Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs D from Hampshire
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
A very enjoyable trip to Tanzania
Tanzania and 1 other country between 31 Aug 2019 and 15 Sep 2019
Rivertrees Country Inn
"Good facilities but poor staff attitude"
Safari in Arusha National Park
"Safari in Arusha National Park review"
2 Sep 2019 • All-day excursion
Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge
"Do make time to visit the orphanage"
The tent is luxurious and very comfortable, and you can choose to sleep with the side flap down so you wake to the sunrise - very special. All of the staff are delightful - kind, helpful, and very interested in their guests. The food is superb. All in all a wonderful experience. We were on our way to Ngorongoro to stay at Sopa lodge so will list wildlife sightings there."
Lake Manyara Safari
"Great for Hippo spotting"
3 Sep 2019 • All-day excursion
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
"Perfect location for Ngorongoro"
Safari in Ngorongoro Crater
"Eleven hours crater visit - superb"
5 Sep 2019 • All-day excursion
"Great location, friendly camp."
Olduvai Gorge visit
"Olduvai Gorge visit review"
6 Sep 2019 • Morning excursion
"Unique location and wonderful staff"
This is the camp to go to to see the migration river crossings, which we were lucky enough to see on three separate occasions, but there are no guarantees on this - some visitors the previous week had watched the animals collect in their thousands at the river bank, but not be able to overcome their fear of the crocodiles and make the crossing."
Pongwe Beach Hotel
"Luxurious end to a safari"
Zanzibar Coffee House
"Unique and fabulous stop in Stonetown"
My Sep 2015 trip
Namibia between 9 Sep 2015 and 4 Oct 2015
I suspect this is because of our discussions with Expert Africa staff who took the time to find out exactly what we wanted, and then planned the trip accordingly.
I cannot speak highly enough about the planning and organisation which had obviously gone into this trip. Thank you again Martha."
"Superb overnight option for Windhoek"
Very good food, and helpful staff."
BullsPort Lodge and Farm
"A chance to stay on a working farm"
Very impressed to see that a percentage of each night's accommodation charges is passed on to the local Nama community to help with education and training.
The Quiver Tree Gorge drive and walk was excellent - recommended."
Hoodia Desert Lodge
"Hoodia Is Something Very Special"
t is owned and managed on a daily basis by Thomas, an ex London and New York interior designer, and the sense of style he has built into all aspects of the lodge and its rooms is outstanding. This is coupled with a standard of welcome and service which was certainly the best on this trip and in fact rivalled anywhere else we have stayed in the world. The second bathroom open to the stars was a particular treat, and Hoodia was definitely the accommodation highlight of the trip.
We had intended to drive into Sossusvlei in our own 4x4, but chose to go in a small group in Hoodia's own vehicle with their guide Michael - a fascinating and highly knowledgeable man. I would strongly recommend this if Michael is available."
"Swakopmund Guesthouse review"
We had two nights in Swapokmund and felt that was one too many.
Whilst here, we organised a Pelican Point Kayaking trip for these travellers. They commented:
Get your fingers nibbled by baby seals
A real highlight of the trip. Jeanne who runs these kayaking trips with her husband has been doing it for years and has perfected it. Everything you might need is provided and you are guaranteed to see seals close up - baby seals will even come up and nibble your fingers if you want them to - which I did! If you are lucky you may see dolphins too. Jeanne takes photos of you in your two-man kayak and emails them to you that evening. The drive out to the launch point goes past bays full of pink flamingos.
Kayaking with seals
"Get your fingers nibbled by baby seals"
17 Sep 2015 • Morning excursion
"Damaraland Camp review"
On our second night all of the staff sang to the guests after dinner. The first couple of songs were probably arranged as part of the evening but the next half dozen songs were clearly because they were enjoying it so much! Very memorable.
Safari drives excellent."
Etendeka Mountain Camp
"Unique wilderness camp opportunity"
The terrain to reach Etendeka is so rough that they come to collect you in their own 4x4 from a point a couple of hours from the camp. Once there you will sleep in a comfortable tent with an attached outside toilet and shower - more than adequate. The sensation of standing on a mountain top next morning and realising that however far you look in any direction, there is no other habitation, is what Etendeka is all about.
An en-expected bonus is that due to the lack of light pollution, the opportunity for star gazing is exceptional, and Dennis will be delighted to demonstrate his very sophisticated telescope.
Plenty of wildlife, but the solitude is the primary attraction here."
