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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs S from Inverness

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

11

Excursions taken

0

Absolutely excellent trip to Namibia!

Namibia between 21 Sep 2009 and 8 Oct 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had a wonderful trip in a really attractive country with so many different types of scenery and a good mix of observing and physical activity.

The accommodation was of a uniformly high standard while allowing for a variety of styles. Food varied from the excellent, through the generally very good, to the indifferent, although this latter was unusual. The outings were well organised and enjoyable.

With the exception of some initial problems with car hire, all arrangements made by Expert Africa were faultless and the local knowledge they have and their advice on how to structure the trip were invaluable. We were very impressed with all aspects of the arrangements and have already recommended Expert Africa to others. We all hope to return to this fascinating country at some point.

In retrospect, there are a few changes which we would have made to the itinerary. While it appeared to be a good idea to have two nights in Swakopmund as we had a long drive on either side of our stay there, the driving conditions were less arduous than anticipated, and the charms of the town such that one night would have sufficed. The Tug restaurant is a must while in the town, though.

Although the Olive Grove guest house is perfectly reasonable, the change to spending a night in a town/small city after weeks out in the country was a bit of an anti-climax at the end of the trip. Windhoek seemed altogether more enclosed and oppressive than the smaller Swakopmund. The time to reach the airport from the excellent Erongo Wilderness Lodge was such that it would not have been problematic to go directly there from the lodge and miss out Windhoek. Alternatively, a night at one of the rural lodges to the south west of the town might be a more pleasant option.

Finally, the choice of a clock-wise route round the country was well chosen. To face days of travel on the gravel roads of the west after their relative absence in the east might have been a bit of a surprise and the varying landscapes of the country somehow seem to lend themselves to this direction.

Well done, Expert Africa! Oh, and Chris McIntyre's guide book was one of the best we have come across!

Suggestions for improvements:

Keep doing what you do now!!"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

"Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch review"

2 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2009
"Easy access from Windhoek for first night in Namibia. Friendly greeting from management and staff. Rooms beside main complex spacious and comfortable but without the outlook of the chalets. Food in outdoor dining area very good.

Local walking pleasant if relatively limited, but game drive excellent with a great variety of terrain and some stunning scenery as well as a reasonable range of wildlife. Shop quite well stocked and well priced, which was not realised till rather later in the trip!

Viewing platform on dunes provides for fine sunset scenery."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
BullsPort Lodge & Farm

BullsPort Lodge & Farm

"Bullsport Guest Farm review"

2 nights Arrived 23 Sep 2009
"A real working farm with guest facilities as one of the income streams.

Rooms designed with a lot of concrete for fittings and furniture which works well both in appearance and function. Building works during our stay caused only minimal inconvenience.

Food pretty good with a germanic/african feel, such as zebra goulash! Owners helpful and pleasant but staff not the most forthcoming.

Some excellent walking, both guided and using maps provided by the ranch. Horseriding involved good, well schooled animals and interesting routes."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Kulala Desert Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2009
"Very friendly reception and staff and good facilities with attractive outlooks and good pool. Rooms a nice combination of tent/thatched roof/stone bathroom.

Excellent trip to the dunes for dawn with a serious walk up a dune away from the crowds. Then on to Sossussvlei and some more tremendous sightseeing. Excellent roof terrace for sunset viewing.

Food good on one night but very poor on the other, with meat managing the rare feat of being both fatty and stringy. Staff very keen to help but perhaps overly so at the dining table where glasses, cutlery and crockery were removed before they were finished with.

There also seemed to be a lack of local autonomy or ability to make relatively minor decisions. This was not a major issue, but as later became apparent, seemed a characteristic of the lodges managed and staffed by Wilderness Safaris. We were later informed that all decisions are taken at HQ in Windhoek, even down to choice of menu, but this may not be wholly accurate."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Excellent
Villa Margherita

Villa Margherita

"Villa Margherita review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2009
"Very friendly, competent and helpful staff. Extremely spacious rooms with a great deal of individuality between them. General ambience very pleasant with attractive common areas, both inside and out.

No evening meals taken but breakfast excellent. Staff arranged and advised on a number of things for our group.

Evening meals must be pre-booked, but it should be noted that this service is not available on Sundays and that a number of restaurants in Swakopmund are also closed on that day.

Had a meal at the Tug seafood restaurant on one evening and the food, service and ambience were all excellent. Both it and the Villa Margherita are highly recommended."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

2 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2009
"Friendly staff and service along with good facilities and excellent rooms with fine views. Food reasonable.

Very interesting trips to find the desert adapted elephants. long and not very comfortable morning outing with little to show for it mainly due to the intercom radio on our vehicle not allowing contact with the other vehicle which was more successful. Afternoon trip was very successful and was run for us because of the morning's technical problem. This was not totally resolved, but was sufficient to let us get excellent access to the animals. The staff tried to charge the full rate for the second trip, despite it being necessary because of the technical malfunction. However, we did manage to negotiate a more appropriate charge after the staff had to contact more senior managers 'elsewhere'.

