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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Family of 4 from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

2

Excursions taken

0

8-night Safari, family of 4

Tanzania between 1 Feb 2014 and 9 Feb 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had an outstanding and truly memorable trip, both luxurious and with astonishing wildlife experiences. Wonderful."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Rubondo Island Camp

Rubondo Island Camp

"Unique Rubondo Island"

4 nights Arrived 2 Feb 2014
"Our Rubondo Island stay was quite magical. I have been trying hard to find ways to describe to friends and family what was so special about it, and I feel it comes down to feeling more completely immersed in an ecology than I've ever experienced. So many things contributed to this. Partly it is the camp itself, in particular the exceptional design of the eating and sitting areas, which seem to place you in both forest and lake, without intruding on either. Partly it is the variety of activities available, including walks, boat trips, kayaking and drives, all of them first-rate. Crucially it was the quality of guiding: in over 50 years of safaris in 12 African countries, Habibu is the finest guide I have ever met; the simplest question produced an intricately woven warp and weft of explanation, with a breadth and depth of understanding, a gentle passion for every living thing, and a supreme ability to place even the smallest organism in a rich and fully realised ecological context - quite extraordinary. We all fell completely under his spell, and left with a hugely enhanced appreciation of the infinite interactions of the island's life, in particular aspects we have tended to overlook, notably the botany and butterflies.

Every aspect of our stay was wonderful, despite a couple of days being rain-affected. We felt exceptionally well looked after, and the food and service were marvellous. The level of personalised care was really special, responding to our interests and wishes with real attention to detail.

Asilia seems to present Rubondo as an experience best suited to the end of an extended trip, an alternative to a couple of days on a Zanzibar beach to recover from a relentless safari timetable. I question whether this does Rubondo justice. For example, on one of our walks we had a vivid forest elephant encounter, spending an hour in close proximity to a single male, unable to see him but tracking him, hearing his growling and crashing, finding increasingly fresh dung, and all the while being very quiet and very careful not to come upon him suddenly. When we eventually saw him in a clearing from a platform, just for a couple of minutes, it felt a real achievement. If this had been after seeing lots of elephants in the Serengeti, it might have felt less special - as it was, it was the supreme elephant experience of our trip. We chose to start our holiday with Rubondo, and we feel strongly that it was the right decision, partly because we arrived in Tanzania from a very stressful week, and were pleased to start with a more unwinding kind of holiday, and partly because Rubondo wildlife is a subtler and less full-on experience than the Serengeti, and could unfairly feel second-best in second place.

I knew in advance that I personally would enjoy Rubondo because of being interested in its exceptional birdlife, but my love of our time there was very definitely shared by my less bird-enthusiastic family. We all felt strongly that we had a uniquely enriching experience in which we were allowed to get a feeling for a fascinating wildlife stronghold in an unusually close, unintrusive and profound way. Rubondo will stay with us for a very long time."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sayari Camp

Sayari Camp

"Spectacular Sayari"

4 nights Arrived 6 Feb 2014
"Sayari provided us with a wonderful few days of luxurious living, personalised care and outstanding wildlife-watching. We really liked our guide Oredi, and it was great that he was made available to us for the whole stay - he really got to know our personal interests and responded accordingly. It felt to us a great time to visit Sayari; although the migration is elsewhere, the richness of the wildlife is hugely impressive, and we saw hardly any other vehicles. It was also a great benefit to be there in the breeding season (which we have never experienced before, on August trips to Africa). This meant that not only did we see, amongst many other things, the Big 5 (in a single day) but we saw all of them them with young, which was amazing - and the displaying birds were spectacular, including widow birds, black-bellied bustards, etc. doing dramatic display flights.

The level of service at the camp was quite outstanding, and Alex in particular went beyond the call of duty in delivering our recovered sick member of the party to us in the middle of the day, as well as finding us rhinos and helping with eagle identification - a wide range of skills, and an exceptional level of care. In fact the whole staff were the most cheerfully friendly and kind one could ask for.

It was also a great bonus to be able to have a walking safari as part of the visit - that gave a sense of closeness to the nature in a quite different way.

(The only slight surprise was the lack of good and relevant wildlife postcards in the otherwise pleasing shop.)"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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