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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by The S family from Lewes

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

My Dec 2012 trip

Tanzania and 1 other country between 16 Dec 2012 and 28 Dec 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"The holiday was brilliant not just "very satisfactory"!

Martin Mollel, our driver really made the safari for us. He was very personable, very knowledgeable about the animals, very skilled at spotting them and a safe driver. He was very tactful and was very good chatting and playing with our children He was respectful of the animals. We felt safe and comfortable with Martin at all times.

We saw all the animals and many birds that Martin also knew about. We would fully recommend Martin for other clients.

Incidentally, on the jeep, it would have been good to have had a canvas cover that could have been put up above the roof openings to give some shade at times.

Thoughts on the parks:

Tarangire - A nice place to start, very quiet compared with the Serengeti we saw plenty of Elephants.

Lake Manyara - We only really saw baboons as animals in significant quantity. I would not recommend this park. It is more lush and so the animals are difficult to see. There are more prolific and variety of animals in other parks we went to. The lake has shrunk in size due to silting up and so the flamingo are just a pink band on the horizon many miles away. If there could be alternative access at the other side of the lake, then the flamingos would probably have been spectacular. I would miss this park out and make a more leisurely drive to Ngorongoro.

Ngorongoro - Specatcular scenery and the place to see Black Rhino. But there was much more - Lions Hyena etc etc. An early start is a must to see the animals before the crater gets busy.

Olduvai Gorge - unfortunately the compulsory local guide was quite old and difficult to hear and understand. He had a very strong accent and struggled to be heard above the wind. This was unfortunate as particularly for the children it could have been made very interesting if described and explained well Perhaps little information sheets that could be read before the visit would help understanding of what is being seen and its significance

Serengeti - we saw the migration which was excellent. There was a tendency in this park to see something and then find 9 other jeeps around. Sometimes with them edging very close to the animals. This seemed a bit circus like at times. That aside it was a good place to see lions and hippos, wilder-beast, giraffe and zebra etc etc

On arrival at Zanzibar, the baggage handlers ask you to identify your bags and then ask for tips prior to handing the bags over to you, which is not a very good introduction to Zanzibar. Also as the flight arrived 10-15 mins early, as we exited the airport, the transfer guy was not around and so we got mobbed by taxi drivers and other hawkers trying to get us to go with them and trying to take our bags. This was not very pleasant.

Eleanor Dunkels in London was always excellent always pleasant, helpful and informative. Her personal experience of the area was very useful. She was a pleasure to deal with.

Tips for other clients:

Don't wear blue. the TseTse flies really do get attracted to blue and give a nasty bite.

Make sure you do take some very good binoculars - a pair for each member of the group. Some of our pocket binoculars we took were woefully inadequate.

Wear wide brimmed hats that tie under the chin, otherwise they blow off

Long sleaved shirts are a good idea as its easy to get burnt with the open roof on the jeep."

Rivertrees Country Inn

Rivertrees Country Inn

"Rivertrees Country Inn review"

1 night Arrived 16 Dec 2012
"The owners were very welcoming.

The rooms were very pleasant and clean. (Its difficult to say much more as we arrived at 4.30 am due to a late flight and were off on safari by 11 am later that morning)."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Tarangire Sopa Lodge

Tarangire Sopa Lodge

"Tarangire Sopa Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 17 Dec 2012
"The accommodation was a tired and dated. For example door mats worn out and carpets a bit past their best.. Though they seemed to have started renovating some of the rooms.

The staff were very welcoming, particularly in the restaurant where Margareth served us in a very pleasant and efficient manner. The food was very good.

There was not much to see out of the windows to the accommodation - though I guess this may be different in the dry season
When we were there the resort was very quiet."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

"Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 18 Dec 2012
"Fantastic location with breathtaking views over the crater. The rooms upstairs have a much better view. Despite a request to be given upstairs rooms we were allocated a downstairs room which has the view of the crater obscured by vegetation. The rooms were in a much better condition than Tarangire Sopa.

Food choice and quality was excellent. Again the table service from Joseph was excellent and as our children were very tired he speeded up the service to enable them to quickly go to bed.
We were able to ask for Breakfast boxes so that we could go in to the crater early. The children were even able to request pancakes in their breakfast box, which was done without fuss by the catering staff.

Massai dancers came in and danced in foyer which was interesting. (I caught a 48 hour stomach bug here - I was the only one in the family to get it, but I chose different dishes from the rest of the family, But then equally it could have been the lunch boxes which were in a hot vehicle for 8 hours as we left before breakfast)"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Serengeti Sopa Lodge

Serengeti Sopa Lodge

"Serengeti Sopa Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Dec 2012
"The rooms were very nicely laid out and finished (of the 3 Sopa lodges the Serengeti rooms were the best).

The food at the Serengeti Sopa was excellent in choice, presentation and taste. Table service was awkward (difficult to get ourselves understood and request met with a bit of a stoney face), but this most probably reflected who was allocated to us rather than a generic problem.

Entertainment was provided in the evening. But where the entertainment was provided there was no seating to watch. As ever reception staff were very welcoming"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Unguja Lodge

Unguja Lodge

"Unguja Lodge review"

5 nights Arrived 22 Dec 2012
"Food was very good in choice presentation and taste.

Rolfe and Elise were very pleasant and welcoming. Elise in particular was very helpful in treating a nasty skin rash that one of our children got on their face.

Accommodation was very stylish. In the bedrooms it would have been good to have more cupboard or shelf space.The only negative was the problems we had with the monkeys.
As we had children sleeping in the open roof space the monkeys used to come in and disturb the children as early as 5.30am in the morning. This meant the children were woken up very early, after they had got very tired on the safari the several days before. During the day the monkeys bounced around on the mosquito nets and the beds. As a result the beds were made up every evening after the monkeys had left. Also it was not very pleasant as they dirtied clothes that they played with and on occasions soiled around the beds and tore the mosquito nets. The open spaces in the roofs are not suitable for sleeping in given the monkeys tendency to use them as play areas.

That being said we would recommend anybody staying in the enclosed bedrooms in each villa to visit Unguja.
The village tour organised by a senior local employee of the Lodge is well worth the time.
The diving school instructor Nick was very good. Very articulate in several languages he explained things really well."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Southern Sun Dar review"

1 night Arrived 27 Dec 2012
"We arrived in Dar domestic airport at rush hour after a delay in our flights from Zanzibar. A 20 min journey into the city took over an hour and half. If there is a suitable hotel nearer the airport which avoids the Mandela/Nyrere road junction it should be considered for transit passengers.

The actual hotel was fine. But for some reason they initially insisted that there were no inter connecting rooms and we could not be put in rooms next to one another. But after several minutes the manager overhead my protests and sorted it out."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average

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