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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Damara Dik Diks from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

12

Excursions taken

2

Amazingly special trip

Tanzania and 1 other country between 11 Jul 2019 and 25 Jul 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"This trip was wonderful. It came about because our eldest son was working in Dar Es Salaam. But we had already used Expert Africa in the past to take our three sons to Namibia. That had been the best family holiday for us. We felt we must use Expert Africa again. I can only say that I am indebted to the knowledge of Lyndsey Marris, and the fact that Expert Africa listens, wants to know what we are looking for, what kind of budget do we have, and then makes carefully thought out suggestions. Lyndsey was so good. Absolutely excellent.

The trip was in every way memorable. Each place we stayed at was great. Lyndsey had provided us with a spot on itinerary. I feel with Expert Africa we are privileged to have people who care about Africa, and who really know it. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the company. I wish we could return to Africa in the future, but not sure when!

As someone who has lived in Africa and whose work a long time ago(!) was dealing with books for Africa, I feel passionately about it, and two of our three sons have lived there. Chris's books are the best, without a shadow of a doubt. The Zanzibar book is full of rich detail and I left it with Jasper to keep as he is still out in Dar. It is a superb book.

Having time with Jasper in the Selous and on Zanzibar was incredibly special. We will not forget it. Jasper was blown away by the Selous in particular. Thank you, Expert Africa. Our youngest son lived in Botswana; one day I hope to get there, but for now, from the bottom of our hearts, thank-you."

Arranged By Lyndsey Marris


The Slipway

The Slipway

"Perfect First Hotel"

2 nights Arrived 12 Jul 2019
"The Slipway Hotel was perfect for us for a two night stay in Dar, meeting up with our son. He too had recommended it and we liked its lovely views out to sea, pool and the whole set up. Interesting design and for us, exactly the price and type of hotel we wanted. We loved the fact that we could walk down a level to the shoreline and to some wonderful craft shops selling beautiful African items, and a bookshop. Plus the fact that the Slipway seemed very much a part of life for locals too, and not just an isolated hotel on its own.

Our room was fine, just what we needed. Staff friendly and helpful. Arabic design of buildings really appealed and lovely open air eating area and bar. Good feeling to it as so open plan and part of the community. Not some impersonal big name branded hotel! Didn't feel like we were in hot, busy Dar, but instead had a good feeling of being rather an oasis. Very friendly feel to it. Also had a sense of history to the hotel, and we liked that old world charm. A great place to arrive at from the plane and to look out to sea, and breathe a sign of relief - we have arrived!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

"Magic in the wilderness"

3 nights Arrived 14 Jul 2019
"Sean and his wife were remarkable - awaiting our arrival and from then onwards, unintrusive hosts who made our time absolutely wonderful. We felt Lake Manze was incredibly special. The communal eating outside in the evenings was a highlight, and Sean and his wife carefully deciding who should sit next to whom. The staff under their supervision were superb. Delicious meals always. Incredible how the food was presented and the standard of cooking very high. Sean and his wife run a remarkable camp and they and their staff are to be applauded. Exceptional.

Our guides Sauduro (not sure of spelling, but know Saudoro was Masai as we discovered this one bush breakfast time!) and trainee Lasuro, and driver Jimmy, were so good. By the end of our stay, after three days of drives with them, we felt close to them and had enjoyed interesting conversations as well as wonderful game drives. This was a real highlight, the fact that we stayed with the same guiding team throughout our stay. Such a great way to really get to know your guides and to interact in a far more personal way, and to learn more about the lives of our guides. Never expected this and we all really appreciated this. They went out of their way to find animals for us and to share their knowledge. The same with the boat safari guide. Brilliant guides. We would love them to know how much we appreciated them.

Tent accommodation was wonderful - three of us sharing really worked well. High standard of comfort and loved the views and the shower to the stars! Liked also the fact that Masai lead you to and from your tent.

