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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr P from Wallingford

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

3

Lodges stayed in

14

Excursions taken

0

Great trip overall

Namibia and 2 other countries between 30 Aug 2008 and 23 Sep 2008

Trip rating: Good
"As a complete trip it was brilliant with many wonderful highlights. Until we got to Kulala the arrangements worked flawlessly. Only then did things begin to go wrong and these all happened on Wilderness Safaris' "watch". From then on the trip had an element of stress it did not have before since we constantly had to keep on checking things like whether they had packed fruit on the game drives for my wife instead of cake (on 2 days they forgot!). I know you have already been in contact with them and I await the outcome.

Thank you Expert Africa!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


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1 on Queens

"good location - but no sleep"

1 night Arrived 31 Aug 2008
"This B&B is in a very good location and close to many restaurants. It was spoilt for us by being put in Room 6 which overlooks a small courtyard and is lit up at night by very bright security lighting. Unfortunately the room did not have lightstop blinds which would have made all the difference. In the event we had very little sleep as it was like trying to go to bed in daylight! Although we mentioned this on our return for our second night there they were not able to put us in another room although the B&B was not full. This was disappointing and spoilt our second night's sleep too.

We had been to Cape Town before so our activities were centred on things we had not seen on our previous visit - the highlight of which was seeing the penguin colony at Boulders Beach."
Poor
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
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De Kelders B&B

"beautiful location - shame about the weather!"

1 night Arrived 1 Sep 2008
"Unfortunately stormy weather prevented us from going on our shark diving trip. However, the stay at De Kelders was very pleasant with our hosts going out of their way to make our stay as enjoyable as possible, despite the inclement weather. On our arrival we were told that we had originally been upgraded from the Elmien room to the Whale Suite but unfortunately the storms had damaged that room. As another couple had been put into our original room we were then put into "James" - a slight downgrade. As a result, although we did not ask for it, we were told on departure that we would receive a full refund of our stay.

As we could not go shark diving,we instead toured the Overberg. This is a little-touristed area containing such gems as Elim - a beautiful village - and very fine fynbos. We also went to Cape Agulhas - the southernmost tip of Africa and very windy!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Ndedema Lodge

Ndedema Lodge

"Great wildflower viewing in the Cedarberg."

1 night Arrived 3 Sep 2008
"Our stay here was excellent in all respects with fine weather and beautiful flower viewing in the Cedarberg mountains.

Our hosts could not have been kinder or more helpful and it was they who made our stay with their recommendation of a wonderful wildflower drive. On the way back we walked the Sevilla trail - a stroll through the wild flowers to see ancient rock art - a superb end to the day."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Mountain View Guest House

Mountain View Guest House

"Beautiful room and excellent wildflowers"

2 nights Arrived 4 Sep 2008
"Another excellent B&B in a good location.

We stayed 2 nights here from where we drove several wildflower routes, the most memorable being Skilpad - large expanses of Namaqua daisies - and Goekap - amazing variety of different wildflowers in lovely setting."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Kalahari Anib Lodge

Kalahari Anib Lodge

"A great stopover"

1 night Arrived 6 Sep 2008
"This was, perhaps surprisingly given its size compared to the B&Bs elsewhere, one of our best night stops. Our accommodation was well separated from that of the main tour groups, and we sat at tables for 2 at dinner and breakfast. The staff had been made well aware of my wife's dietary requirements, which were verified on arrival to ensure dinner went smoothly.

In the event, we had an excellent dinner in pleasant surroundings served by very friendly and efficient staff - clearly a well managed establishment. We did not go on any activities since this was our first stop in Namibia en route to Sossusvlei and the dunes."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Great location - awful service"

2 nights Arrived 7 Sep 2008
"This lodge was our first experience of Wilderness Safaris and the experience could not have been worse. On arrival, we checked that the lodge had received an advance copy of my wife's dietary requirements and they said they had. However, when my wife tried to run through this in more detail she was told quite abruptly that there was no need for this - "we know what she wants" - and the reception staff were more interested in getting our signatures on the disclaimer forms. It was quite obvious from the start that this was a badly managed lodge - in fact the (sole?) manager was away.

Our room was also not very clean with quite a lot of sand about and large balls of fluff and dirt in the wardrobe.

However, this was only the beginning. At dinner my wife was served the only 2 vegetables she does not eat as her main course. We then had to wait a long time while the restaurant staff then went through my wife's dietary requirements in detail! Eventually we were served an acceptable meal but by then it was getting quite late.

Because of the problems the previous evening, my wife and I did not get "brunch" at Sossusvlei at the end of our dune excusion and instead were taken back early to the lodge for lunch there which consisted of a greek salad (less feta cheese and cucumber!!!) - ie an olive and lettuce salad with a few tomatoes. As a final insult the lodge tried to charge us for 2 beers with the lunch which were freely available at no cost on our dune excursion, not to mention the complimentary glass of wine which they gave us the night before while we waited 2 hours for our dinner!!

It is also worth noting that having been on holiday in Southern Africa for 23 days, this was the ONLY lodge/B&B which served tinned fruit salad at all mealtimes when fresh fruit was freely available.

At lunch on our final day, we sat down with the staff and wrote out again a list of my wife's dietary requirements which we asked them to pass on to Doro Nawas and Wilderness Zambia.We also discovered that the list Kulala had received from Wilderness was considerably shortened and while this would normally excuse them a little, the fact that they refused to run through the detail on our arrival was Kulala's fault alone.

