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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Miss H from Bayswater

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

9

Excursions taken

1

Unforgettable

Namibia between 22 Aug 2015 and 6 Sep 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"Namibia is an incredible country and Expert Africa organised everything very well and Martha in particular was there at the end of the phone whenever I had a question, her advice was invaluable.

A few negatives that are worth mentioning but should never stop any one from going are:

The gravel roads can be pretty hairy in a 2WD and had we had the funds, we would have much preferred to be in a 4WD as you feel every single bump in the road (so if you have the money get a 4WD). We had to drive extra slow in order to avoid damage to the car (especially the tyres) and the undercarriage (which is uninsurable) - with the gravel sometimes building up so high it's unavoidable to have a rock or two hit the underneath. The gravel roads can make the journeys tiresome, long and stressful. In sum, it is quite miraculous that there was no major damage to the car and in the end we only had a chip on the windscreen, so actually we are testament to the fact that the journey we did was do-able in a 2WD, it's just really not ideal. I felt like the mental stress the roads put on you should be emphasised more by the guide book and Expert Africa as we weren't quite prepared for how mentally exhausting the journeys would be as we were constantly worried we were going to seriously damage the car. When we hit tar roads again on the way to Windhoek we were elated!

Namibia is still very much in transition from its colonial days and much of the effects of colonialism are still present. Segregation of black and white people is still very much a part of life and almost all of the money / businesses are still in the hands of white Namibians. There's not much to be done about that as a tourist except be mindful of it. I felt I should have researched this before travelling so that it wasn't such an unpleasant surprise, it's very hard not to notice it. We came across blatant instances of racism from locals, especially at Bullsport (from a guest) but this is mostly among the older generation who still refer to Namibia vehemently as South West Africa. I feel silly for not having researched the country's colonial history more fully however i expected it to be just that, history, but considering the effects are still so prevalent, I think it should be emphasised more in the book and by Expert Africa, to younger, more naive travellers, like myself, admittedly. In Swakopmund it was most noticeable. We had some great chats to some black Namibians, who were happy to talk about their views on it and the staff at the Tug were so friendly, inviting and a lot of fun to while away an evening at the bar with.

On a Swakopmund note - the local tourist market in Swakopmund was quite overwhelming, they have some great things there and i bought some souvenirs but when we went we were pretty much the only tourists so all of the sellers were vying for our attention, it was difficult to get out of there, perhaps worth noting in the guide book.

As for the positives:

We were the only ones on the road for miles at some points, this country is still relatively un-visited by tourists so you feel like you're uncovering a hidden gem, everything is so pristine.

The different landscapes, the wildlife, the culture and the people are so amazing, i have never been any where like it. I often say I won't go back to the same place as there's too many other places to see but I might have to make an exception for Namibia. . .maybe when i can afford a 4wd!

It seemed mostly visited by retirees but we couldn't see why, this is the ultimate African road trip, everywhere we went was safe and friendly and it's cheap. The safari was first class, we saw every animal there was to see. Okonjima was fantastic and the landscapes second to none. Namibia has mountains, stunning desert dunes, cities, beaches and flat savannahs that stretch on for thousands of mile, it has everything.

I can't recommend this destination and Expert Africa highly enough, it's just a matter of time before the crowds discover it.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Martha was excellent, helpful, knowledgable and friendly, she helped us tailor our itinerary to our needs and budget, can't recommend her highly enough.

Two small things, there was a mix up at Sossus Dune Lodge where it was written on one of our itineraries that we were on a DBB basis but when we arrived they only had us down as BB so we aren't sure if we ended up paying twice?

The other thing again minor but worth noting, one day I called up to speak to Martha who wasn't available so I chatted to Sabina instead, who was very friendly and informative however, i called up to ask why it was that we couldn't fit Sandwich Harbour into our day seeing the seals and she explained it was because there wasn't enough time, completely fine however she wanted to emphasise the point by informing me some tourists were killed the week before rushing to get to Sandwich Harbour, which was information i probably could have done without having already been a bit nervous about the amount of driving on gravel roads we had to do, a case of too much information!"

Elegant Guesthouse

Elegant Guesthouse

"Friendly Service, Luxury Boutique Guesthouse"

1 night Arrived 22 Aug 2015
"Beautiful first place to stay on arrival, the staff were very helpful, there was private parking and the rooms were very nice.

Breakfast was delicious and the supermarket and restaurants were just a short distance away, making it a good location too."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Unexpectedly Fantastic"

2 nights Arrived 23 Aug 2015
"We were unsure about whether to book Okonjima as we thought it would be too much of a constructed safari experience however on the advice of Martha at Expert Africa, we booked two nights here and were so glad we did.

Our guide Peter (Igwe) was extremely knowledgable about the park, somehow finding his way back to our car after tracking a Cheetah on foot for 30 minutes. We stayed in the most basic of the rooms at Okonjima Plains Camp and were still blown away by the standard of accommodation, which has stunning views of the plains from the double beds that face the huge windows. The communal area was really well laid out, the food delicious and staff friendly.

