This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu

Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs R from Kingston

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

2

Our August-Sept 2018 Zimbabwe Safari

Zimbabwe between 26 Aug 2018 and 9 Sep 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip was wonderful. We loved each camp for different reasons, so we are not able to pick a "favourite", and that's a good thing. We would return to each of them.

Everything was as expected and described, with 2 minor exceptions: our transfer from Batonka Guest Lodge was to arrive at 8 am, giving us time to have breakfast at 7 am, but he arrived at 7 am, so there was a bit of a rush. I would have preferred to know this in advance.

The other exception was certainly to our advantage: apparently the road transfer from Hwange Bush Camp to Somalisa Expeditions is not a comfortable journey, so the owner of Hwange Bush Camp arranged for us to fly, and we were told he covered the cost on his own. He has apparently communicated this to agents (including Expert Africa).

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Not much to suggest, only this: perhaps consider updating the general description of Zimbabwe, as a lot has changed in the last year. You should know that when we mentioned we had booked with you, many other travellers (and some of the camp staff) said "oh, they have an excellent website". Thank you."

Batonka Guest Lodge

Batonka Guest Lodge

"Lovely Lodge"

2 nights Arrived 28 Aug 2018
"We stayed 2 nights late in August. Batonka Guest Lodge is a lovely spot. All of the staff are welcoming and congenial, and there is very much a team feeling.

The Lodge and its grounds are pleasant and quiet. We had Room 5 on the pool side. Nice outdoor sitting area, comfortable bed with mosquito net, writing desk and easy chair, large and complete bathroom with tub and shower. Very clean. We had our dinner on the patio both evenings and the food was very good. There were 2 choices for each course (starter, main, dessert). One night it was beef or chicken, the next it was fish (bream) and beef stew. We were happy with everything.

On the morning of our departure, our driver showed up one hour earlier than expected and we were just about to head for breakfast. The receptionist quickly made arrangements for a take away breakfast and we appreciated that.

We had planned to walk into town for shopping but we ran out of time, so we can't comment on that, but it did appear as if the walk would not be onerous."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ra-Ikane River Cruise

Ra-Ikane River Cruise

"Ra-Ikane Sunset Cruise worth the repeat"

28 Aug 2018 • Afternoon excursion

We took the Ra-Ikane Sunset cruise 2 years ago and repeated it this past August, and we are glad to have done so. It's a very relaxing, quiet way to start the evening.

A small vessel with individual tables and benches/chairs for about 10 guests (mostly in groups of 2). Easy to view the river, shoreline and animals from either side. Congenial Captain Abel (he helped me with my Shona pronunciations) and first mate/server.

We were served a plate of mixed appetizers and our choice of drinks. On the cruise we saw 2 groups of elephants (one a small breeding herd), a kingfisher, several white fronted bee-eaters, 2 juvenile crocs, one large adult croc, several hippos.
Excellent
Elephant Encounter

Elephant Encounter

"Unique Elephant Encounter"

29 Aug 2018 • Afternoon excursion

We enjoyed this encounter with these rescued elephants. After an introduction, we drove out to the elephants and met some of the rangers who care for them. We were able to touch one and have photos taken under the supervision of the head ranger.

Sometimes the elephant wanted to touch one of us too! She particularly liked one young woman in the group and touched her repeatedly with her trunk. Lots of laughing. The photographer was happy to take photos with our own cameras. Then we walked with the elephants to another area where we were shown how to give them treats. Of course they are accustomed to the treats and one of them bellowed when he was being ignored. Again, lots of laughs.

We returned to the main area where there is a gift shop and bar, and we were served snacks and drinks, and shown a video of the visit (available for purchase).

Not quite the same as seeing elephants in the wild, but enjoyable.
Excellent
Hwange Bush Camp

Hwange Bush Camp

"Great stay at Hwange Bush Camp"

3 nights Arrived 30 Aug 2018
"We stayed 3 nights at Hwange Bush Camp in late August, the first of 3 camps on our safari, and we would certainly return. We enjoyed our stay and would recommend it for anyone not wanting what we call "luxury". Our Camp Manager was Anna, congenial and efficient.

We stayed in Tent 6, which I think was the farthest from the main area. Small covered seating area just outside the entrance to the tent, bucket shower (3 1/2 minutes long, which we found to be plenty), running cold water at the sink and a flush toilet. The water was fine to drink and we did so throughout our stay. In fact if the camp could figure out how to avoid using the small plastic bottles of water for guests, that would be great (maybe refillable metal bottles?).

The meals are all cooked over an open fire and were very enjoyable. Lunch and dinner were served buffet style in the dining tent. Breakfast around the fire before the game drive.

