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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr D from Witney

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

5

Lodges stayed in

17

Excursions taken

0

My Sep 2017 trip

Zambia between 15 Sep 2017 and 3 Oct 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was our first trip to Zambia and it was a very positive experience. We met a lot of multiple returnees and I can easily see why.

It is a shame it is classified as a malaria area because everywhere we went managers told us they did not have mosquitoes. The other wildlife is fantastic and plentiful at this time of year (late September - October).

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I think your team do a great job at the moment and I certainly recommend Expert Africa wholeheartedly whenever friends are thinking about visiting the area.

As Arnie famously said, I'll be back!"

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Islands of Siankaba

Islands of Siankaba

"Peaceful start at Islands of Siankaba"

3 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2017
"Our 3 day stay was cut short by the delayed departure from Heathrow and subsequently missed connection to Livingstone. However, when we did arrive, the staff couldn't have been nicer. We visited Victoria Falls en route to The Islands, thus saving part of a days travelling.

The next day we visited the local village with one of the guides, Sydney, who lived there. We really enjoyed talking to the local teachers in both schools and seeing just how poor the local people were. This morning was a real eye-opener in many ways - socially, culturally and traditionally - that informed us for the rest of the trip. In the afternoon we had a couples massage which was wonderfully relaxing after a very hot morning out walking. The day was rounded off with a delightful dinner in our own separate gazebo.

Our only regret is that we didn't know about the black rhino in the National Park near Livingstone; if we had known, we would definitely have wanted to visit that Park. Perhaps you should tell future guests about this opportunity that is now becoming rarer in Africa."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Tafika

Tafika

"Traditional Tafika"

3 nights Arrived 19 Sep 2017
"The journey to Tafika from Mfuwe by road is quite long and uncomfortable in the heat of the day; had we known about the option to fly in, we might well have chosen that option as other guests on our Proflight aircraft did. We thought Tafika was delightful and our hosts could not have been more welcoming.

Our stay was marred by Judy feeling quite ill for 36 hours and unable to take part in all the activities but on the second day she was able to sit outside by the river and watch the wildlife, including quite remarkably, the birth of a young Puku - something the owners had not seen in the 40 years they'd been in Africa. The game drives were full of wildlife experiences including lions, elephants, leopards and many species of birds - fantastic photographic opportunities.

The owners, Carole and John, were very keen to ensure Judy was taken good care of and did their very best to get appropriate food and drinks for her. In the end, a doctor who was visiting another guest checked her over and assured us that it was nothing serious and that she would recover, which she duly did."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Leopard Haven"

4 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2017
"We arrived opposite Kaingo Camp from Tafika to be told that we would have to wade across because the water wasn't deep enough for even a canoe! I was slightly thrown but apart from getting our boots wet, it was uneventful. The camp is well named as leopards were abundant - usually about 3 sightings every day, including with kills.

Activites included visits to game hides to view Carmine Bee-eaters, Hippos or elephants as well as game drives by day and night. Our guide, Yoram, was excellent and, as a photographer himself, ensured we had the best sightings of all the animals and birds. I could not have asked for better.

Unfortunately, just prior to leaving, I became unwell - it turned out to be Malarone- rather than food-related - which was to curtail my subsequent activities for a while."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chiawa Camp

Chiawa Camp

"Chiawa Camp"

3 nights Arrived 26 Sep 2017
"On arrival at Chiawa, I informed the manager that I was unwell and somewhat disinterested in food and so we were quite stunned to find that they had a special brunch of fillet steak with champagne for us aboard one of the boats. It was obviously something they had planned/always give new arrivals and they didn't seem to understand that neither of us really wanted a special meal and being on a boat with no 'facilities' made me particularly wary. Neither of us ate much and we both felt guilty that they had gone to a great deal of effort that was ultimately wasted and not appreciated.

If they had asked, I would also have told them that Judy doesn't drink alcohol and doesn't like boats either! I understand that camps want to make things special but springing this on us without a choice felt insensitive at the very least. We terminated the boat ride as soon as we could to return to camp and the 'facilities'.

I spent the whole 3 days in camp due to my uncertain requirements but was able to enjoy the very close visits of elephants and warthogs around our 'tent'. I recovered in time to move on to Old Mondoro."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Old Mondoro Bushcamp

Old Mondoro Bushcamp

"Elephants Galore!"

3 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2017
"The transfer to Old Mondoro was by boat and luckily the river was fairly quiet so we had good views of the birds and other wildlife along the banks. The camp itself was a delight and the position of our 'bungalow' (No3) was ideal for watching everything come down to drink each day. We had never seen so many elephants together and Judy was in heaven! Some shook the trees right beside No 3 and then hoovered up all the seed pods that fell down, including those in our outdoor bath and on the roof - coming right up to our veranda to get at them all!

The game drives were less spectacular than elsewhere but we did see lions, hundreds of elephants, buffalo and hyena but very few leopard. The camp has a policy of using red lights only for the majority of its night drives with a weak white light when animals are close by.

