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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs N from Surrey

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

Best holiday ever

Tanzania and 2 other countries between 20 Jul 2009 and 6 Aug 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"We will both remember this holiday as our best so far (don't want to rule out topping it with another in the future!)

Thank you so much to Ellie and the rest of Expert Africa for putting together such a fantastic itinerary. I will (and have already) recommended you to friends. You listened to what we wanted and made thoughtful suggestions. I really appreciated the personal knowledge of the team with regards to places and activities."

Macushla House

Macushla House

"Macushla house overnight"

1 night Arrived 21 Jul 2009
"The only glitch in our entire holiday was the taxi driver not being at the airport when we arrived in Nairobi. The tourist enquiries at the airport phoned Macushla House to sort it out for us. We think that he was around somewhere but not at arrivals holding up a sign for us!

This was just an overnight stop for us, we arrived at 10pm and left after breakfast the next morning. The staff were helpful, staying around to serve us a beer from the bar even though everyone else had gone to bed.

The room was comfortable with mosquito nets and a hot water bottle. The hot water tap on the bath didn't work but we didn't discover it till the morning. Breakfast was fine."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Oliver's Camp

Oliver's Camp

"Great start to our safari"

3 nights Arrived 22 Jul 2009
"We both loved Oliver's Camp, it was so remote that we really felt that we were away from it all. The amount of game in Tarangire makes it an excellent first safari experience, on the day we arrived I counted 110 elephants walking along beside the river while we drove to the camp. We also saw wild dogs which we were told are a rare sight, our guide having only seen them once before in 8 years of guiding.

Our guide Stanford was fantastic. He went out of his way to meet our expectations and was personable, knowledgeable and friendly. We appreciated the opportunity to invite him to join us for dinner on some evenings. On the way from the airport he took us to have lunch at the Shanga River House, a really worthwhile stop which was included in our package, where the food was delicious and we were pleased to support the workshop by buying jewellery made there.

The camp was great, we loved the way the tents were set completely apart from each other and that we could watch elephants and giraffes pass while we sat at the front of ours. We had everything we needed and the bed was the most comfortable on our trip (and quite possibly in the whole of Africa!)

The food was of a very good standard, particularly the breakfasts with eggs cooked to request in front of you and home-made bread. The early morning coffee was the best we tasted in Tanzania. The staff couldn't do enough to make our stay comfortable and hot water for showers always appeared quickly when requested.

The only thing that we would change about the camp are the shower heads as we discovered at our next camp that a bucket shower can have a good flow of water but the one we had at Oliver's produced rather a trickle."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Lemala Ngorongoro

Lemala Ngorongoro

"Cold nights at Lemala Camp"

2 nights Arrived 25 Jul 2009
"We stayed at Lemala Camp for two nights. While the position is good for an early start down into the crater, the gates open at 6am so people staying outside the gates weren't far behind us. I think that the word Luxury in the camp's name gives rather high expectations which are disappointed by the appearance of the camp (which is quite functional) and the position which didn't offer any sweeping views of the crater, just the surrounding trees.

The people were lovely, Francis is a good manager with high aspirations for the camp, and the staff were friendly and helpful. The shower water was delivered quickly and hot, which is just as well as showering has to be a brief experience when it is so cold in the shower tent. (The brochure says there are chemical toilets but we had a flush one)

Every effort had been made to make the tents attractive inside and the calor gas heaters and hot water bottles made us as comfortable as we could be but our over-riding memory is how cold it was. We had been warned but we thought it would be 'cold for Africa' rather than cold for people coming from a cold place, I don't think that you can over-emphasise this to let people know what to expect.

We didn't have time to take the opportunity to visit a local Masaai village which was a pity. We visited Lake Manyara on the way to Ngorongoro but it was the most disappointing part of our trip as it felt more like a UK safari park than a national park and was very crowded with people trying to spot wildlife."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Grumeti River Camp

Grumeti River Camp

"Balloon flight and hippos, great combination"

2 nights Arrived 27 Jul 2009
"We spent two nights at Grumeti river camp and we are divided between this and Oliver's as our favourite camp. We loved having hippos in the river outside and watched them whenever we could.

At first we thought that we would find the game drives rather tame as we didn't go very far and we spent a lot of time looking at each group of animals but we came to really appreciate the opportunity to study the animals rather than just tick them off the list of things to see. Robert our guide knew the area very well and showed us hyena cubs in their lair as well as other more usual sights.

The tents are fantastic, the thatched roofs make them very attractive and they are well furnished and comfortable. The food here was the best on our holiday, the cold soups at lunch were particularly delicious, but everything was very good.

A really unexpected treat here was that balloon flights were started in November last year. We thought that we weren't going to be able to have one as we were so far from Seronera so we were thrilled when we arrived to hear that they had become available. It was a fantastic experience and I'm pleased that I was brave enough (having always been scared of heights) to take a ride."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sayari Camp

Sayari Camp

"Deisgner camp in the wilderness"

3 nights Arrived 29 Jul 2009
"Our final safari camp was Sayari, open for only 5 weeks when we went there. It certainly looks stunning and in particular we loved the view from our tent, the pool built into the rock, the big sofa on our veranda and the big stone bath in our tent.

The managers were really solicitous and our guide Frank was great and eager to show us as many sights as possible. He was well rewarded when we got us to the right place at the right time to see one of the earliest wildebeest crossings of the Mara for the season. It was a phenomenal experience. The northern Serengeti is so beautiful that we enjoyed the landscapes as much as the wildlife.

The food was good but they were trying very hard to make it a fine dining experience. This meant that even at breakfast the food was presented with little bits of garnish which were unnecessary and made it take ages to arrive when we just wanted to be up and out.

We went on a walking safari here as well as at Oliver's but I think that one during a holiday would be enough as while it is interesting to see your surroundings at close quarters most things, big and small, scuttle away when they see you coming so it is not a rewarding way to study the local wildlife.

The main downside of Sayari for me was that I got bitten to pieces. The Tsetse flies were pretty bad here which was annoying for everyone but I am one of those people who gets insect bites however much deet I use. My husband didn't get one bite. The camp supplied room spray and we sprayed the tent every evening but because of the design with patio doors instead of zipping flaps we could not make the tent insect proof and they just kept finding me which made the end of our safari rather miserable for me. I would really have appreciated a mosquito net here but this wasn't an option."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Unguja Lodge

Unguja Lodge

"Relaxation at Unguja"

5 nights Arrived 1 Aug 2009
"We stayed at Unguja after an afternoon walking tour of StoneTown which we think was long enough to take in the main sights and get a feel for the place. We liked it because everyone was getting on with their lives and not hanging around the tourists trying to sell them things. Even in the market there was a very soft selling approach which we really appreciated having been to Egypt earlier in the year where everyone is vocal in trying to get money from you all the time.

The only sour point was when we stopped for a drink with our guide Rashid at the Africa House Hotel, where we witnessed the manageress treating one of her waitresses very badly. We left having made it clear to her that we wouldn't support her hotel if she couldn't treat her staff professionally.

Unguja was great, I particularly loved the totally insect proof bedroom and mosquito net on the bed. The food was good and the facilities just what we wanted. We were after relaxation and we achieved that here. We went on a village walk which was really worthwhile and we saw and learned so much more than we would have done by wandering around on our own.

We appreciate the way that Ralph and Elies are supporting the local community which made this a more pleasurable stay for us. You are aware that this is their home as well as their business which makes you feel like their house guests, but meant that it felt too awkward to complain when their children and those of their friends were playing in the restaurant in the evening when we wanted grown-up time.

Overall a fantastic place to unwind and complete our memorable holiday."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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