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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Miss A from Okehampton

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

14

Excursions taken

3

Wonderful... Beats UK in February!

Kenya between 26 Feb 2019 and 12 Mar 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"Kenya was fabulous. Highspots were Sarara Camp in general (a whole list of things), the fab Villa at Saruna Mara ( terrific staff); Peponi (just being there...). And hotel One Forty Eight in Nairobi was a superb place to arrive at after a long flight...

We were especially impressed by the cheerful helpfulness of all the Kenyan people we met, in all the places we stayed- and in between.

Plus- the weather was perfect...."

Arranged By Richard Trillo


One Forty Eight

One Forty Eight

"One Forty Eight review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Feb 2019
"A delightful, stylish 'oasis' in a quiet part of Nairobi.

Lovely gardens and characterful house, full of wonderful and interesting artworks by Tonio Trezebinski.

Good food and very pleasant staff."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Sarara

Sarara

"Superb!"

3 nights Arrived 1 Mar 2019
"Absolutely wonderful in every way- the location, tents, staff, things to see and do, food... all terrific. The infinity pool a delight- overlooking two water holes which were regularly visited by elephant, buffalo, warthogs, giraffe, zebra and impala.

The 'singing wells' hugely interesting- a unique experience - we only hope it will not be affected by too many tourists.... (A ban on photography such a good thing..). The new Namunyuk Elephant Sanctuary - about an hour away - is beautifully run, with excellent facilities - in a natural setting.

A visit to a local Samburu nomad's village was fascinating- how nice of them to allow us to pay a visit... Andrew amazed them by being able to milk a goat. (They were obviously ready to have a good laugh!)

We loved this place- the resident echidna under the main house, semi-tame Grevys zebras visiting the swimming pool, a friendly, rescued giraffe, beautiful birds, magnificently dressed Samburu men- all adding to its unique charm."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Saruni Mara

Saruni Mara

"Attractive position, very good guide, Tinka"

3 nights Arrived 4 Mar 2019
"While Saruni Mara is in a lovely position on a hill overlooking a valley, it did not suit us particularly well.

To start with, our allotted cabin room - though very attractive - was located up a slope a long walk from the main house, despite our briefing that Andrew had difficulty in walking.

The staff very kindly did a special supper for us in our room- and the manager, Cecilia, moved us the next day into the owner's very luxurious 'villa'. We were looked after beautifully by the villa team - including meals delivered each day by dedicated cook! Buffalo, impala and giraffe regularly wandered along the track just below us, which was a bonus...

Despite the lovely villa, and being spoilt by the delightful staff, three days here were too many for us. To get to the Northern Mara Conservancy, one must drive down a very rough track and through an over-grazed farming area. (Half an hour plus - then back again of course...) The plains area is oversubsrcibed with tourist 4WD's - though our v good guide, Tinka, managed to avoid the worst over-crowding. The safari drives are the only activity within reasonable driving distance- though one day we visited Saruni Wild Camp for tea, which made a change. (Unfortunately, it was full so we could not move to there from Saruni Mara).

Saruni Mara is trying very hard and has certain advantages (cooler than the plains, for one) - but suffers probably from too much competition from better-placed sites.
We loved the bush lunch by the river on arrival!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Average
Peponi

Peponi

"Fabulous!"

4 nights Arrived 7 Mar 2019
"Absolutely the perfect place to relax and unwind after hot safari days... One can be as lazy or a busy as one wants- with a choice of activities involving sailing, fishing, visits to Lamu and islands- though just walking along the unspolit beach and swimming in the sea is the perfect way to spend a morning. An evening dhow trip through the mangroves worth doing....

Wonderful service- excellent food. Our room was lovely- with view directly onto the beach/sea.

Thoroughly recommended!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Four Points by Sheraton

Four Points by Sheraton

"Perfect for a one-night stopover"

1 night Arrived 11 Mar 2019
"Very convenient for an early flight from main airport- only five minutes away, with courtesy taxi service. Restaurant expensive- slow service.

Here, one could be anywhere in the world!"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average

Namibian Adventure 2017

Namibia between 9 Feb 2017 and 28 Feb 2017

Trip rating: Excellent
"Interesting and varied- the combination of flying and self-driving was the perfect choice for us. However, one does need to be prepared to drive long distances - often hours in endlessly flat, unchanging country.( A good, detailed map is essential - the Tracks Africa map is excellent)

Rather disappointing that Hoanib was the only camp that provided any educational/informative element- a very good film on the desert lions and a lecture by a visiting bat researcher!

