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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms H from USA

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Our May 2014 Family Reunion

Botswana and 1 other country between 3 May 2014 and 14 May 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"Incredible, extraordinary, exciting, unbelievably memorable experience we will always cherish as a family!

Maruska did a fabulous job of getting it all together with not a great deal of time. She got back with us in a very timely manner which especially helped given the time constraints and the fact that we were dealing with 6 adults with different job schedules and on different continents.

She was professional and very knowledgeable.

We would definitely recommend Expert Africa and hope to come back to Botswana some day.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Had we started at Okuti we might have felt differently about the experience. It was so different from Tubu Tree. Obviously one has to work with availability but it might be good, if possible, to use a formula of the least desirable camp first. Being our first safari, we also were not anticipating such a big difference between the private and public reserve experiences. One positive consequence was that Okuti really made us appreciate our time at Tubu Tree and Labala and allowed us to see subtle differences which none the less made a huge difference in the atmosphere and experience."

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"Ilala Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 3 May 2014
"The accommodations were very comfortable and the staff was helpful and friendly. Food was delicious with good variety and the pool, patio, bar area was both relaxing and very attractive. We appreciated that there were menu options throughout the day and evening as our family of 6 was coming from several different time zones. In addition to seeing Victoria Falls, Ilala Lodge was a great spot for us to rendezvous, regroup from travel, and get some rest before beginning our safari.

The on site office personnel were knowledgeable and helpful with regards to making reservations for attractions. We thought the elephant trail ride might be super touristy but were very pleased with the experience. The young trainer who rode with us cared deeply about his elephant and really wanted to share information with us. It was a delightful experience and a yummy breakfast.

The helicopter ride was thrilling and offered a wonderful perspective of the falls from the air. The 12 minute ride was sufficient to see the sites.

The sunset cruise on Ra Ikane was lovely. We were entertained by frolicking hippos. The drinks were delicious and plentiful. The food that was served was lacking.

The walk all around the falls was spectacular! We were in awe of the stunning beauty and power of the falls and so vey glad we decided to visit Victoria Falls."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Tubu Tree Camp

Tubu Tree Camp

"Enchanting Tubu Tree"

3 nights Arrived 5 May 2014
"Tubu Tree Camp was enchanting. The setting was absolutely stunning, the accommodations/decor were stellar, the service surpassed every top hotel I have ever visited anywhere, and the overall ambience was magical.

Our tracker, Joe, was knowledgeable beyond anything we could have imagined and, with a quiet dignity, allowed us a glimpse of his world in the bush, teaching us at every opportunity.

Highlights regarding the animals were a most amorous imposing master bull elephant in a musk driven state, 2 regal male lions, a large herd of giraffe, getting to see massive buffalo up close, and spotting a 5 ft. black mambo on the runway.

The staff and managers made a huge effort to make sure we were comfortable and felt at home. We loved the choir, tea at the water's edge, the most majestic baobab tree I have ever seen, and drinks in the evening under the stars!

On a practical level, the Land Rovers were extremely comfortable and Joe had full command of the vehicle. My husband has had back surgery and was concerned about hours spent driving over rough roads. While we had issues at another camp, we did not at Tubu Tree."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okuti

Okuti

"Okuti review"

3 nights Arrived 8 May 2014
"Had we stayed at Okuti before Tubu Tree, we might have had a different experience. Because we did not, we kept comparing the two and Okuti came up short on every front. While the design of the buildings is very interesting, innovative, and quite pleasing to the eye, practically, they were a disappointment. We had the two family room units. The bedrooms were extremely hot in the afternoon when we went in to rest (and this was in May.) The "living" part of the room had such subdued lighting that it was impossible to read or play games in there and there was only seating for 3 people so it kind of defeated the purpose of having an area for a family to gather. Another issue was no safe which was awkward as we had so much cash with us. Furthermore the doors had a large wooden key you needed to carry round with you and there was only one so that was inconvenient with 4 adults.

Another issue we had was with the condition of the vehicles. We had several different vehicles over the 4 days and there were numerous problems. One kept stalling continually and we had to push start it. Another had a top that was so low, the men in our group ( one at 6'5", two at 6'2") had to slouch in order not to hit their heads on the bars when we went over bumps. We finally told our driver we needed to have one of the vehicles with a higher top.

The highlights of Okuti were seeing a pack of wild painted dogs, several leopards, a monitor lizard and a pride of lions. Again though, the experience in the public preserve was just not the same. At one point we were even all uncomfortable as it felt as though we were all cornering and corralling a leopard instead of observing it. There were too many vehicles (6 at one point) all trying to get a look and jockeying around for position. Our guide, Nando, did a good job with the circumstances being what they were.

We really enjoyed our final evening which included an amazing singing and dancing performance by the choir and a very special celebratory dinner under the stars for just the 6 of us."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 11 May 2014
"Lebala was the perfect marriage of delightful accommodations, a stunning setting, experienced staff, and a real emphasis on spotting game. While the atmosphere was very laid back and relaxed on the one hand, there was an underlying current that we were all there with a real purpose... to experience wildlife... and they were going to make it happen. Our guide, Partner, and tracker, Mr. More, were professional, incredibly persistent, extraordinarily talented, and extremely personable.

We especially enjoyed the schedule at Lebala which had some flexibility if you were "on the trail" and also included some time every evening spotlighting where we saw our only cerval and African wild cat of the trip.

We had so many highlights-great animal siteings including 2 prides of 2 female lions and 3 cubs, a beautiful mother leopard, 2 male cheetah, a herd of 30 elephants grazing/swimming off our front porch, sundowners watching the whole sky turn sherbet colors with a hippo to entertain us, painted wild dogs, driving through the bush with the smell of wild sage and excitement in the air, wonderful food (loved the folded animals napkins), and good company and conversation with the staff and fellow guests. There is nothing, honestly, I would have changed.

It was, in my wildest imagination, just what I thought a safari camp in Botswana might offer- an extraordinary, exhilarating experience staring mother nature!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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