Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Mary from Cornwall

Tanzania and Zanzibar Experience Oct/Nov 2018

On this trip, I visited Tanzania & Zanzibar between 24-Oct-2018 and 8-Nov-2018 and I travelled with 3 other people.

Overall my trip experience was:


This was a wonderful trip and our first experience of a safari holiday. It exceeded all our expectations.

We didn't have to worry about any of the arrangements and were met when we were supposed to be met and given clear instructions of timings to be collected. The safari camps were different in their own way but were both most satisfactory. The free laundry service was an added bonus and our rooms (tents) were kept spotlessly clean and tidy. At Impala Camp we had our own Masai man to escort us to and from our tents in case there were any visiting animals. He was always there and yet was unobtrusive.

The only concern was the tipping system, particularly in Mwagusi Camp. Here it appears the staff were only given their tips once a year, including the guides. We would have preferred to tip the guides separately as we did in Impala. We were put in a difficult position and this needs to be sorted.

It is essential to have cash! Neither camp had the facility to pay by card. We also needed to pay by cash at the hotel in Dar es Salam because their internet was down.

Pongwe Beach Hotel was almost the icing on the cake.

Feedback response

We are really pleased to hear that these travellers had such an amazing time in Tanzania, both on safari and on the beach. The tipping system can very subtly between each safari camp, and we can appreciate their concerns regarding the tipping situation at Mwagusi, and we contacted the camp for further information. Talking with the management at Mwagusi they told us that all tips are pooled together, and that this is then apportioned at the end of the season. This system has been chosen and voted for by all the staff at Mwagusi. By pooling and splitting tips in this manner it allows staff to receive a larger sum of money once a year, which they can then invest in projects such as building homes. Mwagusi’s managers accept that this the way their team want this to work – and tell us that it provides a platform enabling their staff to create their own opportunities. By apportioning tips once a year they also note that it provides a financial safety net, should other resources become drained. Inevitably this system doesn’t please everyone, but this is the system that the camp uses because the majority of the team have chosen it.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Southern Sun Dar, Tanzania
25-Oct-2018 review: Southern Sun Dar review
Selous Impala Camp, Tanzania
26-Oct-2018 review: Selous Impala Camp Review
Mwagusi Safari Camp, Tanzania
30-Oct-2018 review: Mwagusi Safari Camp Review
Pongwe Beach Hotel, Zanzibar
3-Nov-2018 review: Pongwe Beach Hotel Review