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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr M & Mrs B from Colorado

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

My Sep 2010 trip

Botswana between 16 Sep 2010 and 28 Sep 2010

Trip rating: Good
"The first three camps exceeded our expectations in every aspect. The last camp, Santandadibe, was a real disappointment in terms of game viewing and the significant distance from Maun. The logistical aspect of the last camp certainly discourages future travel with Expert Africa.

Please note that while I give Maruska a "yes certainly" re: knowledge, for the life of me I do not udnerstand why she was so insistent on us visiting this camp last or even at all, plus the fact that it was a 6 1/2 back track from Maun.

Based on the first 3 camps our experience was more than "Very Satisfactory"--it exceeded expectation. Santandadibe was the downer!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2010
"Lebala was an outstanding camp in terms of its warm and helpful staff, the game viewing, the guiding & tracking (really superior!) and physical accommodations. The only drawback at Lebala was the food, which we would rate as OK.

Meanwhile, Dux (our guide) and Bowman (sp?) (our tracker) made every game drive fun—there's no other way to say it—bottom line, they were outstanding! It was most apparent the entire staff wanted us to enjoy the experience and we would recommend this camp to anyone in spite of what we would call marginal food."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara review"

3 nights Arrived 19 Sep 2010
"Little Kwara was probably the best overall camp. Lizzie the camp manager was incredibly accommodating—she could not do enough for any of us. Our guide (Steve) and tracker (Mike) were every bit as good as Dux and Bowman and they too did their best to give us the best experience possible. One night Dux and Mike took us out until 2:00 AM looking for the Splash Boys a huge pair of male lions who inhabited the area, which was one of the highlights of the trip.

The food was outstanding, which we found interesting vis-à-vis Lebala which is also a Kwando camp. In addition, one evening after dinner we were delightfully surprised with singing and African chants followed by a “dance around the table” with both staff and guests—that experience literally brought tears to our eyes. The Batswana are an incredible people.

Predicated on our experiences with two (2) Kwando camps we would recommend Kwando to anyone. The focus was find game, find game and find game with a lot of warmth and attention to guest needs thrown in for good measure. Little Kwara was our favorite camp, period."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sandibe Safari Lodge

Sandibe Safari Lodge

"Sandibe Safari Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2010
"Sandibe was a bit more upscale than anticipated and we loved it. Once again, the staff was outstanding and with the exception of the camp's temporary manager (Hayden) who we felt was dismissive of his staff (he couldn't even pronounce some of their names) and who came across like the great white hunter—this was an A+++ experience. The surprise dinner at the Baobab tree with the accompanying African chanting was a real bonus, which again left us with our eyes welled up.

Our guide and tracker (Gif-T & Steve respectively) were top notch. They were not as experienced as our previous guides when we had a private vehicle, but they were fun and it was obvious they wanted us to enjoy ourselves. Their joking added a dimension to the experience and I wouldn't hesitate to go out with either again. Virginia and Kelly (staff members) were also great and could not do enough for us. We thoroughly enjoyed the staff, the setting, the accommodations and the food—good choice."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Private Mobile Camp, Botswana (this camp has since closed)

"Santantadibe Mobile Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2010
"Santandadibe—this is where we part company. On the bright side, Grant and his mother Daphne were just plain enjoyable to be with and the food was “the best” of the four camps, which I found amazing considering it was all cooked over an open flame. Grant and Daphne's warmth and knowledge fit the descriptions & comments I've seen on the website.

However several aspects of Santandadibe disappointed us greatly. First, the game viewing was the poorest we've experienced in the 12 camps we've visited during the past three (3) years — I realize game can be hit an miss, but we only learned once in camp that Grant did not have a tracker and that the area was much smaller than the other areas we visited, which is a built in limitation regarding game viewing. The first nine days of our safari far exceeded expectations but this camp truly disappointed.

To begin with, why did you have plane pick us up from Sandibe to fly us to Maun when Santandadibe was only a few miles away? Several people we spoke with at the various airstrips (pilots, other guides, various staff at the camps) commented as well — why go to Sandibe then Santandadibe when they're so close. What was the point? Why not send us to a different area and camp like Duma Tau or one of the others Anton Wessels had suggested? This baffled all of us.

Also, a six hour drive from Maun to Santandadibe was ridiculous considering we could have flown to Santandadibe from Sandibe by helicopter in under ten minutes. The brochure's indication of a 3 to 5 hour drive from Maun “depending upon what we see” implied that it would be a game drive when in fact it was nothing of the sort. It was 6 ½ hours of driving over and through boring bumpy flooded roads & bridges.

Obviously you cannot control the flooding, but I feel strongly that it was not a game drive should have been made clear to us. Also, considering the time and distances involved, I feel we should have been offered the option of using a helicopter to fly in and fly out of Grant's camp.

For what it's worth, after the 6 ½ hour (only 1/2 hour spent stopping) drive I asked Grant to check into chartering a helicopter for us for the ride out. What really disturbed me is that it appears no one at Expert Africa gave a moment's thought to us driving 6 hours thru the flooded bush before even beginning our 38-hour trip home!

Thank goodness we were able to arrange a helo flight from Santandadibe to Maun (at an additional cost to us of $800 U.S). Additionally, it strikes me that instead of flying us from Sandibe to Maun a helo could have been arranged to take us direct to Santandadibe and we would have saved both time and hassle.

Had we not been able to charter the helo on our last day, we would have had to get up at 4:30 am to ensure enough time to get to Maun. There could have been an elephant in the road (as happened on the drive from Maun, when we had to stop for 20 minutes) or who knows what else could have caused us to miss our flights. From this perspective, that was cutting the tolerances far too close.

Maruska and Chris, to summarize, the first three camps exceeded our expectations. The last, while Grant and Daphne were wonderful, put a real damper on the trip and left each of us with a bad taste in our mouths, not to mention the additional $800 out of pocket expense for the helo charter.

I truly wish the two of you the best and you've both been a delight to work with. But based upon our last experience (primarily from a logistical standpoint) I'd find it difficult to recommend Expert Africa to friends or use them again for our next trip.

Nevertheless, I do wish you all the best,"
Poor
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

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