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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr L & Ms A from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

My Nov 2008 trip

Tanzania and 1 other country between 1 Nov 2008 and 15 Nov 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"An amazing Tanzanian safari experience in Selous & Ruaha - better than we could possibly have hoped for. Zanzibar is overrated - would not return there."

Serena Hotel Dar

Serena Hotel Dar

"Royal Palm Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 2 Nov 2008
"Serviceable hotel for a 1 night stay before connecting to the safari lodges.

Remember to request a 'non-smoking' room if this is your preference - we were originally accomodated in a room that smelt very smokey. Staff were helpfully in arranging an alternate room when the request was made."
Good
Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

"Excellent, authentic safari experience"

3 nights Arrived 3 Nov 2008
"A fantastic first safari experience.

Comfortable banda accomodation - dotted spaciously along the dry river bed. Even though they are quite open, with daybeds & a hammock & the bathroom outside, it felt really private with bush separating each banda. The openness has the added advantage of making you feel very close to nature- waking up to see the animal parade which unfolds in front of you (or the munching of elephants eating the banda itself!).

We experienced really good quality guiding from Joffray- a real advantage of having a driver plus a guide was that the guide could concentrate on spotting. On several occasions there were quite long drives with few animals spotted before coming to another area where there was a greater density. Thought that the driving was careful and in-tune with guests wishes - allowing plenty of time for photos etc.

Meals were very sociable - especially of an evening, meeting around the campfire. It was a really relaxed, welcoming atmosphere - and Chris's willingness to share some of his stories and years of experience added to the experience. The variable locations and the beautiful set-up made each night memorable.

As others have written, drinks were an additional expense and it would have been nice to have had an idea of the cost (e.g. a price list in the room information) or just paid a little extra per day & have had them all included. As it was - our drinks bill for 3 nights for 2 people (a couple of beers per person per day) was about US $100.

One comment about the tipping - there was no 'staff box' in the office where the bill was settled - and the tip (which I had separated from the final drinks bill) was just tucked into the top pocket of one of the camp managers with the money for the drinks. It didn't give me any confidence that it would be shared out with the guides or other staff - rather that it was a handsome tip for one person."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Beho Beho

Beho Beho

"Beho Beho review"

4 nights Arrived 6 Nov 2008
"Absolutely incredible experience.

Beautifully fitted-out bandas with a wonderful panorama of the valley below. Lovely toiletries & linen.

Amazing food - including the surprise breakfast with the hippos & crocs at Lake Tagalala. Sun-downers in stunning locations were a highlight of each day.

The hosting by Tamlyn & Sacha was incredible - warm and inclusive, they are experts of their profession - ensuring a wonderful atmosphere at the camp. It felt like holidaying with good friends!

Guiding was of an excellent standard and density of wildlife was stunning. Sacha's interest in birds and plant-life added an extra dimension to the safari experience - a welcome change from just 'big game' spotting which was especially noticeable during the walking safaris.

Went to both Ruaha & Selous - and enjoyed the contrast of the two. Was glad to have gone to Ruaha first and had an authentic camping safari experience in a really dry environment. However, after the lakes and lush-ness of Selous area, the fantastic numbers of birds & wildlife, as well as the lux of Beho Beho, it is pretty hard to contemplate anywhere else."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Echo Beach Hotel, Zanzibar (this camp has since closed)

"Poor start to Echo Beach stay"

4 nights Arrived 10 Nov 2008
"We chose Echo Beach expecting from the Expert Africa website a small, simple beach hotel with rooms that "look out to the sea (all have a sea view), and encircle the lodge's swimming pool... stone tile floors polished to a gleam ... and high-quality fabrics ...including lovely cotton bed linen, silk cushions and fluffy towels in the bathroom."

However, since the blurb on Echo Beach was written, new bandas have been built behind the row around the pool. The view is of the airconditioning unit of the bungalow in front (or the building site to one side). The concrete floor was sandy underfoot (we later found out our room had been used to store dive gear & had obviously not been swept), the linen was thin with the matress visible through it and the towels were neither fluffy nor matching.

Immediately that we were shown this room we complained that it was not acceptable. Manager Sue was not present, Andrew was behind the bar smoking but disinterested and totally unwilling to help. It was left to an unsmiling reception lady to tell us that they hadn't been expecting us (apparently some paperwork that they normally get to confirm the booking had not arrived?) and that the new banda was the only room they had left. She suggested that it might be possible to move to a pool-side banda the following day when another group departed.

We accepted this (because after phoning Expert Africa, the only other option was to change hotels for an additional cost of £500) and after meeting with Sue the next morning we were able to arrange to move to a pool-side banda.

Food at Echo Beach was pleasant, local staff friendly and the pool clean. Sue made an effort to mingle with guests and was an excellent host. The beach in front, as we expected, was not suitable for swimming although an excursion to Mnemba atoll was worthwhile for the stunning coral and tropical fish.

Had we been accomodated in one of the original bandas, Echo Beach would have essentially met our expectations. However the poor welcome and low quality of our original room took the shine off what would otherwise have been a pleasant, if unremarkable, stay."
Average
Location
Average
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Zanzibar Coffee House

Zanzibar Coffee House

"Zanzibar Coffee House"

1 night Arrived 14 Nov 2008
"Charming 'boutique hotel' style accomodation in the maze of Stone Town's intertwining passages. Cool, clean rooms with beautiful traditional Zanzibari furniture were welcome respite from the heat and grime of the streets.

The roof-top terrace was great for watching the sunset, catching the breeze and for breakfast.

Gorgeous, smiling all-female staff insisted on carrying our bags up 3 flights of stairs to the room (despite serious protesting!)."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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