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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr H & Ms W from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

Fantastic Trip of a lifetime to Namibia

Namibia and 1 other country between 8 Apr 2009 and 19 Apr 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a fantastic time in Namibia and will definitely consider using Expert Africa again as we are already thinking about our next opportunity for Safari/trip to Africa!"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

"Fantastic start to our Namibia trip"

2 nights Arrived 9 Apr 2009
"Sossusvlei Desert Lodge was the first of the four lodges we stayed at and definitely got us off to a good start. The trip from the airstrip to the lodge is quick and we were welcomed by Paulo the manager. There are 10 villas in total, 5 on each side of the main lodge building. We had villa number 8 which is private and is of good-size with large bathroom and also an outdoor shower (no bath though given the need to conserve water). The villa was stylish, calm and relaxed and an excellent place to relax in. A few little negatives were the very hard "ribbed" carpet (painful to walk on barefoot) and also the slightly dated looking furniture in the main part of the chalet which is not quite as cutting-edge as maybe expected.

The food was great with the chefs presenting their menus personally and we thoroughly enjoyed all of our meals. Our main waiter Edwill was also efficient and organised a private dinner for us on the final night. Changing location for dinner/lunch and eating at different places in the lodge (e.g. by the pool, upstairs in the library) etc. also made the experience fun. We had a good view of the watering hole from all of our dining locations which meant fun times observing the sprinbok, ostriches etc. that would come and drink from it.

The highlight however of our stay were the guides and the activities. We had Fillon and Nestor as our guides and enjoyed the evening game-drive/sundowners, the quadbiking and the excursion to the Sossusvlei Dunes. Although not cheap, the excursion is definitely worth it and after climbing up the Big Daddy Dune near Deadvlei we thoroughly deserved our breakfast that Nestor prepared for us. The guides at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge were really first-class and this made our experience particularly special. We also had massaged from Hilde in our room and we can definitely recommend these as Hilde has been well-trained and is able to deliver excellent relaxing massages.

I would definitely recommend Sossusvlei Desert Lodge for anyone considering staying in the area."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mowani Mountain Camp

Mowani Mountain Camp

"Relaxing mountain camp with great views"

2 nights Arrived 11 Apr 2009
"We stayed at Mowani for 2 nights as the second stop of our holiday and had booked tent 9, the honeymoon tent. Although not strictly a view tent, I think most of the tents have great vistas over the boulder landscape that surrounds Mowani and #9 definitely did. We had an outside bathroom which was great and definitely different, but this also means you have to be comfortable with the insect life that comes with an outdoor space.

The tents themselves were perhaps the most basic accommodation of our trip, but the bed was very comfortable and not too hot either when the side "windows" were left open. The tents could perhaps do with a little fridge to keep water/drinks cold and also insects would tent to make their way into the tent as they can never be 100% sealed off, so it is good to be aware of this.

We had a great waiter, Eugene, who would serve us breakfast, lunch and dinner and he was a very affable character and we enjoyed the banter we would have with him at meal times. He was both efficient and friendly, and we received great service from him. The food at Mowani was good and portions large, but somethings such as pastries, break etc. were not as good as in some of the other lodges. The sundowners on a big rock provided great views, but when there are a lot of people at the camp it can become quite busy and private sun-downers may also be an option. We felt that there was at times some underlying tension between the camp management and staff as well, which did not always make the sun-downers the most relaxing experience.

In terms of activities, Mowani focused on the rock painting excurions and desert-elephant tracking. We went on the elephant-tracking excursion one morning, but did not find them despite our guide's best efforts. Interestingly, a couple we met later on our travels had stayed at Damaraland Camp at the same time and had sighted three herds of elephants so maybe that may be a more reliable lodge to go in April as the elephants will often travel around depending on where they think they can find water.

