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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs G. from St Albans

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

June/ July in Botswana and Victoria Falls

Botswana and 1 other country between 24 Jun 2019 and 7 Jul 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a wonderful holiday and recommend Expert Africa without reservation. We were glad that we went to Victoria Falls at the end of the holiday, as this was the most relaxing section of our trip."

Arranged By Megan Green


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River View Lodge

"Ideal for our first night stay "

1 night Arrived 25 Jun 2019
"We wanted a comfortable, attractive accommodation for our first night in Botswana after our lights from the U.K. Our aim was to have a good night's rest before early morning game drives began. River View Lodge is a about 20 minutes from the airport. It has a very attractive, peaceful setting by the river.

Our chalet, one of about 12, was clean and had everything that we needed, although the shower was dated. There was a very comfortable, guest lounge with a covered roof and there was plenty of space to sit in the grounds. Guests eat dinner together at one large table. Although there was a limited choice of menu, the food was very good and the quantities large. Timings for breakfast were flexible to fit in with guests' activities. Both continental and hot breakfasts were available.

Staff were very helpful here. On our journey from the U.K. an attempt to break into one of our cases occurred and the lock was damaged. Staff used various tools to help us open the case. At the start of our holiday, we much appreciated this help.

This accommodation offers guests the flexibility to do as many activities as they want to and to eat out in the evenings. As we didn't take part in their activities, we can only offer limited comments. When we were on the Zambezi Queen, later on our trip, we saw the River View Lodge's boat on the river each day. We only saw it with a few passengers; some boats we saw on the river were very crowded.

."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Chobe Game Lodge

Chobe Game Lodge

"Beautiful river setting"

2 nights Arrived 26 Jun 2019
"Stays here are very busy with land and river game drives.. On our first day, we were taken on an afternoon boat safari with about 30 guests and 2 guides. On the following day, we went on a much smaller boat, which left at 11am. On both these trips we saw elephants and baboons, who had come to feed at the water's edge. We also saw pods of hippos and plenty of crocodiles. The Game Lodge's boats always go in the same direction for the same distance. You pass two areas where animals access the river. Of course, you never know how much wild life will be at these points.

The early morning boat drive, at the end of June, is really a bird watching one. It's very cold in the mornings, so whether you are doing a land drive or a boat one, many of the animals are not moving to the river. On our one afternoon game drive, we saw many animals, especially elephants on their way to and from the river.

On our journeys from the River View lodge to Chobe Game Lodge and back to the airport, both about 11am, we also saw animals, especially elephants on the move. From the point of view of animal sightings, I don't think that we really gained much by actually having accommodation in the reserve. A benefit that we did gain was being able to see animals from the Lodge's viewing platform, next to the river, but animals were at a distance. On game drives ,we did see animals clearly.

Our chalet accommodation was clean and well- maintained with everything we needed for our stay. Half our meals were buffet style eaten by the river. The one evening meal we had in the restaurant was disappointing,. The Lodge management decides which meals are buffet style by the river, so there is no choice about this.

Before our stay, we read a lot about the fact that all guides are female. We think it's great that women are having this opportunity. We stayed for two nights and think that is a sufficient amount of time to experience this lodge We had two jeep game drives and three boat trips, each at a different time of day. We also has some good wild-life sights on our transfers by jeep."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Okuti

Okuti

"Very personalised- every detail matters here "

3 nights Arrived 28 Jun 2019
"Okuti was the perfect choice for us. There are only seven chalets and staff make every effort to ensure that you have a special experience here. We were surprised by the attention to detail. On arrival, guests are allocated to a guide, who stays with you on all your game drives, escorts you back to your chalet at night etc Our guide was the highly skilled Solly. He was able to spot animals from noticing their slightest movement. This resulted in the high light of our wild life viewing when he saw a tail moving in a tree: it was a leopard's. Solly positioned our jeep so that we could very clearly watch the leopard. On our game drives, Solly shared a lot of fascinating information about all the animals we saw. Most of them we viewed at close quarters. There were four or five guests in each jeep. Guides worked together to share information and that resulted in our second sighting of wild dogs. Solly drove long distances to try to locate lions, but they were not spotted during our stay.

