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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs C from Shropshire

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

4

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

16

Excursions taken

0

Our 4th visit to Botswana

Botswana between 10 Nov 2013 and 23 Nov 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"As normal the whole trip went off without a hitch.

Many thanks to Nick, Megan and Chloe for setting it up for us at relatively short notice."

Royal Tree Lodge

Royal Tree Lodge

"Fantastic time at Royal Tree Lodge"

4 nights Arrived 11 Nov 2013
"We were picked up quickly after clearing customs and were soon in our preferred room (Woodpecker) at the lodge. Each day we went for a walk down to the flood plain (Blue Route) where we saw lots of birds, many different from the day before - being birders this was very exciting for us.

One afternoon we went on a forest walk (Green Route) and came across a small pool - in which there was an African Rock Python (about 5 metres long). When we got back to the lodge we told Julius (Manager) who didn't believe us until we showed him the photos.

Each day Dougie (owner) took us out around the farm in his pick-up - we went to see some young Ostrich chicks on one such drive which was fine until the male turned up and chased us away!! Dougie didn't have to take us out every day but it was most welcome and much appreciated.

The accommodation was excellent as were all the staff that couldn't do enough for us - this we believe is in the main due to Julius (Previously at Kanana Camp) coming to RTL as manager. The food was first rate and plentiful and most nights a Spotted Genet would visit the decking to see if there was any leftovers.

All in all a very well run lodge and provided us with many memorable moments on our second visit ."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

"Nxabega third time around"

3 nights Arrived 15 Nov 2013
"After a short game drive from the airstrip we were soon being greeted by Goffa (manager) and staff and sitting down to brunch.

We didn't get the tent we requested but had a much better one overlooking the lagoon. Nxabega is excellent for birding and we had a brilliant guide (KD) and tracker(Fred). We had KD before when he was at Xaranna and he immediately recognised us. His bird identifaction was excellent and we did find three different leopards in three game drives (not bad considering we were looking for birds)!!

The food was very good and plentiful - including the bush BBQ where the whole camp staff had moved into the bush which was a memorable experience with the trees lit up by hanging lanterns.

Thoroughly recommended for birding especially when you have the game wagon to yourselves (which we were lucky to have for most of the time)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Xaranna Okavango Delta Lodge

Xaranna Okavango Delta Lodge

"Xaranna second visit."

4 nights Arrived 18 Nov 2013
"Following a 5 minute flight from Nxabega we landed at the Pom Pom airstrip and 25 minutes later we were met at the lodge. We had requested Tent 1 which was waiting for us along with the elephant that decided to meet the new arrivals!!

Xaranna is another good camp for birding with many different species around the tents. We had MD (guide) and Elicious (tracker) who were both excellent in bird identification. On one of the days we mentioned a Pel's Fishing Owl was on our wish list and despite looking around some known spots MD failed to locate one so after they dropped us off for breakfast they went out again to see if they could find one. That evening we went out on a game drive and although they said they hadn't found an Owl they went straight to the tree it was roosting in - now that's what we call dedication.

On another drive we were looking at a small bird in a bush when Elicious suddenly spotted a Black Mamba along one of the branches - we took one or two photos and quickly moved on!! Another day we were out birding (again) when we heard a lion roaring - Elicious tracked it down to a spot where it was hiding in the long grass. Again a few photos before it wondered off into the bushes.

The accommodation and food were excellent along with the private dinner in our tent the staff had arranged on our last night. Many thanks Kenneth (Waiter) for looking after us so well."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Great Safari

Botswana between 15 Nov 2011 and 28 Nov 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall we had a wonderful time with Xaranna Camp probably being the best.

The flight times on our return journey left a bit to be desired due to a number of reasons none of which could be attributed to Expert Africa.

It was &Beyond that changed our flights for us and their staff should be commended for the swift action they took to avoid us missing our connection to London.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No - you are doing an excellent job - carry on Expert Africa."

Royal Tree Lodge

Royal Tree Lodge

"Royal Tree Lodge birding."

