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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs T from Victoria

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

0

My Sep 2013 trip

Zambia and 2 other countries between 5 Sep 2013 and 26 Sep 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"Great varied holiday.

For a month long holiday there was only one minor one hiccup so that's pretty good. The Wild Horizons road transport from Zambezi Sun to Livingstone Airport didn't turn up. They then didn't answer any of the contact numbers incl their emergency mobile so that is probably more of a concern. No problem we just got the hotel to order us a taxi. A Wild Horizons rep finally called the hotel & said their vehichle wouldn't start that morning & they had another vehicle on the way. We said that given the time we were now taking whatever turned up first (which was the taxi). To their credit Wild Horizans must have contacted the taxi driver and told him to return the fare to us.

Proably the only thing we would have changed on the holiday was to sway Tafika camp in Sth Luangwa NP for one that was on a perennial river with watersports such as canoeing (eg Lower Zambezi NP)

Maruska was extremely helpful with planning our trip and very responsive to our questions .. thanks Maruska

PS: We don't normally have our trips organised by a travel agent and only initially contacted Expert Afrika for the Busanga & Tafika bookings .. but then Maruska offered to book most of the other accn & transfers & that's what happened. Very unusual for us to have transfer cars waiting at an airport etc with our name on a card & we don't see much of an advantage over just getting a bus/taxi .. but i can see that some folks would love the certainty of transport waiting for them

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"Very uninteresting place to spend a night"

1 night Arrived 5 Sep 2013
"Pionee.rr is out in the middle of nowhere and you don't get to see Lusaka is you stay here for a night. The tap water wasn't drinkable and they charged for bottled water.

On the positive side we felt safe there."
Average
Location
Terrible
Service
Average
Activities
Terrible
Rooms
Good
Food
Poor
Facilities
Average
Busanga Bushcamp

Busanga Bushcamp

"Excellent camp"

4 nights Arrived 6 Sep 2013
"Well organised camp and great staff. You would expect this for the price.

The included balloon flight was a do-not-miss activity"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Very ordinary hotel"

2 nights Arrived 10 Sep 2013
"Great location and you would stay there for that reason alone.

The rooms were very very ordinary. As we checked out we asked why there was a space for a bar fridge but one wasn't provided .. and they said that if we had requested one they would have delivered one straight away!

Don't miss sundowners drinks of the riverfront deck at the Royal Livingstone next door (10min walk)"
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Tafika

Tafika

"Good camp but it was not what we expected"

5 nights Arrived 12 Sep 2013
"We thought because it was on a river that there would be water activities eg canoeing. But in reality the river is largely dried up at this time of the year, Also because there are now no bridges/pontoons across the river the vehicle activities were restricted to the teensy bit of NP that is on the south side of the river and that became a bit repetitive as we constantly revisited the same ground.

The 'walking' activities were on the north side o fthe river (canoes to get across) and we enjoyed those trips.
In hindsight we should have chosen a camp on a 'full' river eg: Lower Zambezi NP.

There was a microlite flight available and you had to pay extra which we thought was a bit rich given the nightly tariff.
Rooms were nice but had no power and therefore no fan, & therefore in the middle of the day between drives/walks you just had to lie on your bed with a wet towel over you and suffer! (since there was rarely any breeze and at that time of the year it was very hot ay midday.

They own/lease there own light aircraft which proved handy as at the end of our stay they flew us over the NP to Mpika (organised via Expert Afrika .. thanks great suggestion)

Staff were excellent."
Good
Location
Poor
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Image alt

Own arrangements on TAZARA Railway

"The Fawlty Towers of trains"

2 nights Arrived 17 Sep 2013
"We were expecting low-grade train facilities and they were worse than we expected... lucky we were prepared. We caught the train about 6hrs into its journey as it passed through Mpika.

- Pre-booking the tickets was a long complicated email procedure but we finally got confirmation from a railway staff members personal hotmail address. When we turned up at Mpika about 6hr before the train was expected they knew nothing about our booking. But something must have been allocated becuase we were subsequently told that all the first class sleepers were sold out so our reservation must have been registered somewhere!

- 'First Class' means absolutely nothing other than the fact that the '4 berth sleepers' were designated first class.

