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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs H from Bristol

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

10

Excursions taken

0

Fantastic Safari and Lovely Beach Holiday

Tanzania and 1 other country between 13 Nov 2019 and 1 Dec 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a fantastic holiday.

In most cases it exceeded our expectations with just a couple of exceptions. Our 4 days at Lake Manze were brilliant. The game viewing was great, as were the guides, managers and all aspects of the camp. Our 4 days at Old Mdonya were also great. The game viewing was brilliant and so were the guides however we found the present managers at the camps to be a little distant at times and I think the running of the camp would benefit if the managers engaged more with the guests and the staff as was the case with the previous managers.

Pongwe Beach hotel is fantastic in all ways and the whole family thoroughly enjoyed their stay. Generally all our travel arrangements worked well and our flights and transfers were good apart from our final transfer at Dar when the Coastal Shuttle bus failed to turn up and we had to pay out for taxis. All in all a great holiday and one that I would love to repeat at some time in the future."

Arranged By Lyndsey Marris


Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Good Choice For An Overnight Stop"

1 night Arrived 14 Nov 2019
"The hotel rooms were clean and well decorated and had everything we wanted for an overnight stay.

We ate dinner on the terrace overlooking the pool which was good. We had an early breakfast the following morning which had plenty of choice.

All in all a good choice for an overnight stay when coming or going to the airport."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Our Third Stay Here - Excellent"

4 nights Arrived 15 Nov 2019
"This was our third stay at Lake Manze camp so I think that speaks for itself. This time we stayed for 4 nights and were accompanied by some friends.

When we arrived Ali our driver from our previous trips welcomed us at the airstrip and introduced us to Hamedi who would be our guide. On arrival at Lake Manze Camp, Shaun and Milli, the managers welcomed us like old friends.

We had a fantastic 4 days game viewing with Ali and Hamedi. We enjoyed their company and their combination of experience and youthful enthusiasm. They both worked really hard to show us everything including wild dogs and lions. We spent a magical morning with a group of 17 elephants watching them eat, drink, play in the water, roll in the mud and generally just interact. We spent about 2.5 hours with these wonderful creatures, the majority of the time on our own.

We also enjoyed 2 boat trips with our boat guide Ayoub, which I would highly recommend. On the second trip we arranged to do some fishing as well as watching the wildlife which was fun. We caught 4 fish which the chef then cooked for us that evening.

Shaun and Milli are excellent managers and work really hard to make sure everyone has a great time. During our stay the camp was full with a large tour group (which I think is quite unusual). During this time Milli and Shaun made sure that the large group had virtually no impact on our stay and were dealt with separately to the rest of the guests.

As previously, our stay at Lake Manze exceeded our expectations and we look forward to a return visit soon."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"Our Third Stay"

4 nights Arrived 19 Nov 2019
"This was our third stay at Mdonya Old River camp so I think that speaks for itself. This time we stayed for 4 nights and were accompanied by some friends.

When we arrived Ayoubu our driver from our previous trips welcomed us at the airstrip and introduced us to Jimmy who would be our guide.

We had a fantastic 4 days game viewing with Ayoubu and Jimmy. We enjoyed their company and their combination of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm. They both worked really hard to show us so many things including lions, leopards, cheetahs and even a serval cat. We also saw many other animals both large and small and also loads of birds. We knew from our previous trip that Ayoubu was good at spotting and identifying birds but were surprised and very happy to find out that Jimmy absolutely loved the birds and was a real expert on them.

We spent all day everyday out on safari with these guys, taking bush breakfast and lunch with us. We generally left camp around 6.30am and didn’t return until between 6.30 and 7pm.

Food provided by the camp was generally good although we did have one evening meal in camp which was pretty awful. I am not sure what had happened but there had clearly been an issue in the kitchen. I would have thought the managers might have apologised for this but it just seemed to get ignored.

We spent very little time in camp so didn’t see a lot of the managers apart from at dinner time or early morning. Sometimes they were quite chatty, sometimes not. They seemed less in evidence than the previous managers.

