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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by 6 from Whangarei

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

4

Lodges stayed in

18

Excursions taken

0

Amazing itinerary, brilliant organisation

Namibia and 3 other countries between 1 Apr 2011 and 4 May 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"We had an amazing adventure through SA, Namibia and Botswana. Being independent Kiwis, we were keen on arranging our own itinerary and travelling under our own steam, preferably off the beaten tourist track. Namibia appealed, and once I found your amazing website I was hooked. In a former life I was a travel agent here in NZ, but most trips were packaged and rigid, and that was not what we wanted. Having worked out roughly where we wanted to go, I emailed your office, who then referred me to your Namibian expert who (unbelievably!) actually lived in NZ.

Maruska's in depth knowledge of Namibia and her recommendations really made the trip work. Travelling distances were good, and although we travelled over 7,500 km in 5 weeks, it was very do-able. Maruska listened to our preferences and we were delighted with her choice of accom. We enjoyed having the freedom of travelling in the 4WDs to suit ourselves. I fully expected the odd hiccup when we finished with the vehicles and then were reliant on a complicated series of transfers, boats, small planes with no set schedule, more transfers etc, but it all went according to plan and worked like clockwork.

Full marks to Maruska and your agents in Namibia and Botswana for attention to detail and for putting it all together.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Just keep doing what you do so well. Your website is just fantastic, great to read other peoples reviews, which is why I've spent all day putting up all this feedback (Sorry it took so long!).

The Brandt guides to Namibia and Botswana are actually in our local library, and it was from there I picked up the website in the first place. Our copies are well worn from the trip, and there was a bit of a bun fight over who kept them. Maybe one per couple would be good, or at least one per vehicle? The Namibia maps were great and Maruska had highlighted each of our stops which was also great attention to detail. We were very happy with the service we received from Maruska - she's a gem - look after her!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Acorn House

Acorn House

"Lovely home, great location, top breakfast"

4 nights Arrived 1 Apr 2011
"Beautiful old home where we were made to feel very welcome. Nice comfortable lounge with honesty bar for guests. Extra touches made this place special - attention to detail, flowers, complimentary glass of sherry in bedroom. Staff very helpful, Stuart and his amazing breakfast specials each morning. The breakfast buffet alone was just delightfully set - a very classy display.

Nice location at the foot of Table Mountain, views of the top from the garden area. We walked right down to V&A waterfront from Acorn House, but it's quite a distance. For an easy evening meal there is a small deli on the corner, where you can order hot meals to eat there or take back to Acorn House where they are very accomodating. We travelled in two 4x4 Toyota Hi-lux vehicles which were parked on the road outside Acorn House at night.

Unfortunately, at some stage during our 4 night stay, both spare wheels were stolen from underneath the vehicles. Of course, this can happen anywhere in Cape Town, or in the world for that matter, so this is not a bad reflection on Acorn House or the Orangezicht area, just something to be aware of. We would definitely stay here again next time and highly recommend this property."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ndedema Lodge

Ndedema Lodge

"Wonderful hospitality at Ndedema Lodge"

1 night Arrived 5 Apr 2011
"Clanwilliam is an easy drive from Cape Town, we travelled the coastal route. As a stopover en route to Namibia it was great, would have liked an extra night to explore the surrounding area. Ndedema Lodge is just lovely. We were welcomed by Johan and Wilma into their gorgeous old Victorian home. The rooms were all beautifully decorated and nice comfortable beds.

Special touches included sherry in the rooms, and a complimentary bottle of champagne for our 25th wedding anniversary. Wilma also arranged a special dinner reservation in town for our celebration. We enjoyed relaxing by the pool and the lovely garden area, chatting with Johan over a few beers & wines, listening to his stories, and appreciated his advice on our pending adventure through Namibia. Wilma served a great breakfast for our early start the next morning.

The security is excellent behind locked gates, plenty of room for vehicles. Would highly recommend this lovely place."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa

Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa

"Ai-Ais Camp a pleasant surprise"

2 nights Arrived 6 Apr 2011
"After a dusty drive over rough roads into Fish River, we were pleasantly surprised to arrive at Ai-Ais and find not so much a 'restcamp', but more a 'resort'.

