Holiday review by J Nash
Name: J Nash
Date of trip: 26/07/2017
Number of people: 2
The highlights for us were the close proximity to lion and elephant. We loved watching the baboons in the marula trees and the elephants below them rushing for the marula fruits that the baboons dropped. We watched a pair of lions mating. Another particularly memorable experience was watching a circle of about 100 crocs around a dead hippo and watching the biggest crocs actually climb on top of the hippo. The flights in the small planes were memorable - an airstrip in the bush is quite a sight. The pilots all inspired confidence and Paul (the Irish pilot) was completely unfazed when our youngest was airsick in his little plane, and insisted on taking the sick bag off our hands. A tour of the spice gardens on Zanzibar was interesting. An avid Queen fan, my husband was delighted to come across the house in Stone Town where Freddie Mercury was born!
We'd wanted a family 'holiday of a lifetime', and it certainly was! We combined a safari experience in Selous with the sights of Zanzibar. We came away with thousands of photos and plenty of memories.
After my initial conversation with Amanda and discussion of our budget and wishlist, we worked out an itinerary with Amanda and Sinead, which suited us perfectly and gave us a diverse holiday experience.
Our guide at Selous Wilderness Camp, Anton, was knowledgeable, friendly and good-humoured. We felt safe in his hands, despite being incredibly close at time to hippos and elephants. His ability to manoeuvre around pot holes in the road while simultaneously spotting game was incredible!
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
It's good to know that our impact on the environment was sensitively managed, and some of the cost of our holiday was ploughed back locally. We were pleased to donate some gifts to the local school, and some unwanted clothes to the Fumba community before we left Tanzania.
The places you stayed
Nyerere National Park (Selous)
We were lucky enough to have the camp to ourselves. All the staff looked after us tremendously well, and took a shine to the boys (13 and 11). Knowledgeable and friendly, Anton looked after us on our safaris, bush walk and excursion to Mlokwa village. Always welcoming and friendly, Gustavo and Sifuni served all our food and drinks; we never met the two chefs but their food was plentiful and delicious. The boatman and the askaris were equally friendly. We slept well in the attractive safari-style tent bedroom, and enjoyed listening to the noisy bushbabies above us and hippo in the river. The only downside for the boys was that the pool was out of action, after recent flooding. The approach to the camp (via the river) on the makeshift 'bridge' was interesting - it took some concentration but we didn't fall in! There wasn't always enough water for the 4 of us to shower but it didn't detract from the holiday.
Attractive and stylish hotel. A welcome haven in busy Stone Town. We enjoyed the rooftop terrace for relaxing with good food and cocktails. They boys (13 and 11) enjoyed the roof top pool.
Lovely setting, friendly staff and tasty food. A great place to relax after the safari. The snorkelling excursion was a fun experience and staffed by a great crew (who looked after our youngest very well when he was unwell) but we thought the trip pricey (US$50 per person) and the sights less impressive than we had expected.