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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr R from Chicago, USA

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

15

Excursions taken

0

A Wonderful Relaxing Experience

South Africa and 1 other country between 8 Dec 2012 and 28 Dec 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"We are very happy with most of the services and suggestions provided by Expert Africa. The lodge choices were excellent overall. We were also very happy that we decided to follow the recommendation of renting a 4x4. It made the driving much more comfortable and worry-free. Gwynn was a pleasure to work with. She is obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about her home country. The map provided was perfect! We had no problems at all driving ourselves.

I do have to mention two small bumps throughout the process. The first was a problem with the bank transfer from the US. Even though it is clearly explained in the instructions, I wish someone would have made it stand out. There are pages and pages of instructions to read and things are easily overlooked. It would be great if you could have a small list of highlights, including payment instructions. We ended spending over USD$300 to correct the bank transaction problem.

I was also disappointed about our lodging arrangements in the Kalahari. When we first discussed the lodging we were told that we were going to have to stay each one of the three nights at different places because everything was booked. To our surprise, when we arrived in Mata Mata and called !Xaus we were told that they had plenty of rooms available. They told us that they had availability when Expert Africa made our reservations. We ended up losing our entire payment for our night at Mata Mata Rest Camp which was not pleasant."

Feedback response

Its great that these travellers enjoyed their trip, and that the 4WD was right for them. Different payment methods are available and currencies can be complex but we've changed our instructions in the light of this to try to make them even clearer.

We're also sorry about their disappointment with their Kgalagadi accommodation. There had clearly been a misunderstanding, for which we have apologized. We were not aware that these travellers would have liked to stay at !Xaus for longer.


Acorn House

Acorn House

"Comfortable and Beautiful B&B"

1 night Arrived 8 Dec 2012
"This is a really beautiful and comfortable B&B. On our arrival we had an awkward experience. We were met at the door with an awkward silence. After greeting the person we told her that we had a reservation. Her response was a flat "hmmph" and walked away. Only after she came back did she welcome us. Then someone else took over and we were taken to our room.

The room was comfortable and very nice. We had a balcony with a beautiful view overlooking the bay. Later on someone else sat down with us to give us a brief overlook of Cape Town and suggestions for restaurants. The staff in general was very friendly and helpful. We had breakfast by the pool (gorgeous setting). Breakfast was excellent!!!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Farmhouse Hotel

Farmhouse Hotel

"Great Hotel with an Amazing View"

1 night Arrived 9 Dec 2012
"What a lovely setting for a hotel!!! We only stayed here for one night but we wish we would have had at least 2 or 3 nights.

The rooms are very spacious and comfortable. We had a room by the pool which was quiet and peaceful. We had dinner a the hotel and it was fantastic! We were able to watch the sunset while eating dinner and it was beautiful! Breakfast was very good and again, the views were great! Staff was very friendly and helpful!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ndedema Lodge

Ndedema Lodge

"What a Lovely B&B"

1 night Arrived 10 Dec 2012
"One of our favorite B&Bs in the world!!! We arrived and said our names and that we had a reservation. The lady smiled and said, "I know, we were waiting for you!" We immediately felt 'at home'.

We had a gorgeous two-bedroom suite that was extremely comfortable. The owner was so attentive and helpful. It made our one-night stay in Clanwilliam excellent! She gave us some recommendations on what to do for the evening. Breakfast was delicious! I wish we could have stayed at least one more night."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Mountain View Guest House

Mountain View Guest House

"A Perfect Stop in Springbok"

1 night Arrived 11 Dec 2012
"We stopped for one night on our way to Namibia and were delighted to have a comfortable room and exceptionally friendly service.

Even though the room was not as beautiful as others during our trip, it was comfortable and efficient. The staff was very friendly and helpful and recommended a great restaurant for dinner. Breakfast was great!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge

"Beautiful Lodge-Not Environmentally Friendly"

2 nights Arrived 12 Dec 2012
"The lodge, chalet, service and food at the lodge was excellent! The only reason we are giving it a 'Terrible" overall experience is because of its complete lack of care for the environment.

The chalet that we had was absolutely beautiful with a magnificient view of the surrounding landscape. The room was very comfortable and very clean. The food was very good and the service extraordinary. Staff was very attentive and helpful whenever we needed them.

However, during our stay we noticed many concerning things. First, as most people know (or should know), Namibia is mostly a desert which means water is precious. Within the lodge there are all these very pretty and green grassy areas. We all know grass needs a lot of water which, to our impression, is being wasted in the landscaping. There are many ways of landscaping that are desert-friendly.

