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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Golden jackals from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Fantastic

Tanzania and 1 other country between 6 Sep 2008 and 19 Sep 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"Expert Africa got it right every time.

We did everything in the right order and their advice really made a big difference. It was worthwhile using Expert Africa, Other independent travellers did not always seem to get the same quality of experience that we got.

The entire trip was the best we've ever had and we are quite used to travelling in the developing world."

Rufiji River Camp

Rufiji River Camp

"Excellent introduction to African safaris"

4 nights Arrived 7 Sep 2008
"Superb experience especially boat safari, but watch out for sun in face in evenings. Walking safari especially entertaining and informative. Staff worked really hard and found lots of animals. But felt some drivers overworked, having to perform dual role of driver and guide, especially on all-day safari with a full jeep of 9. One driver had had to do this three days running. Be patient as punctured tyres often needed changing.

Hospitality and facilities were great, especially ability to cope with our eccentric dietary requirements. Some animals more timid as it was a game park - noticably different to Ruaha.The camp could do more to attract /cater for birders or start a bird safari around the camp as there were plenty of species to see without leaving the camp. We especially liked the juxtaposition of the Masai guard and his mobile phone !

Our tent was very hot during the day. We felt the palm roof was making this worse.

We were told that laundry would be extra, but when we to pay, it was already included. Laundry was washed in the Tanzanian way and not ironed."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"Astounding natural experience at Mdonya"

4 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2008
"Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, it did. We were close to the animals in a wonderful natural setting but we felt safe at all times, as long as we followed the few simple guidelines. The camp manager, Nick and his staff were wonderfully welcoming after every tour.

Our guide, Giovanni, and driver, Shitindi, worked so hard to find animals and birds. Giovanni was an expert birder and did all the work for us! We only had to sit back and enjoy. We couldn't believe the range of animals and birds we saw as we travelled everywhere. You might want to provide a facility to book a specialist bird guide, such as Giovanni,

The camp was in a wonderful situation and dining under the southern stars at night, feet away from bufallo and hyena was thrilling. The camp had a light sociable atmosphere with drinks around the fire at night. The food was excellent especially for our peculiar needs (vegetarian without cheese).

Be warned, the early morning safari was cold and we needed extra warmth. The Tsetse flies were annoying.

We had an elephant feeding on an acacia tree just outside our tent as we watched in amazement. It was also wonderful to have the Masai warrior move the bufallos on from around our tent when it was time to go to bed! There was even a safari style in the tent, simple, tasteful and elegant. There was no electricity and that was a bonus to support the whole atmosphere.

Be warned, each day in the jeep can become quite tiring. It was hot, but the heat was dry and bearable, The walking safari was especially good as we hato keep skirting around the elephants, hippos and crocodiles.

We saw several night time animals in the camp (civet, janet, hyena, jackal). A night time safari would have been great (but only in a jeep, of course).

A camp bird list might be a good idea."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Unguja Lodge

Unguja Lodge

"An exclusivfe beach resort"

3 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2008
"The accommodation and setting were fantastic, although our hut didn't have that good a view of the sea, especially compared to the other huts. The owners and staff were welcoming and attentive but this place was a bit too exclusive for us. The dining area encouraged insularity and the seats were even arranged so that people hd their backs to other tables. We would have liked a more sociable atmosphere, especially after Mdonya with its wonderful sociability.

The tour of the village is a must but be prepared for the poverty and stark cultural differences. It was impossible not to feel guilty when we went back to our luxurious lodge. The cost, $5, went to the villages, we think it should be higher.

There were no prices on the cocktails which caught us out a bit as they were a little cheaper than we imagined.

The Jusani forest tour was very disappointing. We would have liked a whole day, but it was set up as a conveyer belt, where the guide led us from one place to the other and then suddenly after just an hour we found we were on our way home with no chance for birding. You could either do this in about one hour on the way somewhere else (e.g. Stone Town) or you have to somehow take charge and tell the driver that you want to go back to the starting point if you want to see more.

Generally speaking the cost of the excursions seemed quite high, especially for the water related activities. Also, the dolphins are under pressure so we decided not to see them. There was not a wide range of mid priced activities.

The tide moved a lot so that at low tide there was a long beach with reefs and at high tide, deep water covering the sand. It was not really suitable for swimming except at high tide. The staff had to carry the beds, towels and beach umbrellas up and down the steps every day just so that people could lie on the beach. We didn't appreciate this indulgence, particularly after seeing the village.

Their attitude to involving the locals was good and their approach to the carbon footprint good but we did feel a bit guilty about our social responsibility.

Perhaps a luxurious beach holiday where most people lounge around the pool reading books wasn't really for us.

Meals were small but sufficient and tasty. More local dishes would have been nice."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Serena Inn

Serena Inn

"A disappointing stay at the Serena"

1 night Arrived 18 Sep 2008
"The Serena Inn is very, very nice to look at and the staff were very nice, especially the reception staff. The restaurant was very weak. The bar service was slow and haphazard in the afternoon but in the restaurant in the evening, we kept getting asked if everything was okay by lots of managers, but when we did make a comment (see below) it was dismissed.

The restaurant food was disappointing and rather ordinary for the price. We ordered prawns for the starter and there were only 2 prawns on the plate costing about $7. When we commented on this, we were told it was only an appetizer. Other appetizers were larger. The restaurant was overlooking the beach with open windows, and it gradually dawned on us that the trickle of water down the beach was from a toilet and explained the smell!

We had a very early start, hence the stay at Serena, but the water went off in the night. We had to ring to find out what was happening and the staff said it was fixed, but it wan't so we had to ring again. Then it was fixed but only just in time (with cold water only) for us to get out for our flight. They did serve a decent breakfast at 5.30 which was much appreciated. The pool closed at 6pm! Far too early.

Beautiful setting and furnishings but we felt the restaurant and water let it down. In our view it was not that high a standard for its cost.

If you want to go shopping, do be aware that they basically close down at prayer time and in the evening. The shops were expensive. It was even worse as it was during Ramadam. If you want to go shopping, go in the morning between 10 and 12."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Poor
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Poor

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