Travel reviews by P and V from UK
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
Namibia revisited 2022
Namibia between 24 Jun 2022 and 14 Jul 2022
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 review"
Hoodia Desert Lodge
"Hoodia Desert Lodge review"
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."
Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge
"Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge review"
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?"
Hoanib Valley Camp
"Hoanib Valley Camp review"
"Safarihoek Lodge review"
"Mundulea Reserve review"
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."
Okonjima Bush Camp
"Okonjima Bush Camp review"
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."
My Jul 2018 trip
Rwanda between 19 Jul 2018 and 29 Jul 2018
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."
Arranged By Amanda Bond
Hotel des Mille Collines
"Stop over at Mille Collines"
Comfortable night after a long flight."
Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel
"Excellent first stop in Rwanda"
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."
Kigali Tour and Genocide Memorial Visit
"Not to be mssed"
20 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion
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 review"
21 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion
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
"Fun and worth doing"
21 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion
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.
"Cormoran Lodge review"
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."
Colobus Trekking in Nyungwe
"Excellent complementary actiivity"
22 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
"Functional and comfortable stay"
The activities more than made up for the lack of a "lodge experience"."
Canoeing in Rwanda
"Enjoyable afternoon in a canoe"
25 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion
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).
Mount Bisoke Trek
"Tough and stimulating day trek"
26 Jul 2018 • All-day excursion
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.
Gorilla Trekking Safari
"Once in a life time wildlife exeprience"
27 Jul 2018 • Morning excursion
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 !
Golden Monkey Trekking
28 Jul 2018 • Morning excursion
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).
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."