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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by G & G from Glasgow

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

15

Excursions taken

0

Double 40th birthday trip to Zambia

Zambia between 6 May 2011 and 16 May 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"We were aware that May can sometimes be a bit early in the dry season as the wildlife can still be spread-out and the bush lush but you can't shift your birthdays!

Zambia though offers a wide range of National Parks and spread of activities so the plan was to visit Lower Zambezi NP for the first time, South Luangwa which we'd really enjoyed before and finally get to Vic Falls. It turned out better than we hoped - camps great with wonderful views over the rivers, excellent knowledgeable guides and some really good sightings.

A few game drives were pretty quiet but more than made up for by some of the boat/canoeing outings. The camps set up some lovely touches for our birthdays too. The whole holiday including logistics between Parks went seamlessly and Claire Scott organised another great trip for us.

Looking forward to planning the next one!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

no"

Arranged By Claire Scott


Old Mondoro Bushcamp

Old Mondoro Bushcamp

"Old Mondoro Bushcamp review"

2 nights Arrived 7 May 2011
"First (and sole for our stay) guests of the season. Lovely location looking over Zambezi with a feeling of remoteness within the Park. Rooms well spaced out and of a simple but by no means basic design. Elephants wandering through the camp and wonderful dusk/dawn sounds of the bush.

Guides and camp staff excellent. New management couple from SA for 2011 season who are very welcoming and enthusiastic. Nice surprise of a birthday cake and songs from some of the staff. Game drives and walk very enjoyable but wildlife not prolific in May as the bush hasn't dried up sufficiently to force animals towards the permanent water sources.

Excellent leopard sighthing though and best ever of civet and white-tailed mongoose - largely since red-filters are used at all times on the night-drive spotlights which the animals are comfortable with and don't avoid as with the unfiltered spotlights. Not much good for photos perhaps but we really liked the policy as it gives a much more rewarding sighting when you are able to observe the animals for longer.

Our sort of camp: simple, relaxed and with a primary focus on wildlife. Would return in a heartbeat."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Chiawa Camp

Chiawa Camp

"Chiawa Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 9 May 2011
"Set in a well shaded area looking out over the Zambezi. Tented rooms on platforms relatively close to one another but spacious. Indoor and outdoor shower plus bath a bit OTT. Food excellent but just too much throughout the day finished by a 4 course dinner and a ferrero-rocher on your pillow when you get back to your room - enough!!! Superb range of activities: game drives, walking, boat trip, canoeing and fishing. We did all bar the fishing but the canoeing was a real highlight which is generally not available on safaris: working your way round an obstacle course of hippo, buffalo, elephant and lion along a channel of the Zambezi was one of the best things we've ever done in Africa. Guiding is first-class and guides are assigned based on activity so you experience a mix during your visit rather than the usual single guide - a good thing. New management couple for 2011 who have recently moved from the superb Beho Beho in Tanzania so I'd expect Chiawa to improve even further. One amazing touch was to arrange a candlelight dinner on a boat moored out on the river for my wife's birthday - how good is that?!!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nkwali

Nkwali

"Nkwali review"

3 nights Arrived 11 May 2011
"We actually stayed in Robin's House next door to Nkwali as a small family group. House simple but very comfortable looking out over the Luangwa with our own guide and staff. Game drives and walk very enjoyable but less animals about compared to our previous visits to the area which had been later in the year. Highlight being a pel's fishing owl who had chosen to nest in a tree on the road into Nkwali. Area of the Park close to Mfuwe seems to have become noticeably busier in years since our last visits with more camps in and adjacent to the park and resultant greater amount of vehicles."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Islands of Siankaba

Islands of Siankaba

"Islands of Siankaba review"

2 nights Arrived 14 May 2011
"Stunning location on a couple of heavily wooded islands on the upper Zambezi which in May is a veritable torrent of water. Layout of the lodge one of best I have visited with excellent food and service standards. Rooms elevated and very nice with interconnecting walkways. Sunset boat-trip lovely and walks around the area and nearby village full of birdlife. Due to the high water levels, some of the walks were restricted and mokoro trips not possible. Vic Falls visit early in the morning a wonderful way to finish. Great place to relax and I wish we could have stayed longer!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Wonderful trip to Southern Tanzania

Tanzania between 23 Oct 2010 and 7 Nov 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"A wonderful trip for our 10th wedding anniversary and we've had some really great trips to other African destinations with Expert in the past but this was a bit special at times - particularly as Claire had notified the camps of our anniversary.

