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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr&Mrs D + kids from Herts

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

9

Excursions taken

0

Fantastic country for kids to see some Africa

Namibia between 11 Aug 2017 and 27 Aug 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"Namibia is a fantastic country and one that is relatively easy to allow children to experience a range of what Africa has to offer. There is a difficult balance between time available, distance travelled, quality of roads, type of accommodation, variety of experience etc but we got it about right for our three, but what works best will vary for everyone. We met some who travelled far more than we did and survived!

Even in early spring, our kids found the temperaturte difficult in the middle of the day, but the mornings and evenings were fine - so think carefully about when to go and when to travel. Five is a difficult number to travel with - but everywhere we stayed, the accommodation worked well. We could have travelled less, avoided Damaraland, or stuck more to the tar - but that would have detracted from the overall experience.

Overall, excellent.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Couldn't really fault it.

Thank you."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

"Great relaxing place to start trip"

2 nights Arrived 11 Aug 2017
"Really good start to the trip with plenty of opportunity for relaxing or activities. Ideal location on route south or on dogleg to Sossusvlei if wanting a couple fo nights downtime or avoiding a stay in Windhoek.

Check-in welcoming and efficient. Stayed in strawbale room which was plenty big enough for 5. Inferior setting to dune chalets but perfectly pleasant. Accommodation very comfortable and of a good standard.

Nice pool area, restaurant and bar. Kids particularly liked donkeys, goats and springbok around the tables!

Breakfast buffet was good and had a wide choice, Sandwiches and salad available for lunch. Dinner was a buffet with several options - all very good and with enough choice to keep children largely happy, but no specific kids menu.

Mongoose, ostrich and meerkats around lodge very approachable.

Easy self-guided short walks into the dunes.

Did sundowner drive which was very interesting and typical of Kalahari. Some low density game - oryx, springbok, eland, wildebeeste etc - good scenery, great sunset. Guide was good and informative if unspectacular. Owing to numbers on other activities, this was combined for us with cheetah feeding free of charge. Two cheetahs captive in 12ha enclosure not able to be re-released as orphaned as cubs - certainly not 'wild' and fed from a bowl, Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but nevertheless, kids very excited at being in with them and being able to touch them.

Bushman walk with three bushmen and interpetor very interesting, even for kids. Walking group was a little large at about 15-20 but they still managed to keep everyone engaged."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Great welcome. Ideal location to access dunes"

2 nights Arrived 13 Aug 2017
"Very warm welcome, and engaging staff throughout - taught children any number of ways of folding napkins into animals, and very enthusiastic when presented with an irish dancing display!

Stayed in family kulala - actually two separate units with single walkway so kids wanted an adult in each room, which was fine. Plenty of room for third bed in one unit. Slept out on roof one night which was spectacular, chilly but not too cold even in August. Setting quite spectacular but harsh, in site of dunes. A few oryx drinking at waterhole from time to time.

Morning trip into dunes was excellent - but although we had our own vehicle and guide who was good, the main benefits of the trip are really to have direct access into the park to avoid an otherwise even earlier drive round to Sesriem, and 4wd to get to Sossusvlei without using the shuttle. Passed several self-drive 4wd stuck in the sand. Getting pretty hot by mid-morning so kids quite happy to be heading back by lunchtime. Be prepared to do a bit of walking if you want some solitude.

Pool area, central accommodation and bar very pleasant. Food good. Kids menu available if ordered in advance.

Internet connection pretty poor so checkout was a bit slow - be aware if trying to make an early departure."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Beach Lodge

Beach Lodge

"Nice spacious apartment on the beach"

3 nights Arrived 15 Aug 2017
"Rather different type of accommodation to much of Namibia - a fairly clinical-style open plan apartment on the beach a few km outside central Swakopmund. 'Montrose' ideal for five - split over two floors (first and second floor) with large double upstairs, and two single and two bunks downstairs; both floors with a balcony.

Beachfront fairly wild - rather like the North Sea. Setting great; all you need on site, but really too remote from town if you want to go out in the evening.

Fairly motel-style welcome and check-in / check-out but very efficient.

'Wreck' restaurant on site. Breakfast fine, but not special. Dinners very good with wide-ranging menu and plenty of children's options. Dinner is two sittings at 6pm and 8pm, with no flexibility.

No activities run by the lodge but we did:

Pelican Point Kayaking - brilliant fun for all playing with the seals, but especially for the kids for whom it was one of the highlights of the whole trip. Supposedly fully booked, but two other groups did not show - so we were on our own. Even if you cannot book online, it is worth a call to check late availability.

