Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs B - West Sussex
Chada/Greystoke - Nomad camps
On this trip, I visited Tanzania between 7-Sep-2009 and 21-Sep-2009 and I travelled with 1 other person.
On past trips we have tended to prefer smaller, individually run places and I was not sure how I would like these two "top of the range" places. However, I was very impressed by Nomad. Good policies on local involvement (running trips for local kids and dignitaries into the park at Chada, gifts in the "shop" made by local women and sold with profits fed back to the village school) and well trained local camp staff. A cheery greeting from the lowly night watchman says a lot about how a camp is run.
All the Nomad guides (including the one who took us for a day trip into Arusha NP) were very knowledgeable and wanted to share this - for instance they all preferred to "talk you through" identification of a bird (flight pattern, habitat, solitary or group) rather than just giving you a name. The guides at Greystoke really did know the chimps individually and were most keen to point out their favourites, but also really knew their stuff on other species and birds.
I stayed at and have reviewed:
|Onsea House, Tanzania
8-Sep-2009 review: Belgian chocolates?
|Chada Camp, Tanzania
10-Sep-2009 review: Chada Camp review
|Chada fly-camping, Tanzania
14-Sep-2009 review: Chada fly-camping review
|Greystoke Mahale, Tanzania
17-Sep-2009 review: Greystoke Camp review
Do I have to give it a title?
On this trip, I visited Rwanda between 7-Sep-2007 and 20-Sep-2007 and I travelled with 1 other person.
I think when we started planning this trip some doubts were expressed about whether we could really fill two whole weeks visiting only Rwanda (and in addition refusing to "do" the genocide bit). But we never had a boring day.
Rwanda is such a populated country - on every drive the scenery competes with "people watching" opportunities. Everyone with their bundles on their heads, children with homemade toys (we bought banana-leaf footballs back as presents for everyone), markets to look at and explore. And then there is the bird-life. And it also a country with some amazingly forward looking environmental policies - plastic bags are banned.
So much to see and learn ......
Regarding the guide ... Fred was not just a guide, he became a friend. It makes a huge difference when you have a guide who really goes the extra mile to make sure you enjoy every hour of your trip. Fred arranged things really well: I'm sure we got good rooms, good service and definitely better guides for tracking because of his knowledge and connections.
He didn't fuss, but I felt he just quietly watched to see what sort of people we were, and what we liked doing, and then suggested or arranged things to suit us. So we, as very amateur bird watchers, got guides for our walks who were knowledgeable and interesting.
He also made sure we had plenty of information about what to expect when tracking (how far into the forest the primates were, how long it had taken groups the previous day, how much water to take etc.) and made sure we had a good porter, which was money well spent as it makes the walking much easier and provides much needed local employment.
Suggestions for improvement:
No complaints! This feedback form is great - though it took me ages to fill in. Glad you did not have these last year when we finished our ten week trip, I would have been at the computer for days. Funny thing is that although I never got around to sending in feed back after that trip your next brochure said exactly what I thought about most of the places we had visited - your carefully researched descriptions matched our experience.
I think that was also something we appreciated on this trip - Tracy took the time to make sure we knew what we were letting ourselves in for, so when we arrived somewhere pretty basic, that was what we were expecting. I don't think she prepared us properly for the Sabinyo Lodge - but the log fires, huge rooms and vast hot showers were a very pleasant shock!
I stayed at and have reviewed:
|Akagera Game Lodge, Rwanda
7-Sep-2007 review: A good intro to Rwanda and time to relax
|ORTPN Resthouse, Rwanda
10-Sep-2007 review: A basic resthouse, but a great place to be.
|Bethanie Guesthouse, Rwanda
13-Sep-2007 review: Fantastic location - room with a "wow" factor
|Mountain Gorillas Nest, Rwanda
15-Sep-2007 review: One bad day, one good day
|Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Rwanda
17-Sep-2007 review: What a place!