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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms A from Cambridgeshire

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

5

Lodges stayed in

17

Excursions taken

0

Botswana, Zambia & Tanzania - Sep 2016

Botswana and 3 other countries between 2 Sep 2016 and 24 Sep 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"A fantastic trip to Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania (my fourth safari); the three weeks flew by. Everything ran smoothly, and was as expected. A few flights were inevitably delayed, but not significant enough to adversely effect the itinerary.

My preferences/interests had clearly been passed onto the camps, and acted upon, which was much appreciated.

An awful lot of work goes into organising a 3-week long trip, and Ellie was most knowledgeable. At times when I contacted her she was very busy and hence there were sometimes some delays in her responses. But everything came together perfectly, and I had a terrific time. I'll be back!"

City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"Extremely convenient stopover"

1 night Arrived 3 Sep 2016
"It’s location is it’s main selling point. Adequate rooms. Breakfast was ok, basic buffet fare, nothing special.

If I had to overnight in Jo’burg again, I would stay here just for the convenience, so to avoid lengthy road transfers and being dropped off at the airport way ahead of the flight time."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Great start to my safari"

2 nights Arrived 4 Sep 2016
"A very enjoyable stay; the highlights being the wild dogs. Within four hours of landing in Botswana I found myself in the thick of the action, alongside the dogs as they first hunted impala and then frantically chased a warthog.

The next morning we spent a relaxed hour watching a flock of around one hundred carmine bee-eaters - two very different but very memorable experiences.

Great room, spacious, clean. The food was mixed, but with several options being offered, there was always something to satisfy my appetite. Service was as I expected, I’ve certainly no complaints, and I think Expert Africa’s description of the camp/service/food is spot on; the service is not as polished as at some other camps I’ve visited, but it didn’t have any detrimental effect on my stay. Most importantly the game drives were excellent.

So overall I would give 4.5 stars, not quite perfection!"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Wonderful safari"

2 nights Arrived 6 Sep 2016
"Overall, assessing the all-round experience, I would say this camp just edged it as my favourite of my 3-week long safari.

I very much liked the room I was assigned, far from the main lodge, nestled amongst the trees and frequented by much wildlife, including bushbuck, elephants, and hippos at night. The food was good and plentiful, and everything was very well organised, and I enjoyed the company of the other guests.

I also enjoyed the flexibility of being able to take brunch at your convenience, not having to dine with fellow guests at a specified time.

The highlight was the fantastic game drives. Our experienced tracker, Mr More, was excellent, showing such dedication. One morning we spent nearly two hours tracking leopard; very interesting watching him at work, with his determination to find the leopard clearly visible. And his perseverance was rewarded with a sighting of a 7-month old leopard cub.

Other highlights included observing wild dogs interact with the elephant herds, time spent with the wild dog puppies, and spotting a herd of sable antelope."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Didn’t quite match my high expectations"

3 nights Arrived 8 Sep 2016
"Very enjoyable stay. Maybe somewhat harshly, I have only given 4 stars, as it wasn't quite perfect on all fronts. 4.5 stars (very good) would be a true reflection of my experience. No major issues, just a number of small annoyances. Little Vumbura has a high reputation (and price tag!), and hence I had extremely high expectations, and it didn't quite achieve top scores.

The room was cosy, more than adequate for one person, but certainly not as spacious as other camps I have stayed in; apparently they are planning to slightly extend the rooms at the end of this season. I enjoyed frequent sightings of elephant, kudu and puku immediately outside my room (#5).

A great addition was the hospitality tray provided in the room, supplied with a fresh flask of hot water, and a great choice of teas. However, the same choice of teas was not offered during the tea break on the morning game drive or at afternoon tea served at camp. After repeated requests they failed to supply the tea of my choice and eventually I gave up asking! If they could provide the tea in the room, why couldn't they also provide it in the central areas?!

I enjoyed the company of the other guests I was paired with for the game drives. However, the general atmosphere in camp I felt was somewhat lacking. JB, the camp manager, did a fantastic job, and when he was around the mood certainly lifted, but at other times when he was absent, it was definitely noticeable, and things didn't run quite as harmoniously.

