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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs L from Hinckley

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

4

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

13

Excursions taken

1

Victoria Falls, Hwange and Mana Pools

Zimbabwe between 13 Jun 2019 and 25 Jun 2019

Trip rating: Good
"I suspect that if we had not had many years experience of safaris, I would have been (Very Satisfied). However, although there were several truly wonderful times, overall, the game viewing was "average" for much of the time .... long hours driving seeing not a great deal. Whether this was due to the time of year/local climate/bad luck ... who knows. This said, the guides were excellent, the camps comfortable and we were lucky to have a vehicle to ourselves for much of the time. Victoria Falls was lovely and as dramatic as expected."

Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"Ilala Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 14 Jun 2019
"Overall an enjoyable stay: room was comfortable, everything worked.. but it wasn't "special" - a typical decent hotel room. Swimming pool was cold (although I've known worse!). The proximity to the Falls - great for convenience - did mean that there was a fairly constant drone from overhead helicopters/planes etc. Staff very efficient/friendly/helpful."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Ra-Ikane River Cruise

Ra-Ikane River Cruise

"Ra-Ikane River Cruise review"

16 Jun 2019 • Morning excursion

Unfortunately it was a rather grey, cold morning with few animals about on the banks. Bird life was good, however and the crew did a good job of manoeuvring the boat into position for photography. The cruise was done well from a safety/general organisation point of view. Breakfast was good.
Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange

"Camp Hwange review"

3 nights Arrived 17 Jun 2019
"The camp was very efficiently run by a young, enthusiastic team. Game drives gave full value in terms of length, walks were well organised regarding safety. We were fortunate to be allocated a vehicle to ourselves and also had an "apprentice" guide (Blade) as well as the main guide (Adam) and a tracker (Timothy). Guiding was excellent - as good as any we've ever had. In terms of wildlife seen ... overall a little disappointing regarding variety. We had a day with lots of elephants - but not much else - a day with three lion sightings - but not much else. It was all "enjoyable" ... but there were long periods of not much happening. There were some lovely highlights, of course: tracking a lion on foot (and finding him) was unique to us and very exciting; a herd of 13 bull eles at a waterhole was delightful ... and of course there was the Pangolin! Finally ... a new excuse? When we asked for an Amarula the reason for their being unable to supply one was that the honey badger had broken the bottle during the previous night's raid! (We think it was true!)"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Vundu Camp

Vundu Camp

"Vundu Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 20 Jun 2019
"Good points: guiding from Jim Mackie was excellent ... knowledgeable, helpful, caring. Situation by the river was lovely, giving some beautiful moments both early morning and at sundowner time. Both of us were suffering from heavy colds when we arrived and we were very sympathetically looked after. Cabin/tent was spacious and comfortable. Elephant encounters were, at times, magical. Specifically, to spend time (approx 45 mins) on foot in the close company of "Spike" and, equally, to see "Boswell" do his "standing on his back legs" trick.
Not so good points: one of the major reasons for choosing to visit Mana Pools was to see the wild dogs ... alas we didn't. We also didn't see any of the large cats or hyenas. We do appreciate that the wildlife cannot be "planned" - but it was nevertheless disappointing. Regarding the room: water is heated by an open fire under a boiler. This is efficient in producing hot water, but at times we were aware of smoke smells in the room and on returning home we noticed that all our clothes smelt of wood smoke ... even our bags had to washed. We have been in camps elsewhere with similar systems without problems. Perhaps Vundu should invest in solar panels?"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

Kenya 2017

Kenya between 6 Dec 2017 and 18 Dec 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"Another extremely enjoyable visit to Kenya.

Loldia House is a good place to start, offering a beautiful house that is not difficult to get to from Nairobi.

The Mara was ... the Mara! Cats all over the place - we even saw leopard on four occasions - the weather was lovely during the day, with rain just on a couple of occasions late on.

The standards at Governors' were as high - in all aspects - as we have previously experienced and although not the cheapest place to stay, you do "get what you pay for". Note, if you want to get best value from them, opt to take breakfast with you on the early drive ... we were out for the best part of six hours each morning with another 3 - 31/2 hour pm drive.

The Serena group have consistently high standards for what they offer."

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Loldia House

Loldia House

"Loldia House and Lake Nakuru N.P."

2 nights Arrived 7 Dec 2017
"Very nice place to stay as a start to a Kenyan safari being within a sensible drive (<3hrs) from Nairobi's International airport.

We were made very welcome on arrival - appreciating the snack we were offered to see us on to lunchtime. The location is lovely - on the fringes of Lake Naivasha - and the house has extensive (private) grounds with its own wildlife. Our semi-detached bungalow was spacious and well presented. In truth we didn't really need the hot water bottles and fire that were set for us at night, but no doubt there are cooler evenings and they were a nice touch. Staff were friendly, efficient and helpful throughout.

