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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr M. from Ramsgate

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

1

Our Zimbabwe safari

Zimbabwe and 2 other countries between 7 Sep 2018 and 26 Sep 2018

Trip rating: Good
"Overall we enjoyed our safari very much. The encounters with wildlife were more extensive and intimate than we had experienced before. Birdlife was superb.

We were surprised at the high number of elephants in Hwange, but it was explained by the guides that there are very few permanent, natural water sources and those that are there are mainly man-made. They are maintained and water is pumped permanently which means the elephants do not need to migrate to Botswana during the dry season but can stay in Zimbabwe year round and are breeding very prolifically.

Seeing white rhinos in the wild was fantastic and the reason we chose to visit Zimbabwe so we weren't disappointed.

All 3 camps were very comfortable in their own ways and all very different from each other. it was a pleasure to stay at each of them. Ilala Lodge was a wonderful start to our holiday.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

It may be a good idea to recommend at least 3 nights at Amalinda if visitors would like to see cave paintings and visit World's End. We hadn't realised we wouldn't have time to do both."

City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"City Lodge OR Tambo review"

1 night Arrived 8 Sep 2018
"Very convenient hotel which we used as a base in between different sections of our holiday. They were helpful and accommodating.

Queues at reception desk were often long and service in the restaurant was on the slow side. Breakfast was excellent. Very useful to be able to leave a suitcase there in between visits.

The most difficult thing was obtaining a luggage trolley when exiting the hotel lift which emerged next to the area of the terminal giving access to the car park so was just a straight walk to the main terminal. Even then, there was sometimes an attendant there who would go and find a trolley and even when we did it ourselves once, it didn't take more than a few minutes."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"First stay of our trip at Ilala Lodge"

2 nights Arrived 9 Sep 2018
"We really enjoyed our stay at Ilala. The location was really convenient and we were able to walk to the Falls easily. The gardens are lovely and very well tended. Our room was spacious and well maintained with a lovelybathroom and a balcony overlooking the lawns and the family group of small antelope (Sitatunga).

Eating outside was great with a visit by elephants at dinner, although eating after dark on the terrace was difficult due to not enough light, but the next night there was no problem with moving us indoors even thought they were very busy. The menu was good too and we struggled to choose. Breakfast was lovely too and eating that outside was a lovely treat.

Most of the staff were really helpful and even if service at the bar was a little slow sometimes it was made up for by the good humour of the team.

While we were there we took a canoeing trip on the Zambezi run by Wild Horizons. This was excellent and a real high-light of the whole holiday. The guides were very professional and helpful, letting us go in separate canoes with a guide each as neither of us were used to canoeing. They were very safety conscious, especially of the presence of hippos and made sure we kept a safe distance. During the rough bits (exhilarating for us but not proper rapids) the guides put our cameras away in special padded, waterproof boxes and brought them back out as soon as the rough water was past. We saw lots of wildlife, especially birds and the breakfast and lunch were good too."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Ra-Ikane River Cruise

Ra-Ikane River Cruise

"Very enjoyable Ra-Ikane River Cruise "

10 Sep 2018 • Afternoon excursion

We have previously done a Zambezi River Cruise on the Zambian side but this one was so much better.

The Ra Ikane is charming and intimate taking only 16 people but there were only 12 people on our cruise. The staff were very clever at getting us close to the wildlife without any other boats being around (there were several other boats on the water) and we saw a lot of wildlife - elephants, hippos, crocodiles and many species of birds.

The refreshments were very tasty too.
Excellent
Hwange Bush Camp

Hwange Bush Camp

"Hwange Bush Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2018
"We enjoyed our time at Hwange bush camp. Although the variety of game was less than we have seen on previous safaris, we got to spend time close up with animals, notably a pride of lions with a buffalo kill. This was the high-light for one of us. We watched them for a long time in the afternoon and again in the early evening as they went down to a water hole to drink. It was delightful to watch the cubs playing together as the temperature dropped a little.

Our first afternoon was spent watching a large group of elephant at a water-hole. The youngsters were very boisterous and it was a real privilege to watch them.

We also spent some time at Deteema Dam which was delightful and the high-light for the other one of us. We saw Painted Dogs there. We would have liked to have spent more time there just watching the wild-life come and go but a bush-walk had been scheduled and we weren't offered the option. The walk was through the heat of the day and intended to be to a spring, however when we got there the spring had dried. We didn't enjoy that experience.

Our tent was in a lovely location, spacious and well equipped. The bathroom was adequate and the bucket shower worked well. Meals were good and well cooked. Breakfast was informal - a buffet outside by the camp fire and drinks before dinner were taken under the stars with amazing views of the Milky Way.

