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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs H from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

4

Countries visited

5

Lodges stayed in

13

Excursions taken

0

My Aug 2022 trip

Zimbabwe and 1 other country between 6 Aug 2022 and 21 Aug 2022

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall a fantastic trip staying at four camps in the Okavango Delta and Zimbabwe with an overnight stop at the Victoria Falls hotel.

We had been to the camp in the Delta before and knew what to expect but it was just as good the second time around. It was our first time in Zim, visiting one camp in Hwange and two in Mana Pools, each was very good in its own way and we would certainly go back again.

All the logistics worked pretty seamlessly.

Thanks very much to the Expert Africa team for putting it together for us and rearranging it twice, just a shame we couldn't do it in 2020 when we originally planned."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Chitabe Lediba

Chitabe Lediba

"Chitabe Lediba review"

4 nights Arrived 7 Aug 2022
"We had previously stayed at the main Chitabe lodge but it was fully booked hence staying at Lediba. We were a little bit concerned that Lediba wouldn't meet our previous experience at the main lodge but this wasn't an issue at all and we would be more than happy to stay at either lodge in the future. If anything the outlook from Lediba is a bit better than the main lodge.

The rooms and lodge are excellent and it is very difficult to identify anything that could be done better. All the rooms have wi-fi but it doesn't work in the communal areas which was different to the other lodges we visited but, in our view, a better way of doing it. The food and service were also excellent.

The area is very well stocked with game and has a lovely variety of habitats from watery around the lodge and near to the Gomoti River to very dry and arid. The only disappointment was that we didn't see the wild dogs on this visit as they had abandoned their den under pressure from lions and the replacement den had yet to be located, we saw lots of tracks but no dogs. We had great sightings of the other predators, particularly Lions but also Cheetah and Leopard.

Overall a great start to our trip."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel

"Victoria Falls Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 11 Aug 2022
"We stayed at the hotel for one night whilst transiting between the Okavango Delta and Little Makalolo in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. We didn't arrive until after 3pm and were picked up at 6.45am so we had very little time there. However, we did fit in a visit to the Falls.

At the suggestion of the Wilderness Safaris representative in the hotel we used a guide for the visit to the Falls. It seemed a bit steep (USD114 for 2 of which USD60 is for the park entry fees) but it was well worth it and we were glad we did. We have previously seen the Falls from the Zamibian side but they are even more impressive from the Zim side.

The hotel presents itself as a 5 star luxury hotel but is really trading on its history, charm and location. It's not a 5 star luxury hotel by the standards of a Four Seasons Hotel or the Cape Grace in Cape Town for example. That said, it was perfectly comfortable with a spacious well equipped room and the location is exceptional.

You can't help wondering what it was like in its heyday."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Little Makalolo Camp

Little Makalolo Camp

"Little Makalolo Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 12 Aug 2022
"Little Makalolo is a small camp (approx 6 tents laid out either side of the main tents, pool etc) in a private concession in Hwange National Park. The camp is approached through a forest but looks out over an open area with a large waterhole which a wide range of animals visit throughout the day.

The tents are excellent and reached via wooden pathways, the outside sitting area looks out over the waterhole where there is nearly always something going on. We also had a bird bath/pool on the edge of the deck which was good to watch from inside the tent during siesta time with a variety of birds dropping in for a drink or bath.

The main area has large lounge and dining tents and a pool deck arranged around a camp fire under a big tree which works very well. The food and service was very good and on our last night we were treated to a private dinner by the pool with elephants coming into to drink less than 10m away.

As we visited in August, the area was generally very dry and game was concentrated around the various waterholes. As part of the national park, vehicles are restricted to the tracks which we thought might be an issue but wasn't really. However, it might make following a leopard pretty difficult and our one sighting of a cheetah disappeared into the bush very quickly. The area is rich in elephants, giraffe zebra and various antelopes. The most common predators were lions and we had a couple of great sightings.

As there are a number of camps within the large concession, there is good radio traffic between the various guides and therefore a lot of pairs of eyes looking for sightings which is a definite advantage. Although we never felt there were too many vehicles around.

There is a log pile hide next to the waterhole which allows really close viewing of the animals coming into drink and bathe, most notably elephants. We spent over 2 1/2 hours in the hide between brunch and our afternoon game drive and our guide counted over 100 elephants in addition to Kudu, Zebra etc.

The lodge also has a sleep under the stars platform adjacent to another waterhole which was a great experience, although the stars were dominated a full moon.