2 nights Arrived 16 Nov 2011
"We were met at Maun Airport by Dougie who soon had us at RTL after driving through mainly dry arid countryside (badly in need of rain). We had been allocated the Woodpecker cottage which was just great for both animals and birds. Dougie and Di were great hosts and the food was just out of this world.

Dougie did take us on a drive around the reserve where we saw many animals we wouldn't see out in the Delta. The rest of the time we did our own thing birding around the marked trails. Blue trail leads you down to the swamp area where there were many water birds and waders.
This was a wonderful start to our holiday."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

"Nxabega Return"

3 nights Arrived 18 Nov 2011
"A short twenty minute flight from Maun brought us to the Pom Pom airstrip (Nxabega's airstrip is unuseable at present) then a 2 hour game drive to Nxabega where we were met and taken to our tent following the usual formalities.

The tent itself was in a very good position and spotlessly clean. At meal times the food was always plentiful and very well presented. Max and Flame were our guides and were always keen to find us birds as well as the animals.

We drove for miles one day just to seek out a leopard - Max positioned the vehicle in just the right place to get the best views.

This was our second visit to Nxabega and we weren't disappointed."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kanana

Kanana

"Kanana Revisited"

4 nights Arrived 21 Nov 2011
"This was our second visit to Kanana and we requested Wago as our guide as we had him last time - his bird identification is brilliant. Sure enough Wago was there waiting for us as the plane touched down and greeted us like old friends.

There were not too many animals (Preditors) in the Kanana consession so much of the time was spent searching for rare birds. Our first game drive yielded a Pel's Fishing Owl (it has taken us three visits to see this species).

We went on a boat ride to the heronry which is always an amazing sight in November. The tent was clean and the food plentiful - but a main course choice would have been nice with not just a vegitarian option, having said this what was available could not be faulted.

Kanana Camp hasn't changed at all - it doesn't need to."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Xaranna Okavango Delta Lodge

Xaranna Okavango Delta Lodge

"Xaranna Luxury"

3 nights Arrived 25 Nov 2011
"We had a game drive from Kanana to Xaranna (their airstrip is unusable) about 45 minutes. KD and Elicious were our guide and tracker who put us on to some pretty amazing sights. Dimarie treated us just like old friends and she would do anything to make our stay a memorable one.

Our tent was probably the best we have stayed in in Botswana in a great position, spotlessly clean and with it's own plunge pool - heaven.
The food was magnificent although I don't know why we had breakfast after the mornings game drive followed 2 hours later by lunch!!
KD took us to see 6 Cheetahs on the first day and after a fair bit of tracking located them where we managed to get some good views.

On the next day we were having a snack before going out on another game drive when KD heard a lion roar - with Elicious doing the tracking it wasn't too long before we were on to a beautifully conditioned male lion who was very obliging by posing for us to take photos. On the same drive we stopped for a bush breakfast where Elicious became the cook - the food was wonderful.

Later that day we went in search of a Pels Fishing Owl and after a bit of searching on one of the islands we found not one but two - again great photo opportunities."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Botswana revisited

Botswana between 4 Nov 2009 and 17 Nov 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall the trip was just fantastic, the only moan (if you can call it that) was at Lagoon where we felt as though we had no options to do anything other than go with the flow. To give the driver and tracker their due they did find us some birds but to satisfy every one on our cramped vehicle we felt that we just had to go with the majority.

The other three camps we visited were just brilliant and we would not hestitate going back to them again.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

As you show Special Interest trips in your brochure would it not be possible to group like guests together."

Kanana

Kanana

"Good Birding at Kanana"

3 nights Arrived 5 Nov 2009
"Our Driver/Guide Wago found us many different bird species and animals including a very obliging leopard.

The cruise to the heronry with Fly was out of this world and the Mokoro trip was very good seeing hippos, frogs and again many birds at close quarters.

Food was plentiful and varied. All the staff treated us as though we were part of the family with nothing being too much trouble for them.

A very good camp with good activities, great staff and comfortable accomodation."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara return"

3 nights Arrived 8 Nov 2009
"We were greeted at the camp by Lizzie just as if we were family. Most of the staff recognised us from last time, I'm not sure this was a good or bad thing!!

