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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr M from Toronto

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

18

Excursions taken

0

My May/June trip

Zimbabwe and 1 other country between 31 May 2018 and 26 Jun 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Although the rains meant that we did not see as much game as we usually do, we greatly enjoyed the smaller animal behaviour and the birds.

We loved the trip and thank Expert Africa for their suggestions, their planning and their professionalism.

We will most definitely use them for our next trip.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

We were thrilled with the trip. I've tried to not rate all the accommodation and camps as excellent, but everything really WAS excellent.

Thanks Expert Africa!"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Urikaruus Wilderness Camp

Urikaruus Wilderness Camp

"Usually game-rich but not this time"

2 nights Arrived 4 Jun 2018
"We have been to Urikaruus before and had great game viewings. This time we weren’t so lucky, probably because there had been a lot rain, but we will be back as the peace there is sublime.

In terms of amenities the cabin is comfortable although very cold in June at night as no heating. We landed up sleeping in many layers including down jackets! A highlight was an owl in a tree a few feet from our balcony. It sat in the tree the whole day as we watched it and it watched us."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Grootkolk Wilderness Camp

Grootkolk Wilderness Camp

"Refurbished a bit & incredibly remote feeling"

2 nights Arrived 6 Jun 2018
"The incredible feeling of remoteness and peace is always worth the lack of comfort and the very long drive to get there. The cabin is very tiny so we had to keep our suitcases in the car and just bring in the few items we would be using.

It has been recently painted and refurbished a bit, for instance, new fridges, so the accommodation is now quite bearable, albeit extremely rustic.

There was not that much game at the water hole this time, but it didn’t matter. It was as peaceful as ever."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Rooms
Poor
Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp

Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp

"New comfortable cabins and desert beauty"

1 night Arrived 8 Jun 2018
"These cabins are very new. They are perched up on red dunes and have beautiful views of the sand, grasses, horizon below, and the magnificent sunsets. They are extremely comfortable and built so that one is quite warm even on cold June nights.

Be careful of puff adders as one walks to one’s cabin from the car. The attendant skillfully removed one in our path with a special stick, which was fascinating to watch.

The water hole is very far so it is difficult to see the game and there isn’t very much game there. However one is just a few kilometers from the game-rich road between Urikaruus and Mata Mata."
Excellent
Location
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Armadale Lodge

Armadale Lodge

"Armadale Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 17 Jun 2018
"We arrived in the dark and left just after dawn the next morning but we still loved the experience of staying in this lodge. It had an old colonial feeling with large gardens and huge patios.

We were sorry we couldn't spend longer. The staff could not have been more kind and attentive."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Stretch Ferreira Safaris Camp

Stretch Ferreira Safaris Camp

"This is a wonderful walking camp!"

3 nights Arrived 18 Jun 2018
"Unfortunately we were there in June after two particularly rainy seasons in a row so game was quite sparse. We will try again another time as someone who goes often said it is usually teeming with game.

We did see a number of baby elephants and as the elephant cows are so comfortable with people it was a joy to watch the babies who weren’t hiding from us behind their Moms as they do in other game parks. The setting of the camp is beautiful with the Zambezi river outside your tent and the Zambian hills behind them. The sounds of the hippos at night provide an amazing atmosphere.

Stretch is an incredible guide, not only in terms of his knowledge about the animals but in terms of his passion and enthusiasiasm. A word of warning however: This is a walking camp. If you don’t want to walk you will be able to go out on a jeep with a guide but you are unlikely to get the benefit of Stretch’s expertise."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange

"Superb staff"

3 nights Arrived 21 Jun 2018
"Pros: This is an excellent camp in the north of Hwange with absolutely amazing staff. We were most fortunate to have Spike as our guide, although he usually works at the sister bush camp. We have been on many safaris and Spike has been the most knowledgeable guide we have ever had. Kim the manager of the camp is extremely efficient and professional, as well as enjoyable to talk to and kind.

Cons: June is very cold and even with the hot water bottles and blankets provided, it is still cold at night and very cold getting dressed in the morning. Although the camp tries hard e.g. warm ponchos and blankets in the jeep, our very early drive out of the park in order to be picked up for transportation to Victoria Falls, was long and freezing. Ensure that you have a warm hat, many layers including a down jacket, and a face mask."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel

"Gracious old hotel with beautiful views"

1 night Arrived 24 Jun 2018
"Although the rooms and bathrooms need renovating we would still stay here again. The colonial graciousness, history, gardens with warthogs and baboons, and view of the the bridge to Zambia with the mist from the falls in the background, are not to be missed. The breakfast is excellent as is the buffet with local tribes singing and dancing. Try and book a table just behind the water feature, otherwise a few insensitive people stand in front of you as they video the dancing.

