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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Miss S from Wimbledon

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

10

Excursions taken

0

Wonderful safari in South Luangwa Park

Zambia and 1 other country between 15 Oct 2017 and 28 Oct 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was our second safari in South Luangwa Park, after an interval of 4 years. We knew the area to visit, relatively distant from the entrance to the Park, as the game is excellent but the game vehicles few so viewing is really good. With help from Expert Africa's Claire we chose 3 camps and they were all excellent. She encouraged us to include a small bush camp and we were pleased that she did as it was probably the best experience and our apprehension about the open air bathroom was misplaced as it was private and enclosed.

Claire was brilliant because she was able to change our three return flights after we had made our booking, to accommodate a private trip to/from Chipata that we had not been able to firm up initially. All our arrangements went smoothly other than delays caused by the airline - as she had provided the contact details of Expert Africa's ground agents in Nairobi we were able to phone and ensure they waited at the airport while our luggage was located."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"Better than overnighting in a Lusake hotel"

1 night Arrived 16 Oct 2017
"After flying in to Lusaka, Pioneer Camp with its spacious thatched bar and thatched chalets is a proper introduction to Africa before moving on for a safari and preferable to a city hotel. Dinner of excellent steaks outside in the warm air under trees was great.

I telephoned from Nairobi to report that our connecting flight had been cancelled and we would be several hours late. Not a problem and they track the flight arrival, so their driver didn't have a wasted journey and arrived to collect us from the later flight."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Great guides and many leopard sightings"

2 nights Arrived 17 Oct 2017
"This is a very friendly and welcoming camp with very good guides. Gerard and Agatha were charming hosts. We wanted to see big cats and in our stay here and at the satellite Mwamba Bushcamp we were not disappointed. We have enjoyed several safaris mostly in different countries but have not previously seen as many leopards, both at rest in trees in the morning and hunting at night, thanks to the skill of the guides at Kaingo and Mwamba.

Although the camp was fairly full we had one evening when we (father and adult daughter) were the only guests in our game drive vehicle and on other drives we were paired with a lovely Swedish couple, so never more than 4 and easy viewing and photography.

The two camps tend to share the same area for the game drives which enables them to share information on sightings but with hardly another camp or vehicle in the vicinity, we had the area to ourselves and the animals were never crowded.

The chalets are comfortable and have en suite bathrooms as well as each having their own viewing deck by the river bank. The catering was excellent.

The game walk to Mwamba Bushcamp led by Derek Shelton was an enjoyable experience, despite the extreme October heat, and better than game walks previously experienced."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

"Remote but comfortable camp"

2 nights Arrived 19 Oct 2017
"Any concerns that this bushcamp might be too spartan were misplaced. It may have helped that we had stayed first at the main camp, Kaingo, before moving to the bushcamp, but the chalet was comfortable and apprehension over the outside but enclosed bathroom facilities was unnecessary - it was fun showering and washing under the open sky.

As at Kaingo the guides were excellent and we enjoyed numerous sightings of leopards, lions and ellies. An advantage of the small number of chalets and hence guests was the intimacy of the camp and we felt that we really got to know the very entertaining guides and the lovely hosts, Craig and Lindi, over the excellent meals. Dinner was a treat.

The hides overlooking the waterhole were a good bonus as they were just a very short walk away in the intense midday and afternoon heat. We saw ellies drinking and spraying water on their backs from just a few feet away."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

"Very comfortable and spacious tents"

3 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2017
"A friendly camp, well hosted by Jenny, with very capable guides and delicious food. We wanted to try a camp on the other side of the river from the majority of camps. This involved crossing the river, with water at a very low level, in a small boat so it was a relief that they send an armed guard to accompany the crossing.

Although the camp was fairly full we never had more than three guests in our game drive vehicle. The guides from the camp were great at finding leopards on evening drives and hidden from our view in trees or the bush in the mornings. A pack of African wild dogs including several very playful puppies were regular sightings not far from camp and our guide willingly took us to the area near the Nsefu camp so that we could see the Nsefu pride of lions.

