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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Nick & Kate from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

4

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

21

Excursions taken

0

Another memorable safari

Namibia and 1 other country between 24 Sep 2017 and 8 Oct 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall, this was a great experience, with many memorable sightings and some superb lodges.

Out of the whole trip, there was just one unsatisfactory lodge, which was Little Kwara in Botswana. We travelled in late September-early October, which is a very, very hot time of year, and on some of the afternoon drives the animals were still sheltering from the 38 degree afternoon heat.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

One idea would be to give in your advice, and in your camp descriptions, details of where and when you might see some of the rarer animals.

So, for example, we wanted to see eland, sable and roan, but this was not possible at any of our camps, but we had not thought to ask about it specifically before we went."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Olive Exclusive

Olive Exclusive

"Beautiful hotel, slow service"

1 night Arrived 24 Sep 2017
"This is a beautiful hotel, with an absolutely stunning room, including a personal plunge pool and deck, sherry and port in the room, coffee maker, huge bed, delightfully furnished and appointed. The only down side is the huge picture window with no screen or curtain, making the room very bright at dawn.

The rooms are reached at the bottom of a steep stone stairway, which was no problem for us but obviously difficult for those with mobility issues.

The staff member who showed us to our room was lovely but other members of staff were not particularly warm and friendly, and service in the restaurant depended largely on your ability to attract the attention of the occasionally present waiting staff. The restaurant is on a terrace with fine views over the hills and countryside. The food was good, but not as gourmet as some reviews have suggested.

All in all, a nice place to start or finish your trip."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Stunning waterhole, terrible food"

2 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2017
"We have stayed here before but this time we upgraded to a luxury waterhole chalet, which was well worth it. Even though we could not (in room 32) really see much of the waterhole from our accommodation, it is great to be right next to the action.

The room was on two levels, with large beds on both floors, and showers upstairs and downstairs. Mosquito nets and air con all worked well.

The animal life at the waterhole was amazing, with rhinos at night and elephants night and day, as well as large herds of antelope, giraffes, zebras, jackals and so on.

The downside was a serious deterioration in the quality of the food since our last visit, and the arrangements for getting a table for dinner could only be described as chaotic. Nevertheless, this is a star attraction and also well located for some other waterholes out in the park."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Rooms
Good
Food
Terrible
Onguma Tented Camp

Onguma Tented Camp

"Superb luxury camp"

2 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2017
"We stayed here a few years ago and enjoyed it. If anything, the service and food has improved still further, and the guiding was of a high quality for the pleasant sundowner drive around the property's own park (where we saw lion).

Beautiful rooms, excellent restaurant, and a delightful waterhole frequented by many antelope and giraffe.

All in all, a really good choice for exploring the eastern end of Etosha, located as it is a 20 minute drive from the eastern gate to the park."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Sandibe Safari Lodge

Sandibe Safari Lodge

"The most awesome safari experience"

3 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2017
"From the moment we arrived and were prevented from reaching our room by a bull elephant on the pathway, it was clear that this was going to be a special place. The design of the main area of the camp - like being inside a giant whale - is stunning, and the rooms are like a luxury hotel, while clearly enhancing the sense of being in the bush.

Every room has a large private pool to cool down in - we saw a passing hyena on our first dip, and an elephant on our next. The service is faultless, the food is fantastic and they have thought of every conceivable way of adding that extra touch - for example, there is nice freshly brewed coffee on the morning drive, not instant coffee.

Add to this the spectacular wildlife - wild dog hunting, plenty of leopard, one with fresh kill, another with a small cub, a cheetah with tiny cub, lion, rhino, elephant, wattled cranes, bat eared foxes, and so on - and this really does represent one of the truly memorable safari experiences. Our guides were outstanding - Jonas and Trust."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Overrated - has seen better days"

3 nights Arrived 2 Oct 2017
"The following comments in no way reflect on our delightful and excellent guide, Jacob, who deserved a better posting than this tired and run-down lodge.

