Africa Odyssey Reviews – 2003

2nd January 2020

White, UK. 2003.


We’re finally catching our breath now that reality has kicked in and we’re back at our desks.

I thought I should drop you a line to say a quick word of enormous thanks for organising such a wonderful itinerary for us. Amazingly, considering the number of transfers we had, the whole trip went without a single hitch, each transfer being absolutely seamless. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the holiday, and are hugely grateful that you bolted the whole thing together for us so skilfully.

Serena will kill me for saying this, but the only blemish (if you can call it that – and strictly for feedback’s sake) was the proliferation of pigeons on Mnemba. We think it’s mating season at the moment (most of the year round apparently you wouldn’t even notice them), so thousands of the little buggers flew across to the island every evening and droned and crashed around in the trees around all the bedrooms from about 6 every morning, and for the rest of the day! However the island was such a paradise that this was scarcely a hardship, and everything else was exquisite, from the service, the food to the spectacular scenery.

I’d be happy to provide you with any other feedback that may be of use.

Stirrat, USA. 2003.

Dear Marc

I just wanted to report back to you on our fabulous holiday from which we returned a week ago today.  It was everything we had hoped for, and more.  Everything (bar one detail) went according to plan and we were well looked after everywhere we went.  I have to admit to feeling slightly nervous as we left home, but there was no need.  We have to thank you for your advice and recommendations, and we will definitely recommend your services to anyone else interested in travelling to Tanzania.

Safari:  We saw many different company vehicles on our 1600 km travels but Roy Safaris was definitely the best!  Our driver (Habibu) was brilliant:  he knew every area like the back of his hand; was full of knowledge and information; was great with the children; and had amazing eyesight – eg leopard halfway up ‘sausage’ tree at 400m with only tail hanging down visible!!  We saw EVERYTHING, including the elusive rhino in the Ngorongoro Crater.  It was our final flourish as we were departing – but we had to sit in our vehicle for an hour and half while it slept.  We were quite doubtful, but Habib insisted, and it was worth it.

Safari Hotels:  Just the right mix between camps and lodges, especially with children, and even at their age, we found that in the camps we had to split up – too many noises at night!  Migration Camp was our favourite – a bit off the beaten tourist trap so not so many vehicles around.  Game was a little harder to find as landscape is not so open but it was a good contrast with the central Serengeti area and we did see thousands of grazing migration animals in the north and along the Western Corridor.  The biggest problem here was the Tsetse flies so we started early and had the afternoon off!  The only slightly disappointing accomodation was the Ngorongoro Serena.  Our rooms were fine – overlooking the crater but it was rather big and busy for our liking, being such a major point on many routes.  Also, we found the hygiene arrangements somewhat dubious around the dining room:  cats/kittens and litter trays in the dining room and wandering into the kitchen; and rather a lot of hairs and such like in the food, which was not of as high quality as the Serengeti Serena.

Transfer:  All transfers were absolutely fine, although we did take the precaution of calling up ahead to check we had not been forgotten after reading your warning in your final letter.

Ras Nungwi:  What can I say?  This was beyond all our expectations!  There was some disappointment (and some minor inconvenience) over us not all being in the same chalet (adjoining rooms).  If you remember, we had particularly discussed this back in the Autumn, and also I had e-mailed them direct in May and it had been confirmed.  They claimed they did not even know we were 2 adults/2 children ie double/twin.  However, we were not going to let that ruin our holiday, and it didn’t.  It was definitely the right choice.

Stonetown:  We did our spice tour en route from Ras to Stonetown so two whole days in S’town was probably more than enough but the pool at the Tembo was a great time filler!  We decided to do our own ‘tour’ but in our second stop at the House of Wonders one of the museum guides gave us a personal tour and then offered to escort us around the town (no fee even discusssed at this point!).  It was marvellous because we discovered parts we probably wouldn’t have done on our own.  We blew our last dollars on the roof at Emersons on our last night, which is why we favoured the Flamingo cafe at Dar-es-Salaam airport for our 6 hour wait rather than Coastal’s $40 tour of the city!

One final question which intrigues us concerns rooms.  We were very impressed with our rooms in all the hotels we stayed at.  They were obviously amongst the best available.  Was this because we booked so early or is this something to do with you, or both??!

Thank you very much for helping us organise such a memorable holiday.  I hope our comments are of use to you and please do use us as a reference for any future travellers.  Likewise, we will pass on any friend of ours who are interested.

Redmond, UK. 2003.

