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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs C from Amberley

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

0

My Feb 2014 trip

Kenya between 16 Feb 2014 and 27 Feb 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"Ellie has handled my, sometimes eccentric and varied, requests in the past. Always excellently. This time was no exception.

In this case after exploring Expert Africa's great web sites, looking up flights possibilities and with some past experience I set out my stall for her. Her recommendation that I go for Eagles View and Dorobo Fly Camp were absolutely spot on. I am grateful for that alone but as always Ellie patched up the many flights, sleeping arrangements, rooms and guides as efficiently as ever with suggestions and recommendations.

The mixture of the Naboisho and Driftwood were for me perfect. It may be for some of your clients that the travel to and from Malindi are a bit arduous with the time between some flights and also the Fly Camp might not suit some. But the programme was one I would recommend to anyone mixing the Lodges and the Game and the Masai with the other Africa of Malindi and the sea.;a marvellous contrast.

I would not next time fly from Malindi and then wait for the BA flight back to UK which involved 6 plus hours in Departures at Nairobi. I would go and stay over at a lodge in Nairobi Game Park nearby

I had the best of my many trips out to Africa, and possibly the best travel holiday of my life despite (perhaps perversely) because I was going solo; i did things I might not have attempted with others there

I would not dream of doing another one without Ellie's guiding hand!!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Sorry to be boring but I cannot think of anything. I did have trouble getting logged in after the trip but that was probably me, more used, as I said to Ellie, to quill pens and parchment. She helped and was patience personified.....I am still unsure whether the Feed-back actually has got to you all!"

Ole-Sereni

Ole-Sereni

"Base Camp Eagles View"

1 night Arrived 17 Feb 2014
"I only stayed the one night after arriving in Nairobi from London in the evening and leaving after breakfast.

The rooms and service were perfectly acceptable. It was novel being in the converted USA Embassy building...were all our conversation being recorded?"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Basecamp Eagle View

Basecamp Eagle View

"Basecamp Eagle View review"

2 nights Arrived 18 Feb 2014
"I traveled solo on my trip back to Kenya and cannot fault the efficiency and concern of all the arrangements by Ellie at Expert Africa.

I have stayed at game lodges many other times, in Kenya,Tanzania and Namibia. Basecamp Eagles View,and my visit surpassed, all the others very good thorough they were.

The individual lodges were excellent with large beds, perfect 'facilities' ( even a hot water bottle!) and a veranda and views to die for; the main reception areas were beautifully presented; the Masai staff were all exceptional in their warmth, concern and efficiency; the food varied and excellent. Above all, and a reason for staying here even had everything else been less than adequate, was the setting overlooking the valley and plains 100 ft or more below us with wandering giraffe, water buck, antelope to inspect with binoculars and a beer in hand.

The game drives were a joy; as much good game as you could wish for and plenty of it; stunning and varied scenery and the exceptional pleasure of rarely seeing another vehicle this despite staying stationary for an hour on two separate occasions, once surrounded by at least fifty grazing elephants and the other by nine lazy lions all a touching distance away, in the setting sunset.( In the Masai Mara you would have been in a vehicle park with that sort of game!)

Steve, my guide and driver was an amiable, knowledgeable and friendly companion dressed always in full Masai outfit. I could not have wished for better. His patience and skill in setting up those two particular game experiences was exceptional. I loved every minute of it but almost the most memorable was the last early morning walk where he collected three more of the staff and the four of them, dressed in red and beads and armed with lethal looking throwing spears, escorted us; we were safe as houses and never at risk, their red outfits enough in themselves to warn away any hungry lion!

I could not recommend too highly this exceptional camp. If your interest also lies in ecological issues, then the camp must be one of the most efficient with recycling everywhere, their power from the sun; indeed it has been short listed for an International Award.

I am grateful for a really memorable visit and shall return!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Basecamp Wilderness Camp

Basecamp Wilderness Camp

"Basecamp Dorobo Fly Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Feb 2014
"Whilst based at Eagles View I stayed two days and nights at Dorobo, as it happened largely on my own.

