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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs & Mr R from Australia

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

4

Lodges stayed in

16

Excursions taken

0

A most memorable trip

Namibia and 3 other countries between 15 Jul 2018 and 11 Aug 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our trip was excellent and our expectations were not only met but exceeded. We enjoyed the varying landscapes, the animals and the people.

The trip, which we requested at the very last minute, was superbly organised. From the time of my initial contact, all requests/queries were handled in a timely helpful manner. All the components (fly, drive, transfers) fitted together well and all connections/transfers went smoothly.

The only changes we would have made are those that could only have been made with hindsight!

So again, thank you very much Maruska and Expert Africa.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service: These are very minor suggestions and comments and are made purely to try and be helpful.

(1) An explanation off what one can expect in relation to meals when your accommodation is on a full board basis and you arrive around lunchtime. Our first full board accommodation was at Canyon Lodge and we arrived at lunch time. We were greeted with some information about the facilities and times for dinner and breakfast, but no indication of whether there was any lunch available or whether we were entitled to lunch. Subsequent enquires resulted in us being directed to the dining room.

At a later lodge, we realised that we could have had lunch even though we arrived early in the afternoon but had already had lunch just in case.

(2) If people are doing an overnighter at Cheetah View Lodge it would be good to know that the cheetah feeding is at 2 o'clock, which is the only time that this is held, is also included in the cost of the accommodation i.e. so that if possible you would make sure you got there in time for that. The other paid activities did not seem to be good value. I did note that on EA's notes of this lodge, that it EA thought that there needed to be a better integration of activities with the overnight experience, and we agree.

(3) I think that Hyena Pan did include laundry facilities.

I apologise if I should have known some of these things. I did look up all the accommodations on your website (which I thought was most extensive and the reason I choose the company initially), and make notes before our trip, but possibly I missed bits.

We wish that the tipping thing could be made easier. Australia does not have a tipping culture and so it always comes as a surprise and what seems like a lot of extra money on top of what are not insubstantial costs, at least in some places. While were tried to follow the guidelines, sometimes we were caught out when guides changed or we had an extra guide.

It is impossible to single out 'other' people, other than guides and polers for example, as there are always people behind the that contribute to your enjoyment and comfort on a trip."

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


River Crossing

River Crossing

"River Crossing review"

2 nights Arrived 15 Jul 2018
"Our first visit here was very pleasant. We enjoyed the location and the food and service."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge

"A Hansel and Gretel type setting"

2 nights Arrived 17 Jul 2018
"We enjoyed the location and the way in which the chalets were positioned amongst rocks.

We enjoyed the buffet meals which offered a wide choice of foods which included both vegetables and salads. We also enjoyed the sightseeing trip to Fish River Canyon. Even though we were very excited about seeing our first african animals albeit in the distance, we would have like to have been offered the opportunity to do a walk instead of the sundowner experience which was situated on the site of a disused tank stand. They do have quite a unique spot at the pool which would make a fabulous spot to watch the sun go down,

Even though our welcome was somewhat frosty (perhaps the poor desk person had already been exposed to the very rude tourist we later witnessed berating the desk staff), on the remainder of our visit the staff were warm and friendly.

We were informed about the times for dinner and breakfast but did have to enquire about whether we were able to have lunch which was around the time of our arrival. We were then directed to the dining table."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Wolwedans Dune Camp

Wolwedans Dune Camp

"Superb Location - Wolwedans Dune Camp"

2 nights Arrived 19 Jul 2018
"A stunning setting. The staff here were welcoming, friendly and although attentive, did so almost invisibly. There are lots of small lovely touches here. One change in the place seems to be that the dinner menu is now five courses so lots of washing up for the staff!

We enjoyed the shared dining experience.

This place is somewhere you could stay for an extra day (on top of 2) and just drink in the views in the hope that they will stay with you forever. The many many photos we took will just have to do."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Great vibe at Kulala Desert Lodge"

2 nights Arrived 21 Jul 2018
"This place has a great atmosphere. We had a very warm welcome, appreciated the relaxed atmosphere, enjoyed the friendly smiling and helpful staff, and of course loved the staff singing.

Our guide was most considerate only talking to us when he had stopped the vehicle.

We would have loved to have had the option of a sundowner experience at the lodge itself, and the option of a guided walk, if that had fitted with other guests."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"A tranquil oasis in Swakapomund"

1 night Arrived 23 Jul 2018
"This was a very pleasant quiet, well located overnight stay for us. The staff were very helpful in relation to booking a restaurant for us and undertaking photocopying for us in relation to our car hire.

We also appreciated the quality of the breakfast buffet and the care taken with the hot component that was cooked to order."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ai Aiba Lodge

Ai Aiba Lodge

"A convenient overnight stay "

1 night Arrived 24 Jul 2018
"Ai Aiba was an overnight stay for us in a pleasant setting. We enjoyed taking the self-guided walk to see the rock paintings and on the walk saw a few animals.

While we were warmly welcomed this welcome was interrupted by a more senior person who seemed not to trust the welcomer. It seemed to us that the staff performed their duties but not with the enthusiasm or joyfulness we had enjoyed previously.

