From the day we stepped into Mark's office and my husband laid eyes on the big silverback, he has been wanted to visit Africa. Me, not so much.
Well, we just returned from our African adventure. We started in Egypt, spent a week in Tanzania and ended in Rwanda. I have never felt so tired and elated at the same time. It was the experience of a lifetime and with every aching inch, I am glad we went. Thanks, Mark.
Diane and Gerard Heitzman

October 28, 2016 | Registered CommenterMark Gerling

I have been putting off writing this letter thinking that the perfect words would come to me to describe the trip Mark Gerling, owner of Gerling Safaris planned for us - but no such luck. All I can say is that we knew we were taking the trip of a lifetime - we just had no idea what that truly meant. We knew we were going to see animals but we had no idea just how many and how the sight of them would bring tears to our eyes. We knew we would stay in beautiful accommodations but had no idea how hospitable the people would be. We knew we would interact with local people but could never imagine that we would never forget their smiles and unbelievable kindness. More than all of that, we had no idea how this trip would change us all for the better and how we would be ready to return before we had even traveled back home.
Mark’s planning was seamless. The planning stages in the months before the trip were completely enjoyable, too and we always knew he was a phone call away. he even travelled from his home in Florida to our home in Ohio to give us a presentation on our final itinerary. There was not a moment where he was not in tune with just what our family of all ages would need or enjoy. He planned many surprises along the way that left us all speechless. (I don’t want to give them away for future travelers!) To see even part of Africa (we travelled in Kenya and Tanzania) requires a lot of travel both in planes and automobiles. Mark planned this all so perfectly so that we always felt we got the most out of our time each and every day. His partners there were so knowledgeable and friendly - even hosting us for meals at their home! We came away knowing that whatever we could have dreamed up - big or small - Mark would have made it happen. He knows how to create a safari for any type of traveler, whether they be adventurous, frugal, interested in culture, extravagant, and everything possible in between. He was so flexible and adaptable. He packed as much in as we asked for but also knew when someone needed downtime - or a cocktail!! Traveling with our 3 children and extended family we had our share of hesitations before we left - about safety, food allergies, communicating with locals etc etc - Mark just said to trust him and so we did. That paid off beyond all expectations as he planned the most perfect African safari we could ever ask for. I honestly cannot think of a more perfectly planned trip than the one we experienced. We all returned home knowing that we had just experienced the TRUE trip of a lifetime - and we cannot wait to plan our next great adventure with Mark.

The Mitchell Family

October 5, 2016 | Registered CommenterMark Gerling

Mark, what an incredible experience we had on our safari! All 12 family members thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Even though the days were long and the roads rough there were happy faces every evening. Not only did we see all the animals we were looking for, the guides, Adam and Jacob, provided so much information we could hardly absorb it. Between you and the two guides we had a wealth of knowledge available to us, and we thank you so much.

This was definitely the ultimate family "bonding" experience. Some of us are already plotting our next trip to Africa, so don't be surprised to hear from us in the near future!!

July 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Nance

When the trip was first brought up, Sherry wanted to go. I didn't. So we booked the safari to Africa. I have been to all 50 states and every continent including a couple stops in northern Africa on cruises. I figured that covered my interest in the continent.

As we got closer and saw more pictures and had further discussions with you, I started to think, this might not be that bad. We got a good price on business class tickets on Ethiopian Air so a couple day stopover in Addis Ababa to, if nothing else, adjust to the time difference seemed like a good idea. It was. The airlines was great, the hotel there was outstanding and the 2 tours you arranged were really interesting.

The we flew to Tanzania to start the safari. The whole trip just blew me away. The guides, African people, accommodations, food and of course the animals were beyond any expectations. While not the easiest and most relaxing trip, it was the most memorable and satisfying 2 weeks I have ever spent. Being with long time friends, having you there and seeing all of the animals was a once in a lifetime experience that I will always cherish. I am so glad we bought that carving which I see every day as a reminder of the trip. Thanks.

April 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Crimmins

Wow! What a trip!!!!!!! Most incredible adventure with the best people.
Thank you for creating this beautiful experience for us. Just wanted to
send you a quick letter of gratitude.
Jacob was extremely knowledgable , we were relaxed knowing we were in
good hands. His expertise was clearly visible and we knew he was
different and much more informed than the other guides. We feel so
fortunate to have had him lead our journey. We have so many great
stories to share with you.
We watched a crazy battle with Buffalo vs Lion- too much to type (we will
have to chat and share video to fully understand). But let's just say the
king of the jungle lost and a buffalo hit our vehicle. We will fill in
the gaps later, it was intense and so awesome!
We watched 2 lions making love - very violent yet so cool to see . We
also saw the lions kill a zebra. All of the above was within feet of our
car- I mean, it was beyond fantastic!
Aanea was so generous to welcome us into his home we thoroughly enjoyed
our time with him and meeting his adorable family. We felt both Jacob and
Aanea made us feel a part of theirs.
The Maasi visit - another WOW!
The animals, the people, the hotels (opulent and amazing) ! I could go on
and on...
So many cool things to share with you!