Even with very capable modern cameras this limits the opportunities for photographs, which was disappointing to say the least as this was a prime reason for the trip. Perhaps I missed it in the brochure because it would definitely have influenced my choice of camp.

The manager, Michelle, and her staff Reon, Sebastien and Marshall were excellent and good company during our time in camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Our trip to Tanzania

Tanzania and 1 other country between 27 Sep 2014 and 16 Oct 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"A great trip. The plan to work westwards from the beach to Lake Tanganyika worked out really well.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Nothing to add; we are very happy with everything you have done for us."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Ole-Sereni

Ole-Sereni

"Ole-Sereni review"

1 night Arrived 28 Sep 2014
"The hotel was fine and the staff helpful; breakfast was excellent. The only drawback was the time taken to get there from the airport, about 30 minutes even at 1100pm!

This journey was enlightened by, of all things, a group of zebra crossing the main road leaving the airport; it will always bring a new meaning to "zebra crossing"."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ras Kutani

Ras Kutani

"Ras Kutani review"

3 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2014
"Very good; just what was needed after the hassle of getting there (more later). The rooms were very comfortable and the eight foot wide bed was unbelievable.

Alice in the Spa was a real joy - wonderful aromatherapy massage for us both and a scrub for Jude.
The food was very tasty but, as usual in Africa, there was too much! Good efforts were made to accommodate Jude's "dairy free" requirements.

The one frustration was the performance of the wifi - it didn't! Don't get me wrong - I didn't need wifi although others appeared to be glued to their phones etc, but when it is available but doesn't work, there's an element of frustration - but it was miniscule."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Siwandu

Siwandu

"Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp) review"

4 nights Arrived 2 Oct 2014
"The managers, Susanna and Bastien, made us very welcome and were very keen to do anything necessary to make our stay as good as possible. The rooms and the service were immaculate thoughout and minor unserviceablities were fixed immediately, which we see as a measure of efficiency.

The boat trips were a great favourite for me as, although the lake was obviously shrinking at the end of the dry season, there were huge numbers of birds around together with a good variety of animals coming to drink; sadly, we didn't see any predators at the lakeside.

Our guide Mohammed was very experienced and clearly knew a great deal about the area and its wildlife. He filled the jeep rides with good information and had a great sense of humour.
The only thing I would change would be the dining arrangements. We were seated as couples or groups as appropriate but we feel this stifles conversation. Obviously we could chat in the bar area but as Jude doesn't drink this can be difficult. The other camps preferred communal dining and we think this leads to more stimulating conversation and discussion."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

"Mwagusi Safari Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2014
"Definitely a star find! As a dry season camp, it is in a fantastic location beside the empty river. There are small waterholes for elephant, baboons, mongoose and guinea fowl to name a few. Elsewhere, there were concentrations of game near water but there was also plenty out in the drier bush. As well as a great variety of birds, we saw Lions, Cheetah, Leopard, Giraffe, Hippos, Buffalo and elephants galore.

Evening dinners were undoubtedly a highlight though; lamplit long tables in the dry river bed accompanied by the call of an African Scops Owl every six seconds! As you rightly say in your brochure, Chris Fox is passionate about Africa and Ruaha in particular and, together with his equally-knowledgeable sidekick Simon, stirred up some truly thought-provoking discussions every night. We really didn't want to leave."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chada Camp

Chada Camp

"Chada Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 10 Oct 2014
"This was a step back in time towards the original pioneering camps. Although the rooms were well-kept and hot showers readily available, the need to unzip and re-zip tent doors was a bit tedious. We discussed this with Mohammed the excellent manager who told us that he had already raised it with management with a view to re-designing certain aspects of the camp.

Once again, we saw a wide variety of birds and animals and our guide Gabriel was a font of knowledge and passionate about "his" wildlife. Although he has worked all over Tanzania, he clearly loves Chada and Katavi.

Sadly, the main drawback for this camp at this time of year was the Tsetse flies. While I can accept that their presence ensures the habitat is preserved from population and cultivation, their incessant biting is off-putting to say the least. None of the proprietary gels and sprays seem to deter them although a locally made citronella-based lotion seem to have some effect."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Greystoke Mahale

Greystoke Mahale

"Greystoke Mahale review"

3 nights Arrived 14 Oct 2014
"Obviously, we came here for the chimps but the scenery was also stunning. Arriving by boat was different and, had it been as choppy on the way in as it was on the way out, might have been a disastrous start. However, it wasn't and Cameron, Kate and Big Bird made us very welcome. Camp wildlife included a visit by a leopard, regular trips by the Beach Babes - a trio of warthogs - and various red-tailed and vervet monkeys.

The trips up the mountain to see the Chimps were fantastic. We had to go quite a way up - about an hour the first day but further on the second - to find them but once there, our group had to split up and we each followed separate small groups or singleton chimps back down the mountain. We had lots of close encounters - they don't respect the proximity rules - so we got some good photos but on day 2 it rained so the light was a bit restricted and pictures more difficult.

