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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms M from North London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

4

Countries visited

5

Lodges stayed in

18

Excursions taken

0

My Sep 2015 trip

Botswana between 29 Sep 2015 and 5 Oct 2015

Trip rating: Good
"It's a very long way to go, and although enjoyable, Botswana didn't live up to our expectations or justify why it is so expensive.

We didn't see nearly as many animals as we thought we would."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2015
"Huge, comfortable tents, friendly staff and great game drives.

We were lucky in that there were a maximum of 6 guests while we were there and it had a very relaxed and intimate feel. It might be different when the camp is full. Our guide (Bate) and tracker (OT) were excellent.

We were lucky to be there on Botswana's independence Day and we were treated as part of the family and included in the celebrations."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Little Kwara review"

3 nights Arrived 2 Oct 2015
"We enjoyed Little Kwara, but it didn't quite live up to expectations.

The staff were friendly but the camp was missing the personal touch. The tent was comfortable but could have really benefited from a fan.

We were surprised that we didn't see as much game as we expected, and there was too much single minded focus on tracking cats to the expense of anything else, including our comfort on occasion.

We did however successfully track a family of cheetahs and some lions."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

My Sep 2013 trip

Zambia between 2 Sep 2013 and 12 Sep 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"Fabulous trip. Really impressed with everything.

I would love to go back to Zambia, so I'll have to fit it in when I've gone through everywhere else on my list."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Zambezi Sun review"

2 nights Arrived 3 Sep 2013
"Excellent location 5 minutes walk from the Fall. The room was nicely decorated and comfortable, but with very noisy aircon (take earplugs). Apart from that it's an average 3 star hotel.

The only real complaint was the food. Not very good and extortionately overpriced. While we were there we saw no animals other than a few impala, not the hotel's fault but disappointing."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Terrible
Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

"Loved it"

3 nights Arrived 5 Sep 2013
"We loved Flatdogs. We got a warm welcome when we arrived and this set the tone for the entire time we spent there.

Jess, Ade and Paulo and the rest of the team did a fantastic job in looking after us and their other guests. There were always people around before drives and to welcome us back, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and the food was excellent. Our luxury tent was large and comfortable with a great view of the river and had the added bonus of a fan.

The drives and our guide were excellent. We had the same guide throughout - Yotam - who picked us up at the airport and took us to our next camp. Although the trucks could take 10 people, there were never more than 6, and often fewer, so plenty of room to spread out and get good views. Although it's bigger than some of the camps in Luangua, it doesn't seem large, partly because of the layout which gives a lot of privacy and partly because food is available all day, so guests are eating at different times.

We wished we had stayed longer than our 3 days. Recommended."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

"Magical place"

2 nights Arrived 8 Sep 2013
"Chikoko lived up to everything we expected from a walking safari and more.

The setting is magical - right in the middle of the bush, peaceful and comfortable. We loved our quirky 2 storey hut and soon got used to the steep "staircase" down to the bathroom (which had a great view over the dry river). The food and service in the camp were both excellent, and how they produce such wonderful and plentiful food with such basic facilities is amazing.

We had Isaac as our guide and he knows everything! I can't praise the walking, the team and the whole experience of staying at Chikoko enough."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Tafika

Tafika

"Special"

1 night Arrived 10 Sep 2013
"We only had one night here and would have loved to stay longer. It's a little bit of luxury in the wild.

The setting is beautiful on the banks of the river and the chalets are spaced out, very large and comfortable. The guests were treated like part of the extended family and it was easy to see why many guests return. The food was excellent, plentiful and varied; the service, personal, and the game drives a very high standard.

It's imposssible to say anything other than brilliant all round. Thank you for a wonderful experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp

"OK for an early flight"

1 night Arrived 11 Sep 2013
"We arrived after dark before an early flight home.

Its a slightly odd place - no atmosphere and quiet with a number of chalets and a camp site. The chalet was large and quite bare and functional, although efforts had been made to make it more homely, with vases and candles etc. The beds were comfortable. The bathroom was a bit tired with rusty pipes and water. The food is basic and simple. Apart from the manager, the service was not very friendly. The catering staff didn't speak to or acknowledge us either at dinner or breakfast.

Apart from this, although they took details of when we needed to leave, this wasn't communicated properly. So after waiting, we lugged our bags up to reception where luckily there was someone around who could help. We were told that our bags should have been collected while we were having breakfast. We left 15 minutes late, but our driver still managed to get us there on time. As the majority of their custom must be from people catching early flights, this is something they should always get right."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Rooms
Average
Food
Average

A memorable stay

Tanzania and 1 other country between 6 Sep 2011 and 16 Sep 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"The main purpose of the trip was the safari in the Selous and this was brilliant, the rest of the trip was for relaxation and exploring and we certainly got that. It was a good holiday."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Great bush experience"

4 nights Arrived 6 Sep 2011
"It was a really special experience at Lake Manze. The camp is right in the bush and it really does feel back to nature. The tent was comfortable and clean and we never got tired of sitting on the veranda with impalas and baboons close by, not to mention frequent visits from elephants.

