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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by EBL from Brookline

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

My Feb 2017 trip

Tanzania and 1 other country between 11 Feb 2017 and 26 Feb 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"The best recommendation I can give is that I would use Expert Africa again, and I would recommend them to anyone going to Africa.

I would also recommend Nomad Tanzania to anyone going to Tanzania. Expert (Eleanor and Olivia) did a great job during the lengthy period of planning the trip, answering questions, responding by email in a timely fashion, alerting me to details that I needed to complete, nudging where appropriate, offering unbiased advice.

In short, our two week trip to Arusha, Gibbs Farm, the Ngorongoro Crater, Southern Serengeti, Northern Serengeti (Lamai), Stone Town and Zanzibar beaches was terrific and I would do it again. Especially the Serengeti. And no question that Serengeti Lamai was the highlight of the trip. A unique spot. I found it very moving to contemplate the origins of our species a million years ago arising from the very same surroundings, surviving the challenges of hunter and prey, and literally standing up on two feet and becoming the dominant species of the planet. Really powerful.

Well done, Expert Africa!"

Machweo

Machweo

"Machweo overnight"

1 night Arrived 11 Feb 2017
"We emerged from Arusha airport late at night after a long day of travel and were driven about 45 minutes to Machweo lodge. It's always hard to get your bearings in the dark, but the staff was welcoming and our "cottage" was comfortable although without air conditioning, which is rarely needed (except that night!).

In the morning we could see the beautiful grounds and surroundings - unfortunately we were off on safari that day and so unable to enjoy them. Breakfast was delicious on the deck with a view of the mountains and the sounds of village life below.

Pleasant and would recommend as a stopover while in Arusha."
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Service
Good
Gibb's Farm

Gibb's Farm

"Delightful Gibb's Farm"

1 night Arrived 12 Feb 2017
"We spent one night and most of the next day at Gibb's Farm, which was the perfect place to recharge after lengthy flights and before heading on Safari. After a wonderful few hours at Lake Manyara we headed up to Gibbs and settled in to our beautiful cabin with terrace and view over the extensive working farm. The grounds are overflowing with plants and magnificent trees with seating areas scattered amongst.

The main house has a bar, inside and outside seating, a small, well-stocked shop, and various activities and options for day trips. And the food - terrific - and all from their own or local sources. Service was attentive and friendly. We took a farm tour and sat and stared at the coffee plantations, the African rift valley hills and the vegetation. A perfect spot to get your bearings and head up to the Ngorongoro crater.

I could easily have stayed another day doing absolutely nothing!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

"Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge Review"

2 nights Arrived 13 Feb 2017
"We chose to stay at Sopa Lodge for two reasons:
1) it's got the best access into the crater on the only two-way road, so getting to the crater floor at the crack of dawn is possible.
2) We knew that the lodge was the largest on the crater, and hence the most impersonal, but had great views and was quite decent.

And it was all of the above. Rooms were large, showers (hot water only during certain hours - not a problem) were also large, each room had its own little sunroom, the common outdoor areas were spacious and perfect for amazing sunset views. There is a pool for those brave enough for the slightly chilly temps. The elevation is over 8,000' so don't be surprised if you find yourself slightly out of breath after hopping upstairs. Take advantage of the guards after dark on the walk back and forth to the dining room. Two large water buck were hanging outside our room! Breakfast and dinner were buffet style with many options and lunch was a la carte. The food was perfectly fine but not the highlight.

However, the experience on the crater floor and being literally the first car there in the morning, was remarkable and for that reason alone I would stay in Sopa again. However, the road along the crater rim to arrive at the camp - wow - and hour plus of really bad road. but this seems to be the case throughout the crater."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

"Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp under the stars"

3 nights Arrived 15 Feb 2017
"The drive from Sopa Lodge to Nomad Serengeti, through Masai villages and what seemed like remote back country, was fascinating, lengthy and dusty. By mid-February (2017) the usual short rains had failed to appear and so had the wildebeest migration and calving season. We arrived at Nomad Serengeti in a swirl of dust and mild anxiety about "camping" in parched surroundings, but were immediately put at ease by the Nomad staff in the common dining/lounge tent with explanations of camp operations. Our tent was extremely comfortable and, as our adult son was joining us for the next week, we had a family tent set-up with an adjoining breezeway. Anxiety melted away, lunch was served, we met the other "campers" and set off on a late afternoon game drive.

A word about our Nomad guide who was with us from Arusha through the southern Serengeti. Philip could not have been kinder or more knowledgeable. We felt totally "safe" with him, really got along well, and learned a huge amount about the physical area, the animals and their behavior. The best!

