Namibia Testimonials from our Clients

Below you will find a selection of testimonials submitted by our clients following their tour with Umfulana.
Page 1 of 25 Testimonials
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08/10/2013


Namibia Tour: Ian Adams

Thank you and your staff for once again setting up our tour of Namibia & Botswana we had our best tour so far to these destinations. From the villa at Okonjima (we were upgraded again) to our stays at Okavango delta and Maun prior to going home the all the transfers, the camps/lodges were perfect.
Special mention must be made about Okonjima and the Africat foundation for our stay there once again also Chobe Game lodge and the two camps in the Okavango delta, camp Okuti, Shinde camp. These places just make you so welcome and at home there.
Just one thing on reflection we could have dropped the car of at Kasane before going to Chobe Game lodge. At the lodge there is enough to do so that you do not need any transport.
Maybe we were lucky but the animals were fantastic everywhere we went.

Thank you again for your assistance
Ian
08/03/2013


Namibia Tour: L. R.

We had a fantastic time in Namibia and Cape Town, and we decided to come back again. Umfulana did a great job, and we will recommend your company for future reference.

Pros:
Lodges and Chalets: Absolutely great, and in general no complaints at all. The most scenic lodges were Dolomite and Waterberg, the most luxurious one with the best food and wine was Mushara. However, no complaints about any of the lodges or resorts. We would go back to any one immediately.

Food and Wine: Excellent. Even the so-called house wines were of extraordinary quality and taste. It is meat country, but vegetarians will have no problems if the lodges will be informed ahead of time.

Safety: No issues at all, if one adheres to the rules and recommendations (no stuff should be left in the car). We did not need safes, even though they were available without exception.

B&Bs (Cape Town and Stellenbosch)
Just excellent! We will recommend both on trip advisor.


Cons:
No real complaints, but the food at the Waterberg Lodge was, compared to the previous lodges, rather scarce and lacked variations – also by considering what the lodge charges per night.

Rental cars:
A Toyota Hillux with four adults is rather small, by considering the length of time passengers spend in the car and on the road. The car in Cape Town, a Toyota Avanza, was the worst car I have driven in my life – and I used to have a few crappy ones. Not recommendable, I will never ever rent such a car again.

One comment regarding the attached photos: Please feel free to use them on your website, if you want and consider them (or some of them) worthy. But please do me a favor and notify me, if you intend to do so. I have contracts with two photo agencies, and I have to tell them when photos are used elsewhere. I hope for your understanding.

Thank you very much for your help and support. The best advertisement is word-of-mouth. We will certainly do that.

Best regards,

Ludger Roedder
Desert Homestead Lodge, Namib
Dune, Namib
Tracks, Namib
Zebras
Elephant at a water hole
Waterhole with salt pan in the background
Cheetah
Rhino stepping out of the bush
Cape Town with table mountain
Changing cabins at the seaside
By the sea (near Cape Town)
Stellenbosch (Helicopter view)
1 of 1 people found the following testimonial helpful:
09/30/2009


Namibia Tour: Roberto Ciarrocca

Dear Mr. Rabe,

My answer is a little late, because on return I was engaged in many thinks I had to care for. Anyway, I am now here to give you some news about our trip.

What can I say? Of course Namibia maintains all its promises and even more, except for a few details: perhaps leopards and cheetahs don't live there, and when one has seen the Great Canyon (and I did it twice) the Fish River Canyon can't strike more than a bit.

As usual, the level of the lodges you chose is at the top, but three nights at Desert Homestead are excessive, mostly for whom, like me, don't ride.

We became greatly enthusiastic over the flight whit Friedhelm at Immenhof: landscapes of Damaraland and Skeleton Coast are really unbelievable in their extra-ordinariness. One can't tell if it is the beginning or the end of time.

I am very satisfied whit the couple of journeys you organized for me and it's a pity that I can't make use of your services any more, unless you insert Tanzania in your catalog: wasn't Tanganika a former German colony too?

I see that in this site it's impossible to attach pictures; I'll mail them soon.

Sincerely yours.
Roberto Ciarrocca
1 of 1 people found the following testimonial helpful:
06/01/2009


Namibia Tour: Edwin Matiuk

Hi Merwin,

I have not forgotten you; it’s just when you return, many things are waiting for you to be fixed.

