Travel reviews by Mrs H & Mr S from UK
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
All the arrangements went like clockwork
Kenya between 1 Aug 2022 and 12 Aug 2022
We had superb guides, great wildlife and cultural experiences and excellent accommodation. We particularly liked having local Maasi staff running the camps and they were all extremely grateful that we were supporting their Conservancies and Communities. It was definitely worth the wait!
Thank you Jessica!"
Arranged By Jessica Plumb
Four Points Nairobi Airport
"Four Points Nairobi Airport review"
"Satao Elerai review"
The camp is very well run with such friendly and helpful staff. We particularly liked being able to take a flask of hot water back to our tent to make ourselves a cup of tea and relax on our verandah admiring the view and watching the animals and birds. Had it not been cloudy, we would have had a superb view of Kilimanjaro!
Our tent was very spacious and comfortable. The hot water bottles at night were much appreciated as it was cooler than usual. The ensuite at the back of the tent was very good and well supplied with toiletries.
We enjoyed excellent game drives both in the Conservancy and in the Reserve with our lovely guide, Mwgani. He took the trouble to find out our particular interests and made sure we had experiences that we would not have in our next two camps. We had some lovely encounters with elephants and watching the animals and huge variety of birds around the different lakes and marshes in the Reserve was fabulous."
Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge
"Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge review"
We loved the open bandas and the very natural feel of this camp staffed and run by Maasi from the local community. We had a great view of the waterhole from our room and it was wonderful to watch so many animals come to drink. Being so high up, we had great bird sightings including a lovely tawny eagle which flew right in front of the banda.
The game drives were excellent and we had great guides in Steven and trainee, Terence. We particularly enjoyed our drives in the conservancy where we did not encounter another vehicle and a visit to the nearby Rhino Sanctuary was a most memorable experience as was our visit to the community village - an opportunity not to be missed. Hearing a leopard while out on a walk was another highlight as was watching a pride of lions from our banda.
We enjoyed how the days were arranged starting with an early morning drive or walk and then returning to camp for breakfast until the afternoon activity. There's plenty of time to relax and soak up the views and listen to the wonderful peace of this beautiful camp.
On our final night we were treated to a traditional Maasi dance as a thank you for supporting the community which was a joyous experience and great fun!"
Basecamp Eagle View
"Basecamp Eagle View review"
The tents are large and spaced well apart, adding to the wilderness feel of the camp. You will be escorted to and from your tent after sundown - just as well as we had buffalo and giraffe around ours! The view from the verandah is superb as is the view from the bathroom. There's nothing quite like watching zebra whilst brushing your teeth! There are two showers - one inside and one outside.
Our best game drives here were in the Conservancy with some super sightings of cheetah, elephant, hippos and lots of lions, all at close quarters and with few other vehicles. We had a full day in the Mara Reserve with a great bush breakfast and lunch but the animals were few and far between although we were lucky enough to catch a pair of lions mating which was a real treat.
One point to note is that the camp no longer accepts Mastercard so make sure you have an alternative method of settling your bill or purchasing gifts from the (very) small shop."
Selous - Ruaha August 2015
Tanzania between 18 Aug 2015 and 27 Aug 2015
It was well planned by Expert Africa (thanks again Ellie Dunkels!) and the whole trip went smoothly from start to finish. We were glad that we had chosen just two camps this time with four nights at each as it meant we had time to relax and enjoy the lovely environment of both camps and have plenty of time for drives, a walk and boat trips. We were able to observe the animals at close quarters and just really enjoy being in their company. All the staff and guides at Impala and River Lodge were first class.
Thank you everyone!"
"Great Return Safari to Selous Impala Camp"
The location of Impala makes it such a special place. We had great views of the river from our tents and Andrea, the old hippo, was a regular visitor to the camp. The views from the raised dining and bar areas are simply stunning. Not only did we enjoy the great views, but we also enjoyed the company of bush babies and genets during our evening meals whilst at breakfast we were joined by all the gorgeous sunbirds.
We had superb guiding during our four night stay from Dennis, Dustin and Captain Moshi on the boat safaris. We enjoyed an early morning walk with Dennis and an armed ranger which was particularly good. Walking with giraffe and warthogs is a totally different experience to seeing them from the jeep, not to mention trying to avoid soldier ants going about their busy business! Finishing the walk with a bush breakfast by the lake was just superb!
We had two lovely boat trips thus seeing different parts of the river system which was fascinating. Watching elephants crossing the river from our boat as the sun went down was a real thrill and delight. We loved watching the bea-eaters and various kingfishers close up too, not to mention the largest croc on the river!
We had very personal attention during our time at Impala which made our stay all the more enjoyable. The camp was not full so we did not have to share the jeep or the boat. We were able to spend long periods just observing the animals, for example at a lion kill, and our guides were extremely patient with us!
We have taken away yet more lovely memories of Impala and we were able to buy a few souvenirs for family members who did not accompany us this time. It was hard to leave."
Ruaha River Lodge
"Ruaha River Lodge - What a Place!"
