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Zanzibar: reviews from our travellers

Unedited reviews written by our most recent travellers to Zanzibar

Showing 11-20 of 543
Arrival date
R&G from Seattle

"My Jul 2023 trip"

I visited Tanzania and 2 other countries between 24 Jul 2023 and 15 Aug 2023
"This was the trip of a lifetime. We wanted something really special and unique, as it was my 10 year work anniversary and sabbatical, and the team at Expert Africa delivered in a big way. Thank you Lyndsey!

The lodge recommendations were 100% on point; we knew it was going to be great, but we were still blown away by the places and the unique experiences Expert Africa lined up for this trip. It's rare that you do a 2.5 week holiday and everything just works, but in this case it's true. And the logistics could have been a nightmare, as we didn't spend more than 3 nights in any one location, but every transfer, every flight all went smoothly!

I think the real difference-maker was in how seamless the experience was. From the moment we flew into Nairobi until our quite literally boarding for departure back to the US the team at Expert Africa and their partners in Kenya and Tanzania made sure everything went without any trouble. Even a short delay at a local airstrip was met with surprise and delight as instead of being picked up by car for a 2-hour drive a private plane showed up and we had our own 15 min flight to the lodge - very cool!

In hindsight would we have done anything differently? Maybe, starting with just doing more of what Lyndsey said to do. :)

In all seriousness she guided us towards an amazingly unconstrained experience and we are tremendously grateful. If you are willing to commit the resources it is amazing what is possible when working with Expert Africa.

We have already referred multiple friends and colleagues to the Expert Africa website and to her directly, it will be fun to see if or when anyone else gets inspired to pick up the phone and book their adventure.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

In terms of improvements it's hard to say; your website is 1st class, Lynsey provided great advise, and payment and such were easy. I think the guides for obtaining visas and such were also easy to follow and made the process simple. The price of the holiday we booked was staggering, but I suppose that was a feature not a bug and mostly our fault. :)

In a perfect world more guidance on where to see villages (Sarara was great for this!) and where to avoid (At Entamanu the Masai are a bit "Disneyland" about it - hard to describe) would have been nice as instead we found ourselves a bit at the mercy of the local lodge managers. "Do you think it's worth visiting a village here?" is a bit of an unfair question, although credit to the team at Serian for the honest answer "no not really, there's better places for that if you want authenticity". We figured it out and are very happy with the results but we should have asked more questions in advance about where to lean into cultural experiences and where to say forget it, just stick to wildlife.

A few thoughts on the trip we booked that I didn't want to drop in reviews as they're somewhat unfair or too individual.

Sarara, Serian and Chem Chem were incredible. Continue to recommend them without hesitation.
-John at Sarara was one of the best drivers and provided an authenticity we found nowhere else, and I wish I lived in Sarara house. It's that nice and we regretted having to leave, even if the wildlife in Samburu isn't as abundant.
-Grace (sp) at Serian was simply talented beyond belief, her and Gisoi (sp) were one of the best guide/ranger duos anywhere. We would go back simply to have her guide us again she's that good!
-Isaac at Chem Chem had 20+ years of experience and it showed, he was such a pro and made the Chem Chem experience complete.

Those three properties are worth the expenditure without any qualifiers or concerns. Lyndsey was 100% right to recommend them and we hope to return to them in 2025.

Entamanu was also so good. I'm torn; we did one day in the crater, and it was so special. Would a second day have made sense? Who knows. Maybe it's too much, maybe not, but it's a lot of coming and going for what is essentially one long day of game drive. So glad we went, so that's a win! I think it just comes down to not having the time and budget to do it all, and this was the right place to shave a day. But we found ourselves thinking now that they have really nice structures to stay in a 2nd day could be worthwhile? Very subjective.

Nimali Mara is a tale of two cities. I left them a great review, and they deserve it! Really special place and the staff, including our butler Bethod (sp) were simply the best! But also worth noting our guided experience there with Moses was just so different lol! I'm talking tie-die sweatshirt, car falling apart (driver had to literally hold his door shut as it wouldn't latch while driving), cooler full of waters and sodas but no bottle opener, etc. it was just such a contrast with how over the top luxury the place itself is. The guy had a heart of gold and tried so hard, so nothing but respect there, but it's worth thinking about given the price point and contrast with the other guided experiences. We are travel veterans so it didn't phase us but I can imagine others really being shaken.

White Sands was also great but there is an element of the hussle in Zanzibar. It reminds me more of visiting the national parks vs. conservancies, they monetize differently (on the go vs. pay up front but then feel insulated from it all). That's ok! I think it was just so different to go from the Chem Chem experience into White Sands and Zanzibar. We wanted Zanzibar so that's on us, but in hindsight Chem Chem should have been the capstone experience, nothing was going to top that. We also didn't quite understand if we were supposed to book our experiences with the local team you sent our way or via the hotel property, but in the end it all worked out so no worries.

