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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs P from Volcano

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

20

Excursions taken

1

A Fantastic Vacation!

Tanzania between 21 Jul 2018 and 8 Aug 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was our 4th visit to southern/eastern Africa, and although each trip has been different and wonderful, this was probably our best trip yet.

The highlight was our time spent at Kichaka in Ruaha, since walking safaris are our favorite activity. Owner/Guide Andrew Molinare (Moli) gets rave reviews, and deserves every one of them.

We visited 5 parks and camps, with significant travel distances involved. Expert Africa did a fantastic job coordinating all the internal flights with Coastal Aviation, and everything went extremely smoothly."

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Kichaka Expeditions

Kichaka Expeditions

"Kichaka is smply the BEST!"

5 nights Arrived 21 Jul 2018
"If you want to experience an African safari like it should be, then Kichaka is the place! The simple, yet luxurious main camp is located in a remote part of Ruaha, on a ridge with a fantastic view of the Ruaha River below. The fly camp is located a ways away on the banks of the Ruaha itself. Wildlife in the area is plentiful and diverse, and just wild enough to let you know that human visitation is not that frequent. In fact in our 5 night stay we did not see a single other visitor!

Our daily walks with Owner/Guide Moli were fantastic. We had close encounters with herds of elephants, and saw lots of other wildlife and birds. But what made the walks special was learning so much from Moli about what we were seeing. From elephants to ants, Moli is a walking encyclopedia of the African wilderness, and shares his knowledge so effortlessly!

Camp hostess Noelle made us feel right at home, and dinner was always an opportunity to share conversation about the day and past experiences in a pleasant atmosphere. Meals were excellent. Staff was extremely friendly and helpful too. Although most of our walking and game drive time was spent with Moli, Jacques, the camp's other guide was also extremely personable and very knowledgeable about the area's wildlife and birds.

We have been on 4 trips to Africa, and stayed at quite a few camps, almost all of them excellent. But Kichaka was simply the best experience that we have had."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chada Camp

Chada Camp

"Great Camp in a Nice Location"

4 nights Arrived 26 Jul 2018
"We went to Katavi to see the large herds of buffalo that the park is famous for, and were not disappointed. We saw several herds of up to 500 animals! Elephant encounters were quite common as well. Safari camps in the park are few, and Chada Camp is by far the best option available. The camp is well designed and managed. Food and service were excellent. Guiding was good, but our guide had to be encouraged to visit the more remote parts of the park. A rough drive to the area called Paradise was a real highlight and is a must if visiting this park.

Although Chada Camp itself was excellent, we were a bit disappointed in the park itself. It is promoted as a real wilderness experience because of its size and remote location. But the network of roads is very limited, and quite often one is crossing a major gravel road that has a fair amount of local traffic, including buses, on it. That was a surprise in a park touted as a real wilderness!

Game viewing was very good, although diversity was limited. This was likely due to the fact that it was an extremely wet year and water was still plentiful in many inaccessible areas so the game could stay dispersed."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Oliver's Camp

Little Oliver's Camp

"Great Camp in a Beautiful Park"

3 nights Arrived 30 Jul 2018
"Tarangire is a beautiful park with lots of wildlife and varied terrain and vegetation. Little Oliver's Camp is a wonderful place. Each "tent" is secluded and has a great view of the Tarangire River Valley. The common area is nicely appointed, and there are lovely decks for dining. The camp is well managed, staff is very friendly and helpful, and the guiding is excellent. We saw lots of wildlife on our game drives, including large herds of buffalo and elephant. We counted over 100 elephant at one stop in the afternoon!

Walking safaris are also available, and our guide, Said, and Camp Manager Chris, made it a memorable morning with lots of game sightings.

Little Oliver's is located in a remote part of the park, and although we did see other vehicles on game drives, there were not that many."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Namiri Plains Camp

Namiri Plains Camp

"Home of the Big Cats"

3 nights Arrived 2 Aug 2018
"Namiri Plains is located in a remote southeastern section of the Serengeti, and the camp itself is far from any other camp. This provides for excellent game viewing opportunities early and late in the day when other vehicles must leave the area to head back to their respective lodges. The camp is lovely, with each tent separated from others providing privacy. The common area is simple and inviting. It appears that the camp will be relocated next year, and new tents and commons will be constructed. Camp Manager Diana and Asst. Mgr. Amos made us feel at home. Staff was very friendly and attentive and food was excellent. Out guide, Walter, did a great job finding game and putting us in the right spot for viewing it.