We felt that other guests were all there for similar reasons to us; to be out in the wilderness, to feel close to nature and wildlife and we had some lovely conversations with our fellow guests over dinner each night. Genuine feel to everything. The fact that no electricity was great - having a drink by paraffin lamps and candle-lit dinners was just what we loved. Elephants roaming so close to the camp plus hippos and giraffe made it very special. Had total confidence in Sean's ability to deal with any animals roaming close! He is a one off! Love the fact he wanders around barefoot too."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Emerson Spice

Emerson Spice

"Gorgeous stay in historic hotel"

2 nights Arrived 17 Jul 2019
"We loved this hotel for its architecture, deep sense of history and remarkable food. Our room was stunning, and its décor and furnishings meant that we could feel a strong presence of Zanzibar's past. The balcony which ran the whole length of our room was beautiful, and looking down into the street, we could watch the ebb and flow of Stone Town life. Very attentive staff. Roof top restaurant fabulous. Worth the money for the five course dinner. Also had a dinner in the Garden Restaurant which we loved too, for its crumbling walls and exotic flora. Great cocktails too. Lovely staff. Chefs in particular to be highly praised, which we did whenever we could!

Lovely little details in our room: locally made soaps, locally made towels and a wooden box of useful things one might need!

Appreciated the history of the hotel which was given to us in the folder in our room. We are both very interested in knowing about the history of places and we felt very privileged to be staying at Emerson Spice. Also, so easy to walk out into Stone Town. Had huge respect for Mr Emerson and what he had done to renovate the building and make it into such a special hotel. Particularly, as on our guided Stone Town walk, it became clear to us, how many buildings are in dire need of renovation, and how there is so little money going into restoration. It was sad to see this, and we hope that things will get better as Stone Town is truly unique, and deserves to be preserved for future generations."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Stone Town Discovery Tour

Stone Town Discovery Tour

"Intersesting, informative Tour"

18 Jul 2019 • All-day excursion

Our guide was very good. He explained the history of Stone Town and also took us to the markets and we had a very good all round walk. We could see and he explained to us, the dire need for renovation. It is sad to see things on hold, eg the House of Wonders. Money seems to not reach the right people! A sense of a town which is surviving but which really needs its government to direct funds to restore buildings and things like refuse collection.

Local people great, and a sense of harmony between Christian, Hindu and predominantly Moslem communities. This was a big positive.

Sensed the future depends upon government really thinking carefully about how it regulates tourism and ensures locals have chance to stay living within Stone Town.

Very good English spoken by our guide and he gave us a really good tour.



Excellent
Sunshine Marine Lodge

Sunshine Marine Lodge

"Unwinding and chilling out at Sunshine Marine"

5 nights Arrived 19 Jul 2019
"Beautiful place and location. We had Blue Wave Suite and best views out to the Indian Ocean. Loved the design of the hotel; so different to Emerson Spice, yet so good for a beach hotel. Open plan and spacious. Staff were really, really good. Half board option was great. Bar area lovely and pool was superb - I did a lot of swimming first thing in the morning, and loved it. Magnificent views. Wonderful breakfasts - just the fruits alone were enough, but lovely selection of choices and juices and all home made and delicious.

We used bicycles one day and very good way to get to beach and back.

Curio Shop - it would have been helpful to have items individually priced up, as some were and most weren't! So a feeling that prices might be made up or that we should haggle, when infact I would have preferred to just know a set price. Sometimes, haggling just gets one down in a shop which is in a hotel. Fine in a market!

We walked ourselves into the village, having asked at Reception, if this was Ok. It was really worth it. We ended up being shown around by two young men, whom we met on our walk back from the beach, and who were not after money. It felt very important to us to see how locals lived, and especially as I worked a long time ago in a very remote part of Kenya, I wanted to see the village nearest the hotel. We were both so glad we did this. The hotel did offer a guided village tour but at $35 per person, we felt this was expensive and perhaps too 'laid on'. Sure it would have been good but we opted to explore ourselves, once we had sought 'the ok' from the hotel.

All the staff should be congratulated for their warmth and great service.

