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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs H from Dorset

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

9

Excursions taken

0

Kgalagadi Oct 15 visit

South Africa between 8 Oct 2015 and 4 Nov 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"We have visited many game parks and this one had been our list for a few years. To get to the park is a bit of a trek but well worth it. Don't expect the masses of game you may see elsewhere in Africa but for big cats particularly lions this is the place.

The park has much more of a local feel with the majority of visitors South Africans returning to the park each year. We saw no traffic jams of cars around sightings although I suspect during the peak period of the South African school holidays this may change. Even if you don't venture onto the 4WD routes I'd recommend a 4WD hire car as even the main roads can be very rutted.

If however you do venture down the 4WD routes to the wilderness camps particularly Gharagab it should be a great experience. We travelled in Oct and were expecting high temperatures however we appeared to hit a mini-summer with temperatures in excess of 50 C only dropping to around 30 C at night. There's nothing you can do about this other than be prepared."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

"Comfortable camp with good facilities"

2 nights Arrived 19 Oct 2015
"The chalet allocated was good. As this was our first entry into the park we had to go through the formalities of park entry and obtain our permit. This was easily done although I suspect if you arrived at a busy time there would be some delay.

We booked a sunset drive which was excellent value for money. We left the rest camp at 1800 returning at 2100 which covered about 90 mins before sunset with the rest being a night drive. There was lots of night activity and the guide was extremely knowledgeable. At the time if you self drove you had to be back into the park by 1900 so you do see things you wouldn't on your own.

On our first game drive we took the Mata Mata road. Unfortunately we saw next to no game along this route and indeed every subsequent time we drove this route for the first 20 km along the road from Twee Rivieren we saw no game. We may have just been unlucky but we had superb sightings along the Nossob road so would recommend starting with that route unless current information indicates to the contrary. There is a sightings board next to the shop which is always worth a quick look before setting out.

The restaurant at the rest camp was excellent. You book a table at the shop."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Gharagab Wilderness Camp

"Fantastic wilderness experience"

2 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2015
"We were due to travel direct from Twee Rivieren to Gharagab in one day against the advice of the SAN Parks web site. Fortunately we managed to book direct with SAN parks for one night at Nossob to break the journey. Having now done the trip we would strongly recommend not attempting the journey to Gharagab direct from Twee Rivieren. The road to Nossob was very corrugated and beyond was worse even before getting onto the 4WD only section. Also we saw a lot of game on the drive to Nossob and we would not have been able to spend the time watching it had we been heading for Gharagab.

Gharagab is a small wilderness camp with only 4 double chalets in an unfenced camp. On our stay there was only one other couple staying. All chalets have a great view of the waterhole which is lit at night. You are warned not to walk between the chalets after dark.

The view from the chalets out over the valley and waterhole is fantastic. We saw quite a lot of game coming to the waterhole before it got dark including a large male lion. He subsequently roared when only a couple of hundred metres away providing sound as well as sight! After dark we heard panting beside our verandah and a lioness padded past less than a couple of metres away. She was followed by a second both them going down to the waterhole to drink.

This was the first time I had driven 4WD and I found the drive out from Gharagab very testing particularly the last 10 Kms.The steep dunes had some deep potholes and hard compacted sand which made for a very bumpy ride. The advice from the South African couple at Gharagab to make sure I maintained the momentum up the dunes and to roll all the way back down if I didn't make it first time was very good advice. That said the journey is well worth the experience!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

"Not a recommended stop"

2 nights Arrived 23 Oct 2015
"After our time at Gharagab we arrived at Bitterpan with high expectations. Unfortunately we were very disappointed. Due to a leak in the waterhole it was only being filled every 3 days. Fortunately we arrived on the day it had been filled and there was some game. However by evening the water had drained away and there was no game the following day until we managed to persuade the camp guide to put a little more water in. With the drought conditions as soon as the water was in animals started to appear but there was not enough and they soon left leaving us staring at a vast empty flood pan. The waterhole is also not lit so even had there been water once it was dark you would not have seen the animals.

Whilst the accommodation is fine the shared kitchen is a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst it was good to socialise with others the party of South Africans who arrived the same time as us were a little over powering. They immediately took over the kitchen and filled all 3 freezers with their food. Fortunately as we were using tinned and dried food it didn't cause us a problem but it could so easily have done so. It would be a simple matter to put another fridge freezer in so each chalet could have its own.

