Africa Odyssey Reviews – 2018

7th January 2020

D & C Powers, USA, 2018

So nice to have your email welcoming us home! We thought of you often during our trip—singing your praises for helping us put together such an amazing adventure!
Everything went so smoothly! We felt very well taken care of every step of our journey. First of all, the yellow fever vaccine was not even mentioned in Nairobi airport. Once we got to Dar, Coastal Aviation representatives made all of our transfers seamless—always there on time and bringing us exactly where we needed to be. We were very impressed with them!! All four of our accommodations were amazing! We loved every one!

So you can see, Kitty, we loved this trip and will have so much fun sharing our tales with our family and friends! We will have such delightful memories of marking our 70th birthdays! By the way, every camp made a special effort to mark our birthdays in a special way, with cakes, candles, and song! We felt very celebrated! And they also accommodated my food intolerances—Fanjove was meticulous about it!

We thank you for your attention to detail and for always answering our questions and being so responsive and personal. We feel like you are a friend! =)

P. Magrin, Italy, 2018

Our trip… perfect. Everything was perfect. Organisation, people, accomodation, safaris, guides… Everybody focused on our whishes and requirements.

You organise all steps in a right way: we rate all lodge at masimum rate, is it 5? Rivertrees: quiet, perfect to have rest and start our safari.. we eat, drunk… found good people and a good pizza!!! We loved Kitela (beautiful accomodation, big garden, with coffee plantation and people proud about it!), Chaka Camp was perfect (a really good staff, coordinated by David) and RAs Kutani…. what about Ras Kutani??? perfect. Simon and Giulia were prepared, very kind and really organised. But all staff is high level!

Safari…. Duma gave us all the experiences and emotions we’ll hope to find. All guides was prepared and very kind. We already travel in Africa, but we think that all your organisation is excellent.

One thing lacking? maybe the seabed in RAs Kutani. But…. it is a little detail, not essential!

So. George, many thanks for your kindless and professionality, also from Stefano.

Hope to travel again.. soon…!!

R. Bardine, USA. 2018.

Thought I would drop a line mid-trip. We just arrived in Zanzibar yesterday and are having a wonderful time.

Lake Manze was amazing! Sean and Millie, the managers, our guide Samwel, our driver, Abuu, and the entire staff were just phenomenal. The camp, as you know, is very clean and well appointed and all of the safari, driving, walking, boat, full day, half day, breakfast in the bush, were breathtaking. Food was awesome.

Zanzibar Palace is beautiful and our suite, Arabica, is beautifully positioned at the top of the hotel. The steps may be a challenge for guests with any walking issues but they are well worth the energy. Eating at Emerson’s this evening.

Transfers have been great, timely and polite.

Thank you for steering us to these wonderful places and for these arrangements. We are very pleased and appreciate the great service you provide.

We had a FANTASTIC experience, Kitty, and I cannot thank you and your colleagues enough for your help in making it so. Each and every place we stayed were wonderful.

Lake Manze was a Shangri-La (see my prior email and review for our view of the camp). The volume of animals and birds and amphibians was overwhelming. Can’t say enough about this WONDERFUL place. The perfect place for safari from our point of view.

Zanzibar Palace was a great little place to stay and Emerson’s was a fantastic recommendation for dinner (thank you for that recommendation). Stone Town was interesting and, truth be told, a bit overwhelming after 4 days in the bush……I guess we were not prepared for the shear onslaught of folks selling to us while we were there, but we secured a guide and had a great time of it there. Just for future reference when you are helping other guests, we were on the top floor of the hotel with one heck of a lot of steps and no lift. If you are working with older guests who have any mobility issues, you may want to secure accommodations on a lower floor for them.

The Zuri Zanzibar resort was just over the top georgeous. The bungalow was incredibly well appointed, the pool and the beach were top rate. Great spa. Great service at the front and back of the house.

Frankly though the one thing I would caution about was the food service. The food itself was great, but these folks are still working out the service kinks of a July opening. They alternated between serving dinner via buffet (which worked very well) and fixed menu (which didn’t work quite so well). The kitchen and the front of the house were not totally in synch for fixed menu and, frankly, one night they just so totally screwed up the entire service we left after the fish course (waited for 60 minutes for the pasta course which never came) but we were pretty full anyhow so it was not a major issue. I could imagine however that some guests would pitch a fit so be aware that they have these issues right now. The manager served us champagne the next dinner as a comp (he really didn’t need to as we are veterans of dining out and understand how things can get out of synch) but the gesture was much appreciated.

