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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs L from Ilkley

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

5

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

14

Excursions taken

0

Our July 2019 trip

Zambia between 4 Jul 2019 and 18 Jul 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"From start to finish our trip was wonderful, and the start is as always with the planning. Amanda Bond was extremely helpful and effiecient all the way through, and couldn't have done any more to make our trip the success it was.

We also found Tours Africa who provided all our road transfers to be very efficient and friendly and reliable, always keeping us informed and also always on time.

Lattitude15 as reported, we found had it's limitations but Tafika was as fantastic as ever.

We look forward to starting to plan our next trip.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

We cannot think of any way in which you could improve what seems to us to be already the best!"

Latitude 15

Latitude 15

"Latitude 15 - Disappointing"

1 night Arrived 5 Jul 2019
"Latitude 15 is in a great position especially in relation to the airport and it provides a very interesting environment given the artistic decor. On paper it looks like an ideal place to stay and indeed on a previous occasion it proved to be so.

However, we were very disappointed with our two stays here on this trip; one night at the beginning of our holiday and a further night at the end. We had hoped for a clean and comfortable place to stay and rest with good food. We found that although the rooms were well appointed they were not very clean, especially the bathroom areas where the floors and shower drains were dirty. Also although the towels and bed linen were laundered they were stained and also in one room the mattress, which did not have a cover on it, was also very badly stained.

Latitude 15 is clearly a very popular place to visit in Lusaka with many affluent locals and NGO personnel as their clientele. As a consequence it is really very busy and noisy, including live music until the early hours of the morning on a Wednesday and Friday night so don't expect a peaceful sleep after a long flight on these days.

Whilst the restaurants are well laid out and offer a comprehensive evening menu and the staff are very eager to please and are welcoming, on each occasion our evening meal was served cold and on cold plates. We deliberately chose food that should be piping hot but on each occasion it was very cold. On reflection we should have sent the food back to the kitchen but we didn't.
In contrast, each morning the breakfasts were served hot and on warmed plates - so the early morning team have clearly got it right!

So overall, we feel that the emphasis of this hotel is on the look of the place rather than on consistently delivering a good service. The basics would need to be put right for us to consider staying here again."
Poor
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Poor
Food
Terrible
Tafika

Tafika

"Fantastic Tafika"

10 nights Arrived 6 Jul 2019
"From start to finish our time at Tafika was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed excellent game drives with Mukupa and were occasionally accompanied by Lloyd, Moffat and Nick. We had fantastic sightings of so many things: too many to list really but a buffalo heard of 600 strong, stands of giraffe and beautiful sightings of leopard, lion and wild dogs certainly stay in our minds eye. The bird life is just amazing and the landscape is breath taking. We also thoroughly enjoyed bush walks led by Amon, Issac and Mukupa and Moffat. Nothing beats being out in the bush environment on foot, in our opinion. Although we did also sample the delights of cycling which was just great!

Having stayed here on other occasions it did not surprise us to find that the Tafika team had pulled out all the stops as usual. The rooms are lovely, well appointed and are kept spotlessly clean. All the meals provided by the catering team led by Rona were just lovely. We especially enjoyed the lunches. Freshly prepared food, much of it grown in the garden and on every occasion always served hot and with a really interesting menu. Rona and team seem totally unfazed by any dietary requirements!

You are always sure of a friendly welcome from John and Carol (the owners) now joined by Jenny and Nick (the next generation) and also Heather who ensures that your stay is the most interesting and well supported as it can possibly be.

We always find it really hard to leave Tafika, no matter how long our stay has been and we just can't wait to return."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Latitude 15

Latitude 15

"See previous review"

1 night Arrived 16 Jul 2019
"Please see earlier review."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Poor
Food
Poor

Our May 2018 trip

Zambia between 3 May 2018 and 18 May 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall we had a fantastic time once again in Zambia. It is a truly beautiful country.