My husband and son did the diving and despite my husband being sea sick due to rather rough conditions, said it was very good. My son, who is a keen diver, loved it.

Never met the owner, although read his very nice welcome letter in the room. Would have loved to know more about how the hotel was started up, and more about its history and ethos, but we all felt it was very eco conscious and had a really friendly feel to it. Did the Yoga class and it was very good indeed. Gardens beautiful.

Felt like we were truly away from it all. Beach worth walking to or getting in boat or on a bike for as so beautiful. A chilled out feel and we really were able to unwind. Our son, who was only able to join us for the weekend from Dar, loved it too."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

A trip of a lifetime - unforgettable

Namibia between 1 Aug 2008 and 20 Aug 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"Everywhere we went our expectations were surpassed. The people of all colours and backgrounds were so kind and gentle. We never felt unsafe. We enjoyed driving ourselves around - the landscape of Namibia is so unspoilt and pristine and so open. The space is amazing.

Our Expert Africa team _ Maruska and latterly Gwyneth - were wonderful. Maruska - you organised it all with such thought. It was wonderful to be back in Africa and in a part I didn't know at all. Our three sons, 11, 13 and 15, will never forget this holiday. They proved such keen bird and animal watchers that they put me to shame. Their enthusiasm never faded. They, like my husband and I, were enchanted by talking to the locals. I wanted the boys to meet local people where possible. We talked to waiters and guides and cleaners wherever we could as well as to owners. Each has his tale to tell. OUr guides were so well spoken in English and so keen to get tourism going in the right direction. I pray that it will not become a spoilt country - it has so much to offer. How meals of such delicacy were prepared in such remote locations I will never know - topclass food in back of beyond locatiions with views to die for.

Once back in Windhoek, I would strongly recommend a visit to the Craft Centre. We had our final lunch there and bought things there before driving to the airport. Safe parking there too. The art and crafts are just wonderful - better than anywhere else and all under one roof - you need at least two hours there.

Re Tipping - we found it hard to know how much to give at each lodge intot the Tip Box. Could be that we were overgenerous! Also, it is often hard as one doesn't have any small notes to hand to porters etc. Need to advise travellers to try and change big notes in towns prior to driving out to the back of beyond as we sometimes ended up giving far too much to people as we had nothing small to offer and we didn't want to leave them empty handed. Car guards - good to warn people of them and the need to hand them something each time. Extra advice on the phone would be helfpul prior to departure re this.

Good walking shoes essential!No need to take swimming towels as every lodge had them and just bulks up luggage. Would not take a child younger than our youngest as a lot of driving and he was fine but anyone younger no good. Binoculars essential for each member of the family - we had enough and it made such a difference as there is so much to see at the side of road eg ostriches, oryx, springbok, baboons all seen from normal driving.

It was the most wonderful trip and the selection of lodges were fantastic and we wish we could go back there. Thank-you so much. Expert Africa went beyond all our expectations. We have given our three sons an introduction to Africa, one part of it: Namibia, and we all succumbed to its beauty and we were lucky to travel with Expert Africa."

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Image alt

Hilltop House, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Great, homely hotel with character"

1 night Arrived 2 Aug 2008
"Hilltop House was our first place we stayed in Namibia. So we arrived straight from a long flight. The staff were friendly and kind and particularly the Tanzanian gentleman who saw to our every need. The owner, whom we met later on, was also extremely courteous and keen that we should have all that we needed.

We were given two lovely rooms, particularly liked the bath products (Roobus !) and the atmosphere that we were in a home rather than a hotel. Very personal feel to it and for me, introducing my three sons to Africa, this was so good. I think it would be helpful to have sent more directions for us driving from the airport to Hilltop as I had to ask for these over the phone a few days prior to departure. Glad I did as we would have not found it too easy to find!

