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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Two Travellers from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

5

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

19

Excursions taken

0

My February 2020 trip

Kenya between 1 Feb 2020 and 10 Feb 2020

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a marvellous time notwithstanding the generally extremely squelchy conditions.

A couple of our drives were impacted by some quite heavy rain but we were never not able to go out, and overall we felt - in large part thanks to our very determined guides - that our sightings were probably pretty much what we might have hoped for had the weather conformed more to the norm for the time of year.

In addition, we absolutely loved both camps, which really hit the mark for us in terms of their combination of comfort without over-the-top luxury, fantastic guiding, and excellent (but not excessively busy) locations. Many thanks to Richard (initially) and Olivia for recommending them to us."

Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

"Crowne Plaza review"

1 night Arrived 1 Feb 2020
"Excellent for a one night stopover following our evening arrival into Nairobi. The location is super convenient, staff were welcoming and the breakfast was good."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Offbeat Mara

Offbeat Mara

"Offbeat Mara review"

3 nights Arrived 2 Feb 2020
"We had a great stay at Offbeat, and really enjoyed the rustic yet comfortable and relaxed, friendly style of the camp.

Much of this was down to the wonderful manager Jennifer, who was always cheerful and unflustered, notwithstanding what must have been some tricky behind the scenes juggling caused by the difficulty for jeeps and supply vehicles getting about in the extremely wet and muddy conditions. The food was delicious and hot and cold water for showering and washing was always on hand (although the shower itself was perhaps slightly on the feeble side, even allowing for the idiosyncrasies of bucket showers).

Most importantly, we managed good cat and other sightings (including birds) with our excellent guide Stanley, and very much enjoyed seeing large numbers of topi and other grazers tucking in to the lush grass in the open landscape of Mara North - which we found quite a contrast to the other, more densely thicketed, conservancies we have visited. It was also very nice to have a vehicle to ourselves during the course of our stay."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Tangulia Mara

Tangulia Mara

"Tangulia Mara review"

3 nights Arrived 5 Feb 2020
"Tangulia was absolutely wonderful and we would return at the drop of a hat. From the location overlooking the river bend, to the large and spectacular thatched main mess area, to our pristine and comfortable new tent complete with spacious deck, everything was simply yet beautifully done without being excessively lavish. While the salt lick below the camp was really more of a lake certainly at the start of our stay, it was amazing to be able to sit and watch (as well as hear) the water raging past safe in the knowledge that we were sufficiently elevated to be out of harm's way. I know that other camps further downstream were not so lucky!

It was a delight to be hosted by the charismatic and charming Jackson, and our guide Benjamin was a font of insight and persistence in getting us good sightings - including a distant black rhino. He was also an excellent driver, which we very much appreciated given the challenges thrown up by the muddy conditions and raised water levels - although it was astonishing how quickly these improved with a bit of sunshine on them. Finally, as at Offbeat, it was lovely to have a vehicle to ourselves for the course of our stay."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Zambia 2019

Zambia between 20 Jul 2019 and 4 Aug 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was a fantastic trip - many thanks to Claire.

The remoteness we experienced in North Luangwa in particular, and the quality of the guiding plus the lack of other vehicles in all the places we visited, were really very special indeed.

Walking in the bush, particularly with Remote Africa, was both immersive and addictive and coupled with the smaller, rustic nature of the camps we stayed at throughout the holiday has very much whetted our appetites for more!"

Arranged By Claire Scott


Latitude 15

Latitude 15

"Latitude 15 review"

1 night Arrived 21 Jul 2019
"A comfortable choice to catch up on some sleep after our international flights and prior to our early morning departure for South Luangwa.

However service fell a bit short - in particular our room was not ready when we arrived leading to some hanging around while it was prepared, and the breakfast boxes we had requested the next morning were not waiting at the agreed time."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Poor
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Tafika

Tafika

"Tafika review"

3 nights Arrived 22 Jul 2019
"We really enjoyed our stay at Tafika.

The location right on the river was fantastic and we found the atmosphere wonderfully relaxed and welcoming, due in no small part to the warm and inclusive hosting of Carol and John and the unfailing patience and empathy of the delightful Michele. It was also great to be assigned the family chalet, which seemed perhaps a bit more secluded than some of the other rooms and had the added amazing bonus of having its own hide.

