Africa Odyssey Reviews – 2016

7th January 2020

T. Stapel, Holland. 2016.

Everything was great. The trip was really incredible- seeing the gorillas was of course the highlight of the trip. Something we will never forget.

The Virunga Lodge was outstanding- we loved it. Beautiful views, great staff. I liked both the Virunga Lodge and the Kyambura Gorge because although upscale they were not pretentious. I liked that it was not massive amounts of food- a bit better of healthier selections, and not overdone with courses. The food at Virunga was much better though that Kyambura. The Kyambura Lodge is seeming a bit more outdated, which for us was really fine but I do think they need to pay attention to that, as some of the common areas are falling apart a bit. But we found the staff very friendly and liked the outside areas (bigger porch) where we could just hang and play scrabble.

The Queen Elizabeth Park is not the same as the quantity of game we saw in Tanzania but we still had 2 nice drives which was enough. We did not see the chimpanzees on the trek for that- (a solid 4 hours of trekking,very challenging- I was glad for the exercise but of course disappointed that we did not see the chimps). That trek is not for people who are not in shape. And from what I have heard it is very difficult to see the chimps there (we heard this from a guy that knew the area when we got to Entebbe). We did see other monkeys though. We liked that both the Virunga and the Kyambura lodge did work with the local communities and we were happy to go to the coffee place and buy coffee and also take a local walk to see how they are protecting the animals there. We found the staff very knowledgeable at Kyambura.

I think if I were to go back- we would want to see the genocide museum- and we would maybe want to see the golden monkeys that are also in volcanoes national park. The other place that people stayed and saw gorillas was Mt. Gahinga- and that also sounded great.(although the likelihood to see them I think could be less) Rwanda is safe and if we had just stayed in the Kigali hotel we could have gotten a driver to take us there but that will have to wait for next time. We did see a bit of Entebbe which we enjoyed.

M. Martin, UK. 2016.

We had a very good trip, impeccably organised by Ted, with no problems.

Of the lodges and camps we stayed in, Beho Beho and Ras Kutani both deserve a rating of 5 out of 5, They are both completely excellent,with very good accommodation, service and food. In the Ruaha, Kigelia is a very good tented camp but the food here is not quite up to the standard of the others, although the guiding is excellent. So for Kigelia I would rate it 4 out of 5.

We have, been to Beho Beho and Ras Kutani several times and knew what to expect. Kigelia was a first time and a recommendation from Ted, but I would have no hesitation in staying there again. In particular the game is very good, with a great deal to see.

A. Stratton, USA. 2016.

Hi Scott,

We had a fabulous time, thank you!

Sand Rivers – 5
– the safari was awesome as was the guide, the managers and the facilities. the plunge pool in the room was a huge bonus as it was HOT! both the boat and driving safaris were great. food wasn’t amazing but was good. would highly recommend this lodge.

Residence – 4
– very NEW and nice. had nice perks for honeymooners. lacked character although didn’t impact the experience. one thing to note was the all inclusive package did NOT include anything from room service or the mini bar, we found this to be very misleading. however the food was great once down in the dining room. didn’t offer much entertainment, the website said kite surfing and scuba diving but neither were available. was a good follow on from the honeymoon however got a little boring…would have preferred to have done another day on mnemba.

Mnemba Island – 5
– the perfect end to the trip. everything was fantastic – the room, the service, the food was beyond excellent. water activities were great – scuba diving, paddle boarding, snorkeling, etc. we want to go back!

We will probably be booking another safari next year or early the year after, we will be in touch 🙂

B. Robert, USA. 2016.

Dear Scott,

Thank you for your email. I am delighted to say all the arrangements you booked on our behalf ran very smoothly. Job well done!

Coastal Aviation flights were seamless, on schedule as planned with helpful personnel in Arusha and in Dar.

Mwagusi Camp was outstanding with a huge private banda, great management staff and highly qualified guides. I would definately return to this fine camp. Ruaha National Park did not disappoint. Wildlife sightings were quite good with three leopards plus the other expected birds and mammals.

Siwandu Camp in Selous was fine but not quite my style. When the manager said the morning game drive started at 8:00am, I knew I might be in the wrong place. However, when I requested a 6:30am departure, they agreed and we had the benefit of the early morning light and animal activity. But, I think we were the only vehicle that got an early start. The honeymoon couples seemed content with a later morning. The accommodations were very nice but the pool was quite removed from the reception area, tents and dining facility. Hence, we never used the pool. The food was absolutely fabulous, probably the best I have ever had at a camp. That being said, guests were always seated at private tables so, it was difficult to have interaction. You could mingle at the firepit with coctails before dinner, however. So, the dining arrangement felt too formal, again fine for the honeymooners. I thought staying on a lake would be a nice contrast to Ruaha but the lake was small at the end of the dry season. Having been to the Delta and on the Zambezi, this was not much.

Selous Game Reserve has lost it’s elephants (dead or in hiding) due to heavy poaching and the effect is very noticeable and don’t let camps tell you otherwise. In 4 days, we saw a total of 6 elephants all in the far distance. Leopards are very rare and we had no sightings. We did see lions and a small pack of African Wild Dogs. There were lots and lots of giraffes! In the future I will not visit an area where there is proximity to game hunting; my mistake as I chose Selous.

Thanks for your fine work and I hope to use your services in the future. Madagascar and Sudan are on my wish list!

B. Leventhal, USA. 2016.

Thanks so much for the email. I have been meaning to write to you. I can say that without a doubt, all the arrangements went very smoothly and we had a fabulous time. There was only one small glitch in the transfer at Kasane but it was not a big deal – we had to wait 30-45 minutes. Everything else was flawless. Wilderness Air was great. We loved Dumatau. The accommodations were wonderful, the staff fabulous, the food great and the animals/drives/guides were all AMAZING. Little Tubu was equally fantastic. Every bit as good in a very different setting. Our guides (Rogers at Dumatau and Broken at Little Tubu) were lovely people who were so kind, caring and knowledgeable.

Finally, Tongabezi was also terrific – perfect. Everything worked out great. It could be the best trip we have ever taken and we are ready to go back when we can find the time. 5 STARS for everything and not a single criticism.

Thanks for all your help. It was extremely well done. We will contact you when we are ready to go again.

A. Darwin, UK. 2016.

We just arrived back in the UK this morning as we’d added a few days in Cape Town onto the end of our safari which we’d booked separately.

We had such an incredible time, it wasn’t just a holiday but also a life experience. The places we visited and things we saw most certainly surpassed our expectations and we’re really grateful to you and your colleagues for all the advice and guidance in recommending where we visited.

I’ll give a quick roundup and feedback on each of the three key places we’d booked.

Rwanda

We arrived in Kigali to find that there wasn’t anyone there to pick us up. A quick phone call sorted that out and they arrived about 30 minutes later. Our guide Innocent was really friendly and very obliging to pass on information about life in Rwanda and some of the history. He took us on a city tour before we headed out to the national park which seemed unnecessary as we’d been up since about 4am that day, were tired and really just wanted to get out to the lodge which was a 3 hour drive away. The city tour mostly just showed us the various government buildings, including highlights like the Rwanda tax office, regional development office and various government minister’s offices. I’m trying not to be critical here as Innocent really was a great guy and he was clearly very proud of Kigali and Rwanda in general, however the tour was really boring and unnecessary. The upshot of the delayed pick up and the unscheduled city tour meant that the last hour of our drive to the national park was in darkness which made for a thrilling end to our journey to the lodge.

Innocent was fantastic at arranging a great gorilla group for us to go visit, we arrived really early for our check in at the park and he went and spoke to the guides on our behalf. The experience of visiting the gorillas is one that you can’t adequately describe and do it justice, it’s really an amazing life experience. The guides were great and we ended up on a walk of about 2.5 hours which was manageable at the altitude.

