Travel reviews by Mr M from Stockport
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
My Oct 2022 trip
Namibia and 1 other country between 27 Oct 2022 and 12 Nov 2022
Wine tasting at Rustenberg very good.
Good trip to Boulders beach for penguins and sun birds.
Good views from Table Mountain, allow a few days as low cloud plus wind can prevent a visit."
Immanuel Wilderness Lodge
"Immanuel Wilderness Lodge review"
"Okaukuejo Camp review"
Good large piece of beef for R250 one night and chicken breast with vegetables including marrow the following night R220. Breakfasts no change queue for fry up of eggs or omelette as before, but no fruit with yoghurt (we spoke to a waitress we knew from dinner and resolved this issue). Shop fairly empty in time for a stock take the next day!
Bush chalet fine as previously. Less activity at the waterhole in the evening, excluding rhinos who are consistent visitors most of five at once.
Only two bull elephants over the two evenings. In fact a lot fewer elephants seen in this part of the park.
One male lion appeared on the second evening after roaring his presence on the way in."
"Halali Camp review"
No door on bedroom in bush chalet, a bit strange. Site was very quiet very few chalets used. Two bus parties in kept the restaurant busy.
First time at the waterhole and what a display. We saw five spotted hyenas along with nine rhinos, two present with three hyenas, also present four lionesses who waited in the background for water, also a few elephants earlier with the rhinos.
Best we have ever seen at a night time waterhole in four visits."
Mushara Bush Camp
"Mushara Bush Camp review"
Living area in the main building was cool and a relaxing place to unwind at the end of the day. Staff very good. Food okay although found the BBQ to be challenging meat has to be cooked to your requirements, they do not ask!
Kudu shank just about had some meat on it, such a shame as this meat is always tasty. Salad very tasty, dessert in the Boma had gone so no idea on that one.
Cold water not so initially in chalet 16 so got some from dining area for a decent cup of tea."
"River Crossing review"
Room itself was fine. Dinner actually was good a carribean version of gammon with cheese sauce.
Service poor. No breakfast as they were not starting until 7am. Take out breakfast average. Directions good!
Looks like a bypass is being built beneath the property so crossing may be interesting when that is built."
"Oude Werf review"
Only hotel that warned us about load shedding and the time of occurrence, no electricity for two hours.
The room was very comfortable, highly recommend.
Breakfast good in the end but a case of too many staff and no supervision to start with, so getting hot water the right tea etc was a challenge. Egg and salmon very good."
Abalone Guest Lodge
"Abalone Guest Lodge review"
Ate in one night very good mussels dish and fish main course.
It is safe to drive into Hermanus and eat out at night.
Best breakfast of our trip here.
Good walk east along the shoreline. West you have to detour to the main road for ten minutes.
At De Kelders we saw three whales. One whale waved to us(with a flipper) on arrival at Abalone as we enjoyed a glass of wine.
Loads of birds around black oystercatchers, curlew, South African version of turn stone and ibis galore.
Recommend guest house."
Lodge not featured by Expert Africa
"Four Rosmead review"
Nice large room with side view of Table Mountain.
John the security/night man was great.
Everything seems to revolve around Uber and the app, great I guess if you have trust and do not have a hire car.
Bacini restaurant nearby was our saviour one take away we walked for and two eat ins we drove as it is not safe to walk when it is dark. Parking safe behind the restaurant there is a guard who does not expect payment, how refreshing!"
My Mar 2022 trip
South Africa between 26 Mar 2022 and 9 Apr 2022
I was very lucky to see lots of cheetahs, especially as the park had had so much rain making the grass very long/high. Due to fires giraffes had moved from their normal area. In fact it should be noted that research data often does not apply when you get there. Talk to other visitors to get up to date information.
Any rain happened overnight. It was cool in some mornings but overall was still hot during the day, late 20's to early 30's.
The roads are frequently regraded, but still some can be quite corrugated due to volume of traffic. Note that because Mata Mata has one road in and out there are less options for viewing.
Ideally travel with at least one other person to aid spotting! Driving, spotting and guessing where animals are going and trying to photograph the animals is intense.
As with any safari the longer you stay in an area the more chance to see animals. A lot of spotting is pure luck.
Really enjoyed the trip, loads of birds as well as cats. Surprised to see so many hartebeests.