The scenery around Mowani is amazing and the plentiful rains in Namibia in 2009 meant that the ground was covered in knee/waist-high grass which made the surroundings very picturesque and interesting to photograph. Overall, Mowani was an enjoyable place to stay and experience something different, though if visiting Damaraland again, we may be tempted to try another lodge (e.g. Damaraland Camp or Doro Nawas) to experience something different as well."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Serra Cafema

Serra Cafema

"Amazing place, simply unique"

2 nights Arrived 13 Apr 2009
"Serrra Cafema was perhaps in many ways the highlight of our trip and we wished we would have stayed for 3 nights instead of the 2 we had. We had the honeymoon room which has views of both the Kunene river and the dunes and this was simply a magical place.

The rooms were huge with all the luxuries required and we sometimes wished we would have just been able to relax in the our room if it were not for all the great activities available. The camp is very remote, but the 1-hour drive from the airstrip is beautiful and you really feel that you have come somewhere special.

The activities include visits to the local Himba community, quad-biking trips, boat trips on the Kunene river and nature/game drives/walks in the surrounding area. Our guide Gerhardus was fantastic and very enthusiastic and made our experience fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him and also had dinner with him on the last night of our stay. The managers Bronkie and Victoria would also do everything to try and make our stay special and we really appreciated their friendly and approachable manner.

The food was great, though at least in April you do have to be careful with a lot of insects and moths that they do not fall in your food/drink, but this is to be expected given the abundant life supported by the river.

Overall, we thought the activities and facilities were top-notch and we hope that one day we may be able to return to Serra Cafema again."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Onguma The Fort

Onguma The Fort

"Fantastic Fort Suite"

3 nights Arrived 15 Apr 2009
"Onguma The Fort (formerly Onguma Plains Camp) was our fourth and final lodge of our trip in Namibia. In many ways it was the most luxurious with a flatscreen TV, air conditioning, etc and we just loved the design of the whole Fort and the public spaces which brought Arabic/North African influences to Namibia. This design may not be for everyone, but we definitely loved the colour scheme and overall vibe of the place.

The Fort is close to the Western gates of Etosha National Park so also very conveniently located to get into the park in the morning and is not far from Mokuti airstrip where we landed. It overlooks a watering hole where springbok, kudu, zebras and waterhogs came to drink and which during the dry season probably sees other animals visit it as well.

The service we received from the waiters and management at Onguma was fantastic. We thought Albertus and Erasmus in particular were fantastic and they prepared a very romantic private dinner for us on our last night. Also Karen and Ryan the managers were efficient and helped us out with re-confirming flights etc. They were truly excellent.

The guides we had however, were probably the weakest of our trip. Things didn't start well as there was no one to meet us when we landed at the airstrip (at all other camps we had been met by a guide with cold drinks). Our guide was Nicholas for the game drives in both the Onguma Reserve and Etosha National Park. The sundowner game drive in Onguma was disappointing and not perfectly prepared, e.g. bottle openers not available to open bottles, holes in table cloth, our guide making private calls on his mobile during the game drive etc. In addition, our guide was accompanied on the game drive by an understudy who was learning to become a guide and we were quite surprised when Gerson, the understudy, also helped himself to the beers as part of the game drive while he was still "on duty".

Another area for improvement is the food, which on 2 out of 3 nights was not fantastic, but I think it depends on who is chef in the kitchen as on our final night, with a new chef, the food was markedly better. We also enjoyed the singing from the waiting staff and thought this was one of the highlights of our Onguma trip.

Overall, Onguma does some things really well such as the level of accommodation, fantastic waiters/service in the lodge, but there is room for improvement with the guides and also the food. If visiting the Etosha area again, we may be tempted to try out the Ongava private reserve next time as a couple that visited both Onguma and Ongava reported that the wildlife they saw at Ongava (lions, rhinos etc.) was also more diverse and more easily spotted there than at Onguma."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
InterContinental O.R. Tambo

InterContinental O.R. Tambo

"Intercontinental Tambo Airport"

1 night Arrived 18 Apr 2009
"We had a stop-over in Johannesburg and can recommend the Intercontinental Hotel at Tambo airport as a good place to stay near the airport. The location is fantastic, the rooms are well-designed and the facilities including pool and spa are also a highlight. Having the airport so close as well means that you are able to visit the shops etc. there very easily without needing to get a taxi.

Overall, a great option for Johannesburg when not staying in the city for a long time and just looking for a place to rest and unwind before/after flights."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average

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