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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs A from East Lothian

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

1

Brilliant first safari - thank you Expert Afr

Tanzania between 3 Aug 2019 and 11 Aug 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"I had refused to do a long haul flight since our honeymoon 30 years ago. My husband was not convinced about going on safari but wanted us to go because he knew I would love it.

Expert Africa were brilliant at asking what would make the trip fantastic for us and what would make it bad. Their planning and advice meant we had the most mind blowing and amazing experience. We stayed in Arusha two nights, Little Oliver's in Tarangire two nights, The Highlands in Ngorongoro for two nights and Lemal Kuria Hills in Northern Serengeti for three nights. Everywhere was great and there is nothing we can fault about the camps, the service, food wine and outstanding hospitality.

Our eyes were wide with wonder from the moment we left the airstrip at Tarangrine airport and saw beautiful birds and incredible wildlife so close. Obviously we experienced a lot and so some experiences were better than others for us. The hospitality and exclusive feeling of Little Oliver's plus our brilliant, knowledgeable guide meant our time in Tarangire really stands out but that is very much a personal comment and does not mean the other camps and game drives were not brilliant.

Needless to say Duncan enjoyed the safari tremendously and I simply loved it!"

Legendary Lodge

Legendary Lodge

"Relaxing Legendary Lodge"

1 night Arrived 3 Aug 2019
"Wonderful start to the holiday. Extremely professional and friendly staff. The service was first class and the food and wine excellent.

The bungalows were set in the grounds and were a delight.

We only stayed for 24 hours to recover from our flight and it really set us up for the adventure ahead."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Little Oliver's Camp

Little Oliver's Camp

"Exclusive Little Oliver's "

2 nights Arrived 4 Aug 2019
"Exclusive and personal. This camp is a true delight and, to us, represented Tanzania at it's very best. The Manager, Abel, and all the staff were absolutely lovely. There are only 5 tents which means the service is very personal and although we only stayed two nights we felt very much part of the camp and the people. Our tent was number five and was set on it's own down a short path from the communal path. It was a fantastic experience. We could sit on our veranda and watch elephants moving peacefully through the bush. At night we could hear animals wandering around but we always felt safe. All the food and drink were excellent.

The safari experience at this camp was mind blowing. It must be said our guide, Penuel, was first class and exceedingly knowledgeable. He also had eyes like a hawk and could spot animals from afar and birds camouflaged in the trees. The sheer numbers of beautiful animals was a complete delight. The elephants liked to come up close to the jeep - one even came within four feet of our jeep, looked at us and started to give himself a dust bath. It was very humbling to be so closer to these huge, gentle animals.

We also went on a night drive which was an exceptional experience. On the night drive we saw so much including a lone serval and then a pair of servals and later an aardwolf which is very rare to see. The highlight of the night drive has to be when we saw two male lions. They were walking along the track towards us. Fortunately we recognised them as the two we had seen previously that day and we knew they had eaten well. One came straight up to the open jeep and walked by within three feet of my door. He was magnificent. To be so close to a walk lion is a tremendous experience.

Apart from that Penuel drive round the national park making sure we saw as much as possible. We saw at least 30 different mammals, 80 different birds that we know the names of but many, many more plus an African puff adder.

The low point was leaving the camp. I still miss it!"
Excellent
The Highlands

The Highlands

"The Highlands review"

2 nights Arrived 6 Aug 2019
"Very professional camp. Warm welcoming and the service, food and wine all excellent. The tents had wood burning stoves to keep them warm and the views from the terrace were stunning.

The best part of the visit was the hike up to the mini caldera with a Masai warrior, guide from the Highlands and Asilia guide. Lovely hike and beautiful views.

The worst part of the visit was the journey to and fro Highlands. It took about two and half hours from the airport. The first half was fine but after the viewing area for the Ngorongoro Crater we turned off onto an extremely bumpy, dusty track that wound it's way round the caldera and then eventually up to Highlands. While Highlands was lovely we did not feel it was worth the journey."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Safari in Ngorongoro Crater

Safari in Ngorongoro Crater

"Disappointing Ngorongoro Crater safari"

7 Aug 2019 • All-day excursion

Ngorongoro Crater is spectacular in terms of it's appearance and formation. From geological and environmental aspects it is fascinating but the safari aspect was disappointing. The caldera is 264 sq km and various different habitats have evolved over the floor - marshes, a forest, lakes, open grasslands so there is a wide range of animals.