On arrival the person conducting the briefing sounded like he was just reading from a script, I almost felt I was being lectured to, rather that being greeted and welcomed into camp. At this point it would also have been nice if they had explained the choice of activities which were on offer. But instead, at the start of each day, I was just told what they had lined up for me, i.e. whether that be a game drive, motor boat excursion or mokoro. I've been on safari several times, and at other camps the managers/guides would make suggestions and then the days’ activities would be planned (as far as possible) to meet guest’s desires. After requesting a change to the activities they had assigned me to, they did try to accommodate my wishes.

The food was good. At all other camps we would enjoy a light breakfast sat around the campfire (joined by guides and/or camp managers) before heading out on the early morning game drive. However, here they would formally set out a table for everyone to sit at (guests only, no staff joined), which again added to the slightly less than relaxed atmosphere - it was most strange, a table was really unnecessary, it was a self-service breakfast, and I would much preferred to have been sat around the campfire. We're on safari, I can take breakfast at a table anytime, let's embrace the different surroundings!

Now more of the positives, highlights of the game drives included a group of 4 young adult lions, which were a great source of entertainment each day - tree-climbing females, attempted hunt of impala and watching the antics of the inexperienced males was tremendous fun. And on my final morning sighting the wild dogs was very special.
The boating activities offer a completely different perspective to that experienced on the drives.

The camp is sited in an incredibly beautiful area, surrounded by wildlife. A special place to enjoy all that the Delta has to offer."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Toka Leya Camp

Toka Leya Camp

"Activities surpassed expectations"

2 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2016
"Crossing the border from Botswana to Zambia, the camp is conveniently located a short distance from Livingstone, and is a perfect addition to any safari. I chose the camp more as a stop-gap between the wildlife-rich areas I was visiting before and afterwards. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of wildlife I saw here. I particularly wanted to see the relocated white rhino which are being closely monitored in Mosi oa Tunya Park. However, the other activities, in particular the boat trips, definitely surpassed my expectations.

I had a great guide in Histon, and I enjoyed both an early morning boat excursion, as well as a sunset cruise. On both occasions we saw much wildlife (and close up), including impala coming down to drink, numerous elephants - bathing, a matriarchal herd with young ones taking a drink, enormous crocodiles, warthogs relaxing on the river bank, plus a large variety of birds, my particular favourite being the nesting bee-eaters. So much more than I expected, and with Histon’s great skill at manoeuvring the boat, I was able to take some fantastic photos.

Breakfast was served from 7-10am. On both mornings I didn’t take breakfast until 9am, and I found the pastries/muffins to be extremely dry, as if they had been left out on the buffet table (uncovered) for the past two hours since service began. Also the range of food offered at breakfast was slightly disappointing given the location; we were not offered anything different to that provided at the remotest of safari camps.

Overall I would rate the camp as very good, not quite excellent on all fronts, so 4.5 stars it is."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

"Superb game drives & outstanding hosting"

5 nights Arrived 13 Sep 2016
"The managers, Garth and Liz, are outstanding. Very professional, but also extremely personable. It appears effortless, but I’m sure an enormous amount of hard work goes on behind the scenes. They co-ordinate everything so smoothly; meals are always served on time, you never have to ask twice for anything, everything in camp was spot-on.

They have a terrific support team in Ruth and the local staff, who have also perfected the knack of anticipating your needs. A marvellous team who make you feel most welcome, and who go beyond expectations to ensure your enjoyment and satisfaction.

The food here was excellent, the best out of all the camps I visited. And they are one of the few camps to serve a true brunch.

Terrific game drives, in well-equipped vehicles, complemented the fantastic service provided in camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel

"Adequate for a stopover"

1 night Arrived 18 Sep 2016
"Only spent a short amount of time here; an early departure meant I had to miss breakfast, which wasn’t served until later, so little to comment on.

The large rooms are decorated in a very modern style."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun Dar

"Exceeded expectations"

1 night Arrived 19 Sep 2016
"Nice quiet, comfortable room overlooking the gardens. Front desk were very efficient and helpful; assisting when my luggage had been left in Jo’burg.

I enjoyed dinner in the restaurant, where service was also extremely good. An extensive breakfast buffet is served from 4am; wide choice of bread, rolls, pastries, jams, meats, cheese, and eggs cooked to order.

Would definitely stay again."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Beho Beho

Beho Beho

"Another immensely enjoyable stay"

4 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2016
"Delighted to return to Beho Beho; the lodge is just as I remembered it from two years ago.

