Our past guests have their say...
Neil Heron – the Bruce Springsteen of safaris!
I’ve never been to a Bruce Springsteen concert. But everyone I know who has, talks about how Bruce works to make sure that everyone who has spent their hard-earned money on tickets to the show feels like they have gotten an incredible value. Neil Heron is the Bruce Springsteen of safaris.
He is wildly knowledgeable about every animal in Kruger National Park. From their tracks to their behavior to when they are thirsty and which direction they will go. He would point to a herd of elephants on one side of the road and then take us across the road to wait until they all would come to some little watering hole. He did this with virtually every animal. His bird knowledge is unsurpassed. Although he says he is not a botanist, he is very well versed in plants as well.
One of the things that attracted us to Bearded Heron Safaris was the many reviews that talked about how Neil doesn’t follow the crowds. We were often alone with various animals which was not only great but also meant we could watch behavior unfold without interference. One morning we watched a hundred baboons descend from a tree and go on their merry way. We saw a baby monkey held by its mother while a sibling tried to get her attention. There were many adolescent animal tiffs we witnessed including Impalas, two giraffes wrestling with their necks, baboons bouncing each other on a branch, the aftermath of a lion fight, and so much more.
We learned a ton about South African history and politics with a bit of literature thrown in as well. Oh, and rugby. I have the sense that Neil is knowledgeable about lots of topics and is guided by his clients’ interests.
His wife Tina, who handles all the logistics, is amazing. She organized stays for us in Johannesburg and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe as well as the transfers to and from Kruger. I am disorganized and forgot my itinerary; she made sure that we had everything we needed, and she checked on us regularly. I asked her for reading recommendations before our trip and hers were spot on.
The food was lovely. And the young man (Roan) who handles the food and most everything else is utterly charming; he seemed to have a sixth sense about when we were ready to eat or have a glass of wine or a beer. The food included traditional South African braais (barbeques) that comprised beef, chicken and lamb served with fresh vegetables and salads, with rice and pasta dishes and delicious desserts too.
I do not usually write reviews but the positive Bearded Heron reviews I read helped me make the decision to go with them and I’m so glad I did.
Miriam Eatchel from the US; October 2023
Up close and intimate
Our Private Small Group Safari was not only educational and extremely interesting, but also a time of respite. The meals were excellent and the general atmosphere on the safari was inspirational. Watching wild animals on a television screen cannot compare to being there in person and having your questions answered on the spot.
Linda Hugelen, US; October 2023
Our unforgettable private family safari
Our private family safari organized by Bearded Heron Safaris was an unforgettable experience. We could not have done any better choosing Tina, her husband Neil, and his partner Roan.
We relied on Tina to answer our questions and provide timely information for our safari arrangements. Her communication skills were excellent. There were no questions left unanswered. This trip would not have happened without her.
Neil with over 30 years of experience had unsurpassed knowledge of the bio-diverse Safari environment. Neil has all his senses tuned to all the animals in various areas of the park. Other safari guides followed him to catch only a glimpse of what we saw. We were so blessed to have Neil as our guide.
Roan fed us healthy meals, kept us on schedule, and kept our personal belongings safe at each of our base camps throughout Kruger National Park. We felt secure with Roan watching over us at base camps.
The ‘Team-Trio’ run a smooth and efficient family oriented guided tour of Kruger National Park. They made us feel like we were part of their family. Thank You Bearded Heron Safaris!!!!
Joy Garcia and family, US; August 2023
Our awesome private family safari
Neil's knowledge of animal behavior is unparalleled. His knowledge of the park, its history, and the landscape is uncanny. His ability to spot birds and then share details about them was always informative. He can follow tracks on the road, while driving, in the dark (still not sure how he does this). He has a great sense of humor and his tales of Honey Badgers will make you laugh (and also look over your shoulder and under the dinner table).
Some incredible highlights:
- Three separate (and close-up) Leopard sightings.
- Male giraffes ‘dueling’ with their long necks.
- Sitting in the dark in our camp and listening to the lions in the bush communicating.
- Roan turning on his flashlight on the Hyena directly outside our fence.
- Neil's ‘rusks’ and coffee in the pre-dawn hours.
