Travel reviews by Ms L from Heathfield
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
My Aug 2017 trip
Namibia and 3 other countries between 16 Aug 2017 and 13 Sep 2017
Thank you to Tracy Lederer for her advice and organisation - everything ran very smoothly and exceeded our expectations."
Arranged By Tracy Lederer
"Really good lodge"
Victoria Falls Hotel
"Lovely hotel, but disappointing room"
The only disappointment was our room, which was very small (even by standards in the UK!) It was also on the ground floor and quite dark. It seemed a little 'tired' and needs an update. We had to wait a long time for our room to be ready, although this wasn't a problem as the rest of the hotel and grounds are so lovely."
Chobe River Lodge
"Great boat trip on the Chobe River from here"
The boat trip from the lodge on the river during the late afternoon is a 'must do'. We saw so many animals coming down to the river to drink, an especially loved seeing the elephants swim across! It was unforgettable and a highlight of our trip.
Garden Lodge is a good place to stay in a convenient location."
Chobe Under Canvas
"Wonderful safari and great camping"
The camp has a feeling of permanence, even though it is moved every 5 days. The tents are very comfortable and the meals, taken in the communal tent with some of the staff, were delicious despite being cooked in a camp kitchen. At night, the stars in the southern sky are amazing!
The staff are very attentive and do everything they can to make sure guests have a good time, including 'singing them in' on return from safari.
We would thoroughly recommend Chobe Under Canvas"
"Beautiful location at Little Kwara"
Most of the staff are helpful but to be honest, we didn't feel they went 'the extra mile', as we had experienced at other places where we have stayed and a couple of them were a bit surly. We were disappointed that our trip in a canoe was shortened because the two other guests with us had to get back early for their flight. Our guide did take us on a river trip in the motor boat in the afternoon to make up for this, but the canoe trip was one thing we were really looking forward to and it was not possible to go out in the canoe again.
Nevertheless, we did enjoy our time in the Okavango Delta, which is a very special environment."
Lodge not featured by Expert Africa
"Comfortable room at Royal Tree Lodge"
We only stayed for one night and the room was very comfortable with an especially nice bathroom. Dinner was taken communally round a large table with the other guests and the manager which was enjoyable. However they have a problem with flies buzzing around and was especially evident at breakfast, where the flies were stuck in the jam (yuk!). We suggested that they cover the food to avoid this!
The only thing we would say is that the extra charges were quite high- .e.g. for extra drinks and for the packed lunch for the next day."
River Dance Lodge
"A fantastic location next to the river"
The meals at River Dance are delicious, and a lot of thought is put into the presentation. The service is good.
We also went on a sunset boat trip on the river which was lovely and enabled us to see local people going about their daily lives.
We would recommend River Dance Lodge as a relaxing and comfortable place to stay."
Mushara Bush Camp
"Very comfortable camp"
We especially enjoyed the evenings at Mushara - sitting round the fire with a pre-dinner drink and then enjoying the delicious meals which were beautifully presented.
We would recommend staying at Mushara Bush Camp."
"Watching the waterhole at night is amazing"
The accommodation was very spacious and it was clean although not particularly comfortable. They no longer seem to need an inventory to be checked and signed - there is very little in the room that anyone could take anyway!.
The worst thing about Okaukuejo is the food. The takeaway restaurant closes early and then all that is available is the restaurant where a buffet is served which is really expensive. Apart from the meat, which was cooked on a braii and quite tasty, the rest of the food offered was truly awful. It was so bad that we did not want to eat there the following night and went to the shop (which is sparsely stocked) and just ate snacks for supper! We would recommend that anyone staying at this camp bring their own food supplies in for supper, or buy a takeaway from the snack bar early before it closes.
The other thing that should be mentioned is that the petrol station in the camp ran out of unleaded fuel. We left on a Tuesday and no fuel was expected until Friday! It didn't affect us as we were moving on and had plenty of fuel to get us to the next town.
However the advantage of staying at Okaukuejo is the opportunity to see wildlife interacting at the waterhole after dark, which is wonderful. I will never forget seeing the elephants chasing a lion away and protecting the babies!"
"The best place we stayed on our holiday"
There was a large party of 14 staying at the camp at the same time as us, leaving us as the only couple. This could have been awkward but the staff went out of their way to talk with us and make sure that we had all we needed. They even gave us a hut on the edge of the camp so that we would have a quiet stay.
Situated in the true wilderness of Damaraland, our pick up from the village (where we left our car over our stay) to the camp half an hour away was prompt and efficient. We were given a very warm welcome (singing and drinks!) and then the manager spent some time chatting to us.
Our hut was beautiful, with a smart bathroom and lovely view over the mountains. Little lanterns guided us on the path to the main area after dark. The food was great and we enjoyed the singing and dancing entertainment provided by the staff after dinner!
