Travel reviews by Mr J from Coventry
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
Our trip to Zambia.
Zambia between 21 Oct 2020 and 12 Nov 2020
Everything went smoothly from beginning to end in spite of having to re-arrange the itinerary numerous times due to factors out of our control. The fact that we managed to go at all was a miracle.
In fact I told Maruska that her name in English meant miracle worker because that was what she did. Perform a miracle."
"Good place for one nights stay"
Avani Victoria Falls
"Perfect location for Victoria Falls"
Rooms were comfortable and food ok although the beef was more like buffalo it was so tough, they even brought me another knife so that I could try to hack my way through it which was a shame because everything else was fine."
Mosi Oa Tunya National Park game drive
"Mosi Oa Tunya game drive review"
24 Oct 2020 • Morning excursion
It was still enjoyable being able to go out on a game drive for the first time in 8 months.
It was good to be picked up and dropped off at our hotel.
Fig Tree Camp
"1st lodge on our trip to Zambia."
Game viewing was average but enjoyable although we had a serious problem with tsetse flies biting lumps off us, even though Brendan used the old trick of burning elephant dung at the back of the vehicle.
Saw a number of birds for the first time including Pennent-Winged Nightjar and the Barred Owlet."
Victoria Falls Sundowner River Safari
"Enjoyable evening on the water"
25 Oct 2020 • Afternoon excursion
First sighting was a group of elephants playing in the water including one who thought she was a sub-marine and kept going totally under the water. Saw lots of birds, including my wife's favourite, the Fish Eagle.
Picked up from our hotel and dropped off at the sister hotel, then driven back to our hotel in the little buggies that they use.
Mukambi Plains Camp
"2nd lodge on our trip to Zambia"
Staff were helpful and friendly and Derick also made an excellent cup of tea. Food was enjoyable and tasty.
David was a good and pleasant manager but my only complaint was that we didn't think ha was a good guide. He advised us that the animals were skittish and therefore we shouldn't speak as it could scare them off which was fair enough, but then proceeded to speak non-stop to his spotter in a language that we didn't understand which made us feel that we were totally excluded from the game drives. Variety of wildlife was a bit lacking but we recognise that this can happen.
One wonderful evening though, a large herd of elephants came into camp to eat the figs which had fallen from the trees and some of them came within a few yards of where we were standing and didn't seem at all bothered by our presence."
Sausage Tree Camp
"3rd lodge on our trip to Zambia."
Jason and the staff were so friendly and helpful and Arnold also had the knack of making the perfect cup of tea. The food was wonderful, although probably a bit too much for me to manage.
Game viewing was good, with 4 different Leopards seen, along with lions, hyena and wild dogs plus loads of elephants to keep my wife happy. Really enjoyed the interaction with our guide Patrick who as well as spotting game, was a dab hand with his machette when thorn trees overhung the roadway.
3 events worth mentioning. One evening driving back in the dark we saw lights in the bush which I knew wasn't our lodge. They had arranged for our dinner to be served in the bush which was great, we didn't have musical background but the sound of hyenas.
Next morning, I was told not to wear my shoes but to wear flip flops or sandals. We went out on a boat and then saw gazebo's set up on a sandbank in the middle of the mighty Zambezi where we had breakfast. Luckily the crocs didn't like our breakfast and stayed away.
My other passion in life is fishing and I had never caught, or even fished for Tiger Fish, so we went out fishing one afternoon, and this is the only negative aspect of my report. My wife hates fishing and just came along for the boat ride but had a rod stuck into her hand. Yes, you've guessed it, she not only caught more than I did, she also caught the biggest.
What a wonderful time, thanks to everyone. We don't usually ever go back to the same place twice but should we go back to Zambia, Sausage Tree will definitely be on our list."
"4th lodge on our trip to Zambia"
The chalet was more than a bit tired, it was quite run down and not particularly clean. Few facilities were available, not even a fan. The food was ok without setting the gastranomic juices flowing, although the staff tried quite hard to please.
