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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs R from Chertsey

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

5

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

25

Excursions taken

1

A very enjoyable holiday

South Africa between 29 Mar 2012 and 14 Apr 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"Most places we visited were repeat visits and little had changed.

The one new venue was Babylonstoren, which was far more commercialised than we were anticipating. It's probably more geared towards younger people. It definitely is not suitable for the disabled. However, we have not heard or seen a single negative comment about it. so it presumably comes down to personal preference.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

As far as we are concerned, no improvements needed!"

Arranged By Claire Scott


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Own arrangements

"Not as we were expecting............."

4 nights Arrived 30 Mar 2012
"Not as we were expecting"
Poor
Southern Cross Beach House

Southern Cross Beach House

"Very homely with a great view across the Bay"

1 night Arrived 3 Apr 2012
"A very relaxing place. An attractive building with a very pleasant patio and a lawn which stretches right to the cliff top.

There is easy private access to the beach, where swimming is possible. The Lemon Grass was recommended as a place to eat and proved very good."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
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Phantom Forest

"A beautiful treetop setting"

2 nights Arrived 4 Apr 2012
"We were welcomed on arrival by Sandy. Not welcomed back, even though it was our 4th stay here and even though we had emailed Sandy previously. Not impressive!

Food was of its normal very high standard and the breakfasts were the best anywhere. But again, service was an issue. We waited 50 minutes for lunchtime bar service, in spite of several 'reminders' to Sandy. A far, far too impersonal and 'hands off' style of management. Rooms are amazing and the location exquisite.

Be sure to wear long trousers if doing the forest walk, or a dose of African Tick Bite Fever could await......."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Auberge Provence

Auberge Provence

"Immaculate B & B managed with great pride"

3 nights Arrived 6 Apr 2012
"Nothing is too much trouble for Belinda, who looked after us superbly.

The house is immaculate, exquisitely furnished, very homely, and in a great location directly overlooking the cliff walk and the Bay."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Le Quartier Francais

Le Quartier Francais

"Pure luxury in a beautiful location."

2 nights Arrived 9 Apr 2012
"We were welcomed back by Linda as old friends. The rooms are beautifully furniished.

The food in the Tasting Room was still exceptional; world class. A unique experience. The Common Room proved to be a very different culinary concept but very enjoyable.

It's worth noting that the Tasting Room is currently closed on Sunday and Monday evenings."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren

"A great concept but rather 'commercial'"

3 nights Arrived 11 Apr 2012
"Very difficult to summarise as so much happens here! There's the winery and vineyards, the really amazing formal kitchen garden, the farm animals and associated products to buy and eat in the restaurant; the fabulous scenery and great facilities.

Staff and Management were very helpful and friendly. The rooms were a mixture of traditional and very high tech and some of the gadgets definitely placed style over practicality. We never did work out the light switches or the taps in the kitchen!

The concept of a room overlooking the garden sounded idyllic. However in reality the two were separated by the main footpath from the car park to the tea rooms. Consequently there was little privacy and we were stared at, photographed, videoed, pointed at and even asked for directions by passers by. Definitely not what we were expecting and, as a result we went out during the day and enjoyed sitting out in the evenings, when the coachloads of visitors had gone. This is undoubtedly an extremely popular local attraction."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent

A magical, almost spiritual experience

South Africa between 28 May 2010 and 6 Jun 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"We have done numerous safaris but this was different. We were not expecting vast quantities of game but we were pleasantly surprised by the number of animals we saw, which included 7 cheetah and 2 male black-maned lions. The game viewing was probably not helped by the volume of rain which had recently fallen, resulting in long, fresh and sometimes green grass.

We found ourselves appreciating the smaller, less significant animals more than we would normally; for instance the mongooses, squirrels and even mice. Finding meerkats is definitely not 'simples'! But we succeeded. Bird life was surprisingly profuse, with a good variety of raptors.

The park infrastructure was excellent. The tracks were sandy, well maintained and the main ones easily negotiable by 2wd, right up to Union End. Petrol is available at Mata Mata and Nossob, but beware that the shops here were not well stocked compared with Twee Rivieren.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Difficult to see how the Expert Africa team could have done a better job! Excellent as always............"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

"Perfectly good stopover at entry to the Park"

1 night Arrived 29 May 2010
"The process of obtaining the pass to the Park was rather painful but will hopefully improve once the new information centre is fully open. Our room was good, At the last moment we decided not to use the restaurant but to make a braai. The shop was very well stocked for this. A theme throughout the camps was that the level of equipment provided was excellent. Nothing was missing! The shop here was far better stocked than those at Mata Mata and especially Nossob, so if you can stock up here, do.

The lodge is functional and there is no game watching apart from the organised evening drive. The journey here was a very easy 3 hours from Upington. Staying awake after the flight will be the main challenge! Stock up with all the essentials at Pick and Pay in the centre of Upington. You can't miss it!

