I just wanted to tell you that I have traveled with a lot of guides, lots of people who have put our trips together, etc. and you were by far the BEST EVER!!!! I enjoyed the trip so much more than I ever imagined I could enjoy a trip and I have been on a lot of trips in the last 20 years. Your personal touch from the moment that we landed at 2 in the morning till we parted ways in the Atlanta airport was amazing. Your personality is infectious, your enthusiasm, joy
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU from the depths of my heart.
– CYNTHIA FRALIN, VIRGINIA
As I sit here in the midst of planning our next adventure; Rachel, you have repeatedly popped into my mind. The safari was amazing and I can only respect the hard work it was to get the entire experience organized. I have yet to get through all of my pictures – but I love that I have so many to look at! Thank you for a trip that we will never forget. From the tarmac in Nairobi to the unbelievable residence at Sirai House, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Phil – You, Rachel and Ivan did not disappoint. There were always animals to watch, always something new to absorb and always a unique lodging to experience. And the food was delicious too!
Thank you for putting up with us. Thank you all for your patience. You helped ‘Core 4’ accomplish an incredible journey. And be forewarned, we may be calling on you again for a future adventure.
– MARCIA & BILL, WISCONSIN
We just came back from a honeymoon planned for us by Phil and Rachel West. It was nothing short of a dream come true! We were married in wine country California over the weekend, and by the following Wednesday, we were enjoying all that the bush has to offer! We found the real perk of a honeymoon planned by these guys is that, while we had an entire wedding to plan, we didn’t have to plan *a thing* for the honeymoon.
We showed up at the San Francisco airport, and the rest of the adventure was finely crafted by them,
honoring all the preferences of our initial conversation.
– VALERIE SHAPIRO & ASHER HODES, SAN FRANCISCO
Thanks to Phil and Rachel our trip of a lifetime became a reality beyond our imagination. There are no words to describe how we felt on this magnificent safari trip. Myself and my two daughters can’t thank you enough for planning our trip with all the details and thoughts that you have put into our trip, you deserve more than 5 stars. You asked us why we wanted to go to South Africa and what we wanted to see and within a few hours you both planned an exceptional trip of a lifetime that we will treasure forever.
Phil, Rachel there are no words to express our gratitude in making our trip of a lifetime become a reality. We are still in awww when we think about it and when we tell our friends they all say “that’s my next trip”. You are the real thing Phil West Safaris is the only way to go. They know how to customize and make your trip tailored to fit your needs. You have changed our lives in the way we look at nature, understanding people from other cultures, but most of all this trip has given us greater understanding about the animal kingdom and their behaviors more than any book or tv show could give us. Thank you for this priceless vacation keep doing what you do best and may you enrich everyone lives the way you have enriched ours. Your friends always The Greco Girls.
– THE GRECO GIRLS, NEW YORK
We were lucky enough to have Rachel and Phil plan our entire African adventure. They are truly WORLD CLASS. I’ve been asked many times “what was our favorite part of the trip?” The only response I can think of is that it was ALL our favorite! Every day was a new and exciting adventure which the term “fantastic” grossly understates. That was due to all of Rachel & Phil’s efforts on our behalf. First, they were able to create an itinerary that met our needs and interests, and stayed within our budget. Second, absolutely everything about our trip, including land tours, transfers, hotels, and guides was superb. We hope to work with them again in the future and highly recommend them to plan an amazing trip.
– JOE MEVORAH, NEW YORK
Phil and Rachel did an incredible job planning our honeymoon. We booked our honeymoon pretty last minute and kept changing our mind on location and dates (we thought Rachel would want to kill us!) but Rachel was both incredibly patient and flexible. Phil and Rachel tailored our itinerary to our specific interests and desires. From the very start of our conversations, it was so apparent that they both do this because they are truly passionate about safaris and genuinely want people to have the most amazing time. No request was too big or small. From the little questions to the last minute changes, we always felt like Phil and Rachel were there guiding us through it all. Rachel was so available despite the time difference, distance, and being a full-time mom to her adorable two and a half year old son Jackson.
If you allow them to book your trip, there is no way you will regret it. It is sure to surpass even the highest of expectations. Phil and Rachel assured that everything was taken care of and that we wanted for nothing. They opened their home to us in more ways than one. We are so grateful to both Phil and Rachel for giving us a tour of paradise. It will be a trip that will forever remain near and dear to our hearts, as will they. We look forward to the opportunity to plan future trips with them.
– LIAT JUSTIN & ARI SHORT, NEW YORK
I can’t say enough positive things about my experience with Rachel and Phil West, and the incredible safari they arranged for my boyfriend and I. We felt so well cared for the entire time, and everything was perfectly planned- everything. The trip just flowed without our having to worry about a thing, and one experience was better than the next.
