What’s to roar about?
Don and I can report that this was ‘the best trip, ever!’ Really, from our first conversation and your skill at listening, you created a superb trip for us. Each day was exactly what we wanted/ needed, even the ‘day off’ at Fairlawns, Johannesburg, where we enjoyed a transition day with massage and relaxation. The level of knowledge and experience among the guides was extraordinary. Least I forget, each driver, no matter the length of trip, was also exceptional – friendly and competent.
Highlights of the trip include 3 different camps, each in a different country, each with a different flavor, yet each one a treasure. The level of staff commitment and knowledge really surprised us. We could be friends with so many of them because they have the same curiosity, same hunger for knowledge that we have.
Also, the trip was so well designed: 10 days of history, culture, apartheid, wine country and future prospects of South Africa; then, 10 days of animals in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe! When I had to cull the pictures, I really struggled. I started with 5,000 and ended with a mighty 700. I won’t bore people with all 700, but at least 300 will go into an album which I will gladly share with anyone interested in planning a trip.
We are SO grateful to you for putting this trip together for us. We would happily talk with anyone who would like more information about you, Wilderness Safaris or Extraordinary Journeys.
Don and Nancy. Asheville, NC”
This was simply the best trip we have ever taken because of John Moody and Extraordinary Journeys. Our planning started back in January 2017 after learning about John through a mutual acquaintance. Never having been to Africa we told John what we wanted to see and do and then left it in his capable hands. John made the planning stage of our trip so enjoyable and stress-free. Each portion of our 21-day trip was perfectly planned out. The safari camps he chose for us were first class, staffed by the friendliest people you’d ever meet. He is truly a kind and patient person that we now consider a friend. The memories we brought back with us will last us the rest of our lives, and we have John to thank for making it happen.Judy and FredTalking Rock, GA”—
You must have John Moody launch you on your adventurous, entertaining, educational, trip of a lifetime to Africa!
On my return, after reflecting on all our memories, photos, and videos, I realized this couldn’t have happened without John’s expertise, vast knowledge of Africa and guidance. In his gentle, kind yet professional manner, he helped create the adventure which met our needs as a family, as to dates, locations, lodging and duration. He patiently and in a timely manner answered the hundreds of questions I had in preparing for the trip. Through his assistance, our wondrous journey to South Africa was overwhelmingly memorable. We look forward to returning soon, of course, with John’s help!”— Ann - Atlanta
Thank you, John. You did an extraordinary job in planning and the execution was flawless. We were struck by the genuine friendliness and warmth of the staff everywhere we went. Your advice in our pre-journey call was spot on and we’re eager to book another trip soon.”— Gus and Anne Edwards
Thanks again for a great safari. Keith and I agreed it was the very best trip we have ever taken. You and your team gave us, and the Casavants and Smiths, a great gift. It was a transforming experience!
My wife and I, along with two other couples, just completed a wonderful 8 day safari in Botswana. The trip was capped off by 2 day stay at Victoria Falls. We have traveled extensively throughout the world but this was our first trip to Africa. It was a wonderful, almost spiritual, experience which we will never forget!
Credit for affording us this adventure goes entirely to John. The camps that John selected for us were all fantastic. Each provided a different topography with different animals and day trip opportunities. The common thread among all the camps was the warm, personal service provided by the staff and guides as well as the top notch and very comfortable tents and common facilities. Did I mention the animals? Beginning with the land rover ride from the plane to our first camp, I do not think our mouths ever closed! The number and variety of animals is stunning. I never suspected that you could get within 10 feet of a lion eating its kill. The whole experience was unbelievable.
Lest I forget, the stay at Victoria Falls was also unforgettable. Rather than booking us into the normal tourist lodges next to the Falls, John set us up in Livingston at the River Club. The River Club is set on a ridge overlooking the Zambezi River and has the feel of a turn of the century British colonial estate, complete with an infinity pool and a croquet court. The owner, a very charming and colorful South African chap, is on site and regales the guests with stories of the area and the estate during dinner. To say that the River Club was fantastic would be a terrible understatement.
Again, kudos to John and his organization. John planned a trip that we never could have organized on our own and in the process patiently answered our numerous, and sometimes inane questions. In retrospect, I now fully appreciate the daunting logistical demands associated with moving 6 people through 3 camps and Victoria Falls. John never missed a beat. We were met before and after every flight, escorted to where we needed to go, provided with transportation and moved comfortably to our next destination. The trip was flawlessly executed.
We are already talking about our next African trip. Thanks again, John.
