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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Lovers of Africa from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

Botswana and Zambia, May 2016

Botswana and 1 other country between 3 May 2016 and 18 May 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was a much anticipated and long-awaited trip, and undoubtedly our most expensive holiday to date, but it probably exceeded our expectations. We appreciated the Botswanan approach to tourism (high income, low volume) which we believe preserves the "goose that lays the golden eggs" - the richness of its wildlife and the distinctive personal nature of its camps. We loved the variety of terrain, accommodation and wildlife that we experienced, which was what I had requested when we first started discussing the itinerary.

We chose Expert Africa because of its intimate knowledge of the area, and I appreciated the personal information and advice I received from Lucy, who obviously travels regularly to Botswana and could talk to me about the camps from her personal experience. All the arrangements worked like clockwork and so we could just relax and enjoy the experience.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

One aspect that we found a little difficult was tipping. Some camps had trackers as well as guides, and others had additional offerings that could be rewarded, e.g. the Bushmen at Camp Kalahari while others did not, and it was difficult to budget as we went along. I did not realise that in most cases the staff managed their gratuity box themselves, without reference to the management, so I think this could be explained more clearly in your information before travelling."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Camp Kalahari

Camp Kalahari

"Excellent start to our safari"

3 nights Arrived 3 May 2016
"We loved this camp and found the staff all very friendly, efficient, caring and knowledgeable. Ossy, our young guide, was excellent and we learnt a great deal from him about the animals and birds in the area. Highlights included seeing brown hyena, walking with the meerkats and visiting the National Park, where we saw part of the second largest migration of zebra and wildebeest, and a lioness with her cub and a freshly killed zebra. Particularly magical was sitting far out into the salt pan watching the sunset, before returning to Ossy and our vehicle, where he told his about the evolution of the delta and the pan. We also enjoyed the opportunity to meet the bushmen, and to learn something about their traditional way of life

Food was excellent, service was impeccable and we enjoyed the singing and dancing of the staff, in which we participated enthusiastically if not necessarily proficiently! The rooms were well appointed and comfortable.

We enjoyed the opportunity to see some animals with which we were not familiar, e.g. springhares, porcupine and to start our extensive list of bird sightings. The night drives with the spotlight showed us that nocturnal animals were plentiful in this area"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Two night stay in Little Kwara"

2 nights Arrived 6 May 2016
"Both Little Kwara and Kwara appeared to be quite busy while we were there, which appeared to put quite a strain on resources. They seemed to be short of guides, vehicles, boats and blankets, which restricted the options of activities available to the guests. Our guide, Wagu, who is married to the assistant manager, told us from the start that the guides would decide the best activities for us. Repeated requests for a boat trip from some of the guests were greeted by refusals, but granted for others, and twice we had game drives curtailed, once to enable the tracker to go on holiday, and once to release the vehicle to take other guests to the airstrip. The only activities on offer to us were game drives.

We found Wagu a bit of an enigma - at times full of fun and conversation, at others taciturn and somewhat difficult to engage with. He was, however, very knowledgeable and we were extraordinarily lucky in the game that we saw during the two days. This included three visits to a female leopard and her cub enjoying the kill that she had made, two close-up sightings of a cheetah and her two adolescent cubs, and sitting within metres of a lioness as she devoured a freshly killed impala ram.

The food was OK, but the least good of all the camps at which we stayed. A faulty light bulb in our room, which drained the battery, resulted in our having to dress in the dark one morning but the fault was quickly rectified when we reported it. Having stayed in two Kwando camps (see Lebala later), we felt that they had a modus operandi which was less flexible that others we stayed in."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Footsteps across the Delta

Footsteps across the Delta

"Alone in Footsteps"

2 nights Arrived 8 May 2016
"Despite a breakdown in communication between Liittle Kwara and Footsteps, we eventually met up and were greeted on our arrival by all 7 staff singing and dancing. Although the camp could cater for 6 people, we were the only guests and thoroughly spoiled. Moses, our guide, and Kebafe, the manager, were excellent company and Hope, the waitress, was attentive with a lovely sense of fun.

Our main purpose in coming to Footsteps was to engage in walking safaris, and we did two, led by Moses. Each lasted only about an hour, and while they were interesting and informative, I thick we would have liked them to be longer. I heard from a guide that we met at Muchenje who used to be based there, that the walks used to be 3-4 hours, which i think is what I expected when we decided to go there. However, the sundowner venue at the end of the first walk was wonderful!

We enjoyed a mokoro trip with Phiefo from Shinde and had some good sightings, including leopards, lions and an eagle owl.