The day trip to Lake Nakuru N.P. was worth the journey - between two and a half and three hours each way - with good sightings of rhino and Rothchild's Giraffe and a real treat - tree climbing lions (mum and two cubs). Watching a White and a Black rhino having a pushing match was fun (and not seen before by us) There are not many flamingoes there nowadays, but we did see both Lesser and Greater along with many other species of water bird."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Governors' Il Moran Camp

Governors' Il Moran Camp

"Governors' Il Moran Camp"

4 nights Arrived 9 Dec 2017
"We were given this camp as an upgrade from Little Governors', because of issues that the Little camp was having regarding the installation of some new equipment. In truth we do not really think that Il Moran is a better camp, but it was nice to be by the river and having drinks included was a welcome bonus.

Patrick - camp manager - was welcoming, attentive, helpful, efficient .... everything that you would hope/expect.

One minor problem we had - the shower in our tent produced little more than a dribble of water initially. It took a couple of attempts for the staff to sort this, eventually replacing the head unit entirely."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Serena Beach Resort

Serena Beach Resort

"Serena Beach Hotel"

4 nights Arrived 13 Dec 2017
"Our third visit to this beach hotel. It does not offer a bespoke, boutique experience, but it was an excellent choice for a few days to relax after the safari.

The sea-view room was comfortable and spacious, food consistently good - but, note that meals are buffet style unless you pay extra for the sea food speciality restaurant - and the staff friendly and (generally) efficient. There is a very good pool with one half deep enough to discourage non-swimming guests - it was never a problem to be able to have a swim.

We enjoyed a complimentary boat ride on a catamaran and were encouraged (nicely) to take part in petanque."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

My Dec 2015 trip

Kenya between 3 Dec 2015 and 15 Dec 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was our 6th visit to Kenya and we enjoyed visiting a couple of areas that we hadn't been to before.

All the arrangements worked efficiently and it was really good to experience the 3 contrasting areas. We also felt that by going in December we got particularly good value for money!"

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Lewa Safari Camp

Lewa Safari Camp

"Loved it at Lewa"

4 nights Arrived 4 Dec 2015
"We were really well looked after with very personal attention from the friendly staff. The managers; Sacha and Tamlyn were great and gave us very personal attention.

We had chosen the camp because we were keen to see Rhino and the Rhino viewing exceeded our expectations - we saw lots . In addition we saw lots of other game including cheetah, lion, elephant and 2 lovely ostrich families with lots of chicks. Our guide , Festus, was excellent at spotting widlife and he was also very personable, patient, knowledgeable and easy to understand. We were also fortunate to have Festus and the vehicle to ourselves.

In fact the camp was, as we expected, quiet due to the time of year and we only crossed paths with 2 other guests, one of whom was a travel agent."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Joy's Camp

Joy's Camp

"2 Enjoyable nights at Joy's"

2 nights Arrived 8 Dec 2015
"We had a very efficient transfer from Lewa Safari Camp to Joy's Camp. It took about 2 and a half hours. Our driver for the transfer was Mohammed and he was also our driver/guide while we were at Joy's. The Camp is lovely and at this time of year, December, the camp and surrounds were green and colourful with lots of flowers. Our tent was very spacious and comfortable and was open to lovely views during the day. We enjoyed the food at the camp and the eating areas were outside, (with a covered area if needed). The managers; George and Theresa were very welcoming and we were very well looked after. The camp was very quiet and only 1 other person, a travel agent, was there during our 2 night stay.

There is an amazing amount of bird life in and around Joy's Camp and in 1 day we saw over 60 different species. Our guide, Mohammed was very quick to spot and identify the different species. We were right in our expectation of seeing less game than in Lewa but we did still enjoy sightings of; waterbuck, impala, grants gazelle, giraffe, warthog and a fleeting glimpse of a cheetah on a drive back to the camp after a sundowner. We also had a walking safari, accompanied by our guide and an armed Ranger. This lasted an hour or so and was in the very scenic Eyasso Nyeri river area. It was a nice change from being in the vehicle and breakfast by the river, in a beautiful spot was a treat.

We enjoyed our stay at Joy's and it was nice to experience the 2 different areas of Lewa and Shaba. Our only negative comment is that we both suffered from a lot of mosquito bites at Joy's, despite using nets sprays etc."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Governors' Camp

Little Governors' Camp

"Return to Little Governors"

4 nights Arrived 10 Dec 2015
"We had previously enjoyed a stay at Little Governors about 6 years ago and this 2nd visit was just as good. We were even given a complimentary bottle of wine because we were returning guests. The camp was much as we remembered it but the tents had been refurbished and it was nice to have 24 hour electricity. (On our previous visit there hadn't been electricity in the tents and the source of light then was kerosene lamps. We were given our requested tent no. 17 which is at the very end. It was a nice quiet situation but not the best place to be when it was raining heavily and it was time to go and eat! The manager, George, who had not been in residence on our previous visit, was very welcoming and spent quite a lot of time chatting with us. We were very well looked after by all of the staff at Little Governors and we thought that the food was very good.