The guides and their night-time spotters were successful on 3 consecutive nights in finding predators: although we did not see the moment of kill, we were close to the action when a leopard took an impala, the pack of dogs chased a number of impala at incredible speed and eventually caught one (not a pretty sight), and finally when, after a kill possibly also involving hyenas, a leopard sought refuge from the dogs up a tree before successfully fleeing to another tree where she could hide better."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Eka Hotel

Eka Hotel

"A modern hotel with quick access to airport"

2 nights Arrived 26 Oct 2017
"The hotel is only 15 minutes drive from Nairobi airport so this was good for our late evening arrival and early morning departure. Also we were able to visit the giraffe centre in the Karen district and the David Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary in the national park without having to tackle Nairobi's traffic in the more central area.

The concierge very helpfully suggested we should hire the hotel's comfortable transport and driver for a half day at a fixed fee and the friendly driver accordingly took us to the places we wanted to visit and once there waited until we were ready to leave.

The bedroom was the only negative. We were shown to a double room despite our booking having requested a twin room - this was immediately rectified - but for a father and adult daughter travelling together and sharing, the bathroom was not ideal as instead of a separate room it took the form, in the modern style, of glazed cubicles for shower and wc, with the washbasin area not enclosed at all. For many travelling companions this would be a negative."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Average

October trip generally

Zambia between 4 Oct 2013 and 18 Oct 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall the trip was enormously enjoyable and successful.

We thought that our visits to Lilongwe and Chipata, both the SOS Children's villages and the experience of smaller towns, added considerable interest to the trip and added an extra dimension to the safaris, since we met local people and saw the country beyond the slightly false environment of the safari camps. Everyone we met was extremely friendly and welcoming. We also enjoyed our short stay in Nairobi, staying as before at the excellent but unfussy Fairview Hotel.

The safaris were very enjoyable. Lion Camp was our favourite of the two camps and could not be faulted, and we would definitely recommend it to anyone. Its location is exceptional and the game plentiful. We saw lots lions, a leopard on 3 occasions and many elephants - these three being our favourites - and the reviews of the plentiful sightings of lions and leopards were a major factor in selecting Lion Camp. We were not disappointed.

Puku Ridge was also lovely and suffered in our estimation only because of the wonderful experience we enjoyed at Lion Camp and the unfortunate fact that we were the only guests. The wildlife was not as plentiful but the guide made the drives very enjoyable nontheless.

We identified the safari camps we wished to visit and made some of the other accommodation arrangements ourselves, but Expert Africa's Claire Scott was happy to talk through our proposals and offer alternatives for our consideration, and most importantly she made the travel arrangements to fit our plans as well as booking the safari camps and our overnight stays outside Lusaka, so that everything worked seemlessly. She also held our complicated international flight bookings longer than we imagined possible while we delayed fixing our dates due to difficulties finalising when we could visit the SOS Children's Villages. All the travel arrangements and connections went smoothly."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Image alt

Own arrangements

"Lilongwe to Chipata"

3 nights Arrived 5 Oct 2013
"The flights worked smoothly and I when I felt unwell on one of my flights, the Kenya Airways cabin crew looked after me extremely well.

I was met on time by a taxi driver which I had arranged through my hotel. He was friendly and drove carefully.

The hotel was fairly basic but in keeping with my expectations according to their rates. The staff were friendly and helpful. My bedroom door didn't feel particularly secure - it gave a bit when the handle was turned even when the door was locked but there was a safe in the room.

It was a shame that the hotel didn't serve food in the evening but there is a perfectly good restaurant on the ground floor of the building. The hotel is located next door to the craft market and a couple of minutes walk from multiple banks, a supermarket and some fast food outlets."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"Pioneer Camp"

1 night Arrived 8 Oct 2013
"The second half of the journey from the airport is on a fairly rough unmade road and the location is quite remote, which makes for an apprehensive arrival, but once at the camp the general ambience, the setting of the grounds and very friendly staff boosted my overall assessment. It is not luxurious but it makes a great overnight first or last stop - a real feeling of having arrived in Africa.

