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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs B from Winchester

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

4

Countries visited

6

Lodges stayed in

23

Excursions taken

0

Safari highs and airport lows

Tanzania and 1 other country between 25 Oct 2016 and 7 Nov 2016

Trip rating: Good
"We are huge Africa fans, and once you get away from their shambolic cities and airports, you get to see the best of the continent.
Our experiences at Nairobi airport, both with Coastal and Kenyan Airways/immigration sadly tainted a great trip.

I would probably not repeat the mobile camp stays, which in loo and shower terms were not satisfactory.
The quality/experience of guiding in Serengeti and Ngorongoro was not a patch on Selous Impala and Ruaha in Southern Tanzania, nor compared to Robin Pope camps in Zambia.
Our guide at the crater was lazy and not motivated - probably due to lower absolute level of tips from only two clients.
Lamai was a unique setting and well set up.

Pole Pole had a fantastic location, but was let down by poor maintenance of the showers - no hot water in that climate, and at that price is not good news. The staff were friendly, but not nearly as professional as at Kaya Mawa in Malawi. The Dive and watersports centre made our visit to Mafia memorable, in particular the fish BBQ on the sandbar after snorkelling at the reef."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Eka Hotel

Eka Hotel

"Convenient for airport"

1 night Arrived 25 Oct 2016
"Modern, comfortable, close to airport, thorough security.
We arrived from UK around 21.00 and left at 05.00 next morning for flight to Tanzania, had time for a quick snack and drink in the bar, shower and sleep.
Hotel provided a breakfast box since we departed before the restaurant opened in the morning."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

"Presidential welcome at Nomad Serengeti camp"

2 nights Arrived 26 Oct 2016
"Our first experience of a mobile safari camp. We were the only guests during our 2 night stay, and were given a wonderful "Presidential" welcome by the whole team of 11 staff on arrival. Interesting location, with big panoramic views of the Serengeti.
Comfortably furnished tent, but primitive ablutions - the shower was very weak and had to be manually topped up from outside by a staff member, resulting in my wife resorting to requesting a 5 litre bucket of hot water for a bucket wash. The loo also leaked liquid into the tent, inspite of efforts at repairs.
On the first night there was a serious wind storm, and our tent came close to taking off - the floor mats did become airborne, some furniture moved around and broke, as did a guy rope.
Good traditional camp fire for sundowners before dinner. Food a bit stodgey and unimaginative.
John, our guide, was very attentive and keen to help us and obtain feedback. He was fairly new to guiding, making the transition from head waiter at Lamai not so long ago. He did achieve many good game sightings, but was clearly building up his experience base."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Lamai Serengeti

Lamai Serengeti

"Experienced the migration from Lamai "

2 nights Arrived 28 Oct 2016
"A fascinating location, high in the rocky outcrops, with great views. Well equipped rooms with great viewing balconies. Comfortable central dining area and bar.
Lamai was full with guests and travel agents on fam trips, so felt quite busy by comparison to Nomad serengeti, where we had been the only guests. The food was good, if a bit unimaginative, given the permanent kitchen facilities and staff.
Our guide, Moussa, appeared confident and competent, although we never managed to track down any cheetahs or rhinos. We did satisfy one big objective, which was to observe the wildebeest migration across the Mara river - quite unforgettable."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Entamanu Ngorongoro

Entamanu Ngorongoro

"New mobile camp at Ngorongoro crater"

