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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs H & Mr S from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

10

Excursions taken

0

Selous - Ruaha August 2015

Tanzania between 18 Aug 2015 and 27 Aug 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall, our trip was fabulous!

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!"

Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Great Return Safari to Selous Impala Camp"

4 nights Arrived 19 Aug 2015
"We stayed for four nights and I travelled with my brother. As the camp was not full, we were given a tent each next to each other which was a great surprise. Having stayed at Impala Camp four years ago, it was wonderful return to this beautiful camp. Although under new management, the camp remains very well run, with large comfortable, clean tents, very good food and excellent guiding. The ceiling fan over the bed was a welcome addition!

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."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ruaha River Lodge

Ruaha River Lodge

"Ruaha River Lodge - What a Place!"

4 nights Arrived 23 Aug 2015
"I travelled with my brother and we shared a banda with twin beds for four nights.

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!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Super Summer Safari

Tanzania between 29 Jul 2013 and 8 Aug 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was our second trip to Tanzania having visited the Selous and the Ruaha two years ago. While that was a fabulous experience, this safari exploring Northern Tanzania was even more thrilling and exciting. We travelled to all three areas by road with the same driver which meant we got to see much more of the country and our driver got to know our interests very easily.

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."

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Tarangire Private Mobile

"Bush Camp Terminale"

3 nights Arrived 30 Jul 2013
"We were met at Kilimanjaro Airport by Zephania who was to be our driver and guide for the whole of our trip and what a brilliant driver/ guide he turned out to be! He had excellent English, was very knowledgeable about everything and was great fun to be with. Zeph's ability to spot wildlife at great distances was quite extraordinary: we couldn't have had a better guide. We drove to Arusha (in the rain!) where we stopped for lunch and then on to Tarangire, arriving at our bush camp around 5pm having seen lots of animals and birds along the way.

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!"
Good
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rhino Lodge

Rhino Lodge

"Superb Safari in Crater from Rhino Lodge"

2 nights Arrived 2 Aug 2013
"We had a great journey to Rhino Lodge from Tarangire via Lake Manyara where we spent a few wonderful hours in this very different landscape full of lush vegetation, cliffs and water. We had a magical close encounter with a family of elephants. They came within touching distance and were completely at ease with our presence.

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."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kati Kati Camp

Kati Kati Camp

"Kati Kati Camp review"

1 night Arrived 4 Aug 2013
"We stayed just one night at Kati Kati as we needed a stop-over on our journey from Rhino Lodge to the Migration area in the north of the Serengeti. Kati Kati is a lovely camp and run by Tanzanians which was particularly nice. It is set in a super location with great views all around. Maribou storks in the trees in the camp were a real treat. The tent was very large with good storage and the two single beds were very comfortable. There was a good bathroom area at the back of the tent (flush toilet and bucket shower) which could be screened off for privacy.

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."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Serengeti Green Camp

Serengeti Green Camp

"Super Serengeti Safari Bush Camp"

3 nights Arrived 5 Aug 2013
"Unlike the camp in Tarangire, this camp is set in a great location with super views. It's very close to the Mara River, so perfect for catching river crossings at short notice. However, we were surprised to find it was a large campsite with many tents and it was becoming clear that the 'exclusive' and 'personal' experience the camps were promised to offer was far from being the case. It was nice, however, to have our own spacious and comfortable tents this time, each with bedside tables and lights. The bush bathroom was accessed via the back of the tent and the bucket shower and toilet worked just fine. (tip - if you are on the short side, check you can reach to turn on the shower before taking off clothes!!) Showering under the Serengeti sky is an experience not be missed!

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."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

The Hellicar and Smiths go to Tanzania!

Tanzania between 9 Aug 2011 and 21 Aug 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"The whole trip was simply fantastic. Everything went to plan, there were no hold-ups or problems and all the complicated arrangements worked like clockwork. We were touched by the kindness and helpfulness of the Tanzanians and have swapped addresses with one of our waiters.

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:

No!!"

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Lake Manze Tented Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 10 Aug 2011
"We had a superb time at Lake Manze camp and it was a great place to begin our holiday in the Selous. Our experience begin before even reaching the camp with giraffes on the airstrip! We had a fantastic guide in Giovanni and it certainly helped having a separate driver as we saw the most game here out of the three camps we stayed in. The highlight was seeing a lioness feeding her two tiny cubs.

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."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Selous Impala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 13 Aug 2011
"We had a fabulous three nights at Impala and Barbara, Lorenzo and Andrea were lovely hosts. With all the tents and main areas built on raised platforms we had great views of the river and hippos! We also enjoyed the company of Brian, the giraffe who wandered freely around the camp and paid a memorable visit to our tents! Having a family tent ( 2 tents with a shared veranda) was perfect and the facilities were excellent.

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!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Jongomero Camp

Jongomero Camp

"Jongomero Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 16 Aug 2011
"We had a wonderful four nights at Jongomero. It is a luxurious camp in a beautiful remote, wild setting and yet we wanted for nothing. The view from the tent across the river (dry in August) was amazing and we could sit on the veranda watching elephants.

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."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Southern Sun (formerly the Holiday Inn) review"

1 night Arrived 20 Aug 2011
"A very comfortable night's stay before our early morning flight back to the UK. We were able to check-in on line in the Business Centre which was great. The shop was very useful for last minute gifts as there was very little to buy at any of the camps. We had a lovely evening meal but left before breakfast.

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

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