We were fortunate to have had some of our best ever wildlife sightings. Mwagusi and Beho Beho certainly are best in class in our experience and Pole Pole made for a lovely relaxing option on the coast.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Keep doing what you do and we'll keep being customers"

Arranged By Claire Scott


Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

"A very special stay at Mwagusi"

3 nights Arrived 24 Oct 2010
"We were lucky to have had the camp to ourselves for two of our three night stay and couldn't have been looked after better.

The camp has a great bush feel with large tents set within thatched open bandas overlooking a dry (in late October) section of river-bed where wildlife can and does pass through as we found with some ellies who made for a couple of facinating close encounters. The owner Chris Fox was on hand for much of our stay and gave us our first game drive - a fascinating character with a real passion for wildlife and his safari business who made for great company.

It seemed to us a well-run and happy camp with a really adventurous feel where Kimberley was a great hostess and Samson an excellent guide. A private dinner on the river-bed under the stars on our last night to celebrate our anniversary was a special highlight made just a little bit magical by the camp staff bringing out a specially made cake whilst singing a Maasai traditional song at the end.

This section of Ruaha had fantastic diversity at an interesting time of year when the water sources are really drying up. Great sightings of cats and other big game together with a few rarities such as wild cat, lesser kudu, klipspringer and egyptian mongoose. Activities are generally restricted to game drives but, in late October at regular 40C temperatures by mid-day, that suited us fine - particularly given the extent of different habitats to see and very few other vehicles about.

Food is fresh, varied and plentiful with various options/combinations available. We'd prefer to see drinks included in the overall rate as is more often the case with the top-end camps rather than wondering how much we'd spent by the end but that's small beer in the scheme of things. All said, definitely one of the best camps we've stayed in."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Beho Beho

Beho Beho

"Dog days at Beho Beho"

4 nights Arrived 27 Oct 2010
"We were a bit apprehensive before going to Beho Beho since it seemed a bit luxurious compared to our normal choices but Expert Africa rated it very highly and it was within our budget so we were persuaded and rightly so.

The camp sits on a hillside with wonderful views and allows the breeze to flow through - very welcome at the hottest times of year. It also sits in an area of the Game Reserve away from most other camps so has a feel of a private concession with very few other vehicles about. Sacha and Tam run a slick and high-quality operation where the food is akin to that you expect in city restaurant rather than in the bush. Other nice touches are the small swimming pool and the illuminated water hole where guests can watch animals coming to drink while having one themselves.

The camp does take families with children 12+ and there were three teenagers also resident on our first day who we felt were at odds with the overall communal but adult feel of the camp - one day didn't matter but if it had been all four then that could have become an issue for us.

An unusual aspect of Beho Beho is that you are not assigned to a single guide for your stay but rather spend time with different guides depending on what activity you want to do - game drives and boating were excellent but the real highlight for us was the walking.

Watching wild dog playing, being chased by elephant, losing a pack member and reuniting again whilst on foot when you can appreciate all the sounds and smells of the action is the stuff of an old hand's dream and we were so lucky to be there to experience it all with Sacha's expert guiding. Altogether brilliant!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Pole Pole

Pole Pole

"Kicking back in a truly exotic location"

6 nights Arrived 31 Oct 2010
"It's only a short hop from the mainland but Mafia island is a wonderfully unspoilt place. Pole Pole lived up to its name as a small informal hotel where you can enjoy quiet and relaxation.

The staff were excellent and a real pleasure to have around with their regular big smiles and greetings and Gabrielle an excellent manager during our stay. The bunglalows were very nice and clean if showing the odd sign of wear and tear. Food is very fish/seafood orientated unsurprisingly with a set menu which changes each lunch/dinner and all cooked very fresh. Breakfast was the same options each day though and could do with a bit more variety.

