Travel reviews by Mrs & Mr O from California
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
We want to go again!
Namibia and 2 other countries between 6 Aug 2014 and 9 Sep 2014
I do hope the concessionaire's are careful not to over build. They are able to charge top dollar because of their high concentration of animals to a low density of visitors. But when vehicles are stacking up, waiting for a 10 to 15-minute turn to see the animals, the concentration is already too high for my tastes. There is something to be said for having more eyes in the field, because you then have more opportunity to make a good sighting. But there needs to be a balance, and we saw many new camps being added, and many camps are increasing the number of guests they can accommodate. As someone going to visit, note not only the number of tents in your camp, but of all the camps within the concession.
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
With your booking, Expert Africa has a general interest, basic requests, etc box; it would be nice to be able to customize that for each activity and/or camp to accommodate interests and expectations for different locations.
You guys and gals at Expert Africa are great! Everyone I've dealt with, though primarily Maruska and her sister Saskia when she was still with you, has been most helpful, honest, and pretty-darn-accurate, which I appreciate more than I can express!
Filling out this review has been a nightmare for me. Next time I will type things out elsewhere, and then cut and paste them in, which should work. When I tried to go back to previous page, whatever I'd typed was swallowed. If I hit save, it kicked me out, and I had to start again at the very beginning. I hated having to scroll forward through every page from the beginning, so I tried cheating and leaving the form open, but it would time out, again swallowing whatever I'd typed. It would be nice to be able to open on any page, so I could complete as time and mood allowed. Oh, well.
Sorry it's taken me so long to complete. I know I really appreciated other people's reviews and used the reviews heavily in making my choices--I would also like to see a scale of 1 - 10, because I would've liked to differentiate between good and excellent with a very good. The overall quality of all these camps is at least good, but some were far more excellent than others."
"Comfortable Stay in Windhoek"
Sossus Dune Lodge
"Sossus Dune Lodge good for photographers"
Scenic flights in Namibia
"Fantastic Perspective of the Namib Desert"
9 Aug 2014 • Morning excursion
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge
"Big Disappointment with Wolwedans"
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge also responded with the following comments to the travellers:
Please accept our sincere apologies regarding the poor service delivered to the guests during their stay.
Punctuality and general care towards satisfying the needs of guests is considered to be a priority at Wolwedans. Our staff is trained to cater to, as well as anticipate the individual needs of each visitor. Hence, the Management was rather disappointed to learn of the guests negative experience as relates to service. The matter has been taken up and measures have been put into place to minimise the likelihood of a similar situation arising in the future.
With regard to the private guide and vehicle, my colleague Litungeni has been in communication with you, and although, the events of the past cannot be erased, we hope that our efforts to make amends were well received. Since that time, we have briefed the guides at Wolwedans on the special needs of photographers, media representatives and other interest groups. Without causing harm to the fragile desert ecosystems and while adhering to the rules of the Reserve, all guided drives since then have been modified to specifically satisfy the interests of the client. In the event that more than one party of guests happens to share a vehicle, the median preferences are considered so as to accommodate as many members of the group as is possible.
In terms of water consumption, our guests are encouraged to use water sparingly. Given our extremely arid surroundings and heavy dependence on ground water, I’m sure you can appreciate the need for prudent water use. That being said, there is no enforced water quota for guests at Wolwedans. Indeed, in the past, promotional material on site did hint towards a limit on the amount of water available to each guest. However, this limit has yet to be imposed and the actual “rule” itself no longer exists. To date, no other clients have complained of, nor have their ablution activities been hampered as a result of insufficient water. We trust that the same proved true in the case of these travellers.
As for water heating, each chalet is fitted with an individual photovoltaic panel for every geyser. Depending on the levels of sunlight and the time of day at which hot water is used, there is a possibility that the pipes heat up at varied rates. This process is beyond the control of Lodge employees and is largely dependent on both the climate and the technology that translates solar power into electrical energy. Should the guests have experienced prolonged lag periods between the time at which faucets were turned on and the time that adequately-heated water proceeded from the pipes, then please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused.
On the point of late dinners, it has been our experience that guests returning form sundown drives look forward to a hearty meal upon their return. By definition, the drive requires that participants in the excursion return to the Lodge after sunset. Hence, any meals offered would often be presented after dark. Visitors are always welcome to request an earlier service to match their habitual routines. Unfortunately, the team at Wolwedans was unaware that the couple would have preferred to be served earlier. Had this wish been expressed, arrangements would have been made to cater to the couple’s preference. If team failed to communicate the time at which dinner would be served in advance, then we apologise for our lack of communication.
Once again, we cannot emphasise enough our sincere regret at the poor service delivered to these travellers. Given the Management’s efforts to mitigate the effects of those experiences, it is our hope that the couple’s stay at Wolwedans will be remembered for the helpful guide, delicious food, charming accommodation and beautiful surroundings.
We wish the couple numerous happy travels through Namibia in years to come.
"Unexpected Delight at Rostock Ritz"
"Lots of flamingoes across from Lagoon Loge"
Coast and Sandwich Harbour
"Relaxing day at Sandwich Harbour."
15 Aug 2014 • All-day excursion
Desert Rhino Camp
"Marvelous Fabulous Desert Rhino Camp"
"Serra Cafema has so much more to offer"
Ongava Tented Camp
"Lots of wildlife around Ongava"
"Ilala; great location for a day at the falls."
Muchenje Safari Lodge
"Enjoyable day on the river with Muchenje"
"Classic 'Leopard in a Tree' at Lagoon Camp"
"the dogs were amazing at Little Kwara"
"Standard for Excellence is Little Vumbura"
Tubu Tree Camp
"Good Tradition at Tubu Tree"
Fabulous First Safari
Zambia between 8 Oct 2013 and 24 Oct 2013
One disappointment, and I'm not sure who knew what when, or if Expert Africa knew at all, was the added traffic flow caused by BBC filming in South Luangwa. They were given special permission to operate all hours of day and night, and when present at lion and leopard sightings their crew usually added 3-vehicles, making some of our sightings very congested. I had chosen the northern sector of the park, particularly for its lesser density. I know how much the publicity is good for the park, and the wildlife, I just selfishly wish it hadn't interfered with my own experience.
I had initially wanted to add Zambia to our proposed trip to Namibia and Botswana, but our trip was becoming far too long, so we opted to take a 'warm-up' instead. I'm glad we did, as we've opted to go with a private guide/vehicle during our second Africa visit. This will give us more say in what we see and how much time we spend where, something very important in obtaining good photographs.
Expert Africa's arrangements worked flawlessly. Thank you."
"Good Layover at Pioneer Camp"
Chongwe River Camp
"Unbeatable Beginning to our Safari at Chongwe"
"Excellent Guiding and Wildlife at Tafika"
"Stunning Location Overflowing with Wildlife"
"Mwamba's Last Waterhole Hide was Fantastic"