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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr H from Isle of Man

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

7

Countries visited

5

Lodges stayed in

27

Excursions taken

0

My Sixth trip to Zambia

Zambia between 8 Jun 2019 and 18 Jul 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"I knew what to expect. I had come back to see friends and to bring a little book of photographs taken by my late wife to leave at the camp for others to enjoy.

Despite being alone the time I was never lonely and met some lovely travellers as well as being welcome back by the staff, who made me feel very much at home.

I am already thinking about yet another return."

Tena Tena

Tena Tena

"Revisit Tena Tena to see friends- the staff"

3 nights Arrived 9 Jun 2019
"It was unchanged. I had room 5 this time great view of the river and lovely to hear the night sounds.

Bertram was welcoming as always and lovely to meet Sebastian again this time as a guide rather than a spotter."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Robin Pope Safaris bush-camp

Robin Pope Safaris bush-camp

"My first time bush camping"

3 nights Arrived 12 Jun 2019
"This was led by Braston who was always attentive to the guests needs. It was lovely one evening to sit by the fire to reminisce about a trip to the village 11 years ago, when we also met a cousin of his at the mill. Amazing he remembered.

The walking was quite strenuous at times and very rough over the dried pans. One moment of excitement with a close encounter with 2 Hippos.
The birding was also very good.

Luxury of your own loo.

Unfortunate that a swarm of bees prevented a move on the third night but it did not detract from a wonderful 3 days."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

"The finish of the holiday"

2 nights Arrived 15 Jun 2019
"This time I had tent 6. An even better view of the resident pod of Hippos.

It was great to meet some new travelers and to be able to swap stories of the bush. Shame I could not stay longer but I will be back.

For the trip as a whole I had set myself a target of 100 birds, in the end I achieved 105 thanks to some diligent spotting by Sebastian. I also videoed a Hippo fight and a porcupine in the open. Also a honey badger which was not in the far distance."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Return to the valley 2017

Malawi and 3 other countries between 7 Sep 2017 and 24 Sep 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"We loved Botswana and Malawi but our hearts belong in the Valley. We’re already planning the next trip.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Just keep up the good work."

Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara review"

3 nights Arrived 7 Sep 2017
"Little Kwara was a lovely, small camp with excellent guiding and a great location.

We had good lion, leopard and cheetah sightings but the highlight was an evening on the boat cruising along the river. The journey took us to a breeding colony of various birds - Maribou storks, yellow-billed storks, a pelican, open-billed storks, African darters, black and white egrets.

The list was huge, all coming and going, building nests and feeding chicks which had already hatched - in the late evening light before sunset - pure magic."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
InterContinental O.R. Tambo

InterContinental O.R. Tambo

"Perfect for an overnight stay at OR Tambo"

1 night Arrived 10 Sep 2017
"We stayed overnight en route to Malawi from Botswana.

The hotel welcomed two dusty travellers with a warm welcome and excellent service."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Mkulumadzi Lodge

Mkulumadzi Lodge

"Spectacularly located Mkulumadzi"

3 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2017
"The location is amazing and the rooms take full advantage of this.

The National Park has done well to re-populate the park so quickly, although the elephants are less than happy which makes for uneasy encounters.

The waterholes created as a focus for wildlife, with hides for use by travellers, meant we got to see large numbers of different plains game and antelope which might otherwise have been elusive.

The nyalas were particularly special."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Pumulani

Pumulani

"Relaxing Pumulani"

3 nights Arrived 14 Sep 2017
"The focus here is on lakeside activities. A short bird walk one morning was rewarding and we enjoyed looking at Saturn and Jupiter through the telescope.

Dinghy sailing and kayaking were fun and we especially enjoyed the evening cruises on the dhow for sundowners. There was no wind so we used the engine rather than sails but it was switched off as the sun set so we could enjoy the peace of the lake over a G&T, drifting quietly as we watched hippos and the local fishermen.

