Reviews of Safarihoek Lodge
Wildlife sightings and reviews
34 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Safarihoek Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Safarihoek Lodge review"
We were tracking elephant, rhino and lion and finding plenty of them all with our guide Mike, (who was great). Etosha heights shares a 75km border with etosha, where the fence is open in many places. This has allowed the game to migrate into the private reserve and they are now here in large numbers.
We had a great time here and saw masses of animals, (including 14 rhino in 2 days), and would even recommend that if you are limiting your number of safari days, that you come here over Etosha itself." See all these reviews: 21n in Namibia
"Safarihoek Lodge "
After the drive she drove us to the hide overlooking the waterhole for a surprise BBQ dinner along with the other guests. This was was nice but very cramped with hardly any space between each guest sitting in a long table.
We had a further 2 game drives the following day which although good we didn't see nearly as much as we did on our first drive so a bit hit and miss. Although we did see a spitting Zebra Cobra with head up which Mumsy said was a rare sighting and has requested from us the excellent photo my husband managed to capture of it!
We didn't see the member of staff that greeted us so warmly upon our arrival again and have to say some of the staff that were on duty the 2nd day and indeed breakfast on our last morning (terrible service) were not so friendly" See all these reviews: 21n in Namibia
"Safarihoek Lodge review"
"Safarihoek Lodge review"
Safarihoek Lodge is absolutely beautiful. The lounge and dining area are very comfortable, clean, well designed and contemporary. There is always a little snack and drink station set up with cookies, dried fruit, marshmallows. The staff in the lodge itself were outstanding–they were so welcoming to us and our son, always available to make a coffee or help with questions. The food was very good at every meal and the chef was especially wonderful–coming out to chat with me to plan meals for my vegetarian son and myself and offering to make custom options. This was very special to us. They even had a beautiful high chair with animals painted on it for our son set up at our table. We very much enjoyed our meals and all of our time spent hanging out in the lodge area.
The family chalet was enormous and well appointed. The beds were very comfortable and balcony was amazing with a sweeping view of Etosha Heights. The only things I would ask the lodge to improve on is better toiletries for guests (shampoo, conditioner, etc) as well as a shelf to put things in the shower. Also, for having these enormous balconies, the furniture on the balcony from which to enjoy the view was very limited- only two very basic chairs. But again, we were very happy with our chalet and these are just areas of opportunity. They also had a wonderful set up for our son, and put a beautiful crib next to our bed with mosquito netting going around it, and a soft little children's blanket.
The photography hide was outstanding–the nicest, best-appointed one I have been to. It has two stories- one with higher up view where you could enjoy the fresh air and scope out what wildlife might be approaching, and the lower level perfect for those ground-level perspective shots for photography. It even had two bathrooms and charging areas/plugs, and bed-type lounge areas. Really a very comfortable place to spend time. We had some nice Hartebeest sightings from the hide.
The very large negative: I will caveat this by saying I think we would have had a very different experience if we were assigned any of the other guides at Safarihoek - the others came up and introduced themselves in the lodge, joked around with our toddler, and were so engaging and eager to converse with us. What we experienced with our guide, however, was probably our worst guiding experience ever. I have never been on any drive in which I had so few opportunities to take photographs, despite his introductory speech that stressed that he knew we were photographers and would be happy to take requests and adjust to our views and help us get great photos. We spent our entire first night's drive going very fast around the property, with little care taken for extreme bumpy roads with our 2 year old son in the vehicle.
He finally had a call from a different vehicle and we had an incredible lion sighting with cubs–we sat and watched them for a long while and got some great shots. That was our only quality opportunity for photographs despite going on three drives with him. After that first experience, I made sure to be very specific in the morning that we would like him to stop anytime he sees running animals of any species as we would like to photograph them. We passed by multiple antelope species and wildebeest in what would have been gorgeous shots, but he still did not stop. Once, hartebeest were running right in front of our vehicle in this incredible scene and he was not going to stop on his own. My husband had to say "can you stop" loudly about 4-5 times before he finally stopped completely and we missed the shots.
