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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs H from Reading

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

My Oct 2008 trip

Tanzania between 18 Oct 2008 and 2 Nov 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"I had researched quite carefully what I wanted from this holiday, but even so this trip did exceed and surpass expectations.

We were very happy with everything, and on reflection wouldn't have changed anything. We spent some time discussing the options with Ellie before we made a final decision on our itinerary, and felt that the eventual overall balance of the different lodges, camps and locations chosen worked very well for us, providing an excellent overview for a first African safari and visit to Tanzania.

I am very glad that we made the decision to opt for a private safari, especially when we saw how crowded some safari vehicles were, as we really appreciated having our own space and being able to stop as and when we wanted. Albert was a very knowledgeable guide, and an excellent and careful driver - put to the test on the day it rained so heavily and we had to ford a suddenly much swollen stream in flood which had risen rapidly, to get back to camp.

We very much enjoyed going our own way by day, but meeting up with other guests for sociable evenings back in the camps and lodges. I would certainly go for this style of holiday if we decide to take another African trip in the future.

Suggestions for improvement:

No, very pleased with it."

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

"Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 19 Oct 2008
"Worth staying just for the location. We were able to be down in the crater shortly after 6.30 am as our guide arranged 6.00 am breakfast for us - so we had a good 3 - 4 hours before we started to encounter other vehicles. Also the view from the bedrooms, and lounge especially was stunning and well worth any drawbacks caused by staying in a relatively larger establishment

The lodge was very comfortable, good food and friendly attentive service. We were warned that it could get busy with tour parties, but actually were lucky the first night as it was pretty quiet although the 2nd night there was a group of 20 Americans who were rather vocal, and monopolised a large part of the lounge/bar, but not really a problem.

We went on an evening walking safari, which was very interesting, plus lovely to stretch legs after all the travelling. Game viewing in the crater was excellent - a really wonderful introduction to a safari experience, seeing so many animals close up, with such stunning scenery as a backdrop."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Olakira

Olakira

"Excellent base to explore central Serengeti"

3 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2008
"Overall a very good camp. Staff were without exception very friendly and helpful, especially Pascal and service was very good. Tents were excellent - though campsite area not especially scenic, as fairly flat. The food was generally very good, although breakfasts were a bit more limited compared to the other meals which were lovely. Evenings were quite sociable, although due to rain, we were only able to have one camp fire.

However lots of excitement, caused by torrential rain causing flooding in the approach area and rendering the nearby river crossing almost impassable on our return one afternoon and also a kill only 50 metres away from the tents one evening as we were sitting chatting with our 'sundowners' before dinner. We didn't hear anything (too busy laughing and talking) but the staff told us a lion had just killed a zebra, so we had to take extra care not to go anywhere without an escort. The rain did make the camp area a bit of a quagmire, but it dried up relatively quickly when the sun came out.

Sleeping in a tent out in the bush was fantastic; being able to hear the various noises and trying to imagine what animals were making them from the warmth of a huge comfy bed - made more cosy by a most welcome hot water bottle - was an experience not to be missed.

The camp was a good base for game drives. We saw a great variety of animals in profusion, although at times there was a large number of other vehicles around, but we were aware that this was the price of staying in a popular area of the Serengeti. As we did see so much, it seemed a price worth paying as this was our first safari."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Image alt

Suyan Camp, Tanzania (this camp has since closed)

"Suyan Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 24 Oct 2008
"This camp was quite a contrast from Olakira, and made for a very different experience in several ways.

Firstly the camp itself is in a scenically very attractive area - quite hilly with lovely views from the tents, which were very well furnished, and being well spaced out, felt very private. Staff were very welcoming, helpful and friendly, although we did have a fright when a Masai guard appeared just outside our tent, seemingly fom nowhere, on our first evening - we hadn't realised they are employed to guard the campsite all night.

The food at the camp was excellent, with a really good choice, and all produced in a quite basic kitchen, which we were invited to look round.We loved the sociable dining, with everyone, guides included, sitting around one big table for meals which really encouraged conversation and interaction especially after drinks and snacks around the campfire.

We chose Suyan partly because of the activities on offer, and they really did add to our holiday experience. We went on 2 walking safaris, and really enjoyed being able to be out in the bush, observing wildlife in a more leisurely manner with the excellent camp guides. The visit to the Masai village was memorable, as was the night drive and the wonderful experience of sundowners as the sun set out, just 2 of us with the guides out in the bush, then seeing different animals starting to appear and then a wonderful array of stars in the sky.

The area around Suyan is so much quieter than further South. We saw very few other vehicles. Game was not so profuse, but what we did see was excellent - a lion with a very recent wildebeest kill, very close to the road; lions with cubs; and a family of elephants with a tiny baby, only a day or two old. Also the migration starting to head through, which was a very impessive sight. We stayed 3 days, which we felt was about right, and coupled with the 3 day stay in Olakira, made for a good range of experiences."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Pole Pole

Pole Pole

"Ideal place to relax after busy safari"

6 nights Arrived 27 Oct 2008
"Pole Pole was exactly what we wanted after a busy week of travelling and early starts - the perfect antidote and very relaxing. The situation was perfect for what we wanted - idyllic setting, very quiet, with excellent snorkelling and diving in the bay, some of the best corals we have seen. We went out every day, sometimes twice, in the dhow, to different sites in Chole Bay, and all were first class.

The bungalows were very attractive and comfortable, perfect to just lounge around in, reading, snoozing etc when we weren't out on the daily excursions. Food was good, though naturally quite fishy, given the location. We are not particularly keen on too much fish, but having established that, the menus for the day were discussed with us, and alternatives offered if we wanted them..

Maura, the manager, was a natural host - a very warm person, who really enjoyed chatting to guests at length when we were in the bar or dining room, and was a mine of information, and also incredibly helpful - we really felt she genuinely enjoyed meeting and talking to her guests and doing all she could to enhance their holiday experience, and she demonstrated this in all sorts of thoughtful ways.

Mafia is very quiet and unspoiled - some people mind find it too quiet, but it was everything we had wanted and more - shame we didn't see the whale sharks, but that was the only regret. Perhaps another time - I would certainly go again as a follow on to a safari if we were to go back to that part of Africa for another holiday."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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