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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs M from Cambridge

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Excellent holiday / honeymoon

Tanzania between 12 Aug 2013 and 25 Aug 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip exceeded all our expectations. We booked our flights (Emirates from London Gatwick to Dubai to Dar), spent one night at the Southern Sun in Dar, 3 nights at Lake Manze in the Selous and 4 nights at Mdonya in Ruaha before 5 nights at Butiama Beach in Mafia.

We very much valued the advice we were given by Expert Africa and we were certainly better prepared than most other travellers we met. All recommendations and comments given about hotels, lodges, flights were borne out by what we saw.

When we return to Africa, we will certainly plan to use Expert Africa again."

Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"One night stop-over in Dar"

1 night Arrived 12 Aug 2013
"We stayed at the Southern Sun for one night after flying into Dar, before flying out to the Selous the next day. Definitely a good call to stay overnight in Dar - we enjoyed our arrival in the bush far more than those who had been spat straight out from an international flight.

Good, clean hotel room and excellent cocktails and food in the bar and restaurant.

An added bonus after supper on returning to our room was a bottle of sparkling wine as we were on our honeymoon."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Three nights at Lake Manze"

3 nights Arrived 13 Aug 2013
"We'd been looking forward to our first African Safari and certainly weren't disappointed. We were met by Giraffes on the landing strip and the game continued to impress throughout our stay, both on boat safaris and game drives.

The tents were very comfortable and we enjoyed the experience of being part of the bush, without electricity. The constant stream of animals throughout the camp, particularly elephants, was a treat. Food was also good, lunches particularly, but didn't quite match the standard at Mdonya Old River camp where we went next.

We could always do the activities we chose when we wanted (walking safaris, boat safaris, fishing, game drives), although we kept swopping guides and swopping the guests we were with, which felt a little disruptive.

A special treat on our penultimate night was a private dinner on our veranda with a Masai guard.

The staff were helpful and professional throughout and made us feel very welcome.

We thoroughly recommend this camp, although it wasn't luxurious it was very comfortable and exactly what we wanted."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"4 nights at Mdonya Old River Camp"

4 nights Arrived 16 Aug 2013
"We loved our stay at Mdonya Old River camp.

We had an excellent guide and driver to ourselves for the duration of the trip which we found very restful, and thoroughly enjoyed the game, scenery, food and accommodation. Highlights included breakfast in the middle of the bush and sparkling wine at sunset, as well as a private dinner on our veranda on our last night (honeymoon treat).

Although compared to Lake Manze camp in the Selous the range of activities was more limited (to just game drives) and the game drives nominally have to stick to the roads in the park, we found the whole experience excellent and saw plenty of game including leopards and cheetahs. We had both taken binoculars and were glad to have done so. We didn't miss electricity at all. Camera batteries could be charged in the office and candles and torches more than sufficient at night and are provided in the tents.

We had been a little worried before our trip by comments in some reviews about Tsetse flies, but we hardly noticed them. A complete absence of mosquitos was a plus. Honey bees disrupted breakfast on a couple of days, but the camp staff were very helpful and professional and set up honey traps and breakfast in an alternative location.

Overall, a very restful, comfortable and enjoyable Safari."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Butiama Beach

Butiama Beach

"5 nights of post-Safari bliss"

5 nights Arrived 20 Aug 2013
"We can't fault our stay. We enjoyed every moment of our 5 nights at Butiama Beach and were extremely sad to leave to go home. We stayed in a beach front bungalow which was extremely comfortable and had breathtaking views of the beach and ocean. The staff were helpful throughout and the setting wonderful.

The food was excellent - the best we have had for a long while - as were the cocktails.

We did different activities on each day. Setting off directly from Butiama Beach: snorkelling on a nearby reef combined with whale watching and a blissful picnic on a deserted beach with fire-cooked fresh fish, salads, fruit and wine; a very interesting and humbling visit to Chole Island; dive tuition and additional dives and snorkelling based out of Big Blu dive Centre at Utende; snorkelling with whalesharks; a sunset cruise; using the sea kayaks based at the Lodge; walks along the beach; plenty of swimming in the sea; massages. The sunset cruise, massages and a private dinner on the beach-front were honeymoon perks which we really appreciated.

Activities were arranged each evening, exactly according to our wishes, and remained flexible if necessary, for example snorkelling at Utende on the last day was abandoned when whale sharks were spotted out of season. Activities based out of Utende were a short (about 30 minute) transfer away, along a bumpy road which is currently being upgraded. The lodge is associated with the Big Blu dive centre with which we were extremely impressed. One introductory dive gave way to two more and we will certainly look to dive again in the future.

Some reviews we had seen on trip advisor mentioned the proximity of Butiama Beach to Kilidoni, but once we had driven into the lodge from the airport this really wasn't an issue. In fact, visiting the other side of the island and Utende to dive, we felt that the beach near the dive school and waters around were actually far busier than by Butiama Beach.

Overall, a perfect end to our holiday after 7 nights on Safari in Tanzania. Our only hesitation in recommending Butiama Beach is that there may not be space for us to return!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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