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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by The T family from UK

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

12

Excursions taken

1

My Sep 2010 trip

Namibia and 1 other country between 4 Sep 2010 and 25 Sep 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was our first trip to southern Africa. All of us felt that the holiday was amazing.

We saw so many animals, many more that I had hoped - and not just in the national parks."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Elegant Guesthouse

Elegant Guesthouse

"The Elegant Guesthouse review"

1 night Arrived 5 Sep 2010
"A small modern place. Very clean and a great first night's stop in Namibia. Secured parking area with electronic controlled access made one feel comfortable, although raised questions about why one should need such arrangements! We tried the pool which was clean but found it too cold.

Staff helpful and attentive."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Image alt

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

"Kulala Wilderness Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 6 Sep 2010
"Our first time in the wilds of Namibia was made very special by staying here for 2 nights. From the welcome with cold flannels after a long dusty journey, to the extra air being pumped into one of our tyres just as we left, the service was excellent - personal, polite and sincere.

We went on the organised day trip to Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon, led by Moses. This was well planned and executed with a delightful lunch under a camelthorn tree - buit it was still very hot (35c). Moses provided commentary about what we were seeing, and picked out the local wildlife, even in the pre-dawn light of our early start.

The rooms (we had the family unit of two immediately adjacent rooms) are large with a good verandah overlooking the wilderness. We saw springbok, oryx and jackal from there. The food was of a high standard, well cooked and very tasty. We were advised, when given a choice between 2 options, to ask for both. The apple crumble on our first night was just like home.

The swimming pool was clean and very refreshing."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Sam's Giardino review"

2 nights Arrived 8 Sep 2010
"Sam was a tremendous host, and nothing was too much for him. He provides a set menu for evening meal (if you want it) at N$200 per person. Unfortunately there was always something on the menu which a member of our party did not like, so we did not eat dinner there.

Sam was however happy to recommend and book a table at a local restaurant. Both places that he chose for us were excellent and relatively good value. We were able to walk into the centre of Swakopmund from Sam's in about 10 minutes. Breakfast was very good with freshly cooked egg and bacon, with a wide selection of cereals, fruits, breads, cheeses and cold meats, and the largest selection of jams, toppings and sauces that I have ever seen.

Sam provided advice on travelling, and on our last morning suggested that we make up a packed lunch from the breakfast tables - at no extra cost. Our only slight niggle was that Beethoven, Sam's St Bernard, was overly friendly to the guests. The rooms we had did not have a personal safe, although Sam did have them in a room downstairs ready to be installed. He was happy for us to use the house safe.


Whilst staying at Sam's these travellers went on a day trip along the coast, arranged by Expert Africa, and had the following comments:

A great day out. All went very well, and Ernest, our guide, was excellent.

Did not see as many birds as I had hoped, and in fact Sandwhich Harbour was somewhat devoid of life - a few pelicans, and jackals and some other small birds. Perhaps it was the wrong time of year.

The lunch in the sand dunes was great - the best lasagne I have tasted for a long time."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"Turnstone Tour to Sandwich Harbour"

9 Sep 2010 • All-day excursion

A great day out. All went very well, and Ernest, our guide, was excellent.

Did not see as many birds as I had hoped, and in fact Sandwhich Harbour was somewhat devoid of life - a few pelicans, and jackals and some other small birds. Perhaps it was the wrong time of year.

The lunch in the sand dunes was great - the best lasagne I have tasted for a long time.
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

1 night Arrived 10 Sep 2010
"We really wish that we had booked for more than one night here. A pleasent welcome with a cold drink and flannel. The staff were outstanding. Extremely friendly and helpful. They gave an impromptu siing song after the evening meal.

The rooms are huge, and the building style is very interesting. The hill top location of the main part of the development offers outstanding views across the plains to the distant mountains.

One big plus for them - while they were not the only place to ask about dietary needs, they were the only place who actually seemed to take any notice about the reply by cooking my wife a special onion free dish for the evening meal. Top marks indeed for this.