Our reception on arrival was cursory to say the least, and the temporary relief manager could hardly muster any enthusiasm. Despite arriving at 12.30 pm, no food was offered to us and there was a reluctance to provide any, as the service had finished at noon. Our room had clearly seen better days, with insect screens stapled together, often leaving gaping holes, and the furnishings had clearly not been updated since the camp was first opened. The rooms were suffocatingly hot, even with a fan on full speed (one guest recorded a 100 degree temperature in his room in the afternoon).

There are many old-fashioned touches, such as not washing underwear and serving instant coffee, whereas other camps have upped their game. There was no hot tea offered (it was provided when we asked, as we had to do every single day). Staff were not present a lot of the time, and in consequence baboons ran riot all through the communal dining area. At one point two baboons ripped apart some tin cans to suck out the sweet juice, and then deposited the sharp debris by the swimming pool. No member of staff cleared it up. When some baboons threw some lamps on the floor, staff members came out to see what the noise was, and then retreated without clearing up the mess.

Unusually, there were 11 guests rather than 10, but still only 10 seats were put out for breakfast and drinks round the boma, meaning one guest always had to stand. The management was simply not on the case. The communal sitting area was tired, and so badly disposed that there were only three seats not in the sun in the afternoon. It was configured in such a way that two seats had their backs to the rest of the seating so guests could not congregate properly. There were two huge sofa-seats, where you could not sit with your back upright and your feet on the floor. The cane furniture had seen better days.

Another Expert Africa guest had made similar criticisms about the tired nature of this camp a few years ago and his comments had led to the reply that the camp was expecting an imminent upgrade. No such upgrade is evident. Overall, this was a camp which was resting on its laurels (it still seemed to attract guests), was tired and run down, with management and staff making very little effort. It has been surpassed in many respects by its competitors who are constantly seeking ways to improve and enhance the tourist experience.

We would not recommend staying here."
Poor
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good
Facilities
Poor
Service
Poor
Activities
Good
Selinda Camp

Selinda Camp

"Stunning camp in great location"

3 nights Arrived 5 Oct 2017
"This was perhaps the most beautiful traditional camp we have stayed in on our various safaris, a fabulous design and a stunning location overlooking the spillway, and populated with many different animals. This was less like a luxury hotel and more of a fabulous upmarket traditional safari lodge.

The communal area was well laid out, large, open, with great views and fresh breezes, and included a lovely little swimming pool, a viewing deck, and a place to have afternoon tea and communal dining. There was also a boma and you can ask for private dining if you want (we did this on our last night, and the camp will come up with a surprise location!).

There is a very good wine list, and you can choose your own bottle direct from their cellar. The rooms are big, and airy and comfortable. The staff were delightful, and the temporary managers we encountered (Alistair and Jessica) were dedicated to ensuring everything was designed to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

The game was perhaps a little sparse for Botswana, although we had two outstanding sightings (over 3 days) - a pride of lion hunting (unsuccessfully, needless to say) and two six week old leopard cubs hidden in a fallen tree. Although these were amazing sights, there was very little other activity in the park while we were there."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Scenery as much as wildlife in Namibia

Namibia between 17 Sep 2014 and 3 Oct 2014

Trip rating: Good
"Namibia is not the country to go to for lashings of big game. If you want that, it's Botswana, then perhaps Tanzania and then Zambia. Namibia is a destination where the scenery plays as much a part of the experience as the game. Accordingly, if you're full-on animal spotters like us, the country can disappoint a little.

Having said that, there is plenty of fun to be had, the accommodations are delightful, the light aircraft trips are spectacular, the scenery is indeed amazing - and, of course, there are the unforgettable black rhino. We did not self-drive, and met many people who were finding that experience fairly challenging (but others we met were loving it). All in all, we enjoyed the visit, but probably would have wanted to speed it up here and there, and maybe cut down some of the 2 night stays where one had done everything within 24 hours.

