Linda and her team were out of this world. Their passion for Kenya is most evident. The concern and care for us was top notch. I cant believe anyone could do better.
Wow, I can not say enough how wonderful our trip was through Linda Friedman! I was in Ethiopia for work in March and had a relatively short time schedule for travel; however, I knew gorilla trekking was at the top of my list. Linda has an amazing ground team. Our guide/driver for Kigali was fantastic–extremely knowledgeable about the history of Rwanda and very professional and timely. I would use this same guide again if I could! Linda worked on a Kigali hotel within our budget which we appreciated. And I can not express how WONDERFUL the mountain gorilla view lodge was where she placed us for our hike. I would, without a doubt, go through Linda for future trip planning (and will likely do so next March when I will return to Ethiopia for work). You can not go wrong with booking through Linda and her team.
We have used Linda Friedman/Custom Safaris to plan 2 trips for us—April 2013 and April 2014
She and her team are the BEST!! A little background—my wife really does not like animals nor “camping”. However, after one phone call with Linda, my wife was convinced to let Linda plan a safari for us in Kenya (2013). The overall safari experience left us both speechless. Other than an unrealistically tight time frame, we really did not give Linda much guidance from which to plan. Since we do mission work in Ethiopia, we had a very specific time frame in which we could travel, so Linda created an itinerary encompassing 2 amazing camps, ending with the andBeyond Bateleur Camp in the Masai Mara. Linda’s ground teams in Kenya—guides and drivers—are phenomenal.
In 2014 we were returning to Ethiopia but only had 4 days to spend after our mission work. We called Linda and asked her what would she do if she only had 4 days? Without hesitation, she recommended gorilla trekking (as well as golden monkey trekking) in Rwanda. She arranged the permits and secured accommodations in Jack Hanna’s cottage for us within days. Again, everything was OUT OF THIS WORLD: the ground team—drivers, guides, greeters—were amazing. The emotional impact of our experience in Rwanda was tremendously impactful and the gorilla trekking was absolutely surreal. Linda had arranged for us to have a “special” guide, whom she knows personally, and who has over 30 years experience working with the gorillas & trekking. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience made so memorable through Linda’s efforts, along with her knowledge of East Africa, “connections” in the country (we spent an informal evening with the first Rwandan Secretary of Tourism), local cultural exposure, and professional team. Linda makes sure you get an authentic flavor of the area in which you travel and she is unbelievably committed (socially & financially) to providing employment and other support for the local communities.
BTW, my wife still has no interest in domestic pets but she is “sold” on animals in the wild!! We will not hesitate to use Linda in the future and highly recommend her/Custom Safaris!!
We toured Kenya this summer on a tour arranged by Linda Friedman of Custom Safaris. I have to say that Linda is one of the most patient people I’ve worked with, as I kept changing the criteria and she rolled with the punches very well.
We didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do, other than to see animals in Africa in a particular timeframe. Linda gave us suggestions, we gave her feedback, she fine tuned things and made suggestions.
I have to say that our trip was THE BEST EVER, far exceeding our expectations. Linda’s company has staff in Nairobi that were tremendous, helping us navigate the craziness of the airport and city. Fantastic people.
Her company provided private guides for our visits to Amboseli and Samburu. My wife and I have science backgrounds and are very interested in the details of the animals and plants that we saw, our guides were perfect matches for us.
The third camp was Rekero, which Linda recommended highly. We used the guides from the camp. This was one of the most wonderful experiences we have ever had.
We had thought that this was going to be our one trip to Africa, probably not to return, as there are other places we want to visit. After this trip, we are thinking that in another year or so we want to go back. New places to see – but we will include Rekero (Masai Mara) on the repeat trip as it was so fantastic. And we absolutely will work with Linda and the Custom Safaris crew. The best customer service, both before the trip and during, that I’ve ever experienced.
Linda Friedman, owner of Custom Safaris, designed our Kenya visit with her finite and intuitive bank of knowledge and experience. Nothing was left to chance and no detail was overlooked. Her Kenyan team saw that every plan was carried out to its specifics and even added some unexpected surprises that were over the top. We’ve travelled the world and have experienced some rather incredible moments, that not withstanding, our Kenyan Safari – planned and delivered by Linda Friedman – stands as the most exciting and memorable trip of our life.