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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by P and V from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

11

Excursions taken

8

Namibia revisited 2022

Namibia between 24 Jun 2022 and 14 Jul 2022

Trip rating: Excellent
"Already said how impressed and delighted we were that our flight cancellation was dealt with so well and all was rebooked “+2” overnight on the day of our intended departure. Way prior to that the guidance and advice in putting everything together took time and great patience which Maruska coped with admirably. This included rebooking from 2021 when Vicky broke her shoulder compromising our initial plans.

I do have two observations which are offered as a reasonably regular EA client. Using a specialist based in a very different time zone does add complexity at the planning stage. Small details requiring a quick answer can take 48 hours to turn around through no fault of anyones. My second comment is that the relative costs of different options are not visible at the planning stage. I did not ask Maruska to work to a budget nor indeed did I ask for these costs in order to make our choices of destinations and lodges and so it may be my responsibility here. I now understand (but may need to be corrected) that Shipwreck and HVC were more expensive than other choices we made and perhaps having price bands indicated when putting together a tailor made trip might be useful. Useful also to have this information when giving feed back to hold the more expensive options to a higher standard even if tou can not compare apples and oranges of course!"

Arranged By Maruska AdyeRowe


Fish River Lodge

Fish River Lodge

"Fish River Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 27 Jun 2022
"A wonderful experience including two nights out in the field at the luxurious camps that form part of the lodge offer. Obviously the grading of the 2 and a half days trekking down around and out of the canyon is subjective and relative to habits and experience. For serous and keen trekkers it was a nice challenge and just right at about 6 hours activity per day. Our guide Willem was first class and very knowledgeable without ever overdoing it. He and his assistant who staffed the camps did so discretely and made sure we ate extremely well and enjoyed considerable comfort.

The options from the lodge include half day and day hikes to the rock pools or two full nights out at the camps. As the camps are quite close and the second day is very similar to the first I wonder why a one night trip is not available? We would have chosen two anyway but just a thought…..

The lodge itself was friendly, well appointed and comfortable. In spite of the remote location (and flying in was much appreciated) it was reasonably busy but not unpleasantly so. We took advantage of the fat bikes on arrival and that is a nice 2 hour activity to consider.

Ratings below refer to the lodge only. The camps were “excellent” in every respect given their role and function."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

"Hoodia Desert Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 30 Jun 2022
"Hoodia excelled in the organisation and little extras that made the day exploring the dunes truly memorable. The “package” is pretty similar to other high end lodges (I have been before) but the quality of the picnic (on a par with the sundowner drive experience the night before) added significantly. Our guide, Lucas, scored top marks too for his professionalism and adaptability.

The lodge itself is nicely located at the foot of attractive hills and the dry river bed. As a new lodge it has not had first choice of locations and perhaps it is a slight disadvantage to be a little far from the park gate although that was perfectly manageable."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge

Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge

"Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 2 Jul 2022
"Quite a difficult experience to review. Whilst it was surreal to stay right on the coast and the lodge was very comfortable, overall it felt a bit contrived and a little out of place. The few guests during our stay were outnumbered by regular staff and a sizeable work force patching up and renovating the very recently built lodge: evidence of the truly harsh and challenging environment here. All these staff traipsed up and back from their tented “village” discreetly out of site of the main lodge but we were forced to reflect on what must be an extremely challenging location to be employed with nothing else around. That they gave excellent, friendly service with a smile was all the more appreciated.

The dune boarding and quad biking were fun activities but probably not worth the effort and very high cost of getting to and staying at Shipwreck. The drive around the river bed and the subsequent drive to Hoanib Camp were good experiences. The undeniable plus is simply the experience of isolation and the sense of mastering nature one gets from staying in this remote and beautiful spot.

