Reviews of Halali Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Halali Restcamp review
We had the best sleep of our holiday here - the rooms have fabulous airconditioning and the beds are super comfy. But what miserable recpetion staff. Didn't bother to give us details on breakfast and check-out times so that when we returned at 9 from our early morning drive - as one would expect to do - we were surprised - and hungry to find the restaurant closed.
Seems as if the restaurant hours and the likelihood of people being on safari during those hours hasn't been thought out. It was a shame because whilst they have obviously put a lot of thought into the accommodation, the attitude of those working there does not seem to be any different from what you would expect in a backpackers hostel.
Lovely waterhole. Could have done with 2 nights here.
Halali Restcamp review
After Ongava this was disapointing. The bungalow was air conditioned and comfortable but could have been in suburbia. The restaurant was not good with pretty mediocre food. The waterhole , which had a fabulous location produced no game morning or evening - possibly due to the large number of noisy, smoking, flash photography people.
I think it is worth emphasising that the Rest camps are in no way comparable to the private lodges
"Hell - ali" restcamp
This was the low point of the holiday. What a contrast to everywhere else we stayed, especially Etendeka.
Rude, surly and unfriendly service - should they be working in a service industry?
Shop was poorly stocked. Restaurant baking hot (although you could eat outside)
Breakfast was abysmal -poor choice and poor quality, tinned fruit cocktail, bread (dry from the atmosphere) no toaster and not even marmalade or jam and they made us pay $12 for it although our voucher stated we had B&B. Didn't fancy anything cooked.
Made to pay $500 room deposit in case we stole anything or trashed the room - what sort of welcome is that?
Room had been very nicely refurbed and was very clean, lovely bedlinen.
Suggest Expert Africe arrange some form of" bond" should any of their guests "trash" the room - an event that I believe will never happen. It would be better to bring your own packed food that eat here.
Expert Africa comments
Expert Africa discussed the recent addition of a refundable N$500 deposit that is now required when staying at any of the restcamps within Etosha National Park. Although the deposit is here to stay, Expert Africa will now be making all their travellers aware of this before they depart on their holiday so that visitors to the restcamps are prepared for the deposit before they arrive.
The Namibia Wildlife Resorts organisation (NWR) is aware that their service and food standards are in need of quite a serious overhaul. Their priority was to finish their scheduled refurbishments by November. This has been completed and now the staff training has begun.
A different view
Halali, of course, offers a view of wild life rather different from the one available farther west. And it might just be worth staying here for that reason. The accommodation, recently refurbished, too, is excellent and the service here, if anything, worse than at Okaukuejo.
We stood in a queue at the bar in the evening while waiters were served before us (they, too, used the same facility) only to be told, when we reached its head, that they couldn't serve us because they had run out of glasses. Tempers became pretty frayed. One tour operator had a public row with the restaurant manager - 'if you charge premium prices you must deliver premium service'. We had some sympathy with that.
A waitress who might or might not serve you - she certainly wouldn't expect to supply you with cutlery - could never be found to give you a bill; if you wrested her from the kitchen, she would have to go to a madame sitting in a booth to get the bill, to bring it to you, to take it back to madame, to grope for change, to take it to madame .... You had to start this process early - we were committed to a night drive at 8.00 p.m. and asked for a bill at 7.30 p.m. Tempting providence. We were just lucky - I fancy there are still some folk waiting even now to pay - or, more likely, they've sneaked off without paying out of sheer frustration.
The following morning, the same waitress is listlessly mopping the floor; madame objects to being invited to give us a bill direct. Systems, procedure, management .... dire. And all those lovely rooms. The waterhole was disappointing, too, though we do remember that wild animals are exactly that and you take your choice; and we did come across eight lions sitting by the rpoadside on our way out.
Halali Restcamp review
rooms excellent, looked all brand newRead more about the whole safari
Halali Restcamp review
This is by far the best cap in Etosha as little has been done to it other than adding shade to the waterhole viewing area and refurbishing the rooms
The night drives are over-priced and are frankly terrible. The guides are not properly trained and give inaccurate or downright wrong information. The drives are run on the cheap with the driver trying to operate the spotlight as well as drive which doesnt work well
lovely waterhole at halali restcamp
We were slightly anxious about this venue as we had been informed that it would be basic, but we were very pleasantly surprised. Our chalet was very clean and spacious, the food, in the school dining room atmosphere, was fine and we had a lovely few hours by the waterhole, which is set away from the rooms, watching elephant.
We only stayed one night and left early in the morning so did not really have a chance to use facilities etc.
Sound accommodation, great waterhole
After one or two comments we had heard at Ongava we were slightly cautious of what to expect here and at Okaukuejo: however, in both cases, we were pleasantly surprised.
The accommodation at Halali is better than adequate and the location is prime - we used it as a base to explore a significant proportion of the eastern end of Etosha going as far round as Tsumcor (which is well worth the trek). Of course, Halali's strongest point is the waterhole which is brilliant: we were fortunate enough to see myriad elephants and five black rhinos there as well as a wide range of herbivores.
We did not do any organised activities out of Halali but drove ourselves and simply enjoyed the waterhole at the camp.
In the context of exploring the east, from our brief stop there we'd be a little cautious of Namutoni (which we note you didn't recommend) where we were unimpressed by the waterhole.
Halali Restcamp review
We had decided to stay at Halali because we believed that it would be quieter than Okaukuejo rest camp. This was the case but in fact the whole park was so quiet in comparison to the Kruger Park that we needn't have worried. Halali camp felt spacious and there was plenty of birdlife in camp, while the floodlit waterhole was in a lovely setting 200m from the main camping area but less busy with animal visitors than Okaukuejo.
My only criticism with this camp would be with the catering facilities - the lighting in the dining room was so bright at dinner in the evening that it felt like a school canteen and the air conditioning was ineffective making life very uncomfortable. Also the shop had minimal goods and in order to self cater (even for sandwiches) one needed to bring food into the park and could not rely on buying anything on site.
Small is not necessarily better
Halali is still undergoing refurbishment - which seems to be dragging on - the swimming pool still wasn't filled when we arrived [and apparently has been like that for months]. The staff were slightly more friendly than those at Okaukuejo but it depended on who you saw and whether they thought they'd get a tip.
Our villa was refurbished but had an ant problem - which we solved ourselves. It was quite nicely decorated and the camp was really quiet, which was lovely. The main room of the villa got very hot in the day and didn't really cool down at night but the bedrooms were air conditioned which made sleeping comfortable.
Halali's restaurant was boiling, maybe the aircon was broken both nights we were there but it was certainly very uncomfortable to sit in for long - most people ate outside [luckily there are few mosquitoes at this time of year]. No explanation or guidance was given. The food is pretty much the same as at Okaukuejo but there's less variety and it's not so well done. Some of the bread and desserts were stale and they seemed to run out of things a lot. The buffet was the same price as at Okaukuejo which seemed quite cheeky when the quality and quantity was worse.
We did take the guided night drive from Halali [as you can't go outside the gates after sunset alone]. Our guide tried hard to find animals but we were unlucky and saw nothing. Others had seen leopards, cheetah etc so it was quite disappointing but that's the luck of the draw. We saw nothing at the camp's waterhole although we visited it a few times, again this is just down to luck.
Overall this is a useful camp to stay in as it's in the middle of the park but the facilities still need to be improved [particularly the restaurant] and the staff need to work on their social skills.