Review by: Emmet O'Brien

Countries Visited:
Tanzania & Uganda
Holiday Type:
4 28/06/2012

Overall Impressions

Meeting the Mountain Gorilla's in the Impenetrable Forest, up close & personal! The Wildebeest migration on the Serengeti. Cheetah hunt on the Serengeti plains

Countries Visited

Tanzania 5

The experience of Tanzania we had was amazing... Flying over the Serengeti we got a perspective on this vast country. Certainly the highlight from Tanzania was witnessing the Wildebeest migration, the sheer number of animals was astounding.

Uganda 4

Beautiful country, amazingly fertile with apparently unlimited agricultural wealth. Despite this poverty was evident in every township, though inroads are being made, in particular with high levels of education across the country. We felt safe wherever we went, and our driver was very knowledgable on every aspect of Ugandan culture, history and wildlife. This really is the 'Pearl of Africa', but be prepared as things don't always run to a 'Western' schedule!

Accommodation Visited

The Kampala Serena Hotel 5

Brief stay as we arrived quite late, due in part to some lost luggage. It appeared to be the best hotel in Kampala, great atmosphere on arrival as it was New Year's Eve. The breakfast was very nice too. High level of security was interesting to see.

Chimps Nest 5

Amazing place! Overlooking Kiblale Forrest, it had a quiet and peaceful atmosphere nestled deeply in the Forrest. The accomodation consisted of wooden hut with hot water provided by an external fire. It had a private verandah overlooking the Forrest where we think we almost saw a Forrest elephant. A great place to relax and unwind after a long road journey or trek.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp 5

Five star accomodation and service. Luxury tented accomodation with excellent facilities despite its remote location. The meals were delicious and personal service from the chef before and after was a nice touch. The day would finish off with a drink by the log camp fire. Unfortunately we weren't lucky enough to see the gorillas going though the camp, which happens occasionally...

Mihingo Lodge 4

Unfortunately we didn't get to see the best part of this lodge on our trip. Due to the circumstances we only spent a few hours at night and missed out on the views, which we know to be amazing. The lodge itself was very nice perched high up on a hilll overlooking the plains, it had a lovely bar and infinity pool. Our room was a luxury tent, which could be unzipped to open the room to the outside views. Our porch was opposite a watering hole frequented by many and would have been amazing to wake up to see, however we left before sunrise.

Arusha Coffee Lodge 5

Great spot to stop off at in Arusha, excellent service and accomodation. The dinner was excellent, the special treat was the coffee trolley after dessert!

The Plantation Lodge 5

A fantastic base to explore the caldera of Ngorongoro and lake Manyara. The lodge had a colonial feel to it, the facilities were again excellent and we looked forward to the meals every night after a long day out on safari.

Serengeti Under Canvas 5

Top class. With only one other couple there at the same time, we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. The personal service and exceptional attention to detail was only exceeded by the beautiful Serengeti plains. Our driver knew all the best places to watch the game and had an excellent level of knowledge from the birds to the plants and fauna. We had our own personal butler who would meet us with a cold towel and drink after each safari drive and look after us through each meal. All the camp staff were brilliant and we got to know each one. Our tent pitched deep within the Serengeti, surrounded by nothing but nature, was immersive.

The Oyster Bay 5

Luxury on a smaller and personal scale. The hotel was located in the nicest area of Dar es Salaam with sea views across the road. We enjoyed a beautiful meal hosted by the owner of the hotel and the one other guest, who happened to be the hotel architect. Certainly the Zen influences were apparent from the entrance to the rooms. A perfect place to relax before the flight home.

Staff Review 4

When booking this trip we looked at many different companies, we picked Mahlatini on the grounds that they provided luxury travel and they were Irish. Certainly the service we received on booking was excellent and flexible to our specific dates, we itinery included places that we would not have thought to have visited other wise and this added to our overall experience. The accomodation in all the places we stayed lived up to all our expectations. Unfortunately we ran into difficulties with some transfers, particularly in Uganda. We found dealing with Mahlatini to resolve our issues, in particular Jamie, to be pleasant at all times. Jamie was understanding and helpful at all times. Ultimately our issues with the honeymoon transfers were sorted out amicably. The one criticism we have is that the lines of communication were at some times very slow and we waited for weeks for some responses. We understand that the delay may ultimately have been due to correspondence with third party suppliers, which may not be too uncommon in this region of Africa.