Dear Marc

I wanted to thank you and your team very much for your really excellent arrangements for our recent holiday.  Everything worked like clockwork and we had a fantastic time.  Both the Selous Safari Camp and Mwagusi were great, lovely accommodation and great game watching. Zanzibar and Ras Kutani were also fantastic.   Above all, all the staff everywhere were so pleasant and eager to make our stay enjoyable, we felt really spoilt. Particularly memorable was the wonderful folding of our clothes in Mwagusi!!

Thanks again for all your good advice and help and thank Tim for re-arranging Zanzibar for us and answering my many questions!  If you have Irish clients that need encouraging, feel free to put them on to us.

Green, UK. 2003.

Hi Marc,

Just to let you know we got back to UK. Had a fantastic time in Tanzania.

All connections to flights, hotel bookings etc etc went without a hitch.

Security for the BA flight back was unbelievable – there must have been at least 5 baggage checks before we got on the plane (even having to take off our shoes and put them through the Xray machine).

We both made it to the summit of Kili with no major altitude sickness problems (the only problem was with me on the day before the summit climb – I ate too much, and with the blood all diverted to my gut my brain was a bit hypoxic so had a bad headache for a couple of hours, but this had settled after a few hours sleep). We set off up to the summit a bit late (1.45am), as we think the guide overslept,  but we still made it up well before the sunrise at 6.25am!! We had really good conditions with a clear sky and no wind. Even so at about 4.30am the temperature must have been at least -30 to -35C. The last couple of hundred metres up to Stella Point were a killer for me – my legs didn’t want to move. All exhaustion was completely forgotten once the sun came up when we were on Uhuru (at least until it was time to descend – my thigh muscles were burning all the way down).

Safari was great. Had a good driver who spoke excellent English and who was keen to tell all about the habits of the animals. Saw everything we wanted to see – the only exception was we didn’t get to see a lion kill a wildebeast (but there were so many wildebeast on the plains that we think the lions were doing most of the killing during the night so that by morning there were just the vultures picking over the carcasses). Even managed to see 3 different leopards – one in Ngorongoro and two in the Serengeti! Got some excellent close ups of cheetahs (my favourite cats and the ones I desperately wanted to see – we had to wait until the third day in teh Serengeti to see them) and lions, and were lucky enough to bump into a couple of prides with a few lion cubs.

Ras Kutani was the perfect end to the trip, although we wish we could have had a couple more days there. Very surreal getting there though by plane, 4WD, and then finally rowed across the lagoon. The chef there was superb and the manager/manageress were so friendly. The Rough Guide was a little less than complementary about the place but I have written to them and expressed my annoyance at their impartiality (a trait which is also present in their Nepal and New Zealand books) – we weren’t really looking forward to going there as a result of their comments but how wrong they were. Expensive it may be, but the Rough Guides always seem to want cheap accomodation everywhere which would completely ruin the quiet, relaxed feel of the place as well as ruining the flora/fauna (and would also piss off the locals I suspect).

Anyway, enough of my ranting.

South America will be next on the holiday list I think sometime in the next 18 months – do you organise trips there?

Thank you for arranging the trip – it all went like clockwork.

Murdoch, UK. 2003.


Many thanks indeed for all your work on the honeymoon. We had an absolutely superb time and it was clear that you had made a great effort to ensure everyone knew it was our honeymoon.

If you would like a brief summary of each bit for your future reference, we are more than happy to repay all your efforts on our behalf with a run-down on the each place.

Many thanks again for all your patience in the many changes we made before the final, final, final version. I hope all your “Nairobi horrors” are now behind you.

O’Sullivan, Australia. 2013.

Dear Marc and James.

First day back at work so it is the first opportunity that I have to personally thank you both for arranging our magnificent holiday, it was brilliant in nearly all areas (the Zanzibar accommodation in a few areas was a bit of a disappointment) and in particular I would like to thank you in going both in going out of the way and arranging the flight for me to Sydney so that i could attend my fathers funeral.

Lastly could you please give me Chris email address at Ras so that i can also send him and Theo a thank you.

Dunstan and Alex, UK. 2003.

Hi Marc,

Just thought I would send you a quick note to say Alex and I had an absolutely wonderful honeymoon and we are already planning our next trip to Africa!

Sorry about the confusion over the room at Ras Nungwi, didn’t really matter I just thought I had order it, but as I hadn’t all was cool as we were more than happy. Alex and I did our open water padi course and did 6 dives, which was amazing and the Safari was just beyond imagination (Selous Safari Camp is remarkable).

Anyway just to say well done and thank you!

Mercer, USA. 2003.

Just had to drop you a message and say how wonderful our holiday was at Rhas Nungwi and Selous Safari Camp. Thank you so much for your recommendations, they were perfect. All travel arrangements made by Ras Nungwi while we were out there meant that we didnt have to worry about anything and it is such a beautiful place to stay and so friendly.