Travel reviews by T Family from Auckland
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
My Jun 2011 trip
Namibia and 4 other countries between 11 Jun 2011 and 27 Jul 2011
The travel book was also a great guide as it was up to date and relevant
We would (and have ) fully recommended your company and specifically Maruska to everyone we met !
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
None that we can think of"
Arranged By Maruska AdyeRowe
Safari Club SA
"Great introduction to Africa"
"Ilala Lodge review"
The location was great - close enough so that we could walk everywhere - great recommendation !
The breakfast (Included in our package) was plentiful with a great variety of choice. We did not have lunch but found the dinner was pricey and 'OK". We worked out it would've been better value (especially with a 6 year old) to order from the bar as the toasted sandwiches etc were better value.
We booked our safari drive and sunset cruise through the hotel and thoroughly enjoyed both activities - the staff were once again friendly and informative.
The only thing that we felt let the hotel down from being excellent to good was the lack of interaction between the higher Management and the guests. We watched each morning as the Manager walked through the dining room and said hello and stopped to talk to the same 2-3 people whilst ignoring all others. This is a petty comment - but it would've made a difference."
Chobe Safari Lodge
"Chobe Safari Lodge review"
The buffet breakfast and dinner was superb - it was our first foray into game meat but there was also a great choice of other foods as well. The cocktail bar is a great place to watch the amazing African sunsets - albeit be careful of the cheeky monkeys !!
We went on the safari drive and sunset cruise (included in the package) and had a great experience seeing all the elephants and hippo's. Our morning game driver was excellent (be prepared as it can get VERY cold ... !!!) He was friendly and knowledgable as also were our sunset cruise staff. Unfortunately it was a full cruise so they ran out of snacks etc quite early !
I paid for the internet but found that the connection did not work - I was not refunded my money .. !
The location of Chobe Safari Lodge was perfect for us as we were able to walk to the local supermarket and stock up on reserves needed for our trip."
Mazambala Island Lodge, Namibia (this camp has since closed)
"You are in for a surprise !"
We were the only people at the lodge and we were treated like royalty - nothing was too difficult or impossible. Andre. Stefano & Johann were friendly yet not 'in our face'. Our dinner was delicious - Andre's borsch soup was yummy and the choice in mains and light but delicious dessert was superb ! All the staff were always there in the background should we have needed them.
Our room was clean and an adequate size for 3 people. The only 'downside' was that we were next to the outdoor 'brai' / fireplace which was cleaned at 5.30-6am in the morning .. we had not quite adjusted to the early mornings yet !
We went on the safari and had our first experience with a Bull elephant mock charging us - certainly got the heart beat going but we never felt unsafe. The ride to and from the drive along the river was so relaxing and enchanting !
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and Andre, Johan and Stefano certainly made it pleasurable - thank you !"
Lodge not featured by Expert Africa
Nunda River Lodge
"Nunda Safari Lodge review"
On our first evening the local school game and sang and danced for us - this was a lovely touch and allowed us some interaction with the local community. It was great that the staff came around all the rooms about 1hour before hand to let us know that it would be on otherwise we would still be in our room gazing out at the sunset !
The food was lovely - there were a couple of large groups in at the same time as us but they managed to get everyone 'fed & watered' with no problems.
We were 'fortunate' to see a Black Mumba snake whilst we were at the lodge .. one of my son's highlights !
We didn't partake in any of the activities on offer but we did go for a safari self drive into the local national park - well worth it for a few hours activity."
Hakusembe River Lodge
"Hakusembe Lodge review"
Once again - we were the only guests but nothing was too difficult. The rooms were basic but clean and as an overnight stop - perfect. The staff were helpful and friendly - always there to assist but never getting in the way
The activites included a sunset cruise but as they admitted they only had one hippo we decided against it but chose instead to go fishing. My 6 year old son caught a baby tiger fish and a 1.2kg bream - the excitment around the camp was fantastic. He was high 5'd all the way into the kitchen !!
Dinner was delicious with the opportunity to sit outside around the 'brai' as the chef cooked our steaks.
The Rundu township is worth a look as it has everything you need should you require to stock up on supplies. Shoprite has a great bakery which offers daily freshly baked breads and pastries !"
Onguma Bush Camp
"The Fort at Fischer Pan"
WOW ... we felt like we had stepped into Abu Dhabi - we were met at the entrance by staff dressed in Arabian style clothes, offered rose water to wash our hands and then led through the 'gate' to an amazing view out over the plain.
Everything about this lodge was first class - our 'bungalow' was equipped with our own fire place (which, at your request , they will light for you in the evenings), the canvas screens lift so we have an uninterrupted view of the plains from our bed , or should we have decided to move outside, we could relax on the balcony or have an outdoor shower and watch the animals.
All meals are served in the main building where we over look the watering hole and the staff await attentively. Dinner is available from 7pm and whilst we were there each table had one staff member allocated so we were ensured continuous service. The chef comes out and introduces himself and explains the menu - and then you are treated to a 5 star gourmet 4 course meal ... and we were here for 3 nights !!!!
We had chosen to take our own morning game drive but as there were not many people at the lodge - we were asked if we would mind only having a limited breakfast as they did not want to have to bring all the food out just for us ... luckily we were still full from last night ! Having said that - the beautiful marinated figs with yoghurt and muesli was more than adequate at 5.30am
Everything about this location was amazing - the staff were exemplary in the attentiveness and professionalism.
