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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs M from Aberdeen

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

9

Excursions taken

0

Great country and holiday

Namibia between 25 Jun 2015 and 12 Jul 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was an excellent holiday, and we really enjoyed exploring the diversity of places, activities and landscapes that Namibia has to offer. We really appreciated the informed advice from Tracy at Expert Africa when we were planning this trip - it made planning a lot simpler and easier.

However - and this is a big however - we object to the advice that a normal 2WD car is sufficient for the route that we took. We were assured that this would be fine, so we hired a Toyata Corolla. This was of course fine on tarmac, and meant we had good fuel efficiency. However, the gravel roads and access routes to lodges were very difficult and stressful to travel on in this car. We are not inexperienced, and we drove very carefully - and slowly - which meant that we took significantly longer than most to travel a route. Despite our care, we could not avoid damage to our car undercarriage on the access road to one lodge. We managed to avoid other damage that we needed to repair (though we incurred several dents and knocks from stones thrown up from the road) - had our car had a higher ground clearance and a more robust undercarriage we could have avoided this.

The car was extremelyuncomfortable to sit in on the gravel roads if they were not freshly regraded, including in the centre of Etosha near Halali - neither we nor the car were built for all the vibrations that ensued. Given that this is was an expensive holiday, paying a little extra for a more robust and comfortable car would have been money well-spent. This doesn't necessarily have to be a 4WD but it would be the easiest way to ensure the car is up to the job, When the roads are long and empty and you have no mobile reception, you want confidence that the car is built for the job."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Classy city hotel"

1 night Arrived 25 Jun 2015
"We stayed here at both the start and end of our trip, for 1 night each time. We enjoyed both of our stays. The breakfasts were very good, We also had our evening meals here and although not the cheapest place to eat, the dinners were very good indeed, really good food. The Namibian date and brandy cake/pudding was particularly tasty! The port and chocolate for bedtime was a nice and unusual touch.

On both stays our rooms were very comfortable. Our room on the second visit was booked as Standard, whilst on our first visit it was booked as Luxury. However, we'd be hard pressed to say what was superior about the room we stayed in the first time: indeed by comparison, the standard room was a bit brighter and didn't open out onto the road, so was quieter. Based on our experience I would recommend simply booking a standard room.

Another thought - it might be good to request/check that you don't have a room opening out directly onto the reception/dining area (I think this was rooms 1, 2 and 3) - those rooms might feel a lack of privacy and risk a bit noise."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Mundulea Reserve

Mundulea Reserve

"A unique experience"

3 nights Arrived 26 Jun 2015
"It was a real privilege to be able to stay here. For those who are interested in or already know something about ecology, geology and/or natural systems, a visit to Mundulea is wonderful. It is an opportunity to see a unique attempt to restore an ecological system, and to discuss the processes and interactions both large and small. We valued the opportunity to learn from Bruno, whose mix of knowledge and experience makes for very interesting discussions on a range of topics, not just on the things we could see around us. Mundulea would not be everybody's cup of tea - for example, whilst Mundulea is perfectly comfortable, for the money it would be possible to have a more luxurious or opulent stay in a lodge or hotel elsewhere.

The tents we stayed in were comfortable and we liked that the fixtures and fittings had been ingeniously made from recycled materials. The tent and outdoor bathrooms did get extremely cold (it was unusually cold when we were visiting - well below freezing - but it is a fairly good bet that it will get cold here and other places at night at this time of year) - hot water bottles were provided but still visitors should ensure they pack thermals for evenings and nights. We were colder here than anywhere else. The food we were served was really tasty and all the more impressive because we could see how it was being ingeniously cooked over one fire.

We visited Mundulea early in our trip, which meant that we hadn't seen much of the wild plants or animals that we would have had we already visited Etosha or other areas. However, Bruno did a good job of not making us feel too ignorant (well.. most of the time!). The way he challenged us to interpret what we found on our walks was really stimulating, it's a really good way to learn. Although we did see lots of interesting 'big' animals, it was nice to be able to discuss and explore less obvious but equally interesting flora and fauna. We also had quite a lot interesting discussions about geology, reflecting our interests.

Compared to other places we fount it refreshing to be able to walk and explore, rather than sitting in a car or following a prescribed route (as was necessary for other places we visited in central - north Namibia).

The private road within the reserve up to the farm house was a little rough with some vegetation between the wheel tracks which was a little too much for our Toyota Corolla hire car. Indeed, when leaving the reserve we damaged the undercarriage of our car despite driving at close to a snails pace. We would recommend to prospective guests at Mundulea that a standard saloon car is not suitable to access the reserve."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Mushara Bush Camp

Mushara Bush Camp

"Great base for exploring Eastern Etosha"

2 nights Arrived 29 Jun 2015
"We really enjoyed our stay at Mushara. Our tent/chalet was a perfect size and very thoughtfully laid out. We had some of the best food of our trip here - it was tasty but also unusual and extremely well presented.

Throughout our stay the service was good without being obtrusive or at all pretentious - overall it was just a very easy relaxing place to stay. One day we had lunch here and were entertained by a group of warthogs grazing on the lawn just in front of us.

We took a morning drive into Etosha from here, and the guide was very good. Even if you are self-driving it is nice to sometimes go in a guided vehicle - for example during this drive he showed us a leopard that we would not have spotted had we been in our own car.

We recommend Mushara as a great base for exploring the Eastern side of Etosha, this was one of the favourite places that we stayed at during our trip in Namibia."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 1 Jul 2015
"We stayed in a bush chalet that was conveniently situated within Okaukuejo. It wasn't the most luxurious place that we stayed in during our trip, but it was perfectly sufficient and very spacious.