On the morning game drives we seemed to travel quite a distance before seeing any animals and we found the jeep was not quite as comfortable as some others we have been in. We sat in the front row and there was no bar to hold onto and my feet didn't reach the floor. But it did not stop us from enjoying the sightings: giraffes, elephants galore having mudbaths and drinking, 12 wild dogs resting, lions, kudu, impala, hippos, steenbok, rock hyrax, banded mongoose. In this more remote area of the park, the animals may be less habituated to the vehicles so we didn't always get as close to them as at other camps.

Spike was our guide and he is extremely knowledgeable and descriptive, of course. On one late afternoon walk from camp we sat to watch elephants at a water source, this was really special. We also saw a leopard, from a distance-we had been watching an elephant and suddenly the leopard ran off from under a bush nearby.

We found that the length of the morning drives was less dependent on a fixed time than in some other camps, ie. on one day we did not return to camp until 3 pm. Although we did have a snack at 1 pm that time, it was a rather long day for us, although it was certainly productive in terms of sightings. A trade off! And that is the day we did the walk to see the elephants as our late afternoon activity, which was a welcome alternative to another drive.

Thank you Spike, Anna, Beth and Jean. I apologize for not remembering everyone's names."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Somalisa Expeditions

Somalisa Expeditions

"Somalisa Expeditions review"

3 nights Arrived 2 Sep 2018
"We stayed 3 nights in early September. Very much enjoyed the camp.

We were in Tent 1 which is the farthest from the main area and has a fantastic view of the nearby waterhole to its right. The tents are on raised wooden platforms, have a small front deck with 2 chairs, a comfortable bed, a writing desk with charger, a fan, tons of storage, cotton robes, a nice bathroom with flush toilet and a regular shower. The bathroom is through a door and is open to the sky.

Lionel was our excellent guide (very descriptive and easy to understand) and on the way to camp we stopped at the local waterhole to see cape buffalo and many zebra. Animals sighted here seemed more habituated to the vehicles, and we were therefore able to get a bit closer (especially the zebras).

Tonny was our Camp Host and he was wonderful throughout our stay. Thanks Tonny for the extra coffee! Siyabonga.

The food here was good but we found it was not quite as enjoyable as at our other camps. Some meals were average. One which was quite good was the BBQ served in the open. Some meals were plated, others were served buffet style. Refillable water bottles were used for the drives, we appreciated that.

One special experience here is that there is a pool in front of the open area and elephants often come to drink from the pool. Guests can sit quietly on the deck to watch them, only a few feet away. Very exciting! We saw the elephants coming to the pool from our tent (they passed in front of us) and made our way over to the pool. Sat for about 20 minutes observing them. A very wonderful experience.

Other interesting sightings included 2 groups of lions, roan, sable, wildebeest.

Would like to thank Lionel, Tonny, Gloria, Brian, Present and Guide David for their care during our stay. We apologize for not remembering everyone's name."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Zambezi Expeditions

Zambezi Expeditions

"Wonderful down to earth Zambezi Expeditions"

3 nights Arrived 5 Sep 2018
"We stayed 3 nights at this wonderful, down to earth tented camp. It was exactly the experience we wanted. Would be perfect for someone who is not wanting "luxury". The tents are simple, there is sufficient storage, cotton robes are provided, a bucket shower (which does 2 showers) which can be ordered cold, warm or hot, a flush toilet and cold running water. Refillable metal bottles in the room for drinking (not recommended for guests to drink the tap water).

It was quite hot when we visited (although we understand it will get hotter). A fan in the room is the only suggestion we have for improvement.

We were driven to the camp by Guide TK (then Cloud was our wonderful guide for the duration of our stay) and met by the staff singing and dancing. Wow! Camp Host Dophas was a warm and congenial man ("down to earth" was his description of the camp) and we enjoyed the conversations around the fire. All the staff were great. They tried to help me with my Shona pronunciations, Ndatenda!

We found the meals here were the best of our 3 camps. Lunches were self serve, some dinners were plated. Especially loved the tilapia bream plate one night and the oxtail stew on the traditional night. Veggies always cooked perfectly, good salads, lovely desserts. All good!

Mana Pools was a bit busier than Hwange NP in that we saw vehicles from other camps more frequently, and many self drivers. But this did not really detract from the experience, it's just worth noting. Certainly, if anyone had a sighting, they passed on the information to other drivers.

We noticed a difference in the sightings from Hwange as well: animals seemed to be sighted as individuals or in small groups. We did not see many larger groups of animals. Although we were lucky to see a pack of wild dogs twice (a group of 9 including pups). Among our other sightings were many eland, cape buffalo, of course many elephants, hippos, 2 male lions, and zebras.

On our last morning, we were given a takeaway lunch as we left, which was much appreciated.

Thank you to Cloud and Dophas especially, also Peter, TK, Sebastian and all of the wonderful staff. Apologies for forgetting or misspelling some names. Dophas: you did indeed exceed expectations."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team