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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Samantha from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

9

Excursions taken

1

August Namibia Trip

Namibia between 2 Aug 2018 and 22 Aug 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Fantastic!

Highly recommend."

Arranged By Megan Green


Galton House

Galton House

"Galton House - great first night stop"

1 night Arrived 3 Aug 2018
"Perfect for first night stop. Out in a suburb, so not a very inspiring location. However, rooms were very clean and spacious (kids loved the free fudge too), with nice touches of hot water bottles at night.

Staff very friendly - especially the very lovely and helpful manager, although restaurant staff bit chaotic.

Exactly what we needed though to recover from a long flight before setting off on our adventures the next day."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Mundulea Reserve

Mundulea Reserve

"I loved it!"

3 nights Arrived 4 Aug 2018
"I found our three night stay to be the highlight of the holiday in many ways. It was absolutely fascinating to spend time with Bruno. We learned about geology, flora, fauna, the challenges of establishing and running a reserve, Namibian politics, history, bushcraft and so much more. I also loved being out walking in the bush as opposed to sitting in a jeep. Bruno has high ideals and has taken a very purist approach, yet he is also very honest about the downsides of that and a few mistakes he has made. We saw quite a large range of wildlife while we were there, and tracks of more. However, I don't feel that is really why you go there (Etosha is for ticking off the game). I felt it gave our family the most amazing introduction to the country and knowledge that gave us a really deep understanding and context into which to place everything we saw on the rest of our travels around Namibia.

We were the only guests at the time we stayed (2 adults, plus children aged 14, 11 and 7). We shared three tents, which were very comfortable and with nice touches like the hot water bottles Bruno's colleague Tommy put in for us each night. Solar power gave us plenty of hot water and enough light (though was dim at night so definitely paid to get organised with clothing and toiletries in daylight hours). There were some insects in the outside bathroom as you'd expect including bees which were mentioned in one tripadvisor report - I just sprayed round the loo with insect repellant and it really was not an issue as they were extremely benign. My daughter got a bee up her trouser leg. She calmly peeled them down and out it flew - none of us got any bites or stings while we were there.

The food was fantastic (though I would ditch the breakfast fruit yogurts if I were him in favour if a big bowl of plain yogurt to go with his delicious homemade granola). Again, Bruno takes a purist approach that everything is cooked over the campfire. We were particularly impressed by the bread from the metal bread oven he had built (he has built everything on the camp from beds to chairs to bread ovens), the homemade zebra salami, brisket of eland with polenta. My favourite food of the holiday with perfectly judged portions and always second helpings if wanted.

Bruno was patient with the kids and took a lot of time to explain things at an appropriate level, while also being firm when necessary and expecting them to respect their environment (eg delicate skulls and tools on display, sometimes needing to keep the noise down when out in the bush).

I cannot recommend it highly enough and it was definitely my highlight (and I say that even though we stayed at some uber luxurious places like Little Ongava and Damaraland Camp). I feel I learned a lot and, for me, that was a true luxury."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mushara Bush Camp

Mushara Bush Camp

"Mushara was fun"

2 nights Arrived 7 Aug 2018
"We enjoyed our time at Mushara Bush Camp. They organised a really upbeat, can-do female guide to take us on game drives into Etosha - and she found everything you could want and more including baby lion cubs, cheetah, leopard, elephants, rhino, wildebeast, giraffe, zebra...................

Rooms were very spacious and clean. Was only place we encountered mosquitos - my 14 year old really suffered - so check your bed nets. Food was fine. Staff were all very friendly. Pool was freezing but kids didn't seem to mind."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Little Ongava

Little Ongava

"Very luxurious and lovely reserve"

2 nights Arrived 9 Aug 2018
"Rooms = WOW! Food also very good and never ending.

Staff absolutely lovely. Having spent a couple of days driving in Etosha already we just stuck to the Ongava reserve for trips out with our guide, which was a great decision.

