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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by M family from Hampshire

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

3

Countries visited

4

Lodges stayed in

23

Excursions taken

0

Another lovely Namibian holiday

Namibia and 1 other country between 2 Jul 2016 and 16 Jul 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was our second self-drive holiday in Namibia, so we were all looking forward to the beautiful scenery, wonderful friendly welcomes, and very high standard of accommodation even in the bush, which we had enjoyed previously and we were not disappointed anywhere!
Very well organised, all meetings, border crossings etc worked.
Manageable driving distances each day (more tarmac than the West part of Namibia).

We mostly did our own drives in the reserves and did not see leopard and cheetah this time. Etosha is fantastic but it is so vast it is difficult to do it justice: you may need a lot of time to go from one waterhole to another if you arrive at a deserted one.

Some slightly odd details: e.g. suggesting laundry possible at Mundulea (it isn't), note Ndhovu runs on Botswana time."

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Thamalakane River Lodge

Thamalakane River Lodge

"Convenient for airport"

1 night Arrived 2 Jul 2016
"Convenient for Mown Airport, good rooms.

Good buffet for supper."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Nxamaseri Lodge

Nxamaseri Lodge

"Beautiful peaceful setting, lovely"

2 nights Arrived 3 Jul 2016
"Wonderful setting only accessible by boat, rooms hidden away in the forest at river's edge and very secluded, very friendly staff, we were the only guests and Tian ate with us, joined in star gazing etc. Very comfortable communal area although we didn't seem to have much time to sit in it!

Lovely river safaris by boat and mokoro, many birds, hippos etc.

Hippos pretty noisy at night!

Would love to return. Stayed 2 days but so relaxing could have stayed an extra night."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ndhovu Safari Lodge

Ndhovu Safari Lodge

"Excellent setting right on river"

2 nights Arrived 5 Jul 2016
"Beautiful setting looking out over Okavango to elephants opposite.

Fairly basic camp style but relaxed and comfortable, all ate together in the evenings so met many different people, and Klaus a very attentive host.
He ran slightly rushed game drive in Mahango: we did better ourselves the next day. Well worth a visit. Nice evening river cruise.

Good curio shop selling the hand panted china they use at the lodge.

Worth knowing Klaus runs on Botswana time, i.e. 1 hour ahead of standard Namibia time, as so near the border."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Hakusembe River Lodge

Hakusembe River Lodge

"Lovely gardens overlooking river."

1 night Arrived 7 Jul 2016
"More like a country house hotel with beautiful grounds than a safari lodge. Good place to stay overnight on way to or from Caprivi strip.
Friendly helpful staff, very comfortable.

Good bird spotting by our guide on evening river cruise although probably not what most guests were particularly interested in."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mundulea Reserve

Mundulea Reserve

"Fascinating insight into conservation effort"

3 nights Arrived 8 Jul 2016
"Definite highlight of our trip: whisked straight off into the bush as soon as we drove up to farmhouse for a fantastic 4 days walking with Bruno and learning about everything from geology to animal skulls, and how he is trying to recreate bush from farm. He is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about what he is doing. Learned lots about the land, tracking animals etc. Saw plenty of antelope at the water hole, but not a place to go if you just want to see animals.
Bruno isn't a guide, he is a conservationist, and you are privileged to see a tiny bit of his work.

Basic bush camp, shared by porcupine! Excellent food cooked over open fire.

We were the only guests at first, joined by another couple for 2 days. We loved it (2 parents, 20+ year old daughters)."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Mushara Lodge

Mushara Lodge

"Mushara Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 11 Jul 2016
"We used Mushara Lodge as a base and drove ourselves round Etosha. Within easy reach of Eastern Gate, although distances within Etosha deceptively long. Delay getting to Namutomi the first morning as there was a rhino crossing the road!
A bit hotel-like for my liking but my daughters enjoyed a bit more comfort, hot water all day etc. Very well appointed bungalow accommodation with glass in the windows (not often encountered on our holiday!). Helpful friendly staff but rather large so not so personal."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

1 night Arrived 13 Jul 2016
"Rooms comfortable with good facilities (we stayed in bungalows beside waterhole). Had everything we needed and good location. Plenty of elephants at water hole and fairly quiet,despite other comments about people making a lot of noise.

Good to be in Etosha for early drives etc.

Reception, restaurant etc a bit disorganised, although food fine when we actually got it.

