September 2011

Posts Tagged ‘ Echo Beach

D Fenn

Hi!  I would be delighted to do this.  Please feel free to edit as appropriate.  I can’t remember some of the names I stayed at – can you refer to my file your end and check??  Also, I have now left Coutts so please update your e-mail address with this one.  Thanks.

General
I have used Tanzania Odyssey twice now for holidays combining Safaari, a beach holiday and some time in Stone Town and Dar Es Salaam.  Both times I have consulted with TO over my probable travel plans, and both times TO have suggested some amendments such as an extra night in one place at the sacrafice of a night somewhere else, or a different hotel to that which I have seen on the internet.  Both times I went with TO suggested changes and both times I have subsequently been very happy I did this.  I have always been hugely impressed with the personable and flexible way in which TO do business.  They are hugley knowledeable and I would thoroughly reccommend them and take their advice in the future.

Selous Safaari Camp – December 2009

This was a tented Safaari that combined the luxury of a fixed camp (and therefore bar and dining area) with a definite feeling that you are still in Africa and still living in basic accommodation.  When I visited a person called Richard ran the camp who was very pleasant and spent a lot of time with his guests at meal times.  He also encouraged, unless for some reason just during our visit, (will be interesting as to what other people say) that we all sit together in the evening for dinner.  This would probably suit better those people who do want to meet other guests and listen to some of Richard’s stories from his time in Africa, rather than couples on honeymoon.  The food was good but relatively basic.  We had elephant right outside our tent in the night, literally eating a bush that touched the tent!!!

Beyt Al Chai – December 2009
A great centrally located authentic guest house in Stone Town.  Excellent food.  Has a residents lounge with cold beer in the fridge and an honesty bar.  Only has a curtain dividing the loo and bath from the rest of the room so not ideal if you are not comfortable with sharing such matters with your room mate!!!

Echo Beach – December 2009
A lovely resort that size wise is small enough to feel very special but not so small that you can’t find a spot to sunbathe away from others.  The owners are quirky and fun and will provide a good bit of banter at the bar if you want it.  Excellent food and a wide choice on the menu.

Beach Resort – February 2011
A gem of a place that is literally a piece of heaven in what can only be described as something resembling a war zone on approach.  I say this only because I was seriously worried I was being abducted on the way to the hotel because the terraine got worse and worse, more remote and I thought there was no way a hotel can be at the end of this road, but, I was wrong and it is just a very undeveloped part of Zanzibar!  I chose this hotel because it looked like it combined simplicity with the standards of cleanliness you would expect in a hotel and I was not disappointed.  It is a great option for someone who wants a wow factor on a budget.  With only 8 rooms the place can never be crowded and the beach was always deserted.  I loved the fact that the floor of the restaurant and bar is all sand so I did not wear shoes for the 4 days I was there.  The food is good local seafood with a choice in the evening and a good lunch time menu as well.  Ideal for those that want to completely relax with only the worry of whether to play scrabble or sleep to think about.  The downsides are that there is nothing to do outside the hotel so wandering off down the beach is not something I would feel happy about doing and you are confined to the hotel which is small whilst you are there.  This is however exactly what I wanted.

Safaari – February 2011

WOW WOW WOW.  This was the 5 star treatment.  Beautiful location, beautiful big rooms with verandars overlooking the water, amazing food, with tea and coffee bought to the tent in the morning, afternoon tea served, as well as snacks on safaari drives etc.  The highest level of customer service.  The manageress is wonderful, clearly looks after her staff with dignity and respect and goes the extra mile for you.  I cannot praise this place enough.  The only downside is unless we go back, anywhere else just won’t live up to the standards of this place so I’m going to be disappointed.

D Fenn 2011

P Craigen – Big review

 

Dear Daniel,

Selous Safari Camp

This was our first safari experience and it was one to remember! We received a very warm welcome from Emile and all of the staff at Selous Safari Camp. A brief point on that – this camp uses mainly local people for its staff which is wonderful. It was nice that tourism benefitted the local area. The camp itself is split into two sections so it feels compact and “authentic”. The staff on the safari trips were also extremely knowledgeable. Each tent has ample space around it to give a sense of remoteness, safe in the knowledge that the staff are nearby! The tents, for want of a better word, are luxurious and are a very good size, with a nice shaded deck to sit outside. Not that we sat out there much – the lovely swimming pool area was more appealing for us in the bit of free time we had during the day between safaris. The bar area is also very comfortable and the food at the restaurant was excellent.

The safari itself was wonderful. Ok, it is a game reserve so most of the animals are more skittish than in the national parks. And there wasn’t an abundance of big cats or elephants close to the camp. But the diversity of the wildlife and types of safari made this a real experience. It is such a remote and huge location that it felt really “authentic”. We rarely saw any other jeeps on our drives so you got a real sense of just being there with the animals. Being able to choose between a game drive, a boat trip or a hike made the days feel more varied. Boat trips on the lake right outside the camp were amazing – enjoying a Tusker beer or a glass of wine just before sunset sitting in the middle of a beautiful lake surrounded by the wonderful scenery and wildlife is a real treat not to be missed. Good times.

