Reviews of Tok Tokkie Trails
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
The real desert
This was the real highlight of our trip.
Sebastian, our guide and his team are excellent at being host/guide/cook/waiter etc.. The walking was not arduous - we could have done a couple of days more. The beauty of the desert is breathtaking up close and on foot and a privilege to experience.
We can't recommend it highly enough.
Brilliant two days on Tok Tokie Trails
This was probably the highlight of our trip.
Our guide, Ricardo, was fantastic and the experience of sleeping under the stars will never be forgotten. We were lucky to have 2 very clear nights - although the nights were quite cold we were toasty warm in our bed rolls. The hot water bottles in bed at night and the wake up calls with tea in the morning were a lovely touch!
The changing light over the desert landscape in morning and evening was a photographer's dream!
Loved the camp sites - showers and toilets were brilliant. Sleeping on camp beds under the stars was unforgettable - real highlight of our trip. Walking was good (although hot and we were in winter!) and very enjoyable, guide was excellent and very knowledgeable.
Camp staff were also really friendly and accommodating. Loved having lunch on the middle day in the middle of nowhere (and the rest afterwards!) Desert scenery was very spectacular!
Would definitely recommend this activity.
Highly recommend Tok Tokkie Trails!
A fantastic experience walking through the NamibRand Reserve in the company of our excellent guide Sebastian and camping under the stars. We learned so much about the environment and wildlife and the scenery is spectacular.
The 2 camps we stayed in were in beautiful locations and the team did extremely well serving up tasty food, setting up our camp beds and even providing hot water bottles. Going to bed under the stars and waking up to see the sunrise (with cups of tea in bed provided) was fantastic.
If you go in July/August prepare for it to be very cold at night - the Tok Tokkie leaflet can be a bit misleading as to what you need to bring. Take lots of warm layers, down jackets are ideal, hats and gloves.
Lastly we have a family member who is gluten intolerant and despite the challenging catering conditions she was given gluten free bread, cakes and meals whenever food was provided.
If you like getting close to nature and walking don't miss this trip!
Terrific Tok Tokkie
Sebastian was an outstanding guide and Agnes and Willy, at the camps, could not have been more helpful. The bush food was excellent, my only issue being that the light lunch we ordered on Day One was just one slice of quiche - a bit too light!
Lovely as Tok Tokkie is, I wouldn't recommend anyone to do this in the rainy season. You are much less likely to see the stars and sleep out under them and, if it is not raining, it is incredibly hot. I feel Expert Africa could have given more guidance here.
Tok Tokkie Trails review
Splendid. The hikes were relaxed and relatively easy, with frequent stops for those who are not Olympic athletes. You do not need to super fit for this experience, although it was cool when we were there. Very hot days may be more of a challenge. The sleeping arrangements, lunch and dinner were excellent.
Our guide was very good. We were in a party with 5 others - a British couple and a Swiss couple with their local guide. The party worked well, very friendly.
For those who seek something different, this is perfect. Do not expect anything better than a bucket-shower and a "long-drop" toilet - but this is what the experience is all about.
Unbelievably, on our second night it rained! Rain in the Namib, not something you see every day. The sleeping bags were water-proof and the weather did nothing to spoil the adventure - in fact, it just added to the fun.
Tok Tokkie - Sun sand & rain!
The Namib Rand is a beautiful area. The hike was lovely and you spend two nights sleeping out under the stars. During the day you carry your own day pack while your luggage is transported for you to the next nights location. The guide and staff were very knowledgeable and helpful. A special thank you to Dominingo, who guided us on the hike and showed us so many things of interest, including where a golden mole had travelled through the night.
At the end of the days walk to sitting back and enjoying a sundowner and the views across the Namib red dunes was wonderful. The food that was provided was great. And to get to sleep out in the open under the stars and the immense milky way was stunning. Not so great waking on the second morning to rain! However, as it had turned very cold and windy again everyone had gone to bed fully clothed! But it didn't dampen our experience just added to it. Rain in the desert was an experience and for which the animals must have been very pleased as there had been a drought.
The whole family (parents and 2 about-20-year-old daughters) thought this was a wonderful introduction to Namibian geology, ecology, wildlife, people etc. Our guide, Sebastian, was very enthusiastic and endlessly patient with our questions.
