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Namibia Lodge Safari NL

Visiting: Namibia
Trip Duration 12 Days
 

Reviews for Namibia Lodge Safari

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Namib Lodge Safari reviews verified by reevooReevoo

38 reviews

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Namib Lodge SafariScores 8.6 out of 10 based on 38 reviews
(7 out of 10)

Des

London
The itinerary was quite good, although the amount of time spent at Sossusvlei should be increased as it was not long enough to get the most out of the area. One day with a pre-dawn start to include Dune 45, Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, and Sesriem Canyon was ambitious to say the least. Most people in the party were not acclimatised to the temperatures and as a consequence found the afternoon a struggle. We would have got more out of the area over two days. The Hammerstein Lodge was a good hotel, but we felt the distance to Sossusvlei further compromised the time available in the Naukluft Park.

The 400km journey to Swakopmund was unavoidably long, but made even longer by a detour to Walvis Bay to stretch legs and look at a flock of flamingos before the final stretch. We arrived at the activities centre just before closing time to book optional activities for the following day, with the result that all of the popular options were sold out and no suitable alternatives were available. As a result, we spent the whole day wandering around the town. The museum was quite good but after that, there was little else to do. The Dunedin Star hotel was adequate.

The move to Khorixas via Cape Cross was a very long day, some 440kms. The seal colony is a long detour. This put us at Brandberg mountain mid-afternoon for the walk to the White Lady paintings. This was a good excursion and the local guide was excellent. The 4WD suffered a puncture during the onward journey to Khorixas Lodge - we arrived late at the lodge, but the staff provided a late dinner. The accommodation was good, although we had little time to use the facilities.

The visit to the Himba village was very interesting and worthwhile. Toshari Lodge was an excellent lodge and we were sorry not to stay longer. Having said that, Okaukuejo Camp was only another 40kms further and it seems a shame not to get into Etosha sooner, which would then release a day in the itinerary for more time in the Sossusvlei area.

Etosha is clearly an amazing wildlife reserve but the amount of game seen on this trip was limited - No lions or elephants (although we got a brief glimpse of a leopard). Halali rest camp was just adequate - the accommodation was good, the waterhole was great, but the service in the restaurant was slow and rather poor; with a couple of notable exceptions, the staff were unhelpful to the point of rudeness. The optional night game drive was quite expensive but well-led and in the absence of big game, the wildlife they spotted was interesting.

The onward journey to Waterberg Plateau included another long detour to the Cheetah Conservation Foundation. This was interesting and I would have wanted to see more of these cats, given the time and effort spent getting there. The Waterberg rest camp was a pleasant location and the walk to the plateau was well worthwhile. The early-morning game drive wasn't popular - only one person had enough energy to do it but apparently it was worthwhile.

Back in Windhoek, the Klein Windhoek guest house was a mixed bag. The rooms were fine but the ongoing building works were noisy and service at breakfast was somewhat haphazard.

The picnic lunches en route were initially a pleasant surprise, but started to pall after a while. The time spent prepping food and washing up inevitably ate up time which was at a premium on several days.

Our named tour leader was not able to run the tour and his replacement appeared to have little or no experience of leading a trip and had only completed previous tours as a driver. He struggled to communicate requirements clearly and his briefings didn't always cover basic and essential information, such as timings, when and how much water to buy and what kit to take on activities, which led to some confusion at times.

While our guide's apparent lack of experience was sometimes a concern, he was always a very pleasant and helpful person and between loading and unloading the vehicle, driving long distances in some very demanding conditions and providing the picnic lunches he certainly worked very hard. He had a good knowledge of wildlife and was a great spotter, both on the game drives and en route.

