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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Dr B & family from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

A fabulous safari and island holiday

Tanzania between 16 Aug 2007 and 1 Sep 2007

Trip rating: Excellent
"Fabulous !!!

We couldn't fault any of the locations, nor accommodation.

The service was excellent throughout. The arrangements and schedule worked really well.

Each of the 4 locations offered something different - we wouldn't have changed anything !"

Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"Fabulous experience of close up wildlife"

5 nights Arrived 17 Aug 2007
"Mdonya Old River was a 'real' safari experience, comfortable but basic accommodation, dining by candlelight under the stars, being visited by Buffalo and Elephant over dinner - all amounts to a fabulous experience. There was no false pretence, the camp was designed for people wanting to experience Africa, and was visited by people with the same philosophy.

Nick, our host, was relaxed, informative, and very personable, quietly ensuring everyone was getting the best out of the camp and the game drives.

As a family of 4 we were delighted to have had the personal touch of a vehicle to ourselves, and accompanied by the same driver and guide (Bakari and Geovanni) throughout our stay. They were excellent and informative guides, going out of their way to show us the magnificent variety of landscape and wildlife in the Ruaha.

We had several close encounters with lion and elephant, most memorably with one young bull who suggested we should move the landrover hastily away from his family and their calves. Certainly got the heart beating !

There was a fabulous variety of bird and animal life in the Ruaha, that we experienced without the interuption of any other vehicle crowding the scene, and on some days rarely seeing another vehicle at all.

We believe there is 'an unwritten rule' that there should never be more than one vehicle viewing at a time - this really does enhance the experience. No leopards, sadly, however with lion, jackal, hyena, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, hippo, crocs, impala, kudu, warthog, dik dik, ....... and many more, we thoroughly enjoyed Mdonya.

One final footnote - another close encounter ! With the camp being a regular site for visiting animals, we were rudely awoken in the early hours by an elephant trumpeting right outside our tent. With his shadow passing by tent no more than 10ft away, he proceeded to strip the tree of bark next to the corner of the tent. Everything was silent except for his munching and my wife's heart beating ! A great experience for those wanting to really appreciate Tanzania."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Siwandu

Siwandu

"Luxurious service and great wildlife at Selou"

3 nights Arrived 22 Aug 2007
"The accommodation and service at Selous Safari Camp was exceptional. Yes, the 'tent' did have canvas sides, however that was the only similarity with camping. These tents were contained within a timber roundal, and fitted out to the highest of standards.

The furniture, and decoration was excellent, the tent was incredibly spacious, the bathroom area with twin sinks was well equipped, and the outdoor shower was a delight (water heated by your own donkey boiler, and heated up to your personal timetable !). With a comfortable verandah overlooking the wildlife in front of the lake, Selous Safari camp was a real treat.

Night time visitors here were elephant and the grazing hippo from the lake munching away through the night. With a personal 'butler' who remained with us throughout our stay, bringing coffee/tea to the tent in the morning, and even joining the game drives to prepare lunch, service at Selous could not be faulted.

The bar and dining area, on stilts also overlooking the lake, was always well prepared and of good quality. Considering the level of service, the attention to detail, Selous was less personal and more business like. Not in anyway a fault, just different from the experience we had in Mdonya. The planned 'sundowners' watching the sun set over the lake at the end of the day was very pleasant however was a way for you to consume more drinks, as also occured throughout any game drive.

The landscape and wildlife of the Selous offered a variety to the Ruaha, often with savanah and acacia on large plains. Herds of wildebeast were more evident, as also zebra and giraffe. We came across a pride of 8 lion lounging under a tree, and further lion as well as hyena (fat bellied and exuding that real evil look) on several occasions.

Again the birdlife was excellent with our guides helping to spot distant eagle and vulture. With the gorgeous lilac breasted roller perching just above the landrover photo opportunities were frequent. The landrovers usually carried 6, so our family of 4 was joined by another couple. No problems with visibility as everyone had an outside seat on the staged seating of the landrover. Our driver was also our spotter and therefore of note to the guide plus driver at Mdonya.