"Hobatere Lodge review"
We have rated this lodge as good, because it had many very good aspects, but it had significant issues of a kind we did not encounter anywhere else in Namibia. We were told that Hobatere had re-opened this year after being closed for several years. A fire had destroyed the original main building hence the closure, and the lodge had now been taken over by the community, and a superb new main building built looking out towards the water-hole. We suspect this was part of the problem - the building had been built to a very high specification, and it looked as if everything had been spent on this, and nothing was left for the rooms (separate thatched cottages).
When we were shown our room we were proudly told that when Hobatere was reopened, the rooms "had not needed anything more than dusting down the cobwebs". Sadly I'm afraid they did. It was clear that maintenance had been skipped for some time - trying to turn on a stiff shower valve unscrewed it from the wall instead, and I had to temporarily fix it with my Leatherman before I could shower. The mosquito grills over the bathroom windows (no glass) were in tatters, and most seriously, there were no mosquito nets in the rooms. Despite soaking ourselves in deet we were badly bitten in the night.
A second issue concerned staff training. Staff were very friendly and helpful, but there was almost a feeling that the regular staff were away, and it was being run by the work-experience kids i.e. enthusiastic but a bit chaotic and ill-trained. I have to say that this did not bother us in the slightest, but it will definitely bother some of the type of clientele that they will hope to attract.
A third issue concerns what might be called a casual attitude to Health and Safety. The lodge has an observation tower directly overlooking the water hole. It can be accessed by driving out to it, and then climbing up an external ladder into the tower. The lodge offers to drive guests out there, get them safely into the tower, and leave them there until they radio to be picked up. This is a fantastic opportunity to watch and photograph a huge variety of animals at close range, including elephants and lions. When we asked if we could be taken out they said they only had one vehicle, which was in use, but we could drive ourselves out there and climb the tower. As we approached the tower we saw that it was surrounded by about a dozen elephants including a mother with a baby. We know enough about wildlife to stop at a distance and wait until the herd had moved away from the tower, and it was safe to exit the car, walk to the tower and climb the ladder. However we had been given no instructions on this, and if someone had assumed that "we've been allowed to do this so it must be safe", then there could have been a tragic incident. Organised properly the tower could be a real asset to the lodge - as it is it is an accident waiting to happen."
"Okaukuejo Camp review"
We found the standard of service was good, the accommodation good, and the illuminated waterhole superb.
Okaukuejo's location, in the middle of Etosha, is of course why people choose to stay there, but it certainly exceeded our expectations. The wildlife viewings at the waterholes around Okaukuejo are exceptional and I would stay there again if I re-visited Etosha."
"Halali Camp review"
Accommodation, food and service were not exceptional, but were all more than adequate."
Mushara Bush Camp
"Mushara Bush Camp review"
We found this part of Etosha to be perhaps less attractive and with less wildlife viewing possibilities than the central Etosha area, but if you are driving right through Etosha it is a convenient overnight location.
The luxury tented en suite accommodation is well laid out in the grounds, and staff are exceptionally helpful and friendly. Food is excellent, particularly an outdoor barbecue meal on the second night."
Okonjima Plains Camp
"Okonjima Plains Camp review"
Staying here is an opportunity to go out tracking leopard and cheetah with one of the resident guides in one of their vehicles, or even at times on foot. The animals have radio collars which help in tracking them down, but it is still far from straightforward, as the areas in which they can travel are just so large. There are probably few places where the opportunities for seeing leopard and cheetah in the wild are as good as this.
The accommodation is outstanding, with each lodge having its own picture window and terrace overlooking the bush, and animals such as wart hogs and springbok coming right up to the terrace. Food and service are also exceptional."
"Olive Grove review"
We arrived hoping to watch the England - Australia World Cup rugby match so were delighted to find a big TV and cable in the room. Unfortunately it was not working but the young manager spent a large part of the afternoon chasing the cable company and fiddling with the TV in an attempt to get it to work. In the end he booked us a table at a nearby bar/restaurant where we were able to watch the match with locals, and the atmosphere was much better than watching it in the room anyway!
The room itself was huge - in face calling it a suite is probably more accurate, and some lovely touches such as port and chocolates left in our room for us to come back to after the restaurant. A good central location, ideal for a last night in Namibia before flying home."
In the morning I got up half an hour before breakfast started, to speak with the kitchen to ensure that a suitable breakfast would be provided, reminding them of what had happened the previous evening. The response was very offhand. When we arrived for breakfast we were told that it was a buffet, and gluten free items were available, but these were not pointed out or explained. I had hoped that after the previous evening an attempt would have been made to rectify the situation, but sadly not."