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 V from Harlow

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

4

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

17

Excursions taken

0

My Jan 2020 trip

Botswana between 14 Jan 2020 and 25 Jan 2020

Trip rating: Excellent
"We enjoyed this trip, our thirteenth safari but our first during the green season. We particularly wanted to look for birds in the breeding season and so in breeding plumage and to see the desert 'in bloom'.

We did both, notably seeing weavers, whydahs and widowbirds- little brown jobs for most of the year but now in full plumage. The desert was indeed in flower and we would recommend the experience to all seasoned safari aficionados - not only for the green freshness and the ephemeral flowering plants but the huge range of flowering grasses and the huge numbers of beautiful butterflies, grasshoppers and so on. Sure the game is spread out and not gathered around the waterholes but we saw so many groups of animals fit and well fed and simply enjoying themselves- dogs, lions and elephants playing. A great trip.

The downside was the lack of water in the Delta. The rains failed last year and some areas had consequently been dry for over a year. Vumbura is situated on a permanent river so was less affected and there has been some recent rain this season so water levels there have gone up and we enjoyed good water activities there, however Jacana camp in the Jao concession was completely dried up and has been for over a year. Recent rains have barely touched them and they hope for water again later in the year when the floods from Angola arrive; there have been good rains in Angola apparently.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

We have used Expert Africa on several occasions and returned because you do offer an excellent service."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Tau Pan Camp

Tau Pan Camp

"Tau Pan Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 15 Jan 2020
"We started our trip at Tau Pan as we particularly wanted to see the Kalahari during the rainy 'green' season and were not disappointed. Everything was green and in flower. All the game was fit, well fed and fat and many of the birds were in breeding plumage - just what we wanted.

In particular the place was alive with insects - especially butterflies and grasshoppers. Don't be put off - there were no mosquitoes nor many 'biting' flies of any sort. Game was spread out as there was water everywhere but nevertheless we saw all the Kalahari specialities we had hoped for, gemsbok, springbok, lion, cheetah and some surprises such as African wild cat.

Camp was comfortable, the staff friendly and attentive and the guiding excellent - they had been told by Expert Africa that we were interested in birdlife and Vasco our main guide was an excellent and skillfull spotter."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Little Vumbura review"

3 nights Arrived 19 Jan 2020
"A lovely camp, surrounded by water offering both water activities and dry-land drives.

We went on mokoro and boat trips and several drives. Again the bird life was prolific and in breeding plumage. The mokoro guide and the boat guide made special effort to position the boats for photographs. The drives produced splendid wild dog sightings with three hunts- all non productive but the last resulting in the pack rough and tumbling like playful pet dogs for some ten minutes or so.

We also saw several groups of elephant bathing and playing in the water and a pride of lion whose cubs were also rough and tumbling for a quarter of an hour. The camp is beautifully situated and the staff all friendly and attentive"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Jacana Camp

Jacana Camp

"Jacana Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Jan 2020
"We were initially disappointed with Jacana although not through anything they were responsible for. Despite being listed as surrounded by water and offering mainly water activities they had not had any water around the supposed island for over a year. Their boats were all beached some distance away and not operating so the activities were only game drives - not what we were expecting. The delta had suffered from lack of rains last year and Jacana is surrounded by seasonal flood plains so in such an exceptional year can be left a bit dry.

Nevertheless our guide, Mr Bee, did his best and we had enough excellent sightings to make up for this. He too was a good birder. Memorable is the Pel's fishing owl in camp actually eating a fish. We drove to the permanent water of the Jao river near Jao camp where there was at least some remaining water and were rewarded by good views of sitatunga in the open due to the lack of their usual haunt amongst the marshy reeds.

We were also blessed with a long sighting of a lioness moving her three one month old cubs from their birth den across what should have been lagoon to a new den over a mile away"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

Gorillas and the Serengeti Migration 2014

Tanzania and 1 other country between 3 Jul 2014 and 17 Jul 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"We are seasoned safari aficionados, this being our 11th trip but first to Rwanda and then on to the Northern Tanzanian circuit. We enjoyed the whole trip immensely and had many memorable sightings and generally excellent lodges and camps.