I would highly recommend visiting this camp, however I would do so with the recommendation to also visit at least one other camp on your trip too. And make sure you’ve got a good zoom lens on your camera and pair of binoculars with you.

 

Mdonya Old River,

Mdonya Old River was a nice enough camp, definitely “rustic” but perfectly comfortable. We had an issue on our arrival day where we had no hot water for a shower and as they were fully booked we couldn’t be moved to another tent until the morning. The staff were very apologetic and did everything they could to make good on this hiccup but it did make our first evening there less enjoyable. It was quite chilly at night when we were there in July so showering in cold water wasn’t pleasant! The food at the camp isn’t wonderful, but adequate, although we had arrived from Selous Safari Camp so had been spoilt a little. My wife, being a vegetarian, found the food choice a bit limiting. Eating at a big long table instead of individual tables isn’t to everyone’s taste either. I realise this is personal preference though – no doubt some people love the communal camp-fire experience that Mdonya offers and being able to chat to their fellow travellers. We were on honeymoon so generally felt like being antisocial and this wasn’t really the place for that. It is also a tse-tse fly area which concerned me a little before going but we stocked up on Jungle Formula and the flies were only evident in a few specific locations that we drove through pretty quickly.

However the safari itself was excellent. And that’s what you are there for. The location near the river means anything and everything comes nearby. We were extremely lucky with 3 different leopard sightings in just 3 days; one of which was a hunt. More lions and elephants than I can remember, including elephants having a mud bath which was a great sight. By the third day (the sixth day of our first ever safari trip) we did get a bit tired of spending all day in the jeep though. For us, that was enough. We found the combination with Selous good – one group at Mdonya did a 3 hour drive in each direction to see some small hippos from a distance whereas at Selous Safari Camp you can see hundreds of hippo from fairly close range on a boat safari.

I would recommend this camp, but if you are going on honeymoon treat yourself to somewhere more luxurious too as part of your trip.

Echo Beach, Zanzibar

We visited Echo Beach after a safari in Tanzania and it was an excellent way to end our trip. The transfer is quite long but once we were there we felt like we had everything we wanted. We went there to relax and do very little and the destination is perfect for that. Our room was wonderful – an upper floor room with a balcony over-looking the pool, beach and the sea. The bed was very comfortable and the room is decorated with style but also in keeping with the part of the world in which you are in. The bar area was great; lively and with different tasty (and very strong!) cocktails on offer each night. Given that you are a captive audience we didn’t feel that the drinks were expensive. The pool is very nice too and although we didn’t really do very much there were diving (scuba and snorkelling) trips and excursions available. The excursions are run by a different company though and we felt were not good value for money so we didn’t indulge. I have to make special mention of the food, which was superb. Half-board was better value than full board though. The breakfast is served until quite late and dinner starts quite early so we often skipped lunch or just paid a few dollars to share a toastie or something light – a full lunch didn’t feel necessary. You wouldn’t want to spoil your appetite for the wonderful choices available at dinner time…

I would definitely recommend Echo Beach after a safari trip – in fact we did recommend it to two of our friends as part of their honeymoon so I can’t speak more highly than that.

 

P Craigen 2010

T Monroe

Lion kill at 4 in the morning 300 meters from our tent in the Ruaha…walking safari in the Selous Safari Camp and trying to remain quiet while a herd of elephants passed by 30 meters away.  Both camps were extremely hospitable and we enjoyed the mix.  Selous Safari Camp was truly luxurious for a bush camp and made us feel like royals as we lived amongst the animals.

Also, echo beach and stonetown were a great way to end the trip.  The food at echo was excellent and we were able to join in a wedding celebration during our stay.

We made some excellent friends…3 other couples on their honeymoons…at Selous and we were all staying at Echo and the resort next door, so we were able to get together each night.

Last, being in stonetown during the end of Ramadan Celebrations was a fantastic cultural experience.  We ventured out each night to observe the celebrations and dine at fabulous local restaurants.

We cannot say enough good things about our total experience and we have many pictures to help us reflect on the trip.

Thanks again.