Terrific hosts and high-quality guides combine to make a memorable stay."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Surpassed my Highest Expectations

Namibia between 11 Sep 2011 and 1 Oct 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"I had a truly amazing time in Namibia. The Private Guided Safari was fantastic, and I had a top guide in Orlando. He immediately picked up on my interests and tailored each day's itinerary to suit, making it both fun and interesting.

Wilderness Safaris then took over and once again everything was extremely well organised. I had a tremendous time and some extra special sightings.

I had high expectations and these were surpassed on all levels.

A big thank you to all concerned."

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

"Great First Stopover"

2 nights Arrived 12 Sep 2011
"I had a great stay and enjoyed the activities once I was on them. However, the scheduling of the activities was a very disorganised affair. The manager was very obliging and suggested all these activites that I could go on, but finding a guide to lead the activites appeared to be more of a problem, and I found it frustratingly difficult to find out the time the activites were going to take place.

The morning safari was wonderful. Stunning scenery. We saw lots of game, much more than I expected, and the guide patiently stopped to let us take lots of photos. The highlight was seeing giraffe mating.

Overall my experience was very good (couldn't quite give it an excellent rating!)"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Wolwedans Dune Camp

Wolwedans Dune Camp

"One of the Best"

2 nights Arrived 14 Sep 2011
"The Namib Rand Reserve is simply stunning. I was surprised by the amount of wildlife present, in all shapes and forms, ... from chameleons to giraffe. We spent a wonderful day out in the reserve with guide Lister, who patiently shared his considerable knowledge of the local flora and fauna. Lunch was taken at picture-perfect setting in the bush. It was a truly memorable day that surpassed all my expectations.

The only slight negative is the proximity of the tents to each other. The tents themselves are luxurious, each with a fabulously large outside decking area. However, the tents are located in a long line, and you can see your neighbours at all times. Hence when you sit outside, rather than being able to relax in your own private area, you feel as though you are sharing a public space. Ideally I would have preferred a little more privacy, but this was a minor issue.

My experience at Wolwedans ranks as one of the top highlights of my holiday, and my only regret is that I didn't stay for 3 nights!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Sossus Dune Lodge

Sossus Dune Lodge

"An Unexpected Oasis"

2 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2011
"Having read previous reviews I did not have very high expectations, and only chose this place as I wanted to experience sunrise and sunset in the park.

However, the accommodation was excellent, the chalets were huge and offered all the amenities one could wish for. The verandah was a real bonus and it was lovely being able to watch the springbok wander past at such close proximity. The food was more than adequate; plenty of it and a good variety of dishes were served. It definitely surpassed my expectations.

It was great being able to stay in the park itself; you really felt a part of it, rather than just visiting for the day."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Swakopmund Guesthouse

Swakopmund Guesthouse

"Disappointingly Average"

1 night Arrived 18 Sep 2011
"The only disappointing accommodation of my trip. My so-called 'luxury' room was distinctly average. The bathroom can only be likened to a prison cell; bare beige plastered walls, lacked any character or warmth. The fixtures and fittings were looking tired, the toilet seat was chipped and scratched. There was no desk/table in the room, so nowhere to sit and write. The hospitality tray was crawling with small ants. The room opened out on to the street and offered no privacy. I think the photos in the brochure are very misleading.

On arrival we were greeted by the receptionist, who promptly told us that now we've finally arrived, she was able to go home! From 6pm there are no staff present; an emergency contact number is given in the room, but do not expect any sort of service after 6pm. A security guard patrols at night. Staff are only present from 6am to 6pm. I do not think you can successfully run such a business on a part-time basis. The manager was very friendly and helpful the next morning, but that does not help if you have any issues after 6pm.

There was a power cut at 10:30pm, and when I informed the security guard, he told me he had very little credit on his phone, so was unable to phone the Manager, instead he would send her a message. There was a real lack of urgency. The guard had no torch and so had to borrow mine. I wouldn't want to rely on him in an emergency!
Maybe I was just unlucky, but I would certainly not class this as a luxury guesthouse."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Facilities
Poor
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Desert Rhino Camp

Desert Rhino Camp

"Desert Rhino Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 19 Sep 2011
"The camp layout and design were fantastic, and the tents luxuriously appointed; the accommodation surpassed my highest expectations. Of all the places I stayed, this was my favourite in terms of accommodation. The tents are beautifully sited, secluded amongst the vegetation; from my private verandah I enjoyed uninterrupted views towards the mountains and I could not see another tent. A delightful pathway meandered around to the main tented buliding, which consisted of a large comfortable lounge and dining area, where refreshments were readily available throughout the day.

