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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs C from Hindhead

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

4

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

16

Excursions taken

0

My Sep 2022 trip to Meru, Samburu and Massai Mara

Kenya between 14 Sep 2022 and 25 Sep 2022

Trip rating: Excellent
"Originally trip was booked for 2020. We were pleased the trip was rolled over fairly painlessly to 2021 and then 2022.

Jessica has been there over the past three years to provide us with a high level of service.

This is our seventh safari (fourth with Expert Africa) and probably our best although they are all difficult to compare.

The local agent to meet us on arriving at Nairobi airport, Isaac? and transfers to and from Nairobi Wilson were very good"

Arranged By Jessica Plumb


Four Points Nairobi Airport

Four Points Nairobi Airport

"Four Points Nairobi Airport review"

1 night Arrived 14 Sep 2022
"We stayed at the Four Points for only one night, arriving late in the evening and leaving early the following morning. A representative of Expert Africa’s local agent was there to meet us just outside the arrival’s terminal at JKA and guided us to a Four Points car with driver to take us to the hotel a few minutes away.

We were efficiency checked in at the hotel and found the room to be a clean large and well appointed. All hotel staff were very polite and helpful.

We had to leave quite early the next morning but were able to have a breakfast in the restaurant which I was told is open 24 hrs a day. There was a wide selection of hot and cold food and drinks available in the restaurant in buffet style, and including a chef to cook you a fresh omelette."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Elsa's Kopje

Elsa's Kopje

"Elsa's Kopje review"

3 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2022
"We arrived at the airstrip in Meru to be met by Joe, our guide, for our three night stay at Elsa’s Kopje. Joe gave us some refreshments and a quick safety briefing before starting our transfer to the lodge. We were watched over by black faced vervet monkeys hoping to get some scraps, I think.

On the way to the lodge we saw many animals and birds, and on arrival staff were there to welcome us with hot towels and drinks. The lodge manager gave us a briefing, where everything was and on safety about the camp. During the day we could move freely abut the lodge but after dark there was always staff readily available to accompany us around the lodge.

All cottages have been built along a hillside although having similar facilities are all different in design. Our cottage was at one end with wonderful views out onto the plain below where we could see animals passing below from time to time. The cottage housekeeping services were excellent from wake-up calls with hot drinks and cookies, cleaning, laundry, to setting up mosquito nets around the bed each evening.

Being the last cottage along the hillside we had to walk on paved paths, for a few minutes, through the reception area/lounge and then on past other cottages to get to the restaurant/bar/swimming pool area. The position of our cottage suited us as we heard very little noise made by other guests moving about the lodge.

We saw lots of rock hyrax (can be a bit noisy), black faced vervet monkey wandering around the lodge and occasionally impala.

We went out on drives from about 6.30am to about 11am each morning and then again from around 4pm to dusk. We had breakfast out in the bush on two mornings. Our guide Joe was excellent in finding us multiple sightings of all the mammals normally to be seen in Meru (with four lion sightings) except for leopard and black rhino. Joe was so quick in seeing things we could have missed completely ourselves. Joe filled us in habits of the wildlife and the names of the many birds we saw. Joe was attentive to our safety, stopping at sighting for as long as we wanted and ensuring we saw as a wide range of wildlife as possible. Towards the end of the afternoon drives we stopped for sundowners and saw some wonderful sunsets.

Our lunches and dinners were served at individual tables in the restaurant where the waiting staff were fantastic. We particularly enjoyed the lunches where we were served a buffet of small dishes to choose from.

There is a small infinity pool with sun loungers around it which I just had to use!

In summary the accommodation fully met our expectations, the services in camp were of a high standard and Joe was a wonderful guide."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Elephant Bedroom

Elephant Bedroom

"Elephant Bedroom review"

3 nights Arrived 18 Sep 2022
"We arrived at the Samburu Kalama airstrip and were met by our guide Solomon (a native Samburu bought up close to the park) for our three night stay at Elephant Bedroom.

On the way to Elephant Bedroom we saw many animals and birds, and on arrival staff were there to welcome us with hot towels and drinks. We were given a briefing, where everything was and on safety about the camp and then shown to our tent. The monkeys which live around are so clever that just zipping up the tent is not sufficient to stop them getting in. We were supplied with a lock to put on the zips while we were both in and out of the tent!

