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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms S & Mr D from South

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

2

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

17

Excursions taken

2

A fantastic second trip to Namibia

Namibia between 16 Oct 2011 and 6 Nov 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"This was our second trip to Namibia with Expert Africa. After booking a standard itinerary last year, we developed a tailor made itinerary this year by researching lodges/locations on this website and with Gwynneth's support. We initially had difficulty getting the accommodation that we wanted on some nights. Gwynneth was extremely persistent in following up on resorts where we were waitlisted, so that in the end we managed to stay at our preferred choice for all but one location.

We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday and pretty much all aspects met or exceeded our expectations. We would have no hesitation recommending Expert Africa to anyone else considering travelling to Namibia.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Sever all ties with Doro Nawas"

Image alt

Monte Bello Guesthouse, Namibia (this camp has since closed)

"Monte Bello Guesthouse review"

1 night Arrived 17 Oct 2011
"Very clean and comfortable, with a great shower! The staff kindly made us a reservation at Joe's Beerhouse for dinner.

We had a lovely breakfast, including an omlette freshly cooked to order. Good place for an overnight stay in Windhoek on day of arrival or prior to departure."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Central Lodge

Central Lodge

"Central Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 18 Oct 2011
"We chose Central Lodge as a place to stay overnight to break the journey from Windhoek to Fish River Canyon. It served this purpose well and is also conveniently located for visiting the local attractions: Giant's Playground and Quiver Tree Forest. We were also able to join the cheetah feeding at 5pm at Gariganus Farm, where you buy your tickets for the Quiver Tree Forest.

We had dinner at Central Lodge in the evening and the meal was fine. Breakfast was another matter. We arrived at about 8am to find that other hotel guests had eaten all bread on the buffet and it was virtually impossible to get anything to eat! My repeated requests for toast were fruitless, whilst I saw toast being taken to several other tables!

This would be an excellent place to stay towards the end of a journey, as by the time we left I was wishing that I was back at home!"
Average
Location
Excellent
Service
Terrible
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge

"Canyon Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 19 Oct 2011
"We received a very friendly welcome upon arrival, with a welcome drink and comprehensive introduction to the facilities. Our room was small, but comfortable.

The swimming pool at the resort is spectacular with views over the surrounding countryside. We found the staff very friendly and welcoming. The resort is favoured by coach parties and serves the main course at dinner buffet style - although they seem to manage this very efficiently, without the congestion around the buffet that we experienced at other resorts.

We had excellent lunches at Canyon Roadhouse en route and on the day that we visited Fish River Canyon itself. Canyon Roadhouse also has an excellent giftshop."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Eagle's Nest

Eagle's Nest

"Actually we stayed at Desert Horse Inn!"

2 nights Arrived 21 Oct 2011
"We booked for and stayed at Desert Horse Inn, not Eagle's Nest (ticking the box below in the hope that Expert Africa can reallocate our feedback to the correct resort).

We travelled from Fish River Canyon along the southern route via Orange River and Rosh Pinah. This is a spectacular drive and was much easier than the Bradt guide led us to expect. Our car (including my handbag and purse) were searched at the police checkpoint south of Rosh Pinah - I think they were checking that we weren't carrying any diamonds. We had a pleasant lunch at the Frisk Coffee Shop (and nursery) on Springbok St (opposite the Spar) in Rosh Pinah.

Our room at Desert Horse Inn was spacious and comfortable with tea and coffee making facilities. There was a folder in our room setting out the fascinating history of Klein Aus Vista. Staff at the resort were helpful and thankfully told us that tickets/permits for Kolmanskop can be purchased at the gate, saving us a trip in Luderitz beforehand (Bradt guide says tickets must be purchased in Luderitz). We really enjoyed our visits to Kolmanskop and Diaz Point, but found that generally Luderitz had little to offer.

This resort shows a marked bias towards its coach party guests to the detriment of self-drive guests. We were told that breakfast was served at 7:30am and arrived at 7:30am to find the coach party guests finishing up on their breakfast. Fortunately, we were able to have a quick breakfast and make it to Kolmanskop in time for the 9:30am tour! Main course at dinner is buffet style, with snaking queues on our first night."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Dabis Guest Farm

Dabis Guest Farm

"Dabis Guest Farm review"

1 night Arrived 23 Oct 2011
"We chose this guest farm based on feedback from other customers and they were not wrong. This was genuinely one of the highlights of our trip to Namibia!

