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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Dr M & Mr D from Yorkshire

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

10

Excursions taken

0

My May 2022 trip

Namibia and 1 other country between 6 May 2022 and 26 May 2022

Trip rating: Excellent
"My memory is that I asked Sabina to get us the perfect experience when I very first spoke to her. She did! This was our third visit to Namibia (the only one booked through Expert Africa) and it was the best of the lot. Absolutely every detail was better than we had expected. Everything went completely according to plan. That this happened while the planning was mostly done in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, when nothing seemed to stay the same week to week, is astonishing. I can’t imagine the amount of work that was going on in the background.

Every question (no matter how daft) was answered in full. Documents etc were sent out in a timely manner and were of good quality. There were handy little extras included too - such as a credit-sized card detailing all phone numbers that could be required in an emergency and a booklet giving information about hire car return, tipping and all the other things that are better to know than not.

The only critique I would have is that it would be helpful to offer a sat nav with the hire cars, or perhaps to give more detailed driving directions. The tourist map provided (seemingly to all tourists, whoever they booked through) was not completely accurate and, therefore, was the subject of many conversations with other travellers. It was also old, so did not cover the new roads around Windhoek which made the journey to the airport, um, “interesting”. Fortunately, we had given ourselves plenty of time and had a vague memory of the roads around Windhoek but could have got completely lost. In fairness though, Google maps was of no greater help.

All in all an amazing holiday. Thank you Sabina (and Expert Africa generally). We will be back,"

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Garden Lodge

Garden Lodge

"A lovely surprise"

1 night Arrived 6 May 2022
"We only stayed here one night, the first of our 20 day holiday.

We had thought it would be a convenient stop over, which it was, but it proved to be much more. The manager (whose name I have unforgivably forgotten) was so welcoming, the staff friendly and helpful, the food was the best we had during our entire holiday, there was wildlife in the garden (warthogs, banded mongeese and a hippo) though was perfectly safe.

We had an amazing game drive, arranged by the lodge with a great guide (Tifo) and saw a large pride of lions (including the cutest cubs) feasting. We would have stayed for longer if we had only known how great this place is and would recommend it to anyone (though young children would need to be monitored at all times due to the wildlife)."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge

"Muchenje Safari Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 7 May 2022
"Lovely rooms at this lodge and a very warm welcome.

Very informative and friendly owners/managers. Food was of a high standard with meals taken at a shared table which enabled conversations with fellow travellers.

We had the pleasure of having Ali as our game drive guide throughout our stay- what a lovely, knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and determined guide he was - and he ensured that we had amazing sightings and explained things that were going on with the animals that we would otherwise have been oblivious to."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge

Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge

"Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 9 May 2022
"This was the most rustic (in appearance only) of the lodges we stayed in but was very comfortable, clean and provided all the necessary items and facilities.

The main area (where meals of a good standard are served at a table shared with the owners and all other guests) was very welcoming. There was a constant supply of tea, coffee and rusks or other treats depending on the time of day.

Due to the late rains, the wildlife was not as prolific as on our last stay in the area (at the sister camp Jackelberry) but we very much enjoyed our shared game drives throughout the park. The owner was very engaging, great company and really helpful when we needed to sort out some minor practicalities.

Would highly recommend."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Nambwa Tented Lodge

Nambwa Tented Lodge

"Such a beautiful place"

3 nights Arrived 11 May 2022
"Oh wow! Nambwa Tented Lodge is stunning in all aspects. From collection at the Reception of the park, to the service, the food, the guiding (I’ll come back to this), the rooms, the shared public areas, just everything. We had elephants through the camp when we stayed - which was exciting - and there was much to watch from the comfort of the outdoor areas and to hear from the comfort of our beautiful room. The wifi worked very well. The only change I would make to this place is to make the sign on the B8 a little easier to spot, otherwise the whole experience was just perfect.

We were so very fortunate in having Cameron as our guide and even more fortunate when Edmund accompanied him. Their knowledge and enthusiasm for all aspects of the flora and fauna, their willingness to share their knowledge, to search for the things we wanted to see with such patience and determination, their courtesy, their obvious desire to give us the very best - and safe - experience we could have, all combined to make our drives in this area better than we could have ever hoped for. So very, very enjoyable.

