Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs B from Witney
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
South Luangwa 22 Oct to 12 Nov 2022
Zambia between 22 Oct 2022 and 12 Nov 2022
With all wildlife you can never guarantee what you will see, and it is very much dependent on time of year and weather conditions. Overall, we had an abundant and excellent wildlife experience to make for a really great safari, and one we will never forget! In particular the numerous sightings of leopard, a tiny lion cub being carried out of the bush by its mother, and a pack of 31 wild dogs! I could go on, but there is too much to mention!!
This trip was a long time coming – originally booked pre-pandemic for travel in November 2022 – it was so good to get back to the bush!
We would like to thank both Expert Africa and The Bushcamp Company for happily deferring our trip not just once, but twice, through the pandemic, and the changes to the itineraries it involved. And also, to Chris from Expert Africa, for taking time out to reply to me whilst he was on holiday, to reassure us everything was covered should another outbreak/variant occur. This allowed us to relax a bit more and look forward to a return to Africa after a 3-year absence!"
Arranged By Lucy Copson
"Mfuwe Lodge 23 to 25 October 2022"
"Kuyenda Bushcamp 25 to 29 October 2022"
We had a fantastic fun time with Fannuel – he is an incredible fountain of knowledge, and has given us so many wonderful memories! His enthusiasm and excellent spotting skills, accompanied by Jonathan and Jimmy, who were also excellent spotters, made for a great team!
To track spoor, piecing together animals’ movements from where we had seen them the night before, and to find them the next morning was brilliant. We were extremely pleased that there was the flexibility to take time to watch an animal at length and observe their behaviour, instead of rushing off for sundowners. It made for extremely good sightings of leopards and lions, including a tiny lion cub being carried by its mother. Often our sundowners became ‘moon uppers’!!
Zikomo kwambiri, Fannuel!
Apart from the wildlife survey list of species, we did see several other species that we would count as notable ‘sightings’, such as: civet, white tailed mongoose, genet, bush tailed mongoose and honey badger."
"Kapamba Bushcamp 29 Oct to 4 Nov 2022"
On an early morning walk direct from the camp into the sand river, bringing up the rear, keen eyed Stephen spotted wild dogs. After just a brief glimpse of a couple as they chased an impala through the dense vegetation, we continued with our walk. A while later we received a call from camp to say the dogs were close by, so with a change of plan, we headed on in a more direct route to where the vehicle had been left for us to get back, and returned to have a good sighting of the dogs.
Later that day we were lucky enough to have an extremely good sighting of the dogs (12 in all) once again. A big thank you to Charles our guide for giving us the time to sit, wait and watch, instead of moving off to find something else. Luckily the other people in the vehicle were also happy to do this. With time and patience, we were rewarded with seeing the puppies chasing vultures and the pack ‘play chasing’ around after some buffalo!
Apart from the wildlife survey list of species, we did see several other species that we would count as notable ‘sightings’, such as: porcupine, genet, civet, Pel's fishing owl."
"Chindeni 4 to 8 November 2022"
Prince was an excellent guide and would happily drive some distance to give us the best chance of viewing wildlife. And we saw plenty, however, the highlight had to be an exceptional sighting of a leopard – not only in daylight, but also roaring and walking from bush to bush scent marking. It was a very special moment for us, and you could tell from the beaming smiles from Prince and his team that they were also thrilled with what they saw!!
From the large to the small…on one of our walks Prince showed us how to view an antlion by looking the wrong way through binoculars. Quite a sight being able to see it deadly pincers up close in detail!!
Our thanks to Prince, Brian and Viato for being excellent guide, spotter and scout.
Apart from the wildlife survey list of species, we did see several other species that we would count as notable ‘sightings’, such as: civet, honey badger, porcupine, genet, giant eagle owl, bushbaby."
"Mfuwe Lodge 8 to 10 November 2022"
Not wishing to lose a moment of wildlife viewing we chose to do the morning activity at Chindeni (our last bush camp), and travel back to Mfuwe after brunch even though it was in the heat of the day, and then in less than an hour of our arrival at Mfuwe we were out on the evening game drive. Our keenness paid off, as amongst other wildlife, we saw 3 lionesses on the morning activity from Chindeni, and within an hour of starting the game drive from Mfuwe we saw a leopard and a pack of 31 wild dogs!
Apart from the wildlife survey list of species, we did see several other species that we would count as notable ‘sightings’, such as: genet, bushy tailed mongoose.
An excellent end to our visit to South Luangwa! Of the many trips we have now made to Africa, it remains one of our favourite destinations.
There did seem to be a bit of confusion when we checked in, both at the start of our trip and at the end, as to which chalets we were to occupy. This was not a problem, but when we came to settle our bill it did lead to us being given a bill that did not belong to us. However, this was soon sorted out and we received the correct bill."
"Pioneer Camp 10 to 11 November 2022"
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, and the food was superb.
And due to the lateness of our flight they were kind enough to let us remain in our chalet until the time to leave for the airport, instead of the usual 10 am checkout."