Although we initially anticipated doing some walking at Tafika we actually ended up focusing on game drives, but felt that this was OK given that our other Remote Africa camps focused on walking. That said, and knowing all too well that nothing on safari can ever be guaranteed, we felt that sightings on game drives could be a little 'stop-start' and that a visit perhaps slightly later in the season might have resulted in the game being a bit more concentrated? The sense of exclusivity was very nice however and we barely encountered another vehicle."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

"Chikoko review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Jul 2019
"We thought everything about Chikoko was absolutely great, from the cleverly designed two storey chalets, to the delicious food and the sense of immersion in the bush.

The walking was hugely enjoyable - informative and sensibly paced - and although we were unsuccessful in our attempts to see lion, we were thrilled to be compensated by a sighting of a Pel's Fishing Owl, something which has long been on our wishlist."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwaleshi Camp

Mwaleshi Camp

"Mwaleshi review"

3 nights Arrived 27 Jul 2019
"We had the great privilege of having Mwaleshi to ourselves for the duration of our stay and we loved everything about it.

The setting on the river, the sheer remoteness, and as with Chikoko, the sense of total immersion in the bush was beyond special and something which will stay with us for a very long time. It was a real delight to get to know both our lovely host Heather and our guide Stephen, with whom we had great thrill of seeing lions on foot."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Old Mondoro Bushcamp

Old Mondoro Bushcamp

"Old Mondoro review"

4 nights Arrived 30 Jul 2019
"We loved the camp's location right on the river, and the surrounding floodplain with its beautiful winterthorns and mahogany trees created a really magical setting. Mark and Madelein were energetic and enthusiastic hosts who made us feel very welcome.

We had great sightings of leopard and lion on our game drives, when we met barely another vehicle, but just as good were the evening drives after sunset using a filtered spotlight. On one of these - thanks in particular to the sharp eyes of our spotter and trainee guide Samora - we were lucky enough to see an aardvark, something we had never ever thought would happen and which was really a highlight of the whole trip."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Meru and Amboseli trip

Kenya between 2 Feb 2019 and 10 Feb 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"We really enjoyed visiting these two contrasting parks, and Meru in particular would definitely be on our wish list for a return visit one day.

It was also an interesting change to stay at two camps with non-communal dining which were slightly larger than those we have visited in the past; both were beautifully located and extremely comfortable although as noted we were relieved neither was full to capacity which I think would have given them quite a different vibe."

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

"Crowne Plaza Nairobi airport"

1 night Arrived 2 Feb 2019
"Very convenient and comfortable for a brief overnight stay before heading off on safari. Breakfast was very nice and the staff helpful and friendly.

We were expecting to have to look for the Crowne Plaza rep and vehicle ourselves when we came out of the arrivals hall at JKIA, but Douglas actually met us and whistled up a Crowne Plaza car for us - which was of course fine, though I am not sure if this was how it was supposed to work.

The only real issue we had was being assigned a room with a connecting door to the neighbouring room, which was a bit disconcerting. Fortunately the second door was safely locked and as we arrived late we did not query it with Reception. Perhaps all the rooms are like this but if not we would definitely request a room without this feature in future."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Elsa's Kopje

Elsa's Kopje

"Elsa's Kopje"

3 nights Arrived 3 Feb 2019
"We very much enjoyed our stay at Elsa's, and were really pleased to have chosen to visit Meru.

While it would be fair to say you need to concentrate on game drives to get the most out of them, we were delighted with the game we saw, particularly the 'northern specials' including very many of our favourite reticulated giraffes, plus several lesser kudu which we had not seen before. And it was also great to be able to visit the rhino enclosure where we had several close up white rhino sightings and an excellent if brief sighting of a black rhino mum and baby. We also very much liked the landscape, complete with doum palms and the way in which the hill on which Elsa's is located was such a dominant feature.

But perhaps what made the visit extra special was getting a sense of the strong commitment there has been to restoring the park and to maintaining it as a beacon of conservation, as was evident from things such as the condition of the roads under foot to the presence of KWS/IFAW surveillance planes over head. Many thanks to our guide Anthony who was great.