The rooms are set on a hillside and lunch is often served on the beach - which could be an issue for the less mobile - but a recently acquired buggy will help here."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Kaya Mawa

Kaya Mawa

"Kaya Mawa was special"

3 nights Arrived 17 Sep 2017
"This place is truly paradise. From the moment we arrived, we started smiling and we didn’t stop.

The location is wonderful and it has been used to good effect to create interesting and beautiful rooms with lots of privacy and taking advantage of the views of the lake. A boat ride around the Island took all morning, stopping for a visit to the local craft co-operative and then the incredible cathedral.

The staff were warm and friendly and nothing was too much trouble. On two nights, staff brought along a village gospel choir and a band to entertain us. Dancing to African drum beats on a sandy beach on the lakeside at sunset was truly a memorable experience.

The food was nothing short of amazing - imaginative with fresh ingredients, all produced from a challenging supply line."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nsefu

Nsefu

"Just like coming home - to Nsefu"

4 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2017
"This was our 5th stay at Nsefu and it retains a very special place in our affections.

The guiding with Kanga is excellent and the camp is well-managed by Ruth and Sebastian (with his dry sense of humour and telling insights into human and animal behaviour,). We had fabulous leopard sightings, shared sundowners with a curious lion cub (before retreating to the vehicle in case Mum came back from hunting) and woke in the night to the gentle rustling of 5 elephants outside our room as they “hoovered up” the fallen leaves.

On the last day, a scheduled bush walk was abandoned as the cry went up that “the wild dogs have just run through camp” and we rushed to the vehicle to follow them. This is the time the carmen bee-eaters build their nesting colony on the riverbank and the sight of so many beautiful blue and red birds was truly marvellous."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

RPS - nobody does it better!

Zambia between 15 Jun 2016 and 27 Jun 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall it was a fabulous trip and we shall return to the Valley.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Just keep up the good work!"

Nkwali

Nkwali

"Overnight at Nkwali"

1 night Arrived 16 Jun 2016
"We only spent less than 12 hours at Nkwali before departing for our Mobile Walking Safari.

It remains a lovely camp and both the accommodation and food were as good as we remembered from previous visits."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari

Robin Pope Safaris walking safari

"Walking at Mupamadzi"

5 nights Arrived 17 Jun 2016
"What an experience!

The camps were brilliantly organised and nothing was too much trouble. Alfred and the team produced wonderful food. Shanon and the other staff worked tirelessly to dismantle camp and re-erect it at the next site (3 in all) ready for lunch after our morning walk. The evning walk and sundowners were magical and there was always hot water ready for showers before supper.

The guiding (from Kanga, with Yona as scout) was execellent and we learned a great deal about lots of little things - from animal dung to the nesting habits of a praying mantis. Game sightings were also very good, although the animals here are less used to vehicles than near the Luangwa.

All in all, a wonderful safari."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nsefu

Nsefu

"Overnight at Nsefu"

1 night Arrived 22 Jun 2016
"Again we spent only one night at the end of the Mobile Walking Safari before setting off for Tena Tena. This is a favourite camp - please don't change it!

The rooms are closer together than at other RPS camps but the location and the game which comes to the river each day - and into camp - is wonderful.

Food and service as good as ever."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

"Wild dogs at Tena Tena!"

3 nights Arrived 23 Jun 2016
"We teased Kanga and Bertram mercilessly about our failure to see wild dogs after 4 visits to South Luangwa. Bertram doesn't like to disappoint guests so he went all out to find them for us. And came up trumps - a pack of 17!

Other game was excellent - huge herds of impala and puku, small groups of kudu, magical giraffes, endless elephants and hippos, a pair of mating leopards and lions on all three days out - inldung a sleeping pride on the way to Mfuwe airport on our last day. And the birds continue to amaze - such colours and fabulous sightings - including three lilac breaster rollers doing a dare devil display for us.

Christabel and the team are wonderful hosts and the food, accommodation and hospitality are second to none."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Gorilla Trekking with friends

Rwanda between 16 Oct 2014 and 22 Oct 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"The golden monkeys were gorgeous as a warm up to the gorillas.

