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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs H from W Sussex

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

11

Excursions taken

0

Everything we had asked for

Namibia and 1 other country between 19 Sep 2009 and 8 Oct 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"From the first contact with Tracy our experience with Expert Africa was a very pleasant one.
Tracey patiently listened to our requirements and took our budget into account.
We all changed things around until the final programme was agreed.
Even though Tracy was clear that Expert Africa's experience in South Africa was limited this did not deter us and between us we came up with a solution.
Our only real dissapointment was Roggeland, our last 2 nights which had so much promise... see our reviews.. which was let down by circumstances beyond Expert Africa's control but hopefully the feedback will get through.

We would not hesitate recommending Expert Africa... special thanks to Tracy"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Villa Violet

Villa Violet

"The Elegant Bed & Breakfast review"

1 night Arrived 19 Sep 2009
"We found The Elegant without problems, in a residential suburb of Windhoek, with directions provided.
Enclosed and covered parking spared the car from the heat. We were welcomed with a cool drink by friendly staff.
The rooms are located around a garden courtyard and were very pleasant.
The staff were helpfull with advice on security, supermarkets, shopping and a recommended taxi service.

Overall for one night we couldn't fault "The Elegant" but with one exception..... In the morning the staff were watching t.v. in the lounge, which didn't give the best impression and we felt that this was why were not been offered a cooked breakfast.For the long drive ahead trhis would have been welcome."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Desert Homestead

Desert Homestead

"Desert Homestead review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2009
"After a detour to Solitaire to repair our first of 3 punctures, this place is something else with a " display" of old rusting vehicles and a helpful garage and of course the bakery with freshly baked goodies and the famous apple pie!, we arrived early evening from Windhoek.
A welcome drink awaited and we were shown around the lodge and to our detached cottage.
The views at sunset were stunning. The night sky even better.
The staff here were very friendly and attentive and generally reacted quickly to any issues.
We did comment that the evening meals could be served hotter and hopefully this will be acted upon as the food quality was good.
The cottage was very dark, we appreciate that there are power issues but when one of the bedside lights needed a replacement bulb it was unfortunately not dealt with.
An issue with the plumbing was dealt with so quickly that the Manager and 2 maintenance staff were at the cottage before I had walked back from the lodge after reporting the situation.....very efficient ... and soon followed by a chambermaid to clean up.

The location of the lodge a 40 minute drive from Sesriem and the gates to the dunes was not an issue.
At Sesriem a single member of staff manually filling out permits is an unnecessary delay. The wildlife authority must be aware that the time for the best photographs of the dunes is at sunrise or within a couple of hours and to create such a bottleneck delaying entering, for up to an hour, for the 45km drive to reach the main dunes seems unreasonable but stilll well worth the journey."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Cornerstone Guesthouse review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2009
"After the heat of the desert, arriving at Swakopmund with 15 degC was a shock but this cannot be changed unfortunately.
Cornerstone's is very conveniently located and provides good quality accomodation with a short walk into town.
The owners , Peter & Margo, were very friendly... look out for Margo's paintings they are very good indeed and should be on sale.
The rooms were very clean with a hair drier a great advantage for Particia.
Breakfast was excellent as was the packed lunches provided.
For the 1st evening meal, booked ahead by email by our hosts, we ate at " The Tug"... some of the best fish ever and with a table directly overlooking the ocean.
On the 2nd evening wanting something lighter we visited " Nonna's" and had their special meatballs.. delicious."
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