Again, thank you for creating this journey. I'm in awe of Gods great
wonder. Left feeling inspired and already wanting to return.
Asante San,
Nick & Lenee

We had a great safari with Mark Gerling and Gerling Safaris. Everything from the minute we arrived to the last day went perfect with no glitches anywhere. We saw the Big Five, Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys plus many more animals throughout Tanzania. The lodging choice Mark selected for our group were outstanding, the food was even better. We could not of been happier with the choice we made to use Gerling Safaris and having Mark as our personal guide was wonderful.

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGary & Sandie Laden

Overall, Dee and I covered 22,177 miles on 10 flights on 3 airlines all within 10 days. We stayed at 7 hotels/camps in 3 countries. And we ate cuisine covering filet mignon (in Durban) to warthog in Zimbabwe.

Flights: Delta/KLM did a very good job in Economy Comfort and recommend it as a decent alternative to business class. BA did a great job on the short haul flights, always having a sandwich and beverages, no matter the length of the trip.

Accommodations: ALWAYS put the folks in the D'Oreale Grand Hotel in J'burg to start off the trip. 5 Stars with a great lounge and free breakfast. Room was first class. Nicely done.

Victoria Falls - The A 'Zambezi River Lodge was clean and just fine for where we were located. Food and drinks were fine too. No issues.

Durban - Holiday Inn Express - the hotel really was perfect...clean, modern, great Wi-Fi and attached to an excellent reasonably priced restaurant, The Butcher Block, which I highly recommend for any of your clients staying overnight before heading to Tembe.

Tembe Elephant Lodge - totally glad we opted for the more expensive tent set-up. Having the concrete slab, the indoor plumbing (which worked great, not being a chemical toilet) and the fantastic outside shower, we were comfortable. We left a half-day early because of the rain and because we did see all of the animals except for the leopard (yes, even a zebra....really fantastic 4 days!!). Food was good, drinks plentiful and service outstanding.

Cape Town - The Commodore - the 2 best things about this hotel is it's superb free breakfast buffet and it's proximity to the Waterfront Wharf complex which we visited a couple times for dinner and to walk around. We never did eat lunch at the Commodore since we were out on tour. No issues at all.

Amsterdam - The InterContinental Amstel Hotel - 5 stars. Enough said.

Tour guides and drivers - Very attentive, on time and really glad to be our guides and drivers. Vehicles were comfortable. Stuart, who drove us the 5 hours up and back from Durban/Tembe, was concerned we left early from the camp and wanted to be sure we were all good to go. When he found out we were going to take a hotel cab to the Durban airport the next morning, he apparently called the office during a petrol break and told us that "because we were very nice people', they were going to pick us up at the hotel and shuttle us to the airport, free of charge. Seriously. Becky at Vic Falls and Neesam at Cape Town were also cut of the same ilk; very pleasant, very knowledgeable, very attentive and all with a good sense of humor.

Our guide at Tembe, Kālu, was also extremely knowledgeable and attentive. Once you were able to work out the 'private vehicle issue (thank you very much!), he became even more interested in our having an extremely full and robust drive, stopping for not only the large animals but for the insects (if I never see another dung beetle in my life again, it'll be too soon), all kinds of birds and the flora also. Certainly rounded out the adventure nicely.

Tours -
Victoria Falls - Fine the way it was. The Boma meal was a hoot with the drummers.
Tembe - perfect for our needs. Now it's 'been there, done that'.
Cape Town - Any golfer going over is going to want to visit the Ernie Els Winery - we told Neesam and he arranged it for us. Lunch at the Anura Winery was great. The rest of the Cape Town tour was really great and I said before, being so close to the Wharf was a bonus in the evening.

Amsterdam was a real hoot. We did all the tourist things ( Anne Franke's house, Van Gogh and Riik Museums, private canal boat tour set up by the hotel (just the 2 of us...very nice indeed!), the palace, the Christmas lights, the Red Light District and we did have dinner at Bird, the Thai restaurant your recommended. Excellent! The public transportation system is easy and plentiful and once you get to learn to dodge the 8 billion bicyclists, it was a perfect ending to a great 2 1/2 weeks away.