We had seen photographs and read reviews of River Lodge but nothing prepared us for the sheer beauty of this wonderful camp! The location on the flowing Ruaha River is simply stunning. The individual bandas and the lower restaurant are set on the river whilst the top dining area gives a panoramic view. The climb to the top is very steep (there are plenty of hand rails) but is well worth it and we were glad that the lower dining area was closed for our first two days as it "forced" us to enjoy the view with our excellent meals! At night, we were collected from our banda by Masaai who escorted everyone to the restaurant. I shall never forget the line of people huffing and puffing their way to the top of the hill illuminated by torches with Masaai walking effortlessly in front and behind us! Awesome!
The bandas are huge, tastefully decorated, clean and very comfortable. All rooms have a double and a single bed attractively covered with mosquito nets. We particularly liked the sofa area where we could relax after the evening meal before "lights out" at 10.30. We were lulled to sleep by the grunts of the hippos and the babbling river. We enjoyed the large verandah from where we could watch elephants, crocs, zebra, waterbuck, giraffe, impala etc coming down to drink. A couple of comfy loungers would have been nice although the directors' chairs made sure you didn't miss anything! The company of geckos and small lizards was a real bonus!
We thought the food at River Lodge was excellent and we liked the buffet style lunch and evening meal. There was plenty of choice and my nut allergy was scrupulously taken care of. The staff were attentive and friendly without being intrusive. River Lodge is not a fussy camp - you don't get your bed turned back whilst you are at dinner and you don't have you glass filled up every two minutes - and we liked the camp all the more for that.
Josephate was our private guide and he was wonderful. We had booked a private guide and we were very glad we had as the camp was busy and other guests were sharing jeeps. Having already been on two trips, we wanted to spend more time observing animals that we came across rather than going off in search of them. We spent about an hour watching a leopard that was just sitting by the road and we had a similarly long time with lions and elephants. Josephate was very patient with us and so knowledgeable about all the creatures we saw. His bird-spotting skills are second to none!
Overall our stay at River Lodge was superb. It had everything we wanted - location, views, varied scenery and wonderful animals in and around the camp. Saying goodbye to the lovely Metta, the camp manager and her new assistant, Caitlin was a real wrench. We would return without a second's thought!"
Super Summer Safari
Tanzania between 29 Jul 2013 and 8 Aug 2013
We loved the fact that we came across the wildlife just driving rather than going in search of something particular and following all the other jeeps. Had we flown to the different locations, we would not have seen the rhino being darted by rangers when she had ventured out of the safety of the Park! What a thrill that was!
We were impressed by the quality and cleanliness of the various washrooms in the National Parks and by the mobile phone signal which I could get in the Serengeti, but not in my home in Wales!!
We had a fabulous time. We saw over 80 different creatures, including the Big Five and two leopard and cheetah sightings and I'm sure we will find many more as we sift through our couple of thousand photos. Our driver was superb and the staff in the bush camps couldn't have been more helpful. Although we did feel slightly short-changed by the 'personal mobile camps' this in no way detracted from the overall experience, which we will never forget.
We would particularly like to thank Eleanor Dunkels for arranging the taxi from Arusha to Nairobi, when our flight from Kilimanjaro was cancelled and it looked like we would have to stay in Arusha whilst new flights were arranged."
Tarangire Private Mobile
"Bush Camp Terminale"
This was our first experience of a bush camp. In general our experience was very good with excellent service from James, Rogers and Sam who looked after us extremely well. The earth toilet and bucket shower worked perfectly well and we enjoyed our beers by the camp fire in the evening. We were a bit disappointed with the location - there was no view to speak of (we sat looking at bushes) and there were other tents close by. We had assumed that "Private" meant that we would be the only campers but this was not the case. Luckily the other campers were very quiet and not in direct view so there was no problem.
Also we had asked for separate tents ( I travelled with my brother) but this had not been arranged and we had to share one tent with twin beds. Sharing in itself wasn't a problem but the tent was far too small for two people particularly as we had to keep all our luggage inside the tent. We had to sleep with bags on the beds. Luckily my brother and I are on the short side but my late husband at 5' 10" would have really struggled!!
The game drives in Tarangire were superb and we were out all day in the jeep and kept well fed and watered. The jeep (Land Cruiser) had two 3pin electrical sockets so were always able to charge camera batteries which was great. Of course, the main reason for visiting Tarangire was for the wildlife and this did not disappoint. and we had wonderful close encounters with lions, cheetahs, leopards, ellies, giraffes etc, etc and a huge variety and number of birds. We cannot fault this and we loved every minute of the drives. It was particularly lovely just coming across animals as we drove (pole, pole - slowly slowly!) rather than spending a long time searching for certain animals. We loved Tarangire!"
Lodge not featured by Expert Africa
"Superb Safari in Crater from Rhino Lodge"
We arrived at Rhino Lodge on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater around 5 and we were greeted warmly by the Manageress.. Being so high up, the Lodge is often surrounded by cloud and mist and it was pretty chilly when we arrived. You certainly need to pile on the layers here and we were glad of our fleeces. We really loved Rhino Lodge. The room was very spacious with a private wooden verandah from which we could see elephants and water buck and lots of gorgeous birds. There was plenty of very hot water for the shower (despite the warning that we might have to wait for hot water) and the tiled bathroom was very clean. You could charge up batteries between 5 and 9pm in your room and there was electric light throughout the night. A log-burner took the chill off the room and hot water bottles gave us a good night's sleep.