All in all we had a great safari experience and cannot thank Ayoubu and Jimmy enough for their good company and hard work and for providing us with so many memorable safari experiences."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Pongwe Beach Hotel

Pongwe Beach Hotel

"A Great 60th Birthday Celebration "

7 nights Arrived 23 Nov 2019
"We spent a lovely week at Pongwe with our family and friends, to celebrate my husbands 60th birthday.

This was our third stay here and once again we had a fantastic time. We spent our days relaxing on the beach and swimming in the sea and our evenings in the bar and restaurant enjoying the excellent food and drinks including the lovely cocktails.

We love everything about Pongwe, the lovely spacious rooms, the wonderful beach, the great food served in the restaurant, the lovely friendly staff who cannot do enough to make your stay special, and the lovely relaxed atmosphere of the place.

We had dinner on the beach on my husbands birthday which was very special and all the staff joined in the celebrations.

When I think of beach holidays I cannot think of anywhere else I would rather be than at Pongwe......we hope to be back again soon."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Great Trip

Tanzania and 1 other country between 2 Dec 2017 and 11 Dec 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"Another great trip to Tanzania. This was our 6th trip to Tanzania and as always we loved it. Accomodation, transport, food, game viewing and beach were all excellent. Can't wait to return."

Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Good for an overnight stay near the airport"

1 night Arrived 2 Dec 2017
"We stayed here for one night before starting our safari. We arrived about 10 in the morning and were greeted with a cold drink. Our room was ready so we went straight up. The room was very comfortable with everything we wanted and more. We used the pool which was lovely and ate in the brasserie where the food and service were very good. We had breakfast at 5.45am the following morning and it was excellent - so much choice.
I would definitely stay here again."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"Second Visit - Even Better"

4 nights Arrived 3 Dec 2017
"This was our second visit to this camp and we loved it just as much as our first visit. We stayed in December for 4 nights. We had Ayoub and Dismas as our driver and guide and they were brilliant. Ayoub is a great driver and guide with a wealth experience and knowledge about animals and birds, he is also great company. Dismas is younger, with lots of enthusiasm and is keen to help you have a great time. They were both happy to answer even the most obscure questions and Dismas even brought his "tree" book along to help identify different ones. We also had lots of fun trying to identify some of the more unusual birds.

We shared our game drives with another couple who we became really good friends with. So the six of us had a brilliant time together. We left camp every day at 6.30am and didn't return until 6.30pm each evening. We ate breakfast and lunch in the bush every day. Our game viewing was brilliant including elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, jackals, foxes, hippos, lesser and greater kudu as well as of course lots of giraffe, zebra, antelope and many other mammals, reptiles, insects and birds.

It was also great to see Rebecca, the camp manager, again who is always on hand to make sure everything is going well. It was good to catch up over dinner each evening. We missed Andrea this time as he was away. As before the tents are great and so was the food. All the staff are friendly and I even managed some basic Swahili conversations with the Massai guys.

In all ways it was a great stay and we really hope to return again soon."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Second Visit - Just as Good"

4 nights Arrived 7 Dec 2017
"This was our second visit to Lake Manze and we loved it just as much as our first. We stayed in December for 4 nights. We had Ally and Kalisti as our driver and guide. Ally is a very experienced driver and also great at spotting wildlife, especially the birds. Kalisti is younger and very enthusiastic. Both were great company and keen to make sure we had a brilliant time.

We shared some of our game drives with a couple we had met in Ruaha and the rest of the time it was just us. We also did a boat safari with Abdullah which was also great, that man knows all about everything on the lake. We spent most of days doing full day game drives, leaving either before or after breakfast and not returning until gone 6pm. The guys picked some wonderful locations on the lake shores for us to eat breakfast and lunch. Game viewing was great including lions and elephants really close up, hippos, wildebeest, antelope, crocodiles, kudu, hyaena, lots of warthog families with babies, zebra, giraffe etc and loads of birds. It was all great.

It was lovely to catch up with Millie and Shaun, the camp managers who are always on hand to make sure everyone is happy and to help plan each day. It was good to catch up over dinner each evening. As before the tents were great and so was the food and all the staff in the camp were very friendly.

It was a great stay and we hope to return soon."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Pongwe Beach Hotel

Pongwe Beach Hotel

"Returned after 7 Years - Even Better"

5 nights Arrived 11 Dec 2017
"We stayed at this hotel 7 years ago and really enjoyed it, so when an opportunity arose to return we decided to go for it - we were not disappointed. We stayed for 5 nights in December and had a great time.

