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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by AB from Essex

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

6

Countries visited

4

Lodges stayed in

26

Excursions taken

0

My Nov 2019 trip

Kenya between 17 Nov 2019 and 5 Dec 2019

Trip rating: Poor
"The appalling weather - floods and incessant, torrential rain, awful driving conditions for guide and passengers, shocking light and apocalyptic rain for the most part was hard to manage from a photographic standpoint and that was a big part of the trip.

Of course there were some breaks in the weather but over a three week period it was tough to only have one day without rain [it rained in the evening] and the condones in The Mara simply deteriorated the more rain that fell. Certain parts were off limits as impossible to drive, rivers were impossible for cars and wildlife to cross - the birds were happy as there as access to food was such that they were fishing everywhere"

Tangulia Mara

Tangulia Mara

"Tangulia Mara review"

16 nights Arrived 17 Nov 2019
"Guiding with Benjamin was fantastic as usual and terrific to have the vehicle with the door removed and a mattress to lie on - although I suspect the senior warden will ban this in The Mara very shortly

Leonard is such a good vegetarian chef - he should always be in camp when veggies/vegans are guests - the variety of his menu and what he gives you to eat make meal times a real pleasure.

The new stone pathways to some of the tents are well designed to blend in with the landscape - great job"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

My Nov 2017 trip

Kenya between 15 Nov 2017 and 15 Dec 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"I wanted to stay for 30 days at Tangulia Mara with Jackson as my guide for the entire period.

My stay was extraordinary - I was lucky enough to have the luxury or time and an exceptional guide at my side in a place where the wildlife never fails to demonstrate the cycle of life on a moment by moment basis"

Feedback response

We agree, this was an exceptional – and exceptionally long – stay, and we're always delighted to make special arrangements around unusual requests like this. This traveller's joy at being able to absorb the remarkable environment of the Mara ecosystem for so long was evident in all her contacts with Expert Africa, and in the fact that friends and family came out to visit while she was staying at Tangulia.

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Eka Hotel

Eka Hotel

"Eka Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 15 Nov 2017
"Ground floor rooms are much better than those on the lower level - I think you should request that your clients are never given lower ground rooms

We did have a ground floor room this time - phew

I really like this hotel as it's functional and friendly and the breakfast and bar are good"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Tangulia Mara

Tangulia Mara

"Tangulia Mara review"

28 nights Arrived 16 Nov 2017
"This is my favourite camp in the Masai Mara - the new tents are fabulous and the outlook is glorious. The two Chefs, David and Leonard cook wonderful food; the whole team is friendly and attentive and nothing is too much trouble."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

Overall Kenya Trip was terrific

Kenya between 6 Dec 2016 and 19 Dec 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip was memorable on every level - Africa is my favourite place and I'll keep going there until I drop

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I have to say that the service and friendliness is outstanding and great value for money. Thank you big time"

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Eka Hotel

Eka Hotel

"Pleasant stay at EKa airport hotel"

1 night Arrived 6 Dec 2016
"We had a basement room which was adequate but would have preferred to be on one of the higher levels. Bathrobes provided which was a nice touch.

Breakfast was a big spread and the staff very friendly and helpful"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Elsa's Kopje

Elsa's Kopje

"Wonderful time at Els's Kopje"

2 nights Arrived 7 Dec 2016
"An amazing experience from the fantastic villa [we were upgraded and had a fabulous, spacious villa with a view to die for] to the food [absolutely delicious] to the service[top notch] to the safari experiences [fun, informative and the rhino and bird sightings were a joy]"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Tangulia

"Memorable time at Tangulia MAra camp"

4 nights Arrived 9 Dec 2016
"The highlight of our stay was our safaris with JacksonOle Looseyia [accompanied by Benjamin who was a fabulous guide also]. Jackson is the most remarkable companion to have in the Masai Mara and our time there will remain as one of the best in 30 years of safari experiences.

HIs camp is a new venture for him and he is on the journey of upgrading the camp - we had the newest tent which had a magnificent view and running hot and cold water - so no bucket shower experience at this camp!. Do not expect the finer touches you would get at Kicheche in terms of toiletries and high cotton count sheets - but revel in the chef's cooking which was awesome and in the guiding and in the views from the camp.

There's wifi 24/7 and very willing and helpful staff AND I am going back - time and time again.

This traveller also commented about her guide, Jackson Looseiya:

Jackson Looseiya - king of guides

I could write a book on Jackson and his knowledge and skills but instead I will confine myself to a few sentences. It felt like an honour to be guided by him - his knowledge, understanding and passion for the MAsia Mara and the natural world in general is a joyous and humbling experience.