We travelled to Dabis from Desert Horse Inn via the D707 and Duwisib Castle. This made for a scenic and interesting day.

Jörg and Michelle made us feel very welcome. After tea and cake, Jörg took us on a tour of the farm and explained his approach to sustainable farming in the semi-desert region. It was fascinating to hear about the challenges and opportunities of living in this part of Namibia. We had a generous dinner of various dishes that had been cooked in their solar oven and a delicious breakfast including produce from their farm and other local farms in the area.

This was a very personal experience and made a welcome change from several nights in resorts favoured by coach parties. I'd recommend that anyone travelling in this part of Namibia take the time to spend a night here."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Barkhan Dune Retreat

Barkhan Dune Retreat

"Barchan Dune Retreat review"

1 night Arrived 24 Oct 2011
"We arrived late after a long, but scenic drive, along the C27 from Helmeringhausen. We were hugely relieved that we had filled up on petrol in Sesriem as Solitaire had run dry!

Hannetjie and Willem made us feel very welcome. Dinner was delicious featuring a main of springbok taken from the property itself. Our room was spacious and comfortable with a stunning outlook down the valley.

The resident meerkats were very entertaining!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Sam's Giardino review"

3 nights Arrived 25 Oct 2011
"This was our second stay at Sam's and we enjoyed a comfortable stay in a familiar environment. Sam looked after us well, confirming our tour bookings and making a dinner reservation for us at The Wreck. On our last day, Sam suggested that make up a lunch to take with us from the breakfast bar - a suggestion that we appreciated all the more as the food options on the way to Damarland weren't that great.

We felt like a more casual meal one evening and had great pizza at the 3 N'amigos Pizzeria on Daniel Tjongarero Street (next Hansa Bakerei and near Nathaniel Maxuilili Street).

During our stay, we went cross-country sand skiing with Henrik May from Ski Namibia. We'd picked up a flyer at Sam's on our previous visit and organised the tour independently with Henrik via email from the UK. Using conventional cross-country ski equipment (but shorter poles), we followed a route that took us over the tops of the dunes behind Swakopmund. It is amazing how much easier it is to traverse the dunes on skis than on foot and we soon reached the top with a view of the sea. Henrik also offers downhill sand skiing and telemark. If you are keen skier and want to try something different, this excursion is well worth booking. He also sells Ski Namibia t-shirts, a very novel souvenir from a trip to a country renowned for its desert landscape!

Whilst here, we organised a Day trip to Sandwich Harbour for these travellers. They commented:

This was a lovely day out and it was refreshing to spend a day by the sea after a week in the desert. Our guide gave us an interesting tour of the coast, Sandwich Harbour and the nearby dunes. Lunch was very nice. We also enjoyed the chance to meet other Expert Africa customers on the tour and the hear about their experiences in Namibia.

Only one issue: our feet were badly sunburnt at the end of the day, as we didn't think to put suncreen on them when we took our shoes off to walk around Sandwich Harbour! It might be a good idea for Turnstone to warn people about this before they head off on their walk around the harbour."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Doro Nawas

Doro Nawas

"Doro Nawas review"

2 nights Arrived 28 Oct 2011
"This was truly the low point of our trip to Namibia. One should only stay here if you want direct experience of a poorly run resort in a remote location.

Everything started well when we were greeted at our car with a welcome drink and a chilled towel upon arrival. Our room was large and spacious, so should have been a pleasant place to spend two nights. We also really enjoyed our dinner on the first night.

However, the resort has no visible management and has too many rough edges to make for a pleasant stay:
* we had no hot water in our room for our entire stay. Nothing was done about this despite reporting the problem after our first night
* the reception desk is never manned and the gift shop is constantly locked
* we chose to have a late breakfast and had to request a long list of essentials when we arrived e.g. cereal bowls, cereal spoons, teaspoons, butter, coffee, etc
* birds walk all over the breakfast buffet
* restaurant and bar staff seem to spend more time in the kitchen than with customers
* lunch prices are exhorbitant at NAD 150 per person to eat in or NAD 135 per person for a lunch pack. This is a rip-off if you normally just have a toasted sandwich for lunch

As seems to be customary for resorts in the north that offer game drives, dinner is served at 8pm.