What an experience.!I was treated like a visiting prince, by the most warm and lovely group of Masai staff. They all, at different times, came to chat and talk excitedly about anything and everything. I loved it and them.

The tent might not be everyone's luxury cup of tea but I wholly recommend it. The bed was really comfortable; there was the welcome of a fur covered hot water bottle; the wash and the shave at dawn from a canvas basin, without a mirror, was an exercise in concentration and great care; the loo and shower were interesting but perfectly adequate a few yards away.

The walking drives were an unforgettable experience, with the support of a spear carrying Masai, a hunter from another tribe with bow and arrows and a splendid chap in polished army boots, camouflage jacket and hat, with a serious expression, and armed with an automatic, and perhaps elderly rifle, and with lovely Lorna from Eagles View as my knowledgeable guide.

It was a treat, returning in the dark, tracking a moving herd of maybe fifteen elephant of all ages and following them back to the valley where the camp was. Then a quick wash and join the boys and Lorna around the camp fire with a beer and the sound of elephant as they passed in the dark a short distance away. Gloucester was a long way away! A privilege to be there with these exceptional and happy people.

Combining a few days at Base Camp Eagles View with two days and nights at Dorobo was for me simply perfect. I would recommend it to everyone.

I shall certainly return for more!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Basecamp Eagle View

Basecamp Eagle View

"Basecamp Eagle View review"

1 night Arrived 22 Feb 2014
"See previous review from earlier stay. [ Ed: see review, below. ]"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Driftwood Beach Club

Driftwood Beach Club

"Driftwood Beach Club review"

4 nights Arrived 23 Feb 2014
"I had stayed at Driftwood with my wife in 1992. To my relief it has remained totally unchanged with the exception of IT and Air Con in the lodges!

For me a perfect set up. Individual cabins under thatched roofs, not too many, surrounded by palms and sand and a short walk to the recption areas, a relaxing bar area and restaurant. It is still very much in the tradition of what it was originally set up as in Fifties, as a Beach Club for locals and expats to unwind and relax and talk but rarely for large scale tour operations; there is even a very serviceable squash court for the athletic!

I loved it. The cabins were excellently appointed within large comfortable beds and efficient loo and shower areas. Each has small veranda with chairs and tables for an dawn ( and what dawns!) coffee or a G and T before supper after sunset. The food was first class and the service throughout efficient and friendly.

The lovely sandy beaches stretch for miles either way and when walkimng you were really not pestered just smile and walk on, indeed none came near the Club since we had security keeping careful watch.

I walked alone through the Malindi Markets after a tuk-tuk of ten minutes. full of life and colour and, though only the white face there, many smiles in response to 'Jambo'. To be enjoyed alone though perhaps best with a local guide to ,pave the way..

One highlight was a dhow trip with two amiable rogues Feisal and J ( name unpronounceable). Left at five pm returned two hours after sunset in pitch black under the stars; a four hour trip not as planned ''two hours. OK?''. Simply perfect including wading back to the shore afterwards in sea the feel of warm milk!

As a place to stay and relax, you could not fault Driftwood. With the walks and the lively town of Malindi to visit it was for me, perfect after the game lodges in the Noboisho Conservancy and the prospect of a return to England in March!."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

My Jan 2011 trip

Tanzania between 31 Jan 2011 and 11 Feb 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"I really can not thank Ellie too much for the service she provided at Expertb Africa.

She assessed with great patience the sort of pople wevwere and our interests and past experience of Africa and then quitely recommended where we should go. She was spot on with these suggestions and provided us , as aresult, with a truly memorable trip. Not a fault or confusion anywjhere. We wre always met promptly at every arrival by efficient handlers.