Animal and birdwise we saw everything going including a very long game drive to see 2 Cheetahs (also lions on the way). One night we were given the chance to see a Pangolin just outside the camp. Our Driver/Guide and tracker were TN and Justice both excellent.

Food excellent and the tent just great (this was the 2nd time we asked for tent No 1 and got it). Many thanks Anna."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp Experience"

3 nights Arrived 11 Nov 2009
"Overall Lagoon Camp was good. There was a slight mismatch at the camp as there were 6 French photographers who had booked 2 vehicles (just 3 in each) leaving us with 6 in the only other remaining vehicle (it's a good job there were only 6 guests outside the French party). When we enquired about a boat trip we were told that all our group of 6 had to agree to going on it due to staff availability. The camp needs at least one more vehicle and another driver/boatman.

We knew the manager from Lebala last year and although he sympathised with us he couldn't do anything and as a result we didn't get as much birding in as was expected (but we did get a Wild Dog overload - there's only so many photos you can take!!). By the way there were only 2 guests in the camp the day we moved to Lebala (bad timing I suppose on our part).

The location was excellent and you couldn't fault the food. Our Driver/Guide and tracker were Alison and BD who did find us some birds to photograph.

The tents are beginning to show a bit of wear and tear but are quite acceptable. The nightly visit of the Hippo was an experience."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp Return"

3 nights Arrived 14 Nov 2009
"We were welcomed back by our tracker from last year (Bowman), our driver/guide Tahbo and by Nature at the camp.

I can't think of anything to add to what was said last year as we had a great time again with loads of different birds (lucklily the only other person on our vehicle was also into birds so everything went well with no conflicts of interest). The Carmine Bee-Eaters were execptional as was the leopard we came across whilst birding.

During one game drive (looking for birds!) we came across a herd of elephants who took an instant dislike to us and chased us down the road - a bit scary.

The accomodation and food were both excellent. The mossies were a bit of a problem one night after a terrific thunderstorm hit the camp. This must rate as one of our favourite camps in Botswana."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Victoria Falls & Botswana Safari.

Botswana and 1 other country between 4 Nov 2008 and 21 Nov 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"This trip was our first to Botswana and our first dealings with Expert Africa (EA).

I can honestly say that all the staff at EA were excellent with sorting out the itinerary for us and giving us advice when asked - everything went just like clockwork with no problems encountered. The paperwork etc. was just perfect explaining many of the things we had doubts about.

The Botswana people were the friendliest we have met anywhere in Africa and because of this we hope to make a return trip soon.

To conclude I would like to thank you all at Expert Africa again for setting all this up for us and making it one of the best safari holidays we have ever had.

Suggestions for improvement:

We did have a worry regarding the number of blank pages required in the passports, but needn't have panicked as I started with 7 blank pages and still had 6 at the end!! We were told that we needed 3 for each country visited."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Islands of Siankaba

Islands of Siankaba

"Victoria Falls Encounter"

3 nights Arrived 5 Nov 2008
"We were met at Livingstone airport and in no time at all we were outside the reception at I of S where we ran through some of the do's and don'ts with Sonia - very low key.

We were then taken by boat over to the island, given a welcome drink and taken to our room which turned out to be the VIP/Honeymoon suite even though there appeared empty tents available. I don't know why we had this treatment but it was certainly appreciated - you didn't have anything to do with this did you?

Later that evening went on a sundowner cruise and saw the most beautiful sunset imaginable along with the hippos, crocs and the birds. Next day we did the helicopter flight and walk to the falls (not much water on the Zambian side but this was expected). At this time of the year the flight is a must as you don't see too much from the Zambian side just walking.

Our last day was spent doing a nature walk around the villages birdwatching and generally relaxing.

