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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs Bee-eater from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

Thank you for an outstanding holiday

Tanzania and 1 other country between 27 Dec 2007 and 15 Jan 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"It was an experience of a lifetime and probably one of the best overall holiday experiences we have ever had.

The holiday organisation was absolutely superb and we have nothing but praise for the team at Expert Africa. We stayed in 5 /6 different locations and every transfer was done on time with the minimum amount of holiday time being wasted.

Our 8 days safari in Southern Tanzania was by far the best element and Beho Beho will go down as one of our favourite places in the world. Your recommendations for visiting Selous was just right.

In retrospect we wish we had done a little bit more research on Zanzibar and what we were looking for in the relaxation resort. Having spent 8 nights in the bush we would have liked somewhere with some evening activity, if only some music playing or a local bar to walk to. Our fault and something we have learnt for the future. We still had a good time but this would have made it absolutely perfect.

A big thank you to everyone at Expert Africa for a great holiday. We will not hesitate in recommending you to anyone wishing to travel to Africa.

Do you cover India?"

Feedback response

As with all of our travellers, we asked these travellers for their suggestions as to how we could improve what we do. They commented:

"Not sure how you can improve on what was a great experience.

The weakest link of our holiday was Unguja Resort. It was good rather than outstanding. Perhaps, as we did say in our initial enquiry that we wanted something not too remote this was the wrong location for us for 5 nights. Having given it a lot of thought, in retrospect we would have preferred just 3 nights in Unguja and 2 nights in Chumbe and used these 3 nights to visit another bush camp."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Sand Rivers Camp

Sand Rivers Camp

"Sand Rivers Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 28 Dec 2007
"Our visit to Sand Rivers lasted four nights which included one night fly camping. We stayed in the Rhino Lodge which is slightly away from the main building and I believe one of their most recent rooms. It was amazing. The Rhino Lodge consisted of three large open areas, the lounge complete with plunge pool and relaxing area, the large bedroom and a bathroom with a good open shower. All open roooms had a fantastic view of the river and surrounding country and were very clean.


Our hosts, Rob and Storm made us feel very welcome. On arrival we were asked if we had any dietary preferences and given a detailed overview of the lodge and the facilities. We were introduced to Lawrence, our safari guide for the 4 days that we were with them.

The quality of the food was outstanding although we were surprised to find that there was no choice. However it would appear that this is the norm for all the places we stayed at during our trip. This lack of choice was not a problem as we always enjoyed what Rob created.

Lawrence was a wonderful guide and we very much enjoyed our jeep, river and walking adventures. The highlight of our trip was spending a long time with a young make leopard and the elephant which joined us during our New Years Eve supper. We spent one night fly camping and we would definitely recommend this although it did mean that we missed one of our nights in the Rhino lodge which was a shame. Having spoken to people who did the fly camping a Beho Beho, although not so sophisticated I would recommend Sand Rivers for a closer to nature experience.


In summary, this was an outstanding start to our safari. The game viewing was great and we rarely saw another jeep or human being. The location of Sand Rivers was amazing and the quality and cleanliness of the accomodation was outstanding. The food and the hospitality again was of a very high quality. We have some very fond memories of Sand Rivers."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Sand Rivers fly-camping

Sand Rivers fly-camping

"Sand Rivers fly-camping review"

1 night Arrived 30 Dec 2007
"A wonderful experience.

The team at Sand Rivers could not have done more to make our fly camping trip / night a most magical experience and one that we will remember for a long time.

We left Sand Rivers Lodge after tea and enjoyed a driving safari to the river bank where we found the fly camp had already been set up. We had our own private sleeping tent, changing tent, shower and drop loo. A fire was burning close to the river and a drinks and dinner table set up. One of the highlights was being able to sit and talk to Lawrence (our guide) over dinner. It's unfortunate that the guides do not join guests for dinner whilst at Sand Rivers.

After an enjoyable dinner cooked by members of the Sand Rivers team we sat and enjoyed the sounds of the bush before retiring to our sleeping tent. This consisted of a net like two man tent with sleeping rolls on the floor - quite comfortable for one night. Throughout the night we were guarded by a member of the Sand Rivers team. Early in the morning we were greeted with cups of tea followed by breakfast and a driving safari back to Sand Rivers, arriving back at the main camp around 11am.

Overall a wonderful experience that was extremely well organised."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Sand Rivers Camp

Sand Rivers Camp

"Sand Rivers Camp review"

1 night Arrived 31 Dec 2007
"see previous comments for Sand Rivers Camp"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Beho Beho

Beho Beho

"Beho Beho review"

4 nights Arrived 1 Jan 2008
"Truely an outstanding and memorable experience. Without a doubt the best lodge we have ever stayed in anywhere in the world. Just about everything was perfect from the quality of the guides, the accommodation, the food, the wildlife, sundowners, the management and the overall ambience.

It's everything you would expect from a top quality safari lodge from the initial impressions / personal greetings on arrival right through to the day we had to reluncantly leave. The guides are some of the best we have ever experienced and the walking safaris exceptional.

We were very sorry to leave and if we had a critisism it would be that 4 nights was not long enough and we could eaisly stayed for another couple of nights.

