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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Yellow Canaries from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

12

Excursions taken

0

My Aug 2008 trip

Namibia and 1 other country between 20 Aug 2008 and 12 Sep 2008

Trip rating: Excellent
"Absolutely first class, our best holiday ever. We particularly valued the itinerary you had prepared for us, which gave us all we wanted to see. The flowers in Namaqualand fully justified starting the trip from Cape Town, and Fish River, Namib/Naukluft, Damaraland and Etosha gave us some absolutely memorable experiences. Clearly there was much we have yet to see, but this holiday has been a start.

We particularly appreciated leaving Etosha to the end: on the way northwards we were fascinated by our sightings of lifestock, but these were as nothing to what we saw round some of the Etosha waterholes, and had we seen the latter first, the others would have been less exciting for us.

We were also pleased with all the accommodation arranged for us, which with only limited exceptions, was all delightful and comfortable, with exceedingly friendly welcomes..

Suggestions for improvement:

Keep doing as you are doing!"

Farmhouse Hotel

Farmhouse Hotel

"Farmhouse Hotel review"

2 nights Arrived 21 Aug 2008
"The Old Farmhouse Hotel in Langebaan was delightful. We were given a warm welcome in both senses – the evening was cold, wet and windy but they made sure that our room was warm - they even invited us to light the coal fire iif we wanted - and put hot water bottles into our bed.

The room had a lovely view over the lagoon, with a comfortable settee from which we could watch the sunset.. Food was good, laid on in front of a roaring log fire in the dining room., and the lounge had a useful selection of boooks on the fauna and flora of the area. There was an excellent buffet breakfast.

It was not the weather to sample the swimming pool!!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ndedema Lodge

Ndedema Lodge

"Ndedema Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 23 Aug 2008
"Ndema is at the end of one of the main streets in Clanwilliam, in a pleasant area but somewhat shut-in. Car parking is behind an automatic security gate. We were made very welcome - we were greeted like personal guests and cake and coffee was offered us when we arrived.

Wilma was most helpful – because she had expected the town to be very full because of a flower festival she had booked a table for us for both nights at a very good restaurant, the Reinhold., and she gave us excellent and much appreciated help in suggsting to us how we should best to use our time in the area. Her helpfulness extended to lending my wife a warm jacket for when we drove off into the Cederberg - the (I believe) unseasonal cold weather had caught us unprepared. Again, hot water bottles were provided. We were given a very ample breakfast.

Our room was very comfortable and characterful, the one criticism being that it was very gloomy. Some brighter electic light bulbs would have transformed it.."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Mountain View Guest House

Mountain View Guest House

"Mountain View Guest House review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Aug 2008
"This was a conveniently situated guest house overlooking some of the other houses with good mountain views beyond. We were given a very pleasant room opening onto the garden, and with the heating full on found it quite comfortable (our car was iced up in the morning, and the grass white with frost, so we appreciated the heat - and the electric blankets!). We had a problem with the shower which sometimes had water, sometimes not, which was a bit awkward for us when covered in soap, and were told this was something to do with the town water supply.

As compared with Wilma at Clanwilliam, our hostess was not very helpful, and on our first night was unable to suggest anywhere for us to go for a meal. Breakfast was not as good as at the previous places, with no proper buffet and an inadequate toaster."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Canyon Village

Canyon Village

"Canyon Village review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Aug 2008
"We were impressed by Cañon Village. Although we arrived – to our dismay – at the same time as two coach parties, we were immediately spotted as being on our own and looked after as individuals. Gwendolyn made sure we were treated as special!

We were taken to our separate little bungalow ,which was very comfortable (hot water bottles were put in our beds), and were given our own table for meals. My wife has a food allergy and requested a meal with no onions or garlic and this was arranged with no problem. At the end of the meal each night the staff staged a singing /dancing display which everyone enjoyed..

The location of Canyon Village is itself exciting, tucked away amongst the rocks at the foot of the mountains, and we greatly admired the way the 'village' had been laid out . The décor of the main building was most imaginative and the wall paintings were particularly attractive and interesting. The food was very good and all the staff most helpful..

One slight criticism: while we enjoyed seeing the sparrows fluttering around in the dining room, it was a little disconcerting to see them perched directly above the uncovered breakfast cereals and yoghourts"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Image alt

Sinclair Guest Farm, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Sinclair Guest Farm review"

1 night Arrived 29 Aug 2008
"This was a mixed experience. We were given a very friendly welcome and Peter could not have been a better host, joining us at dinner and, although most of the guests (like him) were German-speaking, he spent a lot of time talking to us in English about Namibia. Food was excellent and this was an enjoyable evening..

However the accommodation was poor. It had no heating, and although we were told it was going to be a frosty night, we had only a thin duvet on the bed. We were told they had no hot water bottles. We slept fully clothed. The pillows were thin and inadequate.