The days sadly flew by, but the memories are forever. Thank you, Team Bearded Heron, for an incredible guided tour through your beautiful park!
Kristin Delahanty and family, US; May 2023
Bearded Heron Safaris - Kruger Park Specialists - The Very Best!
Our first trip to Kruger Park with Neil was in September of 2004 as a family vacation - our children were ages 16, 14 and 12. We travelled from Johannesburg to the Phalaborwa Gate. Upon entering the gate, we immediately saw a pride of 10 lions, including cubs and a small male. We all knew we were in for an amazing experience.
Neil was full of information, knowledge and stories about the Kruger. He was so patient and caring with the kids and their many questions. We had an ‘Ellie’ come into Boulders Camp which to this day is still Cheryl's ‘Ellie’. Neil manages to turn animal sightings into experiences that words cannot truly describe.
The story we continue to tell 19 years later - we were staying at Roodewal camp. Sitting at the fire in the evening, we heard a leopard in the river bed. The guttural sound they make is very impressive - it sounds like the sawing of wood. It is a sound you will never forget. I thought back earlier in the day when Neil finally allowed Abby - our prime spotter to say the ‘L’ word (prior she had not, so as not to jinx us). So, she asked to see a leopard.
About 2.30pm Neil spotted some fresh leopard poop and asked if we wanted to track a leopard. He instructed us to watch and listen to everything. We saw a significant decrease in the number of antelopes. They were probably scared off - maybe a cat? Then we started spotting impala herds and hearing birds that all were acting or sounding nervous. It was an experience without even seeing a cat. We were listening and learning from the bush.
Neil had told us from day one, "You get what the bush gives you." He told us how patient we had been and maybe we would be lucky. At 3.30pm we heard the Vervet monkeys - Neil told us to listen. It was their ‘scream’ indicating a cat. Mark spotted the monkeys on top of a tall Acacia tree, and they were looking directly down to another tree at the base. Neil drove up to the base of that tree and we sat. Within seconds, a large male leopard started making its way down the tree. He stopped for a moment, looked at us then jumped down and ran off. Kruger's bush had been VERY good to us! The trip made a lifelong impression on all of us. We still talk about all of the wonderful memories.
Mark and myself were back with Neil in 2011 and 04/2014 - year of the Painted Dogs - one of my all- time favorites in 02/2015 - the year of ‘the babies’. Another of my all-time favorites, 09/2016 - we brought Mark's brother Matt with us - very special time and our most recent trip this past May 2023.
I believe that the fact we have done six safaris with Neil speaks for itself. Bearded Heron Safaris cannot be outdone! They are excellent. The amazing service starts when you are first planning your trip with Tina Heron. She is one of the most organized, dependable and thoughtful people. She wants to create a trip for you that is as easy as possible, organized and executed perfectly. Thank you Tina for all that you do behind the scenes. The food and service are excellent! Our most recent trip was with Neil and Roan. It felt like we were at a 5-star hotel, not in the middle of the bush. They are both very attentive, great cooks, details are organized and the safari rides are comfortable and so enjoyable. Neil lives and loves Kruger, and you can see his passion.
If you want an unforgettable, amazing experience in Kruger National Park then you must book a Safari with Bearded Heron. They are the Very Best. We have been blessed six times and we cannot wait to go back again! Thank you all!
Cheryl & Marl Morici, US; March 2023
The man you need to travel with
We left Rhode Island USA for Johannesburg South Africa. The trip was a long 29 hours at that point and we were exhausted.
We arrived at the gate to Kruger National Park where we met Neil and Roan. We were off now on one of the greatest adventures I’ve had the pleasure to be on. We were a group of five and that worked out very well.
Neil was fantastic so knowledgeable and made the trip go by so much faster, too fast. This is truly the only way to go on a safari. Not a lot of people, your own chef, and the beauty of that wonderful country.
It took us 39 hours to get home and I was pretty beat also pretty sure I wasn’t going back. However, upon reflection I don’t think I can stay away.
If you are seriously thinking about going on one of these journeys this is the man you need to travel with!
Jeffrey Jaques, US; March 2022
My safari with Bearded Heron
I’ve been blessed to travel the world but my experience with Neil Heron in the Kruger ranks right up there as one of the greatest adventures of my life. The man is so knowledgeable about the animals, birds, flora and the geography of the bushveld that I felt I was renewing my relationship with nature again.