The food at I of S was just great and couldn't be faulted (as good as any 5* hotel). The transfer to Kasane went smoothly in the main thanks to our drivers on each side of the river and the speedboat crossing instead of the ferry. After a short wait at Kasane we were taken out to a little 4 seater plane for the flight to Lebala Camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Wild dogs and birds at Lebala Camp"

3 nights Arrived 8 Nov 2008
"We were met at the airstrip by our guide and tracker (OC and Bowman) for our stay and then had a 2hr game drive to the lodge (saw plenty of birds and animals on the way). We knew that the Lebala airstrip was out but didn't realise that it was 2hrs to the camp.
After the obligatory welcome drinks and camp rules we were taken to our tent we didn't go out on the afternoon game drive as it was getting on and we wouldn't have had time to get ourselves ready (and in any case we had already had 2hrs game and bird spotting).

Next morning we saw wild dogs and red lechwe (both a first for us) and many bird species, in the evening we saw spring hares, wild cat and eagle owls.

Overall OC/Bowman went out of their way to find us birds (luckily for most of the game drives there were only 4 in the wagon and eventually just us two) they always managed to put the vehicle in the best position for photography - we even saw honey badgers on our second night.

Again the food was both varied and plentiful. All the staff couldn't do enough for you especially Phoebe (the manageress), Nature, Hector, OC and Spencer. It was good that the guides/rangers ate with us and shared experiences over meals."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sandibe Safari Lodge

Sandibe Safari Lodge

"Birthday at Sandibe Lodge."

3 nights Arrived 11 Nov 2008
"We hadn't seen a leopard at Lebala Camp (not from the lack of trying) but within three minutes of getting off the plane at Sandibe we were sitting in the wagon watching one (a female that had not long killed a female impala and her young). The male impala was about 4 mtrs from the leopard snorting at it and being ignored!!

Our lodge was just great and we even had a visit from an elephant one morning - it was about 3 mtres form the door! Our guide and tracker at this lodge was BT and Bring who again were brilliant (BT had a great sense of humour). Again for much of our stay here we had the vehicle to ourselves so we could concentrate on birdwatching. We did however see more wild dogs, lions and leopards as well as a host of birds.

The fruit bats in the roof of the main building were quite cute although each night a genet came in to try his luck for one we also had a visit from an owl (Pearl spotted I think) which was after the flying insects attracted by the lights.

Again you couldn't fault the food and many thanks go to Bruce, Sasha and Ollie for putting on a birthday treat in our lodge a most memorable experience. Bruce I hope the hippo problem has gone away!!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

"Thunderstorms at Nxabega."

3 nights Arrived 14 Nov 2008
"Our wagon was waiting by the airstrip for us and we were soon at the camp site where we were given a welcome drink and taken to our room, a good location which was ideal for birdwatching in between game drives and meals.

Our guide and tracker at this location was KB and Kenneth who were excellent and again as we had the wagon more or less to ourselves we were able to do much birdwatching without upsetting anyone else and made a welcome change for them both. We managed to see and photograph many birds and animals.

The food was excellent and all the staff just great who couldn't do enough for you. I must admit though that this camp is wonderful for thunderstorms!! It was half expected as we knew we were heading into the rainy season.

The stops for sundowners were always in good locations so we could watch the amazing sunsets and also admire the scenery before starting our night game drive."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Elephant encounter at Little Kwara."

3 nights Arrived 17 Nov 2008
"I know we asked at short notice if there was a chance of having room 1 well that's what we got - many thanks. I had read about tent 1 on the www and true to form it was probably the best in the camp with fine views over the watering hole with the hippos and the red lechwe that grazed just outside the room.

Our guide and tracker were Steve and Name who eventually found us some cheetahs some 40 km from the lodge! My favourite big cat. We also found two prides of lions on our travels whilst looking for different bird species.

We did have a close encounter with a bull elephant on one evening drive which left our tracker (Name) in a state of shock for a short while - it got within 2 mtrs of him before it stopped, shook all the dust off him and then went on his way!! Steve the guide reckoned he knew it would only be a mock charge.

The boat trip up to Goodikwe Lagoon was very rewarding and appreciated. Again for most of the game drives we had the vehicle to ourselves. Yet again the food was excellent and the staff were just wonderful especially Kiri, Timothy and Lizzie."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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