Africa Odyssey Reviews – 2019

7th January 2020

L. Nassr, USA. 2019.

Firstly, THANK YOU SO MUCH for planning the most amazing trip!! We loved each park we visited and were so comfortable at each accommodation. We loved the tent life and were pleasantly shocked at how luxurious the meals and services feel in the middle of no where! We didn’t have any problems along the way, every day ran smoothly and we stuck to the itinerary. The guides were both great and so friendly!

Amazing pictures, amazing memories, and amazing friendships made. Thank you for making it all possible!!

L. Ralph, UK. 2019

I am sure Vanessa will be giving a glowing response from our journey.

The trip, logistics, camps, wildlife could not have been better. Mind blowing is the way I have described this trip as. I honestly don’t know if we can ever top that trip.

9 flights in 12 nights was a tough one – but would have done it any other way.

The service from all was better than you’d receive at the Ritz. The accommodation was better than 5* in London – I could not fault anything there. The guides and camp staff were delightful and warm – so friendly and made our daughter feel special! (the fridge in the Land cruiser was a winner for Ava – she loved been able to tap into a cold “fanta” when she was melting from the heat!)

The prep you gave us was spot on – and ensured we had a seamless journey and experience.

The animals and just the setup of camp made the trip – so rustic, yet so luxurious……… at the same time. Then the bday cakes and songs where a complete surprise for Vanessa at the crater and Serengeti – she spoke about that a lot!!!

Zanzibar was the epic end to the trip – where we all enjoy the downtime!!! Hot sun and warm waters…….what a treat.

A massive thanks to you for the guidance, advice and organization – as we agreed, any “bump” in the logistics could have made the trip more stressful, and soured the journey – but this was top class – and have given you details to a lot of my colleagues here in work. (I know there will be definitely TWO sets of couple seeking your assistance in the next few months to help plan!!!)

From the bottom of my heart – THANK YOU!!

V. Ralph, UK. 2019

Oh my goodness! Where to begin? There really is no explaining how amazing the trip was!!!! Absolutely everything went according to plan and worked seamlessly. All our transfers were there waiting for us at the right place and time, were friendly and helpful and got us to where we needed to be on time and safely.

The stop over in Arusha was a good call as we needed the time to rest and catch our breath after the flights. Rivertrees was fantastic and I’d definitely rate it a 5. They allowed us to check-in early. The room was very comfortable and clean. The grounds were lovely to walk around and we saw loads of monkeys playing in the trees. The food was fantastic and had a lovely atmosphere around the fire in the evening. All the staff were friendly and helpful and couldn’t doenough for us, from the reception, to the restaurant and the guys carrying our bags and the ladies cleaning the rooms.

Entamanu was equally amazing (if a tad windy!!!) and would definitely give it 5 stars. Paul our guide had some car trouble on the way there from the airport but it was quickly sorted and at no point were we concerned. The staff welcomed us so warmly it felt like we were royalty! Richard the camp manager was particularly friendly and made us feel very at home. Our tent was amazing – being a family one it was double the size and very luxurious. We did struggle with sleep though as it was super windy and the tent flapped about very noisily but I suppose that’s the price you pay for being on the rim so it didn’t bother us much. The permanent structures they are building there would definitely make a stay 100% perfect. The food again was fantastic and they even managed to make me a birthday cake!! (which i believe you had a hand in thank you!). The crater game drive was superb, we saw such a lot! We also got to do the crater rim walk and the boma visit which was particularly special.

SSC was by far the best and I’d give it more than 5!! It was exactly as I had hoped. Completely open to nature and relaxed yet luxurious. When we arrived it was just WOW! Our tent was perfect and had an incredible view! The common space was fantastic visually and the atmosphere it created I will never forget. Everything here worked like clockwork and the attention to detail was superb. Early morning wake up calls with coffee, game drives starting exactly on time with blankets and hot water bottles, amazing laundry service!, bedtime turn down and hot water bottles and the list goes on. Everything was thought about and it all happened without us even seeing someone do it! John the camp manager was fantastic and chatted to us at length every evening and we really enjoyed he’s stories. Mussa our guide was fantastic and seemed by magic to produce everything we asked for……lion, leopard, rhino, river crossings. The food here too was perfect and again I was treated to another cake and singing! Again the staff couldn’t do enough for us and were super friendly.

Breezes ticked all the boxes as well and also gets a 5. It was lovely to relax by the pool and Ava particularly enjoyed this part of it. We did a reef walk which was very interesting and did some sailing which was great. The staff were all friendly and everything spotlessly clean. The food was also good but they alternate nights between buffet and set menu and on the set menu nights there were not many things to satisfy all the families tastes. But that was a small thing and did’nt effect our overall stay.

