Reviews of Hobatere Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Characterful and comfortable
It was a nice lodge but not quite as well run as the other lodges, although friendly service.
The food was very good and well cooked.
The water hole was a great attraction, with plenty to watch.
We had an enjoyable night drive and the guide was very interesting.
Great waterhole viewing
Great viewing of 2 youngs lions and large herds of zebra, springbok and kudu.
This was one of the few lodges that didn't seem to operate water saving in the showers, which we thought was a shame. As every other lodge operated this system of water catchment.
Night drive that allowed us to see small animals, pretty genet cats and spring hares. It shouldn't always be about the big 5.
Exciting evening Safari.
Hoobatere Lodge provides a very relaxing and quite place to stay, with the chance to see a selection of game, if you are lucky enough. It really requires two days to fully appreciate whats on offer.
We did the evening game drive, and although Martin our guide tried very hard to fine some large game to view, we only managed to see a selection of small mammals. But it was well worthwhile. The next morning their were plenty of game around the water hole, but we had to leave. The lodges we found rather small, and coming from Damaraland the atmosphere was not quite so warm and engaging.
Nevertheless, I very much liked this more relaxed approach, and would certainly visit the site again. The restaurant staff were superb.
Hobatere Lodge review
We thorougly enjoyed driving across Etosha to its western edge at Galton Gate.
Hobatere Lodge and the small round houses reminded us of a Mission Hospital/School that you would find in other parts of Africa and so we felt "at home" !
The feature that we enjoyed the most at Hobatere Lodge was the hide at the waterhole some distance away from the main Lodge.We were driven there and remained for several hours amazed at the number of game visiting.
A couple of days before our arrival lions had come close to the Lodge and spent some time lying on top of the generator at the waterhole - huge excitement !
Unfortunately there were no guided walks on offer - maybe that will be rectified in the future.
Hobatere Lodge review
Greeted by Geoffrey, then elephant who came right up to the Lodge! Our room was a good size but very narrow shower/loo area.
Bad design. PM game drive with guide Albert (good value), huge Mercedes Unimog. Saw hundreds of Zebra, recently killed Zebra with three lionesses. Great game drive. Poor dinner, peanut sauce over stuffed chicken breast. Bed hard.
Early morning game drive with Albert, very good guide. Bat eared Foxes, Jackal, Giraffe, Kudu, Eland & Ostrich. A good dinner.
In the morning great excitement as two lionesses come through the camp. leave for Etosha National Park.
Nice place though a little tired looking
We had a nice stay at Hobatere - by far the best part was the service and friendliness of all the staff, and also the night drive when we got to see lots of nocturnal animals, and the very rarely seen aardwag.
The dinner was nicely set up for us in a private part of the garden, and we were recognised that it was our honeymoon, and so the service from everyone was really lovely.
The rooms are a bit tired but we understand that the Hobatere Lodge was only recently re-opened, so we hope that it has a successful future.
Hobatere Lodge review
This report is for Expert Africa in the hope that you can influence Hobatere to change. We really want Hobatere to be a success. The fact that it is being run and managed by the community is exactly what we were looking for in Namibia, but it was far from full when we were there and unless they can reach the standards of the competition this is likely to remain the case.
We have rated this lodge as good, because it had many very good aspects, but it had significant issues of a kind we did not encounter anywhere else in Namibia. We were told that Hobatere had re-opened this year after being closed for several years. A fire had destroyed the original main building hence the closure, and the lodge had now been taken over by the community, and a superb new main building built looking out towards the water-hole. We suspect this was part of the problem - the building had been built to a very high specification, and it looked as if everything had been spent on this, and nothing was left for the rooms (separate thatched cottages).
When we were shown our room we were proudly told that when Hobatere was reopened, the rooms "had not needed anything more than dusting down the cobwebs". Sadly I'm afraid they did. It was clear that maintenance had been skipped for some time - trying to turn on a stiff shower valve unscrewed it from the wall instead, and I had to temporarily fix it with my Leatherman before I could shower. The mosquito grills over the bathroom windows (no glass) were in tatters, and most seriously, there were no mosquito nets in the rooms. Despite soaking ourselves in deet we were badly bitten in the night.
A second issue concerned staff training. Staff were very friendly and helpful, but there was almost a feeling that the regular staff were away, and it was being run by the work-experience kids i.e. enthusiastic but a bit chaotic and ill-trained. I have to say that this did not bother us in the slightest, but it will definitely bother some of the type of clientele that they will hope to attract.
A third issue concerns what might be called a casual attitude to Health and Safety. The lodge has an observation tower directly overlooking the water hole. It can be accessed by driving out to it, and then climbing up an external ladder into the tower. The lodge offers to drive guests out there, get them safely into the tower, and leave them there until they radio to be picked up. This is a fantastic opportunity to watch and photograph a huge variety of animals at close range, including elephants and lions. When we asked if we could be taken out they said they only had one vehicle, which was in use, but we could drive ourselves out there and climb the tower. As we approached the tower we saw that it was surrounded by about a dozen elephants including a mother with a baby. We know enough about wildlife to stop at a distance and wait until the herd had moved away from the tower, and it was safe to exit the car, walk to the tower and climb the ladder. However we had been given no instructions on this, and if someone had assumed that "we've been allowed to do this so it must be safe", then there could have been a tragic incident. Organised properly the tower could be a real asset to the lodge - as it is it is an accident waiting to happen.
Great to return after the Fire
WE have been waiting to see if Hobatere would reopen after the devastating fire, so were delighted that this May they were ready for Guests again.
The new reception/dining building is modern and functional but not as attractive as the old ones, but very well positioned overlooking the plain and waterhole to the mountains. where you can sit and watch all the animals pass by . It was good to see some of the original staff , and very good guides.
This Lodge has just about everything, and it is run by the local community who are all very friendly and extremely enthusiastic.
We will return.
Hobatere Lodge review
Hobatere is still a little rough at the edges, not everything is running smoothly yet but this is fully compensated for by immensely helpful and enthusiastic staff. To give an example - we asked about laundry which they do as a free service but had no laundry bags or laundry lists to complete. A green plastic bag was produced immediately and the assistant manager designed a laundry list on her computer there and then.
They weren't expecting us when we arrived as our booking hadn't been copied onto their room allocation schedule but a room was still made ready within 15 minutes.
The food was exceptional - definitely the best chef that we came across in Namibia. The guiding is really good as well.
We also spent two fascinating hours in the hide at their waterhole although we understanding they are working on moving it closer to the lodge.
Hobatere Lodge review
This will be a good camp but not finished and the facilities they advertise are not in place. We felt we were guinea pigs
No game walks
Game drive very mediocre we knew as much as him but he will get better
No sun beds around pool