South Africans are very friendly, and most wave to you as you pass."
Le Must River Residence
"Le Must River Residence review"
Room was fine. I had breakfast which was a bit disorganised."
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp
"Twee Rivieren Rest Camp review"
As I was on my own I could sleep in the room with the air conditioning rather than the kitchen. I had one dinner in the restaurant, which was inexpensive, and gave a break before I started self catering.
While I was there fuel was readily available."
Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp
"Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp review"
Light over the waterhole inadequate for night photography.
It is located few kms from Auob road/river, but a very bumpy 25kms from Nossob side of the park."
Mata Mata Rest Camp
"Mata Mata Rest Camp review"
Waterhole hardly frequented due to the heavy rains the park had received. That said saw some oryx on my final night from my chalet. Plenty of wildebeest turned up my final morning to see me off? Had a good chat with two ladies who were in a room adjoining reception on the Friday, who had birding knowledge (did not see them again over the weekend)"
Ta Shebube Rooiputs
"Ta Shebube Rooiputs review"
The shower in the room (outside actually) was fine once you knew to turn it on and off a few times to fire up the gas. It was really cold at night, the only place I felt this. There are gaps in the wooden structure.
As elsewhere in Botswana, lunches are always best. I experienced one which was exceptional, hake with vegetables, home made bread in the shape of a large bun with poppy seeds, followed by cheeses and fruit (grapes and mango)"
Nossob Rest Camp
"Nossob Rest Camp review"
The chalet was large and had everything I needed. The shop had basic top items."
Le Must River Residence
"Le Must River Residence review"
Welcome ok but service degenerated thereon in, more focused on looking after German guests.
Did have a good main course of springbok and beef steak. Dessert never materialised."
My Nov 2021 trip
Botswana between 20 Nov 2021 and 28 Nov 2021
We had issues returning thanks to the UK Government, but the Splash camp did all they could do to support us and so did Tracy many thanks to her for the support throughout our challenges getting back home.
Kwando did not seem overly concerned with one case going missing at Jo'burg, so we left for Lagoon with just the one bag. We pushed and finally got the second back two days later. So always pack clothes for both travellers in separate cases, fortunately we did.
We felt COVID safe at both camps. The PCR testing on the airstrip went smoothly, for our return. The unexpected lateral flow testing we experienced at Nairobi was chaotic. The LFT at Maun was just an inconvenience in very hot conditions.
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
None that I can think of."
"Lagoon Camp review"
First trip out after tea we saw spotted hyenas, three adults and two pups. We spent 25 minutes with them while they played/socialised near their den. It was such a beautiful experience with just our vehicle there. This was is what we wanted, this private concession prevents a mass gathering of vehicles.
We were fortunate to see a leopard up a tree eating an impala another priceless viewing. The only animal we did not see, that was on our pick list, was a sable. Saw our first ever bat eared foxes and honey badgers, the latter did not provide a photo opportunity.
Great to see so many bee eaters, carmine, and white fronted in addition to the often seen little ones. Yellow billed kites, wattled crane, purple and goliath herons and grey headed kingfisher. Hippos were quite lively at the end of a boat trip, which was a warning for future excursions on our holiday.
Food here in the evening was average, lunches tend to be better with a top afternoon tea you never go hungry."
"Splash Camp review"
There are loads of birds which the guides are interested in, at least Godfrey was. We saw black kites, broad billed roller, meyers parrot, steppes eagle, woodland kingfisher, I mention all those we had not seen before.
Two highlights here as far as animals were concerned. We saw our first cheetah, Mr Special, who had just returned to the area. We had three sessions with him, finally he tried to hunt an impala but unsuccessfully, the terrain was against him.
We saw wild dogs doing a pre-hunt ritual, lots of yapping and socialising to the lay person. Then off they went and finally after quite some time we saw an unfortunate impala killed.
We saw two hammerkops on a hippo on last morning game drive, not sure why, they do not pick up tics or blood like oxpeckers do.
To finish off our stay, on the way to the airstrip we saw another leopard in a tree, she was very relaxed with the attention. What a fantastic memory to finish on. Tracking of a leopard on a previous day had only provided a fleeting glimpse in the undergrowth, so this was a bonus.
The rooms here are really modern and hence not as affected by the winds.