The Mountain View Gorilla Lodge we stayed at was good, although arriving in darkness was a bit strange because all the lodges were spread out and we didn’t really understand where we were or how safe it was etc. The accommodation is reasonably basic, there’s no heating other than an open fire and it was freezing overnight. The food was excellent and all the staff were great. The offer of showers after the walk, along with boot cleaning, was fantastic. We then drove back to Kigali where Innocent took us on another impromptu tour of more government office buildings before dropping us off at the airport.

Gorilla experience – 5 stars

Mountain View Gorilla Lodge – 4 stars

Lets Go Rwanda – 4 stars

Tanzania – Jongomero

All transfers in Tanzania went off without a hitch. Jongomero was probably the highlight of our trip. The guides there were fantastic and we loved being totally off the grid with no wifi or phone signal. The camp itself is so remote that you really feel like you’re out in the wilds of Tanzania, and we didn’t see another car on any game drive. The tents are amazing, really comfortable and well appointed. The food was incredible and the hosts and staff were so hospitable and welcoming. We went on a walking safari with Emeil too which was great fun and included breakfast set up for us out in the bush and cooked freshly for us in the middle of nowhere. We saw all the game we expected to see. I could go on and on and on, but it’s safe to say that we’d highly recommend Jongomero to anyone and everyone, and wouldn’t hesitate to return there if in Tanzania again.

Jongomero – 5 stars

Tanzania – Siwandu

Siwandu is much bigger and was much busier than Jongomero. All the same feedback applies as above really so I’ll just focus on our observations on the differences. Key differences for us were that it did feel more like a refined setting and set up than Jongomero. There were a lot more older couples on retirement type holidays. With the way activities and meals are arranged at Siwandu you end up spending quite a lot of time with the other couples who arrived on the same day and I’m not sure we were paired with the right people as there was a minimum 30 year age difference between us. This isn’t a problem of course, but when you consider we spent every game drive, a boat trip, a walking safari with breakfast and a surprise lunch together on the boat – we spent a lot more time in their company than not which felt a bit more like we were on an organised group tour rather than an individual safari holiday. The other couples seemed to think by the end that we all had to agree as a group which activities we’d like to do. I’m only highlighting differences here as we absolutely loved Siwandu and the hosts were fantastic, the staff were excellent and welcoming and the game drives were great fun. There seemed to be a few of us who all got sick on the last night with some tummy complaints which I know happens from time to time in developing countries (I’ve been to India many times), but thought it might be worth mentioning.

Siwandu – 4.5 stars

In terms of the booking experience with Africa Odyssey, it was fantastic from start to finish. When talking to some other guests who’d booked through Nomad they were really surprised that we’d been helped by people who’d actually visited the camps themselves personally and knew the parks from experience (and we passed on your details!). I can’t thank you enough for helping us prepare for a trip so vastly different from anything either of us had done before. The guidance provided on what to bring was spot on.

All in all we’ve had a memorable holiday of a lifetime, one that we hope to repeat again in a few years time. We’ll certainly consider your services and tours when looking at holidays in other destinations.

Thanks again,

A

E. Jennings, USA. 2016.

We had an AMAZING time! For the most part, everything went very well and we were pleased.

One problem of note: we emailed you guys on September 19th regarding a mismatched flight itinerary from the Kogatende air strip to Zanzibar by way of Arusha arriving in Zanzibar at 1415. The Coastal Aviation e-Ticket said the arrival in Zanzibar was 1250. We did, in fact, arrive at 1250 – but our transport did not. When we were finally picked up an hour and a half later, they showed us their notes that said we were to arrive at 1415. This was particularly frustrating because we noted the problem before we left yet still had to deal with it.

Besides that, below are our notes on the rest of the trip. Please let me know if you’d like any additional detail.

Lodgings/Housing

Machweo (5) – we got in very late and spent little time here (11pm – 9am) but it was clean, comfortable, and had a nice view. The staff was accommodating.

Plantation Lodge (3) – we were upgraded, and the the suite was beautifully decorated and luxurious. The food was only average, but the service was great. The only complaint we have is hard to describe, but we were put off a bit by the management and the way we felt they treated her staff and our guide. We also met a local artist who offhandedly described the programs places like Gibbs Farm does to promote local small businesses and, when comparing that to our experience at Plantation Lodge, felt that Plantation Lodge might not be as well respected in the area by the locals. Again, a hard complaint to describe, and not one that affected our stay, but just a feeling.

Nomad (5) – I’ll get to the guiding portion later, but the actual lodgings and staff were FABULOUS. We woke up every morning to coffee at our door, and went to bed with a hot water bottle at our feet. Everything in between was perfect too. The food was AMAZING, the bed was absurdly comfortable, the showers were hot and plentiful, and the social areas were inviting. What we liked the most was that while the camp was insanely comfortable and lush, we still felt like were were actually camping and in the wild; the setup wasn’t too “lodge-y.” I cannot say enough good things about the staff, both “front of house” and behind the scenes. They provided non-stop, impeccable service, but also made us feel comfortable and as if we were part of “camp” in a fun, open way. We truly enjoyed getting to know everyone, and were sad to leave the camp behind.

Baraza (4) – Another beautiful, luxurious place to stay. Our room was AMAZING and the pool and beach areas were great as well. We appreciated that they had water sports available, some entertainment in the evenings, and a nice staff. The food was good when it was buffet (3-4 nights/week), but really shined when it was a plated menu. It was next-level delicious on formal nights. One complaint would be that almost all our drinks were not good (seriously, I would recommend to the resort to have a class for their bartenders – it was that bad) and we were a bit annoyed that there was a “premium” level that we had to pay for; we think if it’s “all-inclusive” you should just commit to that and make everything included. Also, although this is entirely our fault since we wanted all-inclusive and it was the only option, our only “con” would be that maybe this just wasn’t the right resort for us. It was VERY quiet (no music playing near the pool, etc), no organized beach volleyball or the like, no real socializing. They had a “full moon party” but it was just all the guests sitting silently on chairs – a bit awkward. I’m sure this seclusion and privacy is exactly what some people want, but it might be good to highlight it when presenting it to potential clients in the future.

Guiding

Nomad (near Arusha) – we loved our guide, Cornelius, and were wildly impressed with his knowledge. He has a true appreciation for safari, and had a thoughtful answer to every one of our questions. He also went above and beyond outside of the safari when we asked to go into town, and took us on a ride around the local area to show us other plants and coffee farms, etc.

Nomad (Serengeti) – Sammy was GREAT. He was focused on helping us see everything, enjoyable to spend 9+ hours a day with, and endlessly patient with our questions. Sammy helped us understand not just the animals we were seeing, but taught us more about Tanzania and his culture. He kept us safe and was respectful of the animals and land, but made sure we had the best experience.

Zanzibar Travel Services – We ended up doing a Spice Farm/Stone Town tour with the guy that picked us up from the airport. I don’t think it was worth it. The Spice Farm was interesting, but even after paying for the tour, we were expected to tip everyone (3-4 people) separately, which we weren’t prepared for and didn’t particularly like being hassled about. At Stone Town, we were shown inside 2 places, then had a few other places vaguely pointed out, none with much context.

Thanks to your team for putting this all together.

– E

C. Didsbury, UK. 2016.

Dear Scott,

Thank you for your email and for your advice and support with all the arrangements for a really wonderful trip to Botswana. Everything ran smoothly and I did indeed have a fabulous time.

The two camps I stayed in, Duma Tau and Little Vumbura met, or more than met, my expectations. Duma Tau was a little shinier and smarter than Little Vumbura, but is only 4 years old, whereas Little Vumbura felt a little more lived in, but is smaller and more intimate, which I loved. The game viewing at both camps was excellent, although different. At Duma Tau I was able to sit and watch the wild dogs on two of my three days there, and caught the pack having a serious scrap with a hyena, whilst at Little Vumbura I saw a leopard every day! I was also amazed to see two African wild cats at Little Vumbura – sadly, one of them was eaten by the leopard!! I also drifted along with the largest herd of buffalo I’ve ever seen there – my guide estimated about 1,000 animals.

