Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs P from Volcano
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
A Fantastic Vacation!
Tanzania between 21 Jul 2018 and 8 Aug 2018
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 is smply the BEST!"
"Great Camp in a Nice Location"
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."
Little Oliver's Camp
"Great Camp in a Beautiful Park"
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."
Namiri Plains Camp
"Home of the Big Cats"
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!"
Rubondo Island Camp
"An Island Paradise"
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"
Chimpanzee habituation experience
"Challenging Romp through the Jungle"
6 Aug 2018 • All-day excursion
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.
Tanzanian trip, July 2013
Tanzania between 4 Jul 2013 and 21 Jul 2013
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."
"Just an overnight stay"
Did not do any game drives with camp staff."
"Good stay at Siwandu"
Expected more elephants. The few that we saw were vehicle-shy."
Selous Safari Camp Fly-camping, Tanzania (this camp has since closed)
"Great fly camping experience"
Mtambo is an excellent guide and provided lots of information on plants, insecs, tracks etc."
Lodge not featured by Expert Africa
"Best guiding ever!!!!"
Absolutely the best guiding that we have experienced in 3 trips to Africa."
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."
Jongomero Walking Safaris
"Good walking safari"
Walks were good, although game viewing was very limited."
Chole Mjini Lodge
"Great lodge and overall experience"
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."
Zim/Zam was fantastic!
Zambia and 1 other country between 17 Jun 2011 and 4 Jul 2011
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 AdyeRowe
"Tafika Camp Review"
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."
Chikoko Tree Camp
"Chikoko Tree Camp review"
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!"
Big Lagoon Camp
"Crocodile Bushcamp review"
Staff was friendly, meals were excellent, the room was comfortable."
"Fantastic visit to Kawaza Village!"
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!"
"Vundu Camp review"
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."
Mana Pools Canoe Trail
"Please see Vundu Camp review"
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."
Kanga Bush Camp
"Kanga Bush Camp review"
Rooms were private, comfortable and spacious.
Meals were consistently good."
"Pioneer Camp review"
Very nice rooms in private locations. The meals at the restaurant were very good."
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."