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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr A & Mrs L from Notts

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

8

Excursions taken

0

First time in Africa - Namibia is perfect

Namibia between 21 Jul 2009 and 7 Aug 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Having never been to Africa, we were apprehensive about taking off on our own into a huge country, with gravel roads, wild animals and potential problems. We need never have worried.

It was an amazing experience - wonderful landscapes, animals everywhere, lovely helpful people and the space, peace and freedom to do what we wanted, backed up by a superbly organised trip courtesy of Sabina. She had gently taken my initial plans - totally unrealistic! - and guided us to something manageable and fitting the sort of holiday we wanted. The walking, horseriding, lodges that benefitted the community directly, Africat, Etosha's waterhole - everything on the wish list was there, and more. Her suggestion of Erongo has ended up as my favourite place on the trip - wish I was back there now!

The issues with the car hire were something everyone was having to deal with - it was not an Expert Africa issue, just down to a lack of roadworthy vehicles in Namibia, and having seen at least 2 crashes where hire cars were written off, we can understand they have problems keeping cars on the road. People we met who had an accident couldn't speak highly enough of Sabina's helpfulness about getting them a replacement and their holiday back on track.

Namibia was a very special place - we learnt so much about a very different way of life and our 2 week trip felt as if we had been there for months - time seemed to stand still and itwas dfficult to know even what day it was! Three words to sum up Namibia for us - Space, Silence, Smiles.O

Oh, and animals of course - everywhere."

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Image alt

Terra Africa, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Terra Africa review"

1 night Arrived 22 Jul 2009
"Beautiful garden, lovely friendly people - cups of tea early in the morning we arrived while they got our room ready even though the previous guests had only just left!

It made an excellent base just to relax and unwind after a long flight."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
BullsPort Lodge & Farm

BullsPort Lodge & Farm

"Bullsport Guest Farm review"

2 nights Arrived 23 Jul 2009
"Location in the mountains made it an excellent base for walks even though we only managed the shorter ones. Just a few minutes from the farm ensured you were in a peaceful wilderness with amazing views and some close encounters with birds and animals. Horse riding also added to the experience - lovely well trained horses and a very knowledgeable guide.

The nights were very cold when we were there and we really appreciated the heaters in the lovely new rooms - beautifully designed and with loads of space.

It was lovely to start our trip as part of a family on the farm and find out about Namibia and the life there - Johanna had an amazing ability to mix people of different nationalities around her dinner table and manage to keep the conversations flowing in several languages! Excellent food and lovely cakes every afternoon.

Thanks too for the prompt and helpful puncture repair - in the end it was the only one of the trip but to know they could be fixed so easily made us feel more secure as we battled the roads in our 'bus' - not a good substitute for a 4x4 on those roads."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
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Kulala Wilderness Camp, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Kulala Wilderness Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Jul 2009
"We arrived in wind and it just got stronger throughout the stay to the point where the side of the canvas tent parted from the wood - a bit worrying when tearing noises wake you up in the middle of the night! It was immediately mended when we spoke to the staff and they couldn't have done more to try and keep us warm and comfortable - hot water bottles every night and offers of extra blankets etc. It was a beautiful, isolated location, with the chance to see amazing sunsets out across the dunes.

We decided to make our own way to Soussouvlei and were glad we did as those who got up at 4 (!) to go on the organised trip, with lunch, were back by late morning as it was too windy to stay and have lunch there. I think we had a better day, it certainly worked out cheaper and allowed us to spend more time where we wanted instead of having to fit in with an organised group. The only thing we missed was Sesriem as the 'bus' just wasn't up to that particular piece of gravel road - we managed about half a mile then the shaking was so bad we turned back.

The staff at Kulala were all friendly and helpful, especilly Petronella, her laugh just lit up the day."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Erongo Wilderness Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Jul 2009
"The place I didn't want to leave - highlight of the trip for me.

After over 7 hours in a car, I think we would have appreciated almost anywhere but Erongo was just a piece of paradise, hidden away up an awesome track and with animals right up to the door. Dassies everywhere - pure entertainment for hours just in front of our patio.

The way the camp is laid out gave a real sense of everyone being hidden away in their own private space, and the restaurant at the top of the hill gave a wonderful view out over the valley and appeared to be a magnet for such a huge variety of birds that my camera had to come to every meal. The waterhole lit up at night made sitting out with a drink or coffee an important part of the evening, even if it meant warm jackets and gloves.

Charlie, the guide for our 'flat, short walk before breakfast', was an absolute delight. He just loves his job and his enthusiasm and interest made it a wonderful experience, even though it certainly wasn't flat and we were back so late they had almost decided to move from breakfast to lunch. We would have loved an extra day here just to go exploring with him again.

