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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr C & Ms S from Colorado

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

11

Excursions taken

0

We are recommending Expert Africa to all

Namibia and 1 other country between 1 Jul 2009 and 29 Jul 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Several times on the trip staff at our various locations commented positively on how well organized this trip was, how every detail of our ongoing trip was confirmed and that people all along the way were expecting us. We were also impressed that several folks knew Chris McIntire and spoke so highly of him. Well done!

We have already recommended Expert Africa to several of our friends who are looking to travel to southern Africa and we will always use yoru services in future trips there. Thank you so much for all your work setting this up, knowing the best places to go, it was really the trip of a lifetime!

Two suggestions: we traveled by car from Gaboronne to Kasane (which we suggested and wanted to do) but wouldn't again because the road from Francistown to Kasane is the most horrendous road we have ever been on...I can't believe they even let cars attempt it...huge craters in the road big enough to swallow a VW mini-bus, we ended up driving way over on the shoulder to avoid wrecking the car. It doesn't look like this road is going to get fixed any time soon, either so please insist that people need to hire a 4x4 vehicle if they are going to drive on it.

Likewise with the road to the Rhino Camp (it wasn't as bad as the road in Botswana). It would have been wiser for us to hire a 4x4. While we managed to travel fine on these roads, the stress of not wanting to damage the undercarriage (which was not covered in the insurance) and the rush to get to the Rhino camp pick up location on time--made us with we had a vehicle with more clearance.

Overall it was a wonderful trip. Again thank you Maruska for all your hard work getting this together. We will look forward to using Expert Africa again on our next visit to southern Africa.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service

I think I've put these into the regular comments. Hard to say how it could have been improved at all. Expert Africa ROCKS!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Garden Lodge

Garden Lodge

"The Garden Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 4 Jul 2009
"Clean comfortable stay.

The guides were not as good as others we had later, but everyone was very accommodating and we enjoyed it very much overall.

We found the food not as good as other places we stayed."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Chobe Princesses

Chobe Princesses

"Ichobezi Houseboats review"

3 nights Arrived 7 Jul 2009
"Ernest, the houseboat manager, spent an entire day with us on the river in the smaller boat. It was wonderful. We sat watching elephants up close for hours, just quietly. Magical. We also watched a pair of lionesses and one male make a charge on a cape buffalo herd, without success because a big bull kept fending off their charge. It was spellbinding. My husband is a photographer and Ernest and all the other staff guides were just excellent at holding the small boat steady so he could get the shot. They were exceptionally attentive and considerate.

The houseboat itself is beautiful, the food amazing (thank you Chester!!!), the company just excellent and I can can't say enough wonderful things about the staff. Whatever we wanted to do, we did. We will definately do this again, for more nights (3 were just not enough) and try for October when the elephant show is really hopping. We also met the owner who traveled with us a short ways, what a great guy. We had since recommended the houseboat to everyone we talked to, it's a wonderful way to see Chobe while staying away from the crowds. I probably think about this part of the trip once or twice every day now that we are home...with longing. I'd go back in a minute. And I wish you had more Excellent buttons I could check!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
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Kanana Mokoro Trail, Botswana (this camp has since closed)

"Kanana Mokoro Trail review"

3 nights Arrived 10 Jul 2009
"Our guide Paul was so knowledgeable and fun. I loved it that the camp was solar powered (except for the propane freezer) and that everything had been brought into the camp on mokoro! This was our second mokoro trip in the Delta and it was better than the first.

We had hippo chewing outside our tent each night, long cruises through the delta where we learning flora and fauna and heard waterbuck herds splashing their way away from us. Incredible food (including a very cool tour of the kitchen), lovely staff who sang to welcome us, sang Obama songs for us at dinner (we loved it), catered to our every whim and taught us about the gentle, quiet life on an island in the delta.

We saw amazing birds, including a Pel's Fishing Owl that Paul spotted and made sure we all had great views of. I loved it, loved it. It was here where I learned what the Hartlaub's Babblers sounded like, what Crested Barbet looked like, and heard the Fishing Eagle call every morning and evening. Add that to lions roaring at night...magical. I dream about this delta trip when work is stressful here...it's so nice to know that peaceful place is there. Highly recommended! We will also do this again."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
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Moremi Wildlife Safari

"Moremi mobile safari the best"

6 nights Arrived 13 Jul 2009
"This was the best part of the trip of all, we think, our mobile safari with Letaka Safaris though Moremi and Kawai. We saw a cheetah just minutes from leaving on our first game drive, and I turned to my husband and said "This is too easy!" From there it just got better. We saw wild dog, African wild cat, lions (the pride of 10 seemed to be hanging around our camp area in Moremi), leopard on the night drive in Kawai, hyeena, birds galore include a bazillion endangered wattled crane and ground hornbills. The works.

