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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by W family from Pennsylvania

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

I dreamed of Africa & Expert Africa delivered

Tanzania between 8 Oct 2009 and 20 Oct 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Key in our overall experience to Tanzania on our first trip to Africa and our first safari was ELEANOR DUNKELS fondly refered to as Ellie by us. We could have chosen just about any company but we went with Expert Africa specifically because of Ellie.

We travel frequently but nothing like this holiday as we were celebrating 3 memorable birthdays. A trip such as this was expensive and extensive from the US and Ellie handled everything for us in not only a professional but a very personal way as well. She answered every single question perfectly and believe me there were many!

Ellie, this trip was taylored to us perfectly. Each stay offered such diversity, excitment, and charm we were entirely enchanted with each and every choice you suggested and help us select. You budgeted our money in all the right places. Keen in planning!

Every single transfer, company, guide, accomadation and parks went off without a single hitch.

Perfect in every way possible from first contact to follow-up to holiday to home!

Tanzania tourist board has just recently began an advertising program on US tv chanels, most specifically CNN.

We would not hesitate to recommend Expert Africa to any of our friends.

Thank you for giving our travel money such great value. Money well spent makes you Expert Africa.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Just wanted to advise specifically about shopping in the Arusha area of Tanzania. Not sure where to note this.

The cultural center outside Arusha town was fantastic in price, extensive merchandise, service and even offer shipping via DHL which has an office on site. Much easier and better priced than one could ever haggle for at other markets. I tried! Allow travelers a few hours to shop after safari bush flights on the way out of the country. This place was truely great."

Onsea House

Onsea House

"beautiful cottage great food and hospitality"

1 night Arrived 9 Oct 2009
"Beautiful grounds and cottage with lovely gardens. Stayed only 1 night in rooms 3 & 4 which were contained in a huge cottage with great common space with dining table and kitchenette with a well stocked frige and microwave.Would be great for a traveling family who needed to spread out. This cottage overlooked the pool and had a nice view of Mt. Meru.Location is on a hill with lots of steps so I would not recommend to tourists with disabilities.

We were greeted upon arrival by the owner Axel, staff, and two beautiful golden labs with cool towels and cool drinks. Very welcome!

The owner is a chef and dinner was great. The staff was polite, efficient and attentive.

Dinner was served on a very comfortable covered porch. A billiard table and small bar area was contained in a ground level room.
Both bedrooms of the cottage were lovely, comfortable and contained nice linens and towels. Shampoo and bath soap products as well as bottled water were included.

Breakfast was buffet and very adequate. Cooked breakfast was offered but we found it unnecessary. A lovely packed boxed lunch was delicious with great variety of baked goods,cheeses, sandwiches, and fruit.

Distance from Kili airport was just fine no problem even after a long flight @ 17 hours.

Only thing that was unexpected was the amount of security with guards and gates. The area near the Onsea felt a bit unsafe with night time bands of men roaming the dark roads with sticks. Our driver who is from Arusha stated when asked "These are not good guys". This is not considered a problem by us just an observation. Security was quite tight."
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Oliver's Camp

Oliver's Camp

"a true bush safari experience"

3 nights Arrived 10 Oct 2009
"Remote bush area of Tarangire Park. A long winding exciting ride to camp with loads of animals sited along the way. An elephant lovers heaven. Perfect introduction for a first time safari.

We were greated warmly by the staff and treated like we belonged!

We 3 shared a very large tent with an attached bathroom that was quite comfortable for 3 with room to spare. The beds were comfortable with nice linens and pillows. The view from the tent and even the shower was fantastic. We could watch the parade of elephants morning and night. Plenty of hot water for showers. The wait staff were very eager to please and hot coffee and clean laundry delivered every morning! The staff could not have been better!

This camp was probably the most remote for access to civilization. How they were able to deliver such service under these conditions left all 3 of us in awe and appreciation. We 3 have camped in the US many times and appreciate all it takes to provide for guests.

This camp is not fussy fancy but rather ruggedly beautiful. A true bush camp!

Breakfast and lunch served buffet style. More than adequate in taste and quantity. 2 lunches packed for us while on long day drives. Best chicken curry hands down. Wish I had the recipe. Dinner was served gathered around a large table for all guests to join in on the days conversations. We had a great mix of guests from around the world which made for great variety and fun. The food was very good.

