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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr I & Mrs A from France

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

14

Excursions taken

1

My Apr 2010 trip

Namibia between 10 Apr 2010 and 3 May 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"Overall our trip surpassed our expectations. We have both travelled extensively and this is the first time we have ever gone through an agent. All the accommodation and food was excellent. The two wilderness safari camps activities were overpriced and there was a lack of passion with the guides we had.

I did feel that the itinerary could have been planned a little better in the middle. Most people were surprised we had 6 nights in Damarland as were we when we realised how close the camps were to eachother. We could have missed out Damaraland Camp and had 3 nights at Etosha and 2 nights at Okonjima or even 4 nights at Etosha. Despite the guide books saying you don't see much wildlife at the time of year we were there for us it was still incredible.

We definitely needed another night further to the west and had to run around for a day and a half. Obviously I am not an expert and only went by what I read. I would recommend at least 3 nights at different camps across Etosha if you have the amount of time we had. We had a fantastic time in Damaraland but had to double back on ourselves from Grootberg to Etendeka.

Again I think people should be discouraged from visiting the Terrace Bay Camp for one night - if I had understood what it was like I would never have wanted to go. We had a very long drive to get there, arrived late and then had to leave early - it was exhausting and not worth the detour. Our only disappointment was we didn't have enough time in Etosha.

We had a fantastic holiday and I would recommend Expert Africa to my friends and family.

Thank you.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

We would have appreciated more information about the way certain camps were run in terms of activities and additional costs ie. Wilderness Safari's Camp. We felt pressured into doing all the activities and compared to every other camp the prices were very high and quality low.

I would have liked more information about certain places, especially the Skeleton Coast. I did say I wanted to go there but was going off what I'd read and I suppose lack of knowledge. Better guidance would have made me realise this side trip wasn't necessary. The same goes for Etosha - despite what the guide books say you really do need 3/4 nights to do it justice whatever time of year you are there. I was under the impression that we wouldn't see much so 2 nights was enough. This most definitely wasn't the case and most of the other travellers we met had seen elephants and rhino, lions and even cheetahs. Please make sure that people understand that they will see wildlife if they go at this time of year.

We were advised that there wasn't much to see in Luderitz. After visiting Klein Aus Vista I wouldn't agree with this. We would have preferred to stay one or even two nights in Luderitz. The Ghost mining town was fascinating and the drive around the peninsula fascinating. There was so much to see but we felt rushed as we had to get back up to Klein Aus Vista. Luderitz itself isn't the most beautiful place but everything to do is nearby where as Klein Aus Vista is perhaps good for hikers but for no other reason. It's only another 1hr 15mins to Luderitz and you seen the wild horses on the way there. It would have been nice to be able to choose a restaurant and go for a walk rather being limited to one choice.

Finally, we were on a half board basis at the Damaraland Camp and Kulala Lodge which we found very strange. There isn't anywhere else to go so this should really be included. Our final bill came to nearly 2,000 Namibian Dollars at Kulala Lodge and 3,000 at Damarland Camp when the activities and lunches plus drinks were added in which we thought was excessive having already paid for Half Board. At Grootberg lunch was included with the activities whereas at D Camp and Kulala we paid for the activity then had to come back and pay for lunch. We understood we had to pay for extras but with nowhere but the lodge to eat at lunch should be included."

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"Olive Grove review"

2 nights Arrived 10 Apr 2010
"Our first impressions of Namibia were made all the more positive by the warm and friendly welcome we received at the Olive Grove Guest House. The quality of the accommodation is excellent and really helped us unwind after long journeys. We decided to stay and eat in house the first night which again was first class.

It felt like we were in a little oasis of calm that got us ready for our adventure ahead. The staff were very informative and positive which again reinforced our feelings of excitement of what was to follow in the coming weeks."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

"Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch review"

1 night Arrived 12 Apr 2010
"We arrived at the Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch mid afternoon and were greeted by a chilled drink and warm welcome. The main public area of the ranch is well laid out catering for those who want a bit of privacy or those wanting to meet fellow travellers and socialising. There is a lovely swimming pool and outdoor area to relax.

The chalets were fantastic with views out over the Kalahari. The food was of a high standard and it was lovely to eat outdoors with an open fire to take the chill out of the air.

The staff were very helpful and informative. We did a game drive in the late afternoon which was excellent and the guide was top class.

If you want to see the meercats you must tell the guide the day before because you have to get up very early to see them around the back of the ranch. You will not see them around the camp as some guide books imply.

We will definitely go back to Bagatelle Ranch and would stay for at least 2 nights."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

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

Canyon Lodge

"Canyon Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 13 Apr 2010
"Canyon Lodge was a fantastic place to stay. We were very impressed by all the staff and also the fact that they provide almost 70% of the produce from their own farm is a model many other lodges could learn from. It had a very positive feel.

