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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs D from Winchester

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

17

Excursions taken

0

Tanzania in the (very) Wet Season

Tanzania between 11 Feb 2016 and 27 Feb 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Wonderful!! Chris and his team at Expert Africa are always brilliant - there is always someone in the office who has visited the places we want to visit and can give in depth information and advice. Thank you Ellie for all your help and advice and, also, Liz who took over whilst Ellie was on Honeymoon and had to sort out last minute changes when one of our chosen camps was closed by unusual weather conditions.

Just one very slight niggle - getting the Tanzanian visas on arrival in Dar proved to be a bit of a nightmare. There is no organisation resulting in passports for each member of the group being returned haphazardly one taking over an hour to handed back .TAB ( that's Africa baby!!)

We think that it is definitely worth the extra expense of applying for the visas in U.K.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Keep up,the good work!"

Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Tanzania in the (very) Wet Season"

1 night Arrived 12 Feb 2016
"Good morning transfer from airport after a nightmare getting visas!! The hotel was a perfect place to overnight before our onward journey.

In a very tranquil setting yet reasonably close to airport this hotel was staffed by very pleasant and helpful staff.

Our room was good though, perhaps,a little 'tired' but the hotel was undergoing a major makeover so this minor fault is being addressed. The air conditioning had a slight odour but this was also being sorted during the renovations.

We enjoyed a very good meal sitting on the terrace beside the swimming pool

We would definitely use the Southern Sun Dar again."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Sand Rivers Camp

Sand Rivers Camp

"Tanzania in the ( very ) Wet Season"

5 nights Arrived 13 Feb 2016
"The camp has been built along the side of the Rufuji River and all the bandas as well as the central area with the dining room and swimming pool have a good view of the river. At the time of our visit the river was very full due to the exceptional rains that the area has had this season

The bandas are very private and well equipped with an enormous double bed with mosquito net and adequate storage for clothes. There is a comfortable sitting area looking out through some trees to the river and a good en suite bathroom with a 'water fall' shower. There was always plenty of hot water and the toiletries provide were lovely - made locally.

All the bandas are open to the surroundings and monkeys play in the trees around them - this was not a problem ( though could be if food is left out) and any adventurous monkey wishing to join us was easily deterred by a clap of the hands. It was great to sit and watch them leaping through the trees accompanied nay the sound of hippos in the background!!

The food was generally good though, occasionally, a little too spicy for our tastes. On a couple of occasions, when it was far too spicy for one member of our party, an omelette was provided without any problem.

Seating at meal times was in our travelling groups except on the evening of the barbecue where all guests sat at one table on the pool terrace. If we had a choice we would choose the larger group as it is good to chat with folk outside of our own party and to share experiences although there were other opportunities to talk before and after meals.

The game drives were interesting due to the unusual weather that had been experienced this season. Many of the tracks had been washed away or badly damaged but Ernest, our brilliant driver / guide , and the Land Rover coped well. Game spotting was particularly challenging as the grasses were high and the foliage thick but that made anything we saw even more rewarding..

We had visited this area before both in February and in September but this year it was like visiting a totally different place - it would probably have be a little disappointing for first timers.

The walk and the two river trips were good, interesting and added another dimension to our experiences.

The Selous is a game reserve and not a National Park which means that off roading is allowed and Ernest took advantage of that trying to find the elusive leopard. All his efforts were in vain but the experience was fantastic.

All the staff at Sands River were helpful and charming and could not be faulted. It was especially nice to meet up with some old friends whom we had met at other Nomad camps on earlier visits to Tanzania.

We would definitely return to Sand Rivers Camp"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Sand Rivers fly-camping

Sand Rivers fly-camping

"Tanzania in the (very) Wet Season"

1 night Arrived 18 Feb 2016
"After a short drive we left the vehicle ( and our overnight gear which was taken onto the camp) and continued our journey to the fly camp on foot which provide an excellent opportunity to talk about about plants and smaller fauna and to enjoy the environment.