Get the detailed Etosha map available at camp shop."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Return visit, still excellent"

2 nights Arrived 14 Jul 2016
"Lovely location, fantastic scenery with walks with friendly and knowledgeable guides.

We stayed in new "tents" which were a bit further away from the lodge and are being built for self-catering. The facilities look like they will be very good, but not yet complete. Have not yet got water temperature high enough with solar heating for the winter! (We were there in July). Balconies (and outdoor bathrooms) have beautiful views."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Fantastic trip

Namibia between 12 Jul 2013 and 27 Jul 2013

Trip rating: Excellent
"This trip exceeded all our expectations. The country was stunning, we saw far more animals than we expected, everyone was very friendly and very happy to answer many questions etc. We had fewer incidental expenses than we expected, fuel, food and drink being relatively cheap. This obviously helped to make the holiday good value.

Travel was easier, health issues were straightforward: everywhere was very clean, we could drink the borehole water, we didn't need antimalarials and sustained no insect bites.

The advice to take warm clothing was appreciated. A fleece and woolly hat are very useful. Breakfast/evening meals are often quite cool as they are in open rooms.

We did not appreciate how very dry it would be: lots of moisturisers and vaseline essential. Chris' guide is invaluable: a mine of useful and interesting information (especially about shops etc).

It might be useful to warn people about the veterinary fence, and the fact that they cannot bring meat products south through the fence (although we were not stopped as we left Etosha at Anderson Gate driving south, but we should have been). We were stopped both ways at Palmwag."

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge

Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge

"Lovely welcome at Kalahari Red Dunes"

1 night Arrived 12 Jul 2013
"We only stayed overnight and arrived quite late following overnight plane journey etc. Very convenient for heading south.

Warm welcome, friendly and helpful, excellent food, very comfortable. A very good start to our trip and reassuring that we were off to a great holiday!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Tok Tokkie Trails

Tok Tokkie Trails

"Fantastic experience"

2 nights Arrived 13 Jul 2013
"The whole family (parents and 2 about-20-year-old daughters) thought this was a wonderful introduction to Namibian geology, ecology, wildlife, people etc. Our guide, Sebastian, was very enthusiastic and endlessly patient with our questions.

The walking was really easy, as we kept stopping to inspect plants, insects etc. The terrain was beautiful and we saw oryx and other large animals.
Sleeping outside under the stars was amazing and very cosy: we were brilliantly looked after with good food, very comfortable camp beds, canvas bags, duvets, hot water bottles, tea in bed in the morning AND the Milky Way!

New cook Jennifer is highly recommended.

Very well organised, and visited NADEET for an insight into energy and water conservation. A definite highlight of the trip!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Hoodia Desert Lodge

Hoodia Desert Lodge

"Hoodia Desert Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 15 Jul 2013
"A bit disappointed in Hoodia: much more like an "international hotel", with decoration which was not really Namibian and not the warm welcome we got everywhere else. Staff were on their phones and watching TV instead of attending to guests. We were given the impression we were a bit of a nuisance (we did look a bit scruffy having just slept outside for 2 nights!). They recommended we did not drink the tap water (we safely drank it most places), but did not provide any bottled water in the rooms.

The only place we found this sort of attitude.

Did a good breakfast pack to take to Sossusvlei."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Corona Guest Farm

Corona Guest Farm

"Corona: a wonderful eccentric home"

1 night Arrived 16 Jul 2013
"A very warm welcome after a pretty bumpy road (the worst we encountered in Namibia). Beautiful setting in mountains.

Fascinating house full of antiques and curios, and luxurious rooms in main house.

Excellent cooking and service by lovely Christina.Breakfast under bougainvillea an absolute feast.

Only stayed one night but would have liked to stay longer to do some of their walking trails."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Erongo Wilderness Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 17 Jul 2013
"Beautiful setting in rocky mountains , with tents set to overlook views/ sunset etc and lovely views from dining area. Lots of comfortable places to sit and we were treated to the "honeymoon suite" which had wonderful views, extra seating area outside, outside shower.

Very friendly and knowledgeable staff: our guide was Koolis who told us a lot about Namibian culture and traditional uses of the plants which was fascinating and taught us some Damara.

Several interesting walks: I think game drive available but we did not bother.