The fact that he's a keen photographer and a Nikon user was a double bonus as he just knows about the light, the angles and anticipates animal behaviour in such a way that it makes the whole photographic element relatively easy. And he's so personable and fun to be with."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Kicheche Bush Camp

Kicheche Bush Camp

"Kicheche Bush Camp never fails to impress"

2 nights Arrived 13 Dec 2016
"I love Kicheche bush camp - fabulous tents, fabulous cooking, fantastic service, 24/7 wi fi in its own tent [spacious and comfortable] and terrific safari experiences"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Alfajiri Villas

Alfajiri Villas

"Luxury at Alfajiri"

4 nights Arrived 15 Dec 2016
"An amazing end of safari experience - we'd been before and knew what to expect in terms of 10 star luxury, privacy, food, service and sunshine.

Well worth checking if the local church is hosting a youth group if you are thinking of staying here - noise can be intrusive but I think it only happens at easter and xmas"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

Alfajiri 4 night retreat

Kenya between 14 Jan 2016 and 18 Jan 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Trip as a whole delivered exactly what was expected.

We had been on the road for 15 or so days - both in Rwanda for Mountain Gorilla, Chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys and in Kenya for a photographer led photographic safari. All in all many physical and mental demands to say nothing of the emotional impact of incredible and ongoing encounters with the wildlife and the various personalities we met along the way, so a relaxing,peaceful, lazy time was required to recharge batteries and digest the trip.

Alfajiri provided exactly the tonic we re ached for. Marika the owner came twice daily to heck menus and well being in a friendly and unobtrusive way; Martin our butler was a perfect host meeting all our needs and utterly unobtrusive plus a great shake at making banana daiquiri and margaritas. Sun shone for the most part and the pool gave us all the exercise we needed"

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Alfajiri Villas

Alfajiri Villas

"Alfajiri review"

4 nights Arrived 14 Jan 2016
"The accommodation is wonderful and the staff [ the butler, the chef, the helping hand for the pool, bags and the driver] are simply superb.

The food is simple, fresh, abundant and delicious."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

My Jan 2014 trip

Tanzania and 1 other country between 16 Jan 2014 and 26 Jan 2014

Trip rating: Terrible
"Unfortunately our experience with our guide/driver soured our whole experience. We had a huge sense of relief when we left him to fly for our last few days in Zanzibar. We emailed Expert Africa about the experience we were having while on our trip to flag up how awful we were finding the guide but asked them not to report it until we had finished that leg of the journey because we were concerned that if the guide knew our remaining days were likely to be more unpleasant. We left Tanzania on 22nd Jan and almost three weeks have passed but we haven't as yet had any response to the issues we raised."

Feedback response

These travellers were with this guide/driver for five days. They contacted us near the end of this time, and we obviously respected their wishes to only address the issue after they had parted. After investigating the issues in detail with the team on the ground, we arranged a sizable refund for them to go with a sincere apology. These travellers are now pleased that this outcome is fair.

This trip was organized by Ellie, who was away in Kenya through much of this process. We are really sorry about the delay that this caused. We take complaints like this seriously: we were very slow in sorting this one out and our communications with this traveller should have been much better.

By way of a post script, despite their experience and such an unacceptable delay in sorting it out, this traveller still kindly commented to us after the trip: "I think you offer really wonderful trips and your service is superb." We continue to work hard to try to live up to this more consistently.


Olakira

Olakira

"Olakira Mara - Ndutu Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 17 Jan 2014
"The staff were very helpful, courteous and friendly. The food was very good and the chef worked miracles for me in terms of my allergies

The tents were very spacious although the piece of furniture for putting your clothes was minimal and much smaller than we had in tents everywhere else

The communal dining area and the camp fire were great. The coffee/tea station was adequate but the easy seating/relax area was not very inviting"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Plantation Lodge

Plantation Lodge

"Plantation Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Jan 2014
"When we arrived there was no-one to greet us and as the carport was some way from the reception we had to wait with our bags until some-one came. At reception, they claimed to have no knowledge of the food allergies which were supposed to have accompanied the booking. We went through them and unfortunately the details were not conveyed to the kitchen which then led to problems at dinner which they were not able to rectify and continued with the packed breakfasts. They managed to sort it by the second evening.

The accommodation was great - very spacious and comfortable but the little things were overlooked like no normal tea bags and bath soap/lotion containers virtually empty.