Our last day in Nairobi was long but that isn't your fault, the flight was set to depart late (we booked it) and was then delayed further. The guide was so nice and did his best to keep us entertained but by that point it was the end of a long trip and we were cooked. The Karen district is nice but after a few hours there just isn't much to do, but again, not the fault of the team at Expert Africa.

All in all we've now recommended Expert Africa and Lyndsey to multiple parties, as we are comfortable having our name attached to the referral.

We started this journey with you probably close to a year before our travels and are so happy we did, thank you for everything!" Read full review: 22 nights in Africa; 8 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Mr & Mrs L
the UK


I visited Tanzania and 1 other country between 19 Jul 2023 and 31 Jul 2023
"We couldn't have been happier with our trip. We felt well looked after by Expert Africa and the service was well above our expectations. Our brief was listened to and heard. Every step of our trip was meticulously organised and perfectly catered to our requests.

The resorts chosen were carefully considerate of our needs and situation as a newly married couple. We even found champagne and a personal note from Lyndsey on our arrival at Beho Beho which delighted us. She had an impeccable knowledge of the resorts and various options available to us and guided us through the trip process, including Visas, vaccinations, travel arrangements etc. This was ideal for us at the time of organising our wedding.

The holiday itself was once in a lifetime for us and we will always treasure the memories we made. We couldn't recommend Expert Africa, Beho Beho and Zuri highly enough. It really was special." Read full review: 12 nights in Africa; 5 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Mr & Mrs S

"My Jul 2023 trip"

I visited Tanzania and 1 other country between 8 Jul 2023 and 23 Jul 2023
"This was our second safari with Expert Africa and this company delivers a first class service.

From initial enquiry through to travel we have received nothing but excellent advice, help and information.

Tanzania is a worthy safari experience, luxury camps that still retain an authentic bush experience. Staff at all the Lemala camps we stayed at were so welcoming, attentive and couldn’t do enough for you.

Game viewing was superb, plenty to see including rhino, lions, cheetahs and one leopard! All with the assistance of two very able guides, Victor and Mary. Clearly trained to a very high standard, with knowledge and experience a plenty. At the same time they have the ability to engage with you, make you laugh and just add to the whole experience.

A unique holiday that we thoroughly enjoyed - thank you.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service
None - a very good company." Read full review: 15 nights in Africa; 7 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Wild dogs

"My Jul 2023 trip"

I visited Tanzania and 1 other country between 3 Jul 2023 and 18 Jul 2023
"We thoroughly enjoyed it. While we loved Mara Mara as a camp, we probably had a day or two too many. That's probably the only part of the trip we would have changed." Read full review: 15 nights in Africa; 8 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip

"My May 2023 trip"

I visited Tanzania and 5 other countries between 28 May 2023 and 3 Jul 2023
"A few thoughts I had: I think it would be better to have a minimum of 3 nights at each camp or lodge as I found 2 nights was not enough especially as I lost a day due to a flight cancellation/postponement. If I'd had 3 nights at Plantation Lodge I could have still done the Ngorongoro crater safari. I know there are cost implications but in hindsight it is worth it for a better experience. And Plantation Lodge was my favourite accommodation and I only got one night there!

I would also prefer to stay in camps that are not too long a drive from the airstrips. I found more than one hour quite difficult as you just want to get there and it can also be a long drive back to camp after a safari. I would consider this if I was doing another trip.

Needless to say I preferred the luxury camps in Botswana which had a pool and included drinks and laundry, although I realise they cost more, and I did enjoy the other camps which felt closer to the wildlife etc. as a contrast. Paying for drinks and laundry was not expensive so that did not put me off.

The support and help from my Expert Africa agents with the few challenges I encountered was wonderful and
I can't speak highly enough of the quality of your company. Of course I don't know how you compare with others but having met agents from other companies and having feedback from other guests at the camps I felt very glad that I had chosen EA.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Perhaps to warn travellers about the potential for things to go wrong such as flight cancellations and injuries and talk through what to do in these situations. i know this in included in your written material but it is a lot to take in especially when having to get visas and vaccinations in preparation for the trip. I had read the information but still felt stressed when things happened. However your responses were so helpful and reassuring which helped me to calm down. Big thank you to Chris in this regard - I could only nominate one agent above but it is the sign of a good manager/owner to be prepared to step in out of hours to help a client." Read full review: 36 nights in Africa; 11 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Mr & Mrs H

"My Feb 2023 trip"

I visited Zanzibar and 1 other country between 1 Feb 2023 and 16 Feb 2023
"Our trip was a fabulous experience, we would not hesitate to recommend Expert Africa to our friends and family." Read full review: 15 nights in Africa; 10 on a Zanzibar holiday
Overall trip

"My Jan 2023 trip"

I visited Kenya and 1 other country between 14 Jan 2023 and 28 Jan 2023
"This trip was for our honeymoon and it absolutely exceeded all of our expectations.

