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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs A from Sevenoaks

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

My Aug 2016 trip

Tanzania between 29 Aug 2016 and 7 Sep 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"An outstanding trip. We may have been lucky in having both camps almost to ourselves but even without this I am sure we would have had the unhurried, individually tailored and thoughtful introduction to safari that we were looking for.

All arrangements worked well, any unexpected issues were dealt with quickly and with no fuss, and overall we had confidence that we could get on with enjoying ourselves."

Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Overnight at Southern Sun Dar"

1 night Arrived 29 Aug 2016
"We spent one night here, arriving late in the afternoon before heading out to our first safari lodge early the next day. It is absolutely fine for this - the room was comfortable, the staff unfailingly helpful and charming, and the food excellent. We didn't have time to explore properly, beyond going out through the hotel's back gate to the Botanical Gardens. Although not extensive and now hemmed in by buildings, these at least offer the opportunity for a stroll after a long flight.

Two things might be worth mentioning if you are planning to stay here. First, the main road from the airport is supposedly being upgraded. It is unclear when work will be complete, but until then the short journey between airport and hotel (and vice versa) can take hours and demand significant levels of patience (at one intersection the traffic police allowed crossing vehicles to run for 30 minutes before giving traffic on the main road a go!). And second, for some reason construction work on the site next to the hotel went on throughout the night. In fact, we were so tired that it wasn't a huge issue and when I mentioned it in passing to the duty manager he was mortified and raced off to investigate. But if there is any doubt it would be worth trying to get a room on the opposite side of the hotel (we were in 330).

By the way, it didn't affect us, but the first floor fitness suite and restaurant were closed for renovation so we haven't commented on the facilities; the pool looked lovely!"
Good
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Selous Impala Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 30 Aug 2016
"We spent four nights at Impala Camp, our first experience of safari. After the first night we and one other couple had the camp to ourselves. I suspect that even when the camp is full they have the ability to make everyone feel special, but we did feel particularly well looked after.

Our tent (if you can call it that - it felt more like a luxurious tree house!) was comfortable and well-equipped. The lighting was not that good and anyone hoping to get some reading done in the evenings would struggle, but other than that it had everything you might need. Being so close to the river and with thick bush close by there was quite a lot of activity - from our deck we saw (and heard) elephants, monkeys, bush babies and lots of rather beautiful birds.

The food was very good, if rather more plentiful than we could manage. The bush breakfasts were a particular treat - nothing quite beats getting up at dawn, and after a game drive sitting down to breakfast on the shores of a lake watching zebras, wildebeest, elephants and impala coming down to drink. Back at camp meals are taken at individual tables (rather than communally) which perhaps makes for a slightly more formal atmosphere - although one evening the staff set up a table (and a fire) away from the main buildings for us and our two fellow guests for dinner, with everyone's agreement.

We had a guide (Dennis) to ourselves throughout. This made the trip - his knowledge of the bush was staggeringly encyclopedic, his ability to spot interesting things at a distance bordered on the supernatural and his enthusiasm for sharing was infectious. He never lost patience even when to trying to help us to spot an animal in thick bush that was invisible to us, yet standing out like a beacon to him. It was particularly good to be able to alternate boat safaris with drives. All in all, this was an excellent introduction to safari."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kwihala Camp

Kwihala Camp

"Kwihala Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 3 Sep 2016
"We spent four nights at this little gem of a camp, coming from Selous Impala.

Although it sounds like a cliche, perhaps the best way of thinking about Kwihala is that you don't feel like a paying guest but rather a friend who has been invited to a weekend party. I'm sure that this is in no small part down to the skills and personality of the manager (Tam) who has got the fundamentals running so well that the team can relax into their jobs and create an atmosphere which is unstuffy, welcoming and thoroughly relaxed.

Our tent was comfortable and well-equipped; and although we found the design of the 'chest of drawers' slightly frustrating;, this really didn't seem to matter. The tents are well spaced and the only sounds we heard were from visiting jackals, hyena, elephant and monkeys (and the occasional lion grumbling in the distance).

The food was excellent. We had breakfast in camp only once (on our last day) otherwise having a bush breakfast out on an early game drive. Lunch was a really good buffet, and dinner a three or four course affairs. While there is no choice, they are keen and able to accommodate different tastes - when lamb curry was planned, knowing that we don't like spiced food they produced a lamb stew version just for us with no fuss.

Our guide, Hamza, was a star - knowledgeable, passionate about the bush (his excitement when we came across a pack of painted dogs was almost as enjoyable as the dogs), and yet with an easy manner and a sense of fun which made drives enjoyable as well as interesting. It was not unusual to go for several hours without seeing another vehicle, and while the volume of game was perhaps not as great as in the Selous the quality was exceptional - lions, elephants, many leopards, dogs and some splendid and rare birds.

But it is the staff which really make this camp. They are not just charming and helpful, they seem to anticipate what you need and unobtrusively make it happen. If you are looking for five star formality this may not be the camp for you - but as a place which combines professionalism, enthusiasm and a genuine warmth Kwihala would be hard to beat."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

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