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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by SarahSW19 from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

10

Excursions taken

0

My Aug 2016 trip

Zambia between 27 Aug 2016 and 8 Sep 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"We absolutely loved our trip to the South Luangwa Park and I think that overall we picked very good lodges,
It's always difficult to choose despite the plethora of information.
I knew we wanted to choose lodges spread over the park fairly evenly and with a reputation for great game viewing.
We were unlucky with Puku Ridge as far as lions went , but otherwise it was a lovely lodge albeit without a strong managerial presence. However the guiding was absolutely excellent! . As was the cuisine.
The other lodges - Mchenja and Lion Camp were better as far as location and game viewing went.
They both benefited from a strong managerial presence and game viewing close to camp.
If I went back, and I'm sure we will - I would definitely return to both Mchenja and Lion Camp.
Lion Camp was not as far from the park entrance as I thought it was.
When we returned to the airport from Lion Camp it was a fast drive through the park, not a slow game drive as I expected.
We did stop for a comfort break for a member of staff and coincidentally saw 6 lions under a tree.
We left at 1 pm and were out of the park by 2:20
We stopped to visit Tribal Textiles for less than an hour and were at the airport by 3:40pm
Overall we loved the south Luangwa Park and definitely love to return soon."

Latitude 15

Latitude 15

"Stylish hotel convenient for stopover"

1 night Arrived 28 Aug 2016
"Very nice hotel with lots of different lounge and bar areas and two pools . ( too chilly to take a dip when we were there though)
Attractive decor - I would describe as contemporary African .
There was a shop selling bags and jewellery but unfortunately it was closed by the time we got there .
The room was lovely and had a coffee machine and minibar in it . We borrowed a hairdryer from reception
For dinner - As veggies , we had an halloumi and asparagus salad to start and a vegetable linguine dish for main course . Very filling!!!
Breakfast had full English/Irish breakfast available as well as huevos rancheros , cereal,fruit,yoghurt on the buffet table .
We had omelettes, which were great .
We only had a short stopover at Latitude 15 but found all the staff to be very friendly and pleasant.
I think it is a great place if you want to be near the airport for an early flight the next day . I really liked it .
We met some Australians later on , on our trip , who had also stayed there , but for two nights due to a flight problem and they also liked it very much . I took photos which I will put on TripAdvisor soon"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge

"Pleasant stay at Puku Ridge"

3 nights Arrived 29 Aug 2016
"On the Expert Africa website the description at the top of the page says Puku Ridge has 6 tents, but then says 7 tents further down ( which is correct). I understand the comments they make on the website about the decor, but improvements have been made - for example there are no chrome bar stools - they are wooden now .There are still 3 chrome side tables they could get rid of though
Furniture is a bit hotch potch but OK , and I can't say it bothered me personally but just thought I'd update the description FYI.
There was a very nice deck around a tree overlooking the floodplain - where we usually took our meals.
Very comfy beds
Robe and slippers
Wake up call 5:30 with Tea in room
Breakfast ( hot or cold) 6am
Game drive 6:30 tea at 9:00 return by 10:00
Lunch 11-12:30
Tea 3:30
Game drive 4 - 7:30 with sundowners en route
Leaves 10:00-16:00 doing nothing though.
Might be better to go out at 6am, have snack breakfast enroute so could stay out longer ?
Transfer time from the airport according to EA is 3 hrs but it only took us 1.5 hrs and we drove through the river instead of taking the pontoon which was fun, but also indicates how much the river had dropped which isn't good for the animals.
Facilities- Mains electricity , hot and cold running water all times , hairdryer in room , floor fan
There is even a little gym box with a yoga mat and some light weights in it !
Unfortunately, I was rather ill for most of my time at Puku Ridge and I only have the notes I made on arrival to refer to.
The food that I saw seemed very good - probably the best of our trip and the staff were absolutely lovely . Personally, we didn't take to the manager during our stay who was called Evidence - but maybe that was just us. I was told by other guests that the other manager ( Levies) was away and they felt it changed the atmosphere of the place.
Our guide was Lamek ? ( apologies if misspelled but I was rather ill) He was very good and really knew his stuff .
Unfortunately, we saw no lions at all at Puku Ridge , but that's the luck of the draw
Prior to our trip I had read many reviews saying how fantastic the game viewing was - so we were just a little unlucky, I suppose.
We did however see a leopard kill from start to finish , which was amazing.
Lamek then played a little trick on us and told us that after he sees a kill, he gets sad and just has to go back to camp immediately.
We said "Okay" - and he drove off - only to take us to a hilltop where a champagne sundowner had been set up for and the other couple staying at Puku Ridge. It was a fantastic end to our visit.
The view of the floodplain from camp was great and if I hadn't visited anywhere else I would think it was the bees knees .
I think if the place you stay has a view of water , it automatically makes it more attractive.
We usually saw puku ( of course), zebra, warthogs, impala, baboons.
However , the subsequent camps we stayed at I found to have better views . The water hole in front of Puku Ridge was reduced to a muddy puddle which was neither attractive or of much use to the animals.
I can thoroughly recommend Puku Ridge , but I have to say it wasn't my favourite place out of the three camps in South Luangwa"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Mchenja Bushcamp