After a couple of hours we arrived at the fly camp. Roughing it ?? No - all creature comforts in a lovely setting beside a small river. Our tents were in two parts a cube made od mosquito netting with bedding - a comfortable 'mattress' with sheets - inside. Adjacent to the cube was a dome tent provided for changing etc or to use in case of rain or if anyone found sleeping 'al fresco' too scary!! Behind each tent was a table with towels , toiletries , mirror etc and beside it a tripod supporting a canvas wash bowl which was filled with warm water when required. To one side of the camp a long drop toilet had been dug and a bucket shower erected - all very private.

A table was set up with drinks for our sundowners and then we sat at a nicely laid table beside the campfire for a delicious three course meal.

We all slept well and woke refreshed and ready for our bush breakfast - yummy!

Our only disappointment - not enough animal noise during the night although Ernest assured us that there had been at least one leopard walking through the camp during the night."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

"Tanzania in the (very) Wet Season"

5 nights Arrived 19 Feb 2016
"We had not planned to visit Mwagusi Safari Camp ( had been there on two previous occasions and had been very slightly disappointed on our second visit ) but the unusually heavy rains had caused our chosen camp to close. Mwagusi was back to the original fantastic camp that we had visited the first time. Could it really be that one member ( now departed) of the management team had made such a difference.?

The bandas are fantastic set along a river bank with some good game viewing from the comfort of a well appointed sitting area.The sleeping area is tented so that there is no need for mosquito nets which is nice and there is a really spacious dressing area and en suite bathroom with all the hot water you could need. The whole unit is enclosed within reed and thatch.

On this visit we were lulled to sleep by the raging waters of the Mwagusi River which at less wet times is a sand river.

The food, as always ,was very good with loads of different vegetable dishes available which made another guest very happy as she was a vegetarian!!

The awful weather recently experienced in the area has taken a serious toll on the roads and as Ruaha is a National Park off roading is not an option this meant that on a number of occasions vehicles got stuck in mud and had to be towed or dug out - all part of the adventure but not one that you would normally experience in Ruaha!! Geofrey, our guide, and Isyaaah ,our driver did
sterling job

Geofrey's guiding was as good as it was the last time he guided us even with the challenging conditions of poor tracks, tall grasses and very thick foliage. He even managed to find us leopard on two occasions though the first sighting was very brief but he made up for that by finding us not one but two leopard on the second sighting and we were able to observe them for quite sometime.

Our stay was enhanced even more by the fact that Chris Fox was at the camp - his enthusiasm and passion for the wildlife, the Ruaha and the people is amazing and infectious and this is reflected in all the staff at the camp who are all helpful and charming and even those with only a little English wanted to share their knowledge with the guests. You cannot fail to enjoy your experiences in Ruaha after talking with Chris and his staff.

Having had a slight reservation about visiting Mwagusi for a third time we now cannot wait to visit for a fourth time and would not hesitate it recommending it."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ras Kutani

Ras Kutani

"Tanzanian the (very) Wet Season"

3 nights Arrived 24 Feb 2016
"We chose to be driven from the airport rather than fly - glad we do but it is quite a long journey on rough roads in a 2 wheel,drive vehicle - would not bother to repeat the exercise!

The journey was worth it Ras Kutani a delightful setting beside the sea and a fresh water lagoon with very nice well appointed bandas .

Our Banda looked out over the beach to the sea - it was very comfortable with a huge bed with mosquito net, a good dressing area with hanging and shelving for clothes etc. Twin hand basins andd separate shower and flush toilet. Always plenty of hot water and very nice toiletries .. Good big fluffy towels but ( just for information) did not supply face cloths which other lodges did.

The bandas were not very private and the very nice verandah are with comfy chairs and hammocks was open to view from the adjacent bandas as well as from the folk who were constantly at work in the gardens.

The food was very good and plentiful and the staff very pleasant - drinks are not included and are quite expensive. We sat in our travelling groups but there wasn't problem when we asked in another couple could sit with us.

I had an excellent massage.

we would return to Ras Kutani and would want a sea side Banda rather than one on the lagoon. We had the opportunity to visit a suite and question the value particularly as there is a long climb up the hill to reach them . The main advantage is the view and the price does include a stocked cool,box!"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

One Meerkat Safari !

