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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms B from Barbican

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

I had a great time

Zanzibar and 1 other country between 30 Aug 2011 and 14 Sep 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"I had an excellent solo trip. I never felt unsafe and Expert Africa someghow managed to make the transfers go as smoothly as if the trip were in Switzerland!. The logistics were elegantly handled.

I stayed in some wonderful resorts (I especially loved Pole Pole on Mafia Island and Chumbe Island). It was clear that Liz listened to me carefully about what I was looking for in Zanzibar and what I enjoyed.

In Stonetown I stayed at the Zanzibar Coffee House, which was perfect for me."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Pole Pole

Pole Pole

"Pole Pole review"

4 nights Arrived 30 Aug 2011
"Mafia Island is probably the way that Zanzibar was years ago. The airport is tiny with a bougainvillea draped “waving bay” and the 20 minute drive to Pole Pole on a rutted unmettalled road was hair-raising (well, it was my first rural African driving experience) but Pole Pole was an oasis of pleasure when I reached it.

The food was (IMHO) terrific and the manager, Robyn, couldn't have been more charming and helpful.

The individual houses are arranged do that the back porch faces a fantastic view of the sea. On the porch there is a day bed as well as a couple of tables and chairs. At 6 pm, the barman comes around taking orders for cocktails, which are then delivered to allow an uninterrupted enjoyment of the sunset.

As well as three wonderful meals each day, a daily excursion is included. This included a morning snorkelling followed by a picnic on a sandbar (including a fresh caught fish roasted over an open fire), a visit to Chole Island, a whale watching trip and more great things to do than I had days for. I would return in a heartbeat."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chumbe Island Lodge

Chumbe Island Lodge

"Chumbe Island Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 3 Sep 2011
"The perfect desert island (well, coral rag anyway).

I thought the individual 2 story huts were very comfortable and elegant and the view from my upstairs bed was magical.
The snorkelling was excellent. There were fewer fish than in the South Pacific (it was more like the Carribean) but the corals were more varied than I have ever seen before and bursting with health.

I found the educational efforts of the lodge well worth supporting. The tour of the coral rag forest was fascinating to me, although I was glad that I wasn't taken to see the coconut crabs until the last night I was there. The crabs are huge and much “brawnier” than I imagined!

The staff was all friendly and helpful. One day my stomach was giving me some trouble and when I didn't attend breakfast, the manager known as Obama (Kenyan father and ears a bit prominent) came around to make certain I was ok and brought me a thermos of ginger tea and toast with honey.

The food and the setting made meals a delight and I could have happily stayed longer than the 3 nights I was there."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Unguja Lodge

Unguja Lodge

"Unguja Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 6 Sep 2011
"This place is amazingly beautiful and the garden villa I had was huge with a private plunge pool and resident vervet monkeys to watch morning and late afternoons. The food was ok, but could have been better considering the standard of the accommodation. This is a luxury resort with a beautiful pool and dining area and prices to match.

The beach is the usual Zanzibar beach with a deep tide, but it is lovely.

The dive shop seems competent, but the 1 ½ hour snorkelling trip was 1 ½ hours from the dive shop back to the dive shop, so that the actual snorkelling time was way too short.

However, the only real difficulty I ran into is that Kimikazi, the local village celebrates Eid al Fitr a week later than the rest of the Islamic world and then do so with 4 days of exuberant celebration which involves great music played very very loudly from 4 pm to just past midnight. The garden villas are right next to the village. At night closed windows and air-con tames the volume, but between 4 pm and dinner time the garden villa was, for me, unuseable.

The owner was understanding and kind enough to find me a place at another resort and to arrange a delightful driver to get me there.
I would certainly stay there again, just not during the local Eid."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Fumba Beach Lodge

Fumba Beach Lodge

"Fumba Beach Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 9 Sep 2011
"This was a much larger resort than any of the others I stayed at and was not as luxurious, but the food was delicious and the dive shop was brilliant. I am stubbornly independent when I snorkel and, as there were no other snorkellers on the boat, the guide just let me wander and followed to keep me safe during the length of the two tank dive undertaken by the other passenger with the dive master.

The only real frustration was the lack of a good reading light in the room."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Zanzibar Coffee House

Zanzibar Coffee House

"Zanzibar Coffee House review"

3 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2011
"I stayed in Cappuccino Suite. My room was clean, spacious, full of charm and charming best describes the people who run this delightful place. The water pressure wasn't great in the shower, but the hot water was abundant within 10 minutes of turning on the hot water switch. There was airconditioning, but except for, briefly, one evening, I didn't need it.

In the evening Siti not only sprayed insect repellant and closed the mosquito net around the bed, she also left ylang-ylang flowers on my pillow, filling my dreams with sweetness.

The open top floor room where breakfast is served is a joy and can be used any time (I particularly liked it for sunset).

The location of the Coffee House, deep in the warren of the old town streets meant that I got hopelessly lost one night and that bags needed to be carried some distance from the car that dropped me off, but it also gave the place great atmosphere and a sense of being in the community rather than in the more touristy area. Stone Town is small, so nothing is very far from anything else anyway.

I also recommend the cheese and date crepes for lunch."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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