November 2012

Posts Tagged ‘ stone town

J. Ritzema, 2012, UK

We had an amazing time and thanks so much for all your help and advice in planning it. Your advice to upgrade to Selous Safari Camp was spot on and we were impressed as to how you took on board what we wanted from our stay at the beach when recommending the Ras Nungwi. We had the time of our lives wandering up and down the near deserted beach.
We were overwhelmed by the kind nature and generosity of everyone that we met. The combination of safari, beach and city was perfect, 3 holidays in one. Flying back next to the pilot from Zanzibar to the mainland was awesome! Everything went to plan.

Selous Safari Camp
If you are planning a trip to Selous and think this camp is outside your budget please push the boat out and stay there, you will not be disappointed. The camp is truly excellent. The accomodation is superb, to describe them as tents does not do them justice. The beds are huge. To shower outdoors whilst being watched by a baboon was quite an experience and to sit on your verandah watching giraffes a stones throw away was quite special. Elephants round the swimming pool was the icing on the cake. A word of warning – you will now get much sleep as the animals pass by under darkness but what a special thing to lie in bed listening. Food was excellent, I am a vegetarian and the chef was wonderful in making creations just for me. Pietro and Ricus run a superb ship, to be met by at least one of them with cold towels or a drink after every trip to make sure it was just so was a very personal touch and their company around the fire in the evenings was much welcomed. The guiding was superb, our guides surpassed all our expectations. It felt like whatever we wanted to see they managed to find! A safari in Selous is special, the small number of camps make you really feel like you have the place to yourselves. Go on the walking safari, you might not see big animals but it was fascinating to learn about animal life in the bush and to walk past a bush from which a hyena ran out was superb. All I would say is ignore the tip guide in your guidebook and bring double – you will want to thank everybody for making your stay so special.

Beyt al Chai
This is a great hotel if you are after somewhere with character right in the heart of Stone Town. Our room was lovely, with lots of windows. The Serena Hotel is right in front of you so you don’t get an open aspect. Room was spacious with a quirky way of locking the door (I ended up locking my husband in so he couldn’t meet me as arranged which could have been difficult!). Only downside with the room is there was no shower just a bath attachment and the bathroom is part of the bedroom which might put some people off from a privacy point of view. Small friendly bar downstairs. The service was very slow when we had lunch in the restaurant and for breakfast but food was good. Upside for us was its location, you could walk into the town and gardens at night without having to negotiate the narrow back streets that some of the other hotels were located on which meant we felt safe at all times. Well insulated we thought we’d be woken by the prayer calls all night as there is a mosque a few feet away but we managed to sleep through it. Worth upgrading to a sultan room.

J. Ritzema, 2012, UK

D. Trice, 2012, USA

I just wanted to let you know that our group had a fantastic trip and that all the arrangements you made for us were perfect. The highlights of the trip were the stays at Serian and Beho Beho, the latter being the favorite of the ladies. The Crater and Manyara were predictably crowded but we had a good day in the Crater. We spent 3 nights in Stone Town on Zanzibar and all agreed that one night there would have been better.
My favorite place was Alex’s Serian camp and we enjoyed having Alex as our guide. The days were long (6:30 am til dark) but we saw some incredible things. The highlights were:
– a huge male water buffalo walking straight through a pride of 15 lions at twilight to get to his watering hole. He had no fear of the lions who gave some thought to an attack but without males around, they wisely avoided a contest.
– 2 Mara River crossings and another tributary crossing
– a cheetah kill of a Thompson’s gazelle
– a leopard catching the early morning sun on a high rock. Later, a lion appeared on the rock above the leopard. The leopard was quite aware of the newcomer but the rocks were screened by shrubs and it did not appear the lioness was aware of the leopard. We watched the leopard climb down the rocks and later into a tree.
– some of our group also saw a rhino
– lots and lots of elephant and obviously 1000’s of wildebeest.

At Beho Beho highlights were:
– tracking lion prints and finding 5 lions on a very recent kill of a small giraffe
– birds at Lake Tagalala
– walking trips away from the lodge and getting within 15 meters of an elephant
– finding a leopard on the way back to the lodge after sundowners
– a lion walking through the camp one evening and letting us know of his presence
– a group of 8 elephants who visited the camp daily. The herd included 2 very young elephants and they were a joy to watch. We shot a short film of them from the shower in our banda.
– the accommodations at Beho Beho were luxurious and service and food (thanks Karin) were outstanding. As mentioned, the all the women loved Beho Beho including the more relaxed pace where you return to the lodge for lunch and avoid the mid day heat. This makes sense but I would have liked the option to stay out and would have liked more time to explore around Lake Manze where we saw lots of game and lions.

All in all a fabulous trip which was greatly enjoyed by all 13 in our group. Thanks for all your assistance.

D. Trice, 2012, USA

D. McKee 2012, USA

Hi Edward

highlights are difficult to pinpoint as the whole trip was so great. But I would say the game viewing and the diving.

