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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by F from Derbyshire

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

First safari

Zambia between 14 May 2018 and 29 May 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"The trip was my first safari and, indeed, my very first trip to Africa. It was an absolutely outstanding experience which was, without doubt, life enhancing, if not life changing.

I was extremely fortunate to go with friends who are experienced travellers in Africa and that certainly added much to the trip. They had spoken incredibly highly of both Expert Africa, in particular Freddie Sutton, and Robin Pope Safaris. I can certainly see why. I was very impressed from my very first contact with Freddie and this positive view has not waivered once throughout the booking process or on my return to the UK.

Expert Africa provided comprehensive information about the trip including a very useful guide book to Zambia which I particularly appreciated as a "first timer".

I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer majesty of the country in South Luangwa and the massive skies during the day and night. The animal life was, of course, wonderful but I hadn't expected to be as knocked out by the small details and the inter-realtionshop of all the elements of the eco systems.

I can find no fault with any of the travel arrangements, it all went very smoothly. The accommodation and food were excellent and I felt my every need was catered for.

One my over-riding memories will be of the sheer quality of the Robin Pope staff. They are exceptional. I can't remember learning so much in such a short time. The staff are so well informed and are equally generous with their knowledge.

Thank you one and all."

Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"Pioneer Camp review"

1 night Arrived 15 May 2018
"The Pioneer Camp was a good introduction to the holiday. It is a comparatively short distance from Lusaka Airport and the journey does not involve having to drive through the urban sprawl of the city or to have to sit in traffic jams.

We received a very warm welcome from the acting manager. The staff were helpful and friendly. The bar and restaurant area were pleasant.

The accommodation in the rooms was good. The bed was extremely comfortable. One minor point was that there was quite a slope/step in the bathroom area which was quite easy to slip on, especially at night as it was all painted the same brown colour."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Luangwa River Camp

Luangwa River Camp

"Luangwa River Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 16 May 2018
"Luangwa River Camp was glorious. It was wonderful being greeted at Mfuwe Airport and having a game drive on the way to the River Camp; it provided a splendid introduction to the whole Robin Pope Safari experience. We received a fabulous welcome from Daudi, the camp manager. His was doubling up as host, very ably, as the host was away whilst we were staying there. He explained the daily routine and gave us a full introduction to the accommodation.

I consider we were extremely fortunate to be assigned Shadrak as our guide, with Emmanuel, acting as the spotter at night. Shadrak was extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the bush life. He was able to provide the Latin names of plants, give detailed explanations of the physiology of animals, explain the interrelationship between all the animals, plants and the eco-system and much, much more. If, on the very rare occasion, he was not able to answer a question he would, without fail, come back with an answer having looked it up. He was delightful companion with a good sense of humour and excellent interpersonal skills.

I went on one walk, with Sebastian as the lead, whilst at the River Camp. It was a fantastic experience and gave me another very special perspective of life in the bush. As with all the guides, Sebastian was extremely knowledgeable and was able to point out minute fascinating details. I thought that all aspects of health and safety were addressed comprehensively and the briefing we were given, before we set off, was very thorough.

The bar and eating areas at the River Camp were exceptionally nice and there was a well stocked reference library which I appreciated. The food was splendid. The staff serving the food were charming and very attentive. All the staff were delightful, including the nightwatchman who guided us to and from our rooms."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nkwali

Nkwali

"Nkwali review"

4 nights Arrived 19 May 2018
"I was delighted that Daudi, the manager at Luangwa River Camp, was able to grant our request for Shadrak to continue to be our guide when we moved on to Nkwali. As I noted before, Shadrak had been an excellent guide at Luangwa River Camp and so I felt fortunate that we were going to continue to benefit from his expertise. I also liked the idea of the continuity; Shadrak knew what we had already seen and also our interests.

Shadrak transferred us to Nkwali, which was another great game drive. The highlight of which were very good sightings of African painted dogs and also a pearl spotted owl. Our greeting and introduction to Nkwali was as warm and helpful as had been the one at the River Camp.

The accommodation was fabulous and it was lovely to have views directly over the river. One small point, the reference books available for guests were rather limited and there were none about birds which was a shame.

As at Luangwa River Camp, every game drive revealed yet more delights in the bush. We had further exceptionally good sightings of African painted dogs which were informed by Shadrak's encyclopaedic knowledge of their behaviour. We also saw a black mamba which was a remarkable experience. It could have been a tad alarming but Shadrak handled the situation with calm professionalism and considerable sang froid!

We were joined for the evening drives by Wilson. He is another exceptional skilled spotter. He managed, somehow, to spot a chameleon in a tree, in the pitch dark.

Whilst at Nkwali, I joined one walking safari with Fred. This was equally interesting and informative as the one at Luangwa River Camp.

The food was delicious. I enjoyed sharing our meals with Fred (Kiki was called away after the first day) and some of the guides. It allowed us to extend our discussions and knowledge about the life of the park, the villages and the wider country. All the staff were excellent company."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nsefu

Nsefu

"Nsefu review"

5 nights Arrived 23 May 2018
"Although the accommodation is not as spacious at Nsefu as the other camps, there is something particularly magical about the camp and was, probably my favourite of all the camps. I had one minor concern about the shower in my room. It had been freshly painted and looked pristine but it was quite slippery and I felt could be a bit dangerous. I mentioned this to Marcos, the host, who said he would ensure that it was looked at.

Due to the regular manager having to take leave for personal reasons, Kanga was acting manager whilst we were there. He gave us an exemplary introduction to the camp, including outlining the history of the camp.

My friends, with whom I travelled, had visited the camp three times before and so knew the camp and the staff well. They had asked if it was possible for Julius to be our guide and Fanton the night spotter whilst we were at Nsefu. Yet again, our request was granted, as were our requests for further walks. It really felt that the staff would do all that they could to accommodate our wishes.

Julius was an exceptional guide, phenomenally knowledgeable and a delight to spend time with. He has a sparkling wit and is great fun. He and Fanton made a brilliant team. I was constantly stunned by how they could show us the most wonderful things using their incredible visual skills, amazingly acute hearing and, of course, their knowledge of animal behaviour. The night drives were wonderfully informative and also huge fun.

The time at the camp, when we were not on the drives, was wonderful. It doesn't get much better than waking to have porridge cooked on an open fire by the river for breakfast, with the sun rising, whilst watching elephants on the other side of the river. The decking outside the rooms provided an idyllic place to sit and watch the various goings on in and by the river. All the staff were a delight - Marcos is a great host who is very interesting to talk to, all the other guides and staff are friendly, welcoming and very helpful and Kanga is just an amazing person with great interpersonal skills and untold depths of knowledge. Meal times were most enjoyable. The surprise bush brunch and shared sundowner were nice touches. (We had also had a surprise bush brunch whilst we were staying at Nkwali).

When it came to leave, Julius took us on a short game drive before it was time to take us to the airport which i really appreciated. He also made sure that, as with all other transfers, the drive to the airport was informative and fun. The staff had provided us with packed lunches for the journey which was thoughtful."
Excellent

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