There is so much to see, experience and do, we can't wait to return.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Expert Africa always provide us with an excellent service. We appreciate the effort that goes into making our trips so special.

Amanda Bond was extremely helpful and efficient and all our travel arrangements worked like clock work."

Latitude 15

Latitude 15

"Very comfortable hotel"

1 night Arrived 4 May 2018
"Latitude 15 is a very comfortable, clean and well run hotel. The location on Leopards' Hill is very quiet and relatively convenient for the airport, avoiding the worst of the Lusaka traffic jams.

Our room was very pleasant and we had the surprise of finding it beautifully decorated for our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. Our evening meal was very good, tasteful food served hot, with very good service.

The staff where very accommodating and happily provided us with a cooked breakfast at 5am so that we could catch an early flight out to Mfuwe.

We would certainly recommend staying here."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Tafika

Tafika

"Terrific Tafika"

7 nights Arrived 5 May 2018
"Tafika remains our favourite camp in Zambia. The team led by John and Carol Coppinger always make our stay very special. This was our fifth stay at Tafika and it just keeps getting better.

We were lucky to be guided again by Alex Phiri and had some wonderful experiences and sightings. Heather Mansfield, Rona Leppens and all the team worked tirelessly to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. Rona and the chefs went to great lengths to meet our dietary requests and all the meals were delicious.

The accommodation as usual was first class, very comfortable whilst remaining an authentic African bush camp. The range of activities at Tafika are considerable and each time we visit, we just wish that we had booked a longer stay. You never get bored!

We have been able to experience first hand the benefits of the Tafika Trust, and we would encourage anyone who can, to support the Trust."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Musekese Camp

Musekese Camp

"Interesting Bush Camp"

5 nights Arrived 12 May 2018
"Musekese is a very interesting bush camp and is only three years old. The setting close to the Kafue River is very beautiful. The owners Tyrone McKeith and Phil Jeffrey are passionate about the Kafue National Park and freely share their very detailed knowledge of this stunning area.

We enjoyed boating on the river, plus walking and drives. Being early in the season the game was very dispersed but if you want to get more detailed information about the flora and fauna of the African bush, alongside hearing about some of the conservation and land management challenges; then this is a good place to come to.

The other staff were all very friendly and helpful, and the accommodation was good and very comfortable. Kolo the camp manager worked hard to ensure that our stay was very comfortable.

The negatives we experienced were two fold:

One was the challenge of being in a high Tsetse fly area, which we did not appreciate before our visit. This may not be a problem for some but unfortunately one of us suffered an allergic reaction to the many bites. We understand that the incidence of Tsetse's should lessen as the season progresses given the trapping in process, our visit was very early in May and the rains were continuing which may account for the high incidence.

The second challenge was the duration of the road transfer which in reality is a 7 hour transfer not 5. The length of the transfer relates to the manic traffic in Lusaka and the fact that the latter portion of the drive is on a very rough bush road. The roughness of the road may have been compounded by the on-going late rains and could therefore be better later in the season. If it were possible to fly to the airstrip near to the camp this would certainly be our recommendation. We felt that this arduous road transfer meant that in essence we lost two full days out of our holiday time."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

Excellent Zambia Trip

Zambia between 8 Jul 2015 and 19 Jul 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"Claire at Expert Africa once again helped us make the arrangements for our trip and as usual everything was 'spot on'. We continue to be very impressed by the level of service that Expert Africa consistently provides to travellers.

We were particularly impressed with the service provided by Tours Africa who met us at Lusaka Airport and provided road transfers to and from our first hotel to the airport. They were always very punctual and were extremely helpful to us, going above and beyond the usual to re-connect us with our lost luggage and guiding us through immigration and passport control.