Rwanda. Words cannot describe the gorilla treks- we looked forward to them, read as much as we could before going and still the experience was overwhelming. This was a birthday treat for my wife and on her birthday we watched a large family of gorillas going about their business and interacting with us in an absolutely magical way. Expensive but worth every penny- just save and do it.

Rwanda practically. The lodge was great and Primate safaris were efficient, our driver friendly and efficient. The country was fascinating- a modern city in Kigali and so clean but subsistence agriculture elsewhere with not a tractor in sight. Very friendly people.


Northern Tanzania. We saw the migration, half of a Mara river crossing and an abundance of game in the Serengeti. I was dubious about going to such a popular destination but did not feel that there were too many vehicles in the area. A great lodge in Lemai.


Asilia were superb in looking after us from Manyara onwards. Manyara was fine but beware, the open part of the park is only a half day's game drive and although we did meet someone who had seen a lion, the famous tree climbing lions are not often seen nowadays - good bird life though.

Ngorongoro crater. Cold when we were there - heed the warnings and ensure you take something to ward off the morning cold. A magical place though with abundant game. The Lemala camp seemed like a disappointment but we felt that it might not have been if the weather had been better.

Tarangire; an excellent camp in Oliver's and good game in particularly birds

The general organisation of the trip was pretty faultless (until we returned to Heathrow to find the Stansted express we use for the last leg home was not running) Camps and Lodges and all the interconnecting bits and pieces all worked together really well. Each driver who met us had printed name boards to find us with and named folders of permits etc and it all worked really well. They were friendly, bright, witty and informative, full marks to Primate safaris and to Asilia safaris

Elizabeth at Expert Africa made helpful suggestions before we decided on where to go and organised it all quietly in the background, sending their final ticket pack and useful information booklets a week or two before we left. We will undoubtedly use them again"

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

"Sabyinyo Silverback lodge and Rwanda gorillas"

3 nights Arrived 4 Jul 2014
"Sabyinyo Silverback lodge was a great start to our trip. It is the closest lodge to the Volcanos park entrance and this saves quite a bit of time in the early morning start when you visit the gorillas. It has a wonderful situation just under the Sabyinyo Volcano with views of several of the other volcanos too. The rooms are comfortable and well appointed, the communal areas large and comfortable. We were treated to a talk by the gorilla vets on our first evening which was quite unexpected and a great introduction.

It should be stressed that the lodge is just a lodge and does not organise your gorilla visits nor any other activities- these are done by your driver, in our case from the excellent and efficient 'Primate safaris' who met us in Kigali and stayed with us for all of the Rwanda section of our trip. Your driver will collect you first thing in the morning and take you to the park and will negotiate the details of gorilla treks for you- tell him everything you want or need- eg a short hike, an easy hike etc and be aware that a short hike may actually be a hard hike up steep mountainside- be careful what you ask for. If you want to go out say birdwatching after treking then don't expect your driver to know where to go. The lodge didn't currently know either although the new managers are trying to correct this, so for now do your homework before going- there is for instance a Government created birding circuit nearby that nobody knew about and I only discovered later. Once known about your driver will however take you wherever you want.

Gorilla trekking. Wonderful and worth the money and the treks- we had an easy trek day one and a very hard one day two but rounding the corner and seeing the gorillas makes it all worthwhile. Do hire a porter and do take garden gloves- Sabyinyo will provide gaiters for you."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Kigali Serena Hotel

Kigali Serena Hotel

"Kigali Serena Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 7 Jul 2014
"On the surface a posh, modern, well appointed city hotel. On safari I find them a necessary evil to help accommodate flight times etc so I may be biased against such places

Like many such hotels nothing is ever as good as the façade. Our meal was very average, the air conditioning in our room too noisy to sleep with if left on and our packed breakfast didn't arrive"
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Lamai Serengeti

Lamai Serengeti

"Lamai Serengeti review"

3 nights Arrived 8 Jul 2014
"Brilliant location high on a kopje looking down on the plains and just the right balance of bush-camp/comfort. Friendly, attentive staff, great guiding and close to the Mara river if wildebeest crossings are your thing but with plenty of resident game too, great food- what's not to like.

