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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr L from Bishopston

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

5

Lodges stayed in

14

Excursions taken

0

Excellent third trip with Expert Africa

Zambia and 1 other country between 4 Sep 2017 and 19 Sep 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"I think my third trip with expert Africa was probably my best so far.

The South Luangwa in particular exceeded my expectations and was truly an unforgettable experience. I certainly hope to revisit this part of Zambia in the near future. All the arrangements and flight connections worked without a hitch.

On reflection I should probably have selected a stop over on my outward journey as I travelled continuously for more than 30 hours. I think it is worth mentioning that travelling between the lodges in Malawi does involve some lengthy road trips. In my case nearly 6 hours each time. This is not really a problem , but I think should be born in mind.

I learned a great deal about Malawi and the problems facing the country while I was there , and there is a programme of recovery and restocking of wildlife going on across the country in areas that suffered greatly from poaching and neglect in recent decades. African Parks are the main driving force , and are to be congratulated and supported. Therefore I encourage people to visit the parks and lodges in Malawi in support of this project , as well as to visit a very interesting country.

My thanks to Claire in particular at Expert Africa for arranging everything , and for helping me to Plan such a successful trip.

I certainly intend to use Expert Africa again in the future."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Great Introduction to South Luangwa at Kaingo"

3 nights Arrived 5 Sep 2017
"Kaingo proved to be a fantastic introduction to the South Luangwa. This was not my first Safari but the first to the South Luangwa. Every staff member I came into contact with was polite , helpful and delightful.

The Rondavels were spacious and comfortable, the huge bed especially so. The outside bath was very invigorating and had a good view of the river bank opposite! I could not fault the accommodation in any way.

The managers Gerrard and Lorraine were very nice and couldn't have been more helpful. Gerrard has long experience in the bush , having trained guides and also been a bush pilot in the past . He proved to be quite a raconteur! The food was fabulous , and of top quality and portion sizes were just right. Everything was fresh and all the snacks and pastries were also top quality.

The main reason I was there was for the Safari activities and these certainly did not disappoint. The sheer abundance of wildlife was incredible. This applied particularly to Predators. There are no less than three large prides of Lion in the area, and while I was at Kaingo, we came upon three Buffalo kills , including one having been recently made and at night, which added an extra dimension. We were very close to 15 hungry lions enjoying supper!

We had no less than 6 leopard sightings. All fairly close up and for a good time and in daylight, including one with a bushbuck kill in a tree. There were many other excellent sightings , including a Martial eagle taking a guinea fowl and obliging us by perching fairly low down on a tree branch to devour it.

The hides were another bonus , particularly the Carmine hide which gave a prime view of hundreds of these dazzlingly coloured birds nesting in the river bank. The canoe trip across the river to get to the hide watched by hippos was an adventure in itself! There are tame bushbuck in camp which you can almost touch , they are so unafraid.

If I have one regret it is that I did not meet Derek Shenton who was in camp on a brief visit."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

"My best ever Safari experience"

4 nights Arrived 8 Sep 2017
"Kaingo was absolutely excellent , but Mwamba was I thought even better. It is set in a remote location with just 4 cabins , which are very comfortable and well constructed. Each cabin is given the name of a tree , and mine was Sausage tree , named after the tree which is next to it , giving some shade in the very hot weather. It is also the closest cabin to the Camp's nearby natural waterhole, which has an excellent hide with three levels, the very lowest right at water level , but a bit of a squeeze to get into.

The hide is a good place to spend a couple of hours at almost any time of day. The waterhole is frequented by much of the local wild life from Elephants and buffalo to Impala , kudu , bushbuck and other antelope. A great many birds , often in swarms visit it in the dry season. These include lovebirds, starling species, and several colourful finches.

I had an excellent guide in Andrew who was extremely knowledgable and an excellent spotter of everything from Leopards in trees to Chameleons in the dark. We became firm friends and he taught me a lot about the animals and people of the area. He took me on an extended morning walk which proved a good contrast to the drives.

I took my tally of Leopard sightings in the South Luangwa to 14 at Mwamba including a male and female together at night and a big old male who had stolen a kill from a younger male ( watching nearby ) Night drives were also productive with views of Civet, Genet, honey badger and owls of various kinds, as well as leopards.

On one evening we came across a Giraffe that had just given birth and the baby was still very wobbly on its legs . They were taking cover in a grove of trees until the baby Giraffe could walk properly. We had good sightings of large buffalo herds coming down to drink at the shrinking waterholes, and elephants coming down for their morning mud baths. One of the star viewings was at length ( albeit a little obscured in the bush ) of a pack of wild dogs with cubs shortly after a successful hunt in the early morning.

