Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Dr H from Dublin

Holiday of a Lifetime

On this trip, I visited Tanzania & Zanzibar between 4-Aug-2007 and 21-Aug-2007 and I travelled with 4 other people.

Overall my trip experience was:


We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, and it lived up to all our expectations. This was some feat considering that we were a family of four - with 2 mature daughter - each of whom had different interests and needs. All these were satisfied by the holidays, which included different types of accommodation and experiences.

Expert Africa's advice was terrific, always professional and always timely in their responses.

One negative - the recommendation of $10 per person per day as a tip is, we feel, over generous. We are always happy to voluntarily reward good service, but there seems to be an excessive tendency of expectation by most staff, in all accommodations and places, which is to-say-the-least off-putting. To facilitate this 'expectation culture' is counter-productive.

Feedback response

We're delighted that this trip went so well - but on the traveller's last point ... it’s perhaps best here for us to try and clarify our suggestions for tipping. It's a tricky topic, and advice that's right for one place, can easily be worng for the next.

However. we’re completely agreed that the 'expectation culture' for tipping is a bad thing – and hence Expert Africa always suggests that tips are given as a lump-sum, at the very end of your stay at a place – as a final parting gift to all the staff. We never advocate tipping as you go along, and couldn’t agree more about this causing problems and being counter-productive.

As a guide to levels, we suggest that our travellers budget on ‘about USD5-10 per guest per day’ at a safari lodge or camp’.

By this, we’re thinking of lodges or camps where you’re enjoying full safari activities every day – and then USD10 is split between all the guides at the camp, on safari, and their back-of-house camp teams also.

We believe that in most safari areas this is a good level of tip. It’s appropriate for travellers who have had a really great time with great service. We’d never suggest the giving of this if things aren’t up to standard, or service hasn’t been particularly good.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Gibb's Farm, Tanzania
5-Aug-2007 review: In the coffee plantation
Suyan Camp, Tanzania (this camp has since closed)
8-Aug-2007 review: Great Time in Serengetti
Unguja Lodge, Zanzibar
11-Aug-2007 review: Beach time in Zanzibar
Chumbe Island Lodge, Zanzibar
16-Aug-2007 review: Eco-tourism
Serena Inn, Zanzibar
19-Aug-2007 review: Luxury in Stone Town