South Africa between 5 Feb 2015 and 19 Feb 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"As always Expert Africa put together a wonderful trip.

Although the wildlife in the Kgalagadi was, to say the least , sparse we had a superb time. The accommodation was far better than anticipated. Very comfortable beds, good showers and more than adequate cooking facilities . The addition of a fridge in our vehicle would have made the whole experience perfect.

The driving was occasionally a little challenging and perhaps not for the faint hearted but Kgalagadi should be on the wish list for all those who love Africa and want a bit of an adventure.

Our experience with B.A. was unfortunate especially as they are one of the few airlines that go to the destinations of our choice.but that is out if the control of E.A.

We look forward to our next trips organised by E.A. - we have 2 in the pipeline!!!"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

"One Meerkat Safari !!"

1 night Arrived 6 Feb 2015
"After a long day of travelling we were not sure what to expect at Twee Rivieren - the first of our National Parks self catering accommodation . What a pleasant surprise! We were greeted in reception by a lady with a big smile who was very helpful and pleasant. When we asked about the timings for our drive the following day she handed us over to a Ranger who gave us advice about the varying road conditions and timings for various parts of our travels through Kgalagadi . He also kindly gave us a few tips about the 4WD system on the Toyota Hilux.

We were directed to our accommodation no. 25 - a family unit.! The 2 twin bedded bedrooms were air conditioned, there were 2 further beds in the 'living room' and a well equipped kitchen area ( with a double hob but no oven ) and , of course, shower and toilet facilities. It was very clean and comfortable - so much better than we had anticipated.

We decide to eat at the, on site, restaurant where we had a very nice meal ( enormous portions!) . At the time we felt service was a little slow but in retrospect it was the we hadn't quite switched into Africa mode - slower pace of life and so much nicer than the frenetic lives we live in the U.K.

After a good nights sleep we awoke early , refuelled the vehicle , shopped at the well stocked shop for the bits that I had failed to purchase in Uppington . Collected our park permit from the gate - all permits are kept overnight by park officials,"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Nossob Rest Camp

Nossob Rest Camp

"One Meerkat Safari"

1 night Arrived 7 Feb 2015
"It is a good drive along the main gravel road from Twee Rivieren to Nossob . We were lucky enough to spot 5 cheetah enjoying a kill which we guess they had made earlier that morning.

Once again the staff in reception were pleasant and helpful and we were soon installed in our pleasant overnight accommodation . A three bedded room with ceiling fan, separate living area with a kitchen very similar to that at Twee Rivieren and separate shower and toilet.

There were table and chairs on a small tiled area outside. Whilst sitting having ' sundowners' we were entertained by yellow mongoose..

After enjoying our meal prepared in the very well equipped kitchen we walked to the hide. We had eaten quite early so that we could be in the hide as the sunset.

The hide is a reasonable size ( with seats for 20 +/- ) and looks out over the waterhole. We were a bit unlucky with the game just springbok and a brown hyena but we know other people had seen more wildlife there. That is how it happens!

Another good sleep ( unfortunately not disturbed by noises from the wildlife!!) .

We wanted to make an early start as we had been told that the road into Ghararhab could be difficult so wanted to tackle it before the sand got too hot. The fuel station at Nossob didn't open until 07.00 - we had assumed that it would open at 06.00 like Twee Rivieren. Our advice to other travellers would be to refuel on arrival - something we will do on future trips.

Popped into the shop to see if there was any fresh fruit or veg - no luck - the shop was due to be restocked later that day.

Remembered to collect our permit"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Gharagab Wilderness Camp

"One Meerkat Safari"

2 nights Arrived 8 Feb 2015
"We had been told that the trip into Ghararhab was going to be difficult so we had set off early to allow ourselves plenty of time and because the sand conditions would be better earlier in the day before it got too hot,

As it turned out the road though sandy, tortuous and over several dunes was not really too challenging and as there was virtually no wildlife to stop and view our journey was relatively quick. We arrived at Gharagab at just after 10.30. To be greeted by a surprised Warden - Andreis - who told us that normally check in is after 14.00 but no problem .