We had the first couple of game drives on our own and then shared the vehicle and guide with another couple. We had some very good sightings of lion and cheetah and lots of other game and birds. This included; rhino, giraffe and some big herds of both buffalo and elephant.

It had bee very wet in the Mara and the tracks were very muddy and boggy but the driver and vehicle coped very well. While we were there more rain, (which only affected us on one game drive), caused the river to rise dramatically. Consequently we had to do some of our game drives in the Mara Triangle, rather than the Musiara Sector because of concerns about the safety of using the boat to cross the river when it was so high and fast flowing. We still had good bird and animal sightings on the 'Triangle' side but the disadvantage is that there is no 'off road' driving, so in some instances we couldn't get as close as we would have liked.

Little Governors was very quiet and we really enjoyed this return visit."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Zambia/Botswana June 2012

Botswana between 18 Jun 2012 and 30 Jun 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"Organisation by all concerned - in the office in England and throughout our time in Africa - was first rate. Travel arrangements went seamlessly.

All the Kwando staff were excellent - we do not want to pick out any one of our guides, but must say that the personal service they gave, whether while on an activity or around camp, was exemplary. As intimated before, we would have enjoyed more sightings of cats in the first half of the trip, but our time at Kwara made up for this in many ways - overall, we had a "very satisfactory" safari, with a number of specific experiences/memories that will survive the years as highlights."

Arranged By Megan Green


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Waterberry Lodge

"Waterberry Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 19 Jun 2012
"Having spent 23 hours on our journey from home (all arrangements having gone to time and plan),it was lovely to have such a friendly, welcoming arrival. The facilities and possible activities were efficiently explained and although it was outside the normal time we were given lunch.

The impression given was that they would do their best to accommodate any requests. The trips we made - a sunset cruise, a whole day at Victoria Falls/Livingstone, a bird walk around the immediate locality and a visit to a nearby village - were all conducted as described and all were worthwhile. The atmosphere created on arrival was maintained throughout our stay - an excellent start to the holiday.

Finally - beware the pool, it is unheated and, in June, distinctly refreshing!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Jun 2012
"Kwando Safaris clearly like to give value in terms of length of game drives - 4 hours being about the average. This does mean that the late afternoon/evening drive inevitably turns into a night session as well, which may not suit everyone. Others, of course, will choose this and other Kwando camps specifically because of this.

We did spend quite a lot of time "driving around in the dark" - here and perhaps more so at Lebala - not seeing very much other than moths, but I suppose this is the nature of safaris in general. We were luckier at Kwara and felt the length of time spent in the dark was better here (i.e. not so long!) Enjoyed the sunset cruise on the lagoon/river as an alternative to a drive.

Regarding food: dinners were very good - not fancy food as provided in some safari camps, but good honest fare. The idea of brunch worked well, but the execution wasn't always perfect in terms of how hot some of the dishes were kept - we hardly had a hot sausage all week! Quality and supply of drinks was very good. Particularly liked the afternoon savoury snack and homemade lemonade.

The lovely polished wood flooring around the camp was extremely slippery in some places - near the dining area, for example - perhaps a little less polishing would be safer.

The tents are nothing short of magnificent.

Some disappointment at not seeing any cats, but wonderful experience with the wild dogs."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 24 Jun 2012
"Comments regarding game drives and food as per at Lagoon camp.

Particularly enjoyed the walk with our guide: the pace allows for a more detailed look at different aspects of the environment than can be considered when driving.

By transferring from Lagoon to Lebala via a game drive it did not feel like we were wasting time on mere "travel" - an unfortunate inevitability sometimes.

Still some disappointment regarding cat sightings - after 4 days of safari we had only had a very fleeting glimpse of a caracal disappearing into the distance."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara review"

4 nights Arrived 26 Jun 2012
"See previous comments regarding drives and food - however, we enjoyed the food at Little Kwara the most of the three camps, although I cannot give specific reasons why we felt it to be better here - the sausages were still not very warm.

Previous disappointments (cats) were quickly dispelled and we had a wonderful 4 days here with lovely sightings of lions seeming to pose especially for us and our final drive not only having cheetahs, but including them making a kill. The sight of the hyena carrying off the impala's intact stomach a little later will live long in the memory (I don't suppose the photos will win any prizes though!) Wild dog puppies came out to play - lucky to see this. Very much enjoyed the variety offered by the motor boat cruise and mokoro.

Staff at all the camps were very good - helpful, friendly ... but special mention should be made of Anderson for his bar hosting/waiting skills and Kassie for her unfailing cheerfulness/friendliness/ability to remember names."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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