Keith & Sylvia Kochler”—
Hey John; I went through withdrawals after leaving the group of my fellow Safarians and then again leaving my travel buddy, Lorraine. I just wanted to let you know that the Safari part of my trip was beyond my wildest dreams, it sounds cliched but I can’t describe it any other way.
From the minute you met us in Johannesburg until we departed, your attention to detail was superb. And after talking to you the first night at the Intercontinental I knew I was in good hands and the rest of the trip I could be relaxed and ready for the adventure that lay ahead. I signed up for this trip just on Lorraine’s recommendation and her praise of you as a person and she didn’t over sell you at all.
The planning, lodging, guides, food and transportation that was provided by Wilderness Safari/Extraordinary Journeys and you were fantastic. I keep looking at my photos while trying to condense them and keep smiling, thinking I am one of the luckiest women in the world to have had an opportunity to experience this!!! ALL OF IT!
Thanks so much to you and all of your team members for making this trip so special…it takes a lot of coordination to pull off a trip that gets people from one continent to another, then in to planes, boats and vehicles and in to lodging fit for jungle kings and queens.
I am very impressed with the history behind Wilderness Safari and their dedication to the environment, community and Safari business. It makes one feel good about spending money on a business of this scale, one that makes business and sustainability go hand in hand.
I have drank the Kool-Aid and am ready for more!
Karen – New Mexico—
John:I want to let you know how phenomenal this trip was–it was truly a dream trip of a lifetime and was more than we ever hoped for or expected. We have so many unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime…..as I told you, those first four days in Cape Town with our guide Frank were just wonderful and he remains the best guide (in a city) that we have ever had, anywhere, any time. The Cape Grace Hotel was lovely (and by the way the gift shop there is wonderful). And how to describe the 11 days on safari? I can’t begin to do so….seeing impalas, hippos, elephants, lions, and giraffes in the first hour after landing; watching a lioness steal a kill from a leopard and then enjoy her “lunch” while being watched by one peeved leopard; lion cubs playing; the utterly hilarious warthogs; the lilac breasted roller; a herd of zebras protecting a lame one from two hungry lionesses; the elephant who came into camp to eat a limb off a tree for lunch; the Mokoro ride; the sunsets; the amazing and hospital staff at every camp (must say that Little Tubu , Philly and the “General” were our collective favorites!); dinner overlooking the Zambezi River at the River Club with our fascinating host Peter Jones.; the mind boggling sight of “the smoke that thunders”…..I could go on and on. No words can capture how special this was–to see this part of the world with two other best friend couples was so very special–we also managed without hair dryers just fine,and after two days, being without the internet was honestly liberating.Thanks so much for absolutely everything–we worried about nothing, knowing all had been arranged with your expert hands!”— Ann & Richard - Atlanta
John, Pam and I just wanted to thank you for arranging the most amazing South African experience we could ever have hoped for. The tours and guides were exceptional, and your attention to detail was perfect. We will never forget all our friends, ( including the animals!) we met on Safari. Thank you gain for coordinating the best vacation ever!! All our best…Gerry and Pam – New York.”— Gerry and Pam
how do you plan a trip for an african safari if you’ve never been and want the very best possible experience?you call john moody, of course.we found that john can handle about anything you throw at him throughout the planning experience – i’m not a “planner” and my traveling companion is a very thoughtful “planner.” john had just the right touch while covering all of the basics, answering all of our subsequent questions and concerns, and matching our desires to what i think turned out to be the perfect camps for us.john takes the time to ask questions and listen to you in the beginning, a surprisingly enlightening process. then he combines what he hears to his vast knowledge of africa and safari options so that in the end you will find what you’re looking for.i hope that i will be able to go back one day, and there is no doubt as to whom i will be calling.”— Sam - Wilmington, NC
John did a great job planning our trip to Africa. It was our first time on the continent and we didn’t even know where to start. John spent at least an hour with us explaining the options (countries, dates, types of experiences) before we even committed to pursuing the trip through him. He put together a quote for us and revised it when we asked for changes to add a Namibia excursion. He always promptly and patiently answered our many questions. It was reassuring to be able to rely on him.The trip he planned for us was fantastic. We ended up with effectively 3 different types of vacations in one trip, each very different from the others! The wildlife was unbelievable, the landscapes in Namibia were other worldly, and the lodgings throughout the trip were both wonderful and unique–especially Mont Rochelle and River Lodge. Most of all, we found all of the people (locals and other travelers from around the world) to be kind, thoughtful, and fun to be around.John will definitely have a role in planning our next African adventure!David and MaryAnn”— David and MaryAnn - from Asheville
Starting the safari planning experience was extremely daunting until I connected with John. There are so many options when deciding which safari operator to use and so many small details, but John took over and made the process enjoyable. I was able to speak with him over the phone and let him know where I was interested in going and what my interests were. He took that information and found a safari operator that he trusted and matched my interests. John was also great about following up and answering my questions – even when they were not related to the safari, but part of my overall trip to the continent. Overall, John was wonderful to work with and made sure my safari experience was incredible!”— Emily - California
John’s knowledge of Africa and its numerous destinations is encyclopedic! We have not had a single instance in our many trips where a camp or hotel suggested did not meet or exceed our expectations. We have recommended John to friends who have also had successful trips planned by him.”— Harold & Jenny - Vancouver
John did an outstanding job planning and executing our safari. His recommendations were excellent and demonstrated deep experience and a keen understanding of what constitutes a “dream safari”. I would enthusiatically recommend him as a Safari Creator/Planner. “Thank you John again for putting together this fantastic trip….in combination with our successful summit of Mt Kili, it was definitely the trip of a lifetime!”— Peter and Charlotte W - Charleston, SC.
