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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr C & Mr K from Oxon

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

4

Countries visited

4

Lodges stayed in

23

Excursions taken

0

Our trip to Zimbabwe October 2018

Zimbabwe and 1 other country between 29 Sep 2018 and 16 Oct 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Despite the inauspicious start in Harare Airport, all other aspects of the trip went very smoothly and overall it exceeded our expectations and we will undoubtedly book another trip with Expert Africa in the future.
We are big fans of Zambia because of the excellent walking but we liked the combination of walk and drives we experienced in Zimbabwe.
Mana Pools was busier than Hwange, which was very quiet. In Mana Pools, it is strange to see people walking in the park without guides. In Hwange it was wonderful to be away from tsetses and mosquitos."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

"Convenient overnight stop in Nairobi"

1 night Arrived 29 Sep 2018
"Good choice for overnight in Nairobi as it is in the airport complex and so avoids a lot of travel hassle. Rooms comfortable and quiet. Avoid the packed breakfast - breakfast in your room by room service is probably a better bet."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Poor
Stretch Ferreira Safaris Camp

Stretch Ferreira Safaris Camp

"Good experience at Goliath"

3 nights Arrived 30 Sep 2018
"A visit to Goliath is worthwhile just to experience Stretch and his wealth of knowledge and quirky sense of humour. When we were there the 2 safari vehicles travelled round together and we walked as one big group, which is not our favoured option, as we feel you achieve more by walking in smaller groups. (On the other hand, if you were staying at Goliath and were not in Stretch's group, you would feel short changed).
The accommodation is basic but comfortable and provides everything required. The tents are closer together than in other camps (so there is less privacy)."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Vundu Camp

Vundu Camp

"Vundu - one of our favourite African Lodges"

4 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2018
"For us it provided the perfect balance between "wild" and "comfortable". 24 hour electricity and fans in the room are great in October but it was also good to have an outside bathroom. It is the first lodge we have encountered with a gym (too hot to use in October). The accommodation is unbelievably spacious and the vehicles used for game viewing were excellent with plenty of space and a useful storage box between the seats. Our guide, Simeon was first class and all the staff at the camp were helpful and attentive. We put it in our top 3 of African Lodges (along with Musekese and Tafika in Zambia). The canoeing was excellent. The food was good but the steak we had for dinner the last night was the best we have had in Africa, so we are unsure whether to grade the food as good or excellent. Nick's nephew, Ethan, was an asset to the camp as he has a good sense of humour and excellent "people skills"."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Hwange Bush Camp

Hwange Bush Camp

"Hwange Bush Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 7 Oct 2018
"We prefer open air bathrooms but the bathrooms were closed in and ventilation was non existent and so the temperature in there was appallingly high.
We were told that it was not necessary to put "valuables" in the camp safe but as all our bags were visited by mice (although the bags were not on the floor and we carried no food - this has never happened to us before), we would not have been amused if the mice had chewed through $ and passports rather than ear plugs and tissues. We would recommend zipping all bags closed and putting money in the safe.
Although our guide was very good and we had some good sightings, it often seemed that they were struggling to think of things to do with us, due to a lack of local knowledge. As is obvious from the species list we did not see much variety of animals. It was often necessary to drive quite a long way to see anything, whereas I feel the point of a bush camp is to feel isolated but self contained. (There were even suggestions that we might drive to Camp Hwange for viewings, which seemed to defeat the object of being at the Bush Camp).Next year the location of the Bush Camp will change, which may correct some of the shortcomings."
Average
Location
Average
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Poor
Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange

"Excellent Camp Hwange"

3 nights Arrived 10 Oct 2018
"Very good accommodation - plenty of space and well ventilated. Only criticism was that shower rose could do with descaling. Very friendly and attentive staff. Our guide, Adam, was the best and most knowledgeable guide we have come across and was a pleasure to be with - which is saying a lot as it was up to 39 degrees and one of our "walks" was 20km!
Good comfortable vehicles.
In addition to the animals on the list, we saw Klipspringer, Ostrich with chicks, Serval, Honey Badger, Martial Eagle, Verraux's Eagle Owl and African Wild Cat. Although we failed to see a black rhino (on our 20km walk) we heard one....
A pangolin was seen the day before we arrived!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"Ilala Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 13 Oct 2018
"Very good location right in the centre of Vic Falls. Food was excellent (had B,L,D) and the air-conditioned rooms were spacious and comfortable with a very good shower.
Pleasant garden and nice swimming pool."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
The Emakoko

The Emakoko

"The Emakoko review"

1 night Arrived 15 Oct 2018
"We were in Nairobi for 24 hours and it was an ideal way to spend our time - being on the edge of Nairobi NP was much better than staying in a City Centre Hotel.
Staff very attentive and Rachel was an outstandingly welcoming host.
Very good food.
Very spacious and comfortable rooms. Ours was at the top so getting there was hard work but it had the best view."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

Excellent return trip to Zambia

Zambia between 5 Sep 2016 and 23 Sep 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"There was no-one to meet us at the airport when we arrived at Lusaka. We scoured the airport and found someone from Tours Africa but he said that they had not been asked to pick us up. After speaking to what seemed to be everyone in the Airport the Tours Africa rep came back and apologised and said it was entirely their fault and then took us to the hotel but we wasted over half an hour.