2 nights Arrived 30 Oct 2016
"Interesting location on the crater rim. Very well-equipped and furnished camp. Super rooms with good hot showers and scenic loos.
Attractive central dining and bar area, welcome fire and good food. First class manager - Ben.
We were met at Lake Manyara airport by Ian, our guide. Although he was aware that we were only spending 2 nights at Entamanu, he seemed reluctant to get a waggle on and get to the camp, to be able to enjoy activities on offer (guided walks, local village visit, etc). It felt as though he was trying to conserve fuel by sticking to 40mph on the good tarmac roads from the airport to the Conservation Area entry gates, and we had quite a battle to persuade him to arrange a hike with one of the park rangers. We were keen to get some exercise, and the 2 hour hike from the park rangers lodge to Entamanu was enjoyable and just what we needed.
The visit down into the crater was a unique experience, and the game sightings good, although cheetahs and rhino were still in hiding. Again our guide seemed to want to cut short our visit to the crater, and we had to insist on seeing a fine lake that attracted lots of wildlife, and would have been a great spot for the picnic."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Pole Pole

Pole Pole

"Relaxing paradise at Pole Pole"

6 nights Arrived 1 Nov 2016
"Lovely location by the beach, with views over to Chole Island. Rustic rooms with balconies to enjoy the views. Very hard bed - like sleeping on planks.
Our showers was in need of maintenance - weak flow and poor heating controls. Nice old propeller fans to provide some temperature control, negated on several occasions by power cuts.
Mosquitos were a problem in the reception area, where we were given the welcome briefing.
Food generally good, and restaurant service speed and delivery improved after we implemented breakfast orders on the night before - the only way to get through breakfast in time to enjoy the inclusive activities.
The watersports/dive centre team (David and Mateis) were excellent - the complimentary activities much enjoyed - snorkelling on the reefs, dhow sailing trips, visit to Chole Island, BBQ on the sandbar, etc
We did fill in the feedback form at PolePole, and they responded helpfully, which should benefit future guests."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

Great safari/lakeside chill combination

Zambia and 1 other country between 5 Oct 2014 and 20 Oct 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"7 nights in South Luangwa, Zambia with Robin Pope Safaris (3 different camps) followed by 7 nights chilling out at Likoma Island proved a great combination - Claire understood our interests and expectations well.

In game viewing terms we saw everything that we could have hoped for, and RPS are an efficient organisation with excellent guides. The 3 camps had very similar game and terrain - the contasts on our last trip between Selous and Ruaha in Tanzania were much greater. Nkwali and Tena Tena we would recommend, but Nsefu was spoilt by mosquito problems.

Kaya Mawa/Likoma Island is not for everyone (e.g.fussy N.Americans) but suited us perfectly with its laid back warm welcome, lack of commercialism, peaceful location and delightful staff - a great stress buster."

Arranged By Claire Scott


Nkwali

Nkwali

"Top marks for management at Nkwali"

2 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2014
"This was our first taste of Robin Pope Safaris, which we discovered to be a very well managed operation. Although we arrived too late for lunch, due to pilot problems between Lusaka and Mfuwe, sandwiches and fruit had been saved for us. Daudi, the camp manager, gave us an informative welcome briefing, and quickly established our interests and aspirations. His attention to detail throughout our stay was impressive, as was the response of his team.

The accommodation was comfortable and traditional safari camp style, as cool as could be hoped for at the hottest time of year, and mosquito free (nets, insect repellent and knockdown sprays were provided). The location, close to the river bank, did ensure game viewing from the room, as well as a fairly noisy first night with a herd of elephant feeding off the trees by our room, and hippos having a disagreement outside!

The food was delicious and well presented, the bar well-stocked too, and we liked the system of drinks being included in the upfront price.

The camp is just outside the park, which meant taking a flat bottomed river boat from camp to leave/rejoin the vehicles in the middle of the day between game drives. Probably due to low water levels, being late in the dry season, our boat regularly stuck on the sand/mud, much to the amusement of the hippos and hungry looks of the crocodiles! Some dredging of the channel, or sticking to vehicle crossings, may be appropriate.

The vehicles were well-maintained open-top Toyota Land Cruisers - comfortable for passengers, and sturdy enough for all situations.

The game viewing was excellent - an abundance of elephant , buffalo and hippos, good leopard and lion observation, plenty of the smaller mammals and birds. Our guide, Emanuel, knew where to aim for, and spoke knowledgably about what we saw, plus retained a lively sense of humour.