The communal areas were well laid out and the restaurant was lovely. They also have the best swimming pool of all the lodges were stayed at with breathtaking views and an amazing place to watch the sunset with a gin and tonic in hand (or whatever you like)."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Desert Horse Inn

Desert Horse Inn

"Desert Horse Inn review"

2 nights Arrived 15 Apr 2010
"The Desert Horse Inn is a good staging post on the way to Luderitz.

The rooms have a lovely view but would benefit from fly screens so that you can leave the windows open on hot nights.

The staff are all friendly and professional."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

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

Sinclair Guest Farm, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Sinclair Guest Farm review"

1 night Arrived 17 Apr 2010
"The Sinclair Guest Farm was our first experience of the more informal accommodation that Namibia has to offer and proved to be a very positive one. We would definitely go back and stay there again for more than one night. The farm house was surrounded by a stunning show of flowers and a beautifully kept garden.

Taso the border collie and Christine the manager gave us a warm welcome. Afternoon tea and homemade cake was on offer within an hour of our arrival. We then walked up to the old mine with Taso to guide us there and back.

The dinner we had was one of the best meals I had on my whole trip to Namibia, all home cooked and delicious.

Christine ate dinner with us and was very informative about life in modern day Namibia and many other subjects. Top class."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge

"Kulala Desert Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 18 Apr 2010
"Kulala Lodge is a beautifully designed place to stay and relax. The staff were excellent and the singing during dinner was fantastic.

We have two main complaints. The first complaint is the cost of the activities which we found excessive for what was included. Over $1,000 Namibian dollars for the morning excursion into the Dunes which included a cup of coffee, a biscuit and a bit of fruit. The guide wasn't very informative and didn't really have much passion for the job. He drove us there and then back. We did try to engage him but it's not our job to ask all the questions it is his job to inform and enthuse us.

We were told that if we wanted to drive into the park ourselves that we couldn't use the lodges private access but would have to drive out of the park and then in through the main gate. I would have thought that paying premium prices to stay at the lodge should have entitled us to access the park ourselves or with a guided tour. The evening game drive was $600 (£60!) and there was very little wildlife to see here. Bagatelle Ranch charged us $60 Namibian (£6) and we had a fantastic guide, lots of game to enjoy and a sundowner drink with snacks.

We didn't really like the dining area as it felt like a canteen with no music or atmosphere although the bar area and outside areas were beautiful."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
The Stiltz

The Stiltz

"The Stiltz review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Apr 2010
"We were welcomed by an exuberant friendly team of staff who helped us with directions to restaurants, were to go and what to do.

The rooms were very comfortable with excellent facilities including internet access, a mini bar and a great shower!

The location was spectacular but unfortunately the weather was overcast and cold so we didn't really enjoy the surrounding scenery.

The breakfast was excellent but it would have been nice to have a communal area for a drink in the evening."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Ballooning in the Namib Desert

Ballooning in the Namib Desert

"Balloon Trip over Sossusvlei"

20 Apr 2010 • Morning excursion

I would recommend this trip to everybody. It was worth every penny. It was the most peaceful, wonderful way to view the dunes, wildlife and geology of the area and very professionally run. We felt safe and well looked after throughout the flight.

The champagne breakfast was far more exotic than I expected with everything from smoked salmon, to home made pancakes and jams. Excellent.
Excellent
Terrace Bay

Terrace Bay

"Terrace Bay review"

1 night Arrived 22 Apr 2010
"Terrace Bay is a government run camp in the middle of nowhere. If you aren't a fisherman then there is little reason to visit here at present.

The manager informed us that they are hoping to renovate the camp next year and add in activities for the new influx of non fishing tourists which will make a big difference.

The staff were excellent and despite the raucous nature our fellow diners, who were all hardcore fisherman, we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. I was the only woman there apart from the staff which was a little intimidating.

It was an experience I won't forget and isn't for the faint hearted!"
Average
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location
Average
Service
Good
Rooms
Poor
Food
Good
Damaraland Camp

Damaraland Camp

"Damaraland Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 23 Apr 2010
"First impressions of the camp were very positive. The main area of the camp is stunningly designed with a beautiful dining area and pool. Cakes and tea provided at 3.00pm were much appreciated. The staff were very helpful and informative.

The rooms were beautiful but the bathroom was impractical for cold weather and the water was cold both days because there was a fault with the solar shower and it was freezing cold.

Once again there was a hard sell for the activities. The late afternoon walk was enjoyable and our guide very knowledgeable but not overly passionate about his job. We booked on the elephant tracking for the next morning which was again very expensive and were told by the staff there was only a 1% chance of seeing anything. We didn't know whether to cancel the trip or not but as there was nothing else to do we went ahead.

