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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr G. from Wantage

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

0

My Aug 2022 trip

Namibia between 27 Aug 2022 and 13 Sep 2022

Trip rating: Excellent
"The trip was excellent - great wildlife, great landscapes, and great places to stay.

May be worth Expert Africa warning people just how bad some of the roads can be (the Welwitschia Drive in places was a trial, and going the optimum speed on the endless ridged sections doesn't always help, especially if you want to stop the vehicle and look at something with the binoculars). However, that's all part of the fun.

Everything worked out as planned, and it was so good I didn't even mind changing a flat tyre on my birthday before we walked out to the other-worldly experience of Dead Vlei. Most of the people we dealt with at the various camps, restaurants etc were native Namibians, and almost to a woman (and some men) they were friendly and helpful and welcoming.

The navigation was also very easy and its nice to have roads with such little traffic. This will stand out as one of our favourite trips of all time. We hope to return.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
Not really. This trip was the upper end of our affordability, but there's not much one can do about that unless we camped and cooked our own food, and then we would have had less time for the wildlife and would not have experienced some of the excellent chalets etc.

Namibia does seem to offer something special in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of the ease of a self-drive experience and quality of places to stay - and you undoubtedly know the country well enough to pick some of the most characterful places. Maybe make sure Europcar don't give out duff contact numbers to clients!

Other than that, thanks Tracy for all the ground organisation, and also thanks Mr McIntyre for the excellent Bradt guide, which was a constant companion."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Villa Violet

Villa Violet

"Villa Violet review"

1 night Arrived 28 Aug 2022
"A very comfortable and welcoming first stop, very handy from the airport from which it was easy to find, being on the east side of Windhoek as you enter the city.

Staff were very welcoming and helpful, pointing us to restaurants for lunch and dinner and booking a table for the latter."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
BullsPort Lodge & Farm

BullsPort Lodge & Farm

"BullsPort Lodge & Farm review"

2 nights Arrived 29 Aug 2022
"We loved it here, not least because one of the members of staff (Sally) was so welcoming and informative and we had a good laugh with her. The place had a lovely feel and is well-situated for the Naukluft mountains, sitting at their feet. The room was simple but lovely, and there are some good walks without taking the car out.

I think we'd be very lucky indeed to see some of the wildlife listed below at this location, but the zebra we saw were Hartmann's Mountain Zebra, suitably situated halfway up the slopes of the Naukluft and quite wary, with young foals, a lovely sight to see. We also saw springbok and ground squirrel here, and Klipspringer on the mountain ridge on a walk from the camp.

For birders, there was a good range of species on walks from the camp, including Black (Verreaux's) Eagle at the mountains, and we had barn owl over the camp at night calling, the first time I've seen them in Africa. On a walk in the Naukluft a little further west the day we left BullsPort, we saw Klipspringer again as well as rock hyrax and slender mongoose."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Desert Homestead

Desert Homestead

"Desert Homestead review"

2 nights Arrived 31 Aug 2022
"A very characterful location with a stunning view of desert and mountain from the chalets, all nicely positioned so that you couldn't see any other buildings from the big picture windows.

After an at times juddering journey on gravel roads this was a delightful oasis to arrive at. Like a number of other places we stayed at where we were out most of the day, it was shame we only had two nights to enjoy the accommodation. The barking geckos hidden in the sand were calling all evening and night - surreal.

The wildlife seen as well as the oryx listed below included black-backed jackal and springbok, from both Desert Homestead and in the Sesriem-Sossusvlei area. Chacma Baboon were at Sesriem canyon. Near Dead Vlei there were many golden mole burrows in the sand (none seen unfortunately).

We saw our first Ostritch of the trip at Sossusvlei, and my very first Red-necked Falcons nesting it seemed in an old nest in an acacia (they don't build their own)."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Desert Breeze Lodge

Desert Breeze Lodge

"Desert Breeze Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 2 Sep 2022
"Very characterful chalets, simply but well-appointed, with a big double bed looking out the picture window at the sand-dunes of the Namib.

Probably where I would choose to stay if I return to Swakop, situated on the edge of town but five minutes drive from restaurants and the centre. Doesn't do evening meals so the food rating reflects the breakfasts, which were absolutely fine. Again, welcoming and helpful staff.

Although there is no wildlife listing for this location, the short drive to Walvis Bay and its lagoon to the south provides the spectacle of thousands of wintering greater and lesser flamingos, great white pelicans and numerous wader species, and we saw humpback whale and Heaviside's dolphin on a three-hour dolphin safari from the Waterfront at Walvis Bay, as well as very large numbers of cape fur seal and the odd black-backed jackal lying amongst them."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 5 Sep 2022
"The accommodation was maybe slightly more basic than some of the other places we stayed at, but more akin to what we are used to, so it was fine! The food at the restaurant was rather good. I have scored activities as 'excellent' but these were all self-drive experiences in the national park or watching the waterhole by the camp.

The waterhole by the camp is what makes this place so special, and we had to pull ourselves away from it. Thankfully most of the observers from the camp viewing area were quiet, especially at night, as I had read they could be a bit noisy and detract from the experience, but apart from the odd person who seemed incapable of whispering most people were respectful of the big beasts on the other side of the wall.

One of the black rhino sightings listed below was of no less than 12 animals at the Okaukuejo camp waterhole, starting with six at 8.00pm and then more appearing from the dark - there was much gentle interaction and a little bit of pushing, and several led down for a sleep for 20 minutes.

A herd of 28 elephant visited this waterhole at midday one day, with many young ones amongst them, rolling in the water and generally having a good time, and they were frequent visitors in smaller numbers at other times. We saw four lionesses one night at the Okaukuejo waterhole, one of which chased off a spotted hyena."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Mushara Lodge

Mushara Lodge

"Mushara Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 7 Sep 2022
"Another lovely location and feel to this lodge, the chalets in a lightly wooded setting with Damara dik-dik and steinbok around the site.

Very handy for the east side of Etosha - like many of the other places on this trip we'd have no hesitation in staying here again."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Plains Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 9 Sep 2022
"Another cracking camp, and a room with a view - simple but again with a panorama of bush and grassland to look out on and well designed and spaced out. In retrospect we could have stayed here three nights instead of two as the drive to the airport is perfectly do-able in an afternoon for an evening flight. This is the only camp where we took advantage of the activities due to the limitations on self-driving in the main reserve (although we did one of the self-guided walks) - we went out twice with our guide John M who was very knowledgeable and great to talk to.

As with the Etosha camps, not listed but seen were springbok, greater kudu, and banded mongoose, and Okonjima is the first place we actually saw warthog. We also saw red hartebeest.

Wild dog are listed below but are not present in the reserve, as neither are lion and cheetah (although individuals may be present at the Africat centre). We saw spring hare on a night drive, and the close-up views of a leopard on the late afternoon leopard-tracking was stupendous, especially as the animal ignored us and carried on hunting."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
River Crossing

River Crossing

"River Crossing review"

1 night Arrived 11 Sep 2022
"Handy for the airport, and the views from the room and particularly the dining area are quite something, over the hills around Windhoek.

We were hoping to be able to go on a game drive on their land but apparently there weren't running, possibly due to it being hunting season (the explanation was unclear).

The water supply to our room ran out in the morning but was soon sorted it when we mentioned it.

Staff as friendly as they have been everywhere else (the slightly surly park staff at Okaukuejo being the only exception!)."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

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