Reviews of Ndhovu Safari Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Tenting on the river, a different experience.
Finding the lodge was a bit tricky. Signage could be improved. The dirt road was marginal for a two wheel drive with poor clearance. (Toyota Yaris).
The location on the Kavango was lovely and we were treated to a herd of elephant right across the river. Horst was a gracious host who took the time to talk to us about the area and Namibia in general.
The boat cruise gave us an opportunity to see hippos up close as well as crocodiles.
The fresh mini loaves of bread were great in the morning.
Ndhovu Safari Lodge review
An amazing experience staying in tented accommodation that was on a raft moored in the river.
We couldn't have got closer to the wildlife that we'd come to see.
The owner and staff were all very friendly and easy to get on with.
Fall asleep to the sound of hippos grunting
Fantastic location on the Okavango River and very close to Mahango National Park (an undiscovered gem). There is a herd of hippos living on the island just off the banks from the camp. These can easily be viewed from the tents and the viewing platform at the Lapa bar/dining room. The hippos are active at night, with regular grunting, squawks and splashing to be heard - just be careful leaving your tent after dark as they come up onto the banks of the camp - as evidenced by the huge footprints!
Horst is an excellent host and mine of information - as was Chris his assistant from South Africa (good luck with the UK Ancestry visa!). The locally employed staff were all friendly and helpful and the food introduced by the cook each evening (a surprise each night) was delicious. Horst and the staff couldn't have done more to make our stay enjoyable.
The tents were well appointed, though the bathrooms could do with a few extra bamboo stems in the screen for privacy! The tents were better than just good, but no option between good and excellent exists so we ticked good. The sundowner cruise on the river was informative and peaceful. Our guide, Joshua, was very good with the children. The Mahango National Park was excellent in terms of being able to drive yourself around it and the opportunity to see 'riverine' species of animals. Even afer Etosha we were still able to see five new species of animal here. It was also largely empty of tourists. The nearby Popa Falls were also worth a visit and our kids had a great time playing in the shallows. Although we didn't attempt it, other guests said that travelling into Botswana and the Okavango Delta was easy from here.
We thought that you ought to know that the Shell garage in Divundu just before the bridge (travelling from Rundu to Katima) has closed. The Engen garage before it (ie closer to Rundu) is open and was in the process of being renovated by the owner when we were there. The garage also has a fairly well-stocked supermarket (as towns on the Caprivi Strip go). There is no garage on the other side of the bridge.
Another high point of our trip and a great time had by all.
Ndhovu Safari Lodge review
We really enjoyed Ndovu. The manager Chris is very helpful and friendly. You all eat together on a couple of tables which means you get to share experiences with the other guests who could be from anywhere in the world.
We slept in the floating tent! This is an experience not to be forgotten in a hurry as a Hippo got very close to us in the middle of the night, grunts, snorts, splashes and the sound of a branch cracking at 2:30 a.m. seem incredibly loud. in the morning there was no sign of our close encounter but it did get the heart racing.
The proximity to Mahango park means limited driving before you can get good game viewing on your own. We like a mixture of doing our own thing and guided drives.
A warm welcome in the Caprivi
Ndhovu Lodge was absloutely delightful, again quite rustic but with such a warm and firiendly atmosphere.
Horst was lovely and took us out for a very long trip to the Caprivi Game park, and one afternoon we self drove around Mahango park and saw terrific Sable and Roan. I have to say we were very sad to leave the atmosphere of Ndhovu.
Ndhovu Safari Lodge review
The National Park in close proximity to the lodge is relatively small, so you encounter quite a few other vehicles. Boat rides are quite enjoyable with close encounters of lazy crocs and pied kingfishers feeding.Read more about the whole safari
Excellent host and hippos.
Warm welcome. Great host. Wonderful evening boat trip. Delicious food. Comfortable tent with amazing views of hippos.
Wished we had booked for 2 or three nights.
Ndhovu Safari Lodge review
We enjoyed our experience at Ndhovu mostly because we spent a lot of time with the owner's friends (Gary and Christine) who were filling in for him while he was away. Either Gary and/or Christine joined us for our activities. They were very flexible with scheduling the activities and tayloring them to our prefferences.
The lodges are on the edge of the Kavango river, where you can observe hippos, crocodiles, and watch beautiful sunsets and sunrises. The only complaint we have about the room is that the mosquito net is insufficient - it's not big enough for the bed and we had to sleep outside the net, which is not ideal, since this was a malarial area.
The food was very good. However, we suggest that the owners take some precautions to deter moths. We spent most of our dinner protecting our food against moths.
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.)