Not sure either about Etosha - some marvellous moments, but not up there for us with the truly great African game parks.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

1. People can do Erongo fully in one night if they have a late afternoon flight home from Windhoek.
2. On private safaris, issue guests with a voucher making it very clear what is included and what is not (eg local beverages)
3. Seriously consider whether Kulala Desert Lodge is suitable
4. Wolwedans and Sossuvlei did not merit 4 nights - could this be done in for speedy types like us?
5. Clarify that Erongo and Damaraland scenery are actually really quite similar - we had expected Erongo to be a sort of green and pleasant land!"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Galton House

Galton House

"Pleasant option in Windhoek"

1 night Arrived 18 Sep 2014
"This is a pleasant, somewhat sterile but functional b&b located out of town in the residential Eros district (nowhere near Eros Airport, rather confusingly). The rooms are quite basic, but the shower is good, there’s lot of hot water, and the bed is comfortable. The pool is small.

There is an open kitchen/dining area, where it’s not clear whether you help yourself to tea and coffee, or beers from the fridge, or wander around looking for service. Breakfast was delicious, although service was painfully slow (45 minutes).

You can also take dinner here, which is nice, with a range of decent, well-priced wines, and avoid the hassle of taxis into town and back. Staff are all very friendly."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Wolwedans Dune Camp

Wolwedans Dune Camp

"Spectacular location - shame about mosquitoes"

2 nights Arrived 19 Sep 2014
"After a wonderful, scenic flight from Windhoek over the Sossuvlei dunes, we were efficiently met at the airstrip (quite a few animals here), and transferred by our lady guide up the hill to the camp. It was one of the most beautiful and spectacular locations of our entire trip. There are just 7 rooms (frequented by Angelina and Brad, so we were regularly told), each of which is spacious and comfortable, with big beds. Rooms have a private verandah with sunrise views.

Tea and biscuits are left outside for you at dawn, a thoughtful touch. Accordingly, you can take tea while you watch the sunrise from your bed. The central area is quite small and indoor dining is a bit dark and gloomy. Outdoor dining and drinks around the campfire are charming, and the food is very high quality indeed. Drinks are included. Dining is communal but can be private if you wish. The dining area overlooks a small waterhole which attracts a lot of oryx, who wander through the camp. Overall, this is a tranquil, beautiful spot in the rocky desert, where you get a real feel for the climate and the landscape. The night skies are astonishing.

On the down side, the manager was rather defensive and not too energetic. There were meant to be such options as riding and massage, but neither was available. Bedroom make up service was slip shod, with towels left where they were found on chairs, the bathroom not tidied up. The worst offence was the complete absence of mosquito protection – no nets, and open-sided cabins. When we asked for insect spray we were told it was ‘out of stock’. Accordingly, sleep was a problem (for all guests – a breakfast topic of conversation!). We were in cabin 7, furthest away from the dining area, and it was rather a trudge through deep sand there and back – perhaps a walkway would be a good investment here.

Activities include all-day drives in the park, which I would highly recommend. Although game is sparse, the park is very attractive and the scenery changes. Our guide informed us about the geology and we walked around a bit to look at animal tracks. We saw oryx, springbok, zebra, one of the 3 giraffes in the park, big herds of red hartebeest, ostrich, a monitor lizard at a waterhole, mongoose and ground squirrels, and various birds (including the endemic dune lark – nothing much to look at but one to tick off). We even saw two aardwolf right by the side of the road."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Sprawling camp which lacks character"

2 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2014
"Despite its excellent location overlooking the majestic dunes, this camp has grown out of all proportion (now it has 23 rooms), and is a far cry from a tranquil desert experience, nor does it any longer have any sense of a luxury retreat. There was one giant party of 17 Americans during our stay, and it was all a bit too much like a Disney theme park.

The resort’s attempt to emulate Moroccan-style huts doesn’t come off and the camp is rather ugly. The central area is large and airy, with a big deck overlooking the little waterhole. You can take meals out here on warm nights, which is very pleasant (although the food is no more than serviceable). Oddly enough, the resort makes little of the waterhole, which is poorly illuminated at night, and the terrace too hot to sit on by day. This is a shame as we saw many jackal, a kudu and the African wild cat during our stay.

