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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Family L from Kansas

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Exceptional trip

Zambia and 1 other country between 14 May 2017 and 28 May 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was a trip I've dreamed of taking for 50 years, and it did not disappoint. Our team member, Maruska, was exceptional--as an example, when I first spoke with her, I rambled for about 15 minutes telling her all I wanted our trip to be. She listened patiently, then said she'd like to summarize what I've said to see if she understood correctly. In 3 minutes flat, she succinctly and accurately summarized all I had said AND attempted to say far more accurately than I did. That was the first indication of her insight, and every single dealing that followed reflected her keen professionalism and knowledge, plus she was always pleasant to deal with. Another example--my husband hadn't done any research on safaris, so was surprised and disappointed at first to learn what the trip should cost, even though the price was quite reasonable by safari standards. I suggested we schedule a conversation with Maruska so that he could discuss his concerns with her. After talking with her for 5-8 minutes, he relaxed, for he could tell from her comments and how she answered his questions and the options she presented that she was well versed in what she did and had truly put together an excellent package for us. When our daughter became ill at our first stop and the medic recommended we delay our trip by a day, so I sent an SOS to Maruska. Within an hour she telephoned me back, and within the second hour she made all of the necessary changes to our itinerary. She is a delight to work with, remarkably knowledgeable, efficient, helpful, and ever so pleasant!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
Can't think of a thing, we are 4 very satisfied customers."

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Avani Victoria Falls review"

4 nights Arrived 15 May 2017
"We found Avani to be a splendid entry to our safari experience. We enjoyed the wild animals roaming the grounds, and even though they sometimes slowed us down a bit as we had to wait for them to vacate the sidewalks, their presence reminded us of what we'd come to see and that we were entering their world. We very much enjoyed being by Victoria Falls and were awed by their beauty and majesty. We never tired of viewing them up close or at a distance, below or above the Falls.

The Avani hotel staff was always friendly, helpful, attentive, and did everything they could to make our stay pleasant. We enjoyed visiting with individual servers and felt they made an effort to treat each guest with personal attention. I smile to remember various members of the staff and how beautiful their smiles were and how attentively they waited our tables.

The food selection was a bit limited in the evenings, for we had only one meal option--if there were a lot of guests at the hotel, then the buffet was the only food option and there was no ordering off the menu. Some evenings we would have preferred a smaller, less expensive dinner, but the full buffet was the only option. However, if there were fewer guests at the hotel, then there was no buffet and only the menu option. The breakfast buffet, as the half-board option, was very large and offered a bountiful assortment of food and choices, both off the buffet and made to order. I can't imagine anyone not being completely satisfied with the breakfast options.

Our daughter became quite ill at Avani (we believe it was a reaction to her antimalarial pill but perhaps was something she picked up traveling) and needed medical attention from the onsite Avani Clinic, where we were received excellent and effective care. This made us even more grateful that we began our trip in Livingstone rather than with a safari. We were extremely grateful for the medical service she received and the medics' ability to stabilize her.

As to activities, the hotel offered several options but didn't put any pressure on us to purchase them. The hotel was quite helpful in arranging guides to take us to the local markets, as well as making dinner reservations at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, for the Mosi-oa-Tunya rhino safari, etc.

Overall, we were all very pleased with Avani--it was precisely as Maruska had described it, and we thought it was a lovely, relaxing, and fun location to recover from jet lag and adjust to a new environment. We would be happy to visit again."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

"Flatdogs Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 19 May 2017
"It was a definite advantage to be so close to the camp entrance, for travel time was minimal, and we did not notice any extra noise from being so close to the gate. The managers gave personal attention to the guests and were always present and actively involved in making sure the guests had and did everything they wanted to. For example, our daughter wanted to visit the Mfuwe clinic, and Wendy made arrangements for this to happen, freed up a driver, and didn't charge us a penny (although we tipped the driver). On another day, between safaris, I expressed interest in visiting the boarding school in Mfuwe that's being expanded, as well as the Luangwa conservation project, and a visit was scheduled. Flatdogs' management was very accommodating, helpful, and friendly. Our rooms were clean, the food was well prepared, the menu was extensive, and the proportions were generous (unfortunately, I didn't learn until the last day that half-portions were available). We had heard so much about the walking safaris in Luangwa and looked forward to taking some, so it was a bit of a disappointment that our personal guide at Flatdogs was not licensed to do a walking safari, and we sensed he wanted us to stick with him, so we didn't pursue a walking safari as we enjoyed going out with him. However, he did make clear that if we really wanted a walking safari, it could be arranged so it was definitely our choice and I don't intend this as criticism, just as FYI. Perhaps other guides were licensed for both driving and walking safaris, I didn't check. The sunsets at Flatdogs are spectacular, and I don't regret my decision to skip one evening safari and sit on the river bank, watching the sun set and the stars appear. Only later did I realize the night guard had been standing watch nearby--he said the hippos had walked right by me as they left the river to forage for food. I still can't figure out if he was serious or not, for I didn't hear a sound, yet know those huge animals can be deceptively stealthy."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Kaingo, a dream realized "

4 nights Arrived 22 May 2017
"Kaingo far exceeded all hopes and expectations we had for a safari. The secluded and intimate location, the beauty and convenience of the lodges, the exceptional quality and cordiality of the guides, the abundant and well prepared cuisine, the attention to comfort and detail (for example, the cool or warm washcloths (depending on time of day) that awaited us after each safari), and the deep African connections of the staff all combined to make our days at Kaingo a most remarkable and memorable vacation, one our family quickly rated the best ever. (To provide context to this statement, it might be helpful to know we have vacationed in Asia, South America, North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and in one other African country.)

Any lodge can access the glory and beauty of South Luangwa NP, and the animals are spectacular regardless of the name on the jeep, but the factors listed above made Kaingo feel that we were getting about as authentic and natural a safari as we possibly could, short of actually moving to Africa and living in a tent. We had no idea one could develop such an intense fondness for a place and its people in only 4 days."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"City Lodge OR Tambo review"

1 night Arrived 26 May 2017
"The airport location was splendid, the front desk helpful, the breakfast buffet was bountiful. This is a good, serviceable hotel that was ideal for what we needed--convenience to Tambo airport."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

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