Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs W from Warwick


It turned out well in the end.

On this trip, I visited South Africa between 7-Jun-2017 and 23-Jun-2017 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

Thank goodness and Tracy. She sorted out a problem with our bookings only a couple of weeks before we left for our holiday. It was not exactly as we anticipated but it was great, particularly the inclusion of extended stays at Polentswa and Rooiputs.

The success of a game spotting holiday can be down to luck in seeing the game. In this respect luck was not on our side, particularly, this time but having been on four holidays to Kgalagadi, we know that this is not the be all and end all. The landscapes, birdlife, and small animals are all wondrous. Most of all, however, we are always struck by the interesting people we meet and the stories they tell us - including Mercy, who recalled meeting Chris McIntyre.

Our one criticism is that the revised plan meant a lot more travelling between distant camps and too many changes in accommodation. 10 changes in a 12 days stay is too much especially when there were six hours and more of travelling to be done in a day. But, anyway, we had a holiday!

Kgalagadi is not for the packaged tourist and long may it stay that way despite the gradual increase in accommodation at the camps.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Le Must River Residence, South Africa
7-Jun-2017 review: Now under new management
GoodGood
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp, South Africa
8-Jun-2017 review: The best base for your trip to the Kalagadi
GoodGood
Ta Shebube Polentswa, South Africa
9-Jun-2017 review: "Sustainable" luxury in the dunes
ExcellentExcellent
Gharagab Wilderness Camp, South Africa
10-Jun-2017 review: Two years later - what a difference?
ExcellentExcellent
Kalahari Tented Camp, South Africa
11-Jun-2017 review: The animals come pretty close here...
GoodGood
Mata Mata Rest Camp, South Africa
13-Jun-2017 review: New riverside units - a step up from the old
GoodGood
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp, South Africa
14-Jun-2017 review: Twee Rivieren Rest Camp review
GoodGood
Ta Shebube Polentswa, South Africa
15-Jun-2017 review: A second visit to Polentswa on this trip
ExcellentExcellent
Gharagab Wilderness Camp, South Africa
16-Jun-2017 review: A second visit on this trip - worth it!
GoodGood
Grootkolk Wilderness Camp, South Africa
17-Jun-2017 review: The best wilderness camp in Kgalagadi
ExcellentExcellent
Ta Shebube Rooiputs, South Africa
18-Jun-2017 review: No better place to stay in the Kgalagadi
ExcellentExcellent
Augrabies Falls Restcamp, South Africa
20-Jun-2017 review: Keep the door shut to keep out the monkeys
GoodGood
Le Must River Residence, South Africa
22-Jun-2017 review: Our second visit on this trip
GoodGood

Great holiday. We plan to return next year

On this trip, I visited South Africa between 29-Aug-2014 and 15-Sep-2014 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

Our holiday was in two parts. The Kgalagadi in September will not be to everyone's taste as it is by no means a luxury holiday. It takes good advanced planning to make sure you are properly stocked up with water and other essentials before you set out from Upington. Your diet could be limited to red meat on the braai but don't let this put you off. This is a holiday for those who value the traditional south african safari experience.

From the Kgalagadi we travelled through Namakwaland at wildflower time. So lucky, as there are only a few weeks in the year when the desert blossoms. It is unforgettable.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
I value the fact that you allow me to book my own flights and my car hire.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Le Must River Residence, South Africa
29-Aug-2014 review: Le Must River Residence review
ExcellentExcellent
Twee Rivieren Rest Camp, South Africa
30-Aug-2014 review: Good launch pad for safari in Kgalagadi
GoodGood
Mata Mata Rest Camp, South Africa
31-Aug-2014 review: Try and get a chalet overlooking the river
GoodGood
Gharagab Wilderness Camp, South Africa
1-Sep-2014 review: Location excellent but maintenance needed
AverageAverage
Bitterpan Wilderness Camp, South Africa
2-Sep-2014 review: Just getting there is an achievement
ExcellentExcellent
Kielie Krankie Wilderness Camp, South Africa
4-Sep-2014 review: Superb views over the red dunescape
GoodGood
Kalahari Tented Camp, South Africa
5-Sep-2014 review: Comfortable well designed units
GoodGood
Nossob Rest Camp, South Africa
6-Sep-2014 review: Two nights. Two different experiences
AverageAverage
Molopo Kalahari Lodge, South Africa
8-Sep-2014 review: Go to experience a bit of local colour
ExcellentExcellent
Augrabies Falls Restcamp, South Africa
9-Sep-2014 review: Comfortable new lodges at Augrabies
GoodGood
Mountain View Guest House, South Africa
10-Sep-2014 review: Signing makes it easy to find
ExcellentExcellent
St Du Barrys
11-Sep-2014 review: Yes, the parrot really does talk on Skype
ExcellentExcellent
La Cabriere
12-Sep-2014 review: Quiet, comfortable spot, an easy walk to town
ExcellentExcellent

A wonderful holiday

On this trip, I visited Namibia between 2-Oct-2009 and 17-Oct-2009 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

The animals at Etosha were inevitably he highlight of our trip but this doe not take away anything from the rst of our holiday. We stayed at some exceptional places and had some wonderful experiences. Namibia is a stunning country and we enjoyed every aspect to it.