I wonder how long Shipwreck in this form will survive?"
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Hoanib Valley Camp

Hoanib Valley Camp

"Hoanib Valley Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 4 Jul 2022
"This was our favourite lodge of the many high end ones visited on our trip. A stunning location, an enthusiastic and very personable young guide (Ramon), great staff managed by the effervescent Petronella all added to some great experiences on our drive (many elephants) and walks. If just a bit of what we liked can be attributed to the joint venture structure with the local community then this is a formula to be applauded and encouraged."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Safarihoek Lodge

Safarihoek Lodge

"Safarihoek Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 6 Jul 2022
"A quite mainstream experience as high end lodges in Namibia go. Excellent comfort, very good food prepared by an engaging and welcoming chef, competent and friendly guiding (Teek) and a relaxed atmosphere in a very nice location. The wildlife experiences were pretty good but not outstanding (luck plays a part in this of course). Nothing to fault but nothing truly exceptional. The lodge is on a private reserve and we struggled to understand quite how it is organised and the relationship with Etosha which it neighbours and shares a very porous fence. We believe game hunting has stopped here but we drove past a few very imposing private lodges in the reserve and wondered what they are used for?"
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Mundulea Reserve

Mundulea Reserve

"Mundulea Reserve review"

3 nights Arrived 8 Jul 2022
"An unforgettable experience very well introduced and described by Expert Africa. Bruno runs a quite unique operation which whilst not quite his life’s work felt like it could be. The two of us roamed far and wide on his reserve and his expert knowledge was shared in the right dosage throughout. Beyond the basic experience and introduction to the rewilding project, he is a fascinating and engaging character on subjects personal and general, just as well given the intimate and intense nature of the stay here. I imagine even very experienced travellers to Africa would acknowledge this to be “something different”.

The ratings below need to be read in context. There are no communications, no swimming pool, rooms are all you need but no more and the food exceeded what you could expect a bush camp. We were delighted with all but I am applying the same scale as for a regular high end lodge."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp

"Okonjima Bush Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 11 Jul 2022
"A fantastic end to our trip. Whilst reasonably heavily curated (and because of this of course), the wildlife experience (Leopards on several occasions in lengthy close up and Rhinos) was nonetheless superb. After some more remote and active stops in wilder locations the extreme and leisured comfort was very well appreciated.

The camp, larger than most we visited, was luxurious, well managed and still with plenty of charm. There is a strong menu of optional activities (paying although I think an all in rate is also available) and it would be a mistake to come here and not take full advantage. We can recommend the night hide, Africat visit, and the (free!) self guided trails in addition to the on foot Rhino trek and, of course, the Leopard drives. Very good food if a little less adventurous than in some lodges we visited. All in all this was one of the highlights of our varied itinerary and the excellent guide (John M) contributed much to this sentiment."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

My Jul 2018 trip

Rwanda between 19 Jul 2018 and 29 Jul 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Exceeded expectations.

Fascinating country and whist it sounds a little misplaced to say it the opportunity to confront the Genocide added a thought provoking additional dimension to a brilliant wildlife experience. Compared to our other Africa experiences the two stand out features were the opportunity to be more active (moving about on foot etc.) and the feeling of safety and a warm welcome from a people who still have next to nothing in spite of the relative success of rebuilding the country.

All of our accommodations were up to standard even if they are way below the better lodges in other parts of Africa in terms of pure lodge experience.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

At the planning stage perhaps make suggestions for alternatives and give advice to make choices.

For example, in Nyungwe it would have been good to have been offered tjhe forest treks and also a visit to the tea plantation (our guide tried to get us in but it was closed on a Sunday). As related in this form, our guide was quite resourceful in adapting our itinerary when the first day's sites were unavailable and in fact we are glad to have seen a couple of the alternatives that we may have missed otherwise. These could have been suggested in planning maybe.

These remarks really are intended as pointers to improve what is already an outstanding service that we have now used three times (Namibia, Tanzania and Rwanda) and will use again."

Hotel des Mille Collines

Hotel des Mille Collines

"Stop over at Mille Collines"

1 night Arrived 19 Jul 2018
"Pleasant and functional.