The person appointed to look after us was very helpful by contrast to the people at reception who were nonchalant."
Poor
Location
Average
Service
Poor
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Poor
Matemwe Retreat

Matemwe Retreat

"Matemwe Retreat review"

4 nights Arrived 22 Jan 2014
"We had a wonderful stay here - the villa was delightful - great view, spacious, comfortable and very private.

George, who looked after us was very attentive and good fun; the spa was WONDERFUL - well the massages were to die for.

Matemwe is very well run and the management team are superb - all the staff were brilliant.

Will definitely return."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Trip overall

Namibia between 6 Oct 2011 and 25 Oct 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"Memorable and trip greatly helped by mine and Judy's previous knowledge of where to stay. Exhausting from a driver's perspective - wouldn't even do it by 4x4 until roads get sorted - they are truly terrible now

I think Sabina dealt with a 'demanding' client - that's me Alison - expertly - I'm never easy when organising stuff like this and she really pulled out all the stops. I would definitely book through you guys again"

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Villa Violet

Villa Violet

"Villa Violet"

1 night Arrived 6 Oct 2011
"Lovely couple who own this and very willing and friendly

Shame that one bedroom faces straight into another"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

"Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch review"

1 night Arrived 7 Oct 2011
"Very disappointed - nowhere near as good as my last visit in 2006. Desultory welcome - I arrived first as couldn't get car with two passengers up sandy road. When the others arrived their welcome drink was shambolic - and the dirty glasses were still at the front door when we left the next day!

Swimming pool water looked most uninviting so we didn't swim. Introduction to chalets and help with luggage was poor on both counts. Dinner was such a disappointment because 5 years ago all the guides and co-workers were about and chatty and encouraged discussion/interaction and very informative re Bagatelle and Namibia generally.

They did take care over my meal so that's very good but the food was unappetising, meat was overcooked - my guests all shared mine, and the veg etc were all over cooked. The serving staff and the maitre d appeared disinterested - I think this is because they made NO effort at speaking to us. Wouldn't go back or recommend.

The rooms however remain lovely."
Poor
Location
Good
Service
Terrible
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Poor
Facilities
Poor
Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge

"Canyon Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 8 Oct 2011
"The lady who was managing was absolutely on top of everything ad very charming with it. I thought this place had improved since I was last here - better service and better food.

Bed linen and towels were faded and need replacing - not pleasant to use.

Sundowner walk was informative - guides did really well. They should pack wine as well as beer though because not everyone likes beer but would have enjoyed a wine - and given we had to pay think they should have had wine with them!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Desert Horse Inn

Desert Horse Inn

"Desert Horse Inn review"

1 night Arrived 10 Oct 2011
"Rooms were great - clean and fresh and had fridge and tea making facilities.

Supper was a real disappointment because we were placed in the bar area/walk through to kitchen area [ table of 5 had been moved there we think] and it was boiling as fan useless] so we ate food and got out of there. Shame really as rest of restaurant space was good just our space.

They were very helpful re our puncture - lovely chap helped me out."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Wolwedans Boulders Camp

Wolwedans Boulders Camp

"Wolwedans Boulders Camp review"

1 night Arrived 11 Oct 2011
"Uske was one of our top two guides - he was fabulous. The manager Chester runs a really tight ship and the standards are high. The rooms, bed linen, towels, bath stuff etc were top quality.

The only thing which we thought bizarre was the way Francois the chef was wheeled in to do the menu chat - Chester did it first and it was all straight forward - then Francois came in and did it all again in a very long winded and highly theatrical fashion. Tried too hard!

It was most unfortunate that they hadn't computed my allergies to spices - i couldn't eat the starter and had to wait while they sorted out and cooked me a main course without the seasoning."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Image alt

Mountain Homestead, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Mountain Homestead review"

2 nights Arrived 12 Oct 2011
"The least said about this the better. It is a shadow of its former self in the wilderness safari days. You shouldn't let anyone go here anymore.

Norbert lazily greeted us - our cars all parked in wrong place for our rooms - and we had to figure out where to move them to. He then told us he was going off to rest! Velo tried hard but really not proficient in his role.

Ben our guide was aggressive, dangerous driver [over 85k on really bad stretches of road] - told us nothing about the sand dunes, tried to make us walk up Big Daddy and was really rude and cheesed off when we didn't. Didn't accompany us on some of the walk - he met another tour guide and hung out chatting to him. We didn't complain as no-one to complain to - they weren't interested and we just wanted to get out of there.