There are camping facilities here also, but we stayed in rooms in the main block which were excellent - spacious and comfortable, air-conditioned. There is a series of indoor pools in this main block, varying in temperature, great to relax in. An outdoor pool is also available.

The meals were good, although we decided our men needed to learn the fine art of cooking on a braai. The kitchen staff were great and loaned us some equipment. Overall this place exceeded our expectations."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Desert Horse Inn

Desert Horse Inn

"Desert Horse Inn, Klein Aus Vista"

2 nights Arrived 8 Apr 2011
"As recommended, this was a great place to stay for 2 nights with a day trip to Luderitz/Kolmanskop/Namib wild horses in between. Fuel is available at nearby Aus.

The rooms were good, food and service also great. Lovely remote location for enjoying the sunset and sundowners on the deck. Staff were helpful and Piet very hospitable.

Would definitely return here."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sossusvlei Lodge

Sossusvlei Lodge

"Great location, interesting rooms"

1 night Arrived 10 Apr 2011
"We were fortunate to be able to stay here following a major mix-up in bookings at Desert Camp where we were booked to stay. At least we arrived early enough in the day and were able to be transferred to this place. We witnessed others turned away from Desert Camp who were not so fortunate.

Amazing rooms combining a tented living area with deck, and a solid bathroom area. Quite unusual 50/50 design, but gives a great atmosphere. Can't help but question the economics of air-con in a tent, but it worked, was quiet, and the beds were very comfortable. Extensive buffet served in an outdoor candlelit dining area. Quite special! Service excellent. Enjoyed sundowners on the verandah off the bar watching some nearby springbok and a yet another great sunset. Good location right next to park entrance."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Barkhan Dune Retreat

Barkhan Dune Retreat

"Amazing retreat, great hospitality"

1 night Arrived 11 Apr 2011
"Well off the beaten track, but well worth it. We were welcomed by Hannetjie with drinks and shown to our rooms which were built into the hillside (dune).

Spacious rooms, nicely appointed, very unusual setting, great views out over the farm towards the Spreetshoogte Pass. Barchan Dune retreat is totally solar powered. Willem was a very generous host, and dined with us, entertaining us with stories and responding to our many questions. We enjoyed a sumptuous meal of game, which he ducked out to the kitchen to cook himself. Breakfast the next morning was equally good.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Intermezzo Guesthouse

Intermezzo Guesthouse

"Good place to stay in Swakopmund"

2 nights Arrived 12 Apr 2011
"Our impressions of Swakopmund was probably tainted by the poor weather conditions that prevailed during our 2 night stay. Intermezzo was an ok place to stay, quite adequate, but more like an average NZ motel unit. Nothing special about the location or the place. No fan or air-con in rooms.

Breakfast was ok, and service and hospitality good. The laundry service offered was probably the best value, charged per kilo, not per item. I think it was sent to Walvis Bay.

Internet cafes / wifi connections are available in town, so a good place to catch up on emails etc"
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Brandberg White Lady Lodge

Brandberg White Lady Lodge

"Brandberg White Lady review"

1 night Arrived 14 Apr 2011
"The staff here were very helpful, Magda sorted out a problem we had, arranging replacement wheels for our spares which had been stolen along the way.

We were disappointed with the rooms, extremely hot, fans only in some rooms and those that were there only operate when the generator starts up in the evening. The pool was not clean, rooms very tired and in need of repair. Shower temperature dependant on wood burner and didn't seem very adjustable.

Dinner was disappointing - note to self - never order fish in the middle of the desert!"
Average
Location
Average
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Camp Kipwe

Camp Kipwe

"Amazing place - must stay here"

1 night Arrived 15 Apr 2011
"Off the beaten track, but well worth the journey! Stay at least two nights, we arrived at sunset and had to leave the next morning but would have loved to stay longer.

Met by Adrian and served welcome drinks. The staff (all male) and service are excellent, and the place is very well managed. Food is fantastic, good wine selection. Overall, a top class act. The rooms are unique and well blended into the surrounding rocks, with discreet, outdoor bathrooms. Very special and quite private. We loved this place! Our vehicles were even given a wash in the morning. Balloon trips available nearby.