Tsetses were an issue, as we can both react badly to them. Much worse in South Luangwa than last time and we had one particularly bad Tsetse walk in North Luangwa. We were expecting them in Kafue - Musekese was better than expected, Busanga Plains much worse. All the camps were free of tsetses.

Disappointing that information on the Expert Africa website is inaccurate. Overall service from Expert Africa was very good, as usual. However......although the wallet is better than the old one, I still think it is daft to give people a wallet every time they travel - I won't use it again and it will join the other 2 wallets in my desk drawer. A shirt would give Expert Africa free advertising as well as being useful for the recipient (I've mentioned this before but it fell on deaf ears!).

I also think you should ask if people want a copy of Zambia before you sent it. When I got mine I thought it was a new edition but found it was identical, so it went straight to recycling."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Latitude 15

Latitude 15

"Very comfortable overnight stay"

1 night Arrived 5 Sep 2016
"Attractive decor, good food and helpful staff.

Although we were leaving before the normal breakfast time they arranged for us to have a full cooked breakfast at the time we wanted. Very reasonable charges for food and drink."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Musekese Camp

Musekese Camp

"Brilliant camp!"

4 nights Arrived 6 Sep 2016
"Description of the accommodation in the brochure and website is completely wrong and out of date. In addition, we met a number of people, during our trip, who had been to Musekese and all of them had seen lots of different game, rather than "not much more than antelope" mentioned on your website. We had several close encounters with lions when walking, saw them frequently around the camp, and were separated from our sundowners for over half an hour by a pride of lions.

There is more to do than at most other camps (driving, walking and the river) and because there are 3 guides to a maximum of 8 guests, you are guaranteed almost personal service - and you would never have to walk with more than 4 people.

The food was delicious and healthy - and not too much!

The guiding was excellent and Phil and Tyrone do everything to make your stay sensational. They were also very keen to hear and take on board feedback.We will definitely make a return trip - with no tsetses the stay would have been perfect!

Tsetse flies were present and just about bearable but the 5 hour transfer in an open vehicle to Busanga Bush Camp through a tsetse ridden forest was very unpleasant."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Busanga Bushcamp

Busanga Bushcamp

"Great Camp but emphasis not on guiding"

3 nights Arrived 10 Sep 2016
"Difficult to rate the camp. It was much too "corporate" for our tastes.

The camp itself was excellent and could not be faulted, with excellent accommodation and food and very friendly and attentive staff. The only downside, as far as we are concerned, is that you eat separately rather than together and we enjoy the social aspect - however, we did meet some German guests there who said they preferred to eat alone.

The camp is the same size as Musekese but has 1 guide, compared with Musekese's 3 and the only option is rather tedious game drives. There are a lot of animals on the plains but not much variety and the guides main interest was to show us lions. (We did see, before the guide, a clawless otter and a monitor lizard devouring eggs from a nest it had dug up).

The balloon ride was excellent - much better than a flight I had over the Masai Mara many years ago - because it flew very low.

The ride to the airstrip, through a tsetse area was very unpleasant and it was difficult to get into the plane without being accompanied by a swarm of flies!"
Average
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Poor
Tafika

Tafika

"Even better than last time!"

3 nights Arrived 13 Sep 2016
"The great stay started as soon as we arrived at Mfuwe where we were told that we would be flying to Tafika, rather than going by road!

Food, accommodation and guiding all excellent and mountain biking with John is always great fun.

On the last day, we asked to do a morning walk but they were short of rangers, so they took us to Chikoko so that we could walk to Crocodile with another couple - nothing is too much trouble to ensure you have a wonderful stay."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwaleshi Camp

Mwaleshi Camp

"Wonderful location"

6 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2016
"It's difficult to write this review, because it was supposed to be the high point of our trip and it ended up being slightly disappointing - perhaps because our expectations had been so high. Despite this, we did enjoy our time there.

The camp is perfect. Lovely location, good accommodation, excellent food and brilliant guiding. The ability to have a splash in the Mwaleshi river after a morning walk is a big bonus.

