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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Suricate family from Hale

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

0

Grindrod Namibian Safari

Namibia between 4 Jul 2008 and 20 Jul 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"For the oldest member at least the trip of a lifetime! Long anticipated we probably did it just in time - in another 2 years it will probably be too demanding for the oldies, whereas the "youngsters" may well be off on the Fish River trail.

While the wild life was incredibly exciting, it was what we had expected - only even bigger and better.

I don't think we could have anticipated the fantastic beauty and variety of the landscapes and the speed with which they change - the drive from Solitaire to Walvis Bay is just one example. Nor is it possible easily to convey the space, the distances, the emptiness,and the enormous skies - particularly on a moonless night.

We followed your suggested itinerary with one variation - we kept to the coast road from Cape Cross to Torra Bay and then cut across to Dora !Nawas. We were glad to experience that much of Skeleton Coast and thought the rest of the run more than rewarding , would in fact RECOMMEND it.- we'll have to fit in the Brandberg next time.

Now our one beef. We followed all of your advice re clothing - Kate, thank goodness even packed her long johns! - but simply were not prepared for the intense cold we ran into at Bullsport. Nor, according to the locals, was this particularly unusual. This being the case we think more thought should be given to heating the rooms and beds, and more blankets carried on drives at Bullsport. The temperatures at Kulala were not so different, but both these matters had been more effectively addressed.

Finally on this point we think that your advice should be beefed up to read - "and just to be on the safe side tuck in a pair of gloves, a scarf and a woolly hat" !

PS - Sabina, I have submitted our "report" on the trip but have, inevitably, thought of 2 comments I have forgotten to include! Firstly, how impressed we were by all aspects of the Wiiderness Safari operation with which we came into contact - not just the high standard of training, friendliness and professionalism of all the staff, or the imaginative design and comfort of the Lodges, but also their policies of community development and, perhaps in particular, their approach to HIV - AIDS.

Secondly we were very aware of the the positive approach generally to the AIDS problem - young people in "leadership" and "meet the challenge" T-shirts etc. However, nowhere could we find any means of making any direct contribution in support - and we mean specifically support which would be directed to Namibia, rather than to one of the umbrella Africa charities. We discussed this situation with Beula at Erongo and she was going to take it up thro' her management but I wonder whether you can give us any guidance and, more generally, if it is something to which Expert Africa might like to give some thought as I am sure there must be many of your clients who would also like to give more focussed help.

Again many thanks for your personal contribution to a wonderful holiday, Kind regards, Michael"

Feedback response

Recommending local charities should be an easy things to do – although finding ones that are both good, and geared up to take individual donations from overseas, can sometimes be tricky.

Perhaps the most practical general thing that we can suggest is for you to look at the excellent Stuff your Rucksack website – which aims to tell travellers what small, local projects and charities need, so that they can bring these things with them.

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


BullsPort Lodge & Farm

BullsPort Lodge & Farm

"Bullsport Guest Farm review"

2 nights Arrived 5 Jul 2008
"About the right distance to drive after an o/night flight, Bullsport is in many ways the ideal first stop-over in Namibia. The welcome from Johanna and Ernst is warm and friendly; the food probably the best we encountered; the opportunity to discuss Namibian history, farming and conservation, education, politics, etc., etc. with the family over and after dinner both a privilege and a sound briefing for the rest of the trip.

The game/farm drives with Ernst were interesting and instructive and the hike down Quivertree well worth while - even if a bit demanding for septuagenarians! Bullsport is also ideally situated for the Naucluft and we were able to sample Waterkloof en route to Kulala.

Accommodation was, as outlined, fairly basic but would, in normal circumstances, have been perfectly adequate. At minus 4 degrees, even with a butane heater going full blast we were not comfortable - and there was no heat at all in the bathrooms. Hot water bottles, which we met elsewhere, would have been some help! Likewise, temperature accentuated by a significant wind chill factor, the edge was very much taken off the latter stages of the afternoon and early stages of the morning drives.

