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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs P from W Yorks

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

13

Excursions taken

0

Another excellent trip to Africa

Namibia between 13 Nov 2015 and 30 Nov 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"We found Namibia to be really fascinating and we believe, how the trip was balanced, fully enhanced our experience of the country.

The format of guided tour, flights to the remotest parts of our trip and then the self drive enabled us to visit and appreciate a wide range of areas.

The guided part helped us to relax on some of the longest drives of the trip and also to gain understanding of all aspects of Namibia. Vernon our guide was very knowledgeable and easy to get along with. In addition to explaining some of the historical and cultural aspects of the areas we were visiting also provided tips and information which helped our self drive element. this was appreciated especially given that the handover for the vehicle was very basic.

The flights, both from the balloon and the light aircraft provided a different perspective of the landscape that we could not appreciate from the ground. The plane flights also avoided the long drive up to Damaraland, which would of been tiring and maybe where the landscape is less changeable.

The self drive gave us an experience that we have always wanted to do within Africa but never really felt able to do so. Driving around Namibia eliminated some of the dangers found in other parts of Africa but still provided the adventure that we were looking for.

The trip was varied both in terms of the activities, landscapes and camps and more than exceeded our expectations..

Overall a very enjoyable experience."

Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 14 Nov 2015
"Room was really nice and comfortable but we probably did not require the upgrade due to the time spent there.

Service and food was good. Location is ideal after a long flight."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

"Mixed Feelings"

2 nights Arrived 15 Nov 2015
"The lodge is well set out and the rooms are lovely and comfortable. The welcome from Thomas was warm and friendly!

The sundown experience was another highlight of the trip and we would certainly recommend it.

However on our second night, there was poor communication between our guide and the lodge which resulted in one of the staff waking us up during the night to settle the bill, which was far from ideal because we had to wake up early for the balloon flight"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Sam's Giardino review"

3 nights Arrived 17 Nov 2015
"Sams Giardino was a good base for exploring the area. The guesthouse had a lovely garden and a homely relaxed atmosphere.

We enjoyed the food and the wine tasting experience which Sam offered.

The room was spacious and comfortable."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Desert Rhino Camp

Desert Rhino Camp

"Desert Rhino Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Nov 2015
"We enjoyed the entire experience at Desert Rhino Camp. The staff were friendly, the tents comfortable and the views fascinating.

The rhino treking was amazing, the trackers and our guide did a fantastic job and ensured that our experience was the best it could be. Our sightings included numerous Rhino, lion, hyena and elephants along with more general game found in an area that on first sight looked as though nothing would live there. The hot buffet lunch was good in the park. The lodge staff were really helpful and friendly offering excellent service.

Just to highlight how excellent the service was, on the full day game drive our video camera fell from the vehicle approximately a 2 hour drive from the camp. One of the trackers and our guide went back out into the park and somehow managed to locate it for which we were extremely grateful. Especially after the footage we had taken during the day of the rhinos.

We travelled to / from camp by small plane which allowed us to see the landscape from the air and offered a different perspective from the views we had seen from the ground."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

1 night Arrived 22 Nov 2015
"We used our stay here as a rest day and the facilities more than assisted this. The rooms are very spacious, private and comfortable. The view from the room was great for a relaxing sundowner.

The introduction to the lodge was poor, with no mention of any possible activities offered by the lodge, no real time spent showing the lodge / room and the free refillable drinks bottles were not mentioned to us, we found them on a table near to the restaurant with our names on.

The service for the restaurant improved with staff being more helpful and friendly."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Amazing Waterhole"

2 nights Arrived 23 Nov 2015
"Before arriving we had no high expectations for this camp and our experience met our expectations. The camp is large and is a good base to see the wildlife of Etosha, rather than one of good food and service. The staff at reception are impersonal and not outwardly helpful, but will answer your questions.

Our room location was fortunate because we were equal distance between the waterhole and the restaurant, but also slightly away from the main walkways.

The rooms are basic, but a good design for self catering and there is a sheltered area beside each room to leave the vehicle.

The purpose of our stay here was to take advantage of the staying within the park and to view the amazing waterhole at night. This did not disappoint. The waterhole was fantastic and visited by a large number of elephant, a few black rhino, lions, giraffe and antelope. Driving around the national park was enjoyable with good wildlife viewing at the numerous waterholes.

Our experience at the waterhole on both nights was another highlight of the holiday"
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Terrible
Mushara Lodge

Mushara Lodge

"Mushara Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Nov 2015
"Mushara lodge is based just outside of the national park but is a small lodge with nicely tended ground, comfortable and stylish rooms.

We ate our evening meal in a boma setting where the food served was very good as was the service."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Plains Camp review"

1 night Arrived 27 Nov 2015
"We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at Okonjima Plains Camp as we had been upgraded to the bush camp. The introduction to the camp was good and the room was exceptional. The only down side was that there was an issue with the water supply the following morning which was quickly fixed.