Our time at Nambwa is one we will remember with great fondness for a very long time; this was the hardest of places to leave."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
River Dance Lodge

River Dance Lodge

"River Dance Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 14 May 2022
"This was our second time at River Dance - this time for one night only. The rooms remain lovely and the food and service of a good standard. The views from the rooms are beautiful but we saw significantly less bird life on this visit (in May) than we had on our last visit which was in October 2019.

We had a game drive organised by the lodge and were driven by Issac. On his recommendation, we went to Buffalo Park which was very worthwhile especially as we had an amazing sighting of a huge herd of buffalo as well as various other species. Despite his best efforts, though, Issac was unable to find us the lion whose footprints we followed for a long distance. This was not due to any lack of skill or effort on Issac’s part - far from it; late rains meant that the grass was very high during our visit and it would be easy for a lion to be two metres away from the vehicle and still completely invisible.

He also shared with us information regarding the history of the park which was very interesting and spurred us on to learn more about the entire area. We didn’t do the boat trip this time though thoroughly enjoyed it on our last visit and heard others speak very positively of it on this one.

Would recommend the lodge."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Taranga Safari Lodge

Taranga Safari Lodge

"A lovely surprise! '"

1 night Arrived 15 May 2022
"Having read a number of reviews of this lodge, it was the one on our trip that we weren’t really looking forward to but we needed an overnight stop in the middle of a very long drive.

We were warmly welcomed by Marta and later spent time chatting to her while we were having a drink, she was really engaging and informative about the daily lives of the local people. Our room was clean, tidy and spacious. The bathroom area is hidden behind the bedroom/living area but is otherwise open; there are no doors to separate it from the rest of the internal space.

A short walk through pleasant gardens brought us to the floating bar where we had a couple of drinks while watching locals fish as the sun came down. It was a really lovely experience. We did not see any wildlife (other than a few birds) but actually it gave us time to process all that we had done and and gave us time to recharge before going on to do more wildlife watching. Our dinner was of a good standard, some of the waiting staff seemed a little self-conscious in their use of English but all seemed to understand any request and were eager to please.

On leaving, our bill was prepared quickly (and accurately) and a last minute request for a lunch pack was catered for quickly and at a very reasonable price.

I would recommend this lodge and would choose to stay here again should we need an overnight stay in the general area."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Mushara Outpost

Mushara Outpost

"A lovely return to Mushara Outpost"

2 nights Arrived 16 May 2022
"We first stayed in Mushara Outpost on our first trip to Namibia in May 2016 and had very fond memories of it. It did not disappoint. Covid measures were in place (as they had been everywhere we stayed) and we were warmly welcomed.

Our room was gorgeous with extra warm bedding and a hot water bottle put into our beds while we had dinner each evening - much needed on the cold winter nights. On our first afternoon, we decided to relax and enjoy our beautiful surroundings rather than go on a drive, so we sat with lunch and a drink while watching warthog, impala, mongeese and numerous birds wandering around apparently feeling safe and comfortable; they were completely unbothered by our presence. Later that evening we saw a pair of dik-dik eating happily at the side of our room. Far from the most active of our times on holiday but one that we both recall with great fondness.

The food and service was uniformly of a very high standard as were the game drives we went on. There seemed to be far less wildlife in Etosha than there had been on our previous visits though our guide, Patreus (not sure of spelling) went to great efforts to show us what there was to see, including a sighting of three lion though I will never understand how he first spotted them! We managed to sit with them for quite a while before other vehicles joined us - a very special few minutes. Patreus was a very warm, engaging guide who was particularly concerned about our comfort.

Would highly recommend a stay at Mushara Outpost to anyone and would choose to stay there again over many of the other options in the area."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 18 May 2022
"That this is a government run lodge is obvious from the moment of trying to check in. Our second time staying here and this time was no less stressful and frustrating a start as the last. However, our room (a premier waterhole view room) was stunning in design - we were very happily surprised. All the furnishings looked reasonably new and were clean and comfortable. There was, as we had hoped, a great view of the waterhole from the upper floor.

There was significantly less wildlife in Etosha on this visit than there had been on our previous ones. The late rains this year may have had something to do with this but also a number of the waterholes were empty of water or exceptionally low so there was little game viewing to be done around them - and certainly very few elephant. Despite that, and the long grass, we had a few wonderful sightings - Aus and Klein Namutomi were particularly enjoyable.. Okaukuejo waterhole was full and several different animals visited day and night - tending towards zebra and antelope of differing types during the day and giraffe and rhino at night.

