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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs G from Beckenham

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

12

Excursions taken

0

A great safari and beach holiday

Zambia and 1 other country between 17 Dec 2008 and 3 Jan 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall, we got everything we wanted from this holiday. A great week's game viewing, then a short trip to a stunning beachside lodge on Lake Malawi for a week of luxury R&R.

The BA experience excluded, we were well looked after every inch of the way by Robin Pope and Expert Africa .
We would highly recommend Nikwali and Pumulani."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Nkwali

Nkwali

"A Christmas to remember."

7 nights Arrived 18 Dec 2008
"We were lucky to be upgraded to Robin's House giving us the unexpected, but very welcome, luxury of our own bungalow complete with a dedicated team to look after us. We also had the benefit of game drives with just the two of us on board. The game viewing wasn't spectacular - as is often the case at this time of year - but our guide, Obi, ensured that there was always something of interest to see just around the next bend. Game viewing highlights included a pair of Pels Fishing Owls, spending time up close with elephants and their calves, and a male lion roaring from only 10m away!

Having the use of boats on our doorstep (literally) to get across the river, and into the park, added to the overall experience. Opportunities for walking were somewhat curtailed due to the muddy conditions underfoot, but we manged to get out twice during our 6 days there.

The carol concert, where all the safari lodges and their guests congregated under a nerby baobab tree, is a memory that will stay with us for many Christmas's to come So, too, was the excellent play performed by local drama group, Seca. This is the second time we've been to Nikwali, and we hope it won't be the last."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Pumulani

Pumulani

"A stunning location on Lake Malawi"

8 nights Arrived 25 Dec 2008
"The location of Pumulani, with stunning views over Lake Malawi and with its own private beach, was the main draw for us when booking this holiday. We were also looking for somewhere to completely relax. We were not disappointed.

As well as lazy days on the beach, or slightly more energetic activities such as hiking along the coast path and kyaking back, we also really enjoyed a guided walk through the neighbouring fishing village and a bike ride through the local countryside.

We expected high standards, having enjoyed stays at Robin Pope establishments before. Again, we were not disappointed. Simon and Zelda and the team ensured that we did not want for anything. They were very attentive and above all, so very friendly. (In fact Simon and Zelda were relief managers, but you would not have known, as they had obviously been very well briefed , and they really cared about maintaining the high standards which Pumulani has set itself.)

The villas are very well appointed, and we were fortunate enough to have 180 degree views of the lake from the balcony.
It was hard to drag ourselves away from Pumulan when it was time to go home, and that feeling of being well relaxed, with batteries fully recharged, should last us for a long time to come.

One little criticism might be the cooking. Everything was well cooked and tasty, but not very imaginative in terms of menus and recipes. As such, it didn't exactly live up to what we expected from the advertising literature. But, we hadn't chosen to come to Pumulani for a fine dining experience, so overall, we were not disappointed."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"A typical city centre hotel"

1 night Arrived 2 Jan 2009
"We have stayed in many city centre hotels around the world, .......................and this was one of them! As an overnight stop it did the job, but wasnothing special. The bed linen and towels seemed laundered, but were a bit stained in places. Overall the hotel rooms lookstired and need a refurb. Next time we will try a different hotel.

Having said that, the band playing in the grill restaurant is worth checking out, although the food was average."
Average
Location
Average
Service
Average
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average

My Dec 2007 trip

Zambia between 12 Dec 2007 and 14 Jan 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"Zambia was simply great. The pristine wildness of the South Luangwa park, particularly out at the Kapamba bushcamp, was quite awe inspiring. We saw all the wildlife we hoped to see, and more besides in terms of the smaller fauna such as birds, insects and reptiles.

Overall, we were well looked after by your agents in Zambia and South Africa, as well as at home by Clare. The Norman Carr safari was a bit of a disappointment, and BA were their usual mediocre selves, biut all in all, this was a great experience for us.

We'd certainly look to come back to Zambia again, and would have no hesitation in using Expert Africa."

Arranged By Claire Scott


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Own Arrangements

"review"

6 nights Arrived 13 Dec 2007
"Passenger made own arrangements in this period."
Average
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"An acceptabl;e stop-over hotel"

1 night Arrived 19 Dec 2007
"Drinks and food are expensive, but otherwise it was clean and confortable, and the staff were very courteous.

