Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs B from Cornwall
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
Savuti, Kwai, Moremi Mobile Safari, May 2022
Botswana between 24 May 2022 and 3 Jun 2022
The only disappointment was that we did not see wild dogs as that had been one of main reasons for choosing to safari this way. Again, thank you to Andrew for his endeavours to find them, but they are wild animals and have huge territories. On that basis, all the more reason to return!
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
Arranged By Tracy Lederer
Botswana Private Mobile Safari
"Botswana Private Mobile Safari review"
My Sep 2016 trip
Zambia between 20 Sep 2016 and 7 Oct 2016
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."
"Lion Camp review"
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)."
"Busanga Bushcamp review"
"Musekese Camp review"
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."
Second time around
Tanzania between 4 Dec 2010 and 14 Dec 2010
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:
"Selous Impala Camp review"
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!"
"Kwihala Camp review"
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!"
Southern Sun Dar
"Southern Sun (formerly the Holiday Inn) review"
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."
Tanzania between 2 Oct 2008 and 16 Oct 2008
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 review"
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!"
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
"Lake Manze Tented Camp review"
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."
Mdonya Old River Camp
"Mdonya Old River review"
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?"
"Greystoke Camp review"
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."
The opportunity to see different areas whilst game viewing between camps was a bonus (although these were long days "in the saddle"!).
Andrew and his team could not do enough for us from beginning to end, the team moving the whole camp twice on 8 nights working so hard to ensure that things were set up when we arrived at the new area, it felt like arriving "home" but with completely different outlooks. Andrew was a great host, very amenable and a really great guide, he was also interested to hear about our previous safari experiences. Alec, the cook, did an absolutely amazing job of preparing and serving first class food every lunchtime (pies, how do you get that much chicken in a pie?, and bread were fantastic!) and evening using only an open fire and basic cooking facilities (of which he was very proud). Plenty of liquid refreshment always available.
The beds were comfortable, long drop toilets perfectly acceptable, and, despite the cold nights, we were cosy with duvets, blankets and our bush babies (hot water bottles). The hot water bottles and Andrew's lined ponchos were really welcome on the early morning game drives. A word of advice if travelling at this time of year, take plenty of layers of clothing as it is not warm at night or in the early mornings (it dropped to 3 deg C one night in Savuti).
The wildlife viewing was generally excellent, although we need to go back to find the wild dogs despite Andrew's best efforts. The number of lions kept growing to reach 50+ individuals (including 3 different prides on our way to the airstrip on our last day!), and a magnificent male cheetah was another highlight. Lovely elephant encounters, innumerable giraffe, zebra and wildebeest, and it was great to see ostrich, secretary birds and kori bustards. Very easy to go on waxing lyrical, but it was amazing and, for most of our viewings (especially in Moremi), we were on our own."