Travel reviews by Mr C & Ms S from Colorado
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
We are recommending Expert Africa to all
Namibia and 1 other country between 1 Jul 2009 and 29 Jul 2009
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 AdyeRowe
Chobe River Lodge
"The Garden Lodge review"
"Ichobezi Houseboats review"
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!"
Kanana Mokoro Trail, Botswana (this camp has since closed)
"Kanana Mokoro Trail review"
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."
Lodge not featured by Expert Africa
Moremi Wildlife Safari
"Moremi mobile safari the best"
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."
Lodge not featured by Expert Africa
"Rileys Hotel review"
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."
Terra Africa, Namibia (this camp has since closed)
"Terra Africa review"
Lodge not featured by Expert Africa
"Vingerklip Lodge review"
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."
Desert Rhino Camp
"Desert Rhino Camp review"
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."
At Expert Africa, we have taken on board the comments about suitable vehicles on the road leading to Desert Rhino Camp and will be sure to advise all future travellers accordingly.
"Okaukuejo Camp review"
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."
"Halali Camp review"
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."
Okonjima Plains Camp
"Okonjima Main Camp review"
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."
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."