My guide at Duma Tau was Godfrey and at Little Vumbura, ‘K’. Godfrey in particular was great at allowing us to ‘watch’, rather than just ’see’ the animals. On one occasion he encouraged us to be patient and wait to see what happened at the carcass of a young giraffe, and after about 15 minutes all the vultures, storks and kites that we had disturbed with our arrival returned to their feasting.

The staff in both camps were warm, friendly and helpful, the accommodation was clean and very comfortable (and delightfully free of large creepy crawlies – an added bonus for a girl on her own!), and the food was very good in terms of variety and quality – I very much appreciated the salads and vegetarian options available.

I was very impressed with everything I saw and read about Wilderness Safaris. I like their company ethos and values very much and will definitely look at their camps first for my next safari in Africa.

I would probably rate both camps as 5/5 and would certainly consider staying at both of them again.

I was also very impressed by – and appreciated very much – the way in which you responded to my initial enquiry: the information that you sent me about the different areas and camps was outstanding and I then found it very helpful being able to talk to you about the different options. You followed up on everything to do with my booking promptly and exactly as you said you would, which made me feel very confident about entrusting my holiday to Africa Odyssey. Thank you!!

With kind regards,

C

A. Savage, UK. 2016.

Yes we had a fantastic time on honeymoon thank you 😊.

Bookings:

1) Ras Nungwi: slight confusion at the domestic airport at Zanzibar as we were told to go straight through with our blue forms and thus didn’t get our bags. Fortunately they were handed into the office and costal aviation came back to release them so it was all sorted out relatively quickly in the end!

Despite being late, very lovely welcome on arrival including champagne in our room. Stunning hotel, no issues with anything. Seemed to be a huge number of staff all the time which occasionally was a bit much but in general everyone was very attentive and friendly.

Great selection of high quality food from the menu.

Spa excellent and good vouchers given to us on arrival. We liked having the tennis courts and games facilities which were never busy.

Brilliant service on our departure, even though it was early packaged us a breakfast to travel with.

2) Lake Manze Camp: Again lovely friendly welcome from all the staff. Rangers all very approachable and knowledgeable. Tents very well equipped and comfortable although the first night was a little daunting having only a whistle for protection and lions spotted in the camp that evening!!

Food excellent again and particularly enjoyed our veranda meal. Enjoyed eating with everyone else in the bush in the evenings but perhaps having some separate smaller tables for breakfast and lunch as they were fairly keen on mixing everyone up every meal time.

Days were well structured the night before although we felt we wasted time a little here and would have liked another drive on the morning of the walking safari as from 10- 4.00pm we were left with nothing to do until our afternoon drive.

3) ras kutani: Truly amazing place! Very tranquil arrival by rowing boat. Stunning setting and suite amazing- no complaints here!! Food exceptional. Staff very friendly and approachable but not pushy in any way.

We especially enjoyed our afternoon trip into the village to see the school and doctors and would encourage this for all guests.

Beach staff very attentive and small number of facilities offered perfect for the setting.

New owners made real effort to speak to us daily and we felt if we did have any problems it would have been easy to resolve.

Overall we were participating impressed with all the internal transfers that went so smoothly considering with the wedding we hadn’t really even had a chance to look at the itinerary before arriving.

Just finishing off with a big thank you for organising our honeymoon and we wouldn’t hesitate to use you again in future and will do our best to recommend you to any friends and family considering a trip.

Kind regards

A & T

V. Kite, Australia. 2016.

The trip was amazing and everything ran smoothly and without a single hiccup (well, apart from the massive queues and delays at immigration and passport control at Jo’burg airport, which has nothing to do with you but did sour the trip a little bit – even involved in a minor scuffle in the queue at passport control in the transfers area on the way back – people were panicking and going crazy!).

OK – the detail.

All the flights were excellent – their timing was perfect (got me where I wanted to go at really appropriate times so I didn’t have to hang around long at Maun and didn’t miss out on any game drives) and on time. The transfers to and from all three lodges were also perfectly timed so there was no hanging around wasting time.

The staff (all staff) at all three lodges were amazing – can’t think of a single thing to complain about.

The food at all three lodges was great.

The game drive vehicles at all three were also excellent – comfortable, well set up and game you a sense of complete reliability.

Lebala

Loved my room here – they are huge, and the bath was a nice surprise (which I took advantage of). I had the room furthest from the lounge/dining area, which I personally prefer (and had the advantage of being constantly surrounded by animals). One suggestion (which I think I left in my feedback form there) was that the chairs out on the deck were not comfortable, which meant that I didn’t use the deck on my room which I would have liked to have done.

My guide/driver (Obsa) and tracker (PD) were both excellent. I’m not sure to what extent having a tracker enhances the success rate of finding game, but it was certainly great fun tracking and finding specific animals. I was really impressed here with how our guide appreciated that all four of his guests were not first timers to safari, and therefore tailored the drives for our needs and interests. I was particularly interested in seeing Wild Dogs, and we found them on our very first drive. Had one amazing experience on one drive where we were following a Wild Dog hunt, which ended with the dogs driving the impala they were chasing into a lagoon – where it was immediately chomped by an enraged hippo who then thrashed the corpse around for half an hour. I’ll send photos! Plenty of game to be seen here! I’d rate it a 5.

Little Vumbura

Lovely guide, Sam, here. The camp itself is beautiful, as was my room, and I loved the fact that you arrived and left every outing by water, which was really relaxing. Even though I was the only guest one day (due to a very large group having just moved on) the staff made sure that I always had company at mealtimes, which was very thoughtful. My guide Sam worked SO hard to find game for me – I was really impressed. I think I came away feeling that of the three camps this had the least game, but when I think back I still saw plenty. The water crossings on drives were also great fun. Two days here was probably about right. I’d rate it a 4.5.

Mombo

Amazing! My room was huge, really well equipped and fabulous. The fridge stocked with goodies and drinks was a great surprise, even though I ended up hardly using it. The swimming pool area here was really good, with plenty of shade and space for comfortably whiling away the time between drives. I made good use of it.

The staff training here is very good. I really appreciated the way that the staff here interacted with guests. The food here was amazing – with only a couple of small ‘misses’ on some more experimental offerings. Salads at lunch here were fantastic and really hit the mark.

My guide, Doc, was incredible! And such a great personality. The guides worked really well together to optimise everyone’s opportunities to find and see game – the level of coordination of this was very impressive (as indeed it was at all three camps).

Of course, the wildlife here is amazing! Saw lions on pretty much every occasion we went out, a leopard and her cub with a kill (the cub so close at one point that I could have reached out and touched her), black and white rhino, elephants (of course), cheetah, lots of hyenas….the list goes on. Even had a buffalo hanging around camp one morning to delay our departure on a game drive.

The surprise picnic out in the bush one day, complete with comfy sofas and bubbles, was a definite highlight which our group just didn’t want to come to an end. It was especially memorable because the five of us thrown together in our little group were really enjoying each other’s company, and Doc ensured that we never felt that there was any need or hurry for the event to come to an end – perfect!

At all levels, definitely a 5!

Overall, this was a great mix of camps – different landscapes, environments, wildlife opportunities etc – and organised in just the right order (your recommendations on that were spot on).

It was a perfect trip full of great experiences.

Thanks for all your help in organising.

Cheers

V

K. Ryalls, 2016. UK.

Overall the trip was a stunning success. It was wonderful to be able to share things like that with my sons. A lifetime of memories for them.

Highlights:-

We saw two crossings of the Mara. Both saw thousands of wildebeest cross and both saw a couple not make it past the crocs.

Two cheetah asleep under a tree on the plains before waking up and slinking away as only they can move.

From very close range, and we were the only vehicle, we witnessed a squabble over food. The lioness obviously felt that his highness was taking too long so she snarled at him. He backed off then roared – the full MGM works. Bloody terrifying. Never to be forgotten, and a reminder of our caveman terrors….

Driving across the plains through tens of thousands of wildebeest.

Coming across a hyaena kill. They tore at the carcass while keenly watched by vultures, a warthog etc.

Just driving through the Serengeti. Wonderful Africa.