The folks greeting us in Dar, Selous, Stone Town and Zuri were all top notch, timely, polite and really very professional. So, across the board, this was a 5 star trip. You know we have NEVER used a travel service before. You outdid yourselves (the app was a great addition too by the way), so know we will be availing ourselves of your services again soon.

Thank you for everything!

Accept our congratulations for a job incredibly well done and our heartfelt thanks for making this vacation a dream.

L. Kelly. USA. 2018

Retuned back home to New York last week. My safari to Ruaha – camp Mwagusi was better than wonderful. Everything was outstanding; the accommodations, the food, the staff (Martina and Trudie) but especially our guide Baldon! His knowledge about everything was exceptional. It was truly an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget!!

N. Turner, UK. 2018

The Honeymoon was perfect, we had the most amazing time! It was everything we could have hoped for so thank you so much for all your help in organising the trip! We are already discussing returning to Mnemba next September!

H. Blom, Netherlands, 2018

Last Monday I came back with my three sons from Tanzania. Apart from the fact that travelling with my sons was a huge pleasure, I would like, on behalf of my sons as well, to thank your company and you particularly for the perfect organization. Meetings at the airport , transfers to the Serena hotel in Dar, flights in Tanzania itself, but, more important, our two tented camps in

Lake Manze and Mdonya, it was all perfect. Friendly, helpful and professional staff everywhere and great game drives.

In other words all of us agree that it could not have been better! If there might be in the future a repeat of a trip to Africa, it goes without saying that it would be organized by you.

F. Macpherson, UK. 2018.

We are sitting in the business lounge in Dubai for the last leg of our journey home. The trip has been amazing and more than we could have hoped for!!

Everything worked seamlessly from the minute we were met in Lusaka by a chap who had collected our luggage before we had cleared immigration through to being deposited at Livingstone airport by the driver from Waterberry. The car hire was bang on and our road trip was everything we wanted. I had memories overload and we made it all the way to Lubwa to visit and tidy up my sister’s grave.

Latitude 15 is a brilliant hotel and was designed by the Harvey’s (Shiwa) son!

Shiwa N’gandu was the perfect place to do this all from though it is getting old and tired. However the Harvey’s were excellent hosts and we found my father and brother’s signatures in their visitor’s book from 1973! We were also pleased to see they have a copy of the autobiography of Zambia’s first president that my father wrote in the library there.

The little plane arrived bang on schedule (like everything else you organised) to take us to Mwaleshi. Another unforgettable experience including watching a pride of lions hunt and kill a zebra while we were standing by. The whole team there cannot be highly commended enough.

Our final leg at the falls allowed us to do a bit of relaxing as we hoped and the falls were every bit as amazing as I remembered. We made sure we had a drink/lunch in both the Victoria Falls Hotel and the Royal Livingstone as I did when I was there on my final year elective in 1986! Recommend the microlight flight!!

Proflight are great and all our connections were early or on time.

I have completed reconnected with my Zambian roots to the point of one of our drivers in Livingstone telling me I was ‘green inside’ (like the flag)! It is a wonderful, peaceful place and everyone is so friendly and helpful (though I accept I may be biased!).

We cannot thank or commend you enough for making it all so easy!

A couple of helpful tips for other travellers we thought we’d share. There are ATMs in every reasonably sized town where you can withdraw kwacha with your UK visa debit card and people transact in kwacha so vital to have. Hotels etc will accept dollars but fuel stations will not and you need kwacha. Reassure other people who drive about the frequent police road blocks which do not always look like police road blocks until you get there. They usually waved us through but on the couple of occasions we were stopped they were friendly and courteous and just asked us where we were going. Every local we spoke to confirmed they are looking for contraband and poached animals on the lorries.

Finally there are road tolls (currently K20 and must be kwacha) in the bigger roads. The roads are much improved as a result.

L. Lane, USA. 2018.

I loved both Kiota and Serian. I had excellent and friendly guides at both.

Serian’s hosts Alex Walker, Ainsley, and the host of a sister camp across the river were delightful, flexible, attentive. I didn’t think I’d be up for a late dinner after a long day, but the table at Serian each night was a highlight – easy and delightful conversation among remarkably interesting people. All meals were notably delicious and healthy.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to have a bushman as my spotter. Who else could you ask what baboon tastes like? It did take me a couple of days to get used to no running water in my tent —- someone should make sure guests know that beforehand? —- but once I did I fully appreciated the elegance in the way that camp is run.

