Africa Odyssey Testimonials

H McCalmont

Dear Mark/Julian

Can’t believe we have been back nearly a fortnight already.  It really was the most wonderful holiday – thank you so much.  Everything worked brilliantly – all flights on time, and we particularly enjoyed the private plane ride out of the Selous back to Dar.  We loved the Selous private safari camp and also Zanzibar although we did prefer Matemwe to Ras Nungwi (a bit too “butlins” for us!!)
Can you let me know the breakdown of the different places ie was Matemwe a lot more expensive than Ras Nungwi for instance?
Thanks so much
Regards

H McCalmont 2006

A Charlesworth

Julian,

Everything was great.

You have caught us with this email before we managed to write you a letter thanking you for everything.

The holiday was really magical and we have now up-dated the Blog so that you can read about it in more detail (http://andrewnina.blogspot.com). We have also added a few photos that we were proud of. We have plenty of others, but have rather spent the last 2 weeks getting back into the swing of work – Nina has been traveling around the UK and somehow I have had more work evenings that usual (three weeks away – we have to pay sometime!)

We really loved the Old Boma. The atmosphere was great and is was really educational to spend some time in a part of Africa where the residents do not treat you as a target for purchases or begging. I think that we would happily have spent a little more time at the Old Boma, but also gather that it is expected to grow in tourism in the next few years – so it may be “now or never.”

Ras K was super – rained rather a lot, which was a shame as we didn’t manage to make full use of the boats, windsurfers, canoes etc. The staff were great and the location and ambiance exactly what we were after.

The highlight for us both I think was probably Selous – such a lovely place, amazing game, great camp and very friendly staff – I cannot recommend that too much.

The one thing that I think that we would change is the camping, or at least the length of camping without showers! It is such a shame that the camp facilities are so poor. At the Tarangirie Park they have just completed new toilet blocks at the gates and pic-nic areas which were superb – if they provided the same standard of loos and showers at the campsites then they would have many more visitors. That said the hardship of no running water would not have been so bad if we had managed to break up the 6 days from Tarangirie to Lobo with one night with a shower as I know that you had planned.

The Kempinski was a great relief and the Souk was perfectly adequate – the only thing that I would add about the Souk was that it is quite a way from the airport and whilst it is a good location for a 24 hours it was just a room for our stop-over and something closer to the airport might have worked.

Have a look through the blog as it sets out much more of our thoughts and, as we write it whilst we were there, probably gives a better view of our thoughts as we went round.

On another line we would both like to thank you for doing such a super job for us – and at such short notice. We had a holiday of a lifetime (although we do hope that we have many more to come that measure up to this too). You did that rare thing in that you managed to deliver a holiday that lived up to our expectations. We could also like to thank you directly for coping so well with our views on Pongwe and getting us not only back on the rails but giving us an end the the holiday which added to the already marvelous experience that we had had until then.

We both believe that you went well beyond the usual level of help and made sure that everything was sorted with minimum of fuss and with a great outcome for us. We have been recommending you to everyone that we have talked to about the trip.

Thank you for making the holiday so special for us both – I am now hoping that we can both be persuaded to go again next year – how about the West side? I also hear from another of your Clients (Julian Keeble) that you sent him to “heaven” on an island just of Mozambique (I forget the name for now).

Regards
A Charlesworth 2006

T Rose

Hi Julian,

we are back from our trip, enjoying the last day before heading back to work tomorrow, so I thought I’d drop you a line with some feedback.

Logistically everything went well except for a minor problem with the local air tickets. When we arrived the coastal envelope only contained one ticket, DAR-Selous-DAR, returning on the 14th. We explained that we should have a private charter to mafia on the 14th and a flight maf-dar on the 19th. After some checking they changed the ticket to selous-maf on the 14th. We were also told that the maf-dar ticket for the 19th would be sent to pole pole, but it never arrived. The coastal man at the airport also didn’t have the tickets. In any case we flew back and everything was alright (though there was some confusion when we arrived as the transfer man was expecting us on the mid day flight from Zanzibar!). Having flown with coastal a few times before we knew they were flexible and competent and were confident everything would be ok. But had this been our first trip to africa I am sure we would have worried.

Beho Beho: excellent throughout. The guiding met the very high standards set by SSC and Sand Rivers on our previous visits. The camp is very nice and the service was excellent. The atmosphere was friendly. The area around the camp is more diverse than that around SSC and Sand Rivers which is a plus. Overall very good and I would recommend it and go back.