When settling the bill, we were asked if we would like to give something to the staff (the only place that actually did this) and a tray was indicated that was not the 'offical' locked box.

Dinner was an on ok set menu 4 course meal. Of course it is catering to a much bigger guest list than the other places we stayed."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Damaraland Camp

Damaraland Camp

"What an absolute treasure - Damaraland Camp "

2 nights Arrived 25 Jul 2018
"We really really loved our stay here and with hindsight, would have had an extra night here. On the extra day we could have taken a couple of unguided walks (this is not possible at many places) and sat either on our verandah or in the common area and just soaked up the views.

Were lucky enough to have had arrived on one of the days when they have a special bush dinner in a Boma. This enclosure was set up like fairyland. We also had a bush breakfast which was at a lookout point.

We also enjoyed the shared dining experience on our other night here.

On our first drive we tracked the elephants along the river for a whole morning watching them grazing, and then after our graze on morning tea, we saw the two little ones sleeping while mum kept guard. Mum also had a dirt bath or was she trying to put up a dirt screen? Next morning when we left the camp we saw 'our group of elephants' again.

Our second drive was to a local kindergarten which was both inspiring (the government providing a kindergarten/childcare in such a remote location) and somewhat heartbreaking as some little ones seemed very eager for our attention. After that we visited a nearby village which was supported by the camp. Unlike some of our experiences in other countries, this visit was an enlightening insight into the lives of some of the people that still live on the land in this conservancy.

It is great when the guide, as our guide did here, talks to you only when they have stopped the vehicle.

And that's not all! The staff here were especially warm happy and friendly and we were treated to a couple of joyous singing performances."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

"Another amazing wildlife encounter at Ongava "

1 night Arrived 27 Jul 2018
"Our stay here was most memorable. On our afternoon safari we headed off into the bush and saw several giraffes, then proceeded to a spot where a pride of lions had killed a giraffe. Three of them had obviously had their fill and were lolling around, while the other 5, including twin cubs, where supping on the giraffe. As the lions were gainfully occupied we were able to get quite close to them to observe them.

Off we set for our sundowner, and then a bush dinner to watch the eclipse. As we arrived in the dark, at the location for our dinner, we were immediately struck by the effort staff had gone to to set up tables with white cloths, wine glasses, candles, warming fires, and yet more candles in paper bags to circle the dinner site, and we thought wow. Then the lights of our safari vehicle highlighted the two lions sitting on the banks of the dinner arena watching the proceedings! We had a short delay while staff shooed the lions away - we hoped. Next day we found out that there were actually 12 lions and of course the staff were keeping a very close eye on those lions.

Next morning our drive seemed quite mundane in comparison as we 'only' saw white rhinoceros and a few giraffes! Unfortunately we missed out on the opportunity to walk with the rhinoceros.

It is great when the guide, as our guide did here, talk to you, only when they have stopped the vehicle.

Our welcome here was warm and as we had had lunch we were offered a fruit platter. We can't remember breakfast as we were too busy watching the animals around the waterhole."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Convenient overnight stop - Halali"

1 night Arrived 28 Jul 2018
"After an memorable day of animal sitings in Etosha, we were pleased to have a place to stay in the middle of the park.

We had the two bedroom chalet. This accommodation was as expected. We had paid our deposit with notes of various denominations and received our receipt. As we were following EA guidelines we actually did a reckoning with the listed inventory and found lots 'missing'. We reported the missing items, much to the amusement of the desk person, who assured us that this deposit was ONLY a deposit for the return of the key. There was much confusion (eventually resolved) about the return of our money and so I would suggest only having one denomination of notes in your deposit,

Actually we found the food was quite good and well priced and we had the best piece of kudu on our whole trip. There was a fillet of kudu on the bbq plate and the chef cut off the required amount. We had considered buying food in the shop to bbq in the brai that was outside our room but as there were no implements to eat or cook with, or much of a choice in the shop so dinner out was the only option."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Onguma Bush Camp

Onguma Bush Camp

"A well located stopover camp"

1 night Arrived 29 Jul 2018
"After a full day driving ourselves in the Etosha Park this was a good stopover on our way back to Windhoek. It would be a good option for day trips into the park as it is very close to the park. The shared area and pool are situated near a waterhole but we did not see any animals coming to drink. It was very pleasant eating good food and watching the sun go down."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Cheetah View Lodge

Cheetah View Lodge

"Cheetah View Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 30 Jul 2018
"Luckily we did arrive in time to see the cheetahs being fed which is only once a day at 2.00pm and this was included as part of the accommodation cost. We enjoyed seeing the cheetahs and learning about the rehabilitation program through questioning the manager of these cheetahs.

We did not undertake any of the extra trips as we were late arriving and needed to leave in the morning. We would have liked the opportunity to be able to view the cubs and some of the work that is done with the cheetahs, on a video or through photographs, for example. Perhaps it was possible to visit the research centre, if so we missed this piece of information.

While the units were comfortable, we (all 4 of us) found the sloping 'staircase' a bit of a hazard and had to make sure that we left the lights on to illuminate the 'steps'.

