Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Gorilla-trekkers from Surrey


My Jul 2014 trip

On this trip, I visited Tanzania between 22-Jul-2014 and 7-Aug-2014 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

There is no feedback form for the day room at Onsea House. We felt this place was superior to Rivertrees Country Inn and the food is pretty good. We would rather have stayed here for our initial day and rest night as the precursor lodge at the beginning of the holiday.

An excellent trip overall with good quality guiding and a high standard of food and service. The walking availability at Chada could have been limited due to shortage of qualified staff when other clients were involved in fly camping, however, the camp manager made the effort to bring in a ranger to enable us to take part in the walking activities, which we very much appreciated. Similarly, it appeared that the Camp manager at Little Oliver's was the only qualified walking guide. We were fortunated to enjoy his expert guiding on two consecutive days, but if he had been otherwise occupied we would not have been so lucky and the enjoyment of our time there would have been affected. I feel it is important to make sure that if walking is advertised as an option at a particular lodge/camp then it is vital that qualified staff are available at all times so that guests are able to enjoy this. We did enjoy the walking option at 3 out of 4 camps, but our impression was that the camps rather expect that most clients wish to be in the vehicle most/all of the time. Perhaps the walking safari idea is less well developed in Tanzania compared to other countries such as Zambia.

Tanzania does seem an American destination so it is sometimes a lttle pertinent for the staff at the camp, or the guides, to ensure they manage the groups of guests accordingly (particularly when children are involved).

Also we were encouraged to confirm our holiday registration as parts of it were getting booked up (particularly Greystoke Mahale) only for us to find out when we got there that this was because a group of 9 (Americans) has a block booking which made the ambience of this lodge as little imbalanced for us and the other couple staying there as the maximum it could take is only 12 or so persons.

Also, given the amount of flying and some of the distances between destinations we were finding this did eat into our time on safari. Between Serengeti and Little Oliver's camp we flew Serengeti - Arusha - Little Oliver's for some reason. Thus with this itinerary the travel distance & thus time does add up compared to other safaris we have been on and slightly ditracted from the safari.

With ref to the above comment about a large block booking at a small lodge we'd have liked a little bit more checking on these issues as we booked our trip, as this did distract a little bit from the select nature of the trip. Especially considering the amount we had paid for the holiday each.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Rivertrees Country Inn, Tanzania
23-Jul-2014 review: Rivertrees Country Inn review
GoodGood
Chada Camp, Tanzania
24-Jul-2014 review: Chada Camp review
ExcellentExcellent
Greystoke Mahale, Tanzania
28-Jul-2014 review: Greystoke Mahale review
ExcellentExcellent
Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp, Tanzania
31-Jul-2014 review: Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp review
ExcellentExcellent
Little Oliver's Camp, Tanzania
4-Aug-2014 review: Little Oliver's Camp review
ExcellentExcellent

July 2012 S Luangwa Valley/Lower Zambezi Trip

On this trip, I visited Zambia between 14-Jul-2012 and 28-Jul-2012 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

We've now been on 10/12 safaris and this was one of the best yet. Very well organised by Expert Africa and their Senior Consultant Claire Scott who listened to what we required and crafted the itinerary over several iterations.

The S Luangwa National Park in combination with the Lower Zambezi is a good combination for all considering a trip to Zambia. If going to the S Luangwa area don't miss out on the Robin Pope Bush Camping experience with Deb for 3 days, it was the highlight of the trip with a very knowledgeable, and patient, guide.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Tena Tena, Zambia
14-Jul-2012 review: Tena Tena Camp Safari experience
GoodGood
Robin Pope Safaris bush-camp, Zambia
16-Jul-2012 review: S Luangwa Bush Camping Experience
ExcellentExcellent
Nsefu, Zambia
19-Jul-2012 review: Nsefu Camp Experience
ExcellentExcellent
Nkwali, Zambia
21-Jul-2012 review: Nkwali Camp, Mfuwe
GoodGood
Old Mondoro Bushcamp, Zambia
23-Jul-2012 review: Old Mondoro Bush Camp Experience
ExcellentExcellent
Chiawa Camp, Zambia
26-Jul-2012 review: Chiawa Camp Experience
ExcellentExcellent

Rwanda, Luangwa and Livingstone Safari Trip

On this trip, I visited Kenya, Rwanda & Zambia between 26-Jul-2008 and 9-Aug-2008 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

The goriallas surpassed our expectations and this 4 day trip was a trip of a life time with 3 trecking days, the first day to see the golden monkeys and then 2 days of trecking to see the gorillas. Please be aware that with the animals each day you only get 1 hour of viewing time maximum.

South Luangwa lived up to our usual expections and the guys at Tafika base camp and the bush camps of Chikoko and Crocodile are some of the best in the area making a very good safari experience. My only comments here is they have to be careful when veting people to go on the bush camp trips as the make up of a group may affect the pleasure others get in this trip, i.e. mixing families with children with others on such a trip can be a downer. But certainly bush camps are for those who wish the real safari experience.

Toko Laya Safari Camp is an ideal place to finish yoru safari and catch the sights of Livingstone and the falls, a very well run and organsied camp despite having been only open since May 2008. A tribute to some of the good staff they have. The only issue that being in the game park next Livingstone it is not really a big game experince with no cats and not masses of wildlife. But a good place to relax and cover various experinces offered by the lodge.

Suggestions for improvement:

None
we were very well dealt with by Expert Africa and appreciated the opportunities to disucss fully when we wished to review/modify the itinerary.


I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Mountain Gorillas Nest, Rwanda
27-Jul-2008 review: Mountain Gorillas Nest review
AverageAverage
Macushla House, Kenya
31-Jul-2008 review: Macushla House review
ExcellentExcellent
Tafika, Zambia
1-Aug-2008 review: Tafika review
ExcellentExcellent
Chikoko Tree Camp, Zambia
4-Aug-2008 review: Chikoko Tree Camp review
ExcellentExcellent
Crocodile Bushcamp, Zambia
5-Aug-2008 review: Crocodile Bushcamp review
ExcellentExcellent
Toka Leya Camp, Zambia
8-Aug-2008 review: Toko Laya Safari Camp
ExcellentExcellent