The shuttle bus was waiting for us on arrival, and having double-double checked the night before, it was also waiting for us next morning at 5.30am as requested. Allow at least 20 mins to checkout at that time of the morning! There seems to be lots of paperwork."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Nkwali

Nkwali

"Nikwali was a superb place to start our safar"

2 nights Arrived 20 Dec 2007
"Starting with Dave and his team at Lusaka airport, they were excellent. Liz was late arriving from Heathrow, and they sped her through immigration and customs in order to make (just) the connection to Mfuwe.

RPS were just excellent. The guys at Nikwali set the standard for the rest of the holiday. We really couldn't fault anything. Everyone, including Robin himself, were so relaxed and welcoming. It was a great place to unwind and immerse yourself in Africa - with all the creature comforts of course!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kapamba Bushcamp

Kapamba Bushcamp

"Kapamba - magical."

4 nights Arrived 22 Dec 2007
"Ollie and the crew at Kapamba matched the level of service from RPS, but the isolation of Kapamba and their excellent chalets (and baths!) and the attention to detail, made this the best part of the holiday. We can't speak highly enough about Ollie and the team, especially the chefs, Davy and Georges, and not forgetting excellent guiding - in difficult circumstances - by James. We would have liked more walking at Kapamba, but the weather didn't help.

We saw a fair cross-section of wildlife, although they were very scarce and skittish. The elephant contendedly feeding outside our room in the middle of the night is something we'll never forget.

Being hyper-critical, the only little niggle was that we wonder if the Bushcamp Company are pushing it a bit by extending the season at Kapamba and Billamongwe. Basically, the rains greatly curtailed how far we could travel from Kapamba on game drives or walking safaris. Our options were quite limited because we couldn't ford the river, and it did feel as if we had a very restricted range for our game drives. Also, wildlife was harder to find than we anticipated.

We'd definitely want to come back to Kapamba, but maybe next time will be in the dry season!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Bilimungwe Bushcamp

Bilimungwe Bushcamp

"Bilimungwe review"

2 nights Arrived 26 Dec 2007
"Did you hear that we never got to Bilimungwe, as they closed it due to the rains? Instead we stayed an extra few days at Kapamba, although this was no hardship!"
Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge

"Great setting, but needs improvements"

2 nights Arrived 28 Dec 2007
"Unfortunately, Kapani was a disappointment.

Yes, the lagoon lodges were more spacious than our previous accommodation, but they weren't very clean, and very much needed sprucing up. We had to ask the staff to clean the bathroom before we used it. The toilet seat was dirty, and parts of the shower hadn't bee cleaned for weeks, and the bath mat clearly hadn't been changed since the last occupants. Also, some of the seat cushions were dirty. Admittedly, they took these away very promptly, but never replaced them!

The food at Kapani was nowhere near as good as the other lodges, and the staff much less attentive. Our guide was not as good either.

To us, it seemed as if no one was in overall effective charge at Kapani. This may have been the case, as we heard from a reliable source (his mother and father!), that, David, the current manager at Flatdogs would soon be taking up the position of general manger at Kapani. Hopefully he can make a difference.

Don't get us wrong, Kapani wasn't bad, but we wouldn't go back there and wouldn't recommend it to anyone - at least not without being assured that it had improved."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"Taj Pamodzi Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 30 Dec 2007
"See previous comments [Ed: see below!]"
Average
Location
Average
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Image alt

Own arrangements

"review"

8 nights Arrived 31 Dec 2007
"Your agent in South Africa (Gill) was excellent. We rang her on 7th Jan and asked her if we could arrive a day earlier at the Fancourt, and it was absolutely no problem for her to organise this for us.

Europcar had sub-contracted to Imperial, but that was no problem. The car was fine. We certainly use them again."
Good
Service
Good
Image alt

Fancourt Hotel

"A superb stay at the Fancourt"

5 nights Arrived 8 Jan 2008
"The Fancourt hotel was excellent. We really can't praise them enough.

They laid on champagne for Ian on his Birthday and when he was feeling unwell, they arranged a doctor without any fuss at all. We were even upgraded to an Execurtive suite, which was a pleasant suprise.

We really can't speak highly enough about this hotel."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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