Hillop has a lovely garden - my sons spotted mongoose and lizards! The pool was cold but I swam and loved it! Superb breakfasts and sandwhich lunches all beautifully presented for us with flowers. Sadly, we forgot our packed lunches the next day! Great, individual place which we all loved."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Zebra River Lodge

Zebra River Lodge

"Wonderful individual lodge in stunning region"

2 nights Arrived 3 Aug 2008
"This was the most amazing place to arrive at as our first "lodge". Gail (the American lady who was in charge whilst owners were away) was delightful; spoke with us at length about walks, the area, etc and we were spoilt with the honeymoon suite (not our request!) and the views we had were out of this world. The boys slept below us in an equally lovely room. Atmosphere was laidback and homely and food delicious and we felt we had entered a home rather than some slick, modern-day lodge. We all loved this place probably more than any other.

It is so worth walking there for a day; we spent 6 hours trekking on our own on Gail's advice, and had delicious picnic given us, and boys spotted Hartmann zebra and baboons and we saw Quiver Trees and much else. Total wilderness all around. I hope it will remain in good hands and not turn to a more impersonal place. For us, it was very special because of its homeliness and remoteness and its staff."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"stunning desert lodge"

2 nights Arrived 5 Aug 2008
"Kulala seemed more slick than Zebra River Lodge. We had more formal greetings and it is a bigger lodge in the Wilderness Safari company and so we signed forms on arrival and it felt more impersonal. However, we soon realised it had its own beauty and a location which was amazing and we had the most informative of Namibian guides Christoff who took us on an early morning excursion to the dunes and we climbed (crawled!) Big Daddy with him. He gave us an unforgettable picnic under an acacia tree with everything as a safari lunch should be - please can Christoff see my words and know how much we appreciated his conversation and his kindess. HOpe the owner can let Christoff read this.

We asked to sleep outside on our roof and in a twinkling bedding was set up - all noiselessly and with great politeness. Shooting stars and clear skies and I woke at dawn to see the balloons floating off in the distance. The catering staff did an impromptu dance and songs one evening which we loved. This broke the formality. Great idea to have the tea station from 3pm onwards as children can get hungry at that time. Really appreciated the welcome drinks on arrival all done in great style and on arriving back from the dunes too.

We felt the balloon trips were very expensive so didnot do one. Would have loved to have more dancing/singing from local staff as this is one of the few chances to see local Namibians do their own thing. Staff were so polite and attentive to us. LIked the rooms too. Perhaps they should emphasise more the chance of sleeping outside on roof as it really is special!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Sam makes this place special"

4 nights Arrived 7 Aug 2008
"Don't judge by first impressions! On arrival, we were tired and bedraggled and Swakopmund seemed dreary in comparison to the desert and the wilderness regions we had been in. But once inside Sam's hotel, although basic rooms, we soon felt the charm of his dining room and upstairs sitting room and general calm atmosphere.

Sam couldn't have been more helpful making phone calls for us and spending time talking with us which proved invaluable. There is much more than meets the eye. He became a friend in four days and his women staff were all very good and attentive. I left a few items of clothing for the staff to take back to their children or families and I think I am right in saying that every month Sam does a collection of such items to hand on to his staff. This would be worth checking as I would have brought out more clothes to give to them and it might be worth letting all visitors to Sam's know of this distribution, as we can't be the only family who felt they wanted to give something back.

Sam was a wonderful person to talk with and we thank him for all he did for us.

The visit to Mondesa township was truly moving and I would recommend everyone to do this. Wished I could have seen Katatura too. Sam was so interesting to talk to and so kind with his advice. But Mondesa was a turning point for us. Again, worth taking out stuff for the people there - we handed football shirts to the leader of the tour who promised to give them to the neediest of the children. We were totally impressed by the lack of begging and no demands for anything. Instead, one of the tour guides, said it was their policy to collect all donated items and distribute them to the most needy of children rather than us just handing out things in a random way and children then becomoing demanding or even upset if they didn't get anything.

