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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms F & Ms K from USA

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

July 2016 Zambia and the Seychelles

Zambia and 2 other countries between 11 Jul 2016 and 29 Jul 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"We chose Expert Africa on the recommendation of a close friend who had used the agency a couple of years ago. We are so glad we did!

We dealt with Maruska, who was amazing. She is knowledgeable, efficient and our questions (which seemed endless) were answered promptly and cheerfully. We were particularly impressed that Maruska put us in touch with a colleague in the UK office because she was not as familiar with the Seychelles. Admitting that, and getting us the information, is not something everyone is good at doing.

The Zambia portion of the trip was amazing and exceeded all of our expectations. The camps Maruska suggested were excellent - she asked us lots of questions and really tailored the experience to our preferences. She was very familiar with all the camps and her comments were spot on. We would definitely go back to Zambia.

We enjoyed the Seychelles. Seeing those amazing beaches and swimming in the warm ocean was delightful.

We would recommend Expert Africa."

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

"Great experience at Flatdogs Camp"

3 nights Arrived 11 Jul 2016
"We knew of Flatdogs from a friend, who had stayed there a couple of years ago. Our experience at Flatdogs lived up to her enthusiastic endorsement in every aspect.

Our guide was Yotam, who we found to be knowledgeable, thorough, and engaging. Flatdogs is located just outside the park gate. This is considered to be a more congested area of the park (we visited other camps after Flatdogs and it is true that there were less vehicles the further one is from the Mfuwe gate) but Yotam did a good job avoiding vehicles and finding animals. Highlights were seeing lions mating and a lion springing up on the back of a buffalo trying to bring it down.

The camp never seemed crowded (despite its larger number of guests) and the attention from staff and guides was genuine and personal. We stayed in a safari tent and found the amenities, location and view of the river to be wonderful. The food was delicious.

We were particularly impressed by the attention Flatdogs paid to the comments sent on ahead by our booking agent. In our case it was a note saying neither of us drink alcohol and one enjoys hot chocolate instead of coffee or tea. The first morning we arrived for breakfast to find a pot of hot chocolate and hot chocolate was also sent on each morning game drive. We were told that the requests were noted on a board in the kitchen and it certainly seemed that every person working at Flatdogs had read the board. Small details like that make a huge impression - thank you!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Fabulous stay at Kaingo"

3 nights Arrived 14 Jul 2016
"We spent 7 nights between Kaingo and its sister bushcamp, Mwamba. Our stay at Kaingo was amazing.

We were very impressed by our guide Sylvester. He would read the tracks in the dust of the road and off we would go - and there would be the wild dogs or the lion pride! The game is plentiful around Kaingo but it still requires a high degree of skill to locate 5 leopards in a day. Highlights of the game viewing were a pride of lions hunting buffalo and a leopard exploding from a gully in an effort to bring down an impala. One day I went on walking safari with Sylvester while my companion, Gina, went on a drive. On the walk with Sylvester and the ranger Peter, I witnessed wild dogs hunting. Down on one knee taking pictures, the dogs raced by about 5 metres away.

We had selected Kaingo for two reasons. First was the focus on photography. Kaingo really shines in this aspect! There were bean bag lens rests in each vehicle and dustcovers were provided. The guides are all terrific photographers and shared their knowledge, as did other guests. Second, we wanted to support an owner-run independent camp. Derek's family has been involved in developing and protecting South Luangwa for many years. Kaingo camp was obviously designed to minimize impact. While everyone spoke highly of Derek, we were surprised to learn that he and Jules live in Lusaka and are not at the camp full time. Re-reading the Expert Africa webpage on Kaingo, it notes that Derek often helps out with guiding. Perhaps this should be updated.

Kaingo camp offers lovely accommodation in chalets, each with a private deck overlooking the river. The outdoor bathtub felt a bit excessive but others visiting the camp might really enjoy that kind of amenity. The food was excellent and Kaingo catered to people's dietary needs with grace and ease.