Lounge and balcony area nice place to relax and view the sunset. Wood burners used for heating hot water. The only adverse comment would have to be that the rooms were extremely hot and the floor-standing fans, although new, were too noisy to use. We were the first NZers to visit this place, and would love to come back one day. Highly recommended."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

"Good location inside Etosha NP"

2 nights Arrived 16 Apr 2011
"Okaukuejo exceeded our expectations - the 'restcamp' was more like a 'resort'. Large complex, great pool area, pools were large and clean. We stayed in beautiful chalets near the waterhole. The rooms were very comfortable, good mosquito nets, clean bathrooms. The evening buffet was VG. We were surprised to find a black-backed jackal wandering around inside the camp, but later realised he was probably a 'resident' as the staff didn't appear too concerned.

Great location for self-drive game viewing inside Etosha NP. Good idea to view the log book and see where the latest sightings have been.
Because of the recent plentiful rains, the wildlife were scattered far and wide and there was no need for them to visit the waterhole at night, so it was deserted. Some of the roads within the park area were also closed due to flooding.

We went on an organised game drive at night, but this was disappointing more because of a sub-standard, disinterested driver, rather than the scarcity of wildlife. We came across plenty of wildlife on our own drives during the day. Recommend staying 2 nights here, and 2 nights Namutoni at the other end of Etosha NP."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Average
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Namutoni Camp

Namutoni Camp

"Good location inside Etosha NP"

2 nights Arrived 18 Apr 2011
"Good location for game viewing, on edge of Etosha pan. Our rooms were stunning and very spacious, more like a top class hotel. No mosquito nets, but screens on doors and spray provided. Rooms quite a distance from the tower and restaurant area. Layout very spread out.

Food ok, but more like boarding school style across a servery. Management and staff just doing their job, but not exceeding the mark.

Some of our best game viewing was done in relatively close proximity to this camp. Good idea to check the log book for recent game sightings."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Roy's Restcamp

Roy's Restcamp

"Quirky, cool and rustic"

1 night Arrived 20 Apr 2011
"Great place for a one night stay en route to Caprivi area. All rooms different, some round and built around a tree, which makes for an interesting layout inside. Quite dark inside and dim lighting. Our beds were a mattress on top of a concrete slab, but no problem sleeping - quite comfortable - if not luxurious.

Small mosquito nets - adequate - but easy to get into a tangle with. The doors to the rooms had bolts on the outside, which could be a safety concern if someone chose to lock you in! The staff were friendly and helpful, and we were served a delicious breakfast.

Quirky, interesting place to stay. Fine for 1 night."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Nunda River Lodge

Nunda River Lodge

"Okavango River peaks again"

2 nights Arrived 21 Apr 2011
"Magnificent location on the banks of the Okavango River - which was just peaking slightly below last year's big flood. We arrived to find the deck and wine cellar under water, but living areas still all ok. Many nearby lodges hadn't fared so well and were closed down. Consequently, facilities here a bit under pressure and when an unexpected bus load arrived for dinner, our servings were a bit lean. Very little available for lunch.

We enjoyed the evening boat cruise on the river to Popa Falls, and some vey good Hippo viewing from the boat just on sunset. Highly recommend this trip, very enjoyable.

We stayed in chalets right on the river bank, so very close to the water, Hippos were coming ashore to graze on the lawns, so were were escorted safely to our rooms by staff at night. Rooms were secure, good beds and mosquito nets, although bathroom area not totally enclosed at top. Water heated by staff lighting the individual wood burners for each room."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Camp Kwando

Camp Kwando

"Traditional atmosphere at Kwando"

2 nights Arrived 23 Apr 2011
"Located south of Kongola on the Kwando River, traditional style huts on low stilts with open air toilet and shower attached (screened by poles). To get there, you drive past (and through) a local village. Staff and villagers friendly, locals being trained in restaurant trying very hard, but come across as very regimented in their speech. "Enjoy your meal" comes across as a command, rather than a polite by-line.

The food, however, was very good and we did ENJOY. Open air bathroom not good if it rains - keep the toilet paper inside the hut. Two of our group went for a village tour and found the cultural experience informative and interesting. Good interaction with local community.

We drove to the nearby Mudumu National Park which is not at all well set up (yet?). No signage or fences, and when we did find the rangers hut, were given only a hand drawn map which gave us very little to go on. Just keep driving... and turn left... then repeat. We saw very little wildlife in this area, but maybe the wrong time of year.

