This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu

Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs P from Kensington

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

Wondreful safari and finish with nice dive

Tanzania between 10 Oct 2009 and 25 Oct 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a very good trip and we are very happy to do it with Expert Africa. All the information that Eleanor gave us before our departure on the camps and the parks were very honest and correct. Maybe more clarification was needed on Mafia Marine park entrance fees, but it was also our mistake.

We were very happy to deal with Eleanor and whole Expert Africa team. Thanks."

Rufiji River Camp

Rufiji River Camp

"Great view on the hippos in Rufiji River Camp"

3 nights Arrived 11 Oct 2009
"We spent 3 nights in Rufiji River Camp. That was our first safari, so that time we could not compare to anything else. The location is just wonderful with a great view on the river. We can see the hippos floating in the water from our tent, and many velvet monkeys play around. In the night the hippos come to the camp to graze on grass.

The people running the camp are nice and helpful. We met also many interesting people in this camp.

A negative point in this camp is the food. We thought in the beginning that it is normal to have such food in a safari, because it may not be easy to provide the ingredients from Dar Es Salaam, and there could be difficulties to store food with limited electricity. But when we visited other camps after that, they had very good food. We can say that food in Rufiji River Camp is poor. Another comment on food (this one stands for all camps), there is very little fruits available. We expected to have avocado, papaya, mangoes, etc. delicious and in good quantity, but that was not the case at all. We had very little quantities of fruit. Even the fruit juice were all in bottle.

All guides had very uselfull information, and drivers were very good too. But we made only one afternoon drive, and this was not good. The driver was driving fast, and the guide wasn't looking at all for animals. We were looking ourselves, and whenever we found an interesting game we were shouting "stop stop" to make him stop so we can watch. But that was only an afternoon, and the next days we went fortunately with another guide/driver.

We'd like to note that this same guide complained once about the new management of the camp, that their salaries are low, and that they don't have anymore any days off, and that they count on tourist tips.

Another point we'd like to mention is that on our arrival to Dar Es Salaam airport, we had to wait half an hour to find the person from foxes to take us to the national airport. This wasn't a problem for us, and we didn't mind it because we are used to travel alone, but we thought it might be important to mention this because people pay a lot for this trip, and are tired after a long flight, so they expect a service without any delays on their arrival. Maybe this last comment was not to mention in Rufiji Camp part of the comments, but that is the only place where we think we can include it (as foxes safari are taking care of this whole part)."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Poor
Facilities
Good
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Great location and food in Lake Manze camp"

2 nights Arrived 14 Oct 2009
"We spent two nights in Lake Manze camp. The location is fabulous, and elephants are in the camp all the time. We were happy to divide our time in Selous between Rufiji River camp and Lake Manze camp because we made two part of Selous: south east and north west.

The food was very good in this camp, this may be coming from the Italian touch in the management (same comment goes for his sister camp Mdonya in Ruaha). Like all other camps, the negative point about food was the lack of fruits.

Sara, a new manager in the camp, is very nice, always smiling, and helpful. We would like to thanks her. The guides we had were good.

One point we thought as negative in this camp (same comment on his sister camp Mdonya in Ruaha), is that the majority of the guests are Italians, and by that I mean non English speakers. It is obvious that we go to a safari for the animals, the landscape, and the whole experience. But this also includes meeting other guests at dinner to discuss what we saw, and simply talk. We were there in a low season, and there were many Italians, and it was not possible to communicate with others. We were told that in hight season the camp is full of Italians. We think it could be difficult for non italian speakers to be in the middle of all that the high season."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"Great location and the best safaris in Mdonya"

4 nights Arrived 16 Oct 2009
"We spent four nights in Lake Manze camp. That was the best camp and location we did during the whole safari experience. The location is fabulous, elephants and buffaloes come to the camp.

The food was very good in this camp, this may be coming from the Italian touch in the management (same comment goes for his sister camp Lake Manze in Selous). Like all other camps, the negative point about food was the lack of fruits.

Micole is very nice and interesting. Talking to her and seeing her passion for the wildlife is very inspiring. It makes us all want to come and live her life. We had Giovanni and Richard (guide/driver) during the five days. They were very interesting, and we had a great time with them.

A negative point in this camp is the Tsetse flies a few kilometers on the entrance of the camp. But that was only annoying, as they are not carrying bacterias, and their sting doesn't hurt. It only scratches after the bite like a mosquito bite.

