This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu

Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Miss B & Mr D from NI

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

Overall feedback

Tanzania and 1 other country between 30 Dec 2008 and 9 Jan 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall we had a fantastic trip. It was everything I was hoping for and more. To see the animals living freely in their natural habitat was simply wonderful. Lake Manze was a great camp and perfect if you want to experience just a taste of a safari. We stayed for 4 days which was actually plenty of time to see all the animals and go on all the different drives.

We were glad we could recover at Mchanga Beach lodge though because being on safari can be quite tiring. It was nice to just sleep, eat and relax for a few days before heading home.

I only have one criticism of Lake Manze. When we arrived at 6.30am we had just flown overnight from London to Dar El Salaam. We didn't really sleep on the plane so were very tired when we finally reached Selous National park at 10 am. Instead of being taken directly to the camp we were told we had to wait until 12 noon to also collect another couple. They therefore took us (and another couple who were with us) on a short game drive before we drove back to the airstrip to wait for the other couple. In that time they could easily have taken us back to camp but obviously decided not to (probably to save petrol?)

By 12 noon we were all starving and then it was another hour to Lake Manze. By the time we arrived at Lake Manze I was far too hot and we were both really burnt. (We both had to stay totally covered up for the whole time we were at camp.) I also ended up feeling quite ill and had to lie down for the rest of the afternoon. I missed out on the late afternoon champagne reception at the Lake and also went to bed early that night which was New Year's Eve. Now I am not totally blaming this incident for the fact I felt so ill in the afternoon. However on top of the lack of sleep and the fact I had a cold, I do feel that waiting around so long before getting back to camp was the "last straw." In the future I really think they should get the guests back to the camp as soon as possible so they can rest and freshen up.

In terms of using Expert Africa - I found them to be excellent. It never occurred to me to arrange such a trip over the internet and the phone but it wasn't a problem at all. I think the website is superb and the independent reviews really give you a good idea of which trips to do and where to stay to suit your budget. I made a number of calls to the team and Ellie answered all my questions thoroughly. It was also really nice to chat through my trip with her when we got back. It was clear she is committed to making sure my feedback is relayed back so that future experiences can be even better.

I did a lot of research when looking into this trip and I can assure you that in my experience Expert Africa offered us the best trip at the best price compared to many other companies."

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Fantastic safari at Lake Manze Tented Camp"

4 nights Arrived 31 Dec 2008
"Staying at Lake Manze Tented Camp was a wonderful experience. We felt truly in the wild as there are no barriers around the camp at all. You are however protected by Masai warriors who shadow you wherever you go to make sure you are safe.

We felt the facilities were very good. Our tent was relatively spacious consisting of two separate areas. The area at the back was the bathroom area with a washing area, a toilet and a shower- Taking a shower in the open air especially at night was a great experience. The front of the tent was the sleeping area which contained two single beds. There were some nice touches e.g a torch and candles were provided as it is pitch black at night and a jug of water was provided every day. The tents were cleaned every day and fresh towels left when necessary. We also found the laundry service was very good.

There is a main restaurant/bar area where breakfast/lunch and dinner are taken. The camp is run by an italian couple so there is a definite italian slant to the food. We found the food to be excellent and really tasty. Breakfast consisted of fresh fruit and eggs/bacon/sausage. Lunch was usually pasta/pizza/lasagane with salad and dinner was always a 3 course meal. The food is plentiful but sometimes we found we needed the odd snack to keep us going as the days are long and dinner isn't until approx 8pm in the evening. I would suggest that a covered bowl of fruit or snacks could be left out for guests during the day that they could help themselves to as and when needed.

The choice of activities was also very good. You could go on game drives, bush walks and river trips every day and it was very rare that you couldn't do what you wanted to do. One of the best experiences not to be missed was to get up and go on a drive very early in the morning i.e 6.30am. On these occasions the guides took breakfast with them and you could eat your breakfast out in the bush.

We found the staff especially the guides, were excellent. They were always friendly and made a great effort on the various game drives to try and make sure we saw all the Big 5. This was our first safari so didn't know what to expect but we thought the guides were very informative. They are also learning so some guides are more experienced and confident than others. However for us this wasn't a problem. After all they not only have to have a detailed knowledge of the wildlife and birds in the area, they also have to learn to say it in english!

