Reviews of Ndhovu Safari Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Sailing with the hippos'
Superbly set on the south bank of the Okavango this tented lodge is a must to stay at. From the luxury tented accommodation to the sight of the hippos in mid-stream accompanied by the sight and sounds of numerous different birds this could be called idyllic. Our tent was unusual as it was the only one set on a raft moored to the riverbank! Different if slightly cramped but OK for all that.
Took excellent trip into Mahango game park the next morning guided by our host who was most entertaining and informative followed by an afternoon river "sundowner" cruise accompanied by another excellent boatman/guide.
Meals were communal and very good with a good mixture of nationalities from the tents and nearby campsite joining in.
Reccomended for anyone travelling into/from Caprivi/Botswana
Ndhovu is relaxed even easy-going and this is obviously how Horst, the newish owner, would like it. (Erica and Lee were there but coming to the end of a holiday cum work stay.) Communal eating with the staff was very much the house style and we found Horst's company and conversation entertaining and informative.
His river trips and a morning's game drive were fascinating; he is another of those excellent guides, of whom our experience in Namibia was the majority, whose freshness and enthusiasm helped our understanding of the environment and the wild life and, more significantly, made us feel that our visit and our anxiety to know mattered to him.
The organisation is a little run down; the tent accommodation has been there a long time and gives a rather dowdy than 'outback' (cf Nhoma) appearance and the food was plain and not always enough. One of those conflicts that we found on more than one occasion in Namibia - how to retain the original sense of adventure and informality without alienating visitors whose expectations had moved on.
Our preference is very much for the former (see our comments on Nhoma) and recognise that there is a difficult balance to be maintained here. There might just be a temptation on the part of lodge owners to say 'well, this is what we do so this is what you get.' THis is not so much a criticism as a query, perhaps a suggestion for the future of the lodge.
But we liked it; hippos in the garden, carmine bee-eaters and all. Wonderful birds. (An interesting contrast with Lianshulu where we were always escorted to dinner after dark in case of marauding elephant or hippo. Here, Charlie the hippo grazes on the grass outside the tents at night, we and he unconcerned.)
Ndhovu Safari Lodge review
As an overnight stay this was fine. A trip into Mahungu Park was unexpectedly good and enjoyable. The main owners were away and another couple were looking after the place for them. This may have accounted for the food being rather poor!Read more about the whole safari
We stayed 4 nights and were very satisfied. Horst and his staff were very friendly and helpful.
The location is good and much time can be spent simply sitting on the deck watching activities by the river.
Floating tent at Ndhovu
Offered tent on floating platform we accepted. Contained chemical toilet seemed ok - we were first to use this accom.
Bank to platform rather steep could have done with better steps - sighted close to swimming pool filter and pump noisy at times.
Try some other lodge first!
Getting thru the 5km sand road to the lodge was a challenge in our Toyota Corolla. I had to drive off road thru bushes to avoid getting stuck in the deeper sand - not a welcome experience for a middle aged woman and her 13 yr old grandaughter. When we left I was anxious about getting a puncture but luckily we managed to get thru unscathed.
The camp itself is at a spectatular location, with tents set up near the river edge. The tents are adequately furnished and plenty of blankets kept us warm. A hippo island mid-river kept us entertained for hours with a herd of 12+ hippos.
At our arrival the staff interns (2) and permanent staff (1) told us they had been working there 3 weeks and 1 month respectively and were soon leaving. They were young people, 1 German woman, a Brazilian and So. African man, pleasant but not knowlegable at all about the area or animals. The SA man, who drove the game drive truck, had animal and bird guide books for a reference when asked questions.
The camp owner appeared at dinner as a bon vivant, sitting and entertaining a small table of guests. Food was simple but adequate and good. One definately got a feeling from the owner of the old days of white supremacy. The staff appeared subdued and submissive rather than open and interactive, as we'd become accustomed to at all other camps.
The 3 activities included the option of a guided tour of the local village and this was fascinating. The guide lived in one of the buildings and we met his grandmother and some school children. This was the highlight of our 2 night stay!
You could easily pass on the "game drive" and see the few animals elsewhere with a more experienced guide. We didn't do the hippo island boat trip because the interns said that the day before we came a client bribed the boat driver to actually land on the island. This was to take photo's at closer range. There were a dozen huge hippos and their calves on the island at the time. The interns felt that this was very dangerous and I agreed - so decided to not do that activity.
Great lodge in nice location next to the rive
Very friendly staff at this great lodge next to the Okavango river. You can spend hours just watching the hippos in the river (and around the tents at night!).
Staff were keen to help and the owner was very welcoming and helpful.
Definitely do the village trip with one of the local staff. It was done in a very thoughtful way - you didn't feel you were intruding but learned a lot about the local way of life. We were really pleased we did it.
Would recommend as a place to stop off at for a couple of days - didn't try the game viewing in the local park as we had come from Etosha