Travel reviews by Mr B & Ms S from California
A Trip of a Lifetime
On this trip, I visited Tanzania between 28-Jul-2011 and 6-Aug-2011 and I travelled with 1 other person.
We had an utterly fabulous trip. Each day was very special.
We had been in Zanzibar first and were glad we did this out of the normal order; instead of unwinding in Zanzibar after the safari, we explored Zanzibar first and saved the very best for last. We really liked Lake Manyara and Ngorogoro Crater, but absolutely loved the Serengeti. We had been on safari before in South Africa, in and around Kruger National Park, where we'd seen lots of wildlife, but were unprepared for the profusion of animals living side by side that we found in the Serengeti.
We were very impressed with Asilia, which seems to be solid and reliable, with great guides, who were always trying to make sure we were having the best possible experience. It was a real luxury for us -- 2 people -- to have a guide and a vehicle to go where we wanted when we wanted, and it was well worth it. We were very happy that we stayed in a small semi-portable safari camp (Dunia Camp), where we felt in the middle of nature, with wildlife all around us. Staying in a large hotel-like accommodation would have entirely changed our experience, insulating us from nature and surrounding us with tourists.
Expert Africa was great to work with, very flexible, accessible and responsive. They didn't try to make us fit into their agenda; they helped us customize a plan that would suit our needs and preferences.
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
We really liked the Zanzibar guide book that you sent us, with everyone's signatures and best wishes.
We also really liked talking with Chris and appreciated his guidance and follow up help via email.
Overall we think Expert Africa is an excellent company and did a great job.
We were disappointed that we didn't receive our vouchers and transfers and everything you sent us for the trip until after we returned from Africa. We were able to print out some key documents but not all were emailed so we didn't have all the information you had prepared. In the future when dealing with clients outside the UK, we suggest you allow more lead time for regular mail, and have a back up plan so that they will receive materials before leaving for their trip.
We would have liked to have a fuller and easier to use itinerary. For example, the website Tripit, is an example of the kind of user-friendly itinerary we would recommend you create for customers in the future. The next thing is, you asked our preferences in terms of beds and meals; however they didn't seem to have been effectively communicated to Bougainvillea (or Bougainvillea didn't look at them), which resulted in us ending up in twin beds rather than a double or queen that we had requested. They also didn't seem to be aware of food requirements. Is there a way that one of your staff members could contact the lodges directly one or two days before arrival so that they are aware of the requested conditions and are able to meet them? They did have vegetarian options when we went to dinner, so it all worked out in the end.
The last specific suggestion is to see if there's a way to fly into Arusha earlier in the day so that travelers could visit Lake Manyara park in the late morning before all of the other vehicles arrive en masse in the afternoon. A lunch box could be taken into the park rather than eating at the official roadside rest stop.
I stayed at and have reviewed:
28-Jul-2011 review: ignore this page - we were in Zanzibar
|Bougainvillea Safari Lodge, Tanzania
1-Aug-2011 review: A Great Place to stay near the Crater
|Dunia Camp, Tanzania
3-Aug-2011 review: The perfect place to stay in the Serengeti