When we observe the glorious elephant up close and personal and he describes what might take place due his keen insight or he reads the stoop and recognizes the tracts of a leopard nearby the excitement rises because we know we will witness something extraordinary. Because of his skillful expertise in bird life I was drawn in and became an an amateur birder myself.
The twinkle in his eye lets you know there is humor to be had and he doesn’t disappoint. He immediately became a friend.
If you ever want the ultimate Kruger experience book a safari with Tina at Bearded Heron Safaris. Neil’s passion for that environment is unquestionable. His dedication to its conservation is boundless. And his erudition of that wonderful national park is extensive.
Jim Jaques, US; March 2022
Safe (now & later), educational, FUN, memories for a lifetime
Cannot think of a safer trip one might take in COVID times, given everyone has to be vaccinated, test negative coming & going, and then only being with our group and outside the entire time. Given it is "WILD life", felt safe the ENTIRE time due to Neil's extraordinaire knowledge in animal behavior and simply respecting that we were the visitors in their backyard. Given that anything can happen - such as Momma Elephant protecting her baby, it was extremely thrilling to have a front row seat (literally) every day for whatever might unfold.
Tina's customer service and communication on the front end for planning was exceptional given the logistics and it being such a unique trip.
With Neil, instead of "Dinner & a Show", it was "Daily Game Drives & a Show". I've never met someone who enjoys puns more, impersonating MANY and quite accurately, and constantly interspersing humor with information. He is a WEALTH of knowledge from tracking animals, reading foot prints, knowing every bird name and call and explaining behaviors.
Roan wears about 10 different hats and is the sweetest and best assistant one will ever find.
There is no way to assign a favorite memory as every day there was something special and unique but some highlights: Baby (2 week old) Hippo, Mom moving her cubs (6-8 weeks); numerous animals nursing, elephant stampede and "spa" day, baboons playing tag in the tree and so much more.
Elisabeth Mullen, US; September 2021
Vacation of a Lifetime!
Bearded Heron Safaris came very highly recommended to me. I was excited to be able to join a small group on an 11-day safari in Northern Kruger National Park this past September 2021. As my first safari ever, the daily game drives and learning about wild animal behavior as it unfolds before your eyes are indescribable thrills. Neil Heron's knowledge of the Kruger and its wild inhabitants is truly astounding.
Neil and Tina Heron and their team personally coordinated every tiny detail from COVID protocols to transport to accommodations to wonderful meals and an exciting itinerary through the Kruger. Bearded Heron Safaris exceeded all my expectations in every way. I look forward to signing up with this amazing company on another safari in the near future. Please contact them soon to learn more about your trip of a lifetime!
Molly Shreeve, US; September 2021
Amazing safari - and it's super safe!
I went on Safari this September (2021) for Bearded Heron's first safari since the COVID pandemic. Wow! It was super safe, and, of course, an amazing safari experience.
Safety: Bearded Heron ensured that all personnel involved at a minimum had a negative COVID test (shuttle drivers, lodging proprietor, safari guide and assistant). In fact, the overwhelming majority were vaccinated. Bearded Heron coordinated the COVID tests required for our return flights to the United States. That could not have been easier! The nurse came to our lodging (Golfers Lodge) and we had the results in less than 2 hours. Yes, we all tested negative! While on safari, Bearded Heron kept us in our "bubble", and made sure that we wore masks the few times that we went into Rest Camp shops or otherwise were near people outside of our "bubble". I was 100% comfortable with Bearded Heron's safety protocols.
Safari: Neil and Roan are dedicated to the enjoyment of their guests. Neil's knowledge of the Kruger and its inhabitants (animals and plants) is nothing short of encyclopedic! The Kruger is a magical space, which Neil brings to life for his guests at every turn. Roan's guest service is second to none! He takes amazing care of each guest, from coordinating our luggage and accommodations, to accommodating each guest's needs. And then there are the meals. Wow! So good! If you haven't tried bobotie or poike, you are in for a treat! Did I forget to mention the animals? We saw a lioness with cubs, a newborn hippo, and over 100 species of birds. Oh, and then there were the elephants playing in the mud and water. What a joy!