Camp staff were friendly and helpful and laundry was returned promptly. The guides were very professional and knowledgeable."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Nehimba Lodge

Nehimba Lodge

"Nehimba Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 13 Sep 2018
"We really enjoyed our time at Nehimba. It was in a good location and well laid out. Our room was quite distant from the main buildings but there was a clever alarm system so if there had been an issue, we could have pressed the button on the portable device and the staff would have been alerted to an issue and also which room needed help. The room itself was lovely, very spacious and light with a private deck over-looking the waterhole. During the afternoon 'downtime' this was visited by a variety of wildlife including buffalo, saddlebill stork, yellow-billed kites and lilac-breasted rollers. The bathroom, with tub and outside shower were lovely too.

Some meals were taken in company with those we shared the safari vehicle with (1 or 2 other couples) but some were taken at individual tables. Our guide was very knowledgeable and showed us a variety of different habitats.

Sundowners were taken in the bush and we were also able to stay out after dark and saw some very interesting animals including grazing hippos and a male lion with 2 lionesses.

One morning we stopped for coffee at a hide by a waterhole and our guide cooked us pancakes to go with our coffee while we watched hippos and a variety of bird-life.

A high-light was the visit by elephants coming to drink at the water-hole and swimming pool while we ate dinner. They were completely unconcerned by us and our cameras. A thrilling experience. Other high-lights were watching a pair of Crowned Cranes with their 3 offspring and a Giant Eagle Owl with it's prey, a Springhare."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Amalinda Lodge

Amalinda Lodge

"Amalinda Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2018
"Amalinda Lodge was a fantastic place. The location is out of this world and the layout is brilliant. Our room was some distance from the main building - very private. We had to climb through a crevice in the amazing rock formation to access it (although there was a track which was less direct but accessible by vehicle or on foot).

The room itself was very large and beautifully furnished. There was a double shower built into the rock. The seating are outside the front door of the room looked over a valley with a small waterhole. We had access to a second seating area reached via a rope bridge over the valley directly above the bottom and saw some wildlife there - water birds and baboons.

On our first afternoon, we relaxed for a couple of hours after we arrived then we walked up into the hills above the lodge for sundowners. The views were lovely.

Next day after breakfast we drove into the National Park. The Park Rangers took us on foot through the bush to where a family group of white rhino were sheltering from the sun under some trees and we got close to them which was very exciting. This was the high-light of our stay. Less exciting was finding a snare set by poachers on our way back to the vehicle but it brought home to us the real danger the wildlife and rangers face. Our guide was excellent and managed to find Sable Antelope which we had been hoping to see since we arrived. That was a second high-light.

We returned to the lodge for lunch and a swim and then in the afternoon went back into the Park. We visited a cave which contained an outline painting of a white rhino made by ancient bushmen, and which was why the Government decided to re-introduce the species in that area.

Then we went on to World's View to see Rhodes Grave which was well worth the climb. The view is spectacular and the sunset beautiful. We were lucky to have it to ourselves that evening except for the brightly coloured lizards hoping for crumbs from our snacks and the dear little Elephant Shrews that wanted the water dripping from condensation on the outside of our G&Ts.

The big disappointment at Amalinda was that the emphasis seemed to be less on wildlife viewing than in the safari lodges. We set off at 08:30, which seemed very late to us, but the other people we shared the vehicle with preferred to have a leisurely breakfast before setting off so by the time we got inside the camp it was getting on for 10:00. When we found the rhino, we were told 'an hour ago they were foraging out in the open' which was frustrating. The same was true of the Sable. We did see them but at some distance because they had retreated into the rocks to avoid the sun.

As our flight to Johannesburg was not till mid-day the next day, and Bulawayo Airport was only 30 minutes away, we asked our guide if we could set off early and visit the main site of cave paintings on the way but were told that there was not likely to be an appropriate vehicle available. It sounded like an excuse and seemed to show a lack of flexibility.

The meals were fine - dinner was taken as a group but breakfast was at separate tables on the deck. The bar and pool area were very special and it was most enjoyable to have lunch there (excellent lunches) and then sit with a book, have a swim and watch birds and lizards come and go. Overall, a very enjoyable couple of days.

These travellers also commented, in their general comments on their whole trip:

It may be a good idea to recommend at least 3 nights at Amalinda if visitors would like to see cave paintings and visit World's End. We hadn't realised we wouldn't have time to do both."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"City Lodge OR Tambo review"

1 night Arrived 17 Sep 2018
"See previous review"
Excellent
Azura Benguerra

Azura Benguerra

"Azura Benguerra review"

6 nights Arrived 18 Sep 2018
"We had a very enjoyable time at Azura which is set directly on the beach with good levels of privacy for each villa. The staff are lovely and do their best to ensure you have a good time. Meals were excellent and the evening 'cocktail of the day' brought to us on the beach was a lovely treat.

We had a really good day out 'island hopping'. The snorkelling was good, we climbed the great dune and were rewarded by the amazing views and the picnic lunch at North Point was special.

The helicopter flight from Vilanculos to the island and back was a bonus too."
Good
Location
Excellent
Food
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"City Lodge OR Tambo review"

1 night Arrived 24 Sep 2018
"See previous review"
Excellent

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