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98% Client Satisfaction Rating
98% Client Satisfaction Rating
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Client Reviews

Holiday to Kenya & Tanzania

Annie, 28th June 2023
Overall Rating:

We had high expectations leading up to our first trip to Kenya and Tanzania, and so we were continually amazed at how Mahlatini gave us adventures that far exceeded our loftiest wishes. Our extraordinary Travel Expert, Donna Armstrong, organized this trip of a lifetime around our various wants and needs. She sent us on a journey that both delighted and astonished us in its excitement, its beauty, and its seamless progression. We are so glad we chose Mahlatini, and so grateful that Mahlatini gave us Donna! She gave us all the wonderful animals, the beautiful people, the fragrant spices, the vast skies, the vibrant textiles, the bustling markets and busy villages, the knowledgeable guides, the exhilarating connections... all of it. The experience was transformational, gorgeous, stunning, delicious, joyous, fun, amazing...and so very, very worthwhile. I would tell anyone who is thinking about traveling to East Africa: You must go, and go soon, and you must ask Donna Armstrong at Mahlatini to plan your trip for you.

Accommodation Visited

Tamarind Tree Hotel

“The Tamarind Tree Hotel was a positive starting point for our trip. We appreciated the kind service, the convenient location, the dining room offerings, and the quiet room. Our only complaints were an always-running toilet and a slippery shower area. Otherwise, we were happy there for a few days. We appreciated having Donna organize a guide for us from Tamarind Tree so that we could see some of Nairobi.”

Karen Blixen Camp

“What a lovely place to begin a safari in the Maasai Mara! The reception and dining area looked out over a lawn to the Mara River, where we watched hippos, giraffes, gazelles, and elephants on the opposite bank. Beautifully landscaped paths led to our private "tent" that was charming and comfortable, with a deck facing the river in front and an outdoor shower behind. The design theme felt a little over-the-top in places (e.g., Maasai escorts armed with spears take you to your tent in the dark), but overall, the Karen Blixen Camp was a lovely place to spend a few nights. Service was attentive and the staff was very kind. Menu options were limited and the sauce-forward cuisine was perhaps more suited to European than American preferences, but meals were fine, the tea was hot, and the Tusker was cold. The memory of hippos braying in the Mara at night is an irreplaceable souvenir.”

Mara Mara Tented Lodge

“Mara Mara Tented Lodge was an understated, peaceful camp atop a hill in the Serengeti where the service was attentive and low-key, the food was interesting and delicious, and the night sky was full of stars. We really enjoyed our stay here. Their talented chef, a lovely young man named James, created flavorful dishes for every meal and shared regional recipes in quiet conversations. The staff was quick to mix me up a strong ginger tea to help my bronchitis, and while I took an R&R morning in a shady spot by the pool, they kindly checked in on me. We appreciated the purified water cooler in the tent as well as the comfortable amenities. Mara Mara was an ideal starting point for our Serengeti game drives.”

Ngorongoro Farm House

“The Ngorongoro Farm House was very nice, but it felt too big after our stays at more intimate camps, and the distances between the main lodge and the cottages took a lot of energy for older travelers like us. The management moved us to a closer cottage for the second night, which was much appreciated. The overall service was very good, and the physical environment was beautiful, but the colonial-era vibe that may have appealed to some guests was a negative to us. Meals were OK but served in a somewhat chaotic buffet style. Our rating reflects our personal preferences, not the quality of the property. The location is perfect for visits to Ngorongoro Crater, and that's why we were there.”

Maramboi Tented Lodge

“Maramboi Tented Camp offered us views of wildebeests and zebras from our tent, the antics of monkeys in the trees overhead, and gorgeous sunsets over Lake Manyara. The accommodations were comfortable and convenient, including a spacious pool and patio area that was a great place for afternoon naps and evening sundowners. The service was excellent, and the kitchen offered a wide variety of foods served buffet style, with guest tables arranged on a beautifully designed veranda under the stars. We enjoyed our brief stay here.”

Breezes Beach Club & Spa

“Breezes Beach Club was a meticulously maintained, all-inclusive resort catering to an international clientele, many with families. The service was very good, our cabana room was comfortable enough, and the meals were fine. At the end of our safari, it was a pure pleasure to lie on a chaise and look out at the Indian Ocean. But the 90-minute drive from the airport across poorly maintained roads to Dongwe, where the resort is located, was tedious. And the throw-back colonial ambiance of the resort was off-putting. The property itself was very nice but not one we'd likely have chosen ourselves. But a family wanting a luxury gated beach resort experience on Zanzibar would be very happy here.”

Staff Review

“Donna Armstrong is pure gold. From the first contact I had with her, very early in our planning process, Donna showed great expertise, patience, creativity, and sensitivity to our needs, along with abundant grace and good humor. I described a vague idea; Donna created a magical experience. I interviewed many travel consultants when we first considered a trip to East Africa, and I'm so glad I trusted my instincts with Donna. She is an excellent communicator in every way and was responsive to every question and concern we had. From the initial stages of planning - and even to the day-to-day of the trip itself - we always knew Donna was there for us, paving the way for the most wonderful adventure we've ever taken. She really does think of everything, and then some. If only we could hire Donna to plan every aspect of our lives! Mahlatini is very fortunate to have Donna among its Travel Experts. She will always have our admiration and gratitude for making a dream come true.”

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