Although the waterhole chalets have a view of the waterhole, they are also exposed to all the visitors clustered around the waterhole, so we were happy with our choice! We really enjoyed walking to the waterhole at different times of day to see the animals loitering and interacting - with a bit of patience it seemed there was always something to see. We saw rhino and elephant interacting at the hole, in addition to giraffe, oryx etc etc.

The buffets for every meal are sufficient but got a bit repetitive if by the end of two days - a tip for other travellers is that the 'kiosk' serves snacks as an alternative to the lunch buffet. One of us is vegetarian and found particularly limited food options (besides salad and vegetables). In addition to gifts and toiletries, the shop sells lots of biscuits and confectionary, icecream plus bread, sausages/meat and onions - and the chalets all have firepits/bbq areas so you could have a barbeque."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

2 nights Arrived 3 Jul 2015
"Doro Nawas is a good base for visiting many of the attractions of Damarland. We visiting the petrified forest on our way there, and the next day we visited Twyfelfontein, the 'organ pipes' and the 'burnt mountain'.

The rooms at Doro Nawas are amazing in themselves, as well as having a great view of the stunning landscape. They can be a bit dim insides, but their shadiness helps to keep them cool. We didn't sleep outdoors, but we did use the outdoor shower - fun! It was nice to hang about near the pool when it was hot, though it was never quite hot enough to make swimming endurable!

It is really good that Doro Nawas provides water bottles and unlimited water for refills. We also liked that we could take some tea and coffee all day, with cake in the afternoon. The breakfasts were also very good.

We found the dinner arrangements here to be a bit confusing - we were not clear when/how it would be served, and one evening when we asked (at about 7.30) we were told that "dinner will be served at 7pm and we will tell you when that is". One evening we had a bbq on the roof, which whilst fun, took a while. The vegetarian meals were a bit vegetably- i.e. cooked vegetables served with the vegetables that accompany the meat options - this was possibly just a coincidence as we only stayed there a couple of nights - but more use of beans/other sources of protein would have been nice.

We booked a walking activity (on the sandstone trail) with a guide. This was okay but our guide wasn't local - we were a bit surprised by this because this is jointly run with a community conservancy. It was also a bit shorter than we expected from the activity description that we had in our room."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Good place to stay in Swakopmund"

2 nights Arrived 5 Jul 2015
"Cornerstone is a very well located guesthouse - from here it is easy to walk to all the restaurants and attractions in the centre of town.

Our room was very comfortable, and breakfast in the morning was very good. The owners were assiduous in ensuring we had everything we needed, and made restaurant reservations on our behalf - they even provided a mobile phone pre-programmed with their contact numbers."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Excellent base for exploring the Namib"

2 nights Arrived 7 Jul 2015
"We really enjoyed our stay at Kulala. It had a really nice 'feel' to it - good service and good food but not ostentatious or complicated. The staff were very good, personable and remembered our names - impressive given the visitor turnover.

Our room was very comfortable, and well laid out, with a good view. We liked the rooftop place where we could look at the stars (we weren't brave enough to try to sleep up there, but other people do). If you want to drink tea and coffee in your room, you have to ask for a thermos of hot water to take back there, but we never wanted to because there was tea and coffee always available in the main area (and cake in the afternoon).

The main area of the lodge was comfortable. All our meals here were good, and as one of us is vegetarian we particularly appreciated being given two good choices. It is good that they give waterbottles and so we could top those up at anytime.

We did two activities at Kulala - we went to Sossusvlei to climb a sand dune (we chose Big Daddy) and see Dead Vlei. This was amazing. Then in the afternoon we went to Sesriem Canyon, which was interesting but couldn't beat climbing the dune. The guide for these activities, Oscar, was great, probably the best we encountered during our stay in Namibia."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge

"Luxury desert lodge"

2 nights Arrived 9 Jul 2015
"We really appreciated the excellent layout of both the main area and rooms. The main area spans several zones and has plenty of places to sit, so there was always somewhere to sit regardless of the time of day, desired view or degree of desired privacy. Our room was beautiful and also had many places to sit, both within itor on its wrap around deck. Early in the morning they left a tea and coffee tray so we could have a hot drink whilst watching the sunrise.

The food here was very excellent, and the evening meals were particularly impressive, with five courses! There were many very tasty breakfast options (excepting the toast- not the best bread we had in Nambibia) but these had to be ordered from a menu, rather than a buffet, which may not be everyone's preferred way of doing things in the morning. The tea and coffee station was accompanied by a particularly noteworthy cheesecake..yum.

We paid for a massage and facial and the masseuse visited our room to carry this out, which was very nice. Although many guests stay here on 'all inclusive' basis, a visitor should be aware that several activities available would need to paid for - e.g. not surprising that hot air ballooning and flights are not included, but also horse riding is not included. So, depending on what you plan to do, going all inclusive may not be great value.

Each guest is assigned a host/guide. This is designed to allow personalised service but for us this was not very satisfactory. We did not really feel we had much choice of activities - basically we were offered a choice between an all day drive or 2 half day drives. Our guide was also assigned to another (very nice) couple and - as he told us several times - it can be difficult for him if we want to do different things. The guide seemed to spend a lot of time telling us about the various activities and accommodation options at Wolwedans, and tipping arrangements, rather than telling us about the features of the animals, plants and landscape around us. Also, he repeatedly addressed only one of us - the husband - and never asked questions of the other - the wife. Perhaps this was just because he could only remember one of our names, but it became quite annoying for the wife! At one point, when one of us asked a question, he scolded us for not listening to what he told us earlier.. when in fact he had not listened to us and misunderstood my question. Some of our gripes might relate to communication problems - our guide's English was not perfect - but we did not have this problem with any other guides we encountered during our trip in Namibia, and we expected a better at Wolwedans."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"See previous comment"

1 night Arrived 11 Jul 2015
"N.A"
Excellent

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