We had a luxury tent which was vast. It had two double beds, a separate large seating and patio area (with plunge pool), all looking out onto the river. I’m sure the standard tent would have been more than adequate, but a deluxe tent was only one available when we booked. The tents are placed fairly close together strung out along the river's edge but there was extra screening put up between the tents either side of our tent. All the services to the tent whether wake up calls with hot drinks and cookies or cleaning were very good.

Our tent was the last but one from the main area but it was a short walk along a sandy path to get there. During the day you could move freely around but keeping an eye out for elephants which pass through the camp from time to time (which did happen while we were there) then at night, staff were always there to accompany you.

We went out on drives from about 6am to 9am each morning and then about 4pm to dusk each evening. The area we were in was very rich with wildlife. Our guide Solomon was fantastic. He spotted the smallest of animals and birds, recognised signs given by other animals and birds which indicated lion/leopard may be close by, and followed tracks left by animals. We had four leopard sighting and three lion sightings during our stay. Solomon spotted a leopard sitting on a rock at least 100ft above us. He heard another male leopard calling for females which he then spotted close by and which we followed for over 15 minutes before other vehicles arrived. We saw a pair of lions kill an Oryx and a pride of lions with two cubs. We saw wildlife special to Samburu such as Grevy’s Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Günther's dik-dik, Vulturine Guineafowl and Somali Bee-eater.

We had all our meals in the main area of Elephant Bedroom. Breakfast was a buffet style meal served immediately after our morning drive. The lunch was served on the beach area just in front of the river and dinner was up on the raised patio area. Lunch and dinners choices were offered and pre-selected before the mealtime. The food was of good quality and the waiting staff were excellent.

We attended a very enjoyable special sundowner with other guests where food, drinks and a singer with a guitar sang some Samburu songs.

We also made a visit to a local Samburu village to learn about how the Samburu people live which was very interesting.

In summary, we think Elephant Bedroom has the best location in Samburu, has one of the best density and range of wildlife we have come across in our seven safaris, the facilities of the camp are excellent, we were very fortunate to have Solomon as our guide, but Samburu is quite hot compared to the other places we stayed at during this trip."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Elephant Pepper Camp

Elephant Pepper Camp

"Elephant Pepper Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2022
"We arrived at the Maasai-Mara North airstrip to be met with hot towels and refreshment before the transfer to Elephant Pepper. On the way we saw Cheetah mother and two cubs as well as other animals.

On arrival we were met with hot towels and drinks followed by lunch then a full briefing by the camp manager. The monkeys are so clever at getting into tents the zips need to be secured by carbine hook. You could move around the camp freely during the day and staff at night were always there to escort you.

The camp is in a wooded area with views out into the distance where from time to time you could see elephants, giraffes and even a hippo. The camp and the area around was very peaceful which we appreciated compared to the camp in Samburu.

The tent had all the facilities we expected and had a shaded patio area in front. It was short distance from the main area along paved paths. All housekeeping services were very good.

Our guide was Sammy (a local Maasai) for our three night stay. Sammy was friendly and very good as our guide. We went out on morning drives from about 6:30 to about 11am and had breakfast in the bush. Afternoon drives were from about 4:30 to dusk which included a sundowner. At one sundowner I went around to the back of the vehicle and to my surprise saw a hyena sitting quietly five metres away. I alerted the presence of the hyena to Sammy and my wife and they then looked rather sceptically to the back to the vehicle to see I was not playing prank. The sunsets were amazing. On both early morning and late afternoon we needed extra layers on as the conservancy is quite high up and much cooler than the other parks we have been to.

The sighting during our stay included four cheetah family sighting, four lion sighting with one being a large pride with cubs, and leopard sighting which Sammy spotted and other guides touring around had failed to see. At one cheetah sighting the family were finishing off a young Topi and we followed them when they came across a hare which all three chased, but it escaped down a hole in the ground.

Sammy looked very hard for more leopards known to be around, but our luck had run out. There was other wildlife we saw special to the area such as the Masai Giraffe, Topi and Wildebeest.

There were three course lunches and dinner with lunch served in front of the main area buildings where you could see wildlife going by and dinner was served in one of the two restaurant buildings. The food was of good quality and the waiting staff were excellent.

One of the services offered to guests by the Elephant Pepper is an all-day trip to see one of the famous Maasai Mara animal crossing. This would have entailed nearly four hours of driving each way. As we had seen one of these crossing on a previous safari, we decided not to take up the offer and continue with drives in the conservancy.

