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What our clients are saying about us and our trips...

With web review sites being all the rage these days, it can be a little difficult to sift through the debris to actually find out what a place or hotel is like. From our point of view, having stayed in 99% of the hotels and safari lodges we sell (and quite a few we don't), we think that these reviews can be very misleading as it is impossible to know what the reviewer likes, was looking for, paid etc. etc. In our opinion our job is to find out what you like and match the correct product to you...see how we have done. (please note that ALL of the reviews we feature are 100% real and unedited. If you would like to speak to any of our past clients please let us know)

Furthermore, we have started to gather customer reviews through Trustpilot so please take a look at our page on there to see how we are doing! Trustpilot Reviews >>

Hi Gemma

The trip went well and all flights connected with the minimum of delay. The safari was first class! The lodge did there best to make living under canvas as comfortable as possible and we saw lots of animals, including the big 5 of the game drives. The guide provided was also very knowledgeable and a first class driver.

The accommodation was all first class possibly with the exception of Stone Town. Whilst Jafferji House was probably very authentic and was certainly centrally located, it was really only a glorified bed & breakfast. I appreciate we are judging by European standards but it was very dark, had poor and dated plumbing and didn’t live up to the general class of accommodation of the other venues we stayed at.

Matemwe Lodge was a real treat and the last 4 days in the retreat was ultimate luxury. All the staff were very friendly and the manager went out of his way every day to check that everything was OK. I had a minor medical issue with Kidney stones and he personally went into Stone Town and made sure that he obtained the pain killers that I desperately needed.

I can strongly recommend both the places that we stayed at and the choice provided by yourselves and would have no trouble recommending your services to others.

My wife took hundred’s of photographs which she will enter into a dedicated album but I have attached just a few that I took on my telephone.

Once again many thanks for putting together such a memorable itinerary!



Andy and Linda


What a fantastic trip of a life time, everything was perfect from our first conversation with Gemma who managed to fulfil all our wishes and awkward ask's. No request was too large for Gemma to sort for us, from fear of small planes to missed departure.

We managed to see wilder beast migration, a kill and big 4 (no rhino), with the help of our friendly and experienced guides in both Naibor and Kicheche camps in Kenya.The camps were authentic and luxurious at the same time.

Our adventurous week on safari was followed by a beautiful and relaxing week in Zanzibar.

We cant recommend Gemma at The Africa Specialists enough. Best trip ever.

Lisa and Rob


Lisa and Rob

Hi Gemma,

Thank you very much for your email. Apologies I didn't reply earlier, we had very spotty internet in Zanzibar, and we just got back :)

Thank you for all the help, we enjoyed Siwandu very much, it was the highlight of our trip!!

Many thanks again,


Youssef and Randa

Hi Nick

Thank you I did get home safely on Monday.

The gorilla trekking was amazing and Lucky was very helpful. The 5 Volcanoes hotel was lovely and the staff were exceptionally helpful. What was really nice is that after the gorilla trekking you are able to go back to your room and have a shower and then pack. You also have a lovely lunch before you leave.

A very nice touch




Dear Gemma and Nick,

A massive thank you for organising our holiday of a lifetime!

Journey over there went like clockwork, nice short transfer time that was fine due to planes both being on time! Donald was our guide and met us at the airport... very professional and knowledgeable and we had a great time with him for the first 4 days.

Tarangire Treetops was absolutely lovely... out of this world. Elephants that need shooing away so you can get to your rooms... rooms were exquisite and food to die for! No idea how they get showers that powerful in the middle of nowhere. Was a bit of a journey at the ends of each day but worth it. Yohana was our butler and he made our stay... a charming man. Two day game drive... all fantastic... animals a plenty, lion that had just killed a zebra, leopards, elephants, zebras, giraffes, too many to mention... and very beautiful birds.

The Ngorongoro Sopa - good drive up there and amazing views like I have never ever seen before. It blew us all away. Stopped at the viewing point, eldest daughter managed to lob her phone over the railings as she took a photo..... super Dad to the rescue, only a short climb down to get it! The view and external appearance of the Sopa Lodge was amazing, rooms rather more basic and 'crossroads'! Though if we had gone there first, we would not have thought any such thing... it was simply that Tree Tops was ridiculously nice! The majority of staff were good, some grumpies..... again this would not have been so obvious had we not just come from Tree Tops. The game drive the next morning was an early start and another amazing time. Different terrain, colours and slightly different animals, all amazing though. Hyenas became a bit of a favourite for my husband and hippos for the rest of us.