I also prefer a loo door that seals, not one made of venetian slats. A small point but....."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Rooms
Poor
Food
Excellent
Image alt

Kulala Wilderness Camp, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Kulala Wilderness Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 30 Aug 2008
"Absolutely excellent! What a location! We arrived just after it fell dark and were greated with glasses of sherry and then taken to our tented cabin - quite a long walk in the dark which added to the experience. The cabin was surprisingly comfortable, though it was a joy to go into the warm, stone-built bathroom area which absorbed the daytime heat so that it was so much warmer than the tented part during the evening and night! We were appreciative of the hot water bottles that were brought down to us each night.

On the second night a very strong wind blew up. This inevitably made it noisy, draughty, and rather cold, but it was still a fantastic place to stay at. What views from the tent windows and its little balcony!

All the staff were incredibly friendly and keen to help. (Thomas, the manager, even went to the trouble to book us restaurant places in Swakomund for the nights we were there because he thought we would have trouble in finding anywhere that was free. This was most appreciated.)

We had some of the best meals at this Camp.

Our first morning was an early rise to go on the Landrover trip to Sossusvlei. Bariar was our guide and we could not have had a better one. This trip was perhaps the highlight of the holiday, largely thanks to him. His humour and enthusiasm were infectious, and he was a mine of information about everything we saw. We learnt a lot from him. We climbed one of the dunes, slid down into Dead Vlei, and took a great number of photos. On the way back we briefly visited Sessriem Canyon.

Later we sat on the verandah at the Camp enjoying the fantastic view while having a drink and cake."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Beach Lodge

Beach Lodge

"Beach Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 1 Sep 2008
"The outside of this hotel has the shape of the prow of a ship, and its windows resemle portholes. Rooms are named after wrecks along the coast, and there is a rather melancholic map showing all the ships sunk my enemy action round South Africa during the two wars. However, apart from this bizarre theme, the Beach was an excellent hotel. We were given a comfortable room facing the beach (french windows opening directly onto it), and upstairs there was an excellent restaurant with a good menu and good food. An internet point was available for guests.

The receptionist staff let the hotel down - twice failing to pass on messages, and not regarding this as a matter of any great concern.

Our very dirty car was cleaned for us before we left.

Day trip along the coast south of Swakopmund: Somewhat disappointing. Because of a high sea we were unable to reach Sandwich harbour but stayed on the dunes.

However we saw the extensive salt workings and later spent some time looking at the flamingos and pellicans (which we felt were worth watching!) and enjoyed this. Although we did not get to Sandwich Harbour, our trip was not cut short but lasted until 6.0 pm. A good and ample picnic lunch was provided."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"Coast and Sandwich Harbour"

2 Sep 2008 • All-day excursion

Somewhat disappointing. Because of a high sea we were unable to reach Sandwich harbour but stayed on the dunes. This was perhaps not the trip for us. We were with four very enthusiastic bird watchers, and tended to spend more time than we would have wanted looking at very distant and - to us - not very interesting birds! Our guide was obviously a keen bird watcher himself but was most uncharismatic. (We felt we would have enjoyed the trip more had we been with Turnstone's other party, which had a younger and more personable guide and a more 'normal' group of people - ie not twitchers!)

However we saw the extensive salt workings and later spent some time looking at the flamingos and pellicans (which we felt were worth watching!) and enjoyed this.

Although we did not get to Sandwich Harbour, our trip was not cut short but lasted until 6.0 pm. A good and ample picnic lunch was provided.
Average
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

2 nights Arrived 3 Sep 2008
"Doro Nawas was another excellent camp. We were given what was essentially a small , stand-alone house, an enormous room in which our double bed was almost lost. It had large sliding doors opening out onto the open wilderness of the desert. The welcome was, as at the other Wilderness Safari camp, very personal, and indeed all the staff visibly made it their business to see that we were well looked after.

Meals were in the main building, from outside looking rather grim but inside very attractive. Food again was good. The staff put on a performance of traditional singing after dinner, which was very enjoyable and gave us a taste of the local culture.

After dinner we were invited to go up onto the roof to look at the stars. A guide using a laser pointer helped us identify some of the main stars/constellations of the southern sky and a telescope set up to look at the moon was fascinating.

We booked another landrover trip the next day to look for desert elephants with Elaine as our guide. We soon saw our first eleven. Elaine then started to take us, cross country, to Twyfelfontein but we shortly ran into another herd of 12 elephants which we were able to watch this time at very close quarters for quite a long time. We returned for lunch and then afterwards we set off again with her to Twyfelfontein for a very quick visit. On the way back we came across yet another two elephants, again at close quarters. These had been very successful and most enjoyable outings.

After leaving Doro Nawas after our second night we were able to drive to the Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain, and then to the Petrified Forest, before journeying on to the Grootberg Lodge."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Grootberg Lodge

Grootberg Lodge

"Grootberg Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 5 Sep 2008
"What a spectacular location! The drive up the rough track in the Landrover that was sent to collect us from where we had left our own car at the bottom of the mountain prepared us for the excitement of arriving at the top and seeing the view from the Lodge. We felt even more excited when we heard that a leopard's footprints had been seen by the swimming pool the previous morning!

