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active 3 days ago

Howard Spencer-Wilson

I co-own and manage the African Travel Gateway, where we plan, book and implement tailor-made holidays of all sorts, for all sorts, with all sorts of budgets... Our recipe for client satisfaction? Speed, thoroughness and value for money. With over 20 years experience in planning African travel, we know we offer our clients a seamless planning experience and a once in a lifetime African safari experience!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We specialize in 10 Southern & East Africa countries, namely: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya & Zanzibar. Our activities range from various types of safaris to the more regular tours to cities and non-safari adventures in the region like Cape Town, train journeys, beach holidays and horse back safaris."

How did you get involved in travel?

"In the early nineties I started out by studying Nature Conservation and working on game farms & game reserves in the Kruger National Park area of South Africa. After a number of years in the lodge industry, I decided to branch out into tour operating. This took me to Cape Town and Johannesburg where I helped set up African Travel Gateway. Eventually winding up back in the Kruger Park region of South Africa from where I manage African Travel Gateway, and continue guiding walking safaris from."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Being an active trails guide in the Kruger National Park, I am fortunate enough to regularly experience some heart stopping moments on safari. On one particular primitive walking trail, we did a sleep out under the stars along side a river. During the cold night a distant pride of lions made their presence known early in the evening by regulars roars. By midnight the lions had moved to within 70 meters of where we lay and continued with their full throated roaring - ruling out all possibility of sleep, but capturing in everyone's memory a truly unforgettable night!"

Howard is part of the following groups: South Africa Travel Agents
Etosha wildlife
Namibia Desert & Wildlife Fly-In Safari: Sossuvlei, Skeleton Coast & Etosha – 7 Days

Discover Namibia's deserts, rugged coastline, and wildlife-packed national parks on this week-long sky safari. Explore hulking sand dunes and never-ending salt pans in Sossusvlei before flying to the infamous Skeleton Coast for shipwreck and seal sightings. Finally, get your safari on in Etosha National Park, where waterholes teem with iconic African animals.

The Namib Desert
Namibia Desert & Dune Luxury Fly-In Safari: Sossusvlei & Skeleton Coast – 5 Days

Take to the skies on this luxury, five-day Namibia sky safari. Touchdown in the Namib Desert, exploring Sossusvlei's famous salt pan and towering sand dunes, then fly on to the wind-battered Skeleton Coast. Here, you'll discover eerie shipwrecks and geological marvels, then spot desert-adapted wildlife on a game drive. The trip ends with a fishing expedition in the marine-rich waters off this torrid coastline.

The Kalahari Desert
Namibia Desert & Dune Safari Adventure: Kalahari Desert & NamibRand Nature Reserve – 5 Days

Experience Namibia’s vast, ancient deserts on this five-day adventure tour. Drive yourself to the Kalahari Desert, where you’ll meet the Indigenous San people and take wildlife-filled game drives with an expert guide. Next, hike the epic three-day Tok Tokkie Trail through the NamibRand Nature Reserve, trekking over sand dunes, sipping desert sundowners, and camping under star-studded night skies.

Victoria Falls
Wild South Africa & Zimbabwe: Kruger National Park & Victoria Falls - 7 Days

Discover wildlife and natural beauty up close on this week-long adventure that takes you to South Africa and Zimbabwe's most spectacular sites. Start in Kruger National Park to explore by safari as you observe "Big Five" wildlife by day and nocturnal beasts in the evening. Enjoy life at the lodge and experience a traditional meal grilled over open flames. Finish your expedition by marveling at the overwhelming beauty of Victoria Falls and trying out some extreme sports activities.

Romantic Safari Getaway
Romantic Cape Town & Safari Honeymoon - 7 Days

This romantic and luxurious seven-day honeymoon getaway covers the best of South Africa's sights. You'll enjoy refined metropolitan dining and wine tasting in the Cape Winelands, then transfer to a private safari lodge to see Africa's Big 5 and enjoy world-class relaxation with your special someone.

Finding Elephants on Safari
Discover Wildlife in South Africa and Botswana - 14 Days

This two-week trip takes you through South Africa and into Botswana, starting in the vibrant city of Cape Town where you'll go whale watching, visit the penguin colony on Boulders Beach, and tour the scenic Cape Peninsula. The luxury train Rovos Rail will take you across the country, stopping in Matjiesfontein, Kimberely, and Pretoria, and ending with a flight from Johannesburg to Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Sleep in luxury tents and track Big Five wildlife before transferring to Botswana and exploring the Okavango Delta with traditional mokoro boats and a hot air balloon ride.

Recent trip reviews for Howard

10 Days in South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route and Safari
South Africa | Mar 9 - Mar 16, 2018

G
George M.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Mar 26, 2018

Every part of my trip went like clockwork exactly according to plan. Both of the lodges that I went to were very good although Settlers Drift was the best. The rangers and wild life was also excellent.
All my car transfers wore on time with good drivers and my Avis hire car was good and as planned

Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson
Howard
Howard Spencer-Wilson
Local specialist in South Africa | Reviewed on Mar 26, 2018

Hi George,
Thank you so much for your feedback.... It was great to work with you and hope to be of assistance in the near future! Until then take care and make good memories!

