Africa Odyssey Reviews – 2017

7th January 2020

P. Cooper, UK. 2017.

We had a great trip!

Re the lodges i would have to give them both 5 out of 5

Sand Rivers Selous – Great lodge in a great position , the view from our room (no 4 ) across the river was one of the nicest we have had on safari. Lodge is very well run by Eric and Natasha , they were always visible , checking everything was ok , they were great hosts. We never had more than 4 to our safari vehicle and rarely saw another vehicle on our game drives , our guide Ernest was excellent. I think this lodge is a little apart from others and maybe the game is not so concentrated as around Lake manze but we saw lions , leopard and lots of other animals . The rains had just started so it was nice for us to see everything turning green . There were lots and lots of birds.

Lots of different things to do at this lodge – boat trips, hot springs , walking , driving .

Any negatives. – not really, if i,m going to be really picky then the food although of a good standard and well presented was maybe not quite up to the standard of other top lodges we have stayed at. Having said that , the private dining table option on the deck was really a nice option .

Ikuka Ruaha – Again a great lodge in a spectacular location . The views from the room and lodge are hard to beat. Again we never had more than 4 to our vehicle and the game viewing was very good , plenty of quality lion and leopard sightings . They hadn’t had any rain since April so the park was still very dry , but that made for good animal sightings mostly based around the dry river bed . Again our guide Lazaro was very good. We didn’t do a walk but others who we spoke to enjoyed it and recommended it . For value for money this lodge is very good at the moment with their 3 for 2 offer . Food and drink was top quality , very well presented and well served. The hosts Mark and Tanya were again always visible , making sure everything was ok .

Any negatives for this lodge – again only if i,m being really picky. Lisa found the room layout a bit unusual in the fact that in the evening the tents were zipped up as expected but the bathroom was outside the tent area – someone on their first safari might find this a bit daunting , . For me whilst the lodge has a great position on a hilltop the slight negative was that the first 20 mins of the game drive there and back were spent just driving to and from the areas that had game .

R. Maskell, USA. 2017.

Hi Ted, Good to hear from you… Just to say, thank you for arranging our trip to Botswana…We had a fantastic time and all travel arrangements went smoothly. We loved all the camps… Selinda was our favourite .. we loved it’s position and the rustic feel, and the staff were very friendly. It wasn’t as slick as the other camps but they really try to please. Chitabe was good, but we wouldn’t go there again. Vumbura Plains was beautiful, and comfortable, and the staff were attentive. The position of the camp was excellent. I think the food was average, and there wasn’t a long dinner table so we didn’t have an opportunity of meeting other guests, apart from on the drives and our last night when dining was by the camp fire. The vegetarian food was disappointing in all camps. All camps get 5 rating and Africa Odyssey get 5.

We hope to travel with you in the future.

J. Moriarty, UK. 2017.

I’m happy to say that every part of the trip went perfectly. No complaints what so ever.

I would rate the Siwandu (Selous) 5 star and the Ikuka (Ruaha) 5 star. Both were absolutely fantastic, from locations, staff, food and everything!

I am looking at planning the next trip, hopefully to India to see wild tigers, so I’ll definitely be in touch for your help in booking this.

Thanks for everything,

T. Mitchell, UK. 2017.

We thoroughly enjoyed every element of our trip to Tanzania. It came at a high dollar cost, but was worth every penny and exceeded our expectations. Our expectations were high because of the cost, but they were met flawlessly – thanks for the good work and fine selection of travel partners to host us on our trip.

The driver and the guide (Albert) from Asilia were exceptional, we really enjoyed our time with Albert. He was attentive and very personable. When we returned to Rivertrees at the end of our trip he took us out on a full day adventure of the area around Arusha. His guidance at the beginning of our trip was truly outstanding as well.

Rivertrees is a great location and beautiful setting. Food was very good and personnel were engaging.

All three lodges (Plantation, Singita Mara, Faru Faru) for the safari expeditions were over the top (all fives by our reckoning) and provided a fine experience from all perspectives. Attention to detail and personal service were above and beyond. Animal viewing was exceptional and the guides were among the best we have enjoyed in our African trips.

R. Kunanayagam, UK. 2017.

First of all many thanks for the organisation and the arrangements. In summary everything worked perfectly – the transfers were seamless, the service was excellent, the guides were superb, Coastal Aviation were great, the food in all the safari camps were super and the Nomad Safari camps were fabulous and absolutely wonderful. Honestly it was all flawless and Africa Odyssey and Nomad Tanzania were absolutely superb.