I was originally going to book this trip through a larger travel agent, but after talking to Rachel I realized that was a huge mistake. Rachel and Phil ARE safari, and know exactly what to do at what time of year in each area, etc.
I mentioned everything was perfectly planned, but sometimes you can’t avoid travel “surprises.” My luggage was lost on the way to Kenya, and our flight to the safari was leaving the next morning. There was a strong possibility I’d have to leave for safari without any of my clothes. Rachel packed me a bag of her own safari clothes to use instead- and left nothing out- I couldn’t believe it! She stayed on top of my luggage all night and all morning, and miraculously coordinated it to come to our little plane right before take-off. I gave all her clothes back, but still managed to “borrow” a few key items I didn’t have 🙂
I would highly and enthusiastically recommend any safari planned by Rachel and Phil. Just sit back, and let them do their thing! I’m already trying to figure out when I can do it again. THANK YOU Phil and Rachel.
– KAREN LAUTERSTEIN, NEW YORK
Recently returned from another fabulous family safari with our friend, the incredibly fun and exceedingly talented, Mr. West. Thanks to Phil, we stayed in amazing camp sites and at beautiful lodges, where the staff was top notch, the food was stupendous and the wine flowed. We saw spectacular wildlife, including leopard, white rhino and a wildebeest river crossing; of which (with Phil’s help), we were able to get some pretty fantastic photographs. Needless to say, we had an absolute blast…thanks, Phil! xx’s
– DOUG, PAGE, ELLY, OWEN, CAROL, DEBS, & SAFARI BOB, CHARLOTTESVILLE
It took me 51 years to make this journey and Phil and Rachel ensured that it was the best trip of my life. As a
– VIC BODANYI, ALEXANDRIA
My wife and I just completed 18-days on Safari in Kenya and some R&R time in Cape Town. It was all put together by Phil and Rachel and turned out to be the trip of a lifetime. We have done lots of travel and this trip certainly ranks at the top.
We visited three different safari camps … and each offered something a little different. The lodges were perfect … our hosts were delightful and very accommodating … the guides were top notch … and we saw everything we wanted. At last count (I’m in the process of sorting through some 3500 pictures) we saw 38 different specifies of animals, not including birds (except the ostrich). We saw all the Big 5, including the elusive Leopard, as well as a Wildebeest migration. We’ve done numerous tours with high end tour companies but none of them can compare to this experience. We had complete flexibility to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted … and we did! For example, although the lodges all offered breakfast and lunch, we wanted to spend as much time as we could in the bush so on several days we left the camp at 6:30 am, took both breakfast and lunch with us, and didn’t return to camp until just before dinner! Try doing this while on tour with 20-30 other people.
Logistically, I must admit I was a bit concerned since we had a lot of in-country traveling … but everything worked to perfection. There was not a single snafu for the entire trip. From the moment we arrived in Nairobi to the time we left Cape Town for our return to the States we were treated like royalty!
I’d sum up our experience with the following. At our camp in the Maasai Mara we were having so much fun with our guide that he gave us Maasai names. Mine was Olomunyak (Lucky One) and my wife was Nashipae (Happy One). I think these were very appropriate in that we feel very LUCKY and HAPPY to have booked this trip with Phil and Rachel. I would not hesitate referring them to anyone. Thanks so much Phil and Rachel!!!!
– BOB & JOAN BUDNICK, WEST PALM BEACH
Our trip couldn’t have been any better. It was an amazing experience and will never be forgotten. Having Ivan and then Team West there for the end was great. Just hope that you enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed you and we do want to cross paths again.
– IAIN JOHNSTONE, VANCOUVER
We had such an amazing, adventurous, and stress free honeymoon all thanks to Rachel West. Thank you Rachel! Shir and I contacted other travel agents to plan our South Africa Safari, there was a lot of back and forth and those itineraries never seemed to click. Shir spoke to Rachel for 45 minutes and she completely got us. She knew all the right questions to ask. We booked the first itinerary she gave us, which was crazy considering how much back and forth we were used to.
Before our big trip Rachel checked up on us. She made sure we booked the right flights, which I did not, and helped me to change it. We could not have asked for a nicer honeymoon. All three safari’s we went to in South Africa were different from one another, and had different types of animals. The staff was very nice and very accommodating to my dietary needs. They flew in Kosher meat and knew exactly how to cook it.
Cape Town was magnificent. We had a private tour guide the entire time we were there, who showed us everything there was to see in 3 days. She knew where to make us dinner reservations and where to take us for the nicest or most local restaurants. It really felt like we saw Cape Town from a local’s perspective.
The whole trip was amazing. After planning a big wedding it was nice to go on vacation where everything was pre planned for you. It was the perfect start to our life!