Africa: Reviews from our travellers
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We would like to add here some comments about our activities in Swakomund as they were independant from Sam's Giardino and deserve a mention.
The Sandwich Harbour trip was great - run by Turnstone Tours - we paddled in the pools on the beach amongst the flamingoes, pelicans and damarland terns etc the birdlife was stunning, the drive through the dunes was exillerating and the lunch delicious - Namibians are very good at picnics.
The "Little 5" trip was equally good it was amazing to see so much wildlife in the desert - Chris our guide was very entertaining and probably mad! Namibia also seems to bred some eccentrics!
We had a lovely meal at The Tug three courses and wine for thirty pounds!!
However, there has to be a few buts !
We didn't feel that the Toyota Corolla was really man enough for Namibian roads, the exhaust sounded pretty dodgy on occasions and part of the bumper fell out - a vehicle that was higher would be better.
Although we survived to tell the tale, we felt on hindsight that we should have had a satellite phone, our mobiles didn't work every where. A german couple we came across with a damaged sump would have been in trouble if an Italian family with a satelite phone hadn't turned up and helped them - we think it may be something you should recommend.
Fish River Canyon was pleasant, but it could have been missed out of the trip and another day in Swakopmund would have meant we could have done the boat trip from Walvis Bay too - fellow travellers raved about it. We also suspect the flights too and from the canyon added quite a lot to the price of the trip. Despite these little grips it was still great." Read full review: 16 nights in Africa; 12 on a Namibia trip
"Family Holiday of a lifetime"
Would be hard to follow that experience and beat it and so our beach expereinces were good, but not really comparable
Zanzibar has to compete hard with safari due to the nature of what is available on each type of holiday. Beho Beho being amaziny, beaches being great, but not comparable.
Also the "Safari Blue" in Zanzibar is a bit of a let down, 200/300 people all crammed onto one sand island was a bit of a shock" Read full review: 13 nights in Africa; 7 on a Zanzibar holiday
"Botswana Winter Special"
What happens on a safari is largely out of your hands, i did not want to spend 3 days in an ash/dust bowl, but seeing that is what was on offer and the is nothing you can do about the weather, it's best to make the most of it and enjot the expereince.
Wildlife does not have an agenda and there is never any guarantee, go with an open mind, expect to see nothing and then be amazed a what nature can provide. This is my 7th safari and I had my first sighting of a wild cheetah, in pretty poor light, but the experience was stunning and well worth the wait." Read full review: 13 nights in Africa; 11 on a Botswana safari
"Holiday of a Lifetime"
Expert Africa's advice was terrific, always professional and always timely in their responses.
One negative - the recommendation of $10 per person per day as a tip is, we feel, over generous. We are always happy to voluntarily reward good service, but there seems to be an excessive tendency of expectation by most staff, in all accommodations and places, which is to-say-the-least off-putting. To facilitate this 'expectation culture' is counter-productive." Read full review: 17 nights in Africa; 10 on a Zanzibar holiday
"Wildlife and relaxation"
All the arrangements worked perfectly and the people of the country as well as those working for the tour companies and hotels were kind, helpful and very friendly." Read full review: 14 nights in Africa; 8 on a Zanzibar holiday
"We all loved it and can't wait to get back"
Anna Devereux is the best travel agent I have ever dealt with. I am quite demanding/ pernickety but she was always more than glad to answer any query with alarming efficiency. As I told her - sometimes it seemed she was working for us and noone else. Her recommendations were spot on. Anna was also willing to get involved when issues came up during the holiday (Zambian airways flight overbooking/ disasterours last-minute trip to Ngorongoro (not booked through Expert)). Real value-added travel agency." Read full review: 16 nights in Africa; 7 on a Zambia safari
The geography is phenominal and all the lodges we stayed in compimented it.
Thoroughly recommended." Read full review: 16 nights in Africa; 13 on a Namibia trip
"A Memorable honeymoon"
Great memorable smiles on the faces of children who have nothing in this world. Shows the Brits that there are people with nothing in this world and they can still smile and not winge. Did not realise that Bic pens can be used to bargain with in the markets.
We have sent our valet at Tongabezi a Chelsea shirt with his hero printed on the back to say a further thank you and we have sent a parcel for the school in the Zambian school of Simonga, they have nothing out there. What a wonderful life experience. All Brits ought to pay a visit to Africa." Read full review: 20 nights in Africa; 6 on a South Africa trip
"The best ever trip"
The hotels/lodges/transport etc all worked like clockwork. The combination of accomodations suited us well - teenager friendly, good quality, good food etc. People incredibly helpful and friendly.
Would change little in retrospect - probably only a direct flight from Cape Town to Maun." Read full review: 21 nights in Africa; 6 on a Botswana safari