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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs C from Hants

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

November 2012 Namibian Birthday Tour

Namibia between 17 Nov 2012 and 2 Dec 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip to Namibia was everything we hoped for and more, the country was spectacular and the people were very friendly and willing to share their knowledge. The hotels we chose were excellent and we feel that the advice that we were given on these by Expert Africa helped us to make the best of our limited time in the country. Namibia was a fantastic self drive destination - we really enjoyed being able to do everything under our own steam at our own pace.

When we go again (which I've no doubt we will) we would probably go a month or so earlier, as we were definitely getting in to the rainy season with some rather overcast and even cool days and the absence of concentrated game in Etosha. However we were aware of this when booking and chose our dates to coincide with my wife's birthday. The upside was that it was even quieter than we expected, enabling us to appreciate the solitude of the landscape and get the exclusive treatment from guides and other staff.

We would definitely book with Expert Africa again and would like to pass on our thanks for a wonderfully advised and arranged trip."

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Elegant Guesthouse

Elegant Guesthouse

"Ideal first night stop at Elegant Guesthouse"

1 night Arrived 18 Nov 2012
"This was a perfect first night stop after arriving in Windhoek. It was very easy to find and secure parking was available. It is in a quiet area in Klein Windhoek and felt peaceful and perfectly safe and secure. The staff were welcoming and friendly and on arrival, were able to recommend and reserve Joe's Beerhouse for dinner as well as providing details of a taxi for the journey back, approx N$50. The Beerhouse is in walking distance in daylight but lack of pavements makes this unsafe for walking back in the dark. This is a good and atmospheric place to eat and to start your Namibian adventure.

Rooms were very clean and comfortable with air conditioning and a small individual patio. As the rooms are quite close together and are glass fronted, we were aware of people leaving early in the morning but this is the only slight criticism. Breakfast was good and an honesty bar operates in the evening if you want to sit and relax with a drink on the communal terrace or in your room."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

"Amazing stay at Hoodia Desert Lodge"

2 nights Arrived 19 Nov 2012
"First of our stops out on the road. The setting for the lodge is incredible with very expansive views of the surrounding mountains and desert - we were lucky to get room no. 1 at the end of the row with unobstructed views out to the west - ideal for watching the sunset. Being British, when we got to the gate and saw it was closed we assumed it was locked and it took us a few minutes to realise that just pulling it across to open! We'll blame this on the long drive and having come from Windhoek where locked security gates were the norm!

On reaching the lodge we received a very genuine welcome from the owners and staff. Food was excellent - probably the best meals of the whole holiday and this was preceded by drinks on the terrace overlooking the dry river bed. Dietary requirements were noted and respected with no need for reminders (not always the case in other places). Excellent wine selection at reasonable prices.

Highlight of our stay was the day trip to Sossusvlei. Our guide for the day was lodge owner Thomas as his regular guide was on holiday and he gave us a truly memorable day out, sharing his knowledge of the area and the country as a whole. Although the day was rather overcast for photography, this made it much easier for climbing sand dunes and the walk to Dead Vlei which we were lucky enough to get all to ourselves - again due to good planning by Thomas. Mid morning drinks and lunch were served with style and panache - true African luxury! A long day was rounded off by a walk at Sesriem Canyon. Although this trip may seem expensive we felt it was worth every penny.

Rooms were quite warm but this may have been due to power cuts affecting the air conditioning - not a regular occurrence. Outside bath and shower were fantastic and we saw warthogs, steenboks, springboks and baboons nearby.

Hoodia was everything we hoped for and more."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Pleasant stay at Cornerstone Guesthouse"

2 nights Arrived 21 Nov 2012
"After a long drive (note the Sesriem to Swakopmund journey is the one that seems to catch everyone out in terms of length and desolation but still very memorable) the guesthouse was conveniently located and very easy to find with secure parking. Room was comfortable, clean and quiet and guests are provided with a mobile phone to contact the owners in case of any problems after reception has closed. Owners also very happy to recommend and reserve restaurants - we ate at The Tug and The Jetty (which is new and does not yet appear in the guidebook or restaurant list) - both were excellent and good value. The Jetty has glass floor panels, enabling you to sit above the waves while eating.

The Guesthouse is very well situated for exploring Swakopmund on foot and whilst it could not compete with the lodges and camps for the 'wow' factor, made for a very enjoyable change of scene. Wide breakfast choice with option of hot breakfast cooked to order."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Camp Kipwe

Camp Kipwe

"Elephant spotting at Camp Kipwe"

2 nights Arrived 23 Nov 2012
"The location and design of Camp Kipwe lives up to all the expectations from the brochure and website. The rooms built into the rocks blend in very well and the outdoor bathrooms are large, very private and a joy to use - ours (no. 7) had a huge boulder for a roof and was certainly a loo with a view. Rooms are quite dark as a result of the design and also tend to get rather warm, but all have a shady terrace with great views over the surrounding landscape.