This has the potential to be a nice resort, but is currently very poorly managed and should be avoided."
Terrible
Location
Average
Service
Terrible
Rooms
Terrible
Food
Average
Dolomite Camp

Dolomite Camp

"Dolomite Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 30 Oct 2011
"We arrived after a long and relatively difficult drive from Damarland via the C43/C40/C35. Parts of the C43 had been washed away during during rain earlier in the year, making for unusually difficult driving.

We'd had difficulty getting rooms for 2 nights at Dolomite and only managed to secure them by booking a deluxe room. Our room was fabulous with its own "private" deck with plunge pool overlooking the watering hole. It was lovely to spend the afternoon relaxing here after our long drive.

Apparently, we had the best room in the resort, but I've deliberately omitted the room number. Unfortunately, somebody in the hotel was telling other guests that our room was the best and during our stay guests from various other rooms walked down the walkway to our room and perched upon the rocks above with their binoculars - honeymooners beware if you are allocated this room!

Dinner was not included in our booking, but is reasonably priced at NAD 170 for a four course meal. Our meal on the first night was excellent (with very slow service), but wasn't so great the second (no alternative starter on offer for non-seafood eater). Lunch is also relatively reasonably priced at NAD 65 for jacket potato with bolognaise topping.

The resort still has some teething problems (e.g. we experienced problems with the electricity on both nights), but any problems are dealt with quickly and did not impact the enjoyment of our stay.

Only two complaints: checkout took a very long time as we needed to wait for a golf buggy to take us from our room to our car and the resort sells an out of date Etosha map for twice the price charged by other NWR resorts in the Etosha."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Okaukuejo Camp review"

1 night Arrived 1 Nov 2011
"We chose to stay at Okaukuejo Camp, so that we could break our journey as we drove across Etosha from west (Dolomite) to east (Mushara). Without a doubt the best waterhole on our drive from Dolomite was Ozonjuitji m'Bari where a huge number of different animals were gathered including a large herd of elephants.

Our room was comfortable, but with a weak shower. Meals were OK, but a bit chaotic due to the large number of guests and the buffet format. Check in/out was very efficient. We didn't spend a lot of time at the waterhole, but did see elephants and rhino in the evening after dinner.

All in all our stay was in line with expectations."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Mushara Bush Camp

Mushara Bush Camp

"Mushara Bush Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 2 Nov 2011
"We found this resort to be well run, with friendly and efficent staff and a relaxing atmosphere. The room/tent was well laid out and would have been comfortable in better weather conditions. Unfortunately, as it was quite hot during our stay, our tent felt a bit like furnace. We were particularly impressed with the efficiency of the staff, including how quickly they managed to dispatch the scorpion who ran under our table at dinner on the second evening.

On our spare day here we took a trip into Tsumeb and visited Lake Otjikoto en route. Tsumeb is a very pleasant town with a lovely craft centre and a nice cafe.

Despite the positives, we probably wouldn't stay here again, as we found the tents too hot."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Waterberg Wilderness Lodge

Waterberg Wilderness Lodge

"Waterberg Wilderness Lodge review"

1 night Arrived 4 Nov 2011
"Expert Africa suggested this lodge to us as a place to stay on a final night. The lodge has so much to offer that we were sorry we weren't staying for several nights! Our room was large, spacious and comfortable. Service was efficient, particularly check in/out.

The resorts offers a large number of excursions and activities. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to take advantage of any, but I'd definitely consider returning here as there was a lot to do."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Coast and Sandwich Harbour

Coast and Sandwich Harbour

"Day trip to Sandwich Harbour"

27 Nov 2011 • All-day excursion

This was a lovely day out and it was refreshing to spend a day by the sea after a week in the desert. Our guide gave us an interesting tour of the coast, Sandwich Harbour and the nearby dunes. Lunch was very nice. We also enjoyed the chance to meet other Expert Africa customers on the tour and the hear about their experiences in Namibia.

Only one issue: our feet were badly sunburnt at the end of the day, as we didn't think to put suncreen on them when we took our shoes off to walk around Sandwich Harbour! It might be a good idea for Turnstone to warn people about this before they head off on their walk around the harbour.
Good

My Oct 2010 trip

Namibia between 18 Oct 2010 and 28 Oct 2010

Trip rating: Excellent
"We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and both feel that it is one of the best holidays that we have taken in years.

The trip was very well organised and Sabina and Gwynneth were both helpful in providing information and responding to my questions.

The written information that we received prior to departure seemed a little over the top. However, we read through it diligently and followed Expert Africa's advice on most things. We felt well prepared and our trip was trouble free.

