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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs W from Croydon

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

5

Lodges stayed in

16

Excursions taken

1

Well organised and memorable holiday

Zambia between 22 Sep 2018 and 6 Oct 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was a very enjoyable holiday involving an overnight stay in Lusaka, three camps, three internal flights and a boat transfer between two camps. All the arrangements worked out well with no problems. It was helpful to be met at Lusaka airport on two arrivals and departures, and guided through procedures there (including on best passport/visa queue). The advice in the Expert Africa Zambia booklet about checking the correct number of days on the Visa was pertinent as the officer misheard and initially gave us too short a period - but it was quickly corrected when we pointed out the error.

The camps were all excellent and well run by friendly staff. Overall, we had a good variety of types of game watching trips (drives, boat, canoe, walking and hides) with knowledgeable guides who put a lot of effort in to searching for animals while spending plenty of time to observe animal behaviour. Although the variety of mammals was not as great as on previous safaris in other countries we had a number of very memorable wildlife experiences.

Many thanks to Megan for her advice and for organizing the holiday which was our third with Expert Africa."

Arranged By Megan Green


Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"Satisfactory and convenient overnight stay "

1 night Arrived 23 Sep 2018
"We used Pioneer Camp as an overnight stay after arriving at Lusaka airport and before traveling onward. The camp arranged the transfer from and back to the airport and that was efficient and on time - despite parts of the long dirt road from the main road being very poor and bumpy. Friendly welcome and spacious comfortable chalet. Reasonable choice on the dinner and breakfast menu."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Excellent camp and great safaris"

4 nights Arrived 24 Sep 2018
"This was our first main safari camp in Zambia and we stayed for four nights. Friendly managers and staff, and excellent guiding from Shayne. Excellent, inventive meals and very comfortable accommodation. The outside bath was a lovely idea but it kept getting dirtied by resident monkeys! Elephants and bush buck often walked through camp.

We visited the hippo hide and bee eater hide, and had a walking safari (with close encounter with a small elephant herd which ignored us) all of which were excellent We had excellent day and night drives: highlights - leopards with kills and drinking at pond; leopard and cub; lions with cubs; hyenas feasting on dead hippo; numerous elephants with young; large lion prides were elusive, unfortunately, due to the activities of a small band of males, except for one distant evening sighting."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp

"Excellent camp and great safari"

4 nights Arrived 28 Sep 2018
"An excellent camp with very friendly management and staff. Good food and range of excellent activities - drives, canoe, walking safari and hide. Elephants were frequent visitors to the camp and around our tent.
It can take some time to drive into the National Park (at least about 30 minutes depending on where the Chongwe River can be crossed), however, the route to the park along the riverside is interesting for birds and water fowl. On one occasion we returned to the camp from the Park by boat across the Chongwe which took only minutes.
Excellent general guiding from Sam: highlight, one evening, was seeing two leopards with an impala kill being dispossessed by hyenas. Excellent walking safari with Bright, especially learning about the life of termites and some of the history of the park."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Potato Bush Camp

Potato Bush Camp

"Luxurious camp with great safari experiences"

3 nights Arrived 2 Oct 2018
"We stayed for three nights. Potato Bush is a small high quality camp with excellent accommodation; and, excellent food and service, in a splendid location that has varied and interesting local landscape. The management and staff are very friendly and thanks to Monex for looking after us as our personal muchinda/butler. Excellent guiding from Ali. Highlights: canoe safari and hippos; boat trips: and, sightings of lions, elephants, crocodiles.and (briefly) leopard chased by baboons.

We enjoyed our stay very much except for the quality of the game drive vehicle which was disappointingly uncomfortable compared with vehicles we were used to elsewhere in Zambia and on previous safaris - and not up to the standard of the camp. Staff told us that the vehicles were due to have the suspension improved at the end of the season. Therefore, "facilities" not rated excellent."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

Excellent and enjoyable safari holiday

Tanzania between 24 Aug 2014 and 6 Sep 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our holiday as a whole was excellent and extremely enjoyable.

We saw a great variety of wildlife including some particular animals that we had hoped to see. The guides were all excellent and knowledgeable, and were keen to meet our expectations. We never felt rushed and were able to spend plenty of time at different sightings.

Accommodation was generally excellent and well run with good food. The camps were all open so that animals could wander through but we always felt safe with the camps' security arrangements.

The arrangements for travel between airports/airstrips and camps generally worked well. Camp guides were always at airstrips to meet us and took us to meet planes on time. The transfer between two internal flights at Dar was not as smooth as it could have been (see comments) but was sorted out without too much difficulty.

