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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms SF & Mr JMW from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

Zambia July/Aug 2016

Zambia between 13 Jul 2016 and 4 Aug 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Wonderful!! The logistics firm in particular - Team Africa? - who met us at Lusaka - were great! I'm sorry I can't definitely remember the name of the company. We wouldn't have caught the first connecting flight to Mfuwe if they hadn't hurried us through immigration. They were SO helpful at every interchange that I feel rather guilty about not having tipped them much, the problem being that we were usually rather disorientated at these junctures, with our minds on the difficulties that they were busy smoothing out. There were the big things, like catching planes and tracing luggage, which they handled very well, and also the small things, like returning a book I'd borrowed from Mchenja, which I was certain I could trust them with, that made our trip so very easy and relaxing. It was a totally luxurious 5-star holiday all the way."

Nkwali

Nkwali

"A welcoming start to our holiday"

4 nights Arrived 14 Jul 2016
"We arrived at Nkwali on the 16th, after two unscheduled nights in Dubai, having been "bumped" by Emirates airlines, who had also managed to lose one of our suitcases. Natasha was very welcoming and gave John a Robin Pope shirt so that he could change out of the one in which he had been travelling.

We were desperate to start our African adventure and were very happy when an elephant came into camp the very first day, even though it meant the bidding drum for breakfast could not be sounded, because the elephant was standing right by it.

I particularly liked having two hand basins and two showers! Unprecedented luxury in the bush!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nsefu

Nsefu

"Campfire comradeship"

4 nights Arrived 18 Jul 2016
"The journey from Nkwali to Nsefu involves an enchanting river crossing by pole boat (which we might call a punt), which was not nearly as alarming as it should have been, with sloping sandbags and gaps in the handrail each side of the river, home as it is to plentiful hippos and crocodiles. Our expert guides made sure we were safe at every turn. Indeed, they totally exceeded their brief. On the way to camp we saw a mating pair of lions.

When we arrived at camp it was just about lunchtime and we were sitting in the bar having pre-prandrial drinks when two more guides came in. I thought, of one of them, "Oh, he's got the same 'phone as me," but then quickly realised he was holding out my own 'phone to me! He had found it in the bush, quite near where the lions were. He had spotted it and yelled to the driver to stop, just in the nick of time. I hadn't even noticed it had gone from my pocket, so was completely spared the awfulness of losing my 'phone, with all my numbers, photos, little films and so on. So wonderful! If it had stayed out there near the lions I would have fretted about it for days, if not weeks, and never have even known what had happened to it. As a demonstration of the marvellous attention to detail that was manifest around us, this was tops.

Our hostess, Ruth, was really wonderful. I think of all the people I met on this holiday, she is the one I would most hope to see again. On I think our third day, half a dozen other people joined us who had been walking. Their scout had been in front, with a rifle, but suddenly a buffalo had appeared, charging at the line of "chickens" along the narrow path through the long grass. The guide didn't have time to fire, but kicked out at the buffalo with his foot and managed to deflect it just enough so that no-one was hurt - but this is not my story, though the opinion voiced was certainly of gratitude and amazement at the courage and resourcefulness of the scout...

Later we sat around a campfire on the riverbank and sang songs with and to each other. I was very sad to leave Nsefu!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kakuli Bushcamp

Kakuli Bushcamp

"The peeping mouse"

3 nights Arrived 22 Jul 2016
"Julius was not the only guide who asked us in the morning what we would like to see and then delivered it by nightfall, but it was with him that we began to set, as we thought, unattainable challenges. Wondering how high the bar could go, one day I said, "I'd like to see a leopard climbing a tree" and then, by dinner-time, there she was! We stayed out longer than usual for that one. The leopard started out as just a small patch of spots in the undergrowth, but then she walked over and seemed to take an interest in a tree, sniffing it and looking upwards. It was really time to go back to camp and we kept saying, "Oh well, never mind....", but suddenly, up she went, first about twenty feet, and then another twenty, where she made a lunge for a roosting guinea-fowl and missed. They all flew squawking out of the tree and we went back for our dinner, which thankfully we hadn't had to catch for ourselves.