We had one whole day at the camp and discussed with our guide that we would like to see the desert elephants and also the etchings at Twyfelfontein. He suggested that we leave before dawn and have breakfast on the road, returning for a late lunch in the afternoon and we agreed. Shortly after leaving, he turned off the road and climbed a steep hill. To our amazement the staff had set up breakfast on the hill top- including a stove! We saw the sunrise as we ate our freshly prepared scrambled eggs. They do this regularly but it was lovely that they kept it as a surprise for their guests.
We did see the desert elephants up close, watching them for some time. On returning after a full day they served us a lovely lunch, as promised.
In the evening, again kept as a surprise although a regular event, dinner was served at a Boma which is hidden from sight from the camp. We were guided to it by candles along the path and it was a lovely evening.
What makes Damaraland Camp stand out is that the staff really work as a well-managed, happy team. They chat to their guests in a non-intrusive way and go that 'extra mile' to ensure they are well cared for. We were quite emotional when they all sang a farewell song to us as we left. We cannot recommend the place highly enough."
"Good location, bad service"
The problem with the Strand Hotel is the service. Apparently we are not the only people to notice this - a local guide told us that residents of Swakop do not go to the Strand because the service is known to be so bad.
Some papers were left for us at reception the evening before our 'kayaking with seals' trip explaining the arrangements. Reception rang our room and said they would bring the papers up to us - but they never arrived and I had to go and get them later that evening. The papers were in the office waiting for someone to deliver them. The next morning our pre-packed breakfast was not ready and we had to wait some time for it to be prepared. We then went to the restaurant for lunch and our order did not arrive. When questioned, the rather surly waitress said it wasn't her fault but her colleague's - but she had actually placed our order at the bar instead of in the kitchen. The meal eventually arrived nearly an hour after we ordered it. The next morning at breakfast, no-one came to offer us tea or coffee and we had to go and ask. Communication seems to be lacking and the staff do not seem at all motivated to provide a good service.
On walking round Swakop we noticed lots of other hotels in the town and we would suggest travellers stay at one of these rather than the Strand, despite its scenic location."
BullsPort Lodge and Farm
"Homely farm for a short stay"
Our room was spacious, clean and quite basic, providing everything we needed for just one night. We enjoyed the communal meal in the evening, when the owners and their team joined us and were able to give us an insight into what it is like to live and work near the Naukluft Mountains.
We would certainly recommend Bullsport Guest Farm for a short stay, especially if you like walking or horse riding."
"Good location for exploring Sossusvlei"
Our hut was quite small, but well appointed with a lovely bathroom and great views of the mountains. The staff are maybe not as friendly as some we have encountered but they provided everything we needed. The food was very good and there were lots of options for tables outside or in.
We went horse-riding, which we wouldn't really recommend highly as the guide wasn't very talkative and the horses seemed rather tired. The walk up the mountain from the Homestead is worth doing, especially at sunset."
"Quirky place to stay- good fun!"
Our room was comfortable and followed the 'roadhouse' theme, with a really lovely bathroom (best shower of any on our trip!)
It was situated around a communal courtyard, but we had no problems with noise from other guests. There is also a small swimming pool on site with loungers and tables around it which we enjoyed.
The food in the restaurant is very good value and the staff are attentive and helpful.
Canyon Roadhouse is only 15-20 minutes from Fish River Canyon along a good gravel road. We left before dawn (the staff offered us a packed breakfast, which was very good) and arrived at the canyon before sunrise. The sun actually rises behind you as you look at the canyon, so it takes a while for the canyon to light up, but it is worth seeing the soft orange glow spread over the rocks. This is supposed to be a good time for photos - we certainly got better pictures in the morning than in the afternoon. It is worth walking from the main viewing area along the rim of the canyon - also better done in the cool early morning."
"Convenient location in Springbok"
We were offered a choice of two rooms and took the one in the main building which seemed more comfortable. The other one, which is round the side of the house seemed a little damp and less welcoming. Breakfast is served in the main house and there was a wide range of cooked dishes.
In the evening we ate at The Herb Garden, a new cafe that is a short drive away. It was recommended by the staff at Annie's Cottage and we had a very reasonable priced, tasty meal there.
Annie's Cottage is a good base for exploring Namaqualand. Unfortunately (Sept 2017) there were no spring flowers due to the very dry winter but the area is still beautiful."
"A good place to stay in Clanwilliam"
We ate at Michael's restaurant which serves homely food and is a short walk from the lodge.
The owners of Ndedema Lodge are friendly and helpful and the breakfast was good."
We really liked Ilala Lodge - the staff were very pleasant and we had a lovely room overlooking the falls in the distance. Dinner was very good- we loved sitting outside under the stars!"