The first part of the holiday at Ngorogoro and Dunia was arranged by Asilia. Overall, we were impressed by what we learnt of the company and its community support, as well as the quality of its safaris.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

This is the second time we have arranged a holiday with Expert Africa and again we have been very impressed from original discussions to the trip itself. Liz was very helpful and knowledgeable in setting up the itinerary. The holiday more than met out expectations.

There is just one suggestion relating to internal flights. We had expected that we would find out about any plane changes as we took each internal flights which is what happened. However, you will see that we have commented on a bit of confusion in changing at Dar on our trip from Seronera to Selous. This was essentially because the pilot who took over our incoming plane said he was going to Selous and we did not realise at that time that Coastal planes do not call at all the Selous airstrips. We think it would be worth having a note in your Tanzania guidance notes to warn about this and the need to check-in at Dar (with luggage)."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Plantation Lodge

Plantation Lodge

"Great place to stay after long journey"

2 nights Arrived 25 Aug 2014
"Arrived tired after long journey from London and trip to Lake Manyara, so we especially appreciated being told we had been upgraded to a suite.

The welcome, accommodation, grounds, food and service were outstanding: more than worth the long bumpy access track from the main road. The Lodge greatly exceeded our expectations. It is well placed for access to Ngorogoro and Lake Manyara though obvously not as close as the larger lodges on the rim."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Dunia Camp

Dunia Camp

"Stunning location at Dunia"

3 nights Arrived 27 Aug 2014
"We were expecting Dunia to be a fairly basic camp but it exceeded our expectations. The tent was spacious and comfortable and the arrangements for bucket showers worked very well (plenty of hot water turned up within minutes of asking). The location and view from the camp is stunning, especially as it faces directly towards the sunrise. Meals were excellent in the camp. Staff were very friendly and helpful, and Angela, the manager, was an excellent host.

Ernest was an excellent and knowledgeable guide and we had a number of memorable sightings: in particular, lions and cubs, lions mating, leopard, cheetah, rhino and lots of birds. We appreciated being in an open vehicle (with a shade) as opposed to the enclosed sort (where you stand up through the roof) which seem to be more usual in this area. We also appreciated that we were the only people in the vehicle with Ernest. That may be because the camp was not very full at the time but many of the enclosed vehicles we saw seemed to be uncomfortably crowded.

One of the advantages of Dunia is that the area close to the camp and around the kopjes is quieter (with less vehicles) than the area closer to the Seronera airstrip."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Great variety of safaris at Impala"

4 nights Arrived 30 Aug 2014
"Excellent stay at Impala and plenty of different wildlife. It was good to have the opportunity for river trips (did two) and a bush walk, and to be able to go off road. When we went, there were not as many elephants as we expected, however, we were lucky to see one of the packs of wild dogs and to get very close to lions. The river trips were very interesting with the bank of bee-eaters' holes being a highlight. Dennis was an excellent and knowledgeable guide. The vehicle was open with a shade and comfortable. It was rare to come across other vehicles and there were a couple of occasions when we watching animals in the company of another vehicle.

The camp tented accommodation was very good and comfortable with an electric socket (UK 3 pin) - useful for charging equipment and for a hairdrier - and a powerful fan which was much appreciated. It was hot but pleasant at this time of year.

The camp was well run by Fausto and the friendly and attentive staff, inlcuding the Masai who were always around to escort us to and from our tent. On the whole the food was good, especially breakfasts and lunches, though one or two of the evening meal options were not up to the generally high standard. All meals were at separate tables and evening meals rotated between the decked areas or candle lit tables on the river edge (requiring vigilance for bread stealing bush babies) which we thought was a good idea."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

"Great camp and great wildlife at Mwagusi"

3 nights Arrived 3 Sep 2014
"This was our final camp on this holiday and it was definitely a good place to finish. The variety of wildlife and the camp were both excellent.

Geofrey was an excellent guide and he and Vincent (the driver), produced a number of trip highlights: four leopard sightings, two of cheetahs, three sightings of lions + one of them mating, elephants searching for water in the dry river bed, lion-elephant standoffs, vultures feasting and a multitude of birds.

Our accommodation was in a large well-appointed, spacious, thatched banda incorporating a sleeping tent, and overlooking the river (dry when we went). It also had a covered relaxation area with hammock. Behind the tent was a very large bathroom and clothes storage area. The laundry service was excellent and clothes came back folded unbelievably small - perfect for packing. There were a few niggles which didn't detract from our enjoyment and are only worth mentioning because of the overall high quality of the accommodationi: the floor in the bathroom/clothes area could be slippery and needed care, there was no plug in the wash hand basin, and the shower sprayed water over a rather large area (and needed a larger non-slip mat).

