Reviews of Ndhovu Safari Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Welcomed like old friends!
We were welcomed like old friends by Monika and Kira the great dane, who is now the size of a small pony! Kira has been joined by Shakra the very friendly, playful and energetic boxer so wherever you go in camp you are likely to find a doggy friend.
Johann took us for an excellent trip into the park across the river (we set off about 8am and didn’t return until after 2pm.) We saw a lot of game, including sable. If you want to do this trip it is good idea to ask Expert Africa to pre book it for you before you go as it can easily be fully booked – we were lucky on this occasion to have Johann and the vehicle to ourselves but a couple of days later he was going to have 10 people on a trip. In the late afternoon a boat trip with Michael produced lots of birds for the list.
As always, hospitality was excellent, food good, plentiful and wholesome and the communal table usually makes for interesting meal times.
As the Expert Africa page says, Ndhovu is a simple camp – you carry your own bags, drop your own mozzie nets, are trusted to serve yourself from the honesty bar and investigate the curio shop – but this is part of its charm and it is also good value. Tents are clean and comfortable with enough storage to put things away. The elderly front zips have been replaced by smart new sliding doors which is a great improvement.
Whilst credit cards are accepted there is a 5% surcharge to cover bank costs.
Ndhovu Safari Lodge review
A lovely setting - we loved watching the hippos. However on our first night we had an invasion of mice who actually moved the laundry bag across the floor. Quite un nerving - just as well we had a 'mousequito' net!
On the following evening we packed everything into the car apart from one small bag with our clothes and toiletries for the next morning. Again we were woken up and the following morning found that they had eaten their way through the bag, shredded so paper inside it and destroyed a sewing kit. we did mention it to the owners whose response was 'Its never happened before'. We know that we will come across wildlife of all sizes on such a holiday but were surprised to be sharing our tent.
The sunset cruise was lovely and Michael, the guide, knew a lot, especially about the birds. The following day he took us to his village to meet his family. This was wonderful - although very humbling - and he also arranged for us to meet one of the teachers (we are teachers ourselves) and we spent more than 30 minutes with him learning about the Namibian education system. I will never again complain about a lack of board markers!!
Ndhovu is in a good location
This was probably my least favourite camp, mainly because the tents need upgrading and it all felt a bit run down - locks were broken and so our daughter had to sleep with me rather than sleeping in a tent that she couldn't lock.
Torches weren't provided even though the tents were a couple of metres from the river (nor hot water bottles and it was freezing cold at night!). The staff were good and the river cruise at sunset was really good.
Great hippo experience at Ndovu
We really enjoyed it here......although the accommodation was tired, the things we really liked were the people (managers and owner and staff), the eating together (and the food!), the honesty bar (showed they trusted us and made us feel welcome), able to help ourselves to tea and coffee (small detail, but we liked that!), the decking (so relaxing looking out on the hippos) and the boat trips.
(although I have put average, other family members would probably have put poor for the rooms and facilities!)
Ndhovu -a last minute lodge
Due to a bookings glitch this lodge was a substitute and an excellent one at that.The hosts were terrific and the staff again friendly and extremely charming.
Johan and Monica were very generous with their time and sharing of information.
We did a sunset cruise and a game drive with Johan which were both extremely enjoyable.
Again, the safari tents are comfortable and right the river clean and well kept. As with our other lodges the food was excellent well prepared and good choice.
Ndhovu Safari Lodge review
overall this was a fun place to stay, great location with excellent wildlife, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. the tents were well set up with bathroom off the back, clean and tidy the hot water supply was very average due to the distance from the donkey fire heater which at times supplied very dirty water!
Management was excellent, homely atmosphere and great knowledge of the area. would definitely recommend this camp . Tourists need to drink bottled water here. River is amazing wonderful hippo and National park a great place to visit.
Excellent overnight stay
We used Ndhovu as a convenient place to stay when heading westwards from Caprivi but it proved well worth visiting in its own right. Unlike most of the other places we stayed at this is managed by its owner, Horst Koch (who also owns a farm near Windhoek from which he sources a lot of his supplies). Horst and his staff were very friendly and helpful and the food was excellent too. We even found someone (we never found out who) had kindly washed our 4x4 which was looking quite muddy when we arrived.
The Lodge is along quite a rough track in a relatively populated and farmed area but about 15 minutes drive down the road towards Botswana is the small Mahengo National Park which can easily be explored without a guide. We also enjoyed an excellent river trip on the Kavango for a sundowner followed by a convivial dinner sitting at a long table with other guests.
The accommodation is mostly in individual sophisticated rigid framed tent (internally divided into a bedroom and ensuite) but we rated it good rather than excellent as it is not quite as lavishly equipped as accommodation in other places we had stayed, but it really was "good"!.
Ndhovu Safari Lodge : a taste of the Okavango
We reached Ndhovu late afternoon (16:45 hrs), after leaving The Waterberg in the morning (08:00 AM). The drive was long but easily driven on tar. On the way up, early in the morning, between the Waterberg and Otavi, hundreds of warthogs could be observed grazing on the small shoots of grass that just thrive on the road margins. After Grootfontein, the landscape just starts to change becoming more arboreal. Namibia just changes gradually. Approaching Rundu, small villages surge around the main B8 and we start to see a more populated country. A slower and attentive drive is imperative.
After a long drive, Ndhovu becomes an oasis where you can relax and unwind. Monica and Johan were unobtrusive hostesses with a warm welcome. The Okavango just in front of our tented rooms makes its presence heard, with the hippo calls. The rooms are clean and spacious. The wooden deck overlooking the river is magnificent spot to watch the occasional African Otter (early morning) and to witness a spectacular african sunset.
On the following day we drove to the Mahango National Park, which can be easily and fairly explored with a sedan car.
Ndhovu Safari Lodge review
We arrived very early for check-in but nevertheless were made very welcome by the hosts Monika and Johan.
We were advised against taking the inland route In the Mahango Game Park (which requires a 4WD vehicle) as the river side of the park (which can be taken in a conventional car) has more wildlife and good sightings of birds, elephants and other wildlife were observed.
Travellers should recognise that if you go to places where wildlife is abundant you may encounter additional wildlife in your room. In the early hours of the morning we listened to the padding feet of a small mammal scurrying across the inner tent. You have to be realistic.
The communal dining experience may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Ndhovu Safari Lodge review
Hippos ouside your bedroom in the morning. The approach road is very sandy and pretty long - 2 wheel drive can make it but if the weather conditions were different it may have been problematic.Read more about the whole safari