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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by G & H from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

0

Zambia, Botswana & Namibia Aug-Sep 2016

Namibia and 2 other countries between 19 Aug 2016 and 6 Sep 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was the first time EVER that we engaged a travel agent to arrange a trip... after visiting 54 countries doing our own organising.

On the downside, the intimate knowledge that I usually have of every trip was gone. For me, this is part of the fun of a trip, so I missed it... having to check the itinerary every time I wanted to know something, rather than simply recalling it.

On the upside, the reason we had decided to use an agent was the difficulties of organising smooth transfers and bookings in a relatively unique environment... and almost everything went like clockwork. Where there was a hitch (the hotel 'upgrade' in Livingstone; pick-up going to the wrong end of the trip in Kasane) it was nothing to do with the booking or agent.

Taken as a whole we enjoyed the holiday very much indeed. Naturally there were highlights - Doro Nawas, Chongwe River Camp and Chobe Under Canvas would be our top three - but small things, like the fascination of the Zambia / Namibia border crossing at Kazangula or the starkness of the road from Henties Bay to Uis, also stood out as hugely interesting."

Feedback response

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
Having nothing to compare against it is difficult for me to comment on the above with any great confidence... but my impression is very positive indeed. Other agents would need to try very hard to better our experience.

Arranged By Megan Green


Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp

"Brilliant in every respect"

4 nights Arrived 20 Aug 2016
"Let's begin with the camp staff - welcoming, personable, friendly, helpful... just plain fun a lot of the time. This refers to everyone, from the guys who patrol the camp and deliver you to your tent at night, to the cooks, waiting staff and management.

Joseph, our guide, was great. A real teacher. We had a some very interesting conversations, about more than the wildlife. His knowledge about the wildlife was extraordinary - behaviour, tracking, dung!, and the animals themselves.

We did a walking safari with George... which was really interesting and enjoyable... but he talked a little too much about his political views which detracted from the experience in a marginal sense.

The camp has a view that changes every time you look. There is always something different happening on the river, on the opposite shore - and, frequently, within the camp itself. Elephant visited our tent every day - and, one evening, we had dinner with a hippo grazing only metres away!

Our tent was spacious and equipped with everything you could think of for this type of stay. The bed was extremely comfortable, the room felt very private and the outlook over the river always enjoyable and interesting.

If I could have said 'very good' for the food that is what I would have selected. The food was varied, tasty and well cooked without exception - the lunch on the riverbank after a game drive was special."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Royal Lvingstone - not up to standard"

2 nights Arrived 24 Aug 2016
"We arrived at the Avani to find we had been 'upgraded' to the next door Royal Livingstone (owned by the same group).

Almost nothing went right from the beginning of our stay until the end. The reason for our 'upgrade' seemed to be that the Avani was hosting a major conference, so they were short of rooms... but the whole transfer took almost an hour at the end of a long day of activities and travelling.

The first thing we were told when checking in (now about 6pm) was that we should book in for dinner. We asked for a 7:30 sitting... but this was not available... in fact, nothing was available other than 8:30 pm - or 6:30 pm. As we had arisen around 5am for a safari, 8:30 pm just seemed too far away - so we plumped for 6:30 pm - meaning we would need to rush to our room, get changed and get straight back.

Off we went - to find that the room was not ready. Full of mosquitoes, door wide open, letting in more mosquitoes, 'butler' (who we never saw again) fussing around. We asked him to leave for a few minutes so we could get changed etc. - then went to dinner... (which was quite good)...

Not to mention that, in the supposed rush (why they could not have laid another table I'll never know) - we were not advised of the wifi code.

Returned to the room - same thing, not yet ready - 'butler' there with the door wide open, floor gritty, bath showing signs of squashed mosquito. No water left either - had to ring and ask for that to be brought.

Next morning, after breakfast, we headed out around 10:00 - advising our 'butler' we were going on an activity and would be out until after lunch. Returned to the room just after 2pm - hadn't been touched! Of course, now we wanted to relax in the room, not leave again so that it could be cleaned...

We spoke to the duty manager and it was arranged that the room would be cleaned and replenished when we went out for sundowners and dinner - which happened, and a nice (complimentary) bottle of wine left for us.

Sundowners and dinner - plus both breakfasts we had - were good.

We met with the hotel manager on departure and also received a discount (free meal) in respect of the problems we had encountered...

