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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms C from Edinburgh

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

A trip to remember

Tanzania and 1 other country between 9 Nov 2008 and 21 Nov 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was really the experience of a lifetime. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip from start to finish. Lake Manze was just what I was looking for from a safari experience and Shooting Star Lodge was the ideal place to go to relax and enjoy the sun afterwards.

There are two VERY minor points to do with travelling. The driver from Kearsley who picked me up from the airport did not know what time I was to be collected the following morning to be returned to the airport. The driver was waiting when I got to reception in the morning, but it would have been good to know the time in advance. Also, Coastal Aviation tranferred me from the domestic to international terminal on my return, which was very easy, but it would have been good to know that this would happen in advance.

Suggestions for improvements:

The website is excellent with a great deal of helpful information to help in planning the trip. When trying to select a hotel in Zanzibar, however, the lack of clear pricing made it quite difficult to establish which hotels would be within my price range. Claire was very helpful when I phoned to ask her advice, but I had initially discounted being able to book at Shooting Star Lodge because the website pictures suggested that it would be well outside my price range.

The information booklet was great with lots of very helpful information for trip preparation.

I would definitely used Expert Africa for booking a future trip. Thank you for all your help."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Holiday Inn review"

1 night Arrived 10 Nov 2008
"I only had a brief time here, but the welcome was friendly, the check in was simple and the room and bathroom were both very pleasant and well appointed."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Lake Manze Tented Camp review"

5 nights Arrived 11 Nov 2008
"Arrival and welcome
The pick-up from the air strip included a short game drive on return to the camp. This was great for me as it immediately allowed me to relax, feel the stress of work fall away and to get back into bush mode. At camp, I was greeted with a fruit juice and was given essential information about camp life and activities.

Accommodation
The tented accommodation was comfortable and spacious. The bed was comfortable and the shower effective. As advertised, there is no electricity in the tents, which makes it very dark when getting ready for dinner. Either a couple more candles or another storm lantern would be good. Also, the lack of electricity meant that there could be no fan which meant that it was extremely hot, which made sleeping difficult at night. The shaded platform outside the tent is very pleasant for sitting outside in the heat of the day.

The camp
The bar and restaurant area was very attractive with comfortable seating. I very much enjoyed the fact that we ate communally, giving the chance to chat over our daily activities; this was particularly important to me as a single traveller. It was also lovely that Paulo, Diana and Richard ate with us each meal. It was really great to be able to eat outside, in front of the bar area, at night under the stars. The food was excellent, hearty and plentiful.

The camp is certainly in the bush. The camp is frequently visited by a young elephant, Rafiki, who looks as if he wants to join everybody in the bar. Also, I was woken on a number of occasions by elephants eating foliage directly outside my tent, and seeing impala stroll past during the day. You don't get much closer to nature than this.

Activities
The organisation of activities was really great, with the choice of a game drive, walk or boat trip morning and afternoon. I also did a full day drive with lunch set out by a lake and a trip to the hot springs for a swim. This was a long day but really worthwhile as it gave the opportunity to go farther from the camp and thus see more wildlife. The walk was also worthwhile, to learn about animal spoor and the flora and fauna of the bush. I would recommend an early game drive with breakfast in the bush. I was particularly impressed by the fact that, as a single traveller, I did not have to fit in with anybody else but was free to choose exactly what activities I wanted to do.

Guiding
Most of the guides were excellent with a very good knowledge. I would particularly like to single out for praise Samuel and Emmanuel, who were both knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The only difference between the guides here and previous safaris was that I felt that the information given was very book learnt rather than learnt from experience and was, therefore, somewhat lacking in anecdote. I am sure this is simply that the guides are young and many are new to the job and that this will develop with time. The only poor guiding experience I had was on my first boat trip when the guide (I don't remember his name) was both lacked confidence and has a very strong accent, making it difficult to understand him. Carlson, my guide on the second boat trip, was also excellent, very chatty and full of information.

High Point
The high point of the trip was most definitely my experience with the hunting dogs. I had been really keen to see them when I planned the trip but was aware how elusive they can be. I first saw a pack of about 20 dogs, including 8 pups, on my full day drive, which was great, although they were hidden away in long grass and a bit difficult to see. We saw them again fairly near camp at the end of a morning drive. I was lucky enough to be the only person on the afternoon drive and so we went straight out to where they had been in the morning.

We watched them sleeping and moving around in the shade. They then woke up, started barking and making a commotion apparently for no reason. We finally saw a hyena walk past in the distance. They settled down again but gradually started to wake up and the pups started to play. They then moved out of their shady spot and started to line out to prepare to hunt. Eventually we watched them chase an impala. We missed the kill, but not the approach of three male lions who chased them off. The pups got away with some food but the dogs stood back barking at the lions but powerless to do anything about it, as their meal was stolen. Game viewing does not get much better than this and I feel extremely lucky and privileged to have had this experience.

Overall the camp was a true bush experience, the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, the activities well organised and executed. I would highly recommend it."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Average
Shooting Star Lodge

Shooting Star Lodge

"Shooting Star Lodge review"

5 nights Arrived 16 Nov 2008
"Arrival and welcome
I was welcomed on arrival and shown the facilities and my room.

Room
My Sea View room was large, spacious and comfortable. The air conditioning was much appreciated after six days in the bush without it. If I could, I would have returned home with my beautiful Zanzibari bed! It was great to have a private verandah with a great view of the sea and a comfortable sofa in the shade on which to relax.

Hotel facilities
The bar area was very pleasant, with comfortable seating with lots of cushions, ideal for relaxing both during the day and with a drink in the evening. The dining area was also lovely. The swimming pool is beautiful. The sunbed space around the pool is limited, but the hotel was not particularly busy so this was generally not a problem. The beach bar is also a great place to relax in the shade.

Food and catering
It was great to have tea delivered to the verandah outside each morning and for me this was the ideal way to start the day. The food was excellent with good choices - always a fish, meat and vegetarian option each evening. Lunch was also good, but I would have preferred some lighter options such as sandwiches at lunch time, when I didn't feel like eating so much. There was also afternoon tea and cakes laid out wich was a lovely touch.

Spa
I had not realised when I booked that there was a spa, so that was a really great surprise. I had a back massage, facial and Indian head massage during my stay. The therapist was excellent and gave great treatments, and the location of the spa, by the beach was lovely.

General
There were a large number of honeymoon couples at the resort, who were unsderstandly wrapped up in themselves. This made it a not particularly friendly atmosphere for the single traveller, so while the hotel was beautiful and idyllic, the atmosphere was not not particularly friendly. Having said this, the staff were all friendly and chatty."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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