The food at Mwamba was if it is possible , even better , which is truly remarkable considering the remote location and limited kitchen facilities.

The managers are a young couple Craig and LIndy, who were highly professional, experienced ( particularly Craig ) and very friendly. The group evening meals were especially entertaining and informative, set out completely in the open. I was privileged to witness the end of the capture of Peter the 12 foot python who had been living near the hide , and although completely harmless it was thought best to relocate to a an area away from the camp.

In short Mwamba would be a tough act to follow for any camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mvuu Wilderness Lodge

Mvuu Wilderness Lodge

"Luxury safari lodge on the Shire river"

3 nights Arrived 12 Sep 2017
"Malawi is very different to the South Luangwa , and Liwonde is a relatively small national park, without the main predators ( for now ) but with an excellent population of elephants , antelope and birdlife.

Most of the Safaris I went on were river based , which was a good way to see much of the park, particularly a very large mixed herd of elephants of both sexes and all ages as they came down to drink and bathe. We saw several kingfisher species and also several of heron including the Goliath Heron. There were multitudes of other waterbirds , as well as several crocodiles ( some quite large ) and hippos. There were also many Fish eagles , in fact we saw 4 very close together.

I only went on one game drive which was rather limited, and not helped by a puncture. I thought the vehicle could do with updating being an elderly and noisy land rover. We had views of Buffalo and Sable antelope amongst others , but the thick, dry bush prevented really good sightings.

The lodge is luxurious , with very well appointed cabins with very comfortable beds and an enormous bathroom with outdoor shower and a nice deep bath. There is also a nice, though surprisingly chilly( In such hot weather ) swimming pool nearby.

Food was really good and tasty and the staff very attentive. The manager D K was friendly , softly spoken and professional. My guide was Justin who is very experienced and knowledgable.

One of Malawi's problems is its rapidly increasing population and this was brought home to me on the lengthy drive from Lilongwe to Mvuu. The last section leading up to the park leads through a densely populated area which almost completely surrounds the park. It is important that these people are involved with the park, and many of the people who work in the park are from the villages and towns which surround it."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mkulumadzi Lodge

Mkulumadzi Lodge

"Mkulumadzi Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2017
"I found Mkulumadzi a bit of a conundrum. I had a very good time there and the activities were good.

I thought the design of the chalets , although luxurious and comfortable ( particularly the ingenious in-mosquito net air-conditioning ) and very modern, was all a bit at odds with the ethos of a safari lodge. In particular the massive concrete construction of the chalets which didn't really blend in with the surroundings. This is of course just my opinion. I did find the swimming pool very refreshing as it was particularly hot during my stay.

another noteworthy feature is the "rope bridge" which is the only access to the camp. It is undoubtedly spectacular , and a very different way of entering and leaving , but gets a bit tedious when used several times a day, particularly in the dark with limited lighting. Also if several people use it together it tends to sway and undulate. I find it remarkable how all the supplies for the camp , regardless of size ( as I saw ) are carried across this bridge, so hats off to all the staff !

The activities were good , with very good game drives. There are very few predators , so I was not expecting to see any. There were excellent sightings of Elephant, and many antelope. Some magnificent Kudu, also sable and Nyala and many waterbuck. We also had an excellent sighting of a magnificent Crowned eagle which are not often seen.

There are waterholes scattered in the Majete reserve, one with a very good hide which gave good views of many animals , particularly elephants coming down to drink in intensely hot weather.
We had a very interesting boat safari on The Shire river , seeing many waterbirds and mammals of all kinds on the riverbank. One factor in planning these boat trips is the river level which tends to fluctuate depending on the activity of the nearby hydro electric dam. We did get briefly marooned when the water level dropped , but got back safely! The guides Mustafa and Mali were truly excellent and each had an engaging sense of humour to match their other skills.

Majete reserve is not the easiest to navigate in view of the numerous gullies and small hills , and the tracks are quite rough and stony in places , which necessitates good driving skills. The bush is dense and mostly comprised of small trees, and even in the dry season with most trees devoid of leaves , calls for skilful guiding. Unfortunately we saw no Rhinos, but these animals are very elusive and hide in the dense bush.