During our stay we had a couple of chats with Heidi, the manager who is really friendly and was keen to hear how we were finding our stay compared to 7 years ago. We told her that over the 7 years Pongwe has got even better. The beach is just as lovely, but the bathrooms have been upgraded and the food and restaurant service has definitely gone up a notch (or 2!!). The bar has also been extended giving the whole place a more spacious feel. The staff are also really friendly and are always around offering to do anything they can for you. We loved it so much we didnt leave the hotel during our 5 nights there. We left feeling truly relaxed and pampered.

Hopefully it wont be another 7 years before we return"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

Great Safari in Ruaha and Selous

Tanzania between 8 Nov 2016 and 16 Nov 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"The trip was great. We loved both camps and would happily return."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"What A Real Safari Is all About"

4 nights Arrived 8 Nov 2016
"We spent 4 nights at Mdonya Old River Camp in November 2016 and loved every minute of it. The camp has a real feeling of remoteness about it which is not always true of other places we have stayed on safari, but for us, this is what a safari is all about. The tents are comfortable without being luxury and the food is straightforward and very good - both fit in well with the surroundings and fitted our needs perfectly. The camp has an eco-friendly feel whilst still providing for the needs of travellers eg solar powered hot water for showers and electricity in the main office to charge camera batteries etc.

Our guide and driver for our stay were Ayoub and Henry. They were both brilliant. They were great at spotting animals and birds and were a really good match for us. They were also great fun to spend time with and quickly became our friends. We left camp every morning around 6.30am and didn't return until around 6.30 each evening - just fantastic. The guys showed us things we had never seen on previous safaris and gave us loads of interesting facts as well. We shared breakfast and lunch with them everyday, setting up our table and chairs in some great locations. The bush meals provided by the camp staff were always lovely ( a far cry from the boxed lunches you tend to get from many camps on the Northern circuit). We also really enjoyed the chats we had with the guys at mealtimes when we were able to learn about each others lives - another really enjoyable experience.

We also really enjoyed the communal meal times at the camp where we met up with Rebecca and Andrea, the camp managers and all the other guests. Dinner was always served under the stars and gave us a chance to chat with others, a really nice way to end each day.

Rebecca and Andrea were great. They were always around to see us off on safari in the morning and to greet us with a cold juice, on our return each evening. They were always checking if everything had gone well and were very responsive to any requests that we made. It was also great to chat to them over dinner and learn about their lives.

So all in all we had a great stay and would highly recommend the camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"So Much To See and Do"

4 nights Arrived 12 Nov 2016
"We stayed here for 4 nights following on from a 4 night stay at Mdonya Old River Camp. I have to say we loved both places. In many ways the camps are quite similar but the scenery and game viewing are very different.

Our tent here was very similar to that at Mdonya, comfortable without being luxury. The food was also straightforward and very good - we particularly enjoyed the bush breakfasts and lunches. In the evening it was fun to eat together with the other guests and Millie and Shaun, the managers, at one large table under the stars.

At Lake Manze you can do game drives, boat safaris and walking safaris. Each evening Shaun comes round to ask what you want to do the following day and then works out the logistics of making sure everyone is happy. During our stay we shared most of our activities with another couple who we got on very well with.

We really enjoyed our boat safaris with Abdullah. This guy clearly loves being on the water and was keen to make sure we saw everything. He was very good at pointing out the birds and giving us information about them. We also saw several monitor lizards digging up crocodile eggs and eating them, as well as loads of hippos, some terrapins and various other mammals who came to the water to drink..

Our game drives with Ally and Elie were also great fun. Ally was an experienced driver and Elie was a young but very knowledgeable guide. The were both enthusiastic about showing us all types of wildlife from small owlets and bats to lions and crocodiles eating their kills. They were also good company and fun to be with. By the time we left they were also our friends.

Shaun and Millie do a good job running the camp and are always around to make sure everything is going smoothly. They were also very responsive to any requests we made and were keen to make sure everyone had a good time.

All in all we had a great stay here,"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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