Mchenja Bushcamp

"Magical Mchenja !"

3 nights Arrived 1 Sep 2016
"We absolutely loved Mchenja.
It does have the good fortune to be in a very lovely position on the river, so there is always something to watch ( usually hippos) while in camp. But one day on a game drive , we did follow four sub adult male lions and found they took a trail right up to our tent . So you might get lions to watch too.
We have lovely photos of them right by our tent and also by the pool ( great pool BTW) which was beside it.
They also gave the lady who was filling the Rhodesian boiler with wood at that time , a bit of a scare.
So they're not kidding when they say you have to request an escort when walking between tents and also get someone to check the pool is clear before you use it. The pool was a lovely treat after a hot, dusty game drive and had sun loungers around it too.
In Expert Africa's website , it shows the pool as being in the main building by the bar. But due to one too many guests walking straight into it ( accidentally) - they have filled it in and built a fab pool by the river . I also heard that the tree in the main area is going to be removed next year ( I forget why - but some good reason)
I was very ill when I arrived at Mchenja, and the manager - Henrietta, was very caring and suggested I only use bottled water instead of filtered water until I was better.
She also gave me a simple home remedy that certainly made me feel a lot better.
I think the personality of the manager at a camp makes a huge difference and Henrietta was always around, always cheerful, always super friendly . It gave Mchenja a lovely atmosphere.
We were very lucky and were assigned a family tent with two separate bedrooms - one with a spare bed , the other with a bath. Both bedrooms had outside bathrooms that were just gorgeous. I spent a few starlight nights sitting out there and it was just magical
Beds very comfy - no probs with monkeys in bathroom( but we did get cute tiny frogs there at night) a flask of water in room, personal water bottles provided for game drives. . ( you get to keep one when you leave )
Breakfast at 6 - coffee, cereal, fruit, yogurt, French toast or pancakes, toast
Chef cooks eggs over open fire beside the river , so you feel like you're camping although you're not really .
Leave 6:30 - back 10:30
Lunch v gd , tea 3:30- out at 4
Back at 7:30 ( night drive for part of it)
Dinner at 8
Our guides were Brian, Adam , John ( slightly built one) - as there are 2 Johns
We were passed from pillar to post a bit with guides but all were very good especially John. ( He had just moved there from Puku Ridge interestingly)
One day we had a guide called Adam in morning - he said he knew where to show us lions in the pm - so we'd leave early to see them - but we never saw him again ! He was sent to another camp !
Our next guide John was sent to do an airport run a day after taking us out.So then we were handed back to Brian - very nice.
For some reason his vehicle was the only one with a roof on it .
We had great game sightings - lion, leopard, kudu, hippo , elephants, giraffe and also the usual suspects.
Overall, Mchenja was our favourite place to stay by a cats whisker."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lion Camp

Lion Camp

"They don't call it Lion Camp for nothing!"