The other several times I had to ask him to please stop for us, he did not do some basic things guides everywhere else would do–he never turned off the vehicle to eliminate shake. He would be very slow to respond to requests to stop. He also left several times while I was still shooting and would never ask if we were ready or done. He also completely missed any opportunity to try to engage with our toddler. We gave several opportunities that most good guides would have capitalized on–telling him that our son was curious about which animal's poop that was, and he answered the question once for him, but despite us talking about it and enanging our son in that vein, the guide never again mentioned it or told our son what it was. (For comparison sake–at the Frans Indongo lodge, immediately upon hearing us make this comment- the guide jumped out of the vehicle, grabbed a rhino poop and brought it to show my son and explain how he could tell it was white rhino poop). He also skipped doing sundowner drinks with us both drives and never commented on it or explained why. Again-the other guides we met in the lodge seemed so friendly and engaging,
I think we just had truly terrible luck which left us with a very bad experience. I was so sad to leave this beautiful place with hardly any photos from our drives." See all these reviews: 9n in Namibia
"Safarihoek Lodge review"
The chalets all have views over one of the waterholes, they have private decks, a kitchenette and an outdoor shower. Everything was well laid out and very comfortable. The lodge itself is a beautiful, relaxed space to have a drink or a swim and view the waterhole.
We loved Safarihoek in June but suspect it will really shine in the drier months when more animals from Etosha are looking for water away from the Etosha crowds. The manmade waterholes here are very picturesque particularly compared to neighboring Etosha NP and it has an outstanding photography hide near one of them. It was interesting that given 7 years ago this was a hunting lodge, we saw so many of the elusive species here such as Eland and Rhino. We also expected the animals to be more skittish but they seem to be relaxing. As photographers we fully intend to return here." See all these reviews: 15n in Namibia; 7n in Zambia; 5n in Rwanda; 1n in South Africa
"Safarihoek Lodge review"
Spotted great wildlife. The lodge itself is rather modern very different from the classics lodges. Our room was super with view to the Pond and shower outside. The common areas could be improved in terms of decorations.
Service is very good but I think there is room for improvement for the food." See all these reviews: 13n in Namibia
The drive to the lodge was interesting as you drive through (?alongside) several other private areas, at least one of which designated for hunting. As we drove along the road we saw giraffe, kudu and mongeese as well as the most beautiful cattle we have ever seen (seriously, they were gorgeous! - no idea what breed but, certainly, not one we had seen before). We were warmly greeted on arrival by the manager (TJ), Mike and others who, between them, efficiently checked us in, talked us through everything we needed to know and took our bags to our beautiful room. The main area has really good wifi, is spacious and airy with comfortable seating and is beautifully decorated - and absolutely spotlessly clean. There is always a member of staff on hand to help out or serve a drink and they could not have been more friendly.
As I said, our room was beautiful with a lovely view which included the waterhole (though that is a little distance away and binoculars would be helpful if you want to see the animals in better detail). All fittings and furnishings were of a very high standard. The bathroom was fantastic and included an outdoor shower.
The food was exceptional for every meal and all members of staff (chefs included) seemed genuinely concerned to ensure that you enjoyed the meal. In addition to the main meals, absolutely delicious snacks were laid out in great quantity every afternoon. Hot drinks were permanently available.
We will definitely return here and would recommend it to anyone." See all these reviews: 17n in Namibia; 3n in Botswana
"Safarihoek, Etosha Heights"
The area of the private reserve is vast with a common border with the Etosha National Park. The game fence is breached in several places and the there is free flow of animals in both directions. Our guide - Romon - was tremendously enthusiastic and knowledgable and went to amazing lengths to get us good sightings.
