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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs S from Essex

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

5

Countries visited

4

Lodges stayed in

16

Excursions taken

0

A successful return trip

Botswana between 31 Oct 2019 and 12 Nov 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"Looking for wild dogs was well worth the risk of travelling at the start of the rains."

Machaba Camp

Machaba Camp

"Dogs & Hyena galore "

4 nights Arrived 1 Nov 2019
"This camp is beautifully located on the banks of the river and spread through a wooded area. The tents are really comfortable, well equipped and cool during the daytime. The staff were wonderful and friendly and the food was excellent.

The rains came the morning we arrived which meant the game was now going to be a little sparse. We didn't see too many elephants, except a few bulls but there was still game about which meant there was still going to be predators about too. We were not disappointed with a wild dog hunt and kill on our first full day right on the river in front of the camp (we were woken from our siesta by impala running past the tent in hot pursuit by a wild dog). The dogs remained in the area for a couple of days and we enjoyed a few encounters. Lions weren't really playing ball and we had to drive into Moremi to find a couple of big males that had been spotted one afternoon. We had a couple of good leopard sightings, plus plenty of visits to the communal hyena den to see the cubs. There was good bird life on the river brought in by the insects and reptiles the rains bring out and the Hippos were really entertaining to watch from the comfort of our tent.

The shared vehicle was a bit busy with 7 guest in it during a few drives, this did mean agreeing to do what other people wanted to do which got a little tedious at times with safari newcomers who didn't understand what the rains do to plains game wanting to find Zebra and Giraffe when there were wild dogs in the area but we had to go with the flow. I would consider booking a private vehicle if I ever return."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kwara Camp

Kwara Camp

"A Palace in the Bush"

6 nights Arrived 5 Nov 2019
"Our return visit after 6 years and boy hasn't she transformed into something else from the dark stilted tents of Little Kwara to the palatial bright cabins of the new Kwara Camp. The camp now covers the area that both of the original camps used to, the lounge, bar and dining areas are huge. The camp has an excellent policy of restricting vehicles to 4 people per game drives. As we were staying for 6 nights we shared with a mix of other guests or had the vehicle to ourselves, our first drive was with an incredibly toxic couple but fortunately they were gone the next day.

We loved the pairing of both tracker and guide at both Kwando Lagoon and Little Kwara when we travelled to Botswana in 2013 which was one of the many reasons why we chose to return to Kwara again. We were with head guide Dave and tracker J.D. (Justice) whose knowledge, patience and dedication rustled up some magnificent and unique sightings for us. We had magnificent cheetah sightings both with the Kwara regular male 'Special' and an interloper. We were also patient enough to wait for Special to take down a reedbuck on our last day. The camp was flexible enough to hold lunch for us until we returned to camp .

A 24 strong pack of wild dogs came through camp and killed a young kudu on the edge of camp, it was all over in 20 minutes. There was plenty of lion activity, we went out on a late drive one evening and witnessed two outside males make a bid for a large pride of females and cubs. The pride fled, we followed and the concession was filled with roars for hours to come. We also had regular encounters with a large male leopard that was cool as a cucumber with vehicles."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Great elephant and cat experience

Tanzania between 1 Mar 2018 and 10 Mar 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Not long enough!

We had a fantastic time and can't wait to return to Africa and its precious wildlife.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No."

Oliver's Camp

Oliver's Camp

"Remote and Rustic charm of Oliver's Camp"

3 nights Arrived 2 Mar 2018
"We saw an awful lot during our three nights stay including incredible herds of elephants and giraffe. We did a night safari during a thunder storm and saw wild cat and Genets with their quarry.

Views from the breakfast/sundown deck were incredible and totally recommend an afternoon bush walk where we saw herds of elephants coming down to the river to drink.

We were lucky to have a wonderful guide who was genuinely passionate about wildlife and worked hard to ensure that we saw the best the area had to offer."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Namiri Plains Camp

Namiri Plains Camp

"Authentic bush experience with cats galore"

4 nights Arrived 5 Mar 2018
"Numerous cheetah sightings, lions and a leopard with cubs was the icing on the cake.

We were lucky enough for the migration to pass through and saw cheetahs attempting to hunt on several occasions. Our guide was excellent and went out of his way to make sure we found what we were looking for."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

A wonderful holiday, can't wait to get back

Kenya between 20 Feb 2016 and 6 Mar 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Amazing and life changing!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Please look at including Uganda."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Laikipia Wilderness

Laikipia Wilderness

"Painted dogs galore, a heavenly experience"

6 nights Arrived 20 Feb 2016
"This camp is wonderful, intimate and homely. The rooms are comfortable, the food is lovely, and the hosting friendly and jovial. We were there primarily to see the incredible wild dog, and we were given a fantastic guide who worked incredibly hard and pulled out all the stops to ensure that we not only saw lots of dogs but we actually "hung out" with them.