Rooms are simple but mosquito precautions are effective. Sleeping on the roof is a bit of a gimmick – it would be very uncomfortable, really cold and you’d be eaten alive by the insects. The camp was very hot in the daytime (40 degrees), and there is a small and icy-cold swimming pool to help cool you down. Drinks are included, as is laundry. Service is friendly and quite efficient.

Activities are arranged like a military campaign, but are largely unsatisfactory. The early morning trip to the dunes is by far the best thing, and the camp is located perfectly for an easy entry to the park, ensuring that you are up on the dunes by 8.00 am before it gets too hot – and before the hordes arrive. But it is quite crowded nonetheless. The other trip, to Sesriem Canyon, is a bit of a waste of time, and the sundowner game drive quite boring (until you get a drink) as there is so little game here. Our guide was clearly totally jaded and fed up with the tourist routine, and could hardly bring himself to smile. He compounded this by forgetting the milk for our breakfast stop on the dunes, so a cup of horrible black instant coffee was all he had to offer.

Overall, we felt that this lodge has grown too big to offer a genuine luxury desert experience, and there will undoubtedly be better options in the area."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Desert Rhino Camp

Desert Rhino Camp

"Desert Rhino Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 23 Sep 2014
"After a fantastic flight from Sossuvlei over the dunes and then up the coast over shipwrecks, seal colonies and flamingos, then Swarkopmund, we landed in the middle of the rocky desert of Damaraland, with a herd of desert elephants patrolling the airstrip. We were driven to the camp, which is pleasantly designed. The rooms are large and very comfortable, with good mosquito precautions (even though there were no insects during our stay in September).

Dining is communal, but very atmospheric, with staff singing to you and dancing at the end of the meal (this is more fun than it might sound, trust me). Dining outside and drinks at the campfire are both magical, although the indoor dining area is less successful. Johann’s tour of the night-sky is unmissable. Food is adequate without being interesting. Drinks are charged extra, and dining is communal. There is no waterhole at the camp.

The rhino tracking on foot is a bit of a lottery. The park is divided into 4 zones, and no zone is visited on two consecutive days, to avoid any chance of the rhino becoming stressed by too much human contact. While this makes sense, it also means that your chances of seeing rhino are dependent on which zone you get (some are far better than others). The trackers set off ahead of you, and then you drive around looking at what little game there might be, until the call comes that rhino have been found. Then you drive to join them and walk (usually a short way) to view the rhino from 200 metres away or so, for 15-20 minutes.

Try to arrange two morning treks to maximise your chance of seeing rhino in a good zone. We spent six hours on our first trek without sighting rhino, and then the camp messed up our onward flight the next day and couldn’t fit us in for a second trek. Luckily, we had a truly amazing encounter with an adult male rhino on our short sundowner drive, at much closer quarters and for far longer (an hour) than would have happened on foot, so it didn’t matter all that much. We also saw the elephants and a pack of 13 hyena after a kill. This makes the park sound packed with game, but it isn’t).

Staff are lovely, although there was clear evidence of tension between members of the management team, and indeed between guides and the rhino trackers. The camp is now on the New York Times list of The Top 10 Places in the World to Visit, so expect long waiting lists."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Mowani Mountain Camp

Mowani Mountain Camp

"Lovely camp and great elephants"

2 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2014
"Another scenic flight took us across Damaraland to Mowani, a beautiful camp in a glorious location, designed into the rocky landscape. The central area is spacious and airy, with a nice view down to a waterhole that attracted not even a single springbok during our two days. Rooms are large and comfortable, although hot water was intermittent. The beds seem to jut out into the valley, offering panoramic views.