One evening meal the meat was very tender, but the others not so. Having travelled twice before we know that food quality is not great, so our expectations were managed."
Namibia and 1 other country between 17 May 2019 and 31 May 2019
We enjoyed Botswana and the fellow guests we shared with quality time with.
I would not recommend anyone doing three flights in a day starting in Windhoek, maybe we should have stayed overnight in Jo'burg, not something | thought of, before flying on to Maun and beyond.
Thanks again to Tracy for making it all happen without any problems."
Erongo Wilderness Lodge
"Great way to unwind at start of holiday"
Room very good.
Did a self guiding walk (baboon just over a 1 hour) which was enjoyable and gave a good vantage point of the lodge and the surroundings.
Staff again very helpful, as had problems with 4 way gang connection to recharge batteries etc."
"Fantastic Rhino trek"
Most staff very happy and polite. Reception seem to tell most people you have not paid for your special activity when you arrive tired from a long drive, but finally retract when challenged.
Location fine, did see the resident elephant, who had been missing for 2 days!
Rhino trek enjoyable, lucky enough to see three including a baby. Apart from a couple of antelope in the concession only saw two giraffes on drive back.
Room comfortable but rather warm in the afternoon, as no air conditioning.
Food surprisingly good given some reviews. Special offers on wine we enjoyed on our second night.
Road there is in a terrible state, took extra 15 minutes driving back, and still got a puncture(albeit only discernible at the next lodge)"
"Fab waterhole, great problem solving"
Food was ok, desserts typically a let down.
Management were very good Janet and Liberty sorted out local niggles, as well as organising the removal of punctured tyre and the replacement thereof.
Too many people trying to hard sell activities, which in the end we had no time consider because we spent 4 hours getting a new tyre. Also we had sufficient Namibian massage travelling from Palmwag."
"Great rhino spotting"
First night meat inedible, second night different chef eland meat superb!
Service on the whole was fine. The bar was closed so one man operated in the restaurant was run off his feet but remained cheerful. When the place is busy replacement staff should have been found.
Park roads as bad as ever, if not worse, or was it the puncture that meant we felt the roads even more?
Bush chalet spacious. Hot showers at a premium, our room had an element replaced two days previously, which went again before we arrived. Got it replaced our first morning and it went again that evening. So the result was we had one hot shower in two days. Maybe there should be a rebate system? Especially when you have more than major problem?
Lucky enough to see black rhino in the bush in daylight."
Etango Ranch Guest Farm
"Convenient for the airport"
Food; beef main course very good. Accompanying Spier wine good.
First and last sight of mosquitoes on our trip.
Handy for the airport."
Khwai Tented Camp
"Khwai Tented Camp review"
Room was more than adequate with very comfortable beds, and good hot showers. Hot water flask much appreciated. Did suffer some kitchen noise, which would be frustrating if you wanted a lie in, but as we were up at 5.30 for game drives it was tolerable.
Uncle Ken was a great guide on the game drives, and enjoyed a joke, which is important when you are spending many hours together .
BB excelled on the Mokoro trip pointing out all the birds.
The visit ticked all the boxes, we wanted to see leopards, painted dogs(saw pack of 21 on two days) and malachite kingfisher, and we did. However, as reported, a leopard sighting comes with a whole convoy, we were first on one occasion so I got some good shots although it was rushed because the animal kept moving with the extra cars coming, the second sighting on another day was a scrum down not very edifying.
Wifi connectivity good in the office, was much appreciated.
Got a bottle of bubbly in the room on last night presumably for my special birthday.
Take a euro adapter as the South African adapter is too big (fortunately I checked this out beforehand and Tracy confirmed both would be useful for our entire trip).
Anyone thinking of going must be prepare for cold mornings and the inevitable African massage. Also getting there can be challenging, the internal direct flight is 25 minutes but you may drop off other people, so it could be longer. If you are tall getting to the front of the plane, because we were second off, it was extremely challenging as the ceiling is very low and little space between seats, I am 6’ 4”. Also if you are unlucky you may wait over an hour before Mack Air you fly you out, as happened to us, which when combined with a drop off meant we missed afternoon tea and when straight out on a 4 hour game drive with one initial drink and nothing then until a sun downer 3 hours later, this after a 4 am start in Windhoek."