More of that sort of thing would have much appreciated- especially where we stayed three nights in one place, (Most camps seem to be geared to two-night stays) Would have very much liked to know more about the different tribes etc- which we finally did on our last day at the National Museum in Windoek , which has seen better days, but is still very interesting.

We loved the ability to get away into some unspoilt and spectacular county -and avoid crowds of tourists. The exception to that was Sossusvlie, where there were far too many people and traffic .... a bit of a shock after the tranquility of Etendenka!

We worry that Namibia is about to OD on tourism and lose its unique appeal....."

Arranged By Tom Morris


Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 9 Feb 2017
"Fine for an overnight stop. Helpful staff. Swimming pool out of action - limited swimming pool area.

Dining 'deck' overlooking car parking area not especially appealing. Luckily, the lovely Olive Exclusive next door has a wonderful restaurant - worth walking around to! (We'd have paid the extra $$$'s to have stayed there!)"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

"Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 10 Feb 2017
"Everything perfect from the start - even coming across a cheetah and cub confronting a group of oryx on the short drive from airstrip to camp! (We were lucky). Delightful staff and an excellent guide in the very nice Pappa G...

The Skeleton Coast day out was totally wonderful - they made it all as varied and interesting as possible, with the 'roaring' dune slide, an amazing lunch set up on the beach and great flight back! Just one negative comment: we would have liked a longer walk at the mouth of the Hoanib River - or anywhere else in the area - especially as we waited at the airstrip for over an hour for the Wilderness Safari pilot to arrive.... ( it seems he was rather over-booked that afternoon) BUT the flight itself was spectacular!

We saw the desert elephants, (and sadly a dead baby one week old baby who seems to have died from exhaustion) giraffe, oryx, springbok with lively young ones, and three 3 month-old lion cubs whose future is uncertain as their mother was killed by a leopard... the big question being should they be kept alive artificially, or allow nature to follow its course...We were all for intervention, but don't know what subsequently happened.

Food was excellent - as was service. In the bar, Limbo makes a superb cocktail. An amazing place simply to 'be' - a very impressive achievement so far from anywhere....it's a very special place."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Etendeka Mountain Camp

Etendeka Mountain Camp

"Etendenka adventure"

3 nights Arrived 13 Feb 2017
"We had a very interesting time- starting with a thunderstorm that flooded the lodge! It was all hands to get the furniture off the floor- most of it ended up on the bar. Everyone was thrilled by the rain after years of drought, and the 'instant' waterfall on the river behind the camp provided quite a spectacle. We liked the simplicity of the camp, providing a nice contrast to the luxury of Hoanib. We had two great walks - especially the extraordinary 'crystal' walk up on the plateau with the excellent guide,Bobby, which I gather not everyone is allowed to do!?
(WHY?) A real paradise for geologists... something to look at with every step!

The evening drives were a tad long- a bit repetitive.

Dennis a very interesting person- we enjoyed talking to him. Relief manager, Shireen, was very competent and paid a lot of attention to visitors requirements with some very thoughtful touches.. such as a beautifully illustrated recipe for Elias's excellent goulash, which we requested! The chef, Elias, obviously a treasure, provided impressive dinners every night complete with irresistible puddings.

We loved it, but perhaps two days would have been preferable..."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Cornerstone Guesthouse review"

2 nights Arrived 16 Feb 2017
"Fine for a short stop-over - a bit short on character, but very helpful people.

Take a sleep mask, as bright street lights shone into our room all night ( a bit of a shock after Etendenka).

Nice big room and bathroom, with terrace for sitting outside.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Whilst staying here these travellers did the kayaking with seals excursion and commented:

Great fun - especially as the baby seals were just learning to swim.!

Jean was terrific and provided us with all the gear we needed. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole morning - and were amazed to receive her videos of us the same afternoon.

Thoroughly recommend it - though to some seeing quite a few dead baby seals around us on the beach was upsetting: Maybe a bit more of an explanation about how/why etc might be helpful?"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Kayaking with seals

Kayaking with seals

"Kayaking with seals"

17 Feb 2017 • Morning excursion

Great fun - especially as the baby seals were just learning to swim.!

Jean was terrific and provided us with all the gear we needed. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole morning - and were amazed to receive her videos of us the same afternoon.