We saw the migration in full swing, lion, leopard (mating in broad daylight!!) cheetah and a host of other game and birds"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lemala Ngorongoro

Lemala Ngorongoro

"Lemala Ngorongoro camp"

2 nights Arrived 11 Jul 2014
"We arrived in thick freezing fog which had chilled the camp right through as it is situated (as are most of the lodges and camps) high on the crater rim. We were thus not in the best of moods. The hugh tent held three double beds and they took up most of the room. The showers are hand filled bucket showers which I would imagine on a warmer day would be great- I have had many such showers in warmer conditions and they are a great safari experience. The dining tent was fine but really freezing- other guests were dining in four layers and wearing gloves! There were heaters but for some reason they were not in use on the really cold day despite our asking for them to be put on although strangely they were on the second, warmer day.

Not the best of experiences but perhaps not the camp's fault.

Once again Expert Africa did not leave a section to mention that from Manyara airstrip we were met by a Tanzanian safari company, Asilia who provided us with a vehicle and driver, Harry, who drove us on a game drive around Manyara before taking us to Lemala. He (not Lemala) then took us around the Ngorongoro crater the next day. He was experienced and knowledgeable including in birdlife and was also witty and fun to be with. The whole Asilia experience was faultless and they sound like a thoroughly modern company who have excellent policies, ethics and train their staff well- they all loved the company"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Oliver's Camp

Oliver's Camp

"Oliver's camp review"

4 nights Arrived 13 Jul 2014
"Oliver's was one of the best camps we have been in. The tents were easily the best designed we have ever stayed in and the situation was great. The communal areas and campfire were also great- even the local elephants thought so and joined us for lunch one day. The food was great and the staff friendly and efficient

Although the camp is Asilia owned and run we decided to use the camps own guides rather than the driver Harry that Asilia originally sent to take us around Manyara and Ngorongoro. The reasoning was that the camp's vehicles would be open and the guides would have up to date local knowledge of the area. The guide Oliver's provided was young but as good as our original driver had been. He wanted to extend his bird knowledge and so was an ideal guide for us- a hint- if you are interested in birdlife tell your camp and they will usually provide a guide with some interest in birds and who will drive a bit slower- you see just the same animals as everyone else but get to see the smaller animals such as mongooses etc that faster drivers miss- and moreover will try to keep you away from those other guests who tap their fingers irritably whilst you muse over little brown jobs."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Onsea House

Onsea House

"Onsea House review"

1 night Arrived 17 Jul 2014
"Our journey home had a large gap due to airline schedules and so Asilia booked a dayroom for us at Onsea House. A smallish lodge tucked away on the quiet outskirts of Arusha; we didn't expect much but Onsea was great.

A comfortable room, a shower to wash the safari dust off, lunch thrown in and an hour or so quiet kip before the final bit of our journey home. So much better than a hotel"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

My Sep 2012 trip

Tanzania between 27 Sep 2012 and 12 Oct 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our ninth safari and a return for a second visit to Ruaha and Selous. The game and sightings were as good as any we have experienced before anywhere.

We saw three different lion hunt and kills, a crocodile/impala kill and an unsuccessful leopard hunt in daylight. We had good wild dog sightings, plenty of various antelope and an excellent range of smaller animals; add a total of 220 species of birds in 12 days, many lizards and even a few snakes this trip- 2 pythons and a green snake (it's a harmless species - I don't mean a mamba or boomslang). Both Ruaha and Selous remain game rich and less tourist full than many other destinations. Selous is a favorite over Ruaha because of the availability of water safaris but to us a mixture of places makes a trip and the paucity of available water in Ruaha just concentrates the game.

Guiding was excellent at all the three camps we went to and the camps themselves reflected the range from bush camp to luxurious with none of them having any shortcomings. As usual the camp staff were unfailingly pleasant and efficient. One does not usually notice the domestic staff side of things but all the camps manage hotel type efficiency of cleaning, clothes washing and ironing and food production and all done out in the bush far from civilization.

We approached Expert Africa with two itineraries; a Zambia trip was not on because places were already booked but it was clear that a Southern Tanzania one was possible and in fact everything we wanted fell into place within a few days. Claire was efficient, friendly and you get the impression with expert Africa that they will keep on trying to get your trip right. On this occasion there was no problem. Our documents arrived in plenty of time as promised.

An excellent and enjoyable trip- Thank you

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Our second trip organised by you and faultless really. We are experienced safari fans so perhaps we know what we want and what to expect more than some (Africa being Africa!), however knowing that your staff will have actually visited and have experience of many of the camps is comforting when planning and discussing places to go.