The cheetah trekking was amazing, a real adrenaline rush and the leopard trekking incredible. We saw all sorts of wildlife along the way and even a huge male uncollared leopard on our second day out, which was a great photo opportunity! We did three excursions and saw everything we wanted to, thanks to our expert guide, Peter.

Overall a great start to the holiday and a highlight. A good preparation for Etosha - also nice to be driven around in an open top vehicle compared to driving ourselves around in the 2WD. A MUST do."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mushara Bush Camp

Mushara Bush Camp

"Luxury Tented Camp"

2 nights Arrived 25 Aug 2015
"Lovely luxury camp with great food and a beautiful pool just outside the Eastern gate to Etosha National Park, I definitely recommend staying here if you're not staying within the park. The tents are spacious and the bathroom nice if not a little revealing as the there is no door to the shower and the toilet door didn't close properly!

A couple of things, there is no lock on the tent door so when you leave you will leave knowing that someone could easily enter without a key if they wish however there is a security guy that wanders around and a safe for valuables (that uses a key rather than a code). I recommend just taking important things with you in the car to be extra safe. At night when you're asleep you can lock it from the inside although the place seemed quiet and safe, it's more of a comfort thing. The front gate isn't manned so you do have to get in and out of your car to open and close it when arriving and departing, which apart from being very slightly inconvenient, makes the gate a bit pointless.

The hostess was friendly and on our last night a huge outdoor buffet was laid out for everyone in a really beautiful setting. There are two other Mushara camps that i am aware of including, Villa Mushara and Mushara Outpost, which i think provide a little more comfort and luxury but Mushara Bush Camp is luxurious without the same price tag and so well worth it for those looking to save a little extra. One last thing - the wifi didn't work for me but it did for my friend, it seems they have a few issues with it."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Fantastic Setting"

2 nights Arrived 27 Aug 2015
"I give this an overall 'Excellent' rating because it shouldn't be missed. After days and days in the car, it is so nice to sit quietly at the watering hole in the fresh air, waiting for what comes by. It is like a huge amphitheatre and you're part of the audience, watching a play, where you have no idea what will happen next. It was spine tingling hearing the lions roar as night fell.

It is quite remarkable watching a herd of 20 elephants walking in a line from the distance as the sun is setting. Great for photographers as you're not hindered by the confines of a car.

The service and food leaves much to be desired - some staff members at the main office border on rude and our waitress made us feel uncomfortable in asking for our change once we paid our bill and lastly, the rooms aren't anything to write home about but that's not what this place is about so it shouldn't be something that puts you off.

The fuel guys were very helpful and let out our tyres free of charge."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Average
Food
Poor
Facilities
Poor
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge

Twyfelfontein Country Lodge

"Comfortable and basic"

2 nights Arrived 29 Aug 2015
"We opted to stay at Twyfelfontein Country Lodge instead of Doro Nawas as it would save us almost £100 each over two nights. It took quite some time to get there after we turned off the main road, which was a bit soul destroying after such a long journey on gravel roads. The road is covered in hard ridges which in a 2WD felt like we were going over thousands of tiny speed bumps, you feel every single one and spend every minute stressing that you're about to burst a tyre.

The lodge is in a lovely setting with it's own bushmen engravings and the staff all speak in a click dialect, which is amazing to listen to. The manager who welcomed us was very friendly and enthusiastic as was our guide that took us to see the bushmen engravings and desert adapted elephants.

The rooms are very basic but clean and we had to put a chair against the door at night to stop it blowing in the wind. The staff were fine if not a little less friendly than some of the other places we had been. On our last night, they all sang a few tribal songs for us, and even one in click, which was a highlight. The chef was very friendly and the food was good - we ate ostrich, crocodile, oryx, beef, salmon and kudu all in one evening!

The excursions made this a good place to stay however the trucks they use could do with replacing - they are old army trucks that although have a lot of character are extremely old and unreliable as one of them wouldn't start the morning we were to go see the bushmen engravings. They do have a fuel stop nearby though so we picked up a different one and when we needed fuel upon departure, the fuel guys were very helpful.

The bushmen engravings were amazing to see and the guide that took us was informative however some tourists ahead of us decided it was a good idea to touch the engravings, which we think should be discouraged by the guides (which it wasn't), if they want to preserve them for generations to come. The desert adapted elephants were quite easy to find and we were the only ones on the trip, which was nice.

The pool at the lodge was great but too cold and there were sun loungers which we made full use of!

The temperature drops at night here more severely than anywhere else we went so definitely worth ensuring plenty of warm clothes are with you at dinner and during the morning and evening excursions.