If you are looking for an amazing safari experience in the rustic accommodations of the Kruger, look no further. Bearded Heron offers small group safaris with exceptional guest service. I highly recommend them!
Mike Barsky, US; September 2021
Fun and safe 2021 safari in Kruger Park
Just returned from a fantastic 2 week safari with Beard Heron in Kruger Park. We are repeat customers and continue to be impressed with this company. We were very well taken care of in terms of ensuring the trip met strict health safety protocols, with our group of 5 being able to stay in a "bubble" that only widened to include a few additional people.
With everyone on our international flight from the US to Johannesburg COVID tested, and those few people we spent a significant amount of time with also COVID tested and/or vaccinated we felt no anxiety about making the trip. All of our accommodations/meals/game drives were limited to only our small "bubble."
Bearded Heron company took great effort on all of this, including making arrangements to allow us to easily get the required pre-flight testing done at our accommodations prior to our return home. The game drives were eventful - with it being spring time in the park we saw many babies, including a baby hippo that was only days old. On top of seeing so many animals, the sunrises and landscapes were also spectacular. We learned a ton from our guide Neil about the animal behaviors/interactions, the plants, the soil, the history.... Just can't say enough good things about our experience!
Lisa Barsky, US; September 2021
Simply the best!
I can't imagine going to the Kruger without Neil Heron. He understands the environment as well as animal behavior, and is a virtual encyclopedia on all aspects of the bush. Neil knows where to go in the park for the best opportunities to see the wildlife. He explains what is going on and why the animals are behaving a particular way. One of my favorite's was seeing a giraffe appear to be eating a bone. Neil explained that the giraffe was sucking calcium out of the bone.
I've been to the Kruger twice now, mostly in the southern parts, both times with Neil. I can't wait for Neil to guide me on an adventure in the northern part of the Kruger. Fingers crossed for a tour with Neil Heron of Bearded Heron Safaris in 2021!
Mike Barsky, US, 2019
Neil is the greatest safari guide!
Neil’s safari was the best experience of my life!! His knowledge and passion for wildlife in South Africa is infectious to say the least. Between serene bird-watching rides and riveting lion/cheetah/rhino/elephant sightings, I felt safe and blessed to have Neil guiding us. When COVID settles down and we’re able to travel again, I will run back to SA and do another safari with Neil.
Julia Nicole, US
Once in a lifetime incredible experience
Such a spectacular experience with Neil that I loved so much I had to do it again! I am a repeat customer for life. Bearded Heron will give you the most intimate experience of any guide out there. The knowledge and professionalism his team possesses is next to none. It was truly one of those unforgettable moments and Bearded Heron is there best in the business.
Ryan Weimar, US
Absolutely Amazing Experience with this Safari Company
Absolutely amazing experiences with the Bearded Heron company and safari guide. To be able to view the animals in their natural habitat and simultaneously hear quiet explanations and predictions about their behavior from someone who has spent many years studying them in their natural environment - and then see those predictions play out is incredible!
I thought I would go once and scratch if off my bucket list, but the combination of seeing the animals and getting the educational/historical information real-time from the guide is what makes it such an unforgettable experience. So I've been 3 times now instead of just once and eager to go yet again. Each time has been unique and it's simply that incredible of an experience with this company. Although Tripadvisor will only allow a 5-star rating I give this them 100 stars.
Lisa Barsky, US; 2019
Experience of a lifetime
Neil Heron is an iconic figure in the Kruger world he so loves -- and is known and admired as such by its other guides and officials. But when crowds of Rovers are at a site Neil goes in the opposite direction, rightly confident of his ability to find sightings on his own which his deliberately small number of uncrowded and companionable guests can enjoy with privacy and in quiet awe. His knowledge of the "Big 5 species" is comprehensive, but so is knowledge of and ability to find and describe the Krueger's less appreciated species. Add to this is Neil's knowledge and love of the Krueger's birds -- enough to make his safaris memorable were he not to sight a single mammal or reptile. Years of guiding, of teaching guides and of spectacularly photographing the Kreuger's wildlife has taught Neil to get inside the heads of the living things he sights and of understanding and to amazingly predict what their next steps will be.
