Olive Grove Guesthouse
This is an actual tour booked by Edward Taylor for a private client. It is a variation of the Namibia Highlights Safari. If you like the sound of it you can book this exact trip using the enquiry form below or use the itinerary as a starting point and make any changes you want.
My clients have booked this 12 day Namibia Highlights self-drive tour. Their trip starts in Windhoek and they will travel anti-clockwise taking in all the highlights including Etosha, Damaraland, Skeleton Coast and Sossusvlei before ending in Windhoek again where they will fly home again.
"We loved seeing all of the different animals come to the waterhole"
First, we had a great trip--all of the places that we stayed were very nice, some were very luxurious, and the food was delicious. The sights were fabulous, too. Following are some comments about the different places.
First, though, I wanted to mention that Nadia, at the Olive Grove, seemed to be worried when we did not show up until 5pm, or a bit later. I'm not sure that they allowed enough time for Immigration clearance, customs, and picking up the car--as well as the 45 minute plus drive to the Guest House. For some reason, Immigration was incredibly slow that day. Just thought that I would mention that for future reference.
The Olive Grove Guest House--very nice. We stayed in both the standard and luxury rooms. They are lovely, both rooms. We ate dinner there both evenings and had absolutely delicious meals, cooked right there in front of us!! No complaints here at all. Our return on the 28th was just as good as our first night there.
Okakuejo Waterhole Chalets. The room was small, but very clean and very nice. It also had air con, which did go out the second night. We let it rest a while, and then it came back on ok. The dinner meals were good buffet food, but certainly nothing special--although there was plenty to eat. The breakfasts were about the same. We really enjoyed the waterhole viewing, although we had to walk from our room to really see all of the animals at the waterhole. We could see the water hole from the front patio of our room, but could only see very large animals there. There were benches all round, and the viewing was great. We loved seeing all of the different animals come to the waterhole, and spent our second day driving to Halali for lunch, stopping at various waterholes along the way. Again, many, many animals--but no lions!
Dolomite Camp--We have a suggestion--remind people that they will be picked up in the parking area by a golf cart. Edward writes a nice itinerary; it should be in there. When we arrived, we did not see anyone. We assumed that someone would come to get us, but after a few minutes, we decided that perhaps we were in the wrong spot. After leaving and continuing on the road, we turned around and went back to the parking area. Then, we saw the golf cart coming down the path. Maybe there could be a sign that reminds guests that the golf cart will come to fetch them in just a few minutes, or perhaps a phone number? Traveling can be tiring, and sometimes we forget things that we are told. The accommodations were wonderful, as was the food. Another suggestion, for the west-facing rooms, perhaps an awning for the balcony, and a fan of some kind. The room was very hot, although it did cool down for the night.
Brandberg White Lady Lodge--This was certainly different from Dolomite. The lodge rooms were very adequate--not fancy at all, but clean, and did have a fan. The place runs on solar power and is very proud of that--there is no wifi in the rooms, and amenities are pretty basic. What we did not realize, until we left, was that the chalets were under trees, and so, we think, were probably much cooler. the food was just excellent, and Tina was extremely helpful to us. Even though it was not as luxurious as the Dolomite, for example, we really enjoyed our stay there. While here, we went to see the "white lady", took a hike, and had a picnic lunch. It was very hot, but we had a good time. The next day, we left for Cape Cross via Spitzkoppe. That was a very interesting drive, and we spent a bit of time in the park. We did not go view the other bushment paintings, but did tip the guide for steering us to a good picnic area. We also gave him our left-over lunch. He almost seemed happier with that than with the money!
Cape Cross Lodge--This was another very beautiful and luxurious place, and probably deserved another day. The change in scenery from Brandberg/Spitzkoppe to here was very dramatic. In retrospect, we should have spent our two days in Swakopmund and driven north a bit to see the Cape Cross area. That said, we thoroughly enjoyed the Cape Cross Lodge--food was terrific, and the room was beautiful. The shower head in the shower was very rusted over--not too much water came out, but enough.
Swakopmund Guest House--Yet another great place. The ladies running it were very accommodating. We visited with some friends in Walvis Bay (Mags and Barry), brought them back to Swakopmund, and we used the living room area at the Swakopmund Guest House to have a glass of wine before dinner. The ladies even provided proper wine glasses for us!! I(Kathie) loved the way the place was decorated, and the rooms were spotless. We could have used another day here!! The Guest House was within walking distance of town; we did spend a bit of time walking around in town. Dinner was at the Tug, and was very good. Breakfast was delicious. Then, we were off to the Hoodia Desert Lodge.
The drive to Hoodia was pretty rough and took us most of the day. The owner at Swakopmund G.H. warned us that the road was pretty rough, and she was very right. We thought that the scenery at Kuseib and beyond was beautiful, so did not mind the rough roads so much. We were told in Swakopmund that we should stop at Solitaire for apple strudel. We did stop, but it was a rather dry apple cake--just ok when you have your mouth set for a real apple strudel. Nice break for a bit.
Hoodia Desert Lodge--What a lovely place. The room was beautiful--again, could have used a sun shade for the late afternoon so that you could watch the sunset on your own patio. The air-con was great; the food was delicious. We took the tour the next day of Sossusvlei and Sesriem. Found it very interesting, and our guide worked very hard serving tea and then a wonderful lunch. We were a bit late in the morning, so we did not see the sunrise on the dunes, but did see plenty of dunes--even walked on them. The people working at the lodge were very gracious; we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.
Our drive back to Windhoek was much quicker than we had originally thought. The people at Hoodia knew of a short-cut and shared it with us. We did not take a lunch, and later wished that we had. We did not find a lunch place in Rehoboth--don't know if either of you have a suggestion for that. Not a big problem--we picked up something. Arrived back at the Olive Grove around 3pm. Great to be back!!
Thank you both for contributing to our trip. We later decided that we could have used 2-3 weeks to really do Namibia justice, but very much enjoyed the time that we had. If you have any questions, please let us know
Private Client, South Africa