We'd been planning to go to Namibia for many years, after a previous trip was cancelled at the last minute. We thought that this trip would cross Namibia off our "list". The trip was so fantastic that Namibia remains firmly on the "list" and we are keen to return to explore other parts of the country.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I feel that it would be useful if Expert Africa could give some more guidance as to the petrol costs (or number of litres) associated with each trip. We knew that we would have to pay for petrol in cash and may not have access to ATMs for much of the trip. I made my own estimate that our petrol costs should be somewhere betwen NAD 1,100-1,400. We came in at just under NAD 1,000, so I wasn't too far off.

I realise that this may difficult as it will depend upon the type of car hired and to what extend people extend their mileage by deviating from the primary route."

Arranged By Sabina Hekandjo


Elegant Guesthouse

Elegant Guesthouse

"Elegant Guesthouse"

1 night Arrived 19 Oct 2010
"The Elegant Guesthouse is an oasis in Windhoek. It was straightforward to find driving from the airport. The staff were friendly and helpful and greeted us with a welcome drink. The guesthouse is close to the city centre - a short drive, we chose not to walk due to the heat and on the advice of staff at the guesthouse. We had an enjoyable dinner at Joe's Beer House - close by and well worth a visit (we took a taxi, NAD 50 each way).

Breakfast at the guesthouse was good, including eggs and bacon made to order.

We really enjoyed our stay and would definitely return. The guesthouse is ideal for your first or last night in Namibia."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
BullsPort Lodge & Farm

BullsPort Lodge & Farm

"Bullsport Guest Farm"

2 nights Arrived 20 Oct 2010
"We spent two nights at Bullsport. Our room was very large - almost like a small flat - I think that we had been given a family room.

We did a couple of walks from the farm - Kudu Trail and Ridge Trail. On the Kudu Trail, we saw Kudu and some other antelope. All very timid and fled as soon as they were aware of our presence. We found the heat excessive during the day, so didn't take advantage of their longer walks.

The evening meals are communal dining. We had Zebra from farm both evenings - roasted and goulash. Lunch and mid-afternoon cake/tea/coffee are also available for an extra charge. This was very convenient.

Due to the heat, we didn't fancy much walking, but took a scenic drive to Solitaire and back - 1 hour each way. Our hostess suggested an alternative route to Desert Homestead via the D855/D850/D831/C19. This takes you via the Tsaris Pass and was one of the best drives of our trip, particularly the stretch along the C19. The D roads were fine, but with lots of peaks and dips - we didn't encounter a single car on this part. We would highly recommend this alternative route."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Desert Homestead

Desert Homestead

"Desert Homestead review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Oct 2010
"We spent two nights at Desert Homestead. The staff were extremely friendly and welcoming. We arrived early from Bullsport and were able to have lunch at the Homestead.

The rooms are lovely, each room being a building in its own right with lovely views across the countryside.

Our meal on the first night was fantastic. Lunch is available for an extra charge. We did not have breakfast as we were on early excursions (including breakfast) both days. The staff put on a singing performance after dinner each evening

We took the Homestead's guided excursion to Sossusvlei/Sesriem. I'd noted the comments by an ealier Expert Africa reviewer about issues with other participants on their group tour. We also booked a group tour and it soon became clear why this can be problem. The other participants on our tour were primarily interested in climbing Big Daddy and became very annoyed any time the guide stopped and tried to provide us with information about the area or the chance to take a photograph - to the point where they even offered to take our photos for us out the window of the vehicle, so we wouldn't hold them up by getting out of the car! We felt that they wanted chaffuer rather than a guide. This seriously diminished our enjoyment of the trip.

We did not enquire about the cost of a private tour, nor were we offered one, but I'd seriously recommend that any future visitors look into this. Our guide on the trip was fantastic and we are only sorry that he was not allowed to do this job properly for the first part of the trip.

We also took a balloon ride over the desert. The operator does not pick up at this location; however, the early drive to the pick up point at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge was fine and in the direction of our route for the day. Homestead forgot to give us our wake up call, but as we had our own alarm this wasn't a problem. The balloon ride is absolutely fantastic and we can't recommend it highly enough. It is extremely well organised and the breakfast at the end was fantastic.