A small irritant - the green branded Robin Pope Safaris water bottles which we were presented with were absolute rubbish - the neck valves leaked, causing soaking cameras and clothing, much to the amusement of those sporting water bottles from rivals, such as Lion Camp. Pull up your socks, RPS!"
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Nsefu

Nsefu

"Good team, shame about the mossies at Nsefu"

3 nights Arrived 8 Oct 2014
"This was our second RPS camp, and quite different in some aspects, in particular the rooms. The rondavels are very attractive to look at, and comfortably furnished, and pleasant in the daytime, albeit on the hot side.

At night time they were like pizza ovens infested by mosquitos, and we have never slept so badly on safari trips as here. We and other guests were bitten from head to toe, inspite of nets, insect repellent and the misnomered "Doom" knock out spray. The recently installed "Evening Breeze" airconditioning units made minimal difference, and were not worth a reputed $4,000 per unit. Traditional fans plus mosquito coils might have helped.

We heard from other sources that this is one of the oldest camps in South Luangwa, possibly having "listed" status, and that the waste water soakaways are too close to the accomodation, providing ideal breeding conditions for mosquitos. RPS really needs to bring in zip up tents here, with mosquito nets and fans to replace the rondavels.

This was the only negative aspect of our stay here, but left a lasting deep impression - sleep deprivation does not lead to an enjoyable visit.

The game viewing was excellent - all of the hoped for sightings, plus a fascinating night trail of a leopard invading the baboons "bunkhouse" to the sound of aggravated roaring! The hide attached to the camp provided excellent close views of leopard, warthog families and battling male impala.

Chris, our guide, had the knack of finding interesting situations - on a night drive picking up 6 lions organsing an ambush in a gulley for unsuspecting puku, and on a trip to the salt pans 2 hyenas taking a bath in the sulphur springs. His good humour with tired, mosquito bitten customers, was commendable. Braston, the knowledgable camp manager, led us on 2 fascinating walking safaris, dodging elephant families, and following a leopard and her cub at close quarters.

The food was of high standard, and imaginative - in particular the "Mongolian" meal - self-selected raw veggies, chicken, pork and beef, plus sauces/spices all mixed up and cooked in a skillet over a mopane wood fire by the chef, and eaten out in the open. Hannah, the hostess, treated us to a visit to the camp kitchens - basic, but spotlessly clean. She also created a wonderfully refreshing mid-morning pick me up - lemonade, ginger beer and angostura bitters, with loads of ice."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

"Imaginative guiding at Tena Tena"

2 nights Arrived 11 Oct 2014
"What a relief to get back to a traditional tented safari camp - zip up tents, mosquito nets and wonderful fans - heaven! A great location with excellent game viewing, and knowledgable experienced team.

We were slightly concerned at being paired up with other customers whose principal interest was bird watching, almost to the exclusion of animal life. We were not asked our viewing preferences/priorities in advance, which could have avoided any misunderstanding. We made our point of view clear on later game drives, and were better satisfied.

We enjoyed George's approach to guiding - a healthy blend of identifying and following animal tracks, stopping to look at what they had consumed, observing herds and their young, watching their progress to water and interaction with other animals,etc. Had first sighting of the rare honeybadger and a tree snake.

Good food as at other RPS South Luangwa camps. Menu variety and food hygene good - unlike the stream of upset tummies from visitors to Lower Zambesi camps."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Kaya Mawa

Kaya Mawa

"Kaya Mawa - stress buster extraordinaire!"

7 nights Arrived 13 Oct 2014
"A heavenly location in which to chill out and recover from the delights and excitement of early morning game drives, heat and dust on safari. A safe and friendly island with minimal commercial activity or modern day pressures. The pace of life was gentle and stress free.

Our room was exactly as we had pictured - cool, comfortable and literally on the beach, and a stones throw from the bar and restaurant.. Attractive locally produced fabrics and furnishings, great shaded sitting out area and sundeck with huge sun umbrella. High quality toiletries, robes and kikoys were provided, plus full snorkelling kit - flippers, mask and snorkel.

