About us


What our clients are saying about us and our trips...

With web review sites being all the rage these days, it can be a little difficult to sift through the debris to actually find out what a place or hotel is like. From our point of view, having stayed in 99% of the hotels and safari lodges we sell (and quite a few we don't), we think that these reviews can be very misleading as it is impossible to know what the reviewer likes, was looking for, paid etc. etc. In our opinion our job is to find out what you like and match the correct product to you...see how we have done. (please note that ALL of the reviews we feature are 100% real and unedited. If you would like to speak to any of our past clients please let us know)

Furthermore, we have started to gather customer reviews through Trustpilot so please take a look at our page on there to see how we are doing! Trustpilot Reviews >>

Dear Gemma,

I wanted to drop you a note to say how much we enjoyed our recent safari in the Selous. All the arrangements you made for us went smoothly and you always replied to our questions very promptly. We appreciated your excellent service and will surely call upon you again if our travels take us back to Africa!

We particularly enjoyed our stay at the Impala Lodge. It is not a luxurious place, (no air conditioning or hair dryers because they use only solar power) but it is very comfortable and the service and food are 5 star. I particularly liked their attention to detail such as the fresh cloth hand towels in the public bathroom each day. Another advantage of Impala is that the game is right there. You don't have to drive any distance to find animals. For example, one night coming back to our tent with our Masai guide we were greeted by a giraffe and we loved seeing the impala nestled in the grass near our porch! The Masai were always aware of the location of the resident hippo and I soon realized he was more interested in eating grass than caring about us!

Again, thank you for all you help and we will certainly recommend you and your agency to our friends!

Allen and Roseann

Hi Gemma,

Sorry it took so long to reply to you, it's just been crazy busy at work since we returned.

The trip you planned for us was very good.

Coastal Aviation was terrific for both flights. They were superb in every way..There was some confusion with the transfer from the ship to the airport, but that was eventually solved.

Siwandu was excellent. The camp managers (Conrad and Retha) are charming people that run a good show and sincerely try to offer guests the best possible experience. The guides are sensational! Allen was our guide and he was terrific in every way - knowledgeable, intelligent, entertaining, keen and possessing a marvelous sense of humour.

The accommodations are very good (even if a bit dark). The food is surprisingly outstanding. Lunch on the lake was fabulous. All the staff try so hard to please.
Lots of time spent on game drives. We could not ask for more. And if you love giraffes, we have never seen a larger concentration anywhere ; thousands! As for mosquitos, we were there in January and I think I saw one (not sure) in 5 days!

All in all, it was time very well spent and we thank you for your arrangements!


Dear Gemma & Nick,

We can’t thank you enough for putting together such an amazing itinerary for our honeymoon. Spending the day at Manyara National Park, two days at Ngorogoro Crater and 3 days at Serengeti allowed us to see so much diversity in the wildlife & all the beauty Tanzania has to offer. Our favorite part of the trip was sleeping in the Kichikani Sanctuary Tents in Serengeti- definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

All of the hotels were so accommodating to our dietary needs, and the staff were all amazing. We truly had an unforgettable experience. We ended our trip off in the best way possible - relaxing on the beaches of Zanzibar and touring Stone Town. Our only regret was not staying in Stone Town for the night, as it had so much more to offer. I guess that means we will just have to go back one day!


Tomer & Gal


Tomer and Gal

Hi Gemma

We had a great time at the Residence! Excellent accommodations, food and service.

Thanks for all your help!


Rachel and Craig

Hi Nick, Gemma,

Happy new year!

Thanks for putting our honeymoon together and for all your help, especially last minute! A really great experience for us both and something we would defiantly do again!

Thanks again!


Tom and Mel

Hi Gemma

The trip went well and all flights connected with the minimum of delay. The safari was first class! The lodge did there best to make living under canvas as comfortable as possible and we saw lots of animals, including the big 5 of the game drives. The guide provided was also very knowledgeable and a first class driver.

The accommodation was all first class possibly with the exception of Stone Town. Whilst Jafferji House was probably very authentic and was certainly centrally located, it was really only a glorified bed & breakfast. I appreciate we are judging by European standards but it was very dark, had poor and dated plumbing and didn’t live up to the general class of accommodation of the other venues we stayed at.

Matemwe Lodge was a real treat and the last 4 days in the retreat was ultimate luxury. All the staff were very friendly and the manager went out of his way every day to check that everything was OK. I had a minor medical issue with Kidney stones and he personally went into Stone Town and made sure that he obtained the pain killers that I desperately needed.

I can strongly recommend both the places that we stayed at and the choice provided by yourselves and would have no trouble recommending your services to others.

My wife took hundred’s of photographs which she will enter into a dedicated album but I have attached just a few that I took on my telephone.

