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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs S from Edgeware

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

AMAZING ANIMAL ADVENTURE AND EXOTIC ZANIBAR

Tanzania and 1 other country between 22 Jan 2009 and 8 Feb 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"On the whole this was an awesome and eyeopening trip. It was an experience not to be missed.

like all holidays there were elements that we might have done differently had we known then what we know now.. . we did try to read up as much as possible beforehand and read between the lines as well. and of course everybody's expectations are so different. I would have loved to have stayed in lots more places on the safari and experience all the different styles and types of lodges, and scenery.

overall it was a great holiday."

Arranged By Claire Scott


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E Unoto Retreat, Tanzania (this camp has since closed)

"Amazing 1st.introduction to Maasi hospitality"

2 nights Arrived 23 Jan 2009
"on arrival we were welcomed with cold drinks and most needed wet flannels(which is the norm everywhere as i discovered) but a first for us and delightful. especially by our wonderful handsome Massi Butler Yamiti. The reception staff all Maasi in full regalia was fascinating and i was so excited to finally meet them, they were very friendly and spoke pretty good english, so gentle and kind.

The retreat is set in a lush green fertile part beside a mountain, and the views down the valley to the fisherman in the lake, and the banana plantation, and the mangroves, ( i think) were far greener and more lush than i had expected. I loved the round simple buildings with the conical thatched roofs that were the individual bedrooms , and one each for the bar, dining and lounge area.. The pool was glorious very clean with super views. comment, we wanted to sit by the pool part of the day, but because there no umbrellas or shade, we had to retreat to our room, which was a shame, perhaps you can suggest they create some shaded area.

i also noticed how everything that could be made out of local materials, ie all,the woodens items, beds tables chairs lamp bases, coathangers hooks. and the lamp shades out of dried palms. The beds were huge, snowy white cotton sheets, good pillows, and so comfortable. i loved the natural back- to -nature feel of the place.

as we we had special diet requests they really did try to accomodate us, however the food was fairly simple but basic, but the service was wonderful. on our 2nd day we were the only guests. , but they arranged an acrobat display and there was also meant to be Maasi dancing which didnt happen unfortunately. The lounge area was so basic that it was a little cheerless, and not particularly inviting or relaxing but maybe because it is all open to the the elements and any passing being that perhaps it would not be a good idea to leave out decorative detail ie lamps cushions etc.

The hike arrnged for us on the Sat was great accompanied by our personal butler.. and his friend with his Maasi spear for secuity purposes. we did feel really cared for and our requirements were willingly met .

all in all as our first port of call and no comparisons yet so to speak we enjoyed our time there."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

"Attractive building with superb crater views!"

1 night Arrived 25 Jan 2009
"This place looked great as we drove up with its impressive entrance, but we found it sombre and darkish internally, as the whole placed seemed to be washed in the same shade of russet red or pink.

we arrived late evening and it was quite cold and misty so also difficult to judge accurately.also the following morning the same , so we did not get the unclouded view of crater.

bedrooms were large clean pleasant with all the facilities but no real special touches, but in our case we had chosen to stay in a less expensive place for this night, next time i would choose something smaller and more personal. . also the food was not good."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Poor
Dunia Camp

Dunia Camp

"Sensational game at Sayari South tented lodge"

3 nights Arrived 26 Jan 2009
"our first real luxury tented lodge camp, so we were full of expectations.... and yes they were in the bush huge khaki tents
looking rather less luxurious than in my mind, as 1. it was evening, 2. it was raining seriously , and that can take away the best first impression.

Again we were given the lovely drink, towel welcome by the whole of the staff it seemed, and were shown around. The drawing room tent was super with all the details you would find in regular house, african bush safari style of course. i had visions of lazing there evey afternoon with a good book and the occasional eye to the passing animal traffic. That didnt quite happen as we seemed to spend all day out in the bush seeing far more animals and that was fantastic..

the staff here were again delightful , so courteous, friendly and quite discreet and one was made to feel that you were a special guest, not one of the many passing through. the first night there was only one other couple who did not speak english well he did a bit but she did not, and they were clearly not willing to get social. Shame. the next night a very friendly Hawaian Japanese couple were very chatty.

