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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr R. from Malmesbury

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

17

Excursions taken

1

Great: lovely lodges; perfect arrangements

Zimbabwe and 1 other country between 1 Nov 2019 and 11 Nov 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"The trip as a whole was fantastic - all arrangements worked like clockwork with every single transfer being on time and with friendly smiling staff - our thanks to Expert Africa.

The combination of Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Mana Pools was ideal and we saw a huge variety of wildlife and had some amazing experiences. The lodges were great - with Nyamatusi in Mana Pools being the best - so totally luxurious and in a stunning setting.

Thank you all.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No - it was all great thank you."

Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge

"Ilala Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 1 Nov 2019
"This was a lovely place to stay at Victoria Falls, very relaxing with a beautiful restaurant with great food, lovely staff, great swimming pool and ideal for a short walk (via the elephants!) to the Victoria Falls national park (less than 10 minutes) or into town (3 minutes).

We stayed in a standard room which was great and I would actually prefer over the deluxe rooms as these were a bit further from the main lodge (the standard rooms are under the main lodge on a lower floor). We had deer and warthogs grazing outside our balcony.

Would definitely go back."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Splash Camp

Splash Camp

"Nice modern camp in a great concession"

3 nights Arrived 3 Nov 2019
"The safari experience itself was wonderful - we couldn't fault the wildlife that we saw or the experience of the guide (Moz) and his spotter (AT). We saw lions, cheetah, aardwolf, pythons, serval and a wonderful pack of wild dogs (26) among others. The boat cruise was a serene highlight too.

The camp is modern, stylish and efficient rather than luxurious although the manager, Renee, service and staff are very good. The rooms themselves were luxury but the lodge was a little more functional - especially the dining area and the pool area - the dining area needed more soft furnishings as it is a bit refectory style and the pool area needed some cushioned loungers and more shade, not just dappled tree shade - it was 40C and it wasn't enough. One night when the lodge was nearly full (22 guests) it didn't feel exclusive.

The food was excellent - they have a great chef(s) - but the ingredients weren't luxury - e.g. a minced beef pie rather than steak was typical.

One area we thought needed improvement was that all of the guides sit with you at every meal and have to walk you to/from your tents rather than taking turns at this as other camps do - meaning the guides have very little time off.

However, overall we had a great experience and the wildlife and quality of the guide/spotter was excellent. Thank you."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Muchenje Safari Lodge

Muchenje Safari Lodge

"Lovely positioned lodge"

1 night Arrived 6 Nov 2019
"We only stayed one night with an evening game drive (when we saw wild dog and some great birds) and night drive (when we saw nothing), but overall we really liked the lodge.

It is in a great position with sweeping views, friendly staff and nice pool/rooms. The main lodge itself is beautiful with lovely lounging areas which we didn't really have time to explore. The bathrooms are due to be upgraded which will make the rating 5/5 for the rooms.

We will have to go back as we would love to do the river cruise which other guests raved about. Thank you."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Nyamatusi Mahogany

Nyamatusi Mahogany

"Fantastic luxurious camp: stunning setting"

4 nights Arrived 7 Nov 2019
"The Excellent rating doesn't do this camp justice - it is totally amazing - truly one of the best luxury safari experiences ever. We feel privileged to have stayed there and experienced both Mana Pools and the wonderful charming Nyamatusi staff.

We actually stayed in Nyamatusi Mahogany, but the two camps are really one camp with two near identical lodges so that guests get an exclusive experience with 12 guests maximum rather than 24 in each lodge. Mahogany does have two two-bed rooms, so specify the Camp if you don't want to have children in your lodge is the only difference. On our last night the two camps combined for a memorable bush dinner that was in a truly magical setting.

The setting is stunning on the banks of the Zambezi overlooking the Zambian mountains. The lodge is extremely luxurious and the rooms are sheer luxury with wonderful outside areas and cold plunge pools - couldn't be better. Air conditioning is very welcome - it was 42C when we were there. The staff are lovely - thank you to Jason, Bee and their team. Our guide, Shingy, was fantastic - walking through the bush to approach lions and wild dog with him felt controlled and safe, but very special. He knew instinctively when to wait and have patience and we saw some special things (e.g. wild dog greeting ceremony) as a result. The canoe safari with TK was also a highlight - we saw hippos up close but his experience made us feel safe.

The food is delicious and varied with three choices including a vegetarian one at meals. Service is great and the staff really friendly and fun - you feel really welcome.

Highlights include being woken by lions roaring and strolling past just outside our room followed by breakfast in the boma watched by 3 lions; seeing the wild dogs scare off an elephant, wild dog greeting ceremonies and a wild dog kill in our headlights on the way back from sundowners. The bird life is also amazing.

Mana Pools itself is a garden of Eden - it is a long way from Victoria Falls - our flights both ways took over 4 hours in a light aircraft with three stops both ways including a refuel at Kariba. It feels at the end of the earth. The range of animals seen is not as wide as the Okavango Delta due to the migratory nature of the animals who leave the river when the rains set in for the hills - e.g. so no giraffes or cheetah, and the fact that the National Park doesn't allow night drives rules out nocturnal animals (although the lodge which is just outside the national park has requested to be allowed to do so). However the quality of the viewing experience due to the fact that you can approach on foot (not allowed in other national parks) was amazing. At this time of year (early November) when it is usually very dry just before the rains you are very likely to see both wild dogs and/or a kill. Most guests saw both.