Thoroughly recommend it - though to some seeing quite a few dead baby seals around us on the beach was upsetting: Maybe a bit more of an explanation about how/why etc might be helpful?
Excellent
Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

"Hoodia Desert Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 18 Feb 2017
"Great excitment on our last night when the Tsauchab River suddenly started flowing after years of drought! There had been 30mm of rain in the Naukluft hills the previous night- cutting off the D854 road for some. We were up at Neuras winery during the day - they were worried me might not have got back to Hoodia.. but all was well - we got in through the back entrance. (4WD only).

Neuras wine- the Shiraz- was surprisingly good. High price goes to help care for relocated cheetahs there....Tours of vineyard are available.

Apart from the Dunes day out, we were rather disappointed that there was no advice on other things to do from Hoodia - our very interesting day out to Neuras etc was our own idea (thanks to the Bradt Guide) - wonderful scenery etc and very worthwhile doing....

Maybe overall we were a little disappointed in Hoodia.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

During their stay here these travellers also took the Hoodia Sossusvlei excursion and commented:

TOO MANY PEOPLE!! And we were there in the low season! We would avoid it in the high season- or stay at a camp with private access....But, having said that, it was obviously not to be missed and our excellent guide made every effort to take us to the less crowded spots. Beautifully served, proper sit - down lunch under a huge old acacia - with only an oryx for company!

Some of our group made the top of the Big Daddy dune- we got half way- but it was still fun coming down."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Hoodia Sossusvlei excursion

Hoodia Sossusvlei excursion

"Taking on Big Daddy"

19 Feb 2017 • All-day excursion

TOO MANY PEOPLE!! And we were there in the low season! We would avoid it in the high season- or stay at a camp with private access....But, having said that, it was obviously not to be missed and our excellent guide made every effort to take us to the less crowded spots. Beautifully served, proper sit - down lunch under a huge old acacia - with only an oryx for company!

Some of our group made the top of the Big Daddy dune- we got half way- but it was still fun coming down.
Excellent
Namtib Desert Lodge

Namtib Desert Lodge

"Candlelit dinner at Namtib"

1 night Arrived 21 Feb 2017
"A great place for a night's stop- and a memorable, candlelit dinner with delightful hosts.

A small bar area up in a rocky outcrop is perfect for a sundowner... very relaxing."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Fish River Lodge

Fish River Lodge

"Fish River Lodge- on the edge"

3 nights Arrived 22 Feb 2017
"Fantastic position - what a view from one's room! And what amazing rooms.... Just being there is really what it's all about. Walks are limited - albeit with superb views at the end of each.( More information about the still evident old farm site would make Walk 1 more interesting...)

Food delicious- with the best breakfast we had anywhere... Wonderful cocktails. Charming staff.

The sky at night is incredibly clear... star- gazing definitely another area of potential interest. And we would have loved to have had a film/ video of the geology etc of the canyon- something interesting to do after dinner. ( Apart from Hoanib, none of the other camps offered any such thing- a pity)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Whilst staying here these travellers took part in the day drive in to the canyon and commented:

The rugged drive to the canyon is fairly hair raising and fun- the driver/guide impressively intrepid! BUT once at the canyon, with the river in full flood, it was very limited... it was simply a look at the water, a snack out of a paper bag, then the same very rocky route back. We were back by 1.30.

I think they could have made much more of the whole thing- with a bit of an effort at a more special lunch- perhaps set up at the hiking camp base where there was some shade.... overall I think they get a C for effort!

Rather disappointing."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Fish River Canyon day trip

Fish River Canyon day trip

"Hair raising drive to Fish River Canyon"

23 Feb 2017 • All-day excursion

The rugged drive to the canyon is fairly hair raising and fun- the driver/guide impressively intrepid! BUT once at the canyon, with the river in full flood, it was very limited... it was simply a look at the water, a snack out of a paper bag, then the same very rocky route back. We were back by 1.30.

I think they could have made much more of the whole thing- with a bit of an effort at a more special lunch- perhaps set up at the hiking camp base where there was some shade.... overall I think they get a C for effort!

Rather disappointing.
Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge

Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge

"Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Feb 2017
"Great place to unwind- very nice people, pleasant manager and lovely place. Very comfortable and characterful rooms.

Wildebeest immediately outside our room in the early morning!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Galton House

Galton House

"Galton House review"

1 night Arrived 27 Feb 2017
"We had some difficulty finding Galton House - more detailed instruction would have been useful!

A very nicely designed, relaxed place- but our room ( No 6 ) was very small and noisy. (A generator all night next door- and power showers at 6am in next room!)

Super swimming pool for a small place- much appreciated.

Very helpful manager. Nice sitting-around area...

Good for one night."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good

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