Food at Rhino Lodge is served in a lovely big room with a fireplace and superb views. We ate with Zeph our driver who kept us entertained with his stories. Food was self-service with plenty of choice and good quality. You could help yourself to tea and coffee throughout the day which was great.
We had one day in the Crater and it was a marvellous experience. We left at 6am and had a very interesting drive down in thick mist and rain! Nothing prepares you for the majesty of the Ngorongoro Crater when the mist clears and the stunning vista opens in front of you. We did not see a huge amount of game as it was very cold and clearly the animals were sheltering but that did not detract from our enjoyment of just being in this special place. We were expecting loads of other vehicles but it was remarkably free from jeeps probably as we had gone so early.. It was certainly much busier when we left around 3pm and headed back to the Lodge for our second night."
Kati Kati Camp
"Kati Kati Camp review"
The food here was amazing! Super quality and huge amounts! The dining arrangements were really nice with a couple of tents for diners so although the camp was full, it still had an intimate feel. We had another lovely evening with Zeph who had even more tales and jokes to tell us!
It was a shame we only had one night here and we would definitely go back."
Serengeti Green Camp
"Super Serengeti Safari Bush Camp"
The food was very good and plentiful and the staff were attentive. We had our own mess tent.
Our game drives here were the highlight of the whole trip. We were able to watch the wildebeast migration and see several crossings of the Mara River. each day. I didn't think anything would surpass the Crater, but seeing life in the raw in the Serengeti just blew me away. It is stunningly beautiful. We both found it a very humbling experience.
To sum the camp up, as a "wilderness" experience it didn't really live up to the description. This is a permanent camp used by WayoAfrica throughout the year, with many tents close by and clearly visible. It's basically a campsite: had it been advertised as such (with a price to match) that would have been fine, but then we wouldn't have chosen to stay there. On returning from our drives, we could hear lots of noise from other campers, the staff radio playing and, after dinner, there was a lot of noise going on well into the night. We had been looking forward to a close to nature experience, but with so many other people using the site and all the noise, there was no chance of any wildlife coming close to the camp."
Based on this feedback we have renamed the property Serengeti Green Camp and updated the write-up to more accurately describe the current experience it offers. We are sorry that this camp did not offer what the travellers had expected and hope that by updating our information we will avoid this happening again.
The Hellicar and Smiths go to Tanzania!
Tanzania between 9 Aug 2011 and 21 Aug 2011
We experienced three very different camps but they were all superb for different reasons. Flying from the Selous to Ruaha was amazing and we loved the contrast in landscape between the two locations. We were very pleased that we did not do the usual finishing off on a beach in Zanzibar that most people seem to do but used our time to see more of the wild, stunning Tanzania with its lovely people and fabulous creatures.
Many thanks to Liz for all her help and advice. It was the trip of a lifetime and went way beyond all our wildest dreams. Thank you.
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
"Lake Manze Tented Camp review"
The facilities at the camp were excellent and the tents very comfortable. We loved having the toilet and shower open to the skies and the lack of electricity gave a wonderful atmosphere at night. Hearing elephants right outside the tent was a fabulous experience as was their company at breakfast!
The food and service was first-rate and the waiters loved our ten-year old. Travelling as a family of five, the only draw-back was the communal dining at lunch and especially at evening when it was a race to sit together."
"Selous Impala Camp review"
We found the whole staff superb; our clothes were perfectly laundered and ironed, the food outstanding and our personal waiter, Idi, a delight. He taught our ten year old to count to ten in Swahili and sang us Jambo Jambo! It was particularly nice having all the soft drinks included in the price.
We had fabulous drives, bush breakfasts and boat trips and we were amazed at the variety and quantity of wildlife. The highlight was doing the early morning walk (adults only) with a fabulous guide followed by a bush breakfast. The only negative aspect was having to leave!"
"Jongomero Camp review"
The extra touches at this camp made for a special ending to our trip to Tanzania - the hot water bottles in bed at night, the welcome notes left on pillows and the Swahili proverb of the day were a delightful touch. We had a great guide/driver in Modest whose knowledge was exceptional as was his communication in English and we had a lot of fun. Watching a family of elephants bathe in the river was a fabulous experience as was hearing lions roaring in the camp at night!
Perhaps the best moment was walking for four hours in the bush with Molly, the camp manager and having our eyes opened to a whole new world completely free from man's influence."
Southern Sun Dar
"Southern Sun (formerly the Holiday Inn) review"
Kearsleys travel were efficient getting us to and from the hotel. The journey to the airport from the hotel howerver was very unnerving with erratic, dangerous driving. We were amazed we arrived without a crash."
The hotel is modern, extremely clean and has excellent facilities. Despite arriving at 11pm, we were able to get very good food in the 24 hour restaurant.
Our ensuite twin room was very comfortable and we would happily stay there again."