Reviews of Sable Alley
Wildlife sightings and reviews
24 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Sable Alley and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Sable Alley review"
Wildlife sitings were spectacular. The first day we started with a leopard kill of an impala. She had to feed on the ground, as the prey was too large to move. Later in the morning we sighted lions and spent nearly an hour following a pair of cheetahs through the brush. Later in the afternoon we returned to the leopard kill to see first the leopard, then a pack of wild dogs that took over the impala and finally a spotted hyena interloper who would not give up until he got some despite dog attacks.
I would highly recommend Sable Alley." See all these reviews: 11n in Namibia; 10n in Botswana
"Sable Alley review"
The vegetation was very high and overgrown with large areas of mopane woodland. It was only because an elephant had recently died that we were able to see lions and hyenas around the carcass. Without that we would have seen very little. Our guide was only average - he didn’t engage that well and he was nearing the end of his two month shift.
I think we could have omitted this camp from our itinerary without our overall experience suffering." See all these reviews: 11n in Botswana
"Sable Alley review"
The furniture, decorations, artwork, design all fantastic. The food was outstanding.
The staff were perfectly wonderful and fun to be with.
Everything was top shelf." See all these reviews: 5n in Seychelles; 3n in Rwanda; 3n in Botswana; 1n in Zimbabwe
"Extremely Comfortable Camp"
I loved the tented ‘rooms’ - they were very comfortable and had everything we needed (inc. sherry!). The communal areas were also lovely. The food was good given that we were in the middle of the bush and it was c40C and there was lots of choice. The highlight for me was when we were woken up by elephants crashing through the camp and bumping into our tent.
I also enjoyed sitting out watching/listening to the hippos which live in the waterhole at the camp. We were there at the very end of the dry season but there was still enough water for the hippos.
The game drives were very good and in very new jeeps. On the drives there was no tracker just the driver/guide. Obviously, i don’t know if we would have seen more if we had had a tracker but at our second lodge we did see lots more game and we did have a tracker." See all these reviews: 5n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Wonderful wild dogs"
We had a good guide, though not as good as Carl at Gomoti, and we failed to see either of the antelope. But we did have several viewings of three different packs of dogs including one family of 18 at very close range, so tat was a real treat.
The accommodation was excellent and the ambience very good. We had one day of rain when the temperature dropped from 40 to 20, but that'd to the bonus of the Termite Emergence, which was very exciting, so long as you are prepared for clouds of large flying beasties while eating dinner!!" See all these reviews: 8n in Zimbabwe; 7n in Botswana; 7n in South Africa
"Luxury on the bush."
The game drives were amazing and the wildlife was in abundence. The photographic opportunities were made better by our guide Ocean's keen interest in photography.
An overall very enjoyable experience." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Two Nights in June at Sable Alley"
Saw a leopard mother and daughter working on a "stashed" impala for two days. Saw a lone sable whilst having lunch in the camp and a sable family of three arrived concurrent with us at the airstrip as we were leaving Sable Alley." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 7n in Botswana
"Spectacular Sable Alley"
We very much enjoyed our excellent guide, Zambu. He was a mine of knowledge about the African bush, and managed to make every game drive interesting with his snippets of information. The game viewing lived up to expectations. We had beautiful sightings of leopard, hyena and elephant." See all these reviews: 7n in Botswana
"superb safari and accommodation"
Safari was high quality seeing animals we didn't expect to.
Atmosphere very good." See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 3n in Zimbabwe
We struggled with food at Hyena Pan in terms of availability and quality and by comparison, Sable Alley was substantially improved. The food was table services rather than buffet and the food was of a really good standard. Well prepared, well presented and a joy to eat. We would honestly recommend that Hyena Pan follows a similar approach to serving food to their quests.
As a pure safety note, we would say that our last day was more exciting but could have ended in tragedy. Our truck followed 2 lionesses with 3 cubs and in trying to get as close as possible became stuck in the boggy mud. Luckily a second safari truck was close by to assist but when it arrived neither safari truck had any tow ropes???
Our tourist group was then asked to transfer to the second safari ruck to lighten the load to see whether this would help but unfortunately the safari truck was stuck deep in the mud.
A third safari truck after some 30 minutes arrived with a tow rope and proceed to hand the tow rope over to their colleagues and then drive off??? All of the safari tourists were then asked to stand in the open field unattended in pretty close proximity (circa 30 metres) to the 2 lionesses and their cubs. The safari truck was eventually towed out (circa 20 minutes later) and we then managed to all get back into the trucks and proceed with the safari tours.
In hindsight, we should never had agreed to leave the safari truck and stand in the open fields. This is incredibly dangerous especially with 2 lionesses that could have attacked us at any stage.
We would honestly recommend that all safari trucks carry tow ropes, the staff are trained in how to tow vehicles our of deep mud or perhaps avoid the mud in the first place and that tourists are never allowed to leave the safari trucks and stand in open fields unattended within such close proximity to wild dangerous animals. We would also recommend that the third safari truck should have stayed around to help and not leave tourists vulnerable.
Despite the above adventure – we really did enjoy the camp and our experiences and would recommend this camp." See all these reviews: 4n in Botswana; 2n in Zimbabwe
They have replied with a sincere apology for the way the guide handled the situation on the ground and completely understand why these travellers would have felt vulnerable and unsafe. Their philosophy is that it is a requirement of guides to not only be educators and entertainers but to be safety conscious at all times too.
Sable Alley has a team of mechanics in camp with recovery kits on hand and it is the norm for a guide who has trouble with their vehicle to immediately radio for help. This did not happen on this occasion and this incident has been addressed by management, with the guides, to ensure that this does not happen again.
Natural Selection commented that guest safety is their number one priority and an area of their service that should never be compromised. They have sent their sincere apology to our travellers for any unpleasant feelings they may have experienced during this incident.
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