Reviews of Ta Shebube Rooiputs
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great location, but needs to be cheerier
The facilities and location were at least the equal of Polentswa. But sadly the service was more like that of a larger hotel than a bespoke/boutique lodge.
The staff were friendly, but appear to be working under a rigid manager who generates a rather cold atmosphere.
Jeep drive very cold in winter/early spring
Staff here were extremely friendly and most tried hard. We were there in September and the evening game drive was comfortable but the morning drive was beyond freezing even with the warm blankets they provided (and we had many layers of clothes on).
Low desert temperatures plus wind made this a most arduous drive and perhaps a closed vehicle is needed for the winter and early spring months.If you go in winter bring an extremely warm jacket plus gloves and warm hat.
Raptor sightings were incredible. Accommodation was spacious with large patios.
Breakfast was not ready in time and many of us stood around waiting for coffee.
Luxury in Kgalagadi; its the place
If you want luxury in Kgalagadi, go for Ta Shebube Rooiputs. Perfect nice huts with everything you need. You can also get full board and all activities included in the (then expensive) rate.
If you are already experienced in travelling in Africa, you might not need all the activities, but can use your own car. Our tour guide was OK but notreally fantastic. We have tried better expert guides elsewhere. We learned nothing from the guide, we did not already know.
Note that there is no fence around the place. Predators get very close. Look where you walk all the time. We had lions in the camp - sleeping under hut no. 3. The lodge is very exposed on the top of a dune, especially if very windy. It could be a problem but it is also part of the excitement.
In conclusion, we have tried better luxury wilderness lodges elsewhere, e.g. Etendeka Mountain Camp in Namibia, but Ta Shebube Rooiputs is the best in Kgalagadi; and its a nice place to spend 2-3 days, e.g. in the end of a trip around Kgalagadi.
Ta Shebube is just perfect
We were the only guests, so had very personal attention. I asked if the lodge was ever busy/full and it appears not. This is a shame, it is truly a great place.
When we were there, a pride of lions were close by and leopard tracks were seen each morning. No worries - the staff are very safety conscious and we were taken, and collected, from our chalet before and after sunset. This is the appeal - no fences !
Our guide ("BK") was very knowledgable, friendly and helpful.
The chalet was just delightful - one complete wall is a sliding glass door, so if you're not on an early morning drive you can let the Kalahari sunrise wake you up. Food was very good
If I had some very small comments for improvement they would be - (1) a signpost from the road would be nice. We just headed up a sand track towards the buildings on the dune ridge. If the buildings had not been visible from the road, we would have been a bit lost (2) mend the old Land Rover's gearbox (BK was constantly fighting to get it into 4 wheel drive) !!
Otherwise 5 Stars all round !
Ta Shebube Rooiputs review
For part of our 5 night stay we were the only guests but we had the feeling everyone is treated very well here.
A very good welcome. Accommodation is very well designed and equipped: great attention to detail. Care of us was exceptional: nothing was too much trouble. Our guide Chris was of exceptional quality and very determined.
Other staff were excellent, Martin the manager, KB the other guide we met, the waitresses including Susanah, barman, chefs and Reuben the maintenance man-without exception a cheerful attentive team. We hope the owners and management take note.
Although the lodge appears from the map to be in a less remote location our experience was that it is very, very well situated both in itself and for traversing the southern edge of the Park.
A very memorable experience.
Ta Shebube Rooiputs review
We liked Rooiputs. Its location is good, with an attractive outlook over dunes and a waterhole but it is close to the Nossob valley road. (It is close to the old Rooiputs camp site which is still there but the camp site is some distance behind the lodge and does not affect the views).
The lodge appears to have been designed by experienced lodge designers and seems well constructed (although it is too new to be able to judge maintenance standards). The individual chalets are comfortable and attractive. The lodge has its own private concession area although this is not large. In practice most of the wildlife is in the river valleys and there is only a little in the concession area, but the latter is scenically attractive and a change from the river valley scenery.
The lodge is nearly half an hour north of Twee Rivieren. Thus, for example, early morning game drives in the Nossob valley can start before other people get to that area. Our early morning drive with Rooiputs' ranger/guide in their vehicle was very successful and for much of the time no other vehicles were in sight.