The 4WD route in and out of Bitterpan was much easier than Gharagab. There was however almost no game or birds to see on the route and many of the waterholes were dry.

Until the waterhole is fixed so that it can have water in it every day and a light installed similar to that at Gharagab I would strongly recommend not staying at this camp."
Poor
Location
Average
Service
Poor
Rooms
Good
Facilities
Poor
Mata Mata Rest Camp

Mata Mata Rest Camp

"Nice camp"

2 nights Arrived 25 Oct 2015
"Mata Mata was a nice camp with a well visited waterhole at its edge viewable from within a hide in the camp. Although the camp is at the end of the road and therefore only one route out for game drives there never seemed to be a queue of traffic along the road even at the earlier morning gate opening. The game viewing we found more varied than any where else in the park.

The waterholes along the road were always worth a visit and spending a few minutes to see what was lying around in the shade set back from the water. We found one of the tell tales for lions or other big cats being around was a waterhole with nothing drinking from it. We again booked an evening game drive and were the only two people on the trip. The guide was again very knowledgeable and we were taken off the beaten track where you couldn't go had you been driving yourself.

We were unfortunate in having to change rooms during the two nights we spent here. There was the potential to have no where to shelter in the heat of the day. Fortunately we managed to link with the cleaning ladies and were able to move into the next room as soon as we returned from our morning game drive."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Activities
Good
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

"A good final stop"

1 night Arrived 27 Oct 2015
"Whilst you could easily combine an early morning game drive from Mata Mata with a drive back to Uppington we had decided to spend our final night in Twee Rivieren. This enabled us to enjoy the morning and the drive down to Twee Rivieren without feeling any time pressure.

Our evening game drive culminated in watching a pride of lions marching to and drinking from the waterhole just outside the camp. Our morning game drive had the excitement of seeing 5 cheetahs (a mother and 4 grown up cubs). This put the icing on the cake for our visit to the park."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Le Must River Residence

Le Must River Residence

"An idyllic place to stay in Uppington"

1 night Arrived 28 Oct 2015
"Uppington is not the most charismatic place to stay.

However Le Must River Residence was excellent with fantastic rooms and a lovely garden to sit out in over looking the Orange river. Breakfast was also very good and freshly prepared."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good

A successful trip

Zambia between 21 Sep 2007 and 4 Oct 2007

Trip rating: Excellent
"We promised ourselves a trip to Zambia for many years & it didn't disappoint.

The walking was the highlight & we can't speak highly enough of Jason, whose knowledge, enthusiasm, sense of humouir & kindness made the trip such a success."

Nkwali

Nkwali

"First day in Zambia at Nkwali"

3 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2007
"We only spent one night at the camp so it was difficult to make any generalisations, but the service, food, accommodation and friendliness of the staff all came up to our expectations.

The Safari House far exceeded our idea of what it would be like & we'll probably never stay anywhere as luxurious again!"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Robin Pope Safaris walking safari

Robin Pope Safaris walking safari

"Convert to walking safaris"

5 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2007
"We were a little apprehensive about walking amongst the wildlife but total confidence in Jason, our guide, meant that we could enjoy it to the full & we would definitely do it again.

The camps we used (2, 3 and 4) were in wonderful locations & the camp staff produced better cakes from a hole in the ground than I can in a cooker. I'm tempted to dig a hole in the lawn!

We were somewhat spoilt in that there were only 3 of us on the trip & we "clicked" instantly & being with Jason and Jenny felt more like being on holiday with friends."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

"Back to relative civilisation at Tena Tena"

4 nights Arrived 30 Sep 2007
"It was a bit of a culture shock to suddenly have so many peoiple around us & to lose Jason. [Ed: their previous guide on their walking safari]

I don't think anyone would have come up to his standard as a guide, but to be fair to the staff at Tena Tena they were all very competent and pleasant and nothing was too much trouble. It was therefore a lovely surprise to have Jason for our last game drive, especially when he found us a leopard on a kill.

An airport transfer will never match up to 0430 from Tena Tena to Mfuwe!"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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