Good mosquito precautions, but no mosquitos. Annoying flies which buzz around your eyes prevented us sitting on our terrace with its delightful views across the valley at the back of the camp. The rooms at the front looked to us to have better views, and would also benefit from the afternoon breezes. Rock dassies run around the camp, along with beautiful lizards. Management were friendly and helpful, although they didn’t plan our second day’s afternoon activity, so we had to initiate that ourselves.

There is a tiny swimming pool. More effective is the splendid rocky ledge which serves as the sundowner terrace, affording wonderful valley views as the sun goes down, accompanied by your favourite cocktail served by obliging and friendly staff. Service was horribly slow, particularly at breakfast, where I failed to get my hot order in time to make the morning activity, even though I arrived the moment the restaurant opened.

The activities are good. The highlight of course is the morning drive to find the desert elephants. We had a herd of 14 in the dry river bed, just half an hour from camp, and the interaction with the 3 vehicles present was fabulous – I could have reached out and touched two elephants as they ambled by our jeep. The trip to the rock engravings at Tywfelfontein is intriguing and very interesting, and makes a nice diversion from game drives. The park has very little wildlife apart from the elephants, although an afternoon birding drive yielded three different types of hornbill."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Underrated, lovely resort with waterhole"

1 night Arrived 27 Sep 2014
"It is common to see this resort as ‘wonderful waterhole, but awful place to stay’. Our experience was quite different. The resort has a lovely, old-fashioned feel (it is the oldest one in Etosha), with a large number of very attractive huts, like a kind of 1950s American summer camp. Food is taken in a central dining area – drinks are ordered but the meal is serve-yourself buffet style. It’s quite ordinary but clean and appetising. It is, of course, a long way from the luxury safari camp experience, but it’s not grim at all.

Rooms are surprisingly large and comfortable, with good mosquito precautions. The park itself has other camps to stop and have lunch or whatever in the middle of the day, and the food is simple but tasty.

The waterhole at Okaukuejo is astounding, both by day and night. On our visit, the tourists were well-behaved, quiet and respectful of the animals. Our guide suggested we dine early (when the restaurant opened at 6.30 pm) so we could bag the best seats at the waterhole for the evening. In the four hours I was there from 7.30 pm, I saw 15 black rhino, including a suckling calf and mother, and two male lions, both of whom were eventually chased off by bad-tempered rhinos. There were also lots of jackals and giraffe. By day there was a huge concentration of giraffe, springbok, impala, zebra and various birds.

We drove out of the camp and visited a few waterholes in the daytime, at one seeing a small pride of lions staking out zebra and then being chased off by a male elephant; and at another, a large herd of white-dust stained elephant drinking, with ostrich, zebra, impala and even a sleeping rhino. Etosha is based on driving across the rather dull landscape and settling down at a waterhole and hoping for the best. The concentration and variety of game is relatively poor compared to other African parks – so we saw no leopard or cheetah, for instance – but there are plenty of elephant, the unforgettable black rhino, and some interesting scenes at waterholes, as antelope (kudu and eland among those we saw) come and go."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Onguma Tented Camp

Onguma Tented Camp

"Onguma Tented Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 28 Sep 2014
"This was one of the most beautiful camps we stayed at on our entire trip. The central area was large and stylish, the dining area most attractive, overlooking the large waterhole, and the lovely rooms wonderfully sited around the same waterhole. The whole camp was well designed and had many individual touches.

Food was good to very good. Some of the staff had poor English, so it was not always possible to make yourself understood, but there was no shortage of effort, and everyone worked to help us have a good time. Drinks around the campfire was a lovely moment. Dining was separate, although we combined tables with another couple we had met over drinks.

The afternoon game drive we took netted three lions just by the camp, as well as a marvellous pair of bat-eared foxes, jackals and a brooding group of white-backed vultures quite low down in the palm trees. But game was by no means plentiful."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Erongo Wilderness Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 30 Sep 2014
"This is a nicely situated camp, with the rooms located high up in the rocks. The rooms themselves are nice and comfortable, but the mosquito nets do not draw shut and there are mosquitoes in the camp, and in your own open-air shower.

