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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms O from Vancouver

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

14

Excursions taken

2

My Mar / Apr 2016 Trip

Namibia between 26 Mar 2016 and 13 Apr 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a great time. Everything "worked" like it was supposed to, and we were generally very happy with our activities and accommodations. We'd been to Botswana previously and so had some safari experience. The things we really liked about Namibia are:
- the ability to travel unescorted
- the diversity of activities (desert, seashore, animals, etc)
- the ability to get some exercise.

The only negative we have to say is that the Corolla wasn't really up to the southern desert roads. We were down to 40 kph frequently, which made for some long drives. I dont think we needed 4 wheel drive or a big truck, but we did need better clearance. We were constantly scraping the undercarriage on the "middle hump" of the road and fighting the steering wheel. Sesriem to Solitaire (C19) and Solitaire to the Kuiseb Pass (C14) were simply bad, especially the latter.

We met some outbound travellers on our first night in Windhoek who'd been advised that the C14 was often in bad shape and been recommended a detour using the D1998 etc to C26. We took their advice, and, while we can't say what condition the C14 was like after that, the detour was certainly better than what we'd experienced to that point."

Arranged By Megan Green


Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 27 Mar 2016
"Nice spot but we were there less than 24 hours, so I haven't any comments."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Kulala Desert Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 28 Mar 2016
"We had a great time here and loved the location. We had a very nice tent off at the far end so we could pretend we were all alone with the scenery.

Our guide on the Sossusvlei trip was really good. Otherwise, though, service was friendly but slightly off. We never really understood what the activity options were. Perhaps there should be a schedule posted? Nor could we determine the cost of our drinks (we were on a half board tariff) until we checked out."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Ballooning in the Namib Desert

Ballooning in the Namib Desert

"Excellent Excursion"

29 Mar 2016 • Morning excursion

I was somewhat uncertain about this. Id never ballooned before and was a bit hesitant about the price. I'm very happy I went ahead. The views are phenomenal! Our pilot, Manie, was friendly and informative. While the baskets seemed a little crowded at first, everyone got an unobstructed view. The breakfast following was delightful.
Excellent
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Terrific Hospitality"

3 nights Arrived 31 Mar 2016
"Cornerstone has nice, conveniently located rooms. What really sets it apart is the service. Everything was simply made easy.

Dinner reservations made, breakfast moved up to accommodate the kayaking, advice and assistance with anything we could think to ask. Lovely, lovely team."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Kayaking with seals

Kayaking with seals

"Great Outing"

1 Apr 2016 • Morning excursion

Jeanne is an excellent guide. Her photos / film service is above and beyond what I expect on a guided excursion.

In addition to the seals we saw hundreds of flamingos, pelicans, and a few dolphins.
Excellent
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Loved it!"

2 nights Arrived 3 Apr 2016
"I'm so glad we stayed here for two nights. The scenery is gorgeous: a rugged, rocky bowl strewn with random boulders. It looks like giants tossed them about.

Much as I enjoy safari outings the lack of exercise can be wearing. Erongo Wilderness Lodge has a number of walks leading from the camp. We did the Sundowner and Baboon walks. Both were of easy to moderate difficulty and had great views at the top.

I also went to Paula's Cave. Saw lots of birds and some animals (baboons, zebra, dikdik) on the drive. The art itself is quite interesting.

The birding was very good with lots of noisy lovebirds flitting about and a number of endemics (Monteiro's hornbill, rock runner, etc). Casually sitting on my deck with ordinary binoculars and a pocket guide I spotted over 20 species.

Speaking of which the views off the deck are spectacular. Absolutely loved the design of this place. Tents were nestled into the rocks and angled away from each other to enhance privacy.

The food was very good and the service friendlier than usual. Walked with Clausus (not entirely sure about his name, he's from the Caprivi area) and he was fun to spend time with.

The pool was a little murky, but they had a severe water shortage. So that's quite understandable."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

"Great Safari at Ongava"

2 nights Arrived 5 Apr 2016
"Ongava was terrific. The waterhole was quite prolific. Without leaving camp we saw impala, kudu, giraffe, zebra, an elephant take a bath, and, one night, lions.

