Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs S from Teddington
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
My Sep 2022 trip
Botswana between 9 Sep 2022 and 26 Sep 2022
We chose 4 mutually complementary but contrasting locations in the Okavango, Savuti and Chobe areas with the helpful suggestions from Lucy (our agent) and each camp certainly met our expectations both in terms of the accommodation/ food and the wildlife observations.
We were privileged to witness some exciting game episodes comparable or exceeding what we have previously experienced in eastern and southern Africa. The absolute highlight of the trip was the private mobile camp in Savuti which with Andrew Harkness provided a thrilling and memorable experience.
Once again, Expert Africa has been excellent in providing knowledgeable suggestions for the trip during our planning and efficiently booking our whole safari experience. Many thanks."
Arranged By Lucy Copson
"Shinde Camp review"
We are grateful to our guide, Sue (m) who was excellent, for some wonderful experiences in an area that offered magnificent game viewing. He was knowledgeable on the game, bird and flora of the area and answered all our questions. We were privileged to see a lioness with her cubs, lion prides, extremely good sightings of leopard, and witness wild dogs on a kill. And this was amongst all the other game we saw. V
Visit to the Heronry provided a unique spectacle of the great variety of birds returning a dusk. Our guide / 'punter' on our mokoro trip (Wizzy) was very forthcoming on his upbringing and village life, and drifting through the swamps was again a peaceful and calming contrast to bouncing around on the game drives.
Our only disappointment was the way the night drive was organised. Table staff at dinner ignored our request to be served first and our drive was therefore delayed and the drive curtailed. I think it also unfair to expect the guide to drive and operate the light - there should be a separate 'spotter' in the vehicle operating the spotlight."
Botswana Private Mobile Safari
"Botswana Private Mobile Safari review"
Everything was well organised and he has a dedicated team that looked after us extremely well in camp. Meals provided from the wood fire were excellent and compared more than favourably with more sophisticated kitchens. Really just a lovely set-up in the bush and we felt safe and secure, despite the nightly visits of the hyena to our outside washbowls (!) and the leopard passing by.
Game viewing was superb and again many of the sights were due to the diligence and expertise of Andrew. Each day we visited four 3 week-old lion cubs he 'discovered' hidden in bushes by their mother and on our last day were privileged to watch them being moved by the lioness to a fresh hiding place - something one so rarely can witness.
We saw both the Savuti marsh pride and the north pride, with Andrew explaining how the prides have changed over the years with new male leadership. Watched animal activity and behaviour at the various natural pans and artificial waterholes and learned so much about the different species.
A fantastic and most enjoyable part of our trip."
Muchenje Safari Lodge
"Muchenje Safari Lodge review"
Experienced some excellent game viewing (lions attempting a kill; jackals scavenging on a recent lion kill; elephant, hippo and buffalo in abundance), although our guides were not as knowledgeable as at other camps visited. Food was good and buffet style so one could self-manage portions. Rooms were very comfortable and the showers were brilliant - an absolute delight on return from dusty game drives!
However, we felt the management focused too much on the 'hospitality' and not on the overall management at the lodge. Little effort seemed to be made to sort out the absence of wi-fi at the lodge until it returned on our last morning (thankfully to make our onward fight confirmations).
Also, the night drive was poorly organised; delayed until after dinner meaning it was curtailed, and unfair to expert the guide to drive, use the radio and operate the light at the same time - there should be a separate 'spotter' in the vehicle operating the spotlight."
My Oct 2019 trip
Tanzania between 3 Oct 2019 and 17 Oct 2019
We have nothing but praise for Nomad and its staff; everyone was great and it is impossible to single out anyone in particular; without exception they were all extremely friendly and helpful.
The programme put together worked wonderfully- a great start at Machweo and a mid-holiday break at the luxurious Gibbs Farm in between some fabulous safari camps with variety at each of the locations of wildlife and scenery.
Everything worked like clockwork, with one exception. We were unfortunately misinformed about the flight departure from Lake Manyara airstrip meaning we wasted 2 hours hanging about at the airstrip, whilst we could have enjoyed a relaxing and full breakfast back at Gibbs Farm rather than the rushed early morning departure.