All the staff very friendly and enthusiastic - waiters pointing out interesting birds at breakfast. Food excellent and plentiful!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Damaraland Camp

Damaraland Camp

"Damaraland Camp review"

1 night Arrived 19 Jul 2013
"Arrived at pick up point at 5pm as requested but no vehicle present. Namibian local phoned through to camp. Nothing happened approx 1 hour - told they had problems with the land Rover. Collected 6pm by apologetic Charles, but when arrived at camp told that our pick up had not been arranged by travel agent. This seemed v unlikely as nothing else EA has organised has ever failed. Showed them Sabina's letter and pointed this out. Later apologetic letter with champagne.

Larger camp, quite a few children. Greeted with singing by Namibian staff and ate outside in Boma, more informal, quite fun. In the morning went on game drive to see desert elephants which we found eventually. A bit concerned that in his enthusiasm our driver seemed to drive a bit randomly across the fragile country (we know that in the arid conditions it can take ages to repair damage done by vehicles).

Gave us lunch which I don't think was officially included and drove us back to our car at our convenience. Game drive was a significant additional cost here."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Etendeka Mountain Camp

Etendeka Mountain Camp

"Etendeka a real camp"

2 nights Arrived 20 Jul 2013
"Palmwag lodge a good place to have a drink while awaiting transfer. We were met South of the Vet. gate by Etendeka staff but as we were early they led us to Palmwag lodge where we left car.

I don't think we would have attempted drive to Etendeka even in 4WD although others did. Lovely setting, wilder, more spartan with "real" tents, outside bathroom etc. Still very comfortable. Bucket showers and emphasis on conserving water.

Very sociable: all ate together and went on drives in 2 vehicles. Friendly knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff led by Dennis and Bonny who are legendary. Very international guests but everyone else spoke English (we are so lazy).

Dennis gave us an astronomy lecture with excellent view of Saturn's rings after supper. Not a place to come if you want a holiday camp with a swimming pool (stay at Palmwag), but we loved it as it was real Namibian wilderness."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Dolomite Camp

Dolomite Camp

"Dolomite - lovely setting, lots to see"

1 night Arrived 22 Jul 2013
"This end of Etosha very empty as access limited so very privileged to visit. Despite the fact guidebooks suggested it was more scrubland and difficult to see game we saw lots (dry season so near waterholes, but also giraffes on road etc).

Camp a stunning location on a hill overlooking plain and waterhole so we had excellent views of about 30 elephant converging on waterhole at sunset.

Chalets quite spread out on both sides of hill and staff suggested that we phone lodge for an escort after dark, but they did not answer phone and we felt quite safe walking around (I don't think they had enough staff to cope with everyone wanting to go to dinner). it was helpful to be able to phone other rooms. Friendly staff but slightly less exceptional than at most other places.

Literature offered packed lunch but they could not deliver on this, however breakfast ample. All better than we expected for NMR camp. Map suggests a long straight road across reserve but actually plenty of manmade, and hence permanent, waterholes with lots to see. We called briefly for fuel at Okaujuego and were glad we had not stayed there - more people than most Namibian towns!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

"Ongava great lions and rhino"

2 nights Arrived 23 Jul 2013
"We arrived at the reserve gate to be asked what sundowner drinks we wanted on the evening game drive: a good start! We could not get to the camp because the road was blocked by a pride of lions lazing on the sand; eventually rescued by a safari jeep. 30 minutes later we were seeing our first rhino! We saw 10 white rhino in all, all close up and including 4 when we went on a early morning walk.

Expert guides Leon and Festus. Nothing seemed to much for them or camp manager Elizabeth. They also had Wilderness Safari staff inspecting while we were there, also very friendly.

Fantastic location overlooking well frequented waterhole, although with lions close to camp we had to be escorted at pre-arrranged times after dark and once in your tent you did not open the door.

Comfortable accommodation but our donkey boiler had sprung a leak so our room had no hot water for the 2 days which they did not seem to have noticed. It would be good if they could use solar power rather than burning wood. A very sociable camp where we all ate together at large table overlooking waterhole. The animals made this another highlight."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima great for cats"

2 nights Arrived 25 Jul 2013
"On arrival we were informed that we had been upgraded to Bush Camp.

Staff were slightly business like when we arrived but guides very friendly, and after initial welcome all staff very friendly. We did not arrive in time for evening game drive which did not matter as we were there for 2 days, but it would have been helpful to have been alerted to this if we had only been staying one night.

Good accommodation although I repeatedly fell over an unmarked, unlit step in our room (light present but no bulb).

Excellent viewing of cheetah and 2 leopard at close quarters (although we were warned there was only 50% of seeing leopard). Also porcupine and honey badgers at night hide.

