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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs & Mr C from Toronto

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

4

Lodges stayed in

11

Excursions taken

1

My May 2012 trip

Namibia and 3 other countries between 2 May 2012 and 26 May 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was the perfectly orchestrated trip, introducing us to southern Africa. Maruska's ability to listen and plan an experience for complete strangers is uncanny.

Her recommendations assured us of perfect days, every day. To be met at a remote airfield, an hour late, by a jeep who dropped us at a waiting boat at the side of the river, met at the other side and taken to a hotel, all by kind, proud, and efficient staff is an amazing feat. It never occurred to us to be worried - we just accepted each step as part of our wonderful journey.

Looking back it could have been a series of mishaps - but it was perfect! Graeme never wants to travel anywhere else because we enjoyed sights and experiences we never imagined - endless desert, rich delta, the power and beauty of the animals, the kind and gentle people, and moving music. Thank you for the gift!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Acorn House

Acorn House

"The perfect place to stay in Cape Town"

4 nights Arrived 2 May 2012
"For us Acorn House was perfect. Beata and all her staff contributed to a welcoming and comfortable stay. Our room was large, with good bathroom and view onto the garden, light and bright. Breakfast was fresh with local additions, and eggs cooked to order. The staff helped us with very good restaurants, and steered us to local sites we would have missed without their guidance. A book with local events led us to a concert that was memorable. We loved the area: close to downtown but in a safe and attractive neighbourhood.

During their time here, Expert Africa organised an Excursion to Robben Island for these travellers. They commented:

We went on a rainy and rough day but still enjoyed our visit. It was a site we felt was important to visit and the tour was well run, with a former prisoner as our guide. It gave us a hint of how the prisoners lived, and reminded us of the importance of their freedom. We missed the view of CapeTown due to weather, but still would recommend a visit.

We also organised an Full day Cape Point and Peninsula Tour, about which they commented:

We had a good day and felt we got acquainted with the area surrounding Cape Town. If we had more time we would have driven ourselves and lingered at places of our choice, however we were short of time so appreciated our excellent guide who showed us areas of Cape Point and provided both historical detail and information on the wildlife and plants. We had a relaxing and informative day, with spectacular views and a walk in the Botanical gardens."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

"A good quick tour of the area"

4 May 2012 • All-day excursion

We had a good day and felt we got acquainted with the area surrounding Cape Town. If we had more time we would have driven ourselves and lingered at places of our choice, however we were short of time so appreciated our excellent guide who showed us areas of Cape Point and provided both historical detail and information on the wildlife and plants. We had a relaxing and informative day, with spectacular views and a walk in the Botanical gardens.
Image alt

Rusthof Country House, South Africa (this camp has since closed)

"Small and tasteful house on main street"

2 nights Arrived 6 May 2012
"The room was large , tastefully decorated and well-equipped, with a great bathroom. The owners provided us with good information about restaurants and wineries to visit, and the breakfast was very good in a pretty setting. The hotel was situated on the main street of Franschoek, a quiet and pretty town in May."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Eningu Clayhouse

Eningu Clayhouse

"Red Clay desert lodge"

1 night Arrived 8 May 2012
"This lodge introduced us to Namibia, a quiet and beautifully remote location which symbolized most of the country. We were surprised by the open spaces, sky and red desert, with animals appearing quietly around us.

The distances between farms, towns, and the absence of people first shocked us - why was the hotel so remote. But we learned that this is part of the experience of Namibia - it is unlike our huge city - peaceful and slow.-paced. We spent just one night and were welcomed to a good dinner, a comfortable room that had sitting areas and rustic decor, and lovely marked trails. The owner was very friendly and kind, sending us off with a packed lunch."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

"Hoodia Desert Lodge"

2 nights Arrived 9 May 2012
"We had a memorable stay here mainly because of our tour with Thomas, an owner of the lodge, who took us early morning to the dunes at sunrise, returning 13 hours later! He shared his knowledge and love of the area, climbing a dune, visiting Dead Vlei and serving us lunch and tea in beautiful settings, with humour and lots of stories.

The rooms were great - very private with good space, and an outside tub to stargaze. The food was very good and the staff warm and welcoming."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Sandfields Guesthouse

Sandfields Guesthouse

"Sandfields in Swapkopmund"

2 nights Arrived 11 May 2012
"We liked Swapkopmund. It was a refreshing change to be in a town with trees, paved streets and activity. Our host was very helpful in planning our days, including suggestions on where to visit after we left her.

