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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by P&L from Hackney

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

Our holiday of a lifetime

Zimbabwe between 17 Nov 2014 and 28 Nov 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"This truly was a holiday of a lifetime. We had an absolutely fantastic time.

We saw far more than we'd hoped in terms of the wildlife - they were more numerous, more varied and more close up than we'd hoped. We saw so many birds we almost lost count - 63 species in total that we remembered to write down. Everyone in Zimbabwe was so friendly and made us feel very welcome.

Everything went very smoothly and we felt in very good hands with Expert Africa."

Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange

"Great time at Camp Hwange"

3 nights Arrived 18 Nov 2014
"Great place to stay as you feel so close to the animals but far away from everything else. Beautiful rooms, views and setting. Friendly staff. Spike was exceptionally knowledgeable. Vegetarian food was the best I'd had on holiday in over 30 years of travelling as a vegetarian. We saw two male lions up closer than we could possibly have imagined on three different occasions; and tracked a bull elephant through the bush 'til we could sit on a rock and watch him eat his lunch by ripping the bark off a tree. Fantastic birdlife as well.

Downsides: we were picked up by Stephen (who was a great guide) at the camp gate and taken on a fairly long and roundabout drive to get to the Camp; we saw loads of amazing wildlife immediately which was a great treat and a real surprise but by this stage we'd been travelling for over 24 hours and were exhausted; we'd had a bite to eat at Jo'burg airport but hardly anything on our connecting flight; it would've been good to be warned about this, or offered some food/options as we were very tired and quite hungry, and had assumed we'd be taken more or less straight to the camp! We were so keen to see stuff though that we weren't too bothered, but others might be.

We were also picked up with a large group of other people (possibly staff from the national park as they were mostly dropped off en route), but one of them got quite drunk and was being persistently over-friendly which wasn't ideal. The route through the coalfields from Vic Falls airport wasn't the best way to be introduced to the National Park. I wonder if there is an alternative if slightly longer route via Main Camp to Camp Hwange that would avoid this?

Also a couple of the game drives were quite long without seeing much; early starts also meant we really needed our siestas so possibly it would be good to make these shorter when there's not much to see."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"Lovely"

2 nights Arrived 21 Nov 2014
"Absolutely lovely hotel; most staff very attentive and helpful, although reception staff a bit brisk in their manner sometimes. Gorgeous, very comfortable room with balcony from which you could see the spray from the Falls and hear them too; lovely bathroom. Very good food, including a separate vegetarian menu for dinner which was excellent. Everything was close by. Great to have a pool to chill out in (literally and metaphorically). One of the best hotels I've ever stayed in.

We were concerned when we got there to find out there were building works immediately to the left of our balcony view. Thankfully this stopped soon after we arrived and didn't continue as we were there over the weekend. It should have been mentioned to us in case we felt we needed to move room or even our hotel given that we had specially arranged a suite for my husband's 50th birthday."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Musango Safari Camp

Musango Safari Camp

"Fantastic time at Musango Safari Camp"

4 nights Arrived 23 Nov 2014
"We loved this even more than Hwange. It is great being on an island, in your own place, away from everything else, overlooking the lake, so you can watch a hippo pop up and down as you cool off in your own plunge pool, as well as the occasional crocodile. Conrad was a great guide so we learnt loads about the wildlife and Zimbabwe. Being on the pontoon was so peaceful and we got up so close to so many animals: loads of hippos, elephants, crocodiles, impala and more. We saw the most amazing birds as well. It was very relaxing to have plenty of time between the morning and afternoon game drives. Good food and very friendly staff; we were made to feel very welcome and dinner on the pontoon in the middle of the lake with all the stars out was a real highlight. It was also very nice to be upgraded to a honeymoon suite with our own plunge pool

Downsides: the camp owners were away for entirely understandable reasons (Steve was having surgery), and Conrad and the other staff made excellent hosts, but a gap year student was staying at the same time, and as we were the only guests, he came along on every trip until we specifically said we'd rather he didn't; this was quite awkward and may well not have happened if Steve and Wendy had been around; we took your advice and spoke very directly to Conrad about it and he sorted it out, but we think it's important that the owners are made aware that if they're not there, a very chatty, over-confident gap year student tagging along with you the entire time is pretty painful.

Also, as Conrad was the only guide there it quickly became apparent that trips by pontoon were the only option; we were assertive enough to ask for him to arrange a walk in the nearby national park with the excellent Foster and we enjoyed that very much, but as the lake was too shallow for canoe trips and the rhino sanctuary no longer existed, hardly any of the advertised activities were available. As we were novice safari guests we weren't too bothered (it would've been an amazing experience for us no matter what we did), and Conrad was so good and we had such great trips with him and Foster this didn't matter too much but safari veterans or those with higher expectations might feel disappointed or even misled by the camp's website and the flyer in the Expert Africa info packs."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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