We also learned that the umbrella company (Gondwana) is planning on "re-introducing" game (lions, giraffes, elephants) into the park. Again, you cannot sustain that kind of game in that location without destroying the environment. The rate at which grasses and plants grow is not appropriate for that. If someone wants to see those animals, The Fish River Canyon is not the place! They are trying to become competitive but they will destroy the surrounding ecosystem! I do not like supporting that kind of business."
Terrible
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Dabis Guest Farm

Dabis Guest Farm

"Beautiful Farm but Awkward Experience"

1 night Arrived 14 Dec 2012
"As part of our road trip through Namibia we arrived at Dabis Farm at around 5:00 pm. The owner came out of the house and said "you are late" before even proceeding to greet us.

We were a bit taken back by the comment about being late since we were not aware that we had to be there at a certain time. After that initial, however the owner became quite friendly and took us on an interesting tour of his farm followed by a delicious home cooked dinner. Our room was comfortable and clean. We were well impressed and pleasantly surprise about his environmental stewardship.

One major criticism we have about Dabis, was that during the farm tour we stopped for a sundowner. The owner pulled a cooler with beverages from his vehicle and asked us what we would like to drink. Later before dinner, he asked us if we would like any wine since he was going to drink some himself. The following morning while we were checking out the owner's wife emerges from the kitchen with a list of the beverages we consumed and a final amount owed for them. It was a surprise to us since neither of them ever let us know the price for drinks beforehand.

The bill was for N$115 and we paid with a N$200 note which was all we had. She was very frustrated and asked us several times "are you sure you don't have any change". She then made a point of calling her husband on the telephone and told us she had to break into the kids piggy bank to give us our change. We felt that the way it was handled was very petty since she had a N$100 dollar note. She went through a lot of hassle and made us feel unwelcome (since she asked us several times to look in our pockets) so she could collect another N$15 (< USD$ 2). Our lodging was not inexpensive and it left a bad taste our mouths to have to leave the guest farm on that sour note."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Desert Homestead

Desert Homestead

"Awesome Location - Wasted Potential!"

2 nights Arrived 15 Dec 2012
"When we initially arrived at The Desert Homestead we were very excited about its location and views of the surrounding landscape. From each chalet there is one of the most beautiful views of the Naukluft Mountain Range and the valley next to it. The food was very good.

However, we had a really bad experience with the cleanliness of our room and response to our complaints. When we arrived in our chalet we noticed that the sink and the shower drain were almost completely clogged. It was obvious that whoever cleaned the room did not notice (= clean) or did not care about both drains being clogged. There was even a smell of sewage in the room. We went with the person who greeted us and let her know about the problem. She was with another staff member (or even the main manager, who did not even care to introduce herself to us) putting up Christmas decoration around the lodge. She told us that she was going to take care of it.

A few hours later when we went back to our room, the problem had not been corrected so we went back and informed someone else (because the first person we told was not around). He said he was going to send someone immediately which he did. When we went back to the room, to our really bad surprise, we found several clumps of wet foul-smelling hair on our bathroom floor. We could not believe it!!! We went back to told the initially person we spoke with and informed her of the situation. She even asked us if we wanted someone to clean the room again! The worst part about all, is that they only had four guests total including us two. They were not even busy!"
Poor
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Wonderful Experience, Warm Personal Service"

2 nights Arrived 17 Dec 2012
"What can we say about our stay at Sam's Giardino other than how much we enjoyed it. We were welcome to the B&B by one of the staff members who made us feel immediately at home. We later met Sam and his very charming personality. We were able to experience the wine tasting our first night which is highly recommended. He initially lets you test your olfactory acumen and then your are thrown into wine bliss.

We also had the opportunity to have the prix fix dinner: what a treat! Everything was perfect from the table to the setting to the food. It was surprisingly romantic even with a table of about 12 people dining at the same time. Both mornings, almost at the end of our breakfast (which was delicious) he made a point of sitting with us and having a nice conversation.

During our stay we were also recommended some activities and a great restaurant for dinner. Both recommendations were excellent!!!

The only thing we wish is to have had another night or two in Swakopmund!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Terrace Bay

Terrace Bay

"Completely Out of the Beaten Path"

1 night Arrived 19 Dec 2012
"The drive towards Terrace Bay feels like you are on the moon. It is a very unusual landscape with it's particular charms. Staff was friendly and the rooms have a lovely view of the ocean. Dinner was good although it was uncomfortable to have smokers in the same room.

