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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr C & Ms B from Colorado

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

7

Excursions taken

0

My Jun 2016 trip

Namibia and 1 other country between 6 Jun 2016 and 24 Jun 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"In short, we felt like we had died and gone to heaven (and one of us almost pulled it off and went!). Maruska's expert advice, planning, and execution fulfilled our dreams and concepts of the perfect African safari. This unforgettable holiday started with us being whisked through the diplomatic lanes (by the delightful Wilderness Safari representative) in the Windhoek airport, and every experience that followed caused us to continually pinch ourselves ( I, 54 years old, even did cartwheels after sliding down the roaring dunes on the way to the skeleton coast).

Although we never imagined we would need to contact Maruska or Expert African on our trip, a surprise, unfortunate medical emergency caused Maruska to be contacted by our private guide Andrew Harkness. She immediately emailed me, expressing her sincere concerns and willingness to help in any way possible. She expediently helped me with the documentation of the cancelled portion of our trip, and all of her follow up communication has demonstrated her exceptional professionalism and her personal touch. We highly recommend her services and would use her again in a heartbeat!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
We think you have a sterling operation, which we will recommend to everyone we know who is considering a trip to Africa. Thank you Chris McIntyre for your guide books and for heading this superlative travel service!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 6 Jun 2016
"Good enough...fine for an evening before moving on. It somewhat feels like a prison because of the security wire around it. No problem with the people, who were cordial and helpful except for the night crew who seemed to have been sleeping a bit too well...neglected to roll up the sunshades, which were flapping noisily away for most of the night."
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Kulala Desert Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 7 Jun 2016
"Dios (the manager) was a stellar welcome to this very tightly run lodge. There was, however, miscommunication between this lodge and our next one, which caused our drivers to have to wait a couple of hours. Sky tops on the guest room facilities provided excellent views to the nighttime skies. The access to Sossusvlei is a huge plus. An amusing note is that we got hit by four drops of rain...it never rains in Namibia in June!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Wolwedans Dune Camp

Wolwedans Dune Camp

"Wolwedans Dune Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 8 Jun 2016
"Beyond excellent...definitely one of the highlights. The location was utterly stunning (far surpasses Kulala): the scale, the vastness, etc. Driving there helps you really appreciate the contrasts. Physical execution on the site is superlative, blending man-made with nature-made. The people make this place shine big time...not to be missed. The "three divas" (led by the wonderful Helena) who took care of us were unforgettable: Helena cracking jokes and singing menus; Elizabeth's culinary artistry amazed (the best on our trip), and Marina's gentility added subtle sparkle to this wonderful mix of staff. Our guide Mose's gentle manner, polite, quiet, and unassuming, seemed unequivocally to be trying very hard to improve his English to share his love of the land and the environment. We both felt that this place is absolutely not to be missed: people, setting, etc. I almost cried when we had to leave!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

"Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 10 Jun 2016
"This is the other highlight in regards to setting, people, and management of lodge. Physical location provides access to the vast tough terrain and the skeleton coast. Although it appears to be devoid of life, it is actually chock full of it. The faster you go, the less you see, so thankfully, our guide Gerhansen, was a master in all facets of our drives: expert knowledge, expert off road driving skills, and expert birder. Additionally, his incredibly keen vision and listening skills enabled him to grasp the subtleties of his clientele. When at the lodge, the staff was always one step ahead in making our experience top shelf. We actually now have a new drink, the Oryx (Amarula and Kahlua), created by Robby to serve our friends. Charming singing and dancing (shaking!) wait and kitchen staff...where else can one go and have such a musical staff who have never heard of Bob Marley? Clement oversees the camp with a remarkable unique finesse. Finally, anyone who stays there and doesn't go to the skeleton coast is insane: the dunes, the fog, the coast are so staggeringly wild...beyond cool!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ongava Lodge

Ongava Lodge

"Ongava Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 14 Jun 2016
"The Ongava Reserve provides quite the opportunity to do much of " the big five" up close and personal. Etosha is much more commercialized and far less of a personal experience due to high traffic volume, separation from the water holes, and personally, we would pass on Etosha next time due to our other Namibian and Botswanan experiences. The lodge's staff and management were fabulous. Overall, the meals were fine. The steam table buffet-style food was disappointing; however, the "braii" meat entrees at dinner were cooked to perfection. For us, our objectives clashed with our guide: he was much more of a guide for the "big five" whereas we desired the birds, the ecology, and other African subtleties. The speed of everything made one miss much of the charm of Africa. The bunker at the lodge is a wonderful place to spend 3 or 4 hours watching the animals and birds up close, including the stunning sand grouse show through late evening."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Royal Tree Lodge

Royal Tree Lodge

"Royal Tree Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 17 Jun 2016
"Julius makes the place from a people aspect...a master of hospitality! No one could complain about the homestyle meals, either. The lodge facilities and setting are lovely, but the elevated rooms can be cold because the air goes all around. This was a fine stop for a night in Maun."
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Botswana Private Mobile Safari

Botswana Private Mobile Safari

"Botswana Private Mobile Safari review"

6 nights Arrived 18 Jun 2016
"Totally chuffed...it doesn't get any better than this! How does one exceed a camp crew with Rifle as your cook (chocolate mousse in the bush!), TC as the driver, and Pro and Zulu as the rest of this efficient, tight, and happy crew.
Andrew's selection in NG 32 (with Makoros) with Waco as a guide is a fabulously subtle addition. Waco is a superlative low-key guide, and one must not ignore Lydia as the rear-view eyes in the bush. NG 32 is also especially delightful because of its isolation; you're pretty much there with no one else.
Our next camp in the Khwai River concession, NG 19, is unforgettable as well: night stars through the mesh, elephants drifting through the camp, green spring-hare eyes at night, etc. Tragically, this is where our safari ended due to the medical emergency. Not that one wants to test it, but Andrew's emergency response was immediate, decisive, and reassuring.
As the guide, Andrew is a low-key accomplished, competent professional, who pays attention to his environment and is responsive to the needs of his clients. He is extremely knowledgeable, knows his birds and plants, and is completely in love with his job. He is bloody fine company in the bush! We highly recommended him, and we would go back with him tomorrow. One day, we hope to finish our planned safari to Savuti et al."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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