps. Because of the relationship between our On Track Safari guide and the director of the Rescue Centre, we were even treated to a back room tour. Enroute between the well-appointed lodges were we stayed, the guides stopped at panoramic viewpoints where the South African landscape were breathtakingly spectacular.

Because of Black Leopard Camp's sponsorship of the Ingwe Leopard Research Project, guests learned about the animal tracks and made a leopard track mold to take home. We also visited the Sizo elementary school which they sponsor to meet the principal and teachers and hear their award-winning choir. At BLC we even enjoyed all day game drives on request; had cook outs over campfires.

At every lodge, in addition to luxurious accommodations, the staff were pleasant and the food delicious with local offerings like wildebeest vors or springbok carpaccio, for the adventurous palate.

fiona.h2009's picture
fiona.h2009 01/27/2013

“Safari with a difference”

4 years ago

We had an amazing week with On Track safaris. We have some incredible memories that will last a lifetime and learnt so much about the bush and conservation with some fascinating insights into South Africa. The week was varied with...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
08/13/2012
Length of safari: 
7 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Karongwe, Thornybush, Thabo Thalo

We had an amazing week with On Track safaris. We have some incredible memories that will last a lifetime and learnt so much about the bush and conservation with some fascinating insights into South Africa. The week was varied with three very different locations, great accommodation and good food often with evening meals eaten outside round a fire. We saw some wonderful animal and bird sightings, very close, very exciting which exceeded our expectations. The personal input from Will, Carol and those at Black Leopard Camp are what made this into such an extra-ordinary week: heir knowledge, warmth, passion and enthusiasm for wildlife and conservation are infectious and boy, can they recount some stories! A very sociable week, we laughed a lot. Quote from one of our teenage daughters speaks volumes: "...best holiday of my life".
A huge thank you to them and we look forward to keeping track of some of the leopard exploits at Thabo Thalo with images from the camera traps.

sue's picture
sue 01/25/2013

“Amazing Experience”

4 years ago

I recommend this company highly if you want to have a chance to experience being in the African bush. Carol and Will seem to try and make the holiday a very personal experience for their guests and are very willing to accommodate...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/22/2012
Length of safari: 
2 Weeks
Safari type: 
Circumstances: 

I recommend this company highly if you want to have a chance to experience being in the African bush. Carol and Will seem to try and make the holiday a very personal experience for their guests and are very willing to accommodate any particular wishes. The itinerary they arranged was very varied staying in several different types of accommodation all of a high standard with extremely good (for us vegetarian) food. Everyone we met was very friendly and made us feel welcome especially at Black Leopard camp where you are really made to feel 'part of the team'. I really feel as though I learned a lot about wildlife and conservation issues. The amount and range of wildlife we were able to see was just spectacular and it was so nice that the guides seemed so willing to share their knowledge about the behaviour of animals from the largest mammals right down to the smallest insects! I'm certainly planning another trip.

m.clarkson3's picture
m.clarkson3 01/24/2013

“A WONDERFUL SAFARI EXPERIANCE”

4 years ago

A fantastic holiday. Evertone was so friendly and helpful. At Black Leopard Camp we had 2 young guides ( as well as an experianced one ), who could not tell us enough about the animals and fauna of the area. The camp was lovely....

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/24/2012
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Safari type: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Black Leopard Camp Tangarla

A fantastic holiday. Evertone was so friendly and helpful. At Black Leopard Camp we had 2 young guides ( as well as an experianced one ), who could not tell us enough about the animals and fauna of the area. The camp was lovely. Lots of solar power for lighting but no big lights to spoil the night view of the stars. Lynsey and Alan ( the owners of the camp ) treat their guests like long lost friends. The food ( thanks to Alan ) is lovely.
We also stayed at The Tangala camp on the Thorybush reserve, whick is a small, very friendly camp in a big five area.
We sat and had sundowners on the deck and watched the lions at the water hole, had breakfast watching a large group of buffello and swam in the pool on the deck as other animals came to drink at the water hole nearby. Also in the evening we were visited by two porcupines, who came to see what scraps had been put out for them. An amazing experiance from start to finish. The only sad bit was saying goodbye, but I will be back.
Thanks to Will and Carol for making this such a wonderful safari, they couldn't do enough for me.
Maureen UK.

info_13's picture
info_13 01/24/2013

“Emphasis on Wildlife”

4 years ago

As a long time traveler who is very interested in wildlife, I was very specific on what I wanted from a Safari company. I was a single female, traveling on a tight budget so cost was a factor. My focus was to observe wildlife--and...

Value: 
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Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/07/2012
Length of safari: 
4 Days
Safari type: 
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thornybush

As a long time traveler who is very interested in wildlife, I was very specific on what I wanted from a Safari company. I was a single female, traveling on a tight budget so cost was a factor. My focus was to observe wildlife--and to experience the bush as much as possible. I had no interest in spending time by an infinity pool having drinks. On Track Safaris delivered exactly what I was looking for---an unparalleled opportunity to see wildlife as well as contributing to ongoing research as a volunteer.

Will and Carol provided a "hands on" working experience in a remote wilderness area that allowed me to experience the sounds and smells and ambience of the bush. The wildlife viewing was as it should be---on the animals' terms. Each drive or walk was a revelation and their emphasis on using your senses and powers of observation was very useful! On Track Safaris put together a customized trip for me that encompassed two different areas with diverse wildlife and the more rustic lodgings that I desired. I really didn't think it was still possible to experience South Africa in the manner that they provided. Each wildlife drive was an experience to cherish--from observing cheetah kits and wild dogs with their pups to a bush walk that culminated in a face to face encounter with a white rhino (from a safe distance). When I thought each drive couldn't get any better, the next drive would provide an even more extraordinary encounter!

I have been traveling the world observing wildlife for over 30 years and am an experienced wildlife observer, former zookeeper and make my living working with animals. My expectations were high for my first trip to South Africa, and I must say that Will and Carol exceeded my expectations. Their ability to be flexible, listen to what I was looking for and do everything in their power to make it happen was rare in my experience. I don't think I could have picked a better Safari company to provide the experience I was looking for. I can't wait for my next opportunity to visit South Africa and On Track Safaris will be my company of choice.

philandkatr's picture
philandkatr 01/15/2013

“Absolutely On Track”

4 years ago

My family and I have enjoyed several safaris over the passed few years, but this was undoubtedly the best for us.
It's difficult to know where to start to describe our trip save to say that Will and Carol provided all that we...

Value: 
Service: 
Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
12/08/2012
Length of safari: 
14 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve, Karongwe, Kruger Park, Thornybush

My family and I have enjoyed several safaris over the passed few years, but this was undoubtedly the best for us.
It's difficult to know where to start to describe our trip save to say that Will and Carol provided all that we asked for and more. Game viewing was spectacular especially in the Thornybush reserve where as well as Ele, leopard, Lion etc we saw a couple of firsts for us. Wild dogs and Black Rhino.
The conservation ethos that runs through the safari is never more to hand than at their base at Black Leopard Camp. We joined the small team of researchers learning more about the leopards that live on the reserve, we placed out camera traps and had great fun seeing the pictures we got. The children made plaster cats of a leopards prints (sorry Will...spoor). All in all we left having enjoyed some wonderful accommodation, we learned a lot more about wildlife conservation, we has some magnificent wildlife sighting, but most of all we made great friends in Will, Carol, ALan and Lynsey, who we aim to see again very soon.