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What our clients are saying about us and our trips...

With web review sites being all the rage these days, it can be a little difficult to sift through the debris to actually find out what a place or hotel is like. From our point of view, having stayed in 99% of the hotels and safari lodges we sell (and quite a few we don't), we think that these reviews can be very misleading as it is impossible to know what the reviewer likes, was looking for, paid etc. etc. In our opinion our job is to find out what you like and match the correct product to you...see how we have done. (please note that ALL of the reviews we feature are 100% real and unedited. If you would like to speak to any of our past clients please let us know)

Furthermore, we have started to gather customer reviews through Trustpilot so please take a look at our page on there to see how we are doing! Trustpilot Reviews >>

Hi Gemma,

Got back Saturday night but had a lot of stuff to catch up with. Basically, the trip was outstanding – we had an amazing time!

All of the logistics went perfectly although, as expected, a couple of the internal flights were an hour or so late. The order of visiting the locations was also perfect. We visited the Selous first and loved it. But we met some New Zealanders there on their fourth week of Safari in Kenya and Tanzania and the Selous was a disappointment to them in terms of the range and volume of animals seen. I can understand this after later going to the Serengeti.

But, for us, the Selous was great and just whet our appetite for the Serengeti. Recommending going to the Selous first and Serengeti second is something you might also want to consider for future clients. All of the accommodations were great although the Dar es Salaam hotel was not quite the standard of the others.

The Rufiji camp was amazing but the highlight of the trip was the Kimondo mobile camp in the Serengeti – the staff were unbelievably friendly and helpful – and the experience unparalleled!

We have been on many great trips in many parts of the world and this one ranks with the best.

Thank you for all your help and patience – you were wonderful!

Let us know if you need anymore feedback.

Ray and Shauna

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Ray and Shauna

Hi Gemma

Thanks for the email. Siwandu and the Safari were magical. The animals in the Selous and the staff at Siwandu could not have behaved more impeccably! It was just magical. Some photos, taken almost from touching distance, below.

We had a disastrous journey home with Qatar Airways yesterday, so are absolutely knackered. I won’t bore you with all the details but suffice to say, hours spent forced to sit outside Zanzibar airport in the punishing heat, hours in it in the punishing heat, numerous changes to flights that didn’t materialise and subsequent inordinate delays.

Stone Town - thank you for sorting out the sickness situation so effectively. Given the way Zan Tours stepped in, it went reasonably well! Forget the taxi fare, it was minimal. We’re really glad we went to Stone Town and going on the spice tour on the way to Qambani worked perfectly. Jafferji House split opinion, Rob loved its authenticity, but Ellie and I had doubts. I fully accept that Ellie and I need to review our expectations of third world countries! Ellie works for Accenture and they have an office in Dar - I don’t think she’ll be rushing to apply!

We had dinner at Emerson Spice, (highly recommended in almost every guide book) which was in a great location but served uninteresting international food and at 174$ for three, with only one bottle of wine, was really expensive. Other more local restaurants were considerably better and cheaper. Jafferji House’s restaurant was much less expensive and had similar views from the roof terrace.

Qambani, where to start! My choice, not yours! Fabulous property, fabulous location, could so easily be 5+ stars! But....the management there left a lot to be desired! Some staff were exceptional, others indifferent. It was virtually empty most of the time we were there, so they had plenty of staff. It was sold as a property with no written menu and that you can have whatever food you want. All food was very geared to the European market, which seems to be what most guests want, when I suppose we wanted authentic local food. Having said that, when we asked for the local meat, goat, we got it, but cooked ....... with chocolate(!)....in a European style. We should have asked for it cooked in the local style and quickly learnt to be more specific, if we had any requests! The Swahili evening we asked for and got was exceptional! The drink prices were very reasonable, so if you do send other clients, unless they are alcoholics, the $60 charge per person per day is more than a reasonable drinker can consume and, I promise, I did my best!

Overall, we had an absolutely fantastic time and will recommend The Africa specialists to all we can. We really appreciated your knowledge and help throughout.

I hope you feel this feedback is constructive and helps with future customers.

Kind Regards
Lorna

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Lorna

Hi Gemma,

Thank you so much! I had a wonderful time! Everyone in Lake Manze and Mdonya Old River camps were so very nice.

I could not have asked for a better experience.

My favorite sighting was some lion cubs that couldn’t have been more than a couple of months old! They were absolutely beautiful! The hot air balloon ride was unforgettable! We got to see a herd of buffalo and they looked like ants from the air. It was amazing!