All in all, it was an awesome trip....3 in 1.....with Vic Falls and Tembe being one; Cape Town being two and Amsterdam being three.

Travelling with our good friends, Ben and Lisa, made it more enjoyable as it always does so Dee and I are chalking this one up a 10.

Thanks again Mark for being ready and available all the time to smooth out some issues. It made the trip go that much better.

Al and Dee

November 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAllen Musko

I want to thank you for all the arrangements for our trip to Africa. The trip was totally wonderful! Everyone/thing was on time. Everyone who interacted with us was friendly and helpful (met our requests to the extend possible). The accommodations were all very nice and comfortable. Food was good. I saw everything I hoped to see. Really could not have been better.

Thanks so much!


November 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGwen Lapham

I want to thank Mark Gerling for the amazing African adventure in Kenya and Tanzania he arranged for me and my brother earlier this year. Mark expertly took care of every detail from start to finish. He placed us in the most fantastic bush camps and lodges where the accommodations and dining were absolutely tops. Mark's guides were all very experienced and friendly guys who always got us up close to the animals. There were six different legs to the trip and Mark pulled it all off seamlessly and flawlessly without a single hitch. It truly was a life changing experience. So much so that Mark is arranging another safari for me in August. Thanks again Mark.

October 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom Garrison

This truly was a trip to exceed all others for our entire family. Mark made our safari this summer something our grand children will tell their grand children about. The guides showed exceptional knowledge and demonstrated a special interest in accommodating an abundance of questions and requests while making us all feel like family. And to top it off we saw many amazing places , birds and animals that were fully documented by our grand daughter. Thank you, Mark for making this trip remarkable.

September 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIke and Charlene

The trip to end all trips. Mark enabled us to complete our bucket list and what an experience. We not only saw Africa we experienced it. The guides were so knowledgeable and became family. The personal touch at the end of the trip was above and beyond. Mark really knows his contacts and is in touch with them your entire trip. Awesome !!! Many blessings to Mark and his family/company

March 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGene and Tonia

I like to travel....and wherever I am and whenever I'm talking to other travelers around the world, I hear "horror stories" about their travel agents and large impersonal travel companies and all of the things that have gone wrong or products that were not delivered as expected. I tell them to contact my travel agent and they won't have these problems! Mark Gerling has arranged many trips for me and my family and friends and he has exceeded my expectations on each. To be treated as part of the Gerling travel family, and have someone in your corner looking out for you, go with Gerling Travel!

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterM. Burpeau

What an incredible trip of a lifetime. Mark's organization was flawless from start to finish; we will go on with him on other "adventures"!
Thanks Mark for a fabulous safari!

September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth and Chuck Duva

Absolutely amazing trip. My family and closest friends were able to share this incredible experience together under the guidance of Gerling Travel. Every detail was covered, from anniversery champagne to birthday cake, all delivered to the most beautiful settings . We were able to see EVERYTHING we asked to see (and every animal we wanted to see). I have traveled to Africa before, but it was nothing like the trip Gerling Travel arranged. I would use them again anytime. Thanks Mark for arranging a trip my family will never forget.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Long, Jr MD

My trip with Mark was the trip of a lifetime. I enjoyed every moment of it. We saw so many animals, and lived a whole new culture. It was incredible and amazing. Wow is all i have to say and thank you for making this dream come true for me! We got so close to all different animals it was crazy. We also got so many great pictures. It was fun and enjoyable, the whole group was so sweet! I hope to go back very soon and recomend Gerling Safaris to anyone who wants to go on a trip of a lifetime!

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshleigh Schuff

Indeed, a safari in Africa with Mark Ross as our guide and Mark Gerling, as our travel agent and travel host and just happens to be my son, was a trip of a lifetime for me. A safari is so unlike anything you would expect. So up close to these magnificent animals, yet totally safe in all of our many encounters with them. The meals, accomodations, staff, scenery, etc. was a " 10+ ". In November, 2012, I am going back to Tanzania and participate in a fundraising venture which benefits Kolunga Village Foundation. Yes, I am climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with Mark Ross as our guide. Another trip of a lifetime for me.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJudy Gerling

Wow! Amazing trip! 6 adults with 6 children and no drama! All fun! I never imagined how close and personal we could get to every animal! I always felt safe. The accommodations, staff and food were fantastic every step of the way!
Mark Ross and his skills as pilot and guide are unparalleled!
Thank you Gerling Travel!

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Parks MD

Just a note to tell you again how much I enjoyed our African adventure. I can't stop thinking about it! You did a great job on preparing us and guiding us through the trip. I hope to join you again on the next adventure.

Best Regards,


June 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargie Lundy

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