The staff at Lake Manze were excellent - always friendly and helpful. Sara, the manager makes sure there is a great atmosphere and everyone is made to feel like part of a big family. The safaris were great, and we particularly liked the boat safaris, which were a new experience for us. We managed to see everything except the a leopard, but we did see a pack of wild dogs, which made up for it.

The food was better than we thought t would be given the remoteness of the camp, and there were nice little touches, like nibbles before dinner. The only (minor) quibble is that I would have liked a bit more lighting in both the tent and the main area. It was very difficult to see and candlelight gives me migraine!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Image alt

Matemwe Beach Village, Zanzibar (this camp has since closed)

"Not as cool as it thinks"

4 nights Arrived 10 Sep 2011
"The beach location and room were very good. There were some nice little touches, like hats, sarongs and beach baskets in the rooms and the stories left on the beds in the evenings. The service was polite, but slightly offhand.

The big downside to MBV was the food and price. We were half board and as there wasn't anywhere else to go for lunch, we were a captive audience. The lunch menu was very overpriced (10$ for a mediocre veg wrap) and unimaginative, with the same small selection every day. The food in the evening was average at best with very little choice for veggies. We certainly ate a lot of carbs there. Breakfast was limited, with very little fresh stuff and attemps at up market dishes like eggs benedict, which didn't work - far better giving us the usual choice of eggs. They should be less ambitious and concentrate more on getting good well cooked food out - and review their prices.

MBV would have been great if they'd get this right."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Swahili House

Swahili House

"Not there yet"

2 nights Arrived 14 Sep 2011
"On the plus side, Swahili House is beautiful and very sympathathetically renovated and the staff are friendly and helpful. The food in the cafe and restaurant was very good, although we were disappointed that the menu didn't change daily in the restaurant - if it had we would have eaten there again. The views from the restaurant must be among the best in Stonetown.

Now the bad points. Our room was called a suite, but it was an ordinary double room. We had asked for twin beds but were given a king sized bed with a put-up bed next to it. The main bed was uncomfortable with big dips in the mattress. The mosquito nets had huge holes in them. The bathroom was a section of the room with only a half wall screening it off - so no privacy, and actually quite unpleasant.

We had no hot water for the whole of our stay and there was something wrong with the water in our room for most of it, so no cold water for long periods also. This was all such a shame, as we really wanted to like Swahili House."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Poor
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good

Dream holiday

Namibia between 18 Aug 2010 and 3 Sep 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was the best holiday ever and worth the expense.

We have fallen completely in love with Namibia. It was my present to my son for his 18th birthday (which we spent climbing sand dunes in Sossusvlei) and it is an experience he will always remember. We stayed in some wonderful places (with only one disappointment), ate some excellent food, met some lovely people.

It was a lot of driving (just under 2,800 km) on some quite scary roads and I would definitely get a 4x4 again, but it was never dull and the scenery was always spectacular, the roads were empty and well signposted. By the end of the holiday a five hour drive was nothing.

I will have trouble finding another holiday to match this one, so I'll start saving for my next trip to Namibia now. Sabina was very helpful and knowledgeable throughout and found us some wonderful places to stay.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I can't think of anything."

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Haus Sonneneck

Haus Sonneneck

"Haus Sonneneck review"

1 night Arrived 19 Aug 2010
"This was very much a quick stop - off after the long flight and we didn't spend much time here. Overall the property was pleasant and peaceful (although I was woken throughout the night by car alarms in the area - not Haus Sonneneck's fault)

The room was clean and airy, if a bit lacking in character. The staff were friendly and we had a good breakfast to send us on our way. It's a bit far from the centre, so you need to drive in or use taxis, but that's easy to organise.

A good place to start off."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Zebra River Lodge

Zebra River Lodge

"The friendliest place in Namibia?"

2 nights Arrived 20 Aug 2010
"Zebra River Lodge was one of the highlights of our trip. Set in a beautiful valley down it's own track, the focus here was on walking or relaxing on the veranda. The owners and staff were very wlcoming and went out of their way to make us feel at home. They even picked up and changed a tyre for us and cleaned our car! Our room was simply furnished but large and comforable, and they are planning to redo the bathrooms soon.

The main part of the lodge had recently been extended and was very homely. The food was delicious and meals are taken group style and we were the only guests on our first night and sat and ate with Elke, her friend Helen and Ralf the guide. Although I can appreciate that this might not suit everyone, we really liked it and the atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly and not at all intrusive.

The lodge is beautifullty landscaped - Elke loves her garden - and they are in the process of constructing a swimming pool which will be filled with water from their spring. We went on a couple of the walks (one escorted by the owners' dog, the other to the spring). We had 2 days here and would have liked to have stayed longer.