The food here is excellent, among the best we had, and the staff are really lovely, in the restaurant and the guides. The scenery is similar to Damaraland, beautiful but not a revelation if you've already been up north. There isn't a great deal to do here, to be honest - there is practically no game, and the drive in the park is badged (accurately) as more of a nature drive than a game drive. - but we did see dik dik (quite tame), and a klipspringer or two high up in the rocks. There is a nice cave to visit with interesting early paintings.

The early morning hill climb is quite strenuous but a nice way to work up an appetite for the fabulous breakfast on your return to camp at 9.30 am. There are large numbers of rosy-faced lovebirds just outside the dining area. Dinner is taken outside on the terrace, at separate tables, and is great fun. Retire afterwards to the enormous boma for drinks with your fellow guests. If you're flying out of windhoek in the later afternoon or evening, it should be possible to stay just one night here and fit in both evening and morning activities.

Overall, this is a really nice camp, one of the best, and it was so nice for once to find a management team who were present, took an interest in their guests, and helped manage your stay. This style of active management was absent from all other camps on our trip."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

The ultimate game experience

Botswana between 22 Oct 2009 and 2 Nov 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"1. Botswana delivers the ultimate in high-quality, varied and abundant game viewing, in a beautiful setting. Also, it seemed that all the camps have a policy of ensuring that there are no more than 4 people in a vehicle - often, we had the vehicle to ourselves as a pair.

2. The lodges are run very well, and are also high quality - albeit, they lack any individuality or idiosyncrasies. The Wilderness experience is, therefore, very reliable, but a bit corporate. Nevertheless, it does what it says on the tin, and does it very well.

3. The company needs to be more thoughtful about how it manages interaction between staff and guests. The staff are a constant presence - breakfast, coffee breaks, brunch, tea, pre-dinner drinks, dinner - and, while always lovely people, are not necessarily the most gifted conversationalists (true of quite a few guests, mind you). It can be quite oppressive having to 'manage' the conversation, and it can interfere with one's ability to socialise easily with other guests. One can in theory choose to ignore the staff, but this is hardly British. I understand that safaris are meant to be communal, and that the company doesn't want an atmosphere of servile staff and snooty guests (not at the classic camps, anyway) - but the balance is absolutely not right at the moment.

4. Standards of guiding, while competent and friendly, falll a long way short of the standards we have experienced in Tanzania and Zambia from guides trained in Zimbabwe. The knowledge of the guides is often superficial, and they can get quite flustered by questions which take them out of their comfort zone. Standards of tracking seemed low. There is a need for significant investment in training if the standards are to reach the levels whereby a guide can transform your experience of a game drive.

5. There should be more active management of a variety of options for activities - too often, it was assumed that a day drive was all that was ever wanted.

6. Except at Chitabe, the main meals were very uninspiring as a rule.

7. On the other hand, I have never had such a mosquito free trip! Well done to the camps for making the nights a really relaxing time for sleeping."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Chitabe Lediba

Chitabe Lediba

"Stunning game in a great setting"

3 nights Arrived 23 Oct 2009
"The lodge was lovely, rooms comfortable and always mosquito free at night. Good game viewing from the lodge, with elephant passing through on 2 of our 3 days there, allowing close up sights of a male pushing down a palm tree. The food was of a notably higher quality here than at the other 2 camps we visited. Staff, as ever, were friendly.

Guiding was competent rather than outstanding (here and elsewhere). It was unusual, however, to be asked to interrupt my close-up leopard viewing and sit back, to allow the guide to take photos (we don't take any photos ourselves). And once or twice the game wandered off as we sat there, while he reviewed his digiital gallery of recent shots! But we took it in good humour, as the overall experience was amazing.