Staff were welcoming friendly and helpful. Communal dining worked well with good breakfasts, and lunch and evening buffets. Lunches were particulary good with an amazing array of salads. An unexpected birthday cake brought in by singing staff was much appreciated."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

Excellent holiday - exceeding expectations

Namibia and 2 other countries between 16 Sep 2012 and 4 Oct 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall, we had an extremely enjoyable holiday. The variety of wildlife experiences exceeded our expectations. Accommodation was all very good or excellent. All the arrangements within the control of Expert Africa, whether for accommodation or transfers, worked out fine, without any problems.

The holiday wasn't one of Expert Africa's standard holidays. We spent some time working out the itinerary with them. That was time well spent and their expert advice was invaluable. Thanks very much to Gwynneth and also Nick for his advice on Botswana early on.


A couple of specific comments which don't fit in elsewhere:

1. We had two flights with Mack Air and had a good experience with them both times: friendly pilots and good flights. In addition, we had arranged for suitcases to be flown on separately from Maun to Kasane. This was handled efficiently and there was no difficulty retreiving the suitcases at Kasane airport.

2. We had a transfer with Wilderness Safaris from Kasane airport to Victorial Falls. This was handled efficiently so that we were able to complete the border formalities on entering Zimbabwe without a hitch.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No - well organised holiday, plenty of helpful information."

Haus Sonneneck

Haus Sonneneck

"Great welcome, great lodging"

1 night Arrived 17 Sep 2012
"We were made to feel very welcome by Gisela. This guest house rates very highly for hospitality and the quality of the accommodation - spacious, clean and very comfortable; and set in very pretty gardens.

We would have been very happy to stay longer but this was just an overnight stop after flying in."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Lagoon Lodge

Lagoon Lodge

"Room with a great lagoon view"

2 nights Arrived 18 Sep 2012
"Excellent accommodation in a room with a wonderful view over the lagoon and flamingos.

The owners were very welcoming and helpful. Good location with a short drive into the town centre and restaurants.

Whilst staying in Walvis Bay we organised a full day trip to Sandwich Harbour with Turnstone Tours. They commented:

"Excellent.

Ernst made trip very informative & memorable.

This was exactly what we had hoped for - a combination of wildlife and dunes with informative commentary (and tasty lunch) from Ernst of Turnstone Tours. It was a very good day.""
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"Ernst made trip very informative & memorable"

19 Sep 2012 • All-day excursion

This was exactly what we had hoped for - a combination of wildlife and dunes with informative commentary (and tasty lunch) from Ernst of Turnstone Tours. It was a very good day.
Excellent
Image alt

Otjibamba Country Lodge, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Good lodge for an overnight stop"

1 night Arrived 20 Sep 2012
"We stopped at Otjibamba for an overnight stop on the way from Walvis Bay to Etosha. The location was good as we were able to arrive at Etosha in time for a good afternoon at the waterholes.

The lodge chalet accommodation was spacious, clean and comfortable and generally good quality, perhaps showing a bit of age in places but nothing that was a problem. Reception staff friendly and presented us with a basket of a small sparking wine, sweets and fruit to mark out wedding anniversary the next day.

Evening meal was good but service very slow and perfunctory. There did not seem to be many people staying so perhaps it was not fully staffed. Breakfast OK."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Great location for driving in Etosha."

2 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2012
"This location was good for access to waterholes in the eastern part of the park and on our full day we were able to drive to Namutoni.

The Halili waterhole itself was interesting but not outstanding for wildlife when we visited in the evenings and one morning but we did see a rhino at night and plenty of birds and guinea fowl. The viewing area was in a good position but at night you need to watch where you're walking as the area around the seats is uneven and rocky.

We were actually very pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the camp. It was a relaxing place to stay after driving around the waterholes. The detached chalet was quite spacious and clean and well separated from its neighbours.

The restaurant inside was very pleasant and outdoor seating was satisfactory. The evening meal was a fixed price buffet which was rather more than we expected (for a buffet) at N$170 each without drinks, however, there was a good choice, well presented, with meat choices cooked fresh while you waited: so on the whole good value. Service, for bringing drinks and clearing courses, was good. Breakfast (included in the overall price) was also a buffet with a good choice of cereals, cold meats, fruit and cooked food with eggs cooked as you wanted while you wait."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Relaxing stay and excellent waterhole"

2 nights Arrived 23 Sep 2012
"When we arrived at Okaukuejo we had had three days of very enjoyable driving in Etosha. However, we quickly discovered that the waterhole was excellent for wildlife and were happy to forsake the Etosha roads for day in camp, especially as our bush chalet was only about a minute from the waterhole (particularly good for pre-dawn visits). The variety and number of animals was excellent through most of the day (elephants, giraffe, zebra, oryx, kudu, rhino and early morning lions) and greater than any other waterhole we visited (except perhaps Nebrowni which was excellent). The viewing conditions were good at Okaukuejo waterhole although there were periods when most seats and the raised viewing area were occupied. Not a real problem, however, and overall the camp felt relaxed.

