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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr E from California

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

Okavango Delta Dream Vacation

Botswana between 22 Jun 2011 and 30 Jun 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip was the trip of a lifetime. It more than met all of our expectations, and it was like a dream - a good one. In looking back at the whole thing, everything went almost flawlessly. We did not miss any flights, we were always expected when we arrived, and we felt that our needs were always being met. The items mentioned on the previous items [Ed: see individual reviews, below] did not detract from the magic of the trip, and we never missed any game drives. As I commented to my wife, we never felt bored at any time.

The agent from Wilderness Air who met us at the Maun airport (both times) was extremely helpful and professional. His help was almost essential to our transfer there; he really has to know what he's doing at that airport, which is somewhat chaotic.

On the other hand, we were somewhat confused when we arrived in Johannesburg on the flight from London. They gave instructions towards the end of the flight about whether to go to the transit line, etc. Since we had not checked our bags through, we had to just go through passport control and customs as if we were just going to Johannesburg. We figured it out, and got into the main terminal. Then, we were somewhat clueless about where to go next. A porter came up to us, and asked us where we needed to go. Although we are always cautious about being in unfamiliar airports in other countries, he took us to the right counter for Air Botswana, and we got checked in on time, and to our departure gate. It would have been difficult for us to find the right counter - it was at the very end of many closed counters.

I would recommend that, if possible, some more detailed instructions should be given for navigating the Johannesburg airport. It all went OK, but it was a bit tense. We did better on the way back. The lines were long, but we had plenty of time. Substantial layovers are well advised.

I did check my records. When I went to Botswana, including the Okavango Delta in 1991, the tour operator was Wilderness Safaris. And that was a wonderful trip, too, although the facilities were a lot more primitive.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Your organization did a first-rate job organizing our trip. Although we had no experience with you, I would highly recommend you services. Ms. Adye was excellent."

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Little Vumbura review"

3 nights Arrived 22 Jun 2011
"Overall, as indicated above, we really had a wonderful time in Little Vumbura. This was the first camp on our trip, and the staff really helped orient us, since we were a bit jet-lagged a that point. The wildlife viewing was outstanding - especially the leopard with the fresh baboon kill. Our guide, Ka, was experienced and informative; we always felt we were in good hands with him.

All of our meals and "teas" were excellent, and we feel that, overall, it was probably the best food of all three camps. On our third evening, the dinner was served in their boma. They created a special, celebratory atmosphere; the food, service. and attention to detail were wonderful.

The only problem that occurred was the water supply - twice an elephant that roamed the camp broke a pipe. However, they fixed the breaks quickly, and none of them happened while we were showering!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Xigera Safari Lodge

Xigera Safari Lodge

"Xigera review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Jun 2011
"Although we only had two nights in Xigera, our visit was truly memorable. Our tent was located at the end of the camp, overlooking the lagoon. It was just fantastic. We were the only guests in camp on the first night, so the staff was even more attentive.

The wildlife viewing was also excellent. On our first mokoro ride, our guide, Teko found a Pel's Fish Owl. It was one of the most beautiful birds we have ever seen. The next day, we had an all-day excursion to Chief's Island. We saw all sorts of wildlife, include more hippos that we could count. The "picnic" was quite a spread - as good as any in camp. What a treat!

In the camp we were entertained during the day by all of the vervets. One of the staff took Cynthia around to watch them play and mock fight, which resulted in some great video clips.

In hindsight, we would have enjoyed a third night in Xigera; it's beauty, peacefulness, and the hospitality of the staff made the whole stay idyllic."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chitabe Lediba

Chitabe Lediba

"Chitabe Lediba review"

3 nights Arrived 27 Jun 2011
"Chitabe Lediba is in a great location for wildlife viewing and game drives. There are a lot of different kinds of birds and mammals, and we were fortunate enough to see a young leopard, thanks to the effort and determination of our guide, Thuso. We were fortunate enough to be the only guests with Thuso, and he always gave us ample time to view and photograph. Thuso also filled in at the camp to serve meals.

The dinner on our first night was in the boma. The quality of the food was substandard, and the boma itself did not seem especially welcoming. We had a much better experience in Little Vumbura when they had a dinner in their boma.

During that dinner, we noticed that the service did not seem up to the standard of the other camps, but we thought it may have been an anomaly. However, the next morning at breakfast the service was also poor. There was only one person at the buffet to serve food, the selection of items was quite limited, and we were not asked if we wanted coffee, etc. At lunch and dinner, we had to go ask for drinks, rather than being offered when we arrived (like the other camps).

We felt that the poor quality of the service was the direct result of poor management of the camp. One of the managers, Gwen, was new to the camp and to the profession. She commented that she had never been on a game drive, and that her primary goal working there was to gather material to write a book. The other manager (he was nicknamed "Lucy") was very experience, but did not seem to put forth much effort.

When it was time to eat, the person fetching us from our tent would usually not come up to the door, but just call out. And they tended to use their flashlight to light their way, but it left the walkway in the dark for us.

A new manager, Derek (sp?), arrived on Tuesday and was there at dinner (our second night). Starting Wednesday morning, the service started improving, and we felt that it kept improving during the rest of our stay. Derek was there for meals and to assist all of the guests at any time, and it seemed that he had really taken control of the situation. Our grades would probably have been much better if he had been there the whole time. On our last morning, after the drive, Derek had arranged a special, private lunch for us by the pool. This certainly helped leave us with a more positive feeling as we departed.

Our guide, Thuso, was a joy to be with. We felt we really got to know him more that any of the other guides or staff, and he was the best part of our stay in Chitabe Lediba, by far. We would love to see him again should we return."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent

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