This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu

Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs H from Newcastle

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

A wonderful trip - we will recommend you!

Tanzania and 1 other country between 17 Sep 2011 and 30 Sep 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a wonderful holiday - I think that the reason it worked so well was that Ellie had listened so carefully to what we wanted from the trip including our likes and dislikes, and had put together something that she thought would work - and it did. For example, she knew that we preferred open vehicles where possible; that we wanted a certain level of comfort; that there were certain animals and terrain that we wanted to see; that we would not be happy with very strong-viewed camp managers who dominated conversation - and so she put together a really well-balanced itinerary for us.

We will certainly recommend you to anyone planning a similar trip. Thank you!"

Oliver's Camp

Oliver's Camp

"High quality camp and excellent guiding"

2 nights Arrived 18 Sep 2011
"Very high quality accommodation - we gathered that the 'tents' had been upgraded earlier in the year. Now each one is a very elegant thatched structure with the canvas tent underneath it - but with wooden floors and doors it felt quite solid. En-suite loo but outdoor shower which looked like a bucket but was actually piped water and easy to use. Also had a very nice deck area at front of tent with two loungers. Animals were around - we had a hyena outside our tent the first evening and I mistakenly left some socks hanging outside the first night - they were appropriated and half buried in the ground by the morning but luckily not damaged and easily washed!

We were fortunate to have Mesenga as our guide - he spoke really good English and had eagle eyes - he could spot things miles away! We saw more elephants and zebras than we had ever seen before, but also leopard, a big pride of lions, and small things like bat-eared fox, fish eagles, genet and porcupine (on a night drive). We also did a short 2 hour walk with Alex which was excellent - it was really good to get up close to plants and see signs of the animals such as dik-dik scent marks on the grasses.

The food was very good - barbecue on the first night was excellent.

One thing to note - if you want to do the night drive you have to pay extra for it ($60 per person). We decided to do it because there was an opportunity to use night vision binoculars which we haven't done before. However, in the event we found them hard to use and reverted to the standard spotlight method, so that was a bit disappointing although we did enjoy the drive. Actually, in the event, we didn't pay for the drive as there was a slight problem the next morning and we didn't get a wake up tea tray or proper breakfast so Barbara the manager waived the fee.

As others have said, the only slight disadvantage of the location is that you have to drive for about 20 mins before you actually see much in the way of animals...and if you go there do be aware of the tsetse flies - take Expert Africa's advice and take something that will repel them - we only had mosquito repellent with us which wasn't very effective against them and I wished I'd taken my Avon Skin So Soft!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Gibb's Farm

Gibb's Farm

"Very attractive setting"

2 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2011
"Lovely welcome and explanation of room facilities. Cottage was large and well-furnished. It was nice to have a good shower with plenty of hot water. Only drawback was that mosquito net around bed could have been designed better - it didn't overlap properly so wasn't really closed and left no room at all to manoeuvre round the bed. The grounds of the farm are lovely with gardens and flowers outside the cottages. There was also a fabulous view from the terrace outside the main farmhouse - where we had tea and cake in the afternoon (all included).

We appreciated the chance to just dine on our own here after a couple of days dining 'en famille' on safari. The service was very good and the food excellent - all locally grown vegetables and lovely soups.

We didn't really mind the drive to the crater, although I suppose it would have been marginally better to have been closer to the rim to save time. Our guide Kevin, from Asilia, was excellent. He had brought us from Lake Manyara airstrip and then took us to the crater the next day. He had an excellent sense of humour and was very knowledgeable. We enjoyed the crater very much although I think I was expecting to be falling over the animals and it wasn't quite like that! However, we saw a serval very close (in the daytime), and some other things we hadn't seen before such as flamingos doing aerial acrobatics and ostrich mating displays.

It would have been good to stay here one more night so that perhaps we could have walked to the Crater rim or done other activities on the farm but sadly we didn't have time."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Olakira

Olakira

"A fabulous location and excellent guiding"

3 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2011
"The camp was in an amazing location - the view from the tent down the river was wonderful, and it was relatively quick to get to areas where there were lots of animals. We were very fortunate to see two wildebeest river crossings - one of the most amazing things we have ever witnessed. We were right in the middle of the action - the noise and dust surrounded us and it was extremely exciting, although sad when we realised that not all of them were going to get out of the river - the banks were too steep and they were just piling in on top of each other. The fact that we saw so much was in no small part due to the excellence of our guide, Victor. He was really good at finding animals for us and had a good knack of sensing when things were going to happen. On our last day we had almost given up waiting for the big herd of wildebeest to cross the river but he turned back just in time and found us excellent viewpoints to watch it all.

