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active 18 hours 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
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.

Enjoy Safari in South Africa
Wildlife and Culture in South Africa - 10 Days

Explore South Africa's culture and wildlife on this 10-day trip, starting in the vibrant city of Cape Town with a tour of the Cape Peninsula, a visit to Boulders Beach to view the penguins, and a whale-watching cruise near Walker Bay. Then hop aboard the luxury train Rovos Rail to traverse the country, stopping in Matjiesfontein, Kimberely, and Pretoria along the way. End your trip with a flight to Thornybush Game Reserve for daily safaris and dinners under the stars in a luxury tented camp.

African Savanna
Discover Wildlife in Cape Town and Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve - 7 Days

This 7-day wildlife tour starts in the bustling city of Cape Town, where you'll enjoy strolling its busy harbor and discovering its natural beauty along the Cape Peninsula and Kalk Bay. Visit the penguin colonies on Boulders Beach, go whale watching near Hermanus, and drive the scenic Chapman Peak at sunset. Then catch your flight to Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve where you sleep in luxury while enjoying daily safaris and bushwalks, tracking the continent's famous Big Five wildlife.

Elephant on game drive
Explore Botswana: Okavango, Makgadikgadi Pans, & Chobe Safari - 7 Days

This 7-day Botswana safari encompasses the diversity of northern Botswana's Makgadikgadi National Park, with the enchanting wilderness that is the Okavango Delta. You'll visit the Makgadikgadi Pans and end the adventure on the Chobe River—aboard a luxury houseboat. This unique experience allows you to witness abundant wildlife, excellent birding, and experiencing a breathtaking wilderness feel.

Blyde River Canyon near Graskop, South Africa
South Africa, Zimbabwe, & Botswana - 14 Days

This exciting Southern Africa itinerary offers a perfect mix of self-drive and guided tours. Start in Cape Town, where you can explore the Cape Peninsula, head to the top of Table Mountain, or sample native wines in the area's sprawling vineyards. Fly to Johannesburg for the second leg of your trip—you'll enjoy multiple safari excursions and visit magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

Victoria Falls & Chobe River Houseboat - 5 Days
Victoria Falls & Chobe River Houseboat - 5 Days

Victoria Falls is a hub for numerous tours and adventures in the surrounding region; the Chobe river is famous for its herds of elephants and hippo populations. Combined, these two regions make for a great 5-day adventure with the perfect mix of activities and relaxation. By the end of your trip, you’ll have visited Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

Recent trip reviews for Howard

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

Traveler: George M. - Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson

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

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Howard Spencer-Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

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

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

Traveler: Nick F. - Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson

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!

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Howard Spencer-Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

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

Traveler: Ruth F. - Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson

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!

Holiday · South Africa - Oct 16 - Nov 3, 2017

Traveler: Carl P. - Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson

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.

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Howard Spencer-Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

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

Traveler: Maria Y. - Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson

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.

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Howard Spencer-Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

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

Traveler: Missy G. - Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson

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.

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Howard Spencer-Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

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 !