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September 2015

alex walker’s Serian

Posts Tagged ‘ alex walker’s Serian

Taylor, UK, 2015

I have been meaning to email you now that we are home, but work has taken over again 😉

We had the most incredible trip. It surpassed my expectations in every way, we got so close to the animals and all the staff we met were so friendly knowledgable and welcoming. The serian camp was great – lovely staff and our guide was the best! He went out of his way to make sure we got close to everything especially the big cats. The only minor criticism at this camp was the food – as although perfectly fine taste wise it was fully English/western food and one day they served us Yorkshire pudding!!!! We had really wanted to sample traditional African food and we were never offered this despite finding out that they made traditional food for all the Tanzanian staff so we were disappointed about that. However overall here we had a great time and it was real safari feel – the private game drives really made the difference. I would give this camp 4 out of 5 stars if had to rate it.

The second place we stayed was Bushtops. Wow what can I say!!!! This place is truly out of this world and from the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty – we felt like our honeymoon had properly started here as the place is beyond luxury! We actually loved this place so much, that having seen so much safari at the previous camp serian, we only went on one short game drive at Bushtops as wanted to relax and enjoy the environment there. I’m sure the staff thought we were mad!! But the pool, the ‘tent’ (you can’t really call it a tent but still) and the complimentary massages were divine. Bless them they even made me mojitos every day despite clearly having never heard of them!! The food here was amazing – we were offered a la carte menu and so every day we had traditional local cuisine – proper African food which was exactly what we wanted to try. We really can’t fault this place. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven!! 5 stars doesn’t even do it justice, it is the most amazing place I have ever been.

I just wanted to also thank your colleague Dave Fuller who helped organise this trip for us, over a year ago now, and before we were even engaged. He was so helpful and advised us every step of the way, even with details of what to do when our international flights were messed around with at the last minute. Found the process daunting at first as it’s such a big holiday and large amount of money to spend with so much choice of locations etc, but Dave made it seem pretty simple in the end, so please thank him.

Your company has been great and we will recommend you to others. If we can ever afford to go on safari again then we wouldn’t hesitate to use you guys again.

All our massive thanks,

C&N Taylor

Kerwin/Brukoff, USA, 2015

Ed,

We returned from Tanzania yesterday. Our two week holiday was amazing. Your recommendations were spot on. All transfers went without a hitch. We were guided by two superb guides:  Albert guided us through Lake Manyara and the Ngorogoro Crater. Masha guided us in the Southern Serengeti while staying at Alex Walker’s Serian. The accommodations recommended and booked by you were perfect and each quite different from one another. Thank you for convincing us to stay with Alex Walker’s Serian tented camp. Alex provides an experience that we will never forget. Machweo provided a welcome retreat after a hard day of travel. The Coffee Plantation Lodge is beautiful. Ras Katani’s setting on the Indian Ocean could not be more beautiful and the staff more helpful.  Our suite up the hill had an amazing view and was completely private. All four of the accommodations have staff that immediately made us feel at home and like a part of their family. We saw amazing animals and met other adventurous travelers who will become life-long friends. We will happily and enthusiastically recommend you and African Odyssey  to our friends and family and we look forward to working with you in planning our next African adventure. Thank you!

A Kerwin and B Brukoff

P Bullick, 2014, UK

Despite my personal reservations, your advice, as always from TO, was absolutely on the ball. I had feared that our viewing would be marred by lots of other vehicles, but not at all. In South Serengeti, we literally saw millions of animals – mostly wildebeest and zebra of course, but on most days not more than one other vehicle! The timing was perfect, with all the wildebeest calving in our area, but the weather was not ideal. We just managed to avoid the rain, but it was mostly dull, and I gather they had a lot of rain just before we arrived which made the land rather boggy.

Now to the camps:-

Crater Lodge

As anticipated, this was way over the top – who expects to see electric golf carts in a game lodge? – but great fun for a couple of nights. Super luxurious, superb banda with a great view, personal butler service and everything one could wish for. It was possibly a little too luxurious to have the true feeling of a game lodge – for us the ideal balance is Beho Beho – luxury but with a feeling of intimate contact with the game. Apart from a small hiccup at the beginning, the service and food were excellent. I should explain that after an overnight flight to Nairobi, then a four hour hopping flight with Coastal to Manyara, then a one and a half hour drive to the lodge, we were dog tired on arrival, and all we wanted was a siesta. The manager however was insistent that we have pep talk with others and then lunch before we could go to our banda, about 4 p.m. We were not best pleased. They did however make up for it and more the following day. We arrived back after a nine hour game drive in the crater to find the bath run, surrounded by thousands of rose petals, and with champagne on ice by the bath!

