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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs B from Cornwall

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

12

Excursions taken

0

My Sep 2016 trip

Zambia between 20 Sep 2016 and 7 Oct 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"We enjoyed our Zambian safari, experiencing areas we hadn't visited before and seeing cheetah again! On reflection we could have done with 3 nights less, as the heat became quite debilitating but then we wouldn't have wanted to miss any of the camps as they were all so contrasting. Happily the tsetse flies in Kafue were not as bad as we had feared.

In hindsight we did seem to spend (waste) far too much time transferring between parks. The Kafue to Lusaka road transfer was a mistake and not worth the cost saving. The Jeki transfer got us to Lusaka far too early for the Emirates connection, although there wasn't a later alternative. In short, we saw far too much of Lusaka airport (a dire environment) - not the best use of time."

Nkwali

Nkwali

"Nkwali review"

3 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2016
"Met at by our guide, Fred, for our 3 night stay in this very comfortable and welcoming camp. Greeted by Kiki who managed an excellent team. Our guiding was first class, Fred engaged with us as well as showing extensive knowledge of both flora and fauna. Very good game drives, and a productive bush walk, we were never disappointed, both with game large and small, and with the birdlife. Breakfast round the camp fire, and communal lunches and dinners were in a relaxed atmosphere and the food was excellent. We were in tent 4 which, like all the accommodation, was open fronted during the day, and as the family accommodation, was huge with its own lounge area as well as a double shower in the bathroom! Treated to a “walkaround” by a rather large visitor, our siesta was, on one day, interrupted by an elephant browsing around the tent, and on another occasion by a hippo making its way back to the river. A real treat was the entertainment provided over lunch one day by a bachelor herd of elephants at the waterhole."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lion Camp

Lion Camp

"Lion Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 24 Sep 2016
"Despite a certain apprehension as to what to expect as Lion Camp is portrayed as a large “camp” somewhat removed from the more traditional safari camps, we were not disappointed at all. OK, we know that the accommodation is to be completely rebuilt during the next season, and it was, to be fair, in need of it, but the cabins were spacious and clean and very welcoming. Communal meals with good food. Good library.

Game drives were in vehicles with three rows of seats and on 2 of our 3 days there were six of us game viewing. This wouldn’t have been a problem if 2 of the passengers had followed protocol by not talking constantly. There was definitely a bias towards seeking lions and we had some excellent viewings, including part of the Hollywood pride trapping a leopard up a tree. We later watched it make a sneaky escape when the lions were dozing! Possibly the same leopard at the top of a tree waiting to catch guinea fowl as they came in to roost, while we enjoyed sundowners (she was successful on two separate occasions)."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Busanga Bushcamp

Busanga Bushcamp

"Busanga Bushcamp review"

3 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2016
"Welcomed by masses of tsetse flies on the airstrip but once away from there the tsetse were not too much of an issue. The camp was in a great setting and the tents were spot on. As the only guests for 2 of our 3 nights (and they had been empty for the preceding 4 nights) we were a little overwhelmed by the attention at times but the staff were unfailingly friendly and the service was excellent with thoughtful touches and excellent food. Having had reservations regarding the balloon trip, we are now converts to what was a magical experience which enabled us to see cheetah both from the air and then by vehicle. Good bird sightings."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Musekese Camp

Musekese Camp

"Musekese Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 30 Sep 2016
"Surprised at the rustic open sided ‘chalet’ accommodation, as the Expert Africa web site shows tents. However, we were reasonably comfortable, although on reflection we would have slept better in twin beds as the standard double was not ideal in the heat. The guiding by Phil and Alec was excellent - being on a private concession meant the benefit of no other vehicles but of course fewer eyes looking for game meant that perhaps we didn’t see as much as we had at other camps but what we did see was rewarding, particlularly the mother lion with 4 cubs in camp . River trips were refreshing in the afternoon heat and we were rewarded with lots of African Darters, Skimmers and a Finfoot!

We had fears regarding tsetse flies but fortunately the eradication programme meant numbers had been dramatically reduced. Transfer to Lusaka far too long by road, 6 hours (we were expecting 4 hours), certainly not the recommended transfer method."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Amanzi

Amanzi

"Amanzi review"

3 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2016
"A wonderful end to a long but very enjoyable safari in Zambia. This was luxurious indeed, initial thoughts being that it may be a little OTT for a safari camp, but we were proved wrong from the outset. The setting was beautiful. We were made to feel at home by Soli and our guide, Patrick, and were looked after with discreet, professional service for our 3 night stay with 1st class accommodation and excellent food. This was our second visit to the Lower Zambezi and we were not disappointed – the elephants were incredible. It was lovely having the options of both river and vehicle outings, especially given the high temperatures."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Second time around

Tanzania between 4 Dec 2010 and 14 Dec 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"Yet again an excellent Africa trip.