The journey was what I wanted, and importantly your side of organizing it was flawless. Not having problems with anything makes any trip so much more enjoyable.
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All the locations we stayed at were very acceptable, all different, and they all provided what you needed in those locations. Sossusvlei is perhaps a little over the top. Everything you possibly want was included, laundry and all, but the constant management of our well being is also somewhat restrictive. For instance you received allocated places where you dine on the night, along the swimming pool, or on the veranda, or whatever choice places. But they also determined when which location was available, meaning on one occasion our turn of being escorted to the swimming pool side was well after nine, by which time my wife had eaten everything around the bar and was very tired to finally eat at all. Also, because of this personal attention, you couldn’t eat with the people with whom you spent the day and would have loved rounding it all up over dinner. Still, these are lovely things to complain about. Unknown to us, we arrived with a deflating tyre on the car, and the staff repaired it at no cost. I just paid the garage people directly. The tour to the dunes was included, too, but due to the remote location of the lodge, the trip was lengthy and wasted in itself a lot of our precious time of just getting to the dunes.

Barry and Mina at Jambo are lovely people. They also serve as travel guides with recommendations of what to do on which kind of day, i.e. rain, sun, snow or blow. Room and breakfast are excellent and their recommendations of restaurants are spot on, e.g. Baia seafood restaurant at the V. & A. terminal.

The road to Springbok-Naries is excellent, fast and very scenic; just have a look at the photos. We ate at Naries every night, and the food was superb, again see photos (lamb shanks and cutlets). We were unfortunately too late for the high flower season, but it was still worthwhile.

Fiona at the Fish River Canyon Lodge is very switched on and I believe this location will one day be a big resort. Your guide states to turn right to the lodge after approximately 33 km. It’s actually 51 km and can be very disconcerting, as there is nothing around; we didn’t even have on-coming cars, and at one stage I nearly turned back, to check whether we missed the turn. After that turn, it’s another 43 km to the entry of Fish River Village. The trip there is already worth it. While it is predominantly flat where you’re driving, it is bleached desert colour with very dark mountains in the distance, and later very rocky, lonely valleys, the style you see in Star Wars. The Canyon should not be compared with the Grand Canyon; it’s scenery that stands on its own.

The trip to Aus was 280km, initially dirt and after Seeheim bitumen. Landscape is flat, the vegetation very sparse and there isn’t much to rave about. There was plenty of wild life, ostriches, oryxes (plural for Oryx?), impalas, monkeys and gemsboks. The Eagles Nest villas are actually 7 km from reception and restaurant, so you have to manage your life a little bit as to not drive that distance too often, e.g. be ready for the day’s sightseeing directly from the breakfast room, don’t go back to big up your day’s necessities. Around the lodge there isn’t much, gassy undulating bleached landscape, very beautiful, though. The trip to Lüderitz and especially its surrounding is worthwhile. I think its desolate location is unique. Don’t rely on anything you read to be there. We saw a big AVIS sign and its address on the side of the road and we thought it to be a good idea to try up-grading the car. Well the place was empty, furniture and all. The landscape around L. is moonlike (I haven’t been there), totally devoid of any vegetation or fauna, it’s eerie really. On the way there and back (120 km one way), you do see the normal savannah animals and a huge number of wild horses (see the beautiful pictures), all very worthwhile.

Breakfast was at 7:30 and all packed, to avoid the trip back to the villa. Filled up car at Aus, a small town with German style building, checked e-mails at the info place and turned off the C13 onto the scenic D 707. In no time you had the Sossusvlei coloured dunes on the left and mountains on the right. After 185 km it was back on the C27, which actually wasn’t as good surface wise as the minor D707.

The black basalt and the light greenish grass growth caused the scenery when looking to the mountains to change gradually from the typical bleached grass colour in the flat to lighter green on the initial slopes to real dark green on the hilly sides where the light green grass mingled with the black basalt. I’m sure this route would qualify as photographer’s paradise.

The dunes of Sossusvlei blow you away even if you come from Australia. Pity it was so far to get there; a lodge closer in would be useful. We had to get up at 5:15, not necessarily easy when you only where ushered to your dining table at 21:30 the night before; still it was worth it, the photos prove it.