Namibia trip 2019
Namibia between 20 Oct 2019 and 13 Nov 2019
We were keen to visit in 2019, and Tom Morris worked extremely hard to come up with a workable itinerary. This he managed to do, keeping our trip to the area we had originally planned, encompassing some of the accommodation we had wanted and also introducing some new ones. The itinerary worked very well and gave us a mix of self-drive and guided drives.
Thank you Tom for once again organising another excellent trip for us."
Apart from this, we found Galton House very comfortable, clean and welcoming - just 40 minutes from the airport, and in a very quiet location. Food was excellent and we would recommend that you eat at Galton House for your evening meal instead of going into town!"
Erongo Wilderness Lodge
"Erongo Wilderness Lodge review"
However, just seeing the spectacular scenery was worth a visit there."
"Halali Camp review"
Unless you come with your own equipment and food, a braai is not possible. Food in the restaurant varied depending on your choice, for example, the cooked vegetables were not so great, but there was always plenty of fresh salad which along with fresh grilled game meat made a good meal. Also a good choice for breakfast, including plenty of fresh fruit. Restaurant staff were always friendly and helpful and there was no problem in paying by card. Reception and shop staff were also friendly.
At this time the wildlife was abundant. We did self-drive, and therefore, did not make use of the activities on offer."
Check in and out was quick and easy and staff friendly and helpful. We arrived when the power was down, and rather than keep us waiting to pay our park entry fees, they were quick to tell us to continue to our accommodation in Halali and pay our park entry 4 days later when we returned to Okaukuejo.
The restaurant food was better than expected with nice fresh grilled game steaks to order. Little choice of food in the shop, so unless you bring your own food and equipment a braai is not possible even though the room had a braai and good sized picnic table outside. Buffet style was good, as service was a little slow. In respect of this, we did not try paying by card in the restaurant or shop. Majority of staff were helpful and friendly, and those that weren't soon responded if you were friendly towards them!
At the time the wildlife was abundant in this region and also at the waterhole. For example, one night we saw 9 black rhino simultaneously at the Okaukuejo waterhole (logged as one sighting), and at another waterhole close by, 50 ostrich amongst a variety of other wildlife.
We did self-drive, and therefore, did not make use of the activities on offer."
"Mountain Lodge Review"
After coming from Etosha the wildlife seemed more sparse, but we weren't disappointed and our sightings included some of the more rare species such as caracal, cape fox, brown hyena and aardvark. Thank you so much Ali for all your efforts."
"Hobatere Lodge review"
We did self-drive into Etosha, so the only activity we did from Hobatere was the night drive during which we had reasonable sightings of the nocturnal animals.
Staff were all friendly and helpful."
Desert Rhino Camp
"Great stay at Desert Rhino Camp"
Bons was an excellent guide and gave us a great time. His never ending enthusiasm and passion was so good to see. We were reasonably sure that during our stay we would see rhino, but seeing them on every drive was incredible. We were hopeful that we might see elephants, and although we thought it extremely unlikely, also hoped that we might see lions. We had extremely good sightings of them all, and in such an amazing environment.
Bons made our stay very memorable and enjoyable. He was always keen to get out before daybreak and last to get back in camp. It was great to be able to maximise the time game viewing. It's well worth the effort to get up in time to see the sunrise. And for us, being able to spend time watching the elephants and not rush back to camp or some shade for lunch made it even more special. Our shade from the vehicle was plenty…we can eat any time, but we can’t watch desert elephants any time!
The camp was nicely laid out with very comfortable Meru-style tents proving that rustic can feel luxurious. All the staff were very attentive and friendly, and Selma was always so happy and full of beans."
Okonjima Plains Camp
"Okonjima Plains Camp review"
However, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, the standard rooms very spacious and comfortable, and excellent food. With just a 2 night stay and an early start the day we left, there was not enough time to do all the activities, although I think that coming from the abundant wildlife in Etosha then it was not necessary for us to do the game drives, The leopard tracking and the night drive were worth doing. And after doubting that we would want to continue to support Africat after all these years the visit to the Africat Foundation convinced us that it was still a very worthwhile cause."
Excellent trip to Hwange
Zimbabwe between 25 Oct 2018 and 17 Nov 2018
Expert Africa is very efficient and Tom took into account everything we wanted from the outset, spending some time to juggle things around to fit in with timings, availability and budget.
We were looking for small basic bush camps and the 4 camps we stayed in ranged from the more basic to those with slightly more comfort. Each provided their own unique experience, and even the more basic camps were extremely comfortable.
In a country that is currently experiencing a food and fuel shortage, it is unbelievable how these camps still manage to keep providing such an excellent service. And how they manage to provide such good food and in such quantities. We have both come back several pounds heavier!!
In all the camps, the staff were efficient and friendly and the guiding was exceptional. It was great to see that people living and working in that environment all the time are still so passionate about the wildlife around them. The available activities such as game drives, walks, and using the hides, gave a good variety, and made for an excellent experience with some extremely close encounters with the wildlife!
With all wildlife you can never guarantee what you will see, and it is very much dependent on time of year and weather conditions. Overall we had an abundant and excellent wildlife experience to make for a really great safari, and one we will never forget!