Our guide Kurt, was so knowledgeable, funny and easy-going that he made the trip. We enjoyed the food, the camp was great, and I again loved sleeping out in the bush and hearing the night critters. I want to do the 14 day mobile safari with Letaka sometime, it was a great way to move through the parks and take it all in. I liked this better than moving from stationery lodge to lodge (even tho that was great, too). Letaka is a great birding safari outfit, which suited me to a tee, since I am a keen birder. We just loved it and was sorry when it came to an end."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Riley's Hotel

Riley's Hotel

"Rileys Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 19 Jul 2009
"Riley's had a good shower, but otherwise the food was not that good and the whole place overpriced.

This was our third Cresta hotel of the trip and they were all that way, expensive for what you got. We would have prefered to stay in a b and b or something for that one night in Maun."
Average
Location
Average
Service
Average
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
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Terra Africa, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Terra Africa review"

1 night Arrived 20 Jul 2009
"Beautiful place to stay and we were sorry we were only there one night. Everything was exellent."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Vingerklip Lodge

Vingerklip Lodge

"Vingerklip Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 21 Jul 2009
"Again, only one night. Food was amazing, I had Springbok for the first time, very delicious.

Not much action at the water holes but we hiked to the top of the mesa where their restaurant was and that was very interesting."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Desert Rhino Camp

Desert Rhino Camp

"Desert Rhino Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Jul 2009
"This was the only place we were really disappointed with and mostly because our main guide was bad. The location and lodging were excellent, the food excellent, but on the one day we had to go out to look for rhino, we had a guide who must have been really out of sorts or something. He kept lecturing us about how this was the "real nature" when it because obvious we weren't going to be lucky enough to see a rhino and seemed almost sullen actually. Since we live in Colorado surrounded by wilderness areas I thought this was quite arrogant of him to assume that as tourists we would all be from a city. Besides, I'm a birder. I know animals don't show up when you want them to. I would have loved to learn tons more about the area, but the guide was only focused on rhino.

Although the topography and ecosystem were amazing, we heard nothing about it and mostly spent a very long day being driven at breakneck speeds though rough terrain, with the guide occassionally (and grudgingly it seemed) stopping for us to take a bathroom break, or even to snap a photo. When we did see a critter, he'd tell us the name, but that was all and then zoom on. Since we had been traveling in Africa by then for several weeks, his behavior was in stark contrast to all the other excellent guides we had had up to then. By contrast, another staff guide who drove us into and out of the Rhino Camp location was a GREAT guide (we saw cheetah and lions with him coming and going from the camp). Stopping to hunt for birds, setting up photo shots for my husband, frequently asking how we were doing and whether we were comfortable, etc. He was very considerate and seemed to really enjoy what he was doing.

I don't want to bash the whole place just because of one guide, but for all the hooplah Wilderness Safaris makes about its environmental ethic in its literature, I didn't hear anything about that from our main guide and by the end we were just ready to get out of there.

The road to the Rhino Camp from Vingerlkip was terrible--and took a long time to travel it. I would recommend only a 4 wheel drive vehicle on it, not our low clearance little Ford. (Leaving towards Etosha the road was much better).

So, considering that this was probably the most expensive of the lodges we were at in Namibia, and that once we finally made it over the road and got there only to have a crummy experience, makes me think we won't be returning to the Rhino Camp. I don't think it's worth it especially because of the several days it took to get there (overnight at Vingerklip made it a three night venture), feels like we wasted time there when we could have spent it somewhere else in Namibia. I think the Rhino Camp was our idea, actually, but please caution others who might get sucked into their advertising, that it's more of an iffy venture--and more expensive-- then other places."
Poor
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Terrible
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 24 Jul 2009
"How about seven rhino in one night? The new lodges are beautiful and wildlife at the waterholes amazing.

Food was fine. The Brandt safari guide says that there is an internet cafe here, but that has closed. Also, they don't have a place to change money, so you need to use visa. Still a great park and we saw a ton of very interesting critters and behavior."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

"Halali Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 26 Jul 2009
"Spent one whole day watching a lion family by a waterhole. Saw rhino and elephant vying for space at the waterhole at night, leopard come to drink, and hoards of sandgrouse at the waterholes at dusk.

Quieter than the bigger camp, lovely room, good food. Really liked the notion that we could just sit and watch the animals come to the waterholes. I would suggest Etosha after people have been other places with guides so they know what they are seeing and are better at spotting critters, because otherwise it would be easy not to see as many animals as we did."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Main Camp review"

1 night Arrived 28 Jul 2009
"Wow, we should have stayed here 3 nights at least. I LOVED it. I loved the work they are doing with the cats, and their environmental education programs with kids.

We had very close up views of leopard (eating a baby zebra) and cheetah. The lodge was wonderful, we were upgraded to the bush camp whichi I would highly recommend. They gave us birdseed and told me to feed the birds from our cabin...I saw dozens of new species in just a few hours doing that.

Great lodge, great guides, wonderful food, great company. Highly recommended. Wish we would have stayed longer."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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