Toilet didn't work - they didn't fix so I found a remedy. Plunge pool was filthy. Pathway down to our lodges was in a state of disrepair. Two other groups complained about their accomm while we were there but to no avail as everything npw tired and shabby. Food was good - thank god!"
Terrible
Location
Excellent
Service
Terrible
Activities
Terrible
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good
Facilities
Poor
The Stiltz

The Stiltz

"The Stiltz review"

1 night Arrived 14 Oct 2011
"Great accommodation - thanks for recommending. The owner [or manager] was wonderful particularly post our Mountain Homestead experience.

The only thing that let this villa down was two bedrooms sharing one bathroom which also had to function as the sink/water supply for the kitchenette. FAr from ideal. Helpful staff - from the people who took our luggage through to the chef who was very cheery. Still hate swakop tho!

We went for dinner at The Wreck - not bad - bit overrated but view great."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Damaraland Camp

Damaraland Camp

"Damaraland Camp review"

1 night Arrived 15 Oct 2011
"This was superb - Erica and her boss [lady whose name began with A I think] epitomise all that's brilliant about people in Namibia. They are passionate about their lodge, their country, the flora and fauna and the guests. They made our stay here very memorable.

Rooms were fab and very good use of grey water. I'd definitely go back here and tell everyone this is a fab place to stay. I was too ill to do the elephant trip - but the guys who went had a sublime time - the guide kept going and went beyond the call of duty. I think they were out for nearly 6 hours!

Wonderful place."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Etendeka Mountain Camp

Etendeka Mountain Camp

"Etendeka Mountain Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 16 Oct 2011
"Dennis and his father - in - law Mick should be given a medal for their hospitality, conviviality, knowledge and general kindheartedness. They looked after Judy and I and cured our stomach bug with their bush remedies and humour.

Our guide Bonny is to be commended - so knowledgable and all learned though self teaching - incredible - think some-one should pay for him to go and learn more [ he could teach the teachers heaps].

Tho basic - it was definitely a place we would all return to - marvellous"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Image alt

Kavita Lion Lodge, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Kavita Lion Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 18 Oct 2011
"Wow - this is another place that needs an overhaul. The bedlinen is still the same as 6 years ago and then it was all frayed, furred and faded so you can imagine how yukky it is to sleep in now. When we told Johanis - he didn't seem to think it needed an upgrade. Marianna who greeted us had NO idea about how to meet and greet - the shambles over moving our luggage took over an hour and in the end I wnet and marshalled the men and took control as we were fed up with waiting, She didn't brief us at all so when we were charged for the Rhino trip it came as a surprise - we paid it of course but it shouldn't have happened as it did.

Johanis was a moaner by the camp fire where we had our first course - we sat with him on our last night and got to know him which was lovely BUT he ought to conduct himself differently when dealing with all of his guests together. They got it wrong about my allergies - and then more than compensated to put it right. I think our food here was one of the best. Bathrooms and bedrooms need a paint job - bit of an upgrade if i were to go there again. I think your literature puts it on a par with Okanjima - it's so not!"
Average
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Poor
Food
Excellent
Dolomite Camp

Dolomite Camp

"Dolomite Camp review"

1 night Arrived 20 Oct 2011
"Brand new and therefore lovely bedding and rooms. The golf buggy transport system is a bit of a nightmare and if you are staying far from the main bar area - it's a hassle.

Sliding windows in all of our bedrooms kept coming off their rails!

Staff really helpful and very friendly/keen to please."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Image alt

Anderssons Camp, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Anderssons Camp review"

1 night Arrived 21 Oct 2011
"Wonderful - Corrie is a star and so are the other staff - guides/cleaners/cook etc. Fabulous place and would go back here any day.

The water hole and everypone's passion for what they are doing stays in the mind's eye. MArvellous"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Mushara Bush Camp

Mushara Bush Camp

"Mushara Bush Camp review"

1 night Arrived 22 Oct 2011
"Very high standards all round - not as intimate and people friendly as damara or anderssons but nevertheless a great place"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Okonjima Villa

Okonjima Villa

"Okonjima Villa review"

2 nights Arrived 23 Oct 2011
"What to say. Marvellous chef Martin, Fantastic hostess Joanna and remarkable guide Jacques. So glad we managed to get this as our last place - I'm glad I hung out for it as it was perfect.

[ Ed: this traveller went on to comment about Main Camp. Because she didn't stay there, we requested that she allow us to remove those comments. She agreed to this, and they don't appear here. ]

our experience though - truly wonderful - and will go back next year but ONLY if we can have Jacques and Martin!!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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