On the game drives on the reserve, we saw white rhino and lions, in addition to the usual suspects. Really liked that we were allowed out of the jeep to view the rhinos. Our guide was Bono, and he was very good. He provided a great introduction to Etosha and helped us plan our crossing after we left.

The camp generally was slightly more rustic than some of the other places we stayed, which I enjoyed: it seemed a little "wilder". That said it was very comfortable.

This camp was more social than others. Management socialized with guest and guests were encouraged to mingle. It made a nice change."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Mushara Outpost

Mushara Outpost

"Luxurious Mushara"

2 nights Arrived 7 Apr 2016
"The Outpost is gorgeous. The main villa is beautifully decorated and to call the accommodations "tents" seems misleading. It was certainly the chicest tent I've ever seen.

This was toward the end of our trip. We'd been driving rough gravel roads and rushing from activity to activity for almost two weeks. Mushara was an oasis of calm and relaxation. We went into Etosha with a guide in the morning and saw some interesting animals (large herds of giraffe - some sparring, cheetahs, hyena, and a black rhino). Came back to the Outpost intending to have lunch and a break and head back out. Instead we just relaxed into a lazy afternoon.

We were the only guests, which could have been awkward. However, the service was nicely balanced between attentive and discrete. The lack of other guests highlighted the oasis feeling."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp

"We were upgraded!"

2 nights Arrived 9 Apr 2016
"We arrived at Okonjima to find we'd been upgraded to the Villa. It was phenomenal. Two other guests joined us for dinner the first night and the next morning's activity. Aside from that we had the place to ourselves. It felt like a private house, but with a bunch of staff including a chef.

The activities were great too. Really enjoyed the cheetah tracking, especially because we were allowed to approach closely on foot. We did it twice. The first time we had to chase them down and had quite a long walk. The second time we found a pair quickly. These ones were kind enough to stay still and pose for us.

The Africat tour was very informative and provided another opportunity to get quite close to a leopard and cheetahs."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
River Crossing

River Crossing

"Pleasant Last Night"

1 night Arrived 11 Apr 2016
"This was a quick stop before catching an early morning flight out. The pool and deck areas were very nice.

The staff was friendly too."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good

Fantastic trip to Botswana

Botswana and 1 other country between 12 Mar 2012 and 27 Mar 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip was wonderful. We'd never been to Africa and so had no idea what to expect.

Megan was a pleasure to deal with, took time to understand our goals and provided clear and well thought out options for us to chose from. Just how well she'd designed our trip became clearer as it unfolded. Our trip included a diversity of settings (desert, delta, open plains) that meant we saw a lot of different animals but also has different activities available to us. Im also quite happy she recommended the Victoria Falls Hotel.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Not really."

Arranged By Megan Green


Royal Tree Lodge

Royal Tree Lodge

"Royal Tree Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 13 Mar 2012
"We stayed here only one night as a rest break after the flight down. It was pleasant and comfortable.

Dougie Wright, the manager, gave us a bit of a game drive, which we enjoyed at the time but was quite overshadowed once we continued on our trip."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Tau Pan Camp

Tau Pan Camp

"Tau Pan Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 14 Mar 2012
"We really enjoyed our stay at Tau Pan. The camp itself is lovely with beautifully designed and very comfortable rooms. We particularly liked how well visually integrated the camp was with its surroundings. Staff was very friendly in general and the evening campfire fun.

Our guide, Lucky, and tracker, PK (sp?), were wonderful. They were friendly and extremely knowledgable. We'd never been on safari before and so had no idea what to expect. Lucky and PK taught us a lot and were simply good company over fairly long days. Lucky is particularly knowledgable about birds, and PK's bush skills are fascinating and impressive. The guides were all quite friendly, and we had a great time with them one evening when they regaled us with stories from their guiding experience. Another staff member, Milady, was a gracious hostess.

We saw quite a bit of wildlife including three separate groups of lions, antelopes galore (primarily springbok and oryx, but also hartebeest, kudu, steenbok, duiker), bat eared foxes, jackals, ostrich, lots of birds and an impressive looking cobra. Others in camp at the time saw a cheetah hunt. Birds spanned the range from eagles and vulture through ground birds to lovely little bee eaters.

The bushman walk with PK was excellent and a nice break from the jeep. The trip to Deception Valley is well worth it but LONG and covers some rough terrain.

