13 independent reviews for Namibia self drive vacation, big cat conservation

Reviews for Namibia self drive vacation, big cat conservation

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review 5 Nov 2023

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

The trip was amazing, and there were many very memorable moments so its very difficult to choose 1 part. Sossusvlei was amazing as were some of the game drives in Etosha. Also the Etendeka 3 day hike was also amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

1 night in any location is not enough.

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

Yes. We did still see a huge amount of poverty which is uncomfortable to see.

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

Excellent

review 9 May 2023

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

There were many. The most exciting was probably being in the high desert sand dunes.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take a little more time if you can than 2 weeks. It takes a little longer to travel around than you may expect which makes stopping en route in places as you drive a little tricky.

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

We had excellent Namibian guides in all the locations who were highly informed on conservation and on the impacts of climate change. The lodges we stayed on worked well to raise issues about water conservation and used solar power widely. Local people are clearly benefitted by tourism and the expectation of tips helps the specific workers in the lodges for their good work. I didnít see that much evidence of how the lodges benefit the broader local communities apart , though apart from at Africat and EtendekaÖthough it felt like there was local engagement of course in terms of jobs in the others and that the lodges took their role responsibly.

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

Very well organised and chosen itinerary, with a fantastic range of experiences. Hugely memorable and enjoyable.

review 4 Sep 2022

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

Each bit was very different, we all loved Soussflei and the Desert Homestead, I loved Etendeka and the peace and quiet and incredible views and we all loved doing self drive safari through Etosha.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Spend more time on the eastern side of Etosha than the middle, we saw the most interesting things that side - big family groups of elephant, leopard and cheetah, hyenah etc. You definitely don't need a guide in Etosha, they can't go anywhere different to you. I would have spent 3 nights at Etendeka to break up the driving a bit, trekking, r&r, home cooking and amazing star gazing.

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

There seemed to be more local indiginous people at the places we stayed at than white south african types so I hope benefitted. They certainly seemed to be supporting conservation.

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

Fab, I would thoroughly recommend especially with teenagers as so many different parts to it, no day was the same. We saw loads of animals, lots of amazing and varied scenery, the food was good, and for a self drive African vacation Namibia felt very safe.

review 26 Apr 2022

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

Driving the dunes in Sandwich Harbor. Other highlights include Sossusvlei, Etosha, and Okonjima. Best lodges were Oberland, Kulala, and Mushara.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Stay 2 nights in Okonjima. One was not enough.

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

Providing employment, guides showing respect for nature and wildlife. Etendeka camp was very low-impact.

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

Fabulous

review 15 Dec 2019

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

Seeing the wildlife and experiencing the scenery. Fabulous accommodation and great food.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Self drive is easy and adds to the experience. Take advantage of organised trips as well as exploring yourself. Remember that even when you are at the coast and itís 20c cooler than inland the sun still burns! Take packing cubes as it helps when moving lodge frequently.

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

Helped local people only in respect of the benefit that comes with tourism. Self drive hardly reduces the impact on the environment.

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

Brilliant

review 16 Aug 2019

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

The safari

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Just do it

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

Yes

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

Excellent

review 20 May 2019

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

A day when we watched over 60 elephants arrive and play at a waterhole in Etosha, followed by watching 3 cheetahs asleep at the side of the road. I also had a memorable birthday celebration at Huab Lodge when 6 ladies sang and danced for me and brought me a cake - an unforgettable moment!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for long days in the car but wonderful scenery as well as animals to see. The speed limit is 80km/h on the gravel roads, but ATI say 70 and it is sometimes difficult to do even that. Check your tyre pressure frequently as ours were overinflated to start with. Take layers in May as the weather can be cool in the morning in certain parts. Put in an overnight stop near Twyfelfontein as we didn't have time to visit as the drive from Swakopmund to Huab Lodge took all day. Visit Spitzkoppe where the rock formations are amazing! Be patient at waterholes, what seems like only a few animals at first can change very quickly.

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

It benefited local people who had employment in the lodges and Huab lodge sold locally made products in their curio shop. The lodges all asked you to save water and electricity. They all explained how they were reducing environmental impacts and some told us how they were helping local farmers to improve their management of grazing land and to live with the wild animals rather than see them as a threat to their livelihood.

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

Amazing - scenery, people, animals! Varied from desert, sea and game reserves.

review 9 Aug 2019

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

Safari at Etosha mountain lodge

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

2 nights minimum at each lodge (which we did). Self drive is not as daunting as you might think even with 3 children. Namibia was a friendly place to visit with loads to see and do.

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

Supported local people in that hopefully staying in lodges helps provide work

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

Excellent

review 14 Feb 2019

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

The scenery is amazing and shipwreck lodge is special - all the lodges were very good.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

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

Marginally.

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

Very Good.
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review 14 Apr 2018

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

Driving through ever changing landscapes and the beauty of the desert. The unfailing cheerfulness of the staff at the lodges and their wonderful singing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared to spend a long time in vehicles. The roads are bumpy and the vehicles are rugged and appropriate for the terrain., but this just adds to the adventure! Whilst you can spot animals from your own vehicle, it canít compare with being in a safari jeep.

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

Most of the lodges really made an effort to train up local people and offer opportunities to work up through the ranks. There was a big focus on renewable energy, saving water and protecting the environment. My one concern was the amount of bottled water we were given.

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

Excellent, exceeded expectations and good value for money.

review 16 Mar 2017

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

The whole vacation was amazing though for me the desert dunes at Sossusvlei take some beating. Namibia holds a secret round every corner, the wide open roads, the scenery, the vibrant colours and most of all the friendly people.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't try to see too much, make the most of the road trips and enjoy the journey, the scenery along the way is part of the vacation and discovering small villages and what they have to offer is sometimes a joy. Choose your destinations carefully and spend more time in each location.

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

Namibia relies on tourism and many local people are employed in the industry. Tourism in Namibia is very discreet and certainly the places we visited worked alongside the environment and embraced it, with advice being given at most camps and lodges to conserve the water and respect the environment.

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

The vacation was put together by the vacation provider who knows Africa. They really listened to what we liked and prepared a wonderful itinerary. I cannot praise Simon enough for all the help he gave both before and during the vacation. Next time I visit Africa I will have no hesitation in using them again and would certainly recommend them to anyone considering a hassle free trip!

review 1 Nov 2016

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

The views from all of the accommodations was amazing, also nothing can beat spotting a rhino when driving through Etosha!!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Try to stretch out the vacation as much as you can, the driving is intense, and a couple of rest days can make a big difference!

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

Yes, many local people are forging new careers in hospitality. Tourism is helping Namibians appreciate that it's wildlife is worth more alive than dead!!

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

Amazing!! The space, the colours, the diverse landscapes, from desert to seaside to safari!

review 18 Oct 2016

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

The lodges and safari trips were excellent. We enjoyed the independence of driving ourselves but it was great to have experienced guides especially in Sossusvlei and tracking desert elephants in Damaraland and and in Okonjima looking for leopards.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Drives are quite long so two drivers I think are essential. Take the guided safaris at the lodges but Etosha is very easy to do independently. Plenty of music for the long drives. If you go to Okonjima make sure you have time for a morning and an afternoon game drive...they do separate drives to look for leopards and cheetahs.

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

Yes. Lodges provided lots of local employment and support for the two game reserves we went to, Etosha and Okonjima. Every where we went that had good water conservation measures....but they did use some unnecessary resources, replacing towels for example when not necessary.

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

Excellent really good organisation, excellent briefings and advice. The lodges were super. Personally we didn't like Swakopmund and would have stayed just one night there with an extra night at Okonjima.

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