THe food here was excellent, the dining area was rather sombre and very little lighting, is that usual in tented camps? having experienced Suyan camp later on there was real difference in the feel and the luxury. Sayari felt like smart camping, Suyan was real luxury camping. My feeling was the situation of the Sayari camp did not show it to its best advantage, however we did not have great weather there and that must affect its feel and appearance.

The hot water bottles were most welcome, i was aghast to think that i had hot water bottle, in Africa. I generally love a really cold bed, but here it was damp and chilly for 2 nights.

Overall we were well looked after, a superb experience, but it is camping.

On the second day out the driver got stuck in the black cotton mud without a clue as to how to retrieve the situation. When other vehicles came along we discovered that there was no working eqiupment to pull the jeep out of the mud. we were at one stage very concerned as to the problem of how to get back to the camp. Even the radio that they carry could not work in that area.

The one other item that requires a mention is the drive from this camp to Suyan camp. We were transported in an open jeep along difficult roads for almost seven hours in fairly hot weather. It was totally inadequate. It should have been a covered vehicle with more comfort. I know they could do nothing about the state of the roads or the length of the journey but because of that there should have been a vehicle that was more suitable."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Average
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Suyan Camp, Tanzania (this camp has since closed)

"Scintillating setting at luxurious Suyan Camp"

1 night Arrived 29 Jan 2009
"having driven for approx 7 hrs accross the flat bumpy never-ending plains in an open jeep, watching the miraculous migration, we finally arrived, dusty, exhausted at the this most magical place. i fell in love with it, as it totally met my expectations. It is set in a soft vallley whch had just turned green thanks to the recent rains, so the view accross the hills and clarity of the late afternoon sun and the laxy zebras, giraffe who were wandereing nearby completed the picture I had in my head.

THe luxury huge suited tent was very stylishly decorated, with cushions and drapes and lovely lights,and great detail. even the bathroom had wonderful beaten brass basins on a rich dark wooden console . The veranda had mosquito net so we really had an inner room (bedroom) and outer room with chaise longue and striped deck chair to relax in and look out from .

The drawing room and dining room were fulsomely fitted out with lots of interesting artifacts, and also afforded a great view. I particularly liked the huge square dining table with the really luxurious and most comflrtable high backed suede covered chairs, we could have been in someones home, unfortunately there was only one other couple staying, the one night (sadly ) that we had there (we should have had 2 but it was full the previous night. they were charming and great company and along with the guides we had a super meal good wine and company. it would have been great to have eaten there when they had a full house, and to hear everyones stories.

we also requested and were taken on a fascinating night drive, and met more Maasi, and lots of nocturnal animals. our driver was very knowledgeable and professional.

I did think that so much care is given to NOT disturbing the animals in the day, and yet on a night drive one is literally hunting them out by searchlight and chasing after them,and it would appear to me they are probably terrrified. have you any comment on that?

I have to say this was my best safari experience, and was sorry that it was only one day.

oh and the breakfast was fantastic."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Breezes Beach Club

Breezes Beach Club

"pampered paradise at beautiful breezes beach"

7 nights Arrived 30 Jan 2009
"what a welcome, we felt like royalty, with so many white robed beturbanned young men greeting and welcoming us. The entrance to the club is stunning just like the pictures in the brobhure. I ,loved the the oriental /arab style with the decadent day beds and huge coushions, in vibrant jewel like colours of purple and gold and hot pinks and reds,and that was the lobby, all open sided with magical views of the palms and frangipani trees with the aqua sea sparkling in the background. I just wanted to stay and stop and do nothing.

