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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr J from Basingstoke

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

My Sep 2019 trip

Tanzania between 4 Sep 2019 and 13 Sep 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"On extra thing we added - we were due back in DAR at 4pm for the KLM flight at 11pm. As check-in wasn't open until 8pm, this gave a bit of a gap to fill. We didn't want to risk the journey to and from a hotel in the city centre, but we did find a relatively new hotel, the "Blue Sapphire" which is 10mins away, on the main airport boulevard, where we freshened up and had a meal before heading back to the airport. I would say it was adequate for this purpose and would be ok for an overnight as well, based on our experience here.

The new international terminal (T3) is coming in to use and although not fully opened, looks like a reasonably standard airport environment, so may be better for hanging about in than T2 was previously."

Siwandu

Siwandu

"A warm welcome"

3 nights Arrived 5 Sep 2019
"Accommodation: The best safari style accommodation I've seen in 4 trips. Very well designed and equipped "tents" and with that all important view to the middle distance down to the lake.

Food and drink: The food was less fancy than some places of this type, but was very suitable to the weather and the activity level of the trip. In some ways, actually, this type of food is ideal being relatively simple, but is less spectacular than elsewhere. Overall, we preferred the food here to Ikuka. The wine however was a weakness and not of a good standard. Just a question of getting better advice I think, because the wines at Ikuka were absolutely fine.

Staff generally: Very willing and helpful although less refined than some places. Emil, the camp manager, is highly attentive and the room butler was exceptional. The atmosphere here is more of a camp with connections to its local community rather than the "colonial outpost" vibe of some places.

Guiding: Our young guide Amos was extremely knowledgeable and competent (although not as experienced as Geofrey at Ikuka who was exceptional)

Vehicles and game drives: A weakness - the vehicle was older and the roads in the Selous were considerably worse than other areas I've been to.

Game viewing: Very good for giraffe as well as hippo and other water dependent wildlife because of the lake. We were fortunate to see buffalo and lion relatively near by as we understand this is not typically the case and the long drive to get a sighting could be quite bad (as we discovered with a drive out to see some Wild Dogs). Also only two sightings of a single elephant here. This is all relative of course, and I'm nitpicking as one of our game drives in particular was absolutely stunning. Also a very interesting and entertaining walking safari with Allen, the head guide."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ikuka

Ikuka

"Astonishing view"

4 nights Arrived 8 Sep 2019
"Accommodation: Good with an outstanding view down from the ridge to the plain. Not quite as well designed as some as the bathroom area is outside the zipped tent - that together with change of levels (small steps up and down) across the sitting, bed, bathroom and deck areas made moving around a little tricky at times.

Food and drink: The food was super - but requires some self control not to overdo it. Wines were also good.

Staff generally: Slightly less good than Siwandu on attendance in the room, but generally more refined in the dining area. Staff were friendly and absolutely charming - a real pleasure to chat with.

Guiding: Our guide Geofrey was exceptionally knowledgeable and very good at predicting what the wildlife was likely to do next, meaning we were often uniquely well placed to view.

Vehicles and game drives: Very good - the vehicle was more comfortable and the roads much better than in Selous so that longer drives were quite possible.

Game viewing: Really excellent for elephant and lions as well as several very good sightings with leopards and a young serval. Geofrey's skill meant we were in position to see lions and leopard hunting. Although not great birders, there were some spectacular and colourful birds especially around the river environment. Some wonderful vistas with mixed herds of impala, water buck, zebra and elephant which created a marvellous atmosphere."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Exceptional

Rwanda and 1 other country between 8 Jul 2016 and 19 Jul 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Such a wonderful experience amongst some of the beautiful creatures with which we share this planet.

Combining the peaceful vegetarian Mountain Gorillas in the dense green forests of the Virungas, with the dusty, teeming expanse of the Maasai Mara at the time of the Great Migration gave a tremendous contrast in atmosphere and context.

Very good sighting experiences in both Rwanda and Kenya with knowledgeable guiding from local people with a real connection to the environment they were working in.

This was my first safari, and I think that if you appreciate the peace and grandeur of nature's wonders then there can be no better way to de-compress from everyday life than time spent in a camp like Naboisho.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

The brochure is quite a piece of work !

I know such collateral is tremendously labour intensive and expensive to produce but I do very much appreciate it and I think it does articulate well your expertise and commitment to this market. If I do come to plan another African trip, it will be my go to resource."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

"Gorilla Mountain View Lodge review"

4 nights Arrived 9 Jul 2016
"Good, medium standard of accommodation.

The staff absolutely could not be more friendly or keen to help. No issues really with how infrastructure worked (power and water), food quite acceptable (way better than I've had in a lodge targeting roughly the same market in India). Certainly no problems or issues seen with cleanliness or hygiene etc"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Kigali Serena Hotel

Kigali Serena Hotel

"Kigali Serena Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 13 Jul 2016
"Good, international standard hotel.

Have to say I felt bit under dressed as I'd filled my 15kg luggage allowance ready for gorilla trekking and safari - but nice to us the facilities of a good city hotel between more remote stops."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Naboisho Camp

Naboisho Camp

"Naboisho Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 14 Jul 2016
"Very enjoyable experience indeed. "Tent" was excellent (really a tent erected under a permanent thatched canopy) and the food was outstanding for such a remote location, in my view.

My first time on safari, so I don't have any direct comparisons, but it was all well beyond my expectations. I was fortunate to have convivial fellow travellers so that the whole ambience of the camp was more like a house party than anything else.

Well hosted, well guided, excellent service, excellent food. I would have been happy to stay indefinitely !

A very relaxing experience in a very exciting environment."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Ole-Sereni

Ole-Sereni

"Ole-Sereni review"

1 night Arrived 18 Jul 2016
"Reasonable stopping off point for an overnight wait for an early flight."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Facilities
Good

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