The collection from the airport (twice - at the beginning and end of our trip) worked well as did the transfers to the airport. The terrace in the half shade of the trees was greating for relaxing with a beer and for eating our meals."
Excellent
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Image alt

Own arrangements

"Chipata"

2 nights Arrived 9 Oct 2013
"I stayed at the Protea Hotel on the edge of Chipata, a regional centre to the east of the country near the border with Malawi. This is a small town by UK standards but full of life, a great deal of activity including road side markets along the road that runs through the town. An interesting place to visit if you have a purpose in going there - for us it was visiting the SOS Children's Village at the other end of the town. I called the hotel shortly before my flight from Lusaka to arrange to be collected by a taxi from the small airport and they arranged this efficiently and curteously.

The Protea Hotel is modern, clean and a typical well-run chain hotel, located in a quiet positon set back from the main road towards one end of the town. Nothing was too much trouble for the friendly staff. It has a reasonably sized outdoor pool with loungers and sun umbrellas - one of the staff rushed to open one for me. My room, the restaurant (part open at one side overlooking he pool), the bar and entrance foyer were all of a high standard."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Lion Camp

Lion Camp

"Wonderful Safari at Lion Camp"

3 nights Arrived 11 Oct 2013
"The location of Lion Camp is wonderful. It overlooks a watercourse that was visited throughout the day (this was October when the water in the Luangwa River was low and occupied only a small portion of the riverbed) by wildlife and there was a constant stream of animals arriving and departing in the middle of the day between our game drives (except a pair of hippos who spent our first 48 hours almost motionless in the water directly in front of our chalet) including lions and elephants with their calves. We even had lions wandering through the camp for most of one night - the chalets are elevatd on stilts and linked by a walkway to the main facilities.

The game drives and the guides were excellent.They matched or exceeded our safari experience in several other countries but with far fewer vehicles than say the Masai Mara. At most there were 4 vehicles, 3 from Lion Camp and one other at sightings, due to the camp being further from the entrance to the park than most camps. We frequently saw a large pride of lions with their cubs, resting or chewing on the remains of buffalo, on two consecutive nights we saw a leopard and on our last morning we saw one in a tree and then jumping down. Also a pack of hyenas and lots of hippos in the river.

The chalets are fine, comfortable beds, well furnished, a deck overlooking the watercourse, loo with a door and washing facilities and shower tucked away reasonably private - we were father and daughter.

The staff were welcoming and friendly and the atmosphere was great. You soon get to know the other guests at mealtimes and over a few drinks which are readily available in the all-included price. The food is of a high standard.

Through Expert Africa we had arranged for the the camp to send a taxi to collect us from Chipata, some 3 hours to reach Mfuwe near the entrance to the park. I confirmed the collection arrangements the day before and all went well.This was an interesting journey through the countryside and many villages, and then the camp collected us from Mfuwe for the longish journey to the camp. Even from the road through the park we saw elephants, giraffes and a pride of 15 lions resting by the roadside after a buffalo kill the previous evening."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge

"Puku Ridge safari"

3 nights Arrived 14 Oct 2013
"Puku Ridge camp was very comfortable, the most spacious and luxurious safari accommodation we have experienced. The staff were extremely welcoming. We were the only guests so we had their very personal and undivided attention, but missed the contact with other guests that is part of the experience. Our guide on the game drives was excellent and very informative on details.

Overall the game did not live up to what we had experienced on previous days staying in the northern part of the South Luangwa Park, which had been exceptional. We saw two pairs of lions (one pair male, the other female), a leopard in a tree towards dusk and on another occasion on the ground at night, and 2 male giraffes fighting, as well as many hippos."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

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