Great evening meal at Sam's. Great breakfasts in candle-light and lots of interesting books. Sam is a unique person who deserves great praise for creating a very unusual place to stay in Swakopmund and we all thank him for his time and kindness. We were sorry to say goodbye to him - in a sandstorm as he was heading off on his bike! We would recomment his guesthouse over any hotel; he provides a personal service and a knowledge and appreciation of our needs and of what Namibia can offer and above all, he doesn't rush one and he listens and takes time to help.

Kayaking & quad biking excursions - OUr Kayaking day was good fun but due to weather condiditons, we didn't make it to the dolphins. We were amongst the seals which was great and really close. jeanne was a lovely lady.

However, rather like the Sandwich Harbour trip, I think it would have been better to forewarn us that we might not see dolphin and that the kayaking was really very basic. We didn't mind but I suspect some in our group were hoping for more serious kayaking. It isn't a chea[ trip and it would be wrong for Namibians to think all of us tourists are rolling in money. Each trip = if there are 5 of you - costs a lot, and so clear information is important to know prior to settting out.

Again, picnic could have done with beers/wine and not just tea and coffee or sodas. Quite a long drive for a relatively short-lived experience of kayaking with the seals. I expect had we been able to go further out and be with dolphins our view would be different. Lovely people who organised the trip - the man and Jeanne.

Quadbiking was done under sandstorm conditions at our choice! Ours sons were desperate not to miss this so we persuaded a guide to take us out! It was amazing. Great guide and great views. Not to be missed.

Township Tour and sand boarding excursions - Sandboarding - all really nice guys and so good for our boys to talk to them. So friendly. They loved the sandboarding - me as a mother of 44 years didn't love it so much!! No pressure put on me and so I watched in the end after doing it 3 times! Very glad we did it as a family. Also, great picnic on the beach afterwards which again was a really good way to integrate with local black Namibians and talk to them properly, All delightful.

Township tour was AMAZING. I am so glad we did this. I can't say how impressed we were with the way it was organised by the guys who took us round. We suggest that they make it clear that there is a meal at the end and dancing and crafts on sale as we felt awful having to make them rush for us at 7pm. We had a dinner appointment at 7.30pm which we would not have booked had we realised that the Tour lasts as long as it does and included local food too. Important to tell tourists this. Ends really mroe like 8pm.

We took some children's clothes out from England and handed them to the Tour leaders who said they would distribute them to the children later. Might want to add this in your brochure. We couldn't get over how there was no begging for anything from us ever. The township people who shared their homes with us were so kind and I felt a bit of a voyeur at times, but the tour leaders told me it was fine. The way we were taken to different homes, to a bar, a craft shop, to meet a chief, a medicine woman...all done with ease and with no feeling of being threatened or unsafe.

We were all humbled and very moved by the whole experience. I would urge everyone to take this tour. Finally, we got to see where so many Namibians live and how they live. Our children won't forget this trip. My youngest son had collected crayons and football shirts to hand over too.

We are developing our photos in order to post them to the Tour leaders, as promised. A small price to pay for taking the photos of the people who were so ready to pose."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"Good trip but destination not reached!"

8 Aug 2008 • All-day excursion

Ernest - our guide for the day - couldnot have been more delightful and knowledgeable. We were lucky to have him. We didn't make it to Sandwich Harbour in the end, due to impassable terrain. We felt it should have been made clear at the start of the day that this might be the case. We ourselves didn't really mind but another man on a colleague's trip alongside us, did mind and decided to walk himself all the way there.

We did spend 45 minutes approx digging up sand to try to clear the way for the trucks. Again, we nor our sons, minded and saw it as part of an adventure. But a quite elderly couple were not so happy. I think the guide needs to be quite honest at the start of the day that Sandwich Harbour is hard to reach at times and we might not make it there or certainly the tour operators need to let the tourists booking the trip know this in advance in order to avoid disappointment. If we are warned, then we can't be disappointed.

