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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs R. from Wadhurst

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

My Aug 2019 trip

Botswana and 1 other country between 22 Aug 2019 and 6 Sep 2019

Trip rating: Good
"Perhaps not quite up to expectations because game sightings not as intense, prolific or frequent as anticipated. This may have been due to what we understood to be a two year drought.

Having flown economy, we were glad of the opportunity to relax for 2 nights at Victoria Falls before starting the safari. Our afternoon arrival at our first camp coincided with that of another UK couple who had flown from the UK straight to the camp and, unlike us, were too tired to go straight out on an evening game drive."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Avani Victoria Falls a most convenient hotel"

2 nights Arrived 23 Aug 2019
"We obtained our KAZA visas online prior to travelling.- they issue a Receipt for the $50.55 fee paid online plus a Letter of Authority to the border staff to issue a visa. The Zambian website and process were not entirely straightforward but it did save a very long and very slow queue at Livingstone airport.

It proved impossible to avoid the touts when trying to get a taxi from the airport to the Avani hotel. All demanded $30 but could be negotiated down to $25, which was slightly less than the $30 the Avani had quoted us for pre-arranging.

The Avani Resort was a most convenient and relaxing hotel; convenient because it was a 5 minute walk to the Zambian side of the falls and a 5 minute walk to the iconic bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe; and relaxing because the hotel is 'open-plan', with 2-storey accommodation blocks arranged around a large grassed area in the centre of which is a large unheated outdoor swimming pool (cold in August!),outdoor bar and restaurant and the main restaurant. We just had a standard room, with bath and shower, on a B&B basis which was better value than including meals as food at the hotel was inexpensive, dinner typically costing £45 for 2 including beers. The included buffet breakfast was extensive.

Unfortunately, there was almost no water going over the Zambian side of the falls, apparently due to a 2 year drought. and no need for rainwear on the Zimbabwe side as negligible spray from the subdued falls that side. Nevertheless, the views were spectacular and we had no regrets.

We enjoyed walking from the Avani over the iconic bridge to the Zimbabwe side of the falls and also on into the town of Victoria Falls to the 'colonial style' Victoria Falls Hotel but persistent pestering by roadside vendors was annoying."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp best location of the 4 visited"

2 nights Arrived 25 Aug 2019
"Superb location with the spacious chalets all right on the river bank overlooking the river and wetlands. We heard hippos in the river at night and saw them during the day together with elephants. Whilst we saw lion, cheetahs etc., game viewing was not as prolific as others had reported, perhaps due to it apparently being the 2nd year of drought, nor did we see anything significant at night. The river cruise was enjoyable for its peace and tranquillity and bird life but the high point of our 2-night stay was 2 sightings of a pair of cheetahs passing through the camps concession. Of the 4 camps we visited, this was one of 3 that had trackers as well as guides and we found having a tracker considerably enhanced the experience.

Food average, with meat a challenge but vegetable items good. The absence of mosquitos was welcome. The chalet had socket outlets for both a variety of worldwide plug types and also S. African 3 round pin plugs as well as USB plugs. By taking a UK plug to S. African round pin socket adapter, we were able to simultaneously utilise these 2 sockets to charge 2 gadgets. Able to get a Namibian phone signal."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp best of 4 visited as guide superb"

2 nights Arrived 27 Aug 2019
"We had an outstanding guide, Elvis, and despite only staying 2 nights we built an excellent rapport with him, helped by often being the only couple in the vehicle. Of the 4 camps we visited, this was one of 3 that had trackers as well as guides and we found having a tracker considerably enhanced the experience.

We spent 2 nights at both Lebala and nearby Lagoon camps in the hope of seeing wild dogs at one or other of them and had a sighting at Lebala of a small pack, although disappointingly not of them hunting. Ironically, later, at Splash camp, we had 2 sightings of a large 25+ strong pack of wild dogs although again not of them hunting. Although game sightings were below expectations, with little or nothing at night, the highlight was following a large pride of lion hunting and then fighting over their kill.

The chalet had socket outlets for both a variety of worldwide plug types and also S. African 3 round pin plugs as well as USB plugs. By taking a UK plug to S. African round pin socket adapter, we were able to simultaneously utilise these 2 sockets to charge 2 gadgets..

Food at Lebala average, with meat a challenge but vegetable items good. The absence of mosquitos was welcome."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Splash Camp

Splash Camp

"Large pack of wild dogs seen at Splash Camp"

3 nights Arrived 29 Aug 2019
"Despite the manager, Renee, being very involved and enthusiastic, our 3 nights at Splash rated below the other 3 camps we visited. Although new & modern, it lacked the rich feel of Lagoon and Lebala. Our guide, TJ was surly and lacked humour. The waterhole the camp overlooked was virtually dried up and lacked game visits. Splash was the only camp where we were troubled by mosquitos, particularly in the shower, and we were glad of the mosquito curtains surrounding the bed. Whilst the hot water was scalding, the cold water supply to the outdoor shower didn't work and bringing this to the manager's attention didn't achieve any measurable improvement. The chalet had socket outlets for both a variety of worldwide plug types and also S. African 3 round pin plugs as well as USB plugs. By taking a UK plug to S. African round pin socket adapter, we were able to simultaneously utilise these 2 sockets to charge 2 gadgets.

The token mokoro excursion was a waste of time, being a short ride along one side of a large lagoon with nothing to see, but the high speed boat ride on the river was exhilarating despite not seeing anything. Game viewings were again disappointing in intensity, perhaps because of the 2 year drought, but we were pleased to have 2 sightings of a very large (25+) pack of wild dogs, despite them just resting on both occasions, as well as a leopard lying in a vultures nest at the top of a tall tree, something our guide had never seen and did not expect to experience again.

Of the 4 camps we visited, this was one of 3 that had trackers as well as guides and we found having a tracker considerably enhanced the experience."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Gomoti Plains Camp

Gomoti Plains Camp

"Excellent staff and food at Gomoti Plains"

3 nights Arrived 1 Sep 2019
"Surprisingly, the camp was only half full beginning September. The staff were delightful, helpful and polite. The manager, Onx, was much in evidence helping and chatting to guests, as was the (deputy?) manager Ponchee. Food was excellent and abundant. Dinner was served at a long table in the open, outside the main dining area despite the adjacent small river/stream being dried up. Breakfast and brunch were served at individual tables in the dining area and some guests had individual tables at dinner. This could be rather 'cliquey'

Accommodation was in elaborate and comfortable tented units on wooden platforms which lacked nothing inside. Nevertheless, we preferred the sliding doors at the previous camps to having to unzip and zip-up the tent door. No mosquitos encountered. The tent had socket outlets for both a variety of worldwide plug types and also S. African 3 round pin plugs as well as USB plugs. By taking a UK plug to S. African round pin socket adapter, we were able to simultaneously utilise these 2 sockets to charge 2 gadgets.. Unlike other camps, staff were willing to wash our 'smalls'.

The only camp of 4 visited to just have a guide but no tracker. We found the guide + tracker model far superior.

Aborted a mokoro ride to rush to a rhino sighting, only for the rhino to disappear into an impenetrable thicket seconds before our arrival, not to be seen again! Having only seen small groups of buffalo at the previous 3 camps, we were pleased to twice see, and drive through, very large herds of them. Another mokoro trip was enjoyable although the hippos all remained in the water with only their nostrils showing above. The highlight was seeing a lioness with 4 one month old cubs catching a warthog to feed the cubs.

Able to download emails both at the 'internet desk' and in our tent but more ambitious internet access was not possible."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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