Coastal Flight to Serengeti and Lemala Kuria Hills... rather windy by the time we got on... consequently an hour of torture in the biscuit tin! Still... we quickly moved on having been greeted with tea and cookies by Miraji, our new guide. Even on the 2 hour game drive back to camp, we had seen a cheetah, leopard, lions and more! Again, very different scenery.... so much greener and wetter... but all breath takingly stunning.

Lemala Kuria Hills - we thought tree tops could not be topped but this was a phenomenal place too. The staff were charming and helpful, food delicious and the 'tents' were not tents as I had imagined at all!!! Here, we were accompanied at night to shoo away Buffalo and the hyenas, being lulled to sleep by yet more animals... all rather unimaginable, now we are back in Surbiton.

Two and a half more days of fantastic animals and great fun with Miraji... he tolerated us singing 'when I was a young warthog' (from the Lion king...hideously predictable!) every time we saw a warthog, he searched hard to find the leopard cubs for Lizzie and sang spider man to Megan every time we saw the red and blue lizard that she called The spider man Lizard! A thoroughly nice man.... . He came and sat with David at night to go through his photos and rename all the birds they saw (up to 100 different ones) as we knew we would struggle once home. He thought nothing of throwing us around in the jeep (to our great amusement) to get us to The River Crossing.... a truly breath taking sight... unfortunately final score was: Wilde beast 3000 - Crocs 3 (did look at all three girls sitting with tears rolling down their cheeks at this sight, sad though at the same time, understanding this is the harsher reality of the animals life here). We later saw a cheetah kill a baby Thomsons Gazelle.

Coastal flight home was easier weather and the two trips were much much better and I even glanced out of the window on a couple of occasions! We all felt very sad and emotional to be leaving.

All in all, we completely agreed... our favourite holiday of all time (and possibly always will be) that humbled and amazed us all at the same time. I would recommend it to anyone and was glad we pushed the boat out and stayed in the extra special places. A massive thank you to you all for your time and patience getting it just right for us, we massively appreciated it.

Thank you!


Emma and family

Hi nick,

Safari was wonderful. Lake manze was better than anything we could have imagined. The staff were great and really accommodating. I would 100% recommend it to others

Mchanga was nice to have a break from everything. Marco was a bit... Marco at times but it was still a positive experience. Other positives about mchanga were the food (delicious) and the access to the beach. Also the option to sit outdoors for dinner when requested.

There was a power cut after a storm and Marco told all the guests it was a national state of emergency and the south of the island had completely flooded. That was a complete lie and I suppose a way to make us not complain that our roof had leaked and room flooded! I wouldn't recommend anyone stays there in the rainy season as it seems their rooms leak quite a lot!

Seyyida was absolutely fine for our short 2 nights there.

Craig and Pav

Pav and Craig

Hello Nick,

Just a few lines to thank you for organising a wonderful holiday - everything ran like clockwork!

Lovely camps with gentle kind staff and very knowledge guides.

The hotel Matlai - what can I say - the tide going out was quite a novelty for me - don't think I have seen it for about 30 years!

Once again many thanks,

Asante sana.


Rose and Jacqui

Hi Nick

Some quick feedback our East Africa trip.

The visit to the tea garden was a lovely way to start the trip and ease us into the holiday. The lunch was really good. The next day was really busy but very doable and a wonderful experience especially to see the baby elephants.

All of our flights with Coastal were very good and very professional.

The Kimondo camp was out of this world. Especially the location and our guide who found all sorts of game for us. The staff went out of their way to make our stay as pleasant as possible.The only negative point here was the vegetarian meals that were served. On the final evening only rice and a veg were served.

The Highlands Camp is absolutely stunning. One of the nicest places I have ever stayed at. The rooms and the log fires were fantastic. But once again the vegetarian meals served in the evening were lacking some imagination.

The Z Hotel was lovely and the location was very nice

Hope this helps. Thanks,


Alison & Group

Hi Gemma,

We had a great time and we were very happy with the program you created for us!

Siwandu was perfect, ! A place we couldn't had afford if we had to pay full price and we wouldn't have found it our self.

Thank you Gemma!


Jon and Tale

Hi Gemma,

We had an absolutely amazing time. Thank you so much for organising the trip for us – everything went so smoothly!!

We managed to see all of the big 5 and the Migration Camp was a real highlight of the trip. The service was outstanding and the quality of the tented accommodation was unreal considering where we were!!

Kono Kono was an ideal location with an amazing beach however we did find the service to be a little lacklustre with some room for improvement.

We both had the best time and are now thoroughly depressed to be back in the UK and back at work. We may be in touch sooner rather than later to plan our next trip to Africa so thanks again for all of your help.

Kind regards,


Chris and Ceri