The camp itself was beautifully and cleverly moulded into the hillside and the accommodation was extremely comfortable though a little bit more clothes hanging and storage space would have been good. The camp seemed to be no more than a maximum of half full during our stay, which suited us fine but I would anticipate that the atmosphere (and number of vehicles departing down and returning up the hill for game drives) would be pretty different during high season when they are much more busy."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Tortilis Camp

Tortilis Camp

"Tortilis Camp"

3 nights Arrived 6 Feb 2019
"Our principal reason for wanting to visit Amboseli was to see elephants, and our wish was more than fulfilled - though it was also great just to sit quietly and take in the sheer numbers and variety of birds which vied for attention with them in the swampy areas. We also enjoyed the sight of hundreds of flamingoes which was a really stunning spectacle. It was good to have the option of game drives in the Kitirua conservancy though to be honest I think we had better luck game viewing in the park itself, which luckily did not seem as busy with other visitors as we thought it might be.

Unfortunately Kilimanjaro remained pretty well shrouded in cloud for most of our stay, but it was obvious that the view of it from the camp would have been amazing had it been more visible. As well as having a fantastic location, the camp itself was immaculately maintained and the food excellent, though as with Elsa's I think the atmosphere must inevitably be very different in high season when the camp is full. We very much appreciated the charming and understated hosting of Candy and Graeme, and along with our guide Patrick, wanted to express particular thanks to Jackson who not only looked after us so ably at mealtimes but also led us on a very enjoyable bush walk on the last morning of our stay."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

My Aug 2016 trip

Kenya between 27 Aug 2016 and 6 Sep 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Many thanks to Richard for putting together such an enjoyable trip, and in particular for the encouragement to consider a camp in the main Reserve as well as the Mara Conservancies.

While the Reserve was obviously busier, the location and quality of the guiding at Rekero were superb and we were really pleased to have included it in the itinerary."

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Aero Club of East Africa

Aero Club of East Africa

"Aero Club of East Africa review"

1 night Arrived 27 Aug 2016
"We knew the accommodation at the Aero Club was basic, but even so it did seem more run down than we had been anticipating - e.g. there was a quite a smell in one of the bedrooms and a door which we couldn't lock, while the breakfast options boiled down to a choice between a muffin from a plate on the counter or a fairly ancient sandwich from the chiller cabinet.

It was however certainly in a very handy location for our flight from Wilson Airport the following morning, even though at ksh500 the car ride there was a bit more than we'd expected."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Rooms
Poor
Food
Poor
Kicheche Laikipia

Kicheche Laikipia

"Kicheche Laikipia review"

3 nights Arrived 28 Aug 2016
"There was quite a cold wind blowing for the duration of our stay, which we felt may have contributed to the wildlife being rather hunkered down for a fair bit of the time, and certainly made for pretty dusty conditions. We were however very taken with the beautiful landscape and fantastic views of Mt Kenya, the Aberdares etc and managed to get some lovely sightings including a superb black rhino on our last morning.

The tents were very spacious and secluded, though certainly on the chilly side early in the morning and in the evening - the hot water bottles and blankets provided were much required and appreciated. Water flasks were supplied for drinking, tooth cleaning etc and the other non potable water for washing was very brackish (not so great for sensitive skin . . . ).

We found the manager Andy a charming and professional host (unfortunately Sonja was unwell during our visit and we did not get to meet her) and the food almost too plentiful; three courses at lunch as well as at dinner was a bit overwhelming even for us after a day or two! Special thanks however are due to the camp for all the efforts they made with a specific dietary request we had.

Finally we really enjoyed the short game walk we did and in particular our visit to the Northern White Rhino sanctuary which was a very nicely done and educational experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Rekero

Rekero

"Rekero review"

3 nights Arrived 31 Aug 2016
"Wonderful in every way, and our guide Sammy was outstanding. Although a large proportion of the herds had (as we understood it) crossed back into the Serengeti, we nevertheless saw large numbers of wildebeest on a long day's drive over to the Mara Triangle and (thanks to Sammy’s expertise and patience) also saw a fantastic crossing from the Triangle side of the river where we were one of only three vehicles.

Having expected bucket showers and a more bush camp feel we were also very impressed with and pleasantly surprised by the large and pristine Rekero tents and piped hot water set up. From a personal perspective, we much preferred the lighter lunch/more formal dinner approach of Rekero to that of Kicheche Laikipia, and although we were initially wary of the place names at dinner which the camp used (not something we'd encountered before) it actually worked very well.