Whenever I get a chance I will leave a review on Trust Pilot. Thank you so much for all of your help making this a trip of a lifetime!

I would definitely love to go back some day!

Thanks for everything!

Best regards,
Kristen

Kristen

Hi Gemma.

Hope you are well.

We had an amazing time!!

Starting with Siwandu, what an amazing place. Everything was perfect, the landscape, food, staff, accommodation, activities. There was nothing you could fault.

We then moved onto Matlai which was lovely. We loved the room and the really cool bar. The staff here again were fantastic especially our designated butler, and the two owners Tim and his mother Ingrid. We did the spice and stone town tours while staying here which was ok but expensive for what it was. We also visited The Rock restaurant, what a beautiful unique setting but we were left a bit disappointed by the food.

Finally we spent the last three nights at Matemwe Retreat. Wow!! this was simply stunning. We had such a fantastic time. t was pure and utter bliss and a lovely way to bring our honeymoon to a close. We were very sad to leave.

Couple of minor comments; We didn't think Matlai was worth $600 per night. It was lovely don't get me wrong but Matemwe was $500 a night more expensive but was in a different league to Matlai.

I will submit a review on trust pilot over the weekend.

Regards

John

John and Josephine

Hi Gemma,

At the Swiss lounge in Zurich but let me just confirm we had an amazing adventure. Thank you so much for the help and getting me to Zanzibar that night. We will try to send referrals!

White Sand was a big hit with the group - we had villa 1 right on the beach which was outstanding and the meeting place for the group. Very good food and the entertainment was excellent (Masai night). They were in villa 7 which was more spacious but no view.

Mkombe’s house was probably the nicest place we had ever stayed, given the circumstances, and the atmosphere with the Keare’s and our hosts (Babu and Joel the guide) made it unforgettable. Two leopard sightings and seeing the wildebeest herd was epic.

The mobile camp was also very good and Musa an excellent guide. This was a realistic bush experience. Given that the wildebeest heard was early so we had seen 50000+ already, not huge new experiences there but also really positive. I know the Keare’s loved their lion and cheetah experiences during our two days apart - we had seen quite a few of both on our previous safari and as you know I wanted to see the wildebeest, so no regrets with our choice.

Richard and his team also made the Crater visit very special. We rocked the house partying the last night with the Keare’s and an Australian family we met at the mobile camp.

A personalized walk to the rim was truly special and we saw 2 rhinos and an old male lion (full mane) in the crater. The guide was knowledgeable but quiet and didn’t really connect with a boisterous group of 7. He would probably have been a better fit for a couple or solo visitor. It was windy during the nights but that was to be expected. The weather was clear and again, our hosts were terrific and everyone danced the last night.

All in all, an epic trip with great friends. I’m glad the Keare’s are enjoying the chimps - not our cup of tea and I need to get back to work.

Enjoy the summer and if you ever make it to Los Angeles, please let me know.

Best,

Bill

Bill & Family

Hi Nick,

I am pleased to advise that we had a great holiday and thought I would send you a note whilst the memories are fresh – we got back this morning.

The two reserves we visited provided a good contrast. I particularly enjoyed Lake Manze as you effectively had 2 safaris in one– both water and land with both offering great sights.

I think we saw everything we could have hoped to see including leapord and a honey badger and a pack of wild dogs numbering 23 in total. My son took thousands of photos!

Great hosts at both camps but Trudie, in particular, at Mwagusi is a star and good fun. Mwagusi bandas are a bit more luxurious but you pay for that.

By contrast, Zanzibar was sedate and the Villa Lisa at Milele Villas suited us as we had all the space to ourselves and we were well catered for! We explored a lot of the island using a driver for only $20 dollars a day which I thought was great value in contrast to $80 for a half day snorkelling excursion organised by Hannes which seemed expensive and not many fish! In reality there is no car on offer (it’s Hannes car and frankly you are a lot safer with a driver. Also, the canoes don’t steer and as Hannes said the currents are strong so we gave that a miss. I didn’t ask further about bikes! Overall, It’s a bit isolated but that suited us as we enjoyed chilling after the early morning starts on the safari.

It was all a great experience! Thanks for organising it.

Best Regards,

Alastair, Mary Ann & our boys

Alastair, Mary Ann & our boys

Morning Gemma, just about recovered now!

We had so many highlights, but a few things that really did stand out were the elephants in Amboseli, and especially at Satao Elerai, the water hole there was always busy with game coming and going. The bush sundowner in Satao Elerai was something we’ll never forget, it was amazing!!