The staff once again put on a show for us on our second and last night and we were then escorted up to the lookout post for a private candlelit dinner for two, with sparkling wine and personal service from Hope. Quite magical! We enjoyed a final tour of the kitchen before we left and marvelled at their ability to cook such lovely meals, launder our clothes and generally keep the camp in such excellent condition with only a gas-fired fridge and a wood fire to help them. Farewell singing as we left, with hits all round.

We loved this simple camp - even the bucket shower! - and were made to feel very welcome by all the staff. Although lacking the luxury of other camps, it was excellent of its type."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp Review"

3 nights Arrived 10 May 2016
"Our second Kwando camp and we recognised the corporate approach from Little Kwara. We began really well with an amazing encounter with around 150 elephants on our way to the camp from the air strip. Our guide, Hobbs, was a one-off, with his own distinctive style, and Diesel was the best tracker we encountered on the trip. The accommodation was very spacious, with two showers and two wash hand basins and the bed was once again huge and very comfortable. The food was good and the bar was well stocked.

Hobbs responded quickly and efficiently to our request to search for wild dogs, and organised food to enable us to stay out as long as it took to find them. This involved driving to the neighbouring concession of Lagoon (also Kwando), where we were delighted to locate a group of 6 young males - the first time I had seen wild dogs in several visits to different parts of Africa. However, we were reminded that game viewing is often a matter of luck when we and the other vehicles spent a fruitless day and a bit trying to track and locate a pride of lionesses and cubs who succeeded in staying out of sight. Our activities were limited to game drives as walking was considered too dangerous due to the length of the grass 0 which we understood.

Several lovely surprises were laid on for the guests - sundowners set up beside a pan full of hippos, and a wonderful dinner set up in the open, under the stars and beside a big fire, which involved the staff in a lot of extra work, but was much appreciated by the guests."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge

"Much game at Muchenje"

2 nights Arrived 13 May 2016
"Muchenje is a most luxurious camp in a stunning location on an escarpment overlooking the Chobe River. The managers, Robert and Joy, run a tight ship and everything runs like clockwork. The staff were all friendly, confident and competent and did everything they could to ensure that we had a great experience there. This even included warm ponchos and hot water bottles for our early morning drives! Although we were only there for two nights, Robert ensured that we packed as much as possible into our stay.

On our one full day, we enjoyed an early morning drive followed by breakfast, and then a full day trip which included a cruise down the Chobe River in the lodge's boat, lunch beside elephants enjoying the water, and a drive back through the park, the highlight of which was observing a pride of some 13 lions, lionesses and cubs as they communicated with one other and interacted with a herd of buffalo! Bee, our guide, was excellent, e.g. using the actions of other animals to spot lions and a leopard.

Chobe National Park offers a huge variety of game and we were richly rewarded with great sightings each time we went out. As we were the only two guests on our second night, Robert and Joy joined us for a dinner beside the pool, where we were later joined by some elephants coming in to drink.

Overall, Muchenje offers the lot - superb location, excellent facilities, delicious food, knowledgeable and confident staff and a rich variety of game."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Islands of Siankaba

Islands of Siankaba

"R&R at Islands of Siankaba"

3 nights Arrived 15 May 2016
"We ended our trip at Islands of Siankaba in Zambia, from where we visited the Victoria Falls. This was the perfect place to relax and unwind after the excitement and regular game viewing of Botswana and we took full advantage of the facilities. We wondered where we were going as we drove down the seemingly endless dirt road from the turnoff, but from the moment that we arrived at the small reception area where we were greeted by Eunice, we were royally looked after. We were given the "honeymoon chalet", which faced east and thus enabled us to watch the dawn from the comfort of our bed, as well as offering a variety of sitting areas. The chalet was very well appointed, with lots of space and every conceivable amenity.

We both took advantage of the spa facilities, I enjoyed a couple of cooling dips in the pool, my husband visited the neighbouring village which supplies many of the staff, we were educated about the trees on the island, and we loved our sunset cruises on the (very full) Zambezi. There was plenty of opportunity to relax, read and enjoy the sunshine.

The food was excellent, in terms of quality, presentation and service, and we were touched to be given a private candlelit dinner for two on our last night - was this a spontaneous gesture by the management, or arranged by Expert Africa? Either way, it was a wonderful way to end our stay.

Eunice arranged our visit to the Victoria Falls and our requested helicopter ride, which were both memorable, especially since the river was so full.

All the staff were helpful, courteous and informed, but special thanks go to Richard, who was outstanding."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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