Well done, John,
To be quite honest, it was Aida’s idea to go to South Africa. I really didn’t want to go. Too far! Too expensive! Too blah, blah, blah….
But she was insistent and we went. It was one of the best trips ever…and, we’ve travelled a great. In fact, for many years, I had an office in the Far East that we visited at least three times annually and made two trips to Europe per year as well.
Our stay at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge was world class all around. The accommodations, the food, the service and the staff were unbelievable. And, the other guests were interesting and added to our enjoyment. Plus, what we saw during our game drives won’t be forgotten! We’d love to go back. We would stay at the Earth Lodge again as we cannot imagine anything better!”— Aida & Allan F - Atlanta, GA
Thank you and chapeaux! for your design of our Africa adventure. Our family shares countless new memories of unique and exciting times.
John, you are a true professional. Your earnest, extended attention to client needs and desires is keen, resulting in fulfilled expectations and exciting choices. Thank you. Paul and DD”— Paul and DeeDee F - California
Ten days ago, over a candlelight supper in our private bungalow, my husband and I toasted The Most Amazing Day Ever! We were in the middle of the South African bush and we had just experienced a stunning day of animal viewing. The trip that John Moody planned, especially for us, was The Most Amazing Trip Ever. Magical, every day a delight—from the enchanting Rovos Rail (a step back in time) to the sparkling and dynamic city of Cape Town, on to the breathtaking, not to be rivaled, coastline of the Cape of Good Hope, and finally, to the pinch-me, I can’t believe this is real, game reserves—it was remarkable. And seamless, yes. John created a treasure for us. We will be forever grateful. Barely back and we are asking John to help us plan our next great adventure!”
— Leslie and Graham - Asheville
What makes up the trip of a lifetime? Well the setting – South Africa, Botswana, and Victoria Falls – and the combination of a beautiful environment, exciting adventures, spectacular birds, big game and wonderful people is a pretty good beginning.— Cathy and Don - Atlanta
But for us it was all that plus John Moody and Game Plan Africa’s informed planning (they personally visit the sites), attention to detail and the flawless execution of our itinerary that made everything work. No anxious moments, no confusion, just enjoyment.”
What an “experience”.. E V E R Y DAY perfectly planned.. Each day had “a surprise, or two or three”…unexpected, so gratefully appreciated…and detailed. It flowed smoothly and without a wrinkle…every step of the way, we were taken care of ..the people were very professional and at the same time, loving, kind, respectful and engaging. We had to do nothing! but enjoy ourselves and take in all the beauty ~ smells ~ excitement ~ and flavors of Africa….
The people are genuine. Each and every one of them has been trained, really trained, in hospitality…!
There is so much more to share with you about the trip.
I so loved your attention to every detail..it was flawless and impeccably planned..
You did a STERLING – FLAWLESS JOB of planning this trip for us and there was a surprise at every turn both from the animals and from YOU! I will look forward to going back to Africa.”