The only issue that we came across at Little Makalolo was in respect of guiding. Disappointingly, on our third day (we stayed for three days) our guide was changed even though the initial guide was still around. I'm sure that there must have been a good reason but would have expected the camp manager to take the trouble to explain what was happening and why rather than leave it to a clearly embarrassed guide. That said we were quite happy with both guides."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Chikwenya Camp

Chikwenya Camp

"Chikwenya Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 15 Aug 2022
"Chikwenya is a beautiful, relatively new, camp located on the eastern side of the Mana Pools National Park on the banks of the Zambezi. It has 9 tents each with a private outlook over the Zambezi. Our tent was extremely comfortable and well equipped. The tents are accessed by an elevated wooden walkway and ours was the furthest from the main camp (about a 5 minute walk).

The main area comprises a large lounge/dining tent, a bar tent and a good sized pool arranged around a camp fire area shaded by large trees overlooking the river. The food and service was top notch with the food being probably the best of the four camps that we visited on this trip.

When we arrived the camp was full as we joined a family party of twelve from the US. When they left we had the whole camp to ourselves which was great in some ways but not in others.

The area is stunningly beautiful, we particularly liked the riverside forest to the east of the camp especially when the sun was low in the sky and filtered through the trees, a place where a landscape photographer could spend a lot of time. The camp offers a good range of activities: game drives, canoeing and boat trips on the Zambezi and guided walking. The water based activities were very enjoyable and provided a nice change from the two game drives a day from our previous camps.

The variety of activities does mean that there are fewer vehicles out on game drives at any given time. This is compounded by being the only camp in the area meaning that there may not be many pairs of human eyes in the bush. In three days we had one predator sighting, a pair of mating Lions, but many sightings of Elephants, Hippo, Zebra, Eland and other antelopes. The highlight was probably Elephants reaching up into the trees for food. The range of birds was very good."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Ruckomechi

Little Ruckomechi

"Little Ruckomechi review"

3 nights Arrived 18 Aug 2022
"Little Ruck is a small camp in the Ruckomechi concession to the west of Mana Pools National Park. It is a very intimate camp of only 4 tents next to the main area comprising two tents under large trees, a small pool and camp fire area. The camp is set on a bluff above the Zambezi where the river is a bit narrower with a small village on the Zambian bank which, depending on the wind direction, could be heard clearly.

Our tent was well equipped and very comfortable but a bit smaller than at the other camps that we visited. It was also the only camp that didn’t have an outdoor shower.

During our stay (3 nights) we were the only guests in camp and the team was fantastic really making us feel like part of the family. The food was also good although dinner was probably not quite up to the standard of, say, Chikwenya.

The camp offers a good range of activities: game drives, canoeing and boat trips on the Zambezi and guided walking. Having done canoeing and boating at Chikwenya, we passed on the canoes but did a combined boat and game drive on one morning. Apart from that we stuck to the game drives as the viewing was excellent with a very good and enthusiastic guide.

Although it is a small camp, there are other camps in the area and therefore a number of vehicles out at any given time. The game viewing was excellent with a number of sightings of Lion and Leopard and a couple of Cheetah in addition to many sightings of Elephants, Hippo, Zebra, Eland and other antelopes. The variety of birds was also high."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

My Jan 2022 trip

South Africa between 9 Jan 2022 and 17 Jan 2022

Trip rating: Excellent
"We booked this trip at short notice as soon as South Africa came off the dreaded red list in October.

Whilst it was a bit touch and go whether we would be able to go when the red list reappeared for a few weeks, thankfully all was ok and we were able to travel.

The trip was excellent with all the people we met demonstrably welcoming and Shamwari, the Cape Grace and Cape Town being very enjoyable.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

none"

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Image alt

Shamwari, Sindile Tented Camp

"Shamwari, Sindile Tented Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 10 Jan 2022
"Having stayed at Bayethe Lodge a number of times, this was our first visit to Sindile. The lodge is new and excellent with all the facilities that anyone could need.

The lodge has a open view of grassland with various animals coming to the waterhole/mud bath in front of the lodge throughout the day. One of our highlights was being able to photograph elephants from our plunge pool."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Cape Grace

Cape Grace

"Cape Grace review"

3 nights Arrived 14 Jan 2022
"The Cape Grace is a fantastic hotel, perfectly situated on the waterfront and with excellent facilities.