We arrived at camp in the afternoon and within an hour or so we were on our first game drive. About an hour later we were lying on our front on the ground surrounded by a beautiful pack which included 11 puppies. We spent six nights at this camp and our viewings of, and interactions with, painted dogs were utterly sublime. We love this place and we simply cannot wait until we return.

My husband had already stayed at this camp on a photographic trip in 2015, and he was just as thrilled by his second visit there."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Rekero

Rekero

"Fabulous Rekero"

3 nights Arrived 26 Feb 2016
"This was our first visit to the Mara and we were a little apprehensive because of everything we'd heard about the Mara being ridiculously busy and overcrowded. It was a little overrun with vehicles whenever there was a sighting but there was a sense of good nature about it. If you have any reservations about the Mara then don't. It is unbelievably beautiful and the big cat sightings were terrific.

The camp is very comfortable and wonderfully positioned. The food is gorgeous and the hosting very friendly.

We were blessed with a wonderful guide, Dan, who was so entertaining, made us laugh and can not only work out which grazer a cheetah is going to go for but can also work out where this is going to take place! An extraordinary place, highly recommended."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Naboisho Camp

Naboisho Camp

"Fantastic Naboisho"

5 nights Arrived 29 Feb 2016
"This was our second camp in the Mara as we wanted to experience the Mara in a conservancy. And, yes, it does make a difference, incredible wildlife viewings but without the "crowds". This is part of the Asilia group and offers all the luxuries and impeccable food, hosting and service one would expect.

The location of this camp deserves special mention, our "tent" was located in front of wide open savannah - what more can one say about such a place? We loved it and although we don't usually revisit any location (unless it's to see wild dogs, of course) we may pay this gorgeous camp another visit in the future. Oh, and the big cat sightings were simply breathtaking. AND we saw two Honey Badgers being hotly pursued by a lioness on a game rich plain.

Perfection."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
The Emakoko

The Emakoko

"The Emakoko, Nairobi"

1 night Arrived 5 Mar 2016
"We wanted to spend one night in Nairobi before flying home in order to squeeze a visit to the David Sheldrick Sanctuary to visit our foster elephant.

If you need an "overnighter" in Nairobi, then the Emakoko is the place to stay. It is comfortable, friendly, well organised and the food is delicious. Don't research anywhere else!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Go visit Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe between 2 Sep 2014 and 16 Sep 2014

Trip rating: Good
"Although we were terribly disappointed by the lack of painted dog sightings, especially the puppies, we are obviously well aware that this type of experience can never be guaranteed or, indeed, booked in advance!

We thoroughly enjoyed Zimbabwe and would urge anyone considering a safari, particularly their first, to look at this majestic country. The country is on the mend and the guiding is first class.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No"

Sprayview Hotel

Sprayview Hotel

"Good place to start your trip"

1 night Arrived 3 Sep 2014
"Perfectly adequate place to rest your head after a long flight and before you head off into the bush.

Comfortable room, water was hot, excellent buffet breakfast and a nice fish and chip supper (although maybe a little overpriced)."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange

"Wonderful Camp Hwange"

4 nights Arrived 4 Sep 2014
"Really comfortable “tents” that overlooked the camp’s own waterhole which was huge, but alas no animal activity around it at all. Had some great drives around the NP and the camp’s own concession. The resident denning Jackal with cubs was a real treat.

Evening sun downers were spent around some of the local pans watching elephants come and go. I don’t think we will ever forget the 100+ elephants that gathered around Masuma dam on our final evening.

Food was excellent, especially evening meals around the long table, where lively conversations ensued.

The guiding was first class. Our guide, George, was really enthusiastic and took us on a walk to take a look at a leopard kill that had been taken over by very noisy hyenas. We watched the hyenas from beyond some rocks until a lioness boldly came barging into the scene and it was time to retreat back to the vehicle. A very up close and personal encounter which was very exciting.

Night drives were extremely productive with serval and honey badger sightings on more than one occasion.

There was a lovely atmosphere to this camp, everyone was very friendly and helpful, i.e. we experienced a problem with a couple who were birders, we mentioned it to our guide and the problem was rectified immediately and without any bad feelings.