Our cabin was set right on the edge of the escarpment with a fantastic view from its balcony. The cabin itself was comfortable, water heated from a primative wooden furnace outside - the only complaint was that we would have liked to have had a door on the loo. A certain degree of privacy is nice even when sharing a room with your wife/husband.

Again, we had an extremely friendly welcome from all the staff and good food, though embarrassed by the excessively large portions given us which meant that was unnecessary wastage.

The next day we were driven by our guide, Crossley, down into the Klip valley where we saw wildlife, including an elephant,and were particularly fascinated by some of the large quartz crystals he showed us in an outcrop of rock.

In the afternoon, what better place to enjoy the view than our balcony! The swimming pool, immediately above the cliff edge, gave a new experience as numerous swallows wheeled around and skimmed the surface even when one was in the water.

Our car, parked at the bottom of the hill, was cleaned for us before we left."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
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Anderssons Camp, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Anderssons Camp review"

1 night Arrived 7 Sep 2008
"We arrived early afternoon and were offered lumch. Our cabin was a semi-tented one built in an eco-style with reclaimed materials, with its washroom open to the sky. It was basic but fully comfortable. The cabin was on the perimeter of the camp, within the camp's electric fence although its verandah opened onto the open countryside beyond the electric fence. It was a few feet above ground level but we felt a little uneasy that there was little protection between us and what might be roaming outside!

We were excited to see the silhouette of a giraffe's head looking through the window just before dawn. It was grazing on a tree about five yards away.

The dining area and lounge for the camp overlooked its own waterhole, and we could sit on comfortable settees and wait for animals to approach. The waterhole is relatively new and as yet gets only occasional animal visits, although during our dinner we watched a giraffe approaching and drinking.

We were taken a guided walk outside the camp by Frans, armed with rifle, who pointed out to us some of the more interesting trees, plants and insects, animal tracks and a few kudu and oryx. Just outside the electric fence, yards from our cabin, he pointed out recent lion paw marks. (This increased the concern, noted above, that there were only a couple of strands of unelectrified wire between this and our verandah!)

Once again we were struck by the friendliness and helpfulness of all the staff. The manager in particular was both helpful and very concerned when my wife suffered a bout of sickness, bringing her medicaments and ensuring that she had all that was needed.

The camp is still waiting to have mains electricity connected, and as a result electricity is turned off during the night. This was particularly awkward for us, with my wife being sick, and our torch batteries not having sufficient juice to last fully when needed. Water pressure for flushing the loo also seemed to depend on the availability of electricity."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Halali Restcamp review"

2 nights Arrived 8 Sep 2008
"This camp felt more like a small town, large enough to make it worthwhile taking the car when going to the restaurant. As a result it was necessarily impersonal, and very different from all the other places we had stayed in. (However, it appeared smaller and more intimate than the Okaukuejo camp we passed through when we entered Etosha.)

We were given a two room bungalow, air conditioned and equipped with a fridge, which was most comfortable and gave us an opportunity to wash some clothes and sort ourselves out, although it inevitably lacked the character of the other camps/lodges we had stayed in. The eating arrangements in the restaurant were adequate if not exciting, and care had to be taken not to arrive at a busy time (coming early avoided all problems).

The waterhole was overlooked by a covred seating area on a rocky outcrop. While we watched on the two nights we saw numerous guinea foul and three rhinos but not much else. Perhaps we were unlucky, but if so this was made up by the sights we saw at the many waterholes we visited during the day.

Rather surprisingly, we were told that the camp was not running any game-watching trips that week - we had thought an evening one might have been worth doing.

The camp's central location was convenient for visiting waterholes to the east and the west. The large swimming pool was appreciated for a mid-day cooling off beteen animal watching."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Waterberg Wilderness Lodge

Waterberg Wilderness Lodge

"Waterberg Wilderness Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 10 Sep 2008
"An idyllic spot, surrounded by lush gardens immediately below the rocky cliffs of the Waterberg Plateau. We had a pleasant, large room overlooking the garden with its small, springfed swimming pool. Caroline Rust greeted us in a friendly way at the reception (some 3km from the Lodge itself!) and was helpful in confirming our flight details for us, but the atmosphere in the Lodge itself was not so much unfriendly as lacking in any of the friendliness we had found everywhere else. The staff seemed cowed, with none of the banter or approachfulness we had been accustomed to. Everything was German (we were the only English speaking guests there), the books in the room were in German and the menu for dinner was in German. The meal arrangements were uncomfortably formal with long waits before courses were served.

Something I have never experienced before in a hotel was being asked to sign a detailed inventory of the things in the room (towels, books, etc) before settling in."
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average

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