Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs MS from N London
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
A wonderful 5-week adventure
Namibia and 1 other country between 1 May 2015 and 5 Jun 2015
I expected it to be all desert, but I never knew how many different kinds of desert there are and what amazing landscapes and geology Namibia has. Nor did I realise what a fantastic variety of wildlife and birds there are.
We chose to have a driver/guide and it was well worth every penny - he not only took all the strain of the long drives, he was also an astonishing fund of knowledge and expertise. WIthout him, we would not have seen half the things we did, nor appreciated what we did see half as much.
Then we had 9 days in the Okavango Delta, a truly amazing place where the concentration and variety of wildlife is quite extraordinary. Very good guides provided by the lodges to find all the animals. The days were filled with great experiences.
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
We had a fanatastic time and no complaints at all. However, we did find that quite a few of the lodges etc were really rather over the top in their attempts to emulate 4- or 5-star hotels. It's a matter of personal preference, but we actually felt more comfortable in the places that didn't try quite so hard and were perhaps a little more authentic in their atmosphere - like Etendeka and Kwara.
If I had known better what the range of options was, I could probably have explained this to Tracy at the beginning. So my suggestion would be that your agents could maybe spend a little more time getting to know what the client's expectations are and what kind of experiences they are looking for, and discuss the options, to enable them to make better-informed choices.
My impression is that, because I didn't have a limited budget, the assumption was that we would automatically prefer the most up-market places; that doesn't apply to us and maybe others are the same."
We have very much taken on board these travellers’ comments regarding the style and cost of accommodation, and have noted to try and probe even deeper when chatting about accommodation options with future travellers. We pride ourselves on taking time getting to know exactly what our travellers what from a trip and then suggesting the best places to suit their individual desires. We are sorry that we may not have got it completely correct on this occasion.
We too love rustic and authentic styles of camp such as Etendeka and Kwara, however unfortunately there are very few of these types of camp any more. Most have opted to ‘upgrade’ to more modern structures and facilities due to popular demand. We feel this is a bit of a same as there are a number of our travellers who clearly prefer this style of accommodation.
For clarity sake we feel we should mention that the accommodations used in Namibia were by no means the most expensive, in fact many are some of the more economical places to stay. However travelling with a private guide, although offering a fantastic experience, does add a fair amount to the cost of any trip. However Nxabega and Sandibe in Botswana are pretty costly, though no more than many other camps in Botswana - it’s just an expensive country to visit!
Arranged By Tracy Lederer
"Lovely room, good service, good food"
Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch
"Great location, service could be better"
Lunch service when we arrived was very slow, but the barbecue in the evening was excellent"
"Wonderful location, great atmosphere"
However, the service was not up to the standard one expects from a place of this standard: room not very clean, damp towels not changed, and a dreadfully long wait for lunch - after which the wrong order was delivered."
"Klein Aus Vista Chalets very good"
It was good to have the extra time to do a couple of the recommended walks as well as the scheduled activities."
Hoodia Desert Lodge
Exceptionally friendly staff and excellent service"
"Comfortable guesthouse, convenient location"
"Exquisite room, stunning location"
The view was amazing, even from the bathroom."
Etendeka Mountain Camp
"Wonderfully remote and close to nature"
A very pleasing lack of pretension in the accommodation, food and service. It felt very comfortable and in many ways a more authentic experience than the more luxurious lodges."
"Wonderful floodlit waterhole"
A great place from which to visit many other waterholes and see a wide variety of wildlife."
Mushara Bush Camp
"A lovely quiet camp well situated"
Not a lot happening at the camp but ideally located for getting into Etosha to see the waterholes at the eastern end."
Okonjima Plains Camp
"Busy camp, unique big cat experiences"
The great attraction is the unique opportunity to follow cheetah, wild dogs and leopards with radio tracking. We had some great sightings of all 3."
"We've done this one already!"
Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp
"Great location and great star-lit dinner"
A great surprise and a great pleasure to have our dinner round a camp-fire under the stars, away from the lodge, on our first night"
Sandibe Safari Lodge
"Friendly place with luxurious rooms"
Very comfortable and spacious, though a private plunge pool with outside seating for at least 15 people seems a little excessive. Excellent and very friendly service. The guiding was outstanding, Jonas not only found everything we were hoping to see but also allowed us all the time we wanted to stay with the animals and really share what they were doing, rather than just taking a few photos and moving on.
We spent an entire, unbroken day with one leopard, our best ever wildlife experience."
"Wonderful place, deep in the wilds"
It was great to have an elephant munching away at a tree no more than 5 meters away from us having our breakfast."
All other things being equal, somewhere within walking distance of the centre, museums etc would be preferable."