Rivertrees — Four out of five stars. Good location for where we were headed. We weren’t there long enough, just an overnight, to form a greater impression. However, this anecdote may suffice…our party of five had travelled in two groups. Our group arrived quite early in the morning and were welcomed with tea and biscuits while our room was prepared. The other party suffered delays and were not gong to arrive before the kitchen and bar were closed. We had already eaten but a member of staff suggested that he boxed up the uneaten pizza slices to give to them when they arrived. This was done and with a couple of cold beers to wash it down our belated travelling companions were provided with some hospitality.

Ubuntu camp – Four out of five – if you are not too bothered about high end luxury this is a wonderful little camp. For us we prefer the more authentic ‘on safari in Africa’ feel. Not interested in feeling like we are in an annex of the Dorchester in the Serengeti. Staff are unfailingly helpful, polite, professional and cheerful and the food is extraordinarily good given the circumstances.

At this point I want to single out for praise the camp manager David. When we arrived the tent configuration was not correct. We had booked for a family tent – which was to sleep our eldest son and his girlfriend in one bedroom, and our younger son on his own in the second bedroom. My wife and I were to share a double tent. However, upon arrival, only the family tent was earmarked for us. The impression was that they expected my wife and I to use the double bed while my two sons (and accompanying girlfriend remember) shared the other bedroom. This would not have been acceptable. I showed David the booking form clearly indicating that two tents had been booked. He took it under advisement and invited us to have lunch while he looked into the matter. I will confess that I was far from pleased at this juncture and was in no mood to accept anything less than what had been booked and paid for. Directly after lunch David appeared, assured us that a double tent was being made available for my wife and I, our luggage would be moved there, and the other three in the party could enjoy the family tent. It could have been a very awkward, not to say fraught, conversation, but David handled it with good grace, professionalism and good humour. He deserves recognition and if you pass on these remarks to his superiors I would be delighted.

That was this summer – now next summer.

We are now considering our options for next year and India is an early runner. If we pursue that destination I will certainly contact your sister company Asia Odyssey for assistance.

Hope all this (lengthy report) meets with your approval.

Regards,

K Ryalls

E. Moloian, UK. 2016.

Our trip was absolutely wonderful and exceeded all of our expectations. Here is a rundown of the lodges:

Arusha Coffee House – We stayed here just one night after the long flights from America. Accommodations were very nice and comfortable. Breakfast the next morning was good. It was the perfect place to rest and recover after the 24 hours of travel.

Nomad Kuro – We stayed here two nights and this was actually our favorite place. It was perfectly situated near the river. There were Giraffes in plain view outside as we arrived. The number of animals we could simply watch from the shared lounge area was unbelievable. The game rides were great, and we saw so much. Our favorite activity was the walking safari. Nomad Kuro is in the perfect place for walking safaris. Accommodations were very comfortable, service was great, the food was excellent, and the guides were simply outstanding.

Plantation Lodge – We stayed here two nights. It was well situated for our tours of Lake Manyara and the Crater. Accommodations were wonderful, the grounds were beautiful, and the food was good. Our room was probably the nicest we have stayed our entire life. It was very large and spacious, tastefully decorated, and had a nice balcony area and private garden yard.

Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp – We stayed here three nights and everything was absolutely wonderful. We wished there was a walking safari option like there was at Nomad Kuro. The game rides, however, were great, and we saw so much. Accommodations were very comfortable, service was great, the food was excellent, and our guide was unbelievably knowledgeable and simply outstanding.

The only thing we did not like was the Masai Village tour. Overall, the tour was a good experience. It was very educational experiencing and seeing the Masai culture. However, the high pressure sales tactics at the end of the tour trying to get us to buy multiple items for $40 to $80 each that we saw in the shops for $5 to $10 soured the whole experience. The extensive use of guilt to try to get us to purchase these items was inappropriate. I want to emphasis that it wasn’t the additional $’s to purchase items, it was the uncomfortable feeling of being blindsided and the use of guilt for additional $’s. We simply paid the $50 dollars for the tour and then gave them an additional $50 tip/donation and refused to take any items. All of this would have been fine if we were simply told by our guide in advance what to expect. He did say that the tour was $50 dollars, but he did not make us aware of the selling portion of the tour at the end.

Finally, I want to complement Africa Odyssey and Nomad. We researched multiple organizations before we selected you for our trip. We recognize that your service and expertise helped us achieve the most perfect trip of a lifetime. You created an outstanding itinerary, picked great places, made perfect arrangements, provided all the material we needed, answered every question,,,, The execution of everything happened like clockwork. We could see guides calling ahead to make sure things happen smoothly. And when there were issues that were outside of the control of Africa Odyssey and Nomad, it was fixed in a fantastic manor. As one example, our plane was very late to the Serengeti, Nomad dispatched a second jeep with a wonderful lunch to meet us at the river on our way from the airport to the camp. We ended up watching a river crossing while feasting on a wonderful picnic lunch. It was a wonderfully perfect introduction to the Serengeti.

Thanks

E & A Moloian

N. Elworthy, UK. 2016.

We got back from Zambia on Thursday night and we wanted to say a massive thank you for all your help planning. The holiday was beyond words!

As you already know, Cameron planned to propose on the sleep out, which he did. Of course I said yes and I loved that he chose that night, it was a very special evening.

Cameron was sceptical that anything could even come close to Tanzania but we had so many amazing sightings and experiences. I got my lions so I was happy, but we also got lion cubs (which I hadn’t dared to hope for) and leopards, including a mum and young leopard on a kill.

We got up close to a hyena and her 4 pups at dusk – she was so chilled out she let the pups wander up to the car! Perhaps the highlight (except for the lions and proposal of course!) was rescuing a baby buffalo from the mud. She was stuck up to her armpits and we managed to dig her out and free her. That was something else! Cameron has a video which we’ll share with you, along with some photos when we’ve gone through them.

We loved all the camps. I think Luwi and Nsolo were our favourites, but Amanzi was stunningly beautiful and very luxurious. Just one thing you may want to know about Amanzi is that they put us in a room with 2 separate beds because they didn’t have a record of us wanting one king size bed. Seemed a bit odd to us because I would have thought most people would be couples at that kind of place, but perhaps it’s because we have different surnames. Anyway, wasn’t a problem at all and they were very apologetic, but might be useful to know that for next time you book.

We absolutely loved the Victoria Falls Hotel. We were in a honeymoon suite apparently. Not sure if you’d arranged that but it was a beautiful room in the Stables part of the hotel. We had complimentary cocktails and massages as well. I’d booked ahead to make sure we could have dinner at the Livingstone Rooms restaurant on the first night. I don’t know if you’ve tried it but it was very good. It was $45pp for a taster menu which we thought was really reasonable considering how many taster menus we’ve done at much higher prices in less exciting locations.

We did do the Lion Encounter in the end. I researched it and it seemed like a good initiative. I’m glad we did because it turned out to only be 3 of us on the walk so we got loads of time with the lions. It seemed well run – we felt safe and the lions seemed very happy and content.

Lilayi was a nice surprise at the end of the trip as well, much better than a night in the Southern Sun! We actually ended up meeting the owner that evening and he seemed surprised that we knew about them! He was asking how we found them so we explained you’d booked it for us. I think they were keen to drum up a bit more business as it was very quiet, but that suited us.

Anyway, huge thank you again. We’ll send some photos soon. Are you up for helping us plan a honeymoon?

S. Hardy, UK. 2016.

We had a fabulous and truly memorable holiday which Ted arranged for us perfectly. Everything passed without a hitch and his choice of itinerary and places to stay were all absolutely unique and superb.

I. Amanzi Camp couldn’t have been more professional welcoming or accommodating. The setting was stunning, the “tents” were luxurious and well positioned and equipped. Solomon and Patrick (our guide) were great. The traditional day of early and late safaris was also complimented with afternoon fishing trips and safaris on the river, so our guide Patrick had a full day everyday but seemed to really enjoy it! Nothing was too much trouble. The all inclusive element was also fantastic and made it a very easy and relaxing place to be….There was even a Nespresso coffee maker which was a real bonus and home from home. Definitely 5/5 and I would highly recommend to everyone. Worth mentioning there are only a few Zebras and no giraffes in this area, but that did not matter as we went on to Flat Dogs.