The dress code was very relaxed, and you only needed flip flops, trainers (for walks), cotton beach gear and swim things.

A quad bike ride was a must, taking in the fabric/furnishings workshop, radio mast highest view point of the island, St.Peter's Cathedral, local market and ferry point. We used the mountain bikes once, which was an interesting way of seeing more of the island, but were discouraged by the poor condition of the bikes - my pedal came off, and the front brake did not work. We understand that maintenance and spares are a problem.

My wife sailed the Laser dinghy a couple of times, and I kayaked every day.

My wife enjoyed a refresher scuba dive, whilst I stuck to swimming around the bay and rocks.

Local walks were fun - everybody walks on this island of 7,000+ inhabitants and less than 10 vehicles - very welcoming local villagers, lovely views. we would have liked a more accurate local island map to plan our walks and avoid getting hopelessly lost - quite a lot of new dirt roads have been added. Perhaps production of a new map could be given as a project to pupils at one of the local schools.

The staff at Kaya Mawa were very attentive and well trained in looking after guests. They struck the right balance between providing good service, giving information on island life and the villages, and avoiding being intrusive. They put on a delightful evening performance of singing, dancing and drumming, with numbers supplemented from the local village. The room was serviced several times per day and laundry returned promptly. Management should be proud of what they have achieved.

Meals were healthy, tastey, and in keeping with the KM offering, using local produce and imaginative recipes. We had chicken, beef and pork, served with fresh vegetables and fruit. There was no choice, but the variety and quality of the dishes of the day was excellent. KM does not cater for fast food addicts - thank goodness! We really enjoyed dining on the beach by the lakeside - great for romantics!

Set backs were minimal. One morning our loo started to leak from the base of the pedestal (not an unusual occurence, apparently), but the works team were on the case quickly, and we were presented with a half bottle of champagne at sundowner time to compensate for the inconvenience. On our last day the weather broke unexpectedly early with a fierce rain storm - roof maintenance had not been done since the last rainy season, and one or two guests had to be moved to alternative accommodation to avoid being flooded."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

HeavenlyTanzanian contrasts, safari and beach

Tanzania and 1 other country between 4 Oct 2012 and 19 Oct 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"A very memorable trip to Tanzania, with the classic combination of safari and beach.

Everyone should try it once in a lifetime, and we will be back!"

Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp

"Great variety on foot/boat/vehicle"

4 nights Arrived 5 Oct 2012
"Excellent range of game sightings, including the elusive African wild dogs.
Having our own guide - Dennis - throughout was a special treat, and allowed a strong relationship to develop.
Guide's knowledge and competence outstanding.
Mix of transportation - on foot, SUV and boat - provided plenty of variety.

When on foot we were obliged to be accompanied by an official park ranger. As an old soldier, I was not impressed with the state of his rifle - he might have received worse injuries pulling the trigger than letting a lion have its way with him! I felt that our guide was much better prepared to cope with any emergencies.
We were delighted to find sufficient water in the river and lakes to be able to enjoy flatboat excursions, getting close up to hippos and crocs.
Surprise champagne sundowners on the river bank watching glorious African sunset was a high point.

Accomodation was fine, large fan very welcome, water pressure in shower a bit weak.
Important to keep tent zipped up to prevent cheeky monkeys helping themselves to early morning tea & biscuits.
Massai camp guards helpful and alert for wandering beasts at night.
Meal service very helpful - our regular waiter, Peter, was very attentive.
Variety of dining locations - main terrace/camp fire/edge of bush - proved entertaining, particularly enjoying antics of bush baby and gennet cats!
Menu could have been more imaginative, but food wholesome and edible.
Drinks fairly priced and decent choice.
Small swimming pool a welcome cooling off point in mid-afternoon heat.
Camp management team efficient and welcoming, and ensured things ran like clockwork.
Evening drinks round the campfire always a pleasure."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

"Brilliant guiding ensured fantastic game view"

3 nights Arrived 9 Oct 2012
"Initially disappointed to not find the river flowing at Mwagusi, but later understood that this did not prevent the animals coming to find water there, and quite an abundance of life to use the apparently dried out river bed.