Diving: you may recall that I asked you for information on the dive operation attached to Pole Pole/Mafia Lodge before going, but you didn’t hav much information. I therefore thought it would be useful to tell you about our experience. The dive operation is run by Moez Kassam, and his calm, friendly and highly professional manner sets the tone for the whole operation. The dive masters and boot crews were excellent. Enthusiastic, friendly, and totally relaxed, but also very professional. They made a big effort to get us to the dive sites in optimal conditions – island time won’t do when you need to catch the tide at the right moment. Every day the boot left exactly as advertised, like a swiss watch. We were able to do two dives on the incoming tide, which is a first for us in East Africa and really makes a difference for experienced divers trying to maximise their diving in the best conditions. Service was excellent – every day our gear was washed and waiting for us on the boat when we arrived. Overall this is a world class operation, and I would highly recommend and go back (and we have been diving for 15 years all over the world, so we have some perspective).

Hope this is useful,

cheers,

T Rose 2006

D Salgado

Dear Marc,

First of all, thank you very much for checking our airport transfer and changing the pick up time for earlier time in Stone Town. We came home on Friday evening.

I just wanted to tell you how wonderful time we had in Tanzania.

I am so glad you convinced me to choose Crater Lodge and The Palms. My husband was so impressed with the Crater Lodge on our first day in Tanzania, but when we got to The Palms in Zanzibar later, we soon realised it was the best place we had ever stayed!

In Morongo we loved the lodge, and all the staff we met there were very kind, helpful and knowledgeable. Although the lodge itself wasn’t as good as the Crater Lodge, the safari at the Klein’s was superb. We did all the available safari there, in the private concession area, Serengeti National Park and walking safari with Alistair the general manager of the Klein’s. The chef at the Klein’s was the best chef of all the places we stayed during this trip in Tanzania. Again people there were all so good. We had a wonderful time there.

However I must tell you that the service we received at The Palms were most exceptional. At the beginning of our stay, it was very quiet and only two out of six bungalows were occupied, so Peter, the manager treated us with “The champagne & canapé on the bed in the beach”!

The Palms was certainly the most luxurious place of all and the degree of the personal service we received was just so outstanding. We didn’t want to leave there.

Regarding the safari, we saw almost everything we wanted to see except Rhino, but we didn’t expect to see any Rhino, so no disappointment.
We saw so many cheetahs including the moment of the two brothers hunting a gazelle and succeeded, and a mother with four cubs eating their kill. We also saw lots of lions and lioness and luckily we were able to see a leopard walking round as well at the Klein’s concession area.

There was one funny incident though. When we were leaving the Klein’s for Zanzibar by Arusha, we were told that our names weren’t on the passenger list of the plane other people were boarding at the Klein’s airstrip and also told there was no other planes coming to the Klein’s airstrip on that day.

Luckily the pilot said he had enough space to take both of us on board to Arusha, however when we were approaching Aretha airport, the weather turned too bad for landing, so we were diverted to Kilimanjaro.

It was OK for the rest of the passengers, because the same plane was taking them to Zanzibar anyway, but we were supposed to change the plane from The Regional Air to Coastal Aviation at Arusha and by this time we had missed the connection. Anyway, the pilot kindly called the Coastal Aviation and informed them where we were and made some arrangement to take us to Zanzibar.

When we told this story at the Palms, they said, it’s quite common… We were so grateful that everything was so casually amended.

Anyway I would like to repeat that how truly superb the people of CC Africa lodges and The Palms were.

Also I would like to thank you for helping me to choose the right places when I was organising this trip. (My husband was so impressed with my choices!)

We had the most unforgettable holiday.

Thank you again.

Kind regards,
D Salgado 2006

I Arthur

Nick

Just to let you know that we had a fantastic time in Tanzania – so thanks a lot for putting it together.  Ocean Paradise is lovely – really well set out and the beach is just amazing.  And good food.  We did a great boat trip with a company called Safari Blue which I’d definitely recommend to anyone going there.   The Selous was also amazing – we saw loads of animals – elephants, lions, hunting dogs, more giraffe than I could imagine……..  Although it’s quite a big camp, there were never more than 4 people and a guide on any of the safaris.

I Arthur 2006