The corrugations before getting to Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge and leaving it were a little bit much for the Polo, and given that the road material was coarse gravel the small wheels of the Polo skidded around on top of them, and steering the car was like driving on ball bearings. We actually drove past an over-turned Polo in one of the many turns in the road, every one of which you had to take with care (don’t get me wrong, I actually loved it, not so sure about my wife’s feeling).

Rostock Ritz is something else. Bonny was to me the most effective of all the managers I have met on the trip, short, sharp and no-nonsense sort of a good looking black. We didn’t expect much of good food there in that absolute remote place, but we were very pleasantly surprised. More of those efficient blacks appeared at night and we had a great meal. During the day, we lazed around the pool. Have a look at the photos of the landscape around!

The road to Walvis Bay was very undulating, through dry valleys, along ridges and back down into valleys; not much vegetation or animals, but scenically very beautiful and photogenic. Eventually it became drier and colder for that matter, and the world was devoid of any sign of life, dead, not even cadavers around, because I guess nothing alive will venture there, except the road graders, and mad tourists. We left in the morning at 33 degrees and arrived at noon at 17 degrees. Walvis Bay serves the oil industry (oil rig maintenance and repair), is a fishing place and the South Africans produce salt there, and in the process creates large environmental problems. But it also creates jobs; so what’s going to survive?

Sam at Sam’s Giardino is a good operator; we had a very good wine tasting session with him. We ate out at Eric’s, but quickly returned to Sam’s cooking the next day.

The outstanding experience at Swakopmund is the dunes, whether you study what’s living in them or you just traverse them and enjoy their immensity. It’s very moist there at night and in the morning dew the mist formation; it’s so intense that you have water puddles around every where without it having rained.

The way to Windhoek was the reverse of from Rostock to Walvis Bay, first cold and desolate and then savannah and hot; we had 48.5 degrees at around a guest farm called Niedersachsen, 160 km from Windhoek; we actually called in there and had a beer with the owners.

Windhoek is clean and pleasant, better than what the tourist brochure let you believe. I was amazed how much of the German names have been retained over the century since the Germans have been evicted (Reiter Statue, Christus Kirche, Alte Festung and others). It’s a pity that the English push their presence there harder than the German, especially when you consider how much good will there is. The highlight in Windhoek must surely be Joe’s Beer House, an amazing arrangement, where you sit with collections of anything oldish everywhere around you, ploughs, bicycles, baskets, bottles, posters, wheels, etc, but more importantly it’s arranged in such a way as only a mad artist could do.

Well there it is. It turned out much longer than you probably have time to read.

One thing, though, I should report. The AVIS people in Cape Town didn’t have a Jetta and gave us a Polo instead. We don’t have Jettas in Australia, so I didn’t know whether it was a fair swap. Having then seen some Jettas in the street, I must say they look more substantial and I believe we have been down-graded without reimbursement of the difference. While the Polo never let us down, I still think that given some of the gravel roads, cars with bigger wheels would be more suited. Another observation I might mention, and I should have thought of it before I booked, in particular where we own a 4WD, you sit much higher in those vehicles and so see more of the landscape and it makes spotting and photographing of animals much easier. It definitely was a big mistake not to take that into consideration, after all what is one of the more important activities on this trip, photography, isn’t it?

We had a look at your website for the next trip, maybe Joburg to Cape Town, but we decided to work on some of the problems we have here first.

It was a magnificent trip, due largely also to your flawless planning. Thank you for that. I wish you continuing success in your business, in particular for the most difficult year you actually have in front of you, 2009; it’s going to be a horror.

With kind regards
Edwin Matiuk
1 of 1 people found the following testimonial helpful:
12/04/2008


Namibia Tour: Algernon Michael Phillips

Outstandingly well arranged holiday. Excellent accommodation, although The Heinitzburg in Windhoek is not worth the extra & the food in the 'Leo at the Castle' restaurant at the hotel was disappointing. Where hotels were not full we appeared to be given an upgrade on our room type on most occasions. More detail in the instructions getting to the Tamboti from the airport would be helpful & when there has been rain, the D2483 road to Mount Etjo from the B1 can be difficult in a 2 wheel drive. It is better to travel via Kalkfeld.
A thoroughly enjoyable holiday – we would recommend you to anyone. Thank you.
Mike & Lois Phillips
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