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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs V. from Leiden

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

11

Excursions taken

0

Our Oct 2021 trip

Namibia between 7 Oct 2021 and 25 Oct 2021

Trip rating: Excellent
"Planning a trip in these confusing times was a bit of a challenge. Originally planned for 2020, we were more than ever looking forward to travelling.

Despite airlines cancelling our flights (twice, without explanation), camps closing down and last minute unsure entry requirements, Expert Africa never backed down and delivered everything we hoped for. The camps were well chosen as were the proposed drives.

Contact with the office was equally good and our questions were always quickly answered. We have nothing but positive comments on Expert Africa, especially considering this must have been a very difficult period for everyone working in this line of business.

Thank you for all the work you've done. We're back next year."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 8 Oct 2021
"A very relaxed atmosphere overall.

Very spacious and well equipped rooms, good food and friendly personnel.

A nice place to land and start our trip."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Kulala Desert Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 9 Oct 2021
"Beautiful location. The view from the deck is one of the best we had.

Service is hard to beat, especially with very generous wine top ups at lunch and dinner. The pool proved to be invaluable.

Our guide Boykey knew his business and gave us great tours of the surrounding area, even with complicating strong winds, which probably limited our wildlife viewing.

Nonetheless a fantastic and very relaxing stay."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Cornerstone Guesthouse review"

2 nights Arrived 11 Oct 2021
"A very homely place to stay and a very good base for a couple of days on the Swakopmund coast."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

2 nights Arrived 13 Oct 2021
"Doro Nawas is a beautiful place to stay. The villas are spacious, luxurious and offer great views.

The pool is a very welcome place to be in midday heat. We very much enjoyed the braai on top of the roof of the main building.

Our guide Bernard proved to be a real asset and managed to lead us to the desert adapted elephants and giraffes despite the very strong winds, which turned out to be sandstorm-like after a while. Because of this the wildlife sightings in general were low, however the surroundings remained spectacular and we enjoyed ever minute. Not in the least because Bernard shared his extensive knowledge.

It also helped that there were just a few other guests, so we were never short of attention. No complaints at all."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Safarihoek Lodge

Safarihoek Lodge

"Safarihoek Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 15 Oct 2021
"Safarihoek Lodge was our hidden gem. Originally not part of our trip, it was kind of a last minute improvisation. Usually we're not too fond of big shiny lodges, but for Safarihoek we gladly make an exception. We stayed for just two nights, but from the moment we set foot there we knew that this simply wasn't enough. During our stay we were the only guests and the staff catered to our every need. Fine dining, good wine, brilliant views from the deck and a pool you could only tear yourself away from because the game drives were even nicer.

Mike our guide was without a doubt the highlight of Safarihoek. In all our previous trips across southern Africa we never met anyone like him. His enthusiasm was energizing, knowledge exceptional and his humour ever present. Because Etosha Heights is a private reserve, the possibilities for game drives are greater than in Etosha. I'd like to highlight two:

On the first one we came across two black rhinos in the distance. Mike however wanted us to experience the beautiful animals a little closer. Long story short; we ended up just a few metres from these usually shy and potentially agressive animals (a mother and a calf). Totally at ease they let themselves be observed for at least 15 minutes without ever being disturbed. It might have been something to do with Mike talking to just about every animal and showing them respect in his own unique way.

On the second one we spotted two large male lions and decided to stay with them for a couple of minutes. These lions started roaring, which in itself is pretty impressive, but even more so when a third one answered. These three lions teamed up, started walking and decided to take over the territory of a fourth one. We followed the three brothers for a long time (luckily we already had a night drive with Mike planned) and at one time we lost track of them. Eventually they appeared behind us unexpectedly, which was quite an adrenaline boost. It never came to a confrontation (they scared the one away) and the lions just kept walking and roaring, marking their new territory once in a while. Probably a once in a lifetime experience, even Mike hadn't witnessed this before. It was the longest and most exciting game drive we ever had.

Of course, our Safarihoek experience is coloured by these experiences and the fact that we were the only ones. Still; the staff, the park and the conservation philosophy behind it all are great assets and definitely make us want to go back."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Onguma Tented Camp

Onguma Tented Camp

"Onguma Tented Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 17 Oct 2021
"We stayed 4 nights at Onguma tented camp with very high expectations which were not entirely met.

The location is undisputed with a productive waterhole, a small but attractive pool and luxurious tents. Staff is a little reserved and perhaps formal, though Cacious managed to give us the best of both worlds. Food was excellent and overall service fine.