Sandwich Harbour 4x4. Did this in the afternoon in August. Wind had got up to 35kts by the time we got to Sandwich, so it was very wild - great, but think about going in the morning if you want more chance of something less bracing. The trip was very good and included great dune and beach driving. Had no complaints but it was very definitely not as explicitly advertised in a number of aspects (time / vehicle / exclusivity (probably of more concern to the couple with us!) etc) as it was let out to another operator. If you want something very specific, you may want to question specifically.

Swakopmund Fat Bikes. Despite checking carefully when we booked this, there was no bike suitable for our 7 year old (he is not small) and one of the 11-yr old girls struggled. A really good trip but hard work. Probably 11 is about the minimum sensible age - depending on size and strength of kids."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Great Damaraland experience"

1 night Arrived 18 Aug 2017
"Recent wreck of the Zeila about 50km outside Swakopmund not in most guide books and quite an interesting diversion for a few minutes on the long drive north giving a bit of a flavour of the Skeleton Coast proper beyond. Very windy drive for over 100km inland even in early morning in August with dust spectacular bur severely hampering visibility at times. Last 80km (D2612) from Swakopmund very rough (Aug 2017) to the extent that lodges trying to regrade locally using 4wd + towed tyres etc. - don't arrive late in the day!

Great singing welcome and departure. Great setting.

Stayed in family accommodation - two separate units joined by wooden walkway. Kids wanted one adult in each unit, but this was fine. All slept outside on verandas under the stars.

Nice pool area.

Dinner was on a single table out in the bush (twice a week). Great atmosphere. Food introduced in local language with plenty of clicking and chicken impressions. Kids a bit reticent at first but then loved it. Food largely from the braai and very good. Kids menu available if chosen in advance and excellent. Breakfast fairly basic.

Should have stayed for 2 nights but had to balance where we wanted to go with time available. Didn't do any lodge activities.

Self-drove to Twyfelfontein. Road very poor (Aug 2017) and wouldn't want to do it in a hurry or in a low clearance vehicle. Children interested in rock art to a surprising degree."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Palmwag Lodge

Palmwag Lodge

"Hyenas in camp"

1 night Arrived 19 Aug 2017
"Only stayed one night - on sleep-out, for a bit of excitement for children.

Hardest part of the trip with kids due to time in car, roughness of roads, three single night stays in a row. Would have been better if we could have stayted somewhere longer. Even in hindsight though, given where we wanted to go, what we wanted to experience and time constraints, would do the same again. Definitely not a relaxing few days though!

Arrived at main camp by lunch - very pleasant pool area, bar etc. Basic sandwiches available. Camp a bit 'functional' rather than special. Staff did what they needed to, but little more. Camp very accessible to wildlife though - desert elephant walking through.

Sleep-out experience and associated game-drives not entirely as billed - left camp later (16:00) and returned earlier (09:30) but this was largely due to wind and lack of game as a consequence. Camp 3x 2-person tents with simple mattress and sleeping bags. Plenty of room to put 2 kids + 1 adult in one tent, which we did. Would not really recommend kids on own due to separation of tents open to dangerous game - although this is permitted.

Dinner cooked on fire + plenty of salad and cold drinks brought in cooler boxes. Could hear lion (a few km off) and hyena (nearby) as soon as sun went down. Hyenas in camp during night and again as we were getting up at 6am.

Great drive back to main camp - for scenery rather than game, although we did see giraffe, oryx, duiker etc.

Guide was brilliant at spotting game but english was a bit of a struggle at times. As a consequence, he was unable to really engage kids and it was a bit difficult throughout to understand what was going to happen next.

Overall, this was a good experience which eveyone enjoyed but it was more memorable for doing it, rather than what we saw or the engagement with the guide."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Dolomite Camp

Dolomite Camp

"Spectacular setting"

1 night Arrived 20 Aug 2017
"This is a NWR-run camp, not a private lodge. If you go expecting the former, you will probably think it is fantastic. If you go expecting the latter, you will probably think it is rather rough around the edges.

The west side of Etosha is well worth a visit and this is the only real way of doing so other than camping or driving through. The setting is absolutely spectacular, perched on an outcrop high above the surrounding plains with views for miles of elephant, eland, zebra, giraffe, hartbeest and springbok.It is worth coming for the location alone.

The camp is unfenced. Parking is at the base of the outcrop. You can walk up to reception in a couple of minutes or a buggy will come and collect you and your luggage. This happened efficiently within 5 minutes.

