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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs H from Surrey

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

4

Lodges stayed in

24

Excursions taken

1

Epic trip to Botswana & Mozambique 2014

Botswana and 2 other countries between 29 May 2014 and 2 Jul 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"A terrific holiday! We had some amazing experiences and met some lovely people.

We booked a great holiday to Namibia with Tracy Lederer in 2010 and she was the natural choice when we were planning a trip to Botswana. Thank you Tracy for your patience and invaluable help.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I think the feedback should have a category 'Very Good'. It is too big a jump to go from 'Good' to 'Excellent'."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Savute Safari Lodge

Savute Safari Lodge

"Savute Safari Lodge - great start to holiday"

2 nights Arrived 30 May 2014
"Our flight from Maun to Savuti Airstrip arrived at 4pm. The afternoon game drive had already left (at 3.30pm). We were taken directly to meet up with our guide Baba and 4 American guests out in the bush. Our bags were taken separately to the camp. On this first game drive we saw 5 wild dogs and 8 lion cubs with their mothers. We couldn't have wished for more.

We stayed in Chalet 8 which had a superb bedroom/lounge and balcony overlooking the Savute Channel and a water hole where many elephants came to drink - you could almost touch them. Baba was a great guide, who truly wanted you to see as much as possible, and the 4 American ladies were wonderful company. Vehicles had to be back at camp before dark. It was fun trying to keep your sundowner inside your glass as Baba made a dash along the bumpy road.

Bird sightings included a Verreaux's eagle owl (giant eagle owl) and a tawny eagle. San rock art and a 1000 year old baobab tree were also close to the camp.

The staff were lovely and sang to us before dinner....something which was repeated at many other camps although perhaps not with such gusto. This was the largest and most sophisticated camp we stayed in. It was the only one to have internet access for guests. The only thing we missed were hot water bottles (bush babies) at night and on the early morning game drive. Once the sun goes down in May/June it gets very chilly."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Khwai Tented Camp

Khwai Tented Camp

"A highlight - Kwai Tented Camp"

3 nights Arrived 1 Jun 2014
"A real contrast to Savute Safari Lodge. We were given a warm welcome by the wonderful camp staff who sang and danced for us. Bucket showers - no problem, in fact better temperature and water pressure than many camps we stayed in. Food and ambience fantastic.

We stayed in Tent 1 overlooking the floodplain. The only thing we missed was somewhere to hang our clothes as there was no canvas wardrobe.

Our guide was Pilot who seems to be famous throughout Botswana. Our drives were divided equally between the Moremi Game Reserve and the Kwai Community Concession. A one-off was Pilot simulating a lion's roar and enticing 2 male lions to emerge from the bush. The noise from all 3 was unbelievable. The lions belonged to a pride of eleven. We were able to see them all including tiny triplet cubs.

On our first night a child in Kwai Village had been attacked by a leopard and Pilot was on a mission to find the cat. Five game drives later Pilot was confident we found the guilty leopard. He claimed he could tell from the way the leopard looked at him!

Other sightings included a spotted hyaena den with 3 females and 5 small cubs; and a real-life bush baby. Our send-off was as special as our arrival, only this time we joined in the singing and dancing."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Chitabe Lediba

Chitabe Lediba

"Cheetah kill at Chitabe Lediba"

3 nights Arrived 4 Jun 2014
"For our third safari we returned to a luxury camp. We stayed in Chalet 1 which had an outside shower with a wonderful view.

This was our first taste of driving through deep water and we had an expert driver and guide in Oats. On our second day we got the call to say 4 cheetahs had been spotted. It was a mother and 3 two-year-old cubs hunting. Watching the cubs chasing their prey was amazing. They were too impatient and their would-be victim always managed to escape. Eventually the mother brought down a young impala and Oats was there for the kill. We spent most of the day with them. Lunch was brought out to us in the bush.

There were other special moments....two-month-old leopard twins playing together; newborn giraffe; three adult lions (brothers) hunting; three 14-month-old lion cubs; getting stuck in the muddy water and having to jack up our Land Rover at front and back.

