13 independent reviews for Namibia small group guided holiday and safari

Reviews for Namibia small group guided holiday and safari

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review 8 Oct 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Our guide Arnold, whose organisational and social skills were outstanding; Dead Vlei, very atmospheric; elephant, rhino, cheetah, lions and two types of zebra - outstanding

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

pack for cool and hot weather, read about it before you go - the history is complex, I recommend the Rough Guide

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, or tour operator uses a local provider, which supports The Windhoek SAS Children's Village and we were asked to bring food, clothing and other necessities for the village.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent except that our first and last night were supposed to be in Galton Lodge, Windhoek, but we were 'upgraded' to the Hilton on our last night which was not as atmospheric, check-in was chaotic, my (female) friend and I were given a "King Twin", which proved to be a room with a large double bed rather than twin beds and there were no twins left, and two of the three lifts were out of commission.

review 9 Jun 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Every day of the trip presented exciting and memorable experiences. Highlights included climbing the dunes of Sossusvlei as the sun rose, tracking desert adapted elephants in Damaraland, kayaking with thousands of seals at Pelican Point (Walvis Bay), and the fantastic wildlife viewings in Etosha.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be ready for early starts and long days - but it's worth it!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - there was great sensitivity in our interactions with local people, including the Himba people we visited. I also appreciated learning about the various conservation efforts via our visit to the AfriCat Foundation and our experience with the Torra Conservancy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Outstanding! This was a wonderful holiday with a fantastic and well-organised tour company, top-notch accommodations, and an expert, friendly and helpful guide. Additionally, as a solo traveler the small size of the group (7 people plus guide) was ideal for me. Highly recommended!

review 10 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole holiday was brilliant. One of my most memorable experiences was tracking and finding the desert elephants, a small herd of females and young in the early morning. plus coming across two white rhino peacefully grazing in the afternoon sunshine with thunder and lighting flashing around in the hills behind them - magical. Finding and watching lions, one male and four females laying in wait for a herd a zebra sadly ending in failure for the lions.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I would have liked to have taken more for the children, sweets, pens and clothes etc...

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. The visit to the Himba tribe. What lovely friendly people. The camps and lodges fitted well into their local environment. Superb.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Brilliant. Brilliant. 1st class all the way. I love southern Africa and this was my 5th trip in the last nine years this was the best trip so far. Thank you Simon and Marie for your help and advice. I look forward to traveling with you again in the future. Also ultimate safaris Tarry our guide in Namibia for helping to make this the best holiday ever. Many thanks to you all.

review 17 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Damaraland and literally being 'amongst' a memory of female elephants and babies. The baby literally played with the antenna on the front of the vehicle. Extraordinary. The dunes at Sossusvlei are quite remarkable. We were within 30m of a black rhino in Etosha. We were also treated to a 'kill' in front of Treetops Lodge - an Oryx taken down by hyenas. The accommodation is generally exceptional, the food is fantastic. The guiding is quite outstanding.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