A troop of elephants visited early on the morning of our stay, and pulled up the water supply pipes for the lodge, so there was no chance for a good wash or shower. However a staff member callled by the room, unprompted, to provide bottled water"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Palmwag Lodge

Palmwag Lodge

"Palmwag Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2010
"Somehow we just did not click with Palmwag. It may have started with the welcome drink - it was a nice cold apple juice but served in a glass and in such a quantity that I thought it was a single whisky. We were not shown to our tent location properly ( and hence managed to take the wrong track!).

We went on two of the activities, the early morning walk and the pm drive. Both of these were led by Stephanus and were excellent. The pm drive in particular was a great adventure including our sundowner drinks and snack on the top of a small hill in the middle of nowhere. The highlight was our encounter with elephants in pitch darkness.

The swimming pool looked very uninviting. It was a pale green colour, the water was cloudy and there was a scum on the surface. I had hoped for a refreshing dip after our journey, but the appearance put me off completely.

I had a puncture en route to Palmwag. Once I found where this could be repaired on site (another example of not being given either clear instructions or being taken) the job was done effectivley by a very helpful mechanic. Cost for puncture repair and refitting of wheel was N$105."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 13 Sep 2010
"From what I had read before going to Namibia I had serious concerns about the place. I need not have done. The rooms, while being definitely on the small side, were very clean and well equipped, although there was a slightly unpleasant small in one of our bathrooms. During our 2 day stay we did have a problem with the toilet which stopped working. However it took only 30 minutes after reporting for a maintance man to appear and fix it. The swimming pool was large and clean and a most welcomed treat.

The highlight of this place is undoubtedly the waterhole - and not just when floodlit at night. There is a constant stream of animals to and from the hole. How many places in the world can you see 7 wild rhinos at the same time?

The food is served buffet style for both breakfast and evening meal. While of adequate quality they need to pay more attention to the logistics and ensuring that food is kept topped up. Good fresh meat was cooked in front of you. The soups were good too, but a problem with holding a soup bowl, a ladle and the soup toureen lid at the same time. (Just providing somewhere to put the lid down would make an enormous difference!).

The site shop is worthy of comment (really just to add to what is said the guides). Physically it is quite large, but the shelves are largely empty, and what they do have is expensive. I cannot understand why they do not more pro-actively exploit their location and provide a good range of products (for example vs a very poor selection of cold drinks at the moment) at reasonable prices. The next nearest competitor is over 100km away."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Halali Camp review"

1 night Arrived 15 Sep 2010
"I was really surprised by our rooom here. The floor area must have been 3 times that of our room at Okaukuejo. It was again clean, and this place also has an excellent swimming pool. The waterhole here did not seem to attract the same number of animals as at Okauquejo. We only saw one impala and a lone and very distant rhino.

The food is of a similar standard to Okauquejo, and they again need to think more about the logistics of the food. They ran out of beer glasses and soup bowls."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Onguma Bush Camp

Onguma Bush Camp

"Onguma Bush Camp review"

1 night Arrived 16 Sep 2010
"It may have been the time in our holiday when we arrived here, but Onguma was like heaven on earth. A warm welcome, shown to our rooms and how to operate everything. A wonderful swimming pool and loungers and someone to come and serve drinks. The food and service were excellent. Wished we could have stayed another day.

There were a wide variety of wilds birds flying around the grounds, and there is a small waterhole just outside the fenced area where we saw many impala and zebra as we ate breakfast.

We had a family room for the 2 of us. A private lounge area, a large bedroom, and a bathroom with a bath. Just wonderful."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Nkwazi Lodge

Nkwazi Lodge

"Nkwazi Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 17 Sep 2010
"Our arrival seemed a little haphazard and I was not sure that they were expecting us. It took several looks at vraious pieces of paper to see where which rooms we were to stay in. We did not meet the owners at this time. The staff were however keen to help in whatever way they could. It was good to be able to park the car immediatly next to our room.