Apart from that, thank YOU very much for all the planning and answering of my million questions. We definitely think the way the trip was structured was ideal. The stop over in Arusha, whilst I initially thought would be a waste of time, was definitely needed! After seeing the distances from the accommodation outside the crater compared to that on the rim we were very glad you advised to stay on the rim too! The time in Ngorongoro was just enough. And flying between places, whilst still tiring, was definitely a good call too!! Overall we were totally happy with everything it just feels quite weird to be back now. Something that I had dreamed about for so long, with 18 months of build up and now it’s over!

Anyway, we have the memories which I have yet to sift through the millions of pics. I will definitely send a few over when I get around to it.

Thank you and hopefully we will be back again soon to book another adventure!

Vanessa x

C. Tsoulou, USA. 2019.

The trip went really well!! We had such an amazing time, thank you so much for organising!

All arrangements were great, including internal flights and transfers. We had no issues at all and all the representatives were super nice and professional! Also the app with all the documents and itinerary was very helpful.

& beyond is an amazing company and we really loved their lodges (ngorongoro & under canvas) & all their staff!! Zuri was also great and Onsea House was very pleasant as well for our first night. I’d give them all 5/5, with a * for &beyond 😉

Thanks again and we’ll definitely get back in touch if we decide to visit any more countries in Africa (or Asia / South America).

J. Smith, UK. 2019

We have now been back in South Africa for a while and experienced 87mms of rain in our first week so rather wishing we were back in Tanzania.

Overall our trip was wonderful. Nomad provided a top class trip and its hard to find a fault with anything.

As you are aware we booked our own flights to Kilimanjaro and did have problems in Dar es Salaam where no-one had any idea whether flights were cancelled or not. Oddly enough we met a representative of Abercrombie and Kent in the airport and she guided us through the chaos!

We weren’t too enthralled with Machweo although they did provide us with a nice dinner on our arrival at 10.30 which we didn’t expect. It just didn’t have any charm/ambience somehow and not somewhere we would consider using again. Conversely Plantation Lodge was superb.We were upgraded to a suite in honour of mikes 80th birthday and enjoyed several glasses of wine courtesy of the owner. Nomads service from the airport, via Arusha, Manyara, Ngorongoro and to the airstrip was first class. Unfortunately the weather was really bad for those few days but we still managed some wonderful game viewing. The journey up to the crater Rim was pretty scary as it was very wet with thick fog but our guide did us proud.

We were met from the flight to the Northern Serengeti by Musa who made our few days very enjoyable. He was a very experienced guide and did a wonderful job. We shared our game drives with a German couple and had great fun with them.

The camp staff were excellent and everything went like clockwork. The food was delicious and the packed lunches fantastic . We even had elephant shaped biscuits with morning coffee.

In all a tremendous trip. Thanks to Ted and George for helping to bring it all together.

Just two things I’d like to mention. Although we were very happy and comfortable we wonder if we might have been better suited (at our tender ages of 70 and 80!) to Nomads permanent camp (Lamai?). It might have been nice to have had perhaps an odd half day off from game driving but with the ability to do something else (swim/relax in a comfy chair?) Just a thought to suggest to future (older) clients. The second thing is something that you may not be able to have a voice in but that everyone, where possible, should endeavour to improve. On one of our river crossing viewings the vehicles completely blocked the exit of the Wildebeest from the river. We had heard about it on TV but were not prepared for the true horror of the situation. Of course everyone wants to see the action in the river but somehow there have to be open corridors left whenever vehicles converge.

I forgot the animals! There were just so many it was just super. We are fairly old hands at game viewing but I think this was our best yet. The very best sighting was a leopard with cubs. Probably a once in a lifetime sighting.

We are leaving Cape Town next week to drive top to South Namibia to the Fish River Canyon then back to Johannesburg and wet old Uk.

Thanks again to all of your team and especially to George who was immediately available with advice when I contacted him about our possible delayed flight

Thank you and best wishes

E. Felker-Kantor, USA. 2019

We had a great time! Our favorite camp was Kwara. We loved the water activities plus the game drives and we saw a lot of animals. The other camps were nice as well, but our favorite was Kwara and Kwara was renovated recently so it is very nice. The okavango delta is beautiful and we would for sure go back. The Kalahari was very interesting as well. Very hot. The guides were great and the sunsets amazing.