Apart from the wildlife survey list of species, we did see several other species that we would count as notable ‘sightings’, such as: some magnificent kudu, tortoise, honey badger, reedbuck, tsessebe, waterbuck, bat-eared fox, wild cat."
"A truly wild experience"
There was a limited road network in this area for our stay of 6 nights. However, Dean went out of his way to provide many additional experiences, such as a full day trip to incorporate some fishing. An unusual experience, when it comes down to deciding to catch fish or watch the elephants at the other end of the waterhole!!
Sitting in the underground hide by the waterhole in the evening watching elephants so closely was an amazing experience. As was the early morning bush walks. Where ever you were in the camp you had sight of the waterhole and the animals that were visiting.
The only other vehicle we saw during our stay was a park ranger’s vehicle. In the bush, away from it all – a truly wild experience!
Please don’t change ‘Jozi’. Who needs a dining area when you can use the shade of a tree or a roof of stars!
Our thanks to Dean, for a memorable stay at this lovely camp."
Bomani Tented Lodge
"Great time at Bomani"
Eric was an excellent guide and it was good to have the same guide for our 6 night stay. He put a lot of effort to include our interests into the activities. As amateur photographers, Eric’s ability (where possible) to position the vehicle to get the best of the light on the wildlife was a great help to us.
It was nice to be able to spend a longer time out game viewing on the days that we had lunch in the bush. Time was spent in the ‘container’ hide during the day at Bomani which gave us a different experience to that which we’d had in Jozi.
The bush walk with Paul de Montille was a great experience especially when it turned into tracking one of his radio-collared leopards. And to follow this up, we much appreciated the time Paul and Stéphanie took to show us their work with animal rescue. And to see the plots of the leopard radio tracking, and how frequently they visited Bomani camp!
And finally, the Elephant express was a great way to end our stay with Imvelo camps!"
Hwange Bush Camp
"Brilliant time at Hwange bush camp"
It was good to have the same guide throughout our stay, who also happened to be the owner, Dave. To be guided by someone who is so passionate about the bush and the wildlife was a real bonus. Not only did we do the walks, but Dave’s willingness to stop a drive, hop off the vehicle, to follow tracks and/or get a better view of wildlife on foot was a new experience for us.
Although we are keen on photography, we are not that ‘professional’, so Dave’s ability (where possible) to position the vehicle to get the best of the light on the wildlife was a great help to us.
A bush camp doesn’t mean that you can’t be comfortable! The tents were spacious, and well furnished – much more than we were expecting from a bush camp. The familiar bucket showers were always welcome at the end of the day."
"Somalisa Expeditions: a lovely location"
A very comfortable camp and well furnished. As our last camp of the trip it was good to have a few more comforts before our trip home. All staff were excellent and friendly, as was Martin our guide who would go out of his way to show us as much as possible.
Maximum time game viewing is important to us, so it was good to go out on a long morning drive and not come back until lunchtime. Even on our last morning we were offered the option to go out on a morning drive for 4 hours, which we did. It proved to be very worthwhile, and then it was straight onto the aircraft!"
My October 2014 trip to Selous & Ruaha
Tanzania between 1 Oct 2014 and 17 Oct 2014
We have been on many safaris over the years, both organized and independently, and this one has met all our expectations. It was good to be in a more remote area of Tanzania with a real feeling of being right in the bush with elephants brushing past your tent in the daytime and lions calling from right behind the tent a night!!
It was great to be able to maximize the amount of game viewing time, particularly at Mdonya Old River camp where there was the opportunity to go on full day game drives.
Staff in all of the camps were friendly and helpful, and we had excellent guides and drivers that contributed greatly to our safari experience.
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
Although we have been on many safaris over the years, this was our first time using Expert Africa. We were impressed by the service and prompt responses to the questions we had.
Thank you to James for suggestions to our initial plan of where to stay, and length of stay, and so making it a better safari experience for us."
A great location next to the river and plentiful wildlife. We also enjoyed the game viewing boat trip and the opportunity to try our hand at fishing. Catching tiger fish was quite an experience, as was catching the bait using the local method!
Many thanks to our guide Andrew and to our driver Rajabu, who both contributed greatly to our game viewing.experience. We were extremely impressed by Andrew's detailed knowledge,"
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
"Great safari at Lake Manzi"
As our stay at Lake Manze was 6 nights it was good to have the same guide and driver for the duration of our stay as they knew where we had been and what we had seen.
Being at the end of the dry season we were unable to do any boat trips due to the lack of water in the lake, although this was adequately made up for by the game drives. It was also a great experience to have elephants and other wildlife wandering into the camp day and night."
Mdonya Old River Camp
"Elephants on the doorstep"
As our stay at Mdonya Old River Camp was 6 nights it was good to have the same guide for the duration of our stay as he knew where we had been and what we had seen. We enjoyed the flexibility of the game drives, being able to choose how long we were out and where we should go. Many thanks to our guide Emmanuel for our constant requests for full day drives!"
On a previous visit we spent some time with Gilbert, who is an excellent guide, during which we had some memorable experiences – it was great to have him as our guide once again.
It felt so good to be back, and to see some familiar faces!"