Everyone has to respect nature and that it is just not possible to predict things. We really enjoyed Ernest's evident expertise and the dune driving thrilled the boys! Picnic might have offered some beers and not just sodas for the price one is paying. Great driving and learnt a lot from Ernest about birdlife and flora and fauna. Excellent guide.Interesting to talk about his life in Namibia and his family too.
Good
Mowani Mountain Camp

Mowani Mountain Camp

"Views of such beauty and magnitude"

2 nights Arrived 11 Aug 2008
"Mowani, like Kulala, felt slick on arrival. But once again, we were treated so well, given (not requested but wonderful surprise!) the best room - luxury! - and the whole Mowani experience is so special, that we couldn't believe here was another lodge of such high standards. We have constantly told our three sons, that this is a one-off holiday and to savour every view, every meal, every place we stay at! Mowani's viewpoint was the best of all and the sundowners there memorable. I swam in the plunge pool each day and loved its clear cool water. The staff were excellent. The rooms were beautiful and with the best views. Food delicicious.

We took a guide on the desert elephant safari and he found elephant for us and that was wonderful. Worth doing and worth the money. We loved the rock dassies running around on the rocks! Wanted to see a leopard and just missed one spotted at breaksfast! We felt it might be useful if the owner had a board up somewhere visible for guests to read - noting down leopard sightings, for example. Our sons were disappointed not to see the leopard and perhaps had it been made clearer that the camp did have leopard around, then we would have been on the alert more. Better communication on animal sigthings would have been good for us.

It is hard as so often one is only one night in the camp but we were lucky to spend two nights! Loved the fire lit outside each evening. Very good shop. Might be nice to know more about how the camp began and who started it up and why it was sited where it was. Worth visiting Twyfelfontein rock paintings - did thi son our own and glad we did it. Our picnic lunches on day of departure were beatifully made and even had hand-decorated paper bags as did the brown paper bag into which my shop purchases went - very individual service here and the staff must be congratulated.

Mowani had the best view of anywhere I think and we shan't forget it ever. Our only positive criticism might be that our children were in a room a long way from us - so we couldn't check on them easily. More sensible to have us next to them. But the children loved seeing the lizards and rock hyraxes (dassies) and for them, it was a beautiful place, as it was for us."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Practical, very good chalet and central"

2 nights Arrived 13 Aug 2008
"Chalet far better than we expected. But you do need to bring your own tin openers, bottle openers, knives, forks, etc if you want to bbq. Worth noting that. We ate in restaurant which was very good buffet service. The chalets seemed very new and we were impressed. Nice showers and even soap, shampoo etc all provided and laundry service available on request. We got a lot of clothes washed here.

The reception desk needs more staff - slightly disorganised but all lovely staff. Noone checked our rooms before or after arrival. We had to ask for the an extra mattress for our youngest son. No problem - it came. A feeling that they were very busy. Not very clear about gate times of shutting or opening. But we liked the lay out of the camp, and it had a very nice feel to it, safe, clean and everyone walking about happily and rather like a piazza atmposphere at times.

Good shop although needed to stock up on foodstuff as nothing for picnics really or it had sold out by 9am.

Good to have some night drives on offer here.

Great big pool for swimming. Underused. Overall, good atmosphere of campers, and chalet dwellers all mucking in and obviously far more in the real world than at the lodges where we had been totally spoilt! Waterhole came up trumps second night when we saw rhino family. Might be good to erect a big sign asking people to stop talking when they start walking up to the waterhole on the path. Often noisy chitter chatter going on."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Onguma Etosha Aoba

Onguma Etosha Aoba

"Superb lodge set deep in wooded area"

2 nights Arrived 15 Aug 2008
"Arrvied at dusk, feeling excited as we had spotted a cheetah on the drive to the lodge. It is a VERY LONG DRIVE too! But arriving when we did, added to the ambience! We were greeted very warmly and offered cool drinks and the dim lighting and sitting in the amazing thatched room, was all very memorable.

Our rooms in thatched "cottage-bomas" were perfect. For us, it was different to be in such a wooded, enclosed environment. Quite a change! Our sons were desperate to spot animals (even though they had seen many in Etosha!) and so headed off to the waterhole next morning at dawn. None seen bar various deer but they were after cat sightings! Lovely eating area at this lodge close to another waterhole where various animals came. It was lovley to eat outside and to have fires lit outside too. The food was really excellent and we wanted this to be passed onto the local cooks. Also much appreciated the staff singing - as at Kulala this made it more personal for us and we liked this. More of this would be good.