We saw a pack of 20 wild dogs on 2 separate occasions; a group of 3 cheetah about to hunt, 2 who had climbed a tree to get a better view; 3 different leopard sightings, 1 by the camp at night, and one extraordinary encounter. We came across an apparently abandoned tiny baby baboon, and followed it until it led us to his mother's corpse. As we drove away, a leopard emerged from the bushes and dragged his new baboon kill off into the thicket and ate it in front of us - leaving the tiny baby orphaned and crying for its mummy. No sentiment in the bush. We saw plenty of lion too, honey badgers on the road at dawn, monitor lizard right by the car, and lots of elephant - including one lone male who joined us for our sundowner.

The only activities offered were day game drives, although a spotlight was held up as we returned after dusk to camp - prepare to see lots of scrub hares and not much else.

On our last night, the camp staff gave us a delightful surprise, welcoming us back from our afternoon drive with a private dining outside our room, complete with candles, oil lamps and personal at-table service. Very romantic and charming way to end our stay there.

The park was beautiful, with lots of green open spaces and water, to offset the dryer areas. All in all, awesome as the young people say nowadays."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Beautiful camp in a watery setting"

3 nights Arrived 26 Oct 2009
"This was easily the most beautiful camp in terms of its design and setting. The room was bigger than other camps, with a giant walk-in mosquito net that allowed you to move around the bed and still be protected. The food was average, with great afternoon teas.

Adelaide on the staff was simply wonderful, and a real asset to the camp. Activities included a motor boat trip, a mokoro trip and day drives. No game really came through the camp. The camp is set in the lagoon, and you are taken by motor boat whenever you go on a game drive, which is a wonderful way to start and end the day.

Our guide was delightful and made a big effort to make our experience memorable. His tales of elephant encounters were brilliant, if not for the fainthearted! We saw lions at the kill, chasing off vultures (on one occasion knocking one to the ground); sable antelope; huge herds of elephant; another pride of lion huntng buffalo at dusk; a leopard; and, on the mokoro trip, close up sightings of painted reed frogs (beautiful), fish spiders and dragonflies hunting and killing on the wing.

Again, overall, a superb stay at a camp not quite as abundant in game as the others, but with a particular atmosphere and serenity."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
DumaTau Camp

DumaTau Camp

"Fabulous game"

3 nights Arrived 29 Oct 2009
"Another nice camp, set in the jungle, with long walkways to the room. Some game viewing from the public areas, including kudu, giraffe and a hippo grazing at night. Food was average, with afternoon tea once again being the culinary high-light. Staff as friendly and kind as ever, and a good management pair in charge, Vasco and Miriam (so good in fact that they have since been promoted to a premier camp).

Game here was frankly amazing. We began with a lovely sighting of 10 lions baskng in the late afternoon sun, including 3 playful juveniles, and getting up to drink water, and generally being a bit more active than these inert but fine beasts usually are. The park was exceptionally beautiful, with the ability to drive for a long time alongside the river. There were simply hundreds and hundreds of elephant crossing the river, drinking, bathng, and generally taking their usual healthy interest in the game vehicles in their midst - lots of trumpeting, ear flapping, mock charges - a good time was had by all.

We saw roan antelope drinking at the river, a lioness in a bush looking after 3 tiny new-born cubs, 2 giant eagle owls, a leopard right out in the open in the late daylight, as he began hunting impala, lions at a kudu kill, cheetah walking at dusk, a lone wild dog eyeing up an impala which the pack had chased onto an island in the middle of the river - unreachable, it turned out.

Perhaps the most awe-inspring sight was a day-time viewing (on a cool and overcast morning) of the rarely seen pangolin. It crossed the road ahead of us while we were enjoying ourselves at an elephant convention, and we followed it as it walked off through the bush on its hind legs. It then curled up into a ball, and we were allowed down from the vehicle for a close encounter. Mind-blowing! Staff from the camp came out to see it, it was such a rarity.

This was the only camp to set out clearly what the different activity options were, and to arrange them with you in advance. So, we did our one and only 'proper' night drive, going out for 2 hours after dinner. We saw lion too, with one male wandering along the road and roaring to his companions.

Our guide was delightful and made a lot of effort to give us a good time.