One of my favourite hotels anywhere in the world."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Botswana and Victoria Falls August 2018

Botswana and 1 other country between 8 Aug 2018 and 18 Aug 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"An excellent and memorable trip that probably surpassed our expectations. Botswana is a fantastic place to visit."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Chitabe Camp

Chitabe Camp

"Chitabe is superb"

5 nights Arrived 8 Aug 2018
"We had four objectives at Chitabe - Wild Dogs, Cheetah, Cats with Cubs and Leopards - and saw all four in our first 2 days out of 5. The variety of wildlife and habitats is excellent and although 5 nights is a long time to stay in one camp, we could quite happily have stayed longer. The guides were excellent and the people incredibly helpful and friendly. A superb experience and seeing a white rhino was an unexpected bonus."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Jacana Camp

Jacana Camp

"Jacana was a great experience"

3 nights Arrived 13 Aug 2018
"Jacana was surrounded by water at the time we visited and a deliberately chosen as a water based safari. To be honest we didn't really know what to expect and it was difficult to set any objectives. The wish list was really a Pels Fishing Owl and a Malachite Kingfisher. On arrival the team said they hadn't seen a Pels for three weeks! Great start. We saw a Malachite on the first boat trip along with some great elephant viewing in the water and a wide variety of birds.

The highlight of the stay was probably the trip in a Mokoro, so peaceful and relaxing and a great opportunity to quietly get close to birds, animals and frogs. The highlight was a great sighting of a Pels Fishing Owl but the birds and frogs were fascinating as well.

The camp was really good with friendly people and a great guide but on balance three nights was probably enough because there is a limited number of things to do. However we really enjoyed the experience."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Royal Livingstone Hotel

Royal Livingstone Hotel

"A great base for the awesome Victoria Falls"

2 nights Arrived 16 Aug 2018
"The Royal Livingstone is a high quality hotel in a perfect position on the banks of the Zambezi above the Victoria Falls. Whilst the main objective was to see the falls again and relax for a day or two between our safari in Botswana and the long trip home, we did fit in a walking safari in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park where they have all the big animals including white rhino that are guarded 24/7 without any predators. To get close to the Rhino on foot was great.

A great base to see the falls."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

A memorable trip - the safari was brilliant

Zambia and 1 other country between 28 Sep 2016 and 12 Oct 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"A brilliant holiday.

We wanted a mix of safari and relaxation which was exactly what we got. The choice of Kaingo and Mwawba was perfect given my interest in photography and really is a top quality location. On reflection we should have spent more time there - 4 days at each would have been good but that was our fault as we only wanted 6 days on safari we will know better next time.

Pumulani was lovely but 7 nights was a bit long, 4 would have been ideal.

All the connections and transfers worked well and the level of service in both locations was really good.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Not that I can think of."

Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Great experience would love to go back"

4 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2016
"We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Kaingo.

The accommodation, setting, service and food was excellent and the enthusiasm of all of the team was really great. The idea of having three activities a day is really good as it minimises the downtime. The hides are a great idea although it is a slight pity that you can't just pop into them.

The night drives were good as were the low density of people and camera equipped vehicles."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

"Mwamba was brilliant - just want to go back"

2 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2016
"It was difficult to fault Kaingo but Mwamba was just a little bit better.

We started with a bush walk between the two camps which was really good.

Mwamba has everything that is good about Kaingo but also benefits from the proximity of the hide where there was always something going on and the fact that rather than being in the trees, it is more open so you are always aware of animals and birds moving to/from the hide.

We could have done with more time here - two nights wasn't really enough we could quite happily have done 4."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Pumulani

Pumulani

"Beautiful location, very relaxing"

6 nights Arrived 5 Oct 2016
"In terms of somewhere to chill out after safari, Pumulani was perfect.

The room and service was excellent. We enjoyed a number of sundowner trips on the dhow, the snorkeling with the fish trip and the early morning walk through the bush and kayak back but generally laid on the beach relaxing. As it was quite late in the season the lake level was low which meant that the beach was quite muddy at the water line and swimming in the lake was not really an option. The pool is lovely but quite small so could be a little busy.

The warning about the number of steps was really important, not a problem for us, in fact quite useful exercise, but could be a problem for others.

Best not to rely on the internet access, it was down a lot of the time due to power cuts and when it was working was very slow. However that is a minor gripe.

We spent 7 nights there which was really a bit long, 4 would be ideal"
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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