We really enjoyed our stay here."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Kanga Bush Camp

Kanga Bush Camp

"Where the wilderness comes to you"

3 nights Arrived 8 Sep 2014
"Our favourite lodge of this trip with very comfortable accommodation with a view across the camp's pan. The camp is a long way from the river and a long day's adventure away, if you are staying on the river later on in your trip then we recommend not to leave Kanaga, simply sit in one of their comfortable chairs, enjoy the warm hospitality and wonder at the array of wildlife that comes to the waterhole. Perfect. We had a really excellent guide, Reggie.

We were very disappointed in not seeing any painted dogs, the Kanga pack were suspected to be denning in the neighbouring hunting zone and had not been seen for weeks. We did however have the privilege of meeting Greg Rasmusenn, the painted dog research man himself. Actually we bumped into him no less than five times during our stay in Mana Pools!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Vundu Camp

Vundu Camp

"Don't judge a book by its cover"

4 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2014
"On arrival our first impressions were a little negative. The accommodation although dated and minimal in appearance, was very comfortable. This is an intimate family run camp where the owner/guides are passionate about what they do best, which is guiding.

Alistair our guide had been guiding for years and was very knowledgeable about the bush. He worked hard to find us game and new close encounter experiences with elephants, lions and, what we went to Mana for, Painted Dogs.

The Vundu pack had left their den only a few days before our arrival so our hopes of seeing them at the den were shattered. They had just gone nomadic and had not been seen for a few days. Alistair tried desperately for our first two days to find them but to no avail. Then on our third morning, up before dawn and onto the flood plain for first light, we found them purely by accident while we were approaching a bull elephant on foot. Possibly one of the best dog encounters we have ever had, running after a pack of wild dogs while our guide followed us in the vehicle from the nearby road.

Another evening we went walking looking for three lionesses but had no luck until we accidentally walked into the scrub area where they were sleeping. The lionesses woke up and gave out an almighty growl stopping us in our tracks. Although clearly annoyed at our presence, these nice ladies said no more about it and sent us on our way. An incredible life experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Average

My Sep 2013 trip

Botswana between 13 Sep 2013 and 29 Sep 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"Absolutely wonderful, a real once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No."

Arranged By Megan Green


Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 14 Sep 2013
"An excellent start to our safari. The lodge was in a wonderful setting, friendly staff and good food. But the real highlight was the quality of the tracking and guiding.

The standard of guiding and tracking was exceptional. Within an hour of being in the bush we were amidst a pride of six lions. During our four day stay we also had two wonderful and lengthy wild dog pack encounters and tracked a leopard for over an hour. We also experienced a fantastic hyena pack devouring half a kudu."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Selinda Camp

Selinda Camp

"Selinda Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 18 Sep 2013
"This was our favourite camp. The right side of luxurious without being over the top. The view from our tent was utterly breathtaking. The management team, especially Lizzie and Dave, were very friendly and welcoming. The food was of a phenomenally high standard, as was the guiding. Koop, our guide, worked very hard and helped us to experience some terrific wildlife viewing.

For example, on our final morning we watched dogs with pups, hyenas fighting over a carcass, three buffalo crossing the spillway, a leopard eating a buffalo calf and also found a leopard up a tree.

A delightful experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara review"

3 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2013
"Our stay at Little Kwara was perhaps a little coloured by the fact that wild life viewing during our time there was not particularly good. Nothing to do with the guiding, just that the animals were not at home.

The camp was intimate, the tents perhaps a little worn but still comfortable, but the management was maybe a little more "laid back" than the other camps we visited.

We did see a number of lions and a leopard and lots and lots of giraffes - no wild dogs alas."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Vumbura Plains

Vumbura Plains

"Vumbura Plains review"

4 nights Arrived 24 Sep 2013
"Absolutely fantastic location, and the guiding was excellent. We were given a family room, which was well over the top for our needs. Hosting, management and food was as expected for a camp of this high standing.

The eco system was quite different to the other camps we visited, much more lush and water based. Again, we had fantastic wildlife experiences: four leopards (including a mother and her cub), a pride of eight lions, two lone wild dogs which we tracked through mopane for some time and large herds of elephants.

We particularly enjoyed dinner in the bush, which was arranged as a surprise and it certainly was.

Unfortunately a premier camp like this attracts some rather garish and ignorant people who insisted on talking throughout what should have been wonderful wildlife experiences; i.e. talking loudly whilst lions were drinking at a waterhole. This should have been a lovely experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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