We have yet to be disappointed with any of our trips, we do our research and choose our agents carefully, and have again been pleased with Expert Africa. Thus trip was arranged with short notice and no hitches.

The allocation of a trip advisor as "one port of call" is what we expect and the fact that there is a team of other experts to assist is also vital in our choice of agents - both these points were met and we would not hesitate to contact them for future trips.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
None"

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Selous Impala Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 5 Dec 2010
"This was our second visit to Impala, chosen because of our previous experience.

We were pleased that overall, their standards have been maintained, and, although the food was generally good, there was room for improvement, wasn't terribly inspiring. Delighted that we had Ezra and Rajabu again as our guide and driver - they were excellent! Barbara the camp manager was friendly and very welcoming.

Actually had time to use pool this time in it's new location!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kwihala Camp

Kwihala Camp

"Kwihala Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 9 Dec 2010
"Overall an excellent experience. We were the only people in camp for 3 of our 4 nights, which meant the undivided attention of Marius, Festo and Lorenzo - a wealth of knowledge!

Marius was inspiring, his enthusiasm and knowledge second to none, all went out of their way to satisfy our interests (which amounted to just about everything!). The feeling was that they enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed theirs. The food was fantastic considering the facilities and leaves a lot of our UK restaurant experiences out in the cold - compliments to the chefs!

Witnessed many a battle between the insects, beetles, scorpions, etc in camp - fascinating to watch and all part of the experience. As a temporary camp it was very well situated with tremendous views from our tent, perhaps could have done with toilet facilities close to the mess tent, but otherwise a fantastic experience in Ruaha which we will always remember - in fact, if a permanent site is set up then "we'll be back" - if only to find that elusive cheetah - try as we may we couldn't find one - that's wildlife!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Southern Sun (formerly the Holiday Inn) review"

1 night Arrived 13 Dec 2010
"Considering it was just a "stop over", the Southern Sun was very welcoming.

Perhaps Mondays are not a good day in Dar as some things were off the menu, but enough alternatives not to be too disappointed. The traffic (makes the UK look good!) meant that the transfer was an hour from the airport, but only 10 mins or so early morning for the BA flight.

Would use the hotel again without hesitation. Friendly staff and comfortable hotel."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average

Happy campers!

Tanzania between 2 Oct 2008 and 16 Oct 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"Worth every penny! All expectations met (maybe a little more than we bargained for with the the tsetse flies!) Having travelled to Africa with a small number fo travel companies over the past 20 years, Expert Africa come top of the list, and we will certainly look to you to again for future trips.

Your help in easing the blow of the lost wallet is very much appreciated as this could easily have dampened what has has been a truly excellent trip, many thanks.

As an aside it may be worth noting that if people's expectations are for smooth roads and Michelin star catering then perhaps the middle of Africa is not for them! Considering the locations and the tools available overall the camps manage extremely well.

Suggestions for improvement:

Nothing to add!"

Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Selous Impala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2008
"Every care and attention was given to us right from our arrival at the airstrip. Ezra , our guide with the huge smile, and Raja our driver were superb and were even able to show us wild dogs on the way to camp! Chloe, Mara and the rest of the staff took good care of us in camp. The tent was very comfortable and we certainly appreciated the electric fan!

The food was very good, enhanced by the beautiful setting overlooking the river and a view of the resident hippo.

We certainly saw plenty of animals and birds on our game drives, boat trips and in the camp but the most memorable would have to be the day we attempted to have a bush breakfast. A suitable spot had been selected and breakfast preparations started when driving rain rapidly moved in. Even the Land Rover couldn't supply shelter from the deluge so we got soaked and eventually moved on to dry out. Compensation came by way of a pride of lions 'playing' on the road. Suddenly the 4 lionesses became alert as they spotted a herd of eland. You can guess the rest. After many years of safari trips we saw our first hunt/kill – 2 huge male elands brought down by these superb hunting machines. And our vehicle was the only one to witness it!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Lake Manze Tented Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2008
"What a beautiful setting by the lake, with lots of animal visitors, including Rafiki the resident elephant, around and about the tents at any given time of day. Here the phrase 'verandah safari' was coined! Paulo the manager greeted us on arrival and initially proved helpful with a minor crisis we experienced, although we felt let down by him in the end. This wasn't a big issue as Richard the under manager was very helpful and informative.