The hotel has extensive lawns but oddly, only 4 chaise on the lawns so people have to sit on steps or walls.

The falls are a 10 to 15 minute walk away through the national game park. The hotel has a security guard, Lindani, stationed at the beginning of the walk and he was most helpful and kind. On both occasions when we walked the path he insisted on escorting us. The one time it was certainly needed as there was an elephant very close to the path.

Note that there is a $30 per person entrance fee to see the falls. They accept credit cards but only between certain hours so check first or just take cash. Wear a rain hat and rain coat. One can rent a raincoat at the entrance. Give yourself 1.5 to 2 hours at the Falls."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Excellent trip

Namibia and 1 other country between 9 Sep 2016 and 25 Sep 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Excellent

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Very happy with the trip.

Re feedback from - a problem in that I can't preview what I wrote and I may not have changed some overall ratings from the ""excellent' default so they won't match my comments. please check this and contact me if there is a discrepancy."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Kalahari Tented Camp

Kalahari Tented Camp

"Excellent game viewing"

1 night Arrived 9 Sep 2016
"Sanparks accommodation so basic but perfectly comfortable"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Urikaruus Wilderness Camp

Urikaruus Wilderness Camp

"Best area for game viewing"

2 nights Arrived 10 Sep 2016
"Urikaruus is situated in the best area for game viewing.

The accommodation is rustic but excellent value."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Ta Shebube Rooiputs

Ta Shebube Rooiputs

"Jeep drive very cold in winter/early spring"

1 night Arrived 12 Sep 2016
"Staff here were extremely friendly and most tried hard. We were there in September and the evening game drive was comfortable but the morning drive was beyond freezing even with the warm blankets they provided (and we had many layers of clothes on).

Low desert temperatures plus wind made this a most arduous drive and perhaps a closed vehicle is needed for the winter and early spring months.If you go in winter bring an extremely warm jacket plus gloves and warm hat.

Raptor sightings were incredible. Accommodation was spacious with large patios.

Breakfast was not ready in time and many of us stood around waiting for coffee."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Central Lodge

Central Lodge

"Not a good experience"

1 night Arrived 13 Sep 2016
"This hotel is nicely situated but it is very basic. The room we were allocated had a most awful smell and although this is not our normal custom we had to ask reception to change our room. The entrance of even the new room was off an ugly yard area.

It seemed as if as most of the rooms opened onto a courtyard so we had to close the curtains fairly early for privacy.

Dinner was fine although the napkins were so flimsy and tiny they were barely useable. Our waiter, Eric, was excellent. We could not charge the dinner to our room.

A buffet breakfast was included and the choice was expansive even with some meat and salad with feta cheese but there was little service unless one asked for help even though 3 waitresses stood and just watched. Perhaps there is a management issue. The next day at about 10 a.m. there was no toilet paper in the guest toilets.
Beds were comfortable.

Maybe it was just that the hotel was far less expensive than the others we stayed in and not sure if there is anything better in Keetmanshoop."
Poor
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Rooms
Poor
Food
Average
Fish River Lodge

Fish River Lodge

"Stunning views"

2 nights Arrived 14 Sep 2016
"Beyond stunning views of the canyon and of Quiver trees, which added to the magic. Rooms are perched right over the canyon and sensitively erected to be private. There is both an indoor and outdoor shower although best to use the outdoor one during midday before the wind comes up.

Many of the rooms were quite a walk from the dining area. I enjoyed the long walk but had to wear running shoes as the path is very stony. Food is variable but the staff try hard and are very friendly. We took the 6-7 hour jeep ride down to the canyon but later I wished I had hiked down as it took only a little longer. The group that hiked down then joined our group and returned with us up to the lodge by jeep. The jeep ride involved incredibly steep sections, but was fun, although the last 45 minutes or so of our return became tedious.