A classic case of 'you get what you pay for' but ideal for those on a budget."
Average
Location
Average
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Image alt

Central Guest House, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Great location, clean and friendly"

2 nights Arrived 31 Aug 2015
"The lady at the front desk was very welcoming and showed us to our room, which was very easily accessible in an annex to the house. Parking was private and secure. This is essentially a B&B and the owner's children were around in the living area most of the time. Service was helpful and breakfast was good.

There was wifi in the main area, which was great after 6 days without!

Our room was very spacious, clean and modern and a big step up from some of the previous places, it was nice to have some home comforts such as a television too.

It is located a short walk from Kucki's Pub and some of the main places that the guide book recommends.

During their stay, we organised Pelican Point Kayaking for these travellers, they commented:

This experience was fantastic because it took us out to Walvis Bay, which is a beautiful town with hundreds of flamingoes on the beach that you can sit and watch until your heart's content - great for photographers to get up close to them and not many tourists scaring them off, it's a nicer more suburban area than Swakop.

Jeanne who took us out kayaking was very friendly, informative and helpful, she met us at Dolphin Cafe and was happy to answer any questions we had and was very enthusiastic about the excursion, she was also happy to make plenty of stops along the way for photos of the wildlife too.

The only thing that was slightly disappointing was that it was quite rushed, we didn't have as much time in the water with the seals as we had hoped. I also thought we might have a little more interaction with the seals but of course that's not up to Jeanne!

However, Jeanne took plenty of photos and a video of us, which she promptly emailed to us that same day. All gear was provided as was a lovely lunch on the beach - we even saw a humpback whale whilst we were sat eating our sandwiches."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Kayaking with seals

Kayaking with seals

"Fun if not over a little quick"

1 Sep 2015 • Morning excursion

This experience was fantastic because it took us out to Walvis Bay, which is a beautiful town with hundreds of flamingoes on the beach that you can sit and watch until your heart's content - great for photographers to get up close to them and not many tourists scaring them off, it's a nicer more suburban area than Swakop.

Jeanne who took us out kayaking was very friendly, informative and helpful, she met us at Dolphin Cafe and was happy to answer any questions we had and was very enthusiastic about the excursion, she was also happy to make plenty of stops along the way for photos of the wildlife too.

The only thing that was slightly disappointing was that it was quite rushed, we didn't have as much time in the water with the seals as we had hoped. I also thought we might have a little more interaction with the seals but of course that's not up to Jeanne!

However, Jeanne took plenty of photos and a video of us, which she promptly emailed to us that same day. All gear was provided as was a lovely lunch on the beach - we even saw a humpback whale whilst we were sat eating our sandwiches.
Excellent
Sossus Dune Lodge

Sossus Dune Lodge

"Great location and lodge"

2 nights Arrived 2 Sep 2015
"Being within the national park makes this a place you have to stay simply because it allows you to watch the sunrise and the sunset without having to rush off before the sun actually sets and rises. The lodges are clean and creatively laid out, with a large bedroom, bathroom and loungers that look out on to the national park that you can take out on to the deck for star gazing (i have never seen so many stars, the night sky is incredible here).

A couple of gripes, our lodge was right at the end of the walkway, which made it a good 5 minute walk from the breakfast room and our safe was broken so we had to lug our valuables around everywhere. There was also a mix up with our evening meal where Expert Africa had written down that we had paid for DBB but Sossus Dune Lodge only had us down for breakfast so it was an unexpected expense.

The pool was lovely and looked idyllic but again a bit too cold for us!"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
BullsPort Lodge & Farm

BullsPort Lodge & Farm

"Family Run & Friendly"

1 night Arrived 4 Sep 2015
"A good place to stop in between Sossus and Windhoek however the room was a bit basic and smelt strongly of paint, we also didn't have mosquito nets over our beds, which wasn't ideal.

It is family owned and run and we thought perhaps we would be dining with the family rather than other guests, who were all speaking German so we didn't understand much of the conversation at the table - time for us to start learning another language i think! But there was a young guy who worked there who sat at our table and did some translating for us, which was very nice of him.

The best parts were the location (Naukluft Mountains) - the gorge walk was amazing and our guide very informative, he was clearly very enthusiastic about the location and the nature and was happy to stop for pictures and explain bits about the area and wildlife. He could spot an eagle's nest from a mile off!

Another plus is the impact it had on us, it has stuck with me since because it felt like we had stepped back in time, not necessarily a good thing in itself but something fascinating to witness, the colonial past that you might think is confined to history is still very present here."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Haus Sonneneck

Haus Sonneneck

"Very Friendly & Helpful Owner"

1 night Arrived 5 Sep 2015
"We were welcomed on arrival by the owner who was very friendly and showed us to our parking spot. The guest house is in a gated and secure area and the room we stayed in was annexed from the house, very spacious and clean.

Location is good and breakfast was nice and there's wifi in the reception area. It's not luxurious but the service was excellent. I managed to forget the code to the safe, which was no issue as the owner was able to come and unlock it immediately."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good

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