The food was very good , although not to quite the same standard as I had had in the South Luangwa. The managers David and Tandy were friendly and professional, and helped make my stay very pleasant."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

My Nov 2011 trip

Tanzania and 1 other country between 26 Nov 2011 and 13 Dec 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"On a whole, the trip was an excellent experience and we enjoyed Tanzania . Hopefully we will return one day!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

It is really difficult to come up with anything substantial.
Information on the camps is comprehensive but maybe a little more about the types of animals which can be encountered and the environment and terrain as well as camp facilities,but this is a small point."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Lake Manze Tented Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Nov 2011
"We enjoyed our stay here very much. The whole camp is very informal with very friendly staff, from the manager Phil, who turned out to be a fellow Bristolian!, to the guides, drivers and camp staff.

Although advertised as a fairly basic camp, it was very comfortable and certainly adequately equipped. No electricity does mean no cooling fans, therefore in hot weather the tents stay very warm at night, and it was very hot during our stay.
Meals were very well prepared and we dined under the stars with everyone at one big table so we could exchange anecdotes and talk about our different backgrounds.

Although only here for 2 nights ,we had game drives, a boat trip on the lake and adjoining channels and an early morning walk.
Our guide Giovanni was excellent and knowledgable. We saw plenty of Elephants, Giraffes ( seemed at times to be one under every tree! ) Zebra, wildebeest, scores of Impala, baboons , two Lion prides , one of which had cubs of varying ages, and Kudu. We saw many Buffalo, particularly groups of males. In the camp we saw a genet at night. which came near to where we were dining. This being the start of the rainy season ( although we had no rain ) Insects were abundant including enormous wasps, bugs of all shapes , beetles, and moths at night. Also ,enormous millipedes!

We also saw several monitor lizards, both nile monitors and savannah monitors. and there were smaller lizards in camp.
On the boat trip we saw cranes, pelicans, geese,kingfishers, storks of all kinds, spoonbills and ibis. And of course large nos. of hippos and crocs. for me the highlight was a very good sighting of a Martial Eagle in a tree, which allowed us to get surprisingly close.

Overall a very good experience of this part of the Selous game reserve, and Manze is an excellent understated camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Selous Impala Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 29 Nov 2011
"we moved here from Lake Manze and noted quite a difference in layout and style.
It is definitely a step up in terms of facilities. There is power and there are therefore welcome fans in the rooms. There is a very nice pool which was very welcome in the middle of the day with the temp at 36deg!

The whole camp is very well sited on the banks of the Rufiji. The main lodge area has been recently resited due to erosion of the bank, and will probably need to be moved again in a few years time. Although it has relatively few tents, there is a very spacious feel to the camp, particularly the main lodge area.

The food is very well prepared and served and was very delicious, usually with a choice between meat and fish at dinner time.
However it is the dining arrangements that draws my only negative comment. It seems strange to isolate diners at individual and widely spaced tables, particularly when there are relatively few people at the camp ,as when we were there. This does lead to a rather formal and less spontaneous mood at the camp.The actual service though cannot be faulted.

Although scheduled to be here for 4 nights we actually only stayed for three, due to a need for a side trip to Dar es Salaam for medical treatment. We cannot praise the staff and managers, Andrea and Lorenzo , enough for their help with making the arrangements in a difficult situation. This did mean we missed most of our drives and the scheduled bush walk which was a great pity.

Our guide Ezra was first class and very informative with good communication skills. We saw wild dogs during our first evening and stayed with them for quite a while. We were also lucky enough to see a herd of Eland on a drive, and spent time with a pride of lions at a more remote part of the camp. We saw many Giraffe and Zebra and of course Impala were everywhere.

We had a late afternoon boat trip along the Rufiji which was still pretty low, necessitating some good navigation skills by our driver! We had good sightings of Crocodiles and hippos and saw many fish eagles and herons as well as several Kingfisher species including a giant Kingfisher. The river bank trees and bushes were festooned with the nests of various weaver birds and there were also groups of bee eaters of several species.
The boat trips make for a nice contrast with the game drives.
Impala is a very comfortable and friendly camp with great facilities and certainly recommended by us."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kwihala Camp

Kwihala Camp

"Kwihala Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 3 Dec 2011
"We arrived from Selous after a lengthy and interesting flight ,to find a very different environment in Ruaha,much drier with different terrain, with hills and rocky outcrops. It was really very hot,( 39 deg) due to a delay in the rains arriving, and the open position of the camp and tents meant that in the middle of the day we suffered a bit. The camp will be in a new position from next season with better shelter, and I believe fans in the rooms which will be very welcome!