And, in the 'back office' Tina is ever present and able to smooth the ways of Bearded Heron guests.
We are grateful and lucky that Bearded Heron Safaris provided us with the experience of a lifetime.
Michael Horowitz, US; March/April 2019
100 stars to Bearded Heron!
I never imagined that my 5-star rating and writeup from October 2016 could ever be exceeded HOWEVER we returned to South Africa in September 2019 and travelled with Bearded Heron Safaris for a second time and I now must give them a 10 star rating (in truth it would be 100 stars!
Again, we worked with Tina during the planning stage, got perfect recommendations on the timing and logistics of flights. We arrived and met Neil and his assistant, Roan and off we went to explore the Kruger again. If you read through all the other comments, I cannot add any more superlatives to what has been said and what I wrote in 2016 regarding Neil’s knowledge, insight and love of The Kruger, the animals, the birds, the plants and trees.
I will add a few less frequently mentioned items. The team of Tina, Neil and Roan worked to create menus that were absolutely perfect and totally thoughtful for our diets.
We are pescatarians (eat fish, do not eat any meat or poultry) and using this knowledge as a base, they created unique, delicious, region specific meals. He has also provided custom meals for vegetarians, vegans and a wide variety of other dietary requests.
One night I looked up at the night sky and asked, “is that Orion?” and Neil launched into a very detailed lecture about the South African night sky and how it differs from the sky I would see on the east coast of the U.S.
Neil is also proactive in the areas of the environment, ecology and conservation and is willing to share his knowledge and actions he has personally taken in these areas to protect this wonderful area.
Neil is also a skilled photographer and can help you capture the perfect shot and memories of this trip of a lifetime.
Our accommodations were not luxurious but they were extremely comfortable and roomy with all the modern conveniences of home (in some cases better than home – my home and doesn’t have air conditioning but some of the units on safari did!) and they were all inside the park.
If you want to immerse yourself in the Kruger, understand how the animals think, absorb the issues and capture memories, Bearded Heron Safaris are the Kruger Park specialists that can make it happen.
Fran Libasci, US; September 2019
This was our 2nd trip in 3 years with Bearded Heron Safaris. In 2016 we gave them a 5 star rating and feel it only appropriate to double that to a 10 star rating for our latest trip. Yes, they are that good!
We worked with Tina during the planning stage and received perfect recommendations on the timing and logistics of flights. We arrived and met Neil and his assistant, Roan and off we went to explore the Kruger again. Together the team did everything they could to make our dreams come true. Roan and Neil filled our stomachs with the most amazing bush meals and Neil filled our brains and senses with his knowledge, love and passion for the Kruger.
It's one thing to have a game drive where the driver and tracker tell you about what you are seeing. It's another thing to be on a game drive where your guide helps you think like the animals, to analyse the situation (what happened here, what’s going to happen here, what are our surroundings telling us?), to appreciate what the shake of a lion's mane means, and to immerse yourself in the real time environmental, ecological and conservation issues. Neil’s knowledge of the bush extends beyond the mammals to the birds, plants, grasses and trees.
The team of Tina, Neil and Roan worked to create menus that were absolutely perfect and totally thoughtful for our diets. We are pescatarians (eat fish, do not eat any meat or poultry) and using this knowledge as a base, they created unique, delicious, region specific meals. He has also provided custom meals for vegetarians, vegans and a wide variety of other dietary requests.
One night I looked up at the night sky and asked “is that Orion?” and Neil launched into a very detailed lecture about the South African night sky and how it differs from the sky I would see on the east coast of the US.
Neil is also proactive in the areas of the environment, ecology and conservation and is willing to share his knowledge and actions he has personally taken in these areas to protect the endangered animals in this wonderful area.
Neil is also a skilled photographer and can help you capture the perfect shot and memories of this trip of a lifetime.
Our accommodations were not luxurious but they always exceeded our expectations and were extremely comfortable and roomy with all the modern conveniences of home (in some cases better than home – my home and doesn’t have air conditioning but some of the units on safari did!) and they were all inside the park.
If you want to immerse yourself in the Kruger, understand how the animals think, absorb the issues and capture memories, Bearded Heron Safaris are the Kruger Park specialists that can make it happen.