We comment later on pre-tour kit advice, but inadequacy of cabins to cope with conditions which we were told were not abnormal pulls down our overall rating"
Average
Rooms
Poor
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Average
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Kulala Desert Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 7 Jul 2008
"Kulala was a very comfortable and imaginatively designed lodge with well trained and very friendly staff who made us feel very welcome. Our over all rating would probably have been higher had we not subsequently experienced Dora !Nawas !! The public spaces,in particular, are improved at the newer lodge. Hot water bottles a great joy!

The guide on the early morning drive to Sossusvlei was excellent - as was brunch - and the same was true for the afternoon walk"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Sam's Giardino review"

1 night Arrived 9 Jul 2008
"Sam's should obviously be a one-off experience included on all Namibian itineraries, but probably only for the one night as the patter might run a bit thin thereafter. What is there to say - the rooms are comfortable, the food good and imaginative, the wines and wine chat first class, the ambiance Swiss/Namibian, mine host an eccentric bon-viveur and the boss a dog - or perhaps Einstein's ghost!?

Sam also provided us with first class directions for an amble round Swakopmund where we found the museum, and particularly the section devoted to the peoples of Namibia, to be first class and well worth a detour - and perhaps more than a passing mention in Bradt."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Cape Cross Lodge

Cape Cross Lodge

"Cape Cross Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 10 Jul 2008
"An entirely acceptable stop-over, ideally situated for the seal colony and the Skeleton Coast, with dramatic sea views and sunsets from bedroom balconies. Would be LOVELY in warmer weather."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

2 nights Arrived 11 Jul 2008
"The highlight of our holiday from the stand point of accommodation. Public spaces have got even better since Kulala, design and comfort of rooms has been maintained as has the quality of food, but the real plus is the friendliness and professionalism of all the staff led by Joe and, the perpetually smiling Elfrieda.

The potentially outstanding visit to Twfelfontain was somewhat let down by an unsatisfactory - apparently totally bored - guide called Honey. We registered this at Twfelfontain and Dora !Nawas but you might also like to follow up.

The visit to Burnt Mountain is not really worth while under the full sun. Compensation was an extended viewing of desert - adapted elephants! The guide put in an effort beyond the call of duty to ensure this.

The roof top telescope was an unexpected and much appreciated bonus!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Restcamp review"

3 nights Arrived 13 Jul 2008
"The overall Etosha experience was memorable and the location of our cabins ideal - persuading one member of our party to travel more than the 25 yards from cabin to water hole proved difficult!

Given the number of visitors being catered for, both standards of food and service were entirely acceptable - tho' prices in the shop took advantage of the captive population. We found that staying in the park - not least at opening and closing times -
more than outweighed the attractions of perhaps more salubrious accommodation elsewhere.

Three nights good, four even better."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Waterberg Camp

Waterberg Camp

"Waterberg Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 16 Jul 2008
"We thought Bradt perhaps too lukewarm about this camp - particularly in making no mention of it's history, viz the German Cemetery and the origins of the buildings now used as restaurant and bar.

We found the staff friendly and helpful, the views superb and the rooms comfortable. The baboons, admittedly, were a nuisance.

We had been warned that the after noon drive on the plateau was likely to be far more concerned with flora than fauna.
In the event we saw white rhino, sable antelope and buffalo as well as the more normal suspects! We were certainly lucky, but Waterberg should not be too readily talked down."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Erongo Wilderness Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 18 Jul 2008
"Delightful "tents" and public spaces, the whole in a wonderful location but a fair amount of suppleness and energy needed just to get around the lodge!

The "easy" sundowner scramble stretched our older members to their limit, - tho' a G & T sitting in the " throne" made it more than worthwhile!

The guides were informed, patient and helpful and the overall operation thoroughly professional and friendly. We very much enjoyed our last overnight stay."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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