4 nights Arrived 4 Sep 2016
"We loved Lion Camp.
Again, it is a camp in a lovely position overlooking a small river/stream with lots of animals coming down to drink there . We also saw the Hollywood pride a little further off under a tree and generally mooching around. One female had cubs hidden away somewhere and we saw her walking between them and the rest of the pride early mornings.
There was a film crew there at the time and also a couple of fairly serious photography groups- so it's obviously a place that they know they can reliably see lions and leopards -which are sadly becoming harder to see everywhere.
The vehicles they use weren't my favourite as they have three bench seats which are a bit hard especially when going over rough terrain. The front row was OK but the other rows have a spare wheel on the floor which gets in the way a bit . No roof
Wake up call 5:30 , coffee, gloopy porridge, toast available, then leave 6am
Back by 10
Brunch at 11:15
Tea at 3:30
Out at 4
Stop for sundowners at 6
Night drive from 6:30 to 7:30
Dinner 8:15
I like the early starts , but it might have been nice to have a packed breakfast during the game drive instead,as I wasn't that keen on the breakfast provided in camp. Generally just had coffee. Food at lunch and dinner was great however.
The camp itself was lovely , but they are having quite a revamp next year and they are hoping to build another property too ( not sure exactly where - they did tell me and I'm afraid I've forgotten)
The rooms are nice but they are all wood and very dark inside. Of course this might change.
I couldn't resist making suggestions for the refurbishment to Emma , the manager. ( I don't think she minded :) )
In my opinion they should open up the front of the rooms completely ( a la Mchenja) to bring in light and also give more room in the bathroom area as we found sharing one small washbasin and mirror was a tight squeeze when you're in a hurry to get out for your early game drive.
The raised walkways are useful as you don't need any escort between buildings.
We had great game viewings - and the guides were very knowledgeable.
Our guide was really excellent - I think his name was Simon ? Apologies if incorrect - I should have written this review sooner or made notes. Anyway, he had just moved from Mchenja and John ( our previous guide at Mchenja) had got his old job ! Small world.
We also had an elephant visit us in camp . He walked through some short trees and shrubs to eat something he liked and knocked over the poles around the parking area. Apparently, they used to nail them in place, but he knocks them off so frequently that they now just have them laid in place on cradles.It was very exciting to come face to face , eye to eye, -( thanks to raised walkways)
with an elephant. Believe me , they look quite different than when you're in a vehicle.
I think the manager Emma ( ably assisted by Lorraine) run a lovely camp.
It was a bit bigger than our first two camps and we did feel a bit awkward on our first evening when everyone else seemed to be laughing and having a great time at the bar and we knew nobody. But by the next night - it was us laughing and having a great time at the bar with everyone. it just takes a bit longer to get to know a larger group of oeople.
We got to speak to Emma later on, but it might have been nice to have either her or Lorraine to welcome newcomers and help break the ice a bit. We were met by Oscar on arrival and I wasn't sure if he was the manager or our guide or what.
Anyway, by the time we were leaving we felt like old friends and had tears in our eyes as we waved goodbye.
The lodge is really charming and has a nice shop, a library area that is a quiet zone to sit and read or borrow a book.
There was always somebody around to provide cool drinks throughout the day - and a great pool to cool off in while watching the animals by the river.
All in all, we can't wait to return to Lion Camp.!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

Kenya 2015 - Absolutely fabulous !!

Kenya between 21 Aug 2015 and 3 Sep 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"Really sensational trip !
Some of the best wildlife viewing I've ever had .
Lovely accommodation - would definitely go back to Rekero .
Feel a bit mean about comments I made regarding Little Governors , and I know it's very popular with many people , but
I just felt they are falling behind the competition somewhat. Particularly the food .
Many thanks to Richard Trillo for all his advice in the planning of this trip !
Will definitely use EA again

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Tell people that if they already have a visa when they arrive at Nairobi airport - do nand in the ""Visa"" line at immigration
Use the ""Other passports"" line
( go figure !)
Otherwise you will have to queue up twice!

Our transfer cars were absolutely great . Our driver Eddie said to say Hi to Richard Trillo.

We were told that the morning visit ( 11am - noon) to the David Sheldrick elephant orphanage was a bit of a bunfight and that as we had adopted two elephants and therefore qualified to visit at 5pm when they come home to bed ( by arrangement) - we should do that and not go at 11am.
The experience was great and there were only about 25 people there .
But the shop was closed at 5pm - and we had wanted to buy a hat that we had seen somebody else on our travels wearing.
So go early if you want to visit the shop too.

Nanyuki airport is really nice and has Wi-fi . Good restaurant and souvenir shop.