Guides excellent - Sampson and Justin in particular - just had the knack of knowing which animals would be at a point in the territory at a moment in time.
Enjoyed close up views of leopard, cheetah and the elusive caracal.
Fascinated by the big bull buffalos seeing off the lions, and getting their herd to water - a high point of the visit.

Accomodation very comfortable and full of character.
Slightly unnerved by a leopard settling down for the night on the cushions in our tent's seating area - it had a perfect overview of game on the riverbed!
Food excellent - very imaginative cooking - drinks rather pricier than other camp.

Dinner at different locations on the riverbed was entertaining, until the lions and elephant got rather too keen to join in!
Returns to tent/banda after dinner a bit hairy on occasions due to proximity of beasts - a good torch and whistle come in handy.
Management team very helpful and attentive."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel

"Chilling in paradise"

5 nights Arrived 12 Oct 2012
"Beautiful location - peaceful, sea and fresh air all around, so quite a dramatic contrast to heat and dust of safari camp.
Slightly frustrating that swimming and snorkelling from the beach in front of the hotel is not recommended, due to proximity of reef, sea urchins and strong currents.
Quick dips in the sea OK, longer cool offs in good hotel pool.
Dive/snorkel trip to Mnemba Island a high point - well-trained and safety conscious - Emma & Abdullah very helpful.

Rooms very comfortable - quite the largest bed I have ever slept in!
Excellent choice of food in restaurant and well-trained team - Shamir, head chef, was very attentive, informative and in control of his team.
Deputy GM, Shaun, made a point of getting to know the guests, was a fund of useful information and runs a tight ship.

A small but well-equipped gym would be welcome to combat the food and drink intake!
The tennis court looked appealing, but probably need own balls and racquets if a regular player.

Walks along the beach to Nungwi village recommended - large fleet of dhows, shipbuilding activity and fishing, which is of importance to the local community. Some interesting arts & crafts emporia."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Beyt al Salaam

Beyt al Salaam

"Good location in historic centre"

2 nights Arrived 17 Oct 2012
"BaC has a great location in Stonetown, with everything worth seeing in walking distance.
Rooms are vast and with a local flavour.
Surprisingly quiet at night.
We ate in the restaurant which was good quality, albeit a bit pricey.

Management team helpful, offering sound advice in the face of riots outside of the historic centre.
The highlight of our visit was enjoying a sundowner on the roof terrace of Africa House, watching the sun sink below the ocean as a dhow glided serenely past ."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

an excellent self drive exploring adventure

Namibia between 3 Oct 2010 and 23 Oct 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"Apart from the route between Doro Nawas and Hobatere, and our last full day, the information and advice was thorough and very useful.

I think the instructions need to more consistent i.e. if comments are made about some bad roads, then ALL bad roads in the itinerary should be mentioned. Time or distance from the main road to the actual camps would be very useful.

We are not used to package holidays and it is easy to be complacent and think everything has been arranged in advance, all the maps perfect etc when using someone else.! I would have phoned ahead to all the places first to let them know when to expect us and check on directions. I am not sure what would have happened if we had a problem on route and not arrived which left me somewhat anxious especially as the phone did not always connect.

I bought a Namibian phone card which was good value - nb all internal text messages are free - you just pay for the calls.

The Bradt guide book was excellent - we almost left it behind and would have been stuck without it. We met other people using it.