It's the activities we expected a little more from. Twice we were told that a prebooked activity couldn't take place because of (for us) unclear reasons. The walking safari was a lot shorter than mentioned and of limited interest. The Onguma private reserve itself didn't provide more value than Etosha (e.g. no night drives or tracking safaris) with exception of the dream cruiser. Nothing short of spectacular and highly recommended, though perhaps a little expensive.

The Etosha drives were nice, but even in this covid-period pretty busy. No less than 14 cars around two lions is a bit much for our taste. On the other hand, we did see leopard (hunting!) and a leopard tortoise among lots of other game.

Onguma is a nice place to stay and it's no punishment spending a day hanging around camp. However, if you're looking for a more intense safari experience, Etosha Heights seems the better option. It was for us."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp

"Okonjima Bush Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2021
"Okonjima gave us slightly mixed feelings. The camp itself is wonderful and spacious with a very attentive staff, good food and a nice pool area.

The chalets with their separate 'observation units' are equally impressive and very comfortable. It's the electric-fenced part of the reserve that makes the experience as a whole a bit odd. Entering "Jurassic Park" as it was called felt in a way like visiting a zoo and tracking collard wildlife a bit fabricated.

On the other hand, unlike Botswana or Zimbabwe Namibias parks are fenced and collaring animals is an important part of protecting them. It also gave us a chance to see mating leopards, the elusive pangolin and bat eared foxes. We also got up close and personal with two white rhinos and a few brown hyenas. All pretty impressive. So, while tracking animals may not seem authentic safari-like, for us it was actually fun and a memorable experience. Surprisingly, birding was not on the activities list, but luckily our guide was easily persuaded to try this and decided on the spot to do it more often.

In all, the two nights we spent at Okonjima were well worth it."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Galton House

Galton House

"Galton House review"

1 night Arrived 23 Oct 2021
"The perfect end to our trip. Rooms are nice, the main areas have relaxing music and the overall vibe is very homey and relaxed.

Colin is a character and a lot of fun to have a conversation with. Both he and his staff were able to make us feel right at home and provide a welcoming atmosphere.

Being able to stay until the very last minute before leaving for the airport and use the rooms and pool without any fuss was a gift!

Next time we'll start there as well."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

My Oct 2018 trip

Zimbabwe between 19 Oct 2018 and 28 Oct 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"We travelled with EA before and had high expectations. These were all met, no shortcomings. They selected the right places for us and arranged the required transportation adequately. Preperation for the trip was very pleasant with always a travel agent available for questions or a sudden change of plans. Professionals at every level and very pleasant in communication. We've already started preperations for our next trip with EA."

Armadale Lodge

Armadale Lodge

"Armadale Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 20 Oct 2018
"We stayed in this hotel for just one night and had the place virtually for ourselves. Friendly and helpful staff, spacious, comfortable rooms and a nice swimmingpool. Good place to start or finish a trip."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Zambezi Expeditions

Zambezi Expeditions

"Zambezi Expeditions review"

3 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2018
"From the moment we arrived, everyone made us feel welcome in a non-fabricated way. Staff and guides all gave the impression of genuinly enjoying their work and their enthousiasm was contagious. Very high level of professionalsm without being formal. The emphasis on guiding is obvious, but other members of staff were just as good, which made the camp a complete picture. Location right on the riverbank is fantastic. The park itself is packed with wildlife and at the same time relatively quiet when it comes to tourists. Even with the wild dogs sightings we never saw more than 6 vehicles at the same time. Incredible encounters with elephants, hyenas and all kinds of antilope right in front of the tents. African Bush Camps keep a very good balance between a true safari experience on one side and environmental care, safety and sustainability on the other side. We were impressed by the level of knowledge the guides showed, ranging from the latin names of plants to mixing the perfect G&T.
In all; very highly recommended and a shame we had to leave."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Somalisa Expeditions

Somalisa Expeditions

"Somalisa Expeditions review"

3 nights Arrived 24 Oct 2018
"We regarded Somalisa Expeditions as a slightly more luxurious version of Zambezi Expeditions. Very skilled professionals on all levels of staff and guiding as well as just nice people. We had the camp to ourselves for a day and a half and enjoyed the full attention of everyone, without feeling crowded. The pool and sundeck in front of it make for a spectacular encounter with elephants. This part of Hwange was not as packed with animals as Mana Pools, but has a very nice variety of scenery and made us appreciate other things than just big game. Having said that; there's certainly no shortage of animals. It's a relatively small camp, located beautifully and with very comfortable permanent tents. Again, we were impressed by the high standard of guiding and the nice balance between professionalism and social skills, which lead, among other things, to very interesting conversations with different members of staff. The atmosphere is completely relaxed and made us feel that way. The same attitude of African Bush Camp towards animals, people and environment I described with regard to Zambezi Expeditions applies here. In every way it's a feel good experience and we were sad to leave it."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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