Tafika remains our favourite camp in South Luangwa. This area of South Luangwa is stunningly beautiful and very special. The Remote Africa Safari's team are very good at sharing this special place, everything is well organised and managed and they always leave you just desperate to return! We were particularly touched by the efforts that the whole team went to, to provide us with a special sundowner (champagne and the works!) to mark a special birthday and recent retirement.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

We can't think of anything that would improve things, the service is about as good as it gets."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Latitude 15

Latitude 15

"Great place to stay in Lusaka"

1 night Arrived 9 Jul 2015
"Latitude 15 is an extremely stylish, friendly and comfortable hotel and makes an idea stay for either the beginning or the end of your trip. It is smaller than the large corporate hotels in Lusaka and the level of service supplied by the staff is excellent.

The restaurant is first class and the food was beautifully prepared, hot and very flavoursome.

The staff could not have been more helpful especially when our missing luggage meant we needed a quick shopping trip in Lusaka which they arranged for us very quickly."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Tafika

Tafika

"Our favourite camp in South Luangwa"

9 nights Arrived 10 Jul 2015
"This was our third visit to Tafika. Each visit seems to be better than the last so we can't wait to return!

The whole Remote Africa Safari's team work well together to make your visit as enjoyable as possible. The rooms are clean and very comfortable and there is always plenty of hot water. The catering team (overseen by Rhona) produce the most wonderful food making the best use of the fresh ingredients grown in the garden.

The guiding team are very knowledgeable and all guides strive to ensure that they share the treasures of this beautiful area of South Luangwa in as interesting a way as they can. John, Carol, Heather and Bryan and all the guides make you feel very welcome and 'at home'."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

My Jul 2014 trip

Zambia between 8 Jul 2014 and 21 Jul 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"We only wish it could have been longer! Time seemed to fly by. Marks out of 10 for the whole trip - 11!

We would be hard pressed to suggest improvements on an already excellent service.

We would be hard pressed to suggest improvements on an already excellent service."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Image alt

Chaminuka, Zambia (this camp has since closed)

"Chaminuka review"

2 nights Arrived 9 Jul 2014
"The Lodge is ideally situated for a break following a long flight in a non-town environment. The staff were very helpful and the food was very good, although maintaining stock seemed to be a problem - for example no white wine available one evening.

The accommodation was fairly basic with the bathrooms in need of some considerable attention as they were poorly maintained and not clean with black mould on most of the walls.

We enjoyed a pleasant drive but don't expect anything natural as all the game you might see has been bought in as a stocked reserve. We were troubled by the caged lions and cheetahs apparently kept for 'educational purposes' but activities were offered such as walking with the cheetahs which we declined as we do not agree with animals being caged under these circumstances. The animals were clearly exhibiting stress behaviour and we were not convinced that the staff were adequately knowledgable about the health and welfare requirements of the animals under their care."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Tafika

Tafika

"Tafika review"

5 nights Arrived 11 Jul 2014
"Tafika has to be one of our favourite lodges. The setting is beautiful, the owners John and Carol run things very efficiently along with their dedicated team of staff. The staff team are extremely welcoming and you are always made to feel 'at home'. The activities are fantastic with a very full range of choices including walking, driving, biking, and micro-lighting. There are now options for very interesting day trips as Tafika has it's own aircraft and pilot. Everyone is very knowledgeable and happy to share this with you, the guiding is first class. The food is always excellent.

We love the authenticity of this camp.and their commitment to the local community through the excellent work of the Tafika Fund.

If visiting South Luangwa we think Tafika is a must!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwaleshi Camp

Mwaleshi Camp

"Mwaleshi Camp review"

5 nights Arrived 16 Jul 2014
"Mwaleshi Camp is in an extremely beautiful and remote part of North Luangwa. If you are happy to be in a very remote and unspoiled wilderness and in adequate but basic accommodation then you will enjoy the peace and tranquility of this beautiful place. However, we would say it is not for the faint hearted as you need to be prepared for paddling across the river, animals coming through the camp and plenty of insects.

We absolutely loved it and were fortunate enough to have the place to ourselves - but we don't think it would be for everyone. We understand that at the time of our visit we were the only two visitors in the whole of North Luangwa National Park - which was just amazing to have this pristine wilderness all to ourselves.

