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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs B from Teddington

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

6

Lodges stayed in

19

Excursions taken

2

A wonderful safari and an excellent holiday

Tanzania and 2 other countries between 6 Oct 2016 and 23 Oct 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip was truly wonderful. We had an amazing safari in Botswana a few years ago, but this beat it, both in terms of the range of game we saw and the quality of the accommodation.

Everything went like clockwork, it was very relaxing but also an intense safari experience.

Our final week on the Zanzibar beach at Pongwe Beach Hotel was the ultimate in exotic pampered chilling out - very informal and laid back with just the right mix of excellent service, great food, and wow location.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

As everything worked so well, and the advice we were given was so good, I can't think of anything to improve it - just keep it up!"

Arranged By Lyndsey Marris


Eka Hotel

Eka Hotel

"Good overnight rest"

1 night Arrived 6 Oct 2016
"A comfortable and functional international hotel, just right for an overnight pause in Nairobi on our journey to Tanzania.

We didn't get to try the food or any of the facilities apart from the room as our BA flight to Nairbi was three hours late, so we arrived at the hotel at 1am and left again at 4.30am before breakfast."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Siwandu

Siwandu

"A wonderful camp"

4 nights Arrived 7 Oct 2016
"In terms of layout, design, accommodation, atmosphere and food this was our favourite lodge by a long way. It was really well run. The managers, George and Emma, were very professional and really nice people, good fun and very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They had a very good relationship with their staff, who really did seem to work like a large family. All the staff were great too, very helpful and friendly without being deferential. The guide we had, Mohammed, was very experienced, with an uncanny knack for being in just the right place at the right time. He also had a wealth of local folk stories told to him by his mother, which were very amusing.

The accommodation was just about perfect. Everything was really well thought through, down to the smallest detail, and it all worked. The banda we had was a very clever and pleasing design, and really comfortable. And all sorts of game just sauntered past! All it lacked was a hammock on the veranda (although the beanbag chair was a pretty good substitute).

The activities were very well organised and planned. As well as the game drives, we had a really interesting walk with George and Mohammed, and a couple of excellent boat trips with Mohammed. We saw a large variety of animals, birds and plants, and were given very good explanations of how they fitted into the ecosystem, and how it all worked. We had some up-close (but very well handled) confrontations with elephants, and got very close to lions, crocodiles and lots of other animals.

The food was really excellent – up to London restaurant standards. The locations chosen for sundowners were amazing.

We saw and did so much it didn’t seem possible it had all happened in only 4 days. However it was never rushed, and always felt very comfortable and relaxed. All together a very comfortable, relaxing, but intensive experience: just what we came for."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

"Amazing game"

4 nights Arrived 11 Oct 2016
"The game in Ruaha was truly amazing and the guides at Mwugasi (particularly ours: Geoffrey) were really good. Our banda was good, although a bit shabby in places and not everything worked too well (but it did have a lovely hammock!). We have rated it as 'excellent' as minor weaknesses in some areas are more than made up for by the enthusiasm, friendliness and skill of the guides and the location and game to see.

We felt that the staff (apart from the guides) were embarrassingly deferential to the guests, behaving like servants (in complete contrast to the more relaxed and ‘family’ atmosphere at Siwandu). The organisational timings were not ideal. However we understand that this is being reviewed, and while we were there the more experienced guides worked round them and set their own timings for drives. One day Geoffrey took us off for a whole day, with a packed lunch. We saw an amazing amount of animals that day! It all worked fine for us, because Geoffrey organised a very good timetable for us, and everyone tried to make it work for the guests. We were offered a game drive to the airstrip on our last day, with an early start and breakfast on the way. This was great, we had an amazing breakfast, but the highlight was seeing a leopard sleeping in a tree.

The food was fine, but nothing to write home about (apart from the delicious cinnamon bread!).

What was really great were the animals. We saw leopards up close twice, an amazing buffalo hunt by a pride of lions, then two hours later, the eating of the kill (we missed the actual kill as we had to go back for lunch). We saw more lions, including lots of cubs, doing more things, than we thought was possible. We also saw just about all the different antelopes (except Eland) and a plethora of other animals. We saw lots of hyena and a variety of raptors. We almost saw wild dogs (we got within about 10 minutes of them, from the fresh dung and the overlay of the paw prints on the previous tyre tracks). We saw a massive herd of buffalo (Geffrey estimated about 1,300), and lots of giraffe and elephants. After a day or so the elephants and giraffe became so familiar they were, like the impala, part of the scenery. We saw so much, and had such a great time, that is barely credible that it all happened in only four days!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Emerson Spice

Emerson Spice

"A wonderful experience"

2 nights Arrived 15 Oct 2016
"We loved Stone Town and the Emerson Spice! Our only wish was that we had booked three nights there, as it would have been great to explore Stone Town more for another day once we had found our way around. As it was, we asked Eco and Culture to delay picking us up on the 17th so we could do a bit more exploring in the morning before we left.