Tom Libasci, US; September 2019
Extraordinary trip with Bearded Heron
Just returned from a 10-day trip in Kruger National Park with Bearded Heron Safaris. It is no exaggeration to say that this was the most amazing and enjoyable experience of my life. Every day, Neil Heron gave me and my sisters and brother-in-law new adventures. From day 1, we saw the most amazing animals up close and personal. There's no guarantee as to what you will see, but we were fortunate to see so many beautiful creatures and birds. At night, we sat around the dining table exchanging experiences and listening to Neil reveal details of the things we'd seen each day. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and his enthusiasm is so infectious. And speaking of dinner, we enjoyed wonderful meals prepared by Neil and his assistant Roan. The whole experience was wonderful and I highly recommend Bearded Heron Safaris.
-Deborah Milton, Canada; October 2019
Second time using Bearded Heron, and Neil did not disappoint. Not only did we see a ton of animals, we got insights into animal behaviour, the way that various animals interact with each other, and how they migrate, hunt, play, survive and thrive in this particular ecosystem. If you want to just simply view animals, don’t use Neil; you can probably do this on your own. But if you want to really learn more in-depth about wildlife behaviour and why certain creatures are where they are and what they are doing and when, and how they depend upon or are threatened by other species (and by our own sometimes irresponsible human behaviour!), I highly recommend Bearded Heron. Great early morning drives, followed by hearty breakfasts, then another late morning drive; early afternoons off (in the heat of the day), and then more viewing in the late afternoon before relaxing evening dinners outside. Superb!
Tom Witt, US; October 2019
Sit back and be amazed. Viewing the land of Kruger National Park, its creatures, patterns, weather, behaviour is best done with Neil Heron of Bearded Heron Safaris. He knows not only where to go to find animals, birds, and creatures of all sorts, but he has extensive knowledge about everything in the Kruger environment. If you are able - go!
Mary Preus, US; October 2019
Bearded Heron is our favourite
We have been on many safaris of differing levels of price and comfort in Southern Africa over the past 35 years, and Bearded Heron has been our favourite company in very many respects. Neil has an amazing knowledge of the habitat and wildlife, and the way the trips are set up using National Park lodges and guest houses means that you are always in the Park, and you are not paying for (unnecessary) luxury.
You do however have amazing meals prepared by Neil and his chef, plenty of wine and beer, very comfortable accommodation and great company. We have been twice, once for 5 days and the other for 15: our time in the north of the park was exceptional and I know we will be back - Tina and Neil, you have been warned!
Alison Wood, UK; 2018
A unique safari experience
For a unique small group (or family) safari experience no one does it better than Bearded Heron Safaris. Our 3-generation family of 8 had the opportunity to observe the Kruger wildlife through Neil’s eyes and it was special for all of us. Neil’s knowledge, enthusiasm and love of all things Kruger is very inspiring. We took home a shared experience we will never forget.
Thank you, Neil for sharing and Tina for making the arrangements. It was an unforgettable safari for all of us.
Janna Smits, US; 2018
My two safaris with the best!
I have gone on two safaris with Bearded Heron, 2016 & 2018 and I cannot say enough about the experiences! I have left each time wanting to return.
Tina Heron, who you book with, is a great communicator! She promptly answered all questions and sent timely emails with information for the trip. She also connected us with agents in Cape Town and Victoria Falls so that we could make plans in those areas.
Neil Heron, our safari guide, is extremely knowledgeable in all things Kruger. If he, by slim chance, doesn’t have an answer, he does research to give accurate answers. His passion for the Kruger is contagious!
Neil also has camera experience which he gladly gives to clients to help optimize the quality of photos taken during the trip.
Alistair, Neil’s assistant, holds down the fort at camp. He makes sure we are comfortable, cooks like crazy, and is always courteous and kind.
What a great team!
Cheryl Hackett, US; 2018
We will be back!
Best ever trip of our lives happened in May 2014 when we went on a 5-day safari with Bearded Heron to celebrate some life milestones. It was such an amazing experience we went back again in September 2017 and brought friends. Can't say enough good things about this company - from the extremely responsive interactions when booking (and getting answers to questions) to the daily trips with Neil (a walking encyclopaedia of animal and plant knowledge) and the in-the-bush setting of the accommodations and meals. If I could give it a 100 star rating instead of a 5 star rating I would! The pictures being posted are what you see, and never predictable depending on what nature decides to reveal that day. The experience changes the way you look at nature in a way that words can't describe. We are already talking about going back again - it's that amazing!