Thank you Expert Africa for recommending the Beho Beho lodge to us."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Unguja Lodge

Unguja Lodge

"Unguja Resort, a good new resort hotel"

5 nights Arrived 5 Jan 2008
"The Unguja Resort was a good place to relax after a hectic 8 day safari however we couldn't help but feel a little disappointed after our outstanding experience at Beho Beho. Both Ralph and Elise (the hosts) went out of their way to make us comfortable but they lack the skills of the Beho Beho and Sand Rivers teams. We think this is because it's a lifestyle choice for Ralph and Elise rather than the desire to be hoteliers (and they had just had a busy Christmas / New Year). They have to run the resort so they can live where they want in the world and I think they would prefer to do this without hotel guests! In saying this, it was a nice resort in a beautiful setting and a great place to relax. The negative was that there was nowhere to go in the evenings for a drink or a walk outside of the resort. We should have done more research as after being in the bush for 8 days we would have liked the option of walking to local restaurants and a bit of night life – if only a couple of low key beach bars.

We stayed in lodge 3, with magnificent views of the ocean and sunsets. A lot of thought has gone into the design of this large lodge with lots of open spaces to relax and enjoy the view in private. One of the best things was just how clean everywhere was and how friendly all the staff were. The early morning room service of coffee/tea was a nice touch.
The food, although the choice limited (fixed menu with only one option) was of a very good quality. We only had breakfast and evening meals. The specialty of crab in pepper sauce was outstanding. The fact that you are asked at breakfast if and what you wanted for lunch was annoying. Unfortunately after the first night the bar ran out of tonic water for my evening G&T and I am surprised that no new stock arrived for the rest of our stay.

We did three trips whilst at the Unguga and all but the guided walking visit to the local village were disappointing. The half day Spice Tour turned out to be 2 1/2 hours around trip in a taxi with a 50 minute trip around a tourist area showing all types of spices grown on the island plus very expensive spices on sale. Although this was interesting we expected a lot more for our $120. At least a lunch or more than one place to visit. We gave our negative feedback to Ralph in a hope that they will improve this. This was organized by the resort and no connection to Expert Africa.

Our dolphin trip was dreadful. We organised this through One Ocean. They only seem interested in diving and getting the maximum amount of money for the minimal amount of effort. They charged us $35 each for just over an hour in an open small boat with 6 other people. We (along with a number of other boats) spent the hour chasing a small number of dolphins and then scaring them away by all jumping over the side. We tried to tell the skipper if they stopped chasing the dolphins and making so much noise getting into the water they might have more success. He was only interested in getting us back - he had done his job and found us dolphins!. Although I am a PADI qualified open diver I have limited diving experience and having looked at the Open Ocean operation and experienced one of their tours I decided not to go diving with them. Something about them didn't feel right.

In summary, it's a great place to relax and unwind in a beautiful location. The food was good (if limited) and the overall cleanliness was superb. However don't expect five star service, any spa treatments or nightlife. Three nights rather than 5 would have been a better option for us but I can see why some people would love to stay longer."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Average
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Chumbe Island Lodge

Chumbe Island Lodge

"Unique Chumbe Island"

3 nights Arrived 10 Jan 2008
"Chumbe Lodge is definitely somewhere to experience. We are very glad we had the opportunity to stay on the island for three nights (enough). Even the compost toilet was okay for the few nights we were there. We stayed in Banda 2 which was set very slightly inland and didn't get much of a breeze when sleeping. If we were to go back we would ask for 6 or 7 as they are right on the water's edge.

Apart from the eco concept, the most outstanding thing about Chumbe Lodge is the people who are running it. Everything was done with care and attention from the quality of the food to the information and activities. Everything was very clean although some of the beach bed cushions had seen better days and looked somewhat stained.

We really enjoyed the day time activities of the forest and intertidal walks and the snorkeling.

As with the safari lodges there was a set time for all meals with a limited choice of meat / fish or a vegetarian option. The quality of the food was very high although you have to get to your table on time. We were late one evening and found that they had run out of the main dish, unfortunately one group hadn't heard of portion control and managed to eat most of the food between them. It would have been nice if rather than having individual tables for two, the seating arrangements were more communal so that you could chat about the day and find out more about fellow guests, however can understand that not everyone would want this. After 5 nights at our previous resort we were in need of something more to do in the evening rather than just have dinner.

Overall a fantastic concept and a great holiday experience. We have lots of lovely memories including swimming with a turtle."
Excellent
Serena Inn

Serena Inn

"Serena Inn review"

2 nights Arrived 13 Jan 2008
"We can see why this hotel is rated as one of the best in Zanzibar, we loved it and would like to have stayed longer than 2 nights. First impressions are really important and they made us feel really welcome when we arrived. The high level of service and attention to detail continued for the rest of our short stay. We loved the buzz of Stone Town and were surprised that we were not hassled by the shop keepers as much as we expected.

We had a good room with a view of the sea and pool plus a small balcony. Although not the size of accommodation that we had seen on the rest of our holiday it was perfectly okay for the amount of time we used it.

It was great to be able to combine the noise and bustle of Stone Town with the tranquility of the Serena Inn. The best of both worlds. The pool and pool area was great and the staff were very attentive. It was lovely to hear live music in the early evening. A great way to enjoy sundowners.

We made one mistake and that was eating at Africa House Hotel for one evening, just not in the same league as the Serena Inn and more expensive although the bar area was good.

We arranged for a dhow sunset sailing trip for our last evening followed by dinner in the seafood restaurant on the roof terrace of the Serena Inn. The Dhow cruise was amazing. We had a crew of 7 and just the two of us as guests. They served fresh canapés and drinks provided by the hotel whilst sailing down the coast and back for over 2 ½ hours. We booked this through the hotel and not Fisherman Tours as they advised us to use another organization which didn't sound as good.

In summary an fantastic ending to a great holiday in two exceptional countries."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

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