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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs BH from W Sussex

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

Zanzibar - Tanzania Sep 2017

Tanzania and 1 other country between 17 Sep 2017 and 27 Sep 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"We were very impressed with the Asilia staff at all the locations we visited. It would appear that their staff training is very good as there is a notably high standard of commonality between sites - quite a rarity these days.

Well done Expert Africa! The itinerary put together by Olivia was absolutely spot and fully met our brief for a unique safari holiday. The order in which we completed it and the places we stayed worked ever so well, to the point that the great experience built throughout and finished with a real crescendo in our final camp. Hard to beat it!"

Matemwe Lodge

Matemwe Lodge

"A real beach beauty!"

4 nights Arrived 17 Sep 2017
"On arrival at Matemwe we were met by Ross and given an intro tour of the establishment. He had arranged a complimentary bottle of champagne to be left in our room which successfully placated us on our initial poor experience with the transfer company who collected us - a very nice touch. Ross is an exemplary host and is clearly focused on making Matemwe as successful as possible; his commitment to the training and career opportunities for members of the village is to be highly praised.

The lodge itself was exactly what we wanted in that it was a wind down/get in the mood place for our forthcoming safaris on the mainland. We stayed in room 11 and it fulfilled our needs. The decor and ambience was spot on. We would have liked a fridge in the room with some drinks in it to avoid having to walk to the bar area or ring room service. Completely fresh sheets every day was a real treat!

The food was very good if not overly adventurous. The staff were pleasant to chat to and courteous throughout our stay. However, the finer points of service need to be reinforced; while sitting at the pool for instance we were never asked whether we wanted anything. If one went and found a staff member and asked for something it normally arrived but we would have liked them to be slightly more attentive and proactive. We arrived on Sunday which was the African dance evening - this really set the mood for our stay - great fun and everyone got up and danced. Wednesday night was the seafood BBQ and was an excellent last night of our stay. I am glad we hadn’t arrived on Thursday and left Sunday as I don’t think there is any other evening event during the week.

It is a pity that it is not really safe to swim in the wonderfully warm sea due to the many spiny sea urchins, especially as the sand on the beach has to be experienced to be believed! However, many small touches at Matemwe (honesty beach bar, double hammocks in the villas etc) make enjoying the sea from the land very bearable! There is not much to do at the resort so 3 days/4 nights was enough. If you want to explore locally perhaps add another day. We did nothing day 1, followed by a reef walk day 2 and boat trip on day 3 which was enough for us."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Roho ya Selous

Roho ya Selous

"Palatial tents in the bush!"

3 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2017
"Having arrived by air at the airstrip we were met by our guide, Emmanuel, and he asked us if we wanted a drink prior to setting off on the first game drive en route to the camp. I have to admit I was keen to get going but glad I changed my mind as he quickly erected a table with cloth and placed chairs out before proceeding to brew a cafetière of fresh coffee and pot of tea taken in stainless steel cups. I though it was so quintessentially English to be taking tea and biscuits in the bush having just flown into the middle of nowhere - great start!

We shared our drive transport with another couple who we didn’t know which worked very well as we gelled together from the start: we all arrived on the same plane and discovered we lived 5 miles away from each other in Sussex - bizarre!

Accommodation at the camp was extremely good and set a balance between luxury and minimalist. A real plus was the privacy afforded each tent as you could not hear your neighbour or see their accommodation. The netting side of the accommodation which is the view from the bed was wonderful in that one awoke to dawn and the sounds of nature only inches away. Nighttime was interesting as one can hear the animals moving quite close and you don’t know what or where they are! Hippos ambled quite close by as evidenced by the tracks and dung.

The food was good and neatly presented. The staff were very nice and attentive throughout. Amissy and Robert were always on hand to provide any refreshments and ensured that there was always someone on hand to help or serve you. The game drives were fun and thorough in searching out the animals. Emmanuel was a super guide and nothing was too much trouble (10/10 for him). We stayed 3 days and 4 nights. However as you effectively do a game drive inbound and outbound to the airstrip we felt that we had 5 days of safaris. We completed a short walking safari and fishing boat trip which were both worthwhile. Sundowners were hard to beat and the views coupled with a G&T were literally intoxicating!

Overall we had absolutely no complaints about our experience at Roho ya Selous. It is quite a while since I have ever stated that about a location!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Jabali Ridge

Jabali Ridge

"Utterly unique, brilliant concept!"

3 nights Arrived 24 Sep 2017
"This place has a real wow factor about it coupled with plenty of 'oohs' and only a couple of 'errs'! Set into a boulder-strewn outcrop the wow factor of how they managed to build it in the first place hits you straight away as you pull up to the drop off point. The reception, restaurant, bar, pool and individual accommodations have been built into the hillside and supported on stilts. Although the site was not finished this did not detract from our experience, partly because the ongoing work was managed while the guests were out on safari and the fact that there were few guests (4-6 of us versus a capacity of circa 28 on completion).

The lodge rooms are built on stilts and have slatted wall panels on all sides. This in itself gives a wonderful airy feeling of being out in the open but at the same time makes you feel rather exposed! If the accommodation had been sited with the same focus on privacy as Selous it would have been utterly perfect but unfortunately we stayed in room 4 which was between 2 others and overlooked from above by another and the pool area. Fortunately, as we only had residents on our right the privacy aspect was not too bad however if the other lodges had been occupied my opinion of the whole place would have been different. Apparently additional screening is planned but we did not see those plans. With judicious movement of the slats on all sides you can ensure you are not overlooked while in your lodge however it is a bit time consuming to work out. At night a calico canopy is lowered around the bed. A great shame that this is all dense cloth rather than having a net, transparent front panel. Having a spectacular view that you wake up to but cannot see clearly is a great shame. These two areas do need to be addressed. Hopefully, the constructive criticism concerning privacy will result in an effective solution in the very near future (in anticipation of this, I have given top marks to the room). As this is clearly a cleverly designed, unique camp at the upper end of the market, it would be a great shame if it suffered from style over substance in the long run.

Enough of the negatives...the views were wonderful. The food was wonderful. The infinity pool is breathtaking. The staff were wonderful. The game drives and our guide Moinga were sublime. The experience far, far exceeded my expectations. Hopefully that gives you a feel for the place! I have never said that about anywhere - ever!

We stayed in late Sep and the accommodation area only had a few flying ants in the evening and some moths attracted to our lights. No real biting insects noted although some tsetse flies on the longer distance safari drives. Surprisingly, the British horsefly has a far nastier bite!

We did not share any game drives with any other guests. You soon build up quite a close relationship with your guide as he takes you from one unique personal experience to another. We were so fortunate with Moinga as his background knowledge is exceptional and far exceeds tracking and animal identification. To be the first to discover lion cubs less than a week old, see a fresh hippo kill and sit underneath a tree looking up at a dozing leopard a few feet above were special moments indeed. And not forgetting the resident 'Jabali leopard' that has a habit of drinking from the swimming pool during the night!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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