Once again many thanks for putting together such a memorable itinerary!



Andy and Linda


What a fantastic trip of a life time, everything was perfect from our first conversation with Gemma who managed to fulfil all our wishes and awkward ask's. No request was too large for Gemma to sort for us, from fear of small planes to missed departure.

We managed to see wilder beast migration, a kill and big 4 (no rhino), with the help of our friendly and experienced guides in both Naibor and Kicheche camps in Kenya.The camps were authentic and luxurious at the same time.

Our adventurous week on safari was followed by a beautiful and relaxing week in Zanzibar.

We cant recommend Gemma at The Africa Specialists enough. Best trip ever.

Lisa and Rob


Lisa and Rob

Hi Gemma,

Thank you very much for your email. Apologies I didn't reply earlier, we had very spotty internet in Zanzibar, and we just got back :)

Thank you for all the help, we enjoyed Siwandu very much, it was the highlight of our trip!!

Many thanks again,


Youssef and Randa

Hi Nick

Thank you I did get home safely on Monday.

The gorilla trekking was amazing and Lucky was very helpful. The 5 Volcanoes hotel was lovely and the staff were exceptionally helpful. What was really nice is that after the gorilla trekking you are able to go back to your room and have a shower and then pack. You also have a lovely lunch before you leave.

A very nice touch




Dear Gemma and Nick,

A massive thank you for organising our holiday of a lifetime!

Journey over there went like clockwork, nice short transfer time that was fine due to planes both being on time! Donald was our guide and met us at the airport... very professional and knowledgeable and we had a great time with him for the first 4 days.

Tarangire Treetops was absolutely lovely... out of this world. Elephants that need shooing away so you can get to your rooms... rooms were exquisite and food to die for! No idea how they get showers that powerful in the middle of nowhere. Was a bit of a journey at the ends of each day but worth it. Yohana was our butler and he made our stay... a charming man. Two day game drive... all fantastic... animals a plenty, lion that had just killed a zebra, leopards, elephants, zebras, giraffes, too many to mention... and very beautiful birds.

The Ngorongoro Sopa - good drive up there and amazing views like I have never ever seen before. It blew us all away. Stopped at the viewing point, eldest daughter managed to lob her phone over the railings as she took a photo..... super Dad to the rescue, only a short climb down to get it! The view and external appearance of the Sopa Lodge was amazing, rooms rather more basic and 'crossroads'! Though if we had gone there first, we would not have thought any such thing... it was simply that Tree Tops was ridiculously nice! The majority of staff were good, some grumpies..... again this would not have been so obvious had we not just come from Tree Tops. The game drive the next morning was an early start and another amazing time. Different terrain, colours and slightly different animals, all amazing though. Hyenas became a bit of a favourite for my husband and hippos for the rest of us.

Coastal Flight to Serengeti and Lemala Kuria Hills... rather windy by the time we got on... consequently an hour of torture in the biscuit tin! Still... we quickly moved on having been greeted with tea and cookies by Miraji, our new guide. Even on the 2 hour game drive back to camp, we had seen a cheetah, leopard, lions and more! Again, very different scenery.... so much greener and wetter... but all breath takingly stunning.

Lemala Kuria Hills - we thought tree tops could not be topped but this was a phenomenal place too. The staff were charming and helpful, food delicious and the 'tents' were not tents as I had imagined at all!!! Here, we were accompanied at night to shoo away Buffalo and the hyenas, being lulled to sleep by yet more animals... all rather unimaginable, now we are back in Surbiton.

Two and a half more days of fantastic animals and great fun with Miraji... he tolerated us singing 'when I was a young warthog' (from the Lion king...hideously predictable!) every time we saw a warthog, he searched hard to find the leopard cubs for Lizzie and sang spider man to Megan every time we saw the red and blue lizard that she called The spider man Lizard! A thoroughly nice man.... . He came and sat with David at night to go through his photos and rename all the birds they saw (up to 100 different ones) as we knew we would struggle once home. He thought nothing of throwing us around in the jeep (to our great amusement) to get us to The River Crossing.... a truly breath taking sight... unfortunately final score was: Wilde beast 3000 - Crocs 3 (did look at all three girls sitting with tears rolling down their cheeks at this sight, sad though at the same time, understanding this is the harsher reality of the animals life here). We later saw a cheetah kill a baby Thomsons Gazelle.

Coastal flight home was easier weather and the two trips were much much better and I even glanced out of the window on a couple of occasions! We all felt very sad and emotional to be leaving.

All in all, we completely agreed... our favourite holiday of all time (and possibly always will be) that humbled and amazed us all at the same time. I would recommend it to anyone and was glad we pushed the boat out and stayed in the extra special places. A massive thank you to you all for your time and patience getting it just right for us, we massively appreciated it.

Thank you!


Emma and family