The quality of the camp overall was very good, and rather better even than Halali in that it had hard surfaced roads and footpaths rather than gravel roads. Our semi-deatched bush chalet was very good (clean, spacious, and as noted above well located for the waterhole).

The camp offered a fixed price evening three course buffet for N$170 each (except for drinks) which offered a good range of food, well presented. Very good choice of salads. Meat cooked while you wait (some meat rather tough). Booking was required and the restaurant allocated seats. Generally the outdoor sitting area was pleasant but some tables were in places which were rather cramped."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Wonderful animal sightings at Little Kwara"

3 nights Arrived 26 Sep 2012
"Our wildlife experience at Little Kwara was generally excellent with just one small disappointment that we will mention last as it did not affect our overall enjoyment.

We had hoped to see cheetahs, in particular, at Little Kwara and so we very pleased to come across three sleepy cheetah brothers on our first afternoon. Overall, there was a very good variety of wildlife: highlights, apart from the cheetahs, being close encounters with lions at day and night, following a pack of wild dogs and the motorboat trip to the storks roosting area. Guides were excellent - we had Dutch most of the time who was very informative.

The tented accommodation on stilts was very comfortable, clean and spacious with a welcome outdoor shower (in the heat of the day especially).

Food and service was very good.

The only disappointment was that we were unable to fit in a Mokoro trip. The reason was that a scheduled motorboat trip to the heronry had to be delayed from our last afternoon to the following morning when we had expected to do the Mokoro. This was due to a problem with the Little Kwara boat and the need to arrange to borrow one from Kwara). However, although early morning on the water was cold we probably had more daylight than if we had gone on an afternoon trip. The heronry (actually large numbers of storks and ibises) was wonderful and not something we would have wanted to have missed.

Overall, an excellent experience at Little Kwara."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge

"Excellent game viewing and quality lodge"

3 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2012
"The river trip was excellent as far as wildlife was concerned with a good range of animals and birds using the river (including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, buffalo. We were surprised the boat was so small and it was completely full on the day we went with about a dozen or so people plus the guide. However, the stream was quite gentle, and the guide positioned it so that everyone had a chance for photographs most of the time. So while it would definitely have been better with fewer people the trip was excellent overall.

The game drives in Chobe were good (once in the riverside area) and although the guides don't have trackers they seem to be able to spot animals at long distance. Best encounter was with a lioness stalking impala. However, you need to be prepared for long drives (30-45 minutes) between the lodge and the main game viewing areas. We were told of plans to build a landing stage closer to the lodge.

The lodge itself was excellent for accomodation, meals, service and friendly staff. Great view from the lodge and chalets, overlooking the river plain. Communal dining was very enjoyable and food was very good - different every day. Little shop was well stocked and good value - great hippos!

Trip to nearby village was very illuminating and well worth the time, we visited a family home and the local school.

Overall, the quality of the lodge and food and the staff made up for the distance that has to be travelled to the river and main game viewing areas."
Excellent
Location
Average
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

"Very comfortable base for exploring the falls"

2 nights Arrived 2 Oct 2012
"The lodge is excellent for accommodation, food and service. It is more like a hotel in the way it is run. Although it is a few kilometres from the falls, the shuttle bus provides a good hourly service, on one trip back to the lodge the bus was too full to pick up everyone at the last town stop.

A number of rooms, including ours, together with the main lodge (bar and restaurant) overlook the waterhole. While we were staying, there wasn't a great deal of activity at the waterhole except for vultures and cranes, but you are ever hopeful!

Both bar and restaurant served very good food, with pancakes (amongst lots of other nice things) for breakfast.

On the last night we booked for the Boma having been told it should not be missed. We found it a bit disappointing. It was about as different from a traditional boma as could be imagined. It was held at a building within the same complex as the lodge but with many visitors and tour groups from elsewhere. It was basically a huge cafeteria! We would have left immediately but decided to give it a try, although not relishing chosing our food in the semi-dark. We had the warthog, which was suprisingly good, along with the salads. After the food we were going to leave, but the entertainment came on and that was quite good (an opportunity for everyone to take part in communal drumming) bash a drum, so salvaging the evening. The idea of an African experience might have been good but it was on far too big a scale and expensive (US$40 each without drinks). Not recommended - eat in the lodge restaurant."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

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