Holiday review by Mrs. Anne White
Name: Mrs. Anne White
Date of trip: 20/08/2014
Number of people: 2
Being stung by an African honey bee. Not life threatening but quite an adrenalin rush and extremely painful. That was en route to the safaris camp on day one! But the care and concern of staff was very heartwarming.
Final day at camp. Andrew was determined to find us a leaopard. We had a short morning game drive chasing footprints and shadows but to no avail. Frustrated by his lack of success he and Rajubu returned us to camp to shower and pack up our belongings with an hour to spare. We returned to our tent to gather our stuff, breathe in the last unspoilt air and capture a few snaps of the location, when I suddenly noticed some large objects and legs in the nearby bushes. It was a female elephant with baby and juvenile. They proceeded to graze by our tent, coming so close we could have touched them. We hardly breathed, certainly remained stock still and silent. We had been well trained by Andrew. The result was tremendous video footage and photos of this little family group munching their way around our tent, relaxed, well fed and unalarmed by our presence. They rumbled and purred to each other which we could feel deep in our own bodies. We felt they knew we were there but as we were immobile and posed no threat they were relaxed, remaining there for about 40 minutes before heading for the river and a swim. Wow, what an end to our stay. Forget the leopards (until next time!). There was no time to shower or change or pack properly (flung stuff into our bags hapahazardly). We were off to catch our light plane from the airfield and onward journey to Zanzibar. By the time we got to our lovely hotel at Bwejuu beach (Hotel Breezes) we were hot, dusty, sweaty and dishevelled but happy and fulfilled. Loved it all.
The information and details supplied beforehand were very informative and realistic. The only comment of note would be the location of the Slipway Hotel - it took nearly 2 hours to get there from the airport, arriving at about 4am which gave us about 2.5 hours sleep before we were picked up again for our onward flight. But, at least we had a bed! We actually had a longer wait (7.5 hours) at Dar es Salam international airport before our homeward flight departed. Power cuts, no facilities and no way to check our luggage meant a long and sometimes dark and tedious experience. For future travellers, maybe you could include a dinner and tour of Dar to help pass the hours before the flight.
Tracy was very helpful, upbeat and efficient. We discovered a glitch in the final return flight bookings, and when this was reported to Tracy she was proactive, positive and got things sorted. Thanks Tracy.
Andrew was a super guide and he and our driver Rajubu were a great team. Andrew's knowledge and understanding of nature and ecosystems was excellent. They both had great senses of humour and we felt safe at all times. It was a pleasure to spend time with them. Rajubu drove us into such interesting situations and tight spaces at the same time spotting animal trails and hunting down kills.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
It's hard to know how much our presence in the area disrupts wildlife or benefits the local people. We asked to visit a local village and school where we met the headmaster. The school needs lots of practical assistance and basic equipment. As we both work in an international school we plan to follow up by sending materials and perhaps start an initiative within the school. To broaden awareness and perhaps help the local students improve their English. With respect to the camp - it was furnished with local woods and materials but the food was pretty international and it would have been nice to occasionally have some local meat (impala) or locally grown vegetables. Not complaining though - it was all good.
The places you stayed
Would not have been my chosen stop but as we were only there one very brief night it served its purpose.
Comfy bed but damp bathroom. Seemed in the middle of nowhere.
The camp was fantastic on pretty much all fronts. My one disappointment was the food. Not that it wasn,t good but i would have liked to have had the opportunity too eat local food and try local recipies. I know they have to appeal to the masses but for me it was a wasted opportunity.
With the natural backdrop of white sands and blue skies there is not too much to go wrong. Very helpful staff and a great place to relax. The spa center was the cherry on the top.
Too short a time there to really comment. It was clean and basic, but appeared too far from the airport to be a good overnight stop. Perhaps there are no airport hotels?
Clean, comfortable, safe, food was good and staff were exceptionally welcoming and helpful. Lovely surroundings and a real 'immersion' experience. Even the sounds of Andreas (hippo) at night beside our tent was not alarming but thrilling. My only suggestion would be to include a local African food option on the menu occasionally.
Breezes was luxury after Safari but the bed was a bit harder! The staff were also very warm and helpful and the hotel was run with efficiency. It\'s layout means that despite a reasonable number of guests it rarely felt overcrowded anywhere. The beach and white sand was fantastic with few beach boys and pedlars which meant no hassle. Despite being the \'spice island\' the food was at times rather bland but I understand the need to cater for larger diversity of tastes. The frangipani spa was lovely and an oasis of calm. We indulged in several treatments and the staff were really welcoming and caring.