The issue is this - if a hotel holds itself out to be of a particular standard (the Royal LIvingstone advertises itself as 5 star+), then I expect it to live up to that standard. This was not the case for our visit and - despite the location, which is brilliant, I would strongly advise visitors to consider other options."
Poor
Location
Excellent
Service
Terrible
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Chobe Under Canvas

Chobe Under Canvas

"Comfort in the bush"

3 nights Arrived 26 Aug 2016
"We spent three nights 'under canvas' - being looked after by Blue and his team, and guided by Moses and Max.

The camp location at the time we stayed was secluded - with accommodation for 10 guests over the 5-day period in situ. The staff were friendly and helpful and we enjoyed the ambience around camp. Food, given the cooking circumstances, was brilliant - we done Prince!

Chobe is full of game of all sorts - we shared game drives, generally with people who... like ourselves... were not hung up on seeing particular things or getting a particular angle for a photo (it can be very annoying to share drives with people who never look or listen, just have their cameras glued to their face... which did happen once while we were here).

The drives were excellent - with highlights being elephants crossing the river at sunset and seeing both sable and elephant drinking at the river from a high, but close, vantage point. As others have mentioned, the Pangolin Photo Safari was also excellent."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
River Crossing

River Crossing

"River Crossing review"

1 night Arrived 29 Aug 2016
"We stayed here for one night en route from safaris in Botswana to safaris in Namibia.

The cottage was spacious and comfortable, but a bit dark and outdated in decor, I would imagine quite difficult to keep clean.

The service and food were good, without being outstanding.

The location is out of town - which has its advantages, but also some downsides if you need to make any purchases. The view on all sides is nice, again without being outstanding."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Kulala Desert Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 30 Aug 2016
"We enjoyed a two-night stay at Kulala Desert Lodge, joining the morning drive out to Sossusvlei.

The 'tents' (rooms) were very comfortable and well kitted out, with magnificent views over the riverbed and dunes. We slept on the roof on the first night of our stay - enjoying the magnificence of a night sky unpolluted by light.

The location of the lodge is brilliant - and a great boon that they have their own access to the National Park, which saves a lot of time on the morning drive to Sossusvlei. Having said that, we were certainly not the first to reach the dunes that morning. Whilst it is recommended that you wear enclosed shoes for your trip to Dead Vlei, Sossusvlei etc. I personally believe that sandals with enclosed toes (such as Keens) would be a far better choice - enabling the sand to run out of your shoes whilst still protecting your feet from any nasties.

Whilst we really enjoyed our stay here, the staff seemed somewhat disengaged... which was at odds with the other lodge run by Wilderness Safaris where we stayed a little later in our trip."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Friendly stay in Swakopmund"

1 night Arrived 1 Sep 2016
"Spent one night here en route from Sossusvlei to Damaraland.

The rooms are comfortable and clean if a little dated decor-wise.

We booked in for dinner - making sure we did not sign-up for all 5 courses - the food and wine was very good... as was breakfast the following morning.

We walked into town, taking about 15 minutes to reach the historic centre. If you are wanting to be close to the seafront or centre of town for other dining options then this may not be for you.

Overall we enjoyed our brief stay."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Brilliant in every respect"

2 nights Arrived 2 Sep 2016
"From the welcoming song to the song bidding us farewell we felt 'at home' - very welcome guests.

Doro Nawas' location - perched on a hilltop above the surrounding plain, with views to the mountains around - is commanding. The decor is in tune with the country, so the building fits in very well.

The rooms ('tents') are located at the base of the hill - all with private aspects across the plain to the mountains. You are able to open the sliding doors wide enough to roll out your bed onto the verandah and sleep under the stars - which was a wonderful experience. I also really enjoyed the outdoor shower, also located on the verandah.

The small but perfectly formed pool was a welcome dip after a hot morning's walk at Twylfontain

The most enjoyable part of our stay at Doro Nawas was, without doubt, the staff. Not only their singing - but their entire welcoming, friendly and helpful attitude."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Relatively speaking, not our cup of tea"

1 night Arrived 4 Sep 2016
"Many people sing the praises of the Okonjima Plains Camp - and Africat... we were not so sure.

Having visited eight national parks in five different African countries over the years this was our first experience of an 'enclosed' park. In comparison, we did not like it.

We felt that the camp tried too hard to ensure their guests were regimented. I am sure we disappointed by choosing to go on a self-guided walk rather than any paid activity (we seemed to be the only people doing that); this meant we were not certain what time we would arrive for breakfast (having been advised that it rant from 7-10) - but they wanted us to name a time (which we didn't) - meaning that, when we arrived just after 7am for breakfast, it was not ready.

The staff were regimented too - so it always felt like they spoke only from their script.

Overall, whilst the self-guided walk was quite enjoyable, not somewhere I would recommend."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Poor

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