It is often said that March towards the end of the rainy season is not great for game - maybe its not so easy as the game disperses to use widely accessible seasonal water - but there is plenty to see and we were delighted." See all these reviews: 12n in Namibia
"Safarihoek Lodge review"
This reserve, with a landscape that does not really resembles Etosha NP proper, was a pleasant surprise. Although the camp is easily accessible by self-drivers they do not drive through the reserve themselves but participate in the guided activities.
We came here for one major reason, namely that this park features white and black rhinos. And indeed, we saw both of these species several times, thanks largely to the perseverance of our guide Ramon. Besides seeing all the usual suspects, such as springbok, blue wildebeest, zebras and giraffes, we also had several nice encounters with a coalition of three male lions, and on our second day here, we had an experience that we never had before. On a drive to the western boundary of the reserve we encountered a pride of lions consisting of several adult females, 2 grown-up males, several subadults and 2 cubs, altogether there were like 8 or 9 lions. The males stayed pretty much in the background, but they roared ferociously. The animal closest to us was an adult female next to an adolescent male. Even we could sense that the female was not too happy to see us. She just stood there and gave us a scrutinizing look. After 3 or 4 minutes, she and then the whole rest of the pride decided to turn the tables and they started to chase us! Ramon, our guide, immediately started the engine and got us the hell out of there: First, he drove in reverse (luckily those Toyota Landcruisers appear to be much faster than regular sedans) and then did a 180 degree turn. We and the other two guests in the vehicle were quite eager to hear what he had to say about this.
Well, since he never saw this pride of lions before, he guessed that they probably just moved in from Etosha, and he assumed that they most likely had a bad experience with cars recently. To me that made sense, because according to him, there were rangers operating in the area to protect the resident rhino population. These rangers might not have shown the lions the proper respect, who knows. And now, this was their act of retribution, and Ramon was not convinced that this was just a mock charge. As scary as that might have been it did not prevent us from seeking out lions during the rest of our trip.
I would like to mention another commendable fact: Our guide Ramon consistently managed to position the vehicle in such a way that I could photograph the animals at eye level (rather than from above).
The rooms, the amenities, the service and the food in this camp were all very good if not excellent. But this is not our priority when traveling to Africa. We don’t come here for good food or luxury accommodation, but for encounters with animals and people." See all these reviews: 20n in Namibia; 15n in Botswana
"Safarihoek Lodge review"
Mike our guide was without a doubt the highlight of Safarihoek. In all our previous trips across southern Africa we never met anyone like him. His enthusiasm was energizing, knowledge exceptional and his humour ever present. Because Etosha Heights is a private reserve, the possibilities for game drives are greater than in Etosha. I'd like to highlight two:
On the first one we came across two black rhinos in the distance. Mike however wanted us to experience the beautiful animals a little closer. Long story short; we ended up just a few metres from these usually shy and potentially agressive animals (a mother and a calf). Totally at ease they let themselves be observed for at least 15 minutes without ever being disturbed. It might have been something to do with Mike talking to just about every animal and showing them respect in his own unique way.
On the second one we spotted two large male lions and decided to stay with them for a couple of minutes. These lions started roaring, which in itself is pretty impressive, but even more so when a third one answered. These three lions teamed up, started walking and decided to take over the territory of a fourth one. We followed the three brothers for a long time (luckily we already had a night drive with Mike planned) and at one time we lost track of them. Eventually they appeared behind us unexpectedly, which was quite an adrenaline boost. It never came to a confrontation (they scared the one away) and the lions just kept walking and roaring, marking their new territory once in a while. Probably a once in a lifetime experience, even Mike hadn't witnessed this before. It was the longest and most exciting game drive we ever had.
Of course, our Safarihoek experience is coloured by these experiences and the fact that we were the only ones. Still; the staff, the park and the conservation philosophy behind it all are great assets and definitely make us want to go back." See all these reviews: 16n in Namibia
Holiday styles & special interests in Namibia
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Namibia.
Other lodges in Etosha National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Set within Etosha National Park, Okaukuejo Resort is a large camp with a productive, floodlit waterhole.