Overall this stay was very disappointing and very poor value for the money we paid."
Poor
Location
Excellent
Service
Terrible
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Terrible
Facilities
Good
Sea Breeze Guesthouse

Sea Breeze Guesthouse

"A great little B&B"

1 night Arrived 9 Sep 2008
"Yet another very good B&B with attentive hosts. In particular, their recommendation of the "Wreck" restaurant in Beach Lodge some 2 Km away was excellent as we had a superb dinner there.

We were also lucky that we arrived in and departed Swakopmund in sunny weather which gave us the opportunity to "walk the sights"."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"A brilliant stay"

1 night Arrived 10 Sep 2008
"After Kulala what a difference! Apart from the structure itself which was not to our taste, we could not fault our stay at Doro Nawas.

They had clearly received the dietary list and meals were no longer an issue. In fact nothing was too much trouble and Doro Nawas clearly benefitted from being properly managed. To cap it all we also had our sundowner watching a herd of 11 desert elephants in the Huab river valley. Thank you!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Much better than expected"

3 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2008
"Although we were told that this restcamp had been recently upgraded from a very basic standard and clearly had to pay considerably more for the privilege, the camp was much better than expected. In particular our waterhole chalet (W18) was perfectly located for the waterhole (only 50m away) and was immaculate.

We self-catered in the evening so as not to miss the activity at the waterhole but did take breakfast in the restaurant- plenty of choice (even for my wife (fresh not tinned fruit!) which was excellent. Checking in was a little tedious but checking out very quick with no need for an inventory check to collect my refund of the 500 Rand deposit.

Game viewing was excellent throughout with plenty of activity at many of the other waterholes we visited. Highlights at the Okakuejo waterhole were Black Rhino every night - 6 on one night - huge herds of elephant with tiny babies, massive numbers of zebra in the morning and a jackal kill right in front of us."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Haus Sonneneck

Haus Sonneneck

"Another pleasant night stop"

1 night Arrived 14 Sep 2008
"Yet another very pleasant and friendly guest house in a convenient location. Again our hosts' restaurant recommendations were excellent and we both enjoyed the huge feast of the Sunday Buffet at Joe's Beer Garden.

We had to leave at 5.15am the following morning to catch an early flight from Windhoek and so were not able to enjoy the breakfast hospitality. However we were both given a generous packed breakfast to see us on our way.

While in Windhoek, we took a lovely little drive out to Dal Viljoen National Park some 20 km away and spent a pleasant couple of hours walking by the lake."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Taj Pamodzi Hotel

Taj Pamodzi Hotel

"Poor value for money - certainly not 4/5 star"

1 night Arrived 15 Sep 2008
"We only stayed 1 night here en route to our Kafue safari . It took over 2 hours to have a one course meal since the meal my wife ordered from the menu was not what was placed in front of her and we had to reorder. The staff said they did not have half the ingredients including the main one!!

Our room was very noisy throughout the night - we do not know what it was - some kind of machinery - and we found in the early hours that the toilet did not flush. All this was reported to the duty manager in the morning and he took my email address - I have still not heard from them.

On a point of safety there was a small step from the bathroom to the bedroom which we both tripped or fell over during the night - fortunately with no injury. This is an unnecessary hazard.

We were also briefed to expert a message in the hotel from Wilderness Safaris concerning our flight to Kafue. Despite asking 3 times during the evening we were there and also the following morning we heard nothing. The end result was another Wilderness shambles with us being stranded on the wrong side of Lusaka Airport as the Taj Pomodzi driver had no idea where Sefofane was and was misdirected to the wrong operator!!"
Poor
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Poor
Food
Average
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Lufupa Tented Camp, Zambia (this camp has since closed)

"Very enjoyable even with no leopards!"

3 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2008
"We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Lufupa even though there was a distinct shortage of animals especially lions and leopards. Even our guide said the animals "were on strike". However we had some wonderful river trips seeing elephant close up as well as a Pels fishing owl chick We also saw a serval and a blue duiker on our night drives. Tsetse flies were a problem but did not ruin our drives.

Unfortunately Wilderness Safaris' communications let them down again and the poor manager (JD) had no idea at all of my wife's dietary requirements. Once this had been sorted out with yet another face-to-face meeting, the food was not an issue. To try to prevent any more problems JD sent his catering manager (Kenny) along with us on the rest of our safari."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
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Musanza Bushcamp, Zambia (this camp has since closed)

"A lovely tent in the bush and great wildlife"

3 nights Arrived 19 Sep 2008
"We really enjoyed this camp. The highlight though was the game viwing both in and around Musanza and on the Busanga Plains. We saw just about everything - lots of lions, a brilliant sighting of a leopard on a night drive and a pack of wild dogs hunting in the early morning light - totally unexpected! Again the tsetse flies were a nuisance but we all managed to survive!

The only slight negative was again on the food side, where sending the catering manager along to supervise tended to inhibit Musanza's own camp chef, leading to one very disappointing meal in particular for my vegetarian wife. While the rest of us were tucking into a huge barbecue with lots of different meats and assorted vegetables, my wife was only offered the 2 vegetables as her main course whereas on every other occasion a separate main course (including a protein element) was prepared for her in addition to the usual vegetables. We put this down (kindly) to forgetfulness but it showed poor attention to detail and an element of laziness which completely spoiled my wife's enjoyment of the evening."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
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Lunga River Lodge, Zambia (this camp has since closed)

"Great last night"

1 night Arrived 22 Sep 2008
"Although we only spent one night at Lunga it was excellent.

We had a lovely room overlooking the river and did 2 outstanding river trips with fantastic elephant sightings in the water.

In particular the river trips kept us well clear of the tsetse flies!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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