2. Flat Dogs was a big contrast to Amanzi and it took a while to adjust. It felt a bigger more commercial camp and park but great game viewing and a very experienced guide made it worthwhile. Crocs Nest was lovely, not quite as luxurious as Amanzi but our own private pool was really appreciated by the children and was also a magnet for elephants and baboons who came daily to drink from the pool which was amazing to see. Wendy at Flat dogs was fantastic she facilitated us visiting the local Luangwa project which Flat dogs is involved with. This added a very different and educational side to the holiday and it was very humbling to see how the local people lived and what they were striving to achieve with the project at the local school. The Flat Dogs food was great and they were amazing at ferrying it backwards and forwards to the Crocs Nest…another 5/5

3. Kaya Mawa – Likoma Island Malawi was our third and final destination. It is absolutely stunning and a fabulous place to go at the end of Safari. It was well run and managed by an Irish couple and the owner Jamie was there for most of our stay. Food was amazing and every meal was delicious and well presented. The breakfasts were fantastic too. There was every water sport imaginable on offer and the children took the opportunity to do everything, everyday!. We all went on a quad biking trip around the Island which was well worth doing, not only to see the local villages and homes but also to visit the local project manufacturing lights and furnishings. It is definitely another 5/5 for us and made a truly memorable end to the holiday.

Also worth mentioning that the quirky rooms are very rustic and not necessarily for the faint hearted. The children had a snake in there room one night ( which was dealt with by the night watchmen very swiftly) and I had frogs across my bedroom floor and one in my shoe…..I did not mind in the least, as it added to the charm of the place but some might not be so forgiving…..we loved it!

Please thank Ted for organising and planning such a fantastic and memorable holiday. We shall definitely be back as I have got the Africa travel bug now!

D. Wiseall, UK. 2016.

We arrived at Dar es Salaam to find the international arrivals bursting at the seams (and very smelly!) but in the distance was a man with a board with our names on it. This was a rep from Coastal Aviation who battled his way through the throng to us and dragged us back via Visas and Customs in minutes, much to the disgust of many others. A great service from Coastal Aviation, shame our bags were last off!!

Plane to ourselves, picked up by a Landrover for a short drive through rare coastal forest and then rowed across a freshwater lagoon to Ras Kutani to be met by the very friendly staff and Baz, the manager who sat with us in the lounge and outlined how to get the most from our pre safari beach break.

Our lodge (no 9) overlooked the lagoon and we could hear the waves crashing onto the sand spit that separated the lagoon from the sea. The outside balcony area had hammocks and loungers to watch the wildlife on the lagoon and inside was a large comfy bed with net protection, shower and just adequate storage. The laundry service was excellent.

Meals and service were great and the staff sang to us in Swahili for our anniversary while dining on the beach. The beach cocktail party and the night sky guide from Baz with his laser pen was very well received, see photo of milky way.

Security and safety was well thought out and when returning from a long beach walk, we realised that a Masai guard (Vincent) had followed us to ensure our safety. The beach was excellent although the sea swimming was not ideal with low tide rocks and steep shelf at high tide. The beach hammocks could do with an upgrade but overall Ras K scores 5/5 with us.

An excellent idea from African Odyssey to spend 4 nights on the beach pre safari was underlined by some of our later safari guests who had spent a whole 4 days in the Ruaha with only the clothes they arrived in!

Sat with the pilot on the way to Siwandu and thus experienced how the pilot plotted his way around the larger clouds to prevent turbulence and the landing on the inclined dirt strip. Met by Landrover for a short mini safari drive to the camp to be met by Susie, the Manager and her staff with cold towels and drinks. The Safari process was outlined during drinks together with meal timings (punctual for safari drives) wake up calls, security and camp orientation.

Our lodge (no2) faced a large lake over approx 1/4 mile of scrub and marsh land with impala, baboons, wading birds and hippo visible even before the bags were opened. The lodge had an excellent balcony for lazing and wildlife viewing from where, after our second breakfast, we watched a heard of elephants pass right through the camp with the youngsters playing, the teenagers sparring and the adults feeding. Inside another large bed, storage and a unique ‘under the stars’ shower. The lodge entrances were fully zipped thus no inside insect netting was required and as we were told at induction, there are very few biting insects around Siwandu as the catfish in the lake eat all the larvae.

We met our traveling companions for the next 4 days on the late afternoon boat safari on the lake, culminating with sun-downers on a remote island, once our guide had checked for any hiding crocs! The boat safari was excellent with our guide safely positioning us next to sleeping crocs and wallowing hippos. Birds of prey, waders antelope, elephants, giraffe and a spectacular sunset were witnessed along the way. The game drives over the following 3 days were spectacular and what we had come to Africa for. We also had a walking safari on the first morning which was an excellent way to experience the bush, plants, tracks, smaller creatures and identify the different piles of poo!. We had 2 drives per day with a lunch and rest break. We did see lions on two occasions but each time they were sleeping off their previous meal in the heat of the day, otherwise the cats alluded us throughout our 4 nights in Siwandu. Our guide did find for us a vast array of wildlife including an adult giraffe that had just died from natural causes and had just been found by a Bateluer eagle. 8 hours later there was every type of African vulture around and on the carcass, a sobering sight of nature in the flesh.

The early morning tea in bed wake up call ensure every one is up and about for breakfast so as not to miss the early start for the morning drive. The restaurant balcony is also a superb wildlife viewing area where cheeky multi coloured birds have learnt how to steal a crumb or two. All the meals were excellent, pre dinner drinks were taken around the camp fire with all the other guests and where the days animal sightings were shared. Dinner was taken in different locations each evening.

The laundry service, security, staff friendliness and attention to detail were all superb. A special mention for Susie, the Manager who performed her duties over and above what was required to ensure everybody got the most of the time during her care. No negative comments. Siwandu was a big 5/5.

Our long flight to Jongomero was a little uncomfortable but we arrived safely. Our, by now, accustomed Landrover transport was waiting on the strip for us, but first we had paperwork to complete as we were now in the Ruaha National Park. Again, after a mini safari drive, we arrived at the camp to be grated by Chris, Sam and all their very friendly staff with a song and very welcomed towels and drinks. The camps procedures were explained, again with an emphasis on our security and timings. The camp location within the park was explained together with the climate and biting insects. The tsetse fly is a particularly annoying beasty and not dissimilar to our own horse flies. It follows the dust of wandering animals similar to the dust kicked up on the game drives thus the trucks have dried dung burners on the back (seeing is believing) which DO keep them away. Avon Skin So Soft is also one of the few products that deters them and we had some.

Our lodge (no5) had a very restricted view of the dry Jongemero river. Not quite as big and airy as the lodge we had at Siwandu, possibly because we were under the National Park restrictions but had a good size bed and a great shower area. We were aware that because of the altitude it would get cold at night, but what we were not prepared for was the first night down to 5’c!! A very uncomfortable night and unusually cold for the time of year. Four layers on for breakfast as the sun rose, outside!! Better prepared the following evening. Again all the meals were great, Chris or Sam joined us all for dinner which created long Africa experience talks late into the night while star gazing.

The game drives and our guide Lambert were great. Lambert had an objective to find Buffalo, cats, Kudu, cats, Eland and did I mention cats. Unfortunately the cats avoided us. We found fresh tracks, we could here their roars by the Ruaha river at night but we could not find any, but the hunt was just as fascinating including all the animals and birds that we encountered on our drives. We saw lots of Buffalo, Kudu crossing in-front of us, dik dik, a glimpse of Eland, bat eared fox, jackal and far too many more to mention. A different location to experience. Compared to Selous much denser bush which made wildlife spotting more difficult but with a large flowing river, Boabob trees and many more birds, an equally enjoyable experience. We were so engrossed in our tasks that we were always the last back for our lunch and well into darkness in the evening. On the last morning we set off before sunrise to search a specific area of the river bank for lion but to no avail. As compensation, just before we had to leave, a 30 strong elephant heard appeared on the opposite side of the river and after drinking all proceeded to cross. What a sight to finish our safari.

