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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms I from Oakland

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Tanzanian Adventures September 2017

Tanzania and 1 other country between 3 Sep 2017 and 19 Sep 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"James did a fantastic job of organizing this trip for us. His suggestion of adding Kichaka to our plans was spot on, and we never would have known about them without his advice. Arrangements were all smooth, service everywhere was great, and the plan he shared was exactly what we got. I think if I could change anything about the trip, it would have been the Pongwe part. While the resort was fine, it wasn't totally our style. I think we would have been happier at one of the places with a stronger environmental orientation and better access to good snorkeling. That's on me, not James - I didn't share that this was a priority, and I was thinking too much about the expense.

I also wasn't prepared for the aggressiveness of some of the street hustlers in Stone Town. While in most places, they would respect a polite "Hapana, Asante," in the Forodhani Gardens area, they were so aggressive it made it unpleasant to walk over there - sometimes escalating to physical contact and insults from them although we stayed polite. This isn't something that Expert Africa controls of course! It would be something that it would be helpful to add to the next Bradt guide update.

I also need to note that at the beginning of our trip, things went off track due to a problem with Turkish Air. Because of their delays, we missed our Istanbul connection, and had to stay the night in Istanbul. This was clearly not Expert Africa's fault, but it was very frustrating that I couldn't get through to anyone on the 24 hour emergency number. I called four times. Each time, a recording would tell me that someone would be with me in a minute, and then the phone would start ringing. I would let it ring 100 times before I gave up. Maybe I should have had faith and let it ring longer?

I guess I'm used to hold music playing if I'm in a queue of calls, and then the ringing starting when I'm actually being connected. Is the ringing what happens when you're in queue on your line? Because all this happened during the 36 hour stretch that no one is on your office, folks at Lake Manze camp were quite concerned that we had disappeared without a word, and we were concerned that we wouldn't be able to reconnect with our trip. We spent a scary 4 hours sitting outside the Dar airport hoping we'd be able to figure everything out at sunrise, which we did with the help of a friendly cab driver and the staff at Coastal Aviation."

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Amazing location with great people"

4 nights Arrived 3 Sep 2017
"Respect for the environment and high quality of the guides were the highlights of this place, along with its unbeatable location by Lake Manze. It was amazing to hear the hippos troop by our tent at 3 in the morning on their way to the lake each day!

The room was much more comfortable than we expected - lovely and surprisingly luxurious. Food was very good, staff were great, and we were lucky enough to meet Malcolm Ryen which was a great treat - his knowledge of the region and his understanding of the environmental challenges was outstanding, and having dinner with him was an experience we will be talking about for some time.

We are making a donation to PAMS as a result of our conversation."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kichaka Expeditions

Kichaka Expeditions

"Mindblowing times in the middle of nowhere"

3 nights Arrived 7 Sep 2017
"This is the most amazing place we have ever stayed. The luxury, beauty, excellent service, and great food at the lodge contrasted bizarrely and yet wonderfully with the complete isolation and unparalleled access to truly wild land. We have no idea what miracles Noelle works to make this happen when she is a nine hour drive from the nearest store, but we appreciated the results!

We had expected fantastic hikes in the bush with very knowledgeable guides, but even our very high expectations were exceeded. Moli and Jacques were extremely informative and clear, and the combination of drives and hikes gave us a broader and deeper understanding of Ruaha than we could possibly have achieved in a more centrally located camp.

We especially appreciated Jacques' authenticity and deep passion for the bush -- and his delicious gin and tonics!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Pongwe Beach Hotel

Pongwe Beach Hotel

"Chilling on the beach in Pongwe"

5 nights Arrived 10 Sep 2017
"The food at Pongwe was spectacular. When you consider that they have a captive audience who they are distracting with a stunning view of the Indian Ocean, they could get away with much less delicious food. Everything - right down to the morning uji - was prepared with thoughtful attention to flavor, composition, and presentation.

The beach is lovely, and the rooms were beautifully appointed. The staff was a mixed bag - some fantastic, some irritating (say hakuna matata to me again and I'll scream!), and some a little checked out. We had understood that it wasn't an outstanding snorkeling location, and it was indeed pretty unimpressive.

Walking during low tide out to the sides of the resort and looking for shells was a fun adventure."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Dhow Palace Hotel

Dhow Palace Hotel

"Lovely place in a great Stone Town location"

4 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2017
"Dhow Palace is a beautiful old building with a ton of character in a good spot for walking around in Stone Town. The staff were polite and helpful, and proactively helped us make our trip run more smoothly (e.g., calling Fisherman Tours to find out when we'd be picked up on our last day, extending our stay by half a day so we could rest up before we travelled, booking a sunset dhow trip for us).

We only ate breakfast there, which was fine but unexceptional. The rooftop is beautiful and a great, low key place to watch the sun go down.

The bed was not very comfortable, and it would have been nice to have bathrobes in the room to wear down to the pool."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average

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