Expert Africa is clearly well regarded at the Camps and not surpisingly. many thanks.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

You have my individual assessments. For me it was all faultless but then somewhere basic like Kwihala fits my personal bill perfectly but might not others, perhaps particularly the ladies, who might prefer more luxuries. However, Ellie pointed this out to me and already knew neither Jill nor I wanted the 'Hilton Bubble' experience. However, youneed to make sure that your clients do fit the style of the camp....but recommend it nevertheless as something thoroughly worth the extra effort!!"

Kwihala Camp

Kwihala Camp

"Kwihala Camp. The best of many tripsto Africa"

4 nights Arrived 1 Feb 2011
"The Camp is not for those who prefer the 'Hilton Bubble' luxury but who in my view will not then truly experience Africa. Having said that I have absolutely no complaints and would have wanted for nothing else. The camp provides all anyone, with a genuine love and interest in the country, could wish for and who wants to absorb Africa fully and not just from elements of a boutique hotel with a gin and tonic in their hands ( welcome though that was at Kwihala after a day's drive!).

The service was exemplary with smiling ever attentive staff at the Camp itself. Marius Swart and Festos, as our guides and tutors, were encyclopedic in their knowledge of animals , birds and insects and a joy to be with. Not only were the 'sightings' exceptional but there was laughter all the time. My wife and I were the only people there on our stay but for us, that was ideal!

Game was no doubt less prolific at this time of the season than in June etc, and had there been the expected rains, grass woyuld have been higher and more concealing. However, we ourselves do not chase the 'Big Five' and we saw all and more we could ever reasonably have wished for.

The lions and elelephants were in amazing abundance. A pride of 19 combining in military action( but failing!) to 'kill' an impala; the lioness, the pride's matriarch, at dawn within a few yards of us, marking her pride's territory ; at dusk over a 100 elephants in total arriving over the space of an hour in their family groups, to drink, from 4 months old to full maturity, playful and very much family animals ; impala, water buck, birds by the million ( all immediately improbably named by Marius and Festos) and dawn in Africa an truly magical and unforgettable experience.

Being alone with our guides who were as absorbed as we were, we spent at times over an hour stationary watching very special moments.Above all else it was without another vehicle in sight. After the Serengeti and the Mara such a joy! It felt las if Africa was there to present itself simply to ourselves alone. In a sense this sums up our stay at Kwihala and one of the reasons I would recommend Ruaha and the Camp to everyone.

Our guides to keep us honest, arrangd for the vehicle to be charged, not once but twice, by irate elephants. Excellent! though Jill might not have seen it this way. Very unusual. Peerfectly safe but the boys felt that a group of four private vehicles with youngsters on baord entering the Park had frightened the elephants earlier and caused the reaction. The g and t was quite welcome on return home!

To be objective, and I think things may change when next year the camp is moved to a simply superb location nearby, we would have preferred slightly better viewing from the 'verandas' of the tent. The camp was surrounded by bushes in their spring green. Some clearance near the tent would have helped but a minor comment. It would have been nice also to have had fans for the odd hour in the afternoon at siesta but the costs of generators etc were not in the camps initial budget. Jill did feel the heat at this time.

Chef Godfrey was imaginative and far better than we might have expected from a camp such as this, announcing, in full regalia, the menu for the night and excellent breakfasts and picnics. Nothing was too much trouble and at the end of our game drives, smiling staff always greeted us with fruit juice and wet towels.

The highlights? Watching those lion and elephants at extraordinarily close quarters. You may indeed be 'safe' in the Land Cruiser but....you never know....and Africa whilst a Garden of Eden is nevertheless a dangerous place! Excellent! And so it always will be!

One serious note which Expert Africa mightbtake up. There is an inviolate rule that vehicles keep in the Park, to the 'official tracks' and do not wander. Marius, and Kwihala Camp, fully support this. However, there was much evidence thatn this is not followed by some of he other camps nearby. It is invidious for Marius to complain direct but a gentle word from Expert Africa might help.

