5 independent reviews for Big game safari in Tanzania

These full and frank independent reviews are from travelers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travelers below.


review 19 Feb 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We loved the Serengeti most.... and the way Albert, our guide, helped us discover it. Also, Kirirumu camp was fantastic.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Book stays in tented camps. These are much more exciting than lodges and extremely comfortable too.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We don't know enough about how everything is organised to answer this question. It probably depends on how strictly one views these issues. It certainly did not reduce environmental impact since we drove for hours every day to see the wildlife.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent, we loved every minute of it :)

review 24 Nov 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Watching a herd of wildebeest crossing the Mara River. It was a truly astonishing, primal sight.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take your time: don't rush from one animal to the next. It's the unexpected interactions between animals that can make the experience so special.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We did feel that local people and agencies were benefiting from this trip (as far as we can tell). I'm sure the revenue from our visits helps conservation. It's rather hard to argue that flying part way round the world then chugging around in a Land Cruiser is particularly environmentally friendly...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Superb: it exceeded our expectations. I wouldn't go as far as 'reborn', but it was a very special trip.

review 20 Aug 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All the amazing animals that we saw and the shear size of the open spaces. The time spent on Chumbe was so relaxing in on idyllic paradise Island & with it's eco ethics it is a place with a truly great purpose.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Kenyan Airlines and in particular their associated airline Precision Air are awful avoid them if you can or make sure you have loads of time between connecting flights. It's better to have several hours in an airport waiting than missing connecting flights &/or temporarily losing luggage etc!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Certainly the Chumbe Island part of the trip did all the above. The Safari part less so but tourism is a big industry in a very poor country and seeing all the animals and learning about their impact on the local people increases awareness of this countries difficulties. We did watch the animals in their natural habitat and obviously didn't interfere with them directly. I hope the presence of so many safari vehicles doesn’t have too great and influence in the way animals behave/ interact with each other (eg do loads of vehicles stop animals moving in a certain direction which might reduce the chance of a lion/cheetah etc hunting them?). Still this way is by far the best way to view all these amazing animals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic, a vacation of a lifetime (it was our honeymoon). Our travel agent, were really excellent.

review 21 Jul 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Difficult to say because every element was exciting, but I would say an early morning boat safari was especially memorable, simply because the lake was a haven for birds, mammals and reptiles. For example, we were surrounded by a wealth of birds, such as storks, kingfishers, eagles and beeaters. Everywhere we looked there were birds: on the water's edge, in the air, perched in trees. Crocodiles slipped into the water and there were pods of hippos, plus giraffes, elephants, buffalo and impala.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Aim to enjoy every part of the vacation, whether it is the flight in a prop plane and landing on an air strip with elephants and giraffes standing to on either side (or in the middle), or hundreds of hairy caterpillars in procession. Big or small, take it all in and enjoy watching and listening. The animals will be doing something different every time you see them and remember that it is a privilege to be in their environment. Don't worry about dressing up for travel or evening meals, and forget make-up and hair styling too. I would also recommend taking a travel washing line and biodegradable washing liquid and doing regular washes- the clothes dry quickly. And ladies, wear a sports bra...

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Many local people were able to benefit from the vacation, e.g. through employment (and importantly, use of local guides), local produce was used if possible, and one lodge provided clean drinking water for local people. Solar power was used extensively and some camps filtered and boiled water to avoid using bottled water. As far as I could tell (we had short stays at each location), bedding and towels were not changed daily, unlike in hotels.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

This was a superb vacation. It was my first experience of taking a safari and I am overwhelmed by the sights and sounds. Every aspect was great. Everyone we met was friendly and each location was stunning (we travelled to North and South Tanzania) and with breathtaking wildlife.

review 24 Aug 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Out of our party of 4, for me it was arriving at Mwagusi and seeing elephant, giraffes and abundant wildlife en route from airstrip to camp; for Toby it was seeing a leopard resting in a tree (Ruaha); for Phil it was watching a pride of lions going to a water hole to drink, and for Brittany it was Mwagusi in general. Also, fly camping in Selous was exciting!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If staying at Sable Mountain Lodge (which I wouldn't necessarily recommend, given its distance from the Rufiji River in the Selous), I would make this your first stop, then go on to Ruaha (Mwagusi was fabulous). We were slightly disappointed in Sable Mountain after having been at Mwagusi, but feel that had we gone to Sable Mountain first, we would have enjoyed Sable Mountain more. Mixing safari with beach was a very good combination. Sports bra is a must for safari (particularly route from Matambwe airstrip to Sable Mountain), and tsetse flies are almost unbearable here; not sure what you can do to stop them, (don't wear navy or black) but pre-warned is pre-armed! If you get the chance, fly camp in the Selous from Sable Mountain - a great experience!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, in as much as we were told that those working at the camps were, where possible, local people. At Chole Mjini they fund the local kindergarten and hospital with income raised through visitors. Sable Mountain encourage visits to a local Maasai villa where you buy jewellery made by the villagers. In terms of the environment, solar panels are used; low-energy light bulbs where possible. Chole was very environmentally aware, and food was sourced locally.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fabulous experience; Mwagusi was incomparable; Sable Mountain grew on us, and Chole Mjini was an enchanting place with magical treehouses, but one of our party felt that the 'romanticism' of Chole outweighed its charm... the rest of us adored the place! Very laid-back, relaxed and extremely enjoyable for kids (of all ages!).

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Unedited reviews from other travelers

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
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