In summary, the density of wildlife in the northern conservancy was not very high but there was plenty of wildlife to see. The level of services given by all camp staff was excellent. Our guide Sammy was excellent to, very conscious of our safety and marvellous at finding and telling us about the wildlife we saw."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

Beautiful Park but rather lacking in animals

Zambia between 19 Sep 2018 and 1 Oct 2018

Trip rating: Good
"We enjoyed this trip but not as much as other safaris as the number and variety of animals was disappointing."

Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"Pioneer Camp review"

1 night Arrived 20 Sep 2018
"This camp was peaceful, had friendly staff and the accommodation was good. All meals were good.

Excellent place to stay for a night."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Busanga Bushcamp

Busanga Bushcamp

"Busanga Bushcamp review"

3 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2018
"Camp was in a beautiful setting looking out across the Busanga plains.

Staff were very attentive and friendly. Food was extremely good and plentiful. The kitchen was very obliging when small requests were made.

Our guide Aaron was very good. The balloon trip was fantastic."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Musekese Camp

Musekese Camp

"Musekese Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 24 Sep 2018
"The camp was in a lovely location. Ephy our guide was competent. We would have preferred the safari vehicles to have a top to protect from the sun. The boat trip was very good. James led us on a guided walk which was very informative but intense.

The accommodation had a good view however it was too hot to sit out on the verandah in the afternoon as the shading was poor allowing a lot of sun to come through and also making the room very hot. The chalet itself was fine.

We were very disappointed with the food. The breakfast choice was very limited and quality was poor. For example toast was often cold and burnt, and only fruit was small pieces of browned apple with the occasional slice of banana in a small bowl with barely enough for all the guests. Lunch was provided as a buffet and of average quality. The portions of food provided at dinner should have been larger for an adult male.

the staff were friendly. The quality of service from the camp staff was inconsistent for example staff not always at bar to serve cold drinks on returning to camp after a drive, offering to serve a beer and then finding it had not been chilled, not having bucket shower ready when it had been requested."
Average
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Poor
Facilities
Good
KaingU Lodge

KaingU Lodge

"KaingU Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2018
"We loved this lodge. Beautiful location, rooms and central areas.

This is a very well managed camp and everything ran smoothly and we were made to feel valued guests. All staff were friendly and couldn't do enough for you.

The food was excellent and we were treated to a surprise lunch on an island in the river and dinner in the bush on the last night.

John D was an excellent experienced guide supported by trainee guide Daniel. We enjoyed the river trips and guided walk up to the rocky outcrop for sundowners."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Trip to Selous and Ruaha September 2015

Tanzania between 16 Sep 2015 and 25 Sep 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a fantastic holiday. Both camps were very good in their own ways. The whole trip ran very smoothly apart from comments below.

We will definitely use Expert Africa again.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Dar Es Salaam airport is chaotic. It is very hot and it is not clear where to go. We did not realise we had to fill in departure forms and had to go back to the end of the queue. Perhaps Africa travel should advise people of this form and process to get through this airport.

My wife felt quite faint with the heat and jostling crowds. It took more than an hour to get through past all the passport control and security points. Perhaps we should have been warned of this."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Impala Camp

Impala Camp

"Excellent Guiding and Service at Impala Camp"

4 nights Arrived 17 Sep 2015
"Camp is in an excellent position next to the river. The tents are set well apart and were well equipped. We enjoyed being on the end in tent 1 as it was very secluded and have us the opportunity to stretch our legs. The Masai were always there to accompany us.

Service was excellent in both the restaurant and bar. David, our water was very attentive and personable. The food was acceptable and portions were too large. There were some strange combinations and the food seemed to have been kept warm for some time. All meals were served at our table but we would have preferred buffet style service for lunch.The manager on duty at the time was a bit hit and miss in her dealing with us.

We were fortunate to have both a guide and a driver on our game drives and were on our own for every drive. Ezra, our guide, and Khalid, our driver, were excellent. We especially enjoyed the river trips and the surprise sundowner with fizz. The walking safari was a bit boring and the information could have been given to us in a fire side chat. e.g.: the history of the Masai."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Kigelia Camp

Kigelia Camp

"Great Bush Experience at Kigelia CAmp"

4 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2015
"The rooms are situated above a dry river bed but we saw little game from our tent. We thought the tents were too close together as you could hear other people talking which took away from the solitude we usually enjoy in the camps. The paths to the tents needed some maintenance especially some loose sandy steps which are especially dangerous at night.