The game drives use telemetry tracking as some of the animals are collared. We enjoyed our game drives and had good sightings of leopard and cheetah. We did struggle to understand why so many animals, leopards in particular, were collared. The room also had a supply of birdseed and the feeding of Honey Badgers and Porcupines at night differs from most other camps we have been to where you are actively discouraged from feeding the animals.

The food at the camp was good and accompanied by good service."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Eningu Clayhouse

Eningu Clayhouse

"Eningu Clayhouse review"

1 night Arrived 28 Nov 2015
"Eningu lodge is in a remote location for an airport hotel. It is an hour away from the airport on a quiet gravel road where we were the only vehicle and a further 5km on a sand road to reach the lodge. This location reflected our experience of Namibia. For this reason it is probably more suited at the end of the trip rather than after a long flight.

The lodge was very quiet, in fact we were the only guests and saw the staff only on check-in, evening meal and check out.

There is a pool and a viewing platform from where we watched a Namibian sunset."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Average
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average

Our most enjoyable trip

Botswana between 11 May 2011 and 24 May 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip to Botswana, after all of the research and planning, completely lived upto and exceeded our expectations. We met some wonderful people and saw amazing wildlife and scenery.

We cannot think of anything we would have done differently and the travel tips from Expert Africa and the Bradt guide were well informed and extremely useful, for example, take spare batteries, pack light and use the laundry facilities which we have not done on previous trips.

So a big thank you to Expert Africa, the camp staff of Little Kwara, Lagoon Camp, Chitabe Lediba and Duma Tau and of course to the Botswanan wildlife."

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Our Favourite Camp"

3 nights Arrived 12 May 2011
"Little kwara was our first camp and our favourite of the trip due to its unique happy and friendly atmosphere. The camp is small (only 5 tents) and this enables it to have an intimate feel, somewhat like becoming part of the family for the length of our stay.

We resided in tent 1, which is isolated from the other camp areas and provides total privacy combined with a real excitement of sleeping in the bush with only the nocturnal sounds to keep you company. The room itself is on stilts, clean, rather spacious but perhaps a little too dark. The outdoor shower was too enclosed (probably for protection from the local baboon troop) but resulted in an experience that was no different from showering inside.

The food was all home cooked and the variation and quality was excellent considering the location of the camp. The inability to charge batteries within the room on paper appeared awkward but in reality allowed us to see the camps' behind the scenes' and this helped to meet and speak to camp employees who we would not normally have seen, allowing us to achieve a more rounded insight into camp life.
The activites were varied (drives, mokoro, walk and motorboat), well thought out and every one was most enjoyable.

Our guiding team of Hobbs & Kenny were a great team, outstanding, very talented and provided, not only great viewings, but created exciting game drives. Kenny's ability to spot animals was amazing, especially at night, where a sighting of a Genet was good, but the spotting of a leopard at least 50 yards off the road in a dense thicket was unbeliveable. Hobbs was probably the most aware and determined guide we have ever had and our last drive highlighted these attributes.

We viewed 2 male lions patrolling their area for approximately 1 and a half hours during which time Hobbs demonstrated his fantastic ability to position the vehicle exactly where the aminals would head and so we were able to see them heading towards us and walk by us at close quarters. After leaving the 2 male lions, most guides would have taken a steady drive back to camp but Hobbs immediately found some other lion tracks and asked our permission to try and locate them. The search was exciting and topped off when the pride of 8 appeared before our eyes, unfortunately we could only spend 5 minutes with them before racing back to camp in order to catch our plane. An exhilerating drive.

We left Little Kwara in a rush and on a huge high and despite witnessing more incredible sightings later on, none of the later camps could surpass our experiences here. A large thanks to all staff members for a most memorable stay."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chitabe Lediba

Chitabe Lediba

"Chitabe Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 15 May 2011
"Our second camp was similar in size to our first camp but was very different both in luxury and experience.
We were met from the airstrip by the camp manager Jack, a larger than life character, who was a fantastic host who was full of stories and hospitality and who remained that way throughout our stay.

The camp had 5 tents but during our stay, only 3 were full. Chitabe had just been refurbished and it showed, with the tents having good design and finished to a high standard. Useful assecories like plug sockets and refillable water bottles were included. The weaknesses of Little Kwara were not in evidence here, with good natural light entering the tent and the outdoor shower being uncovered, with nice views of the surrounding area, whilst remaining private.

Staff were friendly and formal but lacked the family touch of the previous camp which led to a lesser but still a nice experience. Food was not as tasty or served as homely compared to Little Kwara. An evening meal in the Boma was a nice touch and lots of effort from camp staff made for a good evening.

The whole camp was built on stilts providing a safer environment but lost the sense of being in the wild a little because of it. The 'loo with a view' was stunning and watching an Elephant less than 10 metres away from it was surreal.

Game activities were game drives only and our guide was Ebes. The volume and variety of game was impressive and the terrain allowed much easier game viewing providing us with our best sightings, especially of Leopard and Cheetah of the whole trip. However the drives were not as fulfilling or as enjoyable as game drives experienced at the Kwando camps.