We took a sundowner drive with Sam(?) and it was very good. We had spent a lot of time in Etosha so didn't need to return there. Our sons loved the animals there but we all needed to rest a bit . Etosha Aoba was a wonderful place - cool, dark interiors and very helpful staff and a setting so different to the other lodges and a personal feel to it. Not like it was part of a big group. It would be interesting to have the story of how it became a lodge written down for guests to read. We always wanted to find out the history of a lodge, how it began life, who ran it and if the local Namibians worked there and how they felt. So notes on each lodge at each lodge might be worth suggesting!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Frans Indongo Lodge

Frans Indongo Lodge

"Modern lodge - efficient and friendly"

2 nights Arrived 17 Aug 2008
"This was our last place. Having had the wonderful locations of all the other lodges, this was the least scenically located in some ways. But we had been spoilt! We were very warmly welcomed by the very courteous owners - a young and dedicated couple with a small child to look after too.

The staff were all delightful and spoilt my husband on his birthday morning with flowers, candles and a birthday note at breakfast - our last day! The rooms were very clean, big ,airy and modern and although lacking the individual charms of other lodges, they were of a very high standard. Our three sons did watch some TV , for example, having not done so for weeks! But the Olympics were still on!! They were modern rooms in the sense of having the mod-cons! I guess they felt more European than African in some ways.

Views out to the game area were great from a huge deck. One felt slightly that the imported animals eg camels and a few from S, Africa, made it more zoo-like. I think, because we arrived after a lot of travelling and having seen very wild parts of the country, it all seemed more tame and controlled than other places. But we took a lovely walk around the nearby hills on the owner's very good instructions, and got back to the feeling of wild bush again! We didn't take a guided ride anywhere with the lodge as we had done that elsewhere and we were spending one day at the Cheetah Conservation Fund ourselves. By now, we also had to watch how much we were spending!!!

However, we were very impressed by the owners' attentiveness to our needs and it was easy to discuss options with them and they were most helpful. As my husband said, it was a great place to stay in en route back to Windhoek, not too far off the beaten track, and yet still with views from the deck out to bush. I think I hankered for the offbeat, quirkier style of some of the other places, but that is a totally individual thing.

I loved Frans Indongo's big fireplace and big deck and we got talking to staff who also sang one night which was lovely. Good feeling amongst the female staff and this reflects well upon the German/Namibian young couple who clearly work so hard to run the lodge. We would like to praise them all. Very well run and when the electricity went down, the owners were so kind and apologetic and it really didn't matter to us. I felt for the kitchen staff! Thank-you for all you did for us. Astrid, the wife in the owner-team, couldn't have been more thoughtful in wrapping up presents individually for my husband's birthday. Her husband was very helpful all the time and extremely organised in everything. We wish them well and their family.

Visit to Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) - Stephen was our guide for the morning and he proved to be a charming, informative and quietly spoken man. His wife cooked our delicious lunch and they treated us like royalty. Once again, we couldn't get over how well we were looked after. We met the owner too and perhaps we represent only a handful of tourists taking this Bellebeno Safari - it IS expensive after all!! Saw cheetah very close and had private tour. If you don't do this tour, not sure how close you will get to cheetah, except for the ones in the penned area next tot he centre. So you need to spend on this trip to make the long drive there worth it.

Stephen's wife and Stephen were so kind and we all got welll, exchanging information about our respective countries. Very well run centre and the museum is excellent. But to go all that way just to see cheetah fed or to watch them run, would be pointless I feel,. Need to splash out on a tour having got all that way. Interesting to know that dogs are now used to prevent cheetah attacks on herds of goat/sheep. We learnt a lot that day.

Staying at Frans Indongo made it really good to get to. Again, boys won't forget this one."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

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