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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs JW from SW London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

13

Excursions taken

0

Fabulous fabulous holiday

Namibia and 1 other country between 14 Feb 2018 and 19 Mar 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"It was special from the moment we crossed the border from South Africa, where we saw a total of seven people at the border crossing each with a form or a clip board, but they were all lovely.

With hindsight we are very pleased that we started in the south and not in Windhoek because we think it gave us a better perspective of the country. Once we had crossed the border and were driving north the traffic was almost non existent and the scenery beautiful. You need to blank out worrying about being nowhere near a doctor and how long it would take to get to hospital if you had to.

The variety in Namibia is staggering. Fish River Canyon - the second largest in the world, and we had it pretty much to ourselves. The bizarre Helmeringhausen Hotel. Sossusvlei and its 3-400 metre sand dunes. Mile after mile of desert. The Germanic Swakopmund and Walvis Bay in the middle of nowhere. The spooky skeleton coast, and a long drive through the desert up to mountainous Damaraland and the lovey camps. Then on to Etosha where we saw everything except leopard, and after that driving south to Windhoek through the much more heavily populated and industrialised side of the country.

We would love to go back before it becomes too popular."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Galenia Estate

Galenia Estate

"Relaxing in beautiful surroundings at Galenia"

3 nights Arrived 14 Feb 2018
"We didn't quite know what to expect but we wanted somewhere quiet to chill out before our holiday started in earnest. As it turned out we were absolutely delighted with the whole experience.

We had a very warm and comprehensive welcome from the manager, which is always a good start. Our accommodation was very comfortable and well equipped - to be picky the bathroom needed a bit of an update but it was OK. The outdoor shower was lovely.

The staff were excellent. We particularly liked the Estate Manager, Cade(?), who was exceptionally friendly and helpful. He was passionate about the estate and especially his olive grove and was happy to take time out to show us his olive press. He and others also hosted an early morning guided walk when they could demonstrate their exceptional knowledge of the local ecosystem.

The free talk and sampling of olive oil was a real eye opener for us. Olive oil can now almost be bracketed with wine and tea for the real connoisseurs!

Perhaps the high point was the evening meal - delicious home cooked food, well prepared and presented and reasonably priced. The view from the dining room was fantastic."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Four Rosmead

Four Rosmead

"An absolute gem in the centre of Cape Town"

1 night Arrived 25 Feb 2018
"This was quite an experience - sadly for only one night.

A very friendly and helpful welcome, and a room and ensuite that just could not be faulted whether in respect of size, facilities or extras. They even provided a basket containing a frisbee to go to the beach!

Breakfast was delicious and nicely served.

The owners had simply thought of everything."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Annie's Cottage

Annie's Cottage

"A throwback to the bad old days"

1 night Arrived 28 Feb 2018
"Where do we begin? Firstly we don't know how this place gets away with its name - it is not remotely like any cottage we've ever seen. It's more like a motel.

We had a very cursory welcome from an uninterested member of staff. We were shown to our room and couldn't help notice paint peeling off the exterior of the building. The room was a decent size although old fashioned. Remarkably we couldn't close the bathroom door because the bedside table got in the way. The loo seat wouldn't stay up.

The room was very dated. There were some house rules on the wall which were rather fierce in their wording eg you won't get any breakfast if you arrive a minute late.

The breakfast...we ordered medium poached eggs which arrived rock hard. The bacon was inedible. We are not normally fussy but neither of us could eat any of it. No-one was around to talk to.

We couldn't get out of this place quickly enough."
Poor
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Poor
Food
Terrible
Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge

"Canyon Lodge could be so much better"

2 nights Arrived 1 Mar 2018
"This was our first stop in a camp in Namibia and so we had nothing to compare it with.

The welcome was OK but there was a lack of information offered to us about activities and even how to get to the Canyon. In fact the Canyon wasn't mentioned when we arrived - odd since we assume that's why most people stay there. We had to ask for directions and even then weren't told about the various lookouts. We only found them because of our guide book. A map or leaflet would have been very helpful.The staff were quite helpful but in a reactive way when they could have been more proactive.

There were other activities available (we only knew this because we happened to see a notice on the reception counter) but they were never mentioned to us.

We found it odd that they didn't offer half board bearing in mind there was nowhere else to eat for miles in the evening . Having said that dinner was reasonably priced, but uninspiring. The second night we had a BBQ which had some strange choices of dish.

The grounds were nice. The swimming pool was fabulously located, with wonderful views across the desert but you don't really go to a camp like this to sit by the pool. Sundowners were offered from the top of some rocks with a lovely view.

This place was OK but not a patch on Kulala or Mowani - for example there were no sofas or comfy seats. Wifi was only available near reception and there were only upright chairs to sit on around a kitchen table."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Hotel Helmeringhausen

Hotel Helmeringhausen

"Hotel Helmeringhausen review"

1 night Arrived 3 Mar 2018
"It was surprising to find quite a large hotel in such a small place!

Helmeringhausen comprises a garage, a shop and the Hotel which is perfectly adequate for an overnight stop.

We didn't encounter the rude side of the owners which we had heard about. The staff were friendly. There was an adequate set price dinner but the breakfast wasn't great."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Dreamy..."

2 nights Arrived 4 Mar 2018
"We arrived to a very warm welcome. Two members of staff came out to meet us and said they'd been waiting for us all morning! They gave us a cold towel and a refreshing ginger drink.