Slight difficulties with this arrangement on check-out, but resolved simply. Altogether a very good place to stay, though the overall 'feel' resulting from it being run on a contract basis means that it suffers a little in comparison with the directly managed lodges."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Ongava Lodge

Ongava Lodge

"Ongava Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 1 Oct 2009
"Excellent rooms and general facilities, and helpful and friendly staff. Very good and productive outings as well.

Tremendous outlook from the rooms and common areas. Lovely views of the waterhole below the bar area and fascinating sightings of rhino there.

Sadly unable to keep screen between room and balcony open at night but this was totally justified but lions walking between the rooms during the night!

Only the minimal issue of the 'corporate' feel of a contract-run operation prevented the whole stay from being classed as excellent."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Onguma Etosha Aoba

Onguma Etosha Aoba

"Etosha Aoba Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 2 Oct 2009
"A more traditional and older place than those in which we had stayed previously, and as such, the rooms seemed small. However, objectively, they were perfectly spacious and the facilities were good with a very fine pool. T

he welcome from staff and management was very friendly and the food excellent. There were walking routes recommended for unguided strolls and a hide available overlooking a waterhole some distance from the main complex as well as one near the bar/restaurant area.

The whole aura was one of relaxation and calmness, with none of the 'corporate' and 'health and safety' focus of the contract run lodges. After the evening meal, with which there was an excellent choice of wines, the female staff performed several songs with evident pride and enjoyment, which were well received.

Overall an excellent stopover."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Onguma The Fort

Onguma The Fort

"Onguma Plains - The Fort"

1 night Arrived 3 Oct 2009
"Can only be described as stunning, in terms of location, facilities, rooms, friendliness and service. This is a wonderful facility with superb facilities overlooking a waterhole which constantly attracts a wide range of wildlife.

The restaurant and viewing areas have been superbly planned with outstanding views and comfort. The innovative pool and the partly submerged bar tables and seats added to the overall atmosphere. The rooms are no less attractive and provide beautifully and imaginatively planned and furnished accommodation.

The staff were attentive without being intrusive and very competent, friendly and helpful. The food was excellent and the evening meal was memorable not just for the quality of the various courses, but also for the setting and ambience. At the end of the meal, we were treated to an excellent singing performance by the all male staff whose vocal skills would have put many professional choirs to shame.

Overall a wonderful stay in a wonderful place."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Main Camp review"

1 night Arrived 4 Oct 2009
"Good situation with fine communal facilities and pool and well planned rooms with the large picture windows giving a great outlook both by day and at night. The food was very good as was the service. The outings were enjoyable and we managed to see all that we had hoped to, and were enhanced by the knowledgeable and lively banter between the guides driving our vehicles.

One of our party had a birthday during our stay, and arranged for special pre-dinner drinks to be served. The method of preparation was unknown to the staff, but during our afternoon excursion, they had consulted the internet and prepared two alternative versions for us which showed commendable initiative and commitment to service. Following this, at our brunch after the next morning's excursion, we were provided with two complementary bottles of champagne, a very thoughtful touch.

The one slight downside was the fact that a small number of staff carried pistols, which surprisingly were said to be for personal protection after an organised robbery at the site a couple of years ago and the theft of the camp's takings in the local town en route to the bank. However security arrangements appeared to be very good and there was no feeling of concern whatsoever among our group. In fact only a couple of the more observant, and ex-military, members of the group noticed the weapons and made the subsequent enquiry."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"Erongo Wilderness Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 5 Oct 2009
"Beautiful situation, with attractive communal areas and individual rooms placed among the rocky parts of the site with imaginative use of natural features in their design. Not an area with a wide range of animal life, other than the baboons, porcupines and dassies, but a selection of birds for the enthusiast.

The prime attraction of the lodge is the range of walks available, which were of varying length and difficulty. All offered interesting and scenic outings and the views from the surrounding hills were stunning, both at dawn and at dusk, as well as at other times of day. The guides were helpful and knowledgeable and friendly.

The level of service was excellent and the staff seemed genuinely pleased to be able to assist guests both at the lodge and in arranging things in the local town. The food was also of a very high quality and could not be faulted. Despite the high levels of attentive service and excellent food, the lodge was marked by a wonderfully relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, probably influenced largely by management and staff.

Our stay was totally relaxing while including a good level of walking activity, and overall was a really excellent experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 7 Oct 2009
"Pleasant hotel in Windhoek.

Rooms fine, but felt a little small after more than two weeks of spacious accommodation around the country. Quality of rooms varied between those of same apparent grade. Staff friendly and helpful and food good.

Pool barely worth having due to small size, but massage carried out effectively and at reasonable cost.

A pleasant stopping off place for a night."
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good

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