- The sleeper: Sheets & blankets are provided. The 'advertised' bottle of water and roll of toilet paper paper per person was not provided (to any of the sleepers). Both our security window and glass window would not stay up so the carriage attendant finally got off the train at one of the stops and got us a 'stick' so we could jam these open. Apparently most of the sleepers have 'sticks' to keep the windows open. None of the electrical outlets or lights worked except for a single dingy globe in the ceiling.

- The carriage facilities - The Toilet: The toilet had pressurised water for flushing but the pipe wasn't properly connected to the toilet so when you flushed the water ran onto the floor rather than into the bowl. Rather than fix the problem they had cleverly drilled a hole in the floor so the water ran onto the track. All water stopped anyway about 12hr into the trip. They had provided a bucket of water in the toilet room and a cut-off plastic bottle to scoop up water & try to flush. Then the train attendant locket the toilet room at some stage because 'people are making it dirty'; and she would unlock it if you pleaded that you really needed to use it. The train attendant got some toilet paper off us when she needed to go because she didn't even bring her own ... what the! We had been forewarned about the toilet facilities & brought along a couple of rolls of toilet paper & large plastic bags in case we needed to do our business in the sleeper itself ... lucky it didn't get to that. But you would only have to have a case of gastro and a locked toilet to be in a nasty situation!! Sounds gross but better to be prepared.

- The carriage facilities - Bathroom/Shower. The 'bathroom' room had two sinks but all taps were completely missing so it was on no use whatever! The shower was a separate room with a shower pipe but no rose. The water was cold but at least we used that initially to fill empty water bottles and go back to our sleeper for a bird-bath. The when all running water ceased at the 12hr mark we had to use our bottles of drinking water for any cleaning requirements.

- The meals: A giuy would come around before each mealtime, tell you your choices and then deliver same to your sleep. The meals were quite reasonable and seemed hygenic (well how can you really tell). We didn't have any tummy problems form the train food. We brought along some 'emergency' food and probably about 15 litres of bottled water. At each train stop there were dozens of hawkers selling food from the track directly thru your window. Most of them concentrated on the normal 'seated' carriages but you could get some food off some of them as they walked up to those carriages. There was a mixture of deep-fried looking food & fruit/vegetables. We are normally pretty adventurous re food but given the train facilities we didn't want to risk gastra so stuck to buying fruit with a skin .. bananas, coconuts etc

- The scenery. I normaly enjoy a train trip but to be honest i don't think the scenery was anything special on this trip. The most interesting part were the hawkers when we stopped at each station. Even going thru Selous was average (saw a few elephants/Zebras).

My wifes comment was 'I survived'."
Poor
Rooms
Terrible
Food
Average
Service
Terrible
Facilities
Terrible
Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Southern Sun Dar review"

1 night Arrived 19 Sep 2013
"Just a normal hotel with facilities you would normally expect. Just fine as a transit hotel (which in our case was our 'contingency' time in case the train was significantly delayed)"
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Zanzibar Coffee House

Zanzibar Coffee House

"Interesting place"

3 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2013
"Most people i suspect choose a hotel on the waterfront whereas Zanzibar Coffee House is about 200m inland amongst the maze of laneways in Old Stone Town.

We had a suite which was nice as that meant we had aircon which was nice given how muggy Stone Town got the minute you walked away from the seafront"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Image alt

Own arrangements at Chapwani Island, Zanzibar

"A 'minimalist' resort"

5 nights Arrived 23 Sep 2013
"Nice location only about 20min boat ride from Old Stone Town so a few guests were using Chapwani as their base and went to Zanzibar each day for various day trips and then back to Chapwani for the beaches/breeze/swimming. Everything about Chapwani is clean neat & tidy and minimalist. As long as you are clearly aware of the minimalist nature of this resort then I think it's a great place to chill out.

No aircon, minimal power, fixed-menu etc. But the beaches & enormous salt-water pool (for when the tide is out) were terrific. They had snorkelling gear & sit-on-kayaks avail for free which was good. Don't go there (or most of Zanzibar for that matter) for the snorkelling as most of it has been destroyed by overfishing & anchor dragging.

They have armed guards patrolling the Island at night but I still had a pair of reef sandals stolen from our veranda.

The one thing I didn't like was that the accommodation is a number of 'huts' each with two self-contained rooms side-by-side. So if you were sitting on your veranda you could literally be 5 feet away from your neighbours on their veranda."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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