This is a car-borne trip. You need binoculars, a good zoom on your camera and a bit of patience. Cautionary notes: Not for young people. Opportunities for exercise are few and far between. We were the youngest at 55 and have felt the need to stretch our legs since returning to the UK. Effectively you spend two weeks on your butt. Spotting wildlife in Namibia is not easy - springbok, oryx, giraffe, etc, yes - but the 'big 5' are rather harder to see. The distances between locations are long, mainly on dirt roads. The organisers underestimate the time required to cover those distances - although note that you are stopping occasionally for photo opportunities, wildlife, etc. But our non-UK (and slightly more mature) companions were occasionally disconcerted by the speed on dirt roads. It is a challenge for the guide who is also your driver. Just to emphasise, our guide was terrific - the standard of driving over all terrains was exceptional. There was no point where I felt unsafe, although I can't speak for everybody.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Generally, yes. Namibian people are welcoming and friendly. Clearly tourism is a major part of the country's growing economy and therefore your presence is beneficial. We made a trip to a Himba (local tribe) village. While interesting, these jaunts are a little formulaic and arguably a bit tacky. They get out their curios and everybody buys something. But this is an arduous 45 minute each way drive over terrain that tests the vehicle and your butt. If I could have my time again, I'd make a substantial donation to miss it, noting that the Himba are present at other locations and there is ample opportunity to understand their lifestyle there without seeing their village. Namibia is totally conservation-conscious - you cannot 'off-road' in Etosha, the main park - which can be frustrating, but totally right. Therefore, the wildlife that you see, you see from the dirt roads that criss-cross the park. From our experience, you see plenty, but you are relying on cheetahs and leopards to come close to the roads - they're hard to see. Namibia is a vast country and we covered great distances at significant speed - there's no other way to do it. Not sure that's particularly conservation-friendly, but you are regularly 'the only vehicle on the road', so it's not as though the carbon footprint is unacceptable. However, that may not be the case in 10 years as Namibia grows in popularity.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Absolutely fantastic. Should be 5 stars. However, the Namibian organiser fell short on the vehicle - and bearing in mind the length of time you sit in it, this was a faux pas. The fridge never worked, the air conditioning broke down after 7 days and the fan belt slipped off - probably owing to the securing bolts working loose, perhaps due to the rigours of the trip to the Himba. It cost us time, but not too much. It added pressure to the guide / driver, who is also your mechanic! These things happen but, arguably, this should be routine maintenance (before the vehicle leaves Windhoek) - and this trip is not 'cheap'. All that said, while this was our first African adventure, our travelling companions all had safari experience - in Botswana, South Africa, Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania - and, to a man, they all thought this was the best - in terms of 'exclusivity' - around the animals (not so many other vehicles), accommodation and food (what's included in the package).

review 14 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Seeing the fabulous landscapes of Namibia and being in private camps, miles from any one else with endless desert and skies all around us

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for long days and early starts - well worth it!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, camps were run by local communities, were very sensitive to environmental issues and we saw examples of how they lived and worked alongside wildlife.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Brilliant!

review 29 Jun 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

So many highlights in this diverse holiday, but for us our 1st sighting of a leopard was breathtaking. Being up the dunes at daybreak. The wonderful Camp Kipwe & the stunning Aricat centre. The wonderful singing of the children at the school

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Heed the warning of taking warm clothes & long trousers as it is quite cool early morning & evening.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely. Our visit to a local school was so touching. The children so friendly & happy just wanting to be around us & when we through balls into the yard the pure joy was immeasurable on their faces.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Absolutely fabulous. Can't find any fault, the sights where stunning, the accommodation mostly luxurious, the guides great & knowledgeable & the Africat centre is not to be missed 2 nights was not enough

review 15 Apr 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Namibia is such a diverse country that it's difficult to choose the most exciting part. Sossusvlei and the red dunes were truly amazing. But so was Etosha park but for different reasons. Damaraland as well for it's beautiful prairie landscape ... Africat centre was a perfect end to our trip.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just go and enjoy! You are well taken care of. You have to wake up early and distances are Wide so there is often lot of sitting in the car but it's all worth it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I'd like to think so. Tourism gives work for local people and safari organiser cooperates with himbas as well as with local orphanage. We donated for example vitamine b and some stationary to the orphanage. We were also given steel bottles which were also then refilled to reduce plastic waste. Small thing but big effect.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

One of the best holidays ever. Truly enjoyed trip and already planning to revisit Namibia and neighbouring countries sometime in the future.

review 26 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The game drives through Etoshi were the most memorable. To be so close to these marvellous creatures is very special

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take good binoculars

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Insufficient emphasis was placed on either local benefits or the environment memorable

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


review 17 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I was lucky enough to see a desert adapted elephant up close. We found the same herd of elephants on each of the three days we stayed at Damaraland Adventure Camp, Our first day in camp, our guide was following the chatter on the radio and heard the location of the elephants from another driver. We arrived in time to find them to find them feeding and a baby elephant having a nap (she made an appearance later ... following her mother around). I was photographing the elephants when one of the females decided to have a closer look at us. She walked up to the truck, stopped right beside us ( I could have reached out and touched her ... I didn't), The elephant looked directly at me, looked at the woman standing beside me and wandered off to continue feeding from another tree, Over the next three days I saw elephants walk around our vehicle and other trucks in the area, basically treating us as part of the landscape. What an amazing experience to be so close to such gentle giants.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take a decent camera, with a spare battery so you don't need to worry about charging it. Take a headlamp as well as regular flashlight (torch). Headlamps keep your hands free to carry gear. Take lightweight clothing that's easy to wash and drys quickly Allow yourself a day of shopping in Windhoek after the trip if you are interested in crafts. jewellry or gemstones