Unfortunately, when we walked into the bathroom we noticed that the outside of the toilet was stained with stool. It was extremely unpleasant and disgusting! We informed the staff and they handled the matter efficiently switching to another room. They were very apologetic and seemed to have call many staff members who came to inspect the room."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Camp Kipwe

Camp Kipwe

"Great Location to Explore Damaraland"

2 nights Arrived 20 Dec 2012
"Very nice lodge conveniently located near the top destinations in Damaraland. We were welcome by Andrew and he made us feel right at home. The staff was very pleasant and accommodating. They even had some staff in training which were also top notch. The room was extremely comfortable. They have outdoor bathrooms which makes the whole experience even better. Taking a shower while watching the stars is an experience that everyone should have. The food was excellent!

We took a desert elephant safari and our guide was very knowledgeable and thorough. He knew where to go to find the desert elephants. We not only saw one herd of elephants but three. Altogether there must have been about 40 to 50 elephants. It was quite an experience. We also went to Twyfelfontein and enjoyed it a lot. On our way to Windhoek we stopped at the petrified forest; it is worth it.

My only criticism of the area surrounding Camp Kipwe was the amount of garbage on the trails. You see dozens of bottles of beer, cardboard boxes, tin cans and plastic bags all over. It would be great if Camp Kipwe would work with the community to clean up the surrounding area."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Elegant Farmstead

Elegant Farmstead

"Tranquil and Romantic"

1 night Arrived 22 Dec 2012
"The only thing that I was not happy about Elegant Farmstead was that we were only there for one night.

The lodge is close enough to Windhoek, yet secluded enough to have a quiet and relaxing time. The main building of the lodge is elegantly decorated and welcoming. The rooms are cozy and comfortable. The wine cellar has a very good selection of wines. The food was excellent!

I wish we could have enjoyed another day or two at the Elegant Farmstead."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Image alt

Auob Lodge

"In Case You Cannot Make to Mata Mata"

1 night Arrived 23 Dec 2012
"Auob Lodge was a good place to stay since we would have not been able to make it to the Kalahari Transfrontier on time. When we walked in to the dark reception we were greeted by (who we think) was a staff member. She was dry and not very friendly. Later on after we had settled in our room the manager approached me and was friendly. The rooms are very basic but clean. Dinner buffet is average to poor, however I am not sure there are other options nearby. They prepared us a huge lunch the following day which was good.

At some point we walked in the reception area and the manager's daughter was drinking a martini and smoking while watching TV. That was very uncomfortable and unpleasant (the smoking) even when she asked us if we cared (as if we were going to say yes, we do)."
Average
Location
Average
Service
Average
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Poor
Kalahari Tented Camp

Kalahari Tented Camp

"Great Self-Catering Option in the Kalahari"

1 night Arrived 24 Dec 2012
"Even though basic, the Kalahari Tented Camp is an excellent value.

The tents are very comfortable and clean. The separate kitchen area can be a lot of fun if you come prepared (we were not as prepared). It is very convenient that they provide you with pans, dishes, utensils and the basics for cooking. There is even an area where you can barbecue.

There is a small grocery store in Mata Mata with some basic food, mostly canned. Great value!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
!Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge

"Amazing Place Off The Beaten Path"

1 night Arrived 26 Dec 2012
"It was such a great experience to stay at !Xaus. I am so happy that we were able to spend two nights there instead of only one. We would have missed some of their activities. We drove all the way into the lodge which added to the whole experience. As soon as we arrived we felt right at home. The staff could have not been more welcoming and pleasant.

We joined all of their activities and loved each one of them. We did two night drives that were great. We were able to see an Aardwolf which it is my understanding is pretty unusual. The morning drive and walk was also excellent. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable. The sunset drive was also beautiful.

The rooms have a ceiling fan which helped cool down the room before the power is turned off at 10pm. The view of the salt pan from the rooms is spectacular. The food was excellent!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Le Must River Residence

Le Must River Residence

"Beautiful B&B in Upington"

1 night Arrived 27 Dec 2012
"What a great surprise. We were not aware that Upington was such a lovely place. Le Must was a lovely place.

The manager was absolutely fantastic. She was not only welcoming but very helpful in guiding us about what to do in our half-day in town. I was able to enjoy a quick dip in the river which was very refreshing. We stayed at "the best room" and fully enjoyed it. It was not only beautifully decorated but extremely comfortable. The location is amazing right next to the river and a few blocks from the main street where all the shops and restaurants are. Breakfast was very good.

We wish we could have stayed at least one more day! What a wonderful place!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good

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