Obviously everything here is a bit more "laid on" and not so genuinely wild but it does mean you have a good chance of seeing leopard which it would be sad to miss. Starts to bring you back to civilisation before the last drive to Windhoek."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

Fantastic holiday

Tanzania and 1 other country between 18 Jul 2009 and 2 Aug 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Fantastic holiday, and very well organised. Everywhere we went we were met by people who were expecting us and knew where we should be! This obviously meant we could relax and enjoy the experience. Everyone was very friendly and helpful

I think we were well advised and the combination of lodges worked very well. The animals we saw at both exceeded my expectations, and we weren't surrounded by lots of humans! Often we could have been the only people for miles (and probably were).

Suggestions for improvements:

can't think of anything."

Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Fantastic experieince at Impala"

4 nights Arrived 19 Jul 2009
"lovely camp with very friendly staff. Nothing was too much trouble. Staff seemed genuinely interested in our experiences and what we had seen each day.

Brilliant guide (Macumba - that's what we called him anyway), and our boat safari guide Hassan. Particularly enjoyed the fly camp and walking. Saw some really interesting things because of their experience and knowledge. The boat safaris also provided good variety from the drives. The bird life, especially along the river, was superb.

We liked the open vehicles, and there was only ever the 4 of us in a land Rover/boat. Highlight for me probably watching the elephants with their babies swim across the crocodile infested Rufiji!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Selous Impala fly-camp

Selous Impala fly-camp

"Camping, but not as we know it!"

1 night Arrived 23 Jul 2009
"Great experience: felt safe and comfortable but also "out in the bush".

Quite luxurious compared with camping in the UK!

Unfortunately we slept through any animals prowling in the night, but our guides reassured us that they had been awake all night keeping the wildlife at bay! Lovely to go for an early morning walk following the tracks."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

"Mdonya felt like a real camp"

3 nights Arrived 24 Jul 2009
"Very friendly well-run camp, well overseen by Nicola. More basic and "real camp" tahn Impala, but still very well looked after. There were only 10-12 of us there so very intimate atmosphere aroung camp fire and at dinner, and nicely cosmopolitan with italians and Spanish.

Because it's a national park the animals are not as shy as at Selous, but obviously you can't drive off road as in the Selous. It was good to do both. Lovely scenery, and walk by river.

Lots of elephant, lion, and our guide excelled at spotting cheetah. Quite a way from the camp to the "main" area around the river, and tsetse flies a problem along this road, but as there was game in the camp/ all round the camp, and all along the road it wasn't a big issue. 100% DEET kept tsetse flies away."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Shooting Star Lodge

Shooting Star Lodge

"relaxing time at Shooting Star"

4 nights Arrived 27 Jul 2009
"Very relaxed setting and hotel. Nicely laid back rather than luxurious. Lots of families with children, but despite this good accommodation in "cottages": quiet and private. Lovely setting for dining and sitting.

In general excellent, but I think things got a little muddled because Doreen sorted us out brilliantly when we arrived, but she went off and I don't think there was much supervision for a bit. I thought staff needed a bit more guidance.

We were there in July, and the pool was shaded in the afternoons and quite cool! If I was really fussy, somebody could check the beach for litter: some broken glass.

Diving/ snorkelling excellent: well organised, professional, safe set-up. (I am not a very strong swimmer and was well looked after. Ian and catherine swam with dolphins). Go to see the turtle sanctuary! Also Spice Tour.very interesting."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Zanzibar Coffee House

Zanzibar Coffee House

"Wonderfully exotic"

2 nights Arrived 31 Jul 2009
"I wasn't sure what I had come to: and you have to walk from the market as the street is so narrow, but a lovely place. Amazing coffee, lovely rooms and I wish i'd discovered the rooftop sitting room earlier: I could have stayed there all day! Sitting on cushions having breakfast above Stone Town's rooftops: probably the best place to view it!

Situated between the market and the main Bazaar street: because it is a coffee house, you have to go out to dinner and return in the dark. I perhaps wouldn't have been happy to do this alone, but as a family of four it was fine although pretty dark. It would be easy and a bit scary to get lost, but much more interesting than staying in one of the main hotels.

the staff even got up at 5.30am to make us coffee and rolls before we left.

Wandering round Stone Town was fascinating, although you need to say "no" quite firmly. Nothing like as bad as India or anywhere though, and very few obvious beggars."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

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