We would also have liked another night in the Emerson Spice. It was so interesting and comfortable, the staff were so good and helpful, the ambience was terrific and the food was so tasty!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Pongwe Beach Hotel

Pongwe Beach Hotel

"Wonderful chill-out!"

6 nights Arrived 17 Oct 2016
"A really pampered chill-out! The location is beautiful. The staff were so friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. Our room, with its plunge pool, was very comfortable (we could have stayed on the patio by our pool all day, had the rest of it not been so amazing too).

The swimming was good – fun swimming in the sea when the tide was up, and a great pool when the tide was out. We had a really low tide when we were there, and walked a really long way out onto the reef. It was fascinating. Lots of locals were out there too, picking up stranded fish and crabs and poking octopus out of their holes.

We had dinner on the beach one night when the tide was up – beautiful. The seafood platter is out of this world – two sorts of lobster, octopus, squid, prawns and crab claws. We love seafood but there was so much we couldn’t finish it all. The set menu dinners were very appetising, always a choice of two dishes for starter and main, and always a fish choice for both. The food was beautifully presented. The breakfasts were good too, so we never sampled the lunch menu, just having a bar snack instead. Too much great food!

The bar did lovely cocktails too – the Pongwe Sunrise was our favourite, closely followed by pina collada made from fresh coconut.

The hotel organised a very good spice trip for us (to the Union Spice Farm). The taxi driver (Jomo) that took us there and back was great – showed us lots and told us lots about the local people and culture too.

We were very sorry to leave Pongwe Beach."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Fantastic African adventure

Namibia and 2 other countries between 27 Jul 2008 and 25 Aug 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our holiday was fabulous! It all went very smoothly, and exceeded all our expectations.

It was all tremendous fun - we saw amazing things and met lovely people.

We have lots of wonderful memories and enough stories to last us years!

Suggestions for improvement:

No - you did a fantastic job for us!"

Eningu Clayhouse

Eningu Clayhouse

"Perfect first night in namibia"

1 night Arrived 28 Jul 2008
"We wished we had longer here, it was very comfortable and the staff very friendly. The food was superb."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Central Lodge

Central Lodge

"A passable stop-over"

1 night Arrived 29 Jul 2008
"A bit of a disappointment. When we arrived we were told emphatically that we did not have a reservation by a very snooty young receptionist. However an older lady who was just going off duty quietly got the file and showed her colleague the booking from Wilderness Safaris with a handwritten note on it saying 'reserve room 8'. As room 8 had already been let, we were finally given a rather tatty room at the back of the hotel. But at least we didn't have to sleep in the Nissan!

The younger receptionist treated us to icy indifference for the rest of our stay, as though her loss of face was our fault."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Poor
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge

"Lovely hobbit-houses"

2 nights Arrived 30 Jul 2008
"Great fun. The 'hobbit house' we had amongst the granite boulders was lovely.

The food in the restaurant was good too, and the staff very helpful. The star was Fritz, the chief guide (and main mover behind the organisation of the place). His knowledge was prodigious, and he was really good company. He gave us a first rate tour of the Fish River Canyon, with an in-depth account of the geological history that I (as a professional geologist) couldn't fault.

He persuaded us it was safe to drive down to the Orange River, which turned out to be one of the best drives of the holiday, albeit the most lonely (we didn't see another person or car until we got to the road along the Orange River, and only saw 6 other vehicles in 260km)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Eagle's Nest

Eagle's Nest

"Fantastic desert views"

3 nights Arrived 1 Aug 2008
"We really enjoyed this stone lodge under a huge cliff on the edge of the Namib. It didn't feel too isolated, despite being 7km down a sand track from the Klein Aus lodge and restaurant.

We did our own barbeque there (they provide barbeque packs, there was a barbeque outside our lodge). Watching the sun set over the desert was wonderful, as was watching the eagles that nested half way up the cliff behind us soaring across the rocks.

The family who run the place are great company, and also very helpful."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sossus Dune Lodge

Sossus Dune Lodge

"Luxury in the desert"

2 nights Arrived 4 Aug 2008
"Very efficient, and very classy. The accommodation was very comfortable, but a long walk to the reception.

All staff were friendly and helpful, but the place had a very 'corporate' feel, like a high class conference centre. However individual members of staff chatted to us in a very relaxed and friendly way, and went out of their way to be helpful.

