Reviews of Grootberg Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Grootberg Lodge review
Location, location, location! Amazing views.
Good facilities though chalet a little cramped with limited electrics. Good food.
Staff friendly and attentive - activities great (rhino tracking on foot a holiday highlight).
Beautifully situated on top of the pass, all the rooms have the same amazing views and are comfortable and well-equipped.
Food was very tasty, though here was no choice at dinner. Lovely, but small, pool area was always crowded.
We did the desert-adapted elephant activity, which included lunch. The drive was fun and we found the animals fairly early, which meant hat the activity was essentially over by 11am and we were handed individual lunch bags, before being driven back to the lodge. More could have been made of this activity, which felt like poor value for money.
Friendly, very helpful staff in spite of an absence of visible management. Reception was not staffed during our stay, so it was a question of finding any member of staff. eg. our washbasin had no plug, but one of the waitresses found one for me!
An unbelievable location.
Possibly our favorite lodge. The location and the view were simply breathtaking, we never tired of it. The lodge and the chalets were excellent and very comfortable.
The service was great and the food very good.
One disappointment though was light pollution. The location made it a fantastic place to star gaze but the lights around the chalets were too bright.
Grootberg Lodge review
Have visited this lodge three years before. A favourite. But the dust in September affects the view which is better (and outstanding) earlier in the year (for example june/july).
However, it was very fun to track elephants and we did see a heard with a two week old one, which the mother protected accordingly, so we could not go to close but that felt just alright to leave them in peace.
Grootberg Lodge review
The view from your balcony is worth the trip here alone. Amazing setting and a real community feel.
This lodge directly benefits the local communities and has a very friendly feel. Great excursions which are well worth doing with good guides.
Occasionally the service was little less slick than the european run lodges, but this was part of the charm.
Grootberg is a hidden gem
I loved this place.
The wife was starving at this point and when she discussed her allergies with someone their she ended up hugging the poor girl and was practically in tears. So food was good as was the view and all staff was really friendly.
The guiding on our Rhino tracking was excellent and our last night after dinner we were serenaded by the sounds of the Grootberg choir.
Really really great place.
One of the top places we stayed in Namibia
Grootberg Lodge rated very highly for us; partly because of the amazing position on the rim of a deep, almost circular, valley; partly because the guides were extremely knowledgeable and keen to explain what was happening, and probably because we were interested in the whole community set-up. As you know, Grootberg and the Conservancy it is in, are owned by local people, with an arrangement whereby a (sympathetic) consultancy has been training staff into management positions, on the basis they will gradually withdraw.
We never saw any of the consultants, possibly because it was the post Xmas quiet season, but the staff were noticeably more confident and open towards guests (well, us anyway!) than in some camps. Some of the young women in particular were very impressive and the senior guide who took us out was an ace.. Of the three main activities we took part in, the rhino tracking was a highlight of the trip. The trackers were very skilful (and I've worked closely with trackers in another part of the world) and were either foolhardy or, as we preferred to decide, so knowledgeable about rhino that they were completely confident - I still identified a large rock I was going to drag my partner behind if the two rhinos stopped displaying anger and actually charged us.
The other trip, to a Himba village, I was much less certain about as there were aspects that I felt were exploitative of the Himba women, though as my partner was probably less concerned than me I might have been over-sensitive. The Lodge staff were very clear that it was a key part of the support that the Conservancy provides to these remote communities. The drive there was also very interesting and the guides excellent.
On one trip we picked up other guests from the Hoada camp site and clearly there has been investment and improvement since the last edition of Chris's book (p.350!), and it is now staffed. The couple who were camping there were happy with the conditions though were mainly full of how they had woken up in their tent on top of their van, to find an adult male lion asleep on the ground beside their vehicle!
When we left Grootberg we diverted a bit north to Palmwag, in order to fill up with petrol at the station across the veterinary fence/ disease control point (and ended up giving the daughter of the control point gateman a lift back to school, about 40 km south).
Excellent location on top of plateau with magnificent views of the valley below which extends for several miles. However can be very windy.