The walking was really easy, as we kept stopping to inspect plants, insects etc. The terrain was beautiful and we saw oryx and other large animals.
Sleeping outside under the stars was amazing and very cosy: we were brilliantly looked after with good food, very comfortable camp beds, canvas bags, duvets, hot water bottles, tea in bed in the morning AND the Milky Way!
New cook Jennifer is highly recommended.
Very well organised, and visited NADEET for an insight into energy and water conservation. A definite highlight of the trip!
Tok Tokkie Trails review
Our only negative comment was that we were told to arrive at 2pm latest but we arrived at noon ( so as not to be late) only to be told that we wouldn't be setting off until 16.30 as it was so hot. I got the impression this wasn't unusual at this time of year - and it makes perfect sense but there was nothing to do at the Tok Tokie base, one airless room and a long wait - it would have been better to have been told to turn up at 4pm ( I fed this back to them already).
Other than that brilliant and wonderful.
Expert Africa comments
In response to this feedback Tok Tokkie have advised:
"We are sorry, that the guests Sutcliffe had to wait long for the departure of their trail and would like to apologize for any inconvenience.
Usually, we depart around 3 pm, this is why the arrival time is set to 2 pm. However, it depends on the weather conditions. If it is very hot, the guide decides to depart later - therefore in summer there is a tendency for later departures. It is however very difficult for us to foresee this. As it is essential that all guests arrive in time in order to avoid that guests have to wait for late arriving guests (which we had a lot in the past) and in order to avoid confusion, we need a reliable arrival time, which is 2 pm.
For guests who arrive by 1 pm we serve complimentary lunch (please book in advance). For all guests, we serve refreshments. Also, to make possible waiting times agreeable, we provide reading material and our guide will take care of the guests. There is a veranda with an amazing view fitted with sofas and comfortable chairs. There is a water point, to which, especially in summer, usually many animals come during the heat of the day and which can be observed there. Though, we unfortunately cannot completely avoid waiting times, we hope to keep them to a minimum and as agreeable to our guests as possible."
Tok Tokkie highlight of our holiday
The best introduction to the Namibia desert that you could ever want. Our guide Sebastien was extremely knowledgeable on the plants, birds, animals and all desert adapted creatures that we came across - as well as a wicked sense of humour. We were lucky in that there were just four if us on our three day track, ourselves and a similar aged German couple with whom we quickly gelled. The nights were cold but wrapped up in our warm duvet /sleeping bag off the ground on camp beds we were very warm. The second night was one of the coldest October nights the staff could remember; out came the hot water bottles and we were grateful for the ponchos provided at dinner.
The walking is gentle even during the heat of the day though walking on sand can get a little tiring. Part of the second day is up in the hills so the ground is a bit more solid. The food provided by our flirty cook Jocasta was excellent and to hear her telling us what we were to eat in her local click language was an education. Waking just before dawn with a hot cup of tea and fresh hot water was very welcome as watched the sun rise on the distant hills.
Sleeping under the stars with no light pollution is something very rare in our crowded world. Sebastien was a mine of information about the sky above our heads.
The tracks in the sand showed that there is an abundance of wildlife in the harshest of conditions and we were privileged to witness four types of beetles (Tok Tokkie) a number of birds including the very rare Dune Lark, though disappointed not to see a Golden Mole. A visit to the Nadeet centre showed us what can be achieved in a sustainable way; we have a lot to learn in the more industrial part of the world.
Tok Tokkie is a must for anyone wanting a real understanding of the desert. I have marked excellent for all the items though you must remember that accommodation is under the stars with no walls or ceiling for privacy.
One word of warning though! If you drive south on the C27 you can't miss the big sign pointing west and saying that Tok Tokkie is 14 km further on. Well the gate under the sign was full of private no entry signs with no indication that it was the start of the track up to the Tok Tokie farmhouse. So we carried on down the C27! When we got to the junction with the D 826 we realised our mistake and retraced our steps. Yes you go through the gate under the sign which is at the junction with the D 827. Make sure though that you fill your tank at Solitaire as there is no fuel at the junction of the C27 and the D827 any more.