One of our party was ill and had to miss dinner. Dr Brewer and Dr. Marker, who dined with our group, showed concern and kindness and offered help."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
River Crossing

River Crossing

"A big disappointment - River Crossing "

1 night Arrived 31 Jul 2018
"This was our second visit to River Crossing and while the first visit was good this visit was very disappointing. Below is a copy of the letter I wrote to River Crossing, dated 8th August. To this date, 21st August, there has been no response.

Dear Management at River Crossing,

Recently we (4 of us in 2 rooms) stayed a night with you on the 1st August, yes, the night the water ran out.

While I understand that unforseen events such as this may occur, I am writing to say that not only were we inconvenienced but appalled at the lack of concern shown by the management for guests. At no time were we informed of the situation nor was anything done to ease the situation for guests.

We commented late in the afternoon of the 1st to staff about the lack of water and were informed that the water had run out and more water was coming soon. So we accepted this to be the case but next morning there was still no water. This of course meant there were no showers and perhaps more importantly no toilet flushing in either of the rooms we occupied, or the main area. There were also no signs in the main toilet at any time to apologise or to indicate that toilets should not be used. Not only was there no notification that there was a problem but there was no thought given to providing buckets of water in either the main toilets or rooms to flush the toilets.

Later, after breakfast, staff were seen taking buckets of water out of the pool presumably for cleaning, and taken to the kitchen (!) but still not being placed in the toilets.

When I approached a senior, but new staff person, and explained our concern, he was most apologetic but informed me management was unavailable. As we were leaving, he took my email address and assured me that I would receive an email from management but this has not been the case.

We paid our bar bill, our room had been prepaid, as we did not want the staff to be adversely affected.

I have not written previously as we have been travelling in areas without Internet, but rooms without showers and toilet flushing and with NO concern for guests is not acceptable.

Additional comments about River Crossing (not included in my letter):

On our two visits here, none of us (4) could get any information about the self-guided walks. It was suggested that we could walk down the dusty road that leads to/from the lodge!

It is also a shame that so many guests throw their rubbish e.g. cigarettes, tissues off the verandah (Unit 14) where it collects in the bushes and rather detracts from the setting.

Overall this seems to suggest that there is a management issue at this establishment."
Poor
Location
Good
Service
Terrible
Facilities
Terrible
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"Very convenient stopover hotel"

1 night Arrived 1 Aug 2018
"A very convenient stopover in Johannesburg.

We tried to follow the directions in the notes at the bottom of the directions page but got totally confused as it turned out because the lifts to the airport car park were not working. We were rescued by an airport porter and luckily we had some small notes to tip him. So I would suggest that if you are just passing through this airport and having a stopover, have some money to tip and use a porter as he was able to put the airport trolleys on the escalators.

Another tip would be that there are no ATMs in Johannesburg airport available to those who are transferring from one flight to another."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Hyena Pan

Hyena Pan

"A relaxing camp - Hyena Pan"

2 nights Arrived 2 Aug 2018
"We had a lovely time here. The elephants were close by when we arrived even blocking our way to our tent. They were also frequent visitors to the camp both in the daylight and in the night. A hippo was also seen wallowing in the water too but he stayed submerged. We also saw zebra, buffalo,a lion and some wild dogs.

We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere here as the staff were attentive without hovering unnecessarily.

Our guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. It is good when the guides remember to speak to guests when the vehicle is stopped rather than when the vehicle is moving. It would have been good to have seen the hide too."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Seba Camp

Seba Camp

"Wonderful riverine setting at Seba Camp"

2 nights Arrived 4 Aug 2018
"We particularly enjoyed the 'riverside' setting. Obviously the elephants did was well as they were outside our tent to greet us on arrival. Likewise two elderly buffalo were frequent visitors lulling us to sleep as they munched away at their dinner.

The many staff here were always very welcoming, obliging and most attentive. Sometimes though it was just a little off-putting to be watched by so many when selecting one's food and eating and then having one's plate whisked away so promptly. I guess the staff are just eager to please.

The moroko experience was very peaceful and a very enjoyable 'african river massage' and it was a delightful surprise to have the sundowner waiting for us on the 'river' bank.

Our guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable and seemed to enjoy the hunt for animals as much as we did. Sometimes the guides need to be mindful that passengers can't hear when the vehicle is moving if they are not in the row behind the driver."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Avani Victoria Falls"

3 nights Arrived 6 Aug 2018
"A chilled bottle of sparkling had thoughtfully been placed into our room as a birthday surprise which was a very nice welcome gesture.

There is a VERY big push here to have the buffet rather than the a la carte menu. As none of us (4) wanted a 3 course mean we opted for the a la carte and on two nights were disappointed that our choice was not available and this was not made known at the time of ordering. Ordering off the menu of course takes longer but did we did wonder whether we had been forgotten on one occasion (of 2).

There was an expansive buffet breakfast with wonderful omelettes prepared by a very skilful efficient chef.

Zebras mow the lawns here and monkeys prey on rooms when the doors are left open even when occupied, and yes, we were warned!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

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