The weather was very cold and on our last morning we had a significant frost. Hot water bottles were needed for afternoon and morning game drives."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Jacana Camp

Jacana Camp

"Water-based safari in beautiful surroundings"

2 nights Arrived 7 Jun 2014
"Impala on Jao airstrip made for an exciting landing. We were met by our guide Moruti who drove us to the jetty for our onward water trip to Jacana. We stayed in Room 1 (the Honeymoon Suite) which had an amazing panoramic view across the water and islands and a copper outdoor bath.

This was a relaxing 2 days of bird and game viewing spent on mokoro or motor boat. Activities started later in the morning than at other camps to give the weather a chance to warm up before hopping on a boat. The camp was managed by a husband and wife team, Andre and Este, who had moved to the camp from Jao just days before we arrived. They were so kind to us and made special arrangements for Moruti to take us to the neighbouring Pelo Camp to see their resident Pel's fishing owl.

We were also lucky enough to see a male and female sitatunga, a Goliath heron, a giant kingfisher and a collared sunbird. It was a lovely break from waking at 5am and being bounced up and down in a Land Rover/Land Cruiser."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Duba Plains Camp

Duba Plains Camp

"Wonderful Duba Plains"

3 nights Arrived 9 Jun 2014
"This was my favourite camp. We stayed in Tent 6 (the Honeymoon tent) which was the furthest from the main camp areas (a plus in my book as I like a walk) and had a great view over the plains. The camp is managed by Antoinette and her partner Pierre (the superb chef). Our guide was James 007 who has a long history of working with Dereck Joubert. Lovely tent, delicious food and expert guide!

During afternoon tea Pierre gave us details of the dinner choices; and recorded our starter, main course and dessert so that it could be individually prepared to our liking. Driving thru' water was a real experience here. On the call of 'deep water' we had to lift our legs up onto the seat in front to avoid the water coming into the Land Cruiser!

We were hoping to see some lion and buffalo interaction and we weren't disappointed. On our second day we watched as 4 siblings from the Skimmer pride chased and were pushed back by a large buffalo herd. As the buffalo herd moved on the lions followed. Eventually they reached the deep channel to Paradise Island, with strong currents and crocodile, which is sadly where our Land Cruiser had to turn back. However we got some great film of the buffalo and lions swimming thru' treacherous waters.

During our 3 days at Duba we saw 4 members of the Skimmer pride and 8 members of the Tsaro pride (which has now split into three). Sadly the mother of the Skimmer siblings had not been seen for well over a week and James believed she may have been killed by crocodiles. During our last dinner a leopard was spotted by the camp shop and we watched as it disappeared into the bush. The guides patrolled the camp to make sure we were safe to go back to our tents and tracks were spotted outside Tent 6!

Another special moment was watching a troop of baboons crossing a stretch of water; some swam, some walked on all fours, but the little ones weren't too sure what to do and ran on their back legs waving their arms (front legs) in the air!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"Beautiful camp - lovely pool"

3 nights Arrived 12 Jun 2014
"Probably our least favourite of the camps mainly because we did not rate our guide.

Game drives involve a 20 minute boat journey to the jetty where the Land Rovers are parked. This makes a pleasant trip during the day but returning from the night drive in the dark and having hundreds of bugs flying at you as you manoeuvre the channels at speed is not a pleasant experience. Alternatively you could opt to view game from a mokoro. However, while we were staying at Vumbura a Swiss couple had been badly shaken when their mokoro was overturned by a hippo.

Our guide seemed more interested in taking his own photos and pampering to an American in our vehicle. He was also quite difficult to understand. We had been so lucky with guides everywhere else that his faults really stood out and annoyed us. Aside from this criticism it is a beautiful camp with a lovely pool. We saw wild dogs again here, two herds of sable and got some great shots of a leopard hung over the branch of a tree."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Footsteps across the Delta

Footsteps across the Delta

"A highlight - terrific walking safari"

2 nights Arrived 15 Jun 2014
"This was my husband's favourite safari. I had thought that this would be more flora than fauna; and that meals would be very basic. I couldn't have been more wrong! For this reason I have gone overboard on detail in this review.

We were met at Shinde airstrip by our guide Paul Moleseng and his outstanding assistant TH, and, because the water levels were so high, our journey to camp was part drive, part mokoro and part drive. We stayed in Tent 3 and were surprised to find we were the only guests staying at the camp. The tent was identical in layout to those at Kwai Tented Camp except that here we did have a hanging canvas wardrobe. All the tents overlooked the water and from the dining tent there was a superb view of the floating islands as they passed by. The camp has a resident elephant 'Oscar' (who passed right by me as I was sat sunbathing on a bush TV chair) and a resident hyaena 'Fat Albert'.