The staff who run the camp were also very good. The camp is run by two italians, Paolo and his partner and also a british guy called Richard. Between them they strike a nice balance in the camp between the italian guests and the other nationalities. Whilst it is clear that this is a popular camp for italians we found there were a good mix of nationalities when we were there.

The main disadvantage of the camp was the lack of any electric fans or air conditioning in the tents. We found that the tents were unbearably hot throughout the day and most of the night which meant that it was difficult to get any respite from the heat. We tended to take lots of showers to cool off. Consequently whilst we had a fantastic time we were very very tired by the end of the four days and looking forward to our beach break.

In saying that I would say the main advantage of the camp was the fact it offered a genuine safari experience in the wild. The local elephant, Rafiki visited us twice during the night on separate occasions and proceed to eat around the tent we were in. We were literally 2 metres away with only the tent between us and them. It was truly a magical moment. Talking to other guests who had been on other safaris, I got the impression this type of experience would not occur at other more luxurious camps as they are usually fenced in. So what you sacrifice in luxury you gain in the experience.

Overall I think this is a fantastically priced camp for the experience you receive in return."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Mchanga Beach Lodge, Zanzibar (this camp has since closed)

"A slice of heaven at Mchanga Beach Lodge"

4 nights Arrived 4 Jan 2009
"We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Mchanga. The transfer from Selous to Zanzibar then onto Mchanga went smoothly. Mchanga was approx. 45 minutes in an air conditioned taxi from the airport.

The owners, Gloria and Thomas were there to greet us and were always on hand to make sure we had everything we needed. There are only 8 beach bungalows at Mchanga which means that it is lovely and peaceful. The aim at Mchanga is to completely relax. There is very little to do at Mchanga in terms of activities, although you could hire bikes and cyle along the beach. There is a small library which has plenty of books to keep you going and games e.g scrabble/yahtzee to play. There are also plently of day trips to go on should you choose to do so. However we literally just wanted to relax so this suited us perfectly.

Our beach bungalow was nicely decorated in the local style with a lovely large bed in the centre. Thankfully there was air conditioning and an electric fan to keep us cool from the heat. Although the trade winds kept us cool when we were around the pool. A note of warning here - the sun is incredibly strong and we burnt on a couple of occasions even with factor 30 on so the sun is not to be underestimated even when you are fully in the shade.

The service while we were there was excellent. One of the staff collected our food orders for lunch and dinner every day and there was always someone on hand if you needed anything. The owners have employed a local chef and the food was excellent and plentiful. Afternoon tea was a nice refreshing touch to keep you going until dinner.

We only went on one day trip - snorkelling just off the coast. In terms of value for money it was very good. Although because of the wind it is worth noting that the water is usually very choppy so it can be quite difficult to snorkel at times. It can also make you very sea sick! so its wise to take some travel sickness pills before you go. Also we were transported to and from the beach in a local bus and there was no suspension whatsoever. Consequently it was a very rough ride and I would not recommend this trip for anyone who has any back/neck problems. Saying that the snorkelling was great fun!

Overall we had a fantastic stay at Mchanga. It was exactly what we needed after our safari and we were made to feel very welcome. I'd also like to thank Gloria for her kindness. When I told her I'd been ill on the snorkelling trip she sent over a bottle of coke and a slab of cake to try and revive me and it was just what I needed."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Dhow Palace Hotel

Dhow Palace Hotel

"Overnight at Dhow Palace Hotel"

1 night Arrived 8 Jan 2009
"We spent our last night at the Dhow Palace Hotel. The hotel has a lovely cool feel to it and the courtyard pool was very useful for cooling off. The room was large with a four poster bed which overlooked the pool area. It also had air conditioning and an electric fan which was essential to battle the heat. Definitely an oasis in the hustle and bustle of Stone Town

The roof terrace and restaurant looked lovely although we chose to eat in a local restaurant for dinner. We had a very early start the next morning but were impressed we were still able to get some breakfast at 5.30am!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team