1 night Arrived 24 Sep 2009
"Arriving after the long drive from Swakopmund we were uncertain if we should turn off the main road as the sign said Doro Nawas Camp. Arriving at the end of the track we were in no doubt that we were in the right place as there was the Lodge sitting dark and brooding on top of a low hill.
A member of staff came down from the lodge with cool face towels, just rght for wiping away the Namibian dust.
Going up to the main building we were given welcome drinks and shown the facilities before being shown to our " room". This is an understatement as the building, just for us, was nearly as large as the ground floor of our house and this just for a bedroom and en-suite bathroom.
The bedroom, with island site bed, felt like a half marathon just to walk to the bathroom.
Bed isn't the right description either as it could be wheeled onto the huge veranda to sleep under the stars.
The evening meal was very good, but as with a previous lodge, was served very cool and a replacement was requested and brought without much delay.
At the end of the meal a guide came around with details of the following days actvities. As we needed to be away mid morning we chose a guided walk which we found to be very informative and our guide, Michael, told us about tracking and the uses that animals and local people make of the various trees/ bushes.
Doro Nawas was the first lodge with a crafts/ gift shop which had a good selection and reasonably priced therefore welcome and used.
All staff were friendly and welcoming and seemed genuinely pleased that you wre in Namibia... this was a common experience in all Namibian accommodations."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Grootberg Lodge

Grootberg Lodge

"Grootberg Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2009
"Whilst the Lodge itself was not the most luxurious of our trip this was exceeded by the service and friendiness of Dominic, Simonetta ( spelling ?) and all of the Grootberg team.
From our arrival at the bottom of the mountain track, waiting for the 4x4 to come down to collect us, the staff could not have been better.
We were immediately made welcome by the guy looking after the guests vehicles and then Domionic arrived to collect us and our luggage and take up the very steep track to the Lodge and what a location.... a total surprise not revealed until taken onto the main veranda for a welcome drink.
The lodge is on top of a mountain horseshoe plateau with superb views seemingly for miles.
Our bungalow, although not huge, was perfectly adequate and located on the edge of the plateau with amazing views.
Our only negative comment on the room was that the pillows not as comfortable as some and on the 2nd morning noticed a hole in the bottom sheet.
All of this pales into insignificance when viewed against the total experience with the staff.
Meals were excellent, and hot !, and followed by entertainment on both evenings by front and back room staff performing local songs with great humour.
Wnenever we had been out multiple staff would come up to you, seemingly knowing, or having been skillfully briefed, exactly what you had been doing and being genuinely interested and wanitng to ensure you were having a good time.
We booked to go on a morning game drive to the river valley but this ended up being a shorter drive on the plateau.. which was slightly disappointing although we saw plenty of Oryx, Springbok, Mountain Zebra and other creatures.
Over lunch Dominic came over to talk with us and we mentioned the drive and after leaving us for a short while he came back to advise that he had arranged an additional drive, down to the river bed, and at no additional cost..... great service.
The atmosphere at Grootberg was very relaxed and you felt like part of an enlarged family particularly with the 2 dogs in attendance."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2009
"Having read various reviews of this rest camp we arrived with some mixed feelings.
After check in we easily found our bungalow near the water hole.
First things first.. check out the water hole and find 18 elephants enjoying it... great start !!!
The Chalet was perfectly fine with decent size bed, air conditioning, fridge and good size bathroom with huge shower area.
Then to the main building for dinner... this is where most comments are about and unfortunately for the first night we had to agree with most that it was not the best experience... Having arrived late in the afternoon we hadn't reserved a table and were infomed in no uncertain terms that we should have done. That said there were plenty of empty tables and were eventually given one so didn't see what all the fuss was about.
The buffet has a reasonable selection but you need to take advantage of everything available to get value for money.
The service was slow in replacing dishes that were running out.
The 2nd night was better... plenty of food etc.
One word of advice.... read the terms of your admission in the small print... your time in Etosha is based on a 24 hr. clock with a couple of hours allowance beyond that.. We hadn't been advised of this and even though , when entering the park we told the gate that we were there for 3 days we were not advised that the clock started ticking from then.
As a result when leaving the park at the end of a very full day , and just before the gates closed, we were advised that we had exceeded our time allowance... 3 days is NOT 3 days... it's 3 x 24 hrs... we were then faced with a bill for a further day and told that we should pay at the last rest camp. After we explained that there was insufficient time to drive back to the rest camp, where the office by this time would have been closed, and paid, the park would be closed so how do we get out again !! Reluctantly they accepted cash paynment at the entrance gatehouse.
Just another example of the Wildlife Organisations strange way of working... needs more customer focus"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Mushara Lodge

