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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr S from Priory

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

Fabulous trip to Mahe, Praslin and La Digue

Seychelles between 2 Sep 2015 and 16 Sep 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"We very much enjoyed the Seychelles. Many people think of this as a beach holiday destination but it is an awful lot more. The wildlife was superb.

Giant fruit bats in the sky and trees, Hawksbill turtles in the sea, tenrecs among the forest leafs and myriads of different crabs along the shoreline. The tortoises were, of course, in pens - but watching them mating was something else.

The birdlife was great with the bright red Madagascar Fody everywhere. A kestrel used our balcony as a look out spot. And we hiked the trails to see the rarer Black Parrots, Blue Pigeon and Paradise Flycatcher (on La Digue). Officially, we went in dry season (September) but it rained almost constantly for first 7 days! That was a bit disappointing but it didn't stop us doing anything.

And the last 3 days in the sun were great for a spot of warm water swimming in the Indian Ocean.

All arrangements went smoothly and the accommodation (including food) was great.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Nothing really - unless you are able to stop the rain!"

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Constance Ephelia Resort

Constance Ephelia Resort

"Constance Ephelia Resort review"

5 nights Arrived 4 Sep 2015
"This hotel is set alongside a mangrove swamp and coastal wetlands. It was ideal for our purpose as we could observe lots of wildlife from our balcony - geckos, sunbirds, madagascan fodys. We even had a kestrel use our balcony as an observation perch. Loads of different crabs and snails to view on the walk to breakfast. There were also walks within the extensive grounds leading to different beaches and cliffs where there was much to see (including spotting a tenrec).

It was an ideal central location for our self drive holiday as we could head of north, east or south on different excursions. Buffet meals were excellent. All food was clearly labelled and the range of options was really extensive. This was the prefect catering for our party as there was something for everyone - no matter what their preferences.

Our only problem was the weather - it rained almost non-stop for most of our stay. Collecting and dropping off umbrellas became the order of the day."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Image alt

Paradise Sun, Seychelles (this camp has since closed)

"Very nice beach front resort"

5 nights Arrived 9 Sep 2015
"The beach front setting is excellent. The beach was only a few steps from our veranda and the warm water was perfect for swimming.

Rooms were comfortable and the canopy of surrounding palm trees was very pleasant. Dinner was served in the beach restaurant with sand under foot. The buffet was perhaps not as extensive as some and the dishes were not labelled. Of course, the staff described the food but not always in terms we understood and so a bit of guessing was required.

The location in the middle of the island was perfect and we could get anywhere in no time at all. We used the little town of Baie St Anne for our shopping and currency exchange."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Average

Excellent wildlife - up close and personal

Rwanda and 1 other country between 3 Aug 2008 and 10 Aug 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"The purpose of our trip was to visit the gorillas. This was a truly fabulous experience and was certainly worth all the effort involved. Watching the gorilla families play, feed, and interact with each other was wonderful. And many comical moments were provided by the younger gorillas who seemed to want to show off to our human group. One youngster fell out of a tree and landed on his back looking up into our eyes. Looking a bit surprised, he just carried on feeding at our feet. Another young one tried to stand on two legs and beat his chest - but only managed a single beat before falling flat on his face in front of us. Despite the advised limit of 7m, we were able to get practically within touching distance of the groups.

We had two treks to the gorillas. They were both very different. The first trek, to the Sabinyo group, involved much climbing (hanging on to creepers and bamboo) and sliding in the mud. In many places, the porters had to haul members of our group up by the arms. There were no paths and we folllowed the porters who were busy using their machetes to plough a route through the dense growth. Much of the time was spent pressed deep into the undergrowth and this meant we were on the receiving end of many stinging nettles. We climbed up the mountain side, traversed for some time and then wound our way a different route down another part of the mountain before finding the gorillas. And yet, after viewing the gorillas, our exit from the forest simply involved a 10 minute walk along a well worn path.

Our second trek was to Group 13 and our party included some quite elderly people with sticks (one had just had a knee replacement). Obviously, the guides must have known that the gorillas were very close. This party could never have managed the trek that we had undergone the day before. Indeed, this second trek proved to be a simple wander into the forest and the gorillas were found after only a few minutes walk.