The rooms were spacious but needed more storage. We needed a table to put things on and a few more shelves.

Service was excellent and we liked the fact that drinks were inclusive. The staff were not so chatty but we suspect their English was limited. Ken, the manager, was very attentive and professional. Times of meals and drives were very flexible and nothing was too much trouble.

John, our guide and driver, was experienced and very good at spotting animals and even small birds at a distance. He accommodated our interests and we were lucky enough to be on our own in the vehicle. We especially enjoyed the night drive.

The meals were good and freshly cooked. They were quite simple and there were a variety of vegetables."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

South Luangwa with Norman Carr Safaris

Zambia between 20 Jun 2012 and 2 Jul 2012

Trip rating: Good
"Accommodation was good or excellent. Staff were attentive, cheerful and helpful. It was a truly memorable holiday

There was a lack of game in general which detracted from an otherwise excellent safari.

We were told there was a 14 day menu but we had same dinner on consecutive nights on two occasions which was disappointing. On one occasion the menu should have been fish and I suspect as my wife does not like fish the next days menu was prepared ather than making her a different dish. The last night was completely vegetarian, I wonder whether this was because some other guest(s) were vegetarians.

I bought with me two batteries and a charger with me for my camera. The limited time in which batteries could be re-charged during the middle of the day meant I could not leave the camera on during game drives and hence missed photo opportunties as the camera powered up and secondly I had insufficent power to review and delete photos between game drives. The solar power systems appear to be inadequate to service the charging to batteries and the rest of the camp.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

There was not enough emphasis on how sparse the game could be at this time of year by the Expert Africa staff. When we were there the guiding staff had a much more realistic view on what we might see."

Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge

"Great Wildlife Sitings"

2 nights Arrived 21 Jun 2012
"Very good place to stay before going to bush camps to allow time to recover after a long journey. We experienced some of the best wildlife viewing on game drives from this lodge.

The transfer from Mfuwe Airport to Kapani Lodge was quite early in the day and we were unprepared for the open vehicle and speed of travel and so we were very cold on the journey."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Nsolo Bushcamp

Nsolo Bushcamp

"Great accommodation at Nsolo Camp"

2 nights Arrived 23 Jun 2012
"Loved the accomodation on stilts and decking area. Service was fantastic.

The guide called us just before our siesta time to take us to see some lions which had just been seen in the area.

We were delighted to have private dining on our decking area and to share it with a group of elephants.

Walking and vehicle game drives were not as interesting as we had hoped.

To improve privacy screening from the bedroom to bathroom needs to be higher to block views to the camp fire area."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Luwi Bushcamp

Luwi Bushcamp

"Great Hippo Hide at Luwi Bushcamp"

2 nights Arrived 25 Jun 2012
"Brunch in the bush was a lovely surprise. Hippo hide viewing was a great experience. Had excellent service from camp staff.

Walking and vehicle drives were not as interesting as expected.

We found the accommodation and main area building were too close together and we were disturbed by general noise from the bar area and conversations from the room next door.

People needed to walk past our chalet to access theirs and could easily see into our chalet."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Kakuli Bushcamp

Kakuli Bushcamp

"Best views at Kakuli Bushcamp"

2 nights Arrived 27 Jun 2012
"Accommodation and personal viewing area were fantastic. Wonderful views from common area. Service was excellent.

We had an excellent viewing of a leopard at this camp during the day. The walks were more interesting."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Mchenja Bushcamp

Mchenja Bushcamp

"Best Accommodation & location at Mchenja Camp"

2 nights Arrived 29 Jun 2012
"This bushcamp had the best location and accommodation of the four camps. Service was again excellent.

At last saw a good quantity and variety game.

We were delighted by the surprise champagne sundowner and camp fire held by the river where we watched a beautiful sunset."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"Pioneer Camp Review"

1 night Arrived 1 Jul 2012
"Transfers were good.

We were provided with inferior accommodation to what was booked due to an error. Although clean it was very basic and not of a standard we would normally book. The manager was very apologetic about the error and he is still in discussion with Expert Africa about this matter.

Strange service with the food which had be pre-ordered at check in and when we were called to the table the food already sitting there getting cold."
Poor
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Poor

Location
Average
Service
Average
Facilities
Poor
Rooms
Poor
Food
Average

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