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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by dadndoc from Mawson Lakes

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

My Jul 2018 trip

Zambia between 2 Jul 2018 and 8 Jul 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"The service of Amanda (and Freddie who filled in when Amanda was away) was very good. Communicating by email (after initial request for phone contact) was appreciated.

Request for accommodation in separate regions of the park was met. Understanding of transfers from Vic Falls lodge, accommodation standards and desire for separate rooms/tents was dealt with well.

Transfers went smoothly, no “no-shows”. Any concerns with food/cuisine was more related to the staff in the camps rather than the booking service."

Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

"Excellent game drive base camp"

3 nights Arrived 2 Jul 2018
"We stayed for three nights at Flatdogs Camp which is conveniently located just outside the main entrance to South Luangwa National Park. The camp is extremely well staffed with pleasantly helpful staff. Our vehicle driver, Kennedy, was an excellent guide who also took good care of our meal requirements before each game drive. Animals within the National Park were not abundant but there were always some excellent animal encounters and leopard viewings.

Our spacious solid construction lodges were “rustic” with dated interiors but they perfectly suited our needs. We experienced numerous encounters with elephants outside our lodge and around the camp which was unexpected and enjoyable.

The kitchen offered a full day menu with a wide variety of food choices on both the regular menu and with daily specials.

Flatdogs Camp was an excellent game drive base and offers a considerably better value package than any of the camps we visited at South Luangwa National Park.
It is our first choice of safari camps within the area."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

"Not all so special"

1 night Arrived 5 Jul 2018
"Suzanne and I stayed for one night at Tena Tena as a stopover between other camps. We shared this small and “exclusive” camp with less than 10 other clients. The camp is located in a fairly remote area of South Luangwa National Park which we reached after a considerable drive from the main gate which included a river transfer crossing by boat.

Our tents were modern and comfortable. We shared the mainly outdoor bathroom area which was exposed to the elements with a various creepy crawlies, especially during the night. We could spot various animals between us and the distant river while relaxing on the tent porch.

We enjoyed a couple of leopard sightings on both game drives but animals and different species in that region were generally few and far between. If you wish to see high numbers or a large variety of game then this may not be the camp that suits you.

The all male camp staff didn’t seem to be a close-knit working team. They simply did their jobs without providing the special attention you’d expect from such an exclusive and extremely expensive camp. Meals were an extremely basic, one meal fits all, with no choices. This was in extreme contrast to our previous days at Flatdogs Camp where excellent menu choices were available all day. My vegetarian daughter had negotiated suitable food alternatives with a camp manager on arrival but for dinner she was presented with a meat dish, mashed potato and cooked carrots, none of which she eats. She left the table extremely upset and went to bed unfed. Definitely not good enough from Tena Tena Camp, and certainly poor when the same single menu offering is presented to all clients in this day and age of food preferences and allergies.

Camp management would be well advised to consider the following options.

1. Identify the dietary requirements of clients during the booking process and definitely when clients arrive at the camp.
2. Ensure that all clients are provided with suitable food options for their needs at each meal.
3. Be aware that when a separate “vegetarian” dish is supplied that it also becomes a food choice of non-vegetarians, so vegetarians can still be left without a sufficient meal.
4. Provide a greater range of menu choices rather than a meat dish and two vegetables. It’s unimaginable that a group of ten clients would all be satisfied with exactly the same three food choices.
5. Be more aware that if all food supplied is consumed then there probably wasn’t sufficient in the first place. Hungry clients can become unhappy clients."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Poor
Facilities
Average
Nsefu

Nsefu

"Scenic riverside location"

2 nights Arrived 6 Jul 2018
"Suzanne and I spent two nights at Nsefu Camp which is a small, expensive and “exclusive” camp catering for around 12 clients. The camp is located in a fairly remote area of South Luangwa National Park.

The white, solid construction, African style huts were clean, modern and comfortable. We could spot many hippos, crocodiles and elephants in the adjacent river at various times of the day, while the constant grunting of hippos continued throughout the night. Late one evening I opened my door and found myself staring into the eyes of a huge elephant which was staring back. Her baby was at her side.

We enjoyed a couple of excellent leopard sightings on game drives but animals in that region were often few and far between. If you wish to see high numbers or a large variety of game then this may not be the type of camp that suits you.

We didn’t see abundant game but we did enjoy some special encounters with elephants, wild dogs and leopards. It was also amusing to come across a vehicle from our camp bogged during a river crossing which required us to negotiate a lengthy detour to another river crossing to tow them out. While on that rescue mission we came across a leopard and spent a lengthy time ever so close while totally neglecting our stranded camp companions.

Our driver and guide always did his best to seek out game even when there was very little in the area. After dark one evening we saw the pack of wild dogs some 200m metres away so our guide made some animal call noises and all the dogs responded by approaching and lying down around our vehicle. The new name for our guide is “wild dog” so please show due respect if you visit.

My vegetarian daughter made her food requirements known to a camp manager but because the range of food at lunch and dinner was quite limited many other guests tended to choose the vegetarian dishes leaving less for her. Perhaps that’s an indication the camp should supply a larger range of food options and in bigger quantities because too often the food provided was completely consumed leaving clients hungry for more.

One evening after a four hour game drive we were treated to a lovely surprise dinner in the bush and about 20 minutes from camp. The biggest surprise was for the women who were provided with no toilet facilities except bushes in the dark after the four hour drive. The requirements of women need to be better understood by the all male staff running this camp.

Our morning and evening meals were all outside and in darkness which made it difficult to manage food selection and eating. Perhaps clients should be advised to carry head torches outside of daylight hours. Not everybody enjoys eating in darkness.

Camp management would be well advised to consider the following options.

1. Identify the dietary requirements of clients during the booking process and definitely when clients arrive at the camp.
2. Ensure that all clients are provided with suitable food options for their needs at each meal.
3. Be aware that when a separate “vegetarian” dish is supplied that it also becomes a food choice of non-vegetarians, so vegetarians can still be left without a sufficient meal.
4. Provide a greater range of menu choices rather than a meat dish and two vegetables. It’s unimaginable that a group of ten clients would all be satisfied with exactly the same three food choices.
5. Be more aware that if all food supplied is consumed then there probably wasn’t sufficient in the first place. Hungry clients can become unhappy clients."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good

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