Nick & Ruth's SA Trip
South Africa | Nov 2 - Nov 23, 2017

Nick
Nick F.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Mar 05, 2018

We have just returned from a quite superb trip to South Africa and will most definitely be going again! We made our way from Cape Town to the Eastern Cape ending with a Safari at Amakhala, where our amazingly knowledgeable and funny guide made every minute fascinating...it was surprisingly cold in the early mornings and evenings though (mid November), so make sure you take long sleeves and plenty of layers...they do have fleece blankets (which we used every day) but I wish I had more... read more

We have just returned from a quite superb trip to South Africa and will most definitely be going again! We made our way from Cape Town to the Eastern Cape ending with a Safari at Amakhala, where our amazingly knowledgeable and funny guide made every minute fascinating...it was surprisingly cold in the early mornings and evenings though (mid November), so make sure you take long sleeves and plenty of layers...they do have fleece blankets (which we used every day) but I wish I had more clothes!

The trip down the Garden Route was wonderful - empty roads, happy people, low prices and great wines! We particularly loved The Sands in St Francis Bay...pricy, but very special indeed.

Thanks for organising a great trip!

Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson
Howard
Howard Spencer-Wilson
Local specialist in South Africa | Reviewed on Mar 05, 2018

Hi Nick & Ruth ... Apologies for the delayed reply ... I am very glad to hear you enjoyed your time in SA .. and your points raised on the previous review have been noted - we always appreciate constructive criticism - thanks for the feedback!

Nick & Ruth's SA Trip
South Africa | Nov 2 - Nov 23, 2017

R
Ruth F.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Mar 05, 2018

Didn't really have much contact with Howard, mostly done with Lize Enderstein, who always responded to our emails quickly and efficiently.

Maybe more could be done initially to ascertain client's preferences in terms of types of hotels and budget, and maybe more questions regarding client's likes and dislikes, but overall Lize chose very good Hotels and we were very happy with Paradise Tours in Cape Town.

A little more fine details information would have been good, e.g. good idea to... read more

Didn't really have much contact with Howard, mostly done with Lize Enderstein, who always responded to our emails quickly and efficiently.

Maybe more could be done initially to ascertain client's preferences in terms of types of hotels and budget, and maybe more questions regarding client's likes and dislikes, but overall Lize chose very good Hotels and we were very happy with Paradise Tours in Cape Town.

A little more fine details information would have been good, e.g. good idea to book tickets online for Table Mountain and Cango Caves to avoid waiting in long queues. Also more information about the Amakahala itinerary would have been helpful as we didn't realise that we would get lunch and a safari drive on Day 1, and nearly missed this.

Overall very happy and will be back!

Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson

Holiday
South Africa | Oct 16 - Nov 3, 2017

C
Carl P.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Nov 14, 2017

First time we've booked on the internet. It couldn't have been easier. Great communication.

Howard was very helpful and knowledgeable. Didn't tire of answering even the daftest of my questions. Also very helpful during the holiday, not just before it.

Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson
Howard
Howard Spencer-Wilson
Local specialist in South Africa | Reviewed on Nov 14, 2017

Hi Carl,

It was a great pleasure to be of assistance to you and your wonderful family! All the best to you! Hope to hear from you again in the future... take good care until then!

8-Day Cape Town & Kruger Park Safari
South Africa | Nov 4 - Nov 8, 2017

M
Maria Y.
Singapore | Reviewed on Nov 13, 2017

We had a tight budget and were exploring different options to see what best fit our interests and budget for our Cape Town & Kruger Park Safari. Howard was extremely patient and helpful with suitable recommendations. Overall, it was a generally fuss free and enjoyable process.

Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson
Howard
Howard Spencer-Wilson
Local specialist in South Africa | Reviewed on Nov 13, 2017

Hi Maria,

You were a star to work with and it would be great to welcome you back to SA again in the future... Take care and wishing you all the best!

Cape Town South Africa
South Africa | Aug 14 - Aug 23, 2017

M
Missy C.
TX | Reviewed on Sep 20, 2017

I was very impressed with the excursion and hotel bookings. As well as it Guide Ian, with Paradise Touring. He as extremely helpful and knowledgeable about our trip. I would highly recommend Kimkim and Ian for anyone I know traveling to South Africa. Thank you!!

Very easy to work with, and accommodating no matter how many times we asked him to revise our itnerary.

Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson
Howard
Howard Spencer-Wilson
Local specialist in South Africa | Reviewed on Sep 20, 2017

Hi Missy .. so glad you had a good time in SA and was a pleasure working with you! I hope you make it back to Southern Africa again in the future !