Julian Harrison and his staff arranged a fantastic trip to South Africa for our family of 12 (ages 6 t0 70). We worked together for almost a year planning activities in and around Cape Town as well as visits to two different safari camps in Kruger National Park all in a 10-day school vacation period. The logistics were smoothly handled both here and on the ground in Africa. Julian made terrific suggestions and was responsive when we suggested changes to his proposals. Unfortunately, part of our family was delayed in New York due to bad weather and airline equipment repositioning issues. Julian and his staff pitched in and coordinated the new arrangements on the fly. All in all, we had an even better time than we possibly could have imagined! It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Everywhere we went, our grandchildren were welcomed and attended to with pleasure. The level of accommodations both in Cape Town and on Safari was top class. Virtually everything was included. All the details were nailed down tight which allowed us to sit back, relax and share our African experiences as a family. Julian has literally written the book on African safaris (Fodor) and will help you plan a spectacular experience!
We just returned from a two week trip to Africa planned by Julian Harrison. All I knew going into it is that I was leaning towards Botswana from what I had read, wanted to hit up Vic Falls, and Cape Town. We had limited time (2 weeks off work) and budget.
Julian put together a great itinerary given this and was even flexible to allow us to book our own hotel in Cape Town and our own international flights, as we wanted to use our (free!) points – which I’ve found some other agents not flexible to do. He listened to our wants and turned around a great pace and plan. I was a little suspicious about one camp going into it, and Julian assured me it was a good choice, and of course, that ended up being our favorite in the end!
We did Cape Town, Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, and two camps in Botswana all within our budget. His quote was much better than another I’d gotten before turning to Wendys WOW list and I feel the itinerary was much more in line with our wants.
The trip went off without any issues – which would be a logistical nightmare to even consider doing on your own if one even can! And, the camps were all a great fit for us. We had great luck seeing a variety of animals and have amazing pictures we’ve brought home.
If I did have to offer any criticism it would be two minor things:
One, we did not hear from Julian (or anyone from Premier Tours) during (or post trip, yet). That would have been nice to know they were monitoring us. This said we didn’t have any issues – and we took 17 flights in 15 days without issues – so there was also no need to be in touch. Of course, we had their contact info but didn’t use it.
Two, we did stay at Victoria Falls Hotel and had what seemed to be one of the worst rooms they booked us in, facing the parking area on the ground floor. Had they offered or told us there were other rooming options, we’d have paid to stay in a different one but weren’t advised or offered otherwise. So be sure to ask this stuff rather than assume, as we did, that it will fit your wants and needs.
Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Julian in the future and will likely use him for our next trip to Africa which we already want to plan again! Wishing we were on safari right now…
We (two senior couples) travelled to South Africa and Victoria Falls in November 2016. I loved the fact that Julian took the time to understand what we wanted to see, what our budget was and what our travelling style was. He made suggestions about our itinerary that made sense and provided options for us to consider. More importantly, we had an amazing trip with knowledgeable guides, perfect accommodations and amazing safaris. Safari camps come in all shapes, sizes and prices so it was good to have a conversation about expectations. For us, it was good to have the nice mix of safari, wine country and cities as South Africa is a very large and diverse country. One experience would not be enough to define the country.
Julian was phenomenal! I was visiting South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and the Seychelles with my husband AND my parents. My parents had not travelled to Africa previously and were a bit nervous, but they loved every minute. Julian set up an amazing itinerary, with just enough privacy, and just enough adventure to make it a great multi-generational trip! We especially loved Mala Mala and Sindabezi Lodge. Highly recommended. My parents are still talking about this trip 18 months later. Meanwhile, I am planning my next safari!
Great trip. We enjoyed every moment. Travel specialist was active in planning and all surprises were pleasant.
