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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Thor & Deb from Vancouver

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

9

Excursions taken

0

Our retirement trip

Tanzania and 1 other country between 7 Sep 2015 and 8 Oct 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"It was absolutely a fabulous trip. We are seasoned off-the-beaten-track travellers and I absolutely marvel that everything, everything, worked exactly as it was supposed to. Here we were, in the middle of central Tanzania, waiting for a 10:05 flight. Guess what? At 10:03, there was the plane, buzzing animals off the grass runway, then touching down to pick us up. It happened every time.

How do they manage to have tonic, gin, lime, glasses, ice, and potato chips in Katavi? It must be a logistical nightmare--but there was my gin and tonic, always perfectly served. Dazzling!

We felt safe, treated so well by enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and genuinely caring staff throughout..... And then there were the animals. We never saw a rhine, because they have been poached to virtual extinction in East Africa, but we saw most everything else, and up close and personal. Having a leopard on your tent porch is not something I will soon forget.

A word of caution: Mother Nature can be entirely unsentimental. We watched two lionesses kill a baby giraffe as the helpless adult giraffes watched. This was not easy...... but it is what happens out there. This is not Disneyland."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


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Inside Afrika Boutique

"reasonable small hotel in good location."

1 night Arrived 7 Sep 2015
"We found the Inside Africa Boutique Hotel on the web and spent three nights there in total. It was friendly, efficient, punctual, and pleasant with a nice pool and very few room--which we like. Breakfast was hearty. Place felt safe. Clean.

We could walk to the 'Hotel Rwanda', and other nearby good restaurants which were recommended to us, and there was a nice view. It's in a residential area. Would we stay there again? Yes, but it isn't anything special and certainly not luxurious.

The bathroom fixtures were a bit dodgy, and one of the pipes began to leak while we were there--but they fixed it right away."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

"Did what it was supposed to do."

3 nights Arrived 8 Sep 2015
"Very pleasant and comfortable--though the rooms have the goofiest shower stalls you will ever see (but they work). Water pressure, wi-fi, and those mod-cons can be a bit dodgy, but the staff does its best and you are in the heart of Africa. Get over it!

The food was excellent and huge variety. Staff was unfailingly friendly and helpful.

Fun to talk to fellow gorilla trekkers and to compare notes in the lounge."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
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Inside Afrika Boutique

"Inside Afrika Boutique review"

1 night Arrived 11 Sep 2015
"We stayed here on the way back from gorilla trekking, so see my previous comments"
Excellent
Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

"Of boy, here we go....."

4 nights Arrived 12 Sep 2015
"This was our introduction to Nomad's camps. We ended up staying at 4, and all were simply wonderful. Raj and his crew welcomed us and I liked that he and an alternating guide always had dinner with us. This allowed us to meet as fellow humans, and to allow us to hear stories from the guides--and to pick their brains. We were curious to see the cook tent and they facilitated this.

One night a leopard prowled through the edge of the camp as we were watching 'Bush TV' (campfire), and the enthusiasm with which the guides ran for torches and bade us follow them as we followed the animal made it clear that the staff are genuine enthusiasts. Great food, exemplary service at out tent. Guiding in the jeeps was superb.

What I didn't know was that I dropped my GoPro out of my bag. At the next camp (Katavi) I got word of this from the camp manager who had been contacted by Raj. There wasn't time to get it to me at Katavi, but there it was waiting for me at Mahale--having travelled half way through Tanzania. If that isn't honest and fabulous service, I don't know what is.

Because this camp is mobile, it is more spartan than the other Nomad camps, but that is a relative term. It was divine!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Chada Camp

Chada Camp

"One word: Esprit de corps"

4 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2015
"Jean has created a camp with the most remarkable esprit de corps we experienced throughout Tanzania (we were on a 5 week safari) and top among Nomad camps. Everyone jumped to duty, all the time, but with enthusiasm, much laughter, ribbing, and dedication. Jean also ate with us, as did a guide. This is such a great idea. The food was excellent, the beer cold, the icy towel always awaited us as we piled out of the jeeps at the end of our safari.....

The elephants parade through the camp, and one played with the guy wire of our tent. Kati is wild and different, but fabulous, and the camp was fabulous. Again, the guiding was exemplary.

I set out to see an animal before our guide and it finally happened when I spotted the lioness before he did--but in fairness to him, he was in the middle of negotiating a steep ravine in the Land Rover at that precise moment, and was rather busy at the time. I must admit that he spotted it a split second after I did--but I beat him :)"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Greystoke Mahale

Greystoke Mahale

"Unique.... The best....."

