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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs A & Mr M from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

9

Excursions taken

2

My Nov 2018 trip

Namibia between 4 Nov 2018 and 23 Nov 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"A memorable holiday, one of the best we have ever had!

Everything was well organised and we had no difficulties throughout our stay. We drove a long way - nearly 3000km - but it was worthwhile. The itinerary worked well, so generally we had a longish drive between camps but then two or three nights at each camp to relax and enjoy what was on offer.

We are feeling that we will need to return to Namibia to explore those parts which we missed on this visit!

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Best advice received from Expert Africa:

1. Take a spare phone and buy a local sim-card at the airport. The local phone was a lifesaver when we had punctures and had to contact the car hire company and tyre repair shops. It was also useful and lot cheaper than using a UK phone to contact tour leaders and camps where we were booked.

2. Pack and divide clothes into two suitcases. One of our cases was mislaid by Air Namibia on our arrival at Windhoek but we had split our clothes as suggested and so we both had change of clothes on arrival at our guest house. Fortunately our second suitcase was delivered to us early the next morning.

Least useful advice received from Expert Africa:

1. Take talking book and music CDs to listen to in the car on long journeys. Firstly, it is impossible to hear anything from the car radio when driving on rough dirt roads - and these roads comprise a very large proportion of the road network in Namibia. Secondly, many cars these days (and our car in particular, a Renault Duster) do not have CD players and instead play from a memory stick. We carried a number of CDs around Namibia!

The vehicle we hired, a Renault Duster, was fine BUT on some of the rougher roads felt a bit like a boy trying to do a man's job."

Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"A good place to begin a holiday in Namibia. "

1 night Arrived 5 Nov 2018
"The room was comfortable, the breakfast was excellent and the staff were incredibly welcoming and helpful (one of our bags didn't arrive from Joburg until the following morning and they were very helpful). They organised a taxi for us to Joe's Beerhouse and pointed out on the map the best mall to go shopping before setting off to Hoodia.

We didn't use the pool."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

"Outstanding"

2 nights Arrived 6 Nov 2018
"It all started with a terrific welcome from Enos and never went downhill. The staff were outstanding in their attention to detail and were particularly helpful when we discovered we had a puncture (must have happened on the drive in to the Lodge). Staff were dispatched "to help" and then proceeded to remove the punctured wheel and fit the spare.

The chalet, the restaurant and the swimming pool could not be faulted.

Staying here was one of the highlights of our holiday. There is a lovely atmosphere around the place.

The kitchen staff were extremely attentive to my food intolerances."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Hoodia Sossusvlei excursion

Hoodia Sossusvlei excursion

"A terrific day which we will always remember"

7 Nov 2018 • All-day excursion

Enos was a wonderful guide and showed us so much more than just the dunes.

We learnt a great deal about the small insects and reptiles that live in the area. We had a wonderful walk through the dunes and the vlei. The lunch spot was idyllic and the food first class.

On the way back we explored the canyon which actually had water in it as there had been a storm a few days earlier.

This was a terrific day, well organised and extremely well led by Enos, our guide.
Excellent
Villa Margherita

Villa Margherita

"Disappointing"

2 nights Arrived 8 Nov 2018
"Our main disappointment at Villa Margherita was the room. We were allocated a bedroom in a building at the back of the property; the first night we were on our own, the second night the other bedroom was taken and the plumbing noise from the adjacent bathroom was disturbing and not acceptable. Our room was not particularly clean but worse was that the decor was exceedingly tired. For example, there was a split in the upholstery of both armchairs and the bathroom tiling was quite cracked.

The breakfast was not a buffet so all food had to be delivered from the kitchen meaning we were served our cereals and cooked breakfast at different times. Not ideal for a relaxing meal. The quality of the food was OK.

The staff were friendly and helpful and were kind enough to give us an early breakfast on the day we went kayaking.

Our disappointment was the quality of the room which was probably compounded as Villa Margherita receives accolades in many travel guides; I even read one in Travel Namibia (I think that's the title of the magazine) while in Namibia which states it's the author's favourite place to stay in Swakopmund."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Poor
Food
Average
Kayaking with seals

Kayaking with seals

"Great excursion!"

9 Nov 2018 • Morning excursion

Jeanne could not have been more friendly, informative or helpful.

We loved every moment of this excursion especially as it also included seeing the jackal dens with the jackal pups and all the flamingos and other birds in the lagoon. You don't have to have had any kayaking experience to be able to get among the seals and have a wonderful morning.

Note to Expert Africa, the excursions now start at 08.00 not 08.15
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"A good one night stopover"

1 night Arrived 10 Nov 2018
"Our welcome was not as good as at other Namibean establishments which means we can't rate our stay as excellent.

However we liked staying here, the food was good and the chalets very comfortable.

Staying here meant we could see the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, the Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain and spend time at the Damara Living Museum - all very worthwhile."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Desert Rhino Camp

Desert Rhino Camp

"Absolutely wonderful!"

3 nights Arrived 11 Nov 2018
"This was one of the best locations of the holiday. Our welcome was outstanding, not just the first time we arrived but every time we came back to camp.