George, we really appreciate the service Africa Odyssey provided and you all were so good natured about everything.. Responding immediately to all our questions, addressing any issues promptly, great organisation and loved the app!!

E. Hehir, Germany. 2017.

Travis and I want to thank you SO much for your help in making our honeymoon the absolute best we could have wished for. Everything went so smoothly and we never had to worry about a single detail.

So, thank you so much for your help in making this the best trip we’ve taken. If you need more info on the accommodations or more comments, we would be happy to talk more. Thank you for everything you’ve done to help us with our honeymoon.

J. Roberts, Canada. 2017.

We just got back to Canada today. Thanks for your message. I wanted to let you know what a fantastic time Ben and I had on our trip. Honestly – an absolutely epic time.

In terms of favourite sightings, it would be the baby hyena in Selous and the leopard in Ruaha. Also, we developed into low-level bird geeks while we were there, which was super fun. I am SO GLAD that we chose to go to the southern parks. Our Ruaha guide had worked in the Serengeti and when he described how literally hundreds of cars can come rushing to a particular animal viewing, it made me realize how special it was for us to be alone – the only vehicle – for so many of our game drives. This was truer in the Selous due to the less strict road rules, I think, but we felt very wild and free in Ruaha too.

Really, George, I just can’t express how lucky I feel to have been able to go to Tanzania. Now that I have been there, I also really appreciate and can understand some of your comments and suggestions when we were making plans. It really makes a difference to have had people in your company who regularly visit these places and can provide accurate feedback. Thanks 🙂

M. Blanco, Spain. 2017.

The entire experience was wonderful and is still very much with us, despite having had to rush home to Miami the day after we left Kenya to deal with approaching hurricane Irma. We did not have power for days after the storm struck and got cable and internet back yesterday. And we thought a hyena walking past our tent was exciting!…your company did a great job and we would not hesitate to use it again or recommend it.

M. Van der Vorst, Germany. 2017.

Everything was perfectly organized and we have enjoyed our trip 150%. I keep your contacts in my list and if we should plan another trip, I might well come back to you

L. Roepke, USA. 2017.

I have been meaning to send you a note but have been so busy since we got back. The trip was AWESOME! It exceeded all of our expectations and was a fantastic family experience that we will remember forever! I actually logged into your site this weekend as I was planning on writing a review on your company but then got distracted. I have full intention of writing a review for you, as well as the places we stayed – which were all great. The guides were also great, and we saw almost every animal there was to see (including the big 5!). We know we were pretty lucky – just right time and right place. Even the plane rides on Coastal Air – which I have to admit I was a bit concerned about – were absolutely fine. I think the only thing that I would have liked (and this is a real nit) is when we arrived in Africa, we would have had a note at our hotel indicating our guide’s name and what time he was going to be there. But the hotel knew, and the guide actually showed up early. So all was fine. Everyone took incredible care of our every need, and you must have passed on the note about the “60/30” birthdays (my husband’s and daughter’s), because a couple of the places sang happy birthday to them! Overall – everything was just fantastic! Give me a few weeks and I will get the reviews out there. And – good to hear about your expansion. My son and will be celebrating our “60/30” birthdays in 2019 and we are thinking about going to Machu PIcchu… we may be back!

K. Glazier, Spain. 2017.

Everything was amazing. We had such an incredible trip, it surpassed all expectations. Everything with Kwando safaris was perfect. The lodging, the food, and especially the game. All our flights were on time and transportation between camps and at the beginning/end of the safari all went very smoothly. The only (very) minor thing was that while in Victoria Falls we were told we would be contacted by a driver to let us know what time we would depart for Botswana. When we didn’t hear from them ended up having to email Dave to help get in contact with the person who would be driving us to Kasane. In the end it was all good, in fact it speaks highly of all of you at African Odyssey that even while we were on trip, we were still able to get support and you were able to help us sort things out. Everyone that we have been in contact with from African Odyssey has been helpful, professional, and knowledgeable. We will gladly recommend African Odyssey to our friends and we sincerely hope to book another trip in the near future.