We caught the latter end of the wildebeest migration – what an awesome sight and sound. Driving to our Serengeti Lodge the first night we arrived there we drove through a valley through which the herd was passing. Habib stopped the vehicle – and the noise was incredible! Like the sound of a small train going through. I had never imagined the sound that 1000s of wildebeests in close quarters would make. And on our last day driving out of the park we caught the start of the zebra migration which follows the wildebeest.

The cheetah kill was another amazing sight that happened right in front of us. We also got up close and personal with a small herd of elephants at Lake Manyara. The sight of the vast plains of Serenegeti teeming with game, and the Ngorongoro Crater like a huge bowl of wildlife are memories that will stay with me. And the leopard in the tree just metres from our vehicle – sleeping peacefully quite unconcerned that we were so close to him.

Then arriving in Zanzibar to the white soft sand beach and the blue seas. We booked the diving through the lodge with Scuba Libre Diving. Very professional outfit too. The first day the diving was among the best we have ever had. Second day was really good, but the weather was changing and the visibility not so good. Still great dive – we saw Frog fish, Stone fish, turtles, moray eels, Scorpion fish and many others. So we decided to spend the 3rd day relaxing at Shooting Star – long walk on the beach, chill on the lounger at the pool. And then ended off with a wonderful sea swim on the incoming tide – great waves and body surfing!

The Jozani forest trip was interesting. We had a really great guide, Abdul. Very knowledgeable. And Stone Town was fascinating with all the little winding alleyways and streets. Loved the hotel – and what superb seafood in their restaurant.

I found a forum on TripAdvisor where someone asked about your operation, and left a comment there. I could not find a TripAdvisor page for your company. But I did leave comment on the pages for both Roy Safari’s and Shooting Star Lodge.

Once again our thanks for interpreting our wishes to perfection. The trip ran like a well-oiled wheel, with everyone and everything as on the itinerary. Such great organisation meant we could really enjoy our holiday to the full.

D. McKee 2012, USA

D. McKee USA 2012

Edward and Julian

thank you for the most amazing trip to Tanzania the past 10 days. Edward – you were spot on with the itinerary!

We had an absolute ball – saw the Big 5 including a cheetah kill happen in front of our eyes – and the Small 5000 other animals and birds. Thanks to our guide Habib from Roy safaris – he really made it special. And the diving was wonderful too.

All arrangements were great – were met and guided and cared for with gracious hospitality by everyone. Tanzanians are wonderful people – made us feel like we were their personal guests.

Accommodation was exactly what we were looking for. From the lodge at Ngorongoro to the Beyt in Stone Town – all met and exceeded what we hoped for.

We are definitely planning to go back – this time for longer!

Once again thanks for putting it all together for us, especially at such short notice.

D. McKee, USA, 2012

Mr & Mrs S Gannon

Hi Edward,

We’re home and just can’t believe all our planning has come and gone!!! We have to say a huge thank you to you, it turned out to be absolutely fantastic from start to finish!!!!

Firstly, it was marvelous to be met at every stop and escorted to the next each time. The first camp in Selous, Lake Manze was lovely, very casual, very romantic by candle light and a great start. It was a good start to a first timer going on safari as it’s all so overwhelming to see all the animals, it was better to see them so active in the second lodge we went too. The food was very good and Sarah and Phil run a good camp there, and very nice and friendly themselves, the other staff was really nice and friendly too. It was as described in all the reviews, don’t expect something you won’t get. Our very first evening at dinner an elephant came to the edge of the tent, elephants were walking through the camp daily. The park its self was “quiet” because it was warmer there the animals slept more but it was wonderful to watch and see them. We went on a full day safari the very first day and up to the hot springs, beautiful. Then early mornings, 6am starts after that where we saw the animals move much more and small cubs playing with their mother.

The second camp, Kwihala was even nicer, the decor made it very homely and the game drives here were even better. The food was excellent too. Our very first evening here we almost saw a “kill”. We saw the stalking and chase however, the lioness couldn’t make the jump to the giraffe and help came too late to her from the others. We were then on watch every day with them cause we knew they were hungry but in 4 days that we were there they never ate. Because it was cooler in this park the animals were much more active and we saw loads of different animals playing with each other.

Our guides in both camps were excellent and would highly recommend both places to anyone looking for a safari trip. We couldn’t fault the camps themselves or the game, which is the reason for going!!!

Then off to Zanzibar for our final few days, this was just stunning. It took us an hour to get their from the airport and this wasn’t the best of drives cause the country is so poor but once inside the gates you wouldn’t even realise that’s outside. Our room was overlooking the beach and on our arrival their was a bottle of champagne waiting in our room. The staff were really nice and helpful, the food was also beautiful here. The pool is lovely and it was a wonderful way to end our holiday.

Thank you again for putting together such a great honeymoon for us. We were delighted with everything you recommended and have taken so many good memories with us (as well as thousands of photo’s by the way)…….!!!!!!!

Kind regards,
Mr. & Mrs S Gannon, Ireland, 2011

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