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we visited local initiatives like the Living Museum and local businesses/craft centres. Our guide and the camp staff politely made us aware of water conservation and environmental impact. We didn't 'stalk' animals to get photos. We 'sat still' and the animals could come to us if they chose to. We also had some informative discussions about animal behaviour. The camps were environmentally low impact ... use of solar power, minimizing water use

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, I'd recommend this trip to friends, especially photographers. I loved the small size of our group, only 6 people. The vehicle was clean and well maintained. The food at Kulala and Damaraland Adventure camps was excellent

review 4 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Witnessing the enormous dunes at sossuvleti and the ever changing landscapes on the journey plus the exceptional lodges.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for long dusty journeys

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The fact we spent almost 2 weeks in Namibia spending money must have benefitted the local people. I cannot think we reduced the environmental impact ...our very presence driving everywhere in a 4x4 kicking up dust and emitting exhaust fumes and using their precious water must have a negative effect. I guess the fact we were there to enjoy the wild life must encourage conservation but I do not believe we have any sway with farmers killing big cats at all.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Our tour guide Nestor was exceptional and really contributed to a unique experience. Overall I would say Namibia was the least exciting country in terms of wildlife we have ever experienced in Southern Africa (having visited 7 previously).

review 17 Jun 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The animals have to be the highlight of Namibia. However we loved the red dunes in the Namib Naukluft Nat Park. The landscape in that area is awesome. A visit to a school and the Himba people was very interesting, and we really enjoyed the boat cruise from Walvis Bay, where we saw fur seals and Haviside's dolphin. The very tame, but wild Pelicans were very entertaining on board. The accommodation was very good.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take South African Rands, as Namibian currency not necessary. You cannot rely on ATM' s, as they run out of money! Credit cards are ok. Laundry can be done at most lodges, so it is possible to travel light.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, as we all bought items from the Himba people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very enjoyable, & very well organised. A wonderful country to visit.

review 6 Jan 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Great holiday. The agents in Namibia were extremely good. Their documentation, the vehicle provided and the first class guide helped make this a holiday to remember. Its a beautiful country with lots of animals and unusual countryside such as the Namib Desert. The Lodge accomodation was first class at every location.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Having a good organisation when you get to Namibia is essential highly recommend the local operator used. The areas of interest are miles apart over terrible roads, you need to be ready to endure hours of very rough roads.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The people are great and we supported local organisations where ever we could. Having travelled through other African countries Namibia seems to be handling the relationship between all races much better tahn many other countries.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very good.

review 25 Nov 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The scenery in different parts of Namibia is very dramatic and beautiful, especially Sossusvlei and Damaraland. The lodges are well situated with no fences round the camps so you can just watch the wildlife from your room. We saw a male lion at the water hole just 20 yards away from our porch and while in a night hide saw two rhinos fighting and they were only about 5 yards away. It was also very special going out for the sundowners with our guide singing and playing the guitar while the sun went down - we have come back with some lovely memories

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be aware that the days are very long (the longest was from 5.30am, spent all day at Etosha National Park, had dinner, went to a night hide and got back to the lodge at midnight). There is a lot of travelling on very uneven, rocky roads. The weather was extremely hot and the vehicle not air-conditioned, which made all the travelling very tiring. I dont think this holiday would be suitable for anyone over about 70 years old

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All the lodges used employed local people and were all trying hard to reduce environmental impacts. All the people concerned supported conservation

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a brilliant holiday. The guide was great, very knowledgable, very professional and his enthusiasm and love for his country shone through everything he did. He made our time in Namibia very special. All the lodges used were comfortable and clean and the food great and the people there friendly and helpful.

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