Unfortunately the site had been affected by flooding over a long period earlier in the year, and this has resulted in the swimming poool being relocated to higher ground, away from the balcony area immediatley in front of the main meeting area. The works are still underway, and while we were told that the pool was fit to swim in now, it looked to me like there is still a fair bit of work to do.

The flooding does not appear to have adversely affected the other facilities such as roooms which were of a good size and well equipped.

Food was served in buffet style and there was a good selection of dishes, and the food tasted good and there was plenty of it."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ndhovu Safari Lodge

Ndhovu Safari Lodge

"Ndhovu Safari Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 18 Sep 2010
"Monica and Johann (not sure about spelling) were hosting us here while the owners were away on a break. The location immediately on the river offered us views across the river of hippos and elephants and, early in the morning, water buffalos. We went on the evening boat trip (N$165 pp) and this was excellent. We saw more hippos, crocodiles, elephants, monkeys and a wide range of birds. We also had a water monitor at the foot of the bank immediatley below our room.

The rooms here are more basic - based on a tent construction -, and we could achieve no more that a small flow of water in our shower.

Interestingly, food is served at a common table - meal times being 8 for both breakfast and dinner.

There is a swimming pool which was clean, although had a tendancy to get leaves in it quickly from the nearby trees.

This place seemed much more personal and at home than most other places we visited."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Lianshulu Lodge

Lianshulu Lodge

"Lianshulu Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Sep 2010
"Oh dear! I was so disappointed with our stay here. I had hoped this would be the climax of our holiday and yet it proved to be exactly the opposite. The access road (5km) is in terrible condition, with large potholes, and is in desparate need of repair. This was mentioned to site management who recognised the problem, although I did not note any commitment to deal with it.

There is no doubt that the lodge facilities are excellent. We had a large room which was well equiped, and the common areas of the lodge are wonderful, immediately overlooking the swamp and river channels. However apart from a few birds there was little to see directly from the lodge during the day - but note that hippos were regular visitors across the lodge grounds in the early hours.

We did go on the evening boat trip which was excessivley expensive (N$550 pp), but I wished afterwards that we had not. I know that animal sightings cannot be guaranteed, but then a much lower price would make such a trip seem more reasonable. We did have a price from elsewhere to compare this with.

The food was dissappointing. It seemed as if they were trying to be extra special, but just not quite making it. Nearly all of the main course on our second evening was left uneaten by all 4 of our party. How a game stew can yield pieces of meat that are so dry and tasteless remains a mystery. This was the worst meal (and only really bad meal) that we had on our entire 3 week holiday. And why at breakfast one could not just get a piece of bacon, but instead had to have a bacon, potato, mushroom (and goodness knows what else) concotion is also a mystery.

At our second evening meal there was a group of VIPs who I took to be senior executives from the company. I was approached by one of them who asked how were things. I said so-so. "What did I mean?", he asked. I said that the food was very dissappointing. His reply was just appalling. He said, "What did you expect?". I replied, "The same stanadard as I have had everywhere else that I have been." If this was his approach to customer service, then I think he has a lot to learn. This is very odd since I thought the same company ran many of the other lodges we had stayed at.

One pleaseant surprise is that we were advised at the end of our stay as we settled our bill that the drinks were free. I am not sure why this was - we were not on all inclusive rates. We spent some 2 hours at the pool but no-one came to ask if we wanted a drink."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Zambezi Sun review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2010
"This place is just in a different league compared to the rest of the places we stayed. Just cannot fault anything here.

Perfect location. Food really tremendous. Perhaps not cheap, the evening buffet costs US$39 pp, but the quality and choice was outstanding representing very good value. We ate in the Squires restaurant the 2nd evening, and the standard of service was very high indeed.

On leaving the hotel, we were left somewhat in the lurch when our expected transport to the airport at 10am did not arrive. The head porter, unprompted, offered to help and looked at our voucher for this trip. It did not specify which local operator would actually be picking us up. The hotel then phoned all the normal ones until they found the one who was due to pick us up (at 10.30 as it happened). This was really excellent service (and a suggestion for Expert Africa to put the name of the local operator on the voucher!)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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