For me with many East Africa trips behind me, this stay goes down as one of the most memerable and perfetct of the lot. I am grateful indeed to Ellie at Expert Africa for judging my needs and recommending the place to us. Thank you, Ellie."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Impala. Memorable The boat safari a 'must do'"

3 nights Arrived 5 Feb 2011
"The welcome and kindness shown on our arrival by staff and Barbara the manager were a treat. Through a slight misunderstanding that we had asked to be loacted and seperate and away from the centre of the camp they then immediately repositioned us in a lovely well located lodge with views of the river.

This camp was more up-market than Kwihala, in the Ruaha, from which we had come but not so luxurious as to 'spoil' for us the impact of the surrounding country. Sevice simply could not be faulted and we were even sung to in Swahili on evening by David our personal waiter whose smile never left his face for a moment.

The drives were excellent with a first class guide, Charles . The highlights of which were a pride of four lionesses and five cubs at close range playing like domestic cats in front of an English fire; a large herd of buffalo; a trio of two young males elephants sheperding their baby brother and the three of them swimming accross the river a matter of yards from us; hippos in abundance including one lady launching herself into the water at close range; crocodiles who would impress any good dentist; abundant water birdlife; impala and more lovely giraffe than I have ever seen. Really excellent viewing and guiding. Faultless. And whilst there were more vehicles than in the Ruaha not so many as to cause concern or 'overcrowding'.

The food was very good, faultlessly presented and varied choosing your evening menu after an excellent light lunch.

It is hot all the day with none of the cool evenings of Ruaha, but the fans in the room were a blessing .

All in all I would recommend this Lodge to anyone and most particulaly because of the boat safari wich I have never had before but which gives such a different view of the country and its animals.

Thank you to Ellie and Expert Africa in tacking this onto the Kwihala experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ras Kutani

Ras Kutani

"Rus Kutani. A resort and beaches to die for!"

3 nights Arrived 8 Feb 2011
"As a final destination after 7 days of game drives, Rus Kutani really was faultless. The management. led by Mark, was of the highest order, nothing was too much trouble and service was always with a very considerable smile upon every face. Attention to detail was of the highest standard. There was always a smile of welcome wherever we went.

We arrived by what might have seemed a very hard and unnecessary two and a half hour drive from Dar es Salaam including a ferry crossing with a seemingly endless throng of locals, bikes laden with coconuts, bananas and mango,produce of every sort, chicken.....and colour everywhere. We returned to the airport by plane in 20 minutes. In no way would we have missed that drive and the ferry,

Rus Kutani was hot yes, but softened by a steady cooling breeze off the sea and fans in the bedroom. at night. We walked the beach and watched local canoes and tiny dhows launch into the waves and disappear beyond the far reef to rerurn many hours later with scarce enough to feed the family.

One of the waiters, lovely John, was our companion and excellent guide to his former village 40 mins walk away, through forest and plantations. The school there is deperately underfunded by the Government with 524 pupils up to the age of eleven and only nine teachers! We were collected at the end by a land rover sent for us. We started at 7.00 and by nine the walk would really have been hot! A very nice and thoughtful touch. This visit and walk should almost be obligatory for guests and I know Mark, the manager, encourages it. The Resort has a policy of direct investement/support into the village on specific organised projects , be it a roof, a repair, things for the school. Money does not disappear into bureaucracy. Guest are asked to contribute if they wish with envelopes in the room. This all says much for the management of the resort.

Food was simply top drawer, the chef having been here all his working life. We mentioned at the start that we loved local mango. These were then especially available morning, noon and night! I stupidly am not a great fish eater which is the staple but beautifully prepared varied diet in the evenings. The result I mwas treated like royalty with a variety of very tasty meet dishes. Excellent!

All in all a perfect way to end our ten day trip. I simply can not understand why Zanzibar should attract beach lovers when Rus Kutani is availabl!

Again our thanks to Ellie at Expert Africa for judging our needs so perfectly and tacking Rus Kutani on to the end of our game drives in Ruaha and Selous."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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