Up until now I have always rated Explore tours, but after this trip I have reservations. The scenery and wildlife is stunning but the local staff arrangements did not inspire confidence and while the local tour provider is primarily responsible, the consequences reflect directly on the company's reputation.
Confirmed traveller: 22 April 2017
Published on: 02 May 2017
(10 out of 10)

Phil

Exeter
This really was the trip of a lifetime! A packed itinerary of adventures led by Lucky, our amazing host who was so friendly, so knowledgable and so hardworking - a real credit to the tourist industry and we considered ourselves the Lucky ones to have him.
Helped by a great group of people on this trip, it was filled with laughter and shared experiences which will last a lifetime including the sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the Himba village and the magnificent Etosha National Park. This tour far exceeded my expectations and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
Confirmed traveller: 25 March 2017
Published on: 01 April 2017
(6 out of 10)

Zeeba

London
Highlights : Sand-boarding, dunes and Himba village
- Not enough free time
- Not enough exercise/walking
- Too long sitting in the truck
- Sometimes not well thought out
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 18 February 2017
Published on: 20 February 2017

I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy aspects of your trip. This trip is graded as ‘Full On' as there are a lot of early starts and included activities and experiences. Namibia is a large country and we do have to travel some long distances to get to the national parks, sand dunes and other attractions. Unfortunately this cannot be avoided if you want to explore this beautiful country. We have been speaking to our local leaders to ensure that our itineraries are operated exactly as planned and that on long drive days there are plenty of stops to stretch legs and get some fresh air.

(9 out of 10)

James

Cork
A very detailed itinerary of essentially the northern half of Namibia. Spectacular desert landscapes and amazing wildlife everywhere, especially in Etosha. Be prepared for long drives over bumpy roads.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 09 December 2016
Published on: 10 December 2016
(8 out of 10)

Alan

Cornwall
Many contrasts in societies, landscapes and wildlife, but travel occasionally arduous. We travelled a fair distance and in retrospect another day at Waterberg or Brandberg would have made a huge difference. The dolphin trip at Walvis Bay was a big highlight and we took the advantage of night-viewing at the camp's waterhole at Halali which is free - elephant, rhino and leopard at close quarters. Go there before dawn to see the sandgrouse. There are plenty of mammals to see at Etosha but the waterholes are meagre in November. The walk to the cave paintings in Brandberg was completed by less than half the group because of the heat in the afternoon so others had to hang around whilst the walkers returned. That was a waste of a good afternoon. That part of the itinerary needs to be tweaked. Accommodation varied understandably with Zebra Lodge excellent, though a fair distance from the dunes. Meals, mostly provided, were more than adequate and our two guides never failed to come up with something appetizing and different at lunch time. Overall a great experience, at pace, with plenty to see and enjoy.
Confirmed traveller: 26 November 2016
Published on: 28 November 2016
(7 out of 10)

Anthony

Liverpool
Some long travelling days in a truck that had seen better days! But some stunning scenery and wildlife.

Tour leader had good local and wildlife knowledge, but his daily briefings were poor. Also the day the truck broke down he and the driver stayed with the truck while it was repaired - the 16 of us were squeezed into 2 small vehicles, 2 of us squashed into the boot space of 1 car for 2 and a half hours, very unsafe and dangerous. Plus the 2 drivers he found ad mitted they didn't really know where our lodge was! I know it is Africa but this was a very poor arrangement.
Confirmed traveller: 25 November 2016
Published on: 28 November 2016
(9 out of 10)