However, in spite of the somewhat negative start to this review, I am pleased that we went there. When we went to see the bats leave their roost in the evening, we didn't go to a hide but to a public viewing area which gave us a great view of the bats, some of which were very low when they flew over us which gave us a great view. This really was spectacular and wasn't to be missed, although the walk to the viewing area was over quite difficult ground and was difficult for me with my mobility problems. I told Marley, our guide, that if we went there again he would have to carry me on his back.
The 2nd major plus for me was the Sitatunga. Whilst I have seen them before, I have never been able to get a photo of them. This time we saw loads of them, including one trip when we saw a group of 14 and get some fantastic photos, although the females aren't as well marked as the northern species. We went on a normal game drive but saw next to nothing except Puku, although we did see Kinda Baboons, a sub-species that we had never seen before and driving back one evening using the spot light we saw a Marsh Mongoose which was a first for us.
So all in all, if you go there, it should be for the bats and the sitatunga, both of which make it worthwhile."
"Mfuwe Lodge review"
The staff were great and we had a good laugh with them especially Abraham who seemed to have a similar sense of humour to myself. Ian, the manager and I share a love of football and he kept me up to date with Coventry City's results and also emailed me photos showing Mal and myself, George, the elephant, having a kip every day under the tree in the lodge but unfortunately there wasn't enough fruit dropping for the whole herd to march through reception as they usually do at this time of the year. I must also say thank you to Amy for filling in and emailing the locator form to the British Government, although they are that incompetent we were never asked for it at Heathrow.
Food was great but far too much for me but it helped that often it was a buffet which meant that I could have smaller portions.
Game viewing was really enjoyable with Alec and Charles doing their best to find us interesting sightings. We saw lions, hyenas wild dogs and two Leopards. We also saw all 3 endemic species, Crawshaw's Zebra, Cookson's Wildebeeste and the Thornicroft Giraffe. We also saw a Bushy Tailed Mongoose for the first time. All in all a brilliant time."
Wonderful latest trip to Africa.
Namibia between 20 Jan 2020 and 8 Feb 2020
Didn't see as much wildlife as we would have liked but we have been so often that we know that wildlife can be unpredictable. All lodges were friendly with, in the main, excellent food.
The quality of the guiding was a bit mixed ranging from excellent to quite poor, although in the main was quite good."
Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo
Old Traders Lodge
"Enjoyable stay, although a bit stage managed"
Staff really friendly, food really nice, guiding good but a bit of over exaggeration was experienced."
Lodge not featured by Expert Africa
"Wildest of the wild."
Really interesting even though wildlife was scarce.
Best part was interacting with the San people who seemed to enjoy our visit to their village and waved us off when we left."
Hakusembe River Lodge
"Good for an overnight stay."
Nambwa Tented Lodge
"Really enjoyable 3 night stay."
Definately the best guide in Alphieus (/) of the whole trip and as with all of the guides absolutely brilliant eyesight, not only in front of them but at the sides as well.
I suspect that if an animal crept up from behind they would see that too."
Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge
"Huge herd of Buffalo."
Again staff very friendly and helpful although the guiding was, in my opinion no where near being up to scratch. Really enjoyed the after dinner chats with the owner about all sort of things. Between us we were able to put the world to rights and forget for that brief moment of time that people like Trump and Borris Johnson even exist.
Like most places we stayed at, game was in short supply. The early rains in October meant that there was a plentiful supply of water in the bush and the wildlife didn't need to come out"
"really enjoyed our 4 night stay."
They even came to terms with my craving for English Breakfast Tea. Saw Sitatunga on 3 occasions but still failed to get a photo.
We did have to arrange for a different guide for the last day as Kennedy was getting a bit repetative but was a nice guy all the same.
Sorry to have to leave to make our way back home."