Plenty to see and some really pretty areas, eg the western grasslands."
Excellent
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Theme park"

2 nights Arrived 11 Aug 2018
"We really didn't like it. The rooms were very spacious, although a bit tired. Food was so so. The reserve is a large rehoming area for big cats that were at threat from farmers or facing problems. There is also a lot of research done on the reserve into animal behaviour etc which it would have been interesting to have been offered the opportunity to hear more about. The focus though was almost exclusively on tracking the big cats (the hyena tracking we asked to do failed and was just turned into cheetah tracking). If you are going to Etosha then far better to see the cats there in a more natural environment. However, the set up was strange in that you and another family or two are allocated a shared guide so have to agree activities you want to do, eg cheetah search, visit to the cat rehabilitation centre. Much better to list the activities on a board for people to choose and then match families up that way.

Then the drives are always focused on finding one of the cat types. This means you zoom around with a driver waving an aerial that beeps if it locates the tracking device that animal type is fitted with. On every drive we did, this was totally unproductive for almost two hours at which point the driver phoned a friend who had found something and off we went to congregate in a big group. It felt very inefficient and, moreover (i) resulted in us speeding past a pangolin only my husband spotted and which he had some difficulty persuading the driver to reverse for, and (ii) when you did find the leopard or whatever it was it had a big tracking collar on which wasn't a great look.

The rehabilitation centre was interesting and you got to see the newly arrived cheetahs in a smaller outside space (without collars!) up close. The work the Africat foundation is doing in finding ways of getting farmers to live alongside big cats seemed far more worthwhile and interesting and I get the impression that this camp probably funds a lot of better work. The other family we shared a guide with asked when their children would get to cuddle baby cheetahs (!) which rather summed up for us the Disneyfied feel of this place."
Poor
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Terrible
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Damaraland Camp

Damaraland Camp

"Beautiful Damaraland"

2 nights Arrived 13 Aug 2018
"We loved Damaraland - beautiful landscapes and also got the chance to do some walking which was very welcome after a lot of sitting in vans. Rooms were lovely, though I'd ask to be away form the communal areas next time as noise of clearing up and then early morning setting up did carry.

Great activities including drives to look for desert adapted elephants, and really fantastic staff. Some confusion about whether you could drive to it yourself - if you have a 4x4 then do as we wasted a lot of time hanging around as the message didn't get through about our arrival time.

We loved the outdoors evening meals at the boma, and learning click language. Highly recommend staying."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Strand Hotel

Strand Hotel

"Did the job"

2 nights Arrived 15 Aug 2018
"Broke the journey down the Skeleton coast. Staff very friendly, rooms clean but felt just like any other corporate style hotel.

We spent one day kayaking with seals and walking around the town (recommend quirky museum) and then got out of there as fast as we could."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Kayaking with seals

Kayaking with seals

"Kayaking with seals was great"

16 Aug 2018 • Morning excursion

Great guide and great fun - highly recommend.
Excellent
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

"Spectacular setting!"

3 nights Arrived 17 Aug 2018
"The lodge was about to close for refurbishment when we arrived. Rooms were fantastic, though could see they were a bit tired eg scuffs and chips to stair edges and cloudy shower screens - not that this affected our enjoyment in any way.

Setting is amazing, guide was fantastic and took us on lots of brilliant excursions which we left to him to decide. The landscape is stunning and we saw lots of antelope and some rhino, but the scenery is definitely the main draw plus climbing the Big Daddy sand dune and running down into Dead Vlei. Food lovely, staff very accommodating, eg organising early dinners for our 7 year old.

We loved the observatory although the bright moon slightly curtailed what we could see.

Highly recommend."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
River Crossing

River Crossing

"Did the job"

1 night Arrived 20 Aug 2018
"Was fine for one night on way back to airport. Rooms very tired, food not great. Some staff good, some clueless.

We booked horse riding but they didn't turn up and we wasted an hour finding them and got no apology for them not turning up."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Terrible
Rooms
Poor
Food
Poor
Facilities
Poor

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