However, we have been spoiled on our previous trips in that all our game walks have been alone or with two other people and, unfortunately for us, the camp was full for the whole 6 days we were there and so our walks were with 4 other people, which we did not enjoy. I found being at the back of a group of 6 deeply frustrating because you knew that if the guide saw something interesting, it would be long gone before you had a chance to see it and you weren't able to ask questions till the group stopped. Fortunately (for us), one couple were getting tired of walking and missed a couple of walks and so we were able to have 2 good walks when there were only 4 of us.

This problem only arises at walking camps where walking is the only activity. For example, at Tafika, if 6 people wanted to walk we could have chosen to drive and at Musekese, with 3 guides to 8 people (and 3 activities) it is unlikely ever to happen.

Other people may be happy to walk in a group of 6 (and I understand there are sometimes 8 at other camps) but I would not go to a walking camp again unless I could guarantee walking for 4 or less - either by having a private guide or paying for 2 rooms. (Tafika guarantees a maximum of 4 per vehicle but I think a maximum of 4 is just as important for walking).

I discussed this with John when we returned to Tafika and explained that it is not a criticism of Mwaleshi, it is simply our preference, now, having been so spoilt on previous walks."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Average
Tafika

Tafika

"As before"

1 night Arrived 22 Sep 2016
"Had the family room, which was amazing!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

My Oct 2014 trip

Zambia between 2 Oct 2014 and 18 Oct 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"Best trip ever, despite the high temperatures.

Excellent game viewing in all camps.

Unique and unforgettable experiences in the bush camps.

Well organised by Expert Africa and Tours Africa were very helpful on arrival and departure."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel

"Convenient stopover"

1 night Arrived 3 Oct 2014
"Friendly staff, especially those at a junior level. Breakfast good.

Rooms large and comfortable but the shower cubicle leaked (shower also leaked in room we used on our return journey). Floor of swimming pool felt slimey as though not properly cleaned. Pool area very noisy with kids at weekends."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Tafika

Tafika

"Best lodge/camp in Africa!"

3 nights Arrived 4 Oct 2014
"Everyone exceptionally friendly so after the first day you felt you were staying with old friends. Comfortable rooms.

Excellent food which couldn't be faulted.
Best vehicles (including bikes!) in Africa.
Very helpful at tailoring activities to our needs.
Perfect in every way and we can't wait to go back.
Cycling with John was fantastic.
We liked the concept of rebuilding the camp each year with local people.

You felt throughout that the motivation was "how can I improve guests' experiences" not "how much profit can we make"."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

"Chikoko Tree Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 7 Oct 2014
"Everything about Tafika also applies here. Food still brilliant.

Because it was very hot, I would have preferred to have tea or coffee first thing and then set out for a walk at dawn, so that you could be back in camp about 9.00 for breakfast. It would have left a lot of time in the middle of the day but this would have been preferable to the last hour of very hot walking.

As we were by ourselves we got to know the staff really well and were totally captivated by their charm and friendliness.

Lack of charging facilities could become a problem for longer stays.

Because it was so hot, we were showering a lot. Although we were economical with water, we felt slightly uncomfortable using a shower when we knew that the tanks had to be filled by hand.

Particularly beautiful because there was a full moon. Safety rail in bedrooms in your field of view from chairs!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Crocodile Bushcamp

Crocodile Bushcamp

"Crocodile Bushcamp review"

2 nights Arrived 9 Oct 2014
"Comments about Chikoko apply here. Less scenic in October than Chikoko, so we would probably have preferred to go to Crocodile first and have only 1 day here and 3 at Chikoko. But we still had a lovely time.

Because we were alone for both nights it was a particularly magical experience.

Too much sun in bar area during the day"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Kaingo Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 11 Oct 2014
"We enjoyed our time at Kaingo but we felt it suffered from poor management. The rooms were clean and comfortable and the game viewing was excellent but it was let down by poor attention to detail, though it improved noticeably when Derek Shenton was in camp.

The standard of the laundry was poor, it took us 2 days to get a new bar of soap in our room, and it was only when Derek arrived that he sat down with us and discussed the options for activities and made suggestions. Prior to that we had been given no real information as to what was on offer (or indeed that we had a bath!).

The food was disappointing. It was made worse by the pretentious announcement of what would be served at dinner. When we met for tea, invariably people said "Wasn't lunch awful?". The fruit salad was usually a mush and the coffee was always poor. We loved the porridge.

The guides were very good and very friendly, though we feel 6 per vehicle can be too many. We didn't make use of the midday activities as we did not feel they were suited to the heat of October and preferred to watch animals from our verandah. By African standards, the camp was pretty good. However, Tafika outperformed it in every way and is, I understand, a little bit cheaper"
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Poor
Facilities
Good
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

"Mwamba Bushcamp review"

3 nights Arrived 15 Oct 2014
"Alec took our criticisms on board about Kaingo and certainly our experience at Mwamba (particularly the food) was much better. (First day food was like Kaingo and then it became much improved after our criticism).