Julian Harrison and his team made our African dreams come true in September 2016. In fact, the trip was more than we had hoped for — our first visit to this ancient, majestic and thrilling land. At Julian’s recommendation, we traveled to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana; the advance logistics worked perfectly, eliminating fatigue and stress. Our first lodging, the Welgelen Guest House in Cape Town was a heavenly way to begin. The city tours, including Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope, wine and chocolate tastings in the Stellenbosch area were all of the highest quality. My husband and I have slightly differing interests as he is an artist and I’m a nature fanatic but Julian understood this so well! He made sure our trip was pefectly balanced between city experiences and wildlife adventures par excellence. After Cape Town we went to the luxurious Tintswalo Lodge in the Manyeleti Game Reserve bordering Kruger National Park. Our guide and tracker were fabulous, funny guys who showed us everything one could hope to see in the African bush and more. Our travels worked flawlessly as we moved on to Johannesburg for the painful and moving history of SA. Again, our city stay at the Peech Hotel was a welcome respite with the additional bonus of a good restaurant. Then on to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe for unforgettable adventures including a sunset cruise and an elephant-backed safari plus the outstanding Safari Lodge with excellent food, a dinner chorus and waterhole viewing. Finally, we went to two tented camps in Botswana where every birder needs to go: the Okavango Delta. Both camps, Kazidora and Machaba, were beautifully sited with amazing staff and delicious food. The game drives were immensely satisfying. Mokoro trips on the Delta waterways brought up feelings of ancient connections to the people and the past. We took Bush Walks and boat rides as basically were as happy as two people could be. For all of this, we have Julian Harrison to thank for giving us the magic of Africa and we hope to return for another trip with him.
I was thinking of what I would say here about Julian and Premier tours. At first I thought of using words like life altering, incredibly structured, first class all the way but no, even though they are all true. My wife claims that this trip was on my bucket list. She was going along for the “ride.” It turned out to be the MOST incredible, amazing trip she ever experienced. We are seasoned international travelers but have never experienced something so phenomenal; something that makes you appreciate life.
Julian provided what he promised without a hitch. The trip that he designed perfectly captured what we wanted to do. Oftentimes we need to request changes from our travel planner but when this trip was designed by Julian we only made two slight changes.
Susie Siskin, September 2016, South Africa (Cape Town, Franschhoek, Mosaic Lodge in Stanford, Kynsna, Tintswalo Safari lodge, Johannesburg), Botswana (Ngoma Safari Lodge), Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls). Set forth below is some of the feedback provided to travel planner.
We had a very nice time on our Africa trip. It met all of our expectations. Thank you for your help and suggestions. All of the arrangements that you made worked out well. Guides and airport transfers were all on time and enjoyable. The vehicles were clean and water was always available. We felt that we got a good first view of various parts of South Africa.
We enjoyed both camps and we thought that they were a good contrast….the wide open spaces of Chobe at Ngoma Safari Lodge vs. the smaller reserve of Myanletti at Tintswalo Safari Lodge. As between the two camps (Tintswalo and Ngoma), we thought the facilities and staff at Tintswalo were excellent (we had a temporary fill in ranger at Tintswalo since our scheduled ranger was called away, but we had a very experienced and excellent tracker and the ranger was good) and the food and ranger at Ngoma were very good. I might mention that at Tintswalo the staff stated that it was appropriate to tip our butler (this was not mentioned on your tip sheet). Our butler was great she provided excellent service, always called us by name and remembered our drink orders after the first day.
Most of the accommodations that you booked for us were great, particularly the Leeu House and The Residences. In fact, our only disappointment in accommodations was at Victoria Falls at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. The Safari Club on the same property is so much nicer and we wish that we had been offered that option and we could have considered if we wanted to pay the upcharge.
Again it was a wonderful trip and we thank you for your help.
My wife and I travel to South Africa usually every three years to visit with family and to experience and explore a beautiful country. On our last trip in August/September 2016, we traveled for part of this time with four family members including two children (10 years old). Because we travel there so frequently, we generally do not require detailed travel advice. However, on some trips, we do need help and we immediately contact Julian Harrison of Premier Tours. On this trip, he recommended Tintswalo Manor House just outside Kruger Park. His recommendation was outstanding especially for the children. The accommodations, food, service, activities were beyond expectation. The game drives especially for the children were phenomenal! We would have never had such a tremendous experience without Julian’s help. The same can be said of previous trips that Premier Tours has helped us with.