The guide on our evening and morning game viewing drives was qualified and sound. The vehicle was a normal modification of Land Rover, open-toppped with canvas canopy. It was new and seemed in good condition.
Catering standards appear good and we enjoyed our meals. We were given very good service in general. (We were in fact the only guests on the one night we stayed there).
For midsummer heat it would be appropriate to install roof fans in the chalets and we understand that Rooiputs is considering doing this. In the meantime they provide a floor standing fan. Electricity is available for 24hrs.
More consideration is probably needed to coping with very cold mid-winter conditions. For example the only shower in each chalet is outdoors. The wall above the doors to the chalet's verandah is just mesh. We understand that Rooiputs is thinking about addressing this aspect.
The tracks to the lodge are sand tracks over the dunes and are only passable with 4 wheel drive. Clients with 2 wheel drive vehicles can leave them at Twee Rivieren and Rooiputs lodge will collect them from there. We understand that arrangements can also be made to collect clients from Upington.
Signposting to the lodge might be improved.
Ta Shebube Rooiputs
This is a fantastic lodge. The staff are friendly and very helpful, the food is great and the rooms are really nice. We did the game drives offered by the lodge and I have to say they were fabulous. The guide has incredible eyes and we saw twice as much as we would have done if we were self driving. He had a great understanding of what makes a good photo and put us in the right spot to get a clear view and good light on whatever we were taking pictures of. This is a rare skill that is missing in so many other guides. He was also able to identify all the bird calls and found us a pair of eagle owls by listening to their call. He was also able to tell us all about the various animal behaviours that we were seeing and different things about each animal.
I would definitely recommend doing the game drives here rather than self driving, especially if you want to take photos. We had great sightings of lion, cheetah, leopard, gemsbok, springbok, wildebeest, hartebeest, meerkats, ground squirrels, slender mongoose, black backed jackals plus an assortment of excellent birds. The only word of caution that I have is that it does get very cold first thing in the morning when you are doing game drives in an open safari vehicle so make sure you take warm clothes - I would recommend a warm hat, gloves, windproof jacket and fleece and warm trousers. However, by the time you get to the middle of the day it will be hot.
• Staff all very friendly, helpful and most attentive
• Food was excellent
• Rooms completed and finished to a high standard and very comfortable, and glass fronted, so you still keep the view whilst in bed. Plus at night lying in bed you get a good view of the stars
• Bathroom - toilet and basin on suite
• Shower - Outside but still en-suite
• They can also provide a massage for weary travellers
The lodge was signposted and easy to find .
On arrival, we had another very warm welcome like we had at the sister lodge at Polentswa. The staff made us feel very at home. Rooipots had been open for three months when we visited in August. For the two nights we were again the only guests staying there.
All the staff came from a local community. We very much enjoyed our stay there and the company of all the staff. The manager again was particularly very hospitable, informative, and very helpful. And is a place we would love to go back to.
The lodge is sited on top of a dune with a good view and a small waterhole which has started to bring game in. The views are not as expansive as at Polentswa but still very good.
The manager was explaining that they are still trying to sort out the concession private roads with the park authorities. At the time we visited they still hadn't got the go ahead to put in the roads, which will be used for game drives.
The lodge was well layed out and finished to a very high quality and was in a nice location. The rooms are thatched chalets, and are sited along the top of the dune, all with good views. All the rooms are connected to the main lodge by a wooden walkway which is lit at night by solar lamps.
The rooms all had private verandas. There will also be a small swimming pool, which was there but hadn't been filled.
As there are lions in the area, between sunset and sunrise you have to be escorted from your rooms to the lodge. There are also Hyenas in the vicinity.
There is also a good chance of seeing Cape Fox here.
We rated this lodge very highly, and is one we would love to go back to. The food here was not only excellent but was also very well presented. The food was some of the best we have had. Unfortunately I was not able to enjoy it, all as I went down with Flu, but the lodge was very good and ensured I was well looked after, and gave me oranges when I didn't really feel like eating anything.
When we left all the staff came out and sung us good bye . We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.
Both Polentswa and Rooipots had tried to find Soya milk for me but had been unable to get any. But they did tell us on arrival, thankfully as we did have our own guide with us, he had been able to get some so I was okay. We were grateful to both lodges trying to source the soya milk. Both lodges looked after us extremely well whilst we were with them.