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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr F from Bucks

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

Tanzania Trip Sept 6th to 21st

Tanzania between 6 Sep 2007 and 21 Sep 2007

Trip rating: Excellent
"It was a great trip with superb location and friendly people wherever we went. Visit Tanzania now before it's too late !"

Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Selous Impala Camp review"

5 nights Arrived 7 Sep 2007
"We flew in on BA arriving on Friday morning having slept a little on the flight (World Traveller Plus is definitely worth it). Apprehensive about the small plane flight (I hate turbulence) but needn't have been. The 35 minute flight was great and our first real sight of Africa. Arrived at the airstrip and left in Landrover on our first game drive on our way to the Impala camp.

Arrived at camp late lunchtime and greated by smiling faces and cool drinks. One of us would have preferred less of a drive time and to arrive pre-lunch in time to have a shower and then eat. The camp is clean, spacious, relaxed and staffed by the most friendly people, all eager to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. We were guided to our tent (number 8, the last one at the end) and wow; it had superb views of the great Rufiji River, and there at the bottom of the 15ft high river bank was a lone elephant right below our tent. Shortly after, Mum and two calves appeared on the far bank and we spent half an hour watching them playing and rolling in the river. Needless to say,the experiences continued like this throughout our stay.

We chose Impala as it was a short flight and it had the pool and a little more luxury than our next stop at Ruaha,Old Mdonya Camp, plus it had the variety of the river trips and walking as well as normal game drives. We didn't see a great number of animals on the walking trip but our guide was excellent and really made us 'see' what you can't see from a landrover. Wonderful.

Back at camp the pool was a real bonus. On one return from a river trip we walked up the bank from the boat and straight within 10ft of a young tusker. I don't know who was more surprised, him or us. Eventually after both recovered from the shock, elephant and human both turned tail and fled (slowly, as directed by our guide,of course!). This is safari. You never know what will happen, and it's great.

Our biggest bonus more than made up for the lack of leopard (my particular wish), as we got to see a pack of wild/hunting dogs right up close and lazing around just meters from the landrover. This is so rare and we were so lucky to see them. Great driving by our guide to allow us this rare viewing. We stayed 5 nights;- an expensive way to be lazy, but it worked for us. 4 nights would be more economical and you could still have all the experiences on offer.

The food was simple, healthy and never disappointed. Mosquitoes were pleasantly absent, although we took malaria tablets (a must) and did spray the tent once each night just in case. Overall, and excellent camp and highly recommended."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"Mdonya Old River review"

4 nights Arrived 12 Sep 2007
"Having come from 5 nights at Selous Impala Camp luxury, Mdonya was to be our 4 nights of real Africa 'wilderness' camp, with camp fires, no electricity, a game walk and possibilities of animals wandering through the camp (that's what the web blurb suggests). It lived up to expectations in all but the animals in camp bit. That is until the last night when all hell broke loose as lions, impala and buffalo all passed by and around our tent between 10.30pm and 3.00am intent on escaping/eating and generally roaring their heads off to show who was boss! It was totally thrilling and fantastic. As this was all in pitch black darkness, it almost overloaded ones senses, but the tracks all around the tent in the morning did prove it was not all a dream !!

We were lucky to have the camp all to ourselves for two nights and so hog the company of Nick our superb host and camp manager. He's the salt of the earth and a great guy, despite his failure to get a leopard to sit outside our tent ! The night sky was so clear you could see the Milky Way, planets and constellations with total clarity. The night air was so still that the sound of lions carried far along the dried river valley and every grazing buffalo sounded like it was just around the corner. This, with a cold beer and a warm camp fire, was just heaven.

One negative to the trip was the day that our guide tried too hard to find me a leopard. I hadn't asked, but I'd obviously been heard talking about it, and he had tried his best. We really drove out into nowhere and spent hours seeing nothing but scrub. It was not enjoyable, but it was my fault I suppose. It was typical that the camp staff, drivers and guides would go out of their way to try and make our stay most enjoyable, and barring this day, they succeeded superbly.

The guided walk, (with armed ranger), is highly recommended..we saw horrible sights - lions attacking a wounded hippo several 100m's away; dead baby elephant being eaten by vultures - but also stunning sights of huge crocs, carrion storks etc etc, as well as learning about African toothbrush trees!

The area does have tsetse flies and you are fairly guaranteed to be bitten by some flies that can bite through socks and trousers and sting a little, so take good insect repellent and sting relief cream, and don't wear bright blue. The flies love blue/black colours. The Ruaha park authorities are supposed to put up and maintain anti tsetse fly blankets soaked in insecticide around the drive routes and these are in partial evidence as you drive around.

Overall it is not something that should put you off, but just don't be silly and wear bright blue shorts and T-shirt !! Overall, Mdonya was our idea of the real Africa and we felt genuinely privileged to have had such an opportunity to be there with so many really kind, friendly and helpful people in Mdonya to make it happen."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Pole Pole

Pole Pole

"Pole Pole review"

5 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2007
"After Selous Safari Camp, and Ruaha Mdonya Old River Camp, we arrived at Mafia for 5 nights at Pole Pole for sun, sea snorkelling and relaxation.. We were lucky to be the last to land that day and to be the first to take off when we left, as the runway was closed for the interim duration for maintenance. This meant we had to fly from Dar to Mafia in a small tin box with wings that seated 6 people and which I was told was an aeroplane, due to the runway being half shut (ie too short) so we had this Cessna instead of the bigger Caravan plane. I was too tall to fit in the back seat and the poor lady who did get that tiny back seat was more scared than me, and that says something. However, the pilot was great and flew slightly higher above any turbulence, and not only did we survive but we actually had a good view of the great Rufiji river delta and small coral islands on the way.

Thereafter we had the lazy luxury time that we had expected. The 'bungalow on stilts' rooms at pole Pole were superb, comfortable and quiet. It was great to have pre-dinner drinks brought round to the room as the sun went down, and to look out from the veranda, over the gardens and see a single dhow with bright white sail slipping by on the surreal azure blue water and watch the fruit bats flying over the palm trees whilst we sipped beer/G&T's. It sounds corny but it happened every night.

We went for the snorkelling, but the small private (and deserted) beach is good for lazing. I get sea sick, but the sea in the lagoon area was calm enough and each snorkelling trip was fine. The Dhows under sail are quite stable and very relaxing. The snorkelling was varied but good. Some areas with better coral, some with more/bigger fish. The natural lagoon was protected from most of the El Nino bleaching that the other Indian Ocean islands have suffered, so the coral was generally better than expected. There are more fish in the Maldives, but overall Mafia is a good snorkelling area, and other divers reported excellent diving and big fish!

Pole Pole is run by a most charming Italian lady, who was a mine of information and who helped arrange our days and trips just perfectly, and her keen and attentive team, provided a friendly 5 star service. Overall, Pole Pole is highly recommended and we had a wonderful stay."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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