Comfortable night after a long flight."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Service
Good
Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

"Excellent first stop in Rwanda"

2 nights Arrived 20 Jul 2018
"Very comfortable and no real complaints although the hotel is not particularly characterful.

The food was actually pretty good but it was disappointing that the buffet style was let down by the warming devices which were just not good enough leaving the food tepid."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Kigali Tour and Genocide Memorial Visit

Kigali Tour and Genocide Memorial Visit

"Not to be mssed"

20 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion

The Genocide Memorial was unexpectedly closed on our fist morning in Kigali and our guide rescheduled the visit for the last day at our request. For anyone with the slightest interest this Memorial is an absolute must see during any trip to Rwanda.

We wanted to go at the start of our trip to be better informed for the rest of the trip but as the guide compensated this hiccup in the schedule by taking us to the Murambi Technical School site as well as the on Day 1 and then the Bisesero site later on things worked out perfectly.

The Memorial is very moving and the material is thoughtfully presented in my opinion although it would be presumptuous to make a judgment about such a catastrophic event about which my knowledge is limited.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest

Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest

"Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest review"

21 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion

The Trek was well organised and we have no complaints at all in that respect.

The Chimps stayed relatively distant and high up in the trees which made the experience slightly disappointing when compared with the other primate experiences later in our trip.
Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest

"Fun and worth doing"

21 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion

Filled up the day nicely after the Chimp trek.

That said, for visitors who are genuinely active the various longer forest treks (which we did not have time to do) might be better options.

I understand there is a waterfall trek which is quite a classic.
Good
Cormoran Lodge

Cormoran Lodge

"Cormoran Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 22 Jul 2018
"Exceeded expectations.

Idyllic location with a reasonable range of activities including the Bisesero Genocide site which we visited from here (there are other closer sites in Kibuye too).

We had planned a full day Kayak trip which turned out to be disappointing but our guide sorted out a boat trip to the island we had been aiming for with the kayaks which made up for it."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Colobus Trekking in Nyungwe

Colobus Trekking in Nyungwe

"Excellent complementary actiivity"

22 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion

The Colobus Monkeys were easy to reach and this short activity was much appreciated.
Excellent
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

"Functional and comfortable stay"

3 nights Arrived 25 Jul 2018
"Perfectly acceptable lodge but a little anonymous and tired looking.

The activities more than made up for the lack of a "lodge experience"."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Canoeing in Rwanda

Canoeing in Rwanda

"Enjoyable afternoon in a canoe"

25 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion

Very sedate actiivity and a pleasant outing.

The grade 1 rapids were easily manageable by non experienced canoers.

The guide was interesting and fun although he never sent us the photos he took as requested (we left our email address).
Good
Mount Bisoke Trek

Mount Bisoke Trek

"Tough and stimulating day trek"

26 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion

This was a great day if you like a stiff trek.

The experience was a little bit marred by the overcast weather and the views from the summit were compromised as a result but that is no one's fault.

The guide was disciplined and competent for what was a big and diverse group.
Excellent
Gorilla Trekking Safari

Gorilla Trekking Safari

"Once in a life time wildlife exeprience"

27 Jul 2018 • Morning excursion

There is quite a lot of hanging around in the morning before you leave the Park Centre but this was not a big issue.

Our group walked about 2.5 hours to find the PAblo family group and this forest experience was interesting in itself.

The experience with the Gorillas cannot easily be described and photos do not do it justice either. You have to go !
Excellent
Golden Monkey Trekking

Golden Monkey Trekking

"Excellent experience"

28 Jul 2018 • Morning excursion

It would be a real shame not to do this as well as the Gorilla Trek.

The monkeys are more easily accessible and interesting to observe. We almost cancelled this trek in order to save time for Kigali on our last day but we are very glad we did not miss it (and we did all we wanted later on anyway).
Excellent

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