Testimonials from past guests
My husband and I recently vacationed in South Africa, Dave was our guide for the 11 day visit.
Our initial impression of Dave, when meeting us at King Shaka Airport, was that he was friendly, polite and knew how to handle a person confined to a wheelchair. Note my husband is paraplegic who likes to be independent.
Dave informed us that he would be with us for the entirety of our stay. This was a little concerning as we have dealt with many guides over the years, some were somewhat overbearing. This was certainly not the case with Dave.
It became very apparent that this gentleman was incredibly proud of both his country and his job. He was happy to share insights into South Africa, both urban and rural life. He was extremely knowledgeable regarding the wildlife we encountered.
Beyond this Dave stood out as a guide because of the following:
• He was quickly able to determine my husband’s level of function hence the level of assistance required, that we game for just about anything, loved taking on new challenges and had a sense of humour.
• He was always polite, punctual, enthusiastic and positive.
• He was very aware of problems faced by a wheelchair user and handled all situation with care and dignity.
• He always followed through with anything he said he would do which included such activities as making sure all our personal needs were met, cooking us a braai and taking us on a nighttime ‘hippo hunt’
• His sense of humour added to the fun.
• He was eager to learn about life in Canada.
Saying goodbye to Dave at the end of our stay was so tough. He had provided us with an amazing African experience and had become a man we are proud to have as a friend and would recommend him as a guide. – Dave Rudderheim -Canada – 2019
`Its been amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone great host beautiful country amazing I`ve loved every second of this trip`.
Carmel Mackness UK –April 2016
African Experience and Safari -`What a wonderful time we all had – the feedback we have received from all could not have been better. It gave clients the opportunity to develop social skills and they also had opportunities to nurture what for some, will be lifelong relationships due to the strong bonds that were developed. They were able to experience activities that would not normally be available to them, allowing them to explore their own abilities and surprise themselves with what they have achieved, albeit with support in its many forms. We have many photographs and videos which capture our clients achieving many of their aims for the trip`.
Kate Russell. UK – April 2016
`I just returned from 10 days in South Africa where I had the honor to witness the awesome perfection of nature. Thanks to Jennae Tachea and Access2Africa safaris, I was able to get closer to nature than I have been in the 33 years I’ve been a quadriplegic. Because of her wealth of experience and great knowledge about the needs of the disabled, I had no difficulty with bathroom facilities, transportation or accessible restaurants. This was the first time in 33 years I didn’t have to worry about details. We were taken to A trip to one of Africa’s many game preserves was simply breathtaking as we watched elephants, water Buffalo’s, giraffes, hippos and many other species in their natural habitats. Natures perfection! And yes, I got to pet big cats, elephants, watch hippos while I was riding a wheelchair accessible riverboat.
One of my fellow travelers said that it would be very difficult for her to go back to the “real world”.“No, I said “this is the real world. Most of that stuff back there is the outward manifestation of human egos trying to move mountains. Where we are in South Africa we were surrounded with people who don’t try to move them-they honor them.”
Daniel Gottlieb Ph.D.
Dr Dan Gottlieb – USA –July 2014
Jennae Bezuidenhout of Access 2 Africa Safaris is an enterprising woman. She is the reason I was able to make this trip.She and her husband J. J. live in the area of Kwazulu Natal Province South Africa known as the Elephant Coast. Surrounded by about 400 game reserves, animal rehabilitation centres, sporting, leisure, and vacation destinations she lives and breathes travel industry in a corner of the country north of Durban. Since her husband’s paralysis she has taken what she has learned from her personal and business environments and woven them into something unique. She has become a provider of – and an evangelist for – safaris that include travellers with mobility impairments and other disabilities.
Dr Scott Rains- USA- Jan 2009
Dear Jennae, I’ve thanked you already but I’m doing it again: thank you! You’re doing such a wonderful job helping us disabled people. This video proves that your hard work and dedication allow us to experience the best of what South Africa has to offer. All of this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for you. I’m once again sending you a tremendous amount of thank yous all the way from France.
Group tour of 14 with six power wheelchair users.
François Le Borgne – France –April 2016
Everything went very smoothly from the beginning, our guide clearly knows her way around the world of the spinal cord injured and made every effort to accommodate our isms. It was nice not to have to switch locations any more than absolutely necessary, it was nice not to have to be out the door at 8 but rather on our timetable, it was great that even our driver took extra care to drive considering how it felt for our son in his chair. All the accommodations were exactly what we had hoped for, better in fact. Not only were they comfortable and actually accessible, but the place in Huhluwe was drop dead gorgeous. Who’d have thought about having a room with a private accessible outdoor jacuzzi!
Audrey Berg Clothier and family – USA July 2013
Going on safari has been a dream for us now thanks to you we were able to do it. We cannot thank you enough for all the planning and effort you put into the trip. It went so smoothly we saw so many wonderful things and we felt safe and well supported.
Write up for Dave:
In the spring of 2016 we were finally able to take one of our “bucket list” trips—a safari trip to South Africa. With the help of Access to Africa Safaris, it was a very special trip.
When we arrived in Durban, we were greeted by Dave who was to be the driver and guide for our ten day visit. From the start, Dave was friendly, very helpful and a great guide.