Because we visited Siwandu first we score the whole Jongomero experience 4.8/5.

Back onto Coastal Aviation for the flight back to Dar es Salaam via numerous interesting stops at other Safari camps. Then a packed flight to Zanzibar where a taxi was waiting to take us to Kilindi. An hours drive and an eye opener for us as to the poorer living conditions that we witnessed en route.

Kilindi is hidden down a dirt track but once the gates were opened we entered another world. One of the managers met us (responsible for the large gardens that surround the lodges) and again outlined everything we needed to know about relaxing over the next 3 days. We were shown to our villa where our butler Halafan greeted us. He showed us around our luxury accommodation which comprised a massive bed, storage cupboards and an open outside loo / shower which looked out onto the Indian Ocean. Over the next 3 days we lapped up the luxury, our butler ensured that all our needs were met and provided us with some unforgettable dining experiences. Each evening one of the managers made a point of coming to ensure that all was well and we were enjoying Kilindi.

The beach and sea front at Kilindi is not the best but each morning we took long walks on the beach to the local resort watching the local fishermen, boats and people on the way. Relaxed using the beach beds each afternoon to prepare us for the following evening meal.

On our last night our butler wined and dined us on the beach surrounded by flowers, candles and lanterns under the southern cross where he served us lobster, champagne and a special anniversary cake. What a memorable way to complete our 40th wedding anniversary holiday. Kilindi for us was 5.5/5. Was it too good? possibly, but we enjoyed the experience.

Scott, I dare say this article is far more than you were expecting!, but once we got going we couldn’t stop. Hope you find it useful.

Please let me know if you receive it ok as I had problems with its size.

Regards

D & S Wiseall

S. Robertson, UK. 2016.

Dear Ted and the rest of the Team,

We just wanted to thank you all so much for organising such an amazing trip for us to Tanzania and Zanzibar. The whole thing was just incredible and ran so smoothly. Not one thing went wrong which, considering we were travelling around Africa, is quite surprising! There were too many highlights to mention but seeing baby elephants being led through the bush by their mothers was something that will stay with us for a long time. All the hotels were first class and I must say we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food.

Apologies for the often mundane, inane and, at times insane questions before we went away. I can now clearly see that a lot of what I was asking was completely irrelevant but you were extremely professional and very helpful indeed.

We can’t thank you all enough and hopefully we will be able to use you again although it might need a few more years of saving!

S. Uden, UK. 2016.

Thank you, the lodges were all lovely and we have had an amazing trip. Still sorting through photos! The guides were all great too, they worked very hard and were excellent spotters.

A very minor detail but the soft furnishings at Arusha coffee lodge are beginning to look tired. The lodge was beautiful, staff friendly & helpful. Good food. 4*.

The menu at Neptune was very limited but what there was was good. The lodges are beautiful and staff friendly & helpful. 5*

Alex walkers lamai tents were fab, Belinda & Gerrard were very welcoming hosts, food was excellent. We loved the bucket showers, excellent game viewing. 5*. I have done a trip advisor review for them, I need to do the others!

Singita Sabora was just stunning, what a fab experience we had there. Food was excellent. Total luxury and nothing was too much trouble. They looked after us so well and the game viewing was outstanding. 5*.

White sands apartments were beautiful and we had a very relaxing few days. Staff were all very friendly and helpful. 5*

G. Alberti. USA.

This was the most amazing trip we have ever taken. We have been all over the world and stayed at some very nice places, but this tops the list. Just book it, seriously, I promise you will not regret it!

As all of the other reviewers have already mentioned, Beho Beho unites the thrill and adventure of Safari with ultimate comfort and luxury. The amazing staff (to include Tricia, Phil, and Nico, as well as the extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and genuinely friendly guides to include Heribert, Suning’o, and Roel) were always ready to please and went out of their way to make us feel welcome and comfortable.

From our welcome sundowner (a bottle of sparkling wine waiting for us in our room with a very nice card by Tricia congratulating us on our wedding) to the amazing meals in varied locations throughout the camp, to the wildlife we saw, to the friends we made, to the beautiful and luxurious bandas, to the peace and serenity of the picture-perfect views, to the magical feeling of the whole experience, there is not a single thing we would fault. There are little surprises here and there that I will not spoil for first-time visitors, that again add to the magic.

Just a phenomenal job all around! It will now be hard to top our most recent experience, and we will most definitely try to go back. Thank you again to the amazing Beho Beho staff for giving us the time of our lives!

G Alberti

J. Scarfield, USA. 2016.

It is nearly a week since we returned from our holiday in Tanzania and I thought I would drop you a line to let you know how it went. In short, it was amazing!

You will recall how set I was on going back to Kwihala, and we were not disappointed. The camp has changed location and is alongside the river bank whilst Asilia, who have taken over Kwihala, build a new camp close to the old site. We loved it by the river and on several occasions had elephants right outside our tent in the evening and night, so close you could hear them tearing the branches and all the bodily functions that went with them eating!

The camp has a new manager, Tam, who was great, and it has retained its charm, friendliness, intimacy with only 6 tents, and brilliant guiding with Lorenzo, the crazy Italian now head guide.

The food was even better than last time and was incredible, especially when we saw the “kitchen” which was a medium sized tent. Wonderful bush breakfasts, delicious lunches with an array of salads and homemade bread, and three course dinners which were superior to many established restaurants.

We were incredibly lucky to be the only people in camp for most of our stay, so had 22 staff looking after the four of us and ate each night with Lorenzo and Tam, with whom we got on really well.

It was my daughter’s 21st just before the holiday and our 30th wedding anniversary whilst we were there and Kwihala marked both occasions in a lovely way: all the staff came out singing and dancing when it was time for dessert one night and produced a huge birthday cake for Phoebe, which was completely unexpected, and for our anniversary, they set up a table with a bottle of sparkling wine by the Mwagusi river for a sundowner. We were really touched by the thought and effort that everyone made to make it special for us.

( many thanks also for the bottle of wine from African Odyssey at Ras Kutani when we arrived there).

In terms of game viewing, the Ruaha was as amazing as our previous visit, and we saw leopards, lots of lions and Cubs, wild dogs, were charged by elephants, were on the scene soon after a pride of lions had killed a giraffe and saw the carcass reduce to nothing over 4 days, as first the lions, then jackals, hyenas and vultures moved in.

The park is beautiful with varied landscapes and it was a real joy to be out all day every day.I know that Kwihala has a number of repeat visitors, who are all anxious that Asilia doesn’t lose the qualities that make it so special and I hope that message is being heard as it is a really wonderful place.

Ras Kutani was a nice place to unwind afterwards, and the Hill House worked well for us as a party of 4. It was a bit of a climb – about 80 steps- but we needed something to work off all the food we were eating! We had great views out to sea, but boy, does the wind get up in the middle of the night! The sea was very rough most of the time, so not good for swimming, but there was a pleasant pool area to sit by. We did the lagoon walk one day- again it was good to get a bit of exercise, but there was very little else to do. The food was good, the staff were very friendly and accommodating, but I think it misses a trick by not making the bar/ lounge more of a social area.

Ras Kutani was only half full and talking to the manager, there are clearly concerns about the newly introduced VAT rate of 18%, and what impact that will have on tourism. I really hope it doesn’t damage the industry as Tanzania is an amazing country and fantastic holiday destination.

Thanks for all your help and advice in planning the holiday, which is up there as one of the best. All the transfers and pick-ups worked well and our bags arrived at each destination with us. I will certainly come back to African Odyssey when we are ready for the next trip, and will recommend you to others.

Best wishes,

J Scarfield

L. Breitenwischer, USA. 2016.

Hi,

Yes Asilia vehicles are superior and the guides and staff were A+! The camps were lovely as well.

The many elephants at Oliver’s delighted us endlessly!

Namiri Plains was a highlight because we saw a mother cheetah and her cub–and followed them while she stalked a herd of gazelle. The cub was fooling around and mother would look back and purr/growl, pay attention, we are hunting!

Watched a very skinny male lion run off at a trot. Followed him and saw him kill a gazelle giving birth. Ate it skull to hooves 20 ft from us. Not a bite left on the plate!

Leaving Namiri at 10 am on the way to airport spotted a huge leopard walking out in the open grassland and followed it for a distance. Our pilot was agitated that we arrived 5 minutes before take off!

Sadly we missed Alex Walker by a few days. But the manager was a 30 year camp vet with a wealth of knowledge. Loved the camp. It has a very authentic old Africa feel. And the guides were the most experienced.

Many more fantastic memories, but these were the highlights. Will send photos.

Best, L

L. Levine, USA. 2016.

We had a truly amazing trip! Everything went incredibly well – no issues at any point at all. Not even a single flight delay!

The places we stayed:

Echo Beach – Very easy 5 stars. The accommodations were fantastic. They gave us a room on a 2nd floor with an ocean view. There was even a bed and couch on out on the balcony. The first night the brought us complimentary champagne and appetizers to the room as well. The resort was fairly empty the whole time so we had the beautiful beach and pool to ourselves. But the real standout was the food. 3 course dinners were fantastic – as good as we’d get at a nice dinner at home. And there was always a local option with fresh seafood. The owners were so friendly and helpful, booking excursions and activities for us, but they also valued our privacy.

Ngorongoro Farm House was 4 stars. The accommodations were perfect, if a little far away from the main house and not incredibly well let. The food left something to be desired, though. The boxed meals were very okay, and dinner had a large variety of options but none of them particularly good.

Kirurumu – 4.5 Stars. The bed was quite comfortable and everything went very smoothly with the chemical toilet and the bucket shower. The food was very good, all things considered. It was quite strange though, we were the only ones staying at the camp during that time, and it made for quiet a lonely stay, to be honest. Since there is so much down time in the evenings with nothing to do, it just had a very quiet feel, and there were so many staff people working there and waiting on us that we felt a bit guilty. They did provide wonderful service though, and even lit a campfire every night for us.

Thank you!

L, Orabona. UK. 2016.

Our honeymoon was perfection!

We absolutely LOVED Singita Sasakwa Lodge….5 paws all the way! The service was incredible, the food, the wine, the guide…they thought of things that we weren’t expecting and blew us away. Huge Singita fan now! All transfers ran smoothly, Coastal Aviation was great and our drivers all worked out as well. We also enjoyed our time at Baraza but honestly I would prefer next time to just safari again. We found ourselves a little bored at the beach. The accommodations were nice, but it was slightly a let down after the Singita bliss! Certainly no complaints, it was exactly what they said, but we would have preferred another couple night of safari maybe at a different camp. Everyone kept saying “Oh, the beach, how nice, now you can relax after safari” and we were like “Safari was the most relaxing luxurious vacation ever!”

George was wonderful and I have recommended you all to loads of my friends.

Thank you!

C. Stagg, UK. 2016.

I texted ted to let him know what an outstanding time we had. It really was perfect. Kichaka was simply extraordinary – we wished we’d done 7 nights there! Everything was completely prefect. Definitely the highlight. 5*

Kigelia was lovely too and while we loved it we realised the guiding was a bit mediocre compared to Moli (probably unfair). It was still great though and our guide was good. Excellent food and tents. My wife also got a bit tired of just sitting in the car for 9-10 hours a day but i guess that’s par for the course. 4.5*

Ras was the beat possible start: great food, great beach, great accommodation. We even saw a python catch, kill and eat a poor monkey by the main communal area! Would happily have gone back at the end again! 5*

Fanjove was heaven. Excellent accommodation, amazing island, great snorkelling, lovely beaches. Felt, initially, the temp manager was giving us a bit of hard sell on additional activities (eg sandbar lunch) which given we had island to ourself was unnecessary but he relaxed after a couple of days (though we wasted $70 on dolphin trip – didn’t see any and was just a noisy bumpy boat ride). The major issue was the food: having had amazing food all the time perhaps we had become spoiled but we felt that while things individually were good the combinations could be curious (eg calamari & cabbage) and they didn’t make the most of the (presumably) abundant resource on their doorstep: I would advise simple grilled fish would be preferred by most to beef bourguignon. Their seafood offering was usually calamari. No prawns or crabs :-(. We had fish on our last night which was ok but again served with some odd stuff. Very minor and believe the chef was temporary but so you know. 4.5*

All transfers were great (and fun) and went v smoothly.

Hope that all helps. As I said to ted it really was the perfect start to married life and we can’t wait to go back to Africa.

Thanks. C Stagg

M. Thomson, UK. 2016.

We both agreed this was the best holiday we have ever had. And we have done some great things before!

Only thing that was not brilliant was the border crossing but really no major moans at all. Oh yeah we didn’t see hyena. : )

Not sure about lizs scores but I would rate Duma Tao as 5/5. Fantastic place. Love to go back. Linkwasha 4/5. Still great but the need to stay on the roads meant didnt get quite so close to the animals all the time. I’d give the Victoria falls hotel 3.5. Maybe 4 when consider the free upgrade to mini suite you guys got use for stay at end of hols.

People and food were fabulous. And arrangements worked like clockwork. A brilliant trip and we were grumpy for ages at having to come home.

We definitely want to do safari again. Let us know of any special offers or deals that come along.

M Thomson

B. Stafford, UK. 2016.

I had a fantastic time, thanks. The arrangements ran smoothly, the camps were great, the people running them were very friendly helpful and the guides were really good, particularly at Mdonya Old River camp in Ruaha, where they provided me with a guide who knew the birds well (birdwatching was the main reason for my trip). And the wildlife – mammals, birds and other stuff besides – was amazing; has certainly whet my appetite for going back!

In terms of the camps, I spent more time around the camp at Lake Manze in Selous, and really liked the atmosphere there, and the location by the lake, which meant I could watch wildlife from my tent. All the staff and guides were very friendly and knowledgeable. I would give it a 5 out of 5.

I also thought Mdonya Old River camp was great, though I spent less time in the camp, as I tended to be out on full day safaris, so I didn’t really relax around it as much. But again, nothing to fault it, and I would give it a 5 too.

Thanks,

Ben

K. Lowe, UK. 2016.

We had a truly amazing holiday thank you, it was our first safari (I went with my 16 year old son), my only concern is that we started with the best so where do we go from there!

All of our transfers worked seamlessly and both lodges were a definite 5 out of 5. Beho Beho and Jongomero were a great combination as they offer different experiences but both at a very high level. Travelling on my own with my son isn’t always easy but everyone was so friendly, welcoming and helpful.

When planning the holiday my priority was to go somewhere off the main tourist trail as I couldn’t bear the thought of watching an animal with a group of other jeeps all around. We certainly achieved that as we barely saw anyone else. I could not recommend these lodges highly enough and I would absolutely recommend Tanzania/Africa Odyssey to anyone or indeed use you again myself. George was fantastic throughout the whole booking process and he patiently answered all of my questions up until the moment we left. It was very reassuring to book through someone who really knew what they were talking about and who had experienced the trip first hand. The one thing that I would say is that it would be worth telling ladies that you cannot use a hairdryer at Jongomero – luckily I spotted this on their website so was prepared, it sounds a silly thing but for those of us who are wedded to our hairdryers it comes as a shock!!

I hadn’t realised that you also have Latin Odyssey and Asia Odyssey so I will look at those websites too and look forward to booking with you again.

Best wishes,

K Lowe

N. Stoneman, UK. 2016.

Africa Odyssey was great. This was my first safari (Botswana and Zambia) and I found the company to be really patient and knowledgable. I appreciated the reviews on their website and the fact that they were not afraid of having an opinion (good/bad) about specific camps and lodges.

By this I mean on their site, they rate the places and really try to give you as honest of a feel for the property as they can provide. My other general tip to people planning a safari is to shop around. I had the same itinerary quoted by 3 different agents. At first I felt like a jerk for doing this, but when I received 3 very different quotes I felt less bad.

One agent came in almost $2000 dollars more expensive for the exact same 2-person holiday. So do your research.

And yes, in the end I choose Africa Odyssey, as they were the most knowledgeable and offered me the best price.

M. Evans, UK. 2016.

We had the most amazing holiday in our life time. Siwandu experience exceeded our expectations, from accommodation, game viewing and excellent guides, excellent food, friendly hosts and efficient staff and delightful surprises. Our experience from this place is 5*, everything was perfect.

Highlights were a served hot and cold breakfast in the bush, by the lake, with a chef and a waiter, sighting of the rare wild dogs, a group of elephants passing through and stopping 2-3 feet away from our car, being able to see two sets of lions on the same day.

The best finale of our trip was seeing a huge, the tallest and biggest rainbow we have ever seen, just right before our eyes, with all the colours clearly defined and driving through the arch was magical!! And as we headed back to the camp, a beautiful full moon slowly coming up on the horizon and over the trees appeared as darkness sets in.

Our stay at the Green & Blue Ocean Beach resort was also excellent. Loved the garden and the flowers, the beach view from the restaurant and from the infinity pool were just amazing. Food was also superb! The lunch and dinner menus change every day. They also offer Swahili dish on their menus everyday (both lunch and dinner are different) which was fantastic.

Enjoyed watching the village life on the beach: the local fishermen bringing back their ‘catch of the day’ to a nearby fish market, mending boats, cows being chased by playful children in their colourful clothes, boys playing football, and all the different boats, big and small passing through.

Both our safari and beach holiday were exceptional, from start to finish. We were very happy, indeed! A special and big thank you to George and the whole team of African Odyssey who patiently and kindly organised both and made our best holiday ever.

We will recommend it to everyone. We all said “it’s just once in a lifetime experience and trip” but having said that, who knows we might go back again, God willing.

N. John, UK. 2016.

We had an absolutely fabulous time at Phinda and have been raving about it to anyone that will listen. They were very receptive to our requests such as fishing for the boys and more exotic meat (kudu, ostrich etc as asked for by my husband). The staff could not have been nicer or more friendly.

All travel arrangements were seamless from Durban and back to the airport.

Being in Vlei Lodge made you feel you were in your own place as it was so small and intimate. Both our boys LOVED it especially our 12 year old who didn’t complain at all about being in an open top truck for 4 hours (we had been a little worried before hand).

E. Reynolds, Canada. 2016.

Scott – what can I say but WOW!!

An amazing trip in every way – loved every minute of it and thank you for your recommendations on the camps. Each one was outstanding in its own way and the people/hospitality were terrific.

As you may know – Mombo is NOT yet renovated – in fact, it isn’t even started yet –

We loved Little Mombo – so not really an issue

Kings Pool was quite beautiful – unfortunately not enough water for the boat to go out – but that wasn’t a huge issue either.

I was very impressed by the training of the Wilderness teams – and I would like to drop a note to someone there if you can give me the right contact info – people are so quick to complain, but rarely take the time to write a letter of commendation.

We would not hesitate to recommend Wilderness – or African Odyssey to anyone wanting to do this trip – and if/when we go back (who knows….) I will be back in touch.

J. Davis, UK. 2016.

Hello George. We are recently returned from our Tanzania safari and just wanted to touch base to let you know that it was absolutely amazing. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. We saw every animal possible, and up close as well. We saw 4 river crossings, 2 kills, black rhino, lots of lions, leopards, and other cats, and of course, all the other wonderful and exotic animals of Africa. We also saw lots of babies: lions, elephants, giraffe, baboon, etc. We lay in bed watching the elephants eating from a bush right outside out tent, and one night heard the lions mating outside our tent. Did you know that the female purrs?

Thank you so much for arranging our trip. It was perfect. Hope you had a lovely holiday in the Greek Isles.

With much appreciation,

J. Davis and family

M. Richey, USA. 2016.

This was one of the best trips I’ve done with my family in many years. As very experienced travelers and climbers I liked that George from Tanzania Odyssey worked with me upfront to customize our trip to our needs and interests and we went through many iterations until we got it right. He really listened to us and I know that made a huge difference in the quality of our trip.

During our 3 weeks of climbing, safari and touring around Rwanda and Tanzania we had excellent guides, always knowledgeable and friendly. We stayed in wonderful lodges that suited our travel style, and had amazing adventures and fun on every day.

That said, our trip was always super relaxed, the transfers and logistics were seamless and there were few surprises.

I would recommend Tanzania Odyssey to anyone planning a trip to Africa

D. Howell, USA. 2016.

I am so grateful that I followed my instincts to work with George Hannan at Tanzania Odyssey. I spoke with a number of people and my gut was that this agency was the best. I have looked forward to this trip my whole life and it was so beyond perfect! The logistics were flawless, my experiences beyond my wildest dreams and expectations and George’s expertise in planning was obvious, both during the trip and looking back on it afterward. Several people I met on my journey also commented on the planning expertise. George listened, never pushed, and guided brilliantly. I started in the Selous and worked my way north, ending the Tanzania visit in the Serengeti with the migrating herds. I then continued on, ending my visit with gorilla treks in Rwanda. The entire journey was spectacular. Each lodge and camp had its own magic. It was so hard to say goodbye to each one. I am so grateful to have planned my trip with Tanzania Odyssey and I look forward to future plans as well. I am in love with Africa. All the more because you helped to make it so spectacular. I can’t wait to send you a few select photos!

K. Conochan, UK. 2016.

Africa Odyssey made it so easy for us to simply trust their expertise and judgment, putting together sensible packages that demonstrated a knowledge of the best tours, hospitality, and food we’ve ever had on a vacation. Not knowing much about the region, we really leaned on them to put together options that made sense logistically. And they delivered. Our experience at Ras Kutani and Siwandu were perfect. I’ve never had such impeccable service, beautiful terrain, and wonderful people. It made every single day worthwhile.

J. Bard, USA. 2016.

Africa Odyssey planned us a perfect honeymoon in Tanzania. They listened to our desires and goals and set us up on a trip that exceeded everything. Not only were they phenomenal in answering questions promptly and thoroughly, but our trip went off without a problem.

The resorts and excursions they found for us were phenomenal in quality and in service.

Thanks to Africa Odyssey for making our honeymoon perfect.

Evans Family, UK. 2016.

Dear George and all the team of African Odyssey,

A very big thank you for organising our best first ever safari and the beach resort holiday. We, myself, husband and our 25 year old son, had the most amazing holiday in our life time. Siwandu experience was beyond our expectations, from accommodation, game viewing and excellent guides, excellent food, friendly hosts and staff and lots of surprises. Everything was perfect and the highlights were breakfast in the bush by the lake, with a butler, a chef and the 2 guides, sighting of the rare wild dogs, a group of elephants passing through and stopping 2-3 feet away from our car, being able to see two sets of lions on the same day. The best finale as we were driving back to the camp on our last day, was a huge, tall and biggest rainbow we have ever seen, right before our eyes, with clearly defined colours and driving through the arch was magical!! And after an hour drive towards the camp, a clear full moon slowly coming up on the horizon and over the trees appeared as darkness sets in.

Our stay at the Green & Blue Ocean Beach resort was also excellent. Loved the garden and the flowers, the beach view from the restaurant and infinity pool were all amazing. Food was also excellent and their menu changes everyday and they always have a local dish on the menu, which was fantastic. Enjoyed watching the village life on the beach: the local fishermen bringing back their catch of the day, mending boats, 3-4 cows on the beach being chased by cheerful village children in their colourful dresses, boys playing football, and all different boats passing through.

Overall, our safari and beach holiday went very well beyond our expectations, from start to finish. We are very happy, indeed! We will recommend it to everyone. We all said “it’s just once in a lifetime experience and trip” but having said that, who knows we might be back again, God willing.

Once again thank you all and may God bless you.

All the best for 2016,

Evans family

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