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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr S from Hong Kong

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

12

Excursions taken

0

Stu Kenya Tanzania January 2017

Tanzania and 1 other country between 9 Jan 2017 and 20 Jan 2017

Trip rating: Good
"see previous"

Arranged By Richard Trillo


The Norfolk Hotel

The Norfolk Hotel

"The Norfolk Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 9 Jan 2017
"Old world charm, steeped in history and tradition. Welcoming, warm, attentive staff, great tapas at the bar and a relaxing garden setting."
Excellent
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

"Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 10 Jan 2017
"Upon entering Sopa, I couldn't believe that I was actually staying here.

A cross between a circa 1975 East German mountain retreat for Honecker's top politburo people.....meets Romanian orphanage.

Between the limited rationed hot water and the cigarette burn holes in my WW2 era scout blanket....the common area only wifi -- I was not happy to say the least.

However, in spite of the dismal interior with no terrace or balcony... the view of the crater was stunning and the staff could not have been more proactive or eager to satisfy. The food in the main dining room was surprisingly good, especially the curries."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Terrible
Food
Good
Kusini Camp

Kusini Camp

"Never Again!!!!!"

2 nights Arrived 12 Jan 2017
"A soul-less horrible place with horrible sullen, miserable, depressed, sad people.

Arriving with an ASILIA guide, ASILIA Land Cruiser we were essentially left to our own devices at the camp -- we were not part of the core camp and felt quite ostracized.

It was almost like Kusini felt their obligation was to supply us ASILIA folks with accommodation -- a tent.

Even Albert told me that he had never been treated so badly by a camp in his career.

The manager insisted sunrise was at 0530 and that I needed to be up at 0500 -- when I told him that sunrise at the crater was 0700 he took umbrage ....so when I saw him the following morning at 0545 in pitch black darkness it was awkward to say the least.

Our sundowner was a bag of peanuts left over from the minimart (the kusini kitchen staff refused to fix us anything to take on the sundowner as that was an "ASILIA ISSUE") ........and the crew clearly played favorites with other high maintenance guests -- they had no clue of any dietary requirements I had, no in room wifi, English was abysmal, atrocious (staff were in over their heads from the top down) -- the most dreary and disorganized camp Ive ever been to in Africa by far!!

On the limited plus side, the cat viewing about an hour out of camp was great."
Terrible
Location
Good
Service
Terrible
Rooms
Good
Food
Poor
Sayari Camp

Sayari Camp

"Stupendous Sayari!!"

3 nights Arrived 14 Jan 2017
"After the huge let downs at SOPA and KUSINI, I was praying for salvation at Sayari and found it!

Jen and Richard lead and run a superb world class camp -- engaged smiling staff eager to please, a family atmosphere, a soul, a vibrancy, a joy, a confidence that was refreshing to say the least. Food, service, tent all exceeded expectations in quality, presentation, comfort, and design. The game viewing was also terrific: leopard, hippo pools, lions...amazing! When I departed for the airstrip, the entire staff whom I had got to know on a first name basis, came out to wish me farewell. I was choked up, it was beautiful. My Sayari guide, Lenard was great. Knowledgable of the area in great detail -- unlike Albert who did not know Kusini district as well as Lenard knew Sayari. Lenard was eager to please, very accommodating and pleasant -- he was mine exclusively which was terrific."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Mara Plains Camp

Mara Plains Camp

"Mara Plains Perfection"

3 nights Arrived 17 Jan 2017
"Stella runs a great world class camp -- Duncan my guide was phenomenal and could almost magically divine the appearance of wildlife -- a real tracker and detective of a guide who knew the conservancy inside out -- next time for me, conservancies or private reserves as opposed to the bureaucracy and guidelines of national parks!!

Tents evoked 1920s Africa in intricate detail -- a real wow factor when you walk in for the first time. Food was superb, especially curries, sundowners served with savories, in room wifi made all the difference especially when communicating with family long distance early or late. Not pertinent to Mara Plains however, the trip from Sayari to Mara Plains could have been made clearer on my agenda -- no mention of bus, fly to Tarime then through immigration entering Kenya Migori -- all very confusing.

Also no mention that the Kenyans demanded a YELLOW FEVER CERTIFICATE in Migori ( i had one from my trip to Zambia and I thought, what the hell, I will bring it) -- had I not brought it, I would not have been able to enter Kenya!!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

Stu Spencer Zambia Oct 2013

Zambia between 1 Oct 2013 and 9 Oct 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"Brilliant.
Wonderful.
Flawless.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Keep on doing what you've been doing. I have recommended you on numerous occasions. I could not imagine a trip to a country in your portfolio without going through you."

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Luangwa River Camp

Luangwa River Camp

"Luangwa River Camp Review"

2 nights Arrived 1 Oct 2013
"After a long journey from Hong Kong, I was warmly welcomed by Polly and her team at LRC. I was the only guest during my stay and I was treated like a rock star.

My intrepid guide Sebastian bent over backwards to accommodate my questions and preferences. My room was spacious luxurious and cosy. The food was excellent and carefully prepared -- the morning porridge was a great touch. All in all, a phenomenal way to start my Luangwa adventure."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Tafika

Tafika

"Tafika Camp Review"

3 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2013
"Tafika camp is an institution in the valley. Hosts John and Carol have made this valley and their camp operations part of the pulse of the region.

