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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs B from Bath

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

13

Excursions taken

0

Masai Mara, Kenya - October 2015

Kenya between 2 Oct 2015 and 12 Oct 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"We are seasoned travellers and have been on many safaris previously.

However, we had never seen the migrational activity. We were pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed Kenya (maybe not Nairobi though). The quality of the game viewing, big cats, river crossings and some rare encounters - serval cat, bat eared fox den etc made it a very special trip. The highlights would be the wildebeest crossing the river, the big cat population and Mara Plains camp, which is exceptional."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Ole-Sereni

Ole-Sereni

"Stop over in Nairobi"

1 night Arrived 3 Oct 2015
"You cannot expect too much from a stop over hotel but the Ole-Serini is tired and did not provide a pleasant stay. Our room faced a busy road, the air condition unit was ineffective and noisy and there was a constant sound of a generator or plant equipment throughout the night. Food was average.

The location is not too far from the International and wilson airports. In this respect it is convenient but the proximity to a national park - it is immediately adjacent - is not a major advantage and you are unlikely to see anything other than bush.

Our ground transport to Wilson went via another hotel called Boma. It did not look anything special but was mentioned as a possible overnight base by other travellers."
Poor
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Poor
Food
Poor
Facilities
Poor
Serian

Serian

"Serian, Original"

2 nights Arrived 4 Oct 2015
"We stayed here 1 night. The tent was spacious and comfortable. We had read on previous reviews that the bathroom is outside the main tent. This is the case and a loo break during the night can be a bit un-nerving.

The camp management were friendly and helpful. We changed guide because he was a novice and spoke poor English. It is worth making sure that you are happy with the guide because they are assigned to you for your whole stay even if you move camp.

Our second guide was one of the few female Masai guides in Kenya. The guides were flexible and happy to do full day drives as well as walking safaris. However, I am not sure that they lived up to the expectation created by the Alex Walker web site. We were expecting a higher quality of guide and experience and it turned out to be good but not great.
One of the big plus points is the private vehicle."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Ngare Serian

Ngare Serian

"Ngare Serian"

4 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2015
"Ngare is across the river from the main Serian camp but it is run separately and there is no guest interaction between the two camps. It is approached by a narrow suspension bridge across a river.

The camp is well run. The tents are spacious and comfortable. As with Serian, the bathroom is outside the main tented living quarter on what is effectively the deck of the tent.
Food was variable and at times disappointing."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Mara Plains Camp

Mara Plains Camp

"Mara Plains"

3 nights Arrived 10 Oct 2015
"An outstandingly good camp. Exceptional rooms, service, food and hosts (Hattie and Henry). The camp is beautifully decorated and presented with strong influences from the founders; the Jouberts with lots of their photographs and books on display. The camp is geared up for serious photographers with vehicles adapted to accommodate cameras etc.
You share a vehicle with fellow guests although on our stay all guests had a separate land cruiser.

We stayed in room 6 with exceptional views across the plains.

Game viewing was very good especially big cats; lions, leopards and cheetah as well as local proximity to migration crossing points of the Mara River.

We are likely to return and also visit other Great Plains camps."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Namibia - Sossusvlei to Angola -J uly 2014

Namibia between 19 Jul 2014 and 2 Aug 2014

Trip rating: Good
"A great trip starting in the south, working up the Skeleton coast to Angola and back south to Etosha. The highlight is the scenery which is breath taking. Also though for us, seasoned safari travellers, we wanted to see rhino and we had some close contact and saw black and white rhino and at Little Ongava, we saw the two together.
If you are a keen photographer there are some stunning opportunities.
If you are keen on game and predators there are better countries to visit but I would recommend the broader view; literally, and I am sure we will end up back there.
Best camps: Little Kulala and Serra Cafema
Standout moments; scenery especially Sossusvlei and Skelton coast, Himba people, rhino, quad bikes"

Olive Exclusive

Olive Exclusive

"Olive Exclusive review"

1 night Arrived 20 Jul 2014
"Olive Exclusive was a good location for an overnight stay. The hotel was friendly and efficient and the restaurant served a pleasant meal.

We were not there long enough to say much more."
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Service
Good
Little Kulala

Little Kulala

"Little Kulala review"

2 nights Arrived 21 Jul 2014
"Little Kulala is a great location to visit Sossuvlei and the sand dunes of the Namib desert The scenery is stunning and the camp is beautifully presented to take full advantage.

Game viewing is limited - you will see plenty of Oryx but not much else although we did come across a side winding adder in the dunes. At night it is amazingly quiet and peaceful. Each lodge has a roof terrace and it is possible to sleep in the open, which we did but note that at this time of year (July) it gets very cold at night and into the morning.

The camp was well run. The guides were helpful and pleasant. Likewise the food, general areas of the camp and the laundry service were all very good."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Desert Rhino Camp

Desert Rhino Camp

"Desert Rhino Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 23 Jul 2014
"We added Desert Rhino Camp to our itinerary at short notice but the camp was very accommodating and welcoming. Our prime reason for coming here was to track black rhino on foot. it is a great experience, exciting and exhilarating but can also be hard work. We traversed a big distance and across a very rocky area which was not a problem for us but would be if you were less fit or able. For us it was worth the effort and we got to within 75m of a rhino and saw 3 others at a greater distance.

The camp is not a premier camp so it is more basic than say Little Kulala or Serra Cafema but is perfectly adequate. Ditto the food and service - wholesome but not haut cuisine.