On arrival I had to almost immediately go out on an afternoon game drive, with another couple who had already been at the camp for a night. I was keen to go on the drive, so didn't mind heading straight out. But unfortunately I missed the usual "welcome" given by the camp manager, and failed to receive any further information other than the snippets I picked up from the guests and my guide along the way. The activities were quite different to what I expected (may be the activities would have been fully explained if I had had more time on arrival). The morning drive involves closely following the Trackers and the focus is soley on finding the rhino.

More often than not, I was told, they usually find the rhino early in the day, whilst they are still active. However, they take a packed lunch with, in case a rhino is not found, in which case you stay out until you do find a rhino (or have to give up)! If the rhino is found during the morning you will return to camp for lunch, and then the late afternoon will just be spent on a general game drive/ scenic sundowner drive. The Trackers now only track one rhino per day, and rarely track the rhinos during the afternoon, unless they have been unsuccessful in their search during the morning. So for example if they find the rhino at 8:30am, they then call it a day. You can continue on a "general game drive", and may of course be lucky enough to spot another rhino from the road, but you receive no further assistance from the trackers. However there are lots of other mammals and birds present on the concession, so it was great to be able to spend some time observing these as well. The mountain zebra were a particular highlight; I did not see them anywhere else in any great numbers. Another highlight was seeing a large herd of elephants with a young baby."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Damaraland Camp

Damaraland Camp

"Damaraland Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2011
"I received an extremely warm welcome from Maggie and PG. And spent two wonderful days with guide Johann.

Johann thoughtfully planned out the activities over the two days, adapting the itinerary to suit our interests. On both mornings we had superb sightings of the desert-adapted elephants, and also spent the perfect amount of time enjoying the scenery and learning about the fauna and flora of the area.

On the second night we were treated to dinner at the boma; a magical setting."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

"Amazing, Incredible"

4 nights Arrived 24 Sep 2011
"I had 4 fantastic nights at the camp, spending time in both Ongava Reserve and Etosha National Park. As I stayed several nights, I was able to spend a full day in Etosha, as well as a half-day. Each area produced quite different expereinces, but I enjoyed both areas equally. Gerda and her husband Paul were great hosts and really contributed to making it a most enjoyable stay.

The waterhole at camp is a definite bonus, attracting lots of visitors, including white rhino. And we frequently observed lions around camp at night.

Ongava is definitely the place to see lions. During our game drives we had several close up sightlngs; the lions were extremely intrigued by our vehicle and wandered right up to the vehicle for a closer inspection!

My guide Leon, was excellent. He was extremely patient, frequently stopping to observe even the commonest of animals, and he patiently waited as I photographed every antelope from every angle! We also stopped to observe the birds, and the small creatures were not overlooked - I was delighted to find a chameleon.

The absolute highlight was seeing black rhino mating in daylight in Etosha. We had just arrived at Ombika waterhole just inside the entrance gate, and looked on as a black rhino wandered off into the distance. The other vehicles started to leave and I thought that was all I would see of the rhino. But how wrong was I. Two more rhinos quickly came into view and what a show we had! It was incredible, we were so unbelievably lucky."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp

"Top Accommodation"

2 nights Arrived 28 Sep 2011
"The chalet was fabulous. Just perfect - extremely well planned, every amenity you could wish for. Having one side built of canvas, which can be rolled up, is a wonderul innovation. Beautifully sited, you really felt as though you had your own private home in the bush. A highlight was for me was being able to feed the birds. It was really difficult to tear myself away from the chalet to go on the activities! I could have spent the whole day there relaxing and just enjoying the antics of the birds and warthogs.

I enjoyed the activities and being able to get a closer view of usually very elusive animals such as leopards and wild dogs. Obviously it's not the same as tracking totally wild animals, but this was as I expected. As an added bonus, on the drive back to camp one evening we also saw a wild leopard. He crossed the road right in front of our vehicle and much to our delight, hung around for a minute or two, giving an exceptional sighting.

Tiena the receptionist/host was very helpful and really co-ordinated everything extremely well. Thanks to Tiena, throughout the two days everything was very well organised.

It is the perfect place at which to end a stay in Namibia. My only regret is not staying for 3 nights."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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