Best,

T Monroe 2011

P Craigen, 2010

I would like to contribute to your re-launched website with our feedback on the lodges we stayed at. We had a wonderful honeymoon and that was in large part down to the help and advice we received from Ed, amongst others, at Tanzania Odyssey. I hope that my contributions below assist you so that your clients can enjoy their trip as much as we did.
Selous Safari Camp – July 2010
This was our first safari experience and it was one to remember! We received a very warm welcome from Emile and all of the staff at Selous Safari Camp. A brief point on that – this camp uses mainly local people for its staff which is wonderful. It was nice that tourism benefitted the local area. The camp itself is split into two sections so it feels compact and “authentic”. The staff on the safari trips were also extremely knowledgeable. Each tent has ample space around it to give a sense of remoteness, safe in the knowledge that the staff are nearby! The tents, for want of a better word, are luxurious and are a very good size, with a nice shaded deck to sit outside. Not that we sat out there much – the lovely swimming pool area was more appealing for us in the bit of free time we had during the day between safaris. The bar area is also very comfortable and the food at the restaurant was excellent.
The safari itself was wonderful. Ok, it is a game reserve so most of the animals are more skittish than in the national parks. And there wasn’t an abundance of big cats or elephants close to the camp. But the diversity of the wildlife and types of safari made this a real experience. It is such a remote and huge location that it felt really “authentic”. We rarely saw any other jeeps on our drives so you got a real sense of just being there with the animals. Being able to choose between a game drive, a boat trip or a hike made the days feel more varied. Boat trips on the lake right outside the camp were amazing – enjoying a Tusker beer or a glass of wine just before sunset sitting in the middle of a beautiful lake surrounded by the wonderful scenery and wildlife is a real treat not to be missed. Good times.
I would highly recommend visiting this camp, however I would do so with the recommendation to also visit at least one other camp on your trip too. And make sure you’ve got a good zoom lens on your camera and pair of binoculars with you.
Mdonya Old River, Ruaha – July 2010
Mdonya Old River was a nice enough camp, definitely “rustic” but perfectly comfortable. We had an issue on our arrival day where we had no hot water for a shower and as they were fully booked we couldn’t be moved to another tent until the morning. The staff were very apologetic and did everything they could to make good on this hiccup but it did make our first evening there less enjoyable. It was quite chilly at night when we were there in July so showering in cold water wasn’t pleasant! The food at the camp isn’t wonderful, but adequate, although we had arrived from Selous Safari Camp so had been spoilt a little. My wife, being a vegetarian, found the food choice a bit limiting. Eating at a big long table instead of individual tables isn’t to everyone’s taste either. I realise this is personal preference though – no doubt some people love the communal camp-fire experience that Mdonya offers and being able to chat to their fellow travellers. We were on honeymoon so generally felt like being antisocial and this wasn’t really the place for that. It is also a tse-tse fly area which concerned me a little before going but we stocked up on Jungle Formula and the flies were only evident in a few specific locations that we drove through pretty quickly.
However the safari itself was excellent. And that’s what you are there for. The location near the river means anything and everything comes nearby. We were extremely lucky with 3 different leopard sightings in just 3 days; one of which was a hunt. More lions and elephants than I can remember, including elephants having a mud bath which was a great sight. By the third day (the sixth day of our first ever safari trip) we did get a bit tired of spending all day in the jeep though. For us, that was enough. We found the combination with Selous good – one group at Mdonya did a 3 hour drive in each direction to see some small hippos from a distance whereas at Selous Safari Camp you can see hundreds of hippo from fairly close range on a boat safari.
I would recommend this camp, but if you are going on honeymoon treat yourself to somewhere more luxurious too as part of your trip.
Echo Beach, Zanzibar – July 2010
We visited Echo Beach after a safari in Tanzania and it was an excellent way to end our trip. The transfer is quite long but once we were there we felt like we had everything we wanted. We went there to relax and do very little and the destination is perfect for that. Our room was wonderful – an upper floor room with a balcony over-looking the pool, beach and the sea. The bed was very comfortable and the room is decorated with style but also in keeping with the part of the world in which you are in. The bar area was great; lively and with different tasty (and very strong!) cocktails on offer each night. Given that you are a captive audience we didn’t feel that the drinks were expensive. The pool is very nice too and although we didn’t really do very much there were diving (scuba and snorkelling) trips and excursions available. The excursions are run by a different company though and we felt were not good value for money so we didn’t indulge. I have to make special mention of the food, which was superb. Half-board was better value than full board though. The breakfast is served until quite late and dinner starts quite early so we often skipped lunch or just paid a few dollars to share a toastie or something light – a full lunch didn’t feel necessary. You wouldn’t want to spoil your appetite for the wonderful choices available at dinner time…
I would definitely recommend Echo Beach after a safari trip – in fact we did recommend it to two of our friends as part of their honeymoon so I can’t speak more highly than that.

P Craigen 2010

K Craign

Just a belated & quick email to say thank you for all you and your teams work put into producing our honeymoon. It was simply fantastic. Echo beach and Lake Manze were both excellent and Rus Kutani at the end was, in the words of my wife a ‘magical way to finish up!’
Work the following Monday was an uncomfortable jolt back into reality!
Anyway, many thanks once again.
Kind Regards

K Craign 2009

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