The food prepared by Brightwell in nothing more than a hole in the ground was the best food we have ever eaten in an African camp and the guiding team of Alex and Special were first class. We were hosted at the camp by Karen and family and they made our stay very special.

We will certainly return to Mwaleshi on our next trip."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

Our May 2012 Zambia Trip

Zambia between 23 May 2012 and 4 Jun 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a great trip.

In the future we think we would spend less time travelling to different places but rather spend more time in certain localities. It all goes so quickly that time spent travelling between places feels like lost time.

This trip certainly confirms for us that we much prefer being in owner led, authentic, well managed, unpretentious lodges or camps like Tafika. We would certainly want to spend more time their on our next visit, there was so much to do and it would be good to do it at a more leisurely pace.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

We feel that Expert Africa is as good as it can possibly be, we have always been extremely satisfied with your service and would not wish to use any other company to help us with our trips to Africa.

The level of knowledge processed by the team is second to none and is borne out of first hand experience which is invaluable."

Tafika

Tafika

"Fantastic Tafika"

4 nights Arrived 24 May 2012
"Tafika is set in a beautiful location and is extremely well run by John and Carol Coppinger and the team. We had the most amazing time here and couldn't have been better looked after.

We thoroughly enjoyed the walking opportunities. The standard of guiding was excellent as were the safety procedures. Taking a microlight flight with John at dawn over the Luangwa river was pure magic! Everyone went out of their way to make our stay as special as possible and Brian took us on some amazing evening and night drives.

Our stay at Tafika was definitely the highlight of our trip and we will certainly return. Four nights was just not long enough, there is so much to do there. This is one of the most authentic camps we have stayed at in Africa."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Royal Livingstone Hotel

Royal Livingstone Hotel

"Colonial Royal Livinstone"

3 nights Arrived 28 May 2012
"We have very mixed views about the Royal Livingstone Hotel.

It is in a beautiful setting, the falls are amazing, and on the whole our stay there was pleasant. It is however, a large and busy hotel and there is no escaping this, often visited by large tour parties. The aeriel activity (helicopters and microlights) over the falls which run from dawn until dusk makes this quite a noisy place, which came as quite a shock after the peace and quiet of the African bush. Over and above this however, our greatest objection is to the hotel's efforts to retain a colonial feel. Staff are all dressed in pastiche colonial dress which personally we feel is quite deeming. We come to Africa for Africa! Why can there not be pride in African dress?

During our stay we made gentle enquiries with staff regarding their views on the uniforms and in the most part they reported disliking them. Overall service was very good but we found the level of attentiveness on occasions oppressive."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Chiawa Camp

Chiawa Camp

"Chiawa Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 31 May 2012
"Chiawa Camp is in a beautiful location, and had a high standard of accommodation but which made it feel less authentic as an African bush camp. It is like a deluxe hotel in the bush! The managers were in their first season at the camp but were very welcoming and looked after us well.

The opportunity to spend time on the river was lovely and extremely relaxing. However, it would be better if the chairs on the boats were secured to the floor as they did tip over backwards when the boat accelerated. Fortunately on the occasion this happened with us nobody was hurt but it seems like an accident waiting to happen! especially as it would be all to easy to crack your head on the machinery on the boat. The walking here wasn't as good as we had hoped it comprised of a short, brief, circular walk, however the drives were excellent.

The food was excellent and in fact superior to the Royal Livingstone Hotel and the team made thoughtful yet unobtrusive efforts to cater to our dietary needs. However, the camp owner (on a brief visit) and some of the guides didn't appear to understand our wish not to drink bore hole water and seemed to take some offense to our requests for bottled water. Their belief is that the water is safe to drink, which it quite probably is, but they couldn't appreciate that visitors who are not used to bore hole water may be adversely affected by it and would therefore want a choice."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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