It has been almost a year since our African journey using Julian Harrison. I can easily say that we had a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like none other we have ever experienced. Obviously words cannot express the many sights, sounds, and events that we experienced along the journey, but all were enhanced by your impeccable planning of the trip. The destinations Julian chose for us were perfectly suited to our tastes and the service we received was second to none. In traveling to such a faraway place, every plane was met with a greeter, every camp expected our arrival, and our every request was honored. We cannot thank you enough for your instrumental role in this incredible lifetime event.
Julian worked with us to customize our trip throughout the process. He was incredibly helpful and proactive when hotels announced renovations, flights changed, etc., and we were very happy with the outcomes in every case. Julian assured us that as a same sex couple traveling throughout Southern Africa, that his accommodations, tour providers, etc., would welcome us the same as any other travelers; we were never disappointed. We would love to return to Southern Africa and we will be working with Julian on that future trip!
We traveled during July 2016 and visited South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mauritius.
My family and I just returned from a trip in South Africa that included a few days in Cape Town and then two different safari lodges. We had such a wonderful time! The schedule, pace, and accommodation selection were perfect – there is nothing we would have changed about the trip. Julian Harrioson was able to incorporate our budget and the requests from our family into an itinerary that far exceeded our expectations. Although it was the trip of a lifetime, we are already thinking about when we can go back!
Amazing! We recently returned from an amazing safari put together for us by Julian Harrison and Premier Tours. Due to vacation schedules for our daughters and son-in-law, we wanted the highlights of Southern Africa in a limited amount of time. Julian knew exactly where we should go and he was absolutely correct!
We had perfect accommodations for a quick overnight in Johannesburg upon our arrival in South Africa and then we were off to Victoria Falls. We enjoyed the Safari Club in VF – including a great, wet tour of the Falls and an elephant ride we won’t soon forget.
Our flight from VF to Mombo provided fabulous views of the Delta and we were all in love with the idea of traveling throughout Africa on small planes! And then there is Mombo Camp – the staff members were all warm and friendly and we left after 2 nights wishing we could have stayed much, much longer. I’m sure our daughters are already dreaming of their return visit.
From Mombo we had a very short flight to Tubu Tree where we had another incredible experience. Great accommodations, and a warm, friendly staff.
At both Mombo and Tubu, the wildlife was the real attraction and we certainly saw everything we set out to see – and more. Of course, Julian didn’t arrange the rhino sighting or the mama leopard and her month old cub, but I’m sure if he could have, he would have!
Our children flew home after Tubu Tree and my husband and I enjoyed four lovely days in Cape Town. Guided tour of the City, Cape of Good Hope and wine country were perfect.
We hope to visit Africa again and will definitely call on Julian and Premier Tours to make all of the arrangements.
Julian Harrison from Premier Tours and his staff were excellent and provided us with an experience we will never forget. My wife and I just returned (trip was last week in April and first week in May, 2016). It started in Cape Town (including Peninsula and Wine Region), then Safari in Sabi Sands Private Reserve, and ended at Victoria Falls. From the moment we left the plane in Cape Town until the time we were dropped off at Victoria Falls airport, we were in good hands. Even in the down times that we were not with guides or on a property, we were given proper advice on where to venture (and where not to). Most importantly, during the planning process, they were active listeners to the type of travel experience we like and activities, etc. and came up with an itinerary that was perfect for us. They patiently answered all our questions during the process, and clearly were extremely knowledgeable about Africa. Lisa (who we dealt with on many of the details, once the overall itinerary was shaped) made us feel extremely comfortable that our best interests were being put first – and was extremely valuable in shaping up some of the specific restaurants and activities that we end up choosing. Overall, I would have no qualms whatsoever about recommending Premier Tours for anyone’s trip to Africa and/or Safari.
I traveled with my husband and 3 children (11,13,17) to South Africa and Botswana in March/2016. It was our first trip to Africa. Julian Harrison coordinated all details of the trip. He was phenomenal. All aspects of the trip exceeded our expectations, from game drives to accommodations to tour guides. We always had a point of contact. I received a phone call on a Friday morning that our last destination (Sunday arrival) became flooded due to torrential rains in the area. I emailed and called Julian, within hours he has us re-routed to Mashatu in Botswana, which I can’t recommend highly enough. The changes all went smoothly and he even arranged for malaria meds to be delivered to our hotel in Joburg prior to our morning departure for Matshatu. Amazing in every way and we hope to be back to Africa again very soon!