Excellent trip with rewarding sights
Namibia and 3 other countries between 15 Jun 2017 and 28 Jun 2017
First time in Botswana great time on the Chobe river viewing elephants crossing , and the birds. Spoilt with the number of lions with kills, and the first cubs I had seen albeit bit hidden in the trees.
Zambia provided a fitting finale something completely different, namely Victoria Falls, seen from the air and on foot, fantastic noise of the the water roaring.
The challenge is how to beat this trip?"
City Lodge OR Tambo
"Not restful stop over"
The breakfast was very good, and the service was good."
Erongo Wilderness Lodge
Dinner was good. Just had glass of house wine each, which tasted good, but turned out to be the most expensive on the whole trip in Namibia by a distance.
Setting for meals is good , and enjoyed watching the rosie faced lovebirds while eating breakfast.
Did not enjoy driving up the over the rocks at post 6pm (pitch black)to the Lodge. This issue was raised with the Duty Manager and passed onto to the Co-owner.
Room/tents are different, but may be draughty if the wind is up.
The location is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties to the tents or up to the restaurant.
In summary a pleasant spot away from it all."
"Black Rhinos make it worthwhile"
As before that said the animals did not disappoint.It is a lottery as to what turns up, and on the first evening there was nothing until 8.30 when black rhinos appeared, phew. No elephants that evening either. The next evening both elephants and rhinos turned up. That's the trouble with expectations/experience you feel next time that they must be beaten!"
"Mushara Lodge review"
Lovely comfortable room.
Food bit off first night, meat chewy in the Goulash! Second night good barbecue with great oryx steak.
Policy of having doors open in a morning while eating encourages squirrel like creatures to roam, not ideal.
Handy for the east side of the park.
Had a quick email response to food quality and service being a bit overt rather than helpful. Did not raise the squirrel issue."
River Dance Lodge
"Lovely Location on the river"
Very restful spot. Birds aplenty and the odd warthog and deer in the lodge grounds.Good location for access to Mahango Park,where we saw lots of birds (first little bee eater)and animals including first hippo.
The lodge is owned and manned by the local community, which helps it run smoothly.
The local petrol station in Divundu accepts credit cards ( you pay in the supermarket)."
The room was okay, although due to just mosquito screens on some windows it was draughty and not very warm. The lack of power in the room was a set back, plus no hot water in the morning for a shower as the noisy room generator kicked in at 7am.
The evening meal was nothing special, and breakfast took an age to set up but was ok when it finally arrived.
Not one to repeat."
Muchenje Safari Lodge
"Wonderful Opportunities await"
We enjoyed mixing with some of our fellow travellers over meals. There was plenty of food, and there were options just as well as ox tail is not on my list. It did seem very busy at times as guests were in and out on trips during the day.
We were unlucky with the early morning trip and did not see anything of real interest, the guide seemed able to detect tracks but not follow them. The next morning other people were much luckier/well looked after. We did however, see two lion kills close by with our other guide, based on other people communicating, and another in the park not so accessible, so that made up for the early morning disappointment. Lots of birds were seen in the Park and on the Chobe river fish eagles a plenty , first time for Pied Kingfishers. It was also good to see elephants swimming so close to us.
Guided trips have rough and smooth it depends on the guide and fellow passengers if both are poor then the experience is dissipated. We had a bumpy ride on the day trip in Chobe, the guide was rushing partly because we had to stop to see some flowers, dead trees and almost any time we saw a giraffe!"
Waterberry Zambezi Lodge
"A great setting "
Room slightly small, but it had a large shower.
Early morning delivery of tray of hot water etc to make tea was very nice.
Arranged to eat with American friends we made at Muchenje,which was enjoyable. Ate outside not as cold as River Dance, but they did provide some coal fires!
Our driver/guide to Victoria waterfalls was great. He came prepared with ponchos, towels to dry our feet and of course drinks. We did not realise he would take us onto the road bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe, which enables you to get another view/perspective of the falls. The waIk over Knife Edge bridge was very wet due to the wind and high volume of water. I would recommend a chopper ride over the falls, but especially do an add on going down the gorge over the first seven or so rapids, the lighting is great and you get to see white water rafters as you skim low over the water. Got lots of shots of rainbows it was fantastic.
Good time had by all and a memorable excursion to end the holiday."
Directions poor. Wrong road number, and distance, so very difficult to find!"