3 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2015
"Ah.... Mahale..... Of our five weeks in the bush, it was the best, but it is difficult to compare with the others because of its uniqueness. Aesthetically, the buildings (and much of the furniture and fitments) are made of old dhows and are exquisite. Cam and Kate were consulate hosts and went above and beyond to make our stay perfect--including setting the entire dining table for the 12 of us on the beach on the final night. Happy hour at the bar on the point was divine.

Butate, our guide, was one of the most caring and lovely people I've ever met, to say nothing of his knowledge and guiding skills. He loves the chimps, that is clear. He also took us through his village, which was a wonderful experience. He is also a very, very funny man, and we spent an inordinate amount of time falling over with laughter.

Chimp trekking was fabulous, though my camera struggled with the light and shadow, and with the focus, because the jungle can be very dense. We had one very easy trek to see them, and one very tough one.

And then there's Big Bird, the tame pelican who, if truth be told, rules the camp. We guests had to fish for him, rescue him from a boat that threatened to cart him to the nearby village--where he would have ended up in the pot, and generally ensure that his life was bliss. He was the most wonderful bird I've met, and I miss him and worry for him. He is too friendly for his own good. Long Live Big Bird!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kigelia Camp

Kigelia Camp

"Excellent--not quite up to Nomad standards"

3 nights Arrived 23 Sep 2015
"This was our 4th Nomad camp and it was excellent--but not quite up to the standards of the rest. There was the evening when the waiters forgot to top up our wine because they were having a good yarn at the edge of the mess, and I had to chase them down. There were a couple of times when there weren't any greeting-committee with icy towels when we returned from the drive..... those sorts of little things.

The food was excellent, the guiding was up to the usual impeccable Nomad standards, and the tent was comfortable. I was awaken at 2 AM by a leopard who decided to sit on our porch--and have the footprints to prove it! Wow.

I understand that Kigali is a newly acquired Nomad camp. That being the case, I expect Ken, the affable camp manger, will have it whipped into ship-shape in short order. If need be, send Jean from Katavi. He's have that place humming in days!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Good camp. Not of Nomad calibre, but good."

3 nights Arrived 26 Sep 2015
"With hindsight, I would stay at the Nomad camp in the Selous, just because of their impeccable standards. I image, however, that Lake Manze camp must be considerably less expensive than a Nomad camp. Much bigger, with 35 (?) spaces for guests. The food was good. The coordination between the bar staff and the restaurant waiters lacked, and beers didn't arrive, or arrived incorrectly..... or were really slow..... Sometimes seemed to be a bit of a comedy show--but they were all friendly and the environment was lovely.

Nighttime visitations by civil cats, elephants, etc.--which was wonderful. No electric lights in the tents. Only a kerosene lamp and a flashlight. My wife found that a challenge. It didn't bother me. Guiding was up to Nomad standard (despite this not being a Nomad camp). We went to 5 camps in Tanzania.

If I were to drop one, it would be the Selous. 60% of its elephant population has been slaughtered by poachers in the last ten years. Government of Tanzania: do something about this -- and I don't mean collude with the poachers!"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Pole Pole

Pole Pole

"I widh I were back there, right now...."

8 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2015
"Marina and her staff did their best to make our 8 days at Pole Pole as enjoyable as possible--and they never disappointed. The food was the best we had in Africa. Italian-based, but I was delighted that they had a weekly Swahili menu too. The presentation of the food, too, was exemplary.

Some of the staff are not familiar with western table/service etiquette, and would forget what was on the menu, etc. Having said that, they were all wonderfully kind and friendly, and did their very best. Thus this is not a complaint, and I urge guests to cut some of the younger waiters a bit of slack if they need it. The setting and environment was delightful and aesthetically very carefully crafted to be as beautiful as possible--while integrating into the local landscape.

The bungalows were beautiful: absolutely beautiful. We did have problems with mosquitos in our screened area around the bed, despite the staff and I doing our best to find out where the little devils were getting in.... Drink prices were too high. Way too high. The highest we experienced, by a considerable %, in 5 weeks in Rwanda Kenya, and Tanzania.

We were at Pole Pole for the scuba diving, and David, from Mafai Island Diving, came by every evening to detail the next day's adventures--and typically picked us up and dropped us off right on Pole Pole's beach. Not bad...... The diving was fabulous!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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