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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs B from Northants

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

0

Good destination for game viewing

Zimbabwe between 18 Sep 2012 and 29 Sep 2012

Trip rating: Good
"We enjoyed our stay in Zimbabwe and found a very warm welcome from everyone we met. There is obviously a strong desire to promote tourism and in Victoria we were thanked for going there.

Many friends questioned the safety of our choice of destination before we went and so we ended up saying safari in Africa after a while! We encountered no problems nor any hostility towards us at all. We will now be able to tell people so.

Cash purchasing is all important so take plenty of it - 4 of the places we stayed had safe facilities. No one wanted travellers cheques, and credit machines seldom worked.

In Victoria, vendors are persistent but not aggressive - just keep in mind they just want to make a $. There are plenty of tourist police on hand if need be.

The Falls are stunning and well worth the visit. We had 3 nights in Victoria. Two is more than enough if it is only the Falls that you wish to see and in fact we did that on arrival so 1 night would have been sufficient for us with more time on safari.


Importantly the game viewing is excellent and the regions offer a great deal of contrast so it is worth doing as much as you can afford! I would not recommend less than 3 nights in any camp/area if travelling between regions as the travelling is long and tiring. Travel arrangements need improving overall including communication about them.

The guiding was all of a very good standard with obvious enthusiasm.
We had hoped to do more walking, but were constrained by our travel arrangements. This is a great pity. For the nervous, think carefully before choosing Goliath as the proximity to wildlife is challenging and could be very uncomfortable for some. For those who would like the experience, it is awesome.

We would recommend Zimbabwe from the experience we had. Just plan your route carefully"

Arranged By Claire Scott


Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel

"Very comfortable colonial hotel."

1 night Arrived 19 Sep 2012
"Comfortable hotel with warm courteous staff.

The food in the Jungle Junction restaurant is buffet style with a wide choice of food. Not clear when the entertainment commenced so didn't see that."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Stretch Ferreira Safaris Camp

Stretch Ferreira Safaris Camp

"Walking safari was exhilerating"

3 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2012
"This is a much more simple camp than we had previously stayed in. With a one temperature shower I wonder how that works in the cooler months?

A limitation is that the lights go out at 9pm and despite the early starts I would have liked to stay and sit out later particularly as the tents were very hot.

The camp was full and frankly I don't think walking with 12 other tourists worked well at all. It was simply too many. It was concerning how long it took others to understand and stick to the basic rules when walking in the bush. This worried me and detracted from the overall experience.
It didn't help that they were all travelling together with there own guide and initially it made us feel on the periphery. Eventually the group decided that we were their new best friends.

That said walking provided a wholly new way of thinking about the animals we so enjoy seeing. The experiences were exhilarating and at times nerve racking when faced with a very unsettled lioness, lion and cub. Their power was unmistakable!! This is not a camp for the faint hearted.

We also had the pleasure of animals wandering through camp. It was very hard to sit still as an elephant brushes past your table to drink from the river, but I sat like a statue!

I would love to do some walking again but will look very carefully at the arrangements, so that I feel as confident about safety and enjoyment as you can from this kind of experience.

Perhaps there needs to be more emphasis on potential guests understanding what will be expected of them which is revisited before going out on the first walk.

Despite the above we loved it here. Mana is a lovely area and the camp is in a beautiful spot. The guiding was very good, the camp relaxed, plenty of good food, the staff were all delightful and did everything they could to make our stay a good experience."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Little Makalolo Camp

Little Makalolo Camp

"Lovely camp"

2 nights Arrived 23 Sep 2012
"This is a well run camp and had the hallmarks of other Wilderness camps that we have stayed at - warm welcome, high standard of comfort in rooms, well organised, good activities.

The sheer density of animals visiting the pans was amazing and if you like elephants this is surely the place to be. We had the enormous fortune of seeing an elephant being born just on the way from the airstrip....imagine that!

The guiding was very good and flexible when we found ourselves seeing half of the bush at one pan when were supposed to head back for brunch. That kind of flexibility really helps to add to the enjoyment.

The hide at the camp was also really good to sit in and watch the elephants up close.

We simply did not have sufficient time at this camp with only 2 nights. With endless travel to the camp, (about 6 hours) and an early start when we left we only managed 3 activities which is a real shame.

Travel arrangements need to be looked at carefully. We left Mana at 10am and flew all the way back to Victoria stopping at Cariba before then going on to Little Mak. We had no idea what the arrangements were before we met the pilot. . We missed lunch completely and there is of course nowhere to get a snack! Fortunately Goliath did an abridged drive for us in the morning, otherwise we would have had a very limited day of game viewing. The journey on to Camp Hwange started early as we joined other guests leaving at 06.30. We then had about a 3 hour wait up at Main Camp for our transfer, before the drive to Camp Hwange. This meant we did not have a drive at CH that day arriving very late afternoon, although we did stop en route to look at what was around. It was an exhausting day of travel though with limited game viewing."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange

"Very knowlegable guiding"

2 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2012
"This camp is a long drive if you come from Little Mak and so I would say better to go there from Victoria.
Please see above for travel time related problems.