Obviously you need to fuel up at Twee Rivieren. Also you need to reduce tyre pressures for the sandy roads in the Park. The petrol station staff were very helpful with this operation. Our Nissan double cab had a spare petrol tank fitted. Very useful but the design means that putting 50 litres in takes a full half hour, due to continual air-locks."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Facilities
Good
!Xaus Lodge

!Xaus Lodge

"Very comfortable lodge in a superb location"

2 nights Arrived 30 May 2010
"A real oasis in the Kalahari! A beautifully designed lodge where it is impossible not to relax. Rooms were excellent, as was service from the friendly staff.

Lots of activities should you want them and some wildlife around the lodge also, including barn owls which nest in boxes under the roof of the chalets. Nothing seems to be too much trouble here. The plunge pool looked very inviting and in summer no doubt would have been!

The track to the lodge seems to go on for ever and 4wd is necessary due to the steep, sandy inclines."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kalahari Tented Camp

Kalahari Tented Camp

"Unexpectedly, our favourite camp!"

1 night Arrived 1 Jun 2010
"Beautifully designed and equipped rooms with a separate kitchen and a superb barbeque area, all private.

Great views across the dry river bed though better for birds than for animals, even though there is a floodlit waterhole.

This was the best birding location due to mature trees. There is an inviting swimming pool here."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Gharagab Wilderness Camp

Gharagab Wilderness Camp

"Beautiful remote location"

1 night Arrived 2 Jun 2010
"A very small camp with just 4 elevated chalets. As with all the others it was simply but very effectively furnished, with its own kitchen and braai area overlooking a floodlit waterhole. Disappointingly, no game was seen, though fresh lion tracks were seen just outside the lodge the next morning.

Beware the drive to the camp from the main track! It really is a long one and demanding in places due to steep sandy inclines. If you are planning the drive to Upington (which is very possible in a day) it would be better to stay at Grootkolk, which is much nearer the main track, for the last night."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Grootkolk Wilderness Camp

Grootkolk Wilderness Camp

"Not quite up to the standard of the others!"

1 night Arrived 3 Jun 2010
"Nicely located but looking its age compared with the other camps. They have a problem with bees, which are attracted to water so in this respect the outside food preparation area is not ideal. The camp attendant was not sympathetic to this.

There is a waterhole but it wasn't floodlit, which was disappointing, especially as there was game around. It has the advantage of being very close to the main park road, so is very accessible compared with Gharagab."
Average
Location
Good
Service
Poor
Rooms
Average
Facilities
Average
Le Must River Residence

Le Must River Residence

"Very comfortable rather than luxurious"

1 night Arrived 4 Jun 2010
"A very unusual hotel/guest house! Certainly not the boutique hotel it purports to be. An unexpectedly businesslike welcome set the tone!

It was not clear to us beforehand that their associated restaurant is actually a car drive away in the centre of Upington. Like the hotel, it was enigmatic; good food unusually served.

Breakfast was very good. The garden is luxuriant, very shady and backs directly onto the Orange river."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

Another great holiday with Sunvil

South Africa between 16 Oct 2009 and 30 Oct 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"All very enjoyable with a very high standard of accommodation and food. It was meticulously organised by Tracy, who is really professional.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Keep it up! Our next trip is already booked..............."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


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Phantom Forest

"luxury in a luxuriant setting"

2 nights Arrived 22 Oct 2009
"Tree house rooms are furnished to a very high standard. The best view is from the luxurious bathroom, looking out through the trees and across the estuary to Knysna.

Food was very good if not quite as outstanding as under the previous chef. However there is no doubt that everything was made with passion and the breakfasts were exceptional. The chef obviously had a great rapport with her local trainees and we are confident about their future! The set dinner menu is great value.

There should be a warning sign in the rooms regarding the vervet monkeys, which are ubiquitous and a nuisance. They enter the rooms at every opportunity, which could be disastrous."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Auberge Provence

Auberge Provence

"A revelation at Hermanus"

2 nights Arrived 24 Oct 2009
"A very luxurious b & b situated very close to the sea and the coast path, with a fabulous view of Walker Bay from the first floor rooms, which are very well appointed.

Belinda the Manager was very attentive and could not do enough to help. Nice touches included the complimentary sherry in the lounge and the fact that, knowing the restaurants would be busy the evenings we were there, she had pre-booked a table for us at a local restaurant for each evening. The breakfast was really excellent.

Having no previous experience of the Auberge, we looked right through the visitors' book. Without exception the guests' comments echoed our own; not a single negative comment could be found."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Le Quartier Francais

Le Quartier Francais

"Still a fabulous gastronomic experience"

2 nights Arrived 26 Oct 2009
"Our 4th stay here and it was reassuring to find a personal note from the Manager in our room to welcome us back.

Some rooms have recently been refurbished but we have never been disapponted with the accommodation, which is luxurious. This is a very personable hotel. The tasting room continues to be an incredible eating experience with cutting edge food, beautifully served.