Our highlights of the trip were seeing a cheetah run and kill a warthog, a leopard killing and eating monkeys, the pack of 26 wild dogs, and then in the kalahari an elephant was hit by lighting and died and the lions ate it. The sunset boat cruise in Kwara camp was great as well with all the hippos and elephants.

Thanks again for helping us arrange the trip. It was great.

S & K. Martin, UK. 2019

We had a great safari – all travel arrangements worked like clockwork; we were met, transported, & well looked after at every step of the way. Special mention must be made of the Coastal Aviation agents at Jomo Kenyatta airport who were extremely courteous, helpful & efficient – we think it was Tradewinds Aviation Services (Fred in particular on our return from Tanzania to Nairobi).

Both camps were first class in their offerings, but so different that we couldn’t possibly make a comparison.

Serian North Serengeti was everything we have come to expect from a classic safari camp – the policy of a vehicle & guide per reservation is a real plus point & enabled us to avoid some of the mass vehicles at the Mara crossing points. We saw 2 crossings (& followed many others) and were the only vehicle at one, & were joined by the other Serian vehicle at the other (which involved a very dramatic & poignant croc killing).

We had a wonderful close sighting of leopard with 2 cubs (1/2 months old & very active) & again only 1 other vehicle nearby.

Our guide & spotter were great; camp managers Ainsley & Gerrard were everything you could expect; camp staff, food, ambience all first class.

So, we would rate the camp 5.

Namiri plains was a very different experience – but then we knew it would be, hence the choice. The new camp is spectacular; it has pretty well every amenity in an awesome, very remote location. It might not suit safari purists but you can’t fail to be impressed by what the rebuild has achieved. Safari luxury! Food was good; maybe a little pretentious in presentation & dinner not as good as other meals but not a real issue, maybe just teething problems. The camp managers & all staff went out of their way to make our stay a super experience. Special mention for our guide, Jeoffrey, who was with us all the time – his knowledge & experience was among the best we have experienced in 20+ year of safaris.

The conservation efforts in Namari Plains have really paid off – the area is alive with cheetah & lion; we saw aardwolf; caracal, serval, mating ostrich! etc & hardly another vehicle.

The journey from Seronera was long (heavy rain had made the road challenging) but we had expected this. Our travel companions from the US hadn’t, and with only a 2 night stay at camp were a bit disgruntled. In our view a stay of at least 3 nights, but preferably 4, is essential to make the most of the camp and the location (nothing is close by!).

As with Serian North, we would rate the camp 5.

The combination of North Serengeti for the migration & East Serengeti for the wide open plains & predator action was a good one for us, resulting in a brilliant safari – one to remember for a long while to come.

Our thanks to George for making it work so well – we will certainly recommend Odyssey.

I. Terry, UK. 2019

We had a brilliant time thanks!

All the arrangements were super smooth, we had no issues. For the first hotel we weren’t in the one originally stated but I think the one we ended up in was nicer anyway so that wasn’t a problem! Our favourite by far was Ikuka though. All the staff were so friendly and the service was amazing. The game drives were super and all the food was delicious, I don’t know how they do it given they are so remote! The room and views were stunning, so all in all it was perfect!!

Thanks for all your help in organising everything, I would definitely recommend you guys to anyone.

H. Kofoed, USA. 2019.

I don’t even know where to begin.. I guess the best place to start would be with our amazing Booking consultant George. He was so patient with me during the process of picking the best itinerary for my budget and wants for a first trip to Africa. It took me a while to finally book — lots of factors like PTO, money, flights from the US etc.

From the moment we arrived on our international flight we were always met by someone to transfer or help us. They were always prompt and on time. With no cell service it could have been really complicated to get lost – but with Africa Odyssey I knew we were going to be taken care of the entire trip.

Our safari experience to the Selous was amazing. We were able to see so much game and in true privacy. Barely did we ever see another truck. The intimate experience might not be for everyone as you have to spend a bit more time in the car driving to see game, but you really get a next level experience. We stayed at the Serena Selous tented camp — it was by far the highlight of our trip. The staff here was AMAZING. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They were so fun and laid back with amazing service at the same time. On our last night they upgraded us to the River Camp (which was more expensive). Though that was a fun experience we felt the food and service at the tented camp was actually far superior.

From the Selous we traveled to Zuri Zanzibar. In hindsight I wish we had taken Georges advice and made it down to the Ruaha – that will be a lesson for next time. Zanzibar was beautiful. We had a lot of relaxing time together on the beach. Our favorite day was right before we departed when we walked down the beach and found some local paintings to bring home. The staff at Zuri was great as well. We had a little stomach issue but overall it was great. We’ve been home for over a month and cannot stop talking about our experience. We are patiently waiting for another chance to get to Africa. When we do – we will be booking through George and Africa Odyssey of course.