The trek to the golden monkeys was also excellent and we were able to get a very good view of these animals. The limits on numbers in each trek obviously do not apply for this particular trek - as we had 19 in our party.

Recommendations: Take a good pair of gardening gloves, wet weather trousers (as well as your rainjacket), long socks into which to stuff your trousers (or better still, gaiters/puttees). Expect to get totally covered in mud. And take winter clothing to keep warm during dinner and whilst in the lodge. Wet weather covering for your camera is also important.

Arthur was an excellent and knowledgeable guide with good knowledge. He was very amiable and happy to accomodate our needs. He bought stamps for us (from Rhungeri) and posted our postcards. Took us to lunch at a nearby restaurant as a change from the lodge. Full marks.

All in all, an excellent and highly memorable trip!!"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Palacina

Palacina

"A miniature palace!"

1 night Arrived 3 Aug 2008
"We had an amazing penthouse suite with kitchen, lounge, 2 bathrooms, bedroom and walk in wardrobe. Unfortunately, we arrived at 10:30 p.m. and departed at 5:00 a.m. the next day. We therefore only saw the place in the dark and had no meals during our brief overnight stop.
It seemed like a truly excellent place but, to be honest, it was really over-the-top and somewhat wasted as an overnight stopover. In our particular situation, one of the international hotels we passed enroute from the airport would have served as just as well if not better.

Would be good if Expert Africa had more options in the Nairobi area."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Hotel des Mille Collines

Hotel des Mille Collines

"Central hotel in Kigali"

1 night Arrived 4 Aug 2008
"An excellent location and a perfectly acceptable hotel.

The room was fairly ordinary and there was a slight feeling of being past its best. But we had a pleasant view over the swimming pool and the garden was good for wandering around and spotting birds and flowers. Breakfast was excellent with spectacular views over Kigali from the 4th floor restaurant.

We settled on the pool bar for lunch/dinner and this was a very pleasant spot to relax and enjoy drinks and food. Getting attention at the front Reception Desk was not always easy (the light in our bathroom needed repair).

Overall, not exactly 5-star but it had everything we needed and I would happily recommend it."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Gorilla's Nest

Gorilla's Nest

"Good convenient base for Gorilla Trekking"

4 nights Arrived 5 Aug 2008
"This was a good base for our purposes (e.g. gorilla treking) and it served us well enough. I'm not sure whether it is trying to be an African safari lodge or a fully funactional hotel. There are building works going on at present and I believe they will soon be pulling down and replacing the main reception/bar/restaurant.

The weather during our stay was cold and wet. And yet, the bedrooms and public areas all seemed designed for keeping cool in tropical heat. Accordingly, when we went for meals, we wrapped up in jumpers and jackets - and kept them on throughout the meal! Our bedroom had a lovely view but faced away from the sun, and it was therefore even colder inside the room than outside. We had to get into bed to keep warm.

In common with many lodges, the lighting in the bedroom was very poor and we were unable to read without the aid of a torch. There was very little pressure in the shower/bath water meaning that the water just trickled out. And, unlike much of Africa, this region has no water shortage! Then the plumbing gave up altogether and we had no hot water on our last evening and on the morning of our departure.

The food here is very basic European stuff - sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, burgers and chips. It was OK but the menu never changes and you soon get bored with the choice. Nothing was offered of a more local or African variety. There is good local beer at a reasonable price. But the wine was outrageously priced with the cheapest bottle costing over £30.

After our morning gorilla and golden monkey treks, there wasn't a great choice of activity - we visited the local village and the market and we took a drive up to the nearby lakes - but the options were limited. When we visited the local market, we were accompanied by the lodge's community representative.

Whist in the market, I declined to take any photos as I knew how it could upset some local people. But the lodge's community guide said this was nonsense. To show me, he took my camera and started taking pictures. Suddenly, there was a terrible commotion as one of the market sellers took offence. We were followed by an angry local woman all the way back to the hotel and, at one point, were surrounded by a crowd that was attracted by all the commotion. He should really have known better!"
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Average

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