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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr D. from Egham

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

9

Excursions taken

2

My Sep 2018 trip

Namibia between 14 Sep 2018 and 1 Oct 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Namibia and would definitely return.

Having undertaken a 17 night stay that involved 2600km of driving I think we would not do such an extensive trip again but it was a really good way to see the contrasting parts of the country and we know where we would spend more time in any future visit.

Every location we stayed at was good and even where we have comments regarding improvements this didn't really detract from our enjoyment. Generally service was very good and people very friendly.

As others have reported, driving is very easy and as a disabled driver using hand controls, I can confirm it still remains easy.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Very little to add as the overall experience was very good. We were very grateful for the time and effort Josh put in to help us arrange the hand controls on our vehicle.

Only one minor point is that the folder the trip material arrives in is a nice design, but unfortunately not that practical and it began to disintegrate early in the tour!"

Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 14 Sep 2018
"The Olive Grove was a very convenient place for us to stay on our first night in Namibia as we picked our car up in Windhoek rather than the airport.

The room was large and comfortable and had everything we required, although the decor is a little tired. We chose to eat in and the food in their restaurant was excellent. I think for a short stay in Windhoek the Olive Grove works well.

The only problem is that the car parking is quite cramped so if you wish to leave and come back a few times during your stay it may be difficult."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge

"Wolwedans Dunes Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2018
"We arrived relatively late on our first day, but the personal greeting at reception was very welcome after 500km of driving.

The location of the lodge is incredible and the views and colours have to be seen to be truly appreciated. Everything was as described and the guide we had was excellent. The service and the food was all good and it is difficult to fault any part of our stay.

The evening drive through the southern part of the Namib Rand nature reserve was a real highlight, finished by a spectacular sunset. The lodge is expensive, and you don't get fantastic facilities but the location is what you are paying for here and in our view it was worth it.

It does get cold at night so if you want the sides of the unit rolled up at night so you can watch the sun rise, be prepared!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

"Hoodia Desert Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 17 Sep 2018
"Hoodia has a great location and is fairly modern.

We received an extensive welcome by the owner and he clearly takes great pride in his lodge. He spent time with every guest, greeted people back from their excursions and made sure service was to his standards.

The views are extensive and just sitting by our room looking over the dry river valley was enjoyable in itself. The lodge is well laid out and the food was good.

A small point, but being able to drive your vehicle right up to your room made everything very easy."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Hoodia Sossusvlei excursion

Hoodia Sossusvlei excursion

"Hoodia Sossusvlei excursion review"

18 Sep 2018 • All-day excursion

The excursion takes you out into the dunes and provides a great opportunity to see the highlights of Sossusvlei. Whilst you could do this yourself using your own vehicle, you would need a 4WD and know how to use it in soft sand.

It is also unlikely you would get so much insight and find the quieter parts away from the main crowds of visitors. We therefore found it worthwhile and of good value. The lunch was good and served in a remote location with a perfect setting. An Oryx even kindly came and sat under a tree nearby to complete the view.

As someone who is disabled following a spinal injury, I didn't expect to be able to climb the main dune or descend into the Sesriem canyon, but managed both, partly thanks to the patience and assistance of the guide.
Excellent
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Cornerstone Guesthouse review"

2 nights Arrived 19 Sep 2018
"The Guesthouse works well for a short stay. The rooms are clean and set out around a very well tended garden. Breakfast is taken in the main house.

You can walk into the town in a few minutes, which is useful because the off street parking is tight and depending upon which slot you get may take a while to manoeuvre out of the gate. It is just a shame that this and the other properties nearby all look like they are defending against attack with high walls and large gates. We had only pulled up outside the gate for 10 seconds before one of the staff told us it was not safe to leave our car there. I personally didn't feel unsafe but the local tendency to act as though there is a problem is strange.

Swakopmund itself is OK but not a place I would return. We were probably not encouraged by the sandstorm that greeted us on arrival and the generally poor weather throughout our stay. You also have to be prepared for a few hours of very uninteresting driving getting there and leaving. Our excursion with Turnstone was fine, but the weather curtailed our being able to reach Sandwich Harbour which seems to be a common occurrence."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"Coast and Sandwich Harbour review"

20 Sep 2018 • All-day excursion

If you visit Swakopmund then it makes sense to join a tour of some sort as the town itself is not so attractive. We chose Turnstone Tours and the coast drive to Sandwich Harbour. This is an all day tour and includes lunch taken in a remote spot in the dunes.

The guide was relatively new to undertaking this tour but nevertheless made real efforts to make sure we saw what we wanted and he was keen to point out areas of interest. The weather prevented us getting to Sandwich Harbour which was a shame. The waves were far too high and strong and covered the access road. I don't think this is unusual so it seems you have to be prepared for this. (We were just lucky we avoided the sandstorm from the previous day!)

The view from the top of the dunes over the coast was however spectacular. We also saw many varieties of birds and had company from a number of jackals. Not related to our tour but we did hear other visitors saying that some of the tours they had undertaken were not that good so worth looking closely before picking one.
Excellent
Mowani Mountain Camp

Mowani Mountain Camp

"Mowani Mountain Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2018
"We really like Mowani.

