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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr S from Illlinois

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

5

Lodges stayed in

11

Excursions taken

0

My Aug 2014 trip

Tanzania between 5 Aug 2014 and 15 Aug 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"As I said in my e-mail, Expert Africa did an excellent job in all respects.

I was particularly impressed by the ease of my transfer in Dar es Salaam between the International and Domestic terminals.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

None, because everything was just perfect."

Kwihala Camp

Kwihala Camp

"Superb Experience"

5 nights Arrived 5 Aug 2014
"My Splendid Safari in Ruaha National Park

I recently returned from a ten-day safari to Southern Tanzania. I had booked this safari through Expert Africa, and it was already
my third safari with them. I flew from Nairobi to Dars em Salam, and had expressed mh trepidation that one hour would'nt be sufficient
to make my connection to Ruaha. Well, I was pleasantly surprised as the transfer went perfectly smooth. I then flew to Ruaha where I was picked up at the air strip by Douadi, a tracker as well as an apprentic guide in training. I have to mention that he has three wives and one child and is planning to have ninemoe children. He is a traditional Maasai tribesman.

At the camp I was met by Mitchelle, the temporary managerwho hails from Zambia. She was kind, charming and always helpful. Absent minded as always, I somehow managed to loose the return portion of my return ticket to Nairobi. Mitchelle contacted Expert Africa, who sent me the return portion of my ticket, which she promptly printed out for me. I made sure not to loose it again. I enjoyed talking to her about her career as a photographer in South Africa, the U.K and all over Africa.

I enjoyed the tents at Kwihala Lodge as they were roomy and comfortable. Hotwater bucket showers were always available. A generator provided power twenty-four hours a day. A gentle breeze cooled off the camp. I really enjoyed the communal didning. I remember that everything served was extremely delicious. The campfires before dinner were delightful.

I saw many giraffes, impalas, buffaloes, jackals, zebras and babbons. I also viewed a black-necked spitting cobra as well as a rarely seen Egyptian mongoose, and both civet and genet. I saw many lions and too many elephants to mention. My guide Lorenzo and his assistant Douadi asked me what I wanted to see and when I responded a klipspringer, they managed to show me two of them. I was fortunate enough to have a Landcruiser the entire time I was there.

I'm an avid birder, so I have to say I was'nt disappointed. As for birds of prey, I was able to see four different species; a Tawny, an African Hawk-Eagle and a Brown Snake Eagle. I also saw a beatiful Eastern-Chanting Goshawk and a lovely Grey Kestrel.

There was no lack of beatiful and graceful aquatic birds as well. I saw a Pied Kingfisher, an African Open-Billed Stork and a Yellow Billed-Stork. I've long enjoyed watching lilac Breasted Rollers and so for this reason, I was delighted to see a little Bee Eater, as well as Rufous Crowned Roller. Another gorgeous bird I observed through binoculars was the Variable Sunbird. The most beautiful bird I saw was the Yellow Collared lovebird, although a Cut Throat Finch was a close contender.

I'm looking forward to another visit to Kwihala but this time in February, or March because I'd love to see bat-eared fox and all the species of immigrant birds. Again, I have to stress that the guiding was superb which is the most important part of any safari."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kichaka Expeditions

Kichaka Expeditions

"Moli is the Best"

5 nights Arrived 10 Aug 2014
"Kichaka-Moli and Noelle Satisfied My Highest Satisfactions.

I had heard the most fabolous things about the legendary Andrew Molinaro, and while I was at Kichaka Camp, they all turned out to be true. Moli as he's best-known has not only been guiding for years in the Tanzania wilderness. He also studied zoology at Cardiff University in the U.K. Noelle's experience managing camps is very extensive. They both speak fluent Swahili. Kichaka is in a section of Ruaha National Park, where it's the only lodge, and you won't see any vehicles. In my six African Safaris, I have never been to a more secluded area. it's a also a very flexible camp as it emphasizes on walking safaris, but also does game drives and sleep outs. Kichaka will only take one group ensuring that there will be a maximum of six people in your party.

