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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Dr's Spear from DC

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

2

My Oct 2012 trip

Namibia between 2 Oct 2012 and 12 Oct 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"Nothing was asked about ground arrangements here, which were perfect with one troublesome exception, given that it was our introduction to the trip. When we landed at Windhoek, no one was there to meet us. I figured out we should find Wilderness Safari's lounge, where someone scrambled to get us to our hotel, sending us in a small, hot, crowded taxi whose driver drove a long distance beyond the center to drop off the other passenger first; when I complained he said it was more convenient for him to return to the airport from Olive Grove.

This meant it took an hour (which mattered to us after a long flight from Munich). Wilderness also didn't notify us of our departure time the next morning; we had to take the initiative to find out. When a van and driver picked us up the next morning we realized that we didn't have the service and transportation upon arrival we had paid for. But, thereafter, all went smoothly.

A tip for those going on to S. Africa. The Parker Guest House in Cape Town is a gem: in a handsome home built by a distinguished architect, it's brilliantly managed with excellent rooms and top rate breakfasts. Likewise, I cannot recommend more highly the Cascade Manor in Paarl (wine land): set in a landscape as beautiful as the best of Tuscany, it is luxuriously comfortable with very good food and modestly priced for its category.

In all, our trip was everything we had hope for. The only regret were our two-night stays; if one has the time and money, I'd strongly recommend at least three nights everywhere. Expert Africa's handling of our trip was really first rate (thanks to Maruska) and we strongly recommend using the company to anyone visiting Namibia.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

For someone who's usually critical of lapses in service, I am happy to say I can't suggest how you could have done better!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 2 Oct 2012
"The location is farther from town than anticipated (and using a pre-arranged car isn't cheap), but Olive Grove's peaceful garden setting is a solid trade off.

Our room was very spacious and, like the public spaces, handsomely appointed."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

"Sossusvlei Desert Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 3 Oct 2012
"We both felt that this was the finest hotel we've stayed in, anywhere (and we have travelled a lot). The room (a misnomer for what is a small villa) was beautiful with wonderful views of the plains, mountains, and water hole. Everything else complemented its excellence: the service was impeccable, the food very good.

The only weak note was a noisy and not efficient air conditioner, which mattered because the days were very hot. The manager offered to move us but, after unpacking everything, we declined. We wish we had been there a week rather than three nights."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Cornerstone Guesthouse review"

2 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2012
"Among the best guesthouses or B&Bs we've encountered. Incredibly clean, with a beautiful garden full of flowers; comfortable rooms, fine service, and a very good breakfast. Plus a short walk to the city center (and to Tug, probably the best restaurant in town and the best seafood we had in Namibia).

Private day tour to coast south of Swakopmund including Sandwich Harbour:

This was one of the highlights of our entire trip. The co-owner, Naude Dreyer, who drove us, is well informed and passionate amateur naturalist, so his knowledge added a lot to the marvelous landscapes we saw. Every moment of the five-plus hours was wonderful. Sandwich Harbour 4 x 4 is highly recommended for this trip.

Private scenic flight over the desert:

An 'excellent' rating because of the nature we saw, though we didn't feel that we truly had a customized flight but instead that the pilot was keen to follow a standard scenic flight. That's not to say that we didn't fly over what was listed, but that that list was generated by Scenic Flight's routine itinerary more than our submitted interests."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Scenic flights in Namibia

Scenic flights in Namibia

"Namibia from the air"

6 Oct 2012 • Morning excursion

An 'excellent' rating because of the nature we saw, though we didn't feel that we truly had a customized flight but instead that the pilot was keen to follow a standard scenic flight. That's not to say that we didn't fly over what was listed, but that that list was generated by Scenic Flight's routine itinerary more than our submitted interests.
Excellent
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"Sandwich Harbour is not to be missed"

7 Oct 2012 • All-day excursion

This was one of the highlights of our entire trip. The co-owner, Naude Dreyer, who drove us, is well informed and passionate amateur naturalist, so his knowledge added a lot to the marvelous landscapes we saw. Every moment of the five-plus hours was wonderful. Sandwich Harbour 4 x 4 is highly recommended for this trip.
Excellent
Camp Kipwe

Camp Kipwe

"Camp Kipwe review"

2 nights Arrived 8 Oct 2012
"Camp Kipwe could be excellent with proper management. The site is marvelous and the architecture interestingly adapted to the environment.

But, to give an example of the poor oversight, the daily 'service' of our room left the wastebaskets un-emptied, the dirty glasses untouched -- i.e., nothing was done but make the beds (when we told the manager, whose office was usually empty, he did send someone back). Also, I had to insist by showing our vouchers that we were entitled to two excursions per day, including a return visit to Twyfelfontein, for which they wanted me to pay the entrance (but relented).

Worse, this was the only place with many flies, probably caused by all of the animal droppings (cattle?) behind the hotel's hill, where the staff lives and makes an inexcusable mess of the area (all kinds of trash strewn about, which simply should not be allowed but the management seemingly doesn't care)."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

"Ongava Tented Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 10 Oct 2012
"We didn't anticipate the degree to which we were in the midst of African game! Our tent was beautifully appointed and comfortable but, after dark, a safety-enclosed spot from which we couldn't move without supervision (and having no phone meant staying put). After dark, all movement was accompanied but someone with a gun, for good reason -- lions were growling at night all around our tent.

Our last night a pride of 14 lions came and encamped at the water hole some 100 ft. from our dining table (an incredible spectacle), and then some of them moved to our tent's front 'lawn.' At first the staff insisted after dinner that we couldn't return to our tent even with the gun-toting guard but that we'd have to be driven there (somehow); eventually we did walk back with the guard, encountering lions at rest maybe 50 ft. from our door. It was an exciting venture. The weak spot, however, given the camp's cost, was the very mediocre food (by far the worst we encountered at our hotels), served buffet style and not much better than a cafeteria's."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Poor

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