What can you say about the gorillas? They are simply wonderful! The first day trekking to the Umubano group was hard going in the persistent rain but the end result was worth every breathe! The sun cleared for the second day and the experience of gorillas playing in the sun, "drunk" on fresh bamboo shoots will be a lifelong memory!

The guides were experienced and friendly and the community benefit was excellent. The porters did a great job - not just carrying rucksacks but also carrying us at times! How they manage it in ordinary wellies, heaven knows!"

Image alt

Jack Hanna's Guesthouse, Rwanda (this camp has since closed)

"Jack Hanna's Guesthouse review"

4 nights Arrived 15 Oct 2014
"Whilst the food was satisfactory, we felt that they were trying too hard to be at European standard. No-one expects haute cuisine in the jungle and trying to cook three different meals for only 4 people on a small stove was a little ambitious. Less choice and more "home-cooked" would have worked better.

On our last day there were just 2 of us and the service all but disappeared for a couple of hours when the call button failed to work.

Otherwise, a wonderful experience. The boot cleaning after the trek was great and the log fires at night comforting. The garden was superb - a whole day's bird watching from the comfort of a garden chair! The location was perfect for gorilla and golden monkey trekking."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Kigali Serena Hotel

Kigali Serena Hotel

"Kigali Serena Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 17 Oct 2014
"An acceptable if impersonal 5 star hotel for an overnight stop in the city."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good

My Jun 2014 trip

Zambia between 6 Jun 2014 and 20 Jun 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"What a wonderful safari. It's hard to fault it. Everyone went out of their way to make it work."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Eight Reedbuck Hotel

Eight Reedbuck Hotel

"Ideal for an overnight stop in Lusaka"

1 night Arrived 7 Jun 2014
"The hotel was fine and the room good. The service was a bit haphazard and there was no-one about first thing in the morning when we left.

Breakfast had been delivered to our room the night before and was adequate but not exceptional. Many guests leave early for flights and the hotel needs to do more to provide proper breakfast service for early departures."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Matamanene Camp

Matamanene Camp

"Liuwa exceeds all expectations"

5 nights Arrived 8 Jun 2014
"Whilst the actual camp is pretty basic, the staff more than make up for it with their excellent service, wonderful food and exceptional attention to detail. Everyone went out of their way to make it a very special stay - including birthday cake and champagne sun-downers for my birthday! And a hyena came too!

Robin and Jason are brilliant guides and made the whole experience magical. No creature, large or small, was outside their knowledge and we learned huge amounts about life on Liuwa Plains.

We really hope that it will be possible to re-visit as it's such a beautiful and very special place. Words can never do it justice."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

"What a lovely camp"

3 nights Arrived 13 Jun 2014
"The camp and location are wonderful. It was our first time at Tena Tena and we will definitely go back.

We requested the same guide as on previous visits and RPS were kind enough to arrange this. Kanga is an excellent guide and nothing is ever too much trouble. He went out of his way to find all that we wanted to see and photograph and always had something new and interesting to say about life in the bush. We have become keen birders (much to the amusement of our friends and family) as a result of Kanga's enthusiasm!

Bertram and his team looked after us very well and the food and service were up to usual RPS standards i.e. fabulous!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nsefu

Nsefu

"Lovely to be back - feels like home!"

3 nights Arrived 16 Jun 2014
"No other camp on the Luangwa River has such a great location. The rondavels remain comfortable and well-equipped and provide all you could need.

As ever the food and service were first class and Braston manages the camp with quiet efficiency and a great sense of fun.

The walking safari to view the game feasting on a dead hippo was superb and got us very close indeed to the action - and Kanga even managed to get a leopard to come and say goodbye when we left!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Zambia

Zambia between 8 Jun 2012 and 18 Jun 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"The trip as a whole was excellent.

Can't wait to go back and explore further afield and maybe Malawi. We can't recomment Robin Pope Safaris highly enough."

Nkwali

Nkwali

"As good as ever!"

2 nights Arrived 9 Jun 2012
"This was our second trip. Last year we visited in the Emerald Season. The camp, the guides, the food were all as good as before and more than matched our expectations. Our guide, Kanga, went out of his way to find us the birds and animals that we wanted to view and photograph. On two of our four nights, we were the only guests in camp and we were able to be very flexible about the activities we undertook and the times of meals etc. Kiki and his team couldn't have been kinder and we now look upon them as friends rather than staff at the camp.