L. Arzonetti, USA. 2019

Our trip was amazing! There was not one glitch — everything ran smoothly. The Bush and Beyond representative (Chuy) at NBO was great and connected us with a driver (Martin) who picked us up the next day and drove us to the Giraffe Centre and a lovely garden/sculpture center for lunch. We had a walking tour booked but it was cancelled so we appreciated Martin stepping in. When we departed, Chuy got us checked in at Wilson where there was nothing we needed to do except wait for our flight. Private plane — just the 3 of us!

Obviously, Eka Hotel is not a 5-star Ritz-Carlton but we would give it 5 stars for what it is — an airport hotel. Basic, clean rooms, friendly staff and great food. We enjoyed sitting on the patio with drinks and snacks and that’s what we did both nights. Our two days there were very satisfying.

I’m so glad you gave a convincing case for going to Laikipia. We ‘loved’ Loisaba! A sophisticated tented camp with dramatic views, very friendly, efficient staff who go out of their way for you. A little screw fell out of my sunglasses the first day and within minutes someone was there with a tiny screwdriver. We loved the varied terrain, visiting with the sniffer dogs and Jennifer went horseback riding. The bush breakfast was magical and our guide, Brown, was so much fun. It was a 5-star 3 days for sure!

Speke’s Camp has such a different look from Loisaba and that’s exactly what we wanted. We like different experiences. The rooms were great and bucket showers fun (our first). The food was very good and dinner was by candlelight — real candles! We really bonded with our driver and spotter — Ambrose and Marco. Loved driving through the conservancy where we saw small settlements with hundreds of cattle and sheep. Tons of wildlife also. Another 5-star camp.

We would give Kiota 5 stars also. The tents have everything you could possibly want and look out over amazing views. The manager, Eric, was kind, helpful and even arranged snacks and sundowners in the bush just for us on our last night. Our amazing driver found more wildlife than we could have dreamed of seeing. Lions climbing trees was a highlight. We’re glad we went to the Serengeti but would probably go to other locations in Tanzania before going back there. The roads are rough, dusty and we liked the Mara as much or maybe more. But, we felt we needed to go there so it’s all good 🙂

Our trip was amazing because of you, George. I was so ‘all over the place’ and you stayed with me until I sorted it out in my head. Thank you so much! You must have heard many comments on how patient you are. Africa Odyssey is so lucky to have you!

A. Harbin, USA. 2019.

It all went perfectly

I loved the Serena Selous definitely a 5 for me

The food was great, the guides and service also great

No issues at all

And the support to and from the Dar airport also was seamless

And the Slipway hotel is a lovely option

I will definitely be back when planning the next adventure

N. Carr, USA. 2019.

Thanks, George. We had a wonderful time in Tanzania. Everything went smoothly and according to plan. We really enjoyed the Nomad camps and the Nomad guides. Kuro Tarangire (5) and the Serengeti mobile camp (5) were really outstanding in every way.

I. Mannozzi, USA. 2019.

I wanted to write you already but then somehow I forgot. We’ve got your mail and now I´ll take advantage of the opportunity to thank you for arranging the most incredible and wonderful trip ever.

IT WAS GREAT: Especially LAMAI and RAS KUTANI. We became fans of NOMAD and their standards, the food was in both venues very good, the guides fantastic, the settings beautiful and the staff real jewels….(especially in Lamai) and the furnishing simple but super tasteful.

RAS Kutani the same, beautiful set up. I think, Ras Kutani is suffering from a lack of vistors that go to Zansibar instead. I would be such a pity, to see this pearl dying. Kitty you gotta do something and send people there.

We will highly recommend your agency and you of course to make this all happen for us. We are already planning the next trip to Galapagos, maybe you can set us up.

Sending our love and thank you again!

N. Elworthy, Nigeria. 2019.

It was fantastic! Thank you so much for organising everything for us.

We saw lions, lion cubs, a leopard and we had 4 different cheetah sightings, including the 5 cheetahs that live together in the Mara, which apparently featured on Our Planet, that latest David Attenborough documentary. In Lewa we watched the leopard bat a baby monkey out of a tree and then catch and eat it. Obviously felt really bad for the baby monkey but it was fascinating non the less.

Going to the Masai Mara in off-peak season was a great idea because it was quieter than I thought it would be. Apart from the 5 cheetahs and a big pride of lions on a kill, the number of vehicles around each sighting was really small or just us. Sometimes we drove around for hours without seeing another vehicle.