There was 2 people from Wilderness Safaris on the trip with us and they seemed to think we weren't leaving until 6.00am which seemed late to us as we were told 5.30am the night before. The guide didn't say anything to encourage us to leave earlier. Some locals told the guide that elephants had been spotted near the village the night before and we managed to spot the elephants off in the distance with binoculars.

We drove through some spectacular scenery, and did see some other game but nothing we hadn't already seen much closer ourselves. The guide was not informative and really didn't tell us much about anything. We were given a quick cup of coffee and a inedible biscuit before being rushed back to the camp because the Wilderness Safaris staff had to catch a plane at midday. We felt that we had left late and then rushed back to accommodate the Wilderness Safaris Staff. It was all very disorganised and unprofessional.

That evening the guide proceeded to tell us numerous times that he would not see us the next day, obviously wanting a tip. It was very embarrassing and annoying. He then said we were late leaving, once again hinting this was our fault, and that's why we didn't see the elephants. I also felt other staff were hovering about waiting for tips and felt very uncomfortable about it. We stayed at far less expensive places with far better guides who asked for nothing.

There was a lack of leadership at the camp and although everybody was very nice and friendly it was not the quality I would expect at the top end of the market. After all I had read about the camp it was very disappointing."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Grootberg Lodge

Grootberg Lodge

"Grootberg Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 25 Apr 2010
"Grootberg Lodge we love you! What a wonderful place to stay. Top class professional staff, excellent guides, a view from the shower that will stay with me forever.

Our guide, Moses, was excellent. He told us stories that he had been told by his grandmother about the animals and trees, we learned about the local cultures, flora and fauna and felt very well looked after. We stopped for a packed lunch under the trees and there was no hurry to move on. This trip was excellent value for money. We were disappointed not to have time to do their Rhino tracking trip but we will definitely stay there again.

Much like Damaraland Camp we learned that this lodge is an excellent example of sustainable development, investing in the local community to provide a viable future for the young people. The difference for me was that everybody here was incredibly happy and cheery and it was very well run."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Etendeka Mountain Camp

Etendeka Mountain Camp

"Etendeka Mountain Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Apr 2010
"This was a true wilderness experience. It was an experience not to forget. Claire, Denis and Bonny plus the whole team do a incredible job making you feel at home and make the whole stay run like clockwork without ever feeling rushed. The activities were fantastic and we saw more game here than anywhere else.

Bonny the guide took us on a 3 hour walk in the early morning and despite the lack of animal life he explained the geology, plant life, and anything else he saw that he felt we should know about.

The food was delicious. It's amazing what you can do with a bush camp fire and a chicken in tinfoil and as for the coconut cake with cream .... I'll be on a diet for another month.

For an overall wilderness experience Etendeka Mountain Camp is the real thing. The bush shower was fun, the tents very comfortable, and of course Claire, Denis and Bonny have made it what it is - a fantastic experience."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Taleni Etosha Village

Taleni Etosha Village

"Taleni Etosha Village review"

2 nights Arrived 29 Apr 2010
"Very well positioned for entry to Etosha Park. Once again excellent and efficient staff. Beautiful swimming pools and loungers to relax on after your early morning start in the park. The buffet on our second night was delicious and the quality was excellent.

The luxury tents were very well laid out to give total privacy and a feeling of isolation, yet within a few minutes walk you were back at the central lodge with all the facilities you need readily available."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Okonjima Plains Camp

Okonjima Plains Camp

"Okonjima Main Camp review"

1 night Arrived 1 May 2010
"We were upgraded to the Bush Camp with our own little chalet and this was true luxury. There was a little bird bath under the trees outside the chalet and bird seed to feed them with. At one point we sat and watched a waterhog, guinea fowl and an African Hornbill all munching away on the seeds right outside our room.

The main lodge is beautiful and the staff as good as any top hotel in the world. The food was first class.

The activities were superb and our guide Jacques was exceptional. Passionate, knowledgeable and determined to make sure we got to see the leopards and cheetahs no matter how difficult this was. We were very lucky to be at the camp when the yearly Vet checks were taking place and we were allowed to watch a cheetah having it's health check. It was fascinating to learn all about the Africat foundation. It was very exciting and a perfect end to a perfect holiday.

The cost of the leopard trip was 415 Namibian dollars which was fantastic value for money. We were out for hours, and saw much more than leopards. Jacques told us about all the game in the different areas of the reserve as well as the story of how it all started.

Excellent."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Elegant Guesthouse

Elegant Guesthouse

"The Elegant Guesthouse review"

1 night Arrived 2 May 2010
"The Elegant Guesthouse is clean and well positioned. It doesn't have a lot of atmosphere and feels a little too clinical but is well run and very modern."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average

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