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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Family B-D from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Family safari in Zambia

Zambia between 10 Aug 2016 and 22 Aug 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip consisted of four nights Shiwa Ng'andu, 4 nights Tafika, 1 night Chikoko, 2 nights Livingstone.

The itinerary and choice of locations was great for our family and just what we were looking for - I think the sequencing was perfect.

The only thing I would change in hindsight would be at least one more night at Vic Falls."

Shiwa Ng'andu

Shiwa Ng'andu

"Family stay at Shiwa Ng'andu"

4 nights Arrived 11 Aug 2016
"We visited Shiwa Ng'andu with our sons aged 12 and 14. It was an amazing experience for us all. We chose to start our stay here, to gently introduce ourselves to the country in an environment where we would be looked after and safe. this worked well, we were able to rest up after our long journey before getting stuck into activities. We also had a sense that this was a uniquely interesting place - again, it did not disappoint.

Charlie and Jo were extremely friendly and attentive and looked after us very well. We particularly liked the coming and going of many visitors - including Charlie and Jo's daughter and friends. it felt like we were family house guests. It was very interesting to learn about life in Zambia. We always felt welcome and our requests responded to. The boys were also made to feel very welcome.

In terms of activities, we did a lot of birding walks, walks by the lake, walked to the top of the hill to the livingstone memorial. we also visited the hot springs (extra cost of $8 pp). it was a very relaxing introduction to our trip. We saw a lot of birds (nearly 100 species) and all the antelope on the farm.

Food was good, much produced on the farm. Learning about the history of the place from Jo was also fascinating. We could have spent longer reading the materials and diaries in the library but didn't quite have the energy! Early starts were needed for some activities but this was optional! A quite time after lunch helped us to pace ourselves.

Overall, a really interesting and unique experience in an amazing place with fantastic hosts."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Tafika

Tafika

"Tafika with family"

4 nights Arrived 15 Aug 2016
"We visited Tafika with our 14 and 12 year old sons. It is a beautiful camp, really well designed and thought through. We were staying in the family chalet, which was perfect for us - two separate rooms, within one self contained chalet, with two showers. The right balance of privacy but still close enough to feel safe and together. Younger children might feel a bit far away and prefer to be in the same room as parents. The family chalet also has the best setting, with a veranda looking straight out onto the river.

I found this camp extremely luxurious, with very high standards of service - I am a little bemused by some of the reviews describing it as 'rustic'! Everything was taken care of - clothes whisked away and returned clean and pressed; drinks and food served; beds and rooms prepared every night etc etc. I felt extremely pampered! And the overall environment is simply stunning.

Food was excellent, perhaps a little 'complicated' for the children at times. Breakfasts were taken around a fire overlooking the river, with staff. Lunch was a buffet and dinner a fairly formal affair with everything served to us. Dinner and lunch were shared with one or two staff on a rota - sometimes this felt a little bit uncomfortable as we were aware that the rest of the staff were eating back in staff quarters and wondered whether eating with the guests might be the short straw!

The camp was quiet when we were there, only two other guests. As a family of four, we did all our activities together with no other guests, and we had one guide, Alex, throughout our stay of four nights. Alex was an excellent choice of guide, as well as being highly experienced and knowledgeable, he had a great rapport with the children and made the experience fun as well as interesting. We did mainly drives, with one morning walk. We might have liked a greater variety of activities, but it took us a little while to get the bearings of the routine and by the time we had worked out what we wanted to do, time was running out.

I think a fuller orientation to the possible activities at an early stage in our trip would have been useful. Whilst I felt staff were responsive to our requests, I think a bit more proactive information would be useful. We enjoyed the walks as the safari experience can feel rather sedentary with most of the day spent sitting, eating or resting! it is a balance though as the walks do see a little less game. I was also a bit nervous about crossing the river in a small boat very close to the hippos - all passed without incident but I did wonder what the plan was if we had capsized...