Evening boat trip was described by one of our group as the scariest time of her life. Dodging Hippos at speed on a narrow waterway was hair-raising. We thought the boat driver was a bit of a cowboy, only succeeding in antagonising the hippo."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Average
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Large resort, excellent location"

2 nights Arrived 25 Apr 2011
"Excellent location, close proximity to Victoria Falls. Free access, easy walking distance to viewing areas.

A typical large resort with lovely pool and outdoor bar and restaurant areas. An extensive buffet is prepared for all meals which caters for every imaginable taste. The food is good. Watch for the cheeky vervet monkeys particularly at breakfast time - they will jump on to your table a steal the sugar sachets, and anything else on offer.

Livingstone probably has the nicest woodwork and carvings we saw anywhere on our trip if you're after souvenirs. The helicopter ride over the falls is highly recommended. Because of the high volume of water when we were there, there was masses of spray at ground level near the falls, it was good to get the perspective from the air. Staff at the Zambezi Sun were VG, service was good. Our room flooded from below (some plumbing problem presumably) and we were moved to another room.

Internet is free using their computers (3 available and slow) but charge to use Wi-Fi."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Chobe Safari Lodge

Chobe Safari Lodge

"Great location and game viewing"

2 nights Arrived 27 Apr 2011
"A large resort situated right on the banks of the Chobe river. Safe walking distance to Kasane shops etc. Nice pool and communal areas, shaded by large trees. Good restaurant with extensive buffet catering to all tastes. Good food, good staff, good service.

An extended family of banded mongoose (s? mongeese?) kept us entertained outside our rooms. The highlights were the morning game drive where we saw a pride of female lions and cubs, also buffalo, impala etc, and the afternoon / evening boat cruise where we were entertained by elephants and giraffe coming down to the river-bank to drink, also crocs, hippo etc.

Fantastic viewing all round. Would certainly return."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Private Mobile Camp, Botswana (this camp has since closed)

"Savute safari - a privilege to experience"

4 nights Arrived 29 Apr 2011
"We were treated to a wonderful safari experience with one of the best operators in the area. The safari exceeded our expectations - the camp was already set up when we arrived with a main dining tent and three other 2-room dome tents (one tent for each couple). Everything supplied, right down to a canvas handbasin each (complete with mirror hanging in the tree) which was filled with hot water just before we arrived back from the game drives. Two shower tents complete with bucket and rope pulley. All water was heated over an open fire, and Joyce, the amazing cook, prepared all the food in a camp oven over an open fire.

You would not believe how well we ate - it was superb! Another 4 men made up the staff compliment, preparing the vehicle, and doing all the work behind the scene. Even our laundry was hand washed, dried and folded each day! A long drop toilet was set up near camp, but we also had chemical toilets in our tents for use at night when you don't want to share the night with the wild animals.

Grant (our guide) was absolutely awesome - he worked tirelessly to find the animals for us. His knowledge and family history in the area were extremely valuable. We were up before dawn, quick breakfast, game driving, back for a couple of hours in the middle of the day, and then more game driving until dark. Dinner was waiting on our return, then early night for more of the same the next day. For three days we criss-crossed the Savute area searching for the elusive big cats. He found us a leopard on the very first day - we still have no idea how he spotted it, and a pride of lions on the very last morning on a very big detour to the airstrip.

Grant is obviously passionate about the flora and fauna and the Savute area, he infected us with his enthusiasm, and we feel extremely privileged to have had him as our guide.

As a keen photographer himself, he was aware of positioning the vehicle at the best vantage point, turning off the engine to stop vibration, and always patient while we got whatever shots we wanted. He also had the facility to charge camera batteries on the truck.

We cannot recommend Grant and his team highly enough and would love to return one day."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Thamalakane River Lodge

Thamalakane River Lodge

"Stopover in Maun"

1 night Arrived 3 May 2011
"Thamalakane River Lodge is maybe a 10-15 min drive from Maun. It's a nice place to stay as an overnight stopover.

The rooms were comfortable, but the shower area is not particularly private. The dining area and deck overlooking the river are pleasant. Food and service good. Staff helpful.

Pool was average and could do with a clean. Would have used it if it hadn't looked so uninviting, as it was very hot."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

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