Thank you so much to all at Nyamatusi (Mahogany) - we had a fantastic stay and would love to come back. This is a very special place and we wish you all the best."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

My Oct 2018 trip

Namibia between 18 Oct 2018 and 27 Oct 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall we had a wonderful trip and Josh/Expert Africa were excellent.

Josh strongly suggested Desert Homestead Outpost and it was a real highlight for us - the position and relaxing nature of the lodge were wonderful.

Overall the only negative was Hobatere lodge which was recommended and which was definitely below the standards of any other private lodge we've stayed at on two trips to Namibia."

Hilltop Guesthouse

Hilltop Guesthouse

"Hilltop Guesthouse review"

1 night Arrived 18 Oct 2018
"A good place for the first or last night if you wish to stay in Windhoek.

Near restaurants and supermarkets (although a taxi to nearby restaurants is advised).

Rooms/view/pool were lovely but bathrooms a bit dated."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Desert Homestead Outpost

Desert Homestead Outpost

"Desert Homestead Outpost review"

2 nights Arrived 19 Oct 2018
"This is a fantastic desert camp near Sesriem (40 minutes drive to the national park gate). 7km off the road in a stunning location.

The tents were beautifully and luxuriously decorated with fantastic views from the two decks and outdoor shower (there is an indoor shower too). The lodge and pool were beautifully designed and relaxing.

Food was excellent and the staff were lovely. We had oryx walking past our tents. A convenient place to visit Sossuvlei.

We also did an evening sunset drive to see the scenery on site."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Cornerstone Guesthouse review"

2 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2018
"The service from the owner and staff (especially Ramona on reception) makes this guesthouse stand out.

The rooms and bathrooms are lovely and clean and set around a pretty garden (except for room 7 which is next to the car park so not as good) with everything you would want. The service was excellent - they couldn't have done more for us or been nicer. We returned from a morning kayaking with seals to find that our afternoon activity (dune buggies/sandboarding combo) was all booked as well as our evening dinner reservation - we had failed to get into the Tug restaurant (book well in advance) but were recommended the Fish Deli which did lovely sushi - it was a great recommendation. Also of note are the excellent breakfasts to classical music - we all agreed these were the best breakfasts we had in Namibia.

Location is excellent - walkable to everything including dune buggies."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kayaking with seals

Kayaking with seals

"Kayaking with seals review"

22 Oct 2018 • Morning excursion

We all agreed that this was the best thing we did on our holiday and one of the closest experiences we have ever had with wildlife.

It is a unique experience to kayak with hundreds and thousands of seals - some of whom climb onto your kayak. The drive out is beautiful and gives an insight into this unique ecosystem of salt, wading birds (think 80,000 flamingoes and pelicans) and jackals. Jeanne was fantastic, informative and obviously loves her job which she has been doing for decades yet made it feel brand new.

We were lucky enough to have wonderful weather. Book well in advance - summer 19 already mostly booked up with Jeanne's company. Even if you don't kayak (although it is very easy to do) the journey there/back is worth it in itself.
Excellent
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Erongo Wilderness Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 23 Oct 2018
"We had a beautiful two tented section with our own camp fire and separate lounge. Tents were beautiful and luxurious. The walking was great and it's a very beautiful place. This was the best place we came across for dealing with our special dietary requirements/allergies - which shows very good management. Food was very good. The main lodge feels slightly less modern than the rooms.

Although no big game the variety and number of birds (trees full of brightly coloured lovebirds), brightly coloured lizards and hyrax were wonderful.

We had heavy rain which spoiled the experience a little as we couldn't do the sundowner walk/dinner outside/campfire, but would go back to experience this wonderful lodge again."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Hobatere Lodge

Hobatere Lodge

"Hobatere Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 24 Oct 2018
"This was a very disappointing lodge - only slightly above the standard of an NWR standard lodge such as Okakeujo. Saving graces are the staff - lovely and chatty and very willing to please and the food which was mostly good, and excellent in places, although breakfast was only average.

Rooms were sub-standard and not attractive to look at - very basic old lodge look and feel and landscaping non-existent. Dead flies on one bed, mosquito nets that don't meet so weren't effective, very small and basic bathrooms. The pool was dirty/had a slimy bottom.

We were unlucky in that we visited after heavy rain but on one afternoon drive and one night drive in the Hobatere reserve we saw only antelope, owls and a chameleon. Overall the only big game we saw in two days in the reserve was one giraffe. There was no game at all at the waterhole ever. We got the feeling that there isn't that much in the park - the waterholes at Dolomite and Okakeujo on the same days had plenty of animals. I am being a little unfair since the lodge is near hills (where the animals can hide) and the Etosha lodges are nearer larger plains, but if you go to for safari, this is a big factor to consider.

