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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Firefinchs from Middlesex

Review Distribution


Total number of trips


Countries visited


Lodges stayed in


Excursions taken


Travelling with Expert Africa

Botswana between 27 Aug 2008 and 8 Sep 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"We are very pleased that we chose to travel with Expert Africa .....

From the outset Maruska Adye was very positive, helpful and patient in responding to our thoughts and needs. In the course of our pre-trip planning we changed our ideas from making a longish trip round Namibia, possibly taking in Botswana and/or the Cape Region of South Africa, to making a focussed trip to the Okavango Delta.

We appreciated very much the comments and suggestions made by Maruska which enabled us to rationalise our ideas. Her listening to our inclinations, particularly that we didnʼt wish to do a fly-in safari but to go overland, was as much as anything the reason why we chose to travel with Expert Africa. Face-to-face meetings at her office also gave us confidence in our decisions.

The cost of our trip was relatively high but taking into account that there was only two of us, supported by a safari crew of 4 plus the skill and experience of Grant, and that we really had a very good memorable experience, we think it was good value.

We would like to revisit Botswana and, if this is possible, we would certainly consider travelling with Expert Africa and Okavango Voyagers again."

Arranged By Maruska AdyeRowe

Thamo Telele

Thamo Telele

"Motsentsela Tree Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 28 Aug 2008
"We enjoyed very much our stay at the Montsentsela Lodge. We had decided to have a two night stay on the way in to give us an opportunity to rest after our flights and to acclimatise and this was very beneficial. We stayed the first two nights in the Hornbill lodge (with thatched-roof) and the last night of our trip in one of the tented lodges, both being very comfortable. On arrival we were given a warm welcome by the Manager only to find that the next day she had left and new Management had taken over, who were also friendly.

The lodge facilities were very clean, the staff friendly and efficient and the food was good and freshly-cooked. Our hosts did make point of warning us not to leave valuables in our room when we were out as there have been some incidents of theft recently (apparently by persons from outside, around dinner time, despite there being security patrols). The Hornbill lodge had no safe and the safe in the other lodge was of limited use as it was very small.

On our return to the Montsentsela we wished to confirm our BA flight booking and select seats. The Management allowed us to use the computer terminal but the dial-up connection to the internet is so slow that we could not complete the process of getting onto the BA website and make the seat selection before being cut-off ... the 45 min or so that this took proved to be expensive as did sending a short e-mail to family! Before our departure from Maun we attempted to get our BA booking confirmed at the internet cafe close by the airport but we were unable to do this because of an electrical power-failure .

We enjoyed walks within the enclosed game reserve at the Montsentsela when we saw giraffes, zebras and other non-predatory animals."
Experience Report
Overall Rating:

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Private Mobile Camp, Botswana (this camp has since closed)

"Santantadibe Mobile Camp review"

8 nights Arrived 30 Aug 2008
"Grantʼs personal logo - as on his vehicles - “share my life in Africa” reflects what we feel was good about his safari and the time that we spent with him. Grant has a very relaxed and easy-going style and he was very caring towards us which we appreciated very much.

The information that Grant gave us about the locality and on the animals that we were trailing or saw gave us a good understanding of how life is in the Delta and the bush in general. His safari operation is well-managed and his team, Joyce, Moss, Romeo and Justice were hard-working and cheerful adding to our enjoyment of the whole experience.

The two compartment tent (with loo) that we occupied was ideal and the beds were comfortable. We slept well but it was exciting to wake up and hear the sounds of elephants passing through the Santantibe camp as well the nightly chorus of lions and hippos and other animals at all the camps We had some very tasty meals prepared by Joyce and we were amazed at the variety of food that she was able to cook on the campfire. Everything was kept clean and tidy by the Crew and we appreciated very much the outdoor showers with warm water! We came to appreciate as well the part played by the Crew in packing and repacking, moving camp and vehicle maintenance, all of which enabled us to enjoy our safari.

For part of the trip we travelled in Grantʼs Toyota Land Cruiser which having been extended in length gave us a very comfortable ride. The typical vehicles that are used on safaris look cramped if carrying a party of 4 or more well-built adults and the ride is distinctly less comfortable.

We enjoyed the experience of the different camp locations: Santantibe (3 nights), Moremi (3 nights and Khwai River Community Trust area (2 nights). There are differences in the landscape, terrain and vegetation between the three areas. The behavior of the animals was noticeably different at Santantibe where they are not so conditioned to the presence of humans and vehicles and after some time at Moremi we realised that the Santantibe camp is quite special. At Santantibe we were able to do drives after dark which gave us a unique experience of being in the bush at night and understanding of the predatory behavior of the animals.

We enjoyed greatly a morningʼs cruise along the channels of the Delta on a boat at Moremi which gave us a sight of many different birds, as well as elephants in the water and the occasional crocodile and water monitor. The Khwai area had a character of its own. As there a good flow of water into the Delta this year, the amount of water in the river provided good opportunities for sightings of hippos and attracted many other animals and birds to the waterside. Grant told us that we had been particularly lucky in having so many sightings, for instance, close contacts with lions, either at rest or eating recent kill, as well as leopards. Although we did not have sophisticated camera equipment we have some good photographs and Grant was very kind in giving us a CD copy of the excellent photos that he had taken (with a better zoom than ours).

Although we saw only the Delta region of Botswana and only a fleeting view of Maun we were generally impressed by what we saw and particularly by the friendliness and manner of the people we met. As we were travelling overland we saw alot the local scenery and
this added to our appreciation of the country.

The cost of our trip was relatively high but taking into account that there was only two of us, supported by a safari crew of 4 plus the skill and experience of Grant, and that we really had a very good memorable experience, we think it was good value."
Experience Report
Overall Rating:

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