Review by: Julie Honse and Brian Behrens

Countries Visited:
Tanzania & Uganda
Holiday Type:
5 07/12/2012

Overall Impressions

The lodges and tented camps that we stayed at were all fantastic! Uganda: Our driver Kenan was wonderful! We absolutely loved Boma Guest House and the staff everywhere. Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking was incredible! Tanzania - Mainland: The Serena Lodges were beautiful, the meals were great. Again, another lucky score with our driver Tumaini from Predators--and though we booked a group tour for safari - no one else booked so we were lucky to have a private safari after all! Wonderful to have swimming pools at most lodges since it was so hot. All of the game viewing was breathtaking! Tanzania - Zanzibar: Pongwe Beach Resort and the staff (and definitely Cara!) were all so welcoming and helpful and made our trip a dream ending. We'd stay at this place for another month if we could have! One of our favorite things was actually getting to tour the Zanzibar Animals Affection Society ( that Cara turned us on to. Since we run a dog rescue in Oregon and have also served on the board of a farm animal sanctuary for a couple of years now, getting to tour an animal sanctuary for domesticated animals (donkeys, cows, goats, dogs and cats) was very near and dear to our hearts. As a result, we are now working with them and holding a holiday fundraiser for them to raise money and purchase medicines for the animals to ship to them. We really admire what they are doing!

Countries Visited

Tanzania 4

We thought the animals were incredible. We visited Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. All the parks were filled with beautiful wildlife and our driver/guide was very knowledgeable and taught us a lot. We were there during the drought season so everything was very brown and dusty and arid, but it sounds like it changes drastically in the wet season. The people--some were friendly and others were more expectant of a hand-out. We are very glad we visited Tanzania overall, though!

Uganda 5

Our favorite people, our favorite place we've ever been. Absolutely beautiful scenery everywhere you look (outside the cities)--so green and lush and pretty. We want to go back to Uganda as many times as we can in our life--we're glad we went now so that we have decades more to go visit again!

Accommodation Visited

The Boma Entebbe 5

Beautiful grounds, kind and helpful staff, nice pool and great menu! The best was getting to pal around the owner's dog, Foopie! We hope to stay here again in the future.

Lake View Resort Hotel 3

A bit "institutional" in feeling--but I'm sure it was the nicest option for a long way around--just a stopping point and the rooms were clean and the beds comfortable. Food was not wonderful - but the staff was friendly.

Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp 5

Fantastic! We adored the staff (Short Moses and Tall Moses!) and it was such a great location. Tents were spacious and clean, bathrooms were nicer than I'd expect in the forest. Meals were great. Definitely would come back to this camp!

Kibale Safari Lodge 5

Wonderful camp - a little bit swanky for a tented camp, we thought. Also located near to the Bigodi Wetlands nature walk as well as the chimpanzee trekking area--just a 5 minute drive either way. The food here was delicious and the staff again, was so welcoming!

The Boma Entebbe 5

See above- we loved this little B & B!

Lake Duluti Serena Hotel 5

Beautiful setting, very nice rooms! Helpful staff--just a quick stay. We felt like we were in a Swiss chalet--very unique and pretty.

Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge 5

Our favorite of the Serena Lodges we stayed in - mainly because it felt more intimate and the staff was definitely the most friendly! Beautiful views, great pool and bar--the rooms were lovely. The meals were wonderful and very vegetarian-friendly!

Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge 5

Another beautiful lodge--the cool factor here for us was the fact that the animals roamed freely around the grounds. We were escorted by the guard back to our room in the dark one night and he told us he could show us a surprise if we let him onto our deck, which we did--he shined his flashlight right onto an elephant eating the tree just off of our deck! It was incredible to sit in the dark out there and listen to lions and hippos roar and hear the tree being demolished by the elephant right in front of us.

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge 4

Very crowded - but still very nice. This felt more like a "regular" hotel being all in one building--but the views were definitely breathtaking.

Pongwe Beach Hotel 5

In my top 10 places to stay of all time...GREAT bungalows, amazingly nice staff, a perfect beach...the chef was incredible with all of his custom vegetarian creations for us each day!

Zanzibar Palace Hotel 5

Robert, the manager, was wonderful - great staff, great location--loved the Rosewood Room. We really enjoyed our stay here!

Staff Review 5

Jamie and the team were fabulous to work with from start to finish! From initial contact, discussing our travel budget and general interests, he was able to come up with the most perfect trip of a lifetime we could have wished for! Jamie was so incredibly helpful and very responsive via email and phone all the way through the year and a half of our planning with him. He patiently answered all of our questions. There were just a couple of times during the trip where we accidentally missed our driver at pick up points--a quick call back to Jamie and all was rectified very quickly and without trouble. We'd recommend Mahlatini to anyone wanting to visit Africa--they know their stuff and the service is top notch!