It would be good to see you cover Kenya and particularly Uganda."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Kwihala Camp

Kwihala Camp

"Kwihala camp 2012"

5 nights Arrived 28 Sep 2012
"This was our second visit to Kwihala and we enjoyed our stay as much as the first trip. We returned because of the location and guiding and the camp remains exactly as it was in 2010. It still has more of a bush camp 'feel' than many camps although it is nonetheless well equiped and comfortable. We experienced elephant browsing around our tent on the first night and awoke to find him asleep some 50 metres away- some start to the trip. On our last night a pair of jackal were roaming around camp yapping at each other in a lacivious manner!

The guiding remains excellent. Steve led for us last time and Marc was undertaking his first 'session' this time. You need to experience poor guiding to appreciate excellent guiding - touches such as placing the vehicle so all guests get good views or placing for photographs; making the effort to find just remembered places and enthusing about the smaller animals and birds. Marc was as good as Steve and we saw as much if not more game as on our last trip including excellent views of the usual Lion and so on but also bat-eared fox, honey badger in daylight and a multitude of birds.

The food was good and ample with different dining locations each night out under the stars. Excellent salads and kebabs."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Return to Impala camp 2012"

3 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2012
"Another return to an excellent camp that also has not changed much since our last visit.

We enjoyed the same guide, driver and waiter as on our last visit and they were as good as last time. Ezra is an excellent guide and well partnered by driver and spotter Rajabu. There was just as much game as on our last visit with excellent bird life and good sightings of wild-dog in particular and even a gruesome crocodile kill of an impala. We returned to Impala in part because of the chance of boat trips which are offered by several of the Selous camps. Impala's boats did not disappoint and we saw many birds and other water life

We stayed in a different tent this time but just as well appointed and located. The food was excellent and the camp remains just as good as before."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Beho Beho

Beho Beho

"First visit to Beho Beho"

5 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2012
"Our first visit to Beho Beho and we were a bit apprehensive given its reputation as one of the best and most luxurious of safari lodges and our preference for bush type camps. It was indeed luxurious but managed to give a rustic feel nevertheless. Our Banda, (as all the others) had an open front that looked out over and down a valley so that we could constantly see game. Whilst we were there buffalo, wildebeast, elephany, giraffe, hippo, impala and eland were in just about constant view. The banda was very well appointed with much attention to detail. Although we did not use it there is WiFi in all bandas and a computer is available for guest use in their library.

The camps main area has a water hole that attracted impala, elephant, hyena and hippos whilst we dined; food was top class and there was more than enough - we declined afternoon cakes and struggled not to put on weight!

The guiding was excellent with all the guides good on birds as well as game. There was an abundance of game. We saw lion hunt and kill and a daylight leopard hunt although he did not catch anything. We went on walking safaris every afternoon and the guiding on these was excellent too. We had (very) close encounters with hippo and elephant but felt safe at all times. We also visited lake Tagalala where there was another great boat trip and a visit to the nearby hot springs.

Beho Beho was as luxurious as we were led to believe. There were not many guests whilst we were there (the way it happens at most camps- they were full the day we arrived) and we felt that we could have felt out of place had it been fuller- it is the sort of experience where you might feel you had to dress for dinner, not that Karin and Walter, the managers, would have expected it. They aimed for a friendly family, Country House type of experience and achieved it well"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Southern Sun Hotel"

1 night Arrived 11 Oct 2012
"A necessary hotel to sleep at so as to catch the early morning flight home. Its location was closer to the airport than the last hotel we stayed at in Dar.

However you arrive late afternoon, eat, sleep and leave early so it is impossible to comment really"
Average
Location
Average
Service
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average

Southern Tanzania safari

Tanzania between 12 Oct 2010 and 27 Oct 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"We were very happy with most of our safari, Lake Manze camp excepted, and very happy with how Claire from Expert Africa helped us decide on places to go and the general organisation of the trip. Everything 'happened' as arranged and expected and that is not always the case in Africa so full marks to Expert Africa.
As seasoned African safari goers the Southern Tanzanian circuit was new to us but met our expectations with excellent game, wonderful bird life and beautiful locations in Ruaha and Selous.
If there was any blot it would be that being close to beach resorts means that you get a number of first time safari goers whose interest is superficial and where the safari is bolted on as some sort of exotic extra to a beach trip that is the tourist's main interest and some of the camps cater to this level of tourism. Selous tourism has evidently expanded in recent years and we fear that this will lead to safari tourism in the way some Northern Tanzanian (Ngorongoro) and Southern Kenyan (Mara) areas cater for"