Our annual adventure to Africa
Botswana between 21 Jan 2018 and 8 Feb 2018
Muchenje Safari Lodge
"Our latest African adventure !st leg"
"Annual adventure in Africa 2nd leg"
Savute Safari Lodge
"Our annual African adventure 3rd leg"
"Our annual visit to Africa 4th leg"
A nice change was that our transfer to the next lodge was by boat instead of by plane. Quite fun dodging the hippos..
Now time to leave Botswana with temperatures in the high 20' to low 30's and get back to Heathrow where it was minus 1"
"Our annual adventure in Africa 5th leg"
Nxai Pan Camp
"Our annual adventure to Africa 6th and final "
Game viewing not as good here as at other lodges but Chester, our guide still managed to find Lion, Bat Eared Foxes, our 5th different pack pf wild dogs and a Cheetah. Bains Baobabs well worth a visiit"
Another brilliant trip to Tanzania
Tanzania between 18 Oct 2016 and 1 Nov 2016
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
Not really as everything was just perfect."
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
"2nd visit, enjoyed as much as 1st one."
The management team of Shaun & Milly great hosta and fun to share the evening meal with Staff very freindly and guides extremely knowledgeable, not just about the animals but about the birds aswell. This time we went during the dry season and saw about the same amount of game as during the wet season although everywhere looked nicer during the rainy season.
Main highlights were finding a juvenile leopard then her mother and of course, seeing the pack of wild dogs, also the lioness with her 4 new born cubs and a freshly killed Wildebeeste.
All in all, a camp we would highly reccommend."
Ruaha River Lodge
"Sharing a home with the Squirrels and Bush Hy"
A larger camp than we usually stay at ans spread over a large site. The restaurant used for lunch was a bit difficult for me to get to as I have slight walking difficulties and I needed mountaineering skills to get to it, but young David was very obliging in giving us a lift back to our room. Great to meet up again with the management team of Graham & Candy who managed a different lodge that we stayed at on our last visit.
All the staff were extremely helpfull and friendly and our guide Alex had probably the sharpest eyesite of anyone I have ever met. Highlights were many and various but got some super photos of a leopard in a tree and the lions with a fresh buffalo kill.
Enjoyed the little squirrels nest in our roof space and the Bush Hyrax's posing for the camera in between feeding on the leaves of the bushes by our room."
Katavi Wildlife Camp
"Wild Africa at it's best."
This time it was easier to get around but last time everywhere looked nicer. Tse Tse flies quite bad both times but didn't spoil the trip at all. Staff as friendly and helpfull as ever and the evening discussions with the manager, Nick, just confirmed that his reputation of being extremely knowledgable was no exageration.
So many highlights but for me the best had to be getting photos of slender mongoose and dwalf mongoose after years of trying and also seeinf Roan antelope for the first time. The Roan were like a London bus, you wait for ever for one then see them every day. Wonderfull!!! Rooms were great and a joy to see a civet walking through camp one night right in front of us.
Also saw our first Black Spitting Cobra and also our first Black Mamba hanging from a tree.Luckily, we didn't get too close to either."
Southern Sun Dar
Hotel comfortable and the meal we had was both delicious and very inexpensive."
Best trip yet to Africa.
Tanzania between 18 Jan 2015 and 4 Feb 2015
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
Give me a discount on my next trip!!!"
"Great start to our 16 day safari"
What a start to our annual holiday in Africa."
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
"Lake Manze Adventure Camp review"
Everything else was great."
Mdonya Old River Camp
"Whay great wildlife"
Problem with something in the tent biting both myself and my wife at night making a bit of a mess of both of us."
Katavi Wildlife Camp
Our guide Ramano (Fred) and Kevin our driver, not only did everything expected of them but far more on top of that.
We also had a good laugh on each game drive. Martha, the relief manager was great company but had an unfortunate accident. I hope that your arm is ok Martha."
Saadani Safari Lodge
"Wind down after 14 hectic days."
Staff really pleasant along with managers Graham and Candy. Meal times interesting with visits from bushbaby's and genets. Cool breeze off the ocean most welcome at night.
Only guests in camp again so we were well and truly spoiled."