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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms L & Mr H from USA

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

13

Excursions taken

0

We loved Namibia

Namibia and 1 other country between 20 Sep 2009 and 10 Oct 2009

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our self-drive loop tour thru Namibia was excellent, and it was extremely helpful to have the help of someone as knowledgeable as Tracy in planning it.

That said, in retrospect I would tweak the itinerary just a bit.

Our stays (after Windhoek) were as follows:

1. Bagatelle Game Ranch, 2 nights. Two nights is too many here, even if the Dune Chalets had been available (and they were not). I think we should have gone straight from Windhoek to #2.

2. Bullsport Guest Farm, 2 nights. I believe this would have been a longer drive from Windhoek (I don't know the road condidtions, of course), but it would have been a nice place to spend three nights.

3. Kulala Desert Lodge, 2 nights. Perfect length of stay, and a visit to the dunes is a must in a Namibia trip, IMO.

4. Swakopmund; Villa Margherita, 2 nights. Nice hotel, but one night would have sufficed.

5. Doro Nawas, 2 nights. Driving to see desert-adapted elephants was excellent. 2 nights is perfect.

6. Ongava Lodge, 1 night. Two nights would have been better, with the full day spent exploring the west/central portion of Etosha.

7. Etosha Aoba Lodge, 1 night. We arrived here rather late, after a full day driving thru Etosha. Nice, basic accomodation with good food. From here we went early in the morning to explore the eastern part of Etosha, and early afternoon arrived at:

8. The Fort at Fisher's Pan. We had been waitlisted for a second night at Etosha Aoba, but after seeing The Fort's brochure, we decided to stay here instead. Over the top, ridiculous, NOT environmentally friendly. But a lovely view. I would not have enjoyed an extended stay here.
(If we had stayed two nights at Ongava, we might have been able to spend just one night on the eastern side of the park, with the exploration of the eastern side of Etosha being done the day we left Ongava.)

9. Okonjima Main Camp, 1 night. This was such a lovely spot to relax, birdwatch, walk (and view cats!), 2 nights would have been nice.

10. Erongo Wilderness Lodge. This is a great place for walkers, a two night stay is a minimum. But if you're not a walker, there is probably little here for you (except for excellent food!).

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I would recommend Expert Africa to anyone planning a trip to Africa!

Despite my comments on how I might have changed the itinerary, this trip was nigh unto perfect. Omitting Bagatelle and the second night in Swakop are the only major things I would have done differently (with benefit of hindsight), and I suspect that Tracy knew what she was doing when she planned it the way she did.

My detailed comments above are more for Tracy than the general public, though you are free to share them if you feel it would be appropriate.

Thank you, Tracy, for a wonderful trip!"

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"a lovely haven in Windhoek"

1 night Arrived 20 Sep 2009
"Although the room was rather small, it was nicely appointed. It was easy to find from the airport, and was reasonably convenient to downtown.

Dinners and breakfasts were very good."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

"could have skipped this one..."

2 nights Arrived 21 Sep 2009
"This was our first stop after an overnight in Windhoek, and it retrospect, I think it could have been skipped. The Dune Chalets were not available for our group, and most of us were housed in the main lodge, not even in the hay bale chalets on the desert. The rooms were quite comfortable, but had none of the "atmosphere" of the Dune Chalets or hay bale chalets. Viewing the captive cheetahs is not very exciting, and the game drive, while scenic, could not compare to drives in more game-rich areas. Unfortunately, we saw only one meerkat (perhaps if the family had been active, I would rate our stay here more highly).

The "sundowners" up at the gazebo on the dune was a rip-off---we could have carried our own drinks up there perfectly easily, we didn't need to pay for someone to drive them up and serve them to us...

Overall, probably worth a stay for the Kalahari scenery if Dune Chalets are available, otherwise, probably not. Two nights felt too long."
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Poor
BullsPort Lodge & Farm

BullsPort Lodge & Farm

"A real farm, with excellent hiking"

2 nights Arrived 23 Sep 2009
"The new rooms are lovely---very spacious and well-appointed (with superb reading lights!). The "homestay" atmosphere, with the family-style meals in which the hosts take part, was quite pleasant. The walking in the Naukluft Mountains and on the farm was very enjoyable.

For a group making a clockwise loop trip beginning in Windhoek, I might suggest this as a good first stop."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"The dunes were spectacular"

2 nights Arrived 25 Sep 2009
"The lodge is comfortable, with tents on stilts overlooking a riverbed and dunes. The option to sleep on the roof was nice.
The common areas, particularly the dining room, need a bit of work---the dining area looks like a "canteen," and the lighting is horrible.
The guide who took us to the dunes was excellent, and hiking those magnificent dunes in the early morning light was a wonderful experience.