We found the camp more rustic than Impala, as expected, but comfortable and the food was plentiful and wholesome, enjoyed around communal tables. A pity that it was deemed necessary to charge for water on the game drives, as only bottled water was made available on the vehicles.

Once again birdlife and game superb, brought to us this time by the excellent Ian and Abul our driver. All day drive turned into another adventure that involved rain. Mid afternoon we came across a pack of nineteen wild dogs, including 8 puppies, which was a dream come true for us. We then headed over to the Beho Beho hills for a dip in the hot springs where another of the Manze vehicles was also visiting. We left first and shortly afterwards it started to rain.

It was apparent that the tyre treads left something to be desired as the vehicle kept sliding on the track and had difficulty coping in the gullies. Our drive back, delayed due to an attempted rescue mission for one of the other trucks caught out by the downpour, in the dark (an unexpected night drive!) was rewarded by seeing hyena, hippo and lion. All credit to Ian and Abul for getting us back safely."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"Mdonya Old River review"

4 nights Arrived 9 Oct 2008
"Ruaha landscape is quite a contrast to Selous – so many fantastic baobabs – and we exchanged mosquitoes for tsetse flies, which turned out to be a bigger issue than we expected – nothing seems to deter them apart from several layers of clothing. Greeted on our arrival in camp by Nicola who made us very welcome. Didn't meet Nick until later and he seemed reticent at first but this didn't last long and he proved to be very informative and interesting, and a good listener!

We loved the atmosphere at this camp, especially around the campfire in an evening. The food here was excellent and plentiful – how do they manage this in such remote locations? Once again our guide Giovanni and driver Alex were brilliant, Giovanni's bird knowledge excellent. Here we saw lots of lions, elephants and kudu along with a few different species such as black backed jackals, reedbuck, dik dik and klipspringer, and a long distance view of a cheetah and cub on a kill, as of course there is no 'off-roading' allowed in the National Park.

Around the camp we were visited by buffalo, giraffe, impala and monkeys. Our closest encounter here was with an elephant that decided to saunter through our bush lunch – as reported the food was very good! Our guides remained calm, telling us to remain still and we felt safe throughout.

Our early morning transfer to the airstrip was worth getting out of our comfortable beds for. First of all a genet crossed in front of us and then we came across 2 male lions, lying in the road. They got up and proceeded to lead the way, refusing to step aside! Eventually we got past but received a glowering look from one of them. Then to our great delight a young male leopard put in an appearance, which really made our day. Follow this up with a superb African sunrise, what more can you ask for?"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Greystoke Mahale

Greystoke Mahale

"Greystoke Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 13 Oct 2008
"A rainy arrival did not mar our delight at the fabulous setting of Greystoke. The emerald mountains cloaked in cloud, the white sand beach and the clear waters of Lake Tanganyika. The sun came out as we were welcomed onshore by our hosts Nicola and Peter.

The banda was well appointed and comfortable with a beautiful view! Bit disappointed to discover more tsetse flies, which had been a bane to us for the previous few days. However, the excitement and wonder of spending time with chimpanzees in the wild made up for this. A hard, brisk hour or so trek on our first full day was rewarded with an hour spent with 'M' troop, quietly learning about the different characters. We were surrounded and at times found ourselves closer than planned when they became excited, started calling and moving quickly about. Especially close encounter with Pim, the alpha male and two other males who dashed by! Tumbling adolescent males were captivating but it was over all too soon. Our guide Larazzo moved us away and then produced flapjacks to sustain us on our walk back to camp!

The second day involved a more leisurely walk until we got the call from the trackers, then it was full speed ahead as we made our way to the lake and a boat pick up to take us a bit further south. Here we spent time with some of M troop again, mesmerised by Emory sleeping peacefully on a high, narrow branch and Kalunde and Kombo endlessly grooming each other. Once again Larazzo and Kakae (our other guide) were informative, interesting and careful of our safety. There was always something to learn on the forest walks when we weren't route marching!

Other highlights of our stay at Greystoke included warthogs, baboons and vervet monkeys wandering on the beach, glimpses of a blue duiker and a red tailed monkey in the forest, swimming in the lake and enjoying the relaxed hospitality and good company. The service was good and the food enjoyable, but perhaps not top class. Probably a once in a lifetime visit and well worth the effort of the long journey in and out. Shame we didn't see more primates and we were disappointed not to get a third trek as the outbound flight time was brought forward."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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