Nobody weighed our luggage anywhere except at Wilson airport - and even there they were not as strict as expected"

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Eka Hotel

Eka Hotel

"Eka Hotel - excellent city hotel"

1 night Arrived 21 Aug 2015
"I was very impressed with the Eka hotel and thought it was a very nice,smart,modern hotel - exactly as one might find in popular chain hotels in Europe.
There was tight security in place as one might expect - the hotel is gated and your bags go through an airport style scanner at the hotel entrance. The process is all done in the most friendly and non-intimidating way possible.
Our taxi-driver was given a pass to enter the hotel after he had been checked, and also a pass to leave the hotel.
Very thorough - I felt quite safe - except I was on the ground floor and the window was open when I arrived. :)
The room was spotless and nicely furnished. The bathroom was very modern and attractive .
There was a kettle with tea and coffee sachets available and a hairdryer.
We arrived late in the evening so did not use the bar but it looked very nice.
All the staff were lovely and I thoroughly recommend the Eka hotel as a convenient and enjoyable short-stay accomodation.
Breakfast was excellent - a buffet arrangement for all the usual juices,cereals,fruits,pastries and hot items are available at the counter under silver salvers - sausage,potatoes,mushrooms,beans,hash browns
Eggs,bacon and omelettes are cooked to order at the counter.
Tea and coffee is ordered via your waiter.
There is a toaster ( one of those small conveyor belt types) available so your toast is lovely and hot .
The fresh fruit selection was very good.
BTW - the large plates eluded me for a while in my slightly jet-lagged state - but you can find them in a round plate warmer to the right of the toaster. ( Bread was kept in a covered basket nearby)"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Kicheche Laikipia

Kicheche Laikipia

"Kicheche Laikipia - super camp !"

3 nights Arrived 22 Aug 2015
"We really enjoyed our stay at Kicheche Laikipia.
The assistant manager - Andrew, made us feel very welcome and was very entertaining company at lunch and dinner.
The poor man even ate vegetarian meals along with ourselves . I felt very guilty and was sure he'd have preferred a nice steak or something.
Our guide was Onesmus .He gave us some amazing wildlife viewings including a lioness moving her cubs one by one !
Cheetah mom and two youngsters, hyena - babies with no fur , elephants - And of course rhino !
He really knows the area well and unlike many wildlife areas , he operated without the help of radio information from other guides.
We also met Sonia - one of the managers. Unfortunately we missed Andy (her husband) as he was not well when we visited.
( Hope he is OK now ?)
The camp is situated in the wilderness area of Ol Pejeta and benefits from having very few vehicles in the area which gives a wonderful "wilderness" feeling. The camp's vehicle can go offroad if need be - which can be helpful.
We had a night drive there , which I haven't done for years and was such a different way of seeing animals.
We also visited the East side of the conservancy , which is open to the public ( not that the West side is closed to the public but they don't maintain the roads or put up road signs - so drivers have to know the area really well to drive there)
We had excellent sightings in the East as well as the West however - so if you only visit the East you will see a lot.
Kicheche is a small camp of 6 tents - which felt a really nice size.
It overlooks a waterhole - which at the time of our visit was getting to be a puddle ! I hope the rains the following week sorted that out for the animals .
Nevertheless, puddle or not - many animals , including a herd of 11 elephants visited for a drink.
The camp has a low electric fence around it which keeps elephants and buffalo away from the tents.
Laikipia was a bit colder than I expected - we visited at the end of August and on our first game drive ( staring at 6am) I was wearing about 4 layers and was still cold.However , it was very windy - so that probably made it feel colder than it was.
Each day got a little warmer while we were there and if there is no wind it's probably OK.
As soon as there was no sun - it was cold . First time I've had a sundowner inside the vehicle :) Recommend bringing a pair of gloves.
As regards the accomodation - the tent was very spacious with wardrobe, desk,chairs and table inside . Chairs outside on the deck. The usual bathroom arrangement behind a screen and another wardrobe in there too.
Drinking water is provided in an urn in the tent and two metal water bottles for you to use either in the tent or on a game drive.
Good to see so many camps trying to discourage the use of plastic water bottles.
Lighting is solar-powered so rather dim ( bring a head-torch)
Hot showers are available in the evening automatically and at other times by request.
Hot water bottles in the bed and extra duvet and blankets available.
Food was amazing ! We are both vegetarian and were astonished each mealtime by the inventiveness of the chef.
I know Sonia is a foodie ( she revealed her addiction to recipe books to us) and many of the recipes are ones she has chosen.
We ate no processed food at all while we were there and left feeling very healthy indeed.
I did pack two chocolate bars in case I should feel the need for something sweet - but both bars remained untouched.
The presentation of both the food and the dining table would not have been out of place at a top London restaurant.
I would say that three courses at each meal was really too much for us and they could make life easier for themselves by doing a salad buffet for lunch and not bother with a hot course ( delicious though it was).
The dining tent had two long wooden dining tables in it and a fire at each end ( as well as one outside)
The morning game drives were marvellous and much longer than you normally get.
We tended to go out at 6am - have a picnic breakfast in the bush - return about noon - then lunch was at 1pm.
Tea and cake overlooking the waterhole and it's visitors at 4pm - then a game drive from 4:30 pm til 7pm-ish
Dinner was at 8pm or 7:30 if doing a night drive.
There is a small shop on site that I only discovered the day we were leaving. Bought a nice fleece, hat, tee-shirt etc..
The visit to the rhino sanctuary was really good and well worth doing.
I only realised as we left that nobody had asked for a donation.
I think we paid $35 each and obviously tipped the rangers too. They do a great job there and it was so lovely to see Sudan, Baraka, Najin and Fatu living in a lovely spacious enclosure under the African sun. ( Baraka is a local anyway - but you get the point). We didn't get around to seeing the chimpanzee sanctuary unfortunately ,due to lack of time - and we had seen chimpanzees both wild and in a sanctuary last year in Uganda. Sorry to Sweetwaters - maybe next time?
Poor Baraka had a microfilaria infection when we were there which they were trying to treat.
He is very happy for an old, blind rhino ! Loved feeding him alfalfa.
The whole experience was really enjoyable but over in a whoosh - so try and savour each moment while you are there.
I recommend downloading a map of the area too , as I had not realised how separate the camps and the sanctuaries are."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rekero