The guide book had a few corrections to be made :

1) no walking tours included at Doro Nawas
2) Otavi - Rugger club was clearly not serving any meals
3) the Meteor Hotel in Otavi is called the Travel Inn on the main road so easy to miss it. A good recommendation and we had tasty pizzas.
4) In Etosha you talk about parking uder a tree in midday but we saw no trees where this can be done - suggest you delete this in next editions.
5) No garden centre restaurant in Okandja
6) Rhinos in Okandja was a simple restaurant run by a friendly family from Madeira and a good stop for a quick lunch.
7) In Okandja one lot of stalls has been burt down recently - only one lot of stalls now at the far end of the town.
8) Uis - beware of people selling crystals quite aggressively at the petrol station
9) If you want to go to the Tug Restaurant at Swakopmund you need to book it well in advance. In the end we got a late cancellation. Considered a touristy place by the locals but quite fun!
10) No ATMs in the Etosha Park - would have been useful to know this.
11) Petrol pump at Windhoek airport is not for the public. Only certain car hire companies can use it - Budget is one of them. Might be a good idea to fill up in Windhoek first to play safe.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

We felt that driving times as described were not always realistic for a small car. As mentioned before, it would be useful to know in advance how long it takes to drive up the private roads or how long they are. 5 or 7 kms is a long way when you think you have arrived!

We are not convinced that Doro Nawas was the best stop for 2 nights and that we could have spent the time doing something else more interesting such as visiting the cheetah or lion conservancies.

Rating the accommodation is difficult as a tent cannot be called excellent and there fore I have given a consistent good throughout the form. ~They were all spacious and airy with comfortable beds."

Olive Grove

Olive Grove

"perfect for a first night stay."

1 night Arrived 4 Oct 2010
"perfect place for a first and last night stay. Directions on the flyer not brilliant, but spot on in the Bradt guide book. Excellent breakfast. Surprised they charge for the internet - very few places around the world now are charging even in Namibia eg Sam's Giardino.

The stone wall at the end of the bed was easy to stub your toe against when the covers were hanging over and hiding it but not sure how you could avoid this!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Image alt

Kulala Wilderness Camp, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"a real wilderness location"

2 nights Arrived 5 Oct 2010
"We were told their road was fine for 2 x 4 vehicle but in parts it was very treacherous. Certainly a good 15 minute drive from the main road. We loved Moses' greeting at the reception point. Very friendly.

It should be born in mind that if clients are not brilliant on their feet it can be a quite a long walk over uneven paths from some of the tents. Very friendly welcome.

Trip to the dunes was very good although we felt the guide could have been a bit more forthcoming on information - we felt that although he was very knowledgeable, we had to ask the questions rather than it be spontaneous.

We had our first and only puncture at Kulala but they were very helpful in changing it for us. At Solataire they did not have a new tyre the correct size so we had to have it repaired.

The last road D854 from Bullsport was appalling and made the last part of the journey very tedious

We found all the guests very friendly and pleasant. The tents were good and spacious and we loved the open window infront of the loo!"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Sam's secret garden!"

2 nights Arrived 7 Oct 2010
"A perfect and cosy spot tucked off the main drags. Sam was very hospitable and welcoming and his garden delightful.

The map could be a bit better . Normally north is at the top of the map! Rhode Allee should be shown - it appears on the detailed map but actually does not bend round into Anton Lubowski unless we were doing something stupid.

Great having free internet to catch up with the family after being out in the wilderness for a few days. Sam was helpful in booking restaurants and a boat trip.

We discovered one of the boat companies did free pick ups from Swakopmund Laramon - which gave us a day off the driving which was a good idea. However the minibuses were filled to capacity and the two last seats (the ones we had to take) were not particularly comfortable - one seat was partly broken and one was not a proper seat). The captain Dougie was excellent and we had a very enjoyable day out."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Great for star gazing!"

2 nights Arrived 9 Oct 2010
"Excellent room although outside shower head was missing which we told them about.

Guide book says they offer free walking tours which they don't! They were quite surprised about when I pointed it out. Instead we had to pay $110 pp.