— Charleen - Asheville
The trip met all of our expectations. We thought that the length and the balance between safari and touring activities in Cape Town was perfect. We would highly recommend Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa and we would definitely stay there again. The rooms, service and food were outstanding. At our first ever game lodge (Kings Camp), we saw 4 of the Big 5 on the first drive! In many ways Leopard Hills was a favorite due to the staff in the office, the restaurant, the bar and the game drives. The rooms at Madikwe Hills were extraordinary and the wildlife viewing from our room and the dining terrace was very special. We loved the way the lodge was built into the rock. The Cape Grace may be our new favorite hotel in the world! It was spectacular from the moment you entered. The level of amenities and attention to little details was really great. The trip as planned by John at Game Plan Africa was outstanding. We so appreciated the birthday and anniversary recognitions wherever we went. It meant so much that the time was taken to alert the hotels and lodges of the significance of the trip for us!”— Kim and Mike - Atlanta
— Lana & Barry
The trip was over the top, flawless! We loved Singita Ebony the most. It was cozy, classy and awesome. The setting at Singita Lebombo was breathtaking. We loved the eclectic look of the villas and the plunge pool. With our guides, they just kept getting better and better as we went to the different lodges. Wilderness Safaris provided seamless services while we were in South Africa. John and Game Plan Africa provided impeccable, perfect, flawless service and more in the planning of our trip. It was a fantastic trip!”
What can I say…..
Flawless…..seamless…..Perfection at every turn…..the lodges and their staff, Capetown , the guides and trackers , the bush and it’s animals, big and small…..
Breakfast in the bush…..a surprise dinner on the Tarmac when it was Barry’s birthday….we ate and drank each day….everyday….now it is serious diet time
I could go on and on…..we are all ready for our next safari…..no one wanted to leave the peace and beauty of the bush…..twelve days would not have bee too much— Lynne - Asheville
We were hearing about Mozambique, Namibia and of course Botswana even though I have been there
Best trip ever……thank you so much
John has the rare ability to actually LISTEN to what clients want. We were concerned about a safari filled with too much “jeep sitting,” too few gyms and endless wine tastings. So he proposed a bike trip, hike, balloon ride etc. all ideal for our tastes. There was never a dull moment! And much more important, never a dropped stitch, although we were in four delightfully different locations. Our two and a half weeks in South Africa and Namibia were glorious; we want to do another African trip ASAP – but only if John sets it up! We are spoiled..”— Susan & Tom - Washington
In August 2012 I had the pleasure of traveling to Kenya with John Moody of Game Plan Africa. We were a small group of eight, including John, and to say that this was the trip of a lifetime would be an understatement. Every day was a new amazement from our day tour of Nairobi, the three wonderful small camps where we stayed, our guides, THE ANIMALS, visit to a Masai village, hot air balloon ride.
Our tents were some of the most luxurious accommodations I have ever had and the food and service at the camps were superb.”— Merle - Atlanta
Africa is one of the most incredible places to visit in the world. However, no organization nor Africa travel planner, can bring the experience to the superior level of John Moody and Game Plan Africa. Every detail for the trip was meticulously planned, thoroughly executed and in person supervised on site by John and his Game Plan Africa team. Nothing was left to chance and every travel contingency was planned well in advance. This superlative level of service meant that we could completely enjoy the magic, beauty and adventure of Africa to the fullest degree possible, free of any concern.”— Dave & Martha McNeil
Besides seeing wonderful animals and birds and eating great food and being in wonderful camps with talented guides and competent, friendly staff, I know that John will always be smiling and calm and enthusiastic and engaged. I won’t have to face the panic of getting through the lines of Zambian customs on my own. I know that if I fall and seriously hurt myself (as I did on another non-John/non-Game Plan Africa trip), John will see I’m unable to fend for myself and get me to a place where I’ll be cared for and not be left alone. Being with John in camp means that you see him treat every staff person respectfully one human to another. It means we’ll laugh a lot and hear great stories about John’s childhood and family life and adventures. It means that I’ll feel special and attended to as if I a VIP without being fawned over (and so will everyone else on the trip.)
And all these good things happen after Vee and the Game Plan Africa folks have handled what seems to me a massive amount of detail in reserving the camps; all the in-country transfers; finding and hiring the great guides; getting all the necessary papers and information to us. They make it seem easy. And it means that because of Game Plan Africa and John Moody, a moments like these happen: our Land Rover comes around a curve and into camp and silhouetted against the intensely red dying sunlight are an elephant and her calf allowing us into their world. Or clambering onto the top of the van parked beside a remote marsh where the most incredibly brilliant turquoise kingfisher has perched on the tip of a reed and watching the blood-red full moon rise into the darkening sky. They have taken me to the beginning of time. And they get me back to my wine and dinner and cozy safe tent for the night. And wake up the next morning for more incredible experiences.— Ann S - Florida
The sunsets, the accommodations, the people, nature in its purest form; every detail accounted for, every dream fulfilled. To say that traveling with John Moody and Game Plan Africa is the trip of a lifetime sells the experience short; for us, it will be a lifetime of trips.”— Nelson & Molly Gaertner
Our recent travels in South Africa and Botswana with John Moody arranged by Game Plan Africa far exceeded our expectations. Every small detail was taken care of so that we could just enjoy our vacation. We would highly recommend the trip to anyone with wine tastings and a safari on their bucket lists.”— Miller & Constance - Asheville
I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken 3 African Safaris with Gameplanafrica, guided by John Moody. From the time I made my decision to travel with them, through the entire adventure and until my return home, I every need and comfort was taken care of. The entire experience was perfect, and I plan to travel with them again, as I know I will be in good and safe hands.”— Marion O - Florida
If you are considering a trip to Southern or East Africa, congratulations! You will love it! John Moody and Game Plane Africa will create an unforgettable African experience for you.
