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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs P from Maidenhead

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

Tanzania safari and beach (Sept 2015)

Tanzania between 19 Sep 2015 and 30 Sep 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"The trip went perfectly - we were met as scheduled for our various transfers and everything went to plan. The camps were very much as described on the Expert Africa website and the safaris more than met our expectations - this certainly ranks in our top 3 holidays ever - and we've been lucky enough to have had a lot of holidays all over the world!

From first contact Ellie was very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly - that was why despite finding a slightly cheaper quote, I got back to her to give her the chance to price match (which she did) - we were kept informed throughout and the literature provided was very useful - when I needed clarification on a couple of points Ellie was quick to reply.

The only thing I think we could have done differently is to visit Ruaha first - the parks were both excellent in different ways but Impala camp was special in terms of 'customer service' - the River Lodge was fine but coming after Impala it was always going to suffer by comparison! Either way we still enjoyed ourselves immensely, so a big thank you for that!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

The issue regarding the date of dollar notes which are acceptable in Tanzania needs to be clarified - your original 'notes' booklet says notes should dated 'after 2000', although your letter of 7 September updated this to 2003. I had 3 or 4 20 dollar notes dated 2004 and a couple dated 2006 and Selous Impala camp said they were not acceptable - luckily I also had enough in sterling to cover this deficit. However when we got to Ruaha the manager said she was unaware of any problems with notes after 2000!

A relatively small matter but it could be important in some cases."

Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Wildlife with a smile"

3 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2015
"Selous Impala camp is a very well run affair - the service was excellent, the staff very friendly, the food was amazing (but too much for a small stomach) and overall there was a nice atmosphere. The option of river safaris is a big plus - a nice relaxing way to spend the late afternoon after a hectic 6 hour morning game drive! The flexibility of all the staff was noticeable, especially the safari guides - their knowledge was good and they showed us a good mix of wildlife, always doing their best to accommodate our wishes/preferences. There was never a rush to get back to camp. If there were things to see we got to see them - lunch could wait!

The setting of the camp is good, right next to the river - the communal areas were spacious, the pool was an added bonus and our tent was simple but comfortable. The fan and power points were useful features, and once we got use to the animal noises and things that went bump in the night (ie hippos brushing past!) we felt very much at home. The little 'surprises' that were laid on were a nice touch - these included a stop on the boat safari to watch the sunset with a bottle of champagne and nibbles thrown in, and our dinner table being in a different 'romantic' location each night - at first we wondered if we had offended people as we were shunted off to a lone sight near the river or by the pool, but it made us feel very special.

The range of wildlife in Selous was excellent and the birdlife was amazing - the herds of zebra and wildebeest were very impressive, as of course were the lions, which we saw at very close quarters! We even had the privilege of seeing them stalking zebra & wildebeest, albeit unsuccessfully. No leopard or cheetah, but you can't have everything! The only slight disappointment was the walking safari, which was rather tame - we spent most of the time walking very slowly and then stopping to examine animal dung, bones, trees etc, followed by a biology lesson which largely went over my head. This may be what some people want but personally it was not what we expected.

Overall, Selous Reserve is an amazing experience and the service provided by the Impala camp staff was the icing on the cake.

Thank you to everyone!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Ruaha River Lodge

Ruaha River Lodge

"Excellent value for money"

4 nights Arrived 23 Sep 2015
"I must say that Ruaha grew on me - the setting of the River Lodge made an immediate impression of course (even better than Selous Impala) but the Park was a slow burner. Maybe it was because it took a very bumpy 45 minutes or so drive before we got to more interesting terrain, but the more time we spent going further afield the more I realised how beautiful the place was and that this was how I had imagined Africa to be - some of the views were amazing and went on forever!

The wildlife/birdlife didn't disappoint either. Whilst it didn't have the large herds of zebra and wildebeest, there was still plenty going on - particularly impressive were the buffalo herds, the elephants, lions and our first sightings in the wild of leopards. Our guides were excellent (although sometimes hard to understand) and very flexible - particularly in seeking out the leopards we so badly wanted to see. After returning from a full day drive at 4pm they were happy to go out again at 5.30pm to see if a leopard had returned to a tree where it had stashed an impala. Nothing was too much trouble.

With regard to the River Lodge, the location is beautiful, the cottages are excellent and the atmosphere is relaxed. As per your description, the food was wholesome and plentiful rather than inspiring and maybe some of the staff could be a little more friendly, but overall the camp is excellent value for money - 3 star rather than 5. We were lucky in that the lodge was fairly quiet in terms of visitor numbers and we received a more personal service than I suspect we might otherwise have done.

Having said that there seemed to be a lack of flexibility regarding game drives, i.e. one day we wanted to do a morning and an afternoon drive, but were more or less obliged to do a full day drive as 'everybody else was going on full day drives'. As it happened it was an excellent day, but it would be nice to have a choice. Overall though we really enjoyed Ruaha and the River Lodge - it is certainly worth doing at least one all day drive to get the best out of it, but even if you spend an afternoon or morning walking around the lodge grounds there is still plenty to enjoy."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Ras Kutani

Ras Kutani

"A relaxing end to a great trip"

3 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2015
"A lovely way to wind down after a week of hectic safaris - the weather was hot, the cottages were spacious and comfortable with a great view of the lagoon and ocean, the beach was beautiful, the staff were friendly and the food was somewhere between good and excellent - what's not to like!

Well actually only the immense crashing waves that (due to the full moon) were so loud for an hour or two around high tide that it kept me awake! But seriously, it's a lovely little hideaway - we were shown to a different dining location under the stars every night, e.g. by the pool, on the jetty by the lagoon, on the beach (we declined this one as it was blowing a gale!) and on our last full day we were surprised with a romantic boat ride on the lagoon with a glass of wine thrown in, a complimentary pre-dinner cocktail on the beach, and a liqueur night-cap. Then they gave us the questionnaire!

If they were hoping to bribe us into a good review it didn't work - we were going to say it was great anyway!!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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