This is the second time we have used Expert Africa and the Bradt guide and are sure to use them both again. Sabina was always helpful and responded well to all my quirky requests.

Suggestions for improvement:

This not an improvement but is something I would like EXpert to consider taking up.

This is that I think that the quality of the experience offered by NWR at, especially, Etosha is deteriorating. Although the individual staff are generally courteous and helpful I think they need to improve their service as they no longer offer a value for money experience compared with that offered by the lodges with which they are in competition. This is an issue for them but my main concern lies with their management of the Park.

Firstly, I was extrememly concerned by their seeming lack of an effective response to a fire in the Park when I was there at the beginning of October. I first noticed the fire in the morning as a very small column of smoke which by the end of the day had extended on at least a 5km front from the western edge of the park right up to the Pan. I was told this was not the first big fire recently and would like to be assured that the NWR was learning from its recent experiences in this regard.

Secondly, the absence of rangers on patrol within the Park meant that there was little policing going on. It suggested to me that the aminals of secondary importance and this might be symptomatic of a neglect of the environmental conservation aspect of managing the park and that sadly it is increasingly looked upon by government as solely a cash cow.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Terra Africa, Namibia (this camp has since closed)
2-Oct-2009 review: Ideal to start or end a visit to Nam.
ExcellentExcellent
Waterberg Camp, Namibia
3-Oct-2009 review: Lovely setting - great walks
GoodGood
Halali Camp, Namibia
4-Oct-2009 review: Road closures limit Halali's attractions
AverageAverage
Taleni Etosha Village, Namibia
7-Oct-2009 review: location, quaity & value = perfect Etosha
ExcellentExcellent
Camp Kipwe, Namibia
9-Oct-2009 review: The best yet...
ExcellentExcellent
Brandberg White Lady Lodge, Namibia
10-Oct-2009 review: Missed the elephants by an hour....
GoodGood
Sam's Giardino, Namibia
12-Oct-2009 review: Perfect spot in Swakop
ExcellentExcellent
Rostock Ritz, Namibia
14-Oct-2009 review: Stunning views from our honeymoon suite
ExcellentExcellent
Terra Africa, Namibia (this camp has since closed)
16-Oct-2009 review: Terra Africa review
ExcellentExcellent

A wonderful holiday

On this trip, I visited Namibia & South Africa between 28-Sep-2008 and 12-Oct-2008 and I travelled with 3 other people.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

An unforgettable trip. Everything worked well and repayed careful planning. We did 3000km in two weeks. This was far enough. We know some try and do too much and this must be a mistake as one needs to stop and draw breath and experience the desert.

Maruska was a great help when I was struggling to organise the trip on my own.

I will certainly use Expert Africa again

Suggestions for improvement:

I was very impressed with the guidebiook which became our bible. The only shortcoming was the comment on Swartfontein in the guidebook. The italians left four years ago and the new owners, although perfectly nice, are very much concentrating on hunting and those of a mild disposition may find it uncomfortable if there are hunters amongs their fellow guests.

Thanks Maruska for your care and attention.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
The Airport Grand, South Africa
28-Sep-2008 review: The Airport Grand review
GoodGood
Bush Pillow Guesthouse
29-Sep-2008 review: Economical place to stay in Otjiwarorongo
GoodGood
Onguma Tented Camp, Namibia
30-Sep-2008 review: Onguma Tented Camp review
ExcellentExcellent
Halali Camp, Namibia
1-Oct-2008 review: Halali Restcamp review
ExcellentExcellent
Etosha Safari Camp, Namibia
4-Oct-2008 review: Etosha Safari Camp review
AverageAverage
Vingerklip Lodge, Namibia
5-Oct-2008 review: Vingerklip Lodge review
ExcellentExcellent
Brandberg White Lady Lodge, Namibia
6-Oct-2008 review: Brandberg White Lady Lodge review
ExcellentExcellent
Brigadoon, Namibia
8-Oct-2008 review: Brigadoon review
ExcellentExcellent
Swartfontein Guest Farm, Namibia (this camp has since closed)
9-Oct-2008 review: Swartfontein Guest Farm review
GoodGood
Pension Moni
11-Oct-2008 review: review
AverageAverage