That said the camp is well furnished and the tents are comfortable . Food was excellent, especially considering the remoteness of the camp and the limitations of a "bush kitchen". Communal meals were served in the main mess tent, or just outside in the open.

We saw a huge herd of buffalo on several occasions and many elephants ,including herds with very young calves and a couple of big bulls with impressive tusks. The resident big male Lions proved elusive, though we did get close to a couple of prides and some very young cubs that we watched for quite a long time.

While we were here , we were introduced to a film crew who were fiming a documentary for national geographic about interactions between lions and buffalos. The Ruaha apparently being a good area to observe these. We were told by Marius, the resident manager/guide that there has been a change in the local Lion population with the main pride fragmenting and being much smaller than of late. This has led to problems hunting large prey such as buffalo.

We were very impressed by Marius's skills as a guide with extensive knowledge of much of Africa as well as the Ruaha. We had three seperate leopard sightings, each one being rather brief unfortunately. We also encountered a group of 4 magnificent mature Kudu bulls . Other sightings included a rare glimpse of a serval and two distant cheetah. We spottted many bird species, including Ostrich,bustards,Giant eagle owls, several hawk species and vultures as well as many smaller species.The heat meant that after mid morning sightings were less good as all the wildlife was sheltering from the sun.

We had an early morning walk when we found remains of enormous scorpions and saw columns of big black matabele ants hunting, and looked around the rocky outcrop that will be the sight of the new, possibly permanent camp., which sounds an exciting project with a raised terrace on a rocky outcrop, with 360 deg views over the countryside

In the camp there were many Lizards including bright orange and blue rock agamas which scuttled away as soon as we approached and seemed to be living between the double tent roof layers!

If I had a complaint it would be that considering that much of the time there were only two couples in the camp, it might have been better if two game vehicles were used on the drives to give each couple a more personal experience. We felt that it was a bit of a compromise in our case as the other couple were mostly interested in the birdlife. This is not a serious complaint and it may not have been possible to use two vehicles, due to staffing etc. This being a dry area there were of course no boat activities, but the walk did provide a change.

All in all we had a very good experience in Kwihala, and found the staff to be friendly and helpful,and I am sure that the new camp will be even better."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Unguja Lodge

Unguja Lodge

"Unguja Lodge review"

4 nights Arrived 7 Dec 2011
"We arrived in Unguja lodge as our first stop in Zanzibar following our Tanzania safari.

The accommodation is quite luxurious and the bandas/lodges are very spacious and a very interesting design, blending in to the environment successfully. Our banda overlooked the beach area and afforded a very good view of the sea from the front seating area.

The bar /main lodge is well appointed and a good central meeting place. right next to this is the large swimming pool which is a very good place to relax. The food was of a very high standard with good choice, and plenty of fresh fruit always available. Prices were also very fair.

We were primarily here to relax and only undertook activities on two days.

One afternoon we took the guided village walk of neighbouring Kizimkaze. This is very worthwhile and realy brings home the contrast between the lodge accommodation and the living conditions of the local population,with whole families living in tiny houses. We saw the fruit plantations that sustain the local economy and presumably supply the lodge, as well as the fishermen at work. The children particularly all seemed very happy and were very keen to have their photos taken. Most of the beach is actually here in front of the village.

On another day we visited the Josani forest reserve with its remaining indigenous groundwater forest complete with red colobus and columns of army ants. There is also a very interesting mangrove area with a boardwalk around it, where we saw several turtles and terrapins as well as many young fish. On opur way back we dropped in at the Zanzibar butterfly centre, which is an interesting project where farmers are encouraged to rear butterflies for sale overseas and many fly wild in a large netting enclosure.

The beach at the lodge is an extension of the one at the village and rather small. At low tide it is possible to walk its length and there are interesting rock pools and coral formations. At high tide when the beach is covered it is only possible to swim safely, with foot protection such as flippers, as there is lots of quite sharp coral rock near the steps which you will have to negotiate.

Although facing west and therefore theoretically perfect for a view of the sunset; at sundown even if clear skies were overhead, there was always a persistent low cloud bank ,presumabely over the east african coast ,on the horizon ,which somewhat spoiled this..a minor point though! We also had the same in Stonetown so this is presumably a seasonal effect.