K. Rushbrook, NZ. 2017.

We have just arrived back in NZ this morning….tired but pretty happy with the whole trip. The highlights had to be the safaris at Ruaha and Selous, but the time at Echo Beach was also pretty special. I really wanted to say a huge thankyou for the arrangements which went pretty much like clockwork and the selection of places to stay was inspired!. We were incredibly lucky with the guides we had at Kwihala and Sands River……they were excellent and we simply could not have asked for better. We really enjoyed Andrew and Sue…they are a couple of characters who managed to make our stay quite special…Andrew even baked a cake for our wedding anniversary! Coastal aviation were great…the only slight hiccup was the flight for Zanzibar to Dar was cancelled so we were rebooked on another carrier whose name I forget….they also ran late and had the worst plane I have ever been on, except for Air Nuigini… was horrid, but Coasteal did meet us in Dar and made sure the Darby’s made their connecting flight. Just so you are aware, we did not use the transfer from echo Beach to Stone town………we did a spice tour and got dropped off at the hotel as part of that. So, thanks again for arranging a superb holiday…we loved every minute of it and your organisation could not be faulted….e would have no hesitation in recommending you to any other travellers

J. Forth, UK. 2017.

A very happy new year to you. Just wanted to let you know that we had a great time over new year! It was wonderful being back in Zimbabwe and then Vumbura Plains was utterly magical .. best camp we’ve ever stayed at! Saw tons of game, including lion, leopard, cheetah and a wild dog kill! Spectacular.

J. Borgueta, UK. 2017.

Kathleen and I are back from Tanzania. Trying to recover from our travels and acclimate back to my time zone has been a challenge.The trip was absolutely wonderful and getting back to work has been not so much. Thanks for much for all your guidance on the safari locations and providers. We were totally in awe of how wonderful the accommodations and service were throughout our stay. The trip was quite well orchestrated. I am just beginning to sift through all my photos and now my husband is quite jealous he didn’t go along with us. Hmmm. Seems that planning another trip would make sense.

Thanks again George – the trip was amazing

J. Weiss, USA. 2017.

We had a fantastic time in Tanzania & much appreciate your input to the planning – everything was excellent. Ikuka was a particular highlight for us – it’s a fantastic place with special people – we’ll be going back there sooner rather than later. Baraza was great for my fussy eaters – they were happy to accommodate requests (& the family did actually try a few new things!!!). Was happy to recommend you to Simon, everything you did & recommended was spot on. Another friend & his family is also likely to contact you in the near future, to book pretty much what we did.

C. Anders, UK. 2017.

We had a fantastic time and in the next few days I will send you a more detailed report. We loved all the camps for a variety of reasons. I am still trying to process it all. I have already worked on a draft itinerary for July/August 2019. Back to Kenya and Tanzania for Migration and Chimps and then on to NYC for a week so will be in touch when it is time to start planning. A special thanks to you Dave for your recommendations, patience and help as I really was happy with our final itinerary – I know I changed it around a lot and I am grateful that you facilitated this for me. It was all flawless and planned to a tee. I also gave an American lady your name – I met her in Londolozi.

H. Caswell, UK. 2017.

Have just returned from a brilliant holiday in Tanzania. A big thank you to Dave and the team for making all the arrangements. Everything went smoothly and according to plan – even the weather! The food and accommodation were fantastic and the views were out of this world. Even though we were in the wet season when animals are supposed to be harder to find we saw plenty – 24 lions in 24 hours – a record I believe even for Kichaka!

F. Williams, UK. 2017.

Thanks for getting in touch, the trips was really incredible! We’ve left a few comments below, please can you also pass along my HUGE thanks to George, he was outstanding in the booking process. I really can’t fault his service. Please let us know if there is anywhere else we can leave comments, we have so much praise to share!

M. Zimadahl, UK. 2017.

Well, to say it in my wife’s words after we arrived back home: “It was perfect!” So the surprise was a big success and I managed to keep it up until we landed as she actually didn’t know (and then didn’t want to find out) where Dar Es Salaam was…..;-) All of the meetings with the contacts on the ground went smooth and they were all very friendly! So no problems at all here.