The only :( is there are mice in the rooms !!! We weren't warned to keep any food etc packed away in the fridge so spent the entire night awake as we listened to the mice nibliing & rustling away. The Manager of housekeeping did come and try to catch it - but to no avail. The next night bait was set out but still to no avail - the mice proceeded to nibble through my husbands shaving gel and a box of juice in one of the bags that I didn't even know was there."
"Okaukuejo Camp review"
We had a cabin which was simple but clean and well laid out (the 'lounge' is a seperate room to the bedroom so allows for some space when you have an early riser). There is some confusion when checking in as there is reference to a 'inventory' list and warnings that when we check out al mus match up. There is no list but the total inventory includes 2 mugs and 2 glasses and 2 teaspoons !!! Each unit is set up with a 'brai' but unless you are fully equipped for camping they do not offer any utensils (ie no plates, cutlery or cooking utensils).
The restaurant offers a buffet dinner with children between 6-12years old at half price (adults are N$170pp). The chef came around all the tables and said hello and invited us up to the buffet table. A lovely touch considering how full the restaurant was.
The camp also has an amazing waterhole which offers viewings of amazing number of animals. We happened to be at the water hole at lunch time and witnessed hundreds (literally) of Zebra's , followed by Gemsbok; Wildebeest etc. It was an amazing sight and also sounds. At night we saw Rhino's and elephants ... and all only 2 minutes walk from our room (we are also sure we heard a Lion).
The morning we were leaving we checked out and then had breakfast. The receptionist then came and told me I had left my mobile phone in the unti ... THANK YOU for your honesty !"
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge
"Twyfelfontein Country Lodge review"
Having said that - the lodge was very much in touch with the environment and it was clean. Our hot water gas bottle had run out but they were quick to fix it and the setting was spectacular.
The buffet breakfast and dinner was plentiful and the performance by the staff was a lovely cultural touch."
"Cornerstone Guesthouse review"
Our room was set in a graden of lavender and was decorated in clean fresh colours. As we were here for 3 nights we were concerned about space - but the room offered it (as well as a TV where we could watch the Crusaders play rugby !!). The rooms are also well equipped with fridge, kettle, coffee grounds etc
The owners were wonderful - as my son put it - "Peter is such a nice man because not only is he the boss but he also gets in and does the work with all the staff as well". Peter was knowledgable in the activities available (we ended up doing everything he suggested), recommended some great restaurants and even booked them for us and generally made us feel so welcome.
Having a free internet service was also a major bonus ! A wonderful 3 days - thank you !"
Barkhan Dune Retreat
"Barchan Dune Retreat review"
Hidden in the natural landscapes - the rooms were large and clean albeit could do with a little bit of modernising.
Our hosts thought of everything - from the nibbles, cheese and wine as we watched the sunset, to the fresh coffee delivered to our room in the morning, the lovely afternoon tea comprising of freshly baked muffins, coffee and juice and then of course the beer / wine as we went on our sundowner drive.
Not a lot to do around the area but definately worth popping in to see the Meerkats and to enjoy the wonderful hospitality, food and wine"
"Sossusvlei Lodge review"
Our room was great - a permanent tent with a fully functional bathroom. Unfortunately , we were there when there was a severe wind so most the day was spent indoors trying to prevent the sand from entering the tent and all our belongings and the night was spent listening to the tent flapping away.
The buffet breakfast and dinner was superb. Where else do you get a chance to sample springbok, wildebeest, impala, oryx etc etc all in one sitting. Having the options of pick your own stir fries and BBQ meat and fish was fantastic.
We chose to leave early because of the weather (even though it was all prepaid) and interestingly - we were not asked as to why we were leaving .. I would have thought it would be a good time to get service feedback !"
"Haus Sonneneck review"
The room was clean - albeit sterile - and even though we had booked - they had not bothered to turn on the hot water cylinder so we were without hot water for at least 4-5 hours. The rooms had a TV and offered coffee / tea sachets - but no kettle. There was however a coffee perculator - but no coffee grounds - so we had to heat the water through the perculator and then make instant coffee.
As we were the only people there we were also asked to have breakfast at a time that suited them - not us. We were happy to oblige on the first morning but then the next morning we had an early flight and asked for a 6.30am breakfast. Our request was not met with a smile and we were told we could have breakfast but it would be a cold one (albeit we had paid for a full breakfast)."
"Bazaruto Lodge review"
Bazaruto Lodge offers clean, spacious bungalows with spectacular sea views. Our room consisted of 2 seperate rooms and a lovely deep bath and a seperate outside shower ! It was wonderful to walk out onto the sand and into the sea within seconds and then to saunter along the beach to the dining room. (Every morning and evening the cushions on the lounge chairs by your room and put away / bought out and twice a day your room is also swept so the sand that you drag in daily does not accumulate .. lovely touch)
The service was great - the front management staff were friendly and helpful (Sarah even climbed through a toilet window to rescue my son who had become locked in - THANK YOU !!), the waiters in the restaurant obliging and always smiling and the staff (especially Alex) in the sports center were experienced and able to show us the wonderful underwater treasures of Mozambique.
The food was great - a buffet for breakfast , lunch and dinner with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and salads .. couldn't ask for much more !
PS the Pina Colada cocktails were divine !"
Safari Club SA
Our room was great - the 'thatched roof' gave us a taste of what was to come, the room was spacious, the beds were comfortable and everything was in working order.
We would definately recommend this as a stop over point"