The key is to have your trip arranged by someone with the experience and resources to plan and execute a customized trip that meets your goals and aspirations – from a cost perspective to your special interests to the unique needs of your group. A multigenerational trip that includes children will have different requirements than a group of friends who want to spend time in the wine country before heading to the bush. John grew up in South Africa and spends time in Africa every year visiting and revisiting hotels, safari camps, on the ground providers, and interesting places, updating his portfolio of experiences that will make for an extraordinary trip for you. Be cautious of the outfitters that only use their own safari camps as there are so many opportunities to stay in unique safari camps.
John has planned all four of my trips to Africa. (I am leaving on my fifth trip in two months.) Twice, I have traveled with him in a small group (no more than 12), and twice I have traveled on unaccompanied trips with friends. It is fun to travel with John…he knows everyone. However, I have never felt “alone” when traveling without an escort because either way, John is “there”. Upon arrival at each camp, one can see his “hand”, from having the kind of wine we like in stock to the manager knowing the likes and dislikes of each member of the group. The camps always have the exact details of our travel arrangements as we move to the next camp. Someone is always on top of things.
Finally, I think it is important to use an organization that works with African companies that are deeply rooted in the concept of partnering with the local communities to protect and preserve their land and natural resources while providing income and an improving standard of living for the people for whom the land is their birthright. I have visited schools, daycare centers, village computer centers and clinics built by the companies that John and Game Plan Africa use. A part of my money stays in the area of Africa that I have visited, and that is huge for me. “— Jean R - Atlanta
Since I was an airline pilot, we have had the opportunity to travel to Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America for many years. Usually, we were on self guided visits. Our safari with you and Game Plan Africa was a truly unique experience and one that would have been impossible without your expertise and guidance. Our small group being escorted into private preserves with our personal and highly knowledgeable guide was so much better than going into the parks where there are throngs of visitors in a “zoo-like” setting. We truly enjoyed our safari with you and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a breathtaking and life-changing experience.”— Jack - Florida
John I first want to say I have thoroughly enjoyed making your acquaintance. I enjoy our friendship and admire your diligence and professionalism. You approach your work with an incredible knowledge of Africa, a sense of genuine care of your clients and a demeanor that allows your guests to get the most out of their African experience. For my recent trip with you, I was impressed with the professionalism and responsiveness of Game Plan Africa. Your put together a fine group of people who were terrific and great travel partners. As you will recall, my Mother passed away unexpectedly during the trip and your response to that by your sympathy and care and the quick and seamless arrangements you made to get me from Tubu Tree Camp in northern Botswana back to Houston, Texas was nothing short of amazing! You and your team assisted me with filing the travel insurance claims, as well. And for that I will be eternally grateful. Darlene and I look forward to future trip to Africa and in the meantime we both look forward continuing to stay in touch with you. Thanks again for an amazing trip. I have traveled to just under 50 countries, protectorates, emirates, etc and my recent trip with you and Game Plan Africa ranks at the very top of all of my past travels.”— John - Asheville
John Moody and Game Plan Africa made the difference between a great trip and an unbelievable trip! Africa itself provides for everything we needed to be surprised, excited and amazed on a daily basis, but John and Game Plan Africa provided the infrastructure and planning to insure our ability to enjoy everything available to us without distraction. All in all, the trip was much better than I could have anticipated!”— Bob and Beck - Chicago
My trip to Kenya with John of Game Plan Africa was amazing and exceeded all my expectations. I traveled as a single female meeting the group in Kenya and was nervous about the trip. Would I feel safe, would the group be fun? From the moment I arrived, John had every detail perfectly planned and executed. The safari camps were stunning and the staff knowledgeable and friendly. Most importantly, John was the perfect host. I had the trip of a lifetime and made some great new friends.”— Nancy - Florida