The food was of generally high quality but the remoteness of the location means there's a little less fresh food than some other camps and more of an emphasis on stews and roasts."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kanana

Kanana

"Kanana review"

2 nights Arrived 17 Mar 2012
"We only spent two nights at Kanana, but enjoyed our time there. The tents and central areas are lovely. Game here is not as plentiful or diverse as some other locations but we were lucky enough to see a leopard hunting on a night drive. We also saw giraffe, hippos, impala and a semi resident elephant, George.

The primary focus is on water activities. We had a fun motor boat trip through papyrus lined channels to a heronry but this wasnt the right season for most birds. We did see some marabou storks. Other interesting birds included saddle billed storks and ground crossbills.

Our guide was Kenny who was knowledgable and easy to get along with. He had a sense of humour too - tipping us off to the "Ugly 5" at the heronry. His bush walk was also interesting. He knew a fair bit about the plants and their uses (including how to use a poisonous one to feign illness and get out of school as a boy).

One problem was that our transfer flight to the next camp was booked for shortly after 10:00, which meant our mokoro trip the second morning was rather short. The manager, Murray, was upset about this but unable to remedy the matter.

Murray was an engaging host. We were the first guests of the year and greeted with sparkling wine accordingly. He's a larger than life character, and my husband in particular enjoyed staying up talking with him by the fire.

The food here was notably good."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Shinde Camp

Shinde Camp

"Shinde Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 19 Mar 2012
"Shinde was wonderful. It had a very nice balance of land based and water based activities and diverse wildlife. Since we arrived early in the day our guide, Banolo, took us on a mini drive from the airstrip and in 15 minutes we saw lots of elephants, zebras, giraffe and of course antelope. That evening Banolo was able to track down a leopard with her cubs and a few days' old kill. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

Camp common areas are quite lovely, resembling a very elegant tree fort. The tents were very nice too, but not as spacious as those at Kanana. Like Kanana Shinde had a number of pleasant service touches such as coffee delivered with the wake up call and in room brandy with glasses. The swimming pool here was a little larger and a pleasant place to spend time with refreshments stocked in a cooler. The food was good.

The hosts here are a married couple Farley (sp?) and Maggie. They are excellent hosts; evenings around the fire were entertaining.

Banolo was a good guide. While having a leopard around was lucky, he also knew quite a bit about animal behaviour and birds. We spent a relaxed evening fishing with him that was a lot of fun. We did catch bream and the kitchen cooked it for us too.

There weren't many other guests around so we pretty much had the run of the place and very personalised service."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

"Lebala Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 22 Mar 2012
"Lebala was another lovely camp. The tents are particularly nice here, being large and quite airy. Also appreciated the return of outdoor showers (both Kwando camps we visited had them). The common areas, while perfectly pleasant, werent quite as nice as the Kerr & Downey ones. Generally Kwando seemed to have nicer rooms while Kerr & Downey had nicer common areas. I think that Kwando should have reference books available, esp for birds. The food was very good - especially baked goods.

Game was variable. We were lucky enough to have a pack of wild dogs in the area (we didnt really realise at the time how rare this is) but on a few drives didnt really see much. But it's entirely possible that's the voice of a jaded safari-er at the tail end of her holiday!

Again I was very impressed by the staff who were uniformly pleasant, courteous, and competent. Our guide Kanawe and tracker Bowman were cheerful and knowledgeable company. Staff were a little more gregarious here than the other camps - perhaps they'd worked together longer."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel

"Victoria Falls Hotel review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Mar 2012
"Loved the Vic Falls Hotel. Classic colonial grandeur next door to one of the wonders of the world. The breakfast buffet was excellent and drinks on the terrace looking over the bridge and the falls mist cant be beat. We did the formal dinner on our last night and it was excellent, but it was a little sad to see how few patrons they had.

The town of Vic Falls was an interesting place to spend a couple of days, but it's clear the locals are in tough economic times. Whenever we left the grounds people tried, persistently but politely, to sell us curios and even wanted to trade for articles of clothing and shoes. That said there was an active tourist policy force in evidence who helped to keep the hawkers manageable.

Also had a nice dinner at a restaurant in town (near the hotel, just across the tracks) called Mama Africa's. It was the one time we were able to try local cuisine on our trip."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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