We would highly recommend Kaingo, particularly for serious photographers."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

"Amazing experience at Mwamba Bushcamp"

4 nights Arrived 17 Jul 2016
"We spent 7 nights between Mwamba Bushcamp and its sister camo, Kaingo.

We were guided by Sylvester, who was excellent. As we had an extended period with him, Sylvester chose to take us to different areas (for example, the Boabab Forest and Kapanda Lagoon). We did both walks and drives with Sylvester and were equally impressed on both. His ability to mimic bird sounds was truly amazing - he was able to call an owl back and forth between 2 trees (numerous flights back and forth) so we could photograph it in flight. He also found some of the more rare animals for us - notably a serval.

The staff at Mwamba were lovely. Craig and Lindy, camp managers, clearly love their job and love the property. Hopefully they will be with Shenton Safaris for years! We loved the rustic feel of the thatch chalets - Mwamba was our favorite camp for its accommodations. The food was excellent and varying food preferences were easily and graciously accommodated. After leaving, Lindy was kind enough to forward the recipes to us.

We chose Mwamba (and its sister camp Kaingo) for the focus on photography. The bean bag rests and dustcovers were appreciated. The guides are keen photographers as well, and passed along many helpful hints.

We highly recommend Mwamba Bushcamp, particularly to photography enthusiasts."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"City Lodge Johannesburg Airport"

1 night Arrived 21 Jul 2016
"City Lodge was easily accessible from OR Tambo Airport terminal, and was good value for the price. Our room was spacious and well appointed.

Breakfast (included in our room rate) was excellent.

We would recommend City Lodge to anyone needing to overnight when flying through Johannesburg."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Le Sans Souci

Le Sans Souci

"Le Sans Souci - a hidden gem"

4 nights Arrived 22 Jul 2016
"Located up in the mountains and away from the main towns, Le Sans Souci is a gem. The owners were onsite and could not have been more helpful or attentive. It is a small property and the feeling is that you are staying among friends. One evening we were invited up for dessert, even though we had not opted to have dinner at the property. Truly a gracious hostess!

The rooms had everything we needed, and the view from the deck was magnificent.

Le Sans Souci includes a car rental with the room. As it is out of town this makes a great deal of sense, but as North Americans used to wide highways and easy grades we found driving on Mahe to be daunting. The roads are narrow and the curves are out of this world. We only took advantage of the car one day.

We would recommend Le Sans Souci, particularly to adventurous drivers."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Le Duc de Praslin, Seychelles (this camp has since closed)

"Disappointed by Le Duc de Praslin"

3 nights Arrived 26 Jul 2016
"Le Duc de Praslin was the only disappointment on our trip.

There were good aspects of the property: spacious rooms, a beautiful setting and lovely grounds and central dining area. However, these were overshadowed by the negatives. Housekeeping was spotty - smudges on the mirrors, dirty drinking glasses in the bathroom, toilet not adequately cleaned upon check-in, beds turned down one night but not the next. Breakfast was a lovely buffet but the food at dinner at Le Duc's restaurant (Le Dauphin) was a let-down. Two nights we were offered a four course meal with choices in everything but dessert. The first night the dinner was very good but the next we chose "chicken leg" and were served the tiniest drumstick imaginable. The third dinner was a seafood buffet. We love seafood but sadly the dishes all tasted fishy.

Le Duc also boasts a "world class" reastuarant, Café des Artes. As we both enjoy good food we had thought to eat there at least once. In Le Duc's rates, half board (breakfast and dinner) costs $100 USD ($50 USD per person) more than booking as bed and breakfast. However, Le Duc would have only transferred a $30 USD credit per person from Le Dauphin to Café des Artes. Already turned off by the housekeeping issues noted above, neither of felt like losing part of what we had paid to eat at another restaurant owned by the same property and located 100 feet away.

On Le Duc's website the property boasts of having the friendliest staff around. The opposite seemed true to us - managers spent most of their time in the tiny air conditioned office rather than the front desk and most of dining room staff lacked motivation or purpose.

We would not recommend Le Duc de Praslin."
Poor
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Poor

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