Rekero

"Loved Rekero !"

2 nights Arrived 25 Aug 2015
"Rekero is absolutely brilliantly positioned on the river to see animals crossing as part of the Great Migration .
We saw quite a few crossings as we simply sat eating breakfast on the lawn or were looking at the view.
There are nine tents and they were all full when we were there. It is obviously a very popular place and many people we spoke to had stayed there before - some of them for the third time in a year !
We did not meet all the usual managers as they were taking a short break , but were well taken care of by Mariana and Clea.
They joined us for meals and helped dish some of them up too.
Usually one of the guides also joined us which made for lively and interesting dinner conversation.
I read somewhere that the dining tent ( mess tent) had very spartan chairs . But this was not the case when we visited as the chairs and the whole dining area were very comfortable.
The 'spartan' metal fold up chairs were however used outside for breakfast at camp ( with cushions)
One night we had place names at dinner - but couples were not split up as I had read they would be.
There was a large family of about 8 staying there at the time - so maybe that was the reason for not mixing people up at meal times .
The tent was not huge but big enough - the furniture was wooden but seemed a bit more modern than most places.
Seemed a bit more 'designed' than other places I have stayed at.
Hotr water was provided in flasks for washing your smalls and a small washing line with pegs out the front.
Bucket showers were excellent. The toilet was not separate from the rest of the bathroom which might matter if you were sharing with someone you didn't know all that well. All toiletries were included including cotton buds and tampons.
Lunch was buffet style and very good. All the food at Rekero was just so tasty !!!
The staff all seemed very confident and able to banter with guests.
Charging is in the main tent and they label your plug for you. ( good idea)
There is a new lounging- about tent on the river which looked very nice but we didn't really get a chance to relax in it unfortunately.
Rekero is NOT dismantled each year anymore as they found it caused more damage to do that than to just leave it be.
It is closed as most places are in April and May and then they return and mow a bit of grass , do some repairs etc.. and off they go again for another season.
Drinks by the fire pre-dinner was very enjoyable and I did read that the fire has been in that spot since the camp was first founded.
Our guide was Pius who found us some marvellous animal sightings.
Weather in August was lovely and warm - very little use for my fleece!
Saw lots of lions, one cheetah, and of course horizon to horizon wildebeest !!
Never seen so many in my life !!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Governors' Camp

Little Governors' Camp

"Little Governors"