Our accommodation - made of a mixture of canvas, wood and corrugated plastic ( sounds terrible but was delightful) consisted of an area containing twin beds and kitchen facilities ( well equipped and with double hob) and an en suite shower toilet area. Outside was a verandah with table and chairs overlooking the waterhole which is floodlit at night.

Andreis advised us to keep foodstuffs off the floor and covered as some of the smaller wildlife could be attracted to it - this had been encouraged by visitors in the past who had actively encouraged these visits by feeding them

We were entertained by the visits to our verandah by Cape sparrows, four striped mice and lizards. Although there was very little game about there were occasional visits to the waterhole by springbok and gemsbok and at night a brown hyena. We also saw a whistling rat popping in and out if it's burrow in the sand below our verandah.

Ghararhab is a wilderness camp and as such has no fences and although we did not experience it, apparently, lion visit regularly so it is important to be aware of your surroundings when moving about. You may not leave your accommodation after dark.

As we spent 2 nights at Gharahab we had the time to enjoy the wonderful view from the ' look out tower'. It would have been amazing if we had been able to watch lion from there but that is for next time."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

"One Meerkat Safari !!"

1 night Arrived 10 Feb 2015
"The journey our of Nossob from Gharahab was a little more challenging than the road in with the last sand dune before the 'main road' needing a couple of attempts .

You have to check out of Gharahab and into Bitterpan at Nossob which is very quickly done - just a couple of stamps on your park pass then you leave the Nossob site by a controlled gate onto a restricted track. We refuelled before leaving ( always keep the fuel tank topped up).

The route to Bitterpan proved to be quite challenging at times - a tortuous road with much deeper sand than previously encountered which was quite warm and, therefore, more difficult to drive through but soon we developed a good rhythm and could judge the required gear and pace to tackle each dune making it a fun journey.

On arrival at the camp we were greeted by Wilhelm ( who was pleased to see us as we had been asked to buy some supplies for him) . He showed us to our accommodation ( a similar structure to Gharahab) which looked out directly onto the waterhole. The individual toilet and shower facilities were not en suite but opposite across the walkway and there was a communal kitchen which had recently been revamped and indidual braiis, in a fenced area, just beyond each verandah

Although the kitchen was communal there was ample fridge/ freezer space for everyone and room for all the guests to cook at the same time with sufficient saucepans, crockery, glasses etc.

We sat with the other guests around a large table eating our various meals and sharing our experiences..

Bitterpan is another wilderness camp but the walkway and communal areas are fenced so there is no problem answering the call of nature or getting a drink during the hours of darkness!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Kalahari Tented Camp

Kalahari Tented Camp

"One Meerkat Safari !!"

2 nights Arrived 11 Feb 2015
"We spent 2 nights at this excellent tented camp which overlooks a natural waterhole in the ephemeral River Auob. The tents are comfortable quite roomy ( there were 4 beds in ours) and have an ensuite shower and toilet. The well equipped kitchen is a small separate structure with a verandah area in front with table and chairs. There were more chairs on the verandah outside the tent..

We spent a very pleasant time here going for game drives during the mornings and utilising the small communal swimming pool in the afternoons.

KTC is fairly close to Mata Mata where the is a petrol station ansd shop."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
!Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge

"One Meerkat Safari !!"

3 nights Arrived 13 Feb 2015
"You have to meet a member of the iXaus Lodge at the picnic spot before journeying to the Lodge. Providing you are driving a 4WD drive vehicle you are given the choice of leaving your vehicle in a shaded area and travelling in the Lodge vehicle or driving your own vehicle over the 97 dunes to get to the Lodge.

We chose to drive ourselves - great fun with some quite high dunes to negotiate. It was quite good to follow the Lodge vehicle as we got a good indication of how steep the lea side of each dune would be. Some were very steep and this is certainly not a road to be rushed but to be enjoyed at gentle pace.

On arrival at the Lodge we were greeted by Sharon offering us a refreshing cool towel and by Richard, the Manager,, who quickly offered a welcome drink and then told us about the Lodge and discussed what we would like to do during our stay. Richard also introduced us to Winston Churchill - a yellow mongoose and Claude - a guinea fowl, both residents!!