We walked in a close group one after the other; Paul led the way with his rifle, followed by the guests in order of height (shortest first), and TH brought up the rear. We had heard lions during our first night and Paul knew there was a good chance that we would come across them during our morning walk. Three male lions were spotted on Devastation Island (although water levels were rising rapidly this area had still not flooded). We were given strict instructions how to behave as we walked past the mound under their gaze. That evening we had our sundowners stood on Devastation Island surveying the tracks of the lions from that morning. The Land Cruiser came to pick us up and take us back to camp and on the way we met the 3 lions again, hunting a wildebeest (who managed to escape). This was not the last time that we would see them!

Meals were cooked on an open fire and baking (bread, cakes etc) was done using a large metal box. The food was superb. On our last night the staff laid out a 'romantic dinner' for us on the viewing platform with lanterns lighting the way - Champagne, pea soup, fillet steak, cheesecake and wine. We were very lucky to have visited Footsteps when Paul Moleseng was available. He works all over the place, although he is passionate about Footsteps which he regards as his home. It would be a wonderful camp for a family with children to visit.

We saw red lechwe, impala, black-backed jackal, warthog, elephant, giraffe, baboon, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, tsessebe, hippo, crocodile and lion. We saw saddle-billed stork, wattled crane, black crake, yellow-billed stork, spoonbill, secretary bird, little bee-eater, intermediate egrets, Senegal coucal, white-faced duck, knob-billed duck, jacana, grey heron, slaty egret, green wood-hoopoe, white-browed robin-chat, and ostrich. We did look at some flora - a large Python Vine twisting around the trunk and branch of a tree; and a Strangler Fig."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Little Kwara

Little Kwara

"Wild dog den at Little Kwara"

3 nights Arrived 17 Jun 2014
"It was a 5 minute flight from Shinde airstrip to Kwara. We arrived at the camp around 1pm and were given a cheese sandwich for lunch. We stayed in Room 1, which is a beautiful room with a lovely view from the verandah. There is a super pool in a sunny position with comfortable sun loungers. The guiding and tracking were magnificent. It was just the food that did not come up to expectations.

Our guide was Hobbs and our tracker Mike. On our first game drive we found 3 male lions (two with a dark mane and one blond). We showed Hobbs the photos that we had taken of the 3 lions at Footsteps and he confirmed they were the same ones! These lions had fathered 3 young cubs on the Kwara Reserve. Unfortunately we did not manage to see the lionesses and cubs. Hobbs thought they must be in the marshland where we could not take the Land Cruiser.

On our second drive we found a pack of 13 wild dogs playing by a pan. The alpha male and female were missing. Another guest in our Land Cruiser was due to catch a flight later that morning so we left the dogs and went off to look at other game and found 2 cheetah brothers resting in grassland. The other guest vehicle stuck with the dogs for five hours eventually finding their den in the wilderness a long way from the camp. Not to be outdone, the next day Hobbs and Mike set out to follow the wheel tracks of the other guest vehicle. Finally we found the den, saw the alpha female dig her way into the den, heard the cubs squeaking, and saw the alpha male. We just managed to get back to a familiar dirt track in the reserve before dark. Hobbs and Mike did a great job!

There was a complicated set up of lions at Kwara. Besides the 'Footsteps' lions, the lionesses and cubs - there were 2 brothers who were part of the pride but had now been kicked out, and a solitary lion who had been the dominant male but had now been usurped by the 'Footsteps' lions. We saw the solitary lion on several occasions and got a great cine of him roaring. On our last morning we spotted two of the 'Footsteps' lions just outside the main Kwara camp, and picked up the tracks of the 2 brothers who were running away. We followed the tracks for a long way until they disappeared into the marshland and we had to stop. Thwarted by marshland again!

Night drives were more successful here than at some other camps. One night in pitched darkness a saddle-billed stork flew very very low over our Land Cruiser. We also saw a wild cat and a rock python."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

"Pangolin at Lagoon Camp"

3 nights Arrived 20 Jun 2014
"The camp is in a beautiful position on the Kwando River which forms the boundary between Botswana and Namibia.