It is a long way into the proper bit of Western Etosha where you start to see animals from the lodge. It is 30 minutes to the Galton Gate and then about an hour 15 minutes to Dolomite Camp - so well over an hour until you begin to see any game at all. We spent lunch/afternoon at Dolomite Camp and the location/pool/food/service were much better than Hobatere - it has a much more luxurious feel/decor despite being NWR run. If you are choosing between the two I would go to Dolomite (although we didn't see the rooms) especially given you are right in the centre of Etosha and can start to game view immediately upon leaving the lodge."
Poor
Location
Poor
Service
Excellent
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Terrible
Food
Good
Facilities
Poor
Image alt

Waterberg Guest Farm

"Waterberg Guest Farm review"

1 night Arrived 26 Oct 2018
"This is our second visit to the lodge and we love the rooms, pool. food and ambience. We would definitely go back and the only reason we didn't give this an excellent score is set out below.

Be careful if you have special diets/allergies: our visit was marred as they had very kindly cooked two special dietary meals for us (one without egg and one without cheese) but then mixed them up (despite us checking repeatedly with the waiter) so that one of our children had an allergic reaction to the egg in his dish which we had been told had no egg in it."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good

My Oct 2016 trip

Namibia between 20 Oct 2016 and 29 Oct 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a fantastic trip. Our thanks to Maruska and Expert Africa for putting together the itinerary - we felt we saw so many wonderful things and had a real flavour of the different beauty of Namibian scenery.

We were particularly lucky to see so much game. The area around Nautomi in Etosha is world class for game viewing."

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Image alt

Waterberg Guest Farm

"Waterberg Guest Farm review"

1 night Arrived 20 Oct 2016
"We loved this place - perfect first night in Africa.

Lovely pool and great food. Highly recommended.

It's about 3.5 hours drive from the airport."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Mushara Bush Camp

Mushara Bush Camp

"Mushara Bush Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2016
"Excellent camp - beautiful pool and restaurant, very child friendly but lots of adults on their own too. The food was the best we had in Namibia. The game on this side of Etosha was fantastic - we saw lions every time we went out, a leopard, a cheetah, a pack of spotted hyenas, herds of elephants. It couldn't have been a better experience.

We especially loved the buffet meal outside.

Room/tents were great - our only comment - it was very hot and the fans in the tents were ineffectual - they really need ceiling fans."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Halali Camp review"

1 night Arrived 23 Oct 2016
"We knew this was a government camp (but see our glowing comments on Okakeujo) and weren't expecting much but it was like being in the soviet era. The worst thing was the shop - there was nothing fresh to buy at all and they refused to sell us the final edible looking frozen meat as it didn't have a price sticker on. The tills were broken and all items were painstakingly written out by hand in a book. The shop ran out of water (very dangerous!). The breakfast tasted horrible. Rooms were soulless and the camp staff surly.

The only redeeming feature was the fantastic waterhole - we saw rhinos fighting and lions. And a large (hand-sized) scorpion in the camp site on the way that made me pleased we weren't camping."
Poor
Location
Excellent
Service
Terrible
Facilities
Poor
Rooms
Poor
Food
Terrible
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

1 night Arrived 24 Oct 2016
"Although a government camp, this one gets it right. The staff were great - when we wanted to BBQ they lent us plates and cutlery, since our cabin strangely didn't have these. The pools were lovely and the waterhole was magical.

The bush cabins were nicely decorated and comfortable with a lovely outdoor seating area/BBQ.

Game was concentrated around one or two waterholes as it was very dry but we saw two prides of lions."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Etendeka Mountain Camp

Etendeka Mountain Camp

"Etendeka Mountain Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Oct 2016
"Our absolute favourite place - we loved everything about this camp - from the guides, the food, the communal eating, the tents, the outside bucket showers, the walk up the hill behind for sundowners.

Dennis (the host) has been doing this for 25 years, but he is a fantastic host and makes the experience fresh for everyone. He was especially good with our children aged 12 and 10. We all particularly loved the star gazing session. The guides are excellent and knowledgable too.

There is a surprisingly large amount of game too! They have got Afrikat to tag a male lion and when we were there we saw him with 2 females and 4 (of 7) cubs. We also saw desert elephants."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

1 night Arrived 27 Oct 2016
"A beautifully situated luxury lodge in a desert circle - the situation is unparalleled. We were unfortunate in that there was a sandstorm in the afternoon of our stay and it was too cold to sit out and enjoy the sunset or the fire pit (which looked magical). The lodge itself was great though and the rooms beautiful.

Only comment - this was the place where the food was hardest with our children as there was no choice and the food (although lovely), quite challenging for children - e.g. starters of beetroot soup or aubergine with moroccan spices."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Plains Camp review"

1 night Arrived 28 Oct 2016
"The largest camp we stayed in and it felt a lot more commercial - saying that we had a great stay and really enjoyed it - it just felt more impersonal than the other lodges.
We were upgraded to view rooms which was nice. The pool was lovely. Food could have been better - it was the only place where portions were quite small.

Our guide was fantastic - very good at spotting the little things (e.g. owls). We went on a game drive and saw a cheetah (allowed to do the last 15m on foot despite us having children) and a leopard up really close. Both were collared, but wonderful to see them so up close."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent

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