Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs & Mr W from Dorset


Tailor made and perfect.

On this trip, I visited Namibia & South Africa between 9-Nov-2017 and 4-Dec-2017 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

Timing: November is on the cusp of rain, pretty hot, but still just about dry. I believe it is a relatively quiet month. Some parts of Etosha had seen rain and game viewing was good. Southern Namibia remained bone dry. It is a lovely time to escape the European drear, if you can.

Itinerary: For the wildlife, we wanted Etosha (1 week) and we wanted the Transfrontier Kgalagadi Park (5 days). Previous experience has shown Sabina to be a star at knocking together a sensible itinerary, and she managed it again. There was some difficulty finding accommodation (even in a quiet month) which meant one or two compromises had to be made. It all worked out well. If you haven't been before, it is worth saying that distances are huge and the dirt roads make them feel huger ....but then that all helps to emphasise the emptiness of Africa. It made sense to link our two parks with a visit to Soussevlei. I'm a bit ambivalent about the place. It was worth seeing the endless dunes, but the whole idea of a desert is to have a wilderness, and with only one road, you are not alone. We actually preferred the getting there and away again, 100s of kilometres with vast landscapes, and little sign of humanity (except for fences). The Transfrontier is off the beaten track and just in South Africa. It was very worthwhile (although I'd choose Etosha ahead of it (for its variety)), but there's no obvious attraction to break up the journey returning to Windhoek. Sabina did well to find a couple of comfortable lodges that had game activities on offer.

Practicalities: The journey had no glitches at all. It was so well organised. Even the 'misplaced' car hire voucher was sorted in a few minutes by Expert Africa (via Wilderness Travel). Instructions had all been clearly expressed (for example, what needed to be done to take a hire car into South Africa). We had no issues with petrol, reported in some reviews

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Hilltop Guesthouse, Namibia
9-Nov-2017 review: Perfectly good
GoodGood
Okonjima Bush Camp, Namibia
10-Nov-2017 review: A comfortable start. Just right.
ExcellentExcellent
Cheetah View Lodge, Namibia
11-Nov-2017 review: Earlier iffy reports endorsed
AverageAverage
Halali Camp, Namibia
13-Nov-2017 review: Functional ... but a bit more than that
GoodGood
Okaukuejo Camp, Namibia
15-Nov-2017 review: Thank goodness for the waterhole!
AverageAverage
Namutoni Camp, Namibia
18-Nov-2017 review: Quite a pleasant experience....
GoodGood
Erongo Wilderness Lodge, Namibia
20-Nov-2017 review: What a treat!
ExcellentExcellent
Barchan Dune Retreat, Namibia
21-Nov-2017 review: Retreat is an apt word
ExcellentExcellent
Desert Homestead, Namibia
22-Nov-2017 review: Quite businesslike, but good
ExcellentExcellent
Kalahari Anib Lodge, Namibia
24-Nov-2017 review: Far better than anticipated
ExcellentExcellent
Mata Mata Rest Camp, South Africa
25-Nov-2017 review: A handy, hard-to-get base
ExcellentExcellent
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp, South Africa
27-Nov-2017 review: Government run
GoodGood
Kalahari Game Lodge
29-Nov-2017 review: A brief, pleasant visit
GoodGood
Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge, Namibia
30-Nov-2017 review: A place that made an effort
ExcellentExcellent
Sun Karros Daan Viljoen, Namibia
1-Dec-2017 review: Not such a bad place to finish up
ExcellentExcellent

Glad We Chose South Africa

On this trip, I visited South Africa between 21-Oct-2015 and 7-Nov-2015 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

Seeing that this was something of an instant arrangement, Claire worked miracles and came up with the perfect hotels and a perfect route. We started with the splendour of Grootbos and the whales and finished with the spectacular views of Long Beach and more whales!

Because of South Africa's bad press, we were a little concerned, but at no point did we feel unsafe. Everyone we met was very proud of their country and deservedly so. At times we had to remind ourselves we were not in the Home Counties; it was so well-kempt, smooth running and friendly. The quality of hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and shops is very high. Everyone strives to give the best service possible. The political issues that we hear about are evident, but not defining of a country which is looking forwards not back.

It was a great trip, wonderful hotels, beautiful scenery and welcoming people. We would happily recommend a visit to anyone else.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Our second excellent trip with Expert Africa and I really do not see how your service could be improved (Just a minor point - a better map would have helped our travels!)

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Grootbos Garden Lodge, South Africa
21-Oct-2015 review: Amazingly comfortable and keen to help
ExcellentExcellent
De Hoop Opstal, South Africa
24-Oct-2015 review: Remote and beautiful
ExcellentExcellent
Schoone Oordt Country House, South Africa
26-Oct-2015 review: Lots of effort made and a real treat
ExcellentExcellent
The Last Word Franschhoek, South Africa
28-Oct-2015 review: Like The Tardis!
ExcellentExcellent
The Constantia, South Africa
31-Oct-2015 review: A Good Base - Lovely Gardens
ExcellentExcellent
Long Beach, South Africa
3-Nov-2015 review: The Perfect End to our Holiday.
ExcellentExcellent

Was Beyond Expectations!

On this trip, I visited Botswana, Namibia & Zimbabwe between 7-Nov-2014 and 29-Nov-2014 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

From the very beginning, Sabina could not have been more helpful and patient with 2 complete Africa novices!

The itinerary was beautifully constructed, never repeating experiences and building our excitement. There was not a day that we would have changed and many where we wished we had had longer.

The choice of accommodation suited us. The transfers, in fact everything, went smoothly.

It was an incredible holiday from beginning to end.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Galton House, Namibia
7-Nov-2014 review: A Good Stopover
GoodGood
Erongo Wilderness Lodge, Namibia
9-Nov-2014 review: Wish we had stayed longer!
ExcellentExcellent
Mowani Mountain Camp, Namibia
10-Nov-2014 review: Loveliness in the middle of nowhere!
ExcellentExcellent
Okaukuejo Camp, Namibia
12-Nov-2014 review: Worth it for the waterhole
GoodGood
Halali Camp, Namibia
14-Nov-2014 review: Wish we had stayed longer!
GoodGood
Onguma Tented Camp, Namibia
15-Nov-2014 review: Glorious Setting
ExcellentExcellent
Hakusembe River Lodge, Namibia
17-Nov-2014 review: Lovely Grounds and Beautiful Setting
ExcellentExcellent
Ndhovu Safari Lodge, Namibia
19-Nov-2014 review: Well Placed for Mahengo
GoodGood
Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge, Namibia
20-Nov-2014 review: Real Wilderness
GoodGood
Garden Lodge, Botswana
22-Nov-2014 review: 3 lovely nights
ExcellentExcellent
Ilala Lodge, Zimbabwe
25-Nov-2014 review: A Great Place to End Our Trip
ExcellentExcellent