Lisa Barsky, US; June 2018
Worth every penny
Professional, knowledgeable, accommodating, exciting, and absolutely life changing.
The amount of animal encounters, experiences, food, drink, and friendly conversations are 100,000% worth every penny.
Would do this again in a heartbeat, and I'll be back in two years’ time.
Thank you for everything. 🇿🇦
Kayla Easton, US; 2018
Put this on your bucket list
Wow! What a wonderful trip. Our two sons (ages11 and 8 at the time) had a blast. Three years later we are still talking about our adventures and wondering when we can go back. Neil and his team organized everything and geared it specifically to our interests. I highly recommend putting this trip on your bucket list.
Sandra Juengel Linn, US; 2018
My third trek with Bearded Heron...
September of 2018 was my third trek in Kruger National Park with Neil Heron and Bearded Heron Safaris. I am still just as intoxicated by the beauty of the Kruger bush as I was on my first journey. Our safari started in the far north at Punda Maria. We ambled southward over the next fifteen days, stopping at Shingwedzi, Shimuwini, Satara, and Pretoriuskop, toward our final destination at Biyamiti Bush Camp.
This itinerary allowed us to experience the various changes in terrain and observe wild life behaviour in each sector. We saw abundant animals throughout the park. There are no cats in the north turned out to be a myth. We spotted leopard and lion on our first drive toward Pafuri and Crooks Corner. Waterholes and rivers were teeming with prey and predators.
Traveling with Neil, a truly unique experience, enables safari members ample time to really watch and learn about the behaviours and interactions of many species. Sitting at a waterhole observing for an hour or more is the norm not the exception. His agenda is the Kruger biosphere not ticking off the big five.
Photo opportunities are abundant. Neil is a recognized wildlife photographer. His ability to position the vehicle for the very best shot is uncanny. As the lioness moves forward in the brush, from his years of experience, he anticipates where she will reappear and his guests are ready with their cameras.
Comfortable accommodations are in the Kruger Rest Camps and Bush Camps. This trip we had the good fortune to stay in the guest houses at Satara and Pretoriuskop. Catering is exceptional with lamb shanks in port and traditional bobotie being two of the highlights for me.
If South Africa was closer, we would visit for at least a few days each year with Bearded Heron Safaris and our friend, Neil!
Patty Flynn Sadtler, US; 2018
Professional, caring committed and knowledgeable
My friend and I did a 7-day safari at Kruger National Park with Bearded Heron Safaris in February. Amazing, is the only word I have to describe this incredible experience. Neil and Tina Heron, owners of this small safari business, are a fabulous team. From the time I made my first inquiry about their 7-day safari Tina was there to help with dates, options, and recommendations. She was great to work with and took all the worry out of planning this trip.
Once we arrived at Kruger Neil took over and the next 7 days, we spent being education, amazed, and awed. I have been on Safaris before but this one truly left me wanting more. Neil is so knowledgeable and passionate about the animals and their surroundings that it became infectious. I learned so much about these animals, their habits and survival, it a most gratifying education.
This all-inclusive safari used the National Park self-catering accommodation which were great, we had the best locations in the compound and our chef Alistair was fabulous. Our meals were spectacular, recipes were Neil’s, definitely need to get some of those recipes. Dinner was always a highlight as we spend the evening with our new friends who regaled us with stories and laughter. We would discuss our amazing day and ponder what tomorrow would bring.
Everyone should be lucky enough to get the opportunity to be humbled by this experience. I cannot provide a high enough rating for Bearded Heron, thank you Tina, Neil and Alistair for making this a trip of a lifetime. I hope to be back soon.
In a lifetime of purchases of everything from groceries to houses to vacations, we have never been received with greater value, nor found greater pleasure, than we did from signing up with Neil. In a lifetime of dealing with sophisticated professionals of every sort, we've never met a professional more knowledgeable – or more caring and committed – than Neil.
Sheila Engel, US, May 2018
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