Our accommodation was a spacious and very comfortable room with a king sized bed and good en suite shower etc There was a verandah with table and chairs overlooking the waterhole and the salt pan and lovely view beyond. There was a ceiling fan which gave a much welcomed draught. The electricity is on for approximately 3 hours each morning and then again from 17.30 to 22.00 each evening, a battery powered lamp was supplied for use after this. All the walkways and communal areas were well lit by solar powered lamps.

The communal areas were very pleasant with views over the waterhole or by the bird bath which was always busy with visiting birds There a small swimming pool - good to cool off from the heat of the day - with comfortable loungers and shade provided by sun umbrellas

Our meals were taken either on the large communal verandah or in the dining room. The food was delicious and our only criticism is that the portions were huge and we just couldn't eat everything as much as we would have liked to!!! The service was great with the always smiling Sharon overseeing proceedings.

Andreis ( who had guided us into the Lodge) was our guide and he was ably assisted by Melissa (as 'spotter) her eyesight was amazing especially on the night drive. We enjoyed the night drive, the morning walk, our visit to the San crafts people and our sundowner trips. The long morning drive was for the most part good though the latter part became a little tedious following the perimeter fence having said that the trip was brilliant as we saw a meerkat - the one and only of the whole holiday and one of the reasons for choosing to visit the Kgalagadi. Generally the wildlife was very sparse throughout the National Park including iXaus but that is the nature of things and though a little disappointing did not spoil our overall enjoyment..

Andreis and Melissa were extremely good guides they are not as experienced as many of the guides in other parts of the African continent and, occasionally, needed a little prompt to give us information. Their knowledge of the fauna, flora and general topography was very good.

Our stay at iXaus was super and we would definitely include it in any future visit to the area."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
The Falls Guest House

The Falls Guest House

"One Meerkat Safari !"

2 nights Arrived 16 Feb 2015
"We arrived a little weary after a long drive having negotiated Upington which had no signs for Augrabies N.P.. The G.H. Is set in beautiful gardens which are well tended and watered ( no water shortage in this area) A big contrast to the arid Kgalagadi.

The receptionist was very pleasant and told us all about the G.H. And it's facilities but then she told us they no longer offered evening meals ( one of the reasons E.A had directed to this G.H.) she advised us that they could supply meats and prepared salads.

Our room was very nice with king size bed, good en suite showers with lots of fluffy towels and a kitchen area. The kitchen area was equipped with fridge, electric kettle plent of crockery, glasses etc but just a small microwave for cooking. The was a braii for our use outside our room.

As we were coming to the end of our holiday we did not want to BBQ as we did not want to have to purchase wood etc. We explained our dilemma to the the receptionist who kindly offered to cook the steaks we had ordered for us.

The steak was cooked to perfection and we enjoyed them together with jacket potato and the salads we had chosen sitting on the terrace outside our room. As usual the portions were huge and provided us with a picnic for our trip into the Augrabies N.P..

Our second night at the Fall G.H. we had a good meal in the restaurant in the N.P. The N.P. closes at 18.00 for non residents but if you have a restaurant booking you may go in after19.00 which gives you an opportunity to see the illuminated Falls.
It is worth noting that the Falls are illuminated but all the walkways are in pitch dark so it is a necessity to have a good torch..

Should we decide to revisit the Augrabies Falls we would, most likely, choose to stay in the Park accommodation which has recently under a complete revamp and looked (from the outside) to be much like the place we had stayed in the Kgalagadi N.P."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

My Sep 2014 trip

Tanzania between 13 Sep 2014 and 1 Oct 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"This holiday ( planned over almost 2 years - to celebrate a 'special' birthday) proved to be be all we hoped for and more. It was fantastic

Throughout the long planning period Eleanor was wonderful. She gave us a great insight into the places we wished to visit, her advice was perfect e.g. It was definitely better to visit Katavi before Mahale. Thank you Ellie you were great !

We have used Expert Africa on many occasions and have always been delighted with our trips. Chris and his team are efficient and very knowledgeable - Chris ensures that any place that clients wish to visit have been vetted by him or one of his team.

We look forward to our next Expert Africa trip though it will not be somewhat different as we are hoping to take our young grandchildren to introduce them to the wonders of this great country.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Keep up the good work!"