One point we thought as negative in this camp (same comment on his sister camp Lake Manze in Selous), is that the majority of the guests are Italians, and by that I mean non English speakers. It is obvious that we go to a safari for the animals, the landscape, and the whole experience. But this also includes meeting other guests at dinner to discuss what we saw, and simply talk. We were there in a low season, and there were many Italians, and it was not possible to communicate with the others. We were told that in hight season the camp is full of Italians. We think it could be difficult for non italian speakers to be in the middle of all that the high season."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Mafia Island Lodge

"Bad and rude reception in Mafia Island Lodge"

4 nights Arrived 20 Oct 2009
"We spent 4 nights in Mafia Island. That is a very beautiful and charming Island and wonderful colorful fish for divers. Our main reason in going to Mafia was to finish our safari in diving in the most beautiful spots in the world. We made two dives, and relaxed the rest of the time.

Let's start with the welcome at the airport with Mafia Island Lodge. On our arrival at the airport we looked for almost half an hour for the car from Mafia Island Lodge to take us from the airport to the lodge, until we found a driver who told us it was him who will take us there. We asked him if he had any sign with our names, or the name of the lodge, he said he doesn't.

We also explained that we have everything pre-booked and the transport should be included in the price, he said that we should pay. We then found another van with a Pole Pole sign, and the driver told us that we should go with him because Pole Pole and mafia Island lodge are next to each other, and that this is included in the price. Knowing we are in Africa, of course we decided to go with the most accredited van, the one that had a sign of a lodge (we wouldn't go in the other one that had no sigh at all, and he also wanted to charge us more).

On our arrival to the lodge, the reception and all Tanzanian staff were very welcoming, then we saw Gabriel (the manager) who barely said his name with no hand shaking telling us that we took the wrong transport from the airport, and that he will charge us the 30$ that Pole Pole will charge him. We explained so many times that there was no sign from his airport receptionist but he did not believe us. We took this very bad, trying to justify ourselves on what happened, instead of having him assume the mistakes of his staff. We also did not appreciate at all how he did not trust us. More than that, he waited for a couple of guests who arrived just after us and asked them if there was a sign and they said no. It was only here that he believed us. Not a good start after all!!

Gabriel came back 15 minutes later to tell us that the Pole Pole will not charge him the 30$, and that is why he will not make us pay it, and that the airport receptionist will lose his job. He did not make any apology on what his rough behaviour to us. We hope it is clear that our problem was not the local Tanzanian person at the airport, because we know this kind of issues happen a lot with people from different cultures, but the real problem was Gabriele, the manager of the lodge, who was very rude on our reception.

We were informed by Expert Africa before our departure that the entrance of the Mafia Marine park are 20$ per person per day. We thought that we should pay this at the Park entrance only the days where we wanted to dive. Actually the entry fees are collected at a barrier gate across the main road about 1km before Utende (where the lodge is), weather we dive or not. We recommend Expert Africa to precise in the futur this to avoid any misunderstanding with other travelers. Due to these marine fees, we dived only twice instead 5 planned dives (all the money was at the gate).

Once the entrance to the marine park are payed, if you want to go see the whale sharks you will have to pay 20 more dollars to enter the "whale shark park", and of course you should add 30$ for the transportation from the lodge to the Kilindoni where the whale sharks are, then pay the boat there, and 30 more dollars for the snorkeling between the sharks... So you could say it will cost around 70 dollars per person for a half day to the Whale Sharks, and not sure to see them.

If you want to go to Chole Mjini (which is 5 minutes by boat from Mafia Island Lodge), you should pay entrance of 5$ per person at the entrance of the island. Mainly you should put dollars on the table on every move you do in Mafia.

Diving in Mafia Island Lodge is 40$ per person for one dive + 20$ for the equipment. So we dived with Big Blu at 40$ including the equipment. We dived in the bay, because to dive outside the bay it will be 100$ per person for two dives because this will include the boat + picnic (knowing we already payed a full board).

Our dives were very good and we saw beautiful and colorful fish. We had a poor visibility, but still it was beautiful.

Please know that there dives or snorkeling are dependent on the tides. We cannot take our snorkel, tuba and fins and snorkel by ourselves, because in low tide we cannot reach the water, and we need a boat to get to the corals. So even if you have your snorkeling equipments, you will have to pay a 20& excursion for snorkeling.

Food at dinner was delicious and varied. But lunch was very poor. We think because most people are half board, and the kitchen works mainly in the evening. But a very small salad with half a tomato and half a boiled egg is not enough for lunch after you have dived and for 15 dollars."
Poor
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"One night in Southern Sun hotel"

1 night Arrived 24 Oct 2009
"We spent only the last night on this hotel before our next early morning flight. We don't have comments on it as we only had dinner in the hotel and left the next morning.

We would have preferred to spend this last night in another hotel because this one was very expensive, and that would have reduced the price a little. But that was our mistake because we did not comment on this last night, as we were concentrated in the safari and Mafia Island planning."
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team