Kiota’s accommodations – bed, desk— DESK, important —sinks, shower were extremely comfortable, the individual walk-in talkies reassuring esp that first night hearing animals outside. Food was good. Long waits getting started and also between courses was amusing, actually, slowed me down. All the staff at Kiota were personable, listened, and were sufficiently fluent in English. My guide there was also knowledgeable.

Next summer, or more remotely possibly in February, I plan to take my daughter with back with me to Tanzania, depending on when she can get away. I will have an idea of the dates in early November. Then I would like to discuss doing a southern circuit for the two of us

I was impressed and reassured as a solo traveler at the smooth coordination all through my journey and thank you immensely, Kitty, for all your extra work putting together my trip.

Heaver, UK. 2018

We are now back in Malaysia after our summer travels. Our trip was first rate. We were lucky enough, even though the migration was late this year, to catch the beginning of it and even saw what was only the second Mara river crossing of the year. We also had excellent close up views of leopard and cheetah, which we did not get on our earlier safaris.

Looking back we would not have designed the itinerary differently, and it was certainly a good idea to fly up and down to northern Serengeti rather than drive. At Ngorongoro, we concluded that it was the right decision to stay at a smaller lodge away from the crater (Gibbs) than what would have been a bigger and more impersonal hotel/lodge on the crater rim. The main tip we would have for other travellers is to do what we did at Gibbs–get up at 5 and be the first jeep into the park in the morning; as a result we missed the horrendous entry queue entirely and were ahead of and not bothered by the other traffic in the crater throughout the day.

I Burton, 2018

I’d be delighted to write a review on Trustpilot and a Google review. I don’t normally write reviews but I was genuinely blown away with the holiday but also the level of support from you and the team. I would strongly recommend you to anyone that is considering this type of holiday.

David Jenks, USA. 2018

We stayed at Nomad Serengeti tented camp north and Nomad Kigelia in Ruaha. I would absolutely give both a 5 out of 5. The friendliness, service, food, and accommodations were outstanding in both. The camps are a little different in that the Nomad Serengeti camp is on the open plain which give great visibility while the Nomad Kigelia camp is more in the bush right along the riverbed with all the tents being a little more private. Our guides were absolutely phenomenal in both camps. We were never rushed and could everything at our own pace. The animals were definitely easier to see in the Serengeti which was awesome but Ruaha added the thrill of the hunt because there was much a lot of brush. We also did a night game drive in Ruaha which I would highly recommend to everyone as we saw 5 animals that we did not see during the day.

The highlight of our trip was definitely seeing 2 river crossings and seeing the wild dogs on a hunt in Ruaha (only a couple km’s from the camp) which they had not seen in 3 weeks. We were able to also see all of the Big 5 which was great. The only disappointing thing about the trip was that we did not see a Sable Antelope. They are in Ruaha but unfortunately they are up in the hills where the roads do not go and our guide said it is extremely rare to ever see them.

The trip was a 100% success and we could not be more pleased.

M. Hedayati, Germany, 2018

The experience was simply great! It worth every single GBP we paid 🙂 All arrangements ran fantastically. Below my comments on each stage of the trip which might support you:

Dar Es Salaam Transfer Airport: Rate 5 (best): Driver was there waiting though it took us around two hours to get our Visa 🙂 Very comfortable car and what is most important very friendly driver. On time pick up from Serena to the airport as well. Something i specially likes is that for both transfers was the same driver.

Dar Es Salaam: Serena hotel: rate 5. Very comfortable bed, room very clean and staff very friendly. A perfect place to spend one night after long trip. We asked the staff there in which of their restaurants their would suggest us to have dinner and they suggested Jahazi. For Fish and seafood lovers is awesome! Quality of food and service of the restaurant is great. Tip: The chef comes to the table before ordering. I suggest to ask her about her suggestions.

Ikuka safari Camp: Rate 5. Great room, great views, great and very friendly staff, great food!!!! Was all amazing. We did one day a cultural trip to the village and visited the school there. The trip (going and returning) took us the morning and afterwards we still did some Game view. the experience, mainly for somebody that wants to have a little bit of sense of true life, is highly recommended.

