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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs J from Wales

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

Botswana Anniversary Trip

Botswana and 1 other country between 28 Jun 2014 and 16 Jul 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"A magical trip combining the wonder of Victoria Falls with the splendour of the Okavango Delta.

Beautiful countries, friendly and welcoming people, amazing wildlife and superb service. What more could anyone want!

Thank you Megan for all your time spent advising, sharing, deliberating and finally, once all of our many questions had been addressed, organising such a smoothly run trip. Thank you also to Expert Africa for the copy of Bradt Botswana - essential reading before the journey, and to Nick and the team for rearranging our flights when our itinerary had to be changed due to illness.

We will certainly be recommending Expert Africa to all of our friends.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I cannot think of anything to improve your service but here's a few pieces of information that could be useful :-

At the Waterberry Lodge it's Weaver that has the bath not Swallow.

Tipping is always a difficult and personal issue but we followed and appreciated your advice . However Wilderness Safaris suggest up to three times the amount per person per day for general staff - Chitabe/Chitabe Lediba's guidelines were $10 - $15 per guest per day and Xigera recommended $10 per guest per day. This left us in a quandary! Whilst their service is indeed excellent we found their suggested amount excessive given the already high cost of the stay.

I'd asked about availability of robes in camps prior to our trip and can now happily report back that the above three Wilderness camps all supplied cosy fleece dressing gowns for those chilly winter mornings!

The price of a private vehicle with Kwando does not include a private boat whereas with Wilderness it does."

Arranged By Megan Green


Waterberry Zambezi Lodge

Waterberry Zambezi Lodge

"Friendly welcome at Waterberry Lodge"

2 nights Arrived 29 Jun 2014
"Waterberry Lodge is a great place to begin or end a Zambia/Botswana safari. We chose to spend two nights here to recover from the long-haul flight and be able to start our safari refreshed.

The management at Waterberry are truly superb - so friendly and welcoming - with nothing being too much trouble to arrange. Charmaine speedily responded to our emails prior to the trip, changing our room from Swallow (the room closest to the river) to Weaver (still with river views but a bit further back) after we requested a bathtub to ease my sometimes aching back. As it turned out it was my husband who needed the tub after an old disc injury decided to play up on our very first afternoon there - what bad luck. Here's where the service excelled itself; Amy and Kim did everthing possible to make his forced confinement as comfortable as possible (cheers Amy, for the loan of your hot water bottle!) whilst still making sure that I didn't miss out on the Falls.

They had booked an early morning helicopter ride for us, so instead of sharing the experience with my husband I enjoyed the trip with Kandenga, the driver, and what good company he was too! If you are planning a flight over the Falls I'd highly recommend including the Batoka Gorge as well - exhilarating. A tip for walking around the Falls is to wear shorts and water sandals as you get SOAKED - but great fun!!

To top it all we were surprised that evening with a wonderful celebratory Anniversary meal on our deck even though our Anniversary wasn't until the next day - the day we were leaving. The food the first night was good but this meal was excellent, without a doubt the best meal we've had in a very long time - home or abroad.

Thank you one and all. We'd love to return one day."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chitabe Camp

Chitabe Camp

"Superb service at Chitabe and Chitabe Lediba"

3 nights Arrived 1 Jul 2014
"Chitabe Camp was an excellent choice to start our two week Botswana Safari - "Thank you Megan" (Expert Africa) for your suggestion.

The rooms/tents were very smart, spacious and comfortable and the camp well laid out with beautiful decor and furnishings. On our first night there we were surprised with an anniversary meal laid out for us in a private setting by the pool - so thoughtful and much appreciated.

The raised boardwalk to and from the rooms was an adventure in itself never knowing what you were going to encounter next - elephant, bushbuck, giant eagle owls not to mention the numerous, cheeky tree squirrels!