Game viewings were good, though leopard sightings were scarce and I nearly thought we were not going to see one through our whole stay! The last drive came good though, with a superb close up and prolonged sighting - thanks to Alex and Lloyd's expert spotting. Overall we had three leopard sightings on the last day, including one on a walk.

Very minor suggestions for improvement: we would have found more books, maps and other information about the animals, birds and ecosystems in the park interesting to look at during our down time, to enhance what we learnt from the guides. Also, although everyone introduced themselves to us, we weren't very clear what everyone's role was at the camp (not that this mattered as everyone was helpful and friendly).

Overall, a lovely stay in an amazing location."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

"A night at chikoko with family"

1 night Arrived 19 Aug 2016
"We spent a single night at Chikoko as a family with our sons aged 14 and 12. The camp is absolutely beautiful and the service amazing - I did feel a little spoilt with more staff than guests and every need catered for. Even down to jugs of hot water provided for our early morning at 5am. The food was fantastic and more family friendly than at Tafika - I'm not sure whether this was deliberately planned because there were no other guests but we loved the burgers and chocolate mousse at lunchtime - and the huge cake at tea which was so fresh it was still warm - the quality of cooking in this environment was simply amazing (all the food is walked into the camp).

After four nights at Tafika we walked in the morning to get to the camp - about 3.5 hours. This walk was beautiful and with lots of game - kudu, buffalo, zebra, waterbuck and of course many birds. The camp itself is also a great birdwatching place. Very comfortable and peaceful.

The chalets are set up high in the trees and the whole camp is very open. We chose to sleep one parent one child in each chalet as they are quite far apart so we felt safer with this configuration.

I think one night was a good choice with the children, since the camp is quite small and apart from the walking not much to do. I personally would like to return to do more walking but family life is always a compromise!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"A couple of nights at the falls with family"

2 nights Arrived 20 Aug 2016
"I was pleasantly surprised by the standard of this accommodation - I felt that the description in the brochure was slightly indifferent!
The rooms are not massive but plenty big enough, very pleasant and comfortable. Bathroom has a separate bath and shower, all very attractively decorated.

We had two rooms opposite each other (we were with our sons aged 14 and 12) and this worked well - cleaning staff actually changed our rooms for us as reception had not given us rooms opposite - this was appreciated and very helpful.

The only downside was the lack of ability to open a window at night - no mosquito nets or netting on the windows and on the ground floor not safe to keep the patio doors open. After nearly a week sleeping in open thatched chalets this made it a bit stuffy - I hate sleeping with AC on - too noisy and not very environmentally sustainable.

the food at the poolside bar was good, and occasionally excellent (beef fillet recommended) and reasonably priced. The buffet did not seem good value so we skipped that. We ate at the hotel because we didn't have the energy to go into Livingstone.

Location is fantastic, great to be so close to the Falls and to be able to pop in and out of the park without paying fees. We got up early each morning for a walk by the Falls before breakfast. We also walked over to the Zimbabwe side - I would say this is essential to get the best views of the Falls. You have to be a bit thick skinned to refuse the sellers on the bridge but apart from that it is completely feasible to walk yourself. It is an expensive excursion though - $30 extra for the double entry visa to Zambia; $55 for a visa into Zim for UK passport holders; and $30 for over 12s into the park on the Zim side. We didn't make it into Victoria Falls town, opting to lunch at the café inside the Falls park. The only downside to the location is that its harder to get to other places for dining (we looked at the Royal Livingstone menu but although reasonably priced it was not extensive and didn't appeal to the children)

In hindsight, I think we could have spent longer here. We had two nights but could have done with three and even four - I would have liked to have properly visited Vic Falls town; to have gone to the museum in Livingstone and to have dined on the train. I wasn't interested in the rafting or bungee jumping! As it was, we had time to visit the Zim side of the falls and thoroughly explore the Zambian side, including the walk down to the boiling point and upstream walks. I think I reduced the time because it is my fourth or possibly 5th time to see the Falls - but of course only the first for my children. Two nights not really enough to do it justice."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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