Mdonya Old River Camp

Reviews of Mdonya Old River Camp

Excellent(91%) From 97 travellers
Excellent
64
Good
25
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 97 of our travellers who have visited Mdonya Old River Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr L & Ms B - Suffolk
Arrived on: 19-Oct-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Just wonderful!

Alex runs the camp so well that it is hard to fault any aspect. Her welcome is genuine and makes you feel very much at ease from the moment you arrive. Her surprise of cake and champagne for my birthday was much appreciated as was the opportunity for Richard and I go out for a bush breakfast and whole day safari on our own. Tents comfortable and well spread out.

Game viewing wonderful, guides and drivers knowledgeable and experienced. Saw a cheetah kill and two leopards along with lots of other game. Sitting round the camp fire for sundowners followed by dinner under the stars each evening was magical.

Food excellent - markedly better than Lake Manze. Overall, I cannot rate this place highly enough.

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Mrs. B - Bridgewater
Arrived on: 14-Oct-2011 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mdonya Old River Camp review

Great camp - very comfortable and welcoming. We felt totally safe and loved having the animals walking through, such an amazing experience. It's well run and Alex is a brilliant 'host' - she makes everything seem effortless but we're sure it can't be! The food is good although not as flavoursome as we expected. As there is no electricity at the camp we knew there'd be no fans or aircon of course - we found the tents to be quite hot and didn't really let the breeze blow through even with the window flaps pinned back. The mesh is good for stopping bugs but seemed to prevent airflow too.

Our guide and driver were good and really made an effort to find the big cats we were hoping to see. We saw leopards and cheetahs which was an absolute highlight. For the first two days we had the jeep to ourselves and noticed on the second day that the driver and guide were speaking to us less and less - they answered our questions but didn't volunteer much information. They would occasionally stop and talk in Swahili but not tell us what they had seen or were looking for, which was a bit alienating. We thought perhaps it was just how things were at this camp but when we were joined by another couple they said their other guide was much more informative and chatty. Whilst we realise that the individual workers have different approaches, we wondered if we had offended or upset our guides in some way.

On our last day, they drove us to the airstrip quite quickly - there wasn't much game about - we arrived an hour before the plane was due. We had expected to have a final 20 minute or so detour to a part of the park we'd not seen but the guide told us he'd heard our plane was due to land early. It actually came on time [or slightly late] so we sat in the heat for an hour. As soon as we arrived at the airstrip the guys jumped out and went to talk to the other drivers and guides who were there [for an earlier plane that was running late]. We were left to our own devices and weren't given any further information. They only reappeared when we were getting on our plane. Perhaps cynically, we felt this was just for them to receive their tip. It was a disappointing end to the trip.

In summary, we liked the camp very much and the staff were good but we did feel that our guide and driver were uncommunicative which was a bit of a let down. We would like to know if we did something to offend them.

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Mr & Mrs G - Kent
Arrived on: 7-Oct-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mdonya Old River Camp review

Lovely widely spaced tents in a great spot.

Marvelous game viewing from the camp with varied game using the old river bed. Guiding good.

Some tetse fly bother on the game drives, & some of the food not entirely to my taste.

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Mr & Mrs T - Chesterfield
Arrived on: 24-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mdonya Old River Camp review

an excellent location, but some screening between rooms (if possible) would improve the privacy

very good and enthusiatic guides withn a good knowledge of the wildlife

drives marred a little by presence of tetse fly (which we found extremeley painful) in some areas

very good all day game drive

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Mr S & Ms H - Kent
Arrived on: 18-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mdonya Old River Camp review

The lack of electricity gave the camp a special atmosphere and we didn't miss it at all.
We appreciated the matching of a guide to our interests (birdwatching, in particular) which meant that we learnt more and enjoyed our activities without boring other guests who weren't interested in birds.
The staff were helpful and reactive when asked, but there was a slight lack of quality control around the rooms (toilet paper not being replenished over three days) which could have been improved upon.

Overall it was a friendly camp and the open site, with animals walking through, made it one that we would recommend.

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Mrs H & Mr W - Norfolk
Arrived on: 11-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mdonya - Camp in the wilderness

We found the whole stay outstanding.

The layout of the camp was excellent - wonderfull to have the animals wandering around the camp. The management was excellent - Alex was outstanding and the staff generally were a great team. Our guide, Kahimba, was superb, very knowledgable and gave us a very good understanding of the environment, as well as taking us to animals with his exceptional tracking skills.

The whole atmosphere in the camp was very good - other guests were relaxed and easy and we enjoyed to social bits of the camp, particularly eating as a group. The tents were well appointed and equipped, and very comfortable.

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Mr & Mrs S - Wimborne
Arrived on: 11-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great location, guides and camp staff

would like to congratulate mdonya on providing an excellent safari experience, every detail was to the highest standard and the camp had a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere

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Mr. & Mrs. F - Harrow
Arrived on: 2-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Poor
Poor
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Average
Average

Camp three of four

Superb location and food. However we were let down by the organisation and guiding.

The standard of our guide was poor to say the least and on one drive spent 4 hours talking to the driver and we were doing all our own spotting.

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Expert Africa comments

We were concerned to read these travellers feedback regarding the guiding at Mdonya, since it is usually of a good standard. We sent the feedback to the managers for their input. They were very sorry that these travellers weren’t happy with the guiding. The guide in question was a relatively new guide, but had had very good feedback previously from other guests, and believed him to be of their usual high standard. As a result they’re now reviewing and rechecking his abilities to ensure that this does not happen again. They also emphasised that they’d encourage all guests to let the manager know if they have any issues, no matter how small, so that they can be resolved quickly and their stay can be as enjoyable as possible!

Miss C & Mr S from London
Arrived on: 29-Aug-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mdonya Old River Camp review

Mdonya was the first stop on our very first safari holiday and it completley exceeded our expectations.

The staff were very welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable, the camp was comfortable and the attention to detail really made it.

Even our fellow guests were all very friendly and we really enjoyed sitting round the camp fire in the evening discussing the days tales.

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Miss M & Mr D from Kent
Arrived on: 4-Aug-2011 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Exciting first safari at Mdonya Old River

For our first safari this camp was ideal, and was a nice balance between luxury and simplicity, and really gave us an outdoors experience. The tents look amazing inside, beautifully clean, well kept and decorated. As the camp was at full capacity and one vehicle down, we had to share game drives, but luckily we all got on well! The food was of a good standard, but the portions a little on the small side. As it was our honeymoon, the manager Alex arranged for us to have dinner on our veranda on one evening with 'champagne' on the house which was a lovely touch.

Our safari driver and guide were incredibly knowledgeable and clearly experienced, and great fun at the same time. Alex was very welcoming and attentive, and gave us the end tent which afforded us great views down the old riverbed of plenty of animals which often wandered within several feet of the tent.

As it was a honeymoon, we would have preferred not to have communal meals, although this not a problem, and was enjoyable to share stories of which animals we had all seen that day.

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Expert Africa comments

We passed these comments onto the managers, who were very pleased to hear they had such a good time! They mentioned that at dinner the waiters bring the food and serve the portions at the table – there’s always more than enough to go around so encouraged guests to always ask for more if they wanted! Part of the reason many people love Mdonya is the chance to dine together in the evenings, but if guests ever wish to have a private dinner, they just need to ask the manager and they’ll be able to arrange this.