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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by R & J from Edinburgh

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

My Aug 2016 trip

South Africa between 28 Aug 2016 and 17 Sep 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Expert Africa delivered, as always.

We arrived at an interesting and diverse itinerary, and all of the logistics worked well. We would thoroughly recommend a trip to the Kgalagadi, especially if you have been to Africa before and seen the usual animals, and now want something a little different in terms of the scenery and wildlife."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Annie's Cottage

Annie's Cottage

"Annie's Cottage review"

2 nights Arrived 31 Aug 2016
"A lovely welcoming quirky place where we felt instantly at home. Wonderful room, bathroom and outside patio.

A perfect base from which to explore Namaqualand and its amazing flowers. Secure parking.

Very good restaurant just down the road - Tauren steak ranch."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Image alt

River Place Manor

"River Place Manor review"

2 nights Arrived 2 Sep 2016
"Clean, comfortable, spacious rooms of a very high standard. Felt a bit sterile at first after Annies but we quickly adapted. We had an outside balcony with chairs overlooking the lovely lawn, pool, loungers and palm trees running down to the Orange River.

Fantastic breakfast in big clean restaurant with glass front looking onto the river. Lovely setting among orchards and vineyards. We saw civet, mongoose, monitor lizard and many birds in the grounds. Nearby are the Orange River Wine Cellars for tasting and buying cheap delicious wine, and the 'floating bar' sunset cruise. Also very close is the Pick and Pay supermarket which is perfect for buying a cool bag and provisions for the Kgalagadi. This is a perfect base for before or after the Kgalagadi.

Very easy to find if you know how (we got lost, as did others)! Driving north, take the first sealed road to the right after Upington police station and it's just round the corner on the right hand side. On arrival we were told that our booking had not been confirmed or paid for, but it got sorted eventually."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

"Twee Rivieren Rest Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 4 Sep 2016
"A perfectly good place to stop off at the beginning of a Kgalagadi trip.

Nice clean chalet and a decent restaurant (though my vegetarian platter turned into a venison pie). We actually saw a huge amount of wildlife whilst driving around on our day here, including a meerkat colony.

We went on organised morning and evening drives and saw many animals including wildcat, genet and cape fox."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Kalahari Tented Camp

Kalahari Tented Camp

"Kalahari Tented Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 6 Sep 2016
"Loved this camp. Big room with patio, seating, BBQ and separate kitchen. Amazing views.

It provided everything we needed for a great stay, including two resident yellow mongoose.

Unfortunately there were no activities as the ranger was away"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Excellent
Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

Bitterpan Wilderness Camp

"Bitterpan Wilderness Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 9 Sep 2016
"Very nice little camp with view of salt pan. Well equipped clean kitchen (use this to store food in rather than your room because there are a lot of striped back mice around).

Beautiful, remote area - not a great deal of wildlife though we did see eland. Very challenging one-way drive in, and optionally out again - which we chose to do, and were rewarded with a male lion right by the road.

NB the viewing tower is no longer operational."
Good
Location
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
!Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge

"!Xaus Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2016
"I am not sure what to say about !Xaus. It is a lovely camp with great views and our guide John was delightful, but it was not what we were expecting. It is not run by the community - it is run by three white people from a company, with profits going to the community.

The activities were very limited and regimented - we were given an itinerary on arrival (I will send you a scan of it). We had expected walking, but there were two very brief walks, one of which was to the staged 'craft village' which made some of us feel quite uncomfortable and voyeuristic. The 'bushmen' had had to strip their western clothes off and put traditional ones on, and were clearly very cold and, in the case of a teenage girl, embarrassed. Apart from this brief excursion we did not meet any bushmen.

The boma was not used for meals. The day drives were disappointing - we hardly saw anything despite there allegedly being many animals including lions in the area, and there was little effort to inject any other kind of interest. We also hardly saw any animals around camp. In contrast the night drives were excellent - very good spotters who found several things of interest, including wildcats and an aardwolves.

Our room was extremely comfortable with a heater and hot water bottles, beautifully tended by Anetje. Very salty water in the showers. Food was OK though the service was pretty dire with many mistakes and oversights, and my request for vegetarian food was only met intermittently. The manager did not preside at mealtimes which didn't help.

There was a lot of downtime and you were not allowed to set food outside the rooms and walkways so we became quite bored and stir crazy. Another guest said she felt claustrophobic. There are nice loungers and a pool, though the water was too cold for anyone to use it. We did leave a good review on the feedback form but after careful reflection we feel disappointed in this camp, and uneasy about the way it is managed - perhaps more for the enjoyment and ease of the manager than the guests?"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Augrabies Falls Restcamp

Augrabies Falls Restcamp

"Augrabies Falls Restcamp review"

3 nights Arrived 14 Sep 2016
"Fabulous chalet looking across to the gorge. Amazing views from the various lookout points.

Cute dassies and colourful lizards everywhere, and a huge array of birds. Great to be able to wander around freely, and we went on a long walk as well as a lot of excellent self driving. We did one of the organised night drives but did not see much of note.

We had three nights and could easily have stayed longer. Very good restaurant."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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