The smallest of Etosha's erstwhile restcamps, overlooking its own floodlit waterhole, Halali has a superb location near the centre of Etosha Pan.
Mushara Bush Camp
The family-friendly Mushara Bush Camp offers great value and is an excellent base from which to explore Etosha National Park.
With fantastic views over a private reserve bordering Etosha, the smart Ongava Lodge offers driving and walking safaris on the reserve, and guided drives in Etosha.
Ongava Tented Camp
Set around a waterhole on a private reserve, the small Ongava Tented Camp combines understated comfort with activities that include walks and night drives.
Onguma Tented Camp
Onguma Tented Camp is a lovely, little tented camp which centres around an attractive waterhole a short drive from the Von Lindequist Gate to eastern Etosha.
Opened in 2011, Dolomite Camp allows visitors access to the far west side of Etosha National Park, which was previously off limits to most visitors.
Close to the eastern entrance to Etosha, the comfortable Mushara Lodge is well-placed for exploring the park in your own vehicle or on a guided drive.
Centred on an old fort, the government run Namutoni Camp is located just inside Etosha National Park, close to Fisher's Pan.
Onguma Bush Camp
For great wildlife viewing without breaking the bank, the affordable and understated luxury of Onguma Bush Camp could be perfect.
To the west of Etosha National Park, on the edge of Damaraland, Hobatere Lodge offers good game-viewing on its own reserve.
Intimate and luxurious, Mushara Outpost is well-placed on a private reserve to explore nearby Etosha National Park on your own or on a guided drive.
Onguma Camp Kala
For a bird’s eye view across African bush, the stilted rooms at Onguma Camp Kala are truly special.
Onguma The Fort
The Fort is the jewel in the crown of the Onguma lodges, and arguably the whole of eastern Etosha.
Onguma Forest Camp
From its woodland setting on the Onguma Reserve, Forest Camp is within easy striking distance of Namibia’s flagship national park.
Taleni Etosha Village
Only 4km from Etosha's southern entrance, Taleni Etosha Village is an affordable base from which to explore the park.
Etosha Safari Lodge
A short drive from Etosha National Park's southern entrance, Etosha Safari Lodge is a convenient base from which to explore the park.
The beautifully located and luxurious Little Ongava is a stunning place to stay in order to explore Etosha National Park and the private Ongava Reserve.
Etosha Safari Camp
Funky, low-key and very original, Etosha Safari Camp is well placed for visiting Etosha National Park on a self-drive or guided safari.
Andersson's at Ongava
With game drives on both its private reserve and in Etosha, Andersson's at Ongava also offers access to the Ongava Research Centre.
Mokuti Etosha Lodge
With 106 rooms, child-friendly Mokuti Etosha Lodge is more like a hotel than a lodge. Facilities to include a gym, spa, tennis courts and even a snake park.
In the heart of the private Etosha Heights Reserve, the family-friendly Mountain Lodge offers game drives and bush walks within an exclusive environment.
Vreugde Guest Farm
Vreugde Guest Farm is a delightful owner-run and working sheep farm where you can expect a warm welcome and charming hospitality.
Offering luxury on a peaceful private reserve close to Etosha, Villa Mushara is a great choice for honeymooners & those wishing to indulge themselves.
Etosha Garden Hotel
Safari in Etosha National Park Namibia, whilst based at the nearby Etosha Garden Lodge.
Etosha Oberland Lodge
A short drive from Etosha National Park's southern entrance, Etosha Oberland Lodge is a very comfortable base from which to explore the park, with excellent food.
Safari in Etosha National Park Namibia, whilst based at Etosha Gateway Lodge.
The private Safari House on the Etosha Heights reserve is a great option families or friends travelling together.
Onkoshi Camp is owned and run by Namibia Wildlife Resorts. Built on elevated wooden platforms it overlooks Etosha Pan.
Etosha King Nehale
A short drive from the national park's northern entrance, Etosha King Nehale Lodge is an interesting and comfortable base from which to explore the park.