I loved going to the local village and school, the walking safaris with guide Brent were the best I had ever done anywhere in Africa. Tafika is for serious safari goers. The rooms are more rustic and basic and the overall feel of the camp is not about luxury but rather functionality.

The game sights were awesome, the guiding phenomenal. All in all a truly wonderful experience."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Chinzombo

Chinzombo

"Chinzombo Camp Review"

2 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2013
"Wow!! After the rustic basic feel of Tafika, I felt as if I'd truly upgraded when I arrived at Chinzombo.

Hostess Katy was charming and helpful and made my stay even more special. The lead guide, Shadi, is a legend in the valley and knew just how to get the most out of our drives. Perched overlooking the river, the camp is in an idyllic spot.

The food was the best I had tasted in Zambia. It is a true luxury camp. My chalet was gorgeous in every way. There was even a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey in a decanter in my room. In conclusion, wow!!!!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"Taj Pamodzi Review"

1 night Arrived 8 Oct 2013
"Spent one night at the tail end of my trip before returning to HKG. It's a comfortable property. Had drinks and dinner at the bar before going to bed for a very early flight.

The food took forever to be served so the hotel comped my drinks. The room was spartan but fine. I assume for Lusaka it was the best option. I'd stay there again."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Rooms
Good
Food
Average

My Aug 2013 trip

Tanzania between 5 Aug 2013 and 10 Aug 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall: WOW, AWESOME, AMAZING, LIFE CHANGING, EYE OPENING, THRILLING, MAGICAL

WHEN CAN I GO BACK???"

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Southern Sun Dar review"

1 night Arrived 6 Aug 2013
"I had thought the Southern Sun was "the best place to stay" in Dar -- turns out there is a Hyatt or Kempinsky that is 5 star -- had I known, I would gladly have paid more to stay there. That said, Southern Sun was fine -- bar was friendly and well stocked, the staff polite and attentive and the chicken makhani in the restaurant terrific. Water pressure in shower was strong and bed was comfortable. All in all, good.

However, Kearsleys ground transport were awful, useless and incompetent. They were NOT outside arrivals when I emerged from the terminal at Dar. Repeat: were NOT. The contact number provided just beeped. I was not happy -- as taxi hustlers realized my ride wasn't there, I was literally surrounded. I decided to wait a little longer outside -- and, sure enough, 30 minutes later, the driver showed up -- there was NO apology for being late. The driver had NO idea about my flight time the next morning to Siwandu. He asked ME. I told him 0830 -- then he asked what time I wanted to get picked up. Obviously not knowing Dar, I asked him for his suggestion -- he said 0700. The next morning I was WOKEN UP at 0600 by the front desk saying my driver was here to take me to the airport! I responded saying see him lobby 0700. At 0700 in the lobby he was nowhere to be found. I walked outside to the parking lot looking for a car and waiting driver -- found him: ASLEEP. When he dropped me off at the domestic terminal I expected some hand holding, some guidance: NOTHING. I got out and he drove away. At that point, I was seriously thinking: IS THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE IN TANZANIA WITH THESE EXPERT AFRICA PEOPLE GOING TO BE LIKE THIS???"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Siwandu

Siwandu

"Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp) review"

2 nights Arrived 6 Aug 2013
"Siwandu was awesome to say the least. The mishaps in Dar was quickly washed away and I realized Expert Africa were truly experts.

The majesty of the lake, the abundance of wildlike, the solitude, the vastness of the bush, and the sheer variety of things to see and do between walking, Range Rover, boat -- were sensational. Ricus and Pietro run a quality flawless operation -- the camp hums with precision. A 0630 wake-up with coffee is just that -- steaming coffee on my deck watching the baboons frolick at sunrise rendered me speechless.

The guides were all experts: split between walking, driving, and boating. Getting up close and personal by doing the morning walk is not to be missed: seeing a day-old giraffe with its mum or seeing two lions mating roaring, while seeing hyena cubs being weened in their shelter...all amazing. The room was spacious, the bed cosy, the toilet first world, the outside shower and hot water were magical.

However, as far as the food is concerned, you are more likely to die of a heart attack at Siwandu than you are at the hands of a wild beast........deep fried, oozing with mayo, bursting with cholesterol -- healthy eating was simply not in the cards."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Poor
Facilities
Excellent
Jongomero Camp

Jongomero Camp

"Jongomero Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 8 Aug 2013
"Perched overlooking the Jongomero river, the camp is in an idyllic spot where elephants freely roam throughout the camp and where a Masai guide with a gun is non-negotiable to get to your room -- here you are really truly in the heart of the bush. Although lacking the Siwandu lake and the water ecosystem that it nurtures, Jongomero does have the Ruaha river which teams with hippos, crocs, baboons, elephants, and giraffe.

Bryan and his team also run a tight ship -- the camp also logistically and chronologically works very well. The service and commitment to guest happiness was impeccable -- for example, when they realized they did not stock my favorite Irish Whiskey (Jameson) -- they literally got a shipment flown in from Dar expecially for me the next day: WOW!!

The hot water under the duvet in your bed waiting for you upon arrival at your tent was FANTASTIC....as it gets chilly in evening and morning during the dry season. The caliber of the guides at Jongo was superior than Siwandu: better Englsih and more engaging/knowledgable.

The food at Jongomero was the opposite of Siwandu: these guys got it right: grilled meats, salads, whole grains....definitely healthy eating: very impressive."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Activities
Excellent

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