While driving, he described to us the various areas we were visiting and gave us historical context. He adapted quickly to both of our disabilities (I use a power wheelchair and Ralph is blind) and offered help when needed but also let us do what we wanted to and could on our own. For example, he was very flexible when we asked to adjust the schedule to allow for a bit more rest time.
Dave went above and beyond in a number of important ways. During our trip to the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Reserve he was determined to have us see the “big five” game animals. His depth of knowledge about the animals and their behavior enabled him to find areas where we obtained wonderful views of the animals in their natural environment. Upon seeing the wildlife, he was able to explain the environment and interaction between the animals. Also, when we were in t. Lucia, Dave was determined we would see a hippo just roaming around the town. Each evening he drove us around and on our last night there – we found a hippo and her baby on a walk through a neighborhood!
An important part of a trip to a far-away land is feeling safe. With Dave as our guide, we felt very secure that he could handle any unexpected situations. When there were access or other issues, he was able to help us deal with the situation in a way that seemed comfortable and secure.
During our trip we spent a considerable amount of time with Dave. Beyond being a good tour guide, he was an engaging and interesting traveling companion. He has an excellent sense of humor and we enjoyed conversing with him. He was very thoughtful and planned a special treat for our last evening of the trip.
We have traveled to many places in the world, but our trip to South Africa was one of the most magical. Without a doubt, we attribute much of that experience to our wonderful guide Dave.
Write-up on Access to Africa Safaris:
We love to travel and see new places! As a couple with disabilities (one of us uses a power wheelchair and the other is blind), we need to plan carefully when taking trips, especially to far-away places where accessibility may be uncertain. For many years an African safari was on our “bucket list” of trips, but the distance, accessibility and cost seemed overwhelming. As we researched the possibility of such a trip, we discovered Jennae and Access to Africa Safaris.
We were first impressed with the amount and quality of the information on their website. Then, when we got in touch with Jennae we were pleased with her knowledge of the needs of persons with disabilities, the informative and positive references she provided, and her willingness to help us plan a trip that would meet our needs. Together, we planned a trip which allowed us to visit sites of interest in Johannesburg as well as experience a safari to the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Reserve and a visit to St. Lucia. And the whole trip was less costly than comparable trips we considered with other companies.
Jennae’s attention to detail was excellent. From picking us up at the airport in a wheelchair-accessible van, to our lodging, and many excursions. Everything went very smoothly.
Jennae arranged very unique, interesting but accessible accommodations for us. We stayed at the Mataranga resort, a lodge in the bush near the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Reserve, and a small guest house in the coastal town of St. Lucia.
Part of our trip included the opportunity to get up close and personal with animals. We were able to feed elephants, pet a cheetah, and see wildlife, including a whole herd of elephants, within a few feet of our accessible van. We took a boat trip through the iSimangaliso estuary where we saw hippos, water fowl, crocodiles and other wildlife. We also visited a Zulu cultural village, a beach, and the U’shaka Marine World.
When planning a trip, especially for seniors and persons with disabilities, it is important to address safety and provide flexibility to adjust to the individual needs of the travelers. With Access to Africa Safaris, we felt very secure and were confident they could help us handle any unexpected situations that might arise. When there were access or other issues, our guide was able to help us deal with the situation in a way that felt comfortable and secure. In addition, Jennae was very accommodating about making adjustments in the schedule when, for example, we needed to take a bit more time to rest.
We have traveled to many places in the world, but our trip to South Africa was one of the most magical. Without a doubt, we attribute much of that experience to the knowledge, skill, attention to detail and friendly service we received from Access to Africa Safaris. We have referred others to them and at least one group we know of recently completed a trip with an itinerary similar to ours. We would be happy to use Access to Africa Safaris again for a future trip and highly recommend their services.
Assistance for the blind traveler:
My wife and I have traveled extensively in the U.S. and throughout the world. Being blind, I have experienced my share of museums with everything behind glass and bus tours where the driver points out attractions with little meaningful commentary. Therefore, I was very pleasantly surprised with the trip we took to South Africa through Access to Africa Safaris.
Our tour guides, Jennae and Dave, were both very good about providing verbal descriptions of the wildlife and sites on our excursions. They also made an effort to select places for us to visit where I could have a more hands-on experience. These included touching and feeding an elephant, visiting a Zulu cultural village where I handled various artifacts, and a trip to a crocodile sanctuary where I was able to hold a baby crocodile and check out some skeletons which were on display.
Beyond that, on a few occasions they took me places that my wife, who uses a wheelchair, was unable to go. We went on a walk to explore the wildlife on some sand dunes, Dave took me swimming at two different beaches, and Jennae took me inside the cheetah enclosure where I was able to pet one of the semi-wild cats.
However, for me, perhaps the most unusual part of the trip was driving through the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Reserve. When we would stop and turn off the engine, I could clearly hear the sounds of the animals in their natural environment. A baby elephant noisily devoured a tree branch, zebras munched grass vegetation just outside the window, monkeys shrieked and chattered, and the bull elephants trumpeted all around us. You don’t experience something like that on every trip.
All and all, it was one of the most interesting and accessible trips I’ve ever taken from the perspective of a blind person.
Catherine and Ralph – July 2016