E. Richert, USA. 2017.

Everything went great, have no complaints about the places we went. Sand rivers was spectacular, beautiful facilities and really genuinely nice people. Our guide (Edward) was very good and we had great experience with people running the lodge as well (Tash & Erik and Barbara and Fabio filling in before taking over managing the Mahale camp). Kigelia was also nice. the manager Ken was gone for half our time there so we didnt spend as much time with him,but our guide Joel was great… he spotted both Leopards and Cheetah (which apprently are very rare in Ruaha) and had all the other trucks from different camps following us around. It was much hotter during the day in Ruaha vs. Selous and since Kigelia didnt have as much to do during the day as Sand Rivers did (no pool for instance) the middle of the day felt a little longer… but since you’re so isolated and its a tented camp we totally understood. We mostly did not having any staff members in the main area between meals (I assume they were all taking naps to stay cool), but it made it awkward to ask for drinks or water if we were reading in the common area. Wouldn’t have thought much of it if we hadn’t come from Sand Rivers where they were always asking if we wanted anything. The quality of the game and the level of comfort the animals in Ruaha had with the cars more than made up for it though, we got really close to all the animals which was more challenging in Selous. I had heard some horror stories before going about how changing flight times can limit the amount of time you can spend on game drives during travel days but we had good experience with Nomad. They let us take roundabout routes to/from the airstrips so we could see game on our way. All in all it was a great trip and we look forward to doing another Safari in the future and would go out of our way to stay with Nomad again if we returned to Tanzania. Thanks for arranging.

E. Vlach, USA. 2017.

We’re all over our jetlag, and it’s sadly back to the daily grind. I’m currently going through all pictures and creating albums, which is already making me miss Tanzania! This trip was one of the best ones of our lives. The added value of having everything organized for us by Africa Odyssey is huge. Everyone we met was friendly, on-time, and customer-service oriented. It was refreshing to be on vacation and not worry about next steps – someone else always figured it out for us and kept us informed! Excellent work on putting together the itinerary and choosing our safari/guide outfits. Also, I appreciate the timely responses via email from you and Ted. Africa Odyssey gets 5 of 5 stars

E. French, UK. 2017.

We have been home now for a couple of days. I just wanted to let you know that the holiday went very smoothly and we all had the best time. Connections all worked like clockwork, were really fun and stress free and everyone was happy with their respective choices. Thanks so much for putting together such a superb holiday for us all. We will definitely use African Odyssey to book our next African trip! Thanks again guys. You did great!!!

D. Grey, UK. 2017.

Thanks Scott. We had a great time. The airline arrangements through Coastal were grey, convenient and on time. The two venues were also very accurately described. We have already recommended your group to several people and will probably use you again when we go to Tanzania next year in August

D. Hills, USA. 2017.

I am emailing to thank you for organising such a brilliant trip – we all thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in Tanzania. All the travel arrangements went smoothly and we felt Iike movie stars travelling by chartered plane to Zanzibar and Selous!! The safari was way above our expectations- we saw so many beautiful animals both on the mighty Rufiji River and in the Game reserve. Having the mix of both drive and boat safari worked very well. Seeing a sleeping pride of lions sleeping in the shade was a particular highlight together with listening to the hippos “talking” to us from the river in the evenings. Our guides Alfred and Said were extremely knowledgeable and informative- we felt very safe in their hands. We have taken hundreds of photos and it was a trip we will all never forget, Thank you again and hopefully we’ll make it back soon!

D. Straughan, USA. 2017.

We had a marvelous trip! As in the past, we were very happy with Africa Odyssey in planning our safari. Scott was fantastic in the planning process and came to our aid by turning a long layover in Dar into a great opportunity to see the markets and have a lovely dinner in the city.We look forward to working with Africa Odyssey in the future!

D. Green, UK. 2017.

My wife Shirley and I had an absolutely amazing time – nothing went wrong at all (in fact there weren’t any rains while we were there so everything was better than we could have imagined!), we’ve returned only to rave about the camps to our friends and family! George did an excellent job planning and booking it, we’d be very likely to book again through Africa Odyssey if we were so lucky to go on another safari!

D. Dale, USA. 2017.

We had a wonderful honeymoon and can’t say enough good things about our hotels! The trip surpassed all of our expectations! We’ve never used a travel agency before and it was very easy to work through your company to let you handle the logistics. When we do an Africa trip again, we’re definitely going to spend time in Europe on our way back; it took us exactly 41 hours to get from the Sunshine hotel to our doorstep in Colorado!

C. Didsbury, USA. 2017.

I wanted to thank you for organising another superb trip to Botswana – I loved every minute of it! Will I go back? Absolutely! I’d like to see the country slightly earlier next time – with a bit more greenery and water, but still with good game viewing. Which month/s would you suggest? Thank you again for all your advice and organisation.

C. Hoeltgen, Luxembourg. 2017.

The trip to Selous and Zanzibar was amazing, a unique experience. Both Azura and Baraza were best choices for location, outstanding hospitality with attention to detail and excellent food. Thank you for your support. Everything went smoothly also with internal travel by Coastal Airlines and assistance by Z Travel Services.