Moli gives an ongoing narration as he guides you. He is nothing less than a stirring narrator. He can lecture on a wide variety of subjects. he should, without a doubt have a shoe on television, and am not exaggerating. I believe that guiding is is an individual style and Moli's makes everything nothing less that sublime.

After one walk, I developed a nasty blister on my toe. I was amazed that Moli knew how to treat it with a plastic blister treatment, and it soon went away. For sometime I was unable to walk due to it. During the game drive, I saw another mongoose, a lesser kudu, a Defassa waterbuck and more lons.

During my walks from Kichaka camp I saw lots of elephnats, giraffes, a male lion crossing the Mwagusi river and another Egyptian mongoose. i also had the luck to see three Roan antelope. The most fabulous thing I saw was a black a black-necked spitting cobra.

The birding in Kichaka was excellent. Amongst other birds, I saw an African Harrier Hawk, a Bare Faced Go Away bird, a Shallow Tailed Bee-Eater, a Mottled Swift and too mant others to list here. I was thrilled to see the Ruaha Red-Billed Hornbill as it's indigenous to the National park.

I enjoyed the food, as it was way better than Kichaka's. All was excellent particularly Noelle's Zanzibar fish soup. The lunch of fajitas was memorable.

Thus, Kichaka is one camp that deserves only the highest praise. I'll be returning soon enough. Yes, I give Expert Africa the highest marks for this safari."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Another Mind Blowing Safari

Zimbabwe and 3 other countries between 13 Aug 2013 and 6 Sep 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"My trip couldn't have been better. Nick Hobbs did a superb job of arranging all the logistics so that almost everything went smoothly. I have to send my special thanks to managing director Chris McIntyre for sending me my binoculars after I misplaced them on a flight between Tuba Tree Camp and Lagoon Camps. I received them at City Lodge and Chris even paid for shipping them. I was truly impressed by his kindness and generosity.

This was my second safari with Expert Africa and I'm already going to another one next year. I've already been on five safaris, but I still have along bucket list of locations in Africa I want to either visit or revisit.

I love the fact that unlike it's numerous competitors in Great Britain, the United States, and South Africa Expert Africa places the emphasis as much as possible on visiting unfenced national park or concessions, and staying at lodges which aren't fenced as well. This in my experience and many other safari goers I've met greatly improves gong on safari.

I will undoubtedly take more safaris with ExpertAfrica."

City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"The Perfect Place to Stay Overnight at the Ai"

1 night Arrived 14 Aug 2013
"It is an easy 10 minute walk from City Lodge to the main terminal at OR Tambo. It is a reasonably priced alternative to the Intercontinental Hotel at the airport which is twice as expensive.

The rooms are comfortable and all the necessary amenities although they aren't particularly large. The staff is efficient and polite, but not especially friendly. I have to say that the breakfast buffet was outstanding and I was amazed at wide range of items available. Furthermore, everything was very fresh and the quality was excellent.

Yes It is an ideal place to stay if you have a flight the next day from Johannesburg."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Tubu Tree Camp

Tubu Tree Camp

"The Leopard sightings were Awesome"

3 nights Arrived 15 Aug 2013
"Tuba Tree is famed as amongst safari goers as the best place in the Okavango Delta for leopard sighting, and I can't say that I was at all disappointed. I've never spent so long with a leopard as on my drive after I arrived at Tuba tree. it was on another game drive that I saw two leopards. There was plenty of wildlife around the camp including elephants, greater kudu, red lechwe. bushbuck, and hyenas that tried to join us at dinner table!!! The birding was also superb both on game drives and seen from the camp.

The new tents are spacious and comfortable. There are both outdoor and indoor showers. One can see a lot of wildlife from the deck of his tent. They are equipped with ceiling fans with prevent the tents from getting overly hot during the daytime.