Staff are friendly and welcoming, but service levels whilst still good, were slightly below that of other places we stayed. Although we were asked for dietary requirements on arrival these did not appear have been properly noted as they were overlooked on two occasions, but rectified immediately without any argument. Meals were 3 course with a choice of main courses. Food was good but was not quite up to the same standard as some other lodges. Sundowners on top of the Kopjie behind the lodge were superb - a great view with very little climbing effort with drinks and snacks brought up by the staff.

We took the trip to track the desert elephants and were fortunate enough to find them and get an excellent view. The guide was excellent, informative and entertaining and the trip also showcased the beautiful and diverse landscapes of this area. We believe this trip was also very good value for money as it is not something you would be able to do on your own.

The public areas of the camp are stylish and inviting and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo better than expected"

2 nights Arrived 25 Nov 2012
"Having read some of the reviews of Okaukuejo we were not expecting this to be up to the standards of the other places we had stayed but the accommodation (Bush Chalet) had obviously been refurbished to a good standard and actually exceeded our expectations. Room was clean, comfortable and quiet and the air conditioning was the most effective and quietist we had in our entire trip. The chalet was conveniently situated for the waterhole, however going in late November we were too late to see anything other than some Zebras and small mammals there during our stay.

Food was a self service buffet - choice of two freshly cooked grilled meats plus other hot dishes and salads. Service was a little random and not always with a smile - bit of a holiday camp mass catering feel to it all.

Camp is an excellent base for exploring the park and whilst we did not see the vast concentrations of game that occur in the dry season we saw most of the parks major inhabitants during our stay. We checked out before breakfast to avoid any possible rush and although the need to have the room inventory checked grated a little, this process was actually quick and easy."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Onguma Tree Top Camp

Onguma Tree Top Camp

"Amazing bush experience at Onguma Tree Top"

2 nights Arrived 27 Nov 2012
"We had very high hopes for this camp and weren't disappointed. The rooms are fabulous - quite small but perfectly formed and the ability to just sleep under a mosquito net with the front of the tent open listening to the sounds of the bush is definitely an experience not to be missed. We were able to watch a variety of animals including warthog, impala, zebras, wildebeest, kudu and even a lone giraffe from our bed, terrace and shower. We were advised by the staff that a close encounter with a snake on the terrace was nothing to worry about!

Rooms are not overlooked and the camp is well designed so that all can see the waterhole but are only a short walk from the dining and communal areas. Staff were friendly and welcoming and on our first night food was cooked over the Braai in front of us and we were lucky enough to have the camp to ourselves on the second night.

Although the camp is located in a private game reserve, it was clear from the views of the guide that Etosha is still the big attraction in the area. We had a very pleasant sundowner drive around the reserve but wildlife viewing was limited although the sunset and G&Ts were spectacular. We also took the morning drive back into eastern Etosha and despite a slow start were ultimately rewarded with a fantastic close encounter with an Elephant and views of a lioness hunting warthog and kudu (unsuccessfully!).

All in all this place is as a must do!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Lovely finale to our holiday at Erongo"

2 nights Arrived 29 Nov 2012
"As with many of our other stops, Erongo Wilderness Lodge has been tastefully designed to blend in with an amazing landscape. The rooms are light, spacious and being tent based let a good amount of fresh air in if so desired. Bathroom once again was outside - excellent supply of hot water and the only audience are the abundant Dassies! Terraces are extensive and private with great views of the surrounding scenery. We had room 10, which despite being the furthest from the dining area had amazing views and a double bed (a rare find in Namibia where the 'Austrian Twin' seems to be the norm).

Food was excellent with a choice of two main dishes each evening, with dietary requirements thoughtfully met and a good choice of wine. Weather permitting, dinner is served outside around a braai, overlooking a small floodlit waterhole.

After our time in Etosha where we were largely vehicle based, it was great to be able to get out and explore on foot. We started with a short sharp Kopje climb for sundowners on our first evening and followed up with a longer climb of a larger Kopje before breakfast the next day - as ever the guides were friendly and knowledgable. We took the nature drive that afternoon but sadly were unable to do the walk up to the rock paintings owing to heavy rain making the rocks too slippery - a shame but one of the risks of visiting in the rainy season.

Breakfasts were the best of any of the camps - thoroughly enjoyed the pancakes. It was my wife's birthday during our stay and we were treated to sparkling wine and a home backed chocolate accompanied by a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday from the staff. A wonderful end to an amazing trip."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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