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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs & Dr S from Essex

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

0

Awe-inspiring Namibia

Namibia between 13 Jun 2009 and 26 Jun 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Namibia proved to have and be all we could hope for.
Absolutely nothing is small scale, from the dunes, desert, coast and salt-pan to the welcome of its people and animals.

Suggestions to help Expert Africa improve our trips and service

Maruska and Gwynneth were so impressive in every aspect of our arrangements, and Wilderness Safaris also proved to be very competent ground agents, so we're hard pressed to think of any tweaks.
If we're being really nit-picky then our view of Swakopmund means that two nights wasn't really ideal for us, but we do realise that it's a lot to do with personal choice and might be difficult to ask enough questions to deduce this. All we can say is that it is very 'small-town', so people with lots of travel experience might have issues with it (in the winter at least) in comparison to the rest of Namibia."

Arranged By Maruska AdyeRowe


Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 13 Jun 2009
"A perfectly adequate start in Windhoek. Set in a residential road the slightly off-putting first impression of barbed wire and large electric gates were dispelled by a friendly welcome. Our room in a separate building across from reception. Plenty large enough but somewhat sombre, especially the bathroom, with dark concrete floors throughout. Breakfast reasonable. Since we weren't staying in the area we couldn't say how well this would function as a base for local activities."
Average
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location
Average
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

"Sossusvlei Desert Lodge"

3 nights Arrived 14 Jun 2009
"An amazing place and a fantastic location. Wonderful welcome (especially after the 6 hour drive from Windhoek, meeting our first gravel roads) with Maretha, our hostess, an excellent ambassador during our three nights, even sewing on a button when we'd lost our sewing kit! The room was very well designed and built, and huge. The excursion to Sossusvlei/Deadvlei produced hundreds of spectacular photos - as one guide book said, you'd be hard-pushed not to get professional quality images there! The bush breakfast afterwards was a lovely touch. Other excursions included the first tracking of released and collared cheetah in NamibRand (heard the clicks but couldn't find them!) which they're considering introducing as an option; also a memorable sunset drive on the petrified dunes. Our only minor reservation was that contact with our guides was limited to the excursions, so was not as personal as some places. And don't go for animals or birds, although there are some. Otherwise, given the panoramic view, the attentive service and natural wonders nearby it's hard to fault this lodge."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Swakopmund Guest House

"Disappointing Swakopmund"

2 nights Arrived 17 Jun 2009
"Driving into Swakopmund from the Namib-Naukluft was, to put it mildly, a disappointment! It wasn't the weather, which for a winter's day was overcast but not too cold. It was the atmosphere and opportunities that left us completely uninspired. We'd driven via Walvis Bay, complete with its container port and oil platform, to see the the flamingos (a few dots in the distance) and gone almost to Pelican Point, but the ugliness of the commercial salt production had turned us back. The guesthouse was convenient, but the welcome included berating the staff because recent decorating had left our room (and all the others we believe) smelling strongly of paint; not a comfortable start. Since we'd come from Sossusvlei, the opportunities for dune excursions didn't appeal and nor did a trip to Sandwich Harbour (if you're a twitcher check carefully about the bird situation before you go - two separate couples said the birdlife was really disappointing). An hour's walk around the town, via the German centre (now swamped with newer buildings) convinced us we'd be wasting the next day if we stayed, so Wilderness Safaris called ahead and we were able to spend an extra night at Mowani - definitely the right choice for us. The only redeeming feature of Swakopmund for us was the drive out with some sense of the desolation of the Skeleton Coast."
Average
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location
Good
Service
Poor
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Mowani Mountain Camp

Mowani Mountain Camp

"Mowani Mountain Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 19 Jun 2009
"Three nights at Mowani Mountain Camp was ideal. The silence was palpable, and made us realise how rarely places are truly silent. We were so relaxed by the end we almost didn't want to face the next set of gravel roads to Etosha (although we're delighted we did). The settings of the view-tents are spectacular and we spent a lot of time just watching the panorama change with the light, reading and snoozing. They offer trips to the desert-adapted elephant but having read a lot about them we skipped this in favour of chilling out; we did take their trip to the rock art and despite our guide's slightly careless attitude (the only one we found in Namibia who wasn't 100%) we found it a fascinating place. The tents are fine, not huge and getting wet in the shower takes some determination, but they give one a sense of being part of the awe-inspiring scenery. The general service was friendly and helpful and the small water hole by the lounge a constant source of beautiful birds. The highlight of each day for us was drinks on the viewpoint at sunset - worth the trip to Namibia alone...."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

"Ongava Tented Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 21 Jun 2009
"Our abiding memories of Ongava will be the time spent with our guide, Festus, and one of the camp managers, Gregory; they were both exemplary. Other staff, with one exception, were extremely good but in two short days Festus and Gregory became friends. The guides and managers often eat with guests and the chances to chat seem greater than in other camps.The setting of the tents is low-key but the water-hole in the front makes it spectacular, with regular arrivals of antelope by day and visits by rhino at night. The property drives were fascinating, varied and always fun whatever we saw, with lion, rhino, antelope and birds the main sights. We did 100 metres of rhino tracking on foot and on the last evening went to a nearby hill and watched the sun set on a Moringa tree, turning the white-silver bark a beautiful golden colour. The drive into Etosha takes a while and will probably be graded by what one sees - we were fortunate and saw elephant, lions making a half-hearted attempt at a chase and a million zebra and ostrich; ultimately though it was the view from the edge of the salt pan that was the unique part of this activity. The tents are large, well equipped (but with no electricity other than for lighting, recharging is done in the office) and comfortable - do ask them to drop the outside window covers in the chill of winter nights. Overall the camp and animals were really good but it is the people that would take us back."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima Bush Camp

"Okonjima Bush Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 24 Jun 2009
"Okonjima was almost an afterthought, splitting the drive from Etosha to Windhoek, but it turned out to be a lot more than that. This camp is very used to catering for high-end travellers - the rooms are very well designed, have power (and hairdryers! As one guide quoted, every day on safari is a bad hair day but this was an exception), we had the best food on our trip and some interesting activities with top-class guides. One just has to get past the fact that the big-cats here are habituated to humans - or in the case of some cheetah positively tame. While the leopard live and hunt in the reserve they are (mostly) collared and finding them during the day (we were very fortunate to have a long siting of one after a kill), while not guaranteed, is obviously more likely. Tracking the hyena on foot was less successful but at least gave us some exercise and visiting the wild dogs was rather like going to the zoo. Each person will have their own take on these experiences. The Africat Foundation is always to the fore and thinking that one is contributing to such a worthwhile cause in everything one does here is a feel-good factor."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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