The lodge offers morning and afternoon game drives to see the local elephant herds. The morning drive is longer and much more expensive, so we did the afternoon drive and saw plenty of elephants.

Although we enjoyed our stay there and were well looked after, We are not sure it was the best choice for us. We think a visit to the lion or cheetah conservancies would have been more interesting. The D2612 road was the other road we rate the worst. Not only appalling surface but lots of dips as well. At the end of a long day's drive it feels particularly uncomfortable especially in a 2 x 4 car.

We also changed the route from the one marked on the map. We were advised not to take the route marked C43 - on the hotel map we were sent it shows it to be suitable for 4 x 4 only. It would have taken so long to reach Hobatere that it would not have been worth going there for one night. We took the most direct route C39 via Khorixas, arrrived at 1.30pm and enjoyed some excellent game viewing that afternoon.

Nice bit of evening singing after dinner."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Hobatere Lodge

Hobatere Lodge

"great for both animal and bird watching"

1 night Arrived 11 Oct 2010
"See report on Doro Nawas - if we had not taken the direct route it would not have been worth travelling there. We were told at least 5 hours and that was not taking into account the 20 minute drive through the park to reach the camp - it would be helpful to know this in advance. - we would like to discuss this.

Hobatere is quite an oasis in the bush - well-landscaped and well-laid out, with interesting features - a photographer's paradise.

Excellent game viewing at the waterhole although most guests missed it as it was about 3pm. We are extremely glad we arrived there early enough.

Very quick dinner - would have preferred a bit more leisurely! - seemed to be geared to German guests who were less likely to mix and chat.

Pretty setting which was great for watching the birds"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Take your tea or coffee down to the waterhole"

2 nights Arrived 12 Oct 2010
"As this was a government run place we did not have particularly high expections but were pleasantly surprised although the check in at 2pm (when it opens) was slow and laborious.

The staff in the restaurant although appeasred a bit chaotic but seemed to want to do their best. We discovered that sandwiches and snacks were avaliable before 12.00 and after 2pm so if that is all you want it is worth getting there early or a bit later.

The shop was very badly equipped with nothing to make a picnic lunch with - no bread, ham, cheese, yogurts, tomatoes or fruit. Very disappointing,

We thought the water hole was fantastic and had some great viewing both daytime and evening.

It would be worth advising people to check Ombika hole just after the entrance as there were some good sightings of lions. We did not feel inclined to go all the way back having reached the village as there were so many other holes to visit."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Mushara Outpost

Mushara Outpost

"watch out for the dik dik and warthogs"

1 night Arrived 14 Oct 2010
"We made the mistake of turning up at Mushara Lodge (which comes first along the road from the park). Perhaps this could be pointed out as it was a quite a way along the private road before we reached the lodge.

Nice elegant dinner. Such a shame that breakfast at 6am was served outdoors on the terrace with the temperature about 10-11oC which literally froze me. The tea was already cold by the time it reached the table served in large wide cups - it would have been better to serve teapots. Needless to say I did not hang about. After 7am once the sun was up it might have been ok.
Sometimes hot was on left and sometimes right in Namibia.

Beautiful tent and elegant bathroom area."
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Nhoma Camp

Nhoma Camp

"meet the bushmen!"

3 nights Arrived 15 Oct 2010
"we phoned the night before to check on arrival etc. and to check the road (as directed by you). We notified them that we would leave at 7am and aim to arrive by 2pm having explained we were in a VW Polo saloon vehicle. I particularly asked that if we did not arrive that someone would come and look for us. As arranged, I sent a text telling them what time we had left Grootfontein (at 9.30am) It would therefore be very surprising if we had not arrived by 2pm.

At 1.45pm we got stuck in the sand on the side road about 20kms short of Nhoma. We stood under a small tree until 3.15pm when some other guests passed by. They eventually towed us out of the sand and we followed them to Nhoma. It should also be made clear that 2WD cars cannot drive up to the camp but need to park at the bottom. Without the other car we would not have known what to do as we had no idea how much further up the track we needed to go and whether we should walk or wait.