It is always pot luck in terms of the guide you are allocated. Unfortunately our guide had only a basic grasp of English and was new to the camp. he managed to get lost and had no conversation or rapport with guests - not of the standard you would expect of Wilderness Safari camps."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Serra Cafema

Serra Cafema

"Serra Cafema review"

4 nights Arrived 25 Jul 2014
"Serra Cafema is in the far north of Namibia, set on the banks of the Kunene River and on the border with Angola. The flight to its airstrip is spectacular, particularly if you fly over the Skeleton Coast. The airstrip is a long way from the camp but the journey is again spectacular and full of photographic opportunities. The welcome at the airstrip was exceptionally good.

The camp is approached along a board walk and hugs the river bank. It is very spacious and comfortable with plenty of different dining areas both inside and outdoors. We ate at a different location for each lunch and evening meal - the camp goes to a lot of trouble to look after you and give you surprises and the menus and hospitality are excellent.

Activities include trips into the desert, walks, visiting a Himba village, boat trips on the river , quad biking etc. Everything is very photogenic and tailored tp your requirements.

Individual lodges are spacious and well equipped.

My only disappointment with the camp is that the diesel generator used first thing in the morning and in the evening is noisy and intrusive to the rooms closest to it. This would be rooms 1 and 2, we were in 1, and if we return (likely) i would insist on a room further away. The camp manager altered the start time for the generator from 0500 to 0600 but for a camp of this quality, the generator should be further away and better sound proofed.

Overall though an exceptional camp and a great experience, particularly the interaction with the Himba people, the quad biking and the breath taking scenery."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Ongava

Little Ongava

"Little Ongava review"

3 nights Arrived 29 Jul 2014
"Little Ongava is a bit of an enigma. It is promoted as being exclusive and intimate with only three rooms situated at the top of a rocky outcrop. The camp is small, very well appointed and the rooms are best described as suites with a separate lounge, bedroom and bathroom as well as a deck and other viewing areas. Attention to detail is strong, especially the use of high quality, sustainable materials.

So, in isolation, an exceptional camp. But this is the problem, it is not in isolation. The foot of the same rocky outcrop contains a second camp called Ongava Lodge comprising 15 rooms, 30 guests, six vehicles. You can hear and see the this camp particularly at night. It is not overly intrusive but you are very aware of their presence and it cuts across the exclusive nature of Little Ongava.

The territory comprises thick bush so game viewings are not great. Worse the tracks are very dusty and with so many vehicles, at times it was like driving through fog. As well as general game there are predators, elephants and rhino but the density of the bush makes them hard to find and view. Also, the vehicles constantly communicate by radio so anything worth seeing attracts a lot of vehicles at the same sight. This can get out of hand. There is a generally observed protocol on safaris of restricting the number of vehicles to three at any one time to stop the animals becoming stressed. This was not observed and a very rare sighting of a cheetah and three cubs with a kill attracted 8 vehicles. The cats were clearly distressed. We insisted on leaving and as we did, more vehicles were driving to the location. Very bad!

Talking of vehicles, if Little Ongava is fully occupied it means six guests sharing one vehicle. Fine if you get on with your fellow travellers. We ended up hiring a private vehicle.
Etosha National Park is close by. It is too sanitised and commercial for our liking but you will see general game and elephants.

The highlight of the camp for us was its water hole which attracted animals day and night. The camp has a hide close to the hole and we got very close to white and black rhino and it is the first time we had ever seen interaction between the two.

So, a mixed experience. Worth it for the rhino but otherwise does not live up to its proposition."
Average
Location
Average
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

My Feb 2014 trip

Tanzania between 1 Feb 2014 and 9 Feb 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"Very enjoyable and in line with expectations.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No suggestions - you offer great service and great value. Very satisfied."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay

"Oyster Bay review"

1 night Arrived 1 Feb 2014
"Ideal base for over night stay in Dar. Stylish, quiet location. Friendly staff. Good food."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Beho Beho

Beho Beho

"Beho Beho review"

2 nights Arrived 2 Feb 2014
"We enjoyed our stay and the team at Beho could not have done more to be accommodating. Guides were very knowledgable and friendly. They offered walks as well as drives and rotated guides to provide variety.

The trip to Lake Tagalala is a great experience and not to be missed. Ditto the Tree House experience. Game viewing in the Selous, Tanzania is not as prolific as other locations. The animals are often nervous and you are unlikely to see the big five but if you have done your homework you will know this and there are plenty of the 'lesser' animals and bird life to occupy you.

The camp is spacious, as are the individual rooms, and has good facilities. Likewise the food and dining experiences are excellent.

It was our second visit, the previous visit being two years ago. The climate is harsh and the camp is showing its age - faded soft furnishings etc and if Beho wants to preserve its status as a premier camp it will require investment to update and refresh.

Finally, the vehicles are Toyota Landcruisers - noisy and low ground clearance meant they often grounded and got stuck in mud."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Beho Beho Tree-house

Beho Beho Tree-house

"Beho Beho Treehouse review"

1 night Arrived 4 Feb 2014
"A unique experience and sense of adventure - well presented and managed.

Probably not for the faint hearted if you are unfamiliar with the sounds of Africa."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Beho Beho

Beho Beho

"Beho Beho review"

4 nights Arrived 5 Feb 2014
"See earlier comments [Ed: see below!].

Great camp, great team, great experience. Pluses include the variety of options and rotation of guides. Negatives would be the camp is looking a bit tired and game viewing of predators will not be as prolific as other locations in Africa.

A gym would be a good addition.

The self contained lodge - Baileys Banda - is lovely."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

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