Overall it was an enjoyable and relaxing time in Unguja lodge, and we would certainly recommend it."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Beyt al Salaam

Beyt al Salaam

"Beyt al Chai review"

2 nights Arrived 11 Dec 2011
"The Beyt al Chai proved to be to be a very nice hotel close to the sea front in Stonetown. The room was comfortable and air conditioned and nicely fournished , although I thought the bed was a bit too hard. The shower only provided cold or tepid water, but this was OK as the weather was hot and humid. There is a very comfortable lounge to relax in with some interesting books about Zanzibari history and art.

All the staff were very helpful and friendly, and there were even helpful masai security men just outside!

The restaurant is first class with delicious choices, primarily of fish and sea food. The included breakfast is served here and is also very good quality. A slight downside is that there is no seperate lunch menu but this is no problem on a short stay.

Stonetown is easily covered in a stay of one or two days as it is very compact. There is some interesting architecture and it is possible to observe fishermen at work on the seafront and get a flavour of local life.

Unfortunately we were plagued by people trying to sell us everything from CDs to carvings and scarves, and taxidrivers touting for business. Also many do not take no for an answer, and will follow you. It can be difficult to remain polite under these circumstances! It was probably worse for us , as it was low season with relatively few other tourists. Also I would recommend sticking to the larger souvenir shops where prices are displayed, or at least trying them first to know what to expect to pay, otherwise you will need very good bargaining skills and great patience to get a bargain!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

great and memorable first time in Africa

Botswana and 1 other country between 24 Apr 2009 and 8 May 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall my trip was a great experience and I have many fond memories of my time there and all the truly wonderful people I met and became friends with.

Suggestions for improvements:

Not really any I can think of!"

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Wonderful start to holiday at little Vumbura"

3 nights Arrived 25 Apr 2009
"This was my first camp in the Okavango and a truly wonderful start to my Botswana Safari experience. Everybody there made me feel welcome and I loved my time there. My guide Sevara proved so adept in all aspects of his vocation. A great communicator, with a fine sense of humour who really pulled out all the stops on all our drives. We saw very young lion cubs on our first ( all day ) drive and had close encounters with elephants and a herd of buffalo we stumbled on suddenly.

The exceptionally high water levels in the Okavango, did keep some animals like the Sable antelope I had been looking forward to seeing, away but we still saw plenty of fine Kudu and others. The exhilarating boat rides in to camp and the Mekoro trip were great ways to appreciate the delta. Our landrover did get stuck a couple of times in floodwaters but I have great admiration for the skill of everybody in resolving the "problem".

The managers and staff were all first class and it was very nice to see the singing and dancing, and enjoy the traditional dinner in the Boma on Monday night.

One morning the "resident" camp bull elephant made for entertainment as he pulled down branches nearby as we ate breakfast! before promptly wading across the channel into the reed beds opposite

I can think of nothing negative to say about this camp, and if I had to choose afavourite on my trip this would probably be it."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Chitabe Camp

Chitabe Camp

"Seeing the lions at Chtabe camp"

3 nights Arrived 28 Apr 2009
"Chitabe was my second camp, and very different from little Vumbura being in a much drier area. and also being much bigger.
The tented rooms here are nearly brand new and truly amazing, huge , well appointed and with "acres" of polished wood floors! worthy of a five star hotel in my opinion.

If I have a negative comment it would be that the drives were all very similar, so that two days rather than three would be sufficient. I think I was spoiled in little Vumbura on the drives and missed the rapport I had there a little. Our guide Luke was certainly competent but not as engaging as Sevara at Vumbura and not as willing to go off road or to look that bit further for game.

On the positive side we had wonderful sightings of lions ( particularly two magnificent black maned males ) and a young female leopard who obliged us with her extended company. We also saw a porcupine and african wild cats at night, and a very lucky daytime sighting of a Serval , hunting.

chitabe has very many Impala and Zebra but fewer elephants than in the other camps I was at.

The management here were also outstanding , led by the enigmatic Dawson ( who makes a mean long island iced tea! ) He showed us his detailed facial drawings of all the known leopards in the concession , so that we could recognise the one we had seen ,from her distinctive facial spots..apparently she was away from her usual area.

Chitabe is a largish camp with a very strong team and I enjoyed my time here very much. I had been looking forward to seeing Martial eagles here but had to content myself with several bateleur eagles including four in the camp!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Kwetsani Camp

Kwetsani Camp

"great time in this watery wilderness"

2 nights Arrived 1 May 2009
"Kwetsani is small and compact compared with the larger camps I stayed in but very charming and nicely appointed. I liked the almost "tree house" chalets and elevated walkways . It was great watching the animals like bushbuck in the dense undergrowth in the camp below the walkways. Even elephants can walk underneath., as one was trying to do when I arrived!

