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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs D from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

Zambia, October 2011

Zambia between 19 Oct 2011 and 29 Oct 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"Fabulous. Thank you.

Claire, Chris and Elllie were very helpful in finding just what we wanted, which was quite specific. We discussed Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, before choosing to go again to Zambia. And although I had a good idea of where we wanted to go, having been there quite a lot, Claire was able to help me structure the visit and i think part of its success was very much in the sequence. The arrangements made were absolutely spot on and apart from the ghastly Pamodzi, everthing was absolutely FANTASTIC. It couldn't have been better.

Thanks also for the Bradt guide, which we read constantly and found really helpful.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Not really.

I suppose the cost was the only snag but then we were flying on a private plane and staying in top lodges, a really exclusive tailor made holiday, so what do I expect?"

Arranged By Claire Scott


Wasa Lodge

Wasa Lodge

"Wasa Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Oct 2011
"It is more than 20 years since we last visited Wasa and it has changed hugely but not at the expense of its simplicity and essence. It is a very special place.

We were most warmly welcomed by everyone there who took great care to accommodate any wishes we had and our stay was a joy. The location is beautiful, the staff delightful, food delicirous, rooms very comfortable and bird and game viewing great - we were so lucky to see the first of the fruit bats and enjoyed a well guided walk round the lake. We also enjoyed meeting other guests.

Everything was great - from the day trip to visit the Livingstone Memorial and Chief Chitambo (whom we didn't actually meet but loved the whole adventure), expertly guided by the charming Emmanuel, to dinner with some of the most interesting and engaging people we have met for a very long time. Thank you to Ernst and his team, you got it absolutely spot on."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Shiwa Ng'andu

Shiwa Ng'andu

"Shiwa Ng'andu review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Oct 2011
"What can I say? Shiwa is a once in a lifetime experience and one that none of us will ever forget. It's everything we hoped it would be and very much more. We absolutely loved it.

Jo and Charlie Harvey are so generous with their time and as well as the wonderful bird walk, visit to the graves of the people killed by the crocs and mountain climb, the tour of the archives was one of the most fascinating things I have ever experienced and my companions were equally entranced. We loved the extraordinary house, the spectacular location, Jo and Charlie, their staff and the lovely Fran, who is helping with the archives, as well as the delightful menagerie of animals. We felt like very special guests and that is a great skill. Thank you.

It's difficult to grade Shiwa - it doesn't really fit into the boxes."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

"Chikoko Tree Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 24 Oct 2011
"Another winner. Chikoko is in the most gorgeous location and the chalets (may not be the proper word) are beautifully placed and comfortable but not at the expense of their beauty and simplicity. After a little bit of a tricky start (one of our twin bedded rooms was available and we spent the first night in the guide's chalet - not with him of course!) it was perfect. Mix-ups happen and John Coppinger was most apologetic so this isn't worth any kind of fuss.

We were lucky with the other guests on the second night, who were amusing and lively company. I suppose with such an intimate set-up, we could have picked the short straw and found ourselves stuck in the Bush with people we couldn't stick, which could have been a bit of a downer (for them too as four women of a certain age isn't everyone's cup of tea) but that fate was avoided, particularly on the second night.

The staff are charming and most attentive and the food is fabulous. Bravo Patson. Alex Phiri is a charming and interesting host and most knowledgeable guide too and we loved being reunited with the irrepressible Brighton, owner of Africa's most engaging laugh for sure.

One small point is worth making. On our first day's walk there was a logistical challenge as two guests from Chikoko had to be swopped with two from Crocodile Camp, not a simple thing to sychronise in the Zambian Bush. However, the four and a half hour walk in blistering heat was too long for most of us. Two of our group is over 70 and I am the youngest at almost 60. I realise that as part of a larger group, it's not possible to hive off when the going gets too much but the walk was an endurance test for us, given the very high temperature.

Alex was able to show us some fascinating things, we would never have picked up elsewhere but we found the tests a bit of a challenge - or maybe it was just that the heat got to us."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Tafika

Tafika

"Tafika review"

2 nights Arrived 26 Oct 2011
"Tafika is every bit as good as we remembered it and we were so warmly welcomed back. The Coppingers are the most charming hosts and we also loved Heather, who gets everything on the hospitality side absolutely spot on. The atmosphere is so welcoming and relaxing, the location is stunning, lodges so comfortable and well maintained and the balance between comfort and fitting in with the environment is perfectly struck. Tafika is magical.

And so is the food. Rhona and her team create the most delicious and interesting meals, I will remember them for a long time.

We enjoyed some day and night drives - one with Isaac Zulu, whom we first met 30 years ago - and the walk with Bryan for two of us was much enjoyed. Our other guides were also delightful and knowledgable. The only bad thing is having to leave."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"Taj Pamodzi Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 28 Oct 2011
"Oh dear, the Pamodzi hasn't improved in the last 30 years! We first went there in 1980 and have stayed there quite a few times since on various press trips and I'm afraid it got a universal thumbs down from the group. The reception from the receptionist was uber chilly and we were kept waiting for a considerable time while passports were photocopied and various forms filled in but were not invited to sit, rather were left standing.

The only half good thing was a glass of fruit juice from the porter, who did his best to be friendly. The receptionist then announced grimly that one of the twin rooms was a smoking rooms and when we remonstrated we were grudgingly given an altenative. But all was still not well and when we got there we found the alternative was a double bedded room. When we moved to another on the same floor we found it was a smoking room. The other two of the group who were in an ostensibly non smoking room, reported that it smelled very strongly of smoke. So far, not so good.

The mini bar was stocked with a coke and tin of tonic water. Nothing else!

We asked to see the Duty Manager, who proved not to be a charm school graduate. He told us that we had paid a discounted rate for our rooms, the inference being that even though we had booked executive twins, we were pretty lucky to have got anything. We encouraged him to smooth ruffled feathers and he offered us a complimentary tea or coffee, which didn't appeal as it was 8pm by now. Eventually four glasses of wine arrived but not with any grace or enthusiasm.

Having waited to be served for some time, we eventually attracted the attention of a waiter and asked if he knew the Kwacha/dollar exchange rate so we could work out the cost of a bottle of wine. Further long delay before another waiter was able to answer this.

A grim buffet dinner, dry, tasteless and the not at all the standard to be expected from an international hotel. The breakfast was OK but all too much at 5am."
Terrible
Location
Good
Service
Terrible
Rooms
Average
Food
Terrible

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