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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs & Mrs G from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

0

We LOVE Zambia!

Zambia between 25 May 2009 and 5 Jun 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Chris & Lisa's comments -

This was our third trip to Africa with Expert Africa and we would not travel with anyone else! We went to Namibia in 2004 (our honeymoon) and to Zambia for the first time in 2007.

Anna had organized our previous trip to Zambia and was so helpful & enthusiastic we felt we had to ask her to help us to arrange a return trip. Her knowledge was invaluable in helping us to decide when we wanted to return and where we were to stay. The fact that Anna returns to Zambia for her own holidays shows just how much she loves the country and this is evident whenever you talk to her. Her passion for Zambia is infectious!

After talking to Anna so many times (I am sure she must be fed up with me by now!) and booking two trips with her I feel as though I am talking to a friend even though we have never met.

We fell in love with Zambia on our first trip & knew we had to return. We chose to go back at a different time of year (our previous trip was in October) to see the Luangwa Valley at the beginning of the dry season rather than at the end, and to see the Victoria falls at high water. It was lovely to experience this beautiful country in another season, the valley was as wonderful as last time and the falls were certainly different - there was water coming over them (a LOT of water!).

We hope to return to Zambia and will certainly be back in touch with Anna. Thank you for helping us to arrange another amazing trip!

John & Uschi's comments -

We are very grateful that Chris and Lisa asked us to come along. We had been to Africa a lot before (more than 10 times), but this was our first time to Zambia. And we were not disappointed. It is a wonderful country full of great wildlife and scenery and extremely friendly people.

We have loved some African countries for a long time and have put Zambia on that list."

Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Kaingo - wonderful as always!"

4 nights Arrived 26 May 2009
"Chris & Lisa's comments -

Everyone at the camp was extremely friendly, and being the first guests of the season meant that we were treated like royalty. We felt like we had a private camp as we were the only guests!

Patrick was a superb guide, knowledgeable, enthusiastic & friendly with a great sense of humour, we were lucky enough to have him to ourselves for the whole time we were here as he moved with us to Mwamba.

This was the second visit to Kaingo for two of us and we were not disappointed, the camp was as wonderful as we had remembered.We were treated to special dinners on the deck & a surprise bush breakfast in the Ebony grove. Such a treat! It was lovely that Derek & Jules were able to spend so much time with us in camp & great to meet Saphire (their 14 months old little girl) who was just a bump last time we were at Kaingo.

Sleeping overnight in the elephant hide (20 feet up a tree) was an unforgettable experience for us and we highly recommend it to others. We very much enjoyed the optional midday activity, sitting in the hippo hide or just under a shady tree.
The food as with our previous visit was plentiful! Delicious meals & fabulous bread & cakes baked fresh every day. You will never go hungry here!

We hope to return to Luangwa & will certainly be staying here again!

John & Uschi's comments -

Chris and Lisa said it all. It was absolutely fantastic! Everything. Patrick was the best guide we have ever had on our many trips to Africa. Not only did he know everything, he was also full of stories and lovely to be with.

Everybody at Kaingo was extremely friendly. After John had his breakdown, they looked after him (and me) so well. We were very grateful. We are full of wonderful memories. Writing this down brings it all back, the smells, the great food, this wonderful bush feeling, and above all, the friendliness. We would love to come back!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

"Mwamba Magic!"

3 nights Arrived 30 May 2009
"Chris & Lisa's comments -

We walked from Kaingo to Mwamba (about 3 hours easy stroll). This was a lovely way to arrive in camp for the first time. It is hard to imagine that this bush camp is built from scratch each season, so much work! You get a real feeling of being in the wilderness at Mwamba.

The rooms have open panels (with mosquito nets) in the ceiling so you can lie in bed & see the stars. The bathrooms have no roof & we loved being able to shower under the stars listening to the chorus of bats, frogs & crickets. Josh the camp manager was great fun & very helpful, we are sure he will have a great season at Mwamba.

The food was to the same standard & just as plentiful as a Kaingo, there was no issue with two of the four of our group being vegetarian. Battery charging for our cameras etc was no problem here as at Kaingo. As with Kaingo there are magic laundry baskets here - dirty clothes go in & later that day they arrive clean & ironed on your bed. I want one at home!

John & Uschi's comments -
Again, Chris and Lisa said it all. We totally agree. Mwamba was magic. You feel so close to the wilderness.

We loved the walking safari, sundowners up on the termite mound, and early morning coffees by the river. From Mwamba, we also had that great experience on a night drive when we found the male lions. All that roaring and mating around us gave us quite some chills! Fantastic!

Again, we would love to come back!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Zambezi sun unbeatable location"

3 nights Arrived 2 Jun 2009
"Chris & Lisa's comments -

We have stayed here before & chose to return to this hotel due to its superb location. The falls are only a few minutes walk from the hotel grounds making it so easy to view them at different times of day & in changing lighting conditions.

There was a problem with our booking on arrival but the hotel staff were very helpful and quickly sorted everything out with little fuss. We requested rooms facing away from the main pool area as last time we were here we found the evening entertainment a little noisy. These rooms on the other side on the building were much better for us - there was no noise from the pool area at all. The only sound was the roar of the falls themselves which would have been heard from anywhere within a couple of miles!

The choice of food here is vast, the hotel itself has a huge buffet in the evening. Lots of choice but quite pricey at $38 per person. We also ate at Squires next door and had an enormous meal which was much better value. On our last evening we went to the Royal Livingstone hotel for an evening meal, we were thoroughly spoiled & had a lovely meal which considering the setting & the service was again good value.

There is now an activities desk at reception as well as the main activities centre in the next door complex. We were easily able to organize all our activities at this desk & the staff were always friendly and helpful. We went on a tour to the Livingstone museum and the Mukuni village, both really worth a visit. We also went on a helicopter flight over the falls at sunset - amazing! On our last morning we went on an elephant ride - a lovely way to spend our last morning in Zambia.

