Hobatere Lodge

Reviews of Hobatere Lodge

Excellent(93%) From 31 travellers
Excellent
21
Good
9
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 31 of our travellers who have visited Hobatere Lodge, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Piotr & Glen from London
Arrived on: 30-Nov-2015 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Average
Average

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.

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Mr and Mrs D from Basingstoke
Arrived on: 23-Sep-2015 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Average
Average

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.

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Mr & Mrs R - Hereford
Arrived on: 5-Sep-2015 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

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.

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Mr J & Mrs S - Namibia fly-drive
Arrived on: 7-Aug-2015 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

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.

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Mr & Mrs D - Wiltshire
Arrived on: 19-Jun-2015 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Poor
Poor
Facilities:
Poor
Poor

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

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Miss. T & Mr B - London
Arrived on: 17-Oct-2010 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

excelllent in all areas

Excellent lodge and staff, couldn't be faultled.

Extremely knowledeable wildlife guides, excellent safaris.

Only one complaint, we were booked by EA to stay here full board. This was unneccessay as we did not want lunch anyway even though we had paid for it. Most guests were staying half board so EA were wrong here to book us full board when we specifically said we didn't want to have full board but EA erroneoulsy told us that it was compulsory at Hobatere.

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Expert Africa comments

The board basis at Hobatere is flexible; we can organize as “full board & activity”, “full board” or “half board”. We quoted “full board” for their stay here. We’re sorry if there’s been a miscommunication which meant that we got it wrong for these travellers, and that they weren’t aware that there was a choice.

Mr & Mrs B - Winchester
Arrived on: 11-Oct-2010 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Good
Good

great for both animal and bird watching

See report on Doro Nawas - if we had not taken the direct route it would not have been worth travelling there. We were told at least 5 hours and that was not taking into account the 20 minute drive through the park to reach the camp - it would be helpful to know this in advance. - we would like to discuss this.

Hobatere is quite an oasis in the bush - well-landscaped and well-laid out, with interesting features - a photographer's paradise.

Excellent game viewing at the waterhole although most guests missed it as it was about 3pm. We are extremely glad we arrived there early enough.

Very quick dinner - would have preferred a bit more leisurely! - seemed to be geared to German guests who were less likely to mix and chat.

Pretty setting which was great for watching the birds

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Expert Africa comments

It’s great that these travellers enjoyed Hobatere, although we’re very sorry about the navigation issues which seem to have dogged their whole trip.

To get to Hobatere from Doro Nawas, I directed them along the C43 & C40 via the Grootberg Pass. We’ve directed our travellers this way for years and, by coincidence, I drove it using a normal 2WD during October this year. I had no problems and the views are really stunning! It’s much more interesting than the main tar road (via Khorixas and Kamanjab) and takes about the same time.

We’re very sad that the local person’s advice, which these travellers listened to, was misinformed – and that they missed one of Namibia’s great scenic drives.

Mr D & Ms S - Buckinghamshire
Arrived on: 7-Oct-2010 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Hobatere Lodge review

While a little more dated than other camps, we enjoyed the visit, especially the night in the treehouse.

Saw a lion kill happen at the waterhole next to the camp - fantastic game viewing right on the doorstep. The evening game drive was not so good.

Too many people herded onto a vehicle (ok if it is your first time, but we would not bother with the guided viewing next time.

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Mr & Mrs F - Lancashire
Arrived on: 18-Sep-2010 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Hobatere Lodge review

Clean,comfortable rooms and lovely food served (hooray) at separate tables. A very friendly atmosphere.There is a waterhole with a hide by the swimming pool much favored by the elephants, but for the more enthusiastic viewer, one of the staff will drive you down to a more distant waterhole with a hide raised high above the ground. This one is visited by a wider variety of animals.

Book well in advance to ensure a night in the tree house. An experience not to be missed.

Thank you, Steve and Louise for your kindness during our stay with you. You are excellent hosts. We always try to book 2-3 nights with you on our trips.

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E & D from New Mexico
Arrived on: 5-May-2010 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Hobatere has lots of birds!

Overall we had a wonderful time at Hobatere and would happily visit it again. Tobias and Martin were outstanding guides. We saw eland, giraffes, oryx, zebras, springboks, a pride of lions, bat-earred foxes, jackals, even a zorilla! A lion passed under the treehouse in the middle of the night when we camped out there.

Food was fabulous, even the picnic that we took with us to the treehouse. Sean and Bettina are doing a great job on behalf of the family operation.

Our only beef was with the fact that the treehouse floor and deck railings had been treated with creosote just before we got there, so the smell significantly affected our enjoyment. Apparently the creosote is needed to deter termites but we recommend it is applied in the off-season only!

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