A. Long, UK. 2017.

I just wanted to let you know that we had a fabulous holiday from start to finish and we enjoyed every single moment. Thank you, Scott, for making all of the arrangements for us. I would go again tomorrow, given the chance, and you can’t get better than that! Having our own vehicle was definitely a good choice for us and I appreciate your help with that too. Fingers crossed that we get to go again.

A. Riley, USA. 2017.

Thank you so much for everything! Our trip was unbelievable, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. All our lodging was spectacular, definitely 5 stars. Especially Kitela, wow. I know that was an upgrade for us, and we absolutely loved it. Everything else was top notch too, and everything went very smoothly and seamlessly. The Sunshine hotel was so beautiful and peaceful! The bathroom at Mountain View was pretty basic, as you said, but that didn’t matter at all because the main lodge area was really nice and we were super thrilled about the gorillas! Serena was fantastic as well (best breakfast buffet I’ve ever seen), and we were even there when some of the East African presidents were gathering, pretty exciting. All our guides were really great too, and really made the experience. Our favorite guide was with us in Ngorongoro Crater, and our guide for the gorilla portion was equally amazing.

Overall, the trip was amazing. Our gorilla experience ranks in the top experiences of our lives!!! Thank you for everything you did to arrange it. It really could not have gone better, and we are still on Cloud 9. We really appreciate all your work and will be sure to recommend you to all our friends.

A. Reyes, Spain. 2017.

Thank’s for everything, all the accommodation where more than we expected, as well as the sevices. For the next trip we will arrange everything with your team.

If you need more details, please let me know and I will give it to you.

Best regards

R. Connarty, Australia. 2017.

Our trip was amazing, exceeded my expectations in every possible way and l am still in awe at seeing the wildlife in its natural environment. I kept pinching myself that yes l was actually there and recalled being in Egypt 10 years ago where l thought that was my ‘wow’ moment in travel but this trip was also up there. I must admit that after being in the Serengeti l did wonder if each place would just provide the same experience but that wasn’t the case as each location was indeed very different. Overall our trip was fabulous, even the scary moments and they are locked in my memories forever along with the pleasure of experiencing Safari life.

So here is my feedback.

Dar es salaam – not sure what l expected but if l did this trip again l would want to bypass this place. Reminded me of work trips to Jakarta but would rate them as being better.

Slipway hotel was really average, we stayed in the old rooms which were very tired/grotty though the rest of the hotel was better. Considering how much time we were there for would have been happier to stay in a better hotel in the city center as the roadworks were a pain. It took us 2 hours to drive from the airport to the hotel when we arrived each time but luckily it only took 30 minutes to do the reverse trip for our early morning departures. Very glad we arrived a day earlier so we could relax before heading off on our Safari.

Meet & greet, 1st trip great but 2nd was late in picking us up at the airport and no it wasn’t due to the roadworks.

Nomad Serengeti camp – rate this experience 4.5 out of 5 for both camp & area

Camp was extremely comfortable, tents and fittings set out well, not lacking in anything (note l am not a camper so was very happy indeed) and food/drinks were good. Staff were great from the moment we were picked up and returned back to the airport. Very friendly, engaging and they looked after us very well. Felt very safe and secure at this campsite and Lawrence the camp manager was very attentive. Our guide Emmanuel was great although a little distracted some of the time and we only found out why on our last day when he announced his wife had just given birth to a new child. We drove long days into central Serengeti as well as further west to see more of the migration but given the distance we needed to travel, plus the roads weren’t great, this was okay. Emmanuel endeavored to show us as much as he could and we saw 4 of the big 5 here in the Serengeti. I was amazed at the sheer numbers of the different animal herds that we came across as well as the colorful or unusual birdlife (note l wasn’t really a bird person either before this trip). Highlights were seeing towers of giraffes, herds of zebras, multiple lion prides, a cheetah (absolutely gorgeous) 200+ hippos in a single pond, wildebeest, dik dik, Thompson gazelles, multiples of other animals and of course the elephants.

Overall would definitely recommend this camp.

Lake Manyara, Ngorogoro Crater and Plantation Lodge – rate this experience 4 out of 5 for both drive days and lodging.

Our nomad guide Ian was fabulous, number 1 of all we had on the entire trip. Very passionate about his country, wildlife as well as extremely interested in hearing about our country and wildlife (which are boring to us). We enjoyed spending our time here with him.