Our room had a fantastic view and these do vary depending upon which room you get. The lodge itself was good and had a nice area to sit by a small water feature which attracted a number of birds. The setting is what makes it special though and because of that the access to some of the rooms requires walking up steep gravel paths. I am disabled but managed OK but only by applying some care!

Some previous reviews mention lack of wifi and what a draw back this was. Personally I would have been very happy not to have any, but we found it worked OK. The tour to find the elephants was excellent and well worthwhile. We saw many elephants, as well as giraffes and ostriches.

Be warned however that you drive quite a distance in an open vehicle quite early in the morning at usual road speeds. More warning of just how cold this can be would be useful as every visitor we spoke to said the same. Blankets are provided, but our fellow travellers from Switzerland had woollen hats, scarves, thermal coats and gloves and were still cold! We didn't do the other tour to the Cave Paintings, partly on the guidance of the lodge as you can visit this just as easily yourself."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Ongava Lodge

Ongava Lodge

"Ongava Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 23 Sep 2018
"Ongava has a great location, just outside the South gate to access Etosha. The Lodge is on a hillside overlooking a small waterhole with the rooms spread out in a semi circle from the main building. The location is excellent and the elevated view of the waterhole means you can see a number of animals from the main lodge and your room, depending upon where you are located. The rooms are fine but in need of a little up-dating.

The waterhole has a hide which enables you to get up close to the animals and is a real highlight of Ongava Lodge. We went out on one tour in Ongava's own reserve. This was quite good and included the opportunity to walk close to a White Rhino. Each evening both Black and White Rhino came to the waterhole and we understand it is unique to Ongava to see this. We also visited Etosha on our own which is very easy to do.

The only downside was the service. Our welcome was not very useful and told us very little and apart from one or two exceptions at dinner the staff didn't seem as though they wanted to provide much help. However, I wouldn't let this put you off as the other aspects made up for it. (They also provide wine free with the evening meal)"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Onguma Tented Camp

Onguma Tented Camp

"Onguma Tented Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2018
"Onguma Tented Camp consists of some nicely appointed tented rooms located around a waterhole. The room was very good and the view equally so.

Upon arrival we were asked what activities we would like to undertake, only to be told that the trip to the photographic hide was already fully booked. I only mention this because the trip we booked into Etosha didn't start well as the guide failed to show up and after some tracking down by reception it was established we had been forgotten.

The two points are linked because although the Tented Camp only has 7 rooms the overall Onguma Reserve includes many other locations, some of which are larger and the activities are shared between them. This influences what is available and also the efficiency. This aspect needs attention because we had been booked onto a trip with four people in the Aoba lodge located some 20 minutes away. Therefore there was no chance of us all leaving at the time advertised even if we had been remembered. We suggested our trip be cancelled, because bringing the vehicle back would impact the other guests but this didn't seem to be understood. We eventually joined the tour some 45 minutes late and it turned out to be excellent.

The guide was very professional but clearly annoyed at the lack of organisation within Onguma. Whilst the price of our tour was met by the Lodge I am not sure the other guests who were disrupted had the same experience. We also weren't given the true story by the Lodge management which is unprofessional. Blaming the problem on a broken down vehicle, which we knew not to be the case. Whilst this didn't really disrupt our enjoyment of the place I mention it because it clearly requires attention.

Otherwise the location is excellent and a very relaxing place to view animals at the waterhole. The service at meal times was very good and the tour we experienced on their own reserve was also good"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Ghaub Guest Farm

Ghaub Guest Farm

"Ghaub Guest Farm review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2018
"A very relaxing place in a great location. It had originally been a mission station and evidence of some of the history is still present. The rooms are in separate buildings and date from this time with very high ceilings.

Previous reviews had mentioned a helpful manager, but the ownership changed around 18 months ago and the Farm is now part of a larger organisation and this may be impacting the service a bit. We received a very brief greeting and no information about activities etc.

The local staff all tried very hard, especially in the restaurant but organisation was lacking. The food in the restaurant is good but there is a lot of it and it can be quite heavy. I don't think many people managed to finish what they were given!

We found a brochure in the office so realised there were Rhino drives and mentioned booking one the next morning. However had we not looked for it I don't think anything would have been mentioned. The guide was quite inexperienced but we saw Rhino and a number of other animals.

Overall our stay was fine and it is a nice place to relax"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Plains Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2018
"We stayed here at the end of our journey so spent less time on activities than we might have done if it had been the start. The rooms are very well appointed and although we stayed in what is termed a Standard room it is perfectly adequate and I couldn't really see that there was that much difference compared to a more expensive View room. Meals at the main lodge were very good and the service there was excellent. It is a different experience to some of the smaller lodges we visited and you have to be prepared for a slightly more formula driven experience. However the two tours we undertook were good and we got to see leopard and a cheetah using their tracking process. In each case our tour group was quite small, but some groups were up to 12 in number. It may come as a surprise to some that there are only 4 cheetahs in the whole of the main reserve bearing in mind their advertising, but they are clearly doing more work to encourage an improved habitat for them. Overall a good place to start or end your journey and close enough to Windhoek to leave comfortably in the morning to catch an early afternoon flight."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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