The camp's location is superb as you truly feel surrounded by the Delta. One hears plenty of wildlife at night. You truly feel like you're in the bush.

I have to say that the food was superb at every meal. I would call it nothing less than gourmet in quality. The chef prepared a quiche with chili peppers that was the best quiche I've ever eaten. One is feed no less than seven times a day including the snacks on game drives.

Tuba Tree offers an excellent mixture of land and water activities. I enjoyed the mokoro trip, as well as the speedboat ride in the Delta. I saw plenty of aquatic birds on both trips.

I have to mention that my guide Seretse was superb. He had tremendous enthusiasm for his job, knowledge and was able to explain the ecosystem of the Delta brilliantly."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Fantastic Again for Wild Dogs"

3 nights Arrived 18 Aug 2013
"This was my second time in Lagoon camp and I loved it every bit as much as my last visit. The highlight of my visit was a confrontation betweeEXn 9 wild dogs, a lioness, and 4 hyenas. Our vehicle passed the wild dog pack and went on to see 6 adult lions: two males and four females eating a large male kudu. There were at least 60 vultures in the trees waiting for the remnants.

The smell of the kill brought the wild dogs towards the kill, and a female lion roared and chased off the dogs, who in turn pursued the 4 hyenas. it was absolutely awesome.

I have to say that Matt was a superb guide and was ably assisted by his tracker Elmo. Matt knows Expert Africa's managing director Chris McIntrye and says that he's a good man. I'll never forget how one of my fellow passengers on this game drive forgot his camera case and Matt managed to find it just as it was getting dark. Matt showed incredible tracking ability.

I saw wild dogs on almost every game drive, when I saw a leopard in a tree. I saw plenty of elephants. I also learned that there are various types of terrain in the Kwando concession. I loved seeing the wild dogs running through the forest. Again the rooms were huge and very comfortable. I appreciated having a porcelain bath tub, as well as an indoor and outdoor shower. The bed was big enough for three people.

The food was excellent and always served in huge portions. I particularly enjoyed dinner one night when were served the local cuisine. The pap and beef were delicious.

Obi and Peter made a very kind and management team. Peter has years of experience managing camps both in Botswana and Tanzania. The test of the staff was also excellent. Yes, I'm sure that I'll visit Kwando camps again."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"A Perfect Stay"

1 night Arrived 21 Aug 2013
"This was my second stay at Ilala Lodge, and again I was quite happy staying here. The location is superb as is the service.

The rooms are fine and comfortable although they could use some renovation. I have to say that dinner in the restaurant was superb. I had the crocodile and ostrich. I also enjoyed the buffet breakfast."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Stretch Ferreira Safaris Camp

Stretch Ferreira Safaris Camp

"Stretch is the True Elephant Talker"

3 nights Arrived 22 Aug 2013
"Stretch has an amazing sense of humor, and he knows the bush as well as anyone. I still can't believe how he got a wild elephant to pose with 8 of us. He knows a huge number of elephants in Mana Pools National Park and talks to them personal. He also brought all of us to a wild dog den. We heard the sentinel bark and then arrived pat the original den. We moved on to the den the dogs were currently using only to hear the rest of the pack bark and disappear. I found it fascinating to talk to him about Zimbabwe during and after the war.

I saw plenty of other wildlife besides elephants at Goliath Camp including: eland, zebra, impala, lions, kudu, and plenty of beautiful birds.

The dinners and desserts were luscious. Of course I enjoyed eating outdoors.

Stretch is ably assisted by his partner Flo Coughlin. The rest of the staff is also excellent including guides Ruben and Siraj.

The location is superb along the river. This was my second time in Mana Pools and I certainly enjoyed it again."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Vundu Camp

Vundu Camp

"Fantastic Canoe Safari and Pack of Wild Dogs"

6 nights Arrived 25 Aug 2013
"I have to say that yes it's true that the three days I took on my canoe safari were indeed one of the most spectacular wilderness experiences that anyone can have in Africa or for that matter in the world. It was wonderful to paddle down the Zambezi River and see the both Mana Pools National Park and Lower Zambezi Park in Zambia from the perspective of the river.