Whilst viewing our pride of lions we were also joined by 2 other vehicles, no issue, and certainly unlike the experiences we had heard would exist in the more frequently visited parks (15+ vehicles around a single lion !), credit however to Selous Safari Camp and the drivers, we rarely met other vehicles other than on this occasion. Overall probably less variety of wildlife, although more of it when it was there.

We had a fabulous time on a fishing trip which just changed the pace of the day. With our daughter hauling out an 8.5Kg catfish within seconds of casting it made for another great experience. We all caught catfish of varying sizes, whilst watching the hippo and crocs, and birdlife on the river, which helped to provide for dinner for both us and the staff at the camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kinasi Lodge

Kinasi Lodge

"Friendly and relaxing stay at Kinasi"

3 nights Arrived 25 Aug 2007
"First accommodation on Mafia, designed with a Moroccan style, gorgeous rugs throughout the lodges and the dining/lounge area. The lodges were comfortable and nicely furnished - loved the design of the shower-cum-bath tub.

The service and staff were really friendly and very helpful. The food was varied and always ample and tasty. The facilities were also good, having kayak's for free use, board games and many good books in the 'library'.

The pool was clean and inviting during the heat of the day. The nature trail was well worth experiencing, having the resident local expert share with us his vast knowledge of the plant and wildlife around the shore. Other than the wide variety of birds living off the shore, we also encountered a troop of Sykes monkey eating fruit off a mango tree.

The spa was very professional, as was the diving, being run by 2 South Africans, Odi and Jacques. Arrangements were made for the following day whilst winding down in the bar. The qulaity of the dives were very good, all within the large lagoon as the outside waters were described as being too rough during August. This did make for some very relaxing diving with little current and good visibility. The coral was in excellent condition, and perhaps as a consequence there was a vast amount of fish life.

Trips to the deserted sand bar were a delight. Taken there by dhow, the sand bar was visible on low tides and amounted to pristine white sand only inhabited by thousands of little crabs. The 'island' is yours for a few hours, until the tide comes back in and your 'island' disappears back under the sea.

We had thought that Kinasi was 'the' place to relax and unwind after the excitement and long days of the games drives - that was until we then moved on to our final destination, no more than a few hundred metres away, to Pole Pole."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Pole Pole

Pole Pole

"Pole Pole - a fabulous relaxing experience"

4 nights Arrived 28 Aug 2007
"Pole Pole was simply fabulous - a faultless, intimate, lodge that offered an experience that we just think couldn't have been bettered.

The lodges (only 7 in total) were decorated in African style, with wall hangings, and furniture that set off the timber framed lodge. Each lodge had a 'Zanzibar bed' on the private verandah for that peaceful doze in the afternoon. There were delightful little touches everywhere, straw hats to use, handmade local soap in the bathroom (also presented as a gift on leaving), parchment menu's, a regular room service to bring drinks to your verandah prior to dinner ...

The spa was very professional with a local masseur, the private beach and the rustic timber/woven sunbeds were ideal for losing a few hours in the sun.

The visit to Chole island was well worth it. Seeing the village life and boat building on this island was a delight. We felt a little like the pied piper having collected a small band of grinning kids who's favourite word was 'photo' ! They loved having their pictures taken and seeing the results. The massive Comores bats hanging in their thousands from the trees provided an awesome sight during their nightly excursion back to the mainland to return in the early hours.

A trip to Mange reef (not offered by Kinasi due to the length of the trip ?) was an excellent excusion, probably taking 2.5 hours by dhow, arriving at an elongated tear drop shaped sand bank. Gorgeous clear waters and coral around the island allowed for some great snorkelling, however the diving was even better. Although somewhat bumpy on entry, we saw a great variety of fish - white tipped shark, potato grouper (about 200+Kg and 5ft long - awesome), turtle, moray, tuna, crocodile fish, scorpion fish, and it just kept going. After nearly an hour under water and probably 2 miles along the reef we surfaced to return to the now substantially diminished sand bank.

We had freshly caught fish griiled over open fire for lunch and returned to Mafia under full sail - what a great day out.

Pole Pole was a real delight, you were made to feel special, stayed in gorgeous, and very comfortable surroundings, with staff who were always on hand, with beaming smiles. Sad to leave however what a great way to finish our holiday."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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