The surrounding areas of Lake Manyara, the greenery of this place was the first thing that hits you. Highlights were trailing an elephant as it walked down the road in front of us, flamingos in the distance on the lake, not close enough for a clear photo but l do have what l call an abstract photo shot, hippos in a clean pond, giraffes, zebras, elephants and the birdlife, especially the beautiful kingfisher.

Ngorogoro Crater – the contrast of the landscape inside the crater, green, dry, grassy, thick shrubs, trees, open plains and the lake was unexpected. Highlights were that the animals here weren’t bothered by us and didn’t runaway like in the Serengeti. They were happy for us to just sit nearby and stare at them. We saw white rhinos (our last of the big 5), herds of elephants eating right beside us, flamingos a little closer but still not close enough, lions just hanging around, zebras and more birdlife.

Plantation Lodge – accommodation was fabulous, although they did try to have Sally and myself share a room. The manager said that our booking was 2 doubles & 2 singles which meant in the same room. Luckily they still had one room available so they accommodated our request for separate rooms even though when we were taken to our room they were carrying the other room key so not sure whether they were trying to see if they could get away with it or not. Apart from that the food and service here was very good and would recommend staying here.

Ruaha National Park – Mwagusi camp – rate this experience 3.75 out of 5 for camp & area.

A female camp manager was unexpected but Alex was very attentive and was there to greet us when we returned from our drives each day as well as dined with us each night. The landscape of this park was again very different, hills, thick scrub, a mixture of palm, baobabs, pepper and other trees. We did 2 game drives each day, early morning and late afternoon, smaller number of animals here but we did get to see 3 leopards and more male lions which were the highlights. Our guide Issac was good and we drove all over the park to see the wildlife. Had a couple of daytime scary moments where our vehicle wouldn’t start whilst we were sitting underneath a leopard up a tree just prior to sunset, had to wait for another vehicle to come along to push start us out. Then the next day we had an elephant semi charge at us, guess he got sick of us staring at him, luckily Ishan had fixed the vehicle overnight so could put his foot to the floor and get away. Plus had an nighttime extremely scary moment where a lion was marking their territory along the side wall of my tent but luckily(!) an elephant came along to also feed in my trees so it moved away. Needless to say didn’t get much sleep and would say that l felt very unsafe at this camp site. Was very concerned that there were no staff sleeping in our camp at night in case there was an animal emergency. Staff camp and guest camp were separated by a wide dry river bed so basically the guests were on there own overnight. Think they need to revisit their safety standards. Dinner each night was set up down on the river bed and although it was well set out and we had a magnificent night sky with sparkly stars it would have been nice to eat in the dining area at night at least once. Food was okay but nothing to rave about.

Overall not sure that I would recommend going here.

Okavango Delta, Shinde camp – rate this experience 4 out of 5 for camp and area.

All the staff were out to welcome us, singing and dancing, on our arrival plus the management and all the guides ate with the guests so it was like a big family experience. Elevated tents with wooden floors and facilities were luxurious. Food and drinks were good and we had some great sunset locations for drinks and dining out experiences here. Staff very attentive to any needs. Location of the camp was right beside the delta so activities included boat, canoe drives as well as vehicle or walking drives plus we did a night time drive were we saw a huge hippo out of the water feeding on the grass. Didn’t see as many animals here as the grasses were very high or consisted of thick scrub but Bee our guide didn’t stop trying to find them for us. Plus they said the floods had cut off a lot of the animals but we did see some animals that we hadn’t seen before, Tseebee & lechwe, so were pleased by this. Saw hippos out in the delta but the lions on land were playing hide and seek..

Had a semi scary nighttime moment with a hippo feeding on the bushes beside my tent but l was game enough to get up and look out to see its large behind disappear into the bush towards the water so could relax and sleep a little. Plus one of the male managers slept near the kitchen nearby so at least l knew there was someone around should danger present itself. Didn’t stop me wondering if hippos could walk up the tent ramp onto my deck though. The rest of the staff slept in a separate compound to the guests area.

Overall would recommend Shinde for the camp experience.

All flights were great, loved being in the smaller planes and flying lower so that l could see the landscape.

Transfer services were great and appreciated the meet and greet service provided from Kasane to Victoria Falls. The border crossing went smoothly and luckily Botswana hadn’t implemented their departure visa machines so l didn’t have to pay on leaving.

Ilala Hotel Victoria Falls was fantastic, great location where you could see the rainbow over the falls from the garden, plus a warthog or mongoose or two walking passed your room. Accommodation and facilities very comfortable. Definitely recommend this hotel as it is close to everything and only a 10 minute walk to the falls.