All meals at eaten at one large table with guides joining the guests. Food was very well-cooked and plentiful. A high light for us was a surprise lunch in the bush. Staff had thought of everything, even hot water and soap for you to wash your hands before the meal. Insects were not a problem.

We were allocated a family chalet with two bedrooms. It was very spacious with a comfortable sitting area. There were two sinks, as well as inside and outside showers. Okuit's setting is very peaceful. Rooms overlook the river and each room has a private viewing platform. The chalets are solidly built, but the walls, whilst high, do not reach the ceiling. The gap is filled with mesh to keep out insects, but it still gets very cold at night., We really appreciated the hot water bottles that were put in our bed at night and the hot drink brought to your chalet as a wake up call.

We stayed 3 nights here and think that is a minimum stay. In that time, we had 5 game drives in the jeep and one trip on the river.

."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Zambezi Queen

Zambezi Queen

"Constantly seeing wildlife is very special "

2 nights Arrived 1 Jul 2019
"We stayed in a master suite on this comfortable boat but, even these, cabins are small compared to the rooms in lodges. There was one armchair and sufficient room for our cases. There were two chairs on our small balcony, but this was a great place to sit to view wildlife. There is a very comfortable guest lounge with bar and dining area. There is also outside seating on this deck.

We did a two night stay, which was an ideal length as all your wildlife viewing is from the water. We arrived at lunch time on the first day and cruised on the river in the afternoon. This gave us the opportunity to explore more of the river than we had from the Chobe Game Lodge. In places, we could see the animals making their way down to the river and got a greater sense of the size of herds. Be aware that if the wind is too strong, the Zambezi Queen will not sail, but will be docked and so you will only explore in the ship's three smaller boats.


On our only full day, we were offered the opportunity of an early morning bird watching cruise. After breakfast, we went on small boats to a Namibian village. We had 6 guests on our boat, so there was plenty of room. There was even a toilet on board . We were guided around the village and it was fascinating to see the way of life there. We were also made very aware of the problems that this year's drought has caused local people. After the tour, members of the village performed singing and dancing for us and displayed hand made gifts for purchase. There was no pressure to buy, but there was an expectation that you would make a small donation for the tour and entertainment, if you didn't buy any goods.

After the village tour, you can go back to the Zambezi Queen or continue with the morning safari. After lunch, we went on the small boats again for further wild life viewing. The next day, there were no safaris; you leave after breakfast.

Food on the Zambezi Queen is very good. Most meals are buffets, but we did have a waitress service evening meal on our first night. All the staff are very pleasant and the guides are very informative. On the second evening the staff performed songs and dances for guests.


Transfers to and from the Zambezi Queen are well-organised."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"Excellent location with helpful staff"

3 nights Arrived 3 Jul 2019
"We stayed in the new wing and were very pleased with our choice. From our balcony, we could see mist from the Falls, the entrance to which is about a ten minute walk from the hotel. Our room was comfortable with a large bathroom. There is ample space to store cases, but no drawers and little space for hanging clothes. Clearly guests stay for just two or three nights and are not expected to unpack.

The dining experience here is excellent and very popular. Most people eat outside, but you can eat inside if you prefer. A pianist played inside the dining area each night we were there. Breakfast is a mixture of buffet and waiter service. There are a number of hot food options that you order from a menu, but there are also a number of continental items on the buffet. We chose to eat all our evening meals in the hotel and were very happy with that choice. During our stay, it was cold in the evenings and mornings, so mosquitos were not a problem.

If you have any free time during the day, there are plenty of loungers in the small pool area and outside bar. The hotel booked a number of activities for us before our arrival, including a helicopter ride. We found all the staff pleasant and helpful.

You can see both sides of Victoria Falls in a day, but we were pleased to finish our holiday at a relaxing pace and stayed at the hotel for three nights. When we stayed, the hotel had a package for guests staying three nights. In the hotel's restaurant we had one complimentary dinner ( food only) and a complimentary river cruise on the hotel's own boat ( price is usually $85.)"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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