The Okavango was very high when I was there, so the camp was perched on an island amid a wide flooded landscape. Despite the water everywhere there was no shortage of game..buffalo in the reeds, many elephant, kudu and lots of Lechwe. Got good photos of Malachite and pied kingfishers as well as saddle billed storks and the rare slatey egrets. Highlight was probably the Male leopard in a tree ( just like in the classic photos ) as well as the amazing sunset displays of thunder clouds in the distance. Had a good sunset Mekoro trip as well. Of interest to me also were the clouds of dragonflies of all colours and sizes.

The food here is truly outstanding and we had some memorable meals, and plenty of fresh fruit and fresh bread on hand.

My guide Penyo was amiable and competent with a charming personality and I feel we became friends after a short time. We compared photos and I was happy to download some of the leopard we found for him.

The staff here are all oustanding with good management as in all the Wilderness camps I stayed at. I really cant think of any negative comments about Kwetsani."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
DumaTau Camp

DumaTau Camp

"too short a time in Duma Tau"

2 nights Arrived 3 May 2009
"I did unfortunately arrive at Duma Tau during a very unseasonal thunderstorm which lasted all night and wiped out the first game drive. The next day it all cleared away and i was able to appreciate this very varied area on the border with Namibia.The Savuti channel was full for the first time in more than 20 years which added an interesting dimension to the viewing but also prevented us from getting closer to some magnificent Cheetahs on the other bank. They actually swam across, so yes Cheetahs swim which I didnt realise! We saw a good number of birds here , vultures , tawny and bateleur eagles , secretary birds and kori bustards and some magnificent giant eagle owls. We also saw a big pride of lions lounging on the road, so we drove around them!

The most unfortunate sighting we had was a badly injured wild dog, the only one of the pack that we came across, the others had long gone. I would like to think that it found the rest of the pack before dark, as its chances were slim I think otherwise.

We also saw plenty of Reedbuck, Steinbuck and even a Waterbuck which are rare, and lots of Lechwe in the marshes. my regret is that I didnt have more time here as there are a lot of varied areas to explore.

The camp is large with excellent management. I was reunited with Karen who had moved from Little Vumbura , my first camp. The staff were all cheerful and helpful. Our guide Thebo ( Mr T ) is a real veteran whose knowledge is second to none, but I did not have quite the same rapport that I had had with the guides at some of the other camps, but he certainly found us plenty of game.

The camp is quite large and though fine not quite as well appointed as others. The food here was again first class and served in an impressive dining room with very long table of solid wood."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Zambezi Sun review"

2 nights Arrived 5 May 2009
"The zambezi Sun is in an amazing location right next to Victoria falls. The complex itself is more of a "theme park". That said it is perfectly fine as a place to stay so conveniently close to the falls to which you have unlimited access. To actually see very much of the falls ( particularly when the river is high ( at record level when i was there ) you need to get into the air. I took the extended 30 min. helicopter ride which gave great views , but even the extended flight doesnt actually give you much time over the falls themselves so if you are a photographer you need to be quick on the shutter!

The nearby croc farm is not for everyone but i found it fascinating, particularly when a big male flashed its dental work when it lunged for a branch that the guide waved near it! The river Safari was also good fun just before sunset, when we saw more crocs , got very close to hippos ,who yawned obligingly! and many nesting waterbirds in the small Zambezi islands.

All these activities can be booked at the hotel activity centre, from where you are picked up,but I booked mine through the Wilderness Safaris ( Zambia ) representative as he drove me from Botswana to the hotel, which was a very convenient service ( full marks to wilderness ! )

I didnt really have time to try the very inviting and large pool, and am surprised that so few guests were using it. The hotel was only half full so I had no delays in checking in or out or using any of the facilities. I found all the staff helpful and charming. The rooms are more than adequate and efficiently air conditioned and comfortable with very nice bathrooms.

The food at the hotel is very good and plentiful but I do agree that the price of dinner is rather extortionate. ( all prices are high here ) I tried to go to Squires restaurant as others have recommended, but as it is not actually on the site but outside the hotel wall I couldnt get to it easily at night as the gate through from the Zambezi Sun is locked and not manned.

Mnay comments have been made about the monkeys being a nuisance, and whille I did see one lady lose part of her breakfast while she was distracted, they are not really a problem, especially if as i did you have already encountered them and baboons on Safari. all in all I felt that it was a good place to finish my first adventure holiday in Africa, and I would go back."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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