We stayed in Room 7. An enormous room with a sunny verandah overlooking the lilies on the river. Rooms 7 and 8 are the farthest from the main area of the camp but they have the best position on the river. The luxurious bathroom has a huge roll top bath. A word of warning - plan well ahead for a bath, the water pressure is such that it takes about 3 hours to fill! As at Little Kwara, its sister camp, the food did not live up to expectations. However we did see 2 scops owlets in trees by the dining tent.

Paul was a superb guide. When we arrived he asked us what game we would particularly like to see. We said pangolin and honey badger. Paul pulled a face and said he hadn't seen a pangolin for over 2 years!
On our first drive we found a nomadic lion guarding a buffalo carcass being watched by hundreds of vultures in the trees. We watched as he fended off an increasing number of hyaenas patrolling around. Just after leaving the lion, in the dark, we had a flat tyre and all had to get out of the vehicle. Once back on the road we saw a serval and then a honey badger.

Lions were heard during our second night. The next morning we picked up the tracks of a lioness and her cubs, and found them with a large male kudu kill. Later we found the 2 dominant males of the pride sleeping in the shade. On the same drive we watched a large elephant family walking thru' marshy water. At one point as they got closer to our vehicle they all lifted up their trunks in unison to smell us and then trumpeted.

During the afternoon drive news came thru' that a pangolin had been spotted. We raced over to the other side of the Reserve and found it curled up motionless. It was a long time before it decided to move. We had just poured our sundowners (in the vehicle) when off it went. We stayed with it until it ran off into the bush.

Driving back to camp in the dark we found the 2 dominant males of the pride whom we had seen flaked out earlier. This time they were wide awake marking their territory; and roaring loudly in stereo. On our last game drive Paul found leopard tracks and spotted a female leopard up a tree. We followed her into the long grass. We could hear her calling her cub. Eventually they were reunited and we watched them playing together. It was a fitting ending to our safari trip."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
City Lodge OR Tambo

City Lodge OR Tambo

"Ideal stopover hotel"

1 night Arrived 23 Jun 2014
"We didn't have to leave the airport building to get to our room. The desk staff were helpful and recommended a couple of restaurants in the airport terminal for dinner: 'Ocean Basket' for fish; 'Soaring Eagle Spur' for steak.

Our room was clean with a good shower and enough space for our luggage. The hotel breakfast was very good.

Ideal overnight accommodation between flights."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Bazaruto Lodge

Bazaruto Lodge

"Beautiful setting on the beach"

7 nights Arrived 24 Jun 2014
"When we arrived at Vilanculos airport the voucher for our flight to Bazaruto was not accepted by the ground staff. Another company had taken over the air route. Luckily a desk clerk, Banu, allowed us to use his phone. After several calls between us and Expert Africa and Banu's boss, we were allowed to fly. The colours of the sea as we flew to the island were absolutely wonderful.

After reading reviews on tripadvisor, we had requested a superior room - 8, 9 or 10 if possible. We were shown to Room 8. It was one of the oldest chalets, not quite on the beach, and was very dark. I think the reviewers on tripadvisor were being facetious!

We requested a move to the new wing of chalets and from a handful of choices picked 37; a lovely bungalow right on the beach with an unobstructed view of the bay. There were very few guests staying in the hotel; many more staff than guests. Basic wine, beer and soft drinks were included in the tariff. The food was good.

We wanted somewhere where we could relax and sit in sun after nearly 4 weeks on safari. We weren't looking for somewhere extra luxurious. We did not have to pay entry fees to Bazaruto Marine National Park at the lodge."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good

My Apr 2010 trip

Namibia between 29 Apr 2010 and 27 May 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a wonderful trip apart from the scorpion. Tracy is a great asset! Please thank her again for all her help.......does she cover Botswana ( our next African trip)?"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Central Lodge

Central Lodge

"Central Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 1 May 2010
"We were greeted by blank looks at the Reception Desk....it would appear no booking had been made! There was a wedding reception at the Lodge that day and they were accommodating wedding guests.