Keith

Chobham Surrey
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Namibia but there are some aspects we feel Explore should be made aware of and I hope you will accept the negatives as something to work on as they are meant to be constructive.
On the day we are due to leave Windhoek and whilst we were getting supplies of water for the next two days our leader was contacted by your agent in Namibia who wanted all our equipment which was to be used by our leader on the tour, especially during the lunch stops. This delayed us further by about an hour before we could set off. The lack of this equipment made our lunch breaks, on the rest of the tour, less satisfactory and we often had to resort to wayside restaurant/cafes which generally took nearly two hours for lunch. This inevitably delayed us considerably and as a direct result we arrived at the evening/night accommodation late, very often between five and six pm and had very little time to wind down after the drive before we had to get ready for dinner as we almost invariably had to leave the hotel by about 0530 even when there were no early game drives.
We had two nights at Zebra Lodge which was very good but as it was very far out of the way we had FOUR journeys on VERY bad roads (the worst on the tour) which as the vehicle we were using was pretty old (2009) and well used we found most unsatisfactory. Some of the seats in the transport were damaged, none of the arm rests worked, foot rests were often out of use and generally we had a very difficult ride. We are very well travelled but have never had as difficult and tiring experience as this. The ride was really hard although the driver, Brighton, was excellent and did his best. I suspect the suspension could be overhauled.
In essence it took nearly 1 and 1/2 hours to get to Sossusvlei from Zebra Lodge. We then had to go all the way back knowing that the next day we would do the same again as we virtually followed the same route on the way to Walvis Bay etc. This was such a pity as Zebra Lodge was very good indeed, just in the wrong direction. Whilst we appreciate that accommodation is not easy to find we found this just too much after two long days travelling.
Other accommodation was good other than Dunedin Star in Swakopmund which was poor and staff not helpful. Looking around at the other guests it seemed to be a bit of a 'doss house'!! We had two nights there. The Pier restaurant, the Tug Boat and Napolitana were very good. I went on the flight here but although we covered over 600kms I think a balloon flight would be better, if available. We did see three balloons near Sestriem a few days earlier.
Brandberg White Lady Lodge was an ideal setting after Swakopmund and the walk to the 'rock art' painting, although hard work was worth it. A lovely setting for the hotel with TWO pools which we had no time to take advantage of as we arrived just in time to get ready for dinner (again)! Two nights here would be an excellent time to relax.
Then on to Toshari via the Himba people before going to Etosha for two nights. I feel visiting the Himba was a bit of an intrusion but they seemed genuinely pleased to welcome us and sell some trinkets. Toshari was absolutely fabulous and the highlight of our accommodation. Lovely setting, a great pool where we even had time to swim and relax with a couple of drinks before an excellent buffet dinner! Could not be faulted.
Two days in Etosha were excellent and we particularly enjoyed the water hole with its seating and viewing arrangements. We did not take part in the night drive although I understand it was successful and elephant were seen by others. Catering was a bit hit-or-miss especially in regard to crockery and cutlery. Food though was good.
After two nights we travelled on to the Waterberg via the Cheetah Conservation Foundation which was very good indeed with super guides who explained so much very clearly.
The Waterberg Camp bungalows were good and the restaurant, staff, service and food about the best on the trip. The morning game drive was a great disappointment we saw little and our guide was no use whatsoever. He even started off by telling us that we may see nothing as when the animals hear us 'they all run away', his words!! Perhaps this was partly because the truck was so terribly noisy. We got the impression that all he wanted to do was to get us to a hide, dish out our breakfast and then leave. From the hide I saw only one animal, a Dikdik (I think) and the guide did not spot it anyway. Not worth getting up early for. The guide was in total contrast to our team leader who was always wide awake searching ahead, aside and even in the air for anything of interest.
Just to finish I would commend our team leader Melvin. He looked after us extremely well and never once, to my knowledge, complained about the lack of equipment which I believe contributed to the very long days. 10 hours on rough to very rough roads is just a bit hard to take in a vehicle which could have had better suspension.
The Pension Uhland at the start and end was very good and the staff and breakfast outstanding. They were all charming.
As I said at the beginning I hope Explore will take these comments positively as we certainly would recommend the company and Namibia to anyone who enquires.
Confirmed traveller: 19 November 2016
Published on: 02 December 2016
(8 out of 10)

Elizabeth

Very knowledgeable and excellent guide, Melvin, ably assisted by our brilliant driver, Brighton.
Accommodation on first and final night could have been better - very pleasant staff but very tired facilities at Pension Uhland - could be improved with better bedding/curtains and general renovation and refurbishment- first and last impressions are important.
Itinerary excellent with exception of Waterberg Plateau - totally underwhelming following Etosha!!
Rather too much road travel (and it was very bumpy!!) - if one or two legs could have been replaced by short flights, it would have made the whole experience even more enjoyable.
Confirmed traveller: 19 November 2016
Published on: 01 December 2016
(9 out of 10)

Lena

Hove
Excellent tour leader and driver. Namibia's main sights covered.
Confirmed traveller: 19 November 2016
Published on: 22 November 2016
(9 out of 10)

Ali

York
The landscapes of Namibia are beautiful. Along with the flora/fauna and cultural experiences this was a fascinating and comprehensive tour. So many amazing experiences all supported by a knowledgeable and dedicated team of guide and driver. Thank you for a full and unforgettable trip!
Confirmed traveller: 18 November 2016
Published on: 28 November 2016