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Ramona Cilliers - Welcome to my profile!

Blog Post & Recent Travels

Recently in November 2014 I had the opportunity of visiting Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar as part of an extensive three-week East Africa trip. What an experience! From exceptional game viewing in the Samburu National Reserve - home to the 'Special 5' - to gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, it was a true higlight of 2014. Have a look at my Facebook photo album for some inspiration.

Earlier in 2014 I also had the opportunity to visit Malawi for the very first time - what a destination! Have a look at my Facebook Photo Album for all the snaps.

About Me

I will never forget my first trip in an aeroplane. I was seven years old and we were embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. Our family was emigrating from a small village in Germany to the wilderness of Africa. I was, falsely so, under the impression that we would have a lion as a pet and ride elephants to school!

The thrill of untold adventures and a Jungle Book-style life that lay awaiting us on the African shores was almost too much for my young mind. I developed an incredible sense of adventure and urge to explore and experience everything - this was most certainly a turning point in my life, and yes, the adventures did unfold (and still do) although I never did get the Jungle Book living experience nor have I had a lion as a pet (I have ridden an elephant though, but not to school).

From this early time, my dream had been to become an air hostess and travel the world but instead I became a travel agent which is much more exciting and rewarding!

Where have I travelled

I get to live my dream everyday and feed my adventurous spirit by creating the most amazing and unforgettable itineraries for my clients. Every so often I also get to experience these amazing places and have over the years covered almost every corner of my ‘backyard’ – South Africa.

I have bungee jumped off the Gouritz River bridge on the Garden Route, micro-lighted over the KwaZulu Natal coastline, walked in the tracks of lions in the Kruger, whispered to elephants at Hartenbeespoort, dived with great white sharks on the Whale Route, hiked the rugged terrain of Table Mountain, and observed southern right whales cruising the Atlantic waters from a helicopter.

Further abroad I have sipped cocktails whilst watching the African sun set over the ocean in Mauritius, searched for elusive lemurs in Madagascan rainforests and sailed the seas in a traditional pirogue.

Most recently I have explored the incredible landscapes of East Africa - Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar and enjoyed some spectacular experiences. Click on the link above for my photos.

Some of my travels have also taken me back to Europe to explore countries like England, Holland, Belgium, Poland and Czech; my heart however now lives in Africa where I have further adventures planned to Botswana, Victoria Falls, Zambia and Malawi.

My favourite travel moment

My most special experiences in Africa are without a doubt from my many safaris across South Africa; nothing compares to how humbled you feel on this extraordinary activity. So many of my inspirational travel memories find their root in a game drive, unexpected bush dinner or interpretive bush walk.

The amazing people that dedicate their lives to offering unforgettable wilderness experiences, the skill and knowledge of the rangers and trackers, hospitality of hosts and support staff, and the obliging nature of the wildlife are all a surefire recipe for a truly once-in-a -lifetime experience - and that is what I strive to achieve for each of my guests.

What I love about Africa

Even after so much travel, Mother Africa never ceases to amaze: watching a pack of wild dogs chase on the hunt, a leopard mother and cub in playful banter, ellies taking a shower in the river or buffalo taking a wallow in the mud, no two sightings are ever the same.

My African travel advice

My advice to any traveller to Africa would be to expect the unexpected and enjoy every single moment, squeeze every drop of glory out of every moment. Take pictures, lots of pictures! You can never capture the essence of the moment in a photograph but they sure do help to relive and recount them. Never go on safari without binoculars and a birding book – even if you are not a keen birder!

Read real traveller reviews about my service as an Africa Safari Expert, or be inspired by my recommended trips, lodges and hotels around Africa. 

Are you on Facebook? Follow me here.

Ramona Cilliers

Africa Safari Expert

What I love about Africa the most are the sights, sounds and smells of the African bush – they are addictive and it does not take long for the African Bug to get you!

Read what our Travellers have to say

Our trip to South Africa was fantastic!  Since we’ve been home, whenever anyone asks how the trip was, my response is always the same:  I say, 'Indescribable!' and then spend the next forty-five minutes trying to describe it!

Our eight days in and around Cape Town were great.  The apartment we rented in Seapoint was great and perfectly located for us.  We drove a lot: the Cape Peninsula, Boulders Beach, Cape of Good Hope, Muizenberg, Stellenbosch, Hermanus.  We went to beaches and the botanical gardens. Our kids hiked the Skeleton Gorge Trail on the back side of Table Mountain (Rich and I took the tram), and we all hiked Lion’s Head.  The three of them made it all the way, but my fear of heights caused me to take stock, turn around, and find a rocky perch to view the sunset - beautiful. Every single meal we ate was outstanding!  In addition to enjoying some great restaurants in Cape Town, one day we drove to Hout Bay Market, and on another we went to Langebaan and Die Strandloper - fun!

As for the safari - truly unbelievable!  Our experience at Elephant Plains couldn’t have been better. On our very first game drive we saw four of the Big Five, among many other animals, including some babies, and on the day we left we were lucky enough to see the fifth - a big male leopard.  To be that close to those amazing animals was overwhelming and almost surreal. Among us we had three pretty high-powered cameras, another smaller one, and three smart phones, so I think we probably have about 3,000 photos.  That said, there is nothing that can compare to actually BEING there, to be in a jeep surrounded by elephants ten feet (or closer) away - close enough to see their eyelashes; to watch as a baby hyena tries to climb up the jeep tire while the mother plops down very nearby to keep an eye out; to witness a cohort of five young male lions feeding on a Cape buffalo - again, so close we could hear them chewing - okay -  so that was a little unsettling!  It was wonderful!

What surprised us?  For one thing, the fact that it all went so smoothly.  Considering that we were starting out from three different places (Denver, Minneapolis, and Lagos), and that there were many legs to the trip, it is amazing to me that there were no “hitches”. 

Thank you, Ramona, for helping to arrange our amazing, fantastic, wonderful trip!

Rich & Vickie Strait - December 2014 View more reviews