My wife and I just returned on February 1, 2016 from a month long trip in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Julian was referred by a South African friend who assured us he was the best consultant in the business.
We called and discussed our varied interests, the timeline and our budget. My wife loves animals and was excited about the safaris and I love history and was very interested in the DNA of the country and its people. We also told Julian that we are strictly independent travelers.
His itinerary and arrangements far exceeded our expectations. The B and B’s and safari camps were gorgeous and staffed by some of the most gracious and knowledgeable people we have ever met in our travels. The private tour guides and drivers became friends after many days spent together. The highlights and points of interest in each country hit the mark every time and the food and wine was every bit as good as one would expect traveling in France.
Thank you Julian for this extraordinary experience.
My family of 4 just got back from a charmed trip to South Africa planned by Julian Harrison. We had the most amazing time from Capetown to safari’s in Botswana to Victoria Falls ending in Johannesburg. Our accommodations were amazing, our logistics were handled perfectly. We would never plan a trip to Africa without Julian. He is a master.
We returned Sept. 2015 from a trip that included the Seychelles islands, Cape Town, Western Cape, safaris in South Africa and Botswana and then Victoria Falls. Like his other clients say, it was all amazing.
It seems that everyone knows someone who has been to Africa, and has a favorite safari camp. Julian patiently listened to our suggestions, then outlined the reasoning behind his suggestions. We saw some of the other places, and he was always right. The ones he selected were far superior.
When traveling so far from home some people find comfort in using A&K or other group tours, so that a tour director is aways with them. We were met by courteous and professional agents at every transfer, and our driver guides even took us through the airport check-in process. It was great! Three major benefits: 1) We were not paying for an agent to travel with us; 2) No queues when we checked into our various locations, and 3) Most of Julian’s favorite lodges are boutique and too small to accommodate groups, which becomes part of the charm and the chance to meet different people.
Julian really knows his stuff, and either he or his team visit the locations they recommend annually to make sure they continue to meet their standards. The places they choose know that the Premier team are regular customers, which means special treatment in many different ways. For example, we had a private guide and vehicles just for the two of us in Botswana, for all three days. And by the way, groups cannot do that because they have to treat everyone equally.
Without Julian, Botswana would never have been on our list—yet it was so different and so fabulous that we cannot imagine missing it. Our stay in Hermanus at the Grootbos Nature Preserve was a great intro before the traditional safaris, and Stellenbosch was big fun with the price of wine so reasonable right now.
Our bottom line—Julian and his team really know their stuff, and make every facet a delight. Choose them and you will have no regrets.
We just returned, in early September 2015, from an amazing trip, organized by Julian Harrison, that included South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Julian and his team did an outstanding job for us. Julian listened carefully to our interests and desires, then used his extensive contacts and knowledge to create a trip we will always remember. Our tours (ranging from city and cultural sites to river excursions to safaris) and our lodgings (ranging from marvelous boutique hotels to the incredible Rattray’s on MalaMala) were exceptional.
On a scale of 1 to 10, our trip to Africa was an 11, thanks to Julian’s planning, expertise and experience. We give him and Premier Tours our highest recommendation.
We are reasonably well travelled, but our safari to Zambia in August of 2015 has proven to be the most thrilling vacation trip we have ever taken. In every aspect—scenic beauty, wildlife viewing, lodging, guides, cuisine—this journey was brilliant. The trip centered around Zambia’s pristine national parks. It featured visits to four superior camps running from north to south, culminating in a wonderful remote camp beside the Zambezi River.
In all camps, wildlife was abundant; as we observed our spirits soared. We realized that vacation trips of this quality are no accident and do not create themselves. Instead, they are the result of the hard and invaluable expertise of Julian. In his hands, every last detail of the trip was planned and executed flawlessly. Additionally, Julian is ALWAYS available to answer any questions or discuss any issue one may have.
I would strongly urge anyone interested in this part of the world to consult with Julian; it will be the single most crucial decision you will make to insure an unforgettable safari.
Thanks to Julian, our trip to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe was a dream come true.
