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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by E & C from San Diego

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Our Jul/Aug 2021 Serengeti/Katavi/Ruaha trip

Tanzania between 25 Jul 2021 and 5 Aug 2021

Trip rating: Excellent
"We'd like to devote this comment to Olivia.

She worked with us on our booking from start to finish for what must have been 18 very trying months for her. Our trip was deferred a year and one member of our group had to be swapped out for another -- both because of covid travel restrictions. Though I tried hard during that time to only bother Olivia with questions I was unable to answer on my own, we ended up exchanging over 80 emails.

Her responses, nevertheless, were invariably prompt, cheerful, and thoroughly helpful. Expert Africa is very fortunate to have her as a team member.

We can only hope that will still be true when it comes time for our next trip to Africa!"

Kirurumu Migration Camp

Kirurumu Migration Camp

"Serengeti North Wilderness Camp"

4 nights Arrived 25 Jul 2021
"As Kirurumu Migration Camp apparently did not open for the season, we were transferred to Serengeti North Wilderness Camp instead. The camp was very much what we had expected of Kirurumu. In fact, but for the camp’s name appearing on the staffs’ fleeces, we would have never known that we had been rebooked at a different camp.

The camp honored the provisions of our Kirurumu booking, including free laundry and two tents for the three of us. We had an excellent experience at the camp, which overlooked a picturesque valley 35km away from the Mara River.

As for the northern Serengeti, we were surprised that much of it was burning with fires set annually by the rangers. At times, the smoke was quite oppressive and detracted significantly from our enjoyment of the expansive vistas. While we might have still chosen to go to the northern Serengeti had we known about the fires, forewarned would have been forearmed. Instead, the information available to us, including the Bradt guide, made no mention of these seasonal fires."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chada Camp

Chada Camp

"Chada Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 29 Jul 2021
"Chada Camp is just about the ideal tented camp. Though just a short walk to the common area of the camp, our very comfortable tent felt completely isolated, providing a wonderful sense of being on our own in the bush. It had a sweeping view of the adjacent floodplain and its animals. From our tent's "porch," we watched a pair of male giraffes battling each other for over an hour out on the plain. The resident vervet monkeys scampering across the roof of our tent and drinking from the birdbath in front of it provided much entertainment..

Another highlight of the camp was the flush toilet in the common area. Enclosed in its own tent which opens out onto a view of the floodplain, it was a very popular destination before and after game drives and provided the best view of a herd of elephants that passed by camp one afternoon.

While Chada Camp was the only place where we encountered mosquitoes during our trip because we were there fairly early in the dry season, our beds were well protected with expansive mosquito netting even though we didn't spot any mosquitoes inside our tent.

The service at the camp was excellent without being too intrusive. Shortly after we mentioned to the camp manager that the zipper for the entrance to our tent had become balky, we returned to our tent to find a staff member replacing the entire zipper with a new one. As for the food (which was delicious) we really appreciated that Chada Camp served a dinner consisting entirely of local cuisine. Ugali!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chada fly-camping

Chada fly-camping

"Chada fly-camping review"

1 night Arrived 31 Jul 2021
"While fly-camping is a more rustic experience than the main camp, you will not feel like you are on your own in the wilderness as a half dozen staff members spend the night at the same campsite to keep you safe and to tend to your every need.

Fly-camping, however, did give us the opportunity to visit a more remote area of the park and provided fantastic stargazing. As the guides do not eat dinners with guests at the main camp, fly-camping allowed us to dine with our guide and learn about his life in Tanzania. He also gave us a very interesting overview of Tanzanian lore regarding the constellations above.

Though we did not hear any animals during the night, there were fresh lion tracks by the camp in the morning. And the path to the bush shower was a borrowed hippo track that was closed to its usual nocturnal traffic with lanterns.

As for our accommodations, we slept on very comfortable mattresses on the ground inside a cubic tent with enough height to get dressed while standing up. The all-mesh tent was wonderful for looking up at the night sky, but did not provide much privacy. Also, if one needs to use the bathroom frequently during the night, be advised that you will have to signal the nearby scout with a flashlight to escort you to the bush toilet each time."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Jabali Ridge

Jabali Ridge

"Jabali Ridge review"

3 nights Arrived 2 Aug 2021
"We were originally booked to stay at Kwihala, Asilia's tented camp in Ruaha. Due to a limited number of guests because of covid, however, the camp did not open for the season. Instead, Asilia very generously upgraded us to their upmarket camp, Jabali Ridge, at no extra charge.

Architecturally, Jabali Ridge is stunning with its bandas built into a rock outcropping with a panoramic view of the park. With additional screening on the sides of the bandas, the camp has completely resolved the privacy issues evidently experienced by guests when the camp first opened. There remain, however, a few instances where beauty of form is achieved at the expense of some function such as no empty shelves in the rooms for clothes and a lack of handles on the outside of the doors between the room and the outside deck. Also, in addition to the comfortable hammock, chairs out on the deck that are high enough for a view over the deck railing would be a very welcome addition.

Because of its high level of service, Jabali Ridge may not be the right choice for guests who prefer a more introverted experience at a camp. For example, before each game drive, a committee of staff members would walk us to our vehicle to see us off. While meant well, not everyone in our group appreciated that much social interaction at 6 a.m. Admittedly, we stayed at Jabali Ridge during an awkward time with many more staff members than guests due to the pandemic. So, some of the intensity of service may have been due to an understandable effort to give each staff member something to do.

No review of Jabali Ridge should fail to mention the spectacular infinity pool. One of the best spots for birdwatching in the entire park. And "Chef T's" dishes were beyond compare. Some of the most savory cold soups we have ever tasted. Fortunately, the tapa-sized dishes allowed us to try everything on the menu without overindulging.

As was true during our entire trip in Tanzania, we felt well protected from exposure to covid while at Jabali Ridge. In fact, Asilia has a policy at all its camps requiring its staff members to wear masks during all interactions, even outdoors, with guests."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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