We saw a leopard in Masai Mara and we were the only people there, she came so close and allowed us to take some amazing photos.

We also witnessed the start of the migration, so many zebra and wildebeest, as far as the eye can see. And finally, the food in Waterlovers was something else, we honestly felt like royalty, and we had the whole place to ourselves!

I’ll send a few photos across that I took with my phone because we haven’t looked through the camera ones yet.

Thank you for all of your help, it was perfect!

Laura

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Laura and Shaun

Hi Gemma

Words cannot describe our honeymoon!

An unforgettable experience from start to finish, thank you so much! It was amazing 3nights in Roho Ya Selous on our first safari (which will not be our last) and the remaining 5nights in Zanzibar. On safari we saw plenty of Game including wild dogs, lions and quite a few babies!

So many stories to tell and special moments that we will cherish forever. We cannot recommend you and your company enough!

You has been so helpful throughout, from planning our trip, within our budget, to giving us handy tips beforehand, you were always there if we had any queries with a quick response. Everything ran smoothly - no stress. A professional and friendly company.

I'm not sure how we can ever top this holiday! We have fallen in love with Africa!!

Lauren and Ross

Hi Nick

The holiday to Uganda was a very successful and rewarding adventure. I have a lifetime memory of a beautiful country, the diverse scenery, the friendly Ugandan people, amazing variety of fresh local good food, and most especially the Gorillas and the Chimpanzees - and the commitment to their conservation. Once again, thank you and best wishes.

Shall be in touch re future adventures.
Jackie

Jackie

Dear Gemma,

We had an excellent trip with all logistics and travel plans working as expected. You put together a good itinerary taking in The Selous, Ruaha and finally Mafia island.

We especially wanted to travel in the green season to see the difference from the burnt dry landscapes. We knew it would be hotter and humid in February but were a little concerned that the wildlife would be difficult to see. It was certainly hot, especially in the Selous but we had no problems seeing wildlife which was very abundant.

In the Selous we saw a huge pack of 27 wild dogs with cubs twice, three separate prides of lions one with very young cubs , several breeding herds of elephants, buffalo and of course multiple Giraffes and Impala. We stayed at Roho Ya Selous which is a new tented camp beside one of the lakes . The staff were excellent and our guide Penuel who stayed with us for the three days was very knowledgeable. The tents are very well appointed with all round mesh and inner mosquito nets.

You are very close to Hippos which provide a wake up call as they return from grazing in the early morning. The cooling air above the beds was helpful for sleeping with the very high humidity at this time of year . The boat trips made for an interesting change from the vehicle Safari and we came across hardly any other vehicles when out on game drives. We saw the wild dog pack again during our stay and also leopard walking through a wooded area on the way to the airstrip for the flight to Ruaha .

In Ruaha we stayed at Ikuka camp which has one of the best views in Africa looking out across the park. The rooms are very comfortable and open all round to maximise the view which is even better than the photographs on the website. Being higher up it was cooler than the Selous and pleasantly warm. The grass was tall but again we saw plenty of wildlife and in particular large herds of elephants.

Bird life was very varied. The Buffalo herds were not in the area at this time of year but everything else was around. Ikuka is a very special camp with excellent guiding but it is the view that really sets it apart. Unfortunately the park authorities had banned walking safaris due to the thickness of the bush at this time , however this did not really detract from our experience and it was really good to observe wildlife in such a green and lush environment . We hardly ever saw another vehicle on game drives so we felt we had the whole park to ourselves . I could not recommend Ikuka and Ruaha more highly!

We then moved onto Mafia island staying at Pole Pole . This was more than a beach holiday , I would liken it more to a marine safari experience with excellent daily excursions many of which are included in the room rate . The hotel is located in the marine park providing snorkeling trips followed by lunch on exposed sandbanks and all using wooden Dhows made from mangrove wood .

The highlight for us was swimming with whale sharks arranged by the hotel through Kitu Kilbu a tour operator who follow responsible codes of conduct and are researching their behaviour with a marine biologist accompanying every trip . We swam with four separate whale sharks on the half day trip . Worth travelling to Mafia island just for this experience . Pole Pole is well run with good food and service with pretty beachside huts. The ceiling fan was essential with the high humidity . The beds were a little uncomfortable compared to the very high quality we had become accustomed to at the safari camps but this was sorted out very quickly by the hotel manager Julie.

An excellent trip!!

Many thanks for all your help

Best regards

David

David and Julie

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