After getting quotes from two other reputable travel companies, Julian was able to comprise a detailed itinerary within three days of contact. Meeting our budget was critical. Not only did Julian beat other travel quotes, he was able to place us in accommodations that far surpassed previous safari camps and hotels chosen by the other groups.
Celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary with our family in Africa was THE trip of a lifetime! We owe it all to Julian and his professional staff who were extremely helpful answering questions prior to the trip. Top notch guides were provided throughout the two week period with transfers that were carried through without a hitch.
After thoroughly reading all the reviews of various companies, my husband and I placed total trust in Premier Travel and it did not disappoint us!
We plan on returning in a few years and will entrust Julian once again to take us to this beautiful, life changing destination!
We had a wonderful Southern African safari this past July. Julian listened to our bucket list items for a safari adventure and crafted an unforgettable itinerary for us. We would work with Julian again in a heartbeat!
My husband, two daughters (ages 27 and 24) and I traveled to South Africa and Botswana in late August 2014. This was the trip that my husband had been dreaming of since he was a four-year-old viewer of the old Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. He began working with Julian over a year in advance to make sure that the trip met every expectation.
Julian did more than that. This trip exceeded every expectation. It was unforgettable. We flew into Cape Town, where Julian had arranged a local guide and vehicle. After three days, where we stayed at the stunning Cape Grace Hotel, eating at superb restaurants and visiting everything from the Botanical Garden to the penguin colony to the wine country, we flew to Maun, Botswana and then on to Mombo Camp. We spent three unforgettable days at Mombo, then off to Vumbura Plains, and then finally flew back to South Africa for three days at Singita Boulders. Julian secured us private vehicles, guides and trackers in each location and even, through unflagging charm and persistence, got us the best two suites in Singita (#11 and #12—both of which look out over a private watering hole where warthogs, nyala, impala, etc. come to drink). This itinerary could not have been better, and it was Julian who urged us to visit the camps in this order. He also arranged private aircraft charters and seamless transportation from place to place. Julian was responsive to every email, thoughtful in replying to every question and quick to follow up. We recommend him without reservation!
My wife and I recently returned from a vacation planned entirely by Julian Harrison and Premier Tours. It was our first trip to Africa. We traveled to South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. Bottom line: Best holiday we have ever been on and in large part due to the expertise and planning of Premier Tours. Julian custom planned our trip based on our interests and needs. He has a vast degree of knowledge and has personally visited the camps and lodges and has intimate knowledge of where to stay and when to go and the best way to accomplish everything. Dealing with a high-end tour company like Premier gave us the personal touch we needed to plan such a special adventure. Julian has extensive contacts in Africa and was able to plan special details such as an elephant-back safari. He also was able to specially arrange a visit to see white rhinos in a private sanctuary. We would recommend Premier Tours and Julian Harrison without hesitation, and we would not even consider anyone else in planning our next African adventure.
My wife and I, along with one other couple, just returned on September 25, 2014 from a trip of a lifetime to Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa put together by Julian Harrison with Premier Tours. The trip could not have been more perfect. The safari camps were all great, and the wildlife viewing and photography were terrific. The quality of the guides and the food at all three camps we went to were all top-notch for being located out in the wild. The city hotels we stayed at following our safari camps were also excellent choices, particularly the one in the wine country. We were especially impressed with how timely everyone was when meeting us on our various stops in Africa—whether it was meeting us at the airports upon arrivals, walking us through the various airport departure requirements in different countries, meeting us and returning us to the various safari camps, all the small-plane departures, or the city tours that we took. Everything worked like clockwork in a part of the world where we would not have necessarily expected it to. Premier Tours did an outstanding job and we would recommend them very highly. We have always appreciated Wendy Perrin’s recommendations for travel agents and have used her list previously with excellent vacation experiences.
We recently returned from Botswana and S.Africa and can say that Julian Harrison planned a flawless trip. We have been to East Africa and there is no comparison in the two trips regarding camps, timing, communication and execution. People have asked us about our trip in recent days and we continue to say we credit our travel agent for helping us toast the day each night at dinner with, “To another perfect day.” Thanks Julian, this trip was so memorable.