We were put in Room 19 next to a room used by the staff when off duty.....thru' the night we had loud music and high spirits. Please warn your guests in future not to accept Room 19!"
Poor
Location
Poor
Service
Poor
Facilities
Poor
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good
Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge

"Canyon Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 2 May 2010
"We stayed in Room 13 which had an amazing view. We could not fault this accommodation.

We did our own thing and didn't take part in any of the excursions organised by the Lodge.

The staff were friendly and extremely helpful."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Desert Horse Inn

Desert Horse Inn

"Desert Horse Inn review"

2 nights Arrived 4 May 2010
"Wish we had taken Tracy's advice and booked Eagle's Nest!

Desert Horse Inn was good but Eagle's Nest would have been absolutely amazing...the scenery and sunsets are to die for!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Wolwedans Dune Camp

Wolwedans Dune Camp

"Wolwedans Dune Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 6 May 2010
"We were in Tent 1 and looked out on the most amazing landscape.

Our guide was Anton. We recommend the full day drive around the property with a picnic lunch. It's a 'scenery drive' rather than a 'game drive'. The night sky is a revelation.

This was one of the highlights of our trip."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sossus Dune Lodge

Sossus Dune Lodge

"Sossus Dune Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 8 May 2010
"We were in Room 14. There were only 5 or 6 sets of people staying in the hotel. There were more people asking if everything was OK than were staying there! A case of too many chiefs and not enough indians.

Seems such a shame as the location and rooms are wonderful. They have also built a lovely shaded area around the swimming pool.

No problem using credit card to pay."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Poor
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
BullsPort Lodge & Farm

BullsPort Lodge & Farm

"Bullsport Guest Farm review"

2 nights Arrived 9 May 2010
"We stayed in Room 8. Cater mainly for German guests.

We would recommend the Quivertree Gorge Trip organised by the guest farm, although the guide we had could only speak German!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Cornerstone Guesthouse

Cornerstone Guesthouse

"Cornerstone Guesthouse review"

2 nights Arrived 11 May 2010
"We stayed in Room 1. Internet access was complimentary! Very good B&B. Recommend eating at the Tug, Grapevine or De Kelder.....but not the Lighthouse. The Turnstone Tour to Sandwich Harbour with Ernest was excellent...another highlight of our trip. Everything about the day was superb including the gourmet picnic lunch.

We were a bit disappointed with the Pleasure Flights Sossusvlei Trip as we would have liked to have spent more time in the air actually circling Sossusvlei and Deadvlei."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"Coast and Sandwich Harbour"

12 May 2010 • All-day excursion

We had a wonderful guide...Ernest. Everything about the day was superb including the gourmet picnic lunch.
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

2 nights Arrived 13 May 2010
"We stayed in Room 12.

Enjoyed everything about our stay here except for the night we decided to wheel our bed out and sleep under the stars...when I was stung by a scorpion. I didn't have any medical treatment in Namibia but did attend the Hospital for Tropical Diseases when we returned to the UK.

Our morning tracking desert elephants was particularly successful.....we found two families and in total 20 elephants."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Etendeka Mountain Camp

Etendeka Mountain Camp

"Etendeka Mountain Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 15 May 2010
"Another highlight of our trip! Dennis and Claire were wonderful hosts and the food was fantastic.

An experience not to be missed if you visit Namibia."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Ongava Lodge

Ongava Lodge

"Ongava Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 17 May 2010
"We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 nights here.....unfortunately we were in Room 11 which has no view.

We would recommend the game drives on the property rather than in Etosha. The water holes at the Lodge and the Tented Camp are visited by lots of interesting game."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Onguma Bush Camp

Onguma Bush Camp

"Onguma Bush Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 20 May 2010
"We were in Rondavel No 3 which was lovely.

There was no game at the water hole other than impala.

We cannot comment on the activities as we drove ourselves around Etosha.

The food was excellent apart from the desserts at dinner, which could have come out of a packet from Iceland.
We thought this accommodation was very good value."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Main Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 23 May 2010
"We were upgraded to a beautiful View Room from a Garden Room.

We expected this to be one of the highlights of our trip but it wasn't... possibly because my scorpion bite/sting was causing me problems at this stage but also the game drives and food were not up to the standard we were expecting."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 25 May 2010
"Helpful staff. A good base to start or finish a trip.

Thoroughly recommend Joe's Beerhouse for dinner and the Namibia Craft Centre for coffee/tea/snack."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent

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