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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr T & Ms N from Toronto

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

Ian and Michelle - Safari Sep-Oct 2012

Zambia and 1 other country between 29 Sep 2012 and 12 Oct 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
""Wow". Words fail me when it comes to summarising our trip to Zambia and Zimbabwe.

We had done our homework before engaging the assistance of Expert Africa with Claire and the team including a lenghty chat with Chris where we asked many questions, so while we were first time safari travellers we did know what we wanted and we recognized and truly appreciated the expertise and the great suggestions offered. We planned our three week trip as our one chance to go to Africa and we wanted to do it right, and see the majesty and the wildness of Southern Africa while it was still there.

The two main areas we visited, South Luangwa in Zambia and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe provided us exactly what we were hoping for and in many ways exceeded our expectations. The grandeur of the vistas and the abundance and variety of the wildlife was impressive. The staff at each of the camps couldn't do enough in their genuine desire to make your stay pleasureable and memorable.

We were chatting with one of the other guests staying at the Tafika camp. They had a similar ideas to us a few years earlier which was to come once and make it good. They have been back many times since. I think we may also he headed down that same path. They offered up a quote I have re-used a few times since. "If you don't want to come back to Africa, then don't go to Africa."

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

We returned home just yesterday from our trip.

The only hassles we experienced were due to airline troubles (delayed flights - LOST BAGGAGE!) and these had nothing to do with the great plans and logistics made by Expert Africa that made getting around remarkably simple.

Just as a side note. I am not one who is prone to exaggeration, and rarely give ratings of 'Excellent' as there are usually areas where improvements can be made. But here I have made an exception. We had the time of our lives on these safaris. It is difficult to point out where Expert Arfica could have improved our experience - and my rating reflect that.

Congratulations on a job well done. If (when) we go back to Africa, you will be the first call we make after we figure out where and when we will go. I have already recommended Expert Africa to my relatives who are considering a Southern Africa trip in 2013."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Tafika

Tafika

"Ian and Michelle - Superlative Tafika Review"

3 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2012
"My review may not be 'balanced' as you requested because it was just a perfect way to begin our adventure in Africa.

We really thought that this owner/operated camp had a great intimate feel to it. John, Carole and their team make you feel as if your comfort is paramount. The guides (We had three of them) were terrific, and will try to show you just what you want to see.

The accomodations are at the same time charming and rustic while also luxurious and well appointed. We loved that fact that there was nobody else around apart from occasional villagers travelling to or from town. It felt as if we were in a truly remote area and that our wildlife viewing was authentically wild. That is what we had requested and that is what Tafika delivered!

We had just one glitch in that through some communications error no one from Tafika was there to meet our plane at Mfuwe. Fortunately we had another rep at the airport contact Tafika and they resolved the issue within minutes - flying us out directly to the camp. Now THAT'S service!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

"Ian and Michelle - Chikoko Tree Camp Review"

2 nights Arrived 2 Oct 2012
"Walking safaris are rather different from game drives. It is great being on the ground hiking along the game trails. I will admit that the heat can be fierce at times but we had been warned about that so can't complain. Our walking Guide Isaac was extremely knowledgeable about a great many things - tough to stump him with a question. He was also full of amusing stories.

The park ranger was very capable both at tracking & spotting game and also at protecting the animals by ensuring we did not put them into a bad situation.

The Tree Camp facilities were great. We liked the idea of a second story bedroom with NO WALL so we had a commanding view of the plain in front of the camp and could watch the Impala, Puku, Kudu, Elan, Warthogs, Elephants, Zebras, Monkeys, baboons, and all the birds.

One of the impressive aspects was the food. There was a small kitchen hidden behind a grass wall. We asked to see the chef after a midday meal and we were amazed to see what great food was being prepared from very rudimentary facilities, based upon open fires."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Crocodile Bushcamp

Crocodile Bushcamp

"Ian and Michelle - Crocodile Bush Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 4 Oct 2012
"Of the two walking bush camps we visited, Crocodile was our favourite. Our grass hut was very comfortable and well appointed as with all the camps related to Tafika, but in this case in addition to a view over the plain, our hut happened to be right next to a small watering-hole maintained by the camp. This allowed our own room to double as a game-viewing hide where we watched antilope, monkeys, Baboons, birds, and warthogs enjoy the pool, without any of them being aware of our presence.

As with the Chikoko Camp, the food was outstanding using a very rudimentary kitchen. Our great trail guide Isaac and the camp staff made our stay a thoroughly enjoyable experience I'd recommend to anyone who likes a good hike."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ruckomechi Camp

Ruckomechi Camp

"Ian and Michelle - Ruckomechi Camp Review"

2 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2012
"After having the time of our lives in Zambia, our very first impression of Ruckemechi was a touch concerning. By comparison it seemed corporate and a little over-the-top, with a very large staff and great big permanent tent accommodations with concrete floors giving the impression of a small hotel room rather than a bush camp tent. Really very impressive, but different than than the first camp we had just come from. But I really can't say enough about the view we had - facing the Zambezi River, with Waterbucks grazing in the foreground and elephants wandering on a small island in the background. Truly awesome! It took very little time for us to recognize all the amazing attributes of Ruckomechi, and we enjoyed it very much.

We did not use some of the alternative activities offered such boating/fishing/canoeing/walking because we had just come from 4 days of walking and were about to go on a 3 night canoe trip - so we focused just on the game drives. Due to the time of year, well into the dry season there was not a lot of activity in the upper regions of the trails but there were a lot of animals bunched closer to the river.

We were lucky enough to see wild (painted) dogs, and a lion kill, as well as many other animals and birds. We had just one guide, Kevin, who was extremely knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour - so we forgave him for failing to find the elusive Cheetah. We will have to come back sometime to fill-in that one small gap."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mana Pools Canoe Trail

Mana Pools Canoe Trail

"Ian and Michelle - Mana Canoe Trail Review"

3 nights Arrived 8 Oct 2012
"Canoing the Lower Zambezi was a perfect way to conclude our initial Africal Safari. They call it camping, but other than the fact you are tecnically sleeping in a portable tent, it felt more like we were celebrities being catered to by our entourage than real camping. One could easily get use to this!

There were two couples on this 3-day, 3-night trip. We had two guides, and also had a team of five camp staff who did absolutely everything for you (except what you do in the privacy of your own tent).

You canoe down the river. We never had to paddle too hard, which allowed for lots of gazing at the wonderous scenery including the many hippos, and the mostly hidden crocs. The shores were littered with wildlife including elephants, waterbuck, buffalo, and many birds. The elephants were the star of the show during our trip. On day 1, when we arrived at our campsite. It was all set up but we could not get out of the canoes because there was a large bull elephant eating branches off a tree on the river bank, blocking our way into our campsite. We had to find another landing spot.

On day 2, we got even closer. During the midday siesta, a group of six elephants walked right through our rest area, coming withing a few feet of us. Our excellent guide Henry ensured that no one was alarmed or endangered, so we just sat back and enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being that close to truly wild elephants... got some GREAT pictures."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"Ian and Michelle - Ilala Lodge Oct 11"

1 night Arrived 11 Oct 2012
"Ilala lodge is a wonderful hotel in Victoria Falls, and is just a very short walk from the falls themselves.

The hotel is well maintained and very comfortable. Our main-floor room had a door we could open onto the lawn, where we saw some local animals wandering around, notable warthogs and a family of Banded Mongoose.

Our sole complaint was that the dinner did not meet expectations, largely due to a waiter who must have been new and could not seem to get the order right - but in fairness I should point out that the couple at the table next to us was effusive in their praise of the food and called out the chef to give their complements."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average

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