Mushara Lodge

"Mushara Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 29 Sep 2009
"Mushara was one of the best that we stayed at... except for the BIG spider in the bathroom.
Accomodation was very good, the public building really spacious and very friendly staff.
The evening dinner out on the terrace great"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Main Camp review"

1 night Arrived 30 Sep 2009
"After a minor hiccup regarding which room grade we had booked, fortunately Expert Africa's voucher system confirmed our booking precisely our luggage was transferred to one of the new view rooms ( a bungalow really ).. These are huge with a wall of glass over looking the savannah.
We arrived early afternoon and after lunch went on a game drive in search of Leopard... did we find one ? yes we did.... a beautiful male out walking, thanks to our guide.
Back at the lodge we had a very good evening meal with our guide.. Martin... joining us which was a very nice touch.
After dinner we went to a hide to watch porcupine.
In the morning after breakfast we went on another drive this time to look for cheetah... did we find them ? yes we did... not one but 5.. and they came right up close to the vehicle.
On the way back we also found a female leopard with a cub although they were hard to see as they were so well concealed in the bushes.
Our only negative comment was that the gift shop was closed and since the trust receives its income from the lodge and shop we found it strange that they were not prepared to open it... this was our last day in Namibia and we were ready to buy gifts... this therefore had to wait until we were in Cape Town"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Acorn House

Acorn House

"Acorn House Cape Town an absolute GEM"

4 nights Arrived 1 Oct 2009
"We cannot speak highly enough about Acorn House.
The staff, accommodation, breakfasts and service levels exceeded our expectations.
Our room was a cottage at the rear of the garden complete with lounge, with t.v. and stereo, private garden with outdoor table and chairs.
There were unlimited pots of coffee/ tea etc. at no charge.
In the lounge there was free port and an honesty bar.
On one evening we wanted to eat light and decided to go to the deli across the road.... buy what you need and bring it back we were told, expecting to eat it in our room.... BUT NO.. a table complete with candles, flowers was laid up just for us on the patio by the pool.. all at no charge.. they even heated our pasta meal and provided glasses for a very nice bottle of wine from the honesty bar.
Do not hesitate if you are thinking of staying here in Cape Town... great location, just grat all round"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ocean Eleven

Ocean Eleven

"Ocean Eleven -- Hermanus"

1 night Arrived 5 Oct 2009
"Just a one night stop here in Hermanus as we had come to see the whales.
Very large room complete with fruit bowl and snacks at no charge.
A very good breakfast.
Located right on the cliff path and an easy stroll into town.
For a geat fish meal visit Fisherman's Cottage"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Image alt

Roggeland Country House, South Africa (this camp has since closed)

"Roggeland Country House... Oh dear !"

2 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2009
"We have very mixed feelings about our 2 night stop here.
On arrival there was no indication of where to go to check in and eventually a gardener pointed us to a door in the main building.
The brochures for Roggeland promise so much with fine food and wines with each course.... this we could not fault.
The off hand manner of the hostess, Jacqui, though left a lot to be desired.... We suggest she takes a trip to Acorn House in Cape Town to learn how to deal with clients.
There was no interaction, no conversation.. just a curt "pleasure " when we thanked her when the various courses were bought and taken away, even though on the first night we were the only guests.
On the 2nd morning we were almost totally ignored by her, but not by the other staff who were welcoming and friendly.. as you would expect.
The evening meal is served at around 7pm and all 4 courses are over by around 8:15..... you are then left in the dining room wandering what to do... there is no offer of coffee and deadly silence in the lounge. We returned to our room only to hear the door being bolted behind us... charming !!!
On the second night there were 9 guests and not much more from our hosts and everone left for their rooms by around 8:30.
We would stress that we could not fault the skills of the chef and the selection of wines but this was totally let down by very indifferent service.
Our overall rating could easily have been good or better, except for Jaqui's manner, and our stay here was a very dissapointing end to our holiday"
Average
Location
Average
Service
Terrible
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

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