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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by M&A from Austria

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

A Great Green Season Safari

Tanzania between 1 Feb 2020 and 15 Feb 2020

Trip rating: Good
"Despite some tricky conditions everything worked very well, and we had a diverse and very enjoyable trip. We´vee been very happy with the services of Expert Africa and will gladly book with them again.

Tanzania had an unusually wet season. We did have quite some rain and some very dull lighting conditions but the sun came out often enough to keep us happy. Some areas in Selous and Ruaha were inaccessible but that was no issue for us, we covered a lot of ground, doing mostly full day outings.

We loved the lush green environments, it was nice to see happy animals enjoying the abundance of food. Predators were a bit scarce, and the high grass a problem for visibility sometimes but we had expected that. Birding was really good, we recorded almost 300 species and photographed about 250. Udzungwa was a really cool place to be, loved the hiking there. Snorkeling in Mafia was a revelation - like swimming in an aquarium, really beautiful. We cannot quite join in the chorus of devoted Chole followers though.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No suggestions - really impressed with the quality of service. Thanks again!"

Arranged By Jessica Plumb


Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"A wet but very enjoyable stay at Lake Manze "

4 nights Arrived 1 Feb 2020
"A very nice camp with good food, comfy setup and welcoming hosts who were a constant presence. General game was plentiful, especially Impala, Zebra, Kudu, Wildebeest and delightfully many Giraffe. Surprising lack of Elephants though - just one single young bull (who gave us a good show in the river).Saw a coalition of five lions and a pack of Wild Dogs three times! Also Hyena and two short but exciting leopard sightings. Really loved the boat activities, wonderful photo opportunities for Kingfishers and Bee-eaters espesically.

Our guide was just ok (had far better ones) though a nice enough guy. The driver had impressive skills, got stuck more than once in the black cotton soil. One evening we had torrential rainfall and I was unsure if we'd actually make it back to camp - every little crevice had become a stream, and we had quite a lot of hairy crossings. But Driver Abuu really was champ, and made it.

Tanzania had had unusually much rain, so much of Selous was flooded. Our camp was starting to be more and more in the lake rather than at the lake, so we were transferred to Impala Camp for our last night because they were afraid the water might reach our tent in the middle of the night. The water level was not an issue for us during our stay at Lake Manze, our tent remained a few cm above the water line, only the path started to resemble a creek more and more."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"A great camp but not the most prolific area"

4 nights Arrived 5 Feb 2020
"Camp itself is perfect, really loved the tents and the atmosphere. The managers are doing a great job there. The immediate surrounding area is beautiful, lots of huge old trees, and a reasonable amount of game. But boy, this is really a marginal part of the park. On the way to the core safari areas mammals were awfully scarce, one morning we went two hours without even seeing an Impala. Really a long way to the much more productive grasslands along the Ruaha River - which we absolutely loved.

Our guide Jimmy was fantastic, one of the best we've ever had. A very keen and avid birder and a fun guy, I'm sure he has a good career ahead of him. Our driver Ayoubu was equally outstanding, much more than a driver, had all qualities of a super guide - we tipped him as one.

Lots of Zebra, Impala, Grant´s Gazelle and Giraffe along the Ruaha River, also dozens and dozens of Elephants. We found the Lions once - although our focus was more on birding (which was terrific) so did not really make an effort for Cats. I´m sure we would have seen them more often when really trying. No Leopards - but others guests saw three not too far from camp during our stay. Had a great sighting of the Dogs. Very lucky - they've last been seen in November Also saw a Serval, but one step into the high grass after a few seconds - and gone! Our most exciting sighting was a Spitting Black Cobra attacking and fighting a Puff Adder - watched that for half an hour. David Attenborough stuff!

In general, Mdonya is a top camp with super guides and really good value (esp. considering the very reasonable pv rates) but its location is less than ideal."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Udzungwa Forest Camp

Udzungwa Forest Camp

"Great hiking and birding in the Udzungwas"

3 nights Arrived 9 Feb 2020
"A very pleasant surprise,much better than expected. Tents were airy and spacious. Food was fantastic, by far the best of all four camps we visited. A very creative chef there, delicious sauces especially. Enjoyed sitting in the garden and watching the Colobus monkeys and Hornbills.

We did the hike up to the Sanjay Falls. Exhausting, but so much worth it. Views from up there were a highlight. Saw a Green Mamba, and to our delight also had really good sightings of the Sanjay Created Mangabeys. There's a fantastic birding guide in camp (Manuel, also the head waiter), and he helped us find a lot of specialties. He was with us for the hike and almost for another full day, and they charged a ridiculously low amount for that (about USD 60 IIRC), so we made up for that with tipping him adequate for his fabulous work.

Really loved the Udzungwas, a very different place and a nice change from more conventional safari."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Chole Mjini Lodge

Chole Mjini Lodge

"Chole Mjini - not really a hit unfortunately"

3 nights Arrived 12 Feb 2020
"We did not fall in love with the place as so many other guests apparently have. Our stay was spoilt a bit by too much rain, and everything was damp all the time.

The tree houses themselves are very cool, enjoyed those a lot. Food was OK, sometimes good to very good but generally not very impressive. We did not see much of the owners, they never joined meals. Anne joined us for two minutes at one breakfast and about 15 minutes before dinner once. There was Dim, a young and very helpful Dutch acting as assistant manager who was very keen and did everything he could to help and make our stay enjoyable. Still, we found it weird that the people in charge showed zero interest in their guests. Not the most welcoming atmosphere.

And while we appreciate they keep things more basic it would have been nice to get a cocktail on a tropical island, and at least some ice with G&T and Amarula. Laundry was something that quite irked us, we put it in immediately after arrival. The next day was dry. It was returned to us only the following evening - completely wet and impossible to wear! Obviously they had let it hang in the rain. So we had no clean stuff for our flight home. Pretty embarrassing to travel in our smelly safari stuff.

Those complaints aside, still enjoyed the Mafia Island Marine Park a lot. We loved snorkeling (like swimming in an aquarium) and the sandbank and sunset sail cruises. Also enjoyed really good birding. No Whale Sharks - we did not try. Chatted to a number of people, and none had been successful during and before our stay.

One reason why we´re not really sold on Chole is the island itself. We love to walk, and love remote places. We had read in the description of Chole that there's a village nearby. Which is fine. What we had not anticipated however is that there are locals everywhere all over the island. Every path leads through the villagers backyards, and we were not completely comfortable with that. Many people probably will enjoy that aspect a lot but not entirely our cup of tea.

To sum up, we could easily see returning to Mafia but it will be a different lodge then."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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