Highlight was the 2 walking safaris. Alex our expert guide was beyond description in knowledge and had an eagle eye for spotting. He took great care in assuring our safety at all times. A park ranger also accompanied us and both carried large guns which we felt quite safe! We would reccommend this walk to everyone!!!

We take away a fantastic experience from this camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Gibb's Farm

Gibb's Farm

"Exquisite Cottage with mixed review"

2 nights Arrived 13 Oct 2009
"A very long, dusty and bumpy ride to a post card perfect coffee plantation. A photographers and garderners dream.
Drop dead hands down favorite unique location ever! Cottage comfortable roomy with two double beds, fireplace, indoor and outdoor showers, soaking tub, quality bath products and awsome views from everywhere!

Delicious creative fresh food.
Nice gift shop
We did not utilize any of the spa or farm facilities as were on safari and to the crater during 2 night stay.
Staff were friendly and attentive.

Why one asks would we have a mixed review?

1. A place of this caliber should not be charging a tab for bottled water. Especially after a hike to the "Masai healer" picnic dinner. No beverage was offered without the staff having to constantly ask guests for a room number to charge for all drinks even water. No coffee offered nor served even at a coffee plantation during this dinner! This felt petty and made guests concern themselves with tab charge accuracies instead of relaxing. This dinner was disturbed with charges even for water.

If the costs of bottled water is of concern for management a charge should have been included in the per person initial charge. This cheapened the beautiful atmosphere!

2. We stayed for 2 nights and have no idea who is the manager. We had a few simple questions along with our guide Jackson such as could we get coffee early, could we get a simple breakfast early, when to pick up a packed lunch? Each question directed to staff members resulted in mass confusion! Each staff needed to consult other staff in front of us resulting in very loud demonstrutive Swahili frustrating even our guide in confusion.

All 3 of us have been in management.

Each staff member was nice and doing their personal best to be most helpful. This staff appeared frustrated by a lack of leadership.

This appeared to us to be a MANAGEMENT problem.

Our concern: WE LOVED THIS PLACE.

In this competitive market many diserning guests will choose another easier to get to competive accomodation unless management makes some tweeks to give this fantastic place the caliber of service it deserves."
Good
Location
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Kleins Camp

Kleins Camp

"Best night drives at Kleins Camp"

2 nights Arrived 15 Oct 2009
"& Beyond went over the top Beyond in location, accomodation, service and expertise.

I smile just thinking about their plaid table cloths laiden with treats from greeting us at the airstrip to sundowners!

The guides went out of their way to locate a pair of cheetah brothers. Rabin our guide and "Mr Cute Masai" our tracker Hats Off to Both. I will never forget the thrill of riding in an open vehicle looking face to face with a noble huge regal male lion. Rabin told me to relax and enjoy he would keep me safe. He did and to say I enjoyed would be an extreme understatement!

The night drives were exciting. Gave us a whole different perspective of the bush! Thank you Rabin for the quote"Never shake hands with a bush baby"!

Expensive and worth every cent! Perfect in every way."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Serengeti under Canvas

Serengeti under Canvas

"Under Canvas casually elegant safari"

3 nights Arrived 17 Oct 2009
"& Beyond service is impecable. Safari as one imagines right out of a movie set. Linens, crystal and china in a lovely bush location.

Each tent has gorgeous sunrise and sunset views. Private butler tent service providing hot showers, coffee, laundry and just about any other request imaginable. Copper sinks and water vessels and even a flushing toilet in tent! Lovely bath products and personal tent touches. Dao our tent butler thank you for such kind and gentle professional care.

The meals all served under the fabulous Serengeti sky. KK the "Kitchen King" worked magic in his bush kitchen. As a cook I salute him!

Jabir our guide had stiff competition after Klein's Camp delivered the cheetah brothers for us. He tracked and tracked and on day 2 delivered a leopard and on day 3 her cub!! Impressive under pressure and just in time for my 50th birthday! What a present!

Baracka the camp manager does a terrific professional job. We loved his fireside stories. He has the ability to relax his guests.

My 50th birthday party at camp dinner was unbelievable with the entire staff providing the only music I heard in Tanzania. Happy Birthday will never be the same. Thank you All!

As you can see we know this staff by name! These are happy staff that make for happy guests. We may have missed the great migration river crossing by timing and lack of rain but we did not miss one thing in this fantastic end to our dream safari holiday.

Every single person at this camp went Above & Beyond. Best money we ever spent!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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