Holiday review by Ms. Catherine Beaumont
Name: Ms. Catherine Beaumont
Date of trip: 25/08/2018
Number of people: 2
The driver at Livingstone for a day, Kelvin, was excellent. White water rafting was thrilling. The trip to the top of the falls (done through Chundukwa Lodge) was expensive, at about $150 each, including lunch on Livingstone island and swimming in the Angels pool. Jane felt there was too much emphasis on the taking of photos there. We loved the safaris and the sundowners. Highlights were the pride of lions, seeing a leopard kill, the exotic birds, crossing the river each day. We found the walking safari thrilling and saw a hyena running from an elephant carcass. Seeing the elephants and hippos so close to the verandah at Kafunta. The elephants in the camps.
It exceeded our expectations, we were much closer to the animals than we realised we would be. We saw so many animals too, all the big 5, and loved the birds too and the overall peace of the national park. The travel arrangements were perfect, we were always met and expected.
Tracy took a lot of trouble over us, listened to our requests and helped us a lot just before we set off.
We liked James and David, our guides in the park. James has 19 years of experience and was knowledgeable and reasonably easy to understand. He was responsive to our requests to see the birds. We felt safe. Liked that they stayed with us almost the whole 7 days in 2 different lodges. We had John as a guide one day who anticipated a leopard kill which was excellent. Liked the way the evening drive was organised with sundowner in the middle, turning into a night drive afterwards.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Tracy told us about Pack with a purpose and we followed their suggestions. When we arrived at Kafunta Lodge, the manager Anel did not know about this programme. We were disappointed that she did not take the trouble to find out about it either. We gave our stationary and other gifts, sewing stuff etc to Petra, a German woman who knew local people and who was known to the lodge.
The sanitary arrangements exceeded our expectations and seemed responsible.
The places you stayed
Very well positioned. Animals very close. The staff were not quite as friendly as in the other two camps except for Dottie who was so helpful, as was the masseuse. We had an excellent room, view and meal up in the treehouse. Loved the swimming pool and hot spring.
It felt less well run. Anel was a bit casual about our arrangements.
The food was good but we felt there was no need for 2 starters.
Manager, TJ, was superb, he saw us off each day and was always there to welcome us back. He ate with us and made us feel safe when there were elephants in camp. He engaged with our questions and did a slow motion photoshoot of the sunset for me.
When we changed arrangements, he was responsive.
We loved the sky bed and outdoor shower in our room too. Note that only 2 of the rooms overlook the river but we overlooked the bush and enjoyed that.
Beautiful views, pool, lodge. Slightly tired and in need of refurbishment. we asked for the mattress to be changed as it was so soggy. Confusion about which drinks were included which made us feel it was a bit commercial. Enjoyed the kayaks and snorkelling.
Excellent food from their new cook, Heston. Took a while to meet the new managers, who were away at first. If the yoga retreat had been going on all the time we were there, it might have felt too much.