Weather wise, we brought the rain to every single place we went to, so everyone was really happy because they were desperate for it! It was perfect though because it was mostly at night so we got these amazing thunder storms in the evenings while we ate dinner or when we went to bed. And the light was beautiful in the Masai Mara when the purple thunder clouds rolled in and the sun shone through and made the grass look bright lime green.

The managers at Naibor did mention that the same week last year was a total wash out though and we wouldn’t have been able to do anything. So might be worth noting down for future guests because everyone said the weather’s becoming really unpredictable and it was perhaps more risky than we thought to go at that time. Happily it all worked out great for us though. I thought it would be really cold at night but I was hot most nights and kept throwing the hot water bottles out of the bed! It really wasn’t much different to going in peak season apart from getting stuck in the mud a few times after a big rainfall at night. But that was quite fun!

The safari camps were both beautiful and the staff at Lewa especially were exceptional. They couldn’t do enough for us. At Naibor we were the only guests and had dinner every night with the managers. One night a genet came right into camp and sat next to our table, which was incredible.

It was amazing to see Lake Naivasha again and Loldia House was lovely. It was like being in someone’s home and we even met the manager’s family. The manager was quite a character!

I have thousands of photos, as usual. It was great to get some more close up photo opportunities in the Mara, as the animals seemed much less nervous than anywhere else we’ve been on safari. For once I got some of zebras’ faces, rather than just their bottoms! It was good to have two different locations though, as although things were quieter in Lewa, it’s quite nice to feel you’ve really worked for your sightings. We were really lucky there as some other guests saw very little of the big game, but we saw a lion and the leopard.

So all in all, it was another great trip. Thank you again!

W. Sloneker, USA. 2019

First, I want to say that your firm did a spectacular job arranging the reservations at the lodges, coordinating Asilia for the drives at Lake Manyara and the Nogorogoro Crater, and the air travel throughout Tanzania. Also, the itinerary changes you were able to make quickly during the Safari shows an impressive concern for your clients and a fantastic depth of knowledge and experience in the Tanzanian Safari experience. I will certainly call on you again for future safaris. If you manage travel to India and Egypt, I would be interested more information. Also, what other recommendations do you have for safaris in Africa? Different locations in Tanzania and other venues?

Mwiba lodge was simply fantastic. While it is very expensive, it is worth every penny. The rooms or should I say cottages were spacious and very private. The bed was comfortable and large making for sound sleeping. Large sitting area inside as well as a very large balcony with nice views of the stream and countryside added so much comfort and enjoyment.

The food was exceptional. The variety offered at each meal was impressive and the quality was worthy of a Michelin starred restaurant. Three or four entrees at each meal with many side dishes and starters, desserts and soups would satisfy the most discerning and demanding palate.

The game drives were the best. Zeke and Charles were focused on providing us with the best safari experience. The first afternoon out they spotted a huge leopard napping in a tree. I was no more than 30 feet from the female capturing beautiful pictures. The MWIBA private game preserve is incredible. We saw no other vehicles in the bush over the three days there, and we covered a lot of terrain. Also, we could remain in the bush well into the evening hours, when the predators become more active. Also, we were near enough to travel well into the plains to view the great migration. What a unique and awesome experience that was along with watching lions lying in wait for their next meal.

Most memorable was the morning they took us on a walking safari. We encountered a tribe of bushmen (and women) hunting and foraging. We spent several hours following them in their daily routine, shooting smaller animals (birds and bush babies) and cooking them on the spot and smoking bees out to retrieve their honeycombs. The bush people were so skilled, happy and gregarious, Joanne and I were astonished. MWIBA topped off this experience with a breakfast in the bush that was fit for a king with the chef presenting omlettes and all the usual fixings of a full English breakfast.

I could go on and on, but I thinks this captures the essence of Mwiba. An unforgettable experience. It should be a required visit for those seeking the ultimate in safari experiences.

Thanks again Ted for all your help and professional guidance.

Best Regards, Bill

Costner, USA, 2019

Hi Dave,

Thanks for following up on our trip. It was incredible and surpassed any expectations we had. Everything was fantastic from our arrival to our departure. Here are our thoughts on the camps we visited.

Lagoon Camp 3/5
The staff was great and the food was excellent. Our guide and tracker were both great and the setting is gorgeous. The camp itself is a bit dated in comparison to Kwara.

Kwara Camp 5/5
This camp was beautiful. It felt like a 5 star resort in the middle of the African bush. The staff was professional and helpful. Our guide was really knowledgable. We’d love to go back!

We’re already planning our next trip, so you’ll definitely hear from us again. Thanks for your help. Our trip was a dream come true!