The room was in a small building extended from their home (3 guest rooms) , facing 2 gardens on either end. It was spacious, clean, with tea and treats in the room, and a good bathroom with large shower. Breakfast was excellent with home baked muffins, fresh fruit, yogurt with the usual english breakfast available. Laundry was taken in the morning and returned, ironed , in the evening. She sent us to a good bookstore in town, with suggestions for local reading, with directions to take the path along the ocean - an easy and beautiful walk.

We would have stayed another day with more time available."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

2 nights Arrived 13 May 2012
"As we approached we thought of a lunar station! The black paint and building were unattractive from the outside, but blended in perfectly with the terrain.

From the inside , the main building was great - large, with sweeping 360degree views. the staff was welcoming and showed us to our own building which was roomy, well-equipped with a roll-out star-gazing bed, and huge porch overlooking the desert.

We saw no animals from the lodge, but were taken in the morning on a jeep ride up the riverbed to find a large group of elephants who had just returned to the area. It was an outstanding trip, our first intro to african animals in the wild. They were spectacular, and the guide friendly and informative. meals and service were good - fresh, tasty and accommodating. A small pool was available to cool off - a necessity if hot."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

"Ongava Tented Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 15 May 2012
"This camp was remote - a long drive in from the road - but well worth the drive. It was beautifully situated on its own reserve just outside Etosha. The tent was great - attractive, well-secured which felt necessary, and comfortable, with views over the watering hole.

On our first full day the lions moved into camp as their hunting ground and we became very aware of safety -escorted from our room both day and night to the dining area ,viewing patio and cars. Animals flocked to the hole until the lions appeared. 3 females and a large male drank 40 feet from us, and stalked their prey, day and night around us - they were stunning and very loud at night, right around our tents. I met a 7 ft male kudu on the path outside our tent, accompanied by two females, startled off by the lions.

The staff were very good, the meals delicious and guides excellant. we visited Etosha with our guide,as well as Ongava reserve, seeing rhinos, 2 types of zebra and all the regulars: springbok, warthogs, wildebeest, giraffes, etc etc! A great camp but not for the faint of heart."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
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Galton House

"Galton House review"

1 night Arrived 17 May 2012
"We were the only guests and got great service, feeling very welcomed. The house was beautifully decorated and well-equipped, however we did not have a meal as ate out - very early breakfast which was good.

The room was standard size, comfortable and contemporary, and the staff very helpful. It was walled and gated, very safe, in a small suburb. We didn't stay long enough to get a feel for Windhoek, and the restaurant we were referred to was fun but very mediocre - an indoor/outdoor bar and large communal tables with poor food.

The guesthouse is a good drive from anywhere so definitely need a car."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Lagoon Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 18 May 2012
"The most important element to us was the staff, specifically our guides. It is they who make the stay enjoyable and exciting, in finding game, and in pointing out all the details of existence - insects, trees, grasses, animal details, water, food.

We saw all the animals indigenous to the area, except for a leopard, including wild dogs. Every trip was outstanding, lions with their kill, hyenas surrounding and attacking, herds of buffalo, an unending variety of birds, hippos grazing our tent at night, and stunning peaceful views of the river. We really enjoyed the guides company at meals where they shared a lot of detail of their lives and surroundings , and also found the camp staff very kind and thoughtful. Sitting around the fire in evening and at breakfast was special, with good company and stories of the day.

The rooms were huge and comfy, and I really enjoyed the bath tub (and separate shower)with view of the river."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Little Vumbura review"

3 nights Arrived 21 May 2012
"This was the highlight of our trip. The setting was perfect and we had the best guide, a thoughtful, serious man who shared his country with us. We were so impressed with his knowledge and sensitivity. He went out of his way to find the animals we wanted to see, and provided them all - even our elusive leopard. He was great company at meals, explaining details of life in the delta.

Management was terrific, helping when I was a bit sick, and the staff were all happy - eager to see everyone enjoy a good time. It was an extremely well run camp but beautiful accommodation. The 20 minute boat ride to and from camp added to the whole experience, peaceful remote beauty. And we loved the hippos and elephants sloshing past our tent every night.

We were amazed by the quality of food, presentation, service, and entertaining staff."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Zambezi Sun review"

2 nights Arrived 24 May 2012
"This was a big typical hotel you can find anywhere in the world! Our room was clean, service fine, food Ok, and location perfect to view Victoria falls. We preferred the guesthouses and tented camps we had experienced.

The only way we knew we were in Africa were the zebras on the lawn, the rumble of the water falling, and vivid colours in the rooms!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average

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