A love of Southern Africa and especially her wild places has been a constant throughout my life. This passion for Africa became African Sky Safaris & Tours.
My suggestions can be found in the right menu towards the bottom of all of the category pages of the African Sky website. Here I provide some useful suggestions relevant to specifics topics, like safaris in Botswana, tours in South Africa, etc. These suggestions are based on many years' experience. The suggestions are candid and to the point. If you require more in-depth info, please send us a mail.
At the bottom of each of the pages which describe a hotel or lodge, my review can be found in the distinct box labeled 'Riaan's Review'. These reviews are based on my personal experience, as well as feedback from clients of African Sky and regular reports received from the guides employed by the company. These reviews are honest and unbiased, committed to providing clients with information that is helpful.
I graduated cum laude with a degree in Business Management from the University of Pretoria in 1990 at the age of 20. A further two years were spent at university in postgraduate studies during which time I obtained an honors degree. This formal education provided the basis on which I could further my training, for there definitely is a good case for experience superseding book learning.
The two years immediately following university, I spent living in London and traveling extensively throughout Europe and the USA. I founded African Sky in 1998 and have since devoted my time and energy to establishing a company that offers quality personalized safaris and tours in the countries of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia.
There are a great number of different tour operators and travel agents promoting travel in Southern Africa. Most have never even set foot in Africa, and almost all are exclusively resellers of third party services. I would definitely recommend dealing directly with a company in Africa - if not African Sky, another company that understands local conditions and that can really offer advice based on experience.
This was our second safari vacation with African Sky and it didn't disappoint. The communication during the planning phase was exceptional and meant that everything was in place before we even stepped on a plane. Bookings were all in place, activities were arranged and prepaid so we didn't have to worry about a thing and could just enjoy our vacation. This is exactly how it's supposed to go!
Erica Slotter & Paul Hopper, USA & UK
When traveling in Southern Africa, you will experience many unique sights, sounds and activities. Depending on the specific service you book with us, you might enjoy one of the following experiences listed below. These are, in my opinion, some of the most unique and memorable settings, views and experiences which can be appreciated on a holiday in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia or Zambia.
Sitting on the deck of a lodge in the Okavango at dusk while gazing over papyrus-lined channels and great trees which tower over the multitude of islands, is an amazing experience. The moment evokes a calmness, intensity of feeling and awareness which is difficult to describe. Relax with the call of fish eagles echoing in the distance whilst red lechwe cross from one island to the another under the watchful gaze of a herd of grazing elephant.
Having morning coffee as the sunrise paints the African savanna a multitude of pastel colors, while the bush comes alive with animal movement after the nervousness of night when the plain game species are at their most vulnerable to the predators in the area - these are moments that stand out in memory, perhaps because it is so peaceful and relaxing.
On a hot summer's day in the Zambezi Valley, the towering plume of mist created by the Victoria Falls can be seen from many miles away. As you approach the Falls and hear the roar of the mighty river as it plummets over a sheer drop of more than a hundred meters, you will start to feel the mist wash over your face, carried by a gentle breeze. The amazing sight of masses of water plummeting down far below then becomes apparent - a sight few travelers to Africa will ever forget.
When witnessing lions bringing down an animal, most are confronted first by a sense of horror at the savagery, then a sense of amazement at the immense physical power of these African predators. These feelings are gradually transformed as cubs emerge from the thickets to partake in the feast, bringing with them an understanding of how all life is interconnected. The death of one brings life to another in the great wildernesses of Africa, where the circle of life in a natural habitat has continued unbroken since time immemorial.
On a clear day from the summit of Table Mountain, one of the world's most impressive views can be savored. Enjoy panoramas of the rocky Cape Peninsula, which sinks below the stormy waters of the ocean at Cape Point, and the endless expanse of deep blue waters that extend beyond.
On a rainy day, cloud banks wash over the face of the Helderberg Mountains with occasional rays of sun piercing the clouds and highlighting the landscape below. Such a day is perfect for enjoying a glass of South Africa's finest wine in the cozy confines of a centuries-old cellar, where a crackling log fire adds to the cozy ambiance.
The Namibian night sky is set ablaze by galaxies and constellations which are clearly visible to the naked eye. It seems as though the hand of man could reach into the sky and pluck the stars from it. The vast openness of the desert and clarity with which the stars can be viewed makes one feel small in comparison to the magnitude of it all.
From June to November, some of the world's greatest mammals migrate thousands of miles to give birth in the waters of South Africa's Overberg coast. The sheltered bays provide exceptional vantage points from where these regal creatures can be viewed as they splash about in the Atlantic.
Experience the sights and sounds of South Africa from the luxurious Blue Train or Rovos Rail. Enjoy breathtaking scenery from a constantly changing landscape as you savor the finest gourmet meals prepared by top chefs, or relax in the beautifully decorated lavish five star suites and lounges.
The experiences and highlights listed above are some personal favorites amongst the wealth of other experiences visitors to Southern Africa can enjoy. There really is an unforgettable adventure that will appeal to every personal taste.