That evening our table at dinner was covered with roses and again all around masses of rose petals. Altogether a brilliant day. We suspect there was a little TO sorcery involved!

The game viewing was also excellent. Staying at Crater Lodge meant that we could be down in the crater very early, which meant that for the first 3 to 4 hours there were very few other vehicles. The variety of game was astonishing in such a limited area and Mudy was an excellent guide. The only downside (which was understandable in such a limited area) was that the vehicles are not permitted to leave the tracks.

On our last morning we went to Olduvai Gorge which we found fascinating. We found to our surprise that 90% of visitors only go to the museum at the top, unlike us who found the real interest down at the discovery sites in the gorge, which we had to ourselves.

Alex Walker’s Serian

This is all proper safari camping should be. Not luxury but service second to none. We have had excellent service in other camps over the years but this is the first time we found that the owners/managers had a genuine affection for their guests. Both camps are in lovely wooded situations, but close to the Serengeti Plain. Alex himself met us at Kusini airstrip and guided us throughout. His guiding and knowledge of the area is exceptional and he was extremely likeable and friendly. The camp has only four tents, presided over by the delightful Robyn, and all the guests were great fun, giving the feel of a large harmonious family. After a (deliberately) long game drive, we transferred to Kakaseo, their other camp in the South Serengeti, presided over by Robyn’s aunt Belinda and uncle Gerard. This was very similar, run in exactly the same efficient friendly fashion. Masha, our guide here was also incredibly good and great fun. Most of their staff are Maasai, so on the last evening, at our request we visited the boma of a relative of one of the staff – strictly not for tourists! This was fascinating and they were friendly, but Celina emerged absolutely white! We will not forget that visit for a while. I seem to have missed out the game, but it was amazing. Masha reckoned we had seen a million wildebeest, calving (incredibly quickly) running, jumping, swimming and with hundreds of thousands of calves. Lots of other game as well. Only the leopard eluded us, although I was sure I had heard it one night.

Ras Kutani

This was our third time in Ras Kutani over eight years, and it has not changed in the slightest. I don’t think I need to say much more than that it really is the perfect place to unwind. Superb suite with plunge pool, excellent food and friendly service, beautiful beach and nothing to do other than swim, read, eat and drink. Even flipflops are superfluous! An example of their attitude to customers was that although checkout is officially 10.a.m. but we would not be leaving until 6 p.m., and our successors would be arriving early, they simply gave us another banda as our base with the use of all the facilities until we left, at no charge.

All in all, we had a marvellous time and are happy we took your advice, despite my initial reservations. We did have some reservations about our return flight with Kenya Airways, but I have written to them. I did copy it to you, but if you have not received it, let me know and I will forward it to you.

Many thanks for all your help and advice.

M Barber 2013 (USA)

Just wanted to let you know we had a wonderful time in Tanzania. everything went smooth, flights and car connections.
 
Thanks again for your help, we will recommend Africa Odyssey to friends.
 
PS – here is our blog with photos on our time at Alex Walker’s Serian, feel free to share it with other prospective clients seeking a great safari..! http://latitudeb.com/serengeti-safari/

L. Wattiau, 2012 (Belgium)

Hi Edward,

We want to thank you very much for the great organization of our honeymoon. Our expectations were high but they were definitely matched and even surpassed. Not only was Tanzania a superb destination, each part of the trip (mountain, safari, Zanzibar) as well as each hotel added value to this unique experience. In each hotel, we were very happy with the room we got (ex: nice terrace with breathtaking view on Mt Meru and surrounding hills in Onsea, bungalow facing the see in Ras Nungwi, room with roof top bathroom in Zanzibar Palace, …)

Climbing up to the top of Mt Meru was certainly not an easy walk (for us) but how rewarding it was to see the sun rising above Mt Kili and the surrounding see of clouds. Definitely worth it…and one of my highlights! (also because it provides the opportunity to walk in the nature vs. sitting in a car most of the time during the safaris )

Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater were amazing but, in our opinion, could not compete with Serengeti where nature is somehow ‘wilder’ and all around you at all time. Also because Serian is just unrivalled…definitely our favorite place during the trip.

With regards to the guides, they were both great in Manyara/Ngorongoro and Serengeti.

We also liked our stay in Zanzibar, very relaxing. We also scuba dived and went on a dolphin trip. This was definitely one of Nathalie’s highlights on Zanzibar. We went to Kizimkazi in the afternoon (instead of the morning as usually done by tourists). Besides two fishermen’s boats, our private boat was the only one out at that time. We actually saw several groups of dolphins and came back to Kizimkazi at sunset.

We are extremely happy of our honeymoon, you really made it a unique experience! All the organization was just perfect (as already mentioned above)…thank you again for that!

Kind regards,

L. Wattiau, 2012

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