As we only had two nights and had essentially missed the first day Julian, the Manager and Guide took us out for the whole of Wednesday so that we could see as much of the area as possible. Julian could also turn his hand to a cooked picnic lunch which was a bonus on a long day out. We were the only guests at the Camp and I don't know whether he would have been able to go out for the day if there were other guests.

He and the apprentice guide were very knowledgeable and it is a pity we did not have the time to do any walking here as this had been an aim of this particular trip and choice of safari. I think given the quality of the guiding that this would have been a good experience at this camp.

The area is very different from Mana and the Eastern side of Hwange NP so a good contrast.

Good food, accommodation and guiding make for a good combination with good game viewing."
Good
Location
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Activities
Good
Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"Relaxed feel close and close to the Falls"

2 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2012
"A very informal Lodge and easy to relax. Nice pool.
Good food in the Palm restaurant both dinner and breakfast.

We experienced difficulty trying to pay by either travellers cheques or credit card. Cash is obviously wanted in Zimbabwe. We eventually managed to sort out the payment machine by getting the battery charged, much to the relief of guests behind us in the queue!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good

Our afircan adventure

Botswana between 10 Sep 2009 and 18 Sep 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was a trip organised very late in the day, which I think made it all the more exciting. I think we were well advised by Lucy and realistically the holiday provided what it said it would. There was good variety in the camp choice and the stay in each was about right. I think having browsed the Botswana guide also helped the whole experience too.

wilderness apparently always confirm return flights which might be useful to know.

J'burg airport are taking temperatures of all visitors on arrival - a couple of paracetomol might be advisable for anyone with a bug or two to avoid quarantine!

Suggestions for improvements:

Please see comments above.

I never did receive the brochure request!

Pictures of the camps might help, its difficult for first timers to have any idea what to expect. Some guests might appreciate forwarnng that animals know no boundaries and will tent visit.

Chris McIntyre may be interested to know we met a guide working at Little Vumbura called Sam (i guess late 40's) who recalled setting up camp without tents many years ago before Wilderness Safaris. He spoke very warmly of him."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Selinda Camp

Selinda Camp

"A lovely camp in all respects."

3 nights Arrived 10 Sep 2009
"This was a lovely camp in all respects. We were made very welcome and no doubt helped by some very nice guests, it felt more like we were staying as house guests than tourists.

The manager Ellie, was extremely good and did not miss a thing. Things not possible one minute, became possible once she knew what had been requested. She was also extremeley personable and by observation treated all guests as well as ourselves.

All meals were of good quality, fresh and varied with three choices for dinner (white or red meat and a vegi option). Food presentation was also good. It might be nice to have some fruit available for snacking on, but I guess thought has to be given to animals helping themselves!

On reflection, given the degreee of attentiveness, guests could be given a little more space when in the public areas at times.

There was a nice little curio shop for the ladies!

There is a socket in every tent to re-charge batteries etc which would have been useful to know in advance for cameras and the like.

Our guide, Dennis was very pleasant. The drives had a maximum of 4 people in the vehicle and on a couple of occasions just the two of us. There was no issue about safety, even when we got stuck in the sand in the dark. Help was soon at hand.

Transfers were fine, with no delays. We did have to make two stops to Chitabe and Savute after our flights to J'burg and Maun which was tiring and made our arrival at Selinda late in the afternoon with only a short time to dump our things before the first game drive. This could be improved.

I never imagined staying awake to listen to hippos telling jokes, nor did I imagine seeing animals so close to our tent.......fabulous.

The amount of game was less than I expected I think with one game drive having been really quiet. We did see lovely wild dogs and pups which were a delight to observe."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Chitabe Camp

Chitabe Camp

"Chitabe Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 13 Sep 2009
"this was a very relaxed camp with a relaxed friendly management style. All staff were pleasant and helpful.

the food was variable in quality, although overall good and plenty of it. A better variety at dinner would improve this aspect of the camp.

We enjoyed the traditional evening. I will only serve my husband in this way the once. For those who have no idean what I am talking about, then visit Chitabe.

Our guide (Ebes) was the most respectful person we have encounterd in a long time - to us, his colleagues, his environment, animals. It was a pleasure being on drives with him. Very informative and happy to go at whatever pace we wanted.

The tent was very comfortable but housekeeping could improve a bit as the way the shower is designed makes the wooden floors very slippery to the unitiatnated.

We saw varied game and the highlight was finding the cheetah. Wild dogs and pups seen close to camp.

If there was a category of very good I would choose this overall.
[Ed: our five categories are Excellent, good, average, poor and terrible - so there's no 'very good'!]"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"our place in the wilderness"

3 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2009
"Transfers from Chitabe were very good. It was lovely to arrive by boat at the camp. The whole place had an immediate charm. Lovely tent and very clean. I have no idea why but you really felt you were far from anywhere - delightful.

Very good variety of activity- mokoro, boat, walking and game drives - each of which we enjoyed. The mokoro trip the morning of out departure home was just so relaxing.

It was nice to have one meal when you were left to yourselves (if that is what you wanted).

Food good but is an area which could be improved in terms of variety and choice.

Our guide was young and enthusiastic and there was plenty of game in this area. I never anticipated elephants shifting the tent or waking me in the night by beating their trunks on the roof for the leaves........fascinating to us, but I know some people were worried.

Helpfully the camp had already confirmed our flights before we asked."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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