John & Uschi's comments -

We agree totally. What an experience to walk 5 minutes and be at the falls! This hotel is just the right place if you want to be close to these impressive falls. We absolutely loved the helicopter flight. Everybody should do it to really appreciate the falls. Also the elephant ride - that was so wonderful!

I also loved the visit to Mukuni village. It gave us a little insight into the hard life of the locals. Of course, John's mother being a Livingstone, we had to go to the museum - and found it very interesting. John, especially, enjoyed the extra treat to see (and climb aboard) the Royal Livingstone Express."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

Amazing trip, we want to go back!

Zambia between 21 Sep 2007 and 13 Oct 2007

Trip rating: Excellent
"Difficult to imagine how this trip could be bettered. Before we went we had met very few people who had been to Zambia but all those we had met had raved about it, now we are inclined to think they may have been under-selling it! Our sole concern is that we struggle to see how any future Africa trip can begin to compare.

We know that we were unusually lucky but to see 7 leopards including a courting couple and three on kills one of which in broad daylight exceeded our wildest dreams.

In addition, we had some wonderful sightings of a great variety of mammals and birds and the benefit of the deep love and understanding of the bush imparted by our excellent guides. We hope to return as soon as we are able."

Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Can't praise Kaingo camp too highly"

4 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2007
"We were made so welcome at Kaingo. It felt more like staying with family than as a paying guest. Innocent was our guide for most of our time there (although we also went out with Derek & Patrick). All three were very knowledgeable & were extremely enthusiastic, not just about the large or obvious wildlife but also about the smaller things and the plants. We particularly appreciated the attention to detail (dust cloths to protect photographic equipment, beanbags provided for use in the vehicles).

It was solely down to Innocent's sharp eyes & spotting skill that we were able to follow a leopard at night for almost 40 minutes, culminating in an impala kill at a distance of only a few metres.

No one will ever feel faint through hunger whilst staying at this camp! The sole vegetarian (Lisa) ate just as well as everyone else.
The views of hippo & carmine bee eaters from the hides were fantastic and it was nice to have the option of spending some of the hotter part of the day in hides rather than staying in camp being the only option.

Charging facilities for both camera batteries & laptop were easily available. If we were to visit the Luangwa valley again Kaingo would be our first choice of camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mchenja Bushcamp

Mchenja Bushcamp

"Mchenja -comfortable, elegant and great game"

3 nights Arrived 26 Sep 2007
"Mchenja is a beautiful camp in a superb location and had it been the only place we had stayed in Luangwa we could not have faulted it. However after staying at Kaingo it did feel more like we were paying guests, and less like staying with family.

The staff were great, always friendly and helpfull. The food was lovely & always well presented, again the vegetarian option was great. The guides were obviously very knowledgable and great at spotting game, we saw three leopard hunting whilst staying here, one in daylight, & the guides managed to get us really close. We saw 2 of the leopards make kills withing a few metres of our vehicle.

Our sole reservation concerns the fact that it appears that there is some friction between Mchenja & Kaingo. There are obviously 2 sides to every story, but we felt that it was inappropriate for the staff to discuss this issue with guests at dinner. In fairness, the issue was originally raised by other guests, not staff, but we felt that a tactful "no comment" would have been the better way of handling the situation."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp

"Beautiful setting, sparse game at this season"

2 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2007
"The overriding memory of Chongwe will be the elephant in camp. We saw several every day, some almost too close for comfort! The staff were always on hand to advise what to do with the elephant when they came in close. The activities on offer were varied, although mainly water based.

As Lisa [Ed: Lisa is one half of this couple!] is not keen on water it was possible for her to go with the vehicle & have her own private game drive on 2 occasions when Chris went canoeing (the vehicle then collecting the group from further up river).

Going to Lower Zambezi Conservation to see Zamma the orphan baby elephant was a highlight. Silky the impala who lives around camp always turned up for her cornflakes at breakfast & was found indside a tent one day sleeping by the bed!

The food was good - however, although a good vegetarian option was provided each day for lunch, at dinner this seemed to be forgotten & the veggie option was simply the meat dish minus the meat.

While the proximity of the river meant this was a great area for birds, there was a distinct shortage of mammalian game apart from elephant & impala (presumably because the drought had meant that those animals that could had moved up to the hills in search of grazing)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Bushbuck Camp, Zambia (this camp has since closed)

"Didn't stay at Busbuck Camp - see below"

2 nights Arrived 1 Oct 2007
"We were upgraded from Bushbuck to Albida Suite at Chongwe due to lack of availability of ZAWA rangers.

Allbida suite is very newly built, and as one would expect immaculate.Albida comprises 2 bedroom suites each with luxurious en-suite facilities and a shared lounge and dining area with a small library and plunge pool. Albida's occupants have the services of a "butler" (Edward in our case - who was very friendly and helpful)

We had the option of eating in the suite or going up to the main dining area in camp which allowed us to talk with other guests."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Great location for the falls"

4 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2007
"Bit of a culture shock staying here after the bush camps!

A large hotel, with very good facilities. Great location for viewing the falls as they were only 5 minutes easy walk away. The staff at the activities centre were helpful, although we think it would have been better to pre book some of the activities as many were fully booked for the whole time we were there, we did however manage to go rafting & on an elephant ride.

The nocturnal noises were some what different to the bush, the hippo and hyena calls were replaced with the strains of pop music!

The food was very good with plenty of choice, room service was also a good value option if you were not so hungry. We ate at Squires restaurant one evening which was also a very good meal. Bottled water was very expensive here, we found a bottle of "sprite" was half the price of water!"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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