We arrived at the camp at 3.30pm to be told we were the first to get stuck in the sand. We later learnt that when the sand is at its hottest at early afternoon it makes it very difficult to drive through the sand. The next morning we had no problem

I received a text from Arno's wife at 5.45pm saying she was sorry she had heard we got stuck in the sand and that she had had a very stressful day. It became very obvious that no one was coming to look for us and that we had been extremely lucky to be rescued by the other guests. Not a great start to our visit.

Cold drinks were offered on arrival which were much appreciated. The tents were cool and well sited. Everything worked well. Cool water in thermos was always on offer and thermos cups by the bed.

The other guests had bought gifts for the children - hairclips and books for the girls, and a football for the boys so they had a great football game. It would have been nice to know a bit more about the village before we left.

We felt we got the most out of our visit because it was over the weekend and the children were about. We enjoyed collecting them on the way back to school and giving them lift with Arno. Without the children around the visit would have seemed much flatter in contrast."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Mundulea Reserve

Mundulea Reserve

"experiencing real outdoor life"

3 nights Arrived 18 Oct 2010
"Having been charged 1 dp and 2 fb at Nhoma, I was surprised to find the same time scale applied but we were charged 3fb. at Mundulea. We were not told what time to arrive so I rang and we confirmed the time between 2-3pm. However it was not clear that it was a 20min drive in a VW Polo saloon to reach the farm which needed to be added to our timings.

It would have been helpful to know a bit more about the activities before arriving but we were well prepared (I would have liked my camel bag for drinking water - saved time when out walking). Very good stout boots should be advised - despite having good boots we both got a thorn through ours and into our feet.

Mundalea and Bruno's great expertise and knowledge grew on me and 2 days quickly passed. It was a very good end and winding down to the end of our holiday.

We did not like the bees buzzing around the bathroom but Bruno moved us to another tent which was much better.

Staying with him and getting him to share just some of his great knowledge was a privilege. It made a lovely relaxed last stay of the holiday. He was a very attentive host.

The tents seemed to be very hot and airless compared to Nhoma where the breeze seemed to go through the tents and help to keep them cool."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Eningu Clayhouse

Eningu Clayhouse

"delightful oasis"

1 night Arrived 21 Oct 2010
"This was the worst day of our holiday. We had not been warned about exactly how long the drive would take, and the directions were appalling. As mentioned before it took 20 mins to get out of Mundalea (road particularly bad in places) so having left at 9am we were on the main road by 9.30am. We stopped to refuel and stopped at Okanja for lunch at the Garden centre for lunch which does not appear to exist. We continued into the town and ate at Rhinos which was fine.

Then contined to the craft stalls (as mentioned in the guide book). We then continued to Windhoek and to Eningu. Not only were we sent on a long roundabout route but the lodge was incorretly marked on the map. We got very lost trying to find it and finally arrived at 6.15pm. We had expected to arrive around 3pm, and have a relaxing afternoon there before starting our return journey home.

Bettina (the owner) said she had told Expert Africa about people being sent the wrong route before (and she has only been the owner for 6 months). We should have driven almost to the airport adn down road M51. From there we would have seen signs. It was literally only an hour to the airport on a good road - why on earth were we sent via Dordabis - and according to your map back that way the next day to the airport? It meant we did over 50 km extra and started to run low on petrol.

She allowed us kindly to use her internet to check in for our flights that evening but was clearly not used to doing this for guests. We therefore appreciated this but feel that any hotel being used for the last night should be made aware that guests will need to do this.

A small suggestion for the bathrooms would be plastic shower mats - the floor was on a slope for better drainage but after being in Mundalea I wanted to clean my feet properly and almost slipped over. I forgot to mention this whilst there.

Bettina was lovely and Eningu a great place to stay but only when you have time to appreciate it. Again it would be helpful to know that it takes about 15 mins to get out of the park in a 2WD car."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

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