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2016

2016

Archive for the ‘ 2016 ’ Category

M Martin, UK, 2016

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

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

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

I hope this is helpful.

Best regards

M Martin

A Stratton, USA, 2016

Hi Scott,

We had a fabulous time, thank you!

Sand Rivers – 5

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

Residence – 4

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

Mnemba Island – 5

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

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

Happy to provide any other recommendations you need as well as working with you was great.

Thanks,

A Stratton

B Robert, USA, 2016

Dear Scott,

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

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

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

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

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

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

B Robert

B Leventhal, USA, 2016

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

Finally, Tongabezi was also terrific – perfect.

Everything worked out great.

It could be the best trip we have ever taken and we are ready to go back when we can find the time.

5 STARS for everything and not a single criticism.

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

Best

B

A Darwin, UK, 2016

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

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

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

Rwanda

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

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

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

Gorilla experience – 5 stars

Mountain View Gorilla Lodge – 4 stars

Lets Go Rwanda – 4 stars

TanzaniaJongomero

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

Jongomero – 5 stars

Tanzania – Siwandu

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

Siwandu – 4.5 stars

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

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

Thanks again,

A

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