There are also 2 walks that one can do on one’s own which leave from the lodge. You walk along the rim in either direction and then back again. If you are planning to do only one of them do the one to the right as you face the canyon. It is the shorter one but the longer one involves a detour around another set of dwellings. We were told that the shorter one would take 1.5 hours but it took us only an hour and we were going quite slowly.

With regard to room choice, rooms stretch out on each side of the main buildings and one might think the furthest 2 chalets are the most private but they are not. Walkers leave from them and their patios were quite exposed so choose a room nearer the main building if you want privacy."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Galton House

Galton House

"Excellent but rooms variable"

1 night Arrived 16 Sep 2016
"We stayed at Galton House for one night on our way north and one night on the way back. Each time Helen and all the kitchen staff were delightful.

The furnishing was most attractive - modern and clean-looking, and breakfast and dinner were good.

The first time we had a large room with a large bathroom, so we were disappointed on our return to have Room 5, a small room with a poky bathroom, and the bathroom door didn’t close properly."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Nice waterhole"

2 nights Arrived 17 Sep 2016
"We stayed in one of the bush lodges. One’s neighbours were very close, and it was hard to sit at the table outside in the afternoon because of the position of the sun despite a kind of sun roof.

The positive was that the walk to the incredible water hole was quite short so one could keep checking what was there. For instance one evening (about 8.30 p.m. ) I found a black rhino with a young calf. If I had to choose again I would rather ask for one of the water hole chalets as they are even closer. One can deal with any noise from people at the water hole by turning on one’s air conditioning for the first part of the night, which we did anyway as it was hot.

In terms of meals, we enjoy barbecuing, and it was certainly possible when staying in the bush chalets, although we were not sure what we would find. There is a decent-sized kitchenette next to the bedroom (and a well stocked store in camp). The kitchenette has a sink and a reasonable-size fridge with a very tiny freezer section. There is a barbecue and a grill next to one’s own small patio.

There are no pots, plates, bowls or cutlery but we had brought a chopping board, knives and forks and plates and barbecue tongs. Later we heard that one can borrow cutlery and crockery from the dining room. The staff are extremely kind and happy to do you a favour.

With regard to Etosha itself it has become very busy, specially in September, and with the sand roads the dust from other cars, jeeps and buses was unpleasant."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Honeymoon suite (Mushara) wonderful"

1 night Arrived 19 Sep 2016
"We were lucky to get the honeymoon suite, Mushara. It was wonderful. Huge, very private, with a beautiful view of sunrise from a viewing platform. It has a very well equipped kitchen although we struggled with locating the burner (above the little oven) and we could not get it hot enough to boil anything.

The barbecue area was huge and very private with views of the bush. The bedding was comfortable.

The waterhole is far to walk to and even if one drives there is still a rocky section to climb so one can’t just keep popping in as one can at Okaukuejo camp. However there are not as many people and vehicles as Okaukuejo.

Breakfast was quite a lot worse than Okaukuejo. We had visited Etosha twice before many years ago but, even with special Mushara we will not go to Etosha again, certainly in popular September, as it has become so busy and with the sand roads the dust from other cars, jeeps and buses is unpleasant."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Poor
Onguma Bush Camp

Onguma Bush Camp

"Beautiful but smoking allowed in best spot"

2 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2016
"With its pretty waterhole and the green beautiful trees, Onguma is a welcome relief from the dryness and dust of Etosha.

The dining room/ lounge area is beautiful and the rooms are comfortable.

The only negative is that smoking is allowed in the best spot (the lounge area just above the waterhole)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Mundulea Reserve

Mundulea Reserve

"Extremely knowledgeable owner/guide"

3 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2016
"We have been on many safaris and cannot count how many guides we have had, but no one nearly as knowledgeable as Bruno. It is a special experience to walk with him.

Mundulea is a place for nature lovers. The hides in front of one's tents allow one to get very close to the game. Accommodation in tents is suitably rustic and perfectly comfortable with luxurious-feeling duvets and an attached bathroom with flush toilet, shower, sink, horns for hanging one’s towel over and a piece of stone to act as counter space.

Food is quite good with outstanding nutty bread cooked over a bush fire. Be aware that, although Mundulea is expensive, it is not a luxury lodge but a wonderful experience for people who want an extremely knowledgeable guide and really love being “in the bush.”"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Galton House

Galton House

"second visit so commented earlier"

1 night Arrived 25 Sep 2016
"second visit so commented earlier [Ed: see below]"
Excellent

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