One very small irritant is the use of "hostesses". Whilst I understand that some female guests may feel the need to have another European woman to help if a problem arises, to some extent it detracts from the epxerience. When we were at the camps in the rainy season, it was just the local staff and we very much enjoyed talking with them. The hostess creates a kind of barrier between the Zambian staff and the guests."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nsefu

Nsefu

"Daudi runs an excellent camp!"

4 nights Arrived 11 Jun 2012
"A second visit - this time in the winter season. Our guide Braston was very good and worked very hard at finding interesting game for us to view. He was always willing, full of fun and very helpful. Having found us a leopard and her cub on the first game drive, he then excelled himself by finding the male leopard (and sensitively dealt with the leopard killing an impala one evening) and a pair of mating lions on the way to Nkwali on our last day.

The food and the atmosphere were as good as ever and the staff went out of their way to make my birthday sundowner on the river an occasion to remember. Shared stories of the day's events around the campfire in the evening were a highlight of the visit. Getting up at 4.30 a.m. to drive to the hot springs and then a bush breakfast was equally special.

I'd encourage guests to visit the Kawaza village project and the school. We enjoyed our day very much and the children were a joy."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nkwali

Nkwali

"Nkwali review"

2 nights Arrived 15 Jun 2012
"See previous review [Ed: see below] for the first 2 days."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"An impersonal but good enough hotel"

1 night Arrived 17 Jun 2012
"We arrived at about 7 p.m. and although our reservation was found, the receptionist tried to claim that the room had not been prepaid. After encouragement from us, they accepted the Expert Africa voucher and agreed that we did not have to pay for the room.

Dinner was fine but there were few guests and the atmoshpere after the camps was a bit imperonal.

Breakfast began at 5.30 so we were able to eat before leaving for the airport to catch the morning BA flight. However, the breakfast buffet had obviously been cooked hours before and the food not yet properly re-heated. Overall, a poor epxerience and we wouldn't stay again."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average

Overall

Zambia between 11 Mar 2011 and 22 Mar 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"All in all it was a wonderful holiday and (having said that it would be a one-off) we can't wait to return next year.
I cannot recommend RPS highly enough (and I'm usually pretty difficult to please!).

Expert Africa arranged everything smoothly and efficiently and we would be pleased to use them again.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

It's hard to improve on flawless!"

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Nkwali

Nkwali

"Brilliant safari at Nkwali"

2 nights Arrived 12 Mar 2011
"This was our first experience of Zambia and Kiki and the team made it memorable. The skill with which they operate the camp and the levels of professionalism in their hospitality outrank most 5 star hotels I've stayed in.

The logistics of looking after us and feeding us so far from "civilisation" are complex and we do not underestimate the supreme effort that RPS have to put in to make it all run so smoothly. The staff were at all times friendly, willing and efficient, above and beyond the call of duty.

Our guide Kanga was very good and went to endless trouble to find us animals and birds. The surprise sundowner on our last night was very, very special."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nsefu

Nsefu

"Wonderful time at nsefu"

3 nights Arrived 14 Mar 2011
"As with Nkwali, Daudi and Freddy went out of their way to make us welcome and to look after us in great style. The river safaris were magical, as was the walk to see the breeding colony of yellow billed storks.

The staff worled very hard to look after us and I was very touched by the pride with which Isaac presented our food every day."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nkwali

Nkwali

"Return to Nkwali"

2 nights Arrived 17 Mar 2011
"See my comments on the first visit. [Ed: see below]"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sindabezi

Sindabezi

"Stay at Sindabezi"

2 nights Arrived 19 Mar 2011
"The setting and the hospitality at Sindabezi were extremely good. We had the island to ourselves for one of our two nights and we were looked after in grand style.

We especially enjoyed a bubble bath under the stars overlooking our own private beach on the Zambezi and the bush TV after dinner!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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