However our lovely sweet smiling white robed welcome host proceeded to give a very long (far too long) detail by detail description etc of the club. it was all too much althiough we did have our lovely cool drinks and towels. I suggest that you ask them to shorten the welcome so the the exhausted dusty guests can get to their rooms and refresh etc. the explanatons can be saved for another time or in a letter or short welcome brochure.

The chef again came out to greet us a mr. Safari ! and and was at great pains to let us know that that he would make anything we wanted, he had our e. mailed food list in his hand. I have to say the food was fantastic especially the breakfasts and the Buffet suppers. and that was on our limited requirements. Am now trying to lose the extra pounds... gained

Our room was perfectly placed on the sea front, I found the room kind of dark and heavy, the decor is not as I anticipated, and this was a comment i heard from another few people, that for the rating and price of the hotel the rooms need updating to something lighter fresher and cooler in appearnce. The bed was huge the sheets snowy smooth and the mattress perfect so sleep was not a problem.

The A>C. was a bit noisy, but we got used to it. we felt that we would have liked a telephone so we could call for whatever we needed rather having to dress and go in search of a person. This was a comment reiterated by few guests. However the service was excellent and the staff really wanted you to rest and relax as that was what we were there for. The restaurant themed itself almost everynight,according to the nationality and origin of the food, and the decor, tablecloths, chair covers and general atmosphere was themed to match. most nights there was interesting entertainment if a little on the amateurish side, but it was lovely just the same, amd some better than others.

The whole situation of the club is Eden like and tropical,and the fact that the hotel accomodation is divided up in to pretty houses or blocks with I think 4 suites in each gave it a much more individual and luxury feel. also one did not feel the size of the place. the hotel was only half full so for us that was a plus of course. it was never busy anywhere including the fantastic pool.

the weather was very humid and hot and it did take us a few days to become acclimatised.

The fisherman tours representative called Sylvia was there every day and was most helpful. We did one tour, snorkelling and dhow and beach barbecue leaving from Fumba. That was great the staff were friendly and good fun and nothing seemed too much for them, it was well organised lots of drink and fresh coconut and again our chef was consulted on the food for us on the barbeque, and we had tuna and barraqcuda which was DELICIOUS. We really were so thrilled, to be take part in the barb.que. we also enjoyed our precious few hours on the tiny white sanded aqua sea surrounded island, where we imagined that we had walked into that picture perfect place... and to have the picture to remind us.."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Zanzibar Palace Hotel

Zanzibar Palace Hotel

"zanzibar hotel old fashioned fusty character"

2 nights Arrived 6 Feb 2009
"we were both dissaponted with this place. although it had apparently had a makeover not that long ago we felt that it seemed to need another one.

partly in the choice of decor which was old fashioned rather than quirky. it just did not seem fresh, and i realised that it was a very old place, and the owners were at pains not to destroy its unique original character,we just were not taken with it, it certainly did not come up to its price expectations. the 1st room they showed us was not nice and one window looked out onto a newly bricked wall which was so close it felt oppressive. The bathroom had all the arabic and oriental touches but felt mucky although i am sure it was clean but i did not feel inclined to bathe in there.

we changed to the top floor at extra cost just so we had a bit more air, and the fact that it had a tiny roof top deck which you could climb up to. also the open air shower and bathroom were situated here, and it felt less stuffy. I know this place was recreated in the old and authentic style and i am all for character and authenticity, but we were not that comfy or happy there. shame as we had high hoped for outr last two nights in Stonetown. the lady who manages the hotel ,a dutch woman was very helpful and very nice.

Same goes for Stonetown ,we hd not expected it to be so rundown, and we did a town tour and saw all the important sights and buildings, and we will put down to the experience of travel and seeing the world. It was interesting to understand the past and present culture and its turbulent history. at least the Aga Khan is funding major renovation there which in years to come will make it a great place ."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Poor
Rooms
Poor
Food
Poor

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