There are literally thousands of hippos in the river, and one also sees elephants, buffalo, bushbuck, and a tremendous variety of birds including little bee eaters, goliath herons, and many others.

I don't consider the canoe safari dangerous because you are accompanied by some of the best and most experienced guides in Africa. They all carry both a pistol because it is more effective at short range as well as a rifle. I had a fellow canoeist who had an incredible ability to dodge hippos, and scare them off by hitting the canoe with his paddle. His name is Mark, and my guide's name is Alistair. However, I wouldn't recommend going on this canoe safari for those who are faint at heart.

In the three days that I was at Vundu Camp I was most unlucky because the game viewing hadn't been as good when I had come here two years ago nor as in the same league of Goliath camp. I did however see an elephant tear down a leadwood tree with his trunk which was quite a site to see. After six days of no luck, I was finally rewarded by seeing no less than 15 wild dogs returning from a kill. It was just as I was leaving Mana Pools. When my guide said look there's wild dogs over there I thought he was joking. It really made my stay at Vundu Camp worthwhile.

It was nice having Nick Murray, his wife Desiree, and their two children were staying at the camp. My guide Alistair was a true gentleman and it was fascinating to talk to him about his experiences as a pilot, guide and soldier.

The rooms are somewhat austere but comfortable. I love the open air showers.

My only serious complaint about Vundu Camp is that while I was there 4 out 5 of their vehicles experienced breakdowns. However, I'm sure that Nick will get the problem resolved.

The food was good, although not quite up the standards of my last stay. It was also less plentiful."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Awesome Again"

3 nights Arrived 31 Aug 2013
"This was my second stay at Kaingo and was again fabulous. Everything was superb especially the guiding. It was nice that Derek Shenton was in camp and we all got know him. He has an excellent sense of humor.

The cottages were very comfortable. I enjoyed staying out one night in the elephant hide and listening to all the sounds of the bush. The food was excellent and we were served no less than seven times a day.

I saw a pride of young lions inexpertly kill a buffalo, they began eating it when it was still alive and struggling. The poor beast's face had been torn off. I then watched two male lions fight when a young male attempted to join the pride. The younger one ran off.

I also watched two hippos fight until the younger one retreated.

The night drives were as expected the best one can have in Africa. I saw leopards two night out of three nights I was here,as well as genets, civets, porcupines, owls and more."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

"If possible better than Kaingo"

3 nights Arrived 31 Aug 2013
"At Mwamba you feel even more than at Kaingo that you're truly in the bush. It has to do with the unique way the huts are constructed and their open air showers. The huts may be basic but they are certainly comfortable and there is plenty of hot water.

I really appreciated the hide built above the water hole. I saw plenty of wildlife from the hide as well as birds including the very beautiful Lillian's lovebirds. I also have to say it was a great pleasure to visit the Carmine Bee eater's hide,

The manager Marlene is a wonderful person who couldn't be kinder or more helpful. Furthermore she loves the bush and is well liked and respected by all of her staff.

I loved walking at Mwamba. We usually walked for three and a half hours each morning which includes my initial walk from Kaingo to Mwamba. I discovered that sometimes you see more wildlife walking than from the vehicle. My guides Andy and Patrick are without a doubt some of the best and most experienced in South Luangwa National Park or anywhere in Africa for that matter.

It is also true of my guide Meyam at Kaingo Camp. I have to say that Patrick is one of the funniest people that I've ever met; I was constantly cracking up.

The night drives were also superb. I finally saw a serval which has long been on my list of dream animals. I also saw two honey badgers, more leopards and a pride of lions tearing apart a zebra. I will definitely return to South Luangwa National Park."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"City Lodge OR Tambo review"

1 night Arrived 3 Sep 2013
"Please see my first review. [Ed: see below.]"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

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