We weren’t expecting much of the food in the restaurant but it was worse than even our low expectations, though you could get freshly cooked eggs for breakfast. The restaurant staff were uniformly helpful and friendly. Would highly recommend bringing snacks - very few of the rooms have the equipment to self-cater which is a shame.

Overall, we would stay here again because of the waterhole and the standard of the room but sincerely hope they do something about the available food."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Terrible
Safarihoek Lodge

Safarihoek Lodge

"Fabulous!"

3 nights Arrived 20 May 2022
"Everything about this place is stunning and, if you stayed long enough there would be no need to go elsewhere due to the number and variety of animals in the reserve (buffalo and hippo aside). We had incredible sightings, thanks in large part to Mike our guide who went to (literally) great lengths (distances) to ensure we saw an amazing array of wildlife. Nothing was too much trouble for him and we had great sightings of rhino (some dehorned), lion, hyena, eland, red hartebeast, zebra, giraffe, elephant, as well as the more commonly seen springbok, gemsbok, etc. We went to the photography hide twice, it was a wonderful space, though there was unfortunately little wildlife at the waterhole while we were there - the first day this was due to the windy conditions, the second it was due to the three lions that were coming for a drink! Had a wonderful time photographing them and Mike ensured that we got the best possible angles.

The drive to the lodge was interesting as you drive through (?alongside) several other private areas, at least one of which designated for hunting. As we drove along the road we saw giraffe, kudu and mongeese as well as the most beautiful cattle we have ever seen (seriously, they were gorgeous! - no idea what breed but, certainly, not one we had seen before). We were warmly greeted on arrival by the manager (TJ), Mike and others who, between them, efficiently checked us in, talked us through everything we needed to know and took our bags to our beautiful room. The main area has really good wifi, is spacious and airy with comfortable seating and is beautifully decorated - and absolutely spotlessly clean. There is always a member of staff on hand to help out or serve a drink and they could not have been more friendly.

As I said, our room was beautiful with a lovely view which included the waterhole (though that is a little distance away and binoculars would be helpful if you want to see the animals in better detail). All fittings and furnishings were of a very high standard. The bathroom was fantastic and included an outdoor shower.

The food was exceptional for every meal and all members of staff (chefs included) seemed genuinely concerned to ensure that you enjoyed the meal. In addition to the main meals, absolutely delicious snacks were laid out in great quantity every afternoon. Hot drinks were permanently available.

We will definitely return here and would recommend it to anyone."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Plains Camp "

3 nights Arrived 23 May 2022
"Okonjima is a wonderful place and Plains Camp is lovely. We were in a ‘standard room’ which was spacious and very well furnished. We had an issue with running water a few times during our stay which was a pain though it was resolved relatively quickly each time. There was a lovely view from the room and a variety of animals strolled by from time to time.

The main area is spacious, airy and comfortable but the service was not the best we had during our time in Namibia. Some staff (not all by any means) seemed a little jaded by the number of different people they see coming through their doors - many people stay only one to two nights so there is a high throughput of guests. Check-in was perfunctory. It was sometimes difficult to find things - such as where they set out the pre-early morning drive snacks or even breakfast and it didn’t seem to occur to some staff members that new guests might need some guidance.

Breakfasts here were spectacular - amazing choice and all items were stunning (the omelette particularly). Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said of the other meals on our first two days which were fine, but no better than that. There was a significant improvement on our third day, though we don’t know why that was the case.

What brings most people to Okonjima, though, is the opportunity to see wildlife up close and it really delivered on that account. We were very lucky to have Denny as our guide, such a lovely, informative, friendly person. It was a pleasure and an honour to get to spend time with him. We had four drives with him during which we had a spectacular rhino sighting and two leopard (one male, one female). Our fourth “drive” to the Africat Foundation was ok - no fault of Denny’s that it wasn’t better, he made the most of it - but you are, effectively, looking at cheetah in (albeit large) enclosures. There is good reason they are not released into the park but it was not a spectacular experience, maybe we were just unfortunate. The information about the early years of Okonjima were interesting enough.

The opportunity to see animals that are really difficult to see normally as well as seeing how conservation can be done well (cheetah aside - no fault of the reserve though) makes this a worthwhile place to stay, but it was not our favourite of this trip. That said, our rhino and leopard sightings were absolutely fantastic."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

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

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