One thing we would have liked to see in all Nomad camps was a detailed large-scale map of the NP/NCA (such as produced by Survey of Tanzania, or a google earth print) so as to better understand where we had been!"
Arranged By Claire Scott
The National Museum and the art gallery at the Cultural Centre, and the Tanzanite Experience were visits we planned and thoroughly enjoyed. Everyone very helpful and informative.
Comfortable room in chalet was somewhat restricted - layout with the bed meant the wardrobe could not be fully opened. They need an in-door lounge area - raining much of our 2 days there meant that dining was inside rather than on the terrace."
"Kuro Tarangire review"
Game viewing was excellent and Joe proved a knowledgeable and astute guide. We had some great sightings not just of the 'popular' animals but also those shy and rarely seen game (incl: lesser kudu, aardwolf and common genet). Access to some potential viewing environments was restricted by the lack of road/track access."
"Entamanu Ngorongoro review"
Superb situation of the camp with the views over the crater and easy access to the entry gate (we were first in each morning at 0615 and really enjoyed the quiet early mornings in the crater before the 'hordes' arrived!). Only problem was the windy location with the tent constantly flapping that made relaxation and sleeping problematic. Otherwise, the tent itself was excellent. Nomad staff were really good (as noted earlier).
We had two days tremendous game viewing with Sammy our knowledgeable and astute guide, and we also appreciated our discussions around his views as a Maasai. Some great sightings of a lion pride and a rhino, and also a hyena kill."
Safari in Ngorongoro Crater
"Safari in Ngorongoro Crater review"
10 Oct 2019 • All-day excursion
[ Ed: Regarding their trip into the Crater, this traveller noted: "...we were first in each morning at 0615 and really enjoyed the quiet early mornings in the crater before the 'hordes' arrived!..." ]
"Gibb's Farm review"
There as some noise intrusion sitting on the main terrace on the Saturday from the swimming pool construction being undertaken, otherwise you couldn't fault the place.
We looked at things on our own rather than join the myriad activities organised on the farm, and had a fantastic day trip to Lake Manyara GP for which Gibbs is well-located (25 minutes away). Animal sightings noted below are for our trip to LMNP."
Lake Manyara Safari
"Lake Manyara Safari review"
13 Oct 2019 • All-day excursion
Peter was a very friendly and knowledgeable driver/ guide organised by Gibbs. We did not feel that LM was too crowded on the day we visited; certainly worthwhile making this a separate trip rather than just passing through the park en route for a couple of hours.
We had some fabulous sightings of elephant (within touching distance of the vehicle) and lions; also the variety of birdlife in both the woodland and wetland zones was most prolific.
"Chada Camp review"
We had some real 'quality' game viewing including witnessing the stalking and kill by a pride of lions; the numerous densely crowded hippo pools (Katavi has the highest concentration of hippo anywhere), a herd of roan antelope; and the rarely seen white-tailed mongoose. However, what we missed were the concentrations of animals on the Chada Plain, where there were not the density of species for which Katavi is renowned, perhaps because there had been some early rain and the controlled burning carried out by the Park authorities elsewhere had dispersed the animals. To this extent, the stay at Katavi did not meet our expectations. Access to some potential viewing environments was restricted by the lack of road/track access.
Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed our experiences in Katavi and really appreciated John our driver/guide who did all he could to enhance our trip and provided valuable and knowledgeable information on all the animals and birdlife."
This year (2022) more water is flowing in this NE channel so the camp was particularly good for going out in the various lagoons. Game drives were knowledgeably and well guided, and we were privileged to follow wild dogs on the hunt and see their successful kill, see leopard (and its cub) on a kill, and enjoy excellent sightings of a wide variety of game - particularly good herds of red lechwe and groups of kudu - and superb bird life.
Sadly, the lion pride in the area had left for a neighbouring Concession so we didn't see lion on this part of or trip. Gliding through the swamps and lagoons on a mokoro provided a peaceful and calming contrast to bouncing around on the game drives.
Shinde provided a superb introduction the the Delta and our thanks go to Simon, our guide, and all the camp staff who mad our stay so enjoyable."