We were a bit late, but hadn't been able to tear ourselves away. The peeping mouse came out of the thatch when I was having a shower. It was very pretty and not at all worrying. John thought there was a bit of debris near the sink, though, and when he went to pick it up, it jumped away, showing itself to be a little tree frog. These are also very appealing creatures, but easy to overlook, which is when they can make you jump.

As our move to Kakuli marked switching from Robin Pope to Norman Carr, I thought the latter didn't have hosts in the way to which we had become accustomed. Julius ate with us, drove us about the place and looked after us all the time, then on the third day Claire arrived and apologised for absence and Julius was allowed to go and eat with his colleagues and relax "backstage"."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mchenja Bushcamp

Mchenja Bushcamp

"Gully of Death!"

3 nights Arrived 25 Jul 2016
"On our way to Mchenja Julius took us to see the dead hippo which had been a source of interest for all of us over the previous few days. It had taken a while for the hyenas and vultures to get wind of the feast that awaited them and it was fascinating to observe the process. Brian, our guide at Mchenja, drove us to the Lion Plain and also to another place he called the "G O D", or "Gully of Death", where a particular leopard liked to hide, waiting for some tasty morsel to be grazing on the land beside it. John wanted to see a kill, but I wasn't so sure.

There had been a warthog caught by lions which we nearly saw and heard about later, but I'm not sure I'd've been happy to have witnessed a warthog squealing for 20 minutes. I grew particularly fond of warthogs, with their business-like ways...

At Mchenja we first met Enock, who was very welcoming, and later Vanessa took over the 'host' role, explaining that she moved about between camps as a temporary host to give the others a break. I loved the bath tub with a view, in our chalet."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Latitude 15

Latitude 15

"That's not Cheese, it's Parmesan!"

3 nights Arrived 28 Jul 2016
"We felt really sad at leaving the bush and all the animals, so coming into Lusaka was a bit grim. Eventually I grew really to like the very smart and individual environment that had been created at Latitude 15, and to appreciate the friendliness of the staff, though after the bush welcomes we had enjoyed, things seemed a bit impersonal at first. Whilst my annoying food choices were anticipated and very gracefully dealt with in the bush it was a bit disappointing in both hotels we went to to have to keep re-iterating my requirements and checking about things.

The waitress I most warmed to was Helen, who smiled broadly when she saw us for a second time and chatted with us, making us feel welcome. Gareth is working very hard at keeping the restaurant at the top of the prize-winners and Biemba too went out of her way to be good to us. It was also really great to meet Jake Da Motta, whom we interrupted at his work in "The Other Side" to ask about a driver who could maybe help us find John's old haunts from when he worked in Lusaka in the early 60s.

The driver, Isaac, was really good, walking up Cairo Road with us, accompanying us into the Cathedral and waiting patiently while John revisited the Civic Centre where he had reported on meetings from the Press Box in the Council Chamber. Because they are opening "The Other Side" as a health club, we were offered free taster massages, which were very good indeed. By the time we left Latitude 15, after 3 nights, we felt well at home there and again were sorry to leave."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Royal Livingstone Hotel

Royal Livingstone Hotel

"Giraffes to welcome us & zebras on the lawn"

4 nights Arrived 31 Jul 2016
"John particularly liked the ceiling fans, which were a feature of life in Northern Rhodesia, as Zambia was known in his previous time there. The hotel evokes that earlier age, despite being only about 15 years old. It is rather a marvellous place to stay and in a wonderful location.

We went on the train, which was splendid, and on the river safari, which was very good indeed, and also on the tour of Historic Livingstone, which was very interesting, taking us to places about which we would otherwise have known nothing at all. As mentioned, there was some difficulty about wheat- and dairy-free food, but eventually we found our way around the system.

We spent two days in the area just outside the hotel grounds in the vicinity of the Victoria Falls. It was very good to have free access to this park included in our hotel residency. Our "Butlers" were all very good, in particular Luke, who seemed to appreciate a little repair I had done to make the cupboard light work properly!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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