However the number of vehicles allowed down into the caldera is not limited and so you are constantly aware of many other vehicles and animals were sometimes clearly stressed by the vehicles. We experienced this twice with elephants here - once in the forest area when an elephant wanted to cross a track but a vehicle was in the way and secondly as we were leaving the picnic area. The picnic area was full of vehicles and just as we were leaving a bull elephant came wandering along the shore. We knew it was in musth (as our guide in Tarangire had already explained this behaviour to us). The elephant was therefore potentially aggressive. As he walked along the shore some vehicles edged nearer to get a close position and people actually tried to get very close to take a photos. The elephant looked stressed and angry (so unlike the peaceful elephants in Tarangire). It was very sad to see. Our Asilia guide made a calm exit.

We think the caldera is over rated and It is not a place we would go back to.
Lemala Kuria Hills

Lemala Kuria Hills

"Professional Lemala Kuria Hills"

3 nights Arrived 8 Aug 2019
"A stunning place to end our safari. Daniel and his team are all extremely professional. Nothing was too much trouble, the service was exceptional and the food and wine all great. The views from the main terrace and our balcony were beautiful and peaceful. Daniel was a perfect host with exceptional attention to detail. We stayed for three nights and all the time we were very well looked after. The first night our guide, Robert, came to have a drink with our and talk to us about exactly what we wanted to see and what was important to us. The second night Daniel invited us for a drink with him and then we had a special table beside the romantic fire pit. On our last evening we were invited up to 'the rock' with one other couple to watch the sunset while drinking champagne and eating nibbles - again Daniel joined us.

The northern Serengeti is beautiful and the safari was brilliant - we saw so much: a family of lions (a male, 2 females and 5 four month old cubs), a mating pair of lions, a female leopard and 2 eight month old cubs, a cheetah and later a pair of cheetahs, elephants, buffalo, spotted hyenas, black-backed jackals, zebra, hippos, wildebeests, giraffe and baby giraffe, gazelle, baboons, crocodiles and much more. The only animal we did not see was a rhino but having seen so much it was not missed.

The best part of the whole safari here was eventually witnessing the wildebeests crossing the Masai Mara. The crossing is one of those experiences you cannot understand until you have seen it. There are 10 main crossings plus a smaller one. Hundreds of wildebeests start of mass around one of the crossings. They run along the bank, staring down at the river, trying to sum up the courage to cross - maybe for 30-40 minutes. Some look as if they will go and then suddenly the front ones turn around and start running in the opposite direction. The rest of the mass charge after them as once one has decided not to cross none of them dare to. They may then stop to graze or charge onto another crossing. All the time they are running the babies get separated from their mothers and only meet up when they all stop running. Consequently it takes a long time to actually witness the crossing. Meanwhile all the guides are talking to one another over a radio saying which crossing looks the most likely. At one stage we got to the crossing too late and just witnessed the last four zebra crossing.

Robert was determined we were going to see a crossing but as we raced and bumped from crossing to crossing it seemed more and more unlikely. Finally at about 3pm we arrived at a crossing with hundreds of wildebeests on the other side. Suddenly one brave animal started to tentatively make it's way down the steep muddy bank. Then it was in the river and started to gallop over. That one brave animal triggered one of the most incredible sights - about 2,000 wildebeests followed. Mothers and babies were crossing separately and would join up when they found each other. At one stage as the 2,000 wildebeests were crossing about a hundred babies who had already crossed decided to go back across the river in attempt to find their mothers so we saw a double crossing. Thankfully we did not see any wildebeests being got by a crocodile, or break a leg on a rock in the river or on the bank. We could all relax having seen the crossing. Robert took us back to the camp so we could enjoy a drink and the plunge pool on our balcony!"
Excellent

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