One tip - although we had an ordinary saloon car, I don't think they are suitable for the roads here and I'd really recommend a 4x4."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"A bit of luxury in the desert"

2 nights Arrived 22 Aug 2010
"This is a special place in the desert. When we arrived after a long drive down the track to the lodge, we were greeted with glasses of ginger cordial and a big welcome from staff. The lodge has stunning views over the desert with it's own small waterhole below the lodge.

The room was comfortable and elegant and the bathroom had great complementary toiletries. They are very eco friendly and there is a bucket in the shower to collect the water as it's heating up which the maid then takes away to be reused. There is a good selection of trips from the lodge which are pricey, but worth doing, particularly the trip to Sossusvlei via their private entrance. Again you are greeted with a drink when you get back.

The lodge is run very smoothly and professionally and is quite expensive but definitely worth it."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"A little piece of Switzerland"

2 nights Arrived 24 Aug 2010
"Sam 's is a 10 - 15 minute easy stroll from the centre of town. The main building and rooms are alongside a beauitiful garden, with resident friendly large dog.

The room was light and comfortable with a newly decorated bathroom. The main building was a cosy warren of rooms including the dining area, TV room and computer room with tea and coffee always available and free internet access. The general atmospher was very relaxed and friendly.

We didn't take advantage of Sam's 5 course dinners but the breakfasts were good, particularly the home made muesli!"
Good
Location
Good
Rooms
Good
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Not as good as it thinks it is"

2 nights Arrived 26 Aug 2010
"At first sight, Doro Nawas does not look very appealing - the main building looks like a burned castle from a distance. Inside the building is very differnt - attractive and airy with a wrap around veranda with spectacular views.

The rooms here are stunning. They are large with big bathrooms, and indoor and outdoor shower and huge private verandas - we couldn't see another buiding from ours! It was a bit to cold at night to wheel the beds out onto the veranda unfortunately.

What let the place down was the atmosphere and food. The lodge seemed more geared up for big tour groups rather than couples or families and although the staff were polite, the service was a bit sloppy. They tried hard with the food, but the standard of cooking was disappointing.

If they improve on these, Doro Nawas would be fantastic."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Functional"

3 nights Arrived 28 Aug 2010
"I didn't really expect very much from Okaukuejo.

In it's favour, our room was big, clean and comfortable. We were close to the waterhole which is superb. We spent hours sitting at the waterhole and were never disappointed.

On the down side, it is very big and impersonal and not very friendly (and with some pretty obnoxious guests). The canteen-like food was basic and very limited for vegetarians and very expensive for what it was. At the end of the day, you stay for the waterhole and easy access to Etosha, not for service and good food, and that is certainly what you get.

Final point, I don't understand why they demand a 500N$ key deposit. It's not for the contents of the rooms or breakages, because they don't check the room when you leave. Does anyone really walk away with the key to their room?"
Average
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Rooms
Average
Food
Poor
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Awful place"

1 night Arrived 31 Aug 2010
"This was the worst place we stayed. We were disappointed as the reviews suggested it was better than Okuakuejo. Our room was basic, dark and grubby and could have done with a makeover. We had no complementary toileteries - not even soap.

We did go back to reception to ask about this but there were so many people with problems in front of us, we gave up. The towels were scratchy with holes in them, the sheets on the beds were too small for the mattresses, the air con unit was directly over the bed, so it you had it on it blew directly on your head and the alternative was to leave the door open. The bathroom was the smallest I have ever seen.

The waterhole was a long trek from the camp and there was nothing there (not their fault, I know).

The food was dreadful. There was nothing for vegetarians apart from a mediocre pasta salad, grated carots and slices of stale bread. When I asked what they could provide for us, I was directed to the salad and there was no offer of anything else. I was then told that for the salad I would be charged 70N$ and the dessert 40N$ meaning that the very meaty main course only cost 40N$! What a rip off.

I would advise anyone to avoid Halali if possible."
Poor
Location
Average
Service
Poor
Facilities
Terrible
Rooms
Terrible
Food
Terrible
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Heaven in the mountains"

1 night Arrived 1 Sep 2010
"We stayed on our last night and what a fabulous place to end our holiday on.

The lodge is tucked away in the mountains and you park your car at the bottom and they come and fetch you in a 4x4. The fixed tents are dotted around the rocks along raised walkways and are big and nicely furnished with a veranda and amazing bathroom build ito the rocks.

The dining room and small swimming pool are up more walkways at the top of the lodge. The dining room is light and airy with scenic views on one side. They really care about food here and have aspirations to fine dining. The quality was excellent as was the standard of cooking. They also provide afternoon tea with delicious homemade cakes. The service was excellent and the staff very friendly and helpful.

We loved it and were sad we only stayed one night."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

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