Game drives were at a much slower pace and despite the amazing sightings, we were left with a feeling of 'could have been so much better' due to unneccesary pauses in the drives, for example on more than one occasion we viewed Kudu from a far distance (over 100 metres away) when we had seen them earlier at much closer distance.

Our guide was a keen and talented bird watcher (his tracking of a Pels fishing owl was amazing) and despite having no keen twitchers on the Jeep, tried to to instil a bird watching mentality to the drives. This would have been acceptable, if there had been no signs of game around, but this was not always the case. A reluctance to go off road and track an animal, unless a visual had been ascertained was frustrating compared to what we had witnessed at other camps.

Brilliant sightings but one brilliant sighting was tainted by our guide leaving a leopard sighting to go look for his lense cap! Whilst the other vehicles followed the amazing cat we stayed still to search the vehicle for the missing camera equipment.

Overall, we enjoyed Ebes friendly and infomative guiding style and on other trips would have been raving about the sightings we saw whilst with him but unfortunately we were spoilt by the determination of the guides at the other camps to go that extra mile.
In summary the camp facilities were the best we stayed at during our trip and we enjoyed our experiences whilst at Chitabe"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 18 May 2011
"Lagoon camp was our third of the trip and was slightly bigger than the first two with nine tents compared to five but this did not reduce the homely feel to the place. The tents had recently been renovated and were more like big chalets with separate areas for sleeping, dressing and bathroom. The room overlooked the lagoon, was bright and airy inside and was the only one of the trip which was not on stilts. This led to interesting and exciting walks to and from the social areas due to regular encounters with the resident elephants.

All the staff were friendly and helpful, but more responsibility appeared to be put on to the guide (serving drinks, charging batteries etc) at this camp compared to the other camps. The food and service of, was comparable to Little Kwara.

Activities were based around game drives and a possible boat ride / fishing if all guests on the jeep preferred. Our guiding team of Vundi and James were very friendly and informative and put in a great deal of much appreciated effort to ensure all guests were happy and looked after. The camp was full throughout our stay resulting in a full jeep for game drives which made the drives a touch uncomfortable due to the lack of space on the vehicle (no spare middle seats for camera bags etc). Fortunately all the guests on our vehicle had one ambition which was to see wild dogs. Vundi and James, through sheer determination and great skill, more than satisfied everyone's wishes.

The terrain where the dogs were found, was very thick shrub, with little in the way of game except for the odd elephant, impala and birds and nearly two full game drives was spent off road searching. This made these two drives very tiring but through persistence and the amazing tracking skills of the guiding team (how you can track something heading in a direction, but you cannot head in that direction due to the denseness of the flora and still find the animal is beyond me!) led to a fantastic sighting of the dogs interacting with each other. To top this off we then went back in the afternoon and saw them hunting, therefore a huge thanks goes to our guiding team for these three drives alone. The other drives were equally exciting and good sightings were to be found, but the last drive highlighted how keen Vundi was to show us something different. Three cheetah had been spotted two hours away and if we sacrificed breakfast we would have time to go see them before catching our plane. Before we arrived the cheetahs had brought down an ostrich, so we experienced the interaction of the three brothers feeding on a cheetah which was certainly different.

In summary, Lagoon camp was an amazing experience and easily surpassed our expectations, a guide can make or break a stay and Vundi (both in an out of camp) certainly enhanced what was already an unbelieveable trip."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
DumaTau Camp

DumaTau Camp

"DumaTau review"

2 nights Arrived 21 May 2011
"Our final camp and perhaps the one we felt was less welcoming than the other ones that we had stayed at. The staff were professional and eficient but similar to Chitbae there was a less homely feel than the Kwando camps.

The camp was, roughly the same size of lagoon camp, connected by boardwalks and was perfectly located adjacent to a watercourse which improved the sightings around camp compared to Chitabe.

The room provided similar faciliites to the other camps we visited but was showing signs of wear (including numerous tears in the mosquito net) and the size of the room was a slight issue in that the toilet was seperated from the bed by a curtain whereas in previous camps had been a seperate room. The outside area was cramped with the space for only one sun bed and had privacy issues (a window of room 2 looked straight onto the outdoor shower of our room)

However, the facilities around camp were good and it has an amazing pool area with swing beds that overlooks the watercourse and can provide nice views of the local wildlife whilst lazing around during the day. Food was of similar standard to Chitabe and a bush dinner on the first night added welcome variety. Activities to our knowledge consists only of game drives but were well thought out, with all the guides working as a team to improve the chances of good sightings and included a nice scenic drive to see the Savute Channel.

Ron, our guide was very friendly and conscientious and made for a good atmosphere on game drives. Our first sighting was a leopard in a tree which we have now seen on the wilderness website. To see a photograph on the site and know we were there was fantastic and brings back our good memories. A nice relaxing end to a brilliant trip."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent

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