The kitchen and room staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. The service was first class from everyone and we especially loved the scorpion dinner which was such a surprise! We enjoyed the fact that all the guests ate together. Again I must thank the kitchen staff for proactively helping with my food intolerances.

Learning about the black rhino was immensely interesting and we were fortunate to find rhino on both days, although the second day it wasn't until 14.30 after 8 hours of tracking. All credit must go to Lloyd, our guide, and to the three Save the Rhino trackers who gave us a day to remember.

We saw large parts of some of the more remote parts of the Concession and some wonderful landscapes. And even after being out for almost 11 hours, Lloyd then took us on a sundowner drive where we saw spotted hyena cubs up close as we enjoyed a glass of white wine.

An outstanding three nights."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

"Wonderful game drives"

2 nights Arrived 14 Nov 2018
"After the Desert Rhino Camp, Ongava seemed a little more formal and, although small, guest dining was not communal which perhaps added to this perception of formality. Service and food were of a high standard (again no problem about my food intolerances) and the staff were very welcoming and helpful. The Tents were very well set up and equipped and it was a luxury to be able to catch up with the world after a few days without internet.

We were delighted to learn that Jason, our guide, had been trained by Enos (from Hoodia Lodge) so we knew we were in very good hands. We had three excellent game drives with Jason, two in the Ongava reserve and one in Etosha and in each drive Jason managed to lead us to lions, elephants and rhino (black and white).

One of the highlights of staying here is the waterhole so close to the communal areas so you see elephant, giraffe, white rhinos, and various buck at all times of the day and night."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"What we were expecting"

2 nights Arrived 16 Nov 2018
"We knew that Halali Camp was not going to be up to the same standard as other places that we had stayed at so it didn't disappoint too much. Our room (Elephant) could certainly do with redecorating and renovating but it was large and there was a small garden with a whirlpool - which we didn't use. The best facility was the small 'fridge with ice box'.

The restaurant was a buffet for all meals where the food was just about acceptable. The restaurant was however rather expensive - $280 for a refectory style meal. Compared with restaurant prices in Windhoek and Swakopmund, this is very expensive, even allowing for the relatively remote location.

The swimming pool was large and well used.

Our rationale for staying at Halali was that we could drive ourselves around Etosha (which it is designed for), stay for as long as we liked at each water hole, and not lose time driving from a camp outside the park. This plan worked extremely well as one day we spent over two hours watching 40+ elephants at Oliphant Bad. It was magical. Also late one evening we found black rhino mating - if we had not being staying at Halali we would have already been leaving the park.

Although Halali in theory has internet which costs N$100 - in practice it was off for most of our stay. So not good value! And because the telephone and internet networks are so unreliable at Halali, use of credit cards is not always possible. Our experience suggests that visitors should be prepared to use cash for everything and not hope to be able to use a credit card."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Mundulea Reserve

Mundulea Reserve

"Absolutely fantastic"

3 nights Arrived 18 Nov 2018
"The only negative aspect during our three nights at Mundulea was the puncture by the gate - our second of our holiday and not the fault of Mundelea. After that it was all marvellous.

We were very lucky that Bruno was in residence and he led our walks. Apparently we were the last guests of the year before Bruno closed the camp until January. There was only one other guest so we were a small and quite intimate group. Bruno is fascinating and interesting company and we seemed to spend much time, without noticing the passage of time, discussing his ideas and ideals, world politics and matters of common interest at the communal dining area. Bruno led us on a series of walks from the camp through the bush and was so very informative on flora and fauna as well as landscape and geology. The walking seemed at times to be so tranquil and idyllic, especially in the evenings as the sun was setting.

At Mundulea, one does not see game in such close contact as in game parks where one is driven to waterholes and other such areas where game concentrate. We saw a lot of different antelope and giraffe through the bushes and we were shown signs of pangolin, aardvark, badger, hyena and ostrich as well as fresh tracks of rhino, cheetah, lynx and leopard. The walks were more about discovering the habitat and behaviour of animals and about the natural and not-so-natural vegetation and landscape.

After visits to Desert Rhino Camp and Etosha where one sees the game at close quarters, Mundulea offers a contrasting learning opportunity and we were very pleased that we visited after having been to Etosha. We gained so much of the context of the wildlife. A pair of binoculars is absolutely essential as from the top of some of the hills we climbed, Bruno could pick out animals way below.

All the meals at Mudulea were nutritious and delicious and many thanks to Tommy for producing it all by means of a camp fire and wood oven.

Our visit was another unforgettable highlight of our stay in Namibia."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"A great place to finish off the holiday"

1 night Arrived 21 Nov 2018
"Erongo is quite a different lodge compared to everywhere else we stayed and has only walking and nearby bushman paintings on offer. It was good place to chill out for a night before our flight home.

Our chalet/tent was large and well equipped and the restaurant was good. Staff were welcoming and friendly and the swimming pool was very welcome after our drive.

We opted for the sundowner climb (not too steep or strenuous) and watched the baboons on an adjacent hilltop and a spectacular sunset before a good dinner.

We did not have any more time to explore the local walking trails as we had to leave after one night at Erongo to return to Windhoek."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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