Review by: Andy Rudd

Overall Impressions

For honeymoon we said "trip of a lifetime" and it was. Without doubt the best holiday that we have ever head, especially together! We fell in love with Africa and have already earmarked next year to come back.

Countries Visited

Kenya

Wonderful. Everyone was so friendly from the airport, to the wonderful people at Cottars and even a taxi driver who saw us slightly lost at Wilson Airport when a flight was changed and contacted Safari Link for us - he was just happy to help

Tanzania

A different vibe, Some beautiful countryside, chaotic towns and villages, third world roads and "interesting" driving. The people were very nice, but it didn't feel as warm as in Kenya, out of Baraza it felt everyone wanted to sell you something and you were very much an "out of place tourist"

Accommodation Visited

Tamarind Tree Hotel

Very Nice. Only here for a few hours, but clean and comfortable and friendly staff.

Cottar's 1920's Safari Camp

Absolutely outstanding. The most important thing were the people, who were lovely, especially our guide, John, and spotter, Sesini. At camp Tanna (camp manager for the week), Ken our helper and Francis and team were wonderful. Feels like we were making friends not being on holiday. The setting is stunning and everything was beautiful. The honeymoon tent was magical and we were made to feel so special and looked after so well, from small things like laundry, to our Ascari Masai guards at night and the luxurious "bush bath". There were so many activities, from Africa night; to Bush breakfast and Bush lunch; Masai village visit and; bush walk, that you always felt something new and exciting was happening. Food was incredible, especially considering you are in the middle of the Bush. Great variety with local and international dishes superbly executed by chef Bonnie. Genuinely we ate better here than at many posh restaurants in London - a really great surprise. Wines and spirits flowed, from sundowners to dinner wines and the obligatory honeymoon champagne on arrival - not that we were complaining! We are fairly easy eaters, however they asked right at the beginning if not only we had any dietary restrictions, but also things we did or did not enjoy and they would adapt and thought that was a next level of service! The conservancy and reserve are amazing. So, so many animals on every drive - lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, rhino, giraffe, hippo, eland, gazelle, bat marred fox, eagles & vultures and many more, our brilliant and knowledgeable guide who was so passionate about his job and giving us the best experience. Because it is a private reserve it was wonderfully quiet. There is NO question that we will be back - and soon!

Baraza Resort and Spa

The resort is beautiful, the design influence being Arabic and it was immaculately clean and maintained. It backs onto a beautiful white sandy beach and the Indian Ocean - stunning. There's a wonderful pool and plenty to keep you active should you desire, including kayaks and the most uneven pool table in the World! We were made to feel very welcome and service was very personal, they knew who we were and that we were on honeymoon. From welcome sparkling wine and a very warm welcome to a complimentary - and very good - massage and a romantic beachside lunch, we were brilliantly looked after. The team at Baraza were very attentive and we wanted for nothing, but it was, for us, a little more "formal" than we would normally like. That is a very small point and very particular to us as travellers. Food, we agreed, was "good". breakfast - very good buffet selection; lunch the same with lots of fresh seafood and vegetables and salads. Dinner was a little disappointing. It felt they were trying a little too hard, with 5 course menus that looked copied from a Michelin Star menu but executed just "ok". It was also a lot of food! That said there was good variety over the nights and entertainment on 4 of our 7 nights with musicians playing live. Wines were from South Africa and very drinkable. We took a guided trip to Stone Town, which was worthwhile but felt like we were being delivered to various sellers along the route, albeit no pressure. Our guide spent 4 hours with us and there was no rush and he shared his knowledge and answered questions patiently. We also went to The Rock restaurant, well worth it for the views, the seafood and the 20m boat ride to get there at high tide!

Staff Review

Thanks Donna, you nailed it. You understood our wants and likes and matched the trip to us perfectly - you have started our love affair with Africa! All the documentation and arrangements were thorough and effortless, we didn't really have to think about anything.