The small beach does front a very tidal bay so at times the water is way out and you can only really take a dip at high tide - not a problem for us and there is a cold shower to cool you down anyway. The inclusive excursions were good - particularly the sundown sail on a dhow whilst the fruit-bats flood across the sky. Diving is the big attraction and the reefs are stunningly beautiful.

We tried the whale shark trip but no joy - an expensive $60 pp whether you see them or not. We were thinking about trying again on our last morning but decided not to which is just as well as there was another no-show. One other point to note is that with the daily marine park entry fees, additional excursions, diving and equipment hire plus drinks is that, whilst these are all clearly dispayed, the additional costs do mount up."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Serena Hotel Dar

Serena Hotel Dar

"What you'd expect from a top business hotel"

1 night Arrived 6 Nov 2010
"Appears to be one of Dar's top business hotels and now owned by the Movenpick group. Service standards excellent as you'd expect.

Air-conditioning not as good or cold as we wanted. For a one night stop before getting the flight home absolutely fine. Great to be able to check-in on-line in the lobby.

We were on a B&B rate but had to leave before before breakfast started at 0630."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

South Luangwa and Kafue Trip

Zambia between 1 Sep 2008 and 20 Sep 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"RPS in South Luangwa was first class once again and their operation the reason we went back to Zambia.

Kafue with Wilderness' Rivers and Plains Exploration was more of a economic extension to enable us to see a different area and generally we very much enjoyed it."

Nsefu

Nsefu

"Nsefu review"

2 nights Arrived 2 Sep 2008
"Great views across Luangwa river with elephants regularly crossing and even entering camp. Very well run.

Bats in the eaves of the rondavel made for a noisy night at times but reminding you are in the bush after all!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari

Robin Pope Safaris walking safari

"Robin Pope Safaris walking safari mobile camp review"

4 nights Arrived 4 Sep 2008
"Second time for us on the RPS walking safari and it remains a fabulous experience in a remote area of the Park. Tsetse flies were bad however and we got bitten a lot."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

"Tena Tena review"

4 nights Arrived 8 Sep 2008
"Excellent camp with first class game and bird viewing.

Only (very!) minor negatives being the main vista from the camp has a large island blocking views of the river at this time of year and that dinner on Day 4 was same as Day 1."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"Taj Pamodzi Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 12 Sep 2008
"Clean efficient business hotel.

Arrived late and left early so not much more than a bed for the night.

As the early transfer back to airport is at 5.30am, there's no time to get breakfast so a room only rate would be better."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Image alt

Lufupa Bushcamp, Zambia (this camp has since closed)

"Lufupa Bush Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 13 Sep 2008
"Beautiful location by the Kafwala Rapids. Rondavels fairly basic but with new furniture so perfectly comfortable.

Park roads in this location in poor condition meaning one loop was impassable and the other pretty bumpy so game drives a bit limited. Boat and walking activities good alternatives though.

Laundry service managed to burn a big hole in my trousers which was unfortunate. Great views of both types of bush baby on night drives were an unusual highlight."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Image alt

Musanza Bushcamp, Zambia (this camp has since closed)

"Musanza Bushcamp review"

3 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2008
"Tents located on banks of a river gave the camp a distinct bush feel. Dense trees along the river didn't afford much of a view but they were full of birdlife.

Lovely staff team looking after us. Busanga Plains were a huge change compared to the bush/woodlands we'd been in up to that point with huge open views. Game drives were a bit disappointing but that's the luck of the draw with a full moon whilst we were there.

Two big territorial male lions passing by camp on the last morning were a wonderful send-off."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"Pioneer Camp review"

1 night Arrived 19 Sep 2008
"Due to having to get the early BA flight back to the UK, we were unable to spend our last night in Kafue at the Lunga River Lodge on the Rivers and Plains trip and were booked into Pioneer Camp on the outskirts of Lusaka as an alternative.

The compound has a number of chalets and camp sites around a central bar/restaurant and inevitably was going to be something of a disappointment after staying in small camps in the National Parks. Our chalet was fairly basic with tired bedding but clean enough.

Excellent steak dinner. Breakfast a little disorganised in the early morning. before departure. Pick-up and drop-offs at the airport were completely hassle-free. I don't know what the cost was per night so it may be good value but I can see the only reason to stay would be for easy access to the Airport or as a short stop-over."
Average
Location
Average
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent

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