The induction was detailed and helpful. The staff were amazing - extremely friendly and nice. They put on a little show one evening and also serenaded a guest who was celebrating his birthday. One of us had a bad stomach and the chef prepared some boiled vegetables to try to help.

The room was excellent and well equipped. Sleeping on the roof one night under the stars was a real highlight.

The main building was beautifully furnished and very comfortable with outstanding views.

Overall very hard to find fault with anything. Our stay here will long live in our memory."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Exactly what it said on the tin"

2 nights Arrived 6 Mar 2018
"A very solid guest house with welcoming and helpful hosts. It is within walking distance of the centre of the town and most of the restaurants.

The room was spacious and comfortable with a separate sitting area.

Nothing great but nothing to complain about."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Mowani Mountain Camp

Mowani Mountain Camp

"Peaceful and relaxing with stunning views"

2 nights Arrived 8 Mar 2018
"Our review is influenced by having been upgraded to the Suite when we had booked a mini suite. The suite comprises three huts and an area of decking. The whole suite was completely private and for our access only. Truly special and luxurious!

The welcome was fine, and the staff were very friendly. One of them very helpfully fixed our one and only puncture. Overall it was very comfortable with great views.There was a lovely spot for sundowners.

Only one of us went on the early morning drive to see the desert elephants - the guide was very knowledgeable. The afternoon trip was to Twyfelfontain but we actually drove there ourselves and saved a lot of money. You have to use a local guide there anyway and so there was no real benefit in going on the 'official' tour.

If anything the staff were too attentive. It becomes a bit annoying when your conversation is interrupted time and again by someone asking if everything is alright!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Better than we were led to believe"

2 nights Arrived 10 Mar 2018
"We were led to believe that this would be pretty awful because it is Government run, and so our expectations were low. In fact, with one notable exception (a very rude woman in the tourist shop) the staff were pleasant and several were very friendly.

We had to make our own way to our chalet near the waterhole - understandable because it's such a big place - and found it clean and reasonably comfortable, if a bit small and characterless.

We didn't do any of the guided drives, preferring to drive ourselves because the guided drives couldn't go anywhere we couldn't.

The wifi wasn't free and didn't work very well. It must have been faulty because our 150mb was used up in a few minutes and our complaint didn't get very far.

Dinner and breakfast were buffets. Nothing spectacular - it was fine.

It was nice being close to the waterhole and being able to sit out in the morning and evening watching the animals."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Better than Okaukuejo"

2 nights Arrived 12 Mar 2018
"This scored mored highly than Okaukuejo partly because our chalet was bigger and better (it included a sitting area and kitchenette) and partly because of the much better waterhole. The camp as a whole was smaller and more intimate.

It seemed to attract more coach parties but that's maybe because there were so few people staying there and so the coaches were more obvious.

Once again we didn't do any of the activities, preferring to drive ourselves and watching the sun setting over the waterhole in the evenings.

The staff were better overall than Okaukuejo but the food was pretty similar with buffets for breakfast and dinner."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Mushara Lodge

Mushara Lodge

"Divided opinion between us"

2 nights Arrived 14 Mar 2018
"Whilst this is a beautiful place, very well equipped and comfortable with lovely rooms, our opinions were divided.

Perhaps it was our fault but we didn't realise in advance that the only trips were back into Etosha, where we had just spent the previous four days. One of us went on one of these in the morning and was quite happy but the other didn't on the basis that we had seen all we wanted to see. So one of us spent the whole day hanging around in Mushara with nobody else around (there were no other guests at the time) and literally nothing to do. No walks (you can't go far because there are animals roaming the Mushara grounds), no waterhole and no views. It was a shame because it is lovely, but it flatters to deceive. It is fine if you just want to crash out for a day or if you treat it as a base for Etosha.

If you've already spent a few days in Etosha and don't want to go back there isn't really much point in staying here. It falls short of excellent because of the lack of things to do."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Plains Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 16 Mar 2018
"It's certainly worth staying here but don't assume you will see a leopard!

We were very pleasantly surprised by our room. It was only a standard room but hard to see how it could be improved. At the foot of the bed there is a large landscape window through which you can see across the bush and watch various animals wandering around.

It is in the middle of nowhere but conveniently between Etosha and Windhoek.

Breakfast was very good and dinner better than most.

We found the activities bit mixed. We went on the tour of the Africat Foundation which included a trip through the cheetah enclosure. We saw several, close up.This tour was excellent and very informative.

We also went on the leopard tour. We were a bit put off when our guide told us when we got in the truck that there was only a 50-50 chance of catching a glimpse of a leopard.He explained how solitary and reclusive they are. We had the impression beforehand, rightly or wrongly, that a sighting was pretty well guaranteed because many of the leopard are collared. As it was we didn't see one although not for the want of trying by our guide. That was obviously disappointing.

Both guides were obviously passionate about their animals."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Elegant Guesthouse

Elegant Guesthouse

"Good solid B&B"

1 night Arrived 18 Mar 2018
"We stayed here on our final night. All we wanted was a bed and bathroom, and that's what we got. It was all very clean and nicely presented, although the room was a little small.

A standard breakfast which was perfectly adequate.

They sent us down the road for dinner to a lovely buzzy place which was absolutely packed with a great atmosphere.

The Guesthouse is on the convenient side of Windhoek for the airport.

There was a helpful young lad who happily brushed all the copious amount of dust off our bags after three weeks in the back of our 4x4!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

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