Rating probably would have been excellent had the food and the atmosphere in the dining room been a bit better (the food was probably the worst we had in 2 1/2 weeks in Namibia)."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Villa Margherita

Villa Margherita

"Villa Margherita was lovely"

2 nights Arrived 27 Sep 2009
"Beautiful small hotel, with elegantly decorated rooms (each one of which is different).

I wish we had realized that we needed to book several days ahead if we wanted to eat dinner at the hotel. We did try 24 hours in advance, but that was not long enough, as the chef needed longer notice in order to be available that night. ( And the restaurant looked lovely.) Since it was a Sunday, our dining options were limited, but we had a perfectly fine dinner at a pub-style place in town.

We stayed two nights in Swakop; I think one would have sufficed."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Rolling our beds onto the patio!"

2 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2009
"Terrific rooms, with beds that can be rolled right out onto the patio to sleep under the stars---fantastic!

Tracking the desert-adapted elephants was great, although our vehicle's radio wasn't working in the morning, so the driver of the other vehicle wasn't able to let our driver know when he found the elephants (and we consequently saw only a solitary male that AM). However, the management was very accomodating, and lowered the price of an afternoon ride significantly to compensate for the radio problem.

We saw a large family group (as well as a big bull) in beautiful, golden, late afternoon light."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Ongava Lodge

Ongava Lodge

"Rhinos at the waterhole"

1 night Arrived 1 Oct 2009
"The location, overlooking a waterhole frequented by rhinos (we saw several in the evening, plus lions) is excellent. However, the upper row of rooms (which is where we were) does not have a view of the waterhole, and are significantly less attractive for that reason.

Our afternoon game drive was not very productive, though we did see a small group of lions. Two lions actually walked right along the path between the upper and lower rows of cabins the night we were there!

We only spent one night here. I would advise at least two, with the full day spent exploring the west/central parts of Etosha."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Onguma Etosha Aoba

Onguma Etosha Aoba

"Basic, but comfortable, w/ good food"

1 night Arrived 2 Oct 2009
"After a long day driving thru Etosha, this lodge was a pleasant stop. It was a good place to stay after visiting the park all day, because it is fairly basic, and one did not feel that an earlier arrival would have been better, to allow time to enjoy the facilities (or view, of which there is none).

Dinner was very good."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Onguma The Fort

Onguma The Fort

"Over the top"

1 night Arrived 3 Oct 2009
"After an initial "wow" reaction, I think everyone in our group was a bit appalled at Onguma Plains Camp (now known as The Fort on Fisher's Pan). It certainly is a beautiful place, but it's just TOO over the top. I give it low marks for environmental friendliness: Too many large decorative pools evaporating water into the atmosphere. And ridiculous to have air conditioners in rooms that are basically open to the atmosphere (though the rooms got very hot once the turndown service closed up the mesh/slat wall that overlooks the pan).

Most ridiculous of all is that they won't even allow you to walk to your room in the daytime, but insist on taking you in a little motorized cart. Supposedly this is to protect you from wildlife, but nowhere else was there this daytime restriction (and Etosha Aoba, 7km down the road, even allows you to walk back to your room unaccompanied at night)."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"The cats were a treat"

1 night Arrived 4 Oct 2009
"I did not think that seeing radio-collared leopards would be a big treat, but it was actually quite exciting.

The new rooms are beautiful; the older rooms looked as though they were small, but I did not see any interiors.

The gardens were a great place to relax, with many birds (thanks to several birdfeeders).

We only stayed here one night, but I think two would have been nice, because there seemed to be good walking, in addition to the cat-viewing rides, and it was just a nice place to hang out."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Erongo Wilderness Lodge

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

"A great place to walk in the hills"

1 night Arrived 5 Oct 2009
"We loved this place! Beautiful hillwalks, excellent food (some of the best we had in 2 1/2 weeks in Namibia), and just a great attitude on the part of management.

The tents were very comfortable, although the very nervous might have problems with the bathrooms, which are open to the great outdoors."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

1 night Arrived 6 Oct 2009
"[previously reviewed]"
Excellent
Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura

"a magical place"

3 nights Arrived 7 Oct 2009
"Our 3 night stay at Little Vumbura, after 2 1/2 weeks in Namibia, was the last stop of our trip, and it did not disappoint.

We saw more elephants on the drive between the airstrip and the camp than we'd seen in the previous 2 1/2 weeks, and the short boat ride after the drive is a great way to get to the camp.

The staff are very warm and friendly, the service is excellent, and the food was excellent. The tents are large and comfortable, with the possibility of game viewing from the patio (elephants do visit the island!).

Game viewing was superb, though as always, there is a great deal of luck involved. For example, the morning our guide found a pack of wild dogs, we had elected to do a bush walk (which was rather uneventful, as it turns out). We did hear from others that game viewing tends to be better at other camps (Mombo, for example, and areas closer to Chobe), but we were very happy where we were."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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