Because the seasons were "off" and the lack of rain had stressed the animals, the game viewing was not optimal and it was blazing hot with more flies than usual. (Not biting flies, just annoying). This became a problem at lunchtime (flies disappeared after dark) and verged on unpleasant. There are mosquito nets on the dining tent but they weren't used, which seemed odd to me given the mid-day fly attack. On our last night the skies opened up and it poured throughout dinner - everyone was so happy for the rain that we didn't mind the dampness.

Otherwise, the sunsets, the acacia trees, the fire pit, the Masai guards, the friendliness of the staff, and the congenial atmosphere amongst guests during cocktails and dinner -- all deeply memorable. And despite the weather, we saw an amazing cheetah hunt and spent a day tracking the migration up in the central Serengeti. Not to be missed. We were blown away!

A word about the tents: we found them perfectly comfortable and enhanced the experience of being virtually on the serengeti. The composting toilets were fine - no smell - and the bucket showers great fun. The inconveniences were minor and added to the experience, especially for only a few days. We saw very little wildlife traipsing through camp, but we certainly heard them at night!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Lamai Serengeti

Lamai Serengeti

"Lamai Serengeti - exceptional"

3 nights Arrived 18 Feb 2017
"We saved the best for last - or perhaps Nomad set it up that way! It is hard to imagine anyone not loving Nomad Lamai. We thought we had dropped into an alternate universe or a spread from a glossy magazine. The views, the cottages, the common lounge, the private dining nooks, the food, the gracious hosting of Clyde and Helen, the spa-like swimming pool, and the giant granite rock clusters of the Kopje were all wonderful.

Our guide, Musa, was on the prowl for every animal we had not yet observed, and he tracked down the elusive black rhinos and then avoided a last minute charge by one of them. We spent the better part of a morning watching the huge Lamai lion pride (22) hanging out in the shade while one of the large males dragged a zebra kill from place to place - hogging it to himself with ferocious roars at the lionesses who actually made the kill.

Watching the dawn break from our bed was one of the most memorable things I have ever seen. Meals were buffet style and breakfast and lunch, and dinner was served by candlelight with other guests and shared stories. It was not migration season, and hence much more quiet with less obvious animal activity, which gave us time to watch things unfold without several jeeps converging at every sighting. We loved everything about Lamai and couldn't complain about a thing. Great, friendly staff who were so eager to please. Thank you!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Emerson Spice

Emerson Spice

"Emerson Spice Stone Town"

2 nights Arrived 21 Feb 2017
"After days in the wild it was a bit of a shock to land in steamy, crowded Stone town.

Emerson Spice was the perfect location to "hide" and observe until you're ready to plunge into the narrow streets. An old merchant's house that has been authentically updated with unique rooms, we had a wonderful breeze, a hammam on our balcony, and two large canopied beds. The hotel is built on 5 floors so climbing is a must and the rooftop restaurant is one of the best in town.

Lovely sunset drinks and breakfast with a breeze and a view. The garden restaurant in a small atmospheric courtyard is also wonderful. Our A/C would get cranky and noisy at night, but that was not a big deal. Very beautiful hotel with lovely details and an attentive staff. Note that you can't drive to the hotel, but must park a few blocks away near the market. The streets are too narrow for cars."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Breezes Beach Club

Breezes Beach Club

"On the beach - Breezes"

3 nights Arrived 23 Feb 2017
"We chose to stay in the larger, less personal Breezes Beach Club, rather than one of the more intimate properties. We figured that the beach is the same, no matter where you are and this was pretty much true.

We had a large ocean view room with excellent A/C which we needed because Zanzibar was just about the hottest place I have ever experienced. The property was large, beautifully landscaped, with everything you'd expect in a resort - beach bar and restaurant, elegant evening dining, large beach with thatched lanais, nice pool. Very pleasant and perfect for three days.

The beach throughout the east coast of Zanzibar has huge tidal swings - up to 1km at low tide - which prevents the ocean breeze from cooling you off on the beach and makes it impossible to swim for most of the day. The reef walk at low tide is fascinating and you must have water shoes. As the tide comes in, so does the seaweed, and the water remains bathtub hot all the time. While it is a stunning light blue, the combination of heat, water temp, seaweed and low tide was just not appealing. This has nothing to do with the resort - it's an island feature.

Otherwise, resort dinners were excellent with great service, and the staff in general was very friendly and pleasant. The grounds were spotless and constantly swept. And the spa was delightful - clean, intimate, local character."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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