As we were alone for 2 of the 3 nights, they arrange for us to have a traditional dinner one night which was great. The rooms were very comfortable. We prefer the bush camp feel to the more barracks-like buildings at Kaingo and the shower was the best we used anywhere (including the Radisson in Lusaka).

Excellent game viewing.

I am torn between giving an overall rating of excellent or good but in the end decided to be generous. It was not as wonderful as Tafika and it's bush camps but I think it still deserves to be categorised as excellent - though there is still room for improvement!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

My Dec 2008 trip

Tanzania between 13 Dec 2008 and 29 Dec 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"Whenever we met anyone who had used Expert Africa, their comment was invariably "Wasn`t Ellie wonderful?"

I thought the whole trip had been brilliantly organised and all the information I had been given befrehand was accurate.

Suggestions for improvement:

No particular thoughts, I`m afraid. A very satisfied customer!"

Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Selous Impala Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 14 Dec 2008
"Very friendly welcoming staff and very comfortable tents. The staff were very happy to accomodate anything we wanted to do. The guides were knowledgeable and helpful although their english was not always easy to understand. Manager and her assistant were very good.

The food was usually good, although occasionally dishes were a bit too ambitious and were not quite right. Sitting at your own table would not suit everyone, particularly someone travelling alone. I would have preferred communal eating. The breakfasts in the bush were excellent.

It was very hot when we were there, so the small pool was very welcome. I liked the fact that you kept the same waiter and guides for the entire stay as it enabled you to build a good rapport."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

"Mwagusi Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 18 Dec 2008
"Difficult to rate Mwagusi accurately because some parts were excellent but the Management was appalling.

The food was excellent and the guides were the best we encountered on the trip. The rooms were very nice and very spacious but in view of the number of biting insects around it was disappointing that the bathrooms were not protected from flying insects. The bathrooms had a potentially dangerous step and the solar heating did not seem to work well for the hot water.

We arrived in a cloudburst. We had to carry our own bags from the plane and while other groups were met with waterproofs and a closed in vehicle our vehicle was completely open and we and our luggage was only protected by black plastic sheets. The assistant manager who met the vehicle was very patronising (he was on a holiday job) and did not introduce himself until we asked him who he was.

The manager had an ear infection and appeared after a day and once again failed to introduce himself and was very resistant to making conversation. No one asked us what game drives or walks we would like to do and we were just bundled into a vehicle with other people. There was no mention of a gamewalk (which we had requested before we left the UK) (and we didn`t press it, because the weather was a bit unpredictable). When we gave batteries in to be charged they were returned 24 hours later uncharged and when we left, no member of management was there to see us off or to ask if we had a good time. The vehicle arrived 20 minutes late to take us to the airstrip (but every cloud has a silver lining because on the way to the plane a leopard crossed the track right in front of us!).

Overall, we felt that the camp was not run for the benefit of the guests and we felt that we were a bit of a nuisance. Other people staying at the camp shared our disappointment and on the flight we met 2 people who stayed at Jongomero - they had stayed at Mwagusi the year before and vowed not to go back because of the unpleasant atmosphere.

The laundry did not come back very clean.

It was a pity because in many respects it was an excellent experience and Ruaha is a beautiful Park."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Average
Chada Camp

Chada Camp

"Chada Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 22 Dec 2008
"Very friendly management.

Our guide was a bit staid but he was very conscientious. The vehicle was the best we experienced.
The tsetse flies were appalling! I got a few bites in Ruaha but in Katavi I was eaten alive!

Food was excellent.

The tents were good but it was frustrating the number of zips you had to negotiate to get to the loo at night. The zips did not always close properly. The tents were well spread out.

It was disappointing that you always had to set off for a game drive in the same direction. The safari breakfasts were good but it was sometimes a challenge to find some shade without tsetse flies.

It was nice to have a drink with your guide in the evening before dinner."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Greystoke Mahale

Greystoke Mahale

"Greystoke Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 25 Dec 2008
"Wonderful location and accomodation and although the manager (Nicola) was only a temp she did a brilliant job.
The food was excellent without exception.

The guides were the poorest on the trip. Rather quiet and not very knowlegeable but nice enough and once again it was good that they were around for an evening drink. When guiding they tended to speak together in their own language and give no information on what was happening.

Lake Tanganyka was really lovely for swimming in and I had no idea that fishing could be so much fun. No mosquitos and few tsetse flies!

Perfect relaxing end to the holiday."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

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