Drives were always eventful with plentiful wildlife around - highlights being the den of painted dog (wild dog) pups and the numerous leopards obligingly posing up trees - and Oats, our guide, had the experience to anticipate the animals intentions and manoeuver accordingly to get the best view/photos. Unfortunately we just missed out on seeing two tiny leopard cubs with mum who had been entertaining guests for a few weeks - c'est la vie - it just gives us something to return for.

Nobody wants to be ill/injured on holiday, but if you are then this is one of the best places to be!! Managers Connie and Chris, plus the rest of the team couldn't have been more efficient or helpful when my husband's back problem took a turn for the worse. Medication was flown in from Maun and Connie arranged for us to stay an extra three nights at the sister camp, Chitabe Lediba, for further recuperation time. Without this we would not have been able to continue with the holiday so a huge THANK YOU to Connie and Wilderness. Many thanks also to Nick and Expert Africa for rearranging the flights.

One final thank you to Moalosi, one of the managers of Chitabe Lediba, for being such great company for my husband when he was eventually back on his feet and I was off on game drives. We both loved Lediba; the same great rooms but with doors to the loo and shower instead of just a screen, excellent food (they obviously had a different chef to the main camp) and a more intimate feel being only five rooms instead of eight. Kay and Luke also deserve a special mention for their impromptu ballet display led by Moalosi - soon to be shown on national TV!!

We would return to either of these camps in a flash. Go if you get the chance."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Tubu Tree Camp

Tubu Tree Camp

"Tubu Tree Camp"

3 nights Arrived 4 Jul 2014
"Unfortunately we did not get to experience Tubu Tree this time due to a change in itinerary caused by my husband's injury."
Excellent
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Underwhelmed with Lagoon Camp"

3 nights Arrived 7 Jul 2014
"We found the welcome and service rather subdued at this camp with the management and staff, whilst polite, less enthusiastic than at other places (this was our fifth African safari/18th camp).

The location on the river is stunning and the tents huge and imposing; however we found them to be lacking in privacy. Due to not much vegetation/screening between a number of tents you can see straight through into the side windows and dressing area of your neighbours' tent. From the main dining area you can actually watch guests in room 2 moving around inside their tent! I believe this is not the case for all tents as some areas had more shrubbery between them. The decks have a glorious view of the river which some guests took full advantage of, but due to no shade/cover, they are in full sun throughout the afternoon making them too hot for us to relax - a shame.

After reporting a fault with the flush on our toilet we were told that it had been repaired only to discover that it was in the same state as when we reported it. There had indeed been an unsuccessful attempt to repair it. This happened another twice until one staff member uttered "You have to realise that that's as good as it can be out here". Well I'm afraid if all the other toilets are functioning efficiently and we're paying a great deal of money I don't expect to have to dismantle the toilet and stick my hand inside the cistern in order to make it work. After reporting it for the fourth time (trying to find a staff member during the rest period is a feat in itself) we were given the choice of moving into another room which is what we did - end of problem!

The highlight of our stay here was Sugar, our wonderful guide and James, our friendly and adept tracker. Even though there was not as much game around as elsewhere, they worked their hardest to find us some memorable sightings and made the drives most enjoyable. Sugar explained that after 17 years of denning at Lagoon the wild dog pack had recently moved away closer to Lebala and also that large numbers of elephants and other game would probably not start appearing until later on in the season as there was still enough water for them away from the river - that's nature and something one accepts. However we were lucky enough to see a pride of lions happily munching away on a new kill, lions drinking at a water hole, enjoy a close encounter with a calm herd of elephants (most others had been rather feisty!), and spent the last morning following a very obliging female leopard.

Fortuitusly we had booked a private guide and vehicle which meant that Sugar could drive at a slow and leisurely pace in order not to exacerbate my husband's back complaint. Sugar also kept us entertained back at camp joining us for meals and even having a go at making 'margaritas' - and pretty damn good they were too. Thank you Sugar !!"
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Loved Little Kwara"

3 nights Arrived 10 Jul 2014
"As soon as we arrived at Little Kwara we knew we were going to love it. Charles, the manager, along with all the staff were passionate, enthusiastic, efficient and friendly - all you could hope for on holiday.