Unfortunately the chalets are very small with virtually no veranda and almost sheer drop from chalet entrance. No where to hang/place clothing, no room in shower/basin area (very cramped space) to place toiletries except on floor. Light but no power available. Laundry bag but no price list. Not a wide range of food available - below average quality. Horse riding not mentioned as being available. Good Wi-Fi in main lodge.
Would not return.
Worth it for the view alone
Small cabin with an awful shower (small cubicle, trickle of water), but the bed was very comfortable, and the view from the room and terrace just spectacular.
The reception and dining areas are ok, but a nice bar area with a fireplace and enjoying a drink on the outside terrace with that view was pretty special. Very friendly staff, nice welcome drink on arrival, tea & cake provided in the afternoon - all nice touches.
Dinner the first night was not really very good at all, with nothing extra for the Vegetarian Husband so another night of salad & veg, but lovely pesto bread rolls. Second night dinner was much improved all round - a delicious kudu goulash a portion of breaded mushrooms for VH. And the staff sang 5-6 songs - great!
Up at 5:15am for the black rhino tracking. Very cold, but hot breakfast, blankets provided in the jeep and an excellent guide who had very impressive 4WD skills along tracks that looked impossible. We saw mother & baby rhino quite close, and lots of other wildlife e.g. Hartmann zebras in the distance, eagles, kudu. Good packed lunch provided, back at 1pm. Although this was a great experience we did feel that it was the most expensive game drive of the holiday.
Nice trails around the lodge for walking & photographs. All in all, really liked this place even though it had the worst shower and the smallest room.
A windy mountain-top!
This lodge is situated at the top of a mountain and as we didn't have a 4 x 4 vehicle we had to leave the car at the bottom and be transported in a safari truck - not easy to get into at our age! The accommodation is in individual chalets situated overlooking a fantastic view of the valley far below. Considering the difficulties of providing services of electricity and water at the top of a mountain, Grootberg does very well! Our room was fairly basic but obviously lovingly looked-after and it was possible to have a reasonable shower. We had a small balcony overlooking the valley but unfortunately there was a gale force wind blowing all the time we were at Grootberg (we were told that this was most unusual) so we didn't sit out on the balcony.
The main building housed the restaurant and we were pleasantly surprised by the high standard of cooking. The way back to our chalet in the dark was extremely hazardous down an inadequately-lit stony path and unfortunately we weren't provided with a torch that first night which resulted in a fall. The next night we had a guide with powerful torch! The local people who part-own the lodge and provide most of the staff are friendly and helpful and the whole atmosphere is one of happy involvement. A very pleasant and interesting Interlude!
We opted to go on the rhino tracking trip and we set out before sunrise in a safari truck with open sides and tiered seating. We were on the third tier which meant that we were subjected to a bitingly cold wind whistling round our ears and, even though we were provided with snuggly blankets, it was freezing! I really thought my last moments had come. The driver and trackers were in the front row protected by the windscreen so they had no idea that their passengers were fighting to stay alive! What a relief when the truck slowed to a halt and we were deposited in a valley now warmed by the rising sun.
The trackers set off to follow footprints which, amazingly(!), they had found and soon we were on the trail! We followed the guide on foot over quite difficult ground for about an hour and then, suddenly, there was a female rhino with a youngster only about 10 yards away. What a thrill, and all memories of freezing to death in the truck evaporated. After studying us for a few minutes, the rhinos turned round and moved off. After some time the truck had caught up with us and meanwhile the trackers had observed the route taken by the rhinos and our guide then suggested that anyone who was able should track over a distant ridge to find the rhinos again. Because we had reached our limit, we opted to stay in the truck while the other six much younger participants carried on.
I would say that the rhino tracking is well worth going on as I am sure that you are virtually guaranteed a sighting as evidently rhinos are creatures of habit and so the trackers know the areas they frequent. We are not fit at all but we managed to trek over the stony bumpy ground and the end result was well worth it, so have a go even if you are old and decrepit!