Arusha Coffee Lodge

Arusha Coffee Lodge

"Tanzanian Birthday Adventure"

1 night Arrived 14 Sep 2014
"We have overnighted at the Coffee Lodge on several occasions - at the beginning or end of a trip - and have never been disappointed.

The lodges are wonderful - spacious and well equipped with all you need and a very comfortable bed - surrounded by beautiful grounds which are great to stroll around.

The food is delicious and the wine list good.

We have always found the staff charming and helpful from the moment of arrival ( being greeted with a refreshing towel and a drink) the staff go out of their way to make your stay a great experience.

Each time we visit we say we must stay longer than just one night . Maybe next time?!!!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Chada Camp

Chada Camp

"Tanzanian Birthday Adventure"

3 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2014
"Chada camp was delightful with nice tents well spaced out and with en suite facilities and great bucket showers on request, The staff lead by Mohammed were all very helpful and charming. Our guide Emmanuel was superb - displaying and sharing his great knowledge of the area, the vegetation and the wildlife. His time keeping was, perhaps, a little lax which did upset our companions in our safari vehicle but was not a problem to us.

Wildlife was sparse with the vast herds of buffalo having disappeared just prior to our arrival but that is beyond anyone's control and seeking them out does add to the sense of adventure ! Another addition to the excitement is the regular visits, to the camp, by elephant. On one occasion we could have touched them they were so close to our tent.
We could not fault the camp in any way

The tsetse fly are a problem and seem to like Deet and the like but after some research I discovered Dettol, put on the skin did seem to deter them. It is not the perfect solution as you have to walk around smelling like a hospital (or worse, a public toilet) but It really did seem to work whilst Emmanuel was covered in the wretched things we were only troubled by a few. I tried one game drive without the Dettol nd I was eaten alive!!

Our disappointment was the area of Katavi - from all the reviews we had read we had not expected to be aware of several other camps and their associated vehicles ! It was not the isolation we had anticipated. A large dirt road runs through the national park and we often encountered buses and lorries using this road which passed very close to an area of water with many hippo, crocodile and birds.

Eleanor was right to advise us to make this our first stop as I think our disappointment would have been greater had we already visited some of the other wonderful places on our trip.

Our overall view is of a great camp and I am sure that other folk visiting will enjoy the experience especially if they are lucky with the game spotting."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Greystoke Mahale

Greystoke Mahale

"Tanzanian Birthday Adventure"

4 nights Arrived 18 Sep 2014
"What can we say about Greystoke, Mahale? The camp is wonderful with spacious comfortable bandas well spaced out along the back of the beach with the communal area centrally placed. The setting is magical - beautiful white sand on the shores of the crystal clear Lake Tangyanika with wonderful sunsets reflected in the waters each evening.

As the dhow, which had brought us from the airstrip to the camp, pulled onto the beach we were greeted by staff who implored us to quickly disembark as there were 2 chimpanzees in the camp - which watched, awestruck, as the chimps played in the trees by the camp kitchen and then followed them up the small hill behind the camp where we stood watching them groom each other. We could not have asked for a better start to our stay at the camp.

The days that followed were fantastic with marvellous sightings of chimps quite low down and relatively close to the camp on the first day, the second day the chimps had taken themselves off into the mountains so we left the younger guests to make that trek!!
On our final day there were a few chimps low down so Peter and I ( the geriatrics!!) opted to trek them whilst the other guests had quite a gruelling hike back into the mountains to find the main group. Our little trek turned into a delightful nature walk seeing not only chimps but other wildlife too. Our guide Butati told us about the vegetation and plant life and spotted things that we would have just not seen like the green spotted tree snake - very interesting.

Each afternoon after a siesta we all went out in the dhow - the plan was a gentle trip on the water but once the fishing lines came out some how there became a great rivalry between the men and the women as to who could catch the most, the biggest and the smallest fish! I caught the first one - a yellow belly - and for that I had to kiss the fish. Later , Sarah, another guest caught a huge fork tail perch. Over the days we were there the women caught the most and the biggest fish but Peter won the prize for the smallest!