Cheetah were not as easy to spot as we had hoped, although we were fortunate to see a mother and 2 cubs. Lions however were everywhere! Two large prides are nearby, and each pride has several males in a coalition. In back to back game drives we saw a total of 46 lions!

The open plains are spectacular, and the vistas go on forever. The wildebeast migration had moved north, but there were still thousands of gazelle around, as well as zebra, hartebeast, topi, eland, and other antelope.

If you want to experience the Serengeti without the crowds, Namiri Plains is the place to go!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rubondo Island Camp

Rubondo Island Camp

"An Island Paradise"

3 nights Arrived 5 Aug 2018
"Rubondo Island Camp is a beautiful little camp tucked into a cove on the shore of Lake Victoria. Each bungalow is nicely furnished and has a great view of the sandy beach and the lake. The common area is built right into a rocky promontory and has ample decking to enjoy a meal or a drink while watching the fantastic birdlife that makes the island home.

Our host, Daniel, made sure we had a special stay. He surprised us several times with unexpected sundowners and meals at secluded parts of the island. Staff was very friendly and helpful, and meals were excellent. No one makes a campfire like Daniel!

We spent some time tracking chimpanzees in the dense forest, and after some effort, were rewarded with good sightings, although the chimps were elusive. Sightings of the hard to find elsewhere sitatunga were common. A boat safari was especially nice and we saw numerous birds and crocodiles on the shore and small islands around Rubondo.

For those who enjoy fishing, trolling for large Nile perch was available, and we caught several in just a couple of hours.

Rubondo Island Camp is a great place to wrap up a safari trip. Very relaxing and laid back. Very quiet and private"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chimpanzee habituation experience

Chimpanzee habituation experience

"Challenging Romp through the Jungle"

6 Aug 2018 • All-day excursion

The chimps on Rubondo Island are wild chimps, and although they do not flee from humans, they do not just sit around waiting to be seen and photographed.

Six TANAPA trackers had trouble finding and keeping up with the group of chimps, and our first day ended up in frustration after several fast-paced attempts to see them. Nevertheless, the walk through the dense forest was worthwhile. On the second day we were able to see several of the chimps after a long hike, including a nice look at the dominant male of the group, and a mother and young chimp. The chimps were on the move, foraging for food, and they move amazingly fast and quietly along the forest floor!

There is absolutely nothing artificial about seeing chimps on Rubondo. They are not fed to keep them in a particular area. So seeing them will take effort and some luck, since they have a large territory to roam in. Apparently some visitors have found the chimps in a resting mode, and were able to observe them closely and easily for some time. Our experience was quite different, as we searched for them in dense forest, and caught glimpses of them as they rested for a minute or two before moving on.
Excellent

Tanzanian trip, July 2013

Tanzania between 4 Jul 2013 and 21 Jul 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a great trip, but there were a few things that could have made it even better.

The cancellation of the British Air flights to Dar turned out to be a bigger headache than we anticipated. Kenya Air service was not very good and the extra stop and layover time in Nairobi was frustrating. If others are going to Dar I'd suggest looking into other options.

We chose to be driven to Selous rather than fly. But that took 2 long days (7 hours in the car each day). When we arrived in Selous others told us that they often drove to Dar on a different road in about 6 hours. We would have missed Mikumi NP, but there really wasn't enough to see there to justify the longer drive.

We were really disappointed in Jongomero, although others there were very pleased with it. The upscale facilities, pool, etc. were enough to satisfy others (many who seem to be booked into a Siwandu/Jongomero/Ras Kutani trip), most who seemed to be on their first safari. We selected Jongomero because of the great guiding on walks that was supposed to be there. But that guide (Molly) had left. Game there was very skittish and vehicle-shy. After a fantastic 3 days at Kwihala, Jongomero was a real letdown. We took a chance on the place, knowing that Molly had left after we booked it. That turned out to be a mistake.

But on a positive note, our 3 days at Kwihala and 4 days at Chole Mjini were absolutely spectacular and the memories from there are what will stay with us from this trip."