Finally, Pete and Stacey were delightful hosts; the Askari and staff super friendly; and the setting both of the camp itself and our individual tents (tuned to Hippo-pool TV) great."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mara Plains Camp

Mara Plains Camp

"Mara Plains review"

3 nights Arrived 3 Sep 2016
"Like walking onto a film set! The tents and furnishings (above all the brass bath tubs), food and location were truly amazing, but best of all was our guide Dan, thanks to whom (in particular) we had a simply wonderful leopard sighting (albeit in the company of a number of other vehicles, since we were just inside the Reserve) and a series of fantastic and, on our last morning, exclusive lion sightings.

It was also a great treat to be able (very inexpertly) to have a go at using the high spec camera along with the Swarovski binoculars that the camp made available to us. If pushed, I suppose that the only very small negative about our stay was the slight air of mystery which seemed to apply to meal times, which did tend initially at least to make one feel one had got the wrong end of the stick and had arrived hours too early; the Askari and other staff also seemed slightly more reserved than had been the case at Rekero.

But these are really just comments rather than criticisms, and one thing we appreciated in particular was the camp’s flexibility on meal choices. Above all however we enjoyed meeting the camp’s relief managers Ken and Michelle, who were really fascinating to talk to and both the kindest of hosts."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Botswana and Victoria Falls Aug 2015

Botswana and 1 other country between 15 Aug 2015 and 28 Aug 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was our best trip yet with Expert Africa; thank you so much to Megan (along with Chloe) for really listening to and helping crystallise what we had in mind, and for their patience in putting together such a well balanced programme for us."

Arranged By Megan Green


Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara review"

3 nights Arrived 16 Aug 2015
"We had been a little bit concerned to read a few mixed reviews for Little Kwara before we travelled, but our experience there was wonderful right from the moment we saw a beautiful leopard barely 10 minutes into our first game drive.

The camp was perhaps more rustic and simple than Lebala and Xigera, but the accommodation was still perfectly comfortable, and we found the camp's small size and warm management helped give it a friendly and intimate feel. The mixed dry/wet setting was always interesting, though we mainly opted for game drives rather than the water based activities which were available since we knew we wanted to focus on water activities later in our trip at Xigera.

The game viewing at Little Kwara, which included fantastic (and protracted) wild dog and cheetah sightings, was everything we could have hoped for and though we were largely out of luck with the spotlight when we made our way back to camp after sunset, this was a small price to pay!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 19 Aug 2015
"We did not initially feel as welcome at Lebala as we had at Little Kwara, probably not helped by the slightly larger size of the camp and our not receiving a camp-level induction/orientation on arrival. But our doubts were completely dispelled by the next morning, when we got to know our guide Jacko and our tracker Bowman better (with apologies to both for incorrect spelling) and had an admittedly long and bumpy drive to see the wild dogs and their puppies (who had moved closer to Lagoon).

Jacko and Bowman were endlessly knowledgeable and good humoured, and thanks to their dedication we had some marvellous sightings, which included fascinating lion/lion and lion/buffalo interactions. We were also lucky with night driving at Lebala, managing for example to see an aardwolf and its young as well as a charming baby porcupine.

During our stay we felt that a higher management profile would perhaps have helped the atmosphere gel better particularly over dinner but overall we had a fantastic time at this beautiful and unpretentious camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Xigera Safari Lodge

Xigera Safari Lodge

"Xigera review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Aug 2015
"Although game drives were available while we were at Xigera, we had chosen it so that we could focus on water based activities and it proved a wonderful and tranquil contrast to the land based and slightly more frenetic activities we had enjoyed at Little Kwara and Lebala.

Our guide Dips was unfailingly patient and accommodating of our (extremely amateurish) attempts to photograph at least some of the prolific birdlife we encountered, and thanks to him we were also lucky enough to see a sitatunga during one of our excursions.

The setting and decor of the camp was lovely and the whole operation very polished; one occasionally had the sense of being completely surrounded by staff eager to help and make one feel welcome, but on the whole this wasn't necessarily a very bad thing!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Islands of Siankaba

Islands of Siankaba

"Islands of Siankaba review"

3 nights Arrived 24 Aug 2015
"The Islands of Siankaba was a wonderful place to relax at the end of our holiday, and as Megan had suggested it really gave us the best of both worlds: the opportunity to visit and do some activities at the Falls combined with the chance to decompress in a beautiful setting right on the Zambezi.

The lodge is located at the end of quite a lengthy track which seemed to go on for miles on the day of our road transfer from Kasane, but which we felt ultimately enhanced the sense of seclusion and tranquility.

The staff were delightful, the food delicious, our room lovely -- and we particularly enjoyed being the only guests on the final day of our trip!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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