It was the most perfect time, with a combination of amazing hotels and being lucky to see a wide breadth of different wildlife.

We felt so lucky to be able to experience this and the hospitality shown by all the staff was next level, they really made you feel special" Read full review: 14 nights in Africa; 8 on a Kenya safari
Overall trip

"My Jan 2023 trip"

I visited Tanzania and 1 other country between 11 Jan 2023 and 27 Jan 2023
"The whole experience was great. We had a brilliant time. Everything worked just as Expert Africa had planned so we didn't have to worry about a thing.

Safaris were great - the camps recommended above excellent. Everyone in both camps were determined to provide us with the best experience possible. Having discussed with Lyndsey the various areas in Tanzania we could have chosen for our safaris, we were pleased we chose the Selous and Ruaha - two very different areas though the wildlife was much the same on the whole. But we appreciated the different landscapes, the views, the lush vegetation and the amazing accommodation.

Stone Town - was good for two nights, not sure we'd have wanted any longer in retrospect, so again good advice from Expert Africa. And we couldn't fault White Sands!

All in all - an amazing holiday. Thank you!" Read full review: 16 nights in Africa; 8 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Mr & Mrs ST

"Our Jan 2023 trip"

I visited Zanzibar and 1 other country between 9 Jan 2023 and 20 Jan 2023
"Everything went according to plan which was an achievement in itself!" Read full review: 11 nights in Africa; 6 on a Zanzibar holiday
Overall trip
Mr B

"My Jan 2023 trip to Tanzania"

I visited Tanzania and 1 other country between 6 Jan 2023 and 27 Jan 2023
"We did most of the planning for our trip to Tanzania ourselves. Lyndsey was our agent from Expert Africa. This is our second trip with Expert Africa and we are left disappointed by the service received.

Lyndsey's main role was to assist in stitching our itinerary together, liasing with both Nomad Tanzania on the ground, with accommodation providers and with safari charter companies. On a positive note, all our transfers, accommodation and transport were seamless. We appreciate the work Lyndsey did to make this happen as we are aware logistics in Tanzania can be complex.

However we dont feel Lyndsey or Expert Africa proactively discount or negotiate on behalf of clients. We were offered discounts with various accommodation providers for booking direct but we had to push for these to be made available for booking through Expert Africa. They were never proactively offered. In addition, we had to push to stay at Hatari Lodge. Lyndsey wrongly commented that Arusha National park is closed after 6pm and we would be unable to arrive into Hatari later. We had to contact the lodge ourselves directly and paste information on email from Hatari's website to challenge this as Hatari have an agreement with the park management to allow guests arrive post 6pm.

We were disappointed we never received a paper copy of our documentation from Expert Africa. We didnt purchase a travel guide as we were expecting to receive one from our agent. With only 2-3 days before our departure date, we were finally told no paper documents, luggage tags or guide book would be sent. It left us no time to purchase one online ourselves. Its a small thing but it left a poor impression. In addition, & despite agreeing accommodation choices, it took a long time to receive confirmation of reservations, some times up to 14 days.

Finally, we are currently disputing a fee we were told we must pay in order for a safari charter to operate. We paid 4 seats and were reassured by our agent that this would be refunded if other pax were subsequently onboard. When we sent an email from Tanzania that 4 pax were in fact on board and requesting a refund, we received an email from Lyndsey offering to refund only 1 seat and would we be happy with this? There was no offer to escalate this on our behalf. We werent happy.

We have responded with copies from two emails quoting Lyndsey reassuring us of a refund if we were not the sole pax on board. We have been told twice in the last week on email that the matter has been escalated and the agent is awaiting a response. We would have preferred if this had been done promptly and efficiently. Having paid almost £20000 for this trip, it leaves a poor impression of both the agent and Expert Africa. After almost two weeks, we still are none the wiser.

We have every intention of returning to both Tanzania and exploring other parts of Africa. Based on our latest experience, we're not so sure however we'll continue use Expert Africa to facilitate these trips in the future." Read full review: 21 nights in Africa; 11 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Showing 11-20 of 543
543 reviews of Zanzibar by travellers since August 2007
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