The evening trip to the caves to see the rock art gave the feeling that we were the only people in this huge wilderness and again our guide was excellent, finding us troupes of baboons, klipspringers and amazing eagles and hawks - so difficult to spot in this landscape that it feels so rewarding when you do."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

2 nights Arrived 29 Jul 2009
"We wanted to use Doro Nawas because of its links with the community and its place as part of a conservancy and we weren't disappointed with the feedback we got from all the people there about how it brings in an income that is then distributed to the wider community. The staff were happy to talk to us about how it all worked and were obvioulsy enormously proud of what was being achieved. I just hope that the rudeness from another English group (not with Expert Africa I have to say!), making comments, and asking what we thought were intensely personal questions about life in Namibia and ethnic isues, does not give the staff there the impression that all English people are so ignorant! We certainly wanted to apologise for their rudeness and insensitivity.

Anyway, the important bits are: The location is wonderful, the rooms enormous and so luxurious, and the 'bed out under the stars' had to be tried, even though it only lasted a few hours due to the damp night. Tracking elephants was great fun, and so rewarding to get so close and spend so long with the group. Food and facilities in the main camp couldn't be faulted and to end each evening with the magical singing from the staff made it a very special place. Tranquil, peaceful, with huge views and wonderful sunsets."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Grootberg Lodge

Grootberg Lodge

"Grootberg Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 31 Jul 2009
"This has to be the scariest place to get to! I know there is a warning about leaving your car at the bottom of the track, and the ride up was fairly terrifying, but coming back down.....

It was another place that had us saying 'wow' because of the view - the whole place just perches on the edge of a cliff - an amazing location and again, community run with direct links back into the local wider community. They were rightly proud of what they have achieved and it was fascinating to hear about how this lodge is changing the lives of the people in such a remote and wild area.

Our only disappointment was that one of their vehicles had a problem and so it was either 'tracking rhinls' or 'tracking elephants' and since more wanted to do elephants, we missed out on the rhino and since we had done the elephant tracking at Doro Nawas, we were left with walks on our own for much of the time. These were well marked and offered amazing views and very close encounters with game such as oryx and springbok. The birds were at about the same level as us for most of the time - excellent views of eagles at nearly 200 feet!

It was very windy again while we were at Grootberg and this made the rooms feel cold - we would have loved a hot water bottle here just to take the chill off at night. It is also a location where you really need a torch as the paths are very rocky, with only a few lights along them and its a long way out to Cabin 1 from the main house - many of the other lodges provided torches so we left ours in the 'bus' - its a long and scary walk back down that hill to fetch it!

Bob, the gentleman who welcomed us, nothing was too much trouble for him, and the young man who looked after the cars at the bottom of the track - he had even cleaned our filthy 'bus' before we left - such lovely people and they deserve every success with this wonderful lodge."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 2 Aug 2009
"People had led us to expect a lower standard in Etosha compared to some of the other lodges so we arrived prepared to settle for something less than we had been used to - and were pleasantly suprised. The camp, although busy, was clean and well run, and our Waterhole Chalet was excellent, perhaps not as big as some we had stayed in but since, we spent very little time inside it except to sleep, the location right next to the waterhole couldn't have been better. It was so easy to slip inside and collect a glass of wine (or a cup of hot coffee) and then go back to the entertainment round the waterhole - perfect.

Food was good - more than enough for everyone on the buffets even if you arrived later and the service was attentive and friendly. Obviously it is different from the smaller lodges due to the numbers involved, but we felt the place worked well, even at a busy period, and you could find your own piece of Etosha, with space, peace and stillness, just a few miles away from crowds around a waterhole with the lions, if you looked beyond the main roads.

We were pleased we had left Etosha until the end of our trip - talking to people as we travelled round, because we had had to work a bit harder to see animals and birds, I think we appreciated them a bit more than those who had started in Etosha with herd and herds of animals on your dooorstep. It is an amzing place and I don't think we saw a fraction of it in the time we had."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Main Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 4 Aug 2009
"We knew from comments from other travellers we met that Okonjima was going to something special and we weren't disappointed. I think the word that sums them up is 'cosseted'. From the moment we arrived to the last goodbye from the people at the gate, we were made to feel special. Nothing was too much trouble, everything was done to make life easy and comfortable and the experiences offered just made you feel that you were part of soemthing unique.

Our guide, Martin, was delightful - full of information, and with a determination for us to get as close as possible to every animal and bird, to get great pictures and a very special experience. I never knew 4x4 trucks actually went through bushes and trees! Martin found 'roads and tracks' in places that looked totally impossible so we could get to see a very elusive leopard. The cheetahs were delightful, and I really enjoyed looking for the hyenas on foot - even radio collared these animals take some finding if they don't feel like coming out of the very thick bush.

The new View Rooms are beautifully designed, with huge windows looking out over a field to the mountains. Every time we opened the curtains, yet more wildlife was quietly grazing outside the window, oryx, kudu, warthohs - we could have stayed there all day and just watched them wander past.

The food and facilites are beautiful, wonderful dinners in such a beautiful setting and so nice to have the guides to eat with us and find out more about their training and the plans for Okonjima in the future.

Again, we were glad to have put this at the end of our trip - such a special and luxurious place, they really spoil you. It has the space, peace and tranquility that summed up our trip to Namibia, with some very special animals as well. A place to come back to and see what happens next in the Okonjma story."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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