The management team made it clear that we could opt for private dining if we wished - the only team to make this offer - and gave us a fabulous last night private table with a view, and complimentary champagne. How's that for service?!

Once more, a triumph for Botswana and the game!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good

Zambia excellent for safari veterans

Zambia between 28 Sep 2007 and 9 Oct 2007

Trip rating: Excellent
"Really good destination, good game, good camps, met some nice people, Tafika a five star experience.

Wilderness somewhat corporate experience.

Pleased that most people were veterans - no honeymooners.

Very very hot - quite a lot of tsetse."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Busanga Bushcamp

Busanga Bushcamp

"enjoybale safari, good camp, some issues"

4 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2007
"The camp itself was very nice, good accommodation, good food, reasonably nice wine. The relief management team was in, and they were ok, but not great. Gogo was charming and friendly, but somewhat too laid back. Petrus was far too full of himself.
Mike was a competent, but by no means outstanding, guide. He was extremely nice.

The scenery in the park was beautiful, but the game not plentiful. Nonetheless, we saw good lion, a couple of resting cheetah, servals at night, side-striped jackal, large buffalo herd, loads of antelope, including a big herd of Roan that let us get right in the middle of them, and just missed the wild dogs coming through.

The diversity was slightly disappointing - no elephant, hyena, zebra. One weakness at this camp was that they had only one vehicle, and as many as 8 guests in it at any one time.

Our stay was badly marred at the end by one of the staff stealing some valuable rings we had left in the room on checking out. The follow up to this by Wilderness was lacking in urgency and proper attention."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Image alt

Lunga River Lodge, Zambia (this camp has since closed)

"Beautiful park and river, sweltering lodge"

1 night Arrived 3 Oct 2007
"Mandy and Murray were an extremely nice young couple, although they seemed over-worked and perhaps slightly out of their depth. Having Mandy's parents staying as part of the tour groups perhaps put extra pressure on them, particularly as mum was very anxious about her life in South Africa.

The approach to the camp had recently had a serious bush fire, and was scorched and black, giving an overall rather woebegone first impression. The communal areas were very well sited over the river, but rather cramped and small for the number of guests. The swimming pool was more like a slightly large bath. The bedroom was unbearably hot, with no through breeze.

The park was stunning and beautiful, with the river providing a glorious central spine. We saw elephant, jackal, monitor lizard, warthog. Not a great deal and limited big game. The river trip was a little odd, with a fast ride down, and then standing in the boiling sun on a rock surface while the pilot went fishing for half an hour.

Good birds on the river. Food adequate but not outstanding. Brian was a very good guide for our evening drive."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Poor
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Tafika

Tafika

"superb safari and a first-rate camp"

4 nights Arrived 4 Oct 2007
"A real gem - personal, indiviudal, idiosyncratic in a good way, very high guiding standards, excellent food, really nice staff, owner-managers added a personal dimension, plentiful game - all round a first-class safari experience.

Outstanding leopard sightings on night drive (and in daytime), crocodile meat-fest on dead buffalo, lion at night, porcupine, genet, civet, serval, elephant, huge buffalo herd, lots of antelope, kudu, etc. Loved the structure of the day - early wake up, breakfast round the camp fire on the riverbank, tea break in game drive, fabulous lunch, wonderful afternoon tea, sundowners, and very nice dinners.
The hosts were charming, the guides were great, everything was good.

Small quibble - the quality of the wine was poor, and worse than at the other camps."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"Pleasant city hotel"

1 night Arrived 8 Oct 2007
"Efficient, well run.

Nice bar for pre-dinner drinks and snacks. Excellent big pool. Fantastic and very reasonably priced massages in health centre
functional but acceptable rooms, with good view. Good buffet breakfast.

Failed to collect us from the airport on arrival and had to be chased up - almost an hour's wait. Shuttle to airport on morning of return flight to UK of no use, leaving at 5.30 (less than half an hour journey) for a 8.50 flight.

We ate out (Lusaka Club) - taxi easily obtained at hotel."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Facilities
Good

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