Reception and communal facilities are all together, with chalets strung out along the top of the outcrop.The path is quite steep, sometimes uneven, and some units are several minutes' walk away. Wooden walkways are not in the greatest condition, with some trip hazards. Metal handrails are not earthed and frequently give a small electric shock - all part of Africa's charm but not to be recommended for small children or those not very mobile.

We had two chalets (one with an extra bed, which was a bit cramped but perfectly ok). Whilst they were next to each other, they were a good 2-3 minutes walk apart. Some adjacent chalets were closer. On booking, we were advised that an adult was required in each, but this was not confirmed at check-in - however, given the location, we split parents.

A fantastic small infinity pool was an unexpected surprise. There was a pleasant bar and seating area adjacent. Dinner was a choice of two meat options. There was no specific provision for children and they did struggle a bit. Breakfast was fairly basic. Service was pretty slow - but appeared to be largely reliant on cooking all meals pretty much simultaneaously. Staff were polite, but not welcoming.

Game drives were available but we self-drove.

Despite any average comments, would go back time and again just for the location."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Functional camp in heart of Etosha"

2 nights Arrived 21 Aug 2017
"Quite a large national parks camp, rather than a private lodge. Its location in the heart of Etosha more than makes up for its fairly municipal feel.

Reception had quite a queue in late afternoon and was very bureaucratic. Checking-in was very functional. A deposit was required for all room equipment. Despite others' comments and advice, check-out for us was very rapid; the deposit was returned instantly and without any check of the inventory.

Family chalet had a small communal room and two bedrooms - one with a third bed, which was cramped as a result. but completely fine ffor children to sleep in.

All meals were buffet-style and rather mass-catered. Dinner had several choices - sufficient for kids to find something they would eat (no kids options). Waiting staff very over-run, but largely not required due to self-service nature of meals.

Large swimming pool, with plenty of space around. Decent shop for basics - including bread to avoid another buffet for lunch!

Fantastic waterhole with black rhino both nights as the sun set - male first night; female and calf second night. Despite 50+ people on each occasion, a lot of respect and almost total silence.

Whilst there was quite a lot of interesting small game and birdlife, there was not a great amount of large game to be sighted generally across a range of habitats around central Etosha. However, sightings at waterholes were absolutely phenominal and would rival anything we have seen previously in Africa - several thousand antelope and zebra simultaneously / 50+ elephants together / hyena / leopard / large herds drinking within 30m of sleeping lion three times......Spend your time waiting for the game to come to you, rather than giong looking for it!

Game drives available but we self-drove."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Could have stayed for a week"

2 nights Arrived 23 Aug 2017
"A brilliant place to relax for a day or two and break up the endless action! Really warm welcome and great staff and guides throughout.

Stayed in a single family tent - effectively segregated into two 'rooms' by a drop-down canvas curtain. Spectacular setting amongst the rocks. Plenty of dassies and geckos around. A few baboon spiders to make the kids squeal!

Large flocks of birds around communal areas - including hundreds of lovebirds. Nice small pool.

Guided walks available each morning and at sunset. Very interesting in spectacular setting. Kids really enjoyed. Guides very knowledgable.

Very high quality food. Good kids menu if ordered in advance. It seems a shame to identify one of the kids' highlights of a country like Namibia as a meal - but breakfast was just that!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Plains Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Aug 2017
"The welcome and check-in was really functional and miserable. After that, all the other staff were absolutely fantastic - and a special mention should bo to Rikki and our guide Immanuel.

Stayed in the family view room - two fully interconnecting large hotel-style rooms forming a single unit isolated from others and overlooking the bush. Very nice, and a welcome opportunity for children and adults to be fully separated.

Breakfast was a buffet - perfectly fine. Lunch was a bizarre set-menu - but could easily be avoided with a late breakfast, midday fruit and early afternoon cake! Dinner was fine and included a kids option if ordered in advance.

Visited Africat - which was interesting - including various animal parts and veterinary equipment which the kids could touch.

The highlight though was undoubtedly the game drives. The cats are tagged, so that may affect some people's appetite for the camp. However, with an exceptional guide who was brilliant with children and got the balance just right between finding leopard and cheetah, and observing everything else in the reserve, the kids found it exceptional. We saw lots of game and birdlife. We watched a leopard and two cubs very active and very close-by for over an hour. We saw porcupine and three brown hyenas together and many other great sights.

Very nice pool and surrounding area."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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