Arranged By Claire Scott


Kwihala Camp

Kwihala Camp

"Kwihala camp review"

5 nights Arrived 13 Oct 2010
"As experienced Safari buffs we thought Kwihala to be a marvelous place. The camp fitted our idea of a good bush camp; our only gripe was that there wasn't enough water in the showers for two to have good showers but that apart the rooms were fine. The food was good, the service good and the location good. The guiding- we had Steve for the whole trip- was as good as it gets with enthusiasm, knowledge and a desire to share these and this really made the visit memorable. We sat and watched for as long as we wanted and did not spend time chasing round after other peoples sightings like you do in so many places neither were we bound by any camp managers timing and if there were interesting things to see we stayed out and simply had late lunches etc. Steve's knowledge went far beyond the local info that you get from so many modern guides and there was an abundance of game; we saw 43 lion on one day as well as cheetah, leopard as well as many other animals large and small and many birds. We would definitely go back to Ruaha and Kwihala"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Lake Manze camp review"

4 nights Arrived 18 Oct 2010
"Manze was a disappointment after Kwihala. The location was nothing special with next to no view despite being almost on the lakeside. The camp seemed crowded with the tents too close together and without much privacy. The furnishings were flimsy and the provision of candles for lighting seemed dangerous- most camps manage some sort of electric lighting nowadays. This indeed seemed a strange choice as they did have solar water heating. The food was OK but the camp seemed rather threadbare with dirty sand floors and rickety furniture- a chair broke under my not excessive weight! Our main gripe however was the water. This we were told was filtered and boiled water from the lake and was 'perfectly drinkable'. It may well have been safe but it tasted like pondwater and was simply foul and as they made tea and coffee from it they too were undrinkable. The alternative was to buy bottled water.
The game was actually excellent and the guides did make some effort to find things we were interested in but we got the impression that they were pretty disinterested and they lacked much more than minimal knowledge of the basics. They belonged to the 'find a lion at all costs' type of guides. We spent ages on one drive gathered round part of a dead impala up a tree with 8 other vehicles in attendance and then 'bundi bashed' the locality looking for the leopard that had evidently long since gone and was never coming back.
Given the large number of first timers at this camp we got the impression that it was actually directed at that group of 'first-timers' that combine a few days safari with a beach trip to Zanzibar and to be fair many of them thought the camp was fine although we suspected that it was because they did not know better.
We got the impression that it was not an altogether happy ship"
Average
Location
Average
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Poor
Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Selous Impala camp stay"

4 nights Arrived 22 Oct 2010
"What a contrast. Impala camp must rank amongst the best camps we have ever visited and a match for the excellent Kwihala- more of an upmarket feel perhaps but retaining a bush ambience. An excellent location with well thought out siting of the tents and guest buildings. Excellent tents with excellent furnishings, lighting, water and those little touches that make you feel welcome in a camp- evidently due in no small part to the influence of the camp manageress, Barbara. The food was absolutely wonderful, the service first class and again with little touches that really made the stay- surprise bush sundowners, our table placed privately and romantically by a fire on our last night and our own 'private' genet in attendance!
The guiding was personal with a knowledable and friendly guide (Ezra) and (separate but also knowledgable) driver dedicated to us for the whole stay and the guiding was deliberately designed to our personal likes with all effort made to find things we wanted to see and done with enthusiasm, empathy and really good regard for the environment- no driving fast past baby impala for instance. We also went on walking safaris and these were proper walks with guiding adapted to our level of knowledge
An excellent camp and a credit to Barbara and Makumba (the head guide). We would definitely go again"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sea Cliff Hotel

Sea Cliff Hotel

"Sea Cliff Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 26 Oct 2010
"We were only here for a brief overnight stop and did not eat there nor use any of their facilities. The hotel was evidently of a very high standard. If we had any criticism it would be that it was too far from the airport and a bit OTT after bush camping"
Average
Location
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
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