Stanley's Kopje

Stanley's Kopje

"Just an overnight stay"

1 night Arrived 5 Jul 2013
"Nice camp, tents elevated over the surrounding lowlands. Game scarce in the area of the camp, but plentiful in the nearby plains. Vehicle access limited to main roads through the park.

Did not do any game drives with camp staff."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Siwandu

Siwandu

"Good stay at Siwandu"

2 nights Arrived 6 Jul 2013
"Very nice camp set up on the picturesque shores of a large lake. Boating activities provided a change from the typical game drives. Good game viewing. Good, knowledgeable guiding. Great "tent" on the lakeshore with game walking by.

Expected more elephants. The few that we saw were vehicle-shy."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Selous Safari Camp Fly-camping, Tanzania (this camp has since closed)

"Great fly camping experience"

2 nights Arrived 8 Jul 2013
"Great fly camp set up under large jackalberry trees. Fabulous meals prepared over the open fire (even better that in the main camp, where meals were excellent). Walking through variable terrain that provided good game sightings, including lions and numerous giraffes.

Mtambo is an excellent guide and provided lots of information on plants, insecs, tracks etc."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kwihala Camp

Kwihala Camp

"Best guiding ever!!!!"

3 nights Arrived 10 Jul 2013
"Nice camp, spacious and well appointed tents, but what sets this camp aside is the spectacular quality of the guiding. Our guide, Pietro, made every day an adventure, regardless of what game we saw (and we saw plenty). His passion for Ruaha was clear and his ability to read animal behavior to enhance game viewing was very evident. Communications between guides was excellent and we were offered choices before rushing off to see something special (like 2 daytime leopard sightings).

Absolutely the best guiding that we have experienced in 3 trips to Africa."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Jongomero Camp

Jongomero Camp

"Great camp"

2 nights Arrived 13 Jul 2013
"Beautiful and spacious rooms with fantastic furnishings made from old dhow wood.. New manager, Bryan, is working very hard to ensure that guests have a wonderful experience.

Game viewing was average, and way more skittish than what we experienced at the other end of Ruaha (Mwagusi River area). Roads available for game viewing were a bit limited, hence routes were often repeated. Elephants very vehicle-shy as were impala."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Jongomero Walking Safaris

Jongomero Walking Safaris

"Good walking safari"

2 nights Arrived 15 Jul 2013
"Camp was set up under shade tress on the banks of a dry sand river. Nice setting.

Walks were good, although game viewing was very limited."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Chole Mjini Lodge

Chole Mjini Lodge

"Great lodge and overall experience"

4 nights Arrived 17 Jul 2013
"The camp is described as "quirky" and that's a good description. The treehouses are wild and different, and each house has it's own personality. The new manager, Danny, is doing a good job and they take advantage of their great location by moving dinner sites around the camp. There are many daily activities available and our 4 days there were filled with fun and excitement.

A great place to end up a Tanzanian safari adventure, with snorkeling, dhow excursions, village walks and other hikes available.

Dinners were excellent, but everything is seafood based."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Zim/Zam was fantastic!

Zambia and 1 other country between 17 Jun 2011 and 4 Jul 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip which combined visits to safari camps in Zambia and Zimbabwe was excellent!

This was our second trip to Africa using Expert Africa and we will not hesitate to use them again. Maruska was very helpful, and if she could not answer a specific question, she referred us to Chris. The Expert Africa team really tries to determine your interests and then suggests camps and experiences that will provide you with the best holiday possible!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I really can't think of anything. You guys know the countries and the camps. I especially appreciate that you are careful about trying to match a camp with a client, since we all bring slightly different expectations along with us."

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Tafika

Tafika

"Tafika Camp Review"

3 nights Arrived 18 Jun 2011
"Excellent camp in a prime riverfront location away from other lodges. John and Carol are excellent hosts. The entire staff was friendly and helpful. Guides were friendly and knowledgeable. The camp and activities are all well run. Plenty to see and do, but also enough time in between to relax and enjoy the camp's beautiful setting.

The rooms were all thatch and reed, well spaced for privacy. Very comfortable.

Meals were excellent, especially all the fresh vegetables from the camp's garden. Time at camp was very friendly and relaxing, and John and Carol made you feel right at home.