The trip to the dunes was really well organised, and the guide was excellent."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Zebra River Lodge

Zebra River Lodge

"A beautiful chill-out"

2 nights Arrived 6 Aug 2008
"A perfect chill-out spot, it had all the elements for relaxing: very comfortable, excellent company and food, and lots of gentle things to do.

We spent a lot of time absorbing the fascinating geology, and talking to the staff and other guests. Unfortunately the owner was not there, as they were arranging his Mother's funeral."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ballooning in the Namib Desert

Ballooning in the Namib Desert

"Totally amazing baloon flight"

6 Aug 2008 • Morning excursion

The balloon flight at Sossus was one of the high points of the holiday. It was absolutely amazing, and really well managed, from the flawless flying to the incredible champagne breakfast in the dunes. It rates as one of our lifetime experiences!
Excellent
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Great base in Swakopmund"

3 nights Arrived 8 Aug 2008
"Comfortable, with Swiss precision and efficiency. And a free internet connection.

A very good base for activities around Swakopmund"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"Dune-flying in a Landrover"

9 Aug 2008 • All-day excursion

The Turnstone Tours trip down the Skeleton Coast with Ernst the guide, was great fun and well worth it. Ernst enthusiastically showed us the local flora, fauna and landscape, with very good explanations, and talked passionately about the wider environmental issues.

He also demonstrated some spectacular landrover driving, culminating in flying off the crest of a huge dune. The trip was made even better by the company – we shared the landrover with a very amusing group of Italians, and laughed a lot.
Excellent
White Lady B & B

White Lady B & B

"A good stop-over"

1 night Arrived 11 Aug 2008
"We didn't have high expectations, this was a substitute as we couldn't get two nights at Doro Nawas. However we were very pleasantly surprised.

The landlady was lovely, and very helpful, telling us a lot about the tin mine and how to see it.

The accommodation was comfortable. And we had the best breakfast of the whole trip."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Spectacular lodge with amazing elephants"

1 night Arrived 12 Aug 2008
"Another place we really wish we had had more time at. It was lovely, both in terms of the accommodation, the location, the staff and the trips on offer.

One night was very definitely not enough, although we managed to get there in time to go on the afternoon drive to find the desert elephants – one of the best wildlife drives of the trip, largely due to the brilliant guide, Lister, who tracked a large herd of elephants with amazing skill, and effortlessly followed them across very rough country with some amazing Landrover driving."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp

"Fun with the Cheetas"

2 nights Arrived 13 Aug 2008
"The staff were very friendly, and joked a lot. We felt like part of the team. They were really committed to the Africat project, and sold it to us by their enthusiasm and gentle explanation.

The accommodation and food was really good too."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Practical overnight stop"

1 night Arrived 15 Aug 2008
"A good overnight stop for our last night in Namibia.

Comfortable enough, but after some of the other places we had stayed in, a bit dull.

The food was OK, but again dull by comparison to what we had been enjoying elsewhere."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"A wonderful safari experience"

3 nights Arrived 16 Aug 2008
"Definitely the friendliest place we stayed, and that's saying a lot. The staff made us feel like we were part of the family, or more accurately, part of their gang. They had a fantastic sense of humour, individually and collectively. The other guests were great too, we all got on like old friends and had long nights round the campfire chatting (that was the only downside – we got hardly any sleep as we were voluntarily) getting up really early too!).

The organisation was marvellous – it all felt really easy-going and relaxed, but everything happened just when we wanted it too, and with flair.

We were also amazed by the skill of our guide Pat, not just in finding animals and getting really close to them, but also in bush mechanics – effecting a seemingly impossible repair to a Uri transmission with minimal tools while 50 yards from a pride of lions. And joking while he did it! He was also really good company, and very well informed on a really wide range of issues."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Shinde Camp

Shinde Camp

"Amazing animals"

3 nights Arrived 19 Aug 2008
"Very efficient, but arguably a touch too efficient. Shinde had a rather regimented feel, with everything happening when the management wanted it to, with very set timetables. However it was very comfortable and everyone was very helpful.

Some of the other guests were great fun, but others were rather reserved and stuffy. Any reservations about the atmosphere were more than made up by the quality of the game drives, with excellent guides (our guide, Trust, was really good company, found lots of animals and told us lots about them with a relaxed and chatty manner. We also had very interesting long chats with him about Botswanan (and wider southern African) social issues and politics over sundowners (he did a good line in G&Ts too)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
David Livingstone Safari Lodge

David Livingstone Safari Lodge

"Slick and arrogant"

2 nights Arrived 22 Aug 2008
"Very high class, but too commercial for us – the ethos was very much on profit (everything charged for, and very expensive) and the other guests were very arrogant.

That said, the service was faultless and the room very comfortable, although parts of the hotel complex were still a building site."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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