Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs C from Berwick
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
Mbili wasafiri bomba!
Tanzania between 25 Oct 2020 and 11 Nov 2020
On Olivia's advice we went to Tarangire for the first time: we loved the scenery and were astounded by the numbers of elephants. The prospect of fewer visitors being around also lured us to the Serengeti and we witnessed the mind-blowing spectacle of 10,000 wildebeest galloping majestically across the Mara.
There is normal life out there beyond the Covid black hole known as the UK. In Tanzania day-to-day interactions with other human beings are, well, normal. Simple practical precautions are in place like hand sanitising and masks on the small bush planes.
The welcome we received without exception was tremendous but we were just so pleased to be there and were privileged to have magical wildlife encounters with no-one else around and see a couple of great migration river crossings with a handful of other people present. Truly a once (although it was twice!) in a lifetime experience.
All this added up to a very special adventure tempered somewhat by the fact that many camps remain closed with those still open operating on reduced staff. We only hope common sense prevails over hysteria with so many people's lives in other parts of the world so drastically affected. Not just the humans but the wildlife too.
If anyone out there wants to go on safari there has never been a better time. The people of Tanzania will really appreciate you making the effort."
Arranged By Olivia Barclay-Hudson
"Big cats and one smaller very special one"
Alex Walker's Serian Serengeti
"A twice-in-a-lifetime experience!"
Top of the range guiding
Zimbabwe between 20 Apr 2019 and 9 May 2019
We did more bush walking here than on any of our previous several trips in other African countries and enjoyed it very much (especially when a surprised aardwolf resting in long grass jumped out right in front of us!).
Compared to many previous safaris, the night drives were exceptional (providing some great photographic opportunities).
We were glad we selected camps in two very distinct parts of Hwange NP before going north to Mana Pools, which was different again.
Conditions varied too: the Camp Hwange area was still very green; Somalisa Expeditions (still in Hwange) and Vundu at Mana Pools both unseasonally dry.
We were taken aback by the large numbers of elephants, particularly in eastern Hwange, but fear for the future with Zimbabwe exporting elephants (and other wildlife) from there to China because of its dire financial situation plus continued poaching, voiced on the ground at Mana Pools.
All three camps' accommodation was very good though vegetarian food was a bit variable, the best being at Somalisa Expeditions camp."
"So many elephants!"
"Dogs... but much,much more"
Terrific introduction to Kenya
Kenya between 17 Jan 2018 and 4 Feb 2018
Each was quite different but within relatively easy reach. We travelled to all three by road, only getting on a bush plane from Meru to Nairobi. Each camp too was quite individual in terms of style and atmosphere.
The tented camp Kicheche in Laikipia was our favourite overall but Saruni Samburu and Elsa's Kopje were both excellent experiences and in spectacular positions. Of the three Elsa's probably had the highest age profile.
We scored a number of firsts such as tiny lion cubs, a successful cheetah hunt and bat-eared foxes mating (in broad daylight!). It was a delight to see the animals unique to the area such as reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and Grevy's zebra. It was also a privilege to attend part of the celebrations of a Samburu wedding.
All in all a terrific trip and an introduction to Kenya that will probably be hard to beat."
Arranged By Richard Trillo
"High drama at Elephant Corner!"
"Special sightings and a Samburu wedding"
"Barely another jeep in sight . . ."
Asilia trip exceeded our expectations
Tanzania between 1 Feb 2017 and 17 Feb 2017
We would recommend Asilia camps because you can expect high standards across the board and also in the knowledge that they are involved in and contribute towards local communities. They employ as many local people as possible: at Highlands for instance there are Masai community guides. Asilia also have impressive training programmes: while at Sayari we saw this in action as a new batch of trainee guides was being selected.
Overall the balance of the trip was very good: the camps were in very different landscapes and the wildlife viewing exceeded our expectations."
"Good food at Machweo"
"Spectacular scenery at the Highlands"
Namiri Plains Camp
"Cats cats cats - and an aardwolf - at Namiri"
Everything we had hoped for and more
Namibia between 22 Apr 2016 and 9 May 2016
"Excellent first stop"
Ballooning in the Namib Desert
23 Apr 2016 • Morning excursion
Desert Rhino Camp
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
"Surprises on the Skeleton Coast"
"Wish we'd stayed longer!"
"Walking with Bruno"
Okonjima Bush Camp
We wouldn't have changed a thing
Tanzania between 13 Jan 2015 and 28 Jan 2015
Our three camps were different in character and in how they operate. We were so glad we spent five nights at each as this allowed time to fully explore each area as well as getting to know the guides and staff. We didn't travel with expectations of seeing particular animals and with the bush in full growth thought sightings might be more elusive. However, we saw everything we thought we might see and much more. The number and variety of birds, including migrants, was stunning.
Everything went like clockwork, including camps being aware that we are vegetarian (not a problem!). Without exception staff were friendly, welcoming, informative and helpful. The time flew by and more than 3,000 photographs later, we were sad to leave. We wouldn't have changed a thing."
Selous Impala Camp
"Great start to our Tanzanian safari"
"Kwihala Camp review"
Botswana and 1 other country between 4 Sep 2013 and 16 Sep 2013
The three Kwando camps were uniformly excellent but different in their own ways. The common denominator was the positive and welcoming attitude of all the staff. No exceptions. We can't praise them too highly. All were extremely helpful, worked hard and really seemed to want to contribute to the enjoyment of your holiday.
We were apprehensive when setting out as to how we would cope as vegetarians but we enjoyed every meal. We have seen negative reviews about the food but literally everything is cooked or prepared from scratch and we found it extraordinary how such delicious things are prepared in the middle of nowhere.
A small point but we think Kwando are missing an opportunity in the camp shops where there is little choice of local crafts as mementoes. Indeed no-one seemed to know what if anything had been made in Botswana.
This was our first visit to Africa and would probably be difficult to beat. Everything went smoothly from the moment we landed at Victoria Falls to our return flight to Maun. We saw everything that we wanted to see and more and returned home with more than 1600 photographs and memories that will be with us for a long time. Kwando's policy of a maximum six people per jeep makes for memorable and intimate sightings. On a couple of occasions we were the only ones in the jeep. Being so close to the wildlife with no-one else about was magical."
"Great location for Victoria Falls"
"Great introduction to Kwando camps"
"Superb location and sumptuous accommodation"