The camp was great and our tent - No 1 - comfortable and private being the only one on one side of the main camp. The view was of the floodplains with local residents such as kudo and impala visiting daily. Food was very good and plentiful and service excellent.

Dutch was a most knowledgeable guide and along with Kelly, our tracker, wonderful company. They went out of their way to show us as much as possible and were more than happy to extend the game drives whenever anything special turned up. The highlight of our trip was visiting the den of 16 wild dog pups and we were lucky enough to be there when some adults arrived back from a hunt. It was amazing to see them regurgitating their kill to feed the pups plus alpha female/baby sitters with the sound being phenomenal - I'm so glad I managed to film it to get all the sound!

One night drive we witnessed a fierce and noisy encounter between an intruder, adult male lion and a young male resident - more great soundtrack, and the next night we followed a huge black-maned resident male with the furriest black tummy ever! We saw more giant eagle owls than ever before and a serval hunting and even had a snake encounter ............ well, a purple roller had the encounter when he attacked and ate a small snake swallowing it from head to tail.

Oh, how could I forget - on our very first drive we followed two cheetah brothers as they stalked, ambushed, chased and killed a lone impala stag. The next morning the two brothers looked more like very pregnant females with their tummies almost dragging on the floor - priceless. We were so glad they didn't get disturbed whilst feasting. Once again we were thankful we had paid for a private guide/vehicle as it meant Dutch could drive as slowly and carefully as possible to avoid jarring my husband's back - and having experienced the very same back complaint himself, Dutch was the best possible person for the task!

All in all we loved our time at Little Kwara and would return tomorrow given the chance. Thank you one and all."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Xigera Safari Lodge

Xigera Safari Lodge

"Chilling out at Xigera"

2 nights Arrived 13 Jul 2014
"Megan (Expert Africa) suggested Xigera as our last camp and how glad we were to have taken her advice. The only thing we would have changed was to have stayed an extra night!

After two weeks of 'African Massages' driving over rutted sandy tracks the smooth and tranquil boat trips were a blessing and the magnificent scenery a joy to behold. Malachite Kingfishers & African Fish Eagles abound, African & Lesser Jacanas, Long-toed Lapwings, Goliath Herons and not forgetting the majestic Pel's Fishing Owl. Dips, our private guide, kept a watch out for this beautiful bird and on our final morning we were rewarded with a perfect sighting (in camp), out in the open in glorious light by tent 9. Photos galore! Thank you Dips for your patience, your company and your expertise in giving us wonderful photo/viewing opportunities of all the birds above ( plus many more), chilling out with hippos and stunning sunsets as a backdrop to our nightly sundowners. Alas, the elusive sitatunga eluded us ........... yet another reason to return!

We did experience a short mekoro ride poled by perfectly balanced Solly but unfortunately the low down seating arrangement put too much strain on my husband's back after his recent injury. We did however, get close and personal with an exquisite painted reed frog so we were not disappointed.

Our room (no.8) was about a 4 to 5 minute walk along the raised boardwalk, close enough to numbers 9 & 10 to check out the Pel's Fishing Owl 's favourite perch, and far enough away from the main camp to make an interesting walk watching out for the resident elephants - a welcome road block. The camp was very well laid out and we particularly liked the 'star deck'.

The management and staff at Xigera were a credit to Wilderness Safaris - always helpful, efficient and friendly - with special mentions to Claudine, Rose and Kenny. Cheers Kenny for making the best margaritas in the whole of Botswana! Food was delicious with the most choice of all the camps we visited, the traditional night in the boma a lot of fun and our romantic meal by the pool a wonderful surprise.

A fitting end to a fantastic holiday and yet again a camp/company we would highly recommend and would return to at a moment's notice."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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