Holiday review by Ms. Jane Plowman
Name: Ms. Jane Plowman
Date of trip: 04/02/2016
Number of people: 2
Just everything! Rama's driving and a day on flooded Lake Tagalala. It was a special moment for my beachcomber partner when a local fisherman at Mafia presented him with the perfect skull of a huge turtle that had washed up on the beach, although of course he could only take photos back with him. The tropical storms at night!
My second trip to Sable Mountain Lodge was just as impressive as the first. Stunning views from tent no 9 over the Beho Beho hills and the luxury of a shower under stars. As before excellent food and attentive professional service. Game drives in a rather wet and muddy Selous, but we saw all sorts of animals, except lions and wild dogs giving us a good excuse to return....If we needed one. The Selous is a magical place and Sable Mountain a superb choice just outside Matambwe Gate. I found myself welling up as we left after 4 nights. We must return.
The train journey from Dar to Kisaki was a fabulous experience. The 4 hours delay would have grated in UK, but we were on holiday and enjoyed passing the time hearing the experiences of our fellow travellet's. Arriving at Kisaki at night is like a scene from an exotic fable.
Butiama Beach on Mafia Island was our next stop. Beautifully laid out, it may not feel as remote as Sable Mountain but the rooms were beautiful with lovely little touches such as the kikois and beach basket. The beach was seaweed, but what does that matter. We admired the tireless work of the gardeners raking the seaweed off the beach (which is a fine stretch of white sand) every morning. Superb food! What really impresses here and sets this place apart is the fantastic service from Maura, Moez and the team. Nothing is too much for them. When I got sunburn snorkeling out came some fresh cool aloe Vera leaves which gave some relief. My partner who was unfortunately unwell one day was so well looked after. The activities are also very well planned and good value.
Overall we were a bit unlucky with the weather, tropical storms, but although we understand that there were considerable problems in some of the Selous lodges, the storms did not detract from our enjoyment and actually added an interesting element to the holiday.
First rate! From the start you helped us to build an itinerary with our budget, found excellent flights from Toulouse. The support from Christine, who is a mine of information on Tanzania was a real plus. All went so smoothly with not a single hitch. Will definitely use Tribes again,
Rama at Sable Lodge was fantastic. As already mentioned the Selous experienced some tropical storms which caused flooding and a general mud bath. The courageous Rama took it in his stride. We were amazed that his safari vehicle and/or Rama's excellent driving skills get us thorough some very, very sticky patches. We saw all sorts of animals. This time no lions although Rama did his best to find us some. Not an easy task and not guaranteed after much rain.
At BB the activities and guides were excellent but special mention to our guide who took us for a tour of Kilindoni on our first day. He was so informative and interesting and we were delighted that he took us to an authentic little cafe where we had an African lunch.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Yes, Sable Mountain follows policies which appear to be environmentally friendly. Both SM and BB employ local staff.
We visited a Maasai village in Selous. The visit was low key and appeared to be sensitive to the villagers. We bought handicrafts from the Maasai ladies. We bought quite a bit from Kilindoni market too.