Mark, Chloe and Tanya have done a great job. We also spend a lot of time at the bar interacting with the staff (actually we were the first ones to arrive for a pre dinner drink and the last ones to leave after post dinner drink 🙂 ). This was a great opportunity for us to interact with people and get to learn more about the country, challenges, their views and also share opinions via very good talks 🙂

Coastal aviation flight: Rate 5: Flights were much better than expected 🙂

Xanadu Villas: Rate 5. Same than Ikuka. Great food, great place for a true relaxation, Great staff……. Except for a morning trip to Stone Town we spend the rest of time at Xanadu, walking on the beach and relaxing 🙂

The Gibb Family UK, July 2018

Overall we had a truly magical time and really enjoyed ourselves. Thanks for all your help in putting things together. We can’t thank you enough.

As I said, we had a great time and would have no hesitation in recommending AO or using you again.

Thanks again for all your help.

J. Armstrong, UK 2018

Great trips thanks, very memorable, everything went to plan. We loved Kilindi, it was right up our street. It’s not the type of place for everyone but for us it was a very good fit. They could do with a touch up here and there on the property but the service was excellent as was the food and location. Mivumo also a good spot, bit of a long run to the best game but well worth it. Mivumo do an excellent breakfast, dinner is a bit 1980s style but no complaints. Staff very accommodating and actually some nice wines included. No hot water on day one at Mivumo but they sorted by next day, also the hot tubs outside are not actually hot, they fill with cold water which is useless in the evening.

I’d give Kilindi 4.5 and Mivumo 4. The Serena hotel in Dar is bit average would give 3.5. Thanks for handling the Zuri delays. When we walked past there seemed to be a lot of work on going.

Happy customers.

Thinking South America in Feb, if you have a site set up for that will check out

C. Wattiau, Caribbean 2018

First, a great thank you to you and your team ! The whole trip was seamless, as were our previous trips with you, and anyone we met along the way has been so friendly and helpful.

I must congratulate you for working with partner organizations and individuals who are so dedicated to their guests well being.

D. Arnett, USA 2018

Hey George,

We had a great experience with Duma and both places we stayed. I’d give everything a 5 out of 5. Couldn’t have asked for better food, accommodations or friendlier staff. Everything went smoothly and I honestly don’t think there is anything I would have changed. I also want to mention that we really enjoyed our guide, Banana. He did a great job and I would highly recommend anyone to use him in the future.

Thanks for everything,

David

A. Leet, UK 2018

George

We had a wonderful time and we will definitely refer you to those interested in a safari. We had an amazing time and will never forget it!

Thank you!

C. Kaminker U.S.A, 2018

Kitty!

We had an absolutely fantastic time in Tanzania! We were very pleased with how the trip was organized. Joseph and Emmanuel were excellent guides! We also loved the camp out in Serengeti. Kirurumu did a fantastic job. All of our transportation and flights went well.

We saw the big 5 which was a real treat, as well as many lions! Visiting the Serengeti was a trip of a lifetime.

We rate the overall trip a 5. Thank you for putting this together for us. We would recommend Africa Odyssey in the future.

Kitty, it was great working with you! Too bad we didn’t cross paths in Africa!

Thanks,

Caryn and Mike

D. Trice USA, 2018

I wanted to send you a short note to tell you that we had another amazing safari. Seeing the migration in the southern Serengeti plains really allows one to see the overwhelming scope of the migration of wildebeest and zebra herds. At times the herds went on almost as far as the eye could see.

The Kusini area was filled with game, both the herds and predators. We saw pretty much everything- 30+lions (including 2 young lions in a tree), several cheetah (and a successful hunt), leopards, well over 100 hyena, a RHINO!, dogs, and even a croc in a seasonal watering hole. I could go on and on.

At Serian South in the Conservation Unit, there are far fewer predators (although we did find 3 cheetah brothers and separately a mom and 3 young cubs) but the herds were vast and the birthing season, which had not really started at Kusini, started exploding. We saw multiple live births and more babies appeared hourly. Really incredible to watch a baby wildebeest get to its feet and be running in 3-5 minutes.

I favored Kusini because I like the predators but I’m glad we went to both camps because of the calving. Also, Alex was at Serian and he is fun to be around. You should make sure your clients understand the difference in the 2 camps, especially regarding the presence of predators. I would always do more time at Kusini but one does have to deal with nasty tsetse flies there. I had several bites but consider it a small price for the experience. And I could have been more prepared. Gary and Linda were and got no bites but they were at Kusini for a short time. BTW, they has a great time on their initial safari.

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