I'd highly recommend the Desert Homestead for a stay in the Sossusvlei/Sesriem area."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Sam's Giardino

Sam's Giardino

"Sam's Giardino review"

2 nights Arrived 24 Oct 2010
"We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Sam's and felt that he gave the place a really personal touch. Sam was very helpful and provided us with information and tips for making the most of our stay in Swakopmund. We really enjoyed hearing about how he moved to Namibia and built up his business.

We stayed two nights and had dinner at Sam's the first night. Although we arrived at 5:30 pm, Sam was able to accommodate us for dinner and to alter the menu for me (non-fish eater). The food was delicious. The second night we went to The Tug and really regretted our choice. The food isn't a patch on Sam's. The restaurant is crowded and I had staff and other customers constantly brushing the back of my chair, as we were seated beside the main thoroughfare through the restaurant. We left straight after the main course - couldn't leave fast enough, really.

We were surprised to see that it is possible to go on skiing excursions in the dunes around Swakopmund. As keen cross-country skiers, we would have loved to try this, but ran out of time. A good excuse to return?

As part of their trip, we organised some Kayaking at Pelican Point for these travellers. They commented:

We both thoroughly enjoyed our kayaking trip with Jeanne. My husband is keen on water sports and had kayaked previously, so was very much looking forward to the trip. As I have an aversion for water sports, I was more apprehensive. We had a double kayak. Kayaking around the lagoon itself was very calm and we also went out to sea to see the dolphins. The trip felt completely safe throughout and is an enjoyable experience even if you are not a water sports enthusiast.

Whilst on the trip we saw seal and dolphins, as well as lots of birds, including flamingos. Jeanne also took us to see a family of jackals living on the point. Jeanne provided lots of information about the local wildlife.

We arrived home to an email from Jeanne with photos of our trip. As all of our photos showed what we were seeing from our kayak, it was great to have some photos of the two us in the kayak, as well as some fantastic additional wildlife shots.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our morning kayaking with Jeanne."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Kayaking with seals

Kayaking with seals

"Kayaking with seals"

25 Oct 2010 • Morning excursion

We both thoroughly enjoyed our kayaking trip with Jeanne. My husband is keen on water sports and had kayaked previously, so was very much looking forward to the trip. As I have an aversion for water sports, I was more apprehensive. We had a double kayak. Kayaking around the lagoon itself was very calm and we also went out to sea to see the dolphins. The trip felt completely safe throughout and is an enjoyable experience even if you are not a water sports enthusiast.

Whilst on the trip we saw seal and dolphins, as well as lots of birds, including flamingos. Jeanne also took us to see a family of jackals living on the point. Jeanne provided lots of information about the local wildlife.

We arrived home to an email from Jeanne with photos of our trip. As all of our photos showed what we were seeing from our kayak, it was great to have some photos of the two us in the kayak, as well as some fantastic additional wildlife shots.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our morning kayaking with Jeanne.
Excellent
Eningu Clayhouse

Eningu Clayhouse

"Eningu Clayhouse review"

1 night Arrived 26 Oct 2010
"There is no doubt that Eningu Clayhouse is in a unique setting. The rooms are spacious and unusual with the bed being surrounded by a clay base. The lodge has a small artificial watering hole with a hide. We were fortunate to see the resident porcupine feeding there in the evening. There are walks around the lodge, but these are primarily directed at viewing flora, rather than fauna.

Unfortunately, I would not recommend staying here, particularly if you are a non-smoker. This was the only establishment where we troubled by our fellow diners smoking during both dinner and breakfast. There were four tables at dinner. Two were occupied by smokers, including a pipe smoker. We headed towards the main building for breakfast at 8:30 am, but made a U-turn to our room once we smelt the smoke wafting towards us as we approached. We delayed our arrival at breakfast as late as possible in the hope that the other guests would have finished. No such luck. We would have had sit next to a chain smoker and her pipe smoking companion had not moved our place settings indoors.

To add to our frustration, we arrived at airport the next morning with 1/4 tank of petrol only to discover that, despite what it shows on the map, there is no public petrol station at the airport. We'd passed through nearby Omitara on the way to the airport and didn't find the petrol station there, either. We had to drive all the way in Windhoek to fill up the car. (There is a petrol station in Dordabis, which we'd passed through on the previous day.)

Frankly, there is very little advantage staying at Eningu on your last night in Namibia. The unique setting does not make up for the extra distance, unpleasant dining experience and lack of petrol stations."
Poor
Location
Average
Service
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Average

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