2 nights Arrived 27 Aug 2015
"Little Governors is in a truly idyllic location with a sort of marshy swamp in the oxbow of the river in front of it. It really looks like a lake with a lot of vegetation in it. Lot of birdlife around a small "island" in the middle.
The day we arrived, there were lots of elephants in there chomping whatever elephants like to chomp and it was really lovely to watch them while sitting on the edge of the water having our lunch. I felt like I was in heaven .
There are some resident warthogs who are very sweet and don't charge off with their tails in the air like the ones you see on a game drive will do. They are happy to keep the grass short and mooch about the place.
There are 17 tents - numbers 1-6 are nearest the entrance and the boat. Then you have the main camp buildings - dining, reception , bar, shop. Then tent numbers 7-17 stretch away on the other side from the central camp.
When you arrive - there is a river separating the camp from the Mara. The vehicles stay on the Mara side - so you have to cross the river ( very short crossing) in a little boat that the boat man sort of pulls across on a chain with your bags.
There are approximately 52 steps down to the boat and 52 steps back up the other side. Note " approximately"
So you might be glad to have tents 1-6 so you can flop in as soon as you return from a game drive ?
However I think tents 6 and 7 are a bit too near the main camp and could be noisy. The balloons are inflated near tent 6 in the morning at 6am too. Personally I preferred the tents at the end - tent 17 would be best as it is not overlooked at all.
There is a formal path behind the tents to give people privacy, but most people walk in front of the tents, on the grass
( accompanied by a guard to protect you) - so you might feel the lack of privacy in lower numbered tents.
The tents are quite nice - the bathroom is quite big but only has one sink ( most lodges seem to have two ) and there is no separate loo and the shower has no screen around it. Only mentioning this in case you are thinking of sharing with someone you don't know all that well.
There is electricity in the tents so you can charge camera batteries etrc.. but cannot use a hairdryer there.
They do have a hairdryer in a dimly -lit room next to reception . The first time I used it was fine - but the next day, the socket by the mirror did not work so had to scramble under a table to find a socket that worked ( nowhere near a mirror unfortunately)
There are two sockets near the mirror but only one hairdryer.
The bar was nice and cool as it had a tiled floor and the shop was very good.
There is a small seating area near reception but you wouldn't really relax there I don't think.More like a place you wait for a taxi .
Wi-fi is available but only seemed OK for emails and social media . Don't expect to download any podcasts or anything.
The camp is well situated for wildlife too - you will get some good sightings within a short distance from the camp.
Having said all that, I have tosay that Little Governors needs to up its act a bit to keep up with other camps in the area.
The food was adequate but nowhere near as good as other places I stayed in the Mara
Actually quite disappointing .
Lunch time salad was tomatoes with some cheese, mange tout with apple, no lettuce.
Evening meal was a very small portion of spaghetti with a plain tomato sauce.
Fresh fruit for dessert was half an apple, half an orange and a slice of melon .
The game drives were shorter than elsewhere - start at 6:30 am , bush breakfast dragged out for an hour , return 11:30
Lunch 1 pm - pm game drive 3:30 til 7 pm . Dinner at 7:30-8pm.
Having come from other camps where the managers and/or guides join you for meals - it was a bit odd to have all guests sitting at separate tables and no input from managers . I thought I would like that, but in fact it felt odd to sit down for an evening meal and not have any other people or guides or managers to discuss it with.
We did briefly meet the manager , but it was very perfunctory . I did see him in the bar but he did not interract with his guests - only one guest who obviously intersted him.
I also felt there was an atmosphere of meanness at Little Governors
It sounds petty and I know that all the freebies at other camps are paid for somewhere along the way.
I'll just say how things are at Little Governors
So in the morning, you get tea/coffee in your tent but only one biscuit each.
All other camps give a tin of biscuits - I don't even want biscuits in the morning but it seemed mean.
There were no sundowners - no tea and cake in the afternoon, only four ( non-cold) bottles of water in the jeep , no coke or beer like other places. ( and not encouraged to drink them as most places do)
No complimentary drinks around the fire in the evening.
At dinner - had to,pay for water ($3)
Tea and coffee was included in the menu but it was never offered - we always had to ask for it.
Might sound petty - but it all added to a general feeling of meanness somehow
I think Little Governors has a great product but they are going to be upstaged by other lodges in the area if they don't up their game soon. I had expected to love it as various people I know had recommended it,. I found it initially impressive, but overall disappointing. Which is quite a shame as it is in such a lovely place.
This was the only place to ask yo see our passports and accomodation voucher.
They were also meant to transfer us by vehicle to our next camp - but they arranged to drop us at Musiara gate and the next camp came to pick us up from there."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Poor
Facilities
Good
Elephant Pepper Camp

