Travel reviews by Martina from Austria
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
An Unforgettable Journey !
Tanzania between 27 Jun 2017 and 18 Jul 2017
Thanks to the way Expert Africa helped us to choose among the various possible destinations, we could benefit from an itinerary that led us to variable parts of Tansania and we enjoyed entirely different landscapes and surroundings. Each of the camps and lodges we stayed at had their own charm and asset. Obviously James Denny was able to empathize our wishes and preferences so well that we really got what we wanted.
There is only one small critical item we would like to mention:
What we did not know beforehand (and what we could have been told when planning) was the distance from Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha, which is a car drive of about three hours, not really very much longer than the flight together with the time for waiting and transfer to and from the airport. In addition to this we flew to Kilimanjaro Airport instead of Arusha AIrport, which would have been much nearer to the hotel, although the plane did actually got to Arusha Airport."
We were thrilled to hear that these travellers had such a great time in Tanzania and that the lodges they stayed at suited them so well; however we are sorry that the arrangements on their last day could have run more smoothly. Due to the nature of their itinerary it was necessary for them to fly from Lake Manyara to their lodge in Arusha. The only alternative would have been for a private vehicle to drive from Arusha to collect them and drive them back to their hotel which would have added cost. Though in hindsight, we accept that it would have been a quicker journey to their hotel (which is situated on the outskirts of Arusha) to fly to Arusha Airport rather than Kilimanjaro Airport. We hope that it didn't impact the enjoyment of their trip too much and we will ensure that this mistake is not repeated in future.
"Great Beginning with our Great Guide Festo"
"Oh what an experience !!!!"
Moly offered best guidance, scientific explanations on all aspects of the surrounding nature brilliantly performed and still well understandable: the walking tours offered information on all kinds of natural interrelations as well as innumerable details of flora, fauna and geological facts, but they were also highly amusing and deep and moving experiences. We could not have been better cared for !
At home" Noelle was the perfect host: her kitchen left no wishes open - veggies f.e. were always offered .......... and she also entertained perfectly !
The fact that the camp is small as well as really very remote ( apart from the rangers we met litarally nobody !) only added to the fascination of this stay !
We would always highly recommand Kichaka to everybody who looks for African impressions that reach under the surface and go deeper as well as beyond the usual safaris !!"
"Face to Face with the Chimps"
However, we were lucky (and as amatter of fact fit) enough to make it to the chimps ( all in all a five and a half hours walk ) and we were very well rewarded !!! Meeting them up there in a rather unaccessable mountainous area was certainly one of the highlights of this whole trip !!
Julian, the manager of the place, tried hard to be a good host - he could, however, spread his attention more evenly to all members of the party. Guests from other parts of the world should be as well cared for as people from Australia......
The staff seemed not as well trained and not as ambitious as in the other places we visited."
"Almost in the open - wonderful !"
In addition to this we were really lucky and had the night-drive of our lives !!!! This was the moment, when our guide woke up as well, got enthusiastic and said that even he himself had not seen such a scene before: two leopards on one side of the car (one of them in hunting position up in a tree) and on the other side three lionesses putting up their ambush on a group of impalas ! Coming back to the camp we finally saw a spring hare, which is an unusual sight as well, as we were told !"
"In the Midst of Migration !"
Still our experiences were again outstanding: driving for nearly an hour among thousands and thousands of gnus (wilderbeests), watching a group of them crossing the Mara river (in this case fortunately unbloody !), spotting a male lion myself for the first time (just about four meters from the car !), the endless plain of the Seregeti alone is breathtaking........
Our guide Anafi was competent, but had to be asked to "share his wisdom" with us ....."
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
"On the Top !"
Some details were really unbelievable and never experienced before: having the breakfast table laid just for us and without being asked to on the very spot that we personally preferred was as uncomparable a treat as having a hot bath waiting for us when returning from the game drive ! In addition to the extravagancy it was the personal touch of the luxury that made our stay so outstanding.
Our guide showed the by now well known and appreciated "And Beyond" - guidance - quality.
The crater itself is a busy place: one group of lions, at least ten cars ! Anyway, this is a touristic hotspot (what we knew beforehand) and you can hardly visit Tansania without having been there !"
"Back to Civilization"
The diner, however, was very nice and our wakeup-call at night on time !"
As far as our game drives are concerned, we were lucky to have such an experienced and ambitious guide as Festo is. It was, however, interesting to feel a difference concerning the behaviour of the animals in comparison to the other places we were going to see later on: obviously the wild life is still touched by the fact that the Selous was and in a big part still is a hunting area. Most of the time you could see animals on the flight.
Festo's skill to make us watch and somehow even meet a lot of fantastic animals was under these circumstances was therefore even more appreciated by us (funny that the camp manager did not join us in our enthusiasm about Festo's skills !!! )"