Game viewing was good for so early in the season, and the guides knew the area very well."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

"Chikoko Tree Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 21 Jun 2011
"Our 2 nights at Chikoko were wonderful. Great camp location overlooking a game-filled area. There was always something to see while relaxing in camp! Our host and guide, Isaac, was a wealth of information and we enjoyed his sense of humor. The daily walking was leisurely, and we saw quite a bit of game, although the lions and eland eluded us!

The elevated room was very nice and comfortable.

The camp facilities were excellent for a walk-in camp.

Meals were excellent, and the bread that came out of the underground "oven" was fantastic!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Crocodile Bushcamp

Crocodile Bushcamp

"Crocodile Bushcamp review"

2 nights Arrived 23 Jun 2011
"Very nice walk-in camp. Isaac continued as our guide, and was excellent. Game was plentiful, but perhaps not as prevalent as at Chikoko.

Staff was friendly, meals were excellent, the room was comfortable."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kawaza Village

Kawaza Village

"Fantastic visit to Kawaza Village!"

1 night Arrived 25 Jun 2011
"Our stay at Kawaza Village was a real highlight of our trip. Constantino and Constance were excellent hosts and showed us around the village and introduced us to many friendly people. What we enjoyed the most about this visit was that it provided a real glimpse of rural Zambian village life. Nothing was contrived or touristy about our stay. We ate what they ate, and slept in a small thatched hut similar to what they live in. Nothing fancy, no electricity, no running water, but definitely adequate.

Village women and girls entertained us that evening with traditional dances by the campfire, and many locals joined us in the celebration. The people we met seemed genuinely happy to see us there.

Any visit to South Luangwa would not be complete without a night's stay at Kawaza Village! Great people and a real experience!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Vundu Camp

Vundu Camp

"Vundu Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 26 Jun 2011
"Vundu is a nice camp in a beautiful location on the banks of the Zambezi River. We were met at Chirundu by our guide, Mark van Zuydam, and Mark spent the next 4 days with us (2 at Vundu Camp, 2 along the Zambezi as we canoed downriver). Mark is a superb guide. Extremely knowledgeable and personable. The mixture of driving and walking game viewing offered at Vundu is great. We had high expectations for Mana Pools and were not disappointed.

Our highlight here was the time spent with Mark canoeing downriver. The paddling was leisurely, with plenty of game viewing along the way. The mobile camps set up before we arrived were excellent and quite comfortable, with great food and fantastic views of the Zambezi at sunset and sunrise. For those interested in a little adventure, a canoe trip at Mana Pools should not be missed!

Additional comments on the multi-day canoe trail: As I said, the Ruwesi Canoe Trail was the highlight of our Mana Pools visit. Our guide, Mark van Zuydam, was the absolute best! The river experience is really an adventure, and having a competent guide is a critical part of the trip. We saw lots of game (including passing by hundreds of hippos!) from the canoes, and enjoyed walks when on shore. The mobile camps were very comfortable in spectacular riverside settings."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Mana Pools Canoe Trail

Mana Pools Canoe Trail

"Please see Vundu Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 26 Jun 2011
"I reviewed this under "Vundu Camp" since it was really part of that experience.

As I said, the Ruwesi Canoe Trail was the highlight of our Mana Pools visit. Our guide, Mark van Zuydam, was the absolute best! The river experience is really an adventure, and having a competent guide is a critical part of the trip. We saw lots of game (including passing by hundreds of hippos!) from the canoes, and enjoyed walks when on shore. The mobile camps were very comfortable in spectacular riverside settings."
Excellent
Kanga Bush Camp

Kanga Bush Camp

"Kanga Bush Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 30 Jun 2011
"Kanga Bush Camp is a very nice camp. Richard and Jillie were excellent hosts and made us feel at home. Staff was friendly and helpful. The camp's location overlooking Kanga Pan provided a great place to watch game and birdlife.

Rooms were private, comfortable and spacious.

Meals were consistently good."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"Pioneer Camp review"

1 night Arrived 3 Jul 2011
"Pioneer Camp provides an excellent overnight location close to the airport at Lusaka. And although we did not have the time, I'm sure it's closeness to Lusaka itself would also be handy.

Very nice rooms in private locations. The meals at the restaurant were very good."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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