Some might be tempted to be a bit disappointed but how many of us can say we have been that close?"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Overall Satisfaction

Botswana and 1 other country between 2 Oct 2011 and 20 Oct 2011

Trip rating: Good
"The only reason for the rating of Fairly Satisfactory is the flights on SAA and the problem with Mack Air aircraft, otherwise everything was very satisfactory indeed.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Not really; we will be happy to use the Company again when the time comes."

Image alt

Own arrangements

"Capetown"

4 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2011
"The B&B was excellent - as expected. We visited Kirstenbosch gardens, which of course were fabulous; Table Mt; Peninsula; Simonstown; Cape of Good Hope, where sadly the funicular railway was out of order; saw the Jackass penguins at Boulder and did the open-top bus Red Route around Capetown itself, which was good value and put much in context. We didn't visit any vineyards as my wife doesn't drink and I was driving!

If you are asked for B&B accommodation by other clients, I would recommend the place we stayed; I can send pictures if they would be of use. It is on the back of Table Mt and the Apostles with a great sea view from a wide veranda and has a small swimming pool. Rooms are spacious and clean; if you need to do laundry it is easy to dry in the large bathroom. It is still quite chilly at night at this time of year and there was no heating in the room, although an electric heater may have been available - we didn't ask.

Returning the car after visiting De Hoop wasn't so good. We had been told there was a garage on the airport where we could top up the fuel but it turned out to be on the exit road, not on the entry so there was a charge made for petrol. It is worth reminding clients to fill up before entering the airport complex if they wish to avoid the higher cost of fuel charged by the car hire companies."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Image alt

Opstal Manour House

"De Hoop Nature Reserve"

3 nights Arrived 7 Oct 2011
"The drive to De Hoop was very interesting until we reached the gravel roads; 35 km initially, then a further 15km to the estate itself from the Reserve gate. Although the scenery has its attractions, the Reserve roads are so rough that driving 17km from the Manor House to the beach and back is something you would only want to do once a day. Whale watching is fabulous from the high dunes and there were very few other people around so it felt nearly exclusive. We also walked the short nature trail around the vlei, which was very pleasant and allowed us to see numerous birds. Three days is probably enough time to spend here given the state of the roads.

The Manor House itself was a delight; we had it to ourselves although it can accommodate 6 people in 3 large rooms, each with shower and bath plus a communal lounge with wood-burning stove and separate kitchen, although this had no cooking facilities, only a kettle and the makings for tea and coffee. The only minor drawback was a slight sense of mustiness or damp which could be dispelled when the wood fire was lit - which was necessary each evening at this time of year. The food in the attached restaurant was good and the chef's efforts to accommodate Judy's fat-free diet were very much appreciated. Lunches could be taken as a picnic, which we did and they were sumptuous - almost to the point of excess - with wine included."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"City Lodge OR Tambo review"

1 night Arrived 10 Oct 2011
"We did not realise how far the "short walk" was to the hotel; a baggage trolley is essential!

Booking in was slick and the room was adequate for the one night stay. Breakfast was good in pleasant surroundings."
Average
Location
Average
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 11 Oct 2011
"The transfer from Jo'burg through Maun to Lebala worked as planned.

The staff at Lebala were all delightful and very helpful; special praise should go to our guide Tabu and to the Manager, Obi and Oscar. The facilities were excellent although the need for some minor repairs was evident and being addressed.

We saw Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Giraffe, Hippos and many birds and we got closer to the game here than at any other camp. Judy was especially impressed by the efforts the cooks made to provide her with fat-free food - including her own muffins for breakfast and exclusive dishes at other meals."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara review"

3 nights Arrived 14 Oct 2011
"What a tremendous team! It is difficult to praise them enough. We were made to feel part of a family rather than just visitors and the conversations around the communal dining table in the evenings were intelligent, wide-ranging and humorous.

Every one is obviously dedicated and enjoys their job but special mention should go to the Managers Mipelo and Leso and the guides TJ and Dutch, whose knowledge and enthusiasm made our stay so memorable.

The game and birds were plentiful and we had good sightings of Lion, elephant and numerous birds. Flooding in the west of the concession at this time of year prevents access to the Cheetahs, we were told."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

"Nxabega Safari Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 17 Oct 2011
"This camp suffers badly from its lack of a nearby airstrip. The journey from Pom Pom takes nearly 2 hours and the roads are appalling. After the delay with the aircraft (see later), it was not a good start to the visit. Although there were some 'champagne moments', the number and variety of game is more limited than the other 2 camps and it would be tempting to be disappointed. In contrast, the bird life was excellent and we did see a pair of Pel's Fishing Owls! We accept that seasonal variations in game and birds may be in play here, of course.

The managers - Dave and Megan Waddington - are newly-arrived 3 months ago and clearly enthusiastic; every minor comment or complaint was dealt with immediately and efficiently which was very gratifying even when it meant we had to move tents after the first night because the deck was deemed unsafe. Query: why hadn't it been checked before we tripped on a loose board?

The food was good and beautifully presented but there was so much on each occasion that we were concerned about the amount that, potentially, could be wasted; it would be good to know that it wasn't."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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