We did find that taking breakfast and lunch boxes with us and going out all day was the best way to do it - it meant that you didn't have to go back to camp for lunch and you could see more. We had flown to the camp specifically because we wanted to use the camp vehicles and guides and were really glad we did. It meant that we were in an open-sided vehicle (a Toyota Landcruiser which had been specially adapted) which had a shade over the top. There was space for 6 people so everyone got a 'window' seat, but we only shared with one other couple on one of the days - apart from that we were on our own with the guide. This was the same as our experience at Oliver's.

One thing to note - we would have liked to do a walk here but you can only do it if you arrange it in advance as they have to get a ranger over from the sister camp (and I think you have to pay extra for that). Not sure if I had just misunderstood about this as I thought we could arrange it once we were there.

The camp was very comfortable - the tents were not quite as plush as those at Oliver's but still very good, and we did appreciate the en-suite bathroom. The bucket shower worked well - you just told them when you wanted a shower and the tent attendants would bring the water for you and tell you it was ready. Food was good - fairly standard but amazing really when you consider how far you are from anywhere. One night there were only 4 of us staying and so they set up individual tables for us near the campfire. The other two nights there were more people so we all ate sitting round a big table in the dining tent."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Unguja Lodge

Unguja Lodge

"A wonderful place to stay"

4 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2011
"What a delight to stay here! It is an extremely high quality hotel with delightful staff. The owners, Ralph and Elies, were charming and very professional, with high standards. All the staff were lovely too - the people serving at dinner and behind the bar were friendly, polite and attentive, and Mwona the receptionist was really nice.

The villa was out of this world - we had one of the sea view ones which was a few metres from the sea - accessible by a few steps. Others have described the villas probably better than I can. Huge thatched roof which overlaid the solid structure containing an enclosed bedroom (mosquito mesh on open windows), open sitting room, bathroom with huge shower, separate toilet, and then another open-air bedroom upstairs. It was all most beautifully furnished with cushions made from local fabrics and artwork on the walls from local materials.

We had been on safari for a week and so were looking to relax here for our 4-night stay, and that is what we did. It is very quiet. The pool area was comfortable with good shade.

We did venture on a snorkelling trip which was a little disappointing. The visibility was not great and although we saw some fish it was not as good as we were expecting. Unfortunately we also got stung by jellyfish - it wasn't major and the crew had vinegar to put on it immediately but it was enough to put us off a bit. We did see a couple of dolphins on the way back though! We decided not to do the classic dolphin sighting trip as we did not want to contribute to the harassment of these animals. Apparently the Lodge does do their trips carefully though, and leaves the dolphins if too many boats turn up.

The other activity we did was the tour of the local village with one of the villagers who is employed by the hotel as Head of Security, lamp lighter and general factotum! We really enjoyed the tour - it costs $5 per person which is actually a donation to the village fund, and gave us a bit of an insight into how the locals live.

The food here was excellent - quite a bit of seafood and also good vegetarian choices. Good use of local spices and coconut. At dinner there was always a choice for each course, and the menu was chalked up earlier in the day so if you wanted something different you could ask for it. Lunch (not included in the price) was either a set 3-course meal with choice, or you could have other dishes such as sandwiches or pasta. Cost was between $5 and $15. The other lovely touch was that they had made a cake for my birthday (presumably alerted to this by Ellie) and brought it in with candles, singing 'Happy Birthday' and banging a saucepan for rhythm!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Serena Inn

Serena Inn

"Good base for short stay in Stone Town"

1 night Arrived 29 Sep 2011
"We only stayed one night here - so that we could see Stone Town and also so that we would not have so far to travel in the early morning to get the flight back to Dar (to connect with the BA flight to Heathrow). Even so, we had to be collected at 5am! But do be aware if you have to do the same thing that our wake-up call did not materialise. Fortunately we had ordered room service breakfast which DID arrive so we had just enough time to get ready before our lift arrived.

The hotel was fine although a bit 'sanitised' and full of well-heeled tourists. We had a standard room but had requested a large double bed which we got. It was right off the main lobby which was a bit noisy but was comfortable though, with good air-conditioning. We had lunch in the hotel when we arrived which was pretty standard fare, so decided to go out for dinner and had just about the best meal of the holiday in the Beyt al Chai Hotel which was opposite the Serena Inn - it was wonderful with the most amazing crab and coconut soup and red snapper with spiced mango!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team