Elephant Pepper Camp

"Loved Elephant Pepper"

3 nights Arrived 29 Aug 2015
"Lovely tents - decorated in Raj colonial style .
Lots of brass fittings, paw print ash trays , lamps and a phonogram.
One tent had sofas and drinks available from a fridge or shelf ( help-yourself anytime) . Ice available . Comfy sofas
USB charging available
Another tent for dining, long table - nicely decorated
One called the library tent - charge cameras etc..
Tents have bathrooms with twin sinks ( brass) loo and partially concealed shower.
Bucket showers - hot water put through large flap in tent 6am
Can have hot water for showers anytime
Tents feel well designed but simple
Tents 1-3 are on one side of communal,areas . Tents 4-10 are in the other side
All furniture looks like it came from " Out of Africa.com"
Lovely old-fashioned deck chairs around fire.
The tents have lots of shrubs between them which gives some privacy but might need to zip up flaps between tents if shrubbery not sufficient to give total privacy
Number 1 and 10 are honeymoon/ family tents and have hot water on tap . Bush showers for other tents
Nice food ( vegetarian)
BTW - drinks were included although we were told they were not.
They also issue you with a collapsible plastic bottle ( good plastic - not the type that leach nasty chemicals into the water)
you can fill it from the water cooler in the dining tent and take it with you on game drives or use it around camp.( And take it home with you !)
Staff were all lovely and helpful - loved our stay there.

( BTW - this camp is also not dismantled at the end of the season either . It takes 30 men to put up the dining tent alone!
So they just wash all the fabric and smarten it all up at the beginning of the season)"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor

"Giraffe Manor review"

1 night Arrived 1 Sep 2015
"Staying at Giraffe Manor is like staying at a friends house .
There are no locks on the room doors ( well only from inside) You can help yourself to drinks in the lounge.
Betty's room is the best room as it has a balcony that the giraffes visit in the morning ( if you tempt them)
The room we had was lovely - (Jock) . But the bathroom is not perfect - the toilet and bath both need re-surfacing , although I do appreciate they are probably original features and therefore very old.
However there were real roses in the room which was lovely and a hairdryer in a drawer!!
There was a glass decanter for the drinking water and a safe in the room .
We arrived for lunch which was lovely and we had it outside in the courtyard
Then - we met the giraffes (5pm ) outside the front of the house. I didn't realise we would be able to feed them in the evening as well as the morning - so that was a nice surprise. We all had great fun taking photos and feeding the giraffes ( and warthogs)
We were able to feed them from our room window also. The grill on the front of the window makes it difficult to lean out though.
Later, we were walked to the giraffe sactuary by some staff - and entered via a particular gate ( so you don't have to pay)
We met some giraffes , fed them some food. You can buy childrens drawings there. There Is a small tourist souvenir shop.
Meals were good, drinks were included.
Breakfast with the giraffes was at 6:30- Bettys room upstairs got them first - but then they came to the breakfast room later.
The manor has it's own shop which is quite expensive for some items. I saw a lovely silver giraffe pendant there that I wanted but was too dear. Later I saw it in a shop in the local area ( Utamundi I think ?) and it was considerably cheaper.
Also saw the giraffe tealight holders that they have on the table at dinner in a local shop which was much cheaper than at the manor's shop.
The morning visit in the breakfast room went on for ages and we took lots of photos.
The staff also take photos for you but some are more skilled at photography than others ! - be aware many photos will probably be discarded when you get home. I thought the breakfast room would be very busy but it was quite a calm affair with plenty of time with the giraffes. Only six tables - so plenty of room to move around to different windows.
Ed was the nicest giraffe :)
The annexe is built to match the main house and seemed very nice. It has it's own lounge and dining room but people staying there joined us for dinner in the main house. They found no problem with staying there rather than the main building.
Heard they do have non-residents for afternoon tea and also dinner if they are not full BTW."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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