Reviews of Hakusembe Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Has great potential...
On reaching the lodge we saw a lovely river frontage, well kept gardens, pleasant bar and patio area. We were disappointed to find that our individual huts, looked good on the outside , but were not prepared fpr our arrival! We opened the doors to find numerous large wasps inside, the insect door netting had holes , the rear bathroom window had been left open, & the manager had to spray our rooms heavily, so it was some time before we could enter our rooms.
Staff seemed casual, but some made an effort eventually! However the river boat guide Michael was very courteous & knowledgeable.
Vegetarian meals promised but did not materialise. Food not great.
This lodge has the potential to be great, but dark rooms need updating , more care with food & general running of the place.
Very relaxing stop-over location
Pleasantly surprised by the location and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to relax, with a view.
Rooms basic but comfortable.
Dining room a little crowded for buffet eating but food was nice. Entertaining boat trip on the river - this was our first and retrospectively least exciting, but a pleasant introduction to river life.
Sandy roads to the camp a little deep at times.
Hakusembe Lodge review
The lodge was still recovering from the floods in May. However other than the owners dog mess that was everywhere we had a great stay.
The people were very helpful particularly in the morning as we had to renegotiate a difficult route as a bridge had been washed away.
Ngandu Safari Lodge Rundu **** note change
Considering this was our 3rd address in Rundu due to flooding , we were happy for 1 night, even with a barbed wire fence interrupting our view over the flooded river Kavango to Angola!Read more about the whole trip
Expert Africa comments
Due to flooding, we had to arrange for these travellers to be moved from Hakusembe River Lodge to Ngandu Safari Lodge.
Well appointed chalets in well tended (but incongruously watered green) gardens. Kettle and fridge supplied but bring your own supplies. Dinner was simple and well cooked and well presented, but not the individually prepared cordon bleu standard advertised. On the other hand, breakfast was the best we had.
Activities were limited to river cruises which gave an interesting insight into Angola. A second day would have been difficult to occupy. Useful overnight stop between Caprivi and Etosha.
all the marks I have awarded here are excellent but my overall score is good...I wonder why? we had genuinely been trying to get a twin bedded room. there was a bit of confusion as to which chalet we would get...the one we got was extremely nice but this was one of the rare instances when our twin bedded strategy did not work well...large double plus small extra! this gets one of my rare excellent for food scores...because it was the best food and best cooked kudu I had in any of this type of lodge. a bit like Ndhovu, I'm not convinced this was an exciting place to stay...but certainly relaxing with a nice deck over the river.Read more about the whole trip
Hakusembe Lodge review
We were met on arrival by the very friendly, lovable and boisterous Labrador, Sally, and Eddie (the deputy manager, we believe). We loved Hakusembe, and would highly recommend it, but there were some areas where we were disappointed.
We were given the two –tier 'honeymoon chalet' which also serves as the owners' residence when on site. This is the problem. The downstairs living room and upstairs bedroom with balcony overlooking the river were lovely but the kitchen looked as if someone had just abandoned it (half used washing-up liquid, fridge not clean) and the bathroom had part used cakes of soap and the owners' wash puff hanging in the shower. The under-sink cupboard was full of their toiletries – drawers in the living room contained papers left behind. It felt a bit like camping out in someone's home which had been grudgingly lent to us. We'd have been so disappointed if we'd been on honeymoon; as it was we just felt a bit uncomfortable.
The grounds were very pretty and other accommodation all looked good, despite the fact there was still some post-flood clearing up ongoing- this appeared to be carried out to a very high standard, despite Sally's attempts to add paw-prints in the cement!
Food was good, but despite them knowing about my cheese allergy I was told 'tonight you'll enjoy Steak Cordon Bleu' – I don't think so – in the event a plain steak was provided – however this was what they'd served me for lunch too. Perhaps because so many people only stay one night there seemed to be little attempt to co-ordinate meals.
Evening champagne cruises were excellent (free if staying more than one night) and the lunch time boat trip with food cooked on the boat is very highly recommended – it's a shame so many people only stay 1 night and miss the opportunity to do this; seeing life (human and animal) on the river was fantastic. We saw excellent wildlife, including Otters, and loads of great birds, and learnt a lot about how people in this area (in both countries) live.
Thanks to Eddie for everything, including returning our room key to Ghaub.
Hakusembe Lodge review
Were a bit worried by the very rushed "hello, here's your room" welcome at Hakusembe, but this was a place that really grew on us.
The room was quite cramped for four (hence the average rating), but had all we needed. The restaurant was small and cosy and the food was good - it was nice to be able to serve our own vegetables.
The veiws along the river and across into Angola are amazing and the sunset river cruise with Eddy, with multiple sightings of crocodiles, was just wonderful. Eddy also kindly arranged for us to a visit a local school at our request, which was really interesting, and we also visited a local camp which had been set up to accommodate people who lost their homes in floods earlier this year.
We were also pleasantly surprised to find that our (very) dirty car had been washed for us!
Would not return here
An adequate place to stop overnight, but we were rather put off by the attitude of the manager who clearly sees visitors as a licence to print money. One example was the extortionate price of bottled water in a place where you were advised not to drink the tap water. The barman also boasted in Afrkaans to local visitors that he'd managed to sell the foreigners the most expensive beer in the bar.
When we arrived for dinner, they had clearly forgotten about us and taken a booking from a large party at the nearby campsite. Eventually they had to lay a table for us in the bar.
We enjoyed the sunset cruise
Expert Africa comments
Expert Africa is sorry to hear that these travellers were dissapointed and felt that Hakusembe Lodge overcharge for their extras such as drinks. Hakusembe Lodge assures us that this is not the case, and are sorry that the guests felt this way. The lodge apologises for the oversight in dinner arrangements during these guests stay.
We'll be keeping a close eye on any further reviews of this lodge.
A nice riverside lodge with good food
Hakusembe had been flooded earlier this year, and we noticed that in one of our chalets which smelt rather musty. The chalet was also very cold, especially as this was our coldest night of the holiday (-7).
The food here was very good and the service too - they even arranged a doctor for us at very short notice. The Sunset Cruise is definitely worth the money.