Each evening we had sushi, to accompany our pre dinner drinks, made from some of the yellow belly caught that day, on the first day we also enjoyed some of the fork tail perch with our dinner. Any remaining big fish went to the staff or TANAPA . The small fish were the most important catch - they were for Big Boy the habituated pelican at the camp who is unable to fish for himself
On our last afternoon dhow trip apart from the fishing we also went up a river seeing some interesting bird life as well as many crocodile. We had also had the opportunity to swim in the lake.

All the staff at Greystoke are fantastic. Our guides Mwega and Butati were marvellous. Their knowledge of the chimps ( knowing each one by name and recognising their voices) was amazing and their general knowledge about the environment etc second to none. Added to this they were a fantastic double act and should they ever retire from guiding should go on stage!! Pity they are Arsenal supporters!! ( I jest!)

A very big thank you to Kerry who managed to keep smiling and keep every thing running smoothly despite her damaged ankle whilst her husband, Geoff ( camp manager) and Cameron ( about to take over from Geoff) both took to their beds with flu. Thanks also for our birthday cakes."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

"Tanzanian Birthday Adventure"

4 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2014
"This was a return visit to this wonderful camp. It has grown, somewhat , since our previous visit which made it a little less intimate but it remains a great place.

The bandas are spacious with good en suite facilities with hot water on demand - heated by solar panels which also provide the power for lighting each banda. The Bandas are well spaced out and each one has a very comfortable open area ( enclosed by a low wall ) for sitting to watch the passing wildlife - some of which passes very close by - we had an elephant put it's trunk over the low wall - what an amazing experience!

The food is delicious with lunch in the main communal area and dinner sometimes eaten under the stars. Breakfast can be eaten in camp but we chose to take ours on the game drive.

There was a little confusion amongst a number of the guest, including ourselves, about drinks. On our last visit drink was included but this time we had to sign for every drink whilst some of the other guests were 'all inclusive'. We had been advised by you that drink was extra and this was not a problem but the two tier system did seem a bit divisive and could have been explained better by the staff. A number of guests were, initially, reluctant to take water on game drives as they thought that it was extra!!

The diverse habitats in Ruaha provide wonderful opportunists for game spotting. Our guide, Geoffrey, aided and abetted by driver Khalifan, was quite amazing pointing out animals we could so easily have missed. How he spotted the Serval we will never know - it was so well camouflaged in the long grass - it is difficult to spot even on the photograph! Thank you to both for wonderful guiding and manoeuvring so that we could get some great photos.

Although we knew he was unlikely to be at the camp we were a little disappointed not to see Chris Fox - his passion is so infectious and although the management team were good they did not have that enthusiasm or drive"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Pole Pole

Pole Pole

"Tanzanian Birthday Adventure"

5 nights Arrived 26 Sep 2014
"Pole Pole - Slowly Slowly!! What a perfect place to chill at the end of our adventure.

Lovely bungalows spaced a little above the beach with a view of the Indian Ocean a little obscured by vegetation but this ensured the verandahs - with chairs, table and day bed - were not overlooked.

On arrival we were greeted by charming Anne who told us all about Pole Pole and also about any activities that were available - advising us that some one from the Dive Centre (which organised the activities) would be in the bar at 19.00 each evening.
We had decided that we were going to be very lazy on this part of our trip and only joined the trip to the neighbouring island of Chole - very interesting and a sunset cruise. We could have gone diving, snorkelling or on all day trips to various places had we wished.

I did indulge in a super massage with the lovely Wanda - very relaxing and thoroughly recommended!

The food was absolutely delicious but there was far too much of it!! Breakfast offered us fruit, pancakes , muffins as well as bacon & eggs ( yes I have to admit we did indulge ourselves occasionally though not with everything! Lunch was three courses all was really tasty but especially the crab quiche . As if all this wasn't enough dinner was four courses! We really enjoyed the Swahili dinner. All the food was beautifully fresh using locally sourced fruit and vegetables and fish caught by local fishermen. The seafood was particularly good.

The charming and helpful staff lead by Anne and the delightful surroundings made this the perfect place to end our Tanzanian Birthday Adventure."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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