Once again it was good to see the wines being so realistically priced."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
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Roggeland Country House, South Africa (this camp has since closed)

"A family run hotel with lots of history"

1 night Arrived 28 Oct 2009
"We were welcomed back with the traditional huge glass of wine, which as usual set the trend for the evening. The evening meal is matched with the wine and both are excellent. The chef here is very accomplished.

The rooms are very comfortable."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

A really memorable holiday

South Africa between 22 May 2009 and 31 May 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"We could not fault a short but very special trip, which was touchingly ackowledged as such at several of the places we stayed.

We had stayed at all 4 places before and it was good to be recognised as returning, rather than new, guests.

Suggestions for improvements:

Keep up the current high standards! Sabina could not do enough to help. Again...................................."

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


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

"Very comfortable with excellent food and wine"

2 nights Arrived 23 May 2009
"The food was outstanding and the wines, which were included, were of excellent quality and very generously served. The owners, whom we have met before, were very friendly."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Le Quartier Francais

Le Quartier Francais

"A fabulous experience."

2 nights Arrived 25 May 2009
"The highlight of our trip and we spent our silver wedding anniversary there, which was suitably acknowledged. The gifts and special touches were greatly appreciated. Food was in a class of its own. We could not fault the experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
The Marine

The Marine

"Very luxurious and peaceful"

2 nights Arrived 27 May 2009
"Staff were very friendly and attentive.

The bottle of bubbly in our room was a very welcome gesture. Food and service were of the highest standard.

This hotel is beautifully located overlooking Walker Bay, where Southern Right Whales can be seen for much of the year."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Lanzerac Hotel

Lanzerac Hotel

"A comfortable hotel in a lovely location."

1 night Arrived 29 May 2009
"A rather more 'commercial' establishment than the others we stayed at. The room was rather dark and dreary but the food was very good.

The location is ideal for visiting some of the best Stellenbosch wineries."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

A great experience apart from the car!

Namibia between 15 Apr 2009 and 28 Apr 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Excellent apart from a big disappointment with the hire car"

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Zebra River Lodge

Zebra River Lodge

"The friendliest lodge ever in a fab location"

4 nights Arrived 16 Apr 2009
"This lodge is run by a very special couple, Marianne and Rob Field, who have become good friends over the years. They know the area intimately and pass on every bit of this knowledge to their guests.

The atmosphere is homely and very comfortable rather than luxurious. The location is stunning and is fantastic for walking. Rob is a very professional pilot and his flights over the area are special."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"An ideal stopover in Swakop"

2 nights Arrived 20 Apr 2009
"A very comfortable hotel, slightly out of the centre of town, which can be walked to but more feasibly needs a car.

Rooms very comfortable and food good. The wine list is very extensive and is not overpriced.

Sam is a real character and loves to talk."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"A very professionally led tour"

21 Apr 2009 • All-day excursion

This is a really interesting day out, with the excitement of driving through the dunes and plenty of animal and bird life to see. Our guide, Ernest, was very knowledgable. Lunch was not as good as it was when we last did the tour and no beer was offered, which seemed strange.
Excellent
Damaraland Camp

Damaraland Camp

"A great lodge in a stunning situation"

3 nights Arrived 22 Apr 2009
"Having been here twice before in 200 and 2002, I had fogotten just how awe-inspiring the scenery in Damaraland is. Since then the camp has been re-built to good effect. We are not the greatest fans of Wilderness's lodge management, having had poor experiences, but no complaints here. Everything was good, especially the food.

Everest was great as a guide and took us to a remote area for desert rhino, the Springbok river. A fantastic, if unsuccessful trip, it did throw up some problems. Only a single spare tyre was taken on the landrover. It was needed very soon and clearly had not been checked; it was very soft. Our 2nd puncture rendered us immobile and Everest had to climb the nearest mountain to get a phone signal to enable him to summon help. This came, complete with 3 spare wheels (!), 2 hours later. Had 2 properly checked spares been taken in the first place, the 2 hours saved could well have resulted in our 1st desert rhino sighting. Fantastic desert elephant, though and a bonus cheetah."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
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Anderssons Camp, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Rustic lodge in a great location"

1 night Arrived 25 Apr 2009
"Surprisingly good!

Very rustic but carried it off well. Rooms were very basic with absolutely nowhere to put any clothes. Insect proofing was also virtually non existant.

Staff were very friendly and the lodge situation was excellent; 4 lions spent much of our time there around the waterhole. Food also was excellent."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Mushara Lodge

Mushara Lodge

"A very luxurious, professionally run lodge"

2 nights Arrived 26 Apr 2009
"We always look forward to returning to Mushara! Beautifully located just outside Etosha, it is very luxurious with excellent facilities.

Marc was his usual very helpful self and offered us the free services of one of his trainee guides in the park."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

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