Loved the falls at land level as well as from a helicopter which l also highly recommend doing. After 4 safaris you would think l would have had enough of game drives but no as l did another to Stanley & Livingstone reserve, got up early again to leave at 6:15am (definitely not a holiday….) where l got to see black rhino, a family of three, mum/dad and child greeting one another, truly amazing. Also went on a sunset cruise on the Rakane boat which was another great experience. All of these activities l booked at the hotel once l arrived.

So all in all had a fantastic time and thank you so much for arranging this for us all. I Have also been dropping your company’s name everytime l am asked about my trip and will continue to do so.

Very interested to see that you also cover South America, so will have to start saving for that or perhaps another trip back to Africa……

Regards from a very happy traveller and a big thank you to your team.

R Connarty

N. Coles, Turks and Caicos Islands. 2017.

Where do I start?!

We had an amazing trip. It wasn’t without its difficulties but nothing to do with your side of things.

Mount Nelson was perfect. Room was as we would have hoped and staff exceptionally friendly.

We had an unbelievable time at Kirkmans. Our guide was a guy called Jarrud who said he knew you. He and his tracker were ultimate professionals. We just had the most exciting informative time with them. Our son was waiting to go excited pre 6am every morning and our daughter came along although sick for the first 2/3 drives.

The accommodation was fine as was the food, although the food may have become a little repetitive if you were there for any length of time. Staff were very friendly and helpful.

At Singita the drives were always likely to be an anti-climax after Kirkmans and that’s how it was to start with at least.

For the first drive and a bit we were driving around not seeing a whole lot. I understand that can happen but neither the guide nor the tracker seemed to be pro-actively trying/looking for anything. It did improve and if we had only gone to Singita or went there first I am sure we would have been truly amazed too.

The accommodation and food at Singitta were spectacular. A definite notch or two above Kirkmans. Also the gym was very useful

All of the transfers were very smooth

There is very little that I would change about the trip at all

Thank you so much for putting it all together – would have no hesitation in using you again or referring you to third parties.

All the best

S. Saeul, Luxembourg. 2017.

All transfers went well and on time. Slipway hotel was simple but convenient for one night.

Siwandu was a nice camp, very friendly staff and food was good. We particularly enjoyed the location on the lake, the tents were very spacious and stylish and the little desk on the deck was something we’ve never seen in a camp before. We went boating 3 times, birding was very much enjoyable and so were the hippos and hundreds of crocs.

The drives were quite disappointing, same lion pride on kills every day, giraffes galore, a few impalas and that was pretty much it. Our guide Enoch was a nice chap but drives were sometimes very long, although we really liked the landscapes. I perfectly know that game viewing is a question of luck, in that case we didn’t have much luck on our side and we left a bit frustrated. We would recommend the reserve for its scenery and lakes but certainly not for wildlife and safari enthusiasts ( the fact that 90% is still a hunting reserve doesn’t help either ).

After having spent 3 nights in an upmarket camp, we arrived at Mwagusi with a bit of mixed feelings, knowing it would be more rustic.

Well, we really liked it a lot. A very enthusiastic italien manager ( Alex ) and so was Erica ( accountant ). They always joined for meals and we had many interesting and passionate conversations. At Siwandu, the managers just “did their job”, they were polite and just joined for pre dinner drinks but something ( hearty ) was missing. We have been travelling to Africa for almost 30 years, went to many camps and lodges and it’s all about management. Even if the place is not 5 or 6 star, you can have a fantastic time if the managers are good. It will have an impact on staff and as a guest you kind of feel it.

So, back to Mwagusi. The location above the riverbed is stunning and we appreciated the dinner set-ups in the riverbed every evening. The Bandas are huge with a large seating verandah, where we spent all our afternoons. You have all the comfort you need but guests who are afraid of insects should be warned that in the evening, when you wash your teeths, you are surrounded by LOTS of flying creatures.

We didn’t mind ( you still have to bare in mind where you are ), but first safari/africa-goers might get a little bit of a surprise. It’s mainly due to open bathrooms without moskito nets.

So yes, it is rustic but there is such a cool atmosphere in camp, waiters are very polite and efficient with a good sense of humor. Food was simple but fresh and very tasty. Cinnamon rolls are to die for and you get the best peanut butter ever which they buy from local women in Iringa ( community support, which is nice ).

The highlight was Geofrey, our guide. We have experienced quite a lot of guides, but Geofrey blowed our minds with his knowledge, just incredible. He and his driver worked very hard to show us as much wildlife as possible. We had fantastic sightings on every single drive.

Ruaha is so beautiful with all the different habitats, we particularly enjoyed the drives along the dry riverbed and through baobab forests, It’s such a fantastic place.

So we’d rate the camps as following:

Siwandu: 4 star

Mwagusi: 5 star

We did not regret our choice of camps and places but the whole experience at Mwagusi was far better than Siwandu and i believe it’s mostly due to the people. We were glad that we opted for the 4 nights in Ruaha and 3 in Selous.

Transfer from airport to Cape town fish market went smooth and the driver waited patiently for us before he took us back to the airport.

CTFM is a cool place at the ( very dirty ) beach, with a huge terrasse. It is clean, waiters were efficient and food was ok. Perfect to spend a few hours before getting back your flight home.

All in all, we have been very happy with your agency and our trip and we would recommend it.

T. Stapel, Holland. 2017.

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.

Hope that helps!

K. Nielsen, USA. 2017.

Sand River: We had the most amazing time, better than we could have ever expected! The staff was incredible (Our guide Hamza was SO knowledgeable), the food was amazing, and our room was to die for. Our stay was full of little surprises everyday. We went on this trip as a once in a lifetime thing and we are already planning to go back. 5 stars!

Ras Kutani: Our room was very nice, we had a tree house suite. We loved being up in the trees and watching the monkeys. The staff was very kind and really took the time to get to know everything there. The food was really good and we loved the different set up for dinner every night. One of our waiters (John) took us into the nearby town and it was an amazing, once in a lifetime, experience. My only complaint is that drinks were not included and we were told while there, the all inclusive option had to be purchased before arriving. 4 stars!

L. Francis, UK. 2017.

Our honeymoon was absolutely amazing, thank you!! Everything booked through yourselves was perfect and both properties – Zawadi and Sand Rivers 5 out of 5.

We had a flight delay of over 12 hours on the way out and then got put on a different flight with a different airline which was rather upsetting, as we missed a night we had booked and paid for ourselves in Stonetown. To top that, the airline/s (no one took responsibility) lost both our bags which never appeared until two hours after we returned home to Edinburgh, so we had no luggage throughout the trip!! On our return flight home when checking in we were advised that the flight was overbooked and they didn’t have any seats for us, however after a stand off at the check in desk, given the issues above, they eventually managed to find us two separate seats on the flight. The international flights we booked ourselves, however I think it’s safe to say that we will never ever be booking or travelling with air France, Kenya airways or Klm in the future!!

Anyway, even though we experienced the above we didn’t let it ruin our holiday – we made the most of every minute. It will be “the” holiday to beat and a trip we will cherish and remember for the rest of our lives.

Depressing to be home, but you have to come home to go away again!!

If we can recommend you we certainly will and if we are planning any trips to any of the below continents we will be sure to contact you.

Many thanks again.

D. Green, Australia. 2017.

My wife Shirley and I had an absolutely amazing time – nothing went wrong at all (in fact there weren’t any rains while we were there so everything was better than we could have imagined!), we’ve returned only to rave about the camps to our friends and family!

Jongomero: 5/5. A wonderful camp – we had the pleasure of being looked after by Emiel and being the only ones in the camp we felt truly spoilt. The food here was amazing, the only criticism (and likewise with Beho Beho) was that there was too much food!

We suggested in our feedback to the camp that they setup a fitness centre for those who might be looking to do some exercise, given it’s hard to go for a walk / run in the wilderness.

Beho Beho: 5/5. We cannot fault this place. The staff are fantastic, looking after you from the moment you rise to when you go to bed. Again, we were the only ones booked in for the entire duration so we felt like gluttons having the place to ourself! The team here do a wonderful job and I now enjoy reading their blogs about their drives etc in their website. Phil and Tricia are fantastic hosts, we would definitely recommend this camp to anyone interested in doing a safari trip.

My only criticism is that by design you have a different guide each day – I enjoyed this as it was good to get a different perspective and to get to know all of the guides however some guests may not like it, especially as you have some information / facts repeated to you during your drives (this isn’t an issue, it can make you appear disinterested which we certainly were not!).

The Palms, Zanzibar: 5